Staring Down the Dirty Laundry

This entry was written yesterday. Somehow the evening slipped past me, must have been moving all that wet laundry hanging on the outside line, to drape it on furniture inside the house.

The country house showing is today. Quite frankly I can’t imagine anyone falling in love with a home in the country during the height of mosquito season, which is upon us. People who grew up in the area will know all about it, and if it is a local person viewing the house, then it will make no difference. But town folk have no practical experience living with mosquito season, and are usually quite surprised by what it entails in rural forested areas in Ontario.

An example of mosquito season, and the local response, comes to mind. Attila and I attend an annual pie social, held at the building where my Great Aunts attended a one room school, and eventually taught in that school. It is where my Mom attended school. The building is owned by an “historical society”, which is really just two families, neighbours, who knew my Granny and Grandpa all their lives. The little “historical society” holds a pie social every year, which we attend. When we arrive the families that live in the area are standing about in the yard, chatting in relaxed groups. As we exit the car, we are usually mobbed by mosquitoes. I make a beeline for the building. The local people don’t even notice the mosquitoes. I used to be like that. I am not like that any more. I have lived in towns and cities for too long now, and lost my natural tolerance for mosquitoes.

Tuesday, June 10, 2015

Time is working its magic, and I think I’ve waded through most of the pain now, at least for this little visit to the dark side of the moon. It comes, and it goes. Just in time too, as the sun decided to peek out from behind the clouds late this evening, after two days of constant rain.

I have been staring down the dirty laundry. Today I lost the battle.

Lets see, I arrived at the little house in the city on May 16th. That would be about three and half weeks ago. I haven’t been doing my laundry.

I haven’t handled my dread of the laundromat in a very mature way you see; I’ve been procrastinating. I’ve avoided the laundromat now for almost three and half weeks, and let me tell you, it was definitely something that was becoming a problem. I considered running up to Walmart to buy additional pairs undies and socks, seriously considered it, to my shame. But today I managed to ignore my feelings, load the two pillowcases full of dirty laundry into the trunk of the car, grab a book, and head down the road towards that temple of cleanliness. The experience is never as bad as the period of avoidance. You would think I would learn to get it over with, earlier rather than later, to lessen the “time of great dread.” But no, I left it until the situation was desperate.

It was still raining when I returned from laundromat with my two pillowcases full of clean, wet clothes. I had considered drying them at the laundromat, but as I sat there I understood that there was no possibility that I would do this. I sat waiting the full 25 minutes of the wash cycle, watching the countdown, anxious to leave through every one of those minutes. So I arrived home with wet laundry. Luckily we have a rope strung across the back porch, under the roof, where I can hang the laundry. I pinned it all up, and was gratified that the rain could not touch it. But it didn’t dry, the humidity was so high, with it raining hard and all.

Hours and hours later, the sun came out. I think it knew I needed it, and responded to my angst. Maybe not. The laundry is still out there, the night approaches, but there are still remnants of sunlight slanting through the tree tops. I may be draping the almost-dry laundry over the furniture for the night, or maybe, just maybe, it will dry before it gets dark.

Such excitement! It has been a big day for me, girding my loins and setting forth for the dreaded laundromat. If I am prudent, I might be able to stretch my clean laundry to last four whole weeks, before I have to go back.

The genealogy book is nearly ready to print a first draft. Every time I think I am ready, some new little issue pops up, holding up the works. This time it was the wrong family recorded as relatives, same names, wrong people. The information was originally provided by another researcher, many years ago, and back then I didn’t peruse it as carefully as I should have, thinking I would get back to it, which I have, today. The head of that family was born in Ireland, not Scotland, and that was the only discrepancy. It took all afternoon to sort it out. If I hadn’t decided to create the extra 62 charts I would not have caught the error. A printed copy will assist me in ferreting out such inconsistencies. There are sure to be some errors that are ultimately overlooked, and included in the book; my goal is to minimize those mistakes.

Attila says there is another house showing tomorrow. This realtor has done well by us, there have been more showings in the past three weeks than we had during both previous years the house was for sale, put together. I would recommend this fellow to anyone, he works hard, and he knows what he is doing. If the house doesn’t sell it won’t be for lack of trying. We keep an eye on the local market, and there is little activity in the real estate market at the moment, nothing has sold near our price point. That could change suddenly though, fingers crossed!

This is a doodle that taught me about resizing. I lost the high resolution for the image, and still do not know how that happened. It inspired me to download the software manual. This image reminds me of “The Princess and the Pea.”
2015June10 princesspea

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 PM EDT Tuesday 9 June 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.6 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 14.4°C
Dewpoint: 13.9°C
Humidity: 97%
Wind: S 12 km/h


“The human heart is like a ship on a stormy sea driven about by winds blowing from all four corners of heaven.”
Martin Luther (1483 – 1546)

Saturday and Sunday

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Ah, here it is already, the last day of January, and the sun shone in the morning, then clouded over and offered snowfall this afternoon! We are experiencing another cold snap, both at the little house in the city and the country house. At the little house in the city this means we pay more for heating fuel, at the country house this means that Attila has to work very hard keeping the house warm with firewood. He is looking tired again! The weather should warm up a little by the middle of the week, which will be a relief to Attila for many reasons.

I have been working on the web site for the church each and every day. I have learned a few new tricks with DNS and how the Internet works, which is always fun! The site is coming along nicely, or so I think. The proof will be when I send an image of the final product to the customers; I am sure some editing will be needed, but hopefully just superficial stuff. Then I have to figure out how to “go live”, transferring the site from google, which will be a challenge since I have heard that google does not relinquish its conquests without a struggle. I will do it though!

Yesterday afternoon I took a quick trip to the laundromat. I am becoming accustomed to this task, and can be there and back again in forty minutes. Then of course there is a 24 hour drying period, with damp laundry hung all over the house, over the backs of chairs, on hangers above the tub, everywhere! This morning everything was bone dry, and quickly folded and stored away.

Diesel continues to be good company. He slept with me last night, waking me a few times as he crawled over me. Finally he curled up by my head, fell asleep, and began to snore. This morning he insisted on sitting on my lap to be petted, while I chatted with Attila. He likes a lot of companionship and physical contact, but then so do I, so we are well matched.

When I work on a website I am totally focused for three or four hours. When I stop I am groggy for a while. I was going to pay a bill today, after I finished working on the website for the day. It was a bad idea, I almost paid the wrong bill, but decided it looked wrong. Thank goodness! I will wait until I am fresh and aware tomorrow morning, to tackle paying bills, and sorting through the pile of mail from January.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Another sunny morning! This morning I sipped my coffee and watched as the sun began to light up the distant clouds. How beautiful the early morning is, when all is quiet, the street lights have winked out, and the outside world slowly comes into focus.

The site design I am working on was approved by the customer this morning. I changed zone files for site redirection, it was a little bit of a learning curve. It went smoothly and the new site should go live in the next day or so, then more testing on browsers and devices, and reconfiguring my computer so that I can access the new site.

My last hair cut was a very good hair cut, but it was quite a while ago, last August, the middle of August. The price for that good haircut was more than I could afford, so I haven’t gone back. The fellow cuts men’s hair for $16, but for my haircut he wanted $45 AND a tip. Men get all the breaks at this guys salon.

Last autumn Harriet cut my bangs for me. My hair grows quickly and my bangs have grown so long that I needed barrettes to keep them out of my eyes, so that I can see. I looked ridiculous, as you can imagine. I took to wearing a wool cap with my bangs slicked back underneath, when I needed to go out in public. I thought about going to the cheaper salons, and then I thought about how wretched I always feel after they give me a bad haircut. So this morning I talked the situation over with Diesel, which was really more like talking it over with myself, and decided to take matters into my own hands. I grabbed the kitchen scissors, placed a small garbage can in the bathroom sink, and went at ‘er. I took off more than an inch. It doesn’t look too bad, better than the barrettes, I can see, and the cut within my present budget.

Diesel has short hair. Even so, the hair situation was getting out of hand, so this morning I vacuumed the entire house. It took thirty minutes. I love a small house!

The replacement windows Attila installed last autumn, in the dining area of the kitchen, were stored in sheds near a farmer’s field, where we purchased them. I discovered that they were full of Asian Ladybugs! I have been killing scads of these attractive insects, each and every day. They come out of the nooks and crannies of the window’s mechanisms when the sun shines on the windows. Usually they are crawling on the ceiling, across the window glass, or on the frames around the glass and the windows. I use a scrap of paper towel to capture and destroy them, then throw the collected results in the compost. They smell terrible when they are squished, and their blood is orange. I read that they bite, but I have not been bitten yet, thank goodness. Perhaps by spring I will have caught up with these unwelcome hitchhikers. I don’t mind them outside, but they are not welcome inside the house.

Worldly Distractions


Country House

Date: 6:00 AM EST Saturday 31 January 2015
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 102.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -24.0°C
Dewpoint: -26.4°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: calm

Little House in the City

-22°C (the thermometer just outside my kitchen window says -26C!)
Date: 6:00 AM EST Saturday 31 January 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -22.2°C
Dewpoint: -26.4°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: NW 4 km/h
Wind Chill:-26


“Frugality without creativity is deprivation.”
Amy Dacyczyn

the new year

Attila and I celebrated New Years Eve with a long, cozy FaceTime chat. When we rang off at 10 p.m. we were both headed for our pillows. We greeted each other first thing the next morning, the next year, and chatted over coffee, before signing off and getting down to little odd jobs around our respective places of residence. We spoke several times during the day, and ended our first day of the New Year with another long and cozy chat.

On New Years Eve and New Years Day I chatted with Harriet, who has time off work right now. My Mom wrote to say she was enjoying walking with her friends, playing cards, and just generally having a great time. Terra stopped by for a brief chat after her session at the nearby gym, Lares side of the family provides a lot of drama in their lives. They don’t need “reality” TV!

Yesterday my “big adventure” was a trip to the laundromat. I gathered up the dirty laundry into a pillow case, donned my coat, carried it out to Tank, and drove to the nearby laundromat. Once there I carried in my laundry, and realized, just after entering through the door, that I had not brought the laundry soap! So, back out to Tank I went, drove home, grabbed the laundry soap, and then drove back to the laundromat.

After washing the laundry, I decided to dry it a bit before taking it home. The dryers were stacked. I loaded my laundry into the lower dryer, put the quarter in and hit the start button. The empty dryer above sprang into action, drying nothing at all. I had a closer look at the panels. BIG arrows indicated where to put your change for the upper and the lower dryer. In a new environment auto-pilot does not work well! I got out my change purse and set the lower dryer in action.

The clothes were damp when I loaded them into the pillow case to take them home. I had decided to hang them to dry at home, since the humidity in the house is now at 33%, which is quite low. I draped socks and underwear, t-shirts and trousers, all over the chairs in the living room and dining room. It looked pretty chaotic, but this would only be a temporary situation.

I decided to make a large macaroni and cheese casserole, to eat intermittently with my chili, for my supper. I use dry macaroni, and make a white sauce with cheese when I make macaroni and cheese. The kitchen is small, so as I was finishing there were dirty dishes everywhere, cheese grater, pots and pans, wooden spoons. More chaos!

That was when Terra arrived. Since I had to clear a chair for her to sit on, I apologized for the chaos.

She said, “Mom, if I had to follow a tunnel through piles of newspapers and boxes, then I would be worried about you. You have seen my house at times, stop worrying!”

One of the things I love about Terra is that she says exactly what she thinks. There are no guessing games with Terra! Most of the time this is refreshing, occasionally it can be disconcerting, and I wouldn’t have her any other way!

I have managed to go for my walk every day for over a week now, and I feel much better for it. It is worth repeating the advice to wear two pairs of socks, and firmly secure the laces on boots, as this has made all the difference in the world. My blister is almost healed and I do not feel it at all when I am walking.

I do notice that the knee I injured last summer bothers me a bit on my walks. When I sense that it is tired I slow my pace, and then quicken it slowly. I notice the other people out walking always pass me by, as they walk much more quickly than I do. But you know, I am just grateful to be out there walking!

Colder weather is on the way next week, according to the weather people.

As Attila says, “At is January!”

This morning it was -10C and windy, so there was a significant wind chill factor. My parka was made for days like this! I bought this parka in 1993, so it is 21 years old. It has been my only winter coat for that long, I have no other. It is a GoreTex parka, made for inclement weather, made in Canada. It cost the moon when I bought it, but when you consider this parka is in almost new condition after 21 years of constant use, it was very inexpensive over the long term. The benefits are outstanding. I bought a men’s size large, there was method in my madness. The parka has a thin lining, that will keep me warm if I am active in temperatures as low as -15C. Because it fits bigs, I can layer under it, so that at -35C, with a Cowichan sweater underneath, the parka will keep me warm for hours, and if I am active, indefinitely. It is windproof, so I do not loose body heat to high winds. It is waterproof, so I can walk in winter rain and remain comfortable and dry.

I have been so happy with my GoreTex parka that I bought GoreTex winter boots, that lace up. My feet are always warm and dry, even when it is -35C, even in winter rain.

There is some efficacy in the saying that there is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 8:00 AM EST Saturday 3 January 2015
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 103.2 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -10.2°C
Dewpoint: -14.3°C
Humidity: 72%
Wind: NE 12 km/h
Wind Chill: -16


“My pipe is out, my glass is dry;
My fire is almost ashes too;
But once again, before you go,
And I prepare to meet the New:
Old Year! a parting word that’s true,
For we’ve been comrades, you and I —
I thank God for each day of you;
There! bless you now! Old Year, good-bye!”

Robert Service, The Passing of the Year