Hydro Upgrade Done!

We had a storm on Thursday night, as did everyone in a wide radius of our location. It was relatively mild here, but still serious enough to result in multiple vehicle accidents. One of our neighbours could not get his vehicle up the slight incline on the highway near us, so had to park it and walk home. While shoveling the drive, Attila chatted with the neighbour, as he prepared to walk back to his vehicle to dig it out, his shovel in hand. We did not lose power, all was well at Mist Cottage.

Early last week our hydro upgrade was finally undertaken by the hydro company, and the electricians. What a relief! They were here all day long, and the power was turned off from 8:30 a.m. until just after 3:00 p.m. That means there was no heating for all that time. Although the temperature in the morning was -15C, it did not become uncomfortably cold on the main floor of the house. I was relieved and surprised. The contractors came into the house through the basement, and that door was left open, or was opening and closing, all day long. The temperature in the basement did not fall below 12C, another big surprise.

The next day the electrician dropped by the house to pick up a check as payment. He told me that the hydro fellows had quite a time with the service installation. Apparently the truck with the hoist broke down in front of the house, no hoist. The technician had to use spurs to get up the pole to get the job done. I was aware, from inside the house, of a lot of shouting and discussion, which was puzzling. But I did not investigate, because my questions might slow down the progress, and could possibly be unwelcome. There were five hydro trucks in front of the house at one point.

Another tidbit of information the electrician shared with me was that our existing mast, original to the house, very old, was a homemade affair. The hydro guys had never seen anything like it, a complete hack job, welded in places that it should not have been welded, that sort of thing. So we have a brand new mast, and it is impressive, very substantial looking. We will need to repaint the siding where the work was done, a very minor job.

Later in the week the furnace installer was scheduled to come to the house in the afternoon to hook up the furnace. I waited. No call, no email, just a no show. The company had not yet got in touch with me to apologize, or to reschedule. Disappointing, but that is the way this furnace install process has been going since last April, one hiccup after another. I wonder what next!

Meanwhile, we continue to enjoy our holiday season.

We put our tree up at the beginning of December, it is a real presence in such a small space, and we love it. So far Ginger has ignored it. Attila hung a string of coloured lights around the door on the front porch, not much but we find it cheerful. I opened one of the two Christmas Cakes I had made in November, it didn’t last long. The second one will stay in the refrigerator until Christmas, we don’t trust ourselves to open it any sooner.

Last week, before the snow storm blanketed the landscape in white, Attila harvested the last of the cabbages. This is the second growth on the cabbage plants, so they are very small, but plentiful. They were diced and used to make a cabbage roll casserole, and I think they were better tasting for having been frozen a few times before harvest.

The second growth on the cabbage plants, chopped and ready to go into a Cabbage Roll Casserole.

For the last few days I have been very busy mending my various pairs of flannel pajama bottoms. Some of these pairs are over 20 years old, there were six pairs to repair. The elastic in the waistbands on all of them had disintegrated, very disappointing. There was only enough elastic in the sewing basket to fix one waistband. But there was a bag of used elastic in the fabric tote. It was removed from worn out underwear, mostly waistbands, and it was still viable. Five of the pajama bottom waistbands were repaired with this reclaimed elastic.

The original elastic was sewn into the waistbands, using a different method for each pair of pants. It was extremely time consuming to asses the methods of construction, then deconstruct them by ripping out all of the stitching, to leave just the raw edged material. The deconstruction took much longer than the construction of the new waistbands. I constructed them so that the elastic can be easily removed and replaced. It is quite possible the reclaimed elastic will last only a short time, so it was important to ensure that it could be easily replaced. The replacement of the waistbands on the six pairs of pajama bottoms took two whole days.

The sewing machine, set up to reconstruct the waistbands on six pairs of pajama bottoms. The sewing basket, the sewing machine, and the singer sewing machine oil, were all purchased in 1970. The sewing machine is amazing (Elna, Swiss) and works as well now as it did in 1970.

I’ve begun to bake goodies for our holiday enjoyment. First it was Mincemeat Squares, using our home canned mincemeat. Today it is Apple Caramel Muffins. On the upcoming treat list is a Steamed Pudding with Sauce, and Cherry Squares. Our desserts are made with whole wheat, no salt, and reduced sugar. I also add ground flax seed to all my baking. We love the results. These desserts can be indulged in without guilt, or the mood swings that eating a lot of sugar can induce. The sugar in the muffins was 2 tablespoons for twelve muffins, or 1/2 tsp per muffin, and a caramel in each muffin. I add a bit of liquid 100% stevia to the batter to sweeten it a bit more.

No surprises here!

We shop at stores that award PC points. We collect them. Most of what we buy does not qualify for weekly offers, they are raw ingredients, but things like multi-vitamins do. Thus the statistics in the most recent points report were no surprise. Our top points came from the purchase of vitamins. It was also no surprise that most Canadians are using points to purchase ready-to-go meals. These are convenience foods. That means that people are paying extra for someone else to cook their food. In other words, hiring companies to cook for them. I see several disadvantages to this, including the extra cost of hiring someone else to do your cooking, the unknown/questionable quality of ingredients, and the liberal use of chemicals for preservation and taste enhancements.

I do wonder if some of those complaining about the high cost of food are among the majority of members who seem to love their convenience foods, and can afford to hire someone to cook their meals.


My Mom has Covid for a second time, she seems to be doing well with it, the symptoms are less severe this time. It does mean that she has to curtail her card playing and getting out and about. I am so lucky to have my Mom.

The salty taste in my mouth could very likely be a result of my having had Covid in October. The Nurse Practitioner scheduled some tests to eliminate other possible causes, everything came back normal. I am not really bothered by the taste, my main concern was what caused it. Great to have ruled out quite a few possibilities.

As a result of my consultation with the Vascular Surgeon, I have begun taking another medication. So far so good I think, no immediate adverse reactions. I will have a blood test after a month or so, to check on the some of the invisible side effects that are possible. Hopefully this will help to keep the aneurysm from growing quickly.

I’ve made the changes needed to minimize the growth of the aneurysm. Now I seldom think about it, I am doing what I can, that is all I can do. So I am carrying on with life in the new normal I’ve created for myself. There are no symptoms with aneurysms, until just before they become life threatening. It is possible I will be able to have surgery to repair it before that happens, possible but not certain. I keep in mind that health technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, so the future could hold some happy surprises.

Aortic aneurysms have recently been in the news, with the death of sports journalist Grant Wahl. He did not know he had the aneurysm. George C. Scott also succumbed to this aneurysm, even though he was aware of his condition. Albert Einstein passed away from the same condition; he knew about his condition, had surgery, and extended his life by seven years. Knowing about it is helpful, but no guarantee of survival.




Updated on Sun, Dec 18, 4:05 PM
Partly cloudy
Wind 7 SW km/h
Humidity 76 %
Visibility 22 km
Sunrise 7:38 AM
Wind gust 10 km/h
Pressure 101.2 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 4:30 PM


“Success is counted sweetest by those who ne’er succeed.”
Emily Dickinson
1830 – 1886

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Joan Lansberry

I hope your mother gets well soon and the salty taste in your mouth returns to normal. I hope your heating finally gets hooked up very soon! (Happy holidays!)

Eileen Barton

Happy Holidays to you, Attila and Ginger! How rude of the furnace installer not to show up or even to let you know when they will reschedule! So sorry that your mom got Covid again! My daughter caught it and my niece and her daughter both have it now. Fingers crossed that the furnace installer gets on the ball and gets the work done at your house. Stay warm!


Well most of it is done now. Have to give the tradesman the benefit of the doubt though…..there could be some very valid reason for the lack of communication. Just alter your ‘hopefully it will be finished by’ date to New Year. Then it’ll be the present of the year!

Enjoy the rest of the season Maggie and give Attila a little peck under the mistletoe. I won’t be kissing anyone this year…..The Golfer shared his virus!! ‘Nuff said
Merry Christmas


Happy Holidays Maggie, Attila and Ginger. I hope your holidays are filled with warmth and laughter. I’ve given up trying to understand why contractors can be so blase about work commitments. That’s true here too. But you’re close to the finish line! I hope your Mom recovers soon from Covid. I go for my second booster this Friday. I hope my car starts. It’s like the North Pole in the Midwest right now.! (((HUGS)))


Glad to hear your electricity has been upgraded! As you just learned, those without heat get help first. You see yourself as having heat in an emergency but if you need to talk to the furnace company again it might be a good idea to let them know that your substitute heat requires a lot of physical work and you’re older and have a heart condition.

We also shop at stores with PC points, though we get as many items as possible at Basics, first. But we get our points on things like tomatoes, tomato sauce, bulk peanuts (DH’s preferred snack), olive oil and bath tissue.

It sounds like your mom has one of the more recent strains of covid with lighter symptoms. I think they let you out of quarantine in 5 to 10 days, so she might be clear by Christmas. I hope so!

I’m not sure if I said this before but DH’s father has an aneurysm. His doctor noticed it maybe 5 years ago but it hasn’t grown at all. If it did grow X amount they intended to do surgery but since his dad is 88 this next week I don’t think they’d do the surgery anymore.

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! Enjoy your pleasures and treasures!

Last edited 1 year ago by Teri