Attila Wore Shorts

Today was a statutory holiday in Ontario, Canada. Attila had the day off work.

We spent our two days, Sunday and Monday, at the little house in the city. There was much to do there. The lawn needed cutting. Luckily it had not grown to the ten inch height restriction set by the municipality. If the lawn grows taller than ten inches, the municipality will step in and cut it, and charge the homeowner $250. Clearly we are walking a fine line, trying to get to the little house often enough to keep the grass from growing to a ten inch height. Because I stayed at the little house through May and June, the height of grass growing season, we have been able to keep up with it this spring and summer.

Our neighbour hailed us as we were backing out of the driveway to stock up on supplies. She handed us the promised payment for the bed she purchased from us early last May. Wonderful! Clearly our new neighbours are as good as their word. Knowing this makes a difference.

Later we greeted another neighbour, enjoyed a chat in the front yard, and asked after his lovely wife, who is not feeling very well these days. They are a retired couple, and two of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.

Sunday was sunny and hot. Attila wore shorts. It was the first time this summer that he had the opportunity to dress casually. Six days a week he wears heavy construction overalls during the day. The rest of the time he wears bug protecting work clothes as he spends his evenings and Sunday’s chopping wood and working on the country house. What a pleasure it was to see him puttering at his own pace around the place yesterday, in his shorts. He was happy as a clam, mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, picking green beans, and tomatoes, and zucchini, and basil from the garden. The scarlet runner beans are beautiful, and have produced quite a few beans. We are letting those beans mature to seed, for next years planting. They are so beautiful that we plan on planting them all along the fence line next summer. The scarlet runner bean seeds were costly to purchase, but well worth the initial investment. We could eat them, but not this year, this year we will focus on seeds for future planting.

Our pumpkin plants have literally run away from the garden bed we planted them in. They now reach well into the neighbour’s yard, so we cut them back in that direction. There are some blooms on them, but so far there are no pumpkins to be seen. The squash we planted along the fence line died, it came up, did not thrive, and perished in the dry spell over the last few weeks while we were away. We will try another location next year. The swiss chard is not doing well, it needed water. The rest of the garden has managed to do well despite the sparse water supply.

We planted borage for the bees, and it is doing very well. The nasturtiums, one of my favourites, are also doing very well. Even the lavender, for which I had lost hope, has thrived and flowered.

Saturday night, we transplanted a lilac in the backyard of the little house in the city. The original plant was a Mother’s Day gift from Luna and Terra, the first year we lived at the country house, where it was planted. In the spring Attila separated the suckers from the mother plant, and on Saturday night we brought one of them with us. We planted it where we can see it from the kitchen window. When I got up on Sunday morning and looked out the kitchen window, the area where the lilac was planted was shaded, but the lilac itself was bathed in single circle of bright sunshine. Mother nature has her ways of showing her approval. Such a little thing, so much joy.

Attila found a half a dozen small wild parsnip plants in the ditch in front of the house. They keep coming back. He carefully removed them all before he mowed. We will continue to plant clover in the ditch, at intervals, to try and keep the wild parsnip under control. The wild parsnip is everywhere around this area! There are fields choked with it. The sides of the roads are crowded with it. It skirts the edges of corn fields, of bean fields, of pastures. To go for a walk across a field now requires protective clothing. This is new. It is the third significant new outdoor hazard to develop in Ontario in my lifetime. The others are the spread of Giant Hogweed into the wild, and West Nile Virus which is now carried by some mosquitoes in Ontario. There may be more that I am not yet aware of!

For dinner, a large zucchini was halved, the seeds removed and the “boats” filled with a mixture of chopped tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. These were covered with foil and baked. BBQ’d hamburgers on whole wheat buns were served on the side.

The tomatoes have suffered from the dry weather at the little house in the city, making the skins thick, but the taste is sweet and delicious. My breakfasts and lunches for the last two days consisted of rye toast with sliced tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese.

The journey home was through the worst traffic we have encountered over the last five years of commuting to and from the little house in the city. Attila braved his way through it, stop, then go, then stop, then go, for several hours. Then we were clear of it. We didn’t mind much though, the flowing green bean fields, the waving yellow wheat fields, the distant lines of trees bending to the wind, so beautiful.

As we drove down our road, and turned into our driveway at the country house, we both thought that the house looked lovely and welcoming.

A federal election has been called in Canada, to take place on October 19, 2015. I almost dread all the hoopla. Attila and I know who we will vote for and why. We don’t need the political campaigning bombardment that is approaching.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 8:00 AM EDT Monday 3 August 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.5 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 19.9°C
Dewpoint: 17.3°C
Humidity: 85%
Wind: WSW 14 gust 28 km/h


“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?”
Mahatma Gandhi

“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”
Mahatma Gandhi


Our Mother’s Day get together at the country house. This is me, Grandma, and Imp and Elf, the Grandbabies, twins. Tink, the youngest is busy visiting with her Great Aunts and Great Grandmother. May 10, 2015

The weekend came, and the weekend went, and it was eventful.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

On Saturday morning at 7:20 a.m. I left the country house and headed down the road towards the little house in the city. The traffic was light most of the trip.

As I was on the last 20 minute stretch of highway, Highway 401, from out of nowhere, a huge white SUV, which was passing me on the left, veered into my lane, about to hit my vehicle at the back of the driver’s door. I caught the movement just out of the corner of my eye, she snuck up on me from behind. I was forced out of the driving lane onto the side of the road, and barely escaped rolling the car. I fishtailed for a bit, and regained control of the car. The SUV carried on as if nothing had happened, then cut into the passing lane and disappeared into the distance.

She could have killed me, and didn’t even notice!

All’s well that ends well though, and here I am to tell the tale!

Attila arrived at the little house in the city on Saturday evening. One of the items we transported down to the little house was our old television set, a CRT, the VHS player, the DVD player, and the cabinet on which they sit. We set that up and decided to take a break, share a pizza, and watch a movie.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday morning, as early as was acceptable, Attila mowed the lawn. Luckily the new mower has a bag attached, that catches the cuttings. He created a pile of cuttings that was over three feet high, by the time he had finished cutting the lawn. Then we did a bit of shopping. We had a quiet evening, eating leftover pizza, and watching Netflix.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Yesterday, Monday, was a statutory holiday, so Attila stayed the night Sunday night, and spent the better part of the day here before heading back to the country house. It was a gardening extravaganza! Attila transplanted the lungwort, the day lilies, and the sedum from the vegetable garden, to various locations in the front and back of the house. Those plants were moved to the vegetable garden just before we dug up around the basement to waterproof it. He then planted the plants I purchased at the grocery store: lavender, big boy tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, and portulaca.

Then Attila prepared soil for planting seeds, the seeds I purchased through Terra. He planted: swiss chard, borage, nasturtiums, red runner beans, pole beans, zucchini, and basil.

Our compost pile, just a heap, but very effective! The cut grass is beginning to break down and lose its chlorophyl.
The newly planted tomatoes, alongside the blooming iris, and the rhubarb.

After downing a cup of coffee, Attila was off on his trip back to the country house. He had a good drive, but a piece of Tank’s trim from around the front windshield blew off on the highway, again Highway 401. That highway!! No damage was done, other than losing the trim. No other vehicles were affected. I guess we will have to look into what happened there, and decide if we should try to replace the piece that blew off. As long as everyone is OK, who really cares!

The day was hot and sunny day, and as evening fell, the air began to cool, just slightly. I kept myself busy, to get through the dreaded “we me” emotions. Thankfully they came and then they went.

Yesterday morning I received a call on my cell phone, from a realtor’s office near the country house. They wanted to show the house this afternoon, which they did. The feedback we got was that they liked the house and the property, but that our location wasn’t for them. That could mean so many different things, that it means nothing. I was really impressed that we received almost immediate feedback from our realtor.

Last night I received another message from our realtor, setting up another showing this afternoon.

I like this realtor more all the time!

Terra is going in for surgery this week, and Lares has taken time off work to be with her. It isn’t anything life threatening, but all surgery involves risk, so I will be glad when she is through it and smiling again!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Well, here it is 5:47 a.m. on Tuesday morning. I am writing at the kitchen table, coffee at my side. It was such a quiet winter, and suddenly it is such a busy spring. Today I will be sorting and purging items here at the little house in the city, making room for another carload of belongings, that I will bring here on the next trip to country house and back. We will be moving from a family size three bedroom house, to a tiny two bedroom house with no closets, and a lot of our belongings won’t make the cut, or the trip south. Even so, room must be made for the belongings that do make the move!

My first task of the morning is to gear up and water the newly planted gardens. Which leads me to comment on the mosquitoes. There are lots of them! Nothing like the mosquitoes we get at the country house, but lots nevertheless. I have been bitten, and can only hope that the mosquito that got me either didn’t carry West Nile virus, or that I have already been exposed, and am now immune to West Nile Virus. When the mosquitoes are bad it is virtually impossible to avoid being bitten. My mosquito resistant clothing is all at the country house! I have the spray here though, and will treat another set of pants and a long sleeved shirt to keep here, then I will have gear at both locations. Usually I keep the mosquito resistant gear in the vehicle I am driving, but with Attila using both vehicles to accomplish various tasks related to the house sale, my gear got stowed in the mud room at the country house.

Attila and I chatted for a little while this morning, over FaceTime. He looks exhausted, and well he might. When I talked to him last night at 9 p.m., he hadn’t eaten since breakfast, and was just coming in from loading Tank with a full load to take to the dump. He doesn’t eat because he says it makes him want to fall asleep. He will spend his lunch hour taking the garbage to the dump, and when he is done working at his day job, he will be heading over to work at his part-time job, where he will work until dark. Hopefully, there will not be too many more tasks related to the house sale, so that Attila can have some down time when he isn’t working at one of his two jobs.

The day begins!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 8:12 PM EDT Monday 18 May 2015
Condition: Mist
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 3 km
Temperature: 17.0°C
Dewpoint: 16.7°C
Humidity: 98%
Wind: SSW 14 km/h


“As we grow old…the beauty steals inward.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
1803 – 1882

Three Days

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I have just arrived at the little house in the city. Attila and I pulled out of the country house driveway at the same time. At the highway junction he turned left, I turned right, and we flashed our headlights at each other. It was still dark enough to see each other’s headlights in our rearview mirrors.

My trip was an easy one, with lots of stops. I had to come to a complete stop twice on the Highway, for a school bus. I had to stop three times for construction. I stopped once for fuel. I stopped once to buy a snack because I was feeling a bit tired and needed a pick-me-up. And I stopped once at an apple store to buy a quarter bushel of Spy apples.

Just as I left the highway, and was driving through the countryside right outside of town, I passed a field with a huge tanker moving across it. The tanker was spraying liquid manure, and the smell hit me like a fist! This stuff was not composted manure, as we used on our farm, which has very little odour. No sir, the liquid coming out of that tank and spraying around was pure, fresh, liquified manure. Miles down the road, when I arrived home and stepped out of the car, the smell was less strong, but definitely being carried into town on the autumn breeze.

Upon arrival at the little house in the city, I unlocked the door and immediately called Attila to let him know I had arrived safely. Then I turned on the water supply, and checked to see if we had caught any mice in the mouse traps set as we left over a week ago. One was set in the basement, and it was still empty. Another was set in the tool cupboard, and it was not empty. The dead mouse was just beginning smell bad. I got that job over with as quickly as possible, carrying the mouse trap to the compost pile, digging a hole, and burying the mouse in the hole. I will spray the trap with bleach, reset it and place it back in the tool cupboard.

It took about an hour to carry all the luggage and items in from the car. Then I took a long rest, with a tall glass of water, and a handy pen and paper for the inevitable supply list.

The new kitchen curtains; enjoying the open windows!

Then it was time to pick up a few supplies; a quick trip to the local grocery store was in order. When I got back Terra was waiting form me, she stopped by on her way home from work. We had a nice chat, short and nice. She was going to go home to sleep, because she had to be back at work within eight hours, to work the night shift.

The rest of the day disappeared into cleaning and cooking activities, and ended with a brief conversation with Attila, via Skype.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I do not know how I turned off my cell phone, but I did. The result was that I slept in, until 7:14 a.m., a truly rare event in my life, and as a consequence, was too late to chat with Attila before he left for work. I felt very well rested. I slept deeply my first night here at the little house.

We receive free delivered newspapers here at the little house in the city, and they are stuffed full of flyers. I noticed that turkeys were on sale, and decided to purchase a few for the freezer. We generally eat between four and six turkeys every winter. We roast the turkey, prepare all the trimmings, mashed potatoes, vegetables, stuffing, etc. Then we eat leftovers for many days, and then Attila makes his turkey soup with whatever is left of the turkey.

So far, during this visit to the little house in the city, time seems to be getting away from me! It is passing so quickly, I hardly notice, and wonder where the day went.

On the agenda for the day was a large pot of chili, for quick meals while I am here alone. I tend to forget about preparing a meal until I feel hungry. Once I am hungry I do not want to wait until a full meal is prepared. My solution, make a big pot of chili, and a large quantity of fried mushrooms with rice. That provides me with two healthy, instant meals. I used two jars of my pressure canned Chili Beans to make my pot of chili.

Thankfully, the mouse traps were empty this morning!

The dehumidifier in the basement was full this morning. It has been emptied, and is ready to be turned on again when the electricity prices go down tonight.

During the afternoon, while the chili was being assembled, a flock of wild geese could be heard flying overhead, heading south.

I picked about four quarts of tomatoes from the garden. The squirrels have been busy raiding, and some very nice tomatoes were lying on the ground half eaten. In order to beat the squirrels to the food, I harvested the largest green tomatoes, and will ripen them on the windowsills.

Green tomatoes and hot peppers; beating the squirrels to harvest.

The last of the cucumbers were peeled and chopped today. I boiled them in a pot, let them cool, put them through the blender, and froze them to use as an ingredient in a future Stone Soup.

I am snacking on Coronation Grapes, I love them. They taste like Concord Grapes, but are seedless, and grown in Niagara. I bought them at NoFrills, a grocery chain, for anyone in Ontario who might be interested in finding them. I also chopped one of the Spy apples into my oatmeal this morning, and added a bit of cinnamon, yum.

When I talked to Attila at 9:00 p.m. last night, he had only been home for about an hour and half, he had worked until 7:30 p.m., no breaks, no lunch break. He came home and chopped wood until 8:30 in the evening. When I talked to him he was preparing his evening meal. They are very busy where he works, and they appreciate what he does for them.

It was a beautiful sunny day today. It was a stinker though, because somewhere near the periphery of the city, fields were being sprayed with liquified manure again. The smell was eye watering at times. This is one of the disadvantages of having farmland nearby. When city folk move to the country they are often horrified by the smells. We do not live in a Fisher Price or Lego world, where everything is made of plastic, and can be sterilized before use. No, real life includes smells, all kinds of them, including manure, and the flowers that grow because of it.

Today I didn’t accomplish any of the bigger projects on my list. I puttered about, and did a lot of little things that needed doing. Lots of time left during this visit for the big projects, to pressure can beans, mow the lawn, and sew the dining room curtains. I may, or may not, get around to all of these projects, as none of them are urgent.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

I have completed the database work for the first draft of my next genealogy book. It was a tough slog! I am sure I will find errors as I go forward, but that is to be expected.

Now I am looking for photos to include, which is tricky. Old photos are no longer under copyright, but I have few of those, as the family history I am writing starts in the late 1700s, and will end in the early 1900s. My biggest challenge is defining parameters, the size and resolution of the photos and charts is where I am starting, and there is a sea of too-much-information out there!

I am beginning to narrow it down though, and am looking for online publishers who provide a lot of step-by-step written guidance on how to prepare for publication. I could publish manually, as I am a registered Publisher in Canada, but I probably will not go that route, as I have to distribute the books myself. The last book I published sold many more copies than I expected, which meant trip after trip back to the printers. Choosing an online publisher should mean that I don’t have to do the legwork myself.

This morning I awoke at 3:30 a.m., and could not get back to sleep. I was worried that I would sleep in, and miss my chat with Attila before he left for work. It was an early start to the day!

After chatting with Attila, which was challenging because Skype was suffering from feedback, I made a cup of coffee and reviewed my plans for the day. There are so many projects to choose from.

But first, time to have a little breakfast. I peeled six Spy apples, sliced them into a saucepan, added a little water, a little cranberry juice, a little sugar, and a generous teaspoon of cinnamon. Then I prepared the oatmeal crust for the apple crisp. The recipe called for baking soda, but I am trying to limit my salt intake to a healthy daily limit, and so used baking power instead. While the apple crisp was baking I hopped into the shower while the water was still hot. I had turned on the hot water heater after 7:00 p.m., and turned it off in the morning before 7:00 a.m., to take advantage of the almost half price electricity rates. Taking a shower takes a bit of planning.

Because the weather was predicted to be fair, it seemed a good opportunity to tackle mowing the lawn, so that was the project I chose for the day. I checked the back yard, and all of the leaves had come down from the big tree, covering the lawn in a thick blanket of leaves. Time to put the new mulching lawn mower to the test!

The lawn after mowing; the thick blanket of leaves is no more!

It took me about two hours to complete the task, I didn’t hurry, and only stopped doing a second pass because I ran out of gas. It was just as well that I stopped, I think I had reached my physical limit. The lawn looks pretty good I think, and the mulching was a great success. I have decided I like mulching the leaves rather than raking them up. The area mowed was about one quarter of our lawn, we have a double lot, and we really know it, when it comes time to mow it.

After taking a break, I wandered into the garden with a big plate and picked a dozen or so hot peppers, and a few dozen tomatoes showing just a hint of red. I am determined to beat the squirrels to the harvest!

And happily, they have stopped spraying liquid manure, the air today was fresh and fragrant!

I wasn’t the only one harvesting and enjoying the last of the warm weather today!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 1:00 PM EDT Tuesday 30 September 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 13 km
Temperature: 17.4°C
Dewpoint: 12.6°C
Humidity: 73%
Wind: NE 19 km/h

Date: 2:00 PM EDT Wednesday 1 October 2014
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 13 km
Temperature: 17.1°C
Dewpoint: 13.3°C
Humidity: 78%
Wind: N 21 km/h

Date: 2:00 PM EDT Thursday 2 October 2014
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 18.9°C
Dewpoint: 13.6°C
Humidity: 71%
Wind: SSE 8 km/h


“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
Elizabeth Kübler-Ross

The Date

Monday, 19 August, 2014

Sunday, and again Monday, Terra dropped by on her lunch break. Her workplace is a few minutes from our little house, so it makes for a nice break from work for her. For me, it is a treat. I prepared salami and cheese sandwiches for us, topped with a thick slice of the fresh tomato she brought for me over the weekend. It was a heritage tomato, fresh from her garden.

Today Terra and I have a date. She is coming over to “help” me mow the front lawn. Truth be told, she will be doing the lion’s share of the work. The push mower is tough going, the lawn is large, and my injured knee is still recovering nicely. I am not taking any chances with this knee!

I have been able to chat with Attila daily, morning and night, and it makes such a difference to my comfort level, when we are apart for more than a few days. He is accomplishing much in my absence. All of the split wood is now in the woodshed, and it amounts to about half of what we will need to get through the winter. The brush from the storm-toppled yellow birch tree has all been burned, thanks to the rainy weather, which allows a decent safety factor for burning. The rest of the week, Attila’s evenings will be spent bringing in more wood from the back of the property, splitting it and storing it in the woodshed.

Monday I bit the bullet and ordered the pressure canner that I have had my eye on for quite some time. The factor that tipped the scale was an article about canning beans. We eat a lot of beans, and have been cooking and freezing them. Canned beans would be much handier though. We buy dried beans in bulk, so it would be very economical to can beans. I do not buy canned beans because of the commercial canning containers, either metal, or plastic lined cans. With a pressure canner we will be able to can anything, in glass. Since harvest season is upon is Ontario, this canner can be put to use immediately. I will need to plan my future canning shelves now, storage is important, both for the empty jars and for the jars of canned food. The canner is a present to myself. It is a good one, an All American, which should last a few lifetimes, and will eventually land with Terra with the huge garden, when I am no longer able to use it. Who knows, Terra and I might just end up having canning days together, that would be a bit of old fashioned fun!

Our little garden, at the little house in the city. The cucumber plant, on the right, is one cucumber plant, it is still spreading! I have too many cucumbers!

One of the projects I wanted to accomplish while staying at the little house, was washing and cleaning the car. It hadn’t been done since last summer. I began the project a few days ago. It is slow going for me, as I take frequent breaks, at the slightest twinge from my knee. Today I finally finished the job! It began with the shop vac, proceeded to cleaning the unbelievably dirty roof, progressed to the exterior body of the car, and ended with a wash down of the interior, including window washing. It looks great! Since I used a bucket and rag, it only took about ten buckets of water to complete the entire job. If I had used a hose, it would have taken a lot more water to accomplish the same result.

Monday morning I took the shiny clean car to the grocery store, thought I’d show it off a bit. I don’t think anyone noticed how spiffy she looked, but I noticed. The shopping trip included an error in the store’s computer, where they charged me $5.99 for a block of cheese that was actually $3.00. Since I purchased four of them, three for the freezer, one for today, the refund was significant. I seldom pay attention to the prices at the checkout counter, but this bill seemed high to me, so I checked it before I left the store, thank goodness.

Little tasks kept me busy for the rest of the day Monday. I sewed a few buttons on my work shirt, an used man’s shirt I picked up at the second hand store. I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to this little job, it only took a few minutes, and it was so annoying to use bobby pins to keep the shirt closed while working.

There is some excitement in the neighbourhood at the little house. Our dead end street is changing, drastically. A new subdivision is being built in the swampy area at the end of the street, an area that has two streams feeding into it. One wonders about the wisdom of this, profit is obviously a strong factor in the building approval in this situation. Today the company who is developing the area had their workers busy destroying the forest. They cut down the trees, and fed them into a chipper. It has been very noisy here today. The forest behind the homes across the street has been clear cut in this way, the neighbours are devastated by the loss of the trees. Apparently the new build will be a high-end seniors complex, with expensive rental units. And we will be living on a through street, instead of a dead end street. I suppose this kind of development happens around you, when you have a property at the periphery of a town or city. The only positive I can think of, is that the new homes will be worth a lot more than this little house! It might have a positive effect on property values.

Giant Marigolds, I am finding them very cheerful!

I arrived at the little house in the city one week ago Monday. The transition period was longer than usual on this visit, probably because I haven’t been here on my own much this spring and summer. We can blame the purchase of the camp lot, and putting the country house up for sale, for that! So here I am, and finally, finally, I am settling into being here. Projects are popping up in front of me, all over the place! I am planning my days around projects, little ones of course, in keeping with my abilities. My meals are a source of pleasure, plenty of fresh vegetables, cheese, and fruit. I am drinking lots of water, and sticking to my “one big mug of coffee” in the morning routine.

The thing is, just as I am settling in nicely here, but I am also aware that soon I will be travelling back to the country house. Activities await! A dinner hosted by Attila’s employers is coming up, on San Souci Island. A visit with a gentleman I met on-line is coming up, he is married to a cousin of my mother’s, and they will be visiting us at the camp, and also Granny and Grandpa’s house. He has wonderful memories of going to dances with my Aunts, and we have a great time sharing our memories of the area and the people we knew, despite our significant age difference. And, as a super treat, Luna, Janus and the Grandbabies are arriving next week for an overnight stay, sort of like a slumber party, our annual overnight visit with the Grandbabies.

Attila and I are very pleased that we have managed to finally pay off the camp lot! This is not as impressive as it sounds, as we purchased the least expensive piece of property that I have EVER seen on the market in that area. In fact, when we purchased the camp lot, the MLS listings had only two properties that were around the same price, in all of Ontario, and both of them were very remote, much further north, on seasonal roads. The camp lot purchase was a once in a lifetime thing, for both Attila and I. The land is purely recreational, and will not appreciate in value in the future. No one else will love it the way we do! It was an impractical indulgence, and we are both delighted with it.

Tuesday, 19 August, 2014

A bit of excitement here at the little house in the city this morning! I had the window in the bathroom open, but it was chilly in there, so I closed the door, so as not to lose any more heat. I did not realize the keyed lock had been engaged. Hours later I needed to use the facilities, and the door was locked! And of course, in this old house, I had NO KEY! The window is too small to allow a body through it, so that option was out. I tried the credit card thing, that did not work. I looked at videos geared to opening locks from the outside, but they were either irrelevant (not dealing with keyed locks) or extreme (cutting out pieces of the frame). I messaged Terra, thinking she might have an idea, she was unavailable.

I thought I might try to pick the lock. But before trying that, I got out all the keys on my keychain and began to try them in the lock. “You never know,” I thought. As it turned out, the mail key opened the bathroom door! Thank goodness for that. Now we have keep that mail key forever, or at least until we change the hardware on the bathroom door. I might be able to disable the locking mechanism, another research project in the making.

Terra came to visit, she and I had a date, to mow the front lawn. She pulled out the lawn mower and had the lawn cut in less than a half hour. What a girl! I took the snippers and trimmed around the trees and the front steps. She finished before I did.

As an added bonus, Terra brought along her skill saw. I do not have power tools here with me, so I asked her if she could bring a saw. We measured the table legs, on an old table that I purchased many years ago. The bottom section of the legs were rotted, so I wanted to saw off the rotted sections on the bottom and put casters on the legs. It only took her a few minutes to complete the job. Now I have some sanding to do! I can’t put the casters on until I have access to a drill, which I will bring down with me the next time we visit the little house in the city. I will be doing some research on refinishing painted furniture.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 2:00 PM EDT Monday 18 August 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 18.9°C
Dewpoint: 11.3°C
Humidity: 61%
Wind: SSW 13 km/h


“Never be haughty to the humble; never be humble to the haughty.”
Jefferson Davis
1808 – 1889

The Lawn

Yesterday morning I packed up some gear and headed out to visit Terra. The shower was on offer and it was too tempting to resist. The toilet is functioning at the little house in the city, but there is no bathroom sink or tub at the moment; and no hot water. The hot water tank is expensive to run, and what would I use hot water for anyway. I can heat up water in the kettle for dishes and washing in the sink, a great energy saver. It felt so wonderful to have a hot shower!

We had a lovely visit and a chat. Terra likes to tell me all about her doings, and she is doing quite a lot!

When we visit the little house in the city, renovation time is at a premium. Attila does not get much of a run at projects. Most visits entail a half day of Attila’s time just to cut the grass, on the double lot where our little house sits.

I have decided that I will attempt to mow the lawn at the little house in the city, in order to free up Attila’s time, so that he can remove the toilet on his next visit. Lawn mowing is repetitive work, and that is where the danger lies. No question that I can actually do it. The challenge is not to hurt myself doing it.

Last night after 9:00 p.m., when the day was cooling to night, I decided to see if I could get the mower running. To my absolute delight I got it going on the first pull!

There are two sections of lawn that have grown long and are in serious need of cutting. I began with the lawn directly in front of the house. There is a little hill, and the mower needs to be pushed up that hill. Within forty minutes the desired section was mowed. The section needing mowing in the back of the house would have to wait for another day.

This morning my back hurts. It was fine last night, but this morning it is stiff and sore. Never mind, I will take an anti-inflammatory, and carry on.

That back piece of lawn was tackled just after 9:00 a.m.. I would rather do it during the cool of the morning. After doing some slow stretching exercises, the job was done slowly, carefully, and with many breaks.

There is one section of the lawn that I did not manage to get done. Another day perhaps, perhaps tonight after 9:00 p.m. when the world cools down a bit. I am definitely getting the knack of this lawn mowing business.

Our next lawn mower will be self propelled, and have a bag attachment for the clippings. The current lawn mower is a bare bones model, and a bugger to push.

The rest of the afternoon was spent trimming around the building and fences. This required many rest stops, and one long break to recharge the battery.

I will rest for the rest of the day, the trimmer doesn’t have the only battery that requires recharging!

Worldly Distractions


Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 24.6°C
Dewpoint: 18.4°C
Humidity: 68%
Wind: SE 14 km/h
Humidex: 31


“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”
Eleanor Roosevelt
1884 – 1962