Back At It

We have had rain at regular intervals for the last little while, and the gardens are lush and flourishing. I cut peonies for vases in the living room and on the kitchen window sill, and love to look out into the back yard and see the Yellow Hawkweed dancing in the wind; we have had a lot of wind lately.

Peonies from my garden.
Peony june
Yellow Hawkweed in the back yard. I won’t let Attila cut the grass, not until the Hawkweed stops flowering!
Hawkweed June 2016

We are finally settled enough to approach items on our renovation list. It has been a long time coming, about a year since we tackled anything of note in the line of renovations. It was a year ago that I returned to the country house and we began the work of readying the place to put it up for sale. The summer was spent at the country house, keeping it spic and span and ready for viewing, and there were a lot of viewings. When it finally sold we had two weeks notice to get packed and move out. We managed that, taking Attila’s vacation time to do it, and squeezed our belongings into tiny Mist Cottage. During the fall, autumn, and winter, Attila first worked at his old job, living in Tank; then worked a temporary worker on rotating shifts, near Mist Cottages; then worked as a full time employee on rotating shifts; then worked as a full time employee working night shifts; and finally as of one month ago he is working as a full time employee working day shifts, with weekends off. Working days with weekends off has literally transformed our world, for the better.

Of course, all through this time we were busy at home either selling the old place, moving, or working on downsizing at Mist Cottage. We also searched for, found, and purchased the Rideau Camp this spring. We have accomplished much, but none of it was in the line of home renovation. Now we are well situated to continue with the projects on our list.

Attila and I both agreed that the priority project for this summer was to tear down and rebuild the garden shed. We decided also that this would be accomplished in the month of June, the worst month for biting insects at the Rideau Camp and outdoors in general. So, to kick off the renovation season Attila ordered the lumber for the shed this past week.

Yesterday when Attila got home from work he was raring to go on the shed project. After a quick supper, which I had prepared in the morning in the crockpot, he headed out to the back yard to begin, and down came the shed.

The garden shed yesterday afternoon. Note the door, a silly little thing cut from particle board. A previous owner loved particle board, and poorly understood its properties. The floor of the back deck, which we tore down, was particle board. It was worth life and limb to tread on it, it was so rotten! The door of the shed must have been built about the same time.
Shed June Reno 1
The shed with the roof and siding removed. Oodles of mildew from the leaky roof and the earth that had crept up the siding on the left side. Attila said there were mushrooms growing along the bottom sill plate there. The front left corner was eaten away by carpenter ants, long gone now.
Shed June Reno 2
Attila dismantling the roof, some of the wood was rotted right through.
Shed June Reno 3
Pulling down the walls. I found it interesting that Attila left the entire contents of the shed in place as he tore it apart. Nothing was damaged, which included the large panes of glass from the former dining room window.
Shed June Reno 4
In response to Bex and Wendy’s interest, I have added this photo of Attila’s progress. The old shed of this morning, no more! Attila decided to move all the contents of the shed this morning, to make it easier to move around on the concrete pad that will be the floor. He actually had to shovel earth/mushroom/rotten wood debris off the concrete, it was quite a mess. We also found items we had been looking for, like the old plastic toilet seat that will work wonderfully for our composting toilet at the Rideau Camp.
Shed June Reno 5

Attila, at my insistence, covered the contents of the shed overnight with a plastic sheet. My adamance was a good thing, because when we got up this morning it was raining cats and dogs!

The lumber and door for the new shed arrived early this morning. As soon as the rain let up, Attila began to set aside the salvageable materials from the old shed. The roof rafters that are sound will become a bin for our yard waste compost. The insulation will be cleaned, sanitized, and used somewhere in the house. There wasn’t much else worth reusing, so I researched methods of disposal. We cannot fit this much construction waste in a vehicle, so I am researching companies that will take it away. I would like to get rid of it before the Hawkweed stops blooming. I don’t want the construction waste to kill the grass beneath it. Attila seldom pays attention to these sorts of niceties, but I do. I find it expedient to keep adding my two cents worth to the project.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 12:00 PM EDT Saturday 11 June 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 15.2°C
Dewpoint: 13.1°C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: S 16 km/h


“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”
George Washington
1732 – 1799

When I read this I think of those with over 100 “friends” on Facebook, which has largely replaced face-to-face interactions between people. And I wonder at those with thousands of “friends” on Facebook. It seems the meaning of the word friend has been drastically altered by technology.

Yellow Hawkweed

The excitement of the new arrivals last weekend left everyone involved exhilarated and exhausted, including the new arrivals. Terra went home from the hospital on Tuesday, and travels daily to see the babies in NICU. Lares works near the hospital, so he drops in on the babies every morning before going to work. Terra says they are coming along just fine, Sunny being smaller, is a little behind Sky, but making progress every day. Terra says we can let her know a day or so ahead of time, sometime next week, and she will take us in to see them again. Luna is staying with her this week, and the two of them are there every day. Luna is going to bring Imp, Elf, and Tink to Terra’s house this weekend, and I think they are taking them in to see the Sunny and Sky.

Our lives are settling back down, now that our visiting is over, and we know that the babies are making good progress. The excitement has been disorienting, and as wonderful as babies are, we are grateful to be the Grandparents.

My Mom getting the all clear on her health issue is really something to celebrate! She is up and about, almost back to her former busy self. There are a few unpleasant side effects from the treatments that she is still having to deal with. Mom manages to work around them, she makes it look easy, and I am sure it isn’t.

We have had lots of rain, and the garden is looking voluptuous. We planted green beans, Scarlet Runner beans, two kinds of peppers, tomatoes, and the garlic that we were given by my sister. The peonies are blooming white and pink, and I am enjoying them picked and in vases in the living room and the kitchen, they smell wonderful. They remind me of my Granny’s house, she had peonies in her flower garden. Also blooming at the moment are the Columbine, Day Lilies, and Yellow Hawkweed wild in the lawn. I am very fond of the Yellow Hawkweed; it only blooms for a short time in the spring.

Yesterday Attila and I made a visit to the home improvement centre in town, and ordered the materials needed to upgrade our garden shed. The garden shed upgrade is this year’s project, our big investment of the season. Currently it cannot be used because the roof leaks, and had done so for many, many years before we bought the house. The interior of the shed is full of mildew and wasps. Attila has killed the wasps, and destroyed their nests, and the mildew will go with the old materials when they are removed and taken to the dump.

Tonight Attila began the project by clearing the vegetation from around the base of the shed, and trimming all the branches from the adjacent tree, the ones that overhang the shed.

I hope we can finish the shed by the end of the month, which may be a bit optimistic. I have my finger’s crossed.

My evening project was to spray Attila’s new socks, six pairs, recently washed, with permethrin. I have been waiting to do this, but the wind has been too strong for spraying. The evening was calm, so I took the window of opportunity to don my protective long sleeved shirt, long pants, latex gloves, and a breathing mask. I hung all the socks in a row on the line, and set to with the spray bottle. The socks will be left overnight to dry on the line, and after breakfast tomorrow morning I will gather them together and store them with the rest of Attila’s bug proof clothing.

Slowly we are getting back to enjoying the little day-to-day things in our own lives again.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 9:00 PM EDT Thursday 9 June 2016
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 14.6°C
Dewpoint: 1.6°C
Humidity: 41%
Wind: NW 12 km/h


“He hoped and prayed that there wasn’t an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn’t an afterlife.”
Douglas Adams
1952 – 2001

Bits of the Day

My day was uneventful, charmingly so.

What did I do today, hard to think really. Oh yes, I paid bills, and we have $56 left, which is a bit shocking, but it makes me very glad that the bills are indeed paid. Let’s see, I updated web sites and added security. Oh, and I found a few more third cousins while searching for a death record for their mother, which I did not find. I went for a walk in the rain, early in the morning, without a raincoat or a hat; it was grand. I drove into the city to visit the dentist to check on the work that had been done. And I picked peonies to sit in a mug on the windowsill. And I stored the new composter that I purchased yesterday in the garage, because I haven’t decided on just where to put it. Well, I am sure there are more, more little things that flow through a day, more things of no ultimate consequence, except that they accumulate into a pleasant, well spent bouquet of waking hours.

Peonies on the windowsill.
2015 jun 16 peonies

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 PM EDT Tuesday 16 June 2015
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 23.0°C
Dewpoint: 16.2°C
Humidity: 65%
Wind: NNE 19 gust 30 km/h
Humidex: 28


“Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush, I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,I am not there; I did not die.”
Mary Elizabeth Frye