The Big Thaw

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Last night, late, the ground thawed to let the heavy rains settle into the earth without impediment. I know this because the sump pump startled me, as it fired up for the first time this year. It rained all day yesterday, and will rain all day today, giving the pump a good spring workout. Thank goodness we installed the sump pump several years ago, to cope with the broken water main in front of our house. That problem was solved when the town dug up the entire street and our front yard, to replace the water mains and the road. Now the sump pump has only the spring run off to contend with.

Good news on the dog versus rat poison front; Wiggler has been given a clean bill of health! Her blood is a bit thin, but healthy, according to the blood test results. She was to be spayed, but that has been forestalled until she completely recovers. The poor puppy!

And, no surprise, the vet bills were breathtaking. Terra and Lares do not complain though, they love their dog.

I drove out to Terra’s place for a visit, and enjoyed the company of both Terra and her menagerie. She and Lares live with three cats, and two dogs; almost all of them are rescued animals who are much loved.

The 1879 Atlas for the Parry Sound District made it into the travel bag for this trip. So many of my relatives are listed in it. I managed to complete the transcription of one complete Township yesterday, and will begin another today.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

After some discussion with the family, the “Christmas” get together looks like it will finally take place this coming weekend. The weather is predicted to be fine, the roads good, visibility good, so if all else goes well the event will take place, at last.

My last haircut was nice, but it only lasted about five weeks before becoming unmanageable. Another haircut was in order. I called the salon where Terra gets her haircut and inquired, they could schedule me for an appointment, starting in ten minutes! Now, this is the total beauty of living in an urban area, it only took me five minutes to get there, so I was early! It was time for a change, so off came my wavy locks and voila, a very short head of hair emerged. It looked great coming out of the salon, but that doesn’t mean anything. The test comes when I wash it myself, run a comb through it, and then forget about it. If it still looks good after my efforts, then it is a great cut.

The surprise was, that there was a lot more grey up there than anticipated. As the light brown locks fell to the floor, the grey began to emerge from underneath. It looks pretty good to me.

This afternoon was sunny and mild, spring was in the air. After collecting fallen branches around the yard, the pinecones on the driveway were collected in a bucket and transported to the compost in the back yard. The birds were everywhere, squabbling over the berries in the tree, swooping, and singing in a huge celebration of a sunny spring day.

Tomorrow is the big day around here; the refrigerator is due to be delivered. This is the moment I have been waiting for, the motivation for staying at the little house in the city for more than a week. I hope this one lasts a very long time!

Worldly Distractions


Attila’s World: Country House

Date: 2:00 PM EDT Wednesday 9 April 2014
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 4.5°C
Dewpoint: -7.3°C
Humidity: 42%
Wind: W 21 km/h

My World: Little House in the City

Date: 8:00 PM EDT Wednesday 9 April 2014
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 2.7°C
Dewpoint: -3.2°C
Humidity: 65%
Wind: WSW 18 km/h


“The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.”
William Hazlitt

Hibernation Over

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Well, here I am sitting in the kitchen at the little house in the city! I drove down on my own this morning, leaving just after Attila left for work, and arriving 4 hours and 15 minutes after launch.

I love it here! And I do not mind being alone, not one bit. What I do mind is not being able to spend time with Attila. It is all true, all at the same time. The thing is, Attila’s hours are long again, the “summer schedule” has started, so he won’t be home at the country house as much now. Spending many hours alone at home is basically the same, whether I do it in the city, or do it in country.

What a beautiful sight, as I drove into the driveway at the little house in the city; grass! It is brown, there are a lot of dead branches all over the place, it is a mess. But is is DIRT, and GRASS, not snow!!!

The first thing I did upon arrival was to turn on the utilities in the house, then unload the car, then pour myself a cold glass of water, and then eat a bowl of cereal. To my dismay, just before sitting down to eat, my nose started to bleed. Hey, this is not supposed to happen in a house with central heating! Must be a carry over from this mornings firing of the masonry heater, before I left the country house.

Next on my list was to lie on the floor and poke around underneath the old refrigerator that broke down. Last autumn Attila and Lares gave the coils and innards a good cleaning, and it needed it badly. It has not been plugged in since. Even though they cleaned it thoroughly, I managed to get another cup of lint out of it, with my fingers and the vacuum cleaner.

I plugged the refrigerator into the wall receptacle. The interior lights worked, the thermostat was turned on. The lights were on, the motor ran, there was no cold air, not in the freezer, not in the refrigeration compartment. I waited, several hours, to see if it just needed a bit of time. Apparently not, no cold air, none at all. I unplugged it. This is not a surprise, we expected that this old refrigerator was done.

I have the cooler, and a functioning chest freezer, so I am sorted for refrigeration for the moment. I can make ice, and keep things cold in the cooler for daily use.

One of the adjustments I must make, when alone at the little house in the city, is planning and preparing my own food, for every meal. Attila loves to cook, and likes his own cooking best, so that he does a lot of the cooking when we are together. A bowl of cereal is fine for a quick fill up after a long drive, but what is needed this evening is a healthy meal!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Like a bear, I am emerging from my winter “slumber”, or stupor. My winter hibernation is over.

The last 24 hours have been relatively eventful.

Wednesday evening Terra and Lares visited, Lares installed a new hot water heater, as the original new one was leaking. Lares and Terra worked as a team and took the old non-functioning refrigerator out to the curb. Lares also placed the leaking hot water heater by the curb, and dragged the old bathtub, that we removed during the bathroom renovation, to the curb. He called a fellow he knows who collects metal and scrap, and arranged for him to come take the items. The fellow came this morning, Friday, and removed every last item we had left out. That is such a relief!

Yesterday Terra drove to leave her car here, then I drove us to the city to look at refrigerators. I had planned on buying the cheapest refrigerator I could find, but ended up paying about $150 more than I had planned to get a better designed unit, and a five year warranty. The new refrigerator will be delivered at the end of next week; I am fine using the cooler till then. I always feel a little nervous when I have to spend that much money, it feels like walking on a high wire, without a net. I am sure all will be well though, as I always get that feeling when big purchases need to be made. The feeling passes as soon as the bill has been paid in full.

Thursday evening was also quite eventful, as Wiggler, Terra and Lares new puppy, a Chocolate Lab, got into rat poison, while they were visiting relatives. Luckily Lares discovered her in the act, Terra knew how to induce vomiting, and did so straightaway. They were at the Vet’s almost immediately after that, where Wiggler experienced anaphylactic shock, as a result of the Vitamin K she was given by the Vet. They got the allergic reaction under control, thank goodness. Then Wiggler was given charcoal, to clean out any poison remaining in her intestinal tract. She vomited that up twice. She is doing fairly well, the Vet says she should be OK, and she goes back for a checkup tomorrow. They all had a rough night! Terra and I texted throughout, and I was exhausted by the experience!

I have slept well since I arrived at the little house in the city, which is something I cannot rely on, or take for granted; so I am grateful.

This morning the removal person came while I was working on Terra’s sewing machine. She dropped it off when she visited yesterday. I began around 7:00 a.m., and I wasn’t optimistic about being able to do anything with it. When I plugged it in, it was completely jammed. So I unplugged it and began maintenance. I tore it apart, and removed a bit of lint, but not too much. I oiled the inner workings, and kept at it, making slow progress in freeing up the seized mechanisms. Eventually though, I achieved some mechanical movement, and then slowly worked through oiling all the mechanisms. By 10:30 a.m. the machine was purring along, sewing perfect stitches. It is a nice machine, so I am very glad that I could get it working. It is an older Necchi, with a lot of nice features, some of which my sewing machine does not have. I just might need to borrow this machine at some point!

I even managed to read the local recycling schedule, and get our recycling out to the curb in time for it to be picked up.

Worldly Distractions


Attila’s World, the Country House:

Date: 1:00 PM EDT Wednesday 2 April 2014
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -2.1°C
Dewpoint: -6.7°C
Humidity: 71%
Wind: W 26 gust 39 km/h
Wind Chill: -9

Date: 12:11 PM EDT Friday 4 April 2014
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 100.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 1.5°C
Dewpoint: -1.0°C
Humidity: 84%
Wind: ESE 28 gust 45 km/h

My World, the Little House in the City:

Date: 1:00 PM EDT Wednesday 2 April 2014
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 2.7°C
Dewpoint: -2.4°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: SW 25 gust 34 km/h

Date: 12:00 PM EDT Friday 4 April 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 3.4°C
Dewpoint: -3.2°C
Humidity: 62%
Wind: ENE 23 km/h


“I’m all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let’s start with typewriters.”
Solomon Short

The Quotebook Of Solomon Short

The Quotebook of Solomon Short is a collection of quotes from David Gerrold’s epic series of The War Against The Chtorr.