Long Weekend

We had a lovely Victoria Day long weekend. On Friday night we made a pizza from scratch, low-sodium, low-cholesterol of course, and watched a film on Netflix.

On Saturday, the only sunny warmish day of the entire long weekend, we went to the Rideau Camp early in the morning and spent the day burning brush in the camp fire pit, and moving a bit of crushed stone.

On Sunday it rained, so we stayed home, puttered around the house, and enjoyed a visit from Sister-The-Youngest-Girl and Beau Bob, who dropped in on their way home after attending a family function to the East of us. They dropped of a big bag of clothing my Mom bought for me, she is an amazing shopper! I have numerous new summer blouses, a summer dress, two new sweat shirt jackets, and lots of new pairs of pants. I am enjoying trying things on, and so far everything fits.

On Monday it was cold and wet out of doors, another good day to stay in our nice warm house, rather than working outside at the Rideau Camp. Domestic chores aren’t boring to us, but they are repetitive. Cooking for the week to come, we made muffins for lunches, salad dressing for salads, croutons for salads, and topped up many of our canisters. And then we went shopping. We began at Rona, where we went to look at sheets of lattice. We did buy a sheet of lattice, grey to add privacy to our back porch, but we didn’t stop there. Ever since I sat with my sisters and my Mom on my sister’s back deck swing, I have wanted one here at Mist Cottage. Every spring when we visit the building material stores I sit on the swings in the display section of the store. Usually I find them either uncomfortable, or far too large for our minimized lifestyle. But on Monday, at Rona, I sat down in a small swing and knew that it was the one. So we bought it. It is smallish, lowish, and will someday fit on the back porch when it is renovated. Until that time it will sit under a sun tent on the back lawn.

We didn’t stop there. After leaving Rona we dropped into Costco. Our neighbour calls it the $500 store with good reason. We don’t visit it often because our bank account is always drained by the time we walk out the door. This visit was no exception. We didn’t buy anything we didn’t need, or anything we wouldn’t use. Our purchases were primarily food, fresh vegetables and baking ingredients. We even found some frozen burgers that were low sodium, although their frozen chicken is all seasoned, and so there is sodium where I can’t afford it with the chicken. Our most surprising purchase was a new cell phone for Attila. I have been looking at cell phones for Attila for about three years, as the one he uses was purchased the August before our first Grandbabies were born, in 2006. The cell phone still functioned, but the battery would not hold a charge for more than an hour or so once it was turned on, and the cell phone towers upon which it relies are being phased out in favour of newer technology. We were walking by the cell phone kiosk, and I stopped to ask if they had any flip phones, and the did! We looked at it, and instantly decided that it was time to replace the old cell phone. In fifteen minutes they had Attila up and running on the new cell phone, his account transferred, and it only cost $67. Hopefully Attila will be good for another few years now.

I have been pondering what crochet project to begin since I finished my market bag. As I was sitting at home having a look at Attila’s new cell phone, I thought it would be a good thing if it were protected from the rough and ready pockets of Attila. I looked on Amazon and couldn’t find anything low enough priced to interest me. Later I was putzing around looking at crochet stitches, and saw a new stitch pattern that I though I would like to try, and the pieces fell together, I would use that interesting stitch pattern to create a cell phone case for Attila’s new phone.

I didn’t really think much about it, I just started practising the new stitch pattern, the Lemon Peel Stitch, ripped it out a few times, then started to make the cell phone case.

DSCF0661 Attila’s new flip phone, a pay as you go wonder. We pay $100 for the year, and since we don’t use the phone much we seldom need to buy additional time. Beside the phone is the cell phone case I crocheted. I like it, as the phone slides out very easily if the bottom of the case is squeezed. The case is machine washable cotton.

Once I finished the cell phone case I decided I should write down what I had done. But my method of writing these kinds of things down is erratic. I decided to look at software to record the steps that were followed. I ended up finding some chart software at ravelry.com, where these two links were recommended in the forum:

Stitch Works Software

Windows: Windows: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7CaX7Dz9k8GTlhVNThlSVpBY1k/view
Os X: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7CaX7Dz9k8GSGxlRG5JNm1XNnM/view?usp=sharing

I downloaded the software and started to play with it.

I am just tickled to have produced my first crochet pattern in chart form!

Flip Phone Case Open Ended: Left-Handed

I have had a lot of fun today!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 2:00 PM EDT Tuesday 23 May 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 13.8°C
Dew point: 9.1°C
Humidity: 73%
Wind: S 18 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.”
Charles Du Bos

Beautiful Day

It just doesn’t get any better than today. The weather is perfect, and Attila and I and Mist are all here at the country house, enjoying the day.

There will be beautiful days in the summer, but then the bugs will be out enjoying it, and enjoying us. Beautiful weather in early spring is ideal, because we can spend time outdoors with no fear of bites of any kind, or West Nile Virus.

Sunny, warm, and breezy. The breeze keeps the early bugs at bay. We were outside all day.

Attila spent the day with the chain saw, trimming brush from windfall trees at the back of the property.

I spent the day on the deck, working on several projects. One was to install some old panels of lattice along the deck railing; for privacy on the side of the deck that faces the road. The panels were covered with spiders and wet leaves and debris, from being stored behind the woodshed. Attila handed them up to me from the ground, the deck is on the second floor. I lifted them up and over the deck railing and set them in the sun to dry. It did not take long for them to dry. I swept them clean of debris, and then swept the debris off the deck. They are affixed to the railing with vertical lengths of 2×3 boards, held up by bungee cords, at intervals.

My next project was to work on the wooden outdoor table. It is made of pine and has held up well since 1992, when it was purchased from IKEA. It wintered in the ground floor, screened-in porch. Attila brought it out, held it up over his head, and I grabbed a table leg by leaning over the deck rail. I then pulled the table up and over the railing.

Painting the outdoor table. Taken through the door screen, you can see it if you look closely!

The boards were becoming quite rough, and warping a bit. I decided to paint the table. I asked Attila what spare paint we had around the house. He came up with a can of paint we purchased in 2001 for the garden shed at our former house in the big city. It was almost full. The can was a bit rusty, but we got it open after some fiddling.

I spread a drop sheet out on the deck, we got the can of paint open, and I went to work. It took all day. The first coat soaked right in and disappeared. It dried very quickly, as the wood was dry and the day was warm, sunny and breezy. It took five more coats of paint to finally cover the wood adequately.

Attila and I are lucky in that we have almost everything we need, and even a lot of stuff that we want. When we do shop, it is for essentials like food, fuel, materials for home maintenance and repair and other such boring things. We do not eat out [anaphylaxis], we cut our own hair [except once a year I get a store bought hair cut] and we prepare a lot of food from scratch. We buy used if we reasonably can, and buy the best we can afford when we have to buy new. We wear our clothes until they wear out. We throw out very little food, finding ways to use as much as we can, even our vegetable scraps get frozen for soup broth.

Recently, on the news, we heard about the deplorable working conditions in the garment industry in Bangladesh. The drive for profit fuels the whole machine of industry. Mega-corporations now hoard most of that profit. I don’t have any input into what mega-corporations do, or how they treat people. My only opportunity for input is a yes or no choice. Yes, I will buy their products, or no, I will not buy their products. Whenever we can, Attila and I say no to big companies. This is becoming increasingly difficult as they increasingly dominate every aspect of life.

So, I came up with my own checklist for ethical shopping in Canada. Of course, if you live in another country, switch out Canada for the name of your own country.

Maggie’s checklist for ethical shopping:

1. Made in Canada, Product of Canada [unless it is something like bananas, that don’t grow in Canada]
2. If it is made in Canada, or a Product of Canada, the employees should be Canadians.
3. Buy it local, or as close to local as you can get.
4. It matters how employees are treated; ask companies if they provide fair wages, adequate hours, and humane working conditions.

Worldly Distractions


Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 21.1°C
Dewpoint: 3.8°C
Humidity: 32%
Wind: SSE 24 gust 35 km/h


I have long been of the opinion that if work were such a splendid thing the rich would have kept more of it for themselves.””
Bruce Grocott
1940 –