A Nice Surprise

I began my day feeling a wee bit melancholy, I would have said sad, but that might imply a reason to feel sad, and I don’t have a reason, it is just the way I felt this morning. This afternoon a friend called me on the telephone, a nice surprise, and we talked for hours. It was an absolute tonic. I’ve known this fellow and his wife for more than 25 years, and the words flow easily between us. A perfect treat. I contrast this with social media, where one feels lucky if someone clicks a thumbs up on something you have written or shared… or one counts the number of viewings, or comments, as connection of some kind. A real conversation represents an infinity of upturned thumbs. It is a cold, brittle, ice sparkling day. Mist Cottage is cozy and warm. The ingredients for tonight’s pizza dough have been carefully measured into the pan of the bread machine, and it has been set in motion. And oh dear, I’ve eaten the last Gingerbread Cookie! Time for another day of baking. Thank goodness tomorrow is Saturday, a whole day of off-peak hydro prices. I plan on giving the oven a … Continue reading

Cold Snap

Overnight the temperature dipped low. The wind chill this morning is -30C. The weather people tell us that this cold spell will be over in a matter of days, time will tell. I am leaving the curtains closed until the sun shines, they help keep the cold at bay. Attila has built stud walls and insulated the south wall of the basement, and now the east wall as well. Last year he insulated half of the north wall. So just half the north wall, and the west wall, to go. As a result we are already noticing changes in the house. I found information on our hydro web site that revealed that the average temperature in November 2018 was -1C, while the average temperature in November 2019 was colder, -4C. Our hydro usage went down for November 2019 by 60 kWh, clearly a result of the new insulation in the basement. This is pretty good considering the insulation project started mid-November, and went slowly at first. I think we are seeing real results from this basement insulation project! A reduced electric heating bill is not the only change though. Since the rim joists below the living room were sealed and … Continue reading

Time is not a solid.

As of today my Granny and Grandpa’s house and property belongs to someone new. From what I hear, that someone, who is nameless to me, is going to “renovate” the house. That might mean anything, but I suspect the bottom line is that renovating will not require a building permit, while building a new building would, and the city-cottager dominated government in the township has very high ideals when it comes to new buildings… in my opinion the area is now a Disney Land in the bush for the affluent. So renovating an old building is permitted, for the less affluent, while new build costs and regulations are more than prohibitive. It was 90 years ago that my Great Grandfather bought the property. It was originally built by the railway, then it was purchased by a local family, and they sold it to my Great Grandfather at the very beginning of the Depression. My Grandparents had married just months before the Depression began. My Grandfather, at that time, worked in Toronto, and my Grandmother was thrilled to be moving to the city. But that did not last long, and soon my Granny and Grandpa were back home again in the … Continue reading

Wheat Berries

Attila ventured out on Monday after work to find a Christmas Tree. He likes a real tree, and so do I. There weren’t many available by the time Attila started looking, but he eventually found one, for $40. It is our Christmas indulgence, well one of them, food is the other. I am lucky in that he will do all the decorating, and enjoys doing it. I just have to be careful not to supervise, although the temptation is great at times! I have to content myself with sitting in my easy chair and playing the part of the great admirer… I’ve got this! I milled flour earlier this week, and used the last of the bag of wheat berries. That bag lasted for four months, as we purchased it early in August. It provided us with all of our wheat related products, which are primarily breads and muffins. We have two more bags in the freezer, which should last until early August, at which time another journey to the supplier will be in order. Whole wheat flour will go rancid. We used to purchase large bags of it, when I was working, and we lived in the country. But … Continue reading

I’ve Got This! Or Maybe This Got Me.

Chocolates have always been my favourite treat at Christmas time. But now, being older and experiencing the inevitable consequence of time, chocolates are something I no longer indulge in. What to do! I think I have found my solution. Sweet yeast breads! I made loaf of Panettone number four yesterday, and it is so, so good! I eat it plain, and sometimes I spread a wee bit of butter on it. And I enjoy every single bite. This bread has me on the hook. We are having a quiet weekend here at home, as usual. Attila is working on the insulating the basement. He now has the stud walls built, and the insulation installed, for about 50% of the total area to be covered. It is slow going but oh so satisfying. The difference can be felt when standing in the area of the basement that is now insulated, then moving to an area yet to be insulated. The chill in the area that has no insulation is unmistakable. This is a good winter project, as most of the work is indoors, with only a bit of lumber to be cut in the garage. I’ve asked Attila to build me … Continue reading