Grackles

Yesterday evening was a yard work day here at Mist Cottage. Attila pruned the trees, he is an expert pruner, having done that for a living for many years. I clipped small bushes that were growing up through the wire fence, unwelcome guests. The yard waste pickup by the municipality is this week, so this is the time to get these things done. It is times like this that I am very glad that Attila is living here, and willing to participate in maintaining the premises.

The Grackles continue to attempt entry through the metal fascia. Their attempts are very noisy, and they have made some headway, loosening one of the nails. A trip up the ladder with a hammer is called for. This is something Attila may be persuaded to undertake.

My Mom’s 87th birthday is coming up soon! I won’t be able to travel for a birthday visit, so I have done the next best thing, ordered her birthday present from Amazon, who will deliver it via Canada Post to her address, which is a mailbox, which will have a package notice in it soon. Happy Birthday Mom!

What a beautiful morning! Sunny, warm, just about perfect.

I keep forgetting to eat! If being underweight was a problem, this would be something to be concerned about. Quite the opposite is true though. Just give me something interesting to do, and suddenly I am a woman without a stomach. Breakfast didn’t happen today.

The back porch is in need of attention, so today attention it got. It is an interesting affair, the back porch. When we bought Mist Cottage, the back deck had two sections, both special. The outer section, which was huge, was supported by a frame of short, leftover pieces of lumber that had been screwed together to make longer pieces of lumber, a patchwork quilt sort of underpinning. Laid over the patchwork lumber was particle board. You know, the stuff that swells up when it is wet, goes all soft and pliable when soaked with rain. The particle board was well weathered, feet had gone through it places between the cobbled together supports below, it sagged everywhere between the supports, and it did not smell very nice. That section took a few days to dismantle.

The inner section was built on a frame of full length lumber, no shortcuts there. The interesting twist is the decking, which is old tongue and groove hardwood flooring, that has seen much better days. Hardwood flooring is meant to be installed over a solid subfloor, not a deck frame, where it must span the spaces between the deck frame boards. I am light enough that I don’t break the boards, but a heavier person might just find the hardwood floor boards giving way underfoot. To accommodate heavier people the part of the back porch that receives most of the traffic is covered over with sheets of plywood. The area where I sit out on the back porch is hardwood flooring. Someday the back porch is going to get a makeover.

Since the back porch is as clean and tidy as it can ever hope to be in this incarnation, I am sitting out here, enjoying the breeze, the birdsong, the scenery… and my lunch.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

19°C
Date: 11:00 AM EDT Wednesday 2 May 2018
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 19.2°C
Dew point: 6.3°C
Humidity: 43%
Wind: SW 29 gust 38 km/h

Quote

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
The Dalai Lama
1935 –

Day Six: Cloud and Rain and Wind

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Crazy! On my way out the door this evening, as Attila and I were heading out to visit the grocery store, I noticed a hole in the soffit of the house. The hole is where the Grackles have been trying to get in, and I did hear the attempts to get back into the roof overhang, all summer long. But, get this, it wasn’t a Grackle that made the hole in our soffit, it was a small black and white woodpecker!

Tonight Attila got out his very tall ladder and took some spray insulation to spray into the hole. As he climbed and approached the opening out flew the black and white woodpecker. The spray insulation is not going to keep that bird out of our roof, oh no. It is time for another metal patch. That corner of the house attracts house hunters of all kinds!

Eventually we would like to put metal siding, roofing, soffit, and facia on the this little house. It has the original siding, soffit and facia, which are deteriorating rapidly now due to old age and past incursions from wildlife. Mist Cottage is livable, even comfortable, but we are still fighting off the local wildlife for control of the building!

Attila caught two mice in traps in the garage, in the last two days. They are coming in now, looking for a place to winter. We will have to keep a close eye on Grace The Trailer and Iris The Trailer, to catch any incursions.

Attila and I were just discussing our grocery bill. Our recent food bills average at $105 a week. Attila loves numbers and arithmetic, and if I follow along with my calculator, everything he calculates in his brain, he is always correct in his calculations. So I leave all calculations to him, he enjoys it, I don’t have to enter the numbers myself, he is always right, and he is a lot nicer to look at than a calculator. So when Attila says we spend $105 a week on food, on average, I know the number is reliable.

After announcing that we spend about $105 a week on food, I got to thinking about people who buy coffee every morning, for about $2.50 a cup, at the drive through. Lets see, that would be $5.00 every morning if Attila and I each had a coffee from the coffee shop. That would be seven days a week, at $5.00 a day, which would add up to $35 a week for coffee. Just one coffee each per day though, no second cups involved. A coffee each would cost a third of our food budget. It boggles my mind that people spend so much of their hard earned money on things like coffee shop coffee. We have had a Tim Horton’s gift card worth $10 sitting on the shelf for the last three years, and have yet to buy a cup of coffee with it.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Sometimes the weather in early September is warm and sunny. Not this year. It was sunny the first day of the vacation, last Saturday, a perfect day. The rain clouds blew in overnight, and the sun has not made an appearance for more than a few hours ever since. However, late into the night, on several nights, the sky has been perfectly clear and the moonlight bright as day. We are sleeping at that time, but one night the moonlight was so bright shining down on me through the window that it woke me up. Again last night Attila said that when he went outside to use the facilities, the sky was clear, and the moonlight was as bright as day. The sun even shone for about an hour this morning, there was high hope that at last a bright sunny day would grace our vacation. But alas, by mid morning the wind began to roar, the rain to pelt down in sheets, and the thunder to pound loudly around the Camp. The awning was in danger again, so out we went into the storm to take it down and secure it to the side of Grace The Trailer.

So far during the vacation we have had one sunny day, two days of continuous rain, and three days of heavy cloud cover. Is this related to Hurricane Harvey, one has to wonder.

The visit to the Middleville Museum the other day was interesting. My time there was spent with the resident genealogist, who was very helpful. Attila spent his time at the museum viewing all the displays, which were very impressive. One of the things we were given was a pamphlet created for the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, listing all the families that were in and around the village in the year 1867. My ancestors are listed on their respective farms. Since the visit I have undertaken to transcribe the contents of the pamphlet, all 19 pages of it. I am enjoying finding out what families comprised the community where my ancestors spent their lives. In 1867 communities were more firmly based on contiguity, and survival. People who lived near each other not only knew each other, they depended on each other in ways we do not in this urbanized society we presently exist in. Social skills were much more developed than they are today.

Yesterday, another cloudy day here at the Rideau Camp, Attila and I headed into one of the local villages for a few supplies. Our water supply is almost depleted, there are no public water taps near the Camp to refill them, so we purchased a big container of water at the grocery store. It is a nice little store, and the staff are genuinely friendly and helpful even though we were clearly not living in the village. This basic friendliness is very refreshing to encounter, and will mean that in future we will do most of our local purchasing at the little store. The prices there, although a little higher than the in the grocery store near Mist Cottage, are quite reasonable.

In contrast, we will be avoiding the local “market” which sells artisanal foods, all relatively local, and very, very, very expensive. That is where I bought a 1 kg bag of flour for $8.00, not a price the average Canadian can afford. Thank goodness we have “local” beans, tomatoes, and garlic from our own garden at Mist Cottage, and that I buy things like flour in bulk directly from the mill!

Later in the afternoon today, well towards the end of the day, the sun emerged from behind the clouds. What a welcome sight! I will admit that the constant grey of the sky, and the relentless showers, were getting me down a bit.

It is interesting that the mosquitoes are quite bad right now. They are a small variety of mosquito, silent and effective. We have both been bitten numerous times, despite our precautions, always on the face or hands. I don’t react, and to be honest, if it weren’t for West Nile Disease I wouldn’t give them a thought. But they are dangerous, and so their presence is intrusive. Mosquitoes are not usually so prolific this late in the summer, but this is a very wet year, so I guess they are expanding their predations accordingly.

Attila is progressing with his project, to spread the crushed stone across the area where we intend to place Grace The Trailer. He is enjoying himself, and part of the reason is that the transformation of the clearing is so obvious, every deposit of of crushed stone expands our easy walking area. It is now very easy to drive Tank right into the clearing and to turn Tank around to drive out again.

The neighbour is very loud this morning, chopping own trees, probably for firewood.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Thursday, September 7, 2017

This morning began with blue skies and sunshine, then suddenly deteriorated into high winds, pelting rain, a big drop in temperature, and thunder. At noon, the sky was a solid sheet of steel grey, the wind died, and it had stopped raining, at least for the moment. Late in the afternoon the clouds cleared and the sun shone, as it sank below the horizon. The temperature is dropping, it is going to be a cold night.

22°C
Date: 6:00 PM EDT Thursday 14 September 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 22.1°C
Dew point: 16.9°C
Humidity: 72%
Wind: S 10 km/h
Humidex: 27
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“The only way not to think about money is to have a great deal of it.”
Edith Wharton
1862 – 1937

Leaves

Wouldn’t you know it, a Grackle can live for 23 years or more! So, the Grackle that comes to the corner eves of our house, where there used to be a big hole in the facia, looking to nest in her traditional spot, won’t be giving up any time soon. Every spring a Grackle, and I am assuming it is the original mother Grackle, although it might be one of her offspring, returns to our eves and pecks away at the wood and metal that Attila has installed to cover the previous hole in the facia. Every spring is a Grackle serenade of beak on wood, beak on metal, rat a tat tat. This has been going on for six years. This morning I looked up the life span of a Grackle, and I can see that we must accept this visitation as an annual event, quite possibly for the rest of our lives. It may be that over the next 17 years the Grackles will actually manage to peck their way through the inches of wood covering the hole in the facia. It may eventually reclaim its nesting spot, starting the whole cycle over again.

Yesterday was a beautiful day. It dawned cloudy here at Mist Cottage, but we were not deterred, we packed up tank with our rakes and shovels and a picnic lunch and hit the road. A local service club hosted a fundraising event, selling rain barrels. I ordered one about a month ago, and yesterday was the day it had to be picked up. the pickup location was just off our route to the Rideau Camp, so it was our first stop on the way. We joined the long line of vehicles, the drivers waiting patiently to present their invoices, and load their rain barrels into their back seats and trunks. We waited in line for about about 15 minutes, and within another 15 minutes had the rain barrel loaded into the back of Tank and were back on our journey to the Camp.

The landscape we travelled through was painted with hints of green, as the buds had swelled during the warm spring night. At the Camp the tall Sugar Maples were golden light green with promise, and red buds of the ash trees waved in the breeze. The birch trees were jewelled with catkins. The sun shone bright.

As beautiful as it was, over 20C, the black flies were insistent enough that they would not be ignored. Insect repellent was generously applied to face, neck, and ears, which along with the wind kept them from biting. Attila says that biting insect season begins when the dandelions bloom, which has proven to be the case this spring.

The forest floor was carpeted in green islands of Mayflowers, white and mauve, and Trout Lillies, yellow and bold. White Trilliums bloomed on the south facing hills. The wind set the blooms to nodding in dappled sunlight. Sitting listening to the wind in the trees, watching the branches and flowers dance, quiet seeped into the centre of me. It might be classified as joy, it is definitely a feeling of perfect rightness.

Attila spent the day alternately removing the last of the cedar logs from the wood pile, which was at that point mostly earth, and taking half full loads of crushed stone in the wheelbarrow, to deposit them in the area designated to expand the parking area. We plan on planting squash in the earth that used to be the wood pile.

I spent my day gathering dry brush from around the last of the wood pile, and from around the parking area, and burning it as a campfire. We estimate that if I spend the rest of the summer burning campfires, by next autumn we will be done with burning the brush pushed into piles around the driveway and parking area.

While we were busy with our projects, we heard loud noises off to the side of the property. It sounds like several motor bikes trying to get up the cliff near us, on the neighbours property. Attila went to investigate, and could see nothing from our property boundary, they were not on our property. We wondered if it was the neighbour, but we didn’t know. It went on for quite some time, and it must have caused a lot of damage to the forest floor.

A short time later we paused from our tasks and looked up as three young teenage boys roared up our driveway. Trespassers. Two of them were on cross country motor bikes, a third was in a small ATV which sported some kind of a flag waving from an antennae. They stopped short when they saw Attila, standing by Tank with his hands on his hips. One of the three boys was dressed in a red and white outfit and helmet, seemingly a competition costume for cross country biking, and he sat astride a red and white motor bike, with no license. The other motor bike was older and less ostentatious, the rider dressed in dark street clothes, and a black helmet, and again the bike did not have a license. The ATV rider was dressed in street clothes and a ball cap, and his vehicle did not have a license.

After a few brief words to one another, they turned their machines around and exited the property. One of the bike riders obviously had trespassed here before, leaving the deep rut beside the parking area.

We estimate they are local kids, as their vehicles were all unlicensed for the road. Attila feels they will not be back, as we now know what they look like, and could probably find out who they are. They did not appear to want to have to tangle with Attila. They also know we are aware that they did possible damage to neighbouring property, and that we have seen them, to know who did it. They are only interested, so far, in tearing up the ecosystem, destroying wetland, wildflowers and native plants, wildlife habitats. None of our trespassers have interfered with our personal property, there has been no vandalism of that kind.

If we see evidence that they have been back, I will be calling the local police.

We enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches over the open fire, for our midday meal. Since I now make our bread without sodium, I can afford to eat a cheese sandwich. Since lactose is now an issue as well, it was a real boon to find lactose free cheddar on sale at the local grocery last week. Cheese sandwiches grilled over an open camp fire are the best!

As the day waned the black flies became more intent on reaching succulent human skin. The Mayflowers, Trout Lillies, and Trilliums slowly closed their petals tight, forming perfect droplets directed at the imminent night sky. It was time to pack the tools, put out the campfire, and drive off into the sunset. The first of the leaves had burst forth from the buds by late afternoon. Soft clouds, consisting of hundreds of shades of green, decorated the scenery during our journey.

As beautiful as the weather was yesterday, it is that miserable today! A cold rain falls steadily from the sky, and the temperature has risen to only 4C, and it looks as if it will not increase significantly today. Grocery shopping was on the to do list, so today was a perfect day to get the job done. Baking is also on the list, which works on such a chilly damp day. Laundry must be tackled as well, as clothing worn around the campfire, and working on the log pile and crushed stone, and coated with insect repellent, is not smelling so sweet.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

4°C
Date: 11:00 AM EDT Sunday 30 April 2017
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 3.9°C
Dew point: -0.7°C
Humidity: 72%
Wind: NE 24 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
Alvin Toffler

Which will make those who rely on apps to function the new illiterati.

April Snow Showers

Friday, April 1, 2016

At last, here we are in April. This year April is feeling a little shy, arriving with warm breezes and showers, only to take a brief retreat into sub-zero temperatures and snow for her first week debut.

This week has been the week of legal and financial arrangements in regards to the Rideau Camp, and tidying up the loose ends around the trailer purchase. Next week we take possession of the camp, it is very exciting.

Attila leaves almost all the administrative aspects of life to me, except for tax returns, a task I was responsible for my whole adult life until Attila took it over, to my great relief.

Wednesday was a cleaning day. The weather was mild and sunny, perfect for opening up Iris and getting started on a thorough wash down.

Below the front bunk there is storage, and in that storage area was a tarp, I believe it is the original tarp for the trailer, which would make it almost 40 years old. It was only when it was picked up to be carried outside that the overwhelming odour of mildew filled the trailer and our nostrils. The tarp was dry, but there were areas that were black with mildew, particularly around the grommets for the poles. Out it came and over the back clothes line it went. It received a heavy spraying of hydrogen peroxide to kill the mildew and spores. It will be left on the line for a week or so, to be rinsed by rain and snow, then bleached by the sun.

The awning for Iris. After several days in the rain, snow, and sunshine, it still smells like mildew. We will have to use bleach, I hate to, but I think we have to.
Awning

Because significant reaching and stretching were involved to reach the mildew under the front bunk, Attila did the grunt work with brush and cloth. When it was finished the hatches were left open to allow the area to dry, it looks great. After I mark where I want the to drill ventilation holes in the side of the bunk, Attila will drill them out, which should alleviate any further mildew issues in that area of the trailer.

I tackled the mildew on the ceiling around the vent opening. Weeks ago I had dismantled the interior section of the roof vent, exposing the wet and mildewed areas. The area had dried thoroughly, thanks to the tarp over the trailer which prevents further leaks. The inside area around the roof vent opening is now ready for the new roof vent to be installed.

The windows in the trailer were left open for the rest of the day, and by the time I went out after dark to close Iris up for the night, she there was only a hint of mildew odour. That should be taken care of during our next cleaning session, as there is one more area of mildew at the back of the trailer, where we had discovered the leak.

Another small “stitch in time” step taken. Electrical tape was used to cover a small opening in the fibreglass near the wheel well of the trailer. The little round hole was the size of a dime, which is supposedly big enough for a mouse to pass through. Wasps also might come in that way to make a nest. The way in is now blocked.

The new roof vent will be installed when there is a week of sunny warm weather. Then the tarp can be safely removed and a hole in the roof temporarily opened to the sky.

On Wednesday night we caught a second mouse in the basement. The second mouse is what I call a field mouse, while the first mouse we caught is what I call a house mouse. They are very different breeds. This says to me that we have an entry point in the house that really needs to be plugged up. But where! Attila’s theory is that they are coming through the attic and down the chimney frame, so that is where the first measures will be taken.

As I write there is a Grackle pecking away at the wood on the roof facia. I rise from my chair, unlock the front door and step out onto the landing. The Grackle flies off and out of site. As I watch her, I wonder how many generations of Grackles it will take before they forget about our roof as a nesting ground. Do Grackles have endless social memory? Will I be chasing Grackles away from my roof for the duration? I return to my chair and begin to type. The Grackle returns and up I get.

Earlier in the spring we killed quite a few wasps near that corner of the house. There are a lot of wasps here. We remove nests around the roof constantly. There are fewer now though, than when we first bought the place, so perhaps our efforts are diminishing the population. I surely hope so.

On the CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) front, I continue to watch my protein, potassium, and phosphorus consumption. The biggest intrusion in my diet so far is avoiding beans, potatoes, tomatoes, whole grains, and spinach. I am amazed at the number of condiments that contain phosphorus (phosphate). The salad dressing I have been enjoying on my salads uses it as a preservative, to my disappointment. I have several bottles of the salad dressing, bought on sale, which I will consume slowly, with small daily servings. Attila doesn’t like it, or he would eat it. Then I will move on to homemade salad dressing, which will contain none of the minerals I am trying to cut down on. Commercial products like salad dressing, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce, and the list goes on, use phosphates in their recipes. We don’t eat a lot of processed foods, but we do enjoy our condiments. I will be looking for kidney friendly recipes for all of these things. Even if I eventually find that my condition is not serious enough to necessitate big changes in diet, I think I will continue to avoid phosphates in food, knowing how much stress they put on the kidneys.

I find it interesting that at this point I feel no symptoms related to Chronic Kidney Disease, which from what I have been reading, is perfectly normal. I have my fingers crossed that it never develops to the point where I do feel symptoms.

When I went for my walk this morning I realized that it isn’t just Grackles who are enjoying the spring weather. There were lots of Chickadees, Robins, and Blue Jays flying from tree to tree, calling out to each other. The buds are just beginning to quicken on the maple trees. It was a beautiful mild morning out there, and sunny.

A Robin enjoying the sunshine and balmy weather in the back yard.
Robin

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Today Attila and I took a drive out to see the Rideau Camp. It was sunny off and on, after having snowed during the morning before we left. It was cold, with the wind it was very cold.

The trip was interesting as an alternate route was chosen. There was property for sale along the alternate route, near the Rideau Camp, and Attila wanted to have a look at it. The road in to the available property was pretty bad, the potholes were very large, but it wasn’t too far in. The land itself was half the price we paid for our camp, but 1/3 the size. It was wet, with standing pools of water along the road, and there was a ditch in front of the property that would necessitate putting in a culvert and a driveway. We had to put in a driveway like that at our Ancestral Camp, and it is a pricey project, increasing the actual price of the property by quite a bit. Attila was satisfied that we chose the right property when we bought our Rideau Camp!

We proceeded towards the Rideau Camp, parked, and took a stroll down to the water. The water level was quite high, and the wind felt bitter as it blew in across the lapping waves. After walking back to the car, we walked around checking out the drainage patterns on the property, which is easy to do at this time of year because there is a lot of runoff, and there are no leaves on the trees.

After eating our lunch in the car, where we were warm and cozy, we headed home so that Attila could sleep before he heads off to work tonight.

Sunday seems to be the day we venture out in the car to explore.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

10°C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Friday 1 April 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 99.8 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 10.2°C
Dewpoint: 8.2°C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: iWSW 15 km/h

-2°C
Date: 5:00 PM EDT Sunday 3 April 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -2.3°C
Dewpoint: -18.5°C
Humidity: 28%
Wind: W 20 gust 37 km/h
Wind Chill: -8

Quote

“A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.”
Bertrand Russell
1872 – 1970

This is why the mass media is of no practical positive use to the human species.

Grackles and Mice

Thursday we had an ice storm. Luckily there was no loss of power where we live, so we were cozily tucked up at Mist Cottage for the duration. With one small exception. I wasn’t feeling at all well. What to do, no doctor here. So I took myself off to the Emergency Room at the hospital. The car was coated with about a half inch of ice, which Attila chipped away for me. It was a little slippery, so I crawled along the road, through the parking lot, to park as close as I could to the entrance. Most of the walkways were salted, but there were a few ice patches to contend with on the walk from the car to the Emergency Room, which I navigated without instance.

They checked out my heart, no problems there thank goodness. What I wasn’t expecting was the news that I have Chronic Kidney Disease. Who knew! I have had no specific symptoms, but in hindsight it makes sense. I am to follow up with my family doctor, which isn’t going to happen since his office is a five to six hour drive away. I have been researching the disease ever since, and now realize I needed more details to have any idea how to proceed with diet and lifestyle changes. I have come to the conclusion that I need a doctor to do more tests and clarify exactly what course of action needs to be taken with this. I hope we reach the top of the waiting list for a family doctor soon, I need a doctor.

There is a government provincial service that will place individuals with doctors, but the stipulation is that you must be completely without a doctor to qualify to put your name on that list, and there is no time line on placement. I do not qualify, as this agency specifically told me I cannot be on that list because I am still listed under the care of the doctor near the country house, so very far away. But I need that doctor to prescribe the medications I must take, and the Emergency Room at the hospital will not prescribe or renew medications of any kind. I must keep my distant doctor if I am to survive. But I am hobbled in finding a local doctor near Mist Cottage because I must keep my distant doctor to survive. Bureaucracy at its worst, in my opinion. It is insanity. I am hoping my GP near the country house will agree to consult with me from a distance, fingers crossed.

When I walked out to my car from the Emergency Room visit, the car was covered with a thick sheet of ice. Feeling in no condition to get out of the car and chip away at it, I sat with the heating fans blasting away at the windows until it melted, which took about fifteen minutes.

When I arrived home Attila was glad to see me. I was glad to be home.

Yesterday, Good Friday, began with freezing rain, which changed to rain for part of the day, then it began to snow. Again, we remained warm and dry and safe at home. The weather was doubly disappointing because Sister-the-youngest invited us to Easter Dinner with the family, and we missed it.

We are disappointed that we have a mouse in the house!

We heard a noise in the basement last week, something falling. We investigated and found nothing. Yesterday Attila discovered a bag of mung beans on the shelf in the basement that had escaped being stored in a glass jar. The bag had been chewed through, and there were mouse droppings all around. The presence of a mouse was confirmed.

We put out a glue trap, but no luck so far. We removed the bag of mung beans, and perused our food stores in the basement to ensure there were no other chewable containers available to the mouse/mice. Today we will be visiting the local hardware store to buy more glue traps. I want to put one in Iris as well, just in case some enterprising mouse has setup a household in there.

The Grackles continue to peck away at the wood covering the hole in the roof facia. So far Attila’s repair is holding fast against them. I don’t remember having to fight so hard to evict wildlife in a house before!

Attila has some ideas on sealing up some of the entry points that mice might be using. I think that will be one of our priority projects this summer.

As I sit here writing Attila sleeps soundly in the bedroom. The light of dawn is beginning to reveal the tree branches just outside the window, where birds are beginning to call. A thick frost coats every horizontal surface in sight. The enshrouded field and trees in the distance lie peacefully in icy silence. I love early morning.

Easter Monday

Yesterday, Sunday, was warm and sunny. Attila and I decided to go out to the Rideau Camp to have a look around. Technically we do not own it yet, but we will in a few days after the last of the legal work is done.

We had a nice walk around the bush, and even saw a magnificent Blue Heron in the nearby wetland. When I first saw the Heron I thought is was a piece of art plunked in the water, when it moved I was mesmerized. It slowly rose above the water on its great wings, and glided silently to the other side of the water, where is stood once again, silent and unmoving in the shallows.

We visit the Rideau Camp and plan and dream. It is very private, and when it is quiet it is very quiet. However, there are nearby cottages, and they are occupied by people with ATVs. The ATVs make a hell of racket. I hate them as much as I hate snowmobiles, because of the noise pollution. Thankfully the noisy machines were only used intermittently.

Our Rideau Camp is vacant land, almost. We have inherited a few items. One is a bag of garbage, mostly plastic items, that has been scattered all along the drainage area. I picked out four large empty vinegar bottles yesterday, flattened them, then bagged them for the recycling bin at Mist Cottage. There is more work to do on that score.

Another inheritance at the Rideau Camp, a high pile of old logs and brush. We will burn the brush and haven’t decided what to do with the old logs, which are partially rotted.
Pile of brush rideau
And another inheritance at the Rideau Camp. This is a septic tank. It is unused because it is cracked. We are thinking about what we can do with a cracked septic tank, it doesn’t seem that there are too many viable uses for it, but we will keep trying to think of something. Maybe a tree house for the grandkids, with a ladder. I don’t know!
Cracked septic tank

We returned home early in the afternoon so that Attila could get some sleep before heading out for the night shift.

This morning the weather is still mild, 10C, with rain and winds gusting to 80 kmh. My walk this morning was lovely, as I was warm in my parka, protected from wind and rain. The birds are in full spring celebration, and quite undaunted by the rain and wind.

We caught a mouse yesterday and reset the trap. Another mouse “bothered” the trap but did not get caught. We now know that there is more than one mouse in the house, so we need to keep baiting traps until we catch them all. Attila thinks they are coming down the outside of the chimney through the wall, which he is going to seal completely.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-4°C
Date: 5:00 AM EDT Saturday 26 March 2016
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Tendency: rising
Temperature: -4.3°C
Dewpoint: -5.1°C
Humidity: 94%
Wind: calm

7°C
Date: 1:28 PM EDT Monday 28 March 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 99.8 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 7.2°C
Dewpoint: 4.7°C
Humidity: 84%
Wind: SW 33 gust 45 km/h

Quote

“Humor is also a way of saying something serious.”
T. S. Eliot
1888 – 1965