Weekday Dinner

It snowed last night, but this morning the sun came up and shone brightly. A brilliant morning. I have taken to taking little drives when the mood strikes me, just here and there, or anywhere, with no particular purpose or destination. I drove a bit this morning, the countryside was beautiful, glittering white frosting on the trees, crisp blue sky… lovely.

By mid-afternoon a heavy now began to fall from the sky. The weather report predicts snow off and on for the next week or so. Winter has settled in.

Attila and I had a discussion, and I will be doing the weekday cooking of dinner. This suits me fine. Attila had taken over the cooking the evening meal, decades ago, and held onto that over the years, but now finds it tedious and time consuming. During the week it will be easy for me to take the reins, and cook a meal every weekday. Tonight, we begin with spaghetti and my red pepper tomato sauce. It is interesting that the first night I cook the meal, Attila called to say he is working a few hours overtime and will be home late. The spaghetti sauce is made, the pasta can be cooked after he arrives. Two first this evening, the first evening of the new cooking schedule, and the first time Attila has worked overtime at the end of a work day, at this place of employment.

Yesterday I got a lot of my big projects as far as they could go, which means that today I am looking at other projects. I have begun again to work on the genealogy book, I have some tough decisions to make about it going forward, all to do with those pesky images, they are so painful to deal with, inserting them, placing them, referencing them… I will slog on.

One of Attila’s stated goals is to work more overtime, and on statutory holidays, so that he can take time in leu of, and so gain more time off work. He worked an overtime day between Christmas and New Years, and is working overtime this evening. He would like to work on every statutory holiday.

I am preparing myself for the intrusion of contractors, first to insulate the attic in February, then to install the new windows in April. There will temporary chaos, followed by a satisfying clean up and return to order. The work will be done quickly, inexpensively thanks to the grants, and Attila won’t have to lift a finger. Well, not entirely true, Attila needs to move two pieces of furniture out of the way on the main floor, for the window installations, and a lot of stuff out of the way in the basement for the window installations. He does have until April to accomplish this though, there is lead time.

Now, for a little Tai Chi and a walk on the elliptical machine!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 2:07 PM EST Thursday 8 February 2018
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 102.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -9.9°C
Dew point: -11.4°C
Humidity: 89%
Wind: SSE 11 km/h
Wind Chill: -16
Visibility: 8 km


“If you live to be one hundred, you’ve got it made. Very few people die past that age.”
George Burns
1896 – 1996

Taking aim!


This morning a representative from a window and door company came to do an estimate on the windows in the house. The estimate will be sent to me via email. The windows at Mist Cottage are more than 60 years old, single pane glass, and appallingly cold and difficult to maintain, I can’t even open the front bedroom window, it is so difficult to manage. The living room windows do not open at all. There is a government grant program that will help with the cost of installing new windows, and I am interested in getting this done if we can swing the expense of it. The installation would take place in April. Attila was strongly against looking into it, he balks at almost everything at first, it takes a lot of energy on my part to ride through his reactions to new ideas. Just one of his idiosyncrasies. I went ahead, despite his serious misgivings about the affordability of the project. It is in my best interest to ensure that Mist Cottage is upgraded sooner rather than later, at the least expense, with the least disruption, as a future residence for myself, and possibly Attila, or as a future investment in case I want it sold.

There is also a grant for insulation, so next week I will be getting estimates for that as well.

Attila’s project is to put a new roof on the garage, and to transform it into a workshop and art studio. I will be ensuring that the funds are available for the upgrade when he needs them, and that I do what I can to facilitate the work. The leaking garage is a crucial fix for this property, for living here long term, or for selling it in the shorter term. Either way, the garage needs fixing, and Attila wants to do it, he has a plan, and it seems to be a very good plan.

Tomorrow I go in for my x-ray. I am unclear as to why an x-ray was scheduled, rather than an ultrasound, but I will explore this when I go in to the walk-in clinic to discuss the results of the x-ray. I have the parking figured out for the CT scan later in February, and have my fingers crossed that it is relatively stress free. I must switch vehicles with Attila for the CT scan appointment, the underground parking lot has ceilings that are too low for Tank. Parking in urban areas is the most difficult aspect of these medical appointments.

Today passed peacefully enough, but as evening approached my emotions began to run away with me, this is still happening fairly regularly, but less frequently. Tears are a welcome release, I don’t try to avoid them when they come. I only let the crying last so long though, then I distract myself with a movie, or researching something interesting on the internet, or anything that gives me a little relief. Tonight I made muffins, and watched a movie on Netflix, it seems to have done the trick. I am sleeping a bit better now, around five hours every night, an improvement. Tomorrow is another day.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 AM EST Wednesday 31 January 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -22.0°C
Dew point: -24.7°C
Humidity: 79%
Wind: ENE 4 km/h
Wind Chill: -26
Visibility: 24 km


“Truth is the only safe ground to stand on.”
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
1815 – 1902

Luna’s New House

Monday, October 21

On Saturday afternoon I built the last of the curing burns in the masonry heater. Then I closed the dampers, and Attila and I headed out for a visit with Luna and Janus and the Grandbabies.

Luna and Janus moved last week, to their dream house. They bought a 1908 vintage home, with five bedrooms, a huge yard, private views, and original wood interior features. The home is walking distance to their previous home, in the same school district, so there will be no jarring changes for the family.

It was a wonderful visit. Imp and Elf are eight years old now, and quite the characters. Tink is five and a bundle of cheery energy. They are wonderful children, thoughtful and interactive. We spent every minute we could with them.

Attila helped Janus move the washer and dryer at the new house to the old house, and the washer and dryer from the old house to the new house. The really fun project was moving the huge backyard trampoline from the old house to the new house. It was a family project, although all of the lifting and carrying was done by Janus and Attila. They carried the trampoline the whole way, with an entourage. As they awkwardly carried the trampoline down the quiet streets, Luna, myself, the Grandbabies, and Bim all followed along to cheer them on, and we did our best to stay out of their way, we really did.

Last week Terra gave me a small watermelon from her garden. She wasn’t sure it was ripe, or would be edible. It was ripe and delicious. We brought it with us on our visit to Luna, and it was enjoyed by all of us.

Luna and Janus’ new old-house is in need of renovation, but quite livable as it is. It is a home built for a very affluent family, and has servants quarters on the third floor, with a separate stair case for the servants. The wood trim and stained glass windows are the outstanding features, but both are in need of tender loving care. To bring this home back to a state of grace Janus and Luna will be working hard indeed. They plan on living there until the Grandbabies have flown the nest, then they will sell it, because that is what they do.

Janus says that he is flying to Dallas, Texas in two weeks, for training. He is getting all kinds of advice from people as to how to protect himself from viruses, although he does not work in health care. It will be interesting to hear about his experience when he gets back!

We drove back to the country house on Sunday afternoon, through sunlit golden fields, and bright red and yellow forests.

I have been keeping an eye on the indoor temperature at the little house in the city, which I can do with an app now. The heat system has not been activated since we left, which is great. The temperature continues to fall though, as autumn deepens. By the end of this week the temperature in the little house will fall below the threshold of 10C, and the heat pump will begin to do its thing, keeping the house at an ongoing 10C when we are not there. I wanted to set it up with a temperature lower than 10C, but our certified technician (Lares) said no, that it would compromise the system and was a very bad idea. So we went with the expert advice, and have set the system up to maintain 10C when we are not there. Hopefully, with the new windows, added insulation in the dining area and kitchen, and the screen door on the front door, we will not use very much fuel.

I want to insulate the attic hatch on my next loan trip, to further reduce heat loss. Next summer we will be putting a new window in the back bedroom, that should reduce heat loss for the winter of 2015/2016. I continue to consider ways to reduce heat loss, that fall within our financial means. I think we are gaining ground on that front, as when we visit the house it heats up to a comfortable temperature in under 30 minutes, and stays comfortable with the heating system running only occasionally. Terra stays there sometimes in the winter, when she works nights, and the roads are really, really bad, as she can walk to the little house from her workplace. She observes the same thing, the house warms quickly and stays that way without much activity from the heating system.

We arrived back from Luna’s to a chilly house, 13C, so the first order of things was to bring in firewood to light a fire in the masonry heater. Attila lit another this morning, but the draft is not well established and it went out. I spent my morning working to establish a good draft and get a proper burn. Although it was warmer today than when we arrived home, the temperature was still hovering around 17C, which is chilly without warm footwear, a jacket, a scarf, and gloves. I own these things, so all is well. Mist found a comfy spot near the heater and slept away the day; she has not been complaining, I guess she was giving us some time to adjust our set!

Attila came home for lunch, which was rare treat, and brought in adequate wood for an early afternoon firing. After he had left to go back to work, I set the fire. It made all the difference, within two hours the temperature in the living area was very comfortable.

Mist is sleeping in ecstasy. Cats can do that.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The house is warm and cozy, a nice contrast to the drizzle and grey outside, where Attila is spending his day. The temperature in the house remained comfortable overnight, so that the morning fire was not started until mid-morning. One firing a day should keep the house toasty warm for the next few weeks, then the two-fires-a-day weather will set in.

All was quiet on the home front today.

I cleaned up the hard drive on my MacBook Air, preparing it for an operating system upgrade to Yosemite. The download took over eight hours, it was a tiresome process. Luckily the iMac was in perfect working order, having already been upgraded to Yosemite, so I had a computer to work on during the day. The iMac is a 2007 model, so this was probably the last Operating System upgrade that will be installed on it. When I upgraded it to Mavericks it was horrible! The iMac slowed to a snails pace and there were multiple issues to work through. The upgrade to Yosemite, on the other hand, was seamless, and the iMac actually runs faster and more reliably now. I have hopes that the same will be true on the MacBook Air.

I puttered around with filing, frequently wondering where all of this paper comes from! I voted in the municipal elections, which could be accomplished online in two of the three municipalities in which we vote. I experimented with cleaning the washing machine, first running it with baking soda, then with vinegar; it did not work. We have the high efficiency washer and it has developed a bit of an odour, which we cannot seem to get rid of.

Other than that a quiet day, but for the steady bluster of wind, and leaves and debris clattering against the side of the house, as the wind carried it down from above.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 12:02 PM EDT Monday 20 October 2014
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Visibility: 8 km
Temperature: 6.4°C
Dewpoint: 6.4°C
Humidity: 100%
Wind: SE 13 km/h

Date: 11:18 AM EDT Tuesday 21 October 2014
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Visibility: 10 km
Temperature: 4.6°C
Dewpoint: 4.6°C
Humidity: 100%
Wind: NNE 11 km/h


“No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is made known silently.”
Agnes de Mille
1909 – 1993