Dominoes

March! During the years we lived at the country house, March was the hardest month. It was invariably full winter weather until the end of March, and one March we got a winter’s worth of snow during the month of March, unforgettable. Managing to survive March with its accompanying cabin fever was hard work, every single year.

All that is behind me now!

March is a month that brings a smile, here at Mist Cottage. We do get winter weather in March here, but the winters here are mild indeed compared to the weather at the country house. There is still snow under the trees in the bush, on the north side of the trees, the temperature will still drop well below freezing, it is supposed to be a low of -17C on Saturday night. But here March also brings amazing mild temperatures, this morning it is 10C on the back deck! It is, comparatively speaking, downright tropical here at Mist Cottage in March!

The five gallon, food grade pails and gamma seal lids arrived late yesterday afternoon. By the time Attila arrived home from work, they were unpacked, washed and set out to dry in the front bedroom.

Now they are full.

Last evening was spent moving almost all of the food stored in the front bedroom into the five gallon pails. Two contain whole wheat bread flour, one contains red lentils, one contains basmati rice, and one contains red kidney beans. What we have left is one 25 kg bag of hard bread flour, which is shrinking fast. The pails are labelled and stored in the basement, placed on cardboard sheets so that they do not sit directly on the concrete. The contents will remain dry and safe from dust, bugs, and rodents. I love the gamma seal lids. They are worth the expense because they are so easy to open when I want to refill my four litre glass jars for day-to-day use. The only storage conundrum left is the 22 kg bag of all purpose flour, which is sitting on the kitchen counter. Eventually one of the two pails the whole wheat flour will empty, and we will use that empty five gallon pail for the all purpose flour. Until then I must tolerate the half filled bag cluttering up the kitchen counter. Time to get baking whole wheat bread!

Moving the food out of the front bedroom opened up enough floor space for the computer desk. Moving the computer desk to the front bedroom opened up floor space in the living room. The items stored on the desk are sitting in a small pile waiting for me to find a place to store them. Finding a place to store them will mean sorting through some drawers and shelves, to discard or give away items we seldom if never use.

Life at Mist Cottage is a game of dominoes.

Attila and I sat in the car yesterday, after picking up the photograph from Walmart, discussing whether we needed anything from the stores. The upshot was, if we bought something, where would we put it! We laughed, and headed for home.

I do not eat a lot of bread. Attila does not like sourdough bread. This means that only I eat the sourdough bread, and I eat less than a loaf a week. I have two types of beautiful sourdough started, gifts from Auntie Mame, and I am finding I can’t keep up with it, it wants to make more bread than I can eat. So, I have been researching how to dry the sourdough starter, and will soon be tackling that as a project. Dried sourdough starter can be used to restart a colony, so I will have it for future enjoyment.

My walk this morning was a tonic. I have been cooped up through most of February due to ice and snow on the road and sidewalks, making walking treacherous. Yesterday was beautiful, sunny and a bit nippy, but I didn’t make it out the door, I had to wait for the five gallon pails to be delivered. Deliveries never seem to arrive first thing in the morning, which would free up the day.

It was raining hard when Attila left for work early this morning. During a long break in the rain I decided to get out for a walk. Instead of warm winter boots, my feet were light and free in running shoes. The temperature was so mild that the wind did not invite pulling up the zipper on my parka. It was lovely out there. Birds were singing, the wind rattled the bare branches overhead, and the mild fresh air was invigorating. The roads and sidewalks were perfectly clear, no ice, no snow, just a bit of gritty dirt along the side of the road. Early in the walk it became evident to me that I had been housebound for some time. I was a bit short of breath, and my legs ached. Pushing through, my pace slowed, and comfort returned. The weather is supposed to turn cold tonight, so it remains to be seen how “walk friendly” the neighbourhood will remain. Still, what is a week to wait for the mild weather to return!

Today’s plans include practising my crochet skills, baking cherry chocolate muffins for Attila’s lunches, and preparing sourdough for bread baking tomorrow.

A pleasant day.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

6°C
Date: 10:00 AM EST Wednesday 1 March 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 99.2 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 6.1°C
Dew point: 5.2°C
Humidity: 94%
Wind: SSE 36 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.”
Celia Thaxter

Crochet

I am trying to relearn how to crochet.

The first video I found on Youtube was fine, from it I learned how to hold the hook, doing it backwards, as the video was aimed at people who are right handed. I tried to follow along setting up for a slip stitch, but ended up with a knot so tight that I had to cut it off the ball of yarn and throw it away. So it was time to find a video meant for left handed crochet, this one was helpful.

Following this video I managed to get the first slip knot onto the hook and working correctly. Hours had gone by, and I was exhausted, as repeated failure can have that affect. Satisfied, I put my ball of wool and hook away for today. Tomorrow I will take it all out again and go through the same steps again, and maybe attempt to add one more. This is going to take some time!

I could grasp advanced mathematics, statistics, chemistry and all kinds of complex subjects and tasks, but put a crochet hook in my hand and watch me quiver!

After spending hours concentrating on learning a difficult (for me) skill, I needed to get up and move around! I puttered in the kitchen, and then began learning a spot in the front bedroom for the computer desk. It has been in the living room, the resting place of the 2007 iMac. The iMac is now safely packed into the original boxes. The desk also held the printer, which I moved into the front bedroom and onto the wood desktop that sits atop the filing cabinets in that room. Almost all of the accumulated paper work that had been sitting on the desk has been sorted, then filed or discarded. The computer desk is now empty, and ready for the next step.

I want to store the computer desk in the front bedroom, but there is almost no floor space in that room. The clothes drying racks are setup in there, and they will remain in use until the weather is warm enough to comfortably hang our clothes out on the line on the back porch. There are two 25 kg bags of bread flour in the front bedroom, one of white bread flour, and one of whole wheat bread flour. Slowly, but every so slowly, the contents of those bags are disappearing as my bread baking progresses, and eventually they will be gone. The clutter also consists of a tote containing all of my sewing and fibre art equipment, such as a sewing machine and a quilting hoop. There is one large tote full of fabrics, collected over the last 47 years. Another large tote contains genealogy books, files, correspondence, and CDs. And another tote contains bulk dry goods, rice and beans, which I will transfer to five gallon pails, which I ordered today, which will allow basement storage.

Also in the front bedroom are a single mattress to be used in Iris the trailer this summer, and four solar panels we picked up on sale, which will power the LED lights in Iris, allow us to recharge cell phones, and if we are really lucky, we might be able to watch a DVD on the computer when we are at the Rideau Camp for extended periods of time. In a few weeks all of these items will be moved into their summer storage locations, freeing up even more floor space in the front bedroom.

We had a quiet lovely weekend. Attila made turkey soup, I baked bread, and we both worked on making croutons. We eat a green salad every day, and the croutons make it a very special course for our evening meals.

Today I have found small stashes of things that I stored in containers over forty years ago, intending to get back to them immediately. Better late than never I suppose. For instance, there is a lifetime supply of hair combs, bought at a liquidation sale almost thirty years ago, when my girls were losing combs at an alarming rate. There is no shortage of nail clippers, shower caps, shoe shine sponges, and shammies. I think though, that if I have not needed these things over the last forty years, I need not hold on to them any long for the “just in case”; it has come and gone unnoticed.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

7°C
Date: 2:00 PM EST Monday 27 February 2017
Condition:Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 6.8°C
Dew point: -0.6°C
Humidity: 59%
Wind: SW 25 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
George Orwell
1903 – 1950