A Long Heat Wave

The heat wave seems to be lasting FOREVER! Another stinker of a day out there.

Attila only has one day off this weekend, today. Today is the day the last of the back wall comes out of the garage. All morning the house vibrated as he sawed off the last of the studs and sheathing and siding. By tonight new studs and sheathing and siding will be installed, and probably the new siding will be painted. Tearing out the rotting back wall wasn’t on the list of tasks for replacing the garage roof, a project that is not finished yet. Securing the back rotting wall was on the list. The way Attila figured it, it was the same amount of work to tear out and replace the wall, as it was to secure it against the weather, AND a secured wall would still be rotten and mouldy and need to be replaced. He saved himself about a week of work by skipping securing the wall, and rebuilding it now.

He is out there in the heat and humidity, working away, happily. He is experiencing intense relief, getting this nightmare project underway, and today removing the last of the rotting, mouldy wood and insulation. He is claiming his space, and as miserable as it has been; the pressure to remove the old roof and get another on to keep the rain out; the misery of removing rotting, mouldy materials; working in the extreme heat of the very long heat wave we have been experiencing… well as miserable as all that has been and still is, he comes up into the kitchen for a coffee, soaked to the skin, with a big grin on his face.

open section in back wall

The last section of the back wall to be replaced with new studs, sheathing and siding. Attila reckons that this will be closed in and painted by the end of the day.

I baked bread yesterday, on the back porch. Today, Sunday, Attila is tackling an electric-tool-intense day of work, so the one exterior electric outlet is all his. The Instant Pot, and the air source heat pump to cool the air, will allow indoor cooking in reasonable comfort. The hydro is half the price during the weekend, so this luxury isn’t going to set us back too much on our hydro bill. It is an added expense of replacing the garage roof.

Well, that’s us here at Mist Cottage. Attila renovating, me writing this, keeping the kitchen clean, planning and preparing another hot meal in the Instant Pot, paying bills, updating web sites… lots of this n’ that in my daily life. And of course, our friends, the mosquitoes (they survive hot dry weather just fine), the bumblebees (beautiful!), the goldfinches, the robins, the grackles, the cardinals, the squirrels, the chipmunks, the rabbits, and lots of life we are not really aware of that surrounds us.

I’ve tried and tried to give up thinking and writing “us”. I might just have to accept failure on this one, as long as Attila and I are living in the same dwelling. It isn’t the same “us” it was last summer, not at all, but it is an “us” of another kind.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 12:00 PM EDT Sunday 15 July 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 26.0°C
Dew point: 21.3°C
Humidity: 75%
Wind: S 19 km/h
Humidex: 35
Visibility: 24 km
Mainly sunny. High 30 except 26 near Lake Ontario. Humidex 38. UV index 9 or very high.


“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”
Mahatma Gandhi
1869 – 1948

Out On The Town

To the south of us, on the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S., snow is falling, driving is banned in New York City, icy flood water is flowing through the streets in coastal areas. The storm is large, and very intrusive.

It is a wonder, here the sun shone all day, it was beautiful. It was cold, the wind had a real bite to it. We enjoyed the day, warm inside Mist Cottage, and warm when we bundled up to venture out for supplies.

I have been wearing my new knitted knee warmer constantly. I don’t know why it works so well. It could be that it makes my knee feel better because it was knitted just for me, by my Mom. It could be that the retained heat around my knee helps to relieve the pain of arthritis. Whatever the case may be, it works for me.

Attila and I went out on the town last night. It has been decades since we managed such a feat of leisure. We went out for dinner, at McDonalds, a restaurant that lists ALL the ingredients in their food, and offer great discount coupons from time to time. Then we headed over to the theatre to watch a movie, the tickets were inexpensive, but we felt like royalty, spending so much money on a discretionary activity. We enjoyed ourselves. We now have a familiar, pleasant outing to indulge in a few times each winter. We will be on the lookout for other outing possibilities.

Today we puttered. Several loads of laundry are festooned about the living room, drying to deliver lovely moist air. A trip to the grocery store was undertaken. I worked on the second volume of my genealogy book. This volume is much more challenging, as it includes people that I know, and will be of interest to many people who remember those described. The second volume will also include pictures and family stories, because the people are known. I am going over all the research details carefully to begin with. It is much more difficult to research more recent generations, as there are no available primary documents, much of the information has to be gathered by word of mouth.

The day flew by.

Attila is in the kitchen preparing a fish dinner. John Prine is serenading us over the computer speakers. Three loaves of freshly baked break sit on the counter, two of them destined for the freezer. It was not an exciting day, but it was a good one.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 5:00 PM EST Saturday 23 January 2016
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -8.4°C
Dewpoint: -15.7°C
Humidity: 56%
Wind: NNE 19 km/h
Wind Chill: -16


“Please accept my resignation, I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.”
Groucho Marx, What’s My Line, Mystery Guest, April 23, 1967


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The dryer was delivered today, and the delivery guys were great. Because they had delivered the washing machine last week, they found the house without a problem. Last week they got lost, and I had to walk down the road, knock on the cab window, and direct them back to our house. The street numbers on our street defy logic! Other deliveries have been left down, and across, the street. I have to keep my eyes and ears open for trucks on delivery days.

I spent the day gathering all the clothes I could find. They were scattered all over the house, in plastic bags. My clothes were all sorted by the time Attila arrived home from work, so after dinner we tackled his clothes. After sorting, two large green garbage bags are full of serviceable men’s clothing, and I will take those to the local men’s mission.

My Cowichan sweater, and my new parka, are nowhere to be seen. We searched high and low, no sign of them. I hope they will suddenly turn up in an unlikely spot. It is hard to imagine how we might have permanently lost them! I will mourn the Cowichan sweater if we do not find it, which I bought for myself in Banff in 1992, and have worn it ever since. It is the best sweater I have ever owned.

The first draft of my genealogy book was sent by email to a local printer, to be printed for editing, and for assessing formatting issues. I will be picking up the printed draft next week sometime.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Today the first loaves of bread came out of the oven at Mist Cottage. Finally the kitchen is organized enough to manage bread baking. I have not found my regular recipe yet, it has to be somewhere, I remember plucking it from the back of the cupboard door at the country house, but I do not remember where I put it!

I used a recipe I found on the internet, and I have to say that I do not think that this woman tested the recipe, although she said she did. I had to bake the loaves three times as long as she recommended, to ensure they were cooked through. The loaves were a bit disappointing, as I used the last of the whole wheat flour in the canister, and I think it was a little “off”. Whole wheat flour does not keep well over long periods of time. We have an unopened 25 pound bag of whole wheat flour, that I will try and use for the next bread baking session. I have my fingers crossed that it is in better condition than the flour in the canister.

Still, the salami sandwich I had for lunch, with the homemade bread, was very good.

The moving bills are beginning to roll in… not fun.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Well, here we are! One month since we started our move to Mist Cottage. Chaos reigns still, but we make daily progress on settling in. And as October prepared to enter the scene, fall weather moved in with a flourish. Yesterday was rainy and chilly.

Last night we visited Terra and Lares, who had invited us to supper. They prepared a steak dinner that was incredible. The beef is from the cows in the field at the back of the house, truly free range. These are the cattle that Terra and Lares take care of when their neighbours have to be away from home. The meat tastes unlike any you buy in a store, it is so good, and tender. We purchased some of their neighbours beef several years ago, but it lasts a long time in our freezer, so we declined to purchase more this year. When we sold the country house, the deal included our newer freezer, the large chest freezer. So we are down one freezer. The chest freezer here is small, old, and very beat up, but it works. I bought it through Kijiji for next to nothing. Maybe we will get a more energy efficient chest freezer one of these years, but not right now.

I setup my old G4 667 desktop Mac for Terra, it has full legal versions of Photoshop and Illustrator and Quark Express, which she wants to use for her various projects. It was the last machine I owned that would run the old versions of that software, as the versions I had require OS9 to operate. It turned out that Terra did not need much help from me, other than installing software. I have kept my software install disks though, in case she doesn’t like the machine. If she decides she likes it and wants to keep it, I will pack up all the software and pass it over to her. It is a great machine for what Terra wants to do, just not so great for the kind of coding projects I am involved in now.

The dryer is not hooked up yet, we had to purchase the parts to exhaust it to the outside. I want to put wire mesh over the exit, so that mice don’t come in that way. This, of course, takes a lot of thought, and is slowing down the installation. Better safe than sorry though, when it comes to mice. The sun is shining brightly today, another perfect day for hanging the wash out on the line!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Attila installed the dryer last night, and put it good use with a load of his freshly washed work clothes. He says it works very well, and drys the clothes quickly.

Tomorrow we complete the move. The truck is rented, to be picked up near the country house. We will drive the five hours to get there together, then I will drive home in the car, and Attila will take the truck to the storage locker, load it, and head home with the last load of our belongings. He will pick up our mail while he is in the area near the country house, then we will have our mail forwarded to Mist Cottage, another moving expense.

The expense of the move is beginning to wear holes in the budget! It will be a month before the dust settles. Balancing the new budget is quite a challenge through this costly time, and will be quite an adjustment ongoing, as our income is half of what it was just a month ago. “Adjustment”, what a wealth of experience that term hides in its succinctness!

With money so tight, I have been feeling a bit guilty about giving away used items, instead of trying to make money by selling them at a yard sale. It dawned on me why we favour giving used items away, rather than trying to sell them. We feel good when we give used items away, to people who need them, and will use them. We feel as if we can “afford” to be magnanimous, which is something people at our income level seldom have the opportunity to feel. Giving, without the expectation that the favour will ever be returned, not even as kudos, or as gratitude, is good for the soul.

Here I would like to recognize several people who read my blog, and have offered us assistance when we seemed to need it. We favour struggling along as best we can, with what we have, but these kind offers have knitted for us a warm blanket of community, a priceless gift.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

What a day! I just arrived home, after spending the whole day in the car! We left at 6:00 a.m. this morning, heading for the truck rental place. The only place we could get a truck was a one hour drive away from the storage locker. We took it, what else could we do? So we arrived at the rental place close to noon, then I got in the car and headed back to Mist Cottage, and Attila got in the truck and headed for the storage locker. Attila loaded the truck, and headed towards home at 5:00 p.m., he will arrive here anywhere between 11:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. I will be waiting for him to arrive tonight!

The wind is wicked today, which made driving the car much more difficult than is usual. However, I think it is going to make driving a big 27 foot truck a truly miserable experience for Attila.

I arrived home at 5:25 p.m., and I have to say the last hour of the drive was challenging. I stopped at a convenience store and bought a chocolate bar, which I gulped down, then headed into the last hour of the trip. I sat forward in my seat, eyes glued to the road, concentrating and repeating to myself over and over again, “I’ve got this, I’ve got this…”

Tomorrow morning we unload the truck, and return it locally. Then Attila tries to get a good “night’s” sleep before he goes back on the midnight shift tomorrow night.

This is the last truckload of the move. Hopefully now we can turn our complete attention toward unpacking, and getting settled in.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 9:00 AM EDT Thursday 1 October 2015
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 6.6°C
Dewpoint: 1.9°C
Humidity: 72%
Wind: NNE 18 gust 30 km/h


“Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

William Shakespeare
1564 – 1616