Leaves and Blackflies

I am happy to see rain this morning. Although the water is diligently watered by Attila, the plants prefer rain.

Yesterday I finished applying marine wax to the top half of Iris the trailer. The bottom half will get done in bits, a little at a time, when the mood strikes me. It could take all summer, and Universe willing I have that kind of time.

I took a flying visit to the Rideau Camp on the weekend, accompanied by Attila. He cut weeds and worked on the last big stump, which needed earth removed from the exposed roots, and to be rolled a long distance to the fire pit. It didn’t make it as far as the fire pit, but progress was made. It is a very large and heavy stump.

My time was spent dealing with the mess the mouse made, as one of them, fingers crossed it was only one, was trapped in Grace the trailer when the slide out was extended. I know this because I found the dead mouse in a cubby behind the range. He/she made quite a mess in one of the cupboards, and in other areas of the trailer. The mouse traps that were set had been overturned to set them off, then the bait eaten. Because there was no source of fluids, the mouse ate every fly and wasp that was trapped in the trailer when it was locked up after the last visit; their remains were everywhere. The mouse’s body was thrown into the bush, where its remains will meet a natural end. Wearing mask and gloves, the urine and faeces, and chewed bits of fabric and plastic, all were sprayed with hydrogen peroxide, cleaned, then washed with soap and water. Using the generator that was brought along, I vacuumed the whole trailer, exhausting the vacuum out the window. the vacuum bag was removed and disposed of.

There may be another mouse in the trailer, that won’t be known until the next visit.

The weekend weather was beautiful, sunny and warm. The leaves are bursting forth and unfurling on the trees. On the Rideau Camp, and along the sides of the road on the journey, carpets of white trilliums bloomed. The Mayflowers were also blooming in carpets on our driveway at the Camp. The Trout Lilies are not quite ready to bloom though.

I have noticed, over my short existence on the planet, that with the spring unfurling of leaves come the blackflies. They were around during the visit to the Camp, I have a few bites, but not yet swarming. It is time to pull out the Camp wardrobe and begin spraying everything with the permethrin mixture. This will require a dry, relatively windless day, and the wearing of long sleeved clothing, a mask, and gloves. It isn’t my favourite task, but the results are worthwhile.

The hydro time-of-use schedule changed on the first of May, which requires a big shift in domestic routines. In keeping with keeping the hydro bill as low as possible, I began preparations to bake muffins yesterday before 6:00 a.m., so that the oven would finish using electricity by the time mid-peak rates began. I didn’t quite make it, but the oven didn’t use very much electricity after 7:00 a.m. I will have to start just a bit earlier. I like the summer time-of-use schedule better, because mid-peak rates start at 7:00 a.m., rather than 11:00 a.m., which is a better fit for my morning person personality. I hate time-of-use because it dictates what I can and cannot do during the day, when I have the energy and free time to do it.

This is a good day for sitting out on the porch, watching the rain run off the roof, the green things grow, and the rabbits, squirrels, birds, bees, and other insects revel in the lushness of spring.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 AM EDT Tuesday 15 May 2018
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 13.8°C
Dew point: 13.7°C
Humidity: 99%
Wind: NW 8 km/h
Visibility: 3 km


“The outcome of any serious research can only be to make two questions grow where only one grew before.”
Thorstein Veblen
1857 – 1929

One statement, so many ways to hear it.

The Move: The First Week

Friday, August 28, 2015

NOTE: I want to mention this up front. A week or so ago a mouse died somewhere in our car. We can’t find that little bugger. The smell makes my eyes water. I drove for five hours in the car coming to the little house in the city. We are driving back to the country house for another five hours in the odiferous car. Then I am driving the car back to the little house in the city on the weekend, while Attila brings down the second truck load of our belongings. Then we drive back to the country house in the car, to do the final cleaning at the country house, and do our thing at the lawyers office. Then, someone has to drive the car back to the little house in the city, the other lucky driver gets to drive Tank back to the little house in the city. I vote that I drive Tank on the final run!

Yesterday I spent mountains of time on the phone changing our address in various places. All of the people I dealt with were polite, even friendly, with one glaring exception… the local municipal office… RUDE, ATTITUDE. I know it wasn’t me because every other call on my long list was pleasant, the difference was down to the local “attitude”. I will not miss this area one little bit, not one little bit.

Yesterday was also a packing day, box after box after box. Two rooms done now, lots left to do, so it is another packing day today. It is also bill paying day, and this job will get done first so as not to be forgotten, as it isn’t a favourite pastime.

We pick up a truck Sunday, and a fellow has offered to help Attila with the “two-man” lifts for a small fee. I cannot carry and tote, so I pack and plan and take care of everything I can.

We are feeling as if the weight of the world has been lifted from our shoulders, and the hard work of moving serves to intensify that feeling. Funny old world.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The house is about 2/3 packed, most of the kitchen cupboards are empty, and the bathroom vanity. This morning, as I sip my coffee and look at the complete chaos that surrounds me, I can see that the packing process has brought us to the tipping point. Yesterday this place still seemed like the same old place, our home. By lunch time today it will seem like an empty shell, our stamp and presence will have faded from the feel of it. Until we arrive at the little house with the first truck load of our belongings, I will feel homeless and a little lost. Luckily, hard work will keep me so busy I will be largely unaware of these feelings.

Attila was off to work early this morning, they are very busy there. Tomorrow he starts his vacation, and we pick up the truck to start loading. For the past five years every vacation has been spent renovating the little house. This year we had thought to taking a different kind of vacation, where we would relax, go hiking, site seeing, and indulge in some of the activities we enjoy. Well, it certainly is going to be a different kind of vacation, just not in the way we had imagined. It is very lucky for us though, that Attila’s vacation has coincided with this move. It is incredibly lucky, when I come to think about it. The universe is watching over us.

Later in the day, at 1 p.m., I can definitely say that we aren’t in Kansas any more, the country house does not feel like home. Still packing.

We got word that the truck was ready for tomorrow, the wrong truck. I called Attila at work to let him know. He called the rental people, they said it was a “free upgrade”, the truck is larger than we asked for. Attila seems happy with this, which is all that matters. Moving is stream of “it’s always somethings”. I am still delighted to be moving!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Today we picked up the truck, a forty minute drive from the country house one way. Thankfully the drop off for the truck is five minutes away from the little house in the city.

After we arrived back at the country house, Attila called a chum from work, and went to pick him up. He helped Attila load the heavy items into the truck, the dining room set, couch, upright freezer and a few other items. Then Attila drove his chum home and continued loading the truck by himself. Attila likes to do things himself! Where to sit!

I packed until I felt too tired to go on, and Attila loaded the truck until the light failed. We were grateful to fall into our beds!

Monday, August 31

I awoke early, 5 a.m., and decided to let Attila sleep until he could sleep no more. It now feels as if we are camping in the country house, with a skeleton crew of dishes, pots, pans, foodstuffs etc. to keep us functioning. We are trying to eat from the freezer, as what we eat will not have to be moved. I am looking forward to strawberries and rhubarb as a part of my breakfast this morning.

The house looks just as great empty as it did with the furniture in it! My goal is to leave the house as clean as I am able, for the new family. They have four children to start school here when they arrive, it is going to be quite an adjustment for them. I already have a pile of manuals for the appliances and little “Muskoka” knick knacks set aside for them. In particular the instructions on how to cure the masonry heater will be left in a prominent place.

As I look around this morning, I wonder at how much work Attila and I have done here at the country house, and what it looked like when we moved in. The house had been let go for many, many years. The side door had a gap in it an inch wide, letting in insects and mice, we replaced it with a window. The bathroom was a mess, the vanity had broken doors and drawers, which was replaced with a new vanity. The fireplace was badly damaged and did not function well, it was replaced with a masonry fireplace. A corner alcove had been used by the previous owner’s dog as a toilet, the smell was horrendous. We replaced floor boards, and used Killz, to eliminate the smell and reclaim the space for human use. The hot water heater was broken, the UV system was broken, the water pump broke just after we arrived. The roof leaked and we replaced it with a metal roof. We built a woodshed and screened in porch. We replaced windows and doors. The list goes on! We poured a lot of love into this country house, and wish the new family who will live here much happiness in their new home.

When I think about Attila and I and houses, I think about the “land of lost toys” in the Christmas program Rudolph, starring Burl Ives. Attila and I live in the land of lost houses!

I think we are going to stop rescuing houses though, we are getting a little long in the tooth for it. Since we both love the little house in the city, we hope it won’t be too hard to settle down.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Yesterday I arose at 3:00 a.m., far too excited to sleep. I packed some boxes, did the dishes, got dressed, and at 5:00 a.m. I moved Tank out of the way, moved the car out onto the road, moved Tank back in the driveway, and left for the little house in the city. Attila was still sleeping when I left, he had stayed up late to finish loading the first truck. He would follow later in the truck, after he had some rest.

I arrived at the little house after a long, long five hour drive. The traffic was light, but I kept getting stuck behind drivers who travelled significantly slower than the speed limit, and frequently had to come to a complete stop due to road construction. Attila arrived in the truck three hours later. Then he began to carry our belongings into the little house in the city.

Terra and Lares came straight to our house after work, and Lares helped Attila bring in the “two man” items. Inside, Terra was a whirlwind of efficiency. She setup bookcases, carried boxes of books for me to place on the shelves, carried a chesterfield from one room the other, and organized boxes. She was a tremendous help. While Terra was moving furniture around, Attila and Lares took the truck to Terra’s house. Terra is getting my dining room set, a custom made solid pine set, which will not fit in the little house in the city. She also agreed to store some of my bulky items that I am trying to sell, temporarily.

Terra and I had a lovely time together, and after a bit of a rest and cold drink she decided to head home to shower, and go to bed. She had to be up early to go to work the next morning. Shortly after she left Attila returned with the truck, having left Lares to put the dining room set to rights.

When we moved to the country house, Luna and Janus helped us move. That is now a happy memory, and their help was much appreciated.

We worked for a few more hours clearing the boxes and bags away from the beds, but couldn’t stay awake for very long. It was a long, long day, and a very happy one.

Attila slept well for the first time since the country house sold.

Today we finished removing everything from the rented truck, and returned it. We had only racked up an additional $12.00 over our basic payment, which was great!

I picked the second crop of green beans from the garden, cleaned up after last night’s dinner and this morning’s breakfast, and got down to breaking down any cardboard boxes that had been unpacked and sat empty. We will be taking the boxes back to the country house, to fill them up again for the second truck load on the weekend. The second truckload will not need to include any large appliances, or furniture, and we hope it will be easier to pack, and to load.

Talking with the lawyer’s office this morning, arrangement to finalize the deal were made. The schedule remains tight, as we must be completely moved out of the country house in one week’s time.

We are driving back to the country house later today to get started on packing… again. 🙂

I have decided to post this now, and follow later with a second posting on the move.

Worldly Distractions


The weather has been sunny, hot, and very humid since last week. Quite a bit of fog in the early morning, which is when I do my driving.


“It is not a lucky word, this name “impossible”; no good comes of those who have it so often in their mouths.”
Thomas Carlyle
1795 – 1881