Here I am, the first day of November, and I am eating garden Kohlrabi for breakfast. I love Kohlrabi. Attila harvested the last of the Kohlrabi on Saturday, a few small bulbs. After cooking in the Instant Pot, some of the bulbs were fork tender, and some were crunchy. The reason for this difference in texture is still a mystery. On Saturday evening I enjoyed a bowl of the crunchy Kohlrabi, with a little olive oil and garlic seasoning, it was delicious. This morning I mashed the tender bulbs, then topped them with a little olive oil and garlic seasoning. They were oh so good.
The day is sunny, time to wash a load of laundry and hang it out to dry. It is near the end of the season for hanging out the laundry. We keep at it until the daytime temperature falls below freezing, at which point it is a challenge to deal with icy clothing.
We are out of 500-ml canning jars now. Over the last week three full jars of canned food were consumed, which made three empty jars available for canning. On Sunday we canned another three jars of Dilly Green Tomatoes, and could have canned more had we had the jars to do it. The freshly canned jars all sealed, and this morning the rings were removed and cleaned, the jars labelled, washed, dried, and stored in the basement.
Still to come from the garden are Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Kale, and Swiss Chard. As much as possible will be eaten fresh, but some will need to be preserved in the freezer.
As the garden winds down, it was time to begin the process of preparing it for winter. Composters were emptied and the soil distributed throughout the garden. Dead plants were torn out and put in the empty composters. The water tanks were emptied, then pressure washed to remove the algae. Algae is a problem because the tanks let in the sunlight. The protective covers for them are very expensive, beyond our present budget, so the algae builds up and must be cleaned out with bleach. Attila did a great job!
I continue to reorganize the kitchen, attempting to improve the workflow. The refrigerator needs to be moved, but before that can happen the damaged floor joist under the kitchen has to be reinforced. Before the damaged floor joist can be repaired the wiring has to be updated. Before the wiring can be updated filing cabinets have to be moved out of the way. Nothing is simple in an old and very small house, doable, just not simple. In a few weeks time Attila will be done with the garden for the winter, and work can begin on the floor joist project. Renovating Mist Cottage has taken a back seat in our lives for the last two years, the cost of lumber, the impracticality of obtaining materials, the increased labour involved in keeping ourselves safe with masks, sanitizing, quarantining items that come into the house. It will be good to begin again with modest projects around the house.
My big news is that I entered a retail store!
I have been waiting for the right moment to begin integrating into the world again, and on Saturday it felt right, there was something I wanted to buy, and wanted to see before I purchased it, an artificial Christmas Tree. Last year we went without a Christmas Tree, for the very first time in my life. We have a $5 artificial tree that is very small and sits on a table, and that just did not do it for us. Our budget keeps getting tighter and tighter, so purchasing a real tree is probably going to be beyond us in the years to come. For that reason I decided we needed to buy an artificial tree. I found one in our price range, but wanted to see it first, as it is a big purchase for us. So into Canadian Tire we went.
It was disappointing. There were only a few trees on display, and not the one I was interested in. There was a displayed tree by the same company, more expensive, and it wasn’t all that nice. From this we surmised the quality of the tree of interest. There was a lovely tree there that we both liked, but it was on sale for $500. That wasn’t happening. So we realized that on our budget we would not get a tree we liked. So we bought the $150 disappointment tree, and felt lucky to have it. I am sure that once our cherished ornaments are hanging from the branches we will enjoy the tree. And we will be able to enjoy having a tree for many years to come, at no additional expense.
In Canadian Tire people kept their distance, and it was possible to step into another aisle to avoid getting too close. It was a good first time out.
Emboldened by my first foray into the retail world in over a year and half, another adventure seemed appropriate. We visited Dollarama. Dollarama is the only store where we can shop and not count every penny. We purchased consumables, such as coffee filters, and kitchen equipment such as spatulas. The aisles in the store are not two meters wide, so there is absolutely no possibility of proper social distancing, and it was impossible to avoid being close to other people. Not only that, there were several mothers with small children there. The children were not wearing masks, and no attempt was made to keep clear of other customers, making it impossible to stay clear of them. We won’t be going to Dollarama again any time soon, it is too dangerous. We have been carefully monitoring ourselves for symptoms, nothing so far.
Back at Mist Cottage I am now sitting comfortably in front of my computer. The temperature outside 6C by the thermometer on the windy sunny side of the house. The temperature in the house is a comfortable 21C. We haven’t turned on the heat yet this fall. This is amazing, not needing the heating system on the first of November! This is later than other years, e.g. in 2019 we turned on the heat on October 18th, in 2020 on October 30th. I credit the recently installed new windows, and the insulated basement that Attila spent so much time installing. Eventually we will turn the heat on, but not until it feels cool enough to want it, which will be anytime now.
Stay safe dear friends!
Updated on Mon, Nov 1, 1:35 PM
9 °C (not accurate, our thermometer reads 6C)
FEELS LIKE 6
Wind 22 W km/h
Humidity 60 %
Visibility 22 km
Sunrise 7:44 AM
Wind gust 33 km/h
Pressure 101.6 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 5:57 PM
“An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations.”
Charles de Montesquieu
1689 – 1755