Sittin’ On The Back Porch

I am sitting on the back porch to write this entry, at least the beginning of it. It is 10:41 a.m., and the heat is beginning to close in. I’ve washed and just hung to dry a load of laundry, which has been sitting messily on the floor for over a week. It was time to deal with it. A quickening breeze is making the air more comfortable, but soon, I can tell, the heat and humidity will increase beyond my ability to physically compensate for it, and I will be driven indoors, where the heat pump keeps the temperature at 23C, and below 55% humidity. But for now, for the first time since Sunday, it is now Wednesday, I am out of doors.

Our back porch is lovely in the morning. In the afternoon the sun shines into the porch and it becomes uncomfortably hot, in the summer it becomes unbearably hot. In my dreams we renovate the porch to extend the roof so that much of the porch will remain shaded in the afternoons, making it a viable space in which to spend time all day long.

Even thought the heat wave carries on, the leaves are turning on the trees, and beginning to fall. They rustle, a familiar autumn sound.

We have lost our third family of neighbours in the house next door. When we first bought Mist Cottage, a family with three children lived there. As soon as we painted the exterior of our house, and it looked acceptable, they put their house on the market, and moved to a larger house in town. The people who bought it were an unmarried couple, he much older than she, who eventually married, and eventually stopped making their mortgage payments, renting the house out. The family that rented the house, a couple with two small sons and a brother in the basement, managed to buy it as the bank was foreclosing, and struggled to keep up with the expenses and maintenance. They chopped down every tree on their property, except the very tall one that required a professional to remove it. They gutted part of the house to “renovate”, and did not make progress after tearing things apart. The couple with their children disappeared in the spring, saying that they were going to spend the summer in a large trailer they had purchased at a seasonal camp site, leaving the brother in the basement and a tenant on the main floor of the house. Apparently this did not work out all that well, the tenant has moved out, all the furniture has been moved out, and the brother and father have been working on the house, and moving things out at intervals. It now sits empty. We wonder who will be there next, and hope for the best.

Our garden continues to provide us with fresh green beans and tomatoes, and the occasional zucchini. The few squash that have grown are sizeable, and it seems the mild weather will hold long enough for most of them to mature, so that they can be harvested. Sadly, the scarlet runner beans are no longer putting out blooms, so that as we harvest the beans as the come of size, there are no more coming behind them.

The day is sunny, but rain is predicted this afternoon, which the gardens will be glad of. Attila has been watering them every day, using bath water, which he carried out in a large five gallon bucket. It hasn’t rained since we arrived home from our cold, wet vacation.

My days are passing quickly at the moment. The genealogy book that I stopped working on last spring is in need of careful thought. Yesterday was spent editing references. They are a real mess, after 22 years of making entries. Over those 22 years technology has required many changes. At first, all my records were paper, and a lot of the information I acquired was garnered from painstakingly reading microfiches at libraries. The database computer software I used was relatively rudimentary, and has undergone a myriad of updates and improvements. Each time the software changed, so did the way I could enter my sources, and my researched information. There are still restrictions in the software, for instance the source field will accept only 225 characters, not nearly enough! I spend a lot of time butchering the source material so that it conforms to the 225 character restriction. Conventions changed as well, evolved you could say. My sources needed serious editing to make them consistent. Although they will never be totally consistent, they are within acceptable limits now.

My crochet project, a blanket/afghan, is so relaxing. The colours are soothing, the yarn soft and yielding to the touch. The stitch I am using is very plain, the Suzette Stitch, and very easy. Because the stitch is dense, the blanket is thick, and will be very warm. I am thinking of doing another in washable wool, wool blankets are so lovely and warm.

I have begun my book by Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter. The introduction was disappointing, it described the plot too carefully, revealing details that I would rather discover myself as I moved through the book. Having begun the first chapter, I encountered Norwegian words that my mind pronounced, or tried to, and decided to find an online service to provide pronunciations of the names of the main characters and places. I will eventually be able to pronounce these words correctly, but for now I must refer to the audio example every time. auditory learning is not my strong point. Which is interesting because Luna, my eldest, find auditory learning extremely easy. Everyone is so different!

Sound! From my seat on the back porch I can hear, the songs of cicadas, a cement truck, the backup warning beeps of a large truck at a distant construction site, stationary saws at the house under construction a few doors away, the neighbour raking leaves, a bird chirping, a train whistle, two neighbours chatting over the hedge between their yards. We do not live in a quiet place, but the neighbourhood itself is relatively quiet.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

24C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Wednesday 27 September 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 23.8°C
Dew point: 22.4°C
Humidity: 92%
Wind: S 20 km/h
Humidex: 33
Visibility: 13 km

Today
Increasing cloudiness late this morning. 40 percent chance of showers. Wind southwest 20 km/h becoming northwest 20 gusting to 40 this afternoon. High 28 with temperature falling to 24 this afternoon. Humidex 36. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight
A few clouds. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light late this evening. Low 10.

Quote

“Time does not change us. It just unfolds us.”
Max Frisch
1911 – 1991

6 Comments

  1. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    The cold front has passed us here. The temp has fallen 3C in the last 2 hours. The rain that was on the radar has dissipated. I don’t think we’re going to have any rain, which is unfortunate as we haven’t had much rain the last few weeks.

    Maggie, for your porch you might check amazon and ebay for California Sun Shades. I stumbled upon them a few years ago when looking for solutions for shade on our deck.

    Hope you have better luck with your neighbor turnover. We’ve had something similar going on here. We started out with a good neighbor that took care of their house. They sold to someone who rented and the renters trashed the place. Then another good owner who also sold to a renter. We now have neighbors who throw knives at targets all times of the night or day, whose pack of 5 terriers get free and chase all the neighborhood dogs, including ours, and who have been sited by the city for trash piling up in their driveway. Fortunately, they did clean up the trash, for now. And fortunately we can’t see the junk pile they’ve turned their backyard into, unless we make an effort to look.

  2. Kate, I did think of that, but decided against it for several reasons. The porch is about 20 feet long, it would take a lot of blind to cover it adequately.Also, the porch is not deep, so anything that prevents the air from moving freely would make it stuffy, and probably hot. I thought of climbing plants as well, but the mosquitoes hide on plant leaves, so it would increase the mosquitoe problem.

    I am hoping for a new roof of a different design, but we shall see, that would cost quite a bit, and take Attila and entire summer to construct…

  3. Teri, it was hot when we went to bed last night, and a lovely 10C when we got up this morning, thank goodness.

    The California Sun Shade looks like a great idea for a deck. Our porch runs along the back of the house, and has a shingle roof which extends from the roof of the house, the sun comes in from the west in the afternoons, right under the eave of the roof, horizontally. I love the porch, but it is too hot to use once the sun reaches a certain level in the sky.

    Your neighbours sound dreadful. A good neighbour is worth a lot! We haven’t been too unhappy with ours, but we do hope for better. The worst so far was the gent who wandered the back yard in his underwear, not a pretty sight. I just ignored him, so did all the other neighbours. The underwear covered more of him than his bathing suit, so it was preferable in my view.

  4. Bex, the moors sound lovely! I will say though, that we are having a few neighbour issues at our Rideau Camp, a lot of people think that undeveloped land is there for their personal recreation, not recognizing it as private property, so that being way out there doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t issues, lol. Snowmobiles, dirt bikes, ATVs are menaces to private property.

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