Sunday, January 10th
As of today we have officially lived here at Mist Cottage for four months. It is a lot more like home than it was that first day. It took another two weeks for Attila to move in, so the four month anniversary of his actual move in date is January 23rd.
Tonight Attila’s drive in to work sounds like it will be a doozy. the temperature is supposed to plummet, and all this rain we are getting will turn into snowfall. The wind will gust to 90 km/h, which means blowing snow, on possibly icy roads. Attila, of course, doesn’t worry one jot about it all, he figures he will be just fine, and will leave early for work to give himself ample time to deal with the possibility of bad roads. I, however, am not so sanguine about his commuting in such weather. I grill him: do you have candles in the car; do you have food in the car; take a warm blanket with you in case you need to keep warm; take the collapsible shovel with you in case you get stuck; wear warm clothes, and so on. This drives Attila slightly mad, as he has already covered all the bases and is well prepared. Still, I feel better after going through my list.
This weekend was spent sorting through various boxes of belongings, purging items that are no longer used and do not have sentimental value. It was also a weekend of filling in tax forms, which involved finding documents, which was time consuming because locating the documents after the move was not an easy task.
In the winter the humidity in the house drops to unacceptable levels. It seems anything under 35% humidity will trigger my nosebleeds. This was an issue at the country house, and it is an issue here at Mist Cottage. Yesterday the humidity dropped to 33%, and the nosebleeds began in earnest. One of the strategies we are trying is to wash a load of laundry every night, and hang it to dry on the collapsible rack, in the middle of the living room. This magically increases the humidity in the house as we sleep, and is saves us money at the same time, as we don’t use the dryer nearly as much. However, there is only so much laundry that can be done in a week! I am considering wetting towels and hanging them to dry when there is no laundry waiting to be washed and dried.
Yesterday was a busy day baking. We save the bread “ends” in the freezer, and after they accumulate, they are turned into croutons. They are great on a green salad. Attila requested Cherry Squares, so when he woke up from his nap, they were on the country, fresh from the oven.
Today was bread baking day, combined with making a big batch of spaghetti sauce, using the last of the 2014 frozen stewed tomatoes, that I gleaned from Terra’s garden.
Monday, January 11
It has been a quiet day here at Mist Cottage. Attila and I are still tweaking the way we cope with the night shift. This week we will be spending the mornings together, Attila will hit the hay at about noon, and I will wake him up for supper at 6:45 p.m. I will do all the cooking during the work week. It might work, we won’t know until we try.
We went window shopping today at the local stores. We ended up buying a few groceries, our only purchase. It was fun to walk about aimlessly and look at things.
The weather has turned cold. The 90 km/h gusts have abated, but brisk winds are supposed to return tonight, along with snow. The sun shone here, all day long. It was so beautiful looking out there, that I decided to go for a walk at 4:00 p.m. We walked all morning, so I really didn’t need to go out for a walk, but could not resist the call of the beckoning blue sky. The wind was bitter, but I enjoyed my walk regardless. The road was clear and dry, so that I could walk in my walking shoes, no boots needed. I wore a sock, with the foot cut out of it, over my bad knee, it helped a lot.
Truthfully, it seems like the winter is just starting. What a difference between the winters here and those at the country house! I looked at a video I made mid-November one year at the country house, it was a blizzard, and the snow stayed until the end of March that year. Those were long winters. Even if the snow stays here until the end of March this year, the winter will feel as if it only lasted a few months.
My afternoon was spent doing business year end statements and accounts. It is a time consuming task, but I managed to get through the whole thing. Attila had done the tax returns over the weekend, which is an even bigger job, one that needed to be done before I could tie up the loose ends today.
I keep a to-do list on a piece of paper by my computer. The list shrinks, the list expands, and is usually the same length every day despite all efforts to accomplish everything. I find that if I do not add important tasks to the list, they might be forgotten. For instance, one year I forgot to renew the licence plates on the car. The list is a necessity.
This is not an age related coping mechanism. I have always used lists to keep track of what I need to be doing, since I was 18 years old. I also keep an ongoing journal in which I record all telephone conversations, dealings with businesses and the government, and bits of information that I might someday want to refer to. This has worked well on several occasions, as it is a good thing to have dates and times and details when a business you are dealing with is trying to pull a fast one. I am prepared for legal action, if needs must! Twice in the last ten years, I have used these records to hold companies to their promises.
Darkness has descended, it is 5:43 p.m. I must rise from this chair, leave off with my writing, and begin the preparation of the evening meal.
Good night from the cozy, warm kitchen at Mist Cottage.
RAINFALL WARNING IN EFFECT
WIND WARNING IN EFFECT
Date: 8:00 AM EST Sunday 10 January 2016
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 100.3 kPa
Visibility: 6 km
Wind: ENE 16 km/h
SNOW SQUALL WATCH IN EFFECT
SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT IN EFFECT
Date: 5:00 PM EST Monday 11 January 2016
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Visibility: 24 km
Wind: W 20 km/h
Wind Chill: -14
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
1871 – 1922
That journal sounds like a smart idea. To it, I would add the date of my charitable donations so I’ll know, when solicited, whether I’ve already given what I can for this year.
Kate, I have relied on keeping a hand written journal of events most of my adult life. At times I revert to writing things down on pieces of paper, but inevitably they get misplaced, so that when I finally find them I transcribe them into the journal, and revert back to keeping everything there. Charitable donations are a good thing to keep in the journal! I usually highlight the keyword in each entry, either the name of the business, or the topic of the entry, it helps me leaf through the pages quickly to find what I need.
Sounds like it’s getting chilly over there. We went through the same thing on Sunday, going from rain to snow in the space of about an hour. Over Sunday night the snow was actually became an icy crust about an inch thick.
We don’t have a snow squall warning for tonight the way you do but we do have a special statement saying it’s possible to get 10 to 15 cm of snow (about 4-7 inches).
Although I’ve looked at Revenue Canada to see what’s expected in this year’s income tax, I haven’t actually started any work on the income tax. Since they’re not open for filing online until about the second week of February I don’t feel there’s a rush, so I’ll finish up the art tutorial I’m taking. (That’s the good thing about this time of year, folks aren’t really expecting large turn over in graphic designs so you can take some time to expand your abilities.)
I tend to keep my notes as documents on my computer. Yes, I know there are inherent risks with that but I’ve never had anything happen to something timely. I do keep our budget in a journal, though. I just process the numbers better when they’re written by hand.
Yuck. I need to look a bit more closely at my writing before I hit send. Please ignore the poor writing in my first paragraph. *cringe*
Teri, I think we are to get that much snow also, tomorrow morning. Time for shoveling again!
Attila does our taxes, thank goodness. I think that it is safe to say that I consider it the worst task in the world, while Attila sails through it without a twitch. I can do it, and I do a fine job of it when I do it, but I really loath it.
It is tempting to go totally digital, but so far I have resisted it. I am much more comfortable with paper, I keep losing things on the computer, which I always find, but only after I panic. If I have a digital file I write the file name in my paper notes, then I can find it easily when I need it.
Maggie, since you’re an early riser, you might try simmering a pot of water on the stove before your power costs go up (at 7:00 am?).
Since Mist Cottage is small, you might also get relief from a cool humidifier, which I suspect would be inexpensive to operate.
I am an early riser Wendy, the pot on the stove sounds like a good idea, maybe I can cook at the same time… pasta, rice.
We tried a humidifier, and it doesn’t seem to work as effectively as the wet laundry, which is surprising. The difference might be due to where I have been setting up the dehumidifier, I think I’ll try it in the same spot as I have been placing the clothes drying rack.
So important to keep the humidity up in the cold dry winters you have. When I lived in Calgary, it was always a challenge. Not a problem here in the dripping North West!
We are finding there humidity a lot lower here since we moved. I can’t do the large pot of water on stove since I don’t have a large stock pot. I did that one year and it worked very well. We are thinking of getting a room humidifier for the bedroom since I have woken up coughing a very dry cough several times and my C-PAP machine has a built-in humidifier; but I use a nasal mask instaed of the whole nose mask. If we had a washing machine, i would use your idea of drying the clothes. The dishwasher helps!
You don’t power to humidify your home. Pots of water sitting around will do the trick. If you have some pots that have wide mouths, all the better. Shallow with wide mouths. Growing up, my Mum always had a big old brown crock with a very wide mouth sitting with water on the radiators in the living room and dining room. They’d evaporate every couple of days and need refilling. No need to electrically heat them up.
Also, if you have houseplants, those add substantially to the moisture in a home. I don’t have ANY and I’ve been considering getting some – I like them but it’s also dry here too. We have water dishes (4) for the dogs that evaporate all the time, as well.
I have Teri’s syndrome… forget to proof… “You don’t NEED power…” should have been.
Diane, I know that the weather is wet on the west coast, but on my two visits, my only visits, the weather was mild and sunny! I have visited Calgary twice, both times in the spring/summer/autumn months, and it was lovely. Just didn’t know how lucky I was!
Lee Ann, is your home less humid, or the climate in general, or both?
A dishwasher! It is on my dream list. We had one up until 2004, then when we moved to the country we did dishes by hand, and still are. We didn’t want to put a dishwasher in while we relied on well water, but now that we are on town water it is looking more feasible. We will probably wait until it is time to replace the kitchen cupboards, which may be never 🙂
You are right of course Bex, unaided evaporation is the most benign and accessible form of humidity. I am afraid that this house is so small that an open container near a source of heat would be tripped on and spilled! We are that small. The wet clothes dry on a tall accordion style rack, and we find that we don’t bump into it because it so so tall and easy to see, we can’t forget it is there.
We have some house plants, and I think they help! Last winter the humidity was 25% and I couldn’t get it much higher than that except on laundry day, when I dried the clothes in the living room. This winter the humidity is hovering between 30% and 35%, which is probably down to the Attila’s additional laundry, and the house plants which weren’t here last winter.
Teri and Bex, I know, the editing feature is sorely missed here! I have tried the plugin for the blog several times, and both times there were compatibility issues with other aspects of the software. I will try it again though, maybe it has improved.
Having said that, I hope that it is informal enough, here in this space, that a few typing errors between friends are easily ignored. The level of literacy in the comments section is unquestionably high!
I have just installed and activated comment editing again, lets see if it works this time! Let me know if it works for you, I will keep an eye on things under the hood, so to speak.
I just tried it, it gives you a five minute window to edit the post. This little piece of software is not configurable, so if five minutes isn’t enough I’ll look around for something more suitable.
With the humidity, 5 years ago we were renting a townhouse which had a single unit heater on the first floor. In the winter we would place a large turkey-sized tossable roasting pan on top of the unit to increase the humidity. Now, in our house we have gas forced air heating. There supposedly is a humidifier attatched to it but it never worked.
We were offered a barrel humidifier some years ago but never used it as they tend to grow mold and such. If the dry air gets really bad we boil water on the stove.
Yes, I did see the edit feature, today. It seemed to work well. Many thanks!
Teri, if we switch to natural gas, which would entail a brand new furnace and hooking into the supply system, we would spring for a humidifier and an air cleaner on the furnace. We had a humidifier and an air cleaner attached to our gas furnace in our first shared house, and they were wonderful.
Glad to hear the comment edit feature is of some use!
I have used wet towels on a rack and they worked well. I need to keep the humidity up for the birds and myself. I also have used a humidifier and still do but the towels are good too.
I just bought a new larger humidifier since I am now living in a large room but it said to use only distilled water in it so back it goes. Lugging more gallons of water up three flights is out of the question.
When I read you entries it sounds some times like you are a pioneer woman, very capable and always busy. Sometimes battling the elements which are so much less here. Kudos to you !
Glad Mist Cottage is feeling more and more like home.
I am going to give wet towels a try tonight. With a predicted low of -12C the furnace will be chugging away, pumping out dry air. No laundry to do, so a wet towel is a treat idea.
I grew up on a farm, and it was a lifestyle of constant motion and activity. You can take the girl out of the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the girl.
We are beginning to settle, and it does feel good.
I just wanted to try the edit feature!
You don’t have to have the pot of water near a heat source… the water will evaporate as long as the air isn’t at or below freezing!
so… let’s see if that edit thingy works. my space bar keeps getting stuck…
Yup! It works for me! Thanks!
Glad to know the edit feature works Bex!
Our house is a little bit idiosyncratic, the drying rack, to effectively increase the humidity, must be placed between the two forced air heating vents in the living room. If I place it anywhere else, it is not as effective. I suppose this is due to the way the air circulates in the house. That is why I was thinking of putting the pot of water near the heat source. But of course, every home has its very own quirks!