Last Day

Friday, September 15, 2017

Tomorrow the weather is supposed to turn hot, and stay that way for a week or so. Go figure, the nicest weather we had on our vacation was the the first day and the last day. The first day led to false hope, the last day let us know what we had missed.

Two projects are consuming the day here at Mist Cottage. The current antivirus software will not work on three computers. There are three computers here that need protection. The current antivirus software license expires in the next few months. A new antivirus software that will protect three computers for one price was purchased this morning, Bitdefender Antivirus. So far it has found viruses and trojans that Intego antivirus software had ignored, probably because they are Windows based viruses and trojans. Since files are sometimes shared with others, all three computers were cleaned of the Windows viruses and trojans. Installing the new software, scanning, and cleaning up all three computers took all morning.

The second task was inspired by a link Kate put on her blog, regarding cleaning dishcloths properly. The web site recommended boiling dishcloths for five minutes to kill all bacteria. Almost all of the dishcloths, and facecloths, are now adequately boiled. They will be laundered, hung out to dry, and then we shall see how effective this boiling method is for destinkifying the fabric.

Wouldn’t it be great if boiling politicians could destinkify politics! It doesn’t work though, similar techniques have been tried throughout history, and the majority of politicians still stink.

Note: My new not-a-real-word of the day, destinkify/ing, I like it!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The morning of the last day of our vacation dawned with a cloudless sky, it was the nicest weather we have had over the last nine days. The predicted low temperature, of our last night here at the Rideau Camp, was 3C, which was not very warm. We were comfortable last night until bedtime, wearing sweaters and jackets, then retired to sleep under a combination of comforters and wool blankets with the blinds at the windows closed tight to retain as much heat as possible. We awoke to a very chilly room, after having slept soundly through the night. The temperature in Grace The Trailer this morning at 6:30 a.m. was 12C (54F)). We have slept at the country house, that first autumn when we had no heat, at 5C (41F), and found that to be too chilly for comfort, without wearing toques while we slept.

This morning I dressed hurriedly, checked the thermostat, then switched on the heat. We have a propane furnace, which requires electricity to run, which is supplied by the attached battery, or an attached generator. The generator is not left out overnight, because it should not be out in inclement weather, and because theft is always a possibility. This morning the only option was to use the battery to run the furnace. Within ten minutes Grace The Trailer was feeling a lot more comfortable.

Attila has spread almost all of the crushed stone, and it has been quite a job! He used a shovel and a wheel barrow. I would have felt it hard labour to spend my time shovelling and pushing wheel barrows full of crushed stone, but he feels differently about it… he feels he has had a very relaxing vacation.

My time was spent sitting in the sun when it peeked out from behind the clouds, a rare event, reading my book, and working to transcribe the material obtained at the Middleville Museum into my database on the computer.

One of the things that has been interesting is how bad the mosquitoes are this September. Last September there were no mosquitoes here at the Rideau Camp, but this year they abound, a small and sneaky strain of them. This has made sitting out of doors on cloudy days unpleasant. When the sun shines they retreat into the shadows, and one can sit out and enjoy the outdoors… only three days have offered weather suitable for relief from the mosquitoes, the Saturday we arrived, yesterday when it was quite chilly, and today. The weather is magnificent today.

Yesterday was the last full day of our vacation, and the second day of sunny weather. We went for a picnic at a park in a local village, then visited the library. On Friday we visited the Township office to obtain a copy of our tax bill, so that a library card could be obtained. I had forgotten to bring a copy of our tax bill with us. The library near the township office issued me a library card. The libraries are staffed by lovely people, pleasant and helpful. A library card provides me with access to the library WiFi system. I borrowed a book on Friday, on the history of the area, and returned it yesterday at a connected library in another local village, where we had our picnic. Being at the Rideau Camp during the week allows us to explore the local area, and to start making connections with the surrounding infrastructures.

Worldly Distractions


Sunday, September 10, 2017
Cloudless sky and very cold in the morning, but no frost. A day that warmed with the sun.

Date: 2:00 PM EDT Friday 15 September 2017
Condition: Mist
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Steady
Temperature: 20.4°C
Dew point: 19.5°C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: SSE 14 km/h
Humidex: 28
Visibility: 8 km


“Now I must close this rambling account of your mother’s people around here, forgive my blunders and bad writing, and write soon and let us know how you all are. I hope your talk of coming to see us will prove true. We will all be glad to see you.”

A letter written in 1888, from my GGG Uncle Peter in Middleville, Ontario, to his niece Rowena, my first cousin four times removed, in the USA, either in Champion, New York, or Clyde, Ohio, I am not sure of the date that Rowena moved from New York to Ohio.

Summer’s End

Last weekend was perfect, almost.

We decided to take Iris up to the Rideau Camp and stay for two nights. We knew it would be cold at night, so we took lots of blankets. I brought a parka, and a wool hat with me as well.

We arrived well before supper time, I lit a camp fire as soon as we got there. It was a bit tough going getting the camp fire to start, everything was wet as it had rained that day. Luckily I had some excellent kindling, a dead juniper branches, which although wet, were easily ignited by the flames from a few pieces of paper. Attila setup the kitchen tent, and levelled the trailer. After a late supper we settled into our chairs in front of the camp fire, as the day light faded and the stars began to make an appearance. There are no artificial lights in the bush at our camp, so that the heavenly lights were bright above us. Reluctantly we put out the fire and turned in for the night.

I wore flannel pyjamas, and a wool hat, to bed. It was cold! During the night I awoke feeling the cold in my shoulders. I rolled over onto my back to attempt to warm my shoulders, and when I did every bone in my body began to ache. It was most unpleasant. Eventually I dropped off to sleep once more, and arose in the morning without an ache or a pain. I decided, as I got out of bed on that cold morning, that I wasn’t going to change into cold clothing! So I donned my parka over my pyjamas, kept my wool hat snug and warm on my head, slipped my fluffy warm socks into a pair of clogs, and headed into the new day.

I arose well before Attila, and while he slept I managed to get the camp stove going so that he could greet the morning with a hot cup of coffee. The temperature rose as the sun came up over the horizon. I spread my clothes out on a chair in the sun, to warm them, and changed into the warm clothes incrementally, until I had fully donned my daily apparel by noon. This worked so well that Saturday morning, that I did exactly the same thing on Sunday morning.

Saturday was beautiful. The sun shone, there was a gentle breeze all day long, the temperature became warm enough to wear a t-shirt, and there were no bugs.

I spent the day burning the piles of dead branches from the trees that had been felled when we trimmed up the trees around the camp. The leaves were green when the branches were piled high, but had by this time turned brown and crispy. It was perfect weather for burning branches with leaves, everything was wet at the camp, from the recent rain, so that there was no chance that floating sparks from the leaves would ignite any of the debris in the bush around the camp. It took me all day, and I managed to break up and burn both large piles of tree branches with leaves. There were many, many, very, very large spiders in the piles of branches. Only once did I catch one crawling across my chest, it was about the circumference of a Canadian toonie, with thick hairy legs, and it moved like lightning. I flicked it off my chest onto the forest floor and didn’t see it again. As I lifted the last few branches from the ground a garter snake gazed up at me. It was about 18 inches long, and it was only interested in getting away. When the pile was gone a chipmunk kept coming back to the area to collect and move his stash.

The low area before the delivery of crushed stone. Note the bulldozed pile of trees and logs, left for us by the people we bought the property from, created in the process of putting in the driveway.
The low area after the delivery of crushed stone. Attila reduced one of the piles of crushed stone by one third in two days. Spreading this stuff is going to be a lot of work!

Attila spent the day moving crushed stone. He used a shovel, a rake, and a wheelbarrow to move the stone into the lowest area of the clearing. The crushed stone, because the stones are so large, is very difficult to move around, so it was tough going.

After a satisfying day of work, we enjoyed a hearty supper of udon noodles, with corn and peas, spiced up with olive oil and roasted pepper and garlic spice. Udon noodles are very filling. As dark descended we settled once more in front of the camp fire, watching the stars come out, listening to the breeze in the trees. The calm at a time such as this is enveloping. The stars were magnificent on Saturday night, it was difficult to take ourselves off to bed.

Saturday night was much colder than Friday night, the temperature fell below 5C. I wore long underwear under my pyjamas, my wool hat, my thick fluffy socks, and still I was cold through the night. I am very grateful that I could manage camping when the nights were so cold, at my age. Clearly this would be our last night sleeping in the trailer for this year!

The morning warmed quickly though, and before we knew it we were enjoying another lovely day. I spent the day tending the campfire and collecting dead wood from around the perimeter of the camp. Attila split his time between moving crushed stone, and building a lean-to for the extra straw meant for use with the humanure compost bin. The lean-to will keep the straw dry through the winter. Our humanure system is now complete, but we have yet to deposit our first contribution to the compost pile.

The humanure compost bin, with the completed lean-to to protect the hay from the elements. Note the metal “lid” leaning against the side of the compost bin, this will be placed on the top of the compost, to keep animals from digging in. I shudder to think!

While we were washing up the dishes after lunch, we were helloed by a neighbour coming up the drive. She lives across the street from our property, and represents the local property owner’s association, with whom we share joint ownership in the waterfront property and the road allowances. There are annual fees for upkeep, we knew they would find us when they wanted our money! She stayed and chatted for a while, which was nice as we heard more of the history of the property. Apparently the bulldozed piles of trees and logs were the work of the couple we bought the property from, they intended to build a monster house and had the driveway put in, bulldozing everything in the way into a huge pile of debris. The driveway had been put in the summer of 2015, so it is relatively new.

It was such a lovely day on Sunday that we stayed longer than we had planned, and had to tear ourselves away in the end, so that we arrived home early enough for Attila to get a good night’s sleep before returning to work on Monday.

It was so beautiful at the Rideau Camp we hated to leave! The pile of leaves in the foreground are what was left of one of the piles of branches that I broke up and burned in the camp fire pit. We watch the burn bans quite carefully, checking each day to see if burning is allowed.

This week has been cold and cloudy and wet, with some sunny interludes. I quite like this weather, as long as I am not camping. Last weekend was so very wonderful at the Rideau Camp, that I have been feeling a little sad that the camping season is over!

My Chili Sauce, and the pumpkin and squash I bought from the farm where I purchased the bushel of tomatoes.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 6:00 PM EDT Friday 30 September 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 15.6°C
Dewpoint: 9.3°C
Humidity: 66%
Wind: NE 18 km/h


“Time is a cruel thief to rob us of our former selves. We lose as much to life as we do to death.”
Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey

This certainly is one aspect to aging, hardly noticable through the middle adult years, but glaring through childhood and maturity.