Still Coughing

I don’t remember feeling this raunchy for this long! Here it is Monday, a week and a day since the first symptoms appeared, and I am still hacking away, with a runny nose, with reduced energy levels. I am feeling better, no doubt about it, the sore throat is just a little bit sore from the hacking cough, and the headache has all but disappeared, just short flashes of it now. My shortness of breath has improved.

The cough is intrusive, so much so that when it woke me up at midnight, I could not go back to sleep, having to sit up and cough so often allowed for no rest. I was finally so exhausted I fell asleep shortly after Attila awoke to begin his day, shortly after 5:00 a.m. and slept for a few hours.

I feel better, and I keep expecting to be back to normal now!

Saturday was a busy day at Mist Cottage. Attila loves to BBQ with charcoal. Many moons ago I bought him a Weber portable charcoal BBQ for his birthday. This is the second weekend he fired it up and cooked chicken and beef. The coals last a long time, so three to four meals worth of meat is cooked while the coals are hot, one meal to be shared with me on the day of the BBQ, and the rest to be refrigerated, for quick mid-week microwave meals.

While BBQing, Attila worked on his garden. He decided against growing green beans, because the rabbits will not leave them alone. No need to fence in part of the garden then, so that project was abandoned. Instead, potatoes were planted in the last section of the garden. Also planted were marigolds, cosmos, and zucchini. Attila is really enjoying his garden, it is something that brings him peace of mind, and a great deal of satisfaction.

My activities involved more sedentary projects. I paid bills, updated web sites, hung laundry out to dry, and baked a rhubarb crisp with fresh rhubarb from the garden. I followed a new recipe, calling for 4 cups of rhubarb and 1 1/2 cups of sugar… wayyyy too sweet! It weighed in at about 8 teaspoons of sugar per serving, over the daily limit of 6 teaspoons, and the taste was sweeter than my palate is currently used to, making it less appealing. The recipe will be adjusted for the next batch, reducing the total sugar added to 1 cup only. Attila will take it in his lunches this week.

Sunday arrived cloudy, and cool but not chilly. What to do with Sunday. We dropped off some birthday cards and presents for Sunny and Sky, but did not go in. Whatever I have is awful, not something I want to share with a pregnant Terra, or two bouncy two year olds. Then it was off to the Rideau Camp, which had two weeks to revert to long weeds and dozens and dozens of darks masses of Army Worms in the forest around the perimeter.

Attila cut weeds. I killed Army Worms. I mixed a quarter cup of Dawn Detergent, four cups of bleach, and six litres of water in a pump sprayer and went to it. Wow, that worked so well that I managed to kill off every mass of worms up to the height of 10 feet, higher than that was beyond reach of the sprayer. There were three or four masses above the level I could reach, there was nothing to be done about them. We worked from around noon until 5 p.m., when it started to sprinkle. By the time we packed up to leave it was raining. On the trip home the rain turned into a downpour, which continued all the way home, and then on into the night.

The last two times we arrived at the Camp, we noticed someone had tried to the door to Grace the trailer. Someone has been trespassing. So far there has been no damage, and nothing has been tampered with. Since there are no trespassing signs on the property, this seems inconsiderate at best, aggressive at worst, and illegal however you look at it. We have a few ideas on how to proceed in dealing with this, but are still deciding how to move forward.

The garlic planted at the Camp is thriving! Two weeks ago Attila planted four Blue Hubbard Squash plants; they are up and also thriving. If our Blue Hubbard Squash plants at the Camp, and here at Mist Cottage, bear fruit as well as last year, we will have a surplus of Blue Hubbard Squash. As for garlic, we can never have too much garlic.

Being on my feet and spraying into the trees for five hours on Sunday may have set me back a little, recovering from whatever is ailing me. It may be why my cough worsened to the point where I could not sleep. But perhaps not. My energy levels are rising, and I was truly enjoying myself while at the Camp, being out in the bush, in the fresh air, so busy that time passed unnoticed.

Well, here it is noon, and all I’ve managed is to drink my morning cup of coffee. Eating isn’t appealing at this point, but it is time to spend time in the kitchen, and attend to my breakfast, which it turns out is also my midday meal.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 12:00 PM EDT Monday 4 June 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.3 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 17.6°C
Dew point: 15.4°C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: SW 21 gust 36 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts that is something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticized only by fools.”
J. K. Rowling

The majority of the population on planet earth have very limited opportunity to climb out of poverty, regardless of their efforts. I think only those who have opportunities could ever romanticize poverty.

One tomato, two potatoes, three…

All of the Grandbabies but one were born in September. That is four in the sign of Virgo and one in the sign of Cancer. Three of the Grandbabies are Luna’s children, and two of them are Emmi’s children. The Grandbabies range in age from one to seven years. We send cards and gift cards, which we hope they like. We do not spend enough time with any of them to know what they like and do not like, so the gift cards seem like the best idea. In theory, Mom takes them out to the store and lets them choose something they like, since she is there and we are not. Happy Birthday to all the Grandbabies!

As of early 2014 all of the Grandbabies will be living far, far away, in England and Alberta. To visit them we would need time off work and funds to pay for travel. Visits do not seem likely, given our restricted time and money situation.

The old General Store, the heart of a community, when there was such a thing.

I think I am going to get a real kick out of calling them Grandbabies when they are twenty years old. I sure hope I get the chance to do that! Something to look forward to in my “old age”.

The weather continues to be grand! The days are sunny, the temperature reaches only a merciful 23C or there about. The nights are cool, as cool as 5C. Heavenly! It could go on like this for months, as far as I am concerned.

I am keeping a secret journal at the moment, to be published later in September. Keeping two versions going is quite challenging; which is good for me, as changes, no matter how small, keep the juices flowing and the brain working.

We are eating garden and field tomatoes every day! How wonderful and lush these fresh and local tomatoes are, every mouthful juicy and sweet. And the new potatoes are on the shelves at the grocery store right now, mouthwatering. Food, glorious food!

I grew up during a time when, in Canada, a significant proportion of the population was still connected to the seasons, as far as their food supply was concerned. Harvest season, my favourite, involved canning, freezing and jam making. And that wasn’t just happening on the farm, most kitchens in the myriad of small towns in Ontario were busy putting food by for the winter. You could stop by the side of the road and buy bushels of fresh tomatoes, apples, beans, potatoes etc., all of it locally grown.

Attila and I still watch the roadsides for the produce stands of small scale farmers and gardeners. We have a few favourite stops along our favoured routes from the country house to the little house in the city, and from our little house in the city to Terra’s house. Most of these offer less than perfect looking, fresh and tasty produce. They also operate on an honour system, listing their prices and asking that payment be left in a box at the stand. There is no haggling. We gladly pay them what they ask, for the excellent products that we select and bag ourselves at the stand.

There are stands that sell produce from the Ontario Food Terminal, mostly in tourist towns and larger urban centers. We aren’t fooled! The food terminal produce doesn’t look the same, it is perfect and uniform in appearance. Not quite what you would expect from a real garden!

The fruits and vegetables my childhood family preserved were fresh from the garden and the farm, and processing captured them at their best. There were never lettuce salads on the table during the winter months, and bananas and oranges were Christmas treats rather than daily fare. Apples in the fall were wonderful, shrivelling and shrinking through the winter until they became a shrunken version of their former selves by spring. They still tasted sweet though, and were wonderful for cooking. Now, if it isn’t wrapped in plastic, or picture perfect, the young fail to appreciate it as legitimate food. In one generation we have lost all contact with one of life’s most basic resources. The hubris of the moneymakers is shaping the world we live in, and may be shaping our doom as well.

Our new car is already four years old! It sports the original windshield wipers, which are literally flapping in the wind and refusing to do a good job. They are demanding retirement. I finally purchased new ones this week and spent a bit of time learning how to remove the old and install the new. The method wasn’t obvious to me, but a after watching a youtube video on the subject, I proceeded through trial and error. They work!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 6:00 PM EDT Friday 6 September 2013
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 18.3°C
Dewpoint: 7.0°C
Humidity: 47%
Wind: WSW 13 km/h


“The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball – the further I am rolled, the more I gain.”
Susan B. Anthony
1820 – 1906