Learning

Oh the excitement! Well, by modern standards of drama, not really. OK, admittedly by the standards of recent drama in my own life, not really. But I can muster a little bit of excitement over this.

On Wednesday evening, after 7:00 p.m. the dishwasher was doing its thing. The dishwasher generates heat, as it does its thing. Unexpectedly, the dishwasher raised the temperature in the house a whopping 1.5C, which put it at 22.5C. That is too warm for sleeping! The temperature in the house, due to new insulation and new windows, remains constant. Attila suggested turning on the air conditioning. I was resistant. The compromise was to open all the windows in the house until bed time, which brought the temperature down to 21.5. Better. It will take some time to learn how to manage the temperature in the house! I might just open the windows while the dishwasher is running, and see if that keeps the temperature down.

I have been enjoying the beautiful warm sunny afternoons, and chilly clear nights. Everything is green. The leaves are unfurling, the perennials are shooting up towards the sun.

This morning I washed laundry before 7:00 a.m.; it has been hanging out to dry on the back porch clothesline. It has not been a terribly busy day. Attila’s iPad needed some updating, did that. My web sites needed software upgrades, did that. Time is flying by, so I must be having fun.

Things between Attila and I remain friendly, a new rhythm of life is slowly emerging, and I find I am comfortable with that process. The future is unwritten.

Attila’s garden is in the planning stages. The seed packets are spread all over the kitchen table: Swiss Chard, Scarlet Runner Beans, Climbing Peas, Blue Hubbard Squash, Butternut Squash, Basil, Spinach, and a few others yet to be chosen. The Scarlet Runner Beans, Blue Hubbard Squash, and Butternut Squash are seeds we saved from previous harvests at Mist Cottage, originally saved from produce purchased from organic farms. Some of the remaining seeds are Heirloom seeds purchased from Salt Spring Seeds, and some were ordered from William Dam Seeds. This is a gardening weekend for Attila.

I have just come indoors to finish writing this entry. The mosquitoes were beginning to be bothersome. Attila and I had been sitting out on the porch, chatting, and watching the big bonfire that the neighbours had built in their back yard; all the enjoyment, none of the work. There is a party going on around that bonfire tonight, but the revelry won’t disturb me, I’ve been sleeping well most of the time lately.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

17°C
Date: 8:00 PM EDT Friday 18 May 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 16.5°C
Dew point: -2.6°C
Humidity: 27%
Wind: NE 18 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“It’s easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world.”
Al Franken

Fly Strip

On the weekend a fly strip was hung on the back porch. The hope was that it would immobilize the wasps who bumble into the area, and might deliver strings that are truly unpleasant. So far it has caught about a half a dozen mosquitoes, no complaints there, and two house flies. Another plan must be devised for the wasps.

It has been an uneventful day, quiet and peaceful. The crochet blanket gained a few rows, some bills were paid, administrative type emails were sent, software was updated, floors were swept, meals were consumed, sunshine was soaked in…

Worldly Distractions

Weather

18°C
Date: 8:00 PM EDT Wednesday 16 May 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 18.1°C
Dew point: 9.6°C
Humidity: 57%
Wind: WSW 8 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshipped.”
Calvin Coolidge
1872 – 1933

Last Day

Friday, September 15, 2017

Tomorrow the weather is supposed to turn hot, and stay that way for a week or so. Go figure, the nicest weather we had on our vacation was the the first day and the last day. The first day led to false hope, the last day let us know what we had missed.

Two projects are consuming the day here at Mist Cottage. The current antivirus software will not work on three computers. There are three computers here that need protection. The current antivirus software license expires in the next few months. A new antivirus software that will protect three computers for one price was purchased this morning, Bitdefender Antivirus. So far it has found viruses and trojans that Intego antivirus software had ignored, probably because they are Windows based viruses and trojans. Since files are sometimes shared with others, all three computers were cleaned of the Windows viruses and trojans. Installing the new software, scanning, and cleaning up all three computers took all morning.

The second task was inspired by a link Kate put on her blog, regarding cleaning dishcloths properly. The web site recommended boiling dishcloths for five minutes to kill all bacteria. Almost all of the dishcloths, and facecloths, are now adequately boiled. They will be laundered, hung out to dry, and then we shall see how effective this boiling method is for destinkifying the fabric.

Wouldn’t it be great if boiling politicians could destinkify politics! It doesn’t work though, similar techniques have been tried throughout history, and the majority of politicians still stink.

Note: My new not-a-real-word of the day, destinkify/ing, I like it!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The morning of the last day of our vacation dawned with a cloudless sky, it was the nicest weather we have had over the last nine days. The predicted low temperature, of our last night here at the Rideau Camp, was 3C, which was not very warm. We were comfortable last night until bedtime, wearing sweaters and jackets, then retired to sleep under a combination of comforters and wool blankets with the blinds at the windows closed tight to retain as much heat as possible. We awoke to a very chilly room, after having slept soundly through the night. The temperature in Grace The Trailer this morning at 6:30 a.m. was 12C (54F)). We have slept at the country house, that first autumn when we had no heat, at 5C (41F), and found that to be too chilly for comfort, without wearing toques while we slept.

This morning I dressed hurriedly, checked the thermostat, then switched on the heat. We have a propane furnace, which requires electricity to run, which is supplied by the attached battery, or an attached generator. The generator is not left out overnight, because it should not be out in inclement weather, and because theft is always a possibility. This morning the only option was to use the battery to run the furnace. Within ten minutes Grace The Trailer was feeling a lot more comfortable.

Attila has spread almost all of the crushed stone, and it has been quite a job! He used a shovel and a wheel barrow. I would have felt it hard labour to spend my time shovelling and pushing wheel barrows full of crushed stone, but he feels differently about it… he feels he has had a very relaxing vacation.

My time was spent sitting in the sun when it peeked out from behind the clouds, a rare event, reading my book, and working to transcribe the material obtained at the Middleville Museum into my database on the computer.

One of the things that has been interesting is how bad the mosquitoes are this September. Last September there were no mosquitoes here at the Rideau Camp, but this year they abound, a small and sneaky strain of them. This has made sitting out of doors on cloudy days unpleasant. When the sun shines they retreat into the shadows, and one can sit out and enjoy the outdoors… only three days have offered weather suitable for relief from the mosquitoes, the Saturday we arrived, yesterday when it was quite chilly, and today. The weather is magnificent today.

Yesterday was the last full day of our vacation, and the second day of sunny weather. We went for a picnic at a park in a local village, then visited the library. On Friday we visited the Township office to obtain a copy of our tax bill, so that a library card could be obtained. I had forgotten to bring a copy of our tax bill with us. The library near the township office issued me a library card. The libraries are staffed by lovely people, pleasant and helpful. A library card provides me with access to the library WiFi system. I borrowed a book on Friday, on the history of the area, and returned it yesterday at a connected library in another local village, where we had our picnic. Being at the Rideau Camp during the week allows us to explore the local area, and to start making connections with the surrounding infrastructures.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Sunday, September 10, 2017
Cloudless sky and very cold in the morning, but no frost. A day that warmed with the sun.

20°C
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Friday 15 September 2017
Condition: Mist
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Steady
Temperature: 20.4°C
Dew point: 19.5°C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: SSE 14 km/h
Humidex: 28
Visibility: 8 km

Quote

“Now I must close this rambling account of your mother’s people around here, forgive my blunders and bad writing, and write soon and let us know how you all are. I hope your talk of coming to see us will prove true. We will all be glad to see you.”

A letter written in 1888, from my GGG Uncle Peter in Middleville, Ontario, to his niece Rowena, my first cousin four times removed, in the USA, either in Champion, New York, or Clyde, Ohio, I am not sure of the date that Rowena moved from New York to Ohio.

Mosquitoes

Friday, April 15, 2016

Mosquitoes!

They came out of hiding yesterday evening at 6:00 p.m., and they loved me! We spent the day pulling brambles and draining wet areas at the Rideau Camp. At the end of a fruitful day of work, we were sitting around our campfire, when I noticed the first mosquito land on my hand. Then the rest of the gang followed, and I was surrounded. They paid no attention at all to Attila, just me. I was wearing dark clothing, a real no-no!

We pulled three wheelbarrow loads of brambles from the Rideau Camp yesterday. This is the time of year to do it, because the earth is soft enough to pull the roots out of the ground. The soil is heavy clay, and soon it will dry out enough that it will resemble rock.

We took a break mid afternoon to grill cheese sandwiches over the open campfire, then it was back to work. I remembered to bring the bread this time!

I tended the fire for much of the day, while pulling brambles, and Attila headed out into the bush to create a drainage system for some wet spots at the back of the property.

We have a lot of frogs in the wetland at the entrance to the property, and they were in fine voice all day. Occasionally they became quite loud and seemed excited. When Attila went out to the wetland to fetch a pail of water to put out the fire, he saw a muskrat in the wetland. How wonderful that we have a muskrat on our property!

So far we have seen a Blue Crane on the neighbouring property, a pair of Hawks soaring and hunting in the skies above us, and now a Muskrat hunting in our wetland.

We were also buzzed by a small pontoon airplane, flying quite low over the property. Summer, and summer activities are beginning. The plane was probably headed for the lake.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

This morning we found mouse droppings all around the kitchen sink. They had scoured the dirty dishes in the sink! We must remember to wash the dishes before we go to bed at night, even if there is only a plate and cup. The traps were set, but baited with seeds. We are switching to peanut butter in the traps.

Today the weather is warm enough to hang clothes outside to dry. What a welcome eventuality. Attila did a large load of his laundry early in the morning, and hung it out to dry for the day.

We were off bright and early this morning, headed for the Rideau Camp. I got the camp fire going, and Attila got right back to uprooting brambles. He removed three more wheelbarrow loads, which I burned slowly in campfire. We have a long way to go burning all the deadwood, piles up brush left by a bulldozer, and brambles. But since we are having fun, and there is no big rush to get it done, the job does not seem daunting.

While Attila was preparing our grilled cheese sandwiches for grilling, a new Cadillac SUV came driving up the driveway. The couple asked me if we were the people selling the property. They were quite disappointed that we were the people who just bought the property. It is kind of nice to know that someone else thinks that it is a nice property.

Just before we left for the day, Attila gathered another bag of garbage from along the creek. If we bring a bag of garbage home with us every time we are there, by the end of the summer we should have most of it cleared away.

The mosquitoes came out again this evening at the camp, but I was ready for them! I wore my permethrin coated shirt and pants and didn’t get one bite. Funny thing though, earlier in the day I felt something crawling on my neck and flicked it off, it was a moth. Later, as Attila and I were sitting at the campfire, he reached over and removed a small moth that was crawling on my neck. Apparently the moths love me.

We drove home into the sunset once more, arriving home hungry and tired… and very happy.

I had a note from my Mom this morning, she sounds fantastic! She is out and about a lot more now, gaining weight, and healing slowly. Now all we need is some nice hot summer weather to set her right!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

9°C (high of 16C predicted)
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Saturday 16 April 2016
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 103.3 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 8.5°C
Dewpoint: -2.7°C
Humidity: 45%
Wind: ENE 16 km/h

Quote

“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.”
Jerry Chin

Sweeping Clean the Corners

Granny’s Porch, where she and I shelled peas, sitting on wooden kitchen chairs, after picking them from the garden down the road. How sweet the peas tasted; I still love peas.
Grannysporch

Sleep has been catching up with me; last night’s deep, sound sleep was very welcome.

Life is very quiet at the moment. So quiet that the passing of the road grater is a big event! It certainly is a noisy event. The weekend approaches, and by the end of today the SUVs will be teeming along the roads at breakneck speed, heading for their “wilderness” sanctuaries. The relentless hum of motors will fill the backspaces of sound, as the big boats dart hither and thither across the waterways, going nowhere in particular.

There is no current interest from buyers, in our country house (the conditional offer fell through). There is no news from the township, about an access permit for the camp. Those are the big ticket items on time and money, in our lives at the moment, and both seem dormant. They will both require a continued investment in my least favourite activity… waiting.

Mist is celebrating life by sleeping away most of the day, and much of the night. Her favourite times of the day are first thing in the morning, just after we awaken, and last thing in the evening, as we sit on the sofa chatting before sleep claims us all. She sits quietly every morning, waiting for her milk bowl to be filled, the blinds to be opened, the food dish to be topped up, and all the water bowls to be filled. In the evening she sits between Attila and I on the sofa. She turns her head toward Attila, expecting and receiving an affectionate pet, then she turns her head toward me, expecting and receiving three little whistle blows near her ears, three little puffs of air and a hint of sound for her deaf ears. Her purring becomes deeper and louder as the she turns from one of us to the other, over and over, until she curls up in that warm space between us, and sleeps, still purring.

So the days pass. Attila works, long hours, hard hours. I clean, work on my digital projects, research possibilities on the internet, cook, get through the long inactive hours with a minimum of discomfort.

This morning the music of Hildegard von Bingen fills the empty space left when the road grater has slowly moved on to smooth the surfaces of other byways.

I has been raining now for several days. Today the humidity is a miserable 90%. We thought the mosquitoes were wicked bad last Sunday at the camp, but Attila says they are worse now. I watch from behind the blessed screens that allow the fresh air in, and keep the minuscule marauders out.

I am thinking about lists this morning. I need lists to keep my interest in the physical world going. It would be effortless for me to drift away, in my thoughts, visiting my internal worlds that are so rich, so enticing. I do enjoy the physical plane, but it cannot hold my interest for very long. If I have a list of things to do, then I can tie my balloon to it, check off the items as they are accomplished, and still flutter in the breeze of lateral thinking. It has always been this way. I am more aware that it is not like this for everyone, now that I am older.

With all this time alone, there are moments when discouragement creeps into the way of the world. Progress has been made of course, over the years, as despair seems to have been permanently routed. Having made it into my senior years, I feel that in doing so I have accomplished much, making despair redundant in my life. Discouragement though, keeps accumulating, unseen in unused corners of my mind, until suddenly it seems to overtake the known world. It needs constant, regular housekeeping, does discouragement. Like the doing of dishes, the making of beds, and the brushing of teeth, the sweeping out of discouragement needs doing on a regular basis. All is clear for the moment!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

15°C
Date: 10:43 AM EDT Friday 13 June 2014
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 15.1°C
Dewpoint: 13.6°C
Humidity: 90%
Wind: W 8 km/h

Quote

“If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”
Thomas A. Edison (1847 – 1931)