Being There

Monday, July 16, 2018

It looks like the humidex today will top 40C, stinking hot. I won’t be poking my nose out the door until things cool down. Well, I will venture onto the back porch in the afternoon to close the cabana curtains against the sun, otherwise it will be humidex 50C on the back porch. I feel extremely lucky to have the air source heat pump, otherwise I would be suffering, and unbearable. As it is I am just a little irritated by being housebound due to the extreme heat. Things could be a lot worse, counting my blessings.

After a busy weekend in the kitchen, there is food aplenty in the house. Baked potatoes, sweet and sour meatballs with rice and vegetables, BBQ chicken, vegetable soup, homemade bread. It will be midweek before the Instant Pot will be back in service.

The bathroom is being cleaned today, top to bottom. It is a big job, not a favourite either, but one that, once completed, is very satisfying. There are only five rooms in the house, perhaps another will be tackled!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Another quiet day here at Mist Cottage. Another hot, humid day. I won’t be poking my nose out of the air conditioned atmosphere for any length of time today.

Things are looking very, very brown in our neck of the woods. The grass in the neighbour’s yard has been brown for a few weeks, and I fear it will not recover, although it has in the past after long dry spells. Even our yard is starting to look a little brown. Our yard is does have grass in it, some, but it is mostly things like plantain, wild strawberries, dandelions, red and white clover, bindweed, birdsfoot trefoil (my personal favourite), and many as yet unidentified weeds. Although still green, most of the weeds are beginning to look distressed from the drought; except the birdsfoot trefoil, it is thriving with bright yellow flowers and luxuriant greenery. Attila continues to water the garden every night.

Tonight will be a second night of leftovers for dinner. Last night it was leftover BBQ Chicken, and Vegetable Soup for Attila, leftover Sweet & Sour Meatballs with Rice and Mixed Vegetables for me. Tonight dinner will consist the last of the Vegetable Soup and homemade whole wheat bread. Tomorrow evening it is back to cooking again.

There are still bits and pieces to be done on the back wall of the garage, more studs must be installed. Attila didn’t want to tackle much last night, it was just so hot, and he had been working in it all day, so he decided to paint the new back wall white. Attila likes white, so I suggested he paint the walls of the garage white. It will brighten the back of the garage no end, reflecting any light that enters, and make things like wasps nests easy to detect. I have my fingers crossed that this weekend coming up will see the last of the finicky parts of the back wall construction completed, the new window installed, with security guard, and most of the fiddly bits taken care of. The point where the renovation is no longer a pressing priority, and becomes an ongoing relaxed project, if fast approaching.

It has only rained once since the metal went onto the roof, and it held dry then. It has not rained since, except for a few drops here and there, that evaporated within a few minutes. It has been weeks since we had rain!

The garden needs a real soaker of a rain.

I am not really sure where the time goes these days. You would think, alone here for most of my waking hours, that I would be climbing the walls with boredom and loneliness. That does not seem to be happening. The days fly swiftly, they soar. Attila, off at work, or on his own with his garage renovation and garden, might spend fifteen or twenty minutes talking to me, over the course of the day, weekdays, weekends, the same. Occasionally, Attila and I will have a longer chat, but that has been on hold for the duration of this garage renovation. There are no other face-to-face conversations in my day-to-day world.

I have met some wonderful people online, and have come to appreciate and value their (your) intelligence and compassion. So many have shared their perspectives, hearts, minds… well, thanks, just thanks, for being who you are, and being there.

The humidity dropped this afternoon! Oh sweet relief, it is still hot, but not suffocating.

My Mom is in Las Vegas on vacation with my sister, they get on very well together, and are perfect travel companions. I think they will have a great time!

The Back Section Of The Garage Back Wall

The garage back wall closed in on Sunday.

ng>Worldly Distractions

garage back wall painted white

The garage back wall closed in and painted white on Monday.


Date: 1:00 PM EDT Monday 16 July 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 26.2°C
Dew point: 22.4°C
Humidity: 79%
Wind: SSE 14 km/h
Humidex: 36
Visibility: 19 km

Date: 1:00 PM EDT Tuesday 17 July 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 29.2°C
Dew point: 12.7°C
Humidity: 36%
Wind: WSW 23 gust 34 km/h
Humidex: 32
Visibility: 24 km


“…Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
Mary Oliver

Canada Day Long Weekend

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday morning, after a breakfast of Giant Oven Pancake and fresh strawberries, I sat with my coffee contemplating the bathtub drain. It was disgusting when we bought the property, and it has not changed, still disgusting.

So I did a bit of reading on the internet, went into the bathroom and completely removed the pop up drain mechanism. Eew, gross! Then I got the tweezers and began to remove the disgusting hair clumps. Got all of that out, but the drain was still not draining properly. I poured in a bit of liquid plumber and waited. Still no luck. Then I researched unplugging bathtub drains, which alerted me to the possibility of using a plunger. Bingo! It worked, the drain now runs clear! All I have to now is purchase an inexpensive rubber stopper, and then we are in business for a bath!

But the shower is dripping when I turn on the tap. So I’ll have to fix that before trying to wash my hair or bath in the tub. Or I’ll have to create a plastic bag wall over the bare studs to protect the remaining drywall from moisture. A large shopping bag, cut down the sides and opened up, served the purpose. With the tub clean, the drain cleared, and drywall protected, I am able to bath in the tub!

The plastic bag wall protecting the drywall behind the bathtub plumbing. A temporary and satisfactory solution!
Bathtub shower wall

Thus ended my demolition pursuits for the weekend. Last weekend was a long weekend, Canada Day. Attila had Sunday off, which he always does thank goodness, and he did not have to work on Monday, a statutory holiday in Canada. That meant he had two consecutive days off work!

Attila’s Mom arrived safely at the country house on Friday night. She had a very long drive, it is over six hours in optimal conditions, and conditions were not optimal. She stayed the night and relaxed at our country house while Attila went to work on Saturday. When he arrived home they got themselves ready and headed for the little house in the city, in Mom’s car, Attila driving. They arrived safe and sound after dark.

I had been out visiting at Terra’s house, not knowing when to expect Attila and his Mom. They were home when I arrived, to my great relief.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday we spent puttering about, and I got to spend a lot of time chatting with Attila’s Mom. It was wonderful, I got to hear all about her experiences caring for Attila’s StepDad, as his dementia progressed. She has been through a harrowing time, but she is tough, and cared for him at home until he was rushed to hospital for the last time. She also caught me up on all of Attila’s family news, two weddings and some of the projects currently occupying Attila’s two brothers.

After lunch we all piled into the car and headed out to Terra and Lare’s place for a visit. It was fun. Luna and Janus and the Grandbabies were there, and my how they have grown! They played happily outdoors all the rest of the day. It was a beautiful day, sunny, warm and breezy. Such a wonderful time. Terra and Lares had the house and garden looking great, they put so much work into making it look nice!

At one point Attila, his Mom, and I sat on the front porch overlooking the lake, watching the water shimmer and a fishing boat slowly make its way up the shoreline. Later, as darkness lowered, we looked into the sky and enjoyed a beautiful display of fireworks, on three sides! We watched the beautiful bursts of light across the water, across the fields of grain and behind the barn at Terra’s. After that there was a campfire at the well-built fire pit that Lares had constructed for the occasion. We drove home that night tired and happy.

Monday, July 1, 2013

On Monday Attila, his Mom and I had a leisurely breakfast, and another long and happy chat. Then Attila and I reviewed the wiring in the bathroom, and sorted out the tools I would need to continue the bathroom project. All too soon it was time for Attila and his Mom to return to the country house! After they departed I missed them terribly, so there was nothing for it but to start working on the bathroom again, to distract myself.

After removing all the contents of the medicine cabinet and below the sink, I turned off the water, and was all set to remove the sink and taps. Or so I thought. After trying every tool in the box, I concluded that a pipe wrench was a necessity for the job. It was getting late so I decided to get ready for bed, testing a new bed for a second night.

On Saturday, when I was on my way back from the grocery store, I drove past a sign that said Estate Sale. I decided to see what was being sold, so I pulled over. It was the end of the event, and I didn’t see anything I really wanted, most of what was left were expensive antiques. But, as I was wandering around the house, one of the daughters of the former owner asked me if I wanted a single bed, for free. Intrigued I went into the spare bedroom to have a look. It was a new bed, and had not been slept in, according to the family it was meant as a guest bed. It was immaculate, so I decided to take it. Since it would not fit into my car, the gentleman helping with the sale agreed to transport it to my house for a fee of $15.00, which I thought a little steep considering we were travelling less than two kilometers. But since the bed was free, this would be the only cost involved, so I readily agreed.

As soon as the gentleman drove off in his pickup truck, I removed all the bedding from the bed, as it was fully decked out with new mattress cover, a full set of sheets and a comforter. I bundled all the linens, and my own dirty laundry into the car and spent an hour washing the lot at the laundromat. I brought it all home wet and hung it up to dry on the rope strung across the back porch.

On Sunday morning Attila and I brought the bed into the bedroom and got it setup, then I made it up with the clean linens washed the day before. I’ve slept on that bed for the last few nights and it is very comfortable. Free is good, very good.

Beds are tough to give away, impossible to sell. Bedbugs are in increasing problem. I took a chance on this bed, but the risk was low. I saw the bed in situ, and could judge for myself what the chances were, that it might be infected with bedbugs. There wasn’t a stain or a mark on the mattress or the box spring, it was like new.

Before retiring I sent a message off to Terra, asking to borrow a pipe wrench and a drill for driving screws into the two additional studs I need to install. She said she would visit on the morrow, and bring the tools with her.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

This morning I called Attila and his Mom at 5:30 a.m. I wanted to catch them before they left the house, Attila to work, his Mom on her long drive home. We had a cheery hello and goodbye.

After a leisurely cup of coffee, and breakfast, I started on my list of tasks. First on my list was adjusting the new gate. The arm that catches on the latch was shifting, making it impossible to latch the gate shut. Attila showed me on Sunday what needed adjusting, so I took my wrench, loosened the metal clasp holding the arm, adjusted it and tightened it up. That should do it. Time will tell though, it may loosen again, but now I know what to do about it, if it does.

I am waiting on tools, and possibly assistance, to get the bathroom sink, taps and vanity out of the bathroom. What I could accomplish with the tools on hand was the removal of the light fixture. Again, Attila had gone over the process with me, and we had reviewed the electrical panel so that I would be sure about which breaker to turn off before beginning the project.

The light fixture is out! The medicine cabinet is out!
Bathroom medicine cabinet light removal

I had one little surprise. After turning off the power to the bathroom I found, with the line tester, that there is one electrical line that is still live. I labelled it with masking tape, to make sure anyone helping me knows that is a live electrical wire.

Removing a light fixture is a very easy job! I was pleased to get that done. I used Marettes to cap off the electrical wires that were sticking out of the wall when I was finished. I don’t intend on turning the breaker back on though, not during this visit.

The medicine cabinet took a little bit of muscle to remove from the wall, but I got it out without incident or injury.

When I get the sink, taps and vanity out, I will be able to remove the last little bit of tile board, and drywall.

Next on my list is removing the goop that was used as a sealant around the tub. A yucky job but it will be oh so satisfying when it is done.

The goal this trip is to have everything stripped out of the bathroom so that Attila can do any rewiring that needs doing, and install a bathroom fan. After that we start putting in insulation, vapour barrier, duroc and drywall. It will be some time before this bathroom project comes together, but I feel great about giving it a kick start by gutting the bathroom.

Terra dropped by with the Vaders, a family friend, and Isaac, her brother-in-law. She brought tools!

The three of them helped me remove the last of the tile board. First Terra disconnected the hot and cold water lines from the taps, then disconnected the drain, and then lifted the sink, taps and all, off the vanity and placed them out on the back porch for later disposal. Isaac stepped in to remove the vanity, which was attached to the wall, which he carried out to the back porch. Vaders helped remove the tile board, which was really tricky around the electrical boxes, the water supply lines and the drain. Then they were off and running to get a tire fixed. On her way here, Terra had a flat tire! It was replaced on the spot with the spare, she needed take the flat tire in for repair. I was glad of the company, and of the help!

I was ready to tackle the last of the drywall. It too was a bit tricky to remove around the electrical boxes and the plumbing. The nice thing about drywall, is that you can bash it with a hammer and it breaks apart. That is the technique I used to clear the drywall away from the electrical boxes and the plumbing.

Then the clean up! And voila!

Every last bit of tile board and drywall have been removed! Bit of wonky wiring, the light fixture was affixed to the drywall, now it is hanging by a wire. The power is off and will stay that way until further notice.
DSCF2419 bathroom gutted vanity out

I have decided to leave the floor in for now, it is easy to clean, and there will be more clean up needed before this project is done. It is late afternoon now, almost 5:00 p.m., so I think I will slow right down and only work on removing the adhesives that were used to seal the tile board around the tub. That is a terrible mess!

I ran into this on Facebook.

Fun to watch! When Terra was in Grade 7 or 8, her best friend was visiting and they were making weird noises in the basement, and laughing hysterically. I came down the stairs to two girls bouncing off one another, each wearing couch cushions tied all around their bodies. They were having a “ball”, and it was very entertaining from my perspective!

Worldly Distractions


Condition: Haze
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 6 km
Temperature: 16.5°C
Dewpoint: 14.4°C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: NNE 19 km/h


“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
Soren Kierkegaard
1813 – 1855