Attila Visits Overnight

What used to work, doesn’t, not anymore. The way we organized our two homes was based on living in two places, the future unknown. Here we are, in the unknown future, merging two completely separate households. For instance, we used to keep the cutlery here in clean used tomato tins on the table, always available, taking up a little bit of space. We used to keep the cutlery at the country house in the kitchen drawer, we had four good sized drawers there. Living at Mist Cottage is an altogether different set of circumstances. There is no longer any room for the tomato tins on the table, there are only three tiny drawers in the old fashioned kitchen cupboards. The cutlery has ended up in a drawer in the butcher block cart, at least for now; the former set has been bundled together with elastic bands. And so it goes on, and on, and on. I imagine there will be several rounds of reorganization, of which this is the first. I have started a “camping” tote, where I put duplicates that might be used for camping, such as the cutlery bundles, the rest of the duplicates are in the “yard sale” tote.

Yesterday Attila received word that he needed to perform an online test for a promising job application here. He has an old flip phone, with pay as you go minutes on it; the tests were totally beyond the capability of his technology. He decided to drive home last night, yes, five hours home, so that he could do the online test on my laptop. As soon as he was off work he set out, and arrived around 9:00 p.m. It took until midnight to install the necessary software, configure the computer, do the tests, have a bite to eat, unload the boxes that he brought in Tank, have a much appreciated bath, and lay down to rest until the alarm went off. Attila arose at 2:00 a.m., made coffee, packed a bit, ate a bit, and waved goodbye as he drove off to the north, at 2:30 a.m. He made good time, arriving for work at 7:00 a.m., when he texted me to let me know he had arrived safely.

I did not go back to sleep after he left, perhaps due to all the excitement. Occasionally I feel waves of weariness, so I sit quietly for a little while, before my whirling mind has me on my feet, and puttering with something interesting I found in a box.

After breakfast there were errands to run in town. The modem from the country house had to be returned to Bell, who mailed a shipping label, which was brought to Mist Cottage last night. That necessitated a visit to the Post Office for a shipping receipt, for proof of shipping. The morning jaunt also included visits to the banks, to request change of address on accounts. The last stop was the grocery store for some milk.

The rest of the day was about unpacking the boxes brought down in Tank last night, which will take another few days to complete. Every time the kitchen counters become relatively clear, another box is emptied and the clutter is back. Eventually, one would think, the steady parade of boxes will diminish!

The country house. The realtor took this photo, and managed to portray the house the way we see it, quite a talent.
Country house 2015
This is the main living area of the country house, where I spent most of my time over the last eleven years.
Country house 2015 2

Worldly Distractions


Camp Tank
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Wednesday 16 September 2015
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 26.2°C
Dewpoint: 13.8°C
Humidity: 46%
Wind: W 13 km/h
Humidex: 29

Mist Cottage
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Wednesday 16 September 2015
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 22.3°C
Dewpoint: 19.3°C
Humidity: 83%
Wind: S 22 km/h
Humidex: 29


“You’re never too old to become younger.”
Mae West
1892 – 1980

The Ditch

Attila came, and Attila went. He spends less than 24 hours here at the little house in the city, on these whirlwind visits. We celebrated his birthday together, while he was here, because it came and went while we were apart. He sure was a sight for sore eyes!

We spent most of our waking hours chatting. I think we both feel discouraged that there have been no offers on the country house. Our plans seem ditched. We discussed Plan XXXX, because we don’t want to spend the entire winter apart again, not if we can help it. We are looking into adding propane heat at the country house, so that the house can be left for longer periods of time during the winter. The electric heat is so expensive that one or two days is all we can afford to use it, and only just. We are starting to plan now, because we really do want to alter the way we are living apart.

Unfortunately Canada Day, a statutory holiday in Canada, falls on a Wednesday, so it will not provide Attila with two consecutive days off work. Sad, but that is the way our cookie crumbles. The company he works for is maintaining their new policy of only Sunday’s off from April to September, and the rest of the year only a few weekends off work.

During Attila’s visit he mowed the ditch, even though it was raining heavily. I can not mow the ditch, it is too steep for me.

The other little project we took on was to move the two clothes cupboards out of the back bedroom and into the living room. We could now do this because Terra and Lares came last week and picked up the antique dresser we were saving for them.

Soon, when I am more recovered from my tumble, I will move all the “stuff” stored in the back bedroom, and begin to gut the room. The drywall needs to be removed, as does the insulation. Attila will replace the window during his vacation time, we have already purchased the “new” used window. With the room gutted I can work on checking the wiring, insulating, applying a vapour barrier, drywalling, and then painting the back bedroom. Hopefully by next Christmas that room will be renovated and ready to have some of the furniture we plan on keeping moved into it. It is a plan. That would leave only two rooms left to renovate at the little house in the city, the front bedroom and the living room. These are more expensive projects because we will have to purchase new windows at custom prices, as they are a very odd size.

Mewe was tough today, for both of us. Last time Attila left it wasn’t too bad, this time it was rough, go figure.

With my tailbone fracture, it will be a little while before I will be up to sitting behind a steering wheel for five hours, to make the trek home to the country house.

There are eleven families left on the list to research, while I have access to USA records. Of course these are the families from only one family line, there may be more in other family lines, that remains to be seen. After these eleven family histories have been recorded and referenced, future research requiring access to USA records will be carefully listed, and another month’s service will be purchased. Sheesh, I thought I was almost ready to publish!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 4:00 PM EDT Sunday 28 June 2015
Condition: Light Drizzle
Pressure: 100.6 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 4 km
Temperature: 15.5°C
Dewpoint: 14.9°C
Humidity: 96%
Wind: NE 18 gust 29 km/h


“Forever is composed of nows.”
Emily Dickinson
1830 – 1886

The Quiet

[Written Sunday Night]

It is quiet here tonight. I sit at the kitchen table. I can hear the intermittent patter of rain, on the awning, just outside the kitchen window. We are alone together, those insistent raindrops and I. They remind me that the world is carrying on regardless of human feelings, and they comfort me with that knowledge.

Attila arrived here just as the sky was darkening Saturday night. He was here less than 24 hours. For some unfathomable reason, his departure this afternoon was the most difficult I have experienced. How painful it was to see him setting off down the road, how difficult to keep the smile steady as he drove away. It takes only a few happy seconds to get used to him being home, and uncomfortable hours to get used to his absence.

He was focused on two projects during his short stay. One was to prepare an area to plant some lemon balm that had been given to me as a gift, as well as squash seeds that he brought from the country house. The other was to dismantle the particle board cupboard in the basement. Particle board releases formaldehyde, harbours mold, and mildew, from the decades of damp in the basement, and has been penetrated with mouse droppings for years. We have decided to eliminate it from the house. There is only one particle board cupboard left now, in the basement. Attila loaded all of the removed particle board into Tank, to take home to burn. We did not get a chance to visit with each other to any great degree. Perhaps that has contributed to my distress at his departure.

He called late Sunday night, to let me know he was safely home. He was taking a break from his burning project, which he had already begun. He too missed spending time together during his visit; we both felt the same way about it.

Attila has no Saturday’s off work for the foreseeable future, the employer has suspended even the intermittent Saturdays off, the two or three per person that used to be scheduled between April and September.

The house was shown on Saturday, and again on Sunday. Feedback about the house is mostly positive. A few comments have been critical, which is a good thing, because it gives us a chance to address those minor issues. However, the issues are so minor that we feel that they had no effect on the decision not to buy the house. The house is waiting for the people who walk in and feel, “home at last!”

We have our much needed rain, here at the little house in the city. It began Saturday night. The temperature fell with it. Sunday it hovered around 10C all day. Saturday was 30C during the day, and 10C by nightfall; I used the air conditioning in the afternoon, and the heating system that night. Variety is the spice of life they say.

When it is dry I need to water the garden, so that the plants will grow. When it rains I need to cut the lawn, because the grass has grown.

We caught Peter Rabbit, a cottontail, preparing to feast in the garden Sunday morning. Attila chased him away. He was bold though, he was not one bit afraid of us, until Attila was within about ten feet of him, at which time he cut his losses, and bounded away across the field out back.

After vowing NOT to purchase any more “stuff”, I have capitulated to desire. I really do like to doodle. I like doodling on paper, but that requires paper, and pens, and pencils, all classified as “stuff”. I thought then that it would be interesting to try doodling on the computer. The touchpad makes for awkward doodling. I asked online, on Facebook, and on a technical email list I belong to, about graphics tablets. Every recommendation was the Wacom line of products. I had been thinking about graphics tablets for about a week. Friday I decided that the tablet was a luxury, represented more “stuff”, and so would not be purchased.

Then Saturday morning Attila let me know that there was yet another showing of the country house on Sunday. It was then that it dawned on me that if an offer to purchase were to appear, I was ill prepared to deal with it. The printer is at the little house in the city, but each file sent here would need to be printed, then signed, then scanned, then sent back. Awkward. I realized then that a graphics tablet would allow me to sign documents in digital form, save them, and return them securely online. No printing involved, no scanning, no paper. Much easier to deal with. I made the decision that a graphics tablet served practical as well as recreational purposes; it was time to purchase the tablet.

I drove to the local stores, not one of them stocked such an item. I called Costco in the nearby city, they didn’t stock such an item. I called Future Shop in the nearby city, they didn’t stock such an item. I called The Source in the nearby city, they didn’t stock such an item. Finally, I remembered Staples, and they did stock Wacom graphics tablets, in my price range. Saturday afternoon I drove to the nearby city, to Staples, and purchased the tablet.

I spent Sunday afternoon, after Attila had left, downloading the free software that was made available with the product, registering at all the relevant sites, and watching a few short tutorials to get started. There is a learning curve. I discovered that PDF files do not load into the tablet software, or the graphics software I already own. PDF files cannot be signed using the tablet. They must be converted to image files, which I can load into the graphics software. If needs must, the image files can be converted to PDF files.

Writing on the tablet, in the correct scale, is not an easy thing to do. Practise has improved this skill, but it “isn’t soup yet.”

Using a graphic pen takes a bit of getting used to, as it works very differently than a mouse, or a trackpad, while performing the same navigational functions.

I am having fun with it.

Practice, practice, practice. Here is my first attempt to use a few of the graphic software features, and get used to the way the pen works on the tablet. This reminds me of learning the skill of cursive writing in Grade Four.
2015 June 1 graphic love

Worldly Distractions


Little House in the City
Date: 10:00 PM EDT Sunday 31 May 2015
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 13 km
Temperature: 8.6°C
Dewpoint: 6.7°C
Humidity: 88%
Wind: NE 23 km/h


“The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value.”
Charles Dudley Warner
1829 – 1900