Garage Door

Now that the new windows are installed, and the furniture has been rearranged, I am moving on to organize all the stuff that was stored in the furniture. This is a job of monumental proportions, in terms of my time, and the challenge to find a place for everything I want to keep.

Attila is spending a lot of time getting the basement organized, in preparation for the upcoming garage roof project.

It is Good Friday, a statutory holiday in Ontario, which means there are three consecutive days to work on these projects, where I can make changes that involve heavy lifting, because Attila will help with that if called upon. My first project for the weekend is to apply adhesive backed window film to the window panes of the garage door window. The door is question is the “man door” into the garage, not the big garage door, the windows in it are painted over and let no light in. I have wanted to do this since 2010, when Mist Cottage was purchased! First though, the glass and the door must be cleaned, and THAT is a daunting task, it is one very filthy door!

Attila is cooking a turkey dinner today, which we will both enjoy. On the weekends his cooking efforts are usually focused on foods I cannot or will not eat. So a weekend turkey dinner is a treat from my point of view, because I will be eating it too.

I continue to do the cooking during the week, a light task, as it turns out. After moving out on my own as a teenager, and until I met Attila, I did all the food preparation. Planning and preparing meals is a familiar and pleasant part of the day.

It has been raining for the last few days, and the temperature has risen above freezing each day; the result is that the landscape is tinged with a hint of green. The birds are plentiful, as our trees offer shelter for those displaced by the destruction of the wetland forest at the end of the street. Since the new windows were installed, I have to step out of doors to hear the birds singing! At least, I will have to step out of doors to hear the concert, until the warm weather arrives and the windows can be opened.

My knee and my back have been rather troublesome the last few weeks, which meant that last week I did not attend Tai Chi. The week before last I stayed home while the new windows were being installed. That is quite a long break from Tai Chi. This learning process is going slowly. But that is what suits me, to attend when I can, and not worry about it when something else comes up. Ideally Tai Chi was to be something I could attend and participate in whenever it suited me. I used to watch groups of people doing Tai Chi together on Saturday mornings in the local parks, and always wished back then, that I had time for such things. I am a long way from achieving that goal, as I am a shockingly slow learner. I am surprised by how slow I am to pick this up, as I used to be quite athletic in my youth, and picked things up quickly. Apparently that skill has rusted a bit from disuse.

I have been using my elliptical machine though, as I can manage it without having to overcome much in the way of inertia. I watch half hour sitcom episodes while I walk on the elliptical machine, the time passes more easily that way. My favourite form of recreation is going for walks, and soon the weather will be perfect for it.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 1:00 PM EDT Friday 30 March 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 7.3°C
Dew point: 2.0°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: NW 23 gust 33 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.”
Mark Twain
1835 – 1910

LOL, no danger here! No offers.

Retirement Blues

Attila had two consecutive days off work! Monday was a statutory holiday in Canada, leaving us with Sunday and Monday to spend in any way we chose.

We visited the little house in the city, leaving the country house mid-afternoon on Saturday, after Attila arrived home from eight hours at work, and arriving at the little house after dark. Sunday was consumed with catch-up shopping. Attila needed clothes. He selected some shirts and socks, while I walked about the store looking at other items. My input on clothing issues is counter-productive when it comes to Attila’s clothing choices. It is best to leave him to his own devices.

While shopping for clothing we received a call from Terra, who was at our little house in the city for a visit. So, off we went home to meet her. She had company for the weekend, and fit us into her busy schedule while her visitors were out shopping. While Terra and I visited, Attila took himself off to search for a new pair of shoes. Terra stayed until he returned to show off his spiffy new footwear, and then she was off to begin meal preparation for the crowd at her house. She returned the next day for a slightly longer visit, when her shift at work ended. Terra and Lares don’t get weekends off either.

After Terra was on her way, we went grocery shopping.

All the walking on concrete floors was challenging. I limped along without complaint, but was increasingly uncomfortable, and eventually my back began to spasm. That evening I was extremely tired, I was in pain, a dull pain, and had difficulty moving about. So, I decided to take ibuprofen, hoping to curtail the inflammation. Within twenty minutes I felt a lot better. I slept well, with respite from the pain. In the morning, I arose and began my day. About an hour into the morning routine I stopped suddenly and thought, “my knee does not hurt”! And so it was, I was walking about without pain, without the aid of painkillers.

My knee is not completely back to normal, I must still baby it a bit; no sudden moves or turns, no running, no working on ladders, etc.. I have decided to decline all work until my knee is completely healed.

The vegetable garden at the little house in the city is doing very well. We have had adequate rain to keep it healthy, without watering. We picked almost a dozen cucumbers, from our one cucumber plant. They are so very good, slightly sweet and crispy. I made a Cucumber Salad, which we both enjoyed very much. The tomatoes are growing by leaps and bounds. When we planted them they were very small seedlings, about five inches tall. Now they are waist height and bear some unripe fruit, and a lot of blossoms. We planted some “Indigo Rose” tomatoes, they are very interesting, the fruit is shiny and black. Our hot peppers are thriving, but the green peppers are slow. The rhubarb seems to have a new lease on life, which we attribute to Attila’s application of manure.

The flower gardens are thriving as well. The clematis is still blooming. The giant marigolds are a riot of brightness. The day lilies and the Hostas to either side of the front steps are in full bloom. The portulaca has spread to fill the planter in the front of the house, and there is a profusion of red blooms. Flowers are so cheerful!

On Monday, while Terra was at work, Lares dropped by to deliver a bag of beets with greens, from their garden. He was happy to give them to us, as he does not care for beets. We, on the other hand, love them. He was on his way to work, so after a short and pleasant exchange of greetings he went on his way.

Attila managed to get the lawn cut at the little house, and to weed the gardens. I am not much use these days for either of those tasks, not with a bad knee! I do like to weed the garden. The lawn mowing is very challenging for me at the best of times. Our lawn mower is the lowest end model available. There is no self-propelling about it, no easy-start, and the wheels are wobbly plastic things that fall into, and get stuck in, the crevices and unevenness of the yard. The last time I mowed the lawn with that lawn mower, last summer, I had to stop so frequently that it took almost a whole day to accomplish the task. Luckily the high growth period for the lawn is over for this year, and the lawn mowing can easily be left to Attila.

I am planning a lone visit to the little house in the city this month. There are things I would like to accomplish there, such as beginning the process of staining the front step that Attila build last year. I have my eye on parging the external concrete wall, above ground level, a cosmetic job, which will have a big impact on how the house looks from the street. While I am away there are things Attila would like to tackle, such as securing our firewood supply for winter heating, and removing some dead tree trunks (not suitable for firewood) that are visible from the house.

I learned something new while visiting the little house in the city. The first was that Wild Parsnip has invaded the area, and that it can burn the skin in a similar manner to Giant Hogweed. Terra made a point of telling us about this. We did notice the wide swaths of Wild Parsnip growing along the highway on our drive down, and we wondered what it was. Now we know! It would be a good idea to always have protective clothing in the vehicle, in case of there is ever a need to get out of the car at the side of the road.

The sun is shining, the breeze is rustling in the leaves, the birds are singing and swooping… summer is a nice time of year here at the country house!

The Canadian made soup pot we acquired last year has been very busy since we arrived home in the country. Last night I cooked pasta in it. Then I rinsed it out, half filled it with water, which I brought to boil, to cook the beet greens that we got from Terra and Lares. This morning it came back into service to cook all of the beets, both those we bought from the farm two weeks ago, and the those we received from Terra and Lares. Then the pot was rinsed, and I sautéed onions and garlic in olive oil, then added stock, raw potato cubes, and cubed cooked beets for a hearty soup for our dinner tonight. Can you love a stainless steel pot, well, if it is possible, then I do!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 11:00 AM EDT Tuesday 5 August 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 20.2°C
Dewpoint: 15.8°C
Humidity: 76%
Wind: N 5 km/h
Humidex: 25


“Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples.”
George Burns (1896 – 1996)

Knee Trouble

I hurt my knee over a week ago. I was walking and it just gave out on me, it was very painful. The pain was significant for the first two days, and then it has been a little bit better every day since. I still have a bit of limp. but that is improving. Now it just aches sometimes, like a toothache.

On Sunday we visited the camp, and the dump store. In order to keep a few items at the camp, we moved an old car top carrier, a plastic shell, behind one of the brush piles. For now it will hold an ancient and worthless, but useful, set of pots and pans, and two empty water jugs. We have a few old plastic dishes, which I plan on taking to the camp and leaving in the plastic shell. It will be interesting to see if the bears take any interest in the plastic shell.

Then we visited the dump, where we bumped into Harriet and her friend Nancy, who was visiting the cottage for the weekend. That is where I picked up an old 1961 Electrolux vacuum cleaner. It had two issues, the on/off switch did not work, so to turn the machine on and off one would have to plug it in, and unplug it. Also, and more seriously, the clasp that holds the canister end against the seal is broken, so the canister falls open, and suction is lost. My Mom had a canister Electrolux vacuum cleaner and it worked like a charm. It would be nice to use the one found at the dump today at the little house in the city.

Attila found an expensive chain saw at the dump, we do not know yet what is wrong with it, if anything. If we cannot fix these items we will return them to the dump to give someone else a shot at it.

Harriet found a stainless steel Thermos for Attila. Attila needs a new thermos at least once a year, sometimes more frequently. He works in a rough and tumble environment, and his thermoses take quite beating.

Then we drove back to Granny and Grandpa’s house, parked the car, and went for a walk down the track. I wanted to see if there were any wild raspberries there, as there were forty years ago. Sure enough, the wild raspberries are still lining that section of the track.

We moved slowly, I was being very cautious with my knee. The scented breeze was intoxicating. The familiarity of the path was comforting. It did not rain, as it was threatening to do. We enjoyed our walk, and could view our camp from the path.

That is when I noticed a young man in a bright orange t-shirt, who appeared to be coming out of our camp lot. He was on foot, carried nothing, and had no vehicle. Must be one of the neighbours checking out our old car top carrier. It is a little creepy, only a little, the thought that someone ventures over to check out our camp after we appear to leave. Really, he could come over and introduced himself to satisfy his curiosity, while we were there.

After our walk we drove into town and purchased supplies. Then it was home, dinner, and an early night.

Two projects were on the go this week. The first was to get the Electrolux working. I found a fellow online, Eluxurious, who collects them, and wrote a comment in his blog asking for help. What a great guy! He immediately identified the problem, and after following his advice I had the machine running smoothly in a about five minutes. He also suggested a great resource, the Vacuum Cleaner Collectors’ Club, which I will be reading with interest!

The house is now dust free and tidy! I like the Electrolux machine better than any vacuum cleaner I have ever owned. Of course, this 1961 model was the absolute top-of-the line machine in its day, and I have always purchased bottom-of-the-line machines, the ones I could afford, until now!

Now I have a Made in Canada vacuum cleaner, and stainless steel soup pot made in Canada… livin’ the dream!

The second project is to clean and sterilize a thermos found at the dump. It was dirty, but otherwise in like-new condition. After cleaning it with a steel scrub pad, bleach was added and the whole thing left overnight. This morning it was spotless, shiny as new. In order to dispose of the bleach, and not destroy our septic system, the bleach was poured into the stoppered sink, baking soda added to neutralize the acid, and then the inert mixture was allowed to drain into the septic.

My new 1961 Elux-O-Matic Vacuum, and Attila’s “new” Thermos.
Electrolux thermos

Monday night Attila took a drive to put some fuel in the car. On the way he must have run over a nail, and on the way back the nail blew out and the tire went flat. I thought he was gone a very long time, and had started to wonder if he had had an accident. He got the car off the road and managed to get the spare tire on to get home.

Yesterday I drove to town to see if I could get the tire repaired, I am running around in the car using the spare tire. Bad news I am afraid, the tire is ruined. I ordered a new one, which should arrive today, it did, and off I went the is morning for another round of change the tire. Success!

So, that is what we have been up to this lovely first half of July, 2014! Some downs, mostly ups!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 3:00 PM EDT Wednesday 16 July 2014
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 16.6°C
Dewpoint: 10.7°C
Humidity: 68%
Wind: W 15 gust 28 km/h


“Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression.”
Isaac Bashevis Singer
1904 – 1991