Another Demolition Day

Last night I could not sleep. At 4:30 a.m. I finally drifted off, only to awaken at 7:30 a.m., not because I had to, only because my being decided not to sleep. I am feeling overwhelmed by this renovation. I arose, opened most of the windows, then hopped in the shower. After puttering around until 9:45, it was past time to awaken Attila so that the day’s work could begin; he worked until 11:00 p.m. last night. Rain is forecast for Friday night, and Saturday, which adds some pressure to the enterprise.

His day began with a cigarette and a coffee on the back porch, then a change into street clothes and a trip to the building centre to buy more Sawzall blades. I was sent yesterday to buy them, but the type he requested were not in stock, and I dared not choose a substitute.

He is doing a terrific job on the garage roof. The project possesses him, he lives and breathes it right now, as I knew he would. There is no room here for relaxed conversation, and even finding time for a shared meal some days. The project will not be completed by the end of Attila’s vacation, although I fervently hope that by Sunday night he has the metal roofing in place on the roof, to keep things dry.

Once the roof is secure, then all the items in the garage need to be sorted through, and what needs to be discarded can go into the dumpster before it is picked up. A lot of items that were once viable are now completely destroyed by water and mould and mildew. I will be involved with this aspect of the project, because some of the articles in the garage are/were mine.

There is much to do after the roof is secure from the weather. New sections of wall near the peak of the roof must be constructed, siding installed. New wiring needs to be installed to supply the garage with electrical power. A window needs to be installed. I am sure there is more I am not aware of yet.

And then there will be animal eviction. Already chipmunks are in the garage, coming in through the open roof. I will have to use a live trap once the dumpster goes, and I have purchased more mouse traps. There is an opening from the garage into the new shed, so the animals will have infiltrated it as well, more time using the live trap and the mouse traps. It might even be necessary to remove all the items from the shed to make sure we get all of the animals out, a big job. None of this is avoidable under the circumstances.

I have always found renovations challenging. Attila prefers to work alone, team work isn’t his thing, and communication over what needs to be done can get sticky at times. The renovations also seem to take much longer than anticipated, Attila felt only a week was needed for this new garage roof, but I know that it will be the focus of life here until the snow flies. The expense is challenging as well, I do the juggling, the borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, and any worrying that comes into the administrative side of things. This is not something I enjoy, but it is necessary to move forward towards a home that is warm, dry, and free of animals, mould, and mildew. When this project is complete the house will be almost there!

The wildlife are finding the project interesting. Chipmunks have invaded the garage, and probably mice too, although I haven’t seen them. Birds land on the newly installed rafters. This morning, as I opened the window closest to the dumpster, I watched a little rabbit peeking through the crack at the door, probably wondering if there was any food in there!

Just to note, the funding program, through which we received assistance in paying for the desperately needed new windows, and attic insulation, has been discontinued, as anticipated; due to the new right wing government in Ontario. All environmental programs are now cancelled. For our own good, we are told. Thank goodness I found the program when I did last winter, and that I pursued it to completion. Otherwise, the windows and attic insulation would be huge jobs that Attila would have taken on by himself, over the coming years. The other program I was applying for is a non-starter, the call for the energy audit did not come as promised, nor any explanation. Of course, I know what happened, another cancelled energy program courtesy of right wing politicians.

As I write the whine of the Sawzall fills the air, the smell of hot tar reaches my nostrils through the open windows. Attila is hard at work demolishing the second half of the garage roof. Go Attila go!

Oh, adding a few images of the day’s work, forgot them when I first posted!

Garage roof front sawzall The old roof that Attila is cutting up and removing with the Sawzall. Very heavy going!

Garage roof rear rafters The back section of the garage, with the repaired wall on the right, and the first rafters installed, but many more to go!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

18 C
Date: 11:00 AM EDT Wednesday 20 June 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 17.9C
Dew point: 14.9 C
Humidity: 82%
Wind: S 18 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Everything in the world may be endured except continued prosperity.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
1749 – 1832

I’d like to try it for myself to find out!

The Last Tomato, Marco Polo, and Chip n’ Dale

It turns out that my prediction that the kitchen floor would be finished this past weekend was a bit premature. Fitting trim on out of square, wonky old walls, repairing holes in floors, and cutting tiles to fit around floor registers and into closets needs to be carefully executed. Attila finished the dining area, and is working on the other end of the kitchen now, which is chock full of fiddly bits. When he is done, the commercial floor polish needs to be applied, three coats, and that will take a whole day, at least, probably two to make sure it is completely dry. What a process! I will be very glad when it is done. Our kitchen sees intense use, so kitchen renovations are particularly irksome.

Attila likes to take a project slowly, it is his preferred way of approaching projects. He whistles and sings while he works in this way. Since we will probably be renovating for the rest of our lives, here at Mist Cottage, it is best that he proceed with it as comfortably as possible. I find it difficult from my end though, to live in relative chaos for the duration of a project. So far I have found kitchen renovations to be the most draining of all the projects we have taken on. What I really need is a companion to spend time with while Attila works contentedly on his projects.

I have completed a round of single crochet edging on my blanket and am quite pleased with it, much more so than the first attempt, which I ripped out. I used a 5 mm hook for the Suzette stitch on the body of the blanket, and a 5.5 mm hook for the single crochet border. I may leave it just as it is, but now that I think about it, I will probably go around again with a slip stitch.

The last of our garden tomatoes were harvested a few weeks ago. Since then the they have been sitting on the kitchen counter in a clear plastic vegetable carton. I ate the last tomatoe for lunch today!

I enjoy looking at vintage illustrations. This morning there was one that triggered a physical reaction, which I was not expecting.

A vague sense of unease hits me occasionally.

It comes when I see things I was exposed to in the 50s and early 60s, when they pop up on the computer. Sometimes the connection escapes me. For instance, this morning someone posted an image of GOLDEN STAMP BOOK OF MARCO POLO, from 1954/55. I remember those stamp books. What this Marco Polo item triggered for me was a feeling, which I have been exploring all morning, trying to find the connection between Marco Polo, stamp books, and churches.

As a kid churches were always stalking the countryside for souls, and they loved us. They would drive into the country to our farm, pick us up, and transport us to their edifices of education. There we would learn that the word kindness had more than one meaning, and most of it wasn’t what the dictionary said it was.

We were taught songs, coloured biblical scenes, and listened to a steady stream of indoctrinating stories, more fantastic than the fairy tales my Granny told us. Questions were not tolerated. Observations were quashed.

I think that they gave us each a stamp book during our time in one of those cheerless basements.

When I see certain children’s books, the ones they used at the various churches, who failed their God by not convincing us of anything other than their essential wrongness, that old feeling of being pressed face first into the earth, and held there, wells up from the depths of the past. It is vague only because it comes from a time and place that I don’t visit unless I have to. Sometimes though, the environment conspires to defeat my defences.

I tried to watch Cable Girls on Netflix and could not tolerate it. All of the female voices sound like the chipmunks Chip n’ Dale, or teenage valley girls, both unbearable coming out of female mouths. There was disco music playing at a party that supposedly took place in 1920, other music was out of period as well. What a misery to watch. It isn’t much of a period piece in my view. I didn’t manage to get to the end of the first episode.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-2°C
Date: 2:00 PM EST Monday 20 November 2017
Condition: Light Snowshower
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -1.6°C
Dew point: -3.7°C
Humidity: 86%
Wind: N 14 km/h
Wind Chill: -6
Visibility: 10 km

Quote

“Concern for someone else was a good remedy for taking the mind off one’s own troubles.”
Elizabeth Aston

I like “concern for others”, a valid alternative to humour or denial as a coping mechanisms.

Chocolate Chippy

A bumper crop of dandelions this year!

A bumper crop of dandelions this year!

When we visited the little house in the city last weekend Chippy, the resident chipmunk, had staked his claim on the interior of the building. He clearly resented our presence and sought to exploit our food supply. He claimed the potted plan, given to us by Lares, as his very own burial ground for unknown objects of interest. He pooped and peed all over the counters and in the cupboards. When we closed the door to the basement, and were outside for ten minutes, he chewed and stripped the veneer off the bottom of the door in his attempt to gain entrance to our kitchen and the rest of the house. He boldly sat and stared at me as I sat reading, and at Attila and I as we sat at the table eating.

In desperation, last Sunday, I visited the local Home Hardware store and purchased a live trap, made specifically for chipmunks, rats and squirrels. Quite an expense for us, I must say. I did consider a large rat trap that would have killed Chippy, at a tenth of the price, but considered a clear conscience and peace of mind worth the expense.

We set the trap in the kitchen, baited with bread and peanut butter. Chippy did not go near the trap before we left for our trip back to the country house.

We asked Terra and Lares to check the trap for us, worried that we would capture Chippy and he would left there for weeks until our return. Obviously he would not survive such a wait.

We need not have worried.

After we had gone, Chippy grabbed the food and tripped the trap door. But he was not in the cage! He must have grabbed the food from outside the cage, or he managed to nip out before the cage door came down. We do not know.

Terra and Lares took up the cause with enthusiasm!

They went to the little house to investigate the trap, only to have Chippy lunge at them as they entered and then scurry past them to hide under the refrigerator. He is so bold that when Terra threw a chocolate chip at him, he stopped running, turned around, grabbed the chocolate chip and then ran into the basement with it.

Thus, Terra discovered that Chippy has a weakness for chocolate chips. They bated the trap with a chocolate chip on the trip mechanism. However, having discovered just how bold Chippy has become, they put another chocolate chip beyond the mechanism, figuring Chippy would be cocky enough to risk the time to grab it as well.

Greed and over-confidence were Chippy’s downfall. He went for the extra chocolate chip and the door came down before he could escape.

Terra called us from the car to tell us that Lares was helping Chippy make a move. He has been relocated 25 kilometers from the house.

Bon voyage Chippy!

If Chippy makes his way back to the house, then he will be one scary chipmunk.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 22.9°C
Dewpoint: 15.3°
Humidity: 62 %
Wind: SSE 22 gust 33 km/h
Humidex: 27

Quote

“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”
Mahatma Gandhi
1869 – 1948