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

Fond Farewell Benny

A sad day today for our family. Luna’s dog Benny was bitten by a tick last spring, and her health has been deterioring ever since, she was diagnosed with Lyme Disease shortly after she was bitten by the tick, the medication did not help in her case. She came to visit us on Sunday, with her people, and we all had a lovely time, on a very beautiful, warm, sunny day. She wasn’t feeling well, or strong, but did enjoy herself sitting in the water at the lake, and swimming around a little bit. The visit was cut short today, so that Penny could be taken to the vet, as she was very weak this morning, and not feeling at all well. Sadly, the vet said her heart was the problem, and recommended that she be put to sleep rather than suffer. We lost Benny today.

We did have a lovely few days with Benny and the Grandbabies and Bim and Luna and Lares. Everywhere we went, and everything we did included Benny, who needed to be carried. We all went to Granny and Grandpa’s house for a picnic, and everyone had a great time looking around the house, and playing in the yard. We took a walk down to the camp lot, and had a good time exploring there. I taught the Grandbabies the poem I had been taught at school, to remember one of Elmer’s Safety Rules they taught back then:
Single file,
Indian style,

Facing traffic all the while.
This is vital information for safely walking or running along the side of a high speed road, where there are no sidewalks. On our journey we passed a twenty-something jogger, in full fancy regalia, who had invested a lot of money in his hobby, but none of his intelligence.

We all proceeded over to Harriet’s cottage and played in the water for the rest of the afternoon. As the afternoon waned, we returned home to dinner, a campfire, and of course, roasted marshmallows.

This morning, since Benny was feeling very weak, and not at all well, we went for short walks to the back of our property, and then down to the dock across the road, where Luna and Tink went wading. Then off they all went, heading for home so that Benny could visit the Vet.

Later Luna texted me to let us know that Benny had passed. She is suffering no more.

Benny, enjoying the water at the lake on Sunday afternoon.

While we were at Granny and Grandpa’s we visited with an aquaintance I made over the internet. He is married to my second cousin once removed, and knew my Granny and Grandpa, my Mom, and my Aunts and Uncle. Another cousin came along as well for the visit and we had a lovely chat, sitting in the shade, while the children played and explored.

NOTE: Since I arrived back from the little house the city I have had nothing but trouble with our Bell internet connection. Last Thursday I called the techinical support line and she said she fixed it, updated the “line” she said, but it cut out again this morning and here I am without an internet connection. The technical support person on the line this morning asked me if a new power supply had been sent to me, first I’ve heard anything about power supplies. He is sending me another one. It may or may not arrive. Bell has my address wrong, so if the unit ever arrives it will be a small miracle. Our Post Office will sometimes return mail to sender, if the box number is incorrect or missing, even though they know who we are. I keep giving Bell the correct address and they keep going back to the old one that they created themselves, which is incorrect. I think the only solution is to end the Bell service and search for another company. Bell’s bureaucracy can’t even handle correcting an incorrect mailing address, the company is incompetent, in my opinion. So the notice for this entry did not go out apparently, although I did go through the process of posting it. And only part of this entry made it to the internet, as far as I can tell. What a mess! Since it is a 30 minute drive, one way, to the nearest hot spot, it could be quite some time before I am connected to the internet again!

We have to pay $62 a month for this deplorable service from Bell Canada.

What really disturbs me is that even the government is insisting that significant business be conducted over the internet, and yet internet services are unreliable in so many parts of Canada. With unreliable internet service, how can one possibly comply with government regulations!

There is frequently reference to the book “1984” and big brother these days, but in “1984” big brother was a lot more reliable than the failing infrastructure we see in Canada.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 9:11 AM EDT Tuesday 26 August 2014
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 20.1°C
Dewpoint: 18.6°C
Humidity: 91%
Wind: SSE 13 km/h
Humidex: 27


“We know what a person thinks not when he tells us what he thinks, but by his actions.”
Isaac Bashevis Singer
1904 – 1991

November Rain

There is a lushness about a November rain, a striking, shimmering farewell of green. The last bright glimmers of life’s colour, before the white veil descends.

So it has been today.

Attila has it all! He is out there in the November rain, working, working, working. When Attila needs protective clothing for work he often procrastinates, because he knows what he needs to maintain his health costs a lot of money. At least on our budget it is a lot of money. So, if he ever mentions needing something along that line, I know the need is great, and I insist that we are off to the store at first opportunity. I always make sure there is a little set aside in the budget, for new work clothes for Attila. We had just such a shopping trip last week. Attila bought a new jacket, durable and warm. His old jacket is still functioning, but the zipper is wearing out. He would not want to find himself without a replacement jacket on such wet wintry day as this.

I am well suited to wet wintry days in my GoreTex parka, purchased about 20 years ago, it was costly. But when I consider that it has wrapped me in warmth and kept me dry in all sorts of weather, for two decades, I reckon the initial cost was reasonable and justified. To wear the same winter coat over the course of twenty harsh Canadian winters is amazing. And how many more winters that coat will serve me has yet to be established.

Evening walks have been suspended for some time now. I will not walk in the bush during hunting season, for obvious reasons; there is no where else to walk. Staying indoors compels a certain level of inactivity, and as the autumn progresses I stiffen a little with the restriction.

Keeping busy has not been difficult.

Having made two batches of mincemeat, Attila and I feel free to enjoy it anytime we like. Mincemeat Squares are a favourite at our house. I usually use half a quart of Mincemeat mixed with a cup and a half of applesauce, for the filling. I use canola oil and less sugar than called for in the crust. The squares are a reasonable substitute, for a breakfast bowl of hot oatmeal topped with milk and brown sugar.

We have enjoyed several meals of grass fed beef, a small portion of the half a cow we purchased from Terra’s neighbours. It tastes so much better than anything I have ever tasted from a grocery store! I had requested cuts of 1 1/2 pound steaks, which I braise in the cast iron dutch oven, then cook covered, with onions, carrots, and potatoes. One 1 1/2 pound steak provides us with two satisfying and delicious meals. That is one night of cooking for two night’s dinners.

Luckily, Attila and I both agree, leftovers often taste better the second day, and beyond!

We are managing through November with a daily firing in the masonry heater. Soon enough it will need two firings, of a morning and an evening, and even a third firing at noon, when the temperature dips below -20C. The autumn has been mild so far, but very wet. Rain does not require shovelling, and so it always preferable to snow.

The power was out on Monday and Tuesday. This morning the Internet had ceased to work. I did all the troubleshooting things, and came to the conclusion that the problem was on the providers end of things. Sigh. So the call was made to tech support, and we went through all the troubleshooting again, until the fellow finally said, “the problem is at our end, I will escalate the problem”. Then I had a to wait an hour or so until they fixed it, and then I had to reconfigure the computer to connect. And then, finally, it worked.

There was a feedback call later in the morning, and I agreed to provide them with some feedback. Our service is from Bell Canada. I rated the efficacy of the call as five out of five. The tech solved the connection problem. Then they asked me if they could improve in any way. Well, I said, the volume for the call might have been loud enough for me to hear what the tech was saying, and he might have had a better grip on speaking the English language. Constantly, throughout our interaction, I had to ask him to speak louder, and to slow down, so that I could make out what he was trying to tell me. We got through it, and the problem was fixed, so the fellow did a good job despite the communication challenges.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 12:24 PM EST Friday 22 November 2013
Condition: Mist
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Visibility: 5 km
Temperature: 5.1°C
Dewpoint: 5.0°C
Humidity: 99%
Wind: WSW 8 km/h


“I shall tell of a hunter whose life was undone
By the cruel hand of evil at the setting of the sun
His arrow was loosed and it flew through the dark,
And his true love was slain as the shaft found it’s mark.
She’d her apron wrapped about her and he took her for a swan
But it’s oh and alas it was she, Polly Von”
Polly Von, Traditional Song