Rain!

When I arose this morning I had every intention of heading out for my walk before 6:30 a.m., having learned my lesson yesterday when out walking yesterday morning after 8 a.m. in the heat. Then I looked out the window. It was raining! When it ended there were still patches of dry pavement under the vehicles, so we did not receive a lot of rain, but some is better than none at this point. I would have gone walking in the rain, but when I looked at the thermometer it was already 25C, and the Humidex was over 30C. There would be no walk today, not in the outdoors at least.

As it turned out today, I didn’t stick my nose out the door at all. Instead I worked on my book.

The other activity that occupied my time today was cooking. Attila and I decided to give cooking a try during the mid priced hydro window, which is in the morning. I made a large batch of croutons in the oven, and cooked lentils with which I made a Lentil Salad. One thing always leads to another. My Lentil Salad called for raisins. The raisins we buy are bulk organic unsulphered raisins. It is a big, big box of raisins. To get just one cup I had to open up the entire big, big box. Once opened it needed to be repackaged. I filled four 1.5 litre mason jars, which made a small dent in the raisin supply. Not having any more large mason jars, I opted to seal the raisins in their plastic bag, seal that in a cardboard box, then store the box in a suitably sized tote which would keep out the mice, if we get any this fall. The Lentil Salad was so good that I felt it was worth all the kerfuffle to store the bulk raisins properly.

Lentil Salad

INGREDIENTS:

– 2 ¼ cups (1 lb.) Du Puy lentils
– 1 medium red onion, diced
– 1 cup dried currants (you could also use raisins or other dried fruit)
– 1/3 cup capers
– Vinaigrette:
– 1/3 cup cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
– 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
– 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
– 1 Tbsp. strong mustard
– 2 teaspoons salt
– 2 teaspoons pepper
– 1 teaspoon ground cumin
– 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
– 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
– 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– Optional add-ins:
– Arugula
– Walnuts
– Goat cheese
– Fresh herbs: flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, basil
– Sprouts
– Crispy seasonal veggies

METHOD:

1. Rinse lentils well, drain. Place in a pot and cover with a 3-4 inches of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Check lentils for doneness after 15 minutes, but they should take about 20 minutes in total. You will know they are cooked if they still retain a slight tooth – al dente! Overcooking the lentils is the death of this dish. Be careful! 2. While the lentils are simmering, make the dressing by placing all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine. 3. Finely dice red onion – the salad is best if all the ingredients are about the same size. If using raisins, chop them roughly to make them a bit smaller, and do the same with the capers if they are large. 4. When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled slightly but still a little warm, place lentils in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing. Add other onion, capers, and currants. If using other add-ins such as herbs, greens, or cheese, wait until just before serving. Otherwise, this salad can hang out in the fridge for a couple days.
SERVINGS: 4
SOURCE: http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2010/06/the-best-lentil-salad-ever-2/

===============

A telephone call was received to schedule the delivery of the dishwasher tomorrow. Another project! At least this project can be worked on inside the air conditioned house, which Attila will appreciate a lot. I dare not expect this job to be done any time soon, but I can dream!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

24°C
Date: 6:03 AM EDT Wednesday 10 August 2016
Condition: Light Rainshower
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 23.8°C
Dewpoint: 21.2°C
Humidity: 85%
Wind: SSW 21 gust 36 km/h
Humidex: 32 (This rose to 39 by mid afternoon.)

Quote

“You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.”
Eric Hoffer
1902 – 1983

[This is true of most people, but not all enemies.]

Back at the Country House

After a fitful sleep Sunday night, Monday morning brought clarity. After almost two weeks on my own at the little house in the city, it was time to return to the country house, and to spend the few hours that Attila does not work with him.

Monday came early, 5:00 a.m., and the car was on its way home by 7:00 a.m. It was a long drive, construction and slow moving traffic stretched the trip out till after 12:00 noon. Still, the car is air conditioned, so the ride was comfortable, if long.

Attila came home for lunch Monday, a sort of a reunion over sandwiches.

So here I am at the country house!

The next step in the bathroom project is planned, and has to be executed by two strong-backed individuals, which means I won’t be involved. The tub needs to be moved away from the exterior wall, so that the insulation and vapour barrier can be correctly installed behind it, from floor to ceiling. It would be great if that part of the job were accomplished on one visit!

Yesterday was hot and humid. The country house is warm, but not unbearable. I slept the night in the direct breeze of a small fan. A few times I was awakened by something crawling lightly across my arm, then my back. I swatted, which seemed to halt the activity of whatever it was, and went right back to sleep. I hope that the creature, that showed such an interest in my sleeping body, will go and play somewhere else tonight!

It is hot and humid today. Mist and I are laying low, moving as little as possible in the house, with the windows and blinds closed, keeping the humidity and heat out. The hottest part of the day at the country house is between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., after that the air will begin to cool. Outside the mosquitos are waiting, so sitting in the shade, feet up, relaxing in the breeze… well, that is just not an option at the country house.

At the little house in the city I sit in the shade on the back porch, off and on all morning. The windows there are kept wide open. There are ceiling fans in every room at the little house in the city. It impresses me deeply, just how effective they are in keeping that small urban space bearable in the heat.

The heat of the laptop is unbearable during heat waves. So, an external USB keyboard is handy, sitting cooly on the lap, far from the heat of processors. I must reach over to the laptop when I want to use the touch pad, but most of what I want to do can be done on the keyboard.

The day was spent organizing our financial affairs, paying bills, and filling in the inevitable forms that facilitate survival in the modern world.

Attila worked through his lunch, as he does almost every day during the busy summer months. He arrived home at his regular time, which is a blessing. It is too hot to cook indoors, so the propane camp stove will be setup, for the outdoor preparation of grilled cheese sandwiches, for Attila. My meal will consist of one egg, poached in the microwave, one slice of fat free cheese, one piece of toast, and a bit of salad dressing made with olive oil. We will both enjoy a green salad as well.

Tomorrow will be hot and humid again, with some relief predicted toward the end of the week.

The cobber is in constant use!

Still, much in the world reminds me what dull but happy life I lead. There has been a terrible train derailment in Quebec, and torrential rains in Toronto, and thousands of smaller personal tragedies that I will never know anything about, taking place all across Canada.

P.S. Opportunity keeps passing me by! Why, today alone, I passed up several opportunities to retrieve money from overseas that I unexpectedly inherited from complete strangers! I deleted offers to send huge amounts of cash to my personal bank account. Several lotteries were won, but the prizes bit the dust in cyber space as my delete key flashed into action. Ah, what might have been!

P.S, P.S. Attila talked with Emmi last week, they live in Calgary, where flooding occurred. Apparently they were only evacuated for a few days as a precaution, and luckily their home was not affected by the flooding. It was very good news!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

26°C
Condition:Mostly Cloudy
Pressure:101.4 kPa
Visibility:16 km
Temperature:25.5°C
Dewpoint:20.1°C
Humidity:72%
Wind:S 21 km/h
Humidex: 33

Quote

“Yesterday I was a dog. Today I’m a dog. Tomorrow I’ll probably still be a dog. Sigh! There’s so little hope for advancement.”
Charles M. Schulz
1922 – 2000

Out of the mouths of dogs!

Keeping My Cool

I am pleased to report that the Cobber is a significant aid in keeping me cooler during this heat wave. All it needed was to be soaked for 1/2 hour in water, then it was good to go. I wear it while I am awake, standing or sitting, and I wish I could think of a way to use it at night while I am sleeping, or trying to sleep!

Searching online I found many versions of this type of cooling neck wrap, under many names. The ones I purchased, Cobbers, came from Austalia, and are very high quality. I paid dearly for them, but since it was to be Attila’s birthday gift, that seemed appropriate. Now that we know that they are helpful in a heat wave, I will be searching for a less expensive version.

The other tool in the keeping-cool arsenal is the fan. Moving air makes a HUGE difference, and this is even more marked when I am wearing the cobber.

Last night, it was very hot when we headed to bed. The cobber is a little bit damp and lumpy for wearing while reclined, so I removed it and settled for aiming the small fan at the exact spot where I would be sleeping. Attila doesn’t feel the heat the way I do, he is very heat tolerant. So the fan was all mine. Unfortunately the power went off in the wee hours of the morning, which meant the fan stopped. I awoke before light, in a state of heat haze.

When Attila left for work this morning at 6 a.m., I left for the little house in the city. It was a long drive, there were several sections of road that were under construction and required lengthy waits at the flag person’s Stop Sign. There were also a lot of very large transport trucks on the secondary highways, travelling slowly up the hills, and with increasing speed down the other side. There was nothing for it but to follow along patiently. By the time I stopped for fuel I was very tired, and so I drank a second cup of coffee, which is something I seldom do. It perked me up though, and should not affect my sleep, as it was only 8:50 a.m. in the morning when I stopped for fuel.

After I arrived at the little house I called Attila, and sent off a message to Terra to let her know I am around and about. Then I headed off to pick up my new glasses. They fit pretty well, right off the bat. I decided to skip a fitting and to wear them for a bit, to get used to them and better assess the fit. I really like them so far.

Then I stopped by the local grocery store for a few supplies. The most important item on my list was milk, and it was the only item I did not purchase. I remembered that I needed milk when I reached the car, with all my other purchases in tow. I loaded the car, and headed back into the grocery store for the milk.

Now I am sitting in front of the rotating fan, feeling relatively cool, and relaxed. The humidex is high here, but it is not as high as it is at our country house, where Attila is working out in the hot sun, all day long. I am thinking of him.

I have a few items on my to do list for this visit. First, I have a load of lumber to shift from the car into the garage. There are two batches, one for Terra and Lares, the other for us. Some of the pieces are eight feet long, and there are quite a few of them, so I’ve done the job slowly, piece by piece, and it took quite a while. Phew! Time for another break sitting in front of the fan!

Terra came over for dinner, with the Dash to dog, who is such a character. Terra has been working a long series of night shifts and is wearing down. She was tired enough that she decided not to eat, but we had a nice chat before she headed home. We had some firewood from the branch on the Crabapple tree that came down last year in a storm. I loaded it into Terra’s car, they can burn it in their new fire pit!

I brought my sewing machine with me this time, and hope to get a start on the kitchen curtains. I will need to hoe the garden, and trim the grass, which will be a short job with my new handy trimmer. We will see what else I get to!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

The humidex is the number that indicates how hot it FEELS!

22°C (26C at the country house)
Condition: Haze
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 10 km
Temperature: 22.4°C
Dewpoint: 20.9°C
Humidity: 91%
Wind: WSW 17 km/h
Humidex: 31C (33C at the country house)

Quote

I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”
Oprah Winfrey
1954 –

I have mixed feelings about Oprah. When I think about Schindler (Schindler’s List), I think that maybe she is OK. I cannot abide listening to her. The universe works in mysterious ways.