Uncle

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Suddenly, this morning, I’d had enough! This garage project has been the centre of existence at Mist Cottage since mid-May. And before that it was the window replacement and attic insulation projects that required intense focus.

Attila has been working really hard on the garage project, and I have been working really hard taking care of every other aspect of domestic life. To my surprise, this morning I was done! Attila isn’t done, he is working away today on the last of the exterior elements, and after that is complete, and it will hopefully be complete today, the rest of the project is finishing work, which can take the rest of eternity as far as I am concerned. Uncle!

I became aware that I was done when we were chatting this morning, about the day. Suddenly I made an unhappy emotional comment about not having spent much time at the Rideau Camp. Aha! There it was, the wall, my patience is beginning to vaporize.

With any luck Attila’s efforts today will be successful enough that it will no longer be necessary to devote all domestic energy to the project. There will no longer be a reason to push hard, postponing the rest of life. Fingers crossed.

In the meantime, today is evolving pleasantly. Attila is out there working on the project. I am reading, crocheting, and planning my Instant Pot meal for this evening (Attila is cooking his own dinner, BBQ chicken, which I don’t want).

The day is magnificent! The sun is shining, there is a stiff but pleasant breeze, the humidity is average, and the temperature is comfortable. It is oh so pleasant to sit here on my easy chair, cold drink at hand, breeze playing over my bare arms, chimes swaying and ringing the back porch… my favourite kind of day.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Attila worked till midnight last night, and the result is that the exterior of the garage project is virtually done. He painted the new siding, put the tools and materials away, and then called it a night. There are bits and pieces to do, a few gaps and openings that need to be closed in, that sort of thing.

The garage project is far enough along that I will be out in the garage with the aqueous oxygen spraying everything down, killing every mould and mildew spore that I can. After the big clean up the big reorganization in the garage can begin. After the big garage reorganization is done, the big basement reorganization can begin. After the big basement reorganization is done, the kitchen reorganization can begin. As you can see, the garage project has been a major bottleneck in organizing Mist Cottage. My goal in the near future is to move things around in the basement so that I can reach my canning equipment without hurting myself. Having to ask Attila to fetch every last little thing is a serious deterrent to getting any canning done! He isn’t here most of the time, and when he has been here, he has been working on the garage project. Harvest season is just around the corner.

We have rain! It is a light rain, looks to be an all day drizzle, and it was coming down when I arose at 6:30 a.m. There isn’t much in the rain barrel yet, so it couldn’t have been going on long.

The end of the drought, and the end of the garage project, came at the same time. Relief all round here at Mist Cottage!

The Instant Pot provided yet another great meal last night, Spicy Orange Chicken with Rice and Vegetables. Attila was going to cook his own dinner, BBQ Chicken, but forgot to get the charcoal going in time for dinner, so I shared my dinner with him. The BBQ Chicken was ready about 9:00 p.m., so he had his second supper. The man sure can eat!

Attila and I took a quick trip out to the Rideau Camp to check on things out there. It was a beautiful day, but very hot, the humidex was 35C. I wondered why I could only work on what I wanted to do for a few minutes before having to go and sit down in the shade! We puttered out there for about five hours. The little garden was watered, it is doing well, but I wouldn’t say it is thriving. We haven’t been there for weeks, so it hasn’t been watered. Where we have had no rain at all for weeks here at Mist Cottage, the Camp must have had ample rain over the last few weeks. Everything was green and lovely, and the swampy area was holding water again. Which meant that Attila couldn’t get to the fallen tree that lies in it, to section it. Last time we were there the swampy area was completely dry, but no more.

Attila used the chain saw to section a large dead tree that had fallen down on one side of the driveway. I spent my time removing suckers from tree stumps, and cleaning more mouse droppings out of the trailer. There were not all that many, but all of the warfarin was gone. Sure enough, Attila found a dead mouse in a trap in the boot of Grace the Trailer. Yuck. Attila took care of this dead mouse, I am weary of dead mice.

I was surprised at how exhausted I was by the end of the visit. All the way home I kept falling asleep. Attila was driving. The heat really wears me out. I’ve never done well in the heat, my hands and feet swell, and I suspect my internal organs swell as well, I just feel sick, and miserable, when it is hot and humid.

After arriving home, and eating a quick dinner, Attila was right back out to his garage project. He is enthusiastic, as well he might be, he has done a great job, and it was a long job, that required months of focus. Now, the project continues, but does not require the same level of focus, and it will be a lot more fun.

Me, well I am sitting here on my easy chair with a cold drink beside me, hydrating and writing. Gotta keep hydrated.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

23°C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Saturday 21 July 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 23.3°C
Dew point: 15.9°C
Humidity: 62%
Wind: SE 17 gust 29 km/h
Humidex: 28
Visibility: 24 km

17°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Sunday 22 July 2018
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 17.2°C
Dew point: 16.4°C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: NE 18 gust 30 km/h
Visibility: 16 km

Quote

“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.”
Albert Camus
1913 – 1960

… and even with all that effort there is no guarantee of success…

A Plan

The weather has moved along from the heat and humidity of this past week, and we find ourselves experiencing a perfect day, weather wise. The overnight low was 9C, which is perfect for sleeping from where I stand. Attila finds this a bit cool for comfort, but it suits me to a tee.

We are getting ready to move some of our belongings to the little house in the city. I have been packing seldom used items, like books, and archived genealogical documents. This will make a possible move seem more viable, if and when that time comes.

Attila has been ill since Tuesday. He didn’t mention it to me until Thursday night, as his condition was beginning to worsen. It was some form of the flu. His fever broke in the early hours this morning. He is feeling much better today. I always know that if Attila admits to not feeling well, he is really suffering. This was his second bout of flu this summer. I think it is the stress of living in a house that is for sale, always having to keep it ready to show, and not knowing if or when it might sell, or if and when we might be moving. This, combined with slogging it through the heat wave in the hot sun, was just a little bit too much.

So, I decided this morning that if someone wants to see the house this weekend, they will have to take it as it is. I spent the morning cooking up a storm, preparing some of Attila’s favourite foods, which “stink” up the house with strong cooking smells. I have prepared a zucchini and tomato dish, with the last of the tomatoes from our garden, and the largest zucchini from the garden. The last of the dried red and green peppers, and mushrooms, are simmering in a spaghetti sauce.

We will be undertaking no new projects around the house for the next week; it is time for break. It is time to sit in the screened in porch in the evenings, savouring the last of the summer breezes, sipping beverages, chatting about nothing in particular.

Now that I have a plan, it would not surprise me if the universe throws something at us this weekend that we need to deal with immediately. The best laid plans… as they say.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

20°C
Date: 11:00 AM EDT Saturday 22 August 2015
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 19.6°C
Dewpoint: 13.4°C
Humidity: 67%
Wind: SE 4 km/h

Quote

“Cherish your own emotions and never undervalue them.”
Robert Henri
1865 – 1929

Beautiful Day

It just doesn’t get any better than today. The weather is perfect, and Attila and I and Mist are all here at the country house, enjoying the day.

There will be beautiful days in the summer, but then the bugs will be out enjoying it, and enjoying us. Beautiful weather in early spring is ideal, because we can spend time outdoors with no fear of bites of any kind, or West Nile Virus.

Sunny, warm, and breezy. The breeze keeps the early bugs at bay. We were outside all day.

Attila spent the day with the chain saw, trimming brush from windfall trees at the back of the property.

I spent the day on the deck, working on several projects. One was to install some old panels of lattice along the deck railing; for privacy on the side of the deck that faces the road. The panels were covered with spiders and wet leaves and debris, from being stored behind the woodshed. Attila handed them up to me from the ground, the deck is on the second floor. I lifted them up and over the deck railing and set them in the sun to dry. It did not take long for them to dry. I swept them clean of debris, and then swept the debris off the deck. They are affixed to the railing with vertical lengths of 2×3 boards, held up by bungee cords, at intervals.

My next project was to work on the wooden outdoor table. It is made of pine and has held up well since 1992, when it was purchased from IKEA. It wintered in the ground floor, screened-in porch. Attila brought it out, held it up over his head, and I grabbed a table leg by leaning over the deck rail. I then pulled the table up and over the railing.

Painting the outdoor table. Taken through the door screen, you can see it if you look closely!
Outdoortable

The boards were becoming quite rough, and warping a bit. I decided to paint the table. I asked Attila what spare paint we had around the house. He came up with a can of paint we purchased in 2001 for the garden shed at our former house in the big city. It was almost full. The can was a bit rusty, but we got it open after some fiddling.

I spread a drop sheet out on the deck, we got the can of paint open, and I went to work. It took all day. The first coat soaked right in and disappeared. It dried very quickly, as the wood was dry and the day was warm, sunny and breezy. It took five more coats of paint to finally cover the wood adequately.

Attila and I are lucky in that we have almost everything we need, and even a lot of stuff that we want. When we do shop, it is for essentials like food, fuel, materials for home maintenance and repair and other such boring things. We do not eat out [anaphylaxis], we cut our own hair [except once a year I get a store bought hair cut] and we prepare a lot of food from scratch. We buy used if we reasonably can, and buy the best we can afford when we have to buy new. We wear our clothes until they wear out. We throw out very little food, finding ways to use as much as we can, even our vegetable scraps get frozen for soup broth.

Recently, on the news, we heard about the deplorable working conditions in the garment industry in Bangladesh. The drive for profit fuels the whole machine of industry. Mega-corporations now hoard most of that profit. I don’t have any input into what mega-corporations do, or how they treat people. My only opportunity for input is a yes or no choice. Yes, I will buy their products, or no, I will not buy their products. Whenever we can, Attila and I say no to big companies. This is becoming increasingly difficult as they increasingly dominate every aspect of life.

So, I came up with my own checklist for ethical shopping in Canada. Of course, if you live in another country, switch out Canada for the name of your own country.

Maggie’s checklist for ethical shopping:

1. Made in Canada, Product of Canada [unless it is something like bananas, that don’t grow in Canada]
2. If it is made in Canada, or a Product of Canada, the employees should be Canadians.
3. Buy it local, or as close to local as you can get.
4. It matters how employees are treated; ask companies if they provide fair wages, adequate hours, and humane working conditions.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

21C
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 21.1°C
Dewpoint: 3.8°C
Humidity: 32%
Wind: SSE 24 gust 35 km/h

Quote

I have long been of the opinion that if work were such a splendid thing the rich would have kept more of it for themselves.””
Bruce Grocott
1940 –