On Hold

July is less frantic than June, but still very busy.

The garage roof project was put on hold for a few days.

Last weekend we spent our first night at the Rideau Camp in 2018. The mice had been in again, but none were trapped. The cleanup of their droppings took about four hours. I hate mice, no matter how cute they might be, I despise them. Steel wool was stuffed into additional openings, and Attila is researching removing the undercarriage and sealing it with insulation and hardware cloth.

The army worms are no longer on the trunks of trees. The ones we did not manage to destroy have eaten a lot of leaves, but they have not stripped the trees, so there is still a beautiful canopy. Two elm trees died since our last visit, which is sad, but we knew that our elm trees would not live long lives. I have been carefully protecting the maples, birch, oak, and pine trees surrounding the camp, knowing that eventually they would be all that was left as the elms and ashes were destroyed by insects and disease.

The visit to the Camp was a fun one once the unwanted tasks were completed, blue skies, trees, quiet, bird song, and a starry heaven at the end of the day. It was lovely.

Everything was so very dry! Our little swamp was completely dry, giving Attila the opportunity to pull out dead branches and a stump. It was so dry that we decided not to have a camp fire, there was a bit of wind, and it didn’t seem worth the risk. Because it is dry we had only a half a barrel of water in our rain barrel, which we use to douse our camp fire. It was enough to douse a camp fire, but it would not have been enough to deal with a spark catching a dry patch of dead grass, or something similar. We enjoyed sitting under the stars instead, so bright, so reliable, so unconcerned with us, and yet part of us, as we are part of the universe.

Monday was a very exciting day. An early morning call from Lares, they were on their way to the hospital. That evening little Willow was born, 9 pounds, 12 hours of labour. Tuesday evening Terra arrived home with Willow. We visited, and once Willow was in my arms I could not give her up until she demanded to be fed, so back to Mama. I experience falling in love in an instant, I am aware of it happening, such a wonderful, wonderful feeling. Those roving newborn eyes, suddenly fixing on my face, gazing at me with such curiosity, concentration, acceptance, love at first sight. This happened with my children when they were put in my arms after their births, and with every single one of my Grandbabies.

Today is sunny and mild and just about perfect. Early this morning the Installer arrived to replace the broken window pane on our new living room window. The window pane arrived cracked, when it was installed in March, and it has taken this long for the window manufacturer to supply the company, that did the window installation, with the replacement. It took only 30 minutes for the fellow to replace the pane, and he parged one of the basement windows, where I didn’t know it needed it! He will come back to caulk the window when the parge has cured.

I was just watching a video made by a family who rely exclusively on a solar system for their electricity. She said that when they had hydro service, they used 60 kWh per day. I looked up our peak usage, 36.5 kWh per day, used during a month when the temperature was on average -1C, and the ground source heat pump would have provided most of our heat.

The video creator also mentioned that relying on a solar system for their electricity, they use between 4 and 10 kWh per day, running only a refrigerator 24 hours a day. Our lowest usage was 22.3 kWh per day, during a month that required some use of the heat pump for heat, and a few days where only the very basic electrical appliances were operated.

We are in between the two extremes she describes, 4 kWh and 60 kWh. Our usage varies between the monthly average of 22.3 kWh per day and 36.5 kWh per day, which includes our heat source in the winter. I think that here at Mist Cottage the strategies to curtail the use of electricity have been relatively successful.

We could lower our usage by insulating the basement, upgrading the scanty insulation in the walls of the house, replacing the drafty entrance doors, and upgrading to energy efficient appliances. The chest freezer comes to mind. I purchased it from a family moving to another area, for $100. It was very beat up, the lid caved in a bit, and it is far from being energy efficient. But I could afford it at the time, and it works well, although expensively. The energy efficient freezer that I had at the Country House, was much larger, but it stayed with the Country House, a condition of sale. I miss that freezer!

Since I have applied for a grant program that might help us make some of the upgrades to reduce electricity consumption, I am afraid that the measures already taken here are so successful that that it might be deemed that we don’t need the available upgrades. I certainly hope that is not the case… We do need the upgrades, because at some point in the nearing future Attila will retire without a pension, and survival is going to get a lot more challenging than it is now. Also, I would dearly love to use a little more electricity to cook dinner at dinner time, instead of trying to plan meals around hydro prices, and laundry, and vacuuming, and… well the list goes on of what I cannot do at certain times of day.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

22°C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Wednesday 11 July 2018
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 22.3°C
Dew point: 9.8°C
Humidity: 44%
Wind: ENE 14 km/h
Humidex: 23
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“It’s like your batteries get low, and you need to charge them on someone else’s story.”
Margaret Cho

I’m feeling this one right now!

Stifling

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Hot!

This morning I slept in. It was just after 6:00 a.m. when I opened my eyes. Morning routines, rise, dress, make the bed, put the kettle on, make coffee, then sit and gaze out the window at the trees. While sipping coffee, the thought that a trip to the Rideau Camp was needed, and could be accomplished, there and back, in the early morning, before the heat of the day turned the world into an oven.

Attila was fast asleep at 7:40 a.m., but I decided to rouse him earlier than his usual 8:00 a.m., to ask him if he wanted to go to the Camp this morning. He did!

We left Mist Cottage just after 8:30 a.m., and arrived at the Camp an hour or so later. The journey was lovely, green fields, blue skies, light traffic.

We were there until noon, when it was beginning to get really hot.

The last time we visited the Rideau Camp, four mouse traps were set in the trailer, and two dishes of warfarin as well. Today there three of the mouse traps held dead mice, and one of the dishes of warfarin was empty, the others were untouched. Attila brought the mouse traps with the mice out to the camp fire pit, placing them on a rock, so that I could deal with them.

The weeds had grown high since the last visit, so Attila spent his time at the camp cutting weeds with the weed whacker.

I was busy also, I watered the garlic and the four Blue Hubbard Squash plants, and picked the garlic scapes.

Then I brought kindling, a sheet of newspaper, a lighter, and some firewood to the fire pit, to build a camp fire. It was really too hot for a camp fire, but it was a necessity. The mice had consumed some warfarin, so I wanted to ensure that they did not become food for another animal. The dead mice were cremated in the camp fire. The mouse traps were doused in water, then cleaned by brushing them with weeds, that had been plucked out of the crushed stone. The traps were baited once more with peanut butter and placed back into Grace the Trailer.

There were some gruesome bits to be cleaned after the traps were taken out. After spraying the areas in question with hydrogen peroxide, and pulling on some latex gloves, I set to work cleaning, using paper towels which I could then burn in the camp fire.

Grace smelled bad. Dead and decomposing mice do not smell pleasant. Windows were opened, roof vents opened as well, to give Grace a good airing out. If more mice are caught, the next visit will involve more cremations, cleaning, and airing out of the trailer.

I really hope that we discover where the mice are coming into the trailer!!

I enjoyed watering the garlic and the four Blue Hubbard Squash plants, there is something very satisfying about watering plants. The garlic scapes were ready for harvesting, they are such a wonderful ingredient in the Instant Pot meals I’ve been making recently.

By noon we were both soaking wet, from working in the heat and humidity, so we packed everything up and retreated to the car, to make the trip home in a much appreciated air conditioned vehicle.

After unpacking the car, Attila was back on the job. The new wall studs on the front wall were constructed, and siding installed. He even managed to paint the the new siding. It looks as if it has always been as it is now.

It is so hot outside that when Attila came in at one point, his clothes were completely, down to the last fibre, soaked in sweat. After changing, back out he went. His plan to finish the wall above the garage doors today was accomplished.

Iris has been sitting on the front lawn since June 15, 2018. Now that the front of the garage roof project is completed, she will be moved back into her rightful place in the driveway.

Attila has now reached the stage in the project, where he feels peace of mind, confident that the remaining touches will proceed smoothly. There will still be much to do, but the big push is over.

While removing the old roof the week before last, carpenter ant nests were found in the wet rotted wood. They were destroyed. When the rotting sill plate above the front garage doors was removed this afternoon, another nest of carpenter ants was found. They were destroyed. The theory is, and I like this theory, that now that the wood will remain dry and sound, there will be no more carpenter ants.

My eyes are bothering me tonight. It started when we were at the camp, I think perhaps the UV index has something to do with my discomfort. My eyes are teary, and my vision is blurry. There are no other symptoms. I will be sure to wear sunglasses out of doors from now on.

Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends. I heard fireworks in the distance last night, but could see no signs of them through any of the windows. The celebration here at Mist Cottage consisted of Nachos with salsa and sour cream, perfect for us after a hot day in the bush, and Attila working on the roofing project.

Sunday, July 2, 2018

Yesterday Attila finished installing the siding on the front of the garage, and painted it too. Just the trim to be added, and the presentation is complete. Although the front is not really complete, it does look as if it is from the outside, which is what the neighbours care about, so Attila is feeling a lot more relaxed about the project now. Having it look finished from the outside was his turning point. Having the metal on the roof so that it would shed water was my turning point. Both have been accomplished.

I was going to vacuum in the garage early this morning, but I got sidetracked. Last evening Attila picked an armful of rhubarb from the garden, which I covered and put into the refrigerator for the night. This morning, when I opened the refrigerator door to get the milk for my coffee, there it was, waiting for me. I began the process of baking a rhubarb crisp, and preparing the left over rhubarb for the freezer. The rhubarb crisp was baked in the Nesco on the back porch. There was enough cubed rhubarb left over for two more rhubarb crisps, so I bagged, labelled, and stowed it in the freezer.

While I was busy with the rhubarb, I noticed that there was only one baked potato left in the refrigerator. Attila snacks on baked potatoes, if they are there, so it was time to bake more, in the Instant Pot of course!

The hydro is roughly half price today, because it is a statutory holiday. It is the perfect time to bake a loaf of bread. I baked the the loaf in the kitchen, even though the heat from the bread machine would mean that the air conditioning would have to work harder. Attila needed the electrical outlet on the back porch, for his equipment to work on the garage roof project, and bread takes about three hours, much too long for him to lose access to electricity for his tools.

It is another stinker of a day out there today. The second day in a row that the government is posting very inaccurate information about the temperature. The government weather web site says it is 26C with a humidex of 36C. That is false. Our thermometer, in the shade, reads 31C, who knows what the humidex is; it is high. Attila knows, he is out there working in this heat, and he says today is hotter and more humid than yesterday.

The rabbits are breaking my heart! There are only four pea plants left, of more than a dozen. Now they are killing the Scarlet Runner beans too. They reach through the fence and pull the stems over, near ground level, and bite through the stems to kill the plants. They don’t eat the plants, they just kill them and leave them. There are three of these rabbits, and they are bold as brass. My water canon ultimately has little effect. They run when the realize I am around, but they come back and decimate our food crop when I am busy elsewhere.

After reading a lot of different suggestions on how to control them, I decided that a chicken wire fence, attached at the top to our yard fence, and held down with garden stakes, would be the best option. I even sourced the materials, and drove to Canadian Tire to purchase what was needed, but everything is closed today. Tomorrow I plan on finding the chicken wire and garden stakes, and installing them! I sure hope there are a few plants left to save by then.

Wildlife is cute, but losing our high quality food is not cute. We need a fence around the garden area of our yard, which would protect the climbing food plants on the existing fence, because it would enclose that stretch of fence.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Sunday, July 1, 2018
The weather people say it is 26C at 3:40 p.m., with a humidex of 34C. Where are they taking these measurements!!!
WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!!!!
It is 34 in the shade here at Mist Cottage, our thermometer has been accurate for years, I trust it, and the humidex must be very much higher than that, 40C at least. I wonder why the temperature posted by Environment Canada is so very different than the temperature on local thermometers! Is their reading under estimated, read on the lakeshore, under reported… it isn’t accurate whatever their problem is.

Quote

“Spare no expense to save money on this one.”
Samuel Goldwyn
1882 – 1974

A Couple of Days

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Well, here it is, the garage roof replacement project has begun. I’ve waited for this one, to be over of course, it has been a long, long time coming. The garage roof leaked when we bought Mist Cottage in 2010, and the situation has worsened year by year, the smell of the mildew, the wet, the mice… well, all that is about to change at last.

And am I happy? Yes and no. I am so very glad the project is underway. At the same time I am feeling sad at the interruption in the flow of my daily life. That is probably because it is not my project, it is Attila’s. My role is administrative, making sure all the bills are paid so that the materials show up when needed, making sure that lots of good food waits in the ready, making a concerted effort to become invisible, to try not to get drawn into the project, just to listen when Attila goes through the frustrating bits, which I always hear about. It will eventually be behind us, and life will once again settle into some kind of rhythm. It isn’t going to be fun, I know that much.

My projects were finding the funds for grants, applying for and fulfilling all the administrative obligations for grants, orchestrating the hiring of contractors for the insulation for the attic, and the new windows, making payments, and watching the budget while waiting for the grant portions to arrive. These were big projects, which were very intrusive to daily life. The difference though is that none of the physical work was undertaken by Attila or myself. The projects went more quickly and efficiently because experienced people performed the installations. The insulation project has been completed, which includes receiving the grant funding. The new window project is incomplete, it is still pending the receipt of the grant, which is substantial, so that the worry over what would happen if the cheque never arrived is always lurking at the back of my consciousness. Also, one of the panes of glass was broken when they installed the living room windows, and the replacement glass has been on backorder for what seems like forever. I keep calling them, getting a date when the windows will come in, and then not hearing from them at all. Then I call again and we go through the whole rigamarole again, three times so far. I anticipate that it will turn out well, in time.

I am undertaking a new project, there is funding available for low income people (us!) to assist with making our home more energy efficient. I am expecting a call from an energy auditor, who will visit and assess the house, and draw up a plan if there is any funding available for what this particular house needs. I don’t really expect much with this, it is a lot of time and effort to make all these arrangements, but even if Mist Cottage benefits a wee bit from it, it will have been worthwhile. Actually, since we have a new right wing government in Ontario, I anticipate that the program will get the axe before we see any benefit from it, helping low income people won’t be high on the list of priorities, not unless it provides big PR opportunities, which this program will not. I hope I am wrong, but I am not optimistic.

Meanwhile, Attila has ordered, and received, the dumpster. The metal roofing has been ordered and he awaits delivery soon. The lumber has been ordered and will be delivered soon. The dumpster is huge, much bigger than I anticipated, and it takes up half the driveway. Where all the building materials will go when they are delivered is up in the air, I haven’t asked about it, better not to! Attila better be here when they are delivered! Iris and Tank are happily ensconced on the front lawn, where they can stay indefinitely. It is game on around here.

Another little bit of misery came home with Attila yesterday. The company he works for has decided they need him to work two Saturdays a month, overtime, from now on. I hate six day work weeks, and Attila will too. I am feeling a bit cranky about it right now, but not as cranky as Attila will feel after a few months of it.

Oh well, onward into the day!

The Instantpot beckons. I’d like to try a recipe using rice and vegetables, consisting of mostly vegetables. I am looking at the recipe for Rice Pudding and thinking, why not a savoury rice pudding.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

My experiment with savoury rice pudding in the Instantpot was not a total success. Rice pudding is meant to be creamier than rice in savoury dishes, so the texture was too mushy. The taste was fine, but it needs work. It is hard work trying to season a dish with no salt, or salty condiments. I tried using a garlic seasoning, called Garlic Plus, some dehydrated onion, and garlic granules. I made the dish using water. Things I am going to try in future are using saved water from boiled vegetables, caramelizing chopped onion at the beginning of the process, and researching how to cook savoury rice in the Instantpot. In the meantime, I will be eating my mistakes for days to come.

After some thought, I decided that a weeknight trip to the Rideau Camp was in order. So, when Attila arrived home from work yesterday, off we went. This trip was to set mousetraps in Grace the Trailer, and to put down some mouse poison in the trailer. Putting mouse poison underneath and around the trailer was considered, but I decided I wanted to try using it exclusively inside the trailer for now. Chances are the poisoned mice won’t make it out of the trailer alive, and will not be consumed by other animals. Also, other animals might get into the poison if it was outside, which is undesirable. There is a fox that hunts the Camp area, there is usually fresh scat somewhere on the crushed stone when we arrive for a visit. The fox could do a better job eating all those mice, but I shudder to think how many there would be if the fox were to hunt elsewhere.

This visit also included killing army worms, there were still thousands of them there. Attila sprayed, while I used a long stick to kill the outliers and escapees. I also destroyed the beginnings of another mouse nest in the ceiling of Winnie the outhouse. This one was a lot less substantial than the last, so hopefully the critter will find somewhere else to build a house.

The garlic planted at the Camp is doing very well, thriving. The Blue Hubbard Squash that was planted there is up, but it isn’t growing very fast. Perhaps it needs to be watered regularly, which won’t happen this season, too much going on at Mist Cottage with the new garage roof project.

We worked steadily until 9:30 p.m., at which time I could barely stand. I was exhausted. My energy levels are still being drained by this cold, which is hanging on. We arrived home before 11:00 p.m., I went straight to bed, and slept soundly until 5:30 a.m. I feel fine this morning, except for the cold, which is not lodged in my throat and tickles my chest into a cough when I breath.

I am taking it easy today. A load of laundry is hanging on the line, underneath the porch roof. Having a dry outdoor space to hang laundry to dry is a really nice feature of a roofed porch. It rained last night, and it looks like it will rain again today, perhaps even produce a severe thunder storm. My laundry will continue to dry on the line, regardless of the rain. The floors needed to be vacuumed, which was easily accomplished. Unless bills arrive in the mail today, or the much anticipated cheque for the windows, I will be taking it easy, working on my crocheted blanket, reading, watching a few youtube videos. The time flies, I am having fun.

The Peonies are in full bloom. What a beautiful scent they have! My Granny grew Peonies in her flower garden, they are harbingers of memory. Yesterday three vases were made ready, and graced with cut Peonies. One vase sits near my easy chair in the living room, beautiful to see and sniff. Another vase sits on my desk, in my room. The third vase is on the kitchen table.

Tonight’s dinner will be leftovers. Attila will eat Nachos with homemade Guacamole, and I will have the last bowl of baked beans, with a slice of homemade bread. For dessert there will be grapes. The refrigerator will be almost empty of leftovers by tonight, so tomorrow will be a cooking day, on the back porch of course.

Well, it is almost noon, and I have bee…

Thanks Kate. I got up to investigate a noise, forgot I was still writing and posted the entry. I hope it is the cold making me so absent minded!

It is past noon now, and I have been finishing up on what I’ve walked away from and left unfinished!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

17°C
Date: 11:00 AM EDT Tuesday 12 June 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 17.3°C
Dew point: 12.7°C
Humidity: 74%
Wind: S 21 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH
18°C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Wednesday 13 June 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 17.9°C
Dew point: 15.5°C
Humidity: 86%
Wind: S 14 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
1749 – 1832

Mice

I took a whirlwind trip to visit the Rideau Camp, and to check Grace the trailer, to see how she weathered the winter. Attila made the trip with me.

Attila dragged deadwood from the front of the property to the camp fire pit, and I spent my hours there cleaning Grace. Mice had infiltrated and left disgusting droppings in the kitchen drawers, which had to be removed and cleaned out of doors, as well as all the contents sterilized and washed. I think Attila found where they came in, chewed right through the rubber flashing on one of the doors. I am on the search for metal reinforced flashing now, so they can’t chew through it.

It was lovely to drive through the countryside on the way to the Camp. There were bright yellow Coltsfoot blooms along the road in, and the ground at the Camp was covered with emerging Trout Lily leaves.

At Mist Cottage the sunshine saw to the last of the snow on the lawn. It also persuaded a few blooms to emerge from the awakening Lungwort in the front garden. Rabbits have been eating the new growth from the onions and garlic plants in the garden. There are more rabbits about this spring, probably because the wetland forest at the end of the street has been destroyed. A fence around the garden might be required!

I have been working on my genealogy database, allowing myself to wander around through primary documents on ancestry. This morning I reviewed all the deaths in the Parry Sound area for 1918, one of the Spanish Flu epidemic years. There were more than 70 deaths due to influenza, and many deaths due to pneumonia, which in some cases might have been related to influenza. I enjoy following little lines if inquiry like this from time to time, just seeing what the data will reveal. Then, when I have some information, I like to contemplate how it played out in lived lives, the human element, the feelings, the effects on human communities, that sort of thing. My Granny was 16 years old in 1918, with a war on, and a flu epidemic, it must have been a challenging year. I wonder did she have a beau, did she lose friends to the war or the epidemic? I’d love to be able to talk with her again, to find out about her life.

A new ball of yarn was started on the crocheted blanket project. I find I have been picking it up a bit more frequently, when I want to sit and think.

The holding pattern with Attila is working well so far, so that domestic life is relatively comfortable. I am beginning to get my bearings here, feel solid ground under my feet. My affection for Attila is undiminished. I am still leery of the situation, the unexpectedness of the terrible, terrible mistake has shown me the precariousness of my life, any life really, something not easily forgotten.

Today is predicted to be warm, 15C, and sunny. I am very keen to grab my bucket, and a ladder, and give Iris the trailer a good exterior washing. Sitting under a tree, she has accumulated some green algae on her roof, and long one side. A good washing, and an interior cleaning are a very good idea.

As I sit here writing, the sun is streaming in through the living room windows. The beautiful, bug free, maybe even open today windows!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-1°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Monday 23 April 2018
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 103.2 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -1.0°C
Dew point: -1.9°C
Humidity: 94%
Wind: NNE 4 km/h
Wind Chill: -2
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.”
Samuel Johnson
1709 – 1784

Day Six: Cloud and Rain and Wind

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Crazy! On my way out the door this evening, as Attila and I were heading out to visit the grocery store, I noticed a hole in the soffit of the house. The hole is where the Grackles have been trying to get in, and I did hear the attempts to get back into the roof overhang, all summer long. But, get this, it wasn’t a Grackle that made the hole in our soffit, it was a small black and white woodpecker!

Tonight Attila got out his very tall ladder and took some spray insulation to spray into the hole. As he climbed and approached the opening out flew the black and white woodpecker. The spray insulation is not going to keep that bird out of our roof, oh no. It is time for another metal patch. That corner of the house attracts house hunters of all kinds!

Eventually we would like to put metal siding, roofing, soffit, and facia on the this little house. It has the original siding, soffit and facia, which are deteriorating rapidly now due to old age and past incursions from wildlife. Mist Cottage is livable, even comfortable, but we are still fighting off the local wildlife for control of the building!

Attila caught two mice in traps in the garage, in the last two days. They are coming in now, looking for a place to winter. We will have to keep a close eye on Grace The Trailer and Iris The Trailer, to catch any incursions.

Attila and I were just discussing our grocery bill. Our recent food bills average at $105 a week. Attila loves numbers and arithmetic, and if I follow along with my calculator, everything he calculates in his brain, he is always correct in his calculations. So I leave all calculations to him, he enjoys it, I don’t have to enter the numbers myself, he is always right, and he is a lot nicer to look at than a calculator. So when Attila says we spend $105 a week on food, on average, I know the number is reliable.

After announcing that we spend about $105 a week on food, I got to thinking about people who buy coffee every morning, for about $2.50 a cup, at the drive through. Lets see, that would be $5.00 every morning if Attila and I each had a coffee from the coffee shop. That would be seven days a week, at $5.00 a day, which would add up to $35 a week for coffee. Just one coffee each per day though, no second cups involved. A coffee each would cost a third of our food budget. It boggles my mind that people spend so much of their hard earned money on things like coffee shop coffee. We have had a Tim Horton’s gift card worth $10 sitting on the shelf for the last three years, and have yet to buy a cup of coffee with it.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Sometimes the weather in early September is warm and sunny. Not this year. It was sunny the first day of the vacation, last Saturday, a perfect day. The rain clouds blew in overnight, and the sun has not made an appearance for more than a few hours ever since. However, late into the night, on several nights, the sky has been perfectly clear and the moonlight bright as day. We are sleeping at that time, but one night the moonlight was so bright shining down on me through the window that it woke me up. Again last night Attila said that when he went outside to use the facilities, the sky was clear, and the moonlight was as bright as day. The sun even shone for about an hour this morning, there was high hope that at last a bright sunny day would grace our vacation. But alas, by mid morning the wind began to roar, the rain to pelt down in sheets, and the thunder to pound loudly around the Camp. The awning was in danger again, so out we went into the storm to take it down and secure it to the side of Grace The Trailer.

So far during the vacation we have had one sunny day, two days of continuous rain, and three days of heavy cloud cover. Is this related to Hurricane Harvey, one has to wonder.

The visit to the Middleville Museum the other day was interesting. My time there was spent with the resident genealogist, who was very helpful. Attila spent his time at the museum viewing all the displays, which were very impressive. One of the things we were given was a pamphlet created for the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, listing all the families that were in and around the village in the year 1867. My ancestors are listed on their respective farms. Since the visit I have undertaken to transcribe the contents of the pamphlet, all 19 pages of it. I am enjoying finding out what families comprised the community where my ancestors spent their lives. In 1867 communities were more firmly based on contiguity, and survival. People who lived near each other not only knew each other, they depended on each other in ways we do not in this urbanized society we presently exist in. Social skills were much more developed than they are today.

Yesterday, another cloudy day here at the Rideau Camp, Attila and I headed into one of the local villages for a few supplies. Our water supply is almost depleted, there are no public water taps near the Camp to refill them, so we purchased a big container of water at the grocery store. It is a nice little store, and the staff are genuinely friendly and helpful even though we were clearly not living in the village. This basic friendliness is very refreshing to encounter, and will mean that in future we will do most of our local purchasing at the little store. The prices there, although a little higher than the in the grocery store near Mist Cottage, are quite reasonable.

In contrast, we will be avoiding the local “market” which sells artisanal foods, all relatively local, and very, very, very expensive. That is where I bought a 1 kg bag of flour for $8.00, not a price the average Canadian can afford. Thank goodness we have “local” beans, tomatoes, and garlic from our own garden at Mist Cottage, and that I buy things like flour in bulk directly from the mill!

Later in the afternoon today, well towards the end of the day, the sun emerged from behind the clouds. What a welcome sight! I will admit that the constant grey of the sky, and the relentless showers, were getting me down a bit.

It is interesting that the mosquitoes are quite bad right now. They are a small variety of mosquito, silent and effective. We have both been bitten numerous times, despite our precautions, always on the face or hands. I don’t react, and to be honest, if it weren’t for West Nile Disease I wouldn’t give them a thought. But they are dangerous, and so their presence is intrusive. Mosquitoes are not usually so prolific this late in the summer, but this is a very wet year, so I guess they are expanding their predations accordingly.

Attila is progressing with his project, to spread the crushed stone across the area where we intend to place Grace The Trailer. He is enjoying himself, and part of the reason is that the transformation of the clearing is so obvious, every deposit of of crushed stone expands our easy walking area. It is now very easy to drive Tank right into the clearing and to turn Tank around to drive out again.

The neighbour is very loud this morning, chopping own trees, probably for firewood.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Thursday, September 7, 2017

This morning began with blue skies and sunshine, then suddenly deteriorated into high winds, pelting rain, a big drop in temperature, and thunder. At noon, the sky was a solid sheet of steel grey, the wind died, and it had stopped raining, at least for the moment. Late in the afternoon the clouds cleared and the sun shone, as it sank below the horizon. The temperature is dropping, it is going to be a cold night.

22°C
Date: 6:00 PM EDT Thursday 14 September 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 22.1°C
Dew point: 16.9°C
Humidity: 72%
Wind: S 10 km/h
Humidex: 27
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“The only way not to think about money is to have a great deal of it.”
Edith Wharton
1862 – 1937