Rideau Camp

Rideau Camp

We had a lovely weekend at the Rideau Camp. Arriving on Friday afternoon, Attila immediately started a camp fire. We had ten trees worth of brush to burn, and since it had rained most of the day, it was the ideal time to burn fresh tree branches. While Attila was busy starting a fire from wet wood, I heated up our dinner of vegetables, pasts, olive oil, and seasonings. After the meal, brush burning began in earnest. The camp fire burned until past midnight, burning about one third of the branches.

First thing Saturday morning I was off to the local building centre to make a few purchases.

The first item purchased was Diatomaceous Earth powder. The ants have found the interior of Grace the Trailer. Small pans were created with aluminium foil, one placed at each of the four jack supports, where I suspect the ants have been coming in. On Saturday I killed quite a few ants in the trailer, the powder was employed by mid-morning, then ant activity slowed. On Sunday there were no large ants in the trailer. There were however a few small ants, so when the air is calm on another visit, powder will be applied around the wheels.

The second item purchased was two seven foot steel fence posts, with holes. After finding someone had cut down trees to gain access to our property, for their ATVs, and having young boys on motorized vehicles come onto the property to recreate without permission, we were advised at the local building centre to put up No Trespassing signs. Attila mounted two signs on boards, which were affixed to the fence posts. The signs are up, and hopefully this will curb further trespassing. Time will tell.

Felling ten trees generates a lot of work. The chain saw was busy all weekend, sectioning tree trunks. Then the logs needed to be stacked. Attila did most of this work, but today we devised a way that I could participate. He loaded logs into the wheelbarrow, and brought them to the wood pile where I stacked them, returning the empty wheelbarrow for another load. This worked very well.

Log stacking june 2017 DSCF0787 My log stacking setup. These are logs from one of the ten trees Attila felled more than a week ago. They will not make good firewood this summer, but next summer they will be ready for the campfire.

The trees were felled to prepare the area where Grace The Trailer will sit. There is a lot of work to do, Attila was busy all weekend with his chain saw. After cleaning up the felled trees, the stumps need to be removed. Then the land must be levelled, which will require an investment in crushed stone, and perhaps a machine to level the stone.

We had a visitor at the Camp on Saturday. The fellow who sold us Grace The Trailer dropped by to drop off the hitch. It had been connected to his pickup truck, and he had to take it in to the garage to have it removed. The hitch will be stored here at Mist Cottage, in the garage.

Soon it will be one year since my brother passed away. My sleeping is fitful lately, and I am often feeling distracted. I think I am grieving. Since he has been gone I have been increasingly aware of how much experience we shared, and how alone with some difficult memories, and situations, his passing has left me.

Suddenly on Sunday, as I was sitting quietly under the trees, watching the blustery wind sway the topmost branches, that old feeling of connectedness came to me. When I was a child the bush was my friend, the trees and the wind confidantes and playmates. I was surrounded by wordless acceptance and belonging, as that little girl, perched in a tree, enjoying the touch and sound of the living wood and leaves; knowing who I was, how small I was, how important I was in my smallness. Like a gift, it came to me.

Rideau Camp June 25 2017 DSCF0772 Rideau Camp. The log pile is gone, it was to the right in this photo. The loads of crushed stone are diminishing, they are at the right of the photo. Grace The Trailer casts a shadow on the left of the photo. This area was choked with brambles, and a building size pile of logs and bulldozed trees in the area between the photographer and the trees. This is the view we will have as we sit at the table to eat our meals in Grace the Trailer, after she is moved into her final position. We love camping here!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 12:00 PM EDT Monday 26 June 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 17.1°C
Dew point: 13.4°C
Humidity: 79%
Wind: S 16 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“It is not much for its beauty that makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanates from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
1850 – 1894

“By desiring little, a poor man makes himself rich.”
460 BC – 370 BC


  1. Eileen

    Loved your description of how connected you feel to nature. It really does soothe the soul. I am amazed at how much you and Attila are able to get done at your camp. I enjoy reading your posts about it.

  2. Eileen, nature does soothe the soul, there is nothing else like it.

    Attila is an active person, he does not sit for very long, sitting through a movie is sitting too long as far as he is concerned. I too am active, but in a different way. Attila does all of the heavy lifting and physically demanding parts of the projects, and I do the research, support, and the less physically demanding parts of the projects. I regard the unscheduled work we do there as play, it is fun, and I think Attila does too. I do know that the weekend the trailer arrived we were on a deadline with our preparations, and that did not feel much like play! Part of the charm of the experience is that there are no timelines to meet, we just follow our noses and stuff gets done when it gets done. We are never too busy to take a break, sit under the trees, and just watch the bush around us.

    There is a picture of the Rideau Camp just as we found it the day we took possession of the property.

  3. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    The changes you’re making sound like very fulfilling work. I’m hoping for and planning that we might do the same with our cottage, which we close on in 2 days.

    We spent the weekend celebrating my 60th birthday by shopping for things we’ll need for the cottage, like extra dog beds and bowls, cleaning brushes, and bricks for a fire pit. (DH’s favorite memory from his grandmother’s cottage was the fire pit, so needed to recreate it for him. Besides, it’ll be a fun place. I love staring at a good fire.)

    I’m sorry the loss of your brother is making you sad. I think maybe that feeling of oneness you experienced is a nice reminder that you’re never really alone. We all share that connection with the earth, even those of us who never look for that connection.

  4. That is so exciting Teri, two days until you begin a new adventure! A campfire is mesmerizing, relaxing, good fun!

    Grief is a necessary aspect of losing someone you love, the process takes it own time, and develops in its own way. I guess this is just one of my times.

    I think the connection to nature is available to humans who would like to make it, perceiving it is the challenge.

  5. Maggie, did you ever get the chance to see a movie called “Mindwalk” starting John Heard, Sam Waterston, and Liv Ullmann? It’s a 1990 film, set at Mont St. Michel and it’s an unbelievable film. It’s all dialog really, except for the great scenery of the island they are on…but the conversation these three people have throughout the entire film is so amazing and enlightening – I suspect most people wouldn’t sit through it all, but I have done so probably 3 times now, in fact, I’m thinking of buying it just to have it here when I need a fix of the amazing things in this film.


    Not sure this will show up as a link, but I just wondered if you’d seen it.

    Having the Rideau Camp must give you both huge satisfaction. I loved camping as a child and even went camping a few times as an adult at various stages of my life, in Indiana and in Vermont but mainly in New Hampshire as a child, every year. The happiest times of my life… were there.

  6. Bex, I have not seen this film, thanks for the link! I will be watching it on your recommendation.

    New Hampshire is supposed to be very beautiful! One of the things I always liked about camping was that it was a time out of place, where the neighbours weren’t watching, the preconceptions about who you are were few, there were lots of interesting people from all over the place who shared your interest in the outdoors, and the list goes on. Attila and I love our Camp, although it has few of the features I just mentioned. We do not want to participate in the local cottager’s association, or get involved with any social group there, we love to just be in the bush. It is surprising, when I think about it, how much we enjoy ourselves with no electronic devices at all, no people to entertain us or keep us company, just two old farts playing beneath the trees.

    When I was younger I would never have considered having a trailer for camping, blasphemy! Then when I stayed alone with my daughter at a campground with bears everywhere, I wanted a little trailer to keep us secure as we slept, ergo the Airstream Argosy. Now I can’t imagine sleeping on the ground, and then trying to get up off the ground in the morning, stiff as a board with my arthritis, good God it doesn’t bear thinking about! But our little pull along trailer Iris, and the new old trailer Grace at the Camp are both very comfortable. We are spoiling ourselves because we can, and we feel so very grateful to have this time in our lives.

  7. Your camp looks like a little paradise!
    I’m also thrilled with Bex’s link. With the day ahead of me I won’t be sitting here watching it just yet, but I’ve saved it for some evening when Scott has the TV remote in his hand and I’m in the mood for something interesting. Thank you! It sounds like just the kind of movie I like.
    I’m sorry, but not surprised, that you’re missing your brother. Of course you are.
    The first time I recall that feeling of connectedness with the universe was when, at age 21, I tried magic mushrooms. That part of the experience was beautiful and enlightening. I remember looking at the moon and stars and realizing they and I were all part of one thing. The other effects (the feeling of chemicals in my body and having to wait till the feeling passed) were less pleasant and are the reason I would take a pass on magic mushrooms today.

  8. Kate, it is hard to tell what something you love looks like to other people. The phrase “seeing things through rose coloured glasses” comes to mind. We love the Camp, so it does seem like paradise to us. 🙂

    Thanks Kate, about missing my brother, so kind.

    Oh my magic mushrooms! I have not tried them, but that is only because I didn’t bump into them during the period of my life when I would have experimented with such things. I had heard that magic mushrooms are a physically challenging experience, but that wouldn’t have prevented me from seeing what they were like. They also say that magic mushrooms open the mind to the spiritual side of existence, it sounds like they are correct.

    I love “all part of one thing!” Being aware of it is a reunion.

  9. Bex, I am beginning to watch the movie!

    At around the 35 minute mark Sam Waterston makes the statement:

    “at least our government ? stays close to what people percieve to be their needs”

    This statement is truer at some points in history than it is at others!

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