Busy us!

Busy us!

Last week my Sister-The-Youngest-Girl and my Mom arrived for a visit. It was very exciting to have them here, Sister-The-Youngest-Girl had been here once before for a short visit with Beau Bob, and this was Mom’s first visit.

We managed to provide Mom with her a bed of her own, in a room of her own, and my sister slept on the pull out couch in the living room. Our house is small, and my sister was worried that she would be in the way when Attila had to get up early to go to work. The flow of Mist Cottage worked very well for all of us! Attila does not enter the living room in the mornings before work, and the living room is well out of the way of our bedroom, the washroom, and the kitchen, the rooms where all of Attila’s pre-work preparations take place.

They arrived on a Wednesday evening, having stayed the night before in a KOA cabin, and spending a good part of the day driving. Sister-The-Youngest-Girl is a very organized woman, and she arranged for we three gals (Attila had to work) to take a boat cruise of the Thousand Islands on Wednesday afternoon, Mom’s treat. And it was a treat! I hadn’t been out on the St. Lawrence River before, so it was a new experience. The highlight of the Cruise for me was getting to see the Just Room Enough Island. The water level is currently very high, so that the landing, and the stair to the door were under water, so that exiting via the door would be stepping right into the river.

On Thursday, after Attila left for work, and the rest of us had our breakfast, we left for a visit to the Rideau Camp. Sister-The-Youngest-Girl was on her way to Ottawa, to spend the day at a spa with our cousin, they have been close friends since infancy. The Camp is on the long route to Ottawa, so she decided to have a quick stop to see our special getaway in the bush. Mom and I stayed at the Camp for quite a while after she left, looking around, relaxing and chatting. I took the our usual long route home, the back roads, which is definitely not the way my Mom travels, preferring the major highways to get from point a to point b. Attila, Mom and I also drove out to visit with Lares, Sunny, and Sky. Terra had to work, she is back to work now, so Lares played host, and the Grandbabies got to meet their Great Grandma. They were delighted with my Mom, and she with them, the time flew by!

On Friday Sister-The-Youngest-Girl and Mom headed home again. Attila and I loved having them here!

On Friday Sister-The-Middle-Girl sent me some pictures of my Granny and Grandpa’s house, near our Traditional Camp. She and her hubby had spent the last week at their cottage, and with the help of our cousin and her hubby, they cleared away much of what was left in the house, as things were in a state of chaos with so many trespassers and vandals going through the place. Now it is virtually empty, with most of what was left there having been taken to the dump. It looked so wonderful, that Attila and I decided to take some of his vacation time and make a visit to our Traditional Camp, a four day weekend.

We packed up Iris, booked a site at a local campground, and headed out early Saturday morning. We take back roads when we travel with Iris. She is very light, fibreglass, and at high speeds she blows around like a peanut shell on the highway. The lower speed roads are much more relaxing, probably a lot safer, and much prettier. But, they also extend the time it takes to get where we are going. It took us 7 hours to drive to the camp site, we were very tired when we got there!

Attila spent his time at the Traditional Camp removing stumps, they were left when he cleared the trees on the lot. He worked at this diligently on Sunday and Monday. I spent my time visiting the dump, where I found a great plastic patio table, dirty, beat up, and perfectly functional. I also found a few pieces of stainless steel cutlery, a stainless steel saucepan, some pillow cases, freshly washed and pressed, a stainless steel cookie sheet, nine Corelle luncheon plates, and four Corelle mugs. All of these items will be used in Grace The Trailer. The local dump believes in recycling, and it works! I also found time to sit for hours on Granny and Grandpa’s porch. There is not place else on planet earth that I would rather be, than sitting on that porch, watching the dragonflies flit, the flies buzz, the bees hum, the birds call, the Day Lilies and Heliopsis sway; even the occasional passing high-speed motorist adds to the charm.

Our rented camp site provided an electric hookup, and a water hookup. It was our first experience camping in Iris with electricity. Wow! What a difference it makes. For one thing, our refrigerator works well on electricity, no coolers, no ice, luxury! And the interior lights allowed us to retire to the trailer well after dark, to read until we were tired, when we turned them out and snuggled into our beds. Having running water next to the trailer was also a treat. We decided not to hook up the water, as we don’t eat or prepare food in Iris, we do all of that on the picnic table under our kitchen tent.

Our fourth day out was spent driving home. We left the camp ground at 8 am and arrived home at 2:30 pm. It was a lovely drive, stress free. The rest of the day was spent unpacking Iris.

So here we are home again, after having an exciting two weeks, attending a music festival, enjoying a visit from Sister-The-Youngest-Girl and my Mom, going on a Boat Cruise, and visiting our Traditional Camp, Granny and Grandpa’s house, and camping in Iris at a camp ground.

Time for a little down time I think!

I am writing this in a state of fatigue, all this activity!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 8:39 PM EDT Thursday 17 August 2017
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 20.9°C
Dew point: 15.1°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: ENE 12 km/h
Humidex: 25
Visibility: 24 km


“If a problem has no solution, it may not be a problem, but a fact – not to be solved, but to be coped with over time.”
Shimon Peres
1923 –

Three Days

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The arrival of winter has been confirmed, I had my first nosebleed this morning. It didn’t take much to get it going, I gently blew my nose this morning and the deed was done. Luckily I managed to get it under control in about ten minutes. Nosebleeds are very intrusive!

The temperature dipped to -7C or below last night, which means our source of heat switched to the oil furnace, which results in a significant fall in humidity inside the house. The weather forecast calls for temperatures above -7C for the next few weeks, so I will have a reprieve period before the serious days of interior aridity settle in. When we need a new furnace, we will purchase one with a humidifying feature, and an air cleaning feature as well. With any luck, that eventuality is years away.

Attila obligingly set a load of his laundry to wash before he left for work this morning, so that I may hang the wet laundry to dry on the racks, and increase the humidity in the house.

Increasingly my eyes are worn out by evening. My eyes water, they sting, and my vision blurs. I spend many hours a day reading, the computer screen, and books. Last night I decided to amuse myself with an audio book that I found on youtube. I wanted something comforting, an antidote to the madness in the world, so I chose an audio version of The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson. It is a children’s story, and is quite delightful. I thank my Mom for reading to us every night at bedtime during my childhood, an experience so wonderful that we did not realize at the time how very special it was, and how very lucky we were.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The mystery of me can be quite perplexing. For instance, sitting in my easy chair this morning, after spending a frustrating few hours rummaging through the house for the container of picture hanging hardware, something I used to be able to locate at the country house, I am feeling chilly, and puzzled, and euphoric. Euphoric? Well I don’t know, do I, why that particular feeling is welling up inside me, and sitting comfortably with me, on this snowy, cloudy, cold wintry day. It is a mystery.

Sometimes mysteries are most pleasant!

The snow has accumulated. When I stepped out the front door yesterday to head out on my walk, the snow on the front porch was four inches deep. I was wearing my running shoes, so it felt quite chilly. But the road was clear, even dry in spots, although icy in others, so that I could walk briskly, which kept my feet warm. Not so today, it snowed overnight, is still snowing this morning, and there is a layer of snow on the road, which can conceal slippery spots. This is enough to deter me from going for my walk. If I slip, even slightly, my knee will be injured, requiring weeks of pain and babying, preventing me from walking any distance, even on flat surfaces like the floor of the grocery store. I don’t want to risk that! It is likely that all this snow will melt away by the end of the week, perhaps even by tomorrow afternoon, and if it does I can resume my daily walk.

Today I unpacked another box from the move, a year ago September. We are getting down to the last boxes now! This box was marked “fragile”, and held various pieces of artwork. I decided to hang the art, five pieces in all, on the wall in the living room. Thus, I was looking for picture hanging hardware, which I know we have, but I don’t know where it ended up after we moved. I didn’t find it. After juggling with the idea of running out to the store to buy more, I decided to wait until Attila comes home from work, and see if he has any idea where it might have ended up. It is worth a try.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Today is dump day.

When we purchased Mist Cottage, just over six years ago, we were using a cooler, and a hot plate, as there was no refrigerator or range. We used the laundromat when our laundry needed washing, and hung it out to dry on a rope tied across the beams under the front porch. At that time our neighbour wanted to get rid of a little apartment sized freezer that they no longer used, so we accepted it when he offered to give it to us. It served us well until last autumn. Just after we moved here in September it gave up the ghost, and has been sitting empty in the basement ever since. We are now at a point of progress in our organization that we are ready to transport it to the dump, where we will pay a fee to dispose of it. Slowly but surely we are settling in here at Mist Cottage.

The snow stayed with us until yesterday evening. The weather was cloudy and chill when we entered the grocery store, but had transformed to a thick, stinking fog by the time we emerged with our purchases. This morning the fog is gone and so is most of the snow. We can start again later with a fresh batch of snow, not to worry.

I decided that this year we are going to have an actual Christmas tree at Mist Cottage, and put up some outdoor decorations. Last year our little 24 inch pre-lit Christmas tree was a far as we got with Christmas cheer here. Yesterday I downloaded Christmas music from librevox.com, and set up the iMac to play it continuously. I also did an internet search for Christmas images, which I downloaded into a dedicated folder, and had the screensaver display while the Christmas music played. I have an old photo of myself and my brothers and sisters around the Christmas tree in the mid to late 50s, I will scan that and it will go in the Christmas image folder, as well as pictures of all the relatives in our immediate family. That way we can have them here with us as we spend our quiet Christmas’s, just the two of us.

The Christmas music from librevox.org is interesting. Anyone can create the audio files and upload them, so that there is a rainbow of offerings, from the profoundly tone deaf attempts to the some truly beautiful gifts. I like all of it, the less talented offerings are like having real people around, sharing the good will of the season.

Well, we are about to leave the house and make our way to the dump. Attila has the freezer loaded into Tank, along with a large load of cardboard for recycling. The sun is shining, and it isn’t snowing, it is a beautiful day!!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 6:00 AM EST Wednesday 23 November 2016
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 102.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -6.7°C
Dew point: -9.3°C
Humidity: 82%
Wind: WNW 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -11
Visibility: 24 km

Date: 9:00 AM EST Thursday 24 November 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -1.5°C
Dew point: -2.8°C
Humidity: 91%
Wind: NE 18 km/h
Wind Chill: -7
Visibility: 19 km

Date: 9:00 AM EST Saturday 26 November 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 1.8°C
Dew point: 0.9°C
Humidity: 94%
Wind: NNW 7 km/h
Visibility: 19 km


“A task left undone remains undone in two places — at the actual location of the task, and inside your head. Incomplete tasks in your head consume the energy of your attention as they gnaw at your conscience.”
Brahma Kumaris
[This reflects my approach to life.]

“Eventually, time takes care of everything. The trouble with procrastination is that people give up on it too soon.”
Robert Brault
[I have trouble with this!]

Old Green Boat

The snow has been falling since early morning, it accumulates, slowly, successfully racing the melt. The roads are messy, gungey, not quite slippery, so Attila says.

Several cords of split wood are on the back of a delivery truck in our driveway. The wood is wet, but only on the surface. On top of the pile of wood, in the back of the truck, are three sturdy but worn skids. The skids are thrown out of the truck, to one side. The truck bed is tilted up and the wood falls out, clumsily, chunks at a time. The wood rumbles over the metal truck bed on its way out, loudly, then quietly falls to earth.

When the truck is empty it is loaded with the old green boat. The boat was a found item, no longer used because of the gaping hole in its fibreglass bottom, it shouted possibilities to Attila, who brought it home. But the boat didn’t have a chance. There never came a time when Attila was free to rescue it, never a time when Attila was free to think about floating in a boat, on a lake; the lake so near that he might have carried the boat to the shore on his back. So the boat sat there waiting, for ten long years. Then its time was up. Now it will join all the other unfixable possibilities that have ended their days at the dump.

Attila, who drove the truck with the wood in the back to the country house, will drive the same truck to the dump with the green boat in the back. He will return the truck to its owner. He will drive home in his little car, so that he can lay the skids down, and stack the wood on them.

It is a big job.

We will be warm this winter.

The snow will fall for a week or more they say. They are the weather people, the climatologists, the guessers. The winter begins here weeks before winter officially begins with the winter solstice. This year, the early winter is late in coming.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 1:00 PM EST Saturday 8 November 2014
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 100.6 kPa
Visibility: 5 km
Temperature: 0.3°C
Dewpoint: 0.2°C
Humidity: 99%
Wind: SSE 15 km/h


“The best index to a person’s character is
(a) how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and
(b) how he treats people who can’t fight back.”
Abigail van Buren

Knee Trouble

I hurt my knee over a week ago. I was walking and it just gave out on me, it was very painful. The pain was significant for the first two days, and then it has been a little bit better every day since. I still have a bit of limp. but that is improving. Now it just aches sometimes, like a toothache.

On Sunday we visited the camp, and the dump store. In order to keep a few items at the camp, we moved an old car top carrier, a plastic shell, behind one of the brush piles. For now it will hold an ancient and worthless, but useful, set of pots and pans, and two empty water jugs. We have a few old plastic dishes, which I plan on taking to the camp and leaving in the plastic shell. It will be interesting to see if the bears take any interest in the plastic shell.

Then we visited the dump, where we bumped into Harriet and her friend Nancy, who was visiting the cottage for the weekend. That is where I picked up an old 1961 Electrolux vacuum cleaner. It had two issues, the on/off switch did not work, so to turn the machine on and off one would have to plug it in, and unplug it. Also, and more seriously, the clasp that holds the canister end against the seal is broken, so the canister falls open, and suction is lost. My Mom had a canister Electrolux vacuum cleaner and it worked like a charm. It would be nice to use the one found at the dump today at the little house in the city.

Attila found an expensive chain saw at the dump, we do not know yet what is wrong with it, if anything. If we cannot fix these items we will return them to the dump to give someone else a shot at it.

Harriet found a stainless steel Thermos for Attila. Attila needs a new thermos at least once a year, sometimes more frequently. He works in a rough and tumble environment, and his thermoses take quite beating.

Then we drove back to Granny and Grandpa’s house, parked the car, and went for a walk down the track. I wanted to see if there were any wild raspberries there, as there were forty years ago. Sure enough, the wild raspberries are still lining that section of the track.

We moved slowly, I was being very cautious with my knee. The scented breeze was intoxicating. The familiarity of the path was comforting. It did not rain, as it was threatening to do. We enjoyed our walk, and could view our camp from the path.

That is when I noticed a young man in a bright orange t-shirt, who appeared to be coming out of our camp lot. He was on foot, carried nothing, and had no vehicle. Must be one of the neighbours checking out our old car top carrier. It is a little creepy, only a little, the thought that someone ventures over to check out our camp after we appear to leave. Really, he could come over and introduced himself to satisfy his curiosity, while we were there.

After our walk we drove into town and purchased supplies. Then it was home, dinner, and an early night.

Two projects were on the go this week. The first was to get the Electrolux working. I found a fellow online, Eluxurious, who collects them, and wrote a comment in his blog asking for help. What a great guy! He immediately identified the problem, and after following his advice I had the machine running smoothly in a about five minutes. He also suggested a great resource, the Vacuum Cleaner Collectors’ Club, which I will be reading with interest!

The house is now dust free and tidy! I like the Electrolux machine better than any vacuum cleaner I have ever owned. Of course, this 1961 model was the absolute top-of-the line machine in its day, and I have always purchased bottom-of-the-line machines, the ones I could afford, until now!

Now I have a Made in Canada vacuum cleaner, and stainless steel soup pot made in Canada… livin’ the dream!

The second project is to clean and sterilize a thermos found at the dump. It was dirty, but otherwise in like-new condition. After cleaning it with a steel scrub pad, bleach was added and the whole thing left overnight. This morning it was spotless, shiny as new. In order to dispose of the bleach, and not destroy our septic system, the bleach was poured into the stoppered sink, baking soda added to neutralize the acid, and then the inert mixture was allowed to drain into the septic.

My new 1961 Elux-O-Matic Vacuum, and Attila’s “new” Thermos.
Electrolux thermos

Monday night Attila took a drive to put some fuel in the car. On the way he must have run over a nail, and on the way back the nail blew out and the tire went flat. I thought he was gone a very long time, and had started to wonder if he had had an accident. He got the car off the road and managed to get the spare tire on to get home.

Yesterday I drove to town to see if I could get the tire repaired, I am running around in the car using the spare tire. Bad news I am afraid, the tire is ruined. I ordered a new one, which should arrive today, it did, and off I went the is morning for another round of change the tire. Success!

So, that is what we have been up to this lovely first half of July, 2014! Some downs, mostly ups!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 3:00 PM EDT Wednesday 16 July 2014
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 16.6°C
Dewpoint: 10.7°C
Humidity: 68%
Wind: W 15 gust 28 km/h


“Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression.”
Isaac Bashevis Singer
1904 – 1991

Friday is Dump Day

Friday, July 5, 8:00 a.m.

Yesterday, Thursday, my spirits took a bit of a dive. I had to call my workplace in the afternoon, to let them know I had still not received my wages for the work I did on May 3, 2013. Some kind of monumental screwup there, which affected a few of the on-call workers, and benefited the part time workers who received the wages in error. I called the office and my coworker, who is usually very pleasant and friendly, was rude. I’ve no idea why, could have been anything, but it was impossible to tell what was behind the curt “OK, goodbye” and quick hang-up, which occurred while I was speaking. She cut me off and hung up. I was upset by this, and quite unexpectedly, it threw a pall over the rest of the afternoon. I tried to recover by keeping busy, but there it was, every time I took a break, the incident returned to mind. I will let this go, and I will always be aware that my coworker can unexpectedly become unpleasant.

It made me think about how important it is to be pleasant to people, all people, unless there is a good reason to be abrupt or unpleasant.

Attila and I chatted for quite a while last night, which helped me regain my perspective and my good spirits. He continues to work 12 and 13 hour days. His skin is improving right now, but any exposure to sunlight will result in fresh injury, as the hogweed will continue to affect his skin continually, until he can spend about two weeks out of the UV light. That cannot happen, so the hogweed burn could be a recurring problem for many years to come. Right now though, it has healed somewhat. Now, if we get a few weeks of cloudy weather, he may be able to get on top of this skin issue! Or perhaps in the winter, when he can cover his hands with gloves all day, he will experience some relief.

Today I am working on my web sites. While I was renovating, my inbox was collecting messages requesting information, and requiring quite a bit of work to update one of my websites. I worked on this while sipping my morning coffee, by the open kitchen window, overlooking the tree tops, listening to the Rock Doves coo, and the Robins call, and watching the Bluejays explore the eves trough on the house next door, where a collection of seeds have fallen from the trees. It was raining when I began, and now, just as I am finishing the task, there is blue sky to be seen in the eastern sky. It is still cool though, so the window remains open.

7 p.m.

After working on the site for a few hours, I indulged in a breakfast of raisin bran with fresh strawberries, the strawberries I picked last week. I checked the schedule for the local dump, oh dear! The hours of operation are today, for a few hour sin the afternoon, and tomorrow for a few hours in the morning. Those were my choices if I wanted to take the debris from the gutted bathroom to the dump during this visit to the little house in the city. I chose today.

I dressed in a long sleeved shirt, to protect the skin on my arms from further rips and tears, and running shoes. It was rather warm outside for such attire, but I needed to protect my arms and feet from injury, so it was necessary.

The bathroom debris, mostly drywall and tile board; all 308 pounds of it.

Next, I backed the car into the driveway, to significantly lessen the distance I would have to carry the debris. That done, I began to carry the tile board and dry wall, piece by piece, from the back porch, around the side of the garage and finally to the back of the car, where I lifted each piece into place.

It was hot. It was humid. I had to stop many times to rest, and to try and cool down. I found my head was throbbing, which alerted me that I would either have to slow down considerably, or find a solution. The cobber was soaked and ready to go, so I tied it around my neck and tried the next piece of drywall. Success! The cobber kept me cool headed during the rest of the operation.

After two hours of carrying and loading, I finally had all the debris in the back of the car. It had taken me two and half hours to do the job.

All done, well all done getting the bathroom debris down the stairs, around the house and into the back of the car! Now it is ready for the trip to the dump.

I was soaked to the skin with sweat, just as if I’d jumped into a lake. Sitting on the back porch, satisfied, I attempted to remove my running shoes. The left shoe disintegrated! The upper completely separated from the sole of the shoe. These shoes do not owe me anything, they were purchased while Terra was a teenager and still lived at home. Still, they were my working shoes.

The project was not complete. Appropriate footwear would be needed for the visit to the dump, to unload all of the debris. Attila’s work boots were sitting by the door. They were the perfect solution.

At noon the dump opened for business. Actually it is a transfer station, the dump is closed. After the car was weighed in, and a pleasant chat with the attendant determined the mode of payment, the car was ready to unload. Unloading into a nearby dumpster is a lot easier than loading into the back of a car. Thirty minutes later, the deed was done, the fee paid, and I was on my way home.

Hot and soaking wet, I removed every last bit of clothing. That is when Terra and Vaders and Isaac dropped by, returning the power washer and electrical cord Terra had borrowed. Luckily the doors were locked, so there was time to wriggle into a t-shirt and jeans, before answering the door. It was a short visit, and fun to see them.

The back porch was covered with bits of drywall and drywall dust. Sweeping up took a while, but the results were very satisfying.

Bathing was next on the priority list. Then a tall cold glass of orange juice and ice, and a rest. The resting took up most of what was left of the day.

The evening consisted of talking with Attila via Skype, and slicing the remaining strawberries, freezing some and storing the rest in the refrigerator for immediate enjoyment.

Saturday, July 6, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

The morning the weather was beautiful, sunny, mild, breezy. The garden needed a bit of attention, it was a perfect day for gardening.

The eves trough fell off the house the first year of ownership. It has been sitting along the fence in the back yard ever since. With every rainfall it filled with water, providing a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. A hammer and nail took care of that little problem, and it only took a few minutes. Four holes were nailed through the bottom of the metal, and when checked an hour later, the water was gone and it was perfectly dry.

Wild grape invades the mugo pine in the back yard. It took hours of twisting and reaching and pulling to remove it all. There is also a small tree growing through the center area of the pine, but after sawing half way through it the project was abandoned. The temperature had risen sharply, and it was just too hot to work in the small space at the center of the pine; where, surrounded by branches, it was relatively airless.

The tomatoes needed stakes, but only two were pounded into place, as only two stakes were found. The weeds needed pulling around the tomatoes, and in the whole garden. The bindweed makes significant advances in just one week, and is temporarily under control, after a lot of bending and tugging.

By the time all of these tasks were completed, the temperature had risen again, and the humidity made moving uncomfortable. Again, I was soaked to the skin, sweating from seemingly every pore in my body. It was time to move indoors, leaving the cleanup until I had cooled down a bit.

While bringing in the tools, later in the day, I had a chat with the neighbours, who were out in their garden pulling a few weeds. They are getting married next month, and are very happy about the upcoming occasion. She offered me some lettuce from her garden, it looked delicious and was not to be resisted. It was handed over the fence with a green onion. They made a tasty salad.

It is so very hot and humid, that moving around is just not a practical option. The computer and the internet are wonderful to have under such conditions, allowing motionless entertainment.

It was a day of small accomplishments, the tomatoes, the pine, the eves trough; quite acceptable considering the heat.

Worldly Distractions


Friday, July 5, 2013
Condition: Mist
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Visibility: 5 km
Temperature: 19.6°C
Dewpoint: 18.8°C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: calm

Saturday, July 6, 2013
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 25.9°C
Dewpoint: 18.2°C
Humidity: 62%
Wind: SW 16 km/h
Humidex: 34


“I can think of nothing less pleasurable than a life devoted to pleasure.”
John D. Rockefeller
1839 – 1937