Killing Bugs

It snowed all day, and now it is raining! Roller coaster weather, which I prefer to continuous deep cold. The snow is wet on all of the roofs now, holding on to that rain. I hope it stays above freezing for a bit, give the roof a chance to shed some of the load.

When there isn’t much else to do on a dreary winter’s day, then we get busy with odd jobs. Last night we spent the evening in the kitchen. We weren’t cooking, oh no. We were boiling laundry. We gathered together all the clean dishcloths, put the half-full-of-water 16 quart stock pot on the burner to boil, then began to boil the dishcloths. This is necessary every so often, to kill lingering bacteria. As soon as they aren’t smelling fresh after being laundered, it is time to boil the bugs out of them. After boiling all the washcloths, we moved on to the white socks in the house. Then we laundered all the boiled items, and hung them up to dry for the night. I folded them all this morning and put them away. They smelled oh so fresh!

Attila has a cold bug, and I think I am coming down with it too. It isn’t too bad, mostly a runny nose, but in my case it is starting with a headache. Good excuse to cozy up of an evening with a hot mug of honey and apple cider vinegar, read a book or watch a movie.

Dinner tonight is Mongolian Chicken, well it is actually Mongolian Turkey, because I am using a thawed package of diced turkey meat, saved from our Christmas turkey dinner. The whole dish is cooking in the Instant Pot of course!

I am noticing that the volume of recyclables coming out of Mist Cottage is falling. This is because we are using a lot of home canned and frozen ingredients, as opposed to tinned items from the grocery store. I do notice that it is a bit of extra work, to continually wash canning jars as I empty them, and to carry them down to the basement to store the empty jars away in boxes until it is time to fill them up with goodness again.

I wish there were local farms that sold reasonably priced produce for canning, but there aren’t. Or at least if there are, they are keeping a low enough profile that I can’t find them. The search continues. In the meantime we are beginning to plan our garden for this summer. Perhaps we can grow enough for a year of something… string beans, tomatoes, spinach, those are my best guesses.



Date: 4:00 PM EST Wednesday 23 January 2019
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 0.4°C
Dew point: 0.3°C
Humidity: 99%
Wind: S 17 km/h
Visibility: 8 km

Yesterday Morning:
Date: 8:00 AM EST Tuesday 22 January 2019
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 104.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -25.9°C
Dew point -29.1°C
Humidity: 75%
Wind: NNW 8 km/h
Wind Chill: -33
Visibility: 24 km


“What I dream of is an art of balance.”
Henri Matisse
1869 – 1954

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We gave up on fabric dishclothes some time ago. We buy a roll of J-cloths every few years and use one of the non-woven cloths until it would be dirty enough to wash, then we toss it. It’s not exactly thrifty, except we use so few of them, but then again we save on hot water and detergent by not washing so I guess there’s a give and take.

The weather here has been nasty. First, about 4 inches of snow and then it rained for hours. But the ground had been so cold that even with temps well below zero the snow began to turn to ice and then the water ran on top of it. Very slippery. DH had to walk on snow covered lawns in order to walk the dogs as the walks are ice covered. And in a few hours more the temps will plummet below freezing again. It is indeed a roller coaster.


I made a mistake in my last post. The temp was actually well ABOVE freezing and the rain was still turning to ice on the ground because the ground was still cold.

We’re now surrounded by ice. I might take the ice chipper out later and chop up some of the ice. I cringe seeing the school kids trying to skate by on the sidewalks.


We grow our own vegetables and try to store as much as we can over the winter, mostly in the freezer. There is just no comparison between homegrown and store bought! The ones that seem to keep best (in terms of taste and texture) for us are peas which freeze beautifully as do the long flat pole beans (scarlet runners). We string them then blanch and freeze and they taste almost as good as fresh when eaten. Carrots keep really well. After digging we just cut the tops off and chuck them unwashed in plastic grocery store bags. They stay good and firm in the fridge for several months. Peppers, tomatoes and garlic scapes just get put whole in bags straight into the freezer. Potatoes and squash we keep in the basement and garlic just in paper bags in the kitchen cupboard.The kale, chard, collard greens and leeks keep going until mid-December sometimes longer under row covers. We’re hoping to get some cold frames built this year to extend the seasons at both ends. Lots of work but very rewarding. I haven’t got into canning vegetables yet, but love to follow your adventures with the pressure canner.


Lol! Good karma must have kicked in. DH has been shoveling the walk of the empty house next door. The city sidewalk plow came by and plowed and salted the long walk along our side yard for us. They don’t usually do that bit with the ice it was too much for us to do, so we’re grateful.