Saturday, July 21, 2018

Suddenly, this morning, I’d had enough! This garage project has been the centre of existence at Mist Cottage since mid-May. And before that it was the window replacement and attic insulation projects that required intense focus.

Attila has been working really hard on the garage project, and I have been working really hard taking care of every other aspect of domestic life. To my surprise, this morning I was done! Attila isn’t done, he is working away today on the last of the exterior elements, and after that is complete, and it will hopefully be complete today, the rest of the project is finishing work, which can take the rest of eternity as far as I am concerned. Uncle!

I became aware that I was done when we were chatting this morning, about the day. Suddenly I made an unhappy emotional comment about not having spent much time at the Rideau Camp. Aha! There it was, the wall, my patience is beginning to vaporize.

With any luck Attila’s efforts today will be successful enough that it will no longer be necessary to devote all domestic energy to the project. There will no longer be a reason to push hard, postponing the rest of life. Fingers crossed.

In the meantime, today is evolving pleasantly. Attila is out there working on the project. I am reading, crocheting, and planning my Instant Pot meal for this evening (Attila is cooking his own dinner, BBQ chicken, which I don’t want).

The day is magnificent! The sun is shining, there is a stiff but pleasant breeze, the humidity is average, and the temperature is comfortable. It is oh so pleasant to sit here on my easy chair, cold drink at hand, breeze playing over my bare arms, chimes swaying and ringing the back porch… my favourite kind of day.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Attila worked till midnight last night, and the result is that the exterior of the garage project is virtually done. He painted the new siding, put the tools and materials away, and then called it a night. There are bits and pieces to do, a few gaps and openings that need to be closed in, that sort of thing.

The garage project is far enough along that I will be out in the garage with the aqueous oxygen spraying everything down, killing every mould and mildew spore that I can. After the big clean up the big reorganization in the garage can begin. After the big garage reorganization is done, the big basement reorganization can begin. After the big basement reorganization is done, the kitchen reorganization can begin. As you can see, the garage project has been a major bottleneck in organizing Mist Cottage. My goal in the near future is to move things around in the basement so that I can reach my canning equipment without hurting myself. Having to ask Attila to fetch every last little thing is a serious deterrent to getting any canning done! He isn’t here most of the time, and when he has been here, he has been working on the garage project. Harvest season is just around the corner.

We have rain! It is a light rain, looks to be an all day drizzle, and it was coming down when I arose at 6:30 a.m. There isn’t much in the rain barrel yet, so it couldn’t have been going on long.

The end of the drought, and the end of the garage project, came at the same time. Relief all round here at Mist Cottage!

The Instant Pot provided yet another great meal last night, Spicy Orange Chicken with Rice and Vegetables. Attila was going to cook his own dinner, BBQ Chicken, but forgot to get the charcoal going in time for dinner, so I shared my dinner with him. The BBQ Chicken was ready about 9:00 p.m., so he had his second supper. The man sure can eat!

Attila and I took a quick trip out to the Rideau Camp to check on things out there. It was a beautiful day, but very hot, the humidex was 35C. I wondered why I could only work on what I wanted to do for a few minutes before having to go and sit down in the shade! We puttered out there for about five hours. The little garden was watered, it is doing well, but I wouldn’t say it is thriving. We haven’t been there for weeks, so it hasn’t been watered. Where we have had no rain at all for weeks here at Mist Cottage, the Camp must have had ample rain over the last few weeks. Everything was green and lovely, and the swampy area was holding water again. Which meant that Attila couldn’t get to the fallen tree that lies in it, to section it. Last time we were there the swampy area was completely dry, but no more.

Attila used the chain saw to section a large dead tree that had fallen down on one side of the driveway. I spent my time removing suckers from tree stumps, and cleaning more mouse droppings out of the trailer. There were not all that many, but all of the warfarin was gone. Sure enough, Attila found a dead mouse in a trap in the boot of Grace the Trailer. Yuck. Attila took care of this dead mouse, I am weary of dead mice.

I was surprised at how exhausted I was by the end of the visit. All the way home I kept falling asleep. Attila was driving. The heat really wears me out. I’ve never done well in the heat, my hands and feet swell, and I suspect my internal organs swell as well, I just feel sick, and miserable, when it is hot and humid.

After arriving home, and eating a quick dinner, Attila was right back out to his garage project. He is enthusiastic, as well he might be, he has done a great job, and it was a long job, that required months of focus. Now, the project continues, but does not require the same level of focus, and it will be a lot more fun.

Me, well I am sitting here on my easy chair with a cold drink beside me, hydrating and writing. Gotta keep hydrated.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 10:00 AM EDT Saturday 21 July 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 23.3°C
Dew point: 15.9°C
Humidity: 62%
Wind: SE 17 gust 29 km/h
Humidex: 28
Visibility: 24 km

Date: 7:00 AM EDT Sunday 22 July 2018
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 17.2°C
Dew point: 16.4°C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: NE 18 gust 30 km/h
Visibility: 16 km


“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.”
Albert Camus
1913 – 1960

… and even with all that effort there is no guarantee of success…

A Long Heat Wave

The heat wave seems to be lasting FOREVER! Another stinker of a day out there.

Attila only has one day off this weekend, today. Today is the day the last of the back wall comes out of the garage. All morning the house vibrated as he sawed off the last of the studs and sheathing and siding. By tonight new studs and sheathing and siding will be installed, and probably the new siding will be painted. Tearing out the rotting back wall wasn’t on the list of tasks for replacing the garage roof, a project that is not finished yet. Securing the back rotting wall was on the list. The way Attila figured it, it was the same amount of work to tear out and replace the wall, as it was to secure it against the weather, AND a secured wall would still be rotten and mouldy and need to be replaced. He saved himself about a week of work by skipping securing the wall, and rebuilding it now.

He is out there in the heat and humidity, working away, happily. He is experiencing intense relief, getting this nightmare project underway, and today removing the last of the rotting, mouldy wood and insulation. He is claiming his space, and as miserable as it has been; the pressure to remove the old roof and get another on to keep the rain out; the misery of removing rotting, mouldy materials; working in the extreme heat of the very long heat wave we have been experiencing… well as miserable as all that has been and still is, he comes up into the kitchen for a coffee, soaked to the skin, with a big grin on his face.

open section in back wall

The last section of the back wall to be replaced with new studs, sheathing and siding. Attila reckons that this will be closed in and painted by the end of the day.

I baked bread yesterday, on the back porch. Today, Sunday, Attila is tackling an electric-tool-intense day of work, so the one exterior electric outlet is all his. The Instant Pot, and the air source heat pump to cool the air, will allow indoor cooking in reasonable comfort. The hydro is half the price during the weekend, so this luxury isn’t going to set us back too much on our hydro bill. It is an added expense of replacing the garage roof.

Well, that’s us here at Mist Cottage. Attila renovating, me writing this, keeping the kitchen clean, planning and preparing another hot meal in the Instant Pot, paying bills, updating web sites… lots of this n’ that in my daily life. And of course, our friends, the mosquitoes (they survive hot dry weather just fine), the bumblebees (beautiful!), the goldfinches, the robins, the grackles, the cardinals, the squirrels, the chipmunks, the rabbits, and lots of life we are not really aware of that surrounds us.

I’ve tried and tried to give up thinking and writing “us”. I might just have to accept failure on this one, as long as Attila and I are living in the same dwelling. It isn’t the same “us” it was last summer, not at all, but it is an “us” of another kind.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 12:00 PM EDT Sunday 15 July 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 26.0°C
Dew point: 21.3°C
Humidity: 75%
Wind: S 19 km/h
Humidex: 35
Visibility: 24 km
Mainly sunny. High 30 except 26 near Lake Ontario. Humidex 38. UV index 9 or very high.


“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”
Mahatma Gandhi
1869 – 1948

Another Stage

The five stages of grief have become a part of my daily life. These stages are described as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I have experienced disbelief, rage, bargaining in the form of fleshing out what is going on, determining if it is really happening, and it is, and yesterday I moved into depression. I am not really prone to depression, in general, but this is different, intense, and very powerful. I continue to do the things I have set out to do, but as of yesterday I found myself sitting down every so often and thinking “what is the use”, or “why bother”, usually in conjunction with a tidal wave of sadness. I recognize this as depression, another stage along the way to dealing with this sudden traumatic end to my relationship of 25 years.

The depression is not a cause for concern at this point in the grieving process, it is necessary. I do not like it one bit. I know that it will pass, and I will be very careful about any decision making I do, while feeling this way. Best to write down the ins and outs of issues that arise, and come back to them later. For the moment though, the things that must be done are so very daunting that I can hardly face them! I will have to break them down into tiny steps, and then follow the steps until I get to the end of each.

The contract or the new window installation arrived today. It is all legalese, which I hate wading through, but it has to be done. We won’t be getting the windows until well into the spring, so there is quite a time lag on the project. A contractor for insulation is coming today to give an estimate for the basement and the attic, we have a lot of questions about that, and it has yet to be determined if this will work for our house. Today is a day filled with administrative paperwork and interactions with contractors. Not my favourite thing, but needs must. This is where the depression is making it hard for me to slog through all of these documents and processes.

The timing of these funding programs has put a bit of a wrench in Attila’s timeline for his garage studio project. He seems to be rolling with this, but I have discovered that what Attila presents to me, and what is really going on, are not always the same thing. Time will tell.

This week will include Tai Chi, meditation, and perhaps a bit of live music. All of the other activities are hit and miss right now, some may stick, others may not. I have purchased a book outlining the Tai Chi moves, and where the feet need to be placed. Placing my feet correctly is imperative, so as to avoid injuring my knee. I will practise from the book, rather than a youtube video, as it won’t move along and beyond me while I try to master the techniques.

I am in correspondence with the CT scan people [now the MRI people], to ensure that my allergen is not in the injection that I will be given. I have to remain very focused when dealing with this issue, as my life depends on clear and accurate communication. So many things are so very hard when you have anaphylaxis.

I guess it is better to be busy when I am feeling blue!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 2:00 PM EST Monday 5 February 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -9.2°C
Dew point: -15.4°C
Humidity: 61%
Wind: SW 7 km/h
Wind Chill: -13
Visibility: 24 km


“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”
Anatole France
1844 – 1924