Welcome Summer

7:45 a.m.

Well, here we are, the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere, planet earth. Glad to be here to see it! If you are reading, glad that you are here to see it (or the first day of winter for those of you in the southern hemisphere, planet earth). Isn’t it wonderful that we are here on this beautiful planet!

After almost no sleep the night before last, I slept soundly for seven hours last night, a sleep marathon for me. I arose at 5:30 a.m., and got busy baking a batch of banana/pineapple/coconut muffins, while the hydro was at its least expensive. Two bananas were threatening to escape to the compost pile, but I captured them and turned them into delicious food. I feel like the goddess of the hunt.

This morning I have paid bills, and sorted out some filing. Morning coffee was enjoyed, with open windows, a lovely breeze, and a freshly baked muffin.

I feel I’ve welcomed summer in fine style.

Attila is still sleeping as I write, soon I will awaken him. This morning I will be taking a run to the building centre to pick up more Sawzall blades. There are a lot more needed than anticipated, sawing through tar based shingles and waterproof membranes destroys the blades quickly. About 1/4 of the old roof is still up there, to be removed today or tomorrow, or whenever Attila feels the need to do it. The saw blades will be at the ready, whenever that is.

6:30 p.m.

The weather today was as perfect as I could ever wish it to be. Sunny, breezy, warm but not hot, birds singing, and bees buzzing.

Attila is in his groove. He says he is now enjoying himself. He has installed three quarters of the roof rafters, and is almost finished installing the supports between the installed rafters. He plans on working until it is too dark to see, to celebrate the first day of summer. He might even cover the installed rafters with the roof sheathing tonight. That would be fantastic, because then it would shed most of the water should it rain. In fact, sheathing would provide better protection against the elements than the old roof ever did.

Tomorrow Attila hopes to remove the last quarter of the old roof, a truly miserable job, and begin installing the last of the rafters, and the sheathing. There is a 60% chance of rain on Saturday, so I hope he can accomplish this goal. If he can, the garage will not leak significantly if it rains, and he can work on installing the metal roof in the rain. Or he can take a break on Sunday, and work on installing the metal roof bit by bit, after work and on weekends… I doubt he will take a break!

When I was out on my supply run, to pick up the Sawzall blades, I ventured into the garden centre. Garden plants were 50% off, it is quite late to be planting them. I purchased Sweet Basil and Tomato plants, to plant in the area where the potatoes did not come up. When I left the building centre I headed for Canadian Tire, where I purchased a child’s water canon, a toy, which says it will shoot 30 feet. I plan on using this to discourage rabbits and squirrels from visiting the garden. I have added a few tablespoons of vinegar to the canon’s water reservoir, the smell of vinegar may deter them from choosing our garden as their restaurant.

Water canon The new water canon, shoots 30 feet. As Elmer Fudd might say, “Say your pwayers, wabbit!” The canon will be shooting harmless water, with a few tablespoons of vinegar added for objectionable aroma.

My afternoon was spent weeding the garden, we have a lot of bindweed to pull out, and preparing the to plant the Basil and the Tomatoes. I ended up planting the Basil inside the fenced in area, so that the rabbits cannot get at it. The Tomato plants were planted in the empty space in the garden, outside the fenced in area. I found bending down to work on the ground very, very hard on my knees and my back, but I managed it. I spent some time watering the new plantings, the climbing Beans and Peas, the Clematis, the Heliopsis, the Echinacea, the Nasturtiums, the Rose, and the Gerbera Daisies. It was lovely to rest in the shady, breezy back porch after all that hard work.

The Instant Pot came through again, this time a Cabbage Roll Casserole, using just the right amount of Rosemary, a pinch. It was delicious. Attila isn’t stopping to eat today, he is soldiering through. I notice he did sneak in to eat a huge portion of the Rhubarb Crisp, lots of sugar in that to keep him going. His portion of the casserole is waiting for him in the refrigerator. My guess is that it will be close to midnight before he gets to it.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

21°C
Date: 6:00 PM EDT Thursday 21 June 2018
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 21.2°C
Dew point: 5.8°C
Humidity: 36%
Wind: N 14 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“She is a friend of my mind… The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.”
Toni Morrison
1931 –

I found this quite beautiful.

Learning

Oh the excitement! Well, by modern standards of drama, not really. OK, admittedly by the standards of recent drama in my own life, not really. But I can muster a little bit of excitement over this.

On Wednesday evening, after 7:00 p.m. the dishwasher was doing its thing. The dishwasher generates heat, as it does its thing. Unexpectedly, the dishwasher raised the temperature in the house a whopping 1.5C, which put it at 22.5C. That is too warm for sleeping! The temperature in the house, due to new insulation and new windows, remains constant. Attila suggested turning on the air conditioning. I was resistant. The compromise was to open all the windows in the house until bed time, which brought the temperature down to 21.5. Better. It will take some time to learn how to manage the temperature in the house! I might just open the windows while the dishwasher is running, and see if that keeps the temperature down.

I have been enjoying the beautiful warm sunny afternoons, and chilly clear nights. Everything is green. The leaves are unfurling, the perennials are shooting up towards the sun.

This morning I washed laundry before 7:00 a.m.; it has been hanging out to dry on the back porch clothesline. It has not been a terribly busy day. Attila’s iPad needed some updating, did that. My web sites needed software upgrades, did that. Time is flying by, so I must be having fun.

Things between Attila and I remain friendly, a new rhythm of life is slowly emerging, and I find I am comfortable with that process. The future is unwritten.

Attila’s garden is in the planning stages. The seed packets are spread all over the kitchen table: Swiss Chard, Scarlet Runner Beans, Climbing Peas, Blue Hubbard Squash, Butternut Squash, Basil, Spinach, and a few others yet to be chosen. The Scarlet Runner Beans, Blue Hubbard Squash, and Butternut Squash are seeds we saved from previous harvests at Mist Cottage, originally saved from produce purchased from organic farms. Some of the remaining seeds are Heirloom seeds purchased from Salt Spring Seeds, and some were ordered from William Dam Seeds. This is a gardening weekend for Attila.

I have just come indoors to finish writing this entry. The mosquitoes were beginning to be bothersome. Attila and I had been sitting out on the porch, chatting, and watching the big bonfire that the neighbours had built in their back yard; all the enjoyment, none of the work. There is a party going on around that bonfire tonight, but the revelry won’t disturb me, I’ve been sleeping well most of the time lately.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

17°C
Date: 8:00 PM EDT Friday 18 May 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 16.5°C
Dew point: -2.6°C
Humidity: 27%
Wind: NE 18 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“It’s easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world.”
Al Franken

It Was Dark and Stormy Night

“I am surrounded by dead bodies. I sit quietly, watching, for I will kill again. The crushed and twisted remains lie strewn across the tables on either side of me, a testament to my determination. I am without remorse.”

This is my version of, “it was a dark and stormy night.”

Mosquito Season started last night, at our country house. It began for us at about 9:30 p.m. last night. The beginning of Mosquito Season, as I define it, is distinctive. It begins when I hear a mosquito humming near my head, or feel it tickle the hair on my arm, or land on me, or at worst, bite me, as I sit in the living room or lie in my bed. Having killed that one maddening source of itchy irritation, another materializes to take its place. As soon as the newcomer has been destroyed, another moves in to take its place. And so the day goes, one mosquito after another, all day long, and all night long.

How these mosquitoes get into the house is unknown. They have their ways. There are certainly fewer of them if we ensure that the dampers on the fireplace and wood stove are completely closed. It helps, when coming in from outdoors, to stand quietly in the screened in porch for a little while, killing as many of the hitchhiking mosquitoes as possible, before opening the door to the interior of the house. But, no matter how careful we are, at the beginning of mosquito season, when we seat ourselves to relax, mosquitoes will line up, waiting their turn to take their chance at a meal, at our expense.

If it weren’t for West Nile Virus this could be ignored more easily. But the threat of disease makes the presence of mosquitoes a bit dangerous, in addition to irritating.

Soon the dragonflies will be out and about, and they love to eat the mosquitoes. I love to watch the dragonflies as the dip and dive to eat their fill. It helps that their activity improves my experience of the natural world.

On the other hand, the black flies have made a quick exit, and are few and far between. They will make a repeat appearance later in the summer, but for now we are relieved of their presence.

One has only to live in the bush to understand this obsession with insects. They are small, but their impact is mighty indeed, particularly when they exist in great numbers.

Bright and early I was out in the screened in porch, with my scissors and spoon and trays of seed pots. I transplanted a stevia plant into a large container, in hopes that in turn it will grow large. I filled my 20 newspaper plant pots with soil, inserted a single basil seed into each one, covered each lightly with soil, watered each carefully, and placed the trays in the screened in porch, where the sun will shine on them for part of the day. They will be safe from hail and animals in the screened in porch. I hope they come up before we next visit the little house in the city!

A few stems had fallen off the portulaca plants I purchased, so I put those into a cup of water thinking they might root. The portulaca will not be planted in the deck planter for another week at least, as I am waiting till the likelihood of frost has passed.

Yesterday’s mail brought yet another missive from the former employer, the one who has been so miserable to deal with for the last two years. This time they sent a document, that they categorically refused to send me previously, a stance on their part that was sent to me in writing. Now they have backtracked and sent the document, which we had already worked around. This means another letter to a government agency, and further complications.

This company is truly as bad as it sounds, and I feel genuine pity for all of their previous employees, and customers in this area. If there was ever a company that deserved to fail, in my opinion, they are it. They still own companies in the city, which I would never do business with.

So I was correct in being superstitious, it is not yet over with them. It seemed to good to be true, being free of the torture of dealing with their energy. It has been almost a year since they laid me off, and announced that the doors were closing. That is almost a year of time spent dealing with, on my own time, their incompetence or malice (not sure which, maybe both).

This is the contents of the last fresh food basket. Actually it arrived in a cardboard box, but calling it a basket works for me.
DSCF1747

Worldly Distractions

Weather

17°C
Condition: Mist
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Visibility: 8 km
Temperature: 17.2°C
Dewpoint: 15.8°C
Humidity: 92%
Wind: SSE 11 km/h

Quote

“It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously.”
Peter Ustinov
1921 – 2004