Saturday, October 8, 2016

I slept in until 6:52 a.m.!!!! Wow! A rare event! Getting knocked back by this Shingles Vaccination has an upside.

By 9:30 a.m. we had our picnic lunch packed, along with equipment, and had headed out to the Rideau Camp. It was a chilly day, and we were both glad to have brought jackets along with us. Attila worked at removing cedar logs from the log pile, and extracting dead branches, which I burned. Everything was damp when we got there, so I took extra care setting the fire in the fire pit. We saved the branches from two dead Juniper bushes, the fine spindly branches burn easily. Attila dug out last week’s ashes, to use as landfill, and I set about setting my fire. I used dry newspaper, four sheets crumpled, on the bottom, then a two inch layer of fine Juniper branches, then some pine branches about one inch in diameter, and then some larger pine branches. I lit the newspaper and within a few minutes we had a roaring fire. The flames from the dry newspaper were able to dry out the Juniper branches so that they burned well. The flames from the Juniper branches were able to dry out the pine branches so that they burned well. When the fire was roaring, I began to add the damp cedar branches as Attila pulled them out of the ground. This went on all day.

At about noon I let the fire burn itself down to ashes, so that Attila could grill our cheese and onion on rye sandwiches. There really is nothing like a cheese sandwich grilled over an open fire, oh so delicious.

After we had eaten, I used small pine branches to get the fire going again. I didn’t need paper; setting the pine branches on the hot coals was very effective, within ten minutes the pine burst into flame and I was able to resume burning the branches that Attila was pulling out of the dirt in the log pile.

Can you see the frog? When I was reaching for a small fallen branch to burn in the camp fire, something jumped and rustled the leaves. I withdrew my hand quickly, looked around and could see nothing. Then then I heard the leaves near my feet rustle again, and I looked down to see a frog. He is a long way from water, and perhaps is attracted by the spiders, we have a lot of really big spiders in our bush. That fox we saw the other week would love to eat him for dinner, but first he would have to find him!
Frog 1
Can you see the frog? I panned in to the area where the frog was sitting.
Frog 2
Can you see the frog? I bet you can! There he sat, still as stone, for the better part of a half hour. Then he moved, and although he couldn’t have gone far, I couldn’t find him! His camouflage is very good. We avoided walking in that section of the camp during our visit, to ensure we didn’t step on him. He will have moved on by the time we return for our next visit.
Frog 3

We drove home into the sunset, quite literally. We drive west to return home, so that when we leave in the fading light, we are driving into the sunset. The drive home was quite beautiful, some of the farm fields along the way had been harvested, others had not. The fall colours in this part of Ontario are quite subdued, compared to what we enjoyed at our country house, but still quite beautiful.

As a treat for ourselves, after a day spent working in the bush, we ordered a pizza for our dinner. Pizza Pizza lists every single ingredient in their food, so I know what I can have, and what to avoid. We enjoyed our pizza, and topped off the evening by watching a few episodes of Upstairs Downstairs, an old favourite.

Monday, October 9, 2016

We had frost last night! It got some of the Scarlet Runner beans, where the wind had blown off the plastic sheeting that Attila had covered them with. The rest of the garden stayed covered and made it through.

It is finished!! Attila worked most of the day installing the rest of the shelves in the garden shed. This garden shed has taken from June to October to build, much longer than the two-weekends-and-the-week-in-between that was estimated when we made our plans for the summer. Of course family events this summer took priority over any projects. Our Grandbabies Sunny and Sky were born prematurely, which interrupted construction; and the sudden death of my brother Carl shut down projects for much of July and August. But at long last the project is finished, and today we started to move things into it. So far just empty appliance boxes (I keep them, I know!!!), and some camping equipment and extra coolers.

Here it is, the garden shed, all ready for occupancy.
The interior of the shed, at the top you can see the floor of the attic. The shelves were old steel hardware store shelves that were being thrown out, so Attila snatched them up, years ago, we have been moving these babies around, so it is great relief to be finally using them.
The drain, that I have been calling a French drain, but perhaps it isn’t strictly a French drain. It runs along the side of the shed. The photo shows all three stages of construction. On the right the crushed stone can be seen, then the black section to the left of the stone, near the middle, is garden fabric, and on the far left Attila has begun to cover the fabric with earth and sod. On the very far left is a rain barrel (really a large plastic garbage can) sitting on large piece of granite that we brought home from our Rideau Camp. The Camp is on the Canadian Shield, so there is lots of granite on the property.

I spent part of my morning choosing a new front entry door. The door we presently have does not work well, does not close property, and the wind blows in as a result. A new front door has been on our list since we purchased Mist Cottage six years ago. The door will be ordered and will take about a month to be delivered, then Attila will install it. We really should have thought to order it earlier, as November is not an ideal time of year to be installing a door; we weren’t anticipating that we would need to order it and have to wait for delivery. The new door should help us keep the house warm this winter. The present door will be saved to use at the Rideau Camp, when we build a garden shed there, someday.

The reaction to the Shingles Vaccine is beginning to dissipate. I received the shot last Tuesday. By Saturday the swollen, red, and itchy area had spread on the underside of my arm, from my underarm to my elbow. It was sore to the touch, and itchy, but didn’t really bother me too much unless I bumped it on something. Yesterday the area affected had diminished, but it was much itchier, and this morning the red swollen area has shrunk to it’s original size, about two inches in diameter, and it is no longer itchy. I think I am on the mend. I am still tired though, and sleeping 8 hours a night, so I am still recovering even though the redness and swelling have gone down significantly.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 AM EDT Monday 10 October 2016
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 103.0 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 0.2°C
Dewpoint: -1.4°C
Humidity: 89%
Wind: N 8 km/h


“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.”
Will Durant
1885 – 1981

I am not bored yet!

Wednesday, May 20, 2105

Today I sold the bunk beds in the second bedroom, to the neighbour, for their two small sons. I sold it to her for 1/3 of what I paid for them, and they were used only twice. She dismantled it and carried it home, with a small bit of assistance from me.

That cleared up a lot of space in the second bedroom.

The other project that was tackled today was organizing the canning equipment. The empty jars were to be stored down in the basement, so there was a lot of “up and down the stairs” in my day. My knees were very sore at the end of the day.

The rhubarb in our garden is doing well, so I picked some of the larger stalks to stew. There is nothing like fresh produce from your own garden.

A realtor came through the country house this evening, with prospective buyers.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

We have been renovating at the little house in the city for five years now. During that time we have “put up” with a lot of chaos, and temporary solutions to domestic comfort. On this stay at the little house in the city, I have begun the task of taking the chaos in hand.

On Thursday I spent over eight hours emptying the hall closet. It is the only closet in the house. It has been the central storage place for tools and materials for the last five years. Attila could find things in there, most of the time, but it was getting to the point where it was time consuming to find the tools we needed.

Part of emptying the closet was dealing with the hundreds of plugs, screws, washers, nails, and little bits of useful metal, that were spilled all over the shelves. The job of picking up all of these items was made extra miserable because they were mixed with copious amounts of sawdust, and, well, mouse poop. Lots and lots of mouse poop. We have evicted the mice, but they left their calling cards.

I began the clean up with a pump spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide. I sprayed every layer of tools that I removed from the cupboard. And when I got to the almost bare shelves, covered with a thin layer of sawdust, mouse poop, and little metal and plastic bits, I gave it an extra good spraying.

Once I had removed all of the items from the cupboard, including the objectionable elements, I washed it from top to bottom with hot water and soap and bleach.

After letting everything dry, I organized all of the items and returned them to the cupboard. Now I can find anything I need in there!

I pushed myself, finishing the job after 10 p.m., after which I collapsed into bed.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Today Terra texted me and asked if I could “babysit” her, while Lares went out and attended to necessary things away from home. Of course I said yes. We had a lovely visit, she is still on heavy pain medication and can become quite dizzy while standing. So we lay in her bed and chatted, watched a movie, and chatted some more. I had a lovely time, and when Lares came home he BBQ’d some hamburgers, while Terra ventured downstairs to warm up some tomato soup. Then Lares got busy with burlap to cover up their extensive gardens, because there was a frost warning.

I headed home before dark, to cover my newly planted tomatoes, lavender, and portulaca. The sheet of plastic I had wasn’t quite long enough to go over all the tomato plants, so I grabbed a plastic tablecloth and used that as well. I used clothes pins to attache the plastic and the tablecloth to the wire tomato baskets, and secured the ends by laying heavy pieces of lumber on the edges of the plastic, on the ground. The portulaca is in a little raised bed at the front of the house. I used a plastic wash basin and a vegetable drawer saved from an old refrigerator, to cover it. It looked terrible, but it did the job.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

We got our frost last night! It looks like there was no damage.

Our dining area in the kitchen overlooks the bedroom window of the house next door. This means that when I am gazing out the window at the trees, I am also aware of the visual opening into the house next door. And I am aware that I can be observed from that window, which I don’t care for much.

I had purchased some inexpensive plastic film, designed to be applied to windows for privacy. I measured and cut, and then applied the film to the windows. I now have the privacy I crave, and the light can still shine into the room. It does seem a little bit “institutional” to me, I will have to wait and see if I get used to it.

The window in the dining area, the light comes in, and you cannot see in!

Attila and I have a lot of linens. There are towels that Attila’s Mom gave him when he left home to go to university; they may be antiques. There are towels that the cat has clawed and pulled, less than pretty, but still functional. There are sets of towels that I don’t even remember where they came from. We also have quite an assortment of old sheets, and pillow cases, and tea towels, and odd sized bits and pieces that I can’t bear to throw out yet, although I have no earthly use for them. The older towels, and odd sized linens, filled to bursting a 63 litre tote. A second tote was filled with new unused sets of towels, facecloths, and dishcloths. What amazes me is that we also have a linen closet at the country house, that is full to bursting. If we manage to move to the little house, I will wait until the dust has settled and sort through all of these linens, and purge, purge, purge.

Attila worked today. We spoke late in the afternoon, over FaceTime. He is working on the gardens at the country house, which do need attention. One of the projects he started years ago is a granite pathway into the forest. It is almost complete now, I think he will finish it tomorrow.

Tomorrow I am thinking of attempting to cut the grass in the front yard, here a the little house in the city. My knee is still bothering me a bit, but I am hoping that if I take painkillers, and wear my knee brace, and take things very slowly, I might just manage to get the job done. We shall see!

Attila tells me we have another realtor coming this week to show the country house.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Today I mowed the lawn! All of it! It took all morning, which is about three hours of hard work. I took two breaks, long enough to cool down, and feel relaxed, before starting again.

Then I watered the plants. That is when I discovered that four of the tomato plants were killed by the frost we had on Friday night. They were near the edge of the plastic covering. I will need to go out and buy another four plants.

I was very hot when I finished all my yard chores, so i came inside and hopped in the shower. That felt so good!

I am not sure what I will do with the rest of my day, but I plan on taking it relatively easy, so as not to strain my arthritic knee, or my back, or… well, there is a lot that can hurt on this old body, so I’ll just take it easy!

Worldly Distractions


Little House in the City
8:00 PM EDT Saturday 23 May 2015
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 8.5°C
Dewpoint: 3.6°C
Humidity: 71%
Wind: S 17 km/h

Country House
Date: 8:00 PM EDT Saturday 23 May 2015
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 18.0°C
Dewpoint: 0.8°C
Humidity: 31%
Wind: SW 17 km/h


“Better by far you should forget and smile than you should remember and be sad.”
Christina Rossetti
1830 – 1894