Day Four: High Winds

Wednesday, September 13, 207

Well! Another fine sunny day has dawned, if only we had chosen this week for our vacation! There is no cure for it though, vacation time must be booked well in advance, the weather cannot be predicted, so we take our chances.

Last night we cooked up a second batch of Tomato Pepper Sauce, and tonight we will do it all again. This batch yielded only 11 500 ml jars, with a little left over for dinner tonight. We will have almost three dozen jars of this sauce in our freezer. In an emergency, the sauce is in mason jars, can easily be fitted with proper lids, and could be canned to store dry on a shelf. It is unlikely this will be necessary, but nice to know it is an option. Canning can be done on a propane stove out of doors in a pinch.

All the scanning is done, so a new To Do list sits on the table with a pen, the paper is empty at the moment, but soon the scribbling will begin and I will be off and running.

A few years ago I was gifted some Genealogy reference books, which are not particularly useful to me, and take up a lot of room. Another family researcher would dearly love to have them, and for the last year we have tried to connect so that she can pick up the books. This weekend looks hopeful, she will be in the area for a family wedding, fingers crossed.

Purging here at Mist Cottage has slowed to almost a halt. The next renovation project is replacing the windows in the dining area, with smaller windows, higher in the wall, to facilitate raising the side of the garage roof. We hope that putting the new windows in this fall will mean we have a running start on the roof renovation next spring. Once the garage roof is replaced, Attila can organize his tools etc., and the basement where he now keeps it all be cleared out, and what remains can be organized. It is a real game of dominoes!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017, Day Four

The weather has been less that ideal, during these first four days of our vacation. The first day, Saturday last, was beautiful, warm and sunny and breezy. The temperature plummeted Saturday night, and Sunday morning saw steel grey skies and a relentless, steady rain. Yesterday began with overcast skies, which cleared near noon, giving way to wispy clouds racing across the pale blue firmament. The winds yesterday were significant, increasing in strength as a day passed.

The winds were so strong last night that we were wrenched from reading our books at about 9 a.m. last night, by a sudden loud noise and a jarring lurch of Grace The Trailer. It was as if we had been hit from behind by a car, but there was no car, not out here in the rain soaked, silent but for the rain, pitch black forest.

Attila donned his rubber boots and rain jacket, and headed out the door to see what was going on. It was the awning. The wind had lifted the canopy so violently that it dismantled the support rods, making a loud noise, and shaking Grace The Trailer. Attila reassembled the supports rods, then I donned my rain gear an joined him in the dark of the night. Together we worked by the light of a small battery operated lantern, to take down the canopy, fold the whole mechanism, and fasten it tightly against Grace The Trailer. I wore my wide brimmed hat, which kept the pelting rain from streaming down my glasses, obscuring my sight.

The storm raged on after we retreated into Grace The Trailer, where we were resumed our comfortable chairs and picked up our books once more. The tempestuous weather continued as we retired to our bed, and although Grace The Trailer shuddered from time to time in the strong gusts of wind, there were no further emergencies to be dealt with. We fell asleep to the sound of driving rain on the roof.

This morning the skies are cloudy, a bright, luminescent cloud cover that hints at sunshine. The strong wind and the rain have passed.

Attila and I enjoyed sitting outside with our mugs of coffee early this morning, watching the sky, listening to the occasional light breeze whisper with the leaves, and to the loons calling on the lake.

After breakfast we put the trailer awning back up, it is a two person operation. The awning is lovely to have, it provides shade when the sun is hot, and shelter from the rain, so that we can sit outside to watch the weather.

With all the rain we are having on this vacation visit the crushed stone is wet, therefore easier to shovel, which makes the job of moving the stone easier. Attila is moving about ten wheelbarrows full of stone each day, he is out there now, as I write this entry. I can hear the shovel crunch into the stone, the thud as it is jettisoned into the wheelbarrow, the trudging crunch of Attila’s boots as he pushed the wheelbarrow into the position, and the slide of rock on metal as the stone in dumped into place. The area in the clearing covered with crushed stone is slowly expanding.

I need to mention here that on Sunday evening another milestone was reached at the Rideau Camp. We had spent the day at a small local museum, where there were records of my ancestors, and had returned to the Camp to find Grace The Trailer feeling rather chilly and damp. The cold and the rain had their way with her. So Attila setup the generator, and we turned on the central heating system in the trailer. Oh my! Within ten minutes we were warm and toasty, and the damp had been driven off.

When Attila first started up the furnace, it ran for a few minutes and then suddenly stopped. He opened up the panel on the outside of the trailer, tinkered and got it going again. Then he showed me how he got it going, so that I would know how to do it too.

We noticed that the exhaust from the propane furnace smelled of mouse! There is a nest in there somewhere! There is no smell in the trailer, so the nest is in the exhaust system, but not blocking it, as the exhaust exits with great force. The smell may not be a result of a current mouse nest, in fact that seems unlikely. Mouse nests reek forever. The exhaust pipe is round and open to the outside, where mice would enter. It is the time of year when mice are looking for places to shelter for the winter, this exhaust pipe would seem ideal. When we leave at the end of our vacation, we will stuff steel wool into the exhaust pipe. Because this would pose a danger if the furnace were operated, we will replace the steel wool with a steel screen, which will allow the free movement of exhaust, and prevent furry house hunters from taking up residence.

In some ways, having lived at the country house has prepared us for having a luxury trailer in the bush. We are very aware of how vibrant the life is around Grace The Trailer, and that she presents as an opportunity for many species. It is truly an us versus them relationship, Attila and I insisting that Grace The Trailer is ours to inhabit, and that we will not share with the local inhabitants. She doesn’t take much space, they have many other options, which we insist are their only options.

OK, now I think we are over the line, and entering into the glamping world. Today Attila read the manual for the central vacuum in Grace The Trailer. We have never had a central vacuum before, it seems unbelievably decadent in a trailer. Our portable generator will run the vacuum system. The only thing it cannot handle is the air conditioning system, and we can buy a companion portable generator at some future date, to boost the power, and run the air conditioning if we think we need it.

If we ever get water running in the trailer, and a grey water drainage system hooked up, then we are into serious glamping! BUT we are committed to our humanure composting toilet system, we will not be using a water based sewage system. We are discussing removing the flush toilet from Grace The Trailer, to replace it with a compost toilet, the 5 gallon bucket kind of compost toilet, our favourite!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Cloudy this morning, bright clouds, but clouds nonetheless. Warmish, yesterday morning it was 60F when we got out of bed in the morning, This morning it was 67F.

14°C
Date: 8:00 AM EDT Wednesday 13 September 2017
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 13.5°C
Dew point: 13.3°C
Humidity: 99%
Wind: N 5 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“There was a stigma attached to being brought up different, laid on us by “the straights” – normal people. I had a choice: accept my status and brazen it out, or retreat from those that might hurt me.”
Island of Dreams: A Personal History of a Remarkable Place, by Dan Boothby

Day One: Arrival

We have just returned from our vacation, spent at the Rideau Camp. We arrived home to find everything ship shape, and with only one bill waiting for us in the mailbox. The unpacking is almost complete. The garden has been harvested, a plentiful harvest.

While we were at the Camp this past week, I wrote a few entries. I had lots of time to do this, because after our first day the weather took a bad turn and we spent most of our nine days sheltering from the rain, dealing with high winds, and longing for sunshine. All in all though, it was good to have a vacation.

I wrote five entries while we were at the Camp, and will share them over the next five days. I didn’t post while away, as we have no internet, not even cell phone service, at the Rideau Camp. We are off grid in just about any sense you would care to think of.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Last night was a cold one, not quite cold enough for frost, but close enough. It seemed like a good idea to sleep at home last night, in the warmth of Mist Cottage. Waiting until this morning to leave for our vacation had other advantages as well, more time to pack for one. We didn’t do much packing though, last night, we mostly puttered, then kicked back to watch an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, then to head off to bed for a comfortable night’s rest.

This morning we slept in a little bit, which for us means getting up around 7 a.m.. We showered, we enjoyed our morning coffee together, we ate a leisurely breakfast, and then we began to get things ready to pack into Tank. By 10 a.m. we were backing out of the drive at Mist Cottage, and were on our way. This is to be our longest camping excursion, and we will spend it at the Rideau Camp.

As we turned into the drive at the Camp, a small red fox hurried out of our way and into the shadow of the trees. She stopped to watch us pass, and later came up the drive to investigate the intruders. Finding nothing of interest, she turned and left the way she had come.

It didn’t take long to unpack once we arrived, just food and clothing. Attila setup the new portable generator, so that I could toast bread for my tomato sandwich for lunch, Attila ate a can of pea soup, his favourite meal. After lunch we worked together to setup the awning, Grace The Trailer has a very large awning attached to her side. It is quite a big deal to get this awning setup, requiring two pairs of hands. I made an error in the way I was holding my end, the support slipped the wrong way and I was wrenched forward by the full weight of the awning. My back and arm were very sore, Ibuprofen and a bit of rest seemed to take care of that. We got the awning up, that is where I am sitting right now.

Relaxing under the awning, I watch the dragonflies swoop and dive in the sunshine, and the glint of silken spider threads caught by the breeze. I listen to the wind whispering in the pine at the edge of the clearing, and smile to myself as Attila snores loudly to my left. He brought the lounge chair under the awning and into the shade, then plopped on the cushion, and stretched himself out for a much coveted snooze in the open air. He isn’t the only one making loud noises though. Somewhere nearby there is a partridge beating its wings with such force that the vibrations seem to echo in my chest. Nearby crickets chirp, and a distant airplane whines. A jay calls from the top of a nearby ash tree. A brightly coloured Katydid watches me silently, motionless, a few steps away.

It is quiet here.

DSCF1109 Attila kicking back, starting his vacation with his socks and his boots off!

DSCF1113 The whispering pine. In the foreground is the stake marking the edge of the area to be covered with crushed stone, and in front of that the mound of crushed stone still to be spread.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

The sky is a cloudless blue, the breeze is warm and intermittent, the air is pleasantly cool and dry. A perfect day.

Quote

“A shy, solitary child, my dreaming head was always stuck in a story, where I’d meet interesting characters – or characters I thought to be more like me than the people around me; where I had company…”
From Island of Dreams: A Personal history of a Remarkable Place, by Dan Boothby