Worth being tired for…

Some things are worth being tired for…

Luna, Janus, Imp, Elf, Tink, Benny and Bim arrived last Wednesday evening and left this morning after I left for work.  The visit was a whirl of energy and light.  Gramma and Grampa had to work during each day, but there was plenty of time for fun.  We GeoCached at a lovely local park with a fantastic playground. Although we didn’t have anything to exchange at the geocache, we did find it and sign the logbook. I found the three LED flashlights in my backpack, still there since I got from the car dealer last time the car was serviced. So the grandchildren got flashlights at the geocache.

I couldn’t really say what else we did, just living, just being together. Imp and Elf are so grown up now, both in school three days a week. Imp thought up a new food combination and said it was very good; she took her toast with peanut butter and dipped it in a bit of pepper sprinkled onto a plate. Who would have though of it! Elf was very brave; they arrived after dark and Elf found the darkness of the forest “scary”. He and Gramma held hands and went to investigate, finding nothing but trees! Tink is a bouncing ball of raw enthusiasm! She watches Imp and Elf and is delighted when she can participate in whatever they are doing. She is walking short distances, between one set of outstretched arms and another.

Attila and I headed out to the little house on Saturday, stayed overnight and headed back home to our country house just after supper on Sunday. Attila prepared the cedar boards that will line the lower kitchen cupboards at the little house and I applied metal duct tape to designated junctions on the furnace ducts. We both enjoyed central heating with a thermostat! I’ve an obsession for thermostats. Terra and Lares came over for supper, so we got to wish Lares a happy birthday, as his birthday was Saturday. The drive home reminded us that winter is on its way; it was very, very foggy for most of the trip, so that driving required more focus than usual.

Most of the leaves have fallen and the skies are grey. Grey skies have a beauty to them, which pales as one grey day follows another. It still looks lovely to me this morning.

Last week a young aborist came to the door, hired by our neighbour to take down a tree near his cottage. It seems that the best way to bring the neighbour’s tree down is to fell it across our yard. The aborist does not “do cleanup”, which means Attila would harvest the wood; that represents more free firewood to heat the house during the winter. It was also suggested that two tall, unhealthy poplars be brought down as well, one of them growing on our property, to compensate us for allowing our land to be used during the tree removal process. We aren’t sure when all this will get done. I suppose one day I’ll arrive home to find three large trees lying across the back yard.

I’ve been looking around lately for my sense of humour. It seems to have slipped out for a break. It has told me, not in so many words of course, that it isn’t coming back until I provide it with an amenable environment. I take that to mean it is waiting at the door, until work slows down and I am no longer required to spend hours each day with a humourless negative force.

This morning I’m heading into work. I never know what to expect. Some days I meet the “Wrath of Khan” at the door as I enter. On those days I seldom do anything right or fast enough, in her opinion. Some days are easier, where the only challenge is to work hard and do a good job; these days usually only occur when my co-worker has made a mistake before I arrive and decides not to cast the first stone. What will it be like this morning? Well, that’s the fun of it, the suspense!

Kindling

This morning I awoke at five to find Attila up and engaging the day. He is going in to work early, as it is very busy and he wants to get a start on things early. Before leaving for work Attila has started a fire in the wood stove downstairs to keep the place warm today, and he has assembled all the kindling I need to begin curing the masonry heater for the winter.

I have my first burn crackling merrily in the masonry hearth as I write. Curing the masonry heater is an annual ritual, necessary to slowly expel all moisture from the refractory cement core, to avoid steam during the force of a full fire burn. I will burn five or more small fires throughout the day today, and will continue to build incrementallly larger fires for the next five days. In five days a small amount of heat will begin to radiate from the heater and it will be ready for full service.

I am not working this week, a short break, so this is the perfect time to charge the heater.

From the car, Thanksgiving Weekend Trip, 2010

From the car, Thanksgiving Weekend Trip, 2010

Tending fires requires my attention at intervals, all day long. So, I have set the timer on the computer to remind me when I have to tend a fire, downstairs in the little wood stove or upstairs in the masonry heater. I putter in between my fire building tasks, and surf around on the computer. Old photos have my attention today, these are almost addictive. Many portray the era of my youth, giving me small glimpses into what other people were experiencing at the time.

A pleasant surprise for me this morning, Harriet and Caitrìona dropped by for a quick coffee, a piece of pie and a little chat. They were on their way to Harriet’s cottage, and also planned to check on Caitrìona’s property to make sure all is secure for the winter. They encountered traffic jams due to several accidents on the highway on their trip here, I do hope their drive back is less dramatic. They have invited Attila and I for dinner this evening, which is always a treat, both the meal and the company.

While Harriet and Caitrìona were here I received a call to come in to work tomorrow; another little bit earned to keep the wolves at bay. I’m very pleased, and can work the second day of curing the masonry heater around my work schedule.

I’ve been diligent with my fires today, so that today’s curing will be complete in time for us to leave for our dinner engagement and the house will remain warm and cozy for the night.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

10 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 10.0°C
Dewpoint: 5.0°C
Humidity: 71 %
Wind: SSE 13 km/h

Quote

“Holding onto anger is like grasping onto a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else. You are the one who gets burned.”
Gautama Buddha