A Hole In My House

The first day of spring! Spring is memorable this year. This is a memorable year, in so many, many ways.

I received a telephone call yesterday afternoon. There was a cancellation at the company that will do the installation of the new windows, could we go ahead with the installation tomorrow, which is today?

Well, yes!

Last night was spent moving furniture out of the way, and storing items that might be damaged by the dust created by the installation. Of course, the house is so very small, that for each window, “stuff” has to be moved out of the way, to block a different window, which will in turn have to have the stuff cleared away for the installation. In this way, I will be running ahead of the crew for the next few days, moving things out of the way as they approach the next window.

Today dawned sunny and cold! -8C is not warm. The crew has been here for an hour and a half, there is a hole in the corner of the house, where the living room windows have been removed. An interesting little detail, as they removed the windows, is that the insulation around the original windows was a quilt, cut into strips and stuffed into the cavities. As they pulled out these strips, out flew the flies! Aha, that is where the bugs have been hiding out, crawling into the house. Hopefully this window installation will go a long way toward keeping the little critters out.

As I have been writing, the new living room windows have been secured in place, and the sequence of which windows will be done next has been decided by the crew. That means moving lots of stuff out of their way, so I’ve been busy with that. Of course all the curtains have to come down, and all the hardware unscrewed and stored in plastic bags with labels. Yikes, it has just occurred to me that none of the current window dressings will actually work on the new windows! I will need to think carefully about what sort of window treatments would work best.

I am bundled up with a toque, boots, an insulated vest, and I am thinking about where my fingerless gloves got off to. I think the house will be slightly warmer once the living room windows are sealed with insulation, because the sun beats through those windows for most of the day.

I am so excited that this process is in full gear! It has been eight years in the waiting, since we purchased this little house as a wreck of a house. The single pane glass in the windows, along with the faulty and ill fitting storm windows, made for cold spots in the house, in the winter, and hot spots in the summer. Attila had replaced three of the windows with used windows, the kitchen, the dining area, and the back bedroom. The used windows were a huge improvement, but they were not energy efficient windows. The new windows are energy star windows, energy efficient. And they all open!!! Being able to open a window is so wonderful!

It is possible that they will finish most of the main floor today, at least as far as removing the old windows, placing the new windows in place, and sealing them off. The company will also trim the windows, inside and out. What a luxury it is to have a crew of fellows, who do this thing daily, take on the project. Three men, three days, and voila, Mist Cottage will be transformed!

I am taking photographs of the process, and will need to take photographs of the finished windows for the grant program.

No more terrarium!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 9:00 AM EDT Tuesday 20 March 2018
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -7.8°C
Dew point: -15.9°C
Humidity: 53%
Wind: NNE 16 km/h
Wind Chill: -14
Visibility: 24 km


“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”
G. K. Chesterton
1874 – 1936

The Chimney Sweep

Today is the first day of spring as far as Attila and I are concerned! The sun is shining, and the temperature is rising above the freezing point where it landed during the night. Heating season is officially over, and the masonry heater has been allowed to rest. We will still build the occasional fire in the cast iron wood stove downstairs, to chase off any chill, but that won’t be necessary very often.

To celebrate this first day of spring, my cleaning project has begun in earnest. It begins with the role of chimney sweep. What a job!!! Five full coal buckets were filled and dumped in the ash pile outside. Each time fine ash billowed, as it came out of the heater, shovelful by shovelful. It took the removal of one whole bucket to reach the grate on which the wood sits to burn. Then two buckets were removed from the cavity above the opening for the ash dump; no wonder it was blocked. Once the ash dump was cleared, the next step was to remove a bucket of ash from each of the back clean-out, and the side clean-out. Then the shop vac picked up stray ash in the firebox and both clean-outs. By the time all of this was accomplished I was pitch black to the elbows, covered with a fine ash dust, and ready to remove my blackened clothing and hop into the shower.

The glass in the fireplace door was then cleaned with wet newspaper dipped in a wee bit of ash. This is a miracle cleaner for glass fireplace doors; it leaves the glass spotless.

With the drywall sanding done, and the fireplace cleaned, there was nothing to generate more fine dust in the living area. It was time for serious deep dusting, and cleaning the blinds. I hate cleaning blinds, and will never again use them as window treatments, no matter how much sense they make in functional terms.

The deep dusting began with the corner entertainment unit, which took several hours to disassemble and clean. The sink full of warm soapy water was black and murky by the time the job was done. Heating with wood has a real down side, and that is the ash. Then the storage unit along the wall was tackled, with a fresh sink of warm soapy water, and again that turned black and murky by the time the job was done.

Tomorrow the plan is to move along to the computer stand and window area, then to the dining room, then the kitchen, and then last, the blinds. That is my week of projects. Also on my list is sanding the deck railing, staining the deck railing, touching up the stain on the deck boards, touching up the paint on the siding along the deck, removing the huge planter from the deck, and removing the plastic window coverings from the screened in porch along with all the staples that held them on.

As I cross things off the list, more get added to the bottom of the list; it seems a bottomless list!

Attila has felled a dozen or more trees and is in the process of sectioning the logs and stacking them as firewood. He is also installing new trim in the recently drywalled hallway, and around the four doorways in the hallway. Also on his list for tonight is leaf blowing, removing the dead leaves from the front garden and around the woodpile. When it gets dark outside he will be back in to have a nice hot bath before turning in for the night.

My second cousin ML, who lives in Kelowna, British Columbia, is coming to Ontario. It is a sad journey that she will be making, to a funeral, with her partner who lost his sister. His sister and her husband lived on a river island in Northern Ontario, and were travelling back to their home from the Marina after Christmas shopping, by small boat in November, when she and her husband went missing. They were found in March, in their boat with their Christmas shopping, frozen in the ice. No one knows the details of what happened, but at least the family can grieve, knowing what became of their loved ones. Our thoughts are with the family members this weekend, as they gather to say their farewells.

Harriet and Hogan visited on Sunday, to drop off our annual supply of maple syrup. We try to purchase it from a farm near London, Ontario, as we like their syrup, and they are reasonably priced. The maple syrup where we live is very expensive, costing about 50% more, and not nearly so nice, in our opinion.

We had a nice visit. They were up to drop off their ATVs, and to do a spring check up on their cottage. All is well at the cottage, it is always nice when there are no surprises. They even had a chance to drive by our new camp, which we will have possession of in two weeks time (just in time for the beginning of black fly season, I have my nets ready, LOL!).

Worldly Distractions


Date: 5:00 PM EDT Monday 5 May 2014
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 12.5°C
Dewpoint: 0.7°C
Humidity: 44%
Wind: W 17 gust 30 km/h


“You have to accept the plan and realize that if you slip, and you might, you can’t use that as a reason to give up or stop.”
Jennifer Hudson