The Perfect Summer Day At Last

We enjoyed a lovely weekend.

On Friday night Attila suggested we go to the lake shore (Lake Ontario) to watch the Full Harvest Moon rise. So we drove down to the lake and found a nice spot in a park, setting up our folding chairs on a platform overlooking the water. The moonrise was spectacular! It came up over the horizon a bright orange, it seemed so very large. We stayed for an hour or so, chatting and watching the moon ascend the sky, its light reflected across the water. We missed the eclipse though. We were the only ones at the park, no one else seemed to have the same idea. Attila and I had a wonderful time, a great Friday night out.

Harvest Full Moon, Lake Ontario, September 16, 2016. Below the moon the trees are in silhouette along the shoreline.
Harvest full moon

Saturday was humid, cloudy, and raining, we we decided not to go camping, and to stay home. Our morning was spent shopping, it was a bit of a spree. We had received a $100 gift credit card when we purchased our dishwasher, it arrived in the mail last week. It was burning a hole in our pockets! We stocked up on lots of lovely things.

It is harvest season in Ontario, our spree focused on buying fresh vegetables. We purchased a ten pound bag of onions, a ten pound bag of carrots, and a twenty pound bag of potatoes. I find the carrots go black awfully fast, it must be the variety they grow, it doesn’t store well. I decided to roast the whole ten pounds of carrots, which I did, they were delicious. I cooled and packaged them, two meals worth in a bag, and put them into the chest freezer. I am considering trying to make individual serving Cream of Carrot soup this winter for my lunch, using thawed roasted carrots, 1% milk, and an appropriate herb, which I haven’t figured out yet.

Attila has almost finished the garden shed! It is full of construction materials and not ready for use yet, but by next week he should have it cleaned out and ready to organize. Thank goodness! One step left to go, ensuring it stays dry!

This morning we arose to a foggy, humid world. The weather report predicted sunny warm weather at the Rideau Camp, so we packed our cooler, filled our water bottles, loaded up some of the wood scraps we still need to burn, and were on the road shortly after 9 a.m. The weather just got better and better all day. It was the nicest day we have had all summer, a perfect summer day, and we were very grateful to be at the camp to enjoy it.

Attila brought brush and set it near the camp fire pit, it was the dead wood we had cleared from under the hydro lines. There was a lot of it, it took me all day to burn it. I enjoyed breaking the dead wood into small pieces to burn it, sitting in the shade far from the heat of the fire, venturing near it only to add fuel. One of the things I love about my all day camp fires is cooking meals over the open fire. Today’s lunch was grilled cheese sandwiches, with sweet onion slices cooked in the sandwich. They were so good!

There was the most wonderful breeze that blew across the camp all day long, it was so refreshing. I love the Rideau Camp because there are few people sounds there, and I can hear the wind as it sings a duet with the trees, it is such a musical sound, it reaches into me like a lullaby.

Attila was very busy. After some discussion this summer, we decided that two of the trees at the edge of the camp would be removed, stumps and all. Their removal will allow easier maneuvering when we have Iris the trailer with us. Today was removal day. Attila used a winch, chain, maul, and the sweat of his brow to remove those trees; quite literally the trees were removed by the sweat of Attila’s brow, he was soaked to the skin by the time the job was done.

We decided to construct a French Drain to guide water away from our new garden shed. We need gravel to do this. We also need gravel to level the low areas at the camp, which make pulling the trailer very tricky. The decision was made to order two loads of gravel from a local business near the Rideau Camp. In preparation for that delivery, Attila pounded stakes in the two areas that we decided we wanted the gravel loads dumped. I tied orange tape to each stake so that they could be easily located by the delivery person. Then we needed to put a sign at the entrance to the property, to identify it for the delivery person. We don’t have a 911 number, because it is a vacant lot. A piece of plywood with the street number painted on it was nailed to a stake, and the stake was driven into the ground under the pine tree at our entrance, making it very easy to find our property. Attila will order the gravel this week.

After the gravel is delivered, we will make several trips to the Rideau Camp during the week, after Attila gets home from work, to bring back loads of gravel to construct the French Drain. That will be the last step for the garden shed project.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

21°C
Date: 9:00 PM EDT Sunday 18 September 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 21.1°C
Dewpoint: 19.1°C
Humidity: 88%
Wind: S 12 km/h
Humidex: 28

Quote

“It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.”
Eleanor Roosevelt
1884 – 1962

That is how our mother raised us!

One tomato, two potatoes, three…

All of the Grandbabies but one were born in September. That is four in the sign of Virgo and one in the sign of Cancer. Three of the Grandbabies are Luna’s children, and two of them are Emmi’s children. The Grandbabies range in age from one to seven years. We send cards and gift cards, which we hope they like. We do not spend enough time with any of them to know what they like and do not like, so the gift cards seem like the best idea. In theory, Mom takes them out to the store and lets them choose something they like, since she is there and we are not. Happy Birthday to all the Grandbabies!

As of early 2014 all of the Grandbabies will be living far, far away, in England and Alberta. To visit them we would need time off work and funds to pay for travel. Visits do not seem likely, given our restricted time and money situation.

The old General Store, the heart of a community, when there was such a thing.
DSCF3076 GENERAL STORE

I think I am going to get a real kick out of calling them Grandbabies when they are twenty years old. I sure hope I get the chance to do that! Something to look forward to in my “old age”.

The weather continues to be grand! The days are sunny, the temperature reaches only a merciful 23C or there about. The nights are cool, as cool as 5C. Heavenly! It could go on like this for months, as far as I am concerned.

I am keeping a secret journal at the moment, to be published later in September. Keeping two versions going is quite challenging; which is good for me, as changes, no matter how small, keep the juices flowing and the brain working.

We are eating garden and field tomatoes every day! How wonderful and lush these fresh and local tomatoes are, every mouthful juicy and sweet. And the new potatoes are on the shelves at the grocery store right now, mouthwatering. Food, glorious food!

I grew up during a time when, in Canada, a significant proportion of the population was still connected to the seasons, as far as their food supply was concerned. Harvest season, my favourite, involved canning, freezing and jam making. And that wasn’t just happening on the farm, most kitchens in the myriad of small towns in Ontario were busy putting food by for the winter. You could stop by the side of the road and buy bushels of fresh tomatoes, apples, beans, potatoes etc., all of it locally grown.

Attila and I still watch the roadsides for the produce stands of small scale farmers and gardeners. We have a few favourite stops along our favoured routes from the country house to the little house in the city, and from our little house in the city to Terra’s house. Most of these offer less than perfect looking, fresh and tasty produce. They also operate on an honour system, listing their prices and asking that payment be left in a box at the stand. There is no haggling. We gladly pay them what they ask, for the excellent products that we select and bag ourselves at the stand.

There are stands that sell produce from the Ontario Food Terminal, mostly in tourist towns and larger urban centers. We aren’t fooled! The food terminal produce doesn’t look the same, it is perfect and uniform in appearance. Not quite what you would expect from a real garden!

The fruits and vegetables my childhood family preserved were fresh from the garden and the farm, and processing captured them at their best. There were never lettuce salads on the table during the winter months, and bananas and oranges were Christmas treats rather than daily fare. Apples in the fall were wonderful, shrivelling and shrinking through the winter until they became a shrunken version of their former selves by spring. They still tasted sweet though, and were wonderful for cooking. Now, if it isn’t wrapped in plastic, or picture perfect, the young fail to appreciate it as legitimate food. In one generation we have lost all contact with one of life’s most basic resources. The hubris of the moneymakers is shaping the world we live in, and may be shaping our doom as well.

Our new car is already four years old! It sports the original windshield wipers, which are literally flapping in the wind and refusing to do a good job. They are demanding retirement. I finally purchased new ones this week and spent a bit of time learning how to remove the old and install the new. The method wasn’t obvious to me, but a after watching a youtube video on the subject, I proceeded through trial and error. They work!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

18°C
Date: 6:00 PM EDT Friday 6 September 2013
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 18.3°C
Dewpoint: 7.0°C
Humidity: 47%
Wind: WSW 13 km/h

Quote

“The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball – the further I am rolled, the more I gain.”
Susan B. Anthony
1820 – 1906