Business As Usual. Well, almost.

6:00 a.m.

I got the kitchen ladder and climbed up on it to reach the top cupboard above the range, where the appliance to create aqueous oxygen had been stored for many years. It has not been used since the contractor dug up around the basement, and I killed all the mould and mildew, spores included, in the suddenly dry basement. Now there is another mould and mildew challenge, this time in the garage.

I wasn’t sure the appliance would still work, after all it has been a long time. So I rummaged through the manual drawer until I found the original manual, followed directions and fired it up. Eureka, we have aqueous oxygen. The efficacy lasts only 15 minutes, then it reverts to plain water, so I wanted to use the first batch quickly. I threw on my housecoat, and headed out to the garage in my flip flops, pyjamas, housecoat, to spray the floor. Attila was concerned about my being out there in flip flops, thought I might hurt my foot somehow, or track horrid stuff through the house on my flip flops. Ignoring his concerns I sprayed the traffic areas, watching my feet carefully the whole time. He made me promise, before he left for work, that I would wear proper footwear to work in the garage. I agreed to that, he has an excellent point.

6:15 a.m.

Attila heads out the door, back to his job! He’d rather be here renovating any day. He packed a lunch with fresh homemade bread, and some homemade muffins, then drove off into the morning.

7:30 a.m.

A huge truck pulled up in front of the house, then backed up into the driveway to pick up the dumpster. I have no idea how the fellow maneuvered that huge truck into the narrow driveway, from the narrow road, but he did it without hesitation. The dumpster, the old roof, the mouldy, rotting lost items, gone!

truck and dumpster

8:00 a.m.

Looking out the kitchen window I spied, by the yard waste compost pile, a RABBIT! Aha! Out I went, grabbed my trusty water canon, and then snuck up on the rascally critter. I shot the water canon when I got close and the chase was on. Full circle around the yard we went, until the rabbit squeezed through a narrow opening between the porch support and fence. Aha, again! Another of the few remaining peas was bitten off at the stem, it was rabbit revenge. I took a cedar log and lodged it in the space where the rabbit had entered the yard. Then I found a piece of wood that was sitting in the back yard pile from the garage renovation, carried it around the house, and secured it along the bottom edge of the porch, no rabbits will be gaining access there again.

9:45 a.m.

Sitting here, in my easy chair, gazing out the window, listening to the birds, feeling the cool breeze from the open living room window, I suddenly notice that I feel calm within. For the last nine days, no longer than that, more like three weeks, I’ve been psychically “holding my breath” over this garage roof replacement. It was hard to know how it would go, if nine days were really enough for one man to remove the old roof and get far enough along that the new would shed the rain. That tension is no more. Suddenly there are no unspeakable regions here at Mist Cottage. There are no waiting piles of disgust that will have to be dealt with. Suddenly, it feels as if we have control here at Mist Cottage. This is a new feeling, and I like it. I can’t imagine how great this must feel for Attila, because added to the resolution of tension, there must be a feeling of accomplishment. Perhaps he is fending off that feeling of accomplishment until the many fiddly bits are done, the project is still a long way from completion. I think though, that he will enjoy the garage all the more in years to come, because he alone transformed it into a pleasant and secure space.

12:45 p.m.

A window will be installed in the north west wall of the garage. Natural light is desirable, and I privately think it is needed if Attila is to create an art studio in there. The window that was removed from the kitchen in March will be installed. It was covered with sawdust, and a lot of dirt from where it was stored in the garage. Attila put it out on the back porch for me. This morning I gave it a vacuum, and a wash. Then I applied privacy film to the glass. Really, I did a good job when I did the dining room windows, a few years ago, so what happened to me! The film did not go on well, there are huge bubbles. I had to get down on my hands and knees to do the job, and the mosquitoes were out and biting… perhaps that was the problem. Since this is a garage window, it isn’t crucial that the film look great, it will prevent intruders from seeing into the garage, and let the light in, so it will be good enough, bubbles and all. I don’t like doing projects that turn out to be “good enough”! The perfectionist in me is dissatisfied. I’ll have to get over it. Done!

2:40 p.m.

One of the goals for today was to clear the driveway of construction waste. It was kept relatively free of large debris, but there was a lot of small bits of singles, the gritty bits off shingles, sawdust, and just general dirt. I spent my afternoon with the shovel, a plastic bucket, and a dustpan. I filled the 5 gallon bucket with “stuff”, and pulled out all the plant life between the cracks in the concrete. The concrete driveway at Mist Cottage has seen better days. It is cracked, lots of cracks. The weeds march down the cracks like soldiers going to war, implacable. I haven’t pulled the weeds for a few years now, too busy with the Rideau Camp and other things. So this was the year for pulling weeds out of the cracks. The section of the driveway where Iris the trailer will rest has been cleared. The rest can be done at a later date.

That done, I am thinking about starting on the garage floor. It might happen, but then again it might not. At least it might not happen today. I am still wearing flip flops, it would require a change of footwear. I will though, at the very least, vacuum by the door from the garage to the basement, a lot of gritty shingle stuff and sawdust got tracked in there. It was sprayed with aqueous oxygen this morning, so it should be fine to vacuum. I can wear my flip flops to to that job.

I received a call from the dumpster company, Attila moved 2.2 tons of debris into that dumpster. I am so glad he only had to move that once!

Sitting here on my easy chair, I can see the windows in the dining area of the kitchen. The light has changed! The windows are just above the roof of the garage. The old roof was black, and tarry, and stinky, and hot, hot, hot. The plywood is fresh, sweet smelling, and light in colour. The light reflects off the wood, so different than the black that absorbed all light and turned it into unwanted heat. The light coming in the dining area windows is bright and cheerful. There is very little heat emanating from the plywood on the roof, so that the windows can remain open, whereas before I had to close them in the afternoons to keep the heat from the black roof from heating up the house. The new metal roof is light gray, so I anticipate that open windows are a part of my future. More delightful advantages of the new garage roof!

7:45 p.m.

Attila was a bit knackered when he got home from work today, first day back and all, so he put his head down for a 20 minute power nap before dinner.

Dinner was Nachos with Guacamole. Mine were made with salt free corn chips, which are seldom available in local stores, chopped sweet onion, and lactose free cheese. Attila does the traditional salted corn chip, sweet onion, and regular cheddar cheese. The Guacamole is homemade, a quick recipe with just fresh Avocados and Attila’s homemade salsa.

Now Attila is just outside the window happily hammering away. He is installing the waterproof sheeting over the plywood tonight. After he got home from work, he decided he needed plastic cap nails to install the waterproof sheeting. He wanted 1″ nails, but of course, none are available anywhere near here, so he decided 2″ nails would do the job. He sent me off to the building centre to buy the 2″ nails. I arrived at the building centre 15 minutes before closing time. They had some 2″ nails mixed in with 2 ½” nails, and it was so close to closing time that they weren’t going to sort through them to sell 200 nails. There was another box with exclusively 2 ½” nails, so I bought those instead. They assured me I could return them in the morning if they didn’t suit Attila. I was relieved that he decided they were just fine.

Waterproof sheeting is going on tonight. Then the strapping… then the metal roof.

Being a “runner” is a hard job. Decisions have to be made, out of context, one has no idea why the specific item is needed, so no idea what substitutes could work. Luckily, so far, on this project, I haven’t had to return any materials.

It has been a beautiful and busy day, my kind of day!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 2:00 PM EDT Monday 25 June 2018
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 22.2°C
Dew point: 4.5°C
Humidity: 31%
Wind: NW 18 gust 29 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that’s how dogs spend their lives.”
Sue Murphy

Musty Cushions

Monday, May 9th, 201§

The weekend passed quietly and pleasantly.

Attila and I took a whirlwind overnight trip to visit my Mom, staying with my sister-the-middle-girl and her husband. Mom is doing great, slowly building her strength, recovering very nicely. On Saturday we all went to Niagara Falls, Attila and I, both of my sisters, and my Mom, expertly chauffeured for the day by my brother-in-law. It couldn’t have been a better choice of company, day, destination, or route. The weather was warm and sunny, there were orchards of cherry, peach, and apple blossoms along the way, although not nearly as many as when I was a girl. We visited and spent time walking through the Dufferin Island Park, which is beautiful. Mom treated Attila and I to admission to the green house in the park, which was tropical and lovely. It was great to be out with loved ones for the day, in such a beautiful setting. When we left the park, our tour included a drive along the Niagara River to Niagara On The Lake. I grew up on a fruit farm in the Niagara Region, so this is familiar territory. We had a lovely time.

There is something very precious about spending time with people who have known you your whole life through, at least that is how I feel about the experience.

The drive to and from Mist Cottage and my sister’s house was uneventful, but rather long. We took the 401 across the north end of Toronto and it was stop and go almost all the way across the city, both there and back. I am trying to determine if we can find a better east-west route through the city for visiting the Niagara Region, one that does not involve the expense of tolls.

Attila and I spent Sunday quietly together, cooking the meals for the upcoming work week, hanging freshly washed laundry out to dry, and gardening. When we had the basement dug up Attila moved most of the ornamental perennials to the back vegetable garden to save them. It is now time to transplant them to the front garden. We discovered that for this front garden a bed of day lilies, with a border of lungwort looks very pretty, grows from spring to fall, and requires little to no maintenance. We don’t have money for annuals this year, so it is lovely to have the lungwort blooming happily out front.

This morning there was frost on the neighbour’s roof, so it was cold last night.

I had a lovely chat with sister-the-youngest-girl this morning. She has a long commute to and from work, so she has a bluetooth unit that she uses, hands free, to chat with people during her commute. It sure is nice to hear from her early in the morning, as I am an early riser and there aren’t many people craving a conversation early in the morning. Her beau treated her yesterday to a meal out, and a second visit to the Dufferin Gardens.

This is the week I have chosen to work on the musty smell in Iris the trailer. Having much success clearing the basement of all mold and mildew with aqueous oxygen, I decided to drag out the appliance and see if it would function properly. It did, and I was relieved. The unit requires a certain level of humidity to function, and I haven’t quite pinned down what % of humidity is required, so I am guessing.

I took all of the cushions out of Iris, placed them upright on the front porch and gave the fabric on each a good dousing of aqueous oxygen. The roof vent, windows, benches, and cupboards in Iris were opened up and given a good dousing. The awning, which had been aired out and thoroughly dried, was hung up on the back porch line, where it received a good dousing. At the end of the day the mustiness was still in the cushions. Now it is time to move onto steam cleaning.

While I was on a roll with the aqueous oxygen I took all my footwear out the back deck and sprayed inside every last piece. The winter boots I wore while working at the Rideau Camp this spring needed help, the spray did the trick.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

This morning Attila dragged the rug shampooer out onto the back porch and set it up for me. We bought the cleaner 12 years ago, and it leaked the first time we used it, which unfortunately was past the warranty period, we were that busy at the time that it took us a long time to get around to using it. Last year Attila opened it up, applied caulking, and now it works fine.

I shampooed all of the Iris’ cushions. There was a bit of mildew around the zippers, so I opened up the zippers to discover mildew on the naugahyde backing and the foam. Back to spraying aqueous oxygen on the inner backing and the foam. It will kill all the mildew and the spores, and might diminish the smell. It may need to be done twice, but hopefully not.

Attila also removed the door lock on Iris, which wasn’t working all that well. It was cleaned and adjusted and works a lot better now, although not perfectly, the key needs a bit of jiggling to do its job.

I removed the last pieces of fabric from Iris the trailer, the curtains. The rods were held fast with zip ties, which were difficult to cut away, but I finally managed.

I got a message from my Mom this morning. I love hearing from my Mom. She has turned another corner on her road to recovery! Congratulations Mom!


It was good to be busy, as the day was a one of the lowest I’ve had in quite a while. After being told by my country GP’s office that I am not longer on their roster, I discovered that the Ontario Government will have none of it, and insists that I am on the country GP’s roster, so they won’t help me find a local doctor. Even if I gave up my country GP who is far away, the government would not guarantee that they would find me a local doctor, and if they didn’t I would be well and truly screwed and afraid for my life. So far the country GP has been providing me with the prescriptions that are safe in regards to my anaphylaxis, if he stops doing that I am in desperate trouble, so I hope he will continue, and I will not ask him to cease caring for me. So effectively I can only access emergency care, which is extremely limited and will not provide for my prescription drugs. Every single government person I talked to today could only offer as a solution the one or two sentences provided for them for the public, none of which apply to my situation. They can do no more. THE COMPUTER SAYS NO!!

So I spent the day printing out sheets of every single doctor within the area where I live.

There were 41 doctors on the list.

Five of the doctors on the list were so far away that I would have trouble getting to them, and they probably wouldn’t take me anyway because I am out of their immediate area. For instance, Ottawa is a two hour drive away, not affordable. I don’t know why the government put them on the list.

Fourteen of the doctors on the list work in the emergency department at the hospital, they don’t take patients.

Four of the doctors work at a clinic in town that does not take new patients and does not have a waiting list.

Two of the doctors have retired, but are still on the list through inertia on the part of the government.

One doctor runs the Methadone Clinic, not a family practice.

Two of the doctors work at the Clinic where I have been on the waiting list since last October.

Three doctors contacted are not taking new patients and do not have a waiting list.

That means that of the 41 doctors on the list, 31 of those doctors cannot offer me primary health care.

That leaves 10 possible doctors to be contacted to ask if they are taking new patients.

Some of these doctors share an office, which brings it down to about 7 offices left to call. Calls to these offices resulted in no responses. The person answering the telephone was either not at their desk, or there was just an answering machine to say that the office would be open at a later date, which was usually specified, but not always.

That is how I spent most of the day.

It was depressing beyond words.

My tax dollars are paying for this health care system, and I can’t gain access to it.

One of the doctors answered the telephone himself, he was retired. He let me know that the younger doctors are now interviewing people to see if they will accept them as patients. Personally I don’t think they should be allowed to access funds from OHIP if they are not allowing public access to their services. Tax dollars should not be used for private practises.

Although I managed to keep at it, dead end after dead end after dead end, I felt worse and worse about it as the day wore on. If I hadn’t been misdiagnosed (hopefully) with Chronic Kidney Disease, I would probably be able to ignore the lack of access to health care. Even though my former country GP says I do not have Chronic Kidney Disease, it was also recommended that I come in and have tests done. The two different diagnoses should be followed up by tests, they are simple tests that would confirm that I either do or do not have Chronic Kidney Disease. But I can’t arrange those tests for myself, I have to go through a health care professional, and I can’t get an appointment with a health care professional.

My solution was to spend as much time working on my projects as possible, to keep my mind from dwelling on a situation I cannot change.

I have to try calling the remaining possibilities tomorrow. No stone will be unturned; the failure is not mine, although I am bearing the brunt of it.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 6:00 AM EDT Monday 9 May 2016
Condition: Fog
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 0.9°C
Dewpoint: 0.2°C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: NNW 7 km/h

Date: 4:00 PM EDT Tuesday 10 May 2016
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 102.4 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 12.8°C
Dewpoint: 0.3°C
Humidity: 42%
Wind: S 21 km/h


“Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.”
551 BC – 479 BC

Berry Picking

Yesterday the first task on my morning list was to spray the bathroom with aqueous oxygen, to disinfect the mould, and clean the areas around the tub where the drywall had turned into mould balls. There were also a few areas where mice had visited between the exposed studs, and left their little black calling cards. I disinfected those areas as well.

The insulation was completely removed by about eleven in the morning. I worked from 7:00 a.m. right on through till I finished the job. Fibreglass insulation is a misery to work with, it releases small glass fibres into the air, which float like predators looking to land on sweaty damp skin. I took the precaution of wearing a long sleeve shirt, long pants, and rubber boots. It was hot work! I used an expandable industrial garbage bag, placed in the tub, to dispose of the insulation. When I was finished the job the bag was full, and almost too heavy to carry. I sealed it and then managed to wrestle it onto the back porch.

I finished the job by vacuuming the newly bared wall boards, to remove any remaining glass fibres.

So here it is, done and dusted, at least the part of the project that I am taking on during this visit.

I closed the curtains in the house, and removed every last piece of clothing from my body, dropping shirt and pants and everything inside out on the floor, ready for the laundry bag. It felt so good to remove those sticky, hot and glass fibre laden clothes. I washed myself down at the kitchen sink, with cold water, which also felt wonderful after such a hot job.

Then I cleaned the tub one more time, hopped in and washed my hair in cold water from the tap. I was feeling so overheated, from my morning’s work, that this was a pleasant experience!

This morning I opened my eyes at 5:25 a.m., thankful to have slept through the night. After a quick call to Attila, who was getting ready for work, I sat down with my mug of coffee to contemplate the day.

I grew up on a fruit farm in Niagara. Summer, for me, has to include picking fresh produce; I feel there is something missing if I don’t get out to a farm to harvest something. So early this morning I perused the local paper and found ads for you-pick strawberries, just outside of town. I called to ensure they were open at 8:00 a.m. as advertised, and was there to join the line up of cars as the gates opened at the farm. I picked quite a few berries, $18.00 worth, in a very short time.

At the farm, after my container was weighed, I joined the other pickers sitting on the flatbed trailer that would take us to the fields. To my delight and surprise our former neighbour was sitting at the end of the row, and I got the seat right next to her! We had a lovely chat, picking in the adjacent rows we had been assigned. The whole outing was deeply satisfying, on so many levels.

The berries were large, ripe and numerous; it made for extremely good picking! As soon as I got the berries home I began to sort and store them in the refrigerator. I also chose the ripest ones to wash and slice for today’s meals. As I write there is a bowl of fresh strawberries at my side, topped with sweetened sour cream. Oh so good!

Later Terra and Lares dropped by on their way through town. Attila had salvaged some very nice wood for them, which I transported down to the little house in the city on my recent drive down. Lares loaded it into the truck, along with the saw Terra had lent. Then I baked a giant oven pancake, which we enjoyed with real maple syrup and fresh strawberries. What a treat, good company, good food!

Attila’s Mom is due to arrive at the country house today. Her husband, Attila’s step-dad recently passed away. She will be driving from upper state Michigan to the country house, and will meet Attila at work. I hope they have a nice visit. I will see them tomorrow night, they will drive to the little house in the city together, after Attila gets home from work. It will be a whirlwind tour for Attila’s Mom, as she has not seen either of our houses. It will be great to see her.

Having a high speed internet connection at the little house in the city is a game changer. Attila and I can keep in touch via Skype, greeting each other every morning, and chatting and saying goodnight to each other every evening. The cost is fixed, so there are no financial concerns to inhibit our interactions. It is very handy to have an account with Skype, it allows me to call cell phones and land lines in Canada and the USA. For example, we have been receiving mail addressed to a previous owner of the little house in the city, for almost three years. As far as I can determine, this person has not lived here for over seven years, perhaps longer. Because I now have free access to a telephone service, I called the company that has been sending the mail and explained to them that the individual they were trying to contact had moved away long ago. They removed him from their mailing list. I did the same with a second piece of mail that was addressed to yet another former owner of the house. Eventually I hope to completely eradicate these incorrectly addressed letters.

Worldly Distractions


17°C (24C at the country house)
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 100.1 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 5 km
Temperature: 16.6°C
Dewpoint: 16.0°C
Humidity: 96%
Wind: NNE 8 km/h


“Never go out to meet trouble. If you will just sit still, nine cases out of ten someone will intercept it before it reaches you.”
Calvin Coolidge
1872 – 1933