Heat And Nothing But

The weather forecast predicts cooler weather on the way by the weekend! This morning, despite fans bringing the cooler air into the house, we were unable to lower the internal temperature below 80. The longer a heat wave lasts, the less effective are our strategies to keep the house cool. Although I had a good night’s sleep, with a fan blowing on me all night, Attila did not. I am putting pressure on Attila to install the window air conditioner in the bedroom. A good night’s sleep is essential to weathering through a heat wave!

The last bit of the deck was stained last night, so the first coat has been completed. The second coat will go on while I am away, when I next visit the little house in the city to work on the bathroom there. Hopefully this penetrating stain will last through a winter of snow removal!

Today, since I will once again be sitting quietly, avoiding overheating in this hot muggy weather, time will be spent researching flooring options for the bathroom at the little house in the city. The Restore in that area had a variety of small lot commercial grade linoleum for sale, a year ago. It will be worth a visit to the Restore to see what is in stock this year. The amount of flooring needed for such a small space means that end-of-line and small lot stock will work well. Discounted and discontinued lines of expensive flooring are definitely something to consider.

The window frames at the country house, in the bedroom and the bathroom, have some kind of animal scat on them. It is hard to identify. Larger than mouse droppings, similar shape, but slightly larger, and the shape is not uniform as it is with mouse droppings. The screens are hard to get out, well almost impossible to get out, so removing the scat is difficult. I have sterilized the scat, by spraying it with aqueous oxygen, so that no airborne problems should arise.

Mist and I are barely functioning. A humidex of 41 is just a little too intense for some of us. I have slowed down considerably, my breathing is normal, I am sweating, I am drinking copious amounts of water and I have stopped moving. It is too hot to eat, I couldn’t even consider food in this heat. Dear Mist and I are languishing in the screened in porch. There is shade and a breeze. But the breeze only blows above the level of chairs, as there are closed in walls on the lower half of the screened in porch. I have to raise my arms to feel the breeze, anywhere but my head. Mist seems to find it acceptable out here, she is having a siesta, lying right beside the dish of water I brought out here for her.

The temperature might be more reasonable tomorrow, a high of 28C is predicted, with a humidex of 37C, which will be more bearable than today. Thank goodness for that!

Scat on the window ledge, outside the bedroom and bathroom windows on the second floor of the country house. What animal?
DSCF2547 scat

Attila tells me that there is an unknown species of tiny birds building nests under the eaves of the back shed, nests made out of mud. I wonder if the droppings are from these birds. It is a mystery.

Worldly Distractions



Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 26.5°C
Dewpoint: 24.2°C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: S 17 km/h
Humidex: 41

In the house at 12:15 p.m.
Temperature 28C
Humidity 83%
Humidex 40C


“To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold.”
Archibald MacLeish
1892 – 1982

(Early “spaceship earth” sentiments.)

Cleaning the Deck at the Country House

The storm passed us by, no hail, no torrential rain, no high winds. Thank goodness for that.

The storm heralded a cold front. First, yesterday evening, the humidity suddenly dropped, but the temperature did not. It felt heavenly. That drop in humidity changed how it felt to be alive. A few hours after the blessed drop in humidity, the temperature began to fall. That felt even better. The house cooled to just below 20C by morning, which is a perfect temperature when the humidity is in the normal range. This morning, as the temperature outdoors became warmer than the temperature indoors, all the windows and blinds were closed to prevent a further rise in temperature in the house. It will be a comfortable day, physically.

The country house deck is beginning to look tired. The stain applied years ago is almost completely worn away, victim to the hot summer sun, the freezing cold, and the blade of the snow shovel.

Weeks ago I purchased deck cleaner and a brush on a broom handle. Then the project of gutting the bathroom at the little house in the city took over as a priority. Today it was time to assemble the materials needed to clean the deck and to get busy getting the job done.

It turned out to be easy, but labour intensive. First the deck had to be swept clean. Then three lengths of board, each 20 feet long, were wetted using the spray nozzle of of the garden hose. A coating of deck cleaner, mixed one part water, one part cleaner, was applied using a paint brush. Fifteen minutes later the boards were brushed vigorously with the brush on a broom handle. The cleaner and dirt were hosed off the the three rows of deck boards.

The lower boards on the deck have been cleaned, the upper boards were still waiting their turn.

I spent hours getting about a third of the deck cleaned. After dinner Attila and I stepped out onto the deck to continue the project. It is true that many hands make light work. Within an hour or so we had cleaned all but the last seven rows of deck board. The mosquitoes had found us by that time and working out of doors became untenable. Attila remained on the deck to move the table and BBQ to a section of the deck that was already clean. I ran downstairs and turned off the water supply.

Tomorrow I will clean the last seven rows of deck board myself, late in the morning when the mosquitoes are sparse.

Next week the deck will be stained. Choosing stain is challenging. Ideally a stain that will soak into the wood should be used, and stain that sits as a layer on the wood, like paint does, should be avoided. The search for appropriate stain has begun!

Worldly Distractions


Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 21.5°C
Dewpoint: 14.2°C
Humidity: 63%
Wind: WNW 11 km/h
Humidex: 25


“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
Aldous Huxley
1894 – 1963

I find this quote interesting because my preferred way of being alone is to be surrounded by silence. It connects me with myself in a way that sound cannot.

Oh, the bliss of sitting in my Grandmother’s kitchen, with my Grandmother moving around, baking or reading or putting wood in the wood stove, a knowing silence between; that beautiful, warm, soft silence that is love.

The sound I love most is the sound of wind rustling through trees in full leaf. The sounds of the natural landscape line up behind that as most loved sounds. And then there is music, which speaks its own language, and the voices of friends and loved ones.