Thursday, July 26, 2018

Attila and I have had a chat, not a long chat, but a very fruitful chat. This domestic relationship is like an onion, layers and layers and layers. So another layer was uncovered. I must say that the two of us are developing, with each other, some new and effective communication skills. It was a tension easing discussion. These kinds of chats are work, but feel like a job well done when accomplished.

Another sunny day has dawned. It will be hot and muggy again today. July has been a month of hot humid conditions, which I do not like. It rained hard all of yesterday morning, so the gardens are much refreshed, and might even welcome this sunshine. The rain barrels are full again.

The Heliopsis that was transplanted from my Granny’s garden is about seven feet tall now, and blooming. It is beautiful, and in a few years it can be propagated by dividing the clump. So many blooms in the garden, Scarlet Runner Beans, Echinacea, Clematis, Heliopsis, Cosmos, Giant Marigold, Marigold, Bindweed (humph), Catnip.

The Catnip is interesting, in that it has grown about three feet tall and the seed heads are visited daily by Goldfinches and Chickadees. The Scarlet Runner Beans are growing oddly, probably due to the drought, and there are only a few beans developing on the plants, although there a copious beautiful blooms. The peas are a disappointment altogether. I have eaten a few handfuls raw, and they are very pleasant, but the yield is very low and the plants are already starting to die off. A few tomatoes are beginning to ripen, tiny little egg shaped tomatoes, heirloom, acidic in taste. They will be wonderful for tomato sauce, so I am hoping the plants are prolific producers. There are other types of tomatoes growing in the garden, Pink Girl, and Beefsteak, nothing ripe yet on those plants. The Blue Hubbard Squash is beginning to take off, and the Zucchini plant has any blooms and no fruit. At this point it doesn’t look like we will get much out of the garden this year, but the growing season isn’t over yet.

Dinner last night was Baked Beans in the Instant Pot. Attila loved them, I did not. The sauce was runny, and the taste is not just what I want. I will try another recipe next time. I won’t know what I want to cook for dinner tonight, until five minutes before I begin to put the meal together. It might be Sweet & Sour Chicken, it might be Mac n’ Cheese, I might even find a recipe to try that features lentils. Time will tell.

My low ebb of the day usually arrives sometime between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. Mental processes slow down, eyes water, drowsiness blurs the edges of all projects underway… some days I nap, most days I push through. Yesterday I napped, today I napped. The heat and humidity have been intense for so long, that even though I am indoors most of the time, I am a bit worn down.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Another hot muggy day. I am weary of this weather, and I think I am not alone in this.

The Mac n’ Cheese was another big hit with Attila, but not so much for me. The macaroni was cooked to perfection, the sauce was a lovely consistency. But it was bland. It was made with no added salt or salty flavourings. Attila adds salt and salty flavourings to his food, so he is eating a seasoned version of whatever I prepare. I am eating the unseasoned version. I think that the dishes that he really likes, but I don’t, are about how they taste with high sodium flavourings vs how they taste without them. I will be on a quest to find flavourings for the Mac n’ Cheese that are tasty but low in sodium, as the sodium and cholesterol in the cheese put me at my daily limit for both.

Tonight I will make a spaghetti in the Instant Pot, which is tasty enough for me if I brown the ground beef and onions well before adding the rest of the ingredients to the Instant Pot.

Cooking low-to-no sodium is very challenging.

Attila continues to spend his entire evenings after work, working on the garage project. It will continue this way for some time to come, there is still much to do, it is a very big job. He is happy with this routine, which is fortunate. It means the project will be “completed” to the point where further attention to it will be recreational.

The construction of the new rental unit complex, at the end of the street, is well under way. Huge trucks traverse this narrow little street, roaring as they pass. The sound of large diggers and movers is constant through most of the daylight hours, six days a week. The air rings with music of hammers on nails, men shouting, back up beepers beeping. The din is loud and constant, and I seldom notice it anymore. The intrusive sounds are failing in significance, easily ignored, while bird song, and the wind in the trees is evermore dominant to my senses.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

So here it is, the end of July!

I picked some of the Heliopsis from the garden, it sits in front of the desktop computer where is it constantly in sight if I am in the living area. There is something wonderful about fresh flowers.

Attila and I took a run out to the Rideau Camp last weekend. More mice, it is certainly discouraging to have to deal with their mess, and empty the traps every time we visit. The quest to find all entry points continues.

The burn ban had been lifted in the township where the Rideau Camp is located, so we stayed to have a campfire. The rain barrel was full to the brim, so there was plenty of water for putting out a camp fire. I burned the last two stumps that littered the property, left by the bulldozer when the driveway was put in, before we owned the property. The focus is now pulling bulldozed brush out of the bush, on either side of the driveway. Brush is much easier to burn than stumps! Eventually all of the bulldozed debris will be gathered and burned. The Rideau Camp has been a lot of work. This is the third summer spent cleaning up the trash and construction debris left by previous owners. It is a good thing I enjoy tending camp fires, and that both Attila and I enjoy sitting around camp fires.

The generator was packed into the car for the visit to the Camp, so that the evening meal was cooked in… wait for it… surprise… the Instant Pot. I had measured all the ingredients into containers to bring with us, so all that was needed to prepare the meal was to empty the containers into the Instant Pot, and press the button.

Attila continues to tackle the fiddly bits that need doing to finish the garage project. He has closed in most of the garage now, only a few more open areas to clad and seal. I think he will then work on the last wall studs at the back of the garage, and then move on to installing supports between the roof rafters.

My days consist of taking care of domestic matters, bill paying, phone calls, that sort of thing. I have been happily watching videos and films, reading, crocheting, collecting Instant Pot recipes, watching Netflix while I use my elliptical machine, sitting on the back porch… well, life is pretty good.

The hot humid weather continues, and the weather forecast is for more of the same. We need rain, the garden is surviving, but not thriving.

The fire in Parry Sound, 33, is out of control and raging across over 8000 hectares right now. Our property is not in danger, at least for now. It will be a relief when the hot and humid but very dry weather turns and significant rain falls!

So that’s me, for the month of July. The endless heat and humidity, the seemingly endless garage project that is progressing very well, the new Grandbaby Willow, a little beauty, a wee visit with all the rest of the Grandbabies, a few brief visits to the Rideau Camp… and a lot of great food cooked in an Instant Pot!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 8:00 AM EDT Thursday 26 July 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 18.7°C
Dew point: 16.5°C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: NW 8 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Date: 10:00 AM EDT Friday 27 July 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 22.9°C
Dew point: 19.2°C
Humidity: 80%
Wind: WSW 14 km/h
Humidex: 30
Visibility: 24 km

Date: 4:00 PM EDT Tuesday 31 July 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 24.7°C
Dew point: 18.4°C
Humidity: 67%
Wind: SSE 6 km/h
Humidex: 31
Visibility: 24 km


“No matter how old you are, there’s always something good to look forward to.”
Lynn Johnston
1947 –

I don’t think Ms. Johnston is old enough to be qualified to make this statement. Now, if my 90 year old Grandpa had said it, or my 87 year old Mom… well that would be different. Thing is, I think they both would agree with her.

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I am making tacos for dinner but now I have spaghetti on my mind. I do love me some pasta.


The flowers sound beautiful!

For the mice: Would it be possible to put a layer of sand (or something) around the camper that would show the path the mice take? Or would rain and wind just blow the sand away?

It sounds like the communication lines are improved. That’s so great!

Stubblejumpers Cafe

I was just about to send out a search party! -Kate

Stubblejumpers Cafe

What could possibly be up with those mice? It’s not like the camper is a palace with thousands of entries! Hmmmm! -Kate

Bex Crowell

You may have a future as a presenter on TV for Instant Pot! You could call your show “Healthy Instant Pot Works” – you are its biggest fan I believe!
I discovered using salsa in things. I found some that is low in the bad stuff and still tastes great (“Dennis’ Gourmet Salsa” – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0793FBTXD/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 )

We had the one with black bean and corn the other night – I just cooked ground beef and added a jar of this and it was a miracle! That was it. Put it over jasmine rice. EZPZ. You might look into it. Maybe you get it up in your neck-o-the-woods.

Yesterday I had a taste of the Mango salsa and it was also extremely yummy.