Common Cold

I have a miserable cold! It comes with a mild fever, lots of leaky fluids, and malaise. My health matches the weather, snowed today, then rained, now windy and cold. Tucked up in a sweater, scarf, comfy bulky socks, and underneath the quilt my Mom made for me.

Learning the double crochet stitch has turned out to be quite a challenge. With the help of another crocheter online, and Bex herself, I think I have it figured out. Having a low key project to take up occasionally when sick is a boon.

It is the weekend at last. I can expect a wee bit of babying! Attila is planning a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for tomorrow, the last big oven meal of the season. Bread baking must also be undertaken during the next few days; and muffins need to be baked of course.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 6:00 PM EDT Friday 7 April 2017
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 100.2 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 2.5°C
Dew point: -2.4°C
Humidity: 70%
Wind: WNW 28 gust 37 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for the truth; and truth rewarded me.”
Simone de Beauvoir

April Snow Showers

It was raining when I arose early this morning. The earth and things that grow in the earth needed the moisture, it was getting very dry. Shortly before 10:00 a.m. the rain turned to sleet, and then soon thereafter into snow. The snow melted on contact, there was no accumulation. The wind came up, and it was biting cold outside. By noon the sun was trying to peek out from behind the clouds, but it was still just above freezing. By the time Attila was awake and moving around the wind had died down and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

Last Friday Attila split and transplanted three lilac bushes. The idea is to have them growing between our yard and view across the back neighbour’s yard out to the street on the other side. Attila also transplanted day lilies to a spot along the back fence, and prepared a sunny bed at the back of the yard for the Irises, which we transplanted from the front of the house when we had the perimeter of the basement dug up. We want to plant vegetables in the garden this year, so the Irises are being moved yet again. The snow and the rain were a welcome event, now all the transplants have had a good soaking in their new locations.

While grocery shopping Attila stopped to look at sweets. Oh dear, I have been neglecting him! I mentioned to him that I could bake him something sweet, and he readily opted for the home baked goodies. This afternoon I baked Blueberry Squares, one of Attila’s favourites.

My diet altered when I received the false diagnosis of Chronic Kidney Disease, and I have to say it altered for the better. I now keep containers of cooked rice, macaroni, peas and corn, and beans and carrots in the refrigerator. I eat one cup of vegetables mixed with a half a cup of either rice or macaroni. To this mixture I add two teaspoons of olive oil and either two tablespoons of Sweet Thai Chili Sauce, or two teaspoons of Roasted Garlic and Peppers herb mixture. I eat whatever combination suits my fancy for breakfast and lunch, so that I am eating two cups of vegetables every day, at a minimum. The olive oil is an important element of the dish, as it gives the meal lasting power, as fat digests slowly. Eventually I will try additional kinds of herbs or sauces. These ingredients make for quick and easy meals, and offer a lot of on-the-spot variations.

The Sweet Thai Chili Sauce that we have on hand contains Potassium Sorbate and glucose/fructose, both of which I have decided to avoid when possible. I have found a recipe to make my own Sweet Thai Chili Sauce, without any preservatives or glucose/fructose, and I am looking forward to giving it a try when the current supply is gone.

I love pastries, and the grocery store always has quite a selection. Attila and I were looking at the labels on the pastries today, they all contained glucose/fructose, paragraphs of chemicals, and the calorie count was shocking. I have decided that a Muesli bun, at 220 calories, with a little margarine and honey on it, will suit me just as well, be much lower in calories, have fewer chemicals in it, and be more nutritious than any of the pastries we saw in the store.

We are back to making our homemade pizza every once and a while, one large pizza will serve as two meals. I like to make the pizza for the night before we are to head for the Rideau Camp. The next evening, when we arrive home from the Camp, tired and ready for a meal, Attila makes a salad, and I heat up the pizza. Perfect.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 9:42 AM EDT Tuesday 26 April 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 11 km
Temperature: 0.0°C
Dewpoint: -1.9°C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: NNE 31 gust 50 km/h
Wind Chill: -7


“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
Charles Darwin
1809 – 1882

Why the narrowness of greed might eventually die out in the human species, if we last long enough.


The day began with sunshine, which has since departed. The temperature is well above freezing, making the grey skies a lot less threatening. I managed to get out for my walk before the sun disappeared behind the clouds, it was lovely and mild, even the stiff wind was pleasant. By noon there were snowflakes drifting out of the sky, which melted on contact.

On Monday morning Attila found mouse droppings on the kitchen counter. The theory is that since all available food sources in the basement have been sealed up, the mouse/mice have ventured to the main floor of the house in search of sustenance.

Attila was inspired, nothing like mice running around in your kitchen to get the wind-up. Yesterday afternoon Attila gathered together the step ladder, multiple packages of steel wool, caulking, a mask, and a hat, and climbed up into the attic. After checking all around the chimney opening, a large gap was discovered on the far side of the chimney. The theory is that the mice are coming down through that gap, through the wall and down into the basement. It certainly smelled “mousey” in the attic. Within an hour the entire perimeter of the chimney was closed off with steel wool. No mice will be entering there in future.

There might be mice caught inside, if the entry/exit point is now blocked. I visited the local Canadian Tire store to pick up additional mouse traps, the reusable kind. We had been using glue traps, but they are so expensive now that they are not longer practical.

Last night before I went to bed, I filled the traps with seeds, and set them out where we had found mouse droppings. This morning the traps were empty. This is a good sign, but it is not definitive. For the next few weeks the traps will be set nightly, and if no mice are caught during this time, and the droppings do not reappear, we will assume we have solved the issue, at least for the moment.

This morning I dragged out my sewing equipment to continue working on the new dining area curtains. It is very slow going, the window area is large and it will take yards and yards of fabric to adequately cover them. A few weeks ago I pressed the long side raw edges. Today I finished the long side raw edges by stitching down the folds that had been pressed. It is tedious work, but the only way to get the curtains that I want. I still need cut the fabric, finish the short side raw edges, hem, and hang the curtains; all of that is for another day.

The Rideau Camp: An Issue When a previous owner put a driveway into the property, they cut off the natural drainage on either side of the driveway. This manmade wetland was the result. It has its own beauty, and the chirping frogs were wonderful to hear when we were there last weekend. But it is also a mecca for breeding mosquitoes! Attila worked on restoring the drainage system, but I doubt we will be able to completely drain this wet area. To control mosquitoes in this wetland we are considering the use of Mosquito Dunks, a Larvicide that will not affect other life forms, plant or animal. The expense may deter us though. We shall see.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 10:00 AM EDT Tuesday 12 April 2016
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 4.5°C
Dewpoint: -1.5°C
Humidity: 65%
Wind: WSW 23 km/h

“Genuine goodness is threatening to those at the opposite end of the moral spectrum.”
Charles Spencer

I learned that this can be true, the hard way. I worked for a well known and respected individual, who during a performance review sited my greatest fault. She said, “You always do the right thing.”
To her this was a treacherous fault, which I found totally shocking, since we were working with a very vulnerable population. No matter how she appeared to the “public”, she had a very acute sense of presentation, I was exposed to the underbelly of the beast, and it wasn’t pretty. It reminded me once again, that it is what people do when they think no one will find out, that defines good character and true greatness.

The Rideau Camp

Friday, April 8, 2016

Friday morning, after Attila had slept for a few hours, we packed the car to the ceiling with needful things, and headed out the Rideau Camp for our first visit as owners.

The day was chilly, well below freezing, and we drove through periods of driving snow to get there. Snow! Wouldn’t you know it! We would not be deterred.

To cope with the cold weather we both wore many layers of clothing, with hats, and scarves, and long johns, and gloves. The wind was brisk, there was quite a wind chill factor. The temperature never did rise above freezing, although the snow stopped shortly after we arrived at the Rideau Camp.

Attila went right to work digging the new fire pit. I went right to work with the garden fork to remove brambles from the perimeter of the area around the fire pit. After a few minutes of this vigorous work neither of us felt in the least bit cold. We worked diligently for around six hours, and accomplished much. There was one long break mid day when we stopped to eat our peanut butter and jam sandwiches. The sun eventually came out from behind the clouds, and we drove home into a glorious sunset.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Saturday first thing we were out there again. The day was sunny, and chilly, well below zero as it had been on Friday.

Attila spent the day working on the drainage system, as we are hoping to drain the swampy areas on the property to reduce the mosquito population. The small creeks on the property had been badly used. The main creek was full of garbage, there were many torn bags of garbage, that had been there for a very long time. There was even an old umbrella in there. Attila used the shovel to lift the garbage out of the creek and onto the bank, it was an all day job. My task for the day was to mind the camp fire, which I really enjoy. We are burning the dead wood closest to the fire pit first, and working our way out from there. There are a lot of dead fallen branches, which I broke into small pieces and burned in the fire pit.

This is the creek that runs through our property. This picture is taken from the driveway, showing the culvert that runs under the driveway, and the garbage that we found in the creek. What you see here is an old paint can, and above that a broken laundry basket containing a green garbage bag full of garbage. This was the tip of the iceberg when it came to garbage in the creek! Attila dug out bags of it. What possesses people to mar a beautiful landscape with garbage?

Saturday we stopped for a lovely lunch cooked over the embers in the fire pit. Attila found two large rocks to place on either side of the fire in the pit, and these rocks held the grate. Using a sandwich cooker, Attila slowly grilled cheese sandwiches. So wonderful! There is nothing like the taste of grilled cheese sandwiches cooked over an open fire.

When it was time to leave I fetched two large buckets of water from the swampy area near the entrance to the camp, and with this water I put out the fire completely, drowning the embers.

And again we drove home into a glorious sunset. I felt very tired after my second day working in the bush!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

That brings me to today. Again, bright and early, we were off to the Rideau Camp. I had second thoughts about the way we constructed the fire pit, I felt there wasn’t enough sand lining the pit. I discussed my concerns with Attila, and requested that he dig up some of the gravel pile that he found overgrown on our property, and transport it to the fire pit. So that is what he did. Attila removed the rock lining we had put into the pit on Friday, and shovelled in the gravel, it was about two inched deep. Then Attila lined the pit with rocks from the property. Finally, I added a bag of sand and worked it into all the spaces between the rocks, to give us a thick, non-combustable base for our fire pit.

The rest of the day I tended the fire, burning dead wood from the property, and Attila did various odd jobs. He brought several loads of gravel to fill in low areas around the picnic table; collected and bagged the garbage that he had thrown up on the bank to dry yesterday; cut wild grapes around the property, that were growing up into the trees, dragged brush from down the driveway to the fire pit area so that I could burn it, and did more work on the drainage system.

There were no grilled cheese sandwiches for us today though. I had carefully packed everything we needed, except the bread!

We left the Camp mid-afternoon, so that Attila could come home and get some sleep before he heads off to work tonight.

We have left our mark on the Rideau Camp. The garbage cleanup, the removal of dead wood and brambles, the lovely fire pit, the grilled cheese sandwich feast, it was a good inauguration.

We are thrilled that it is an easy day trip to visit the Rideau Camp. It takes about an hour and fifteen minutes from driveway to driveway, and the scenery along the way is very pleasant.

One of the interesting things about an open campfire is how you smell after spending time around one. People don’t smell very nice when they have been spending a lot of time around a campfire. We showered each day when we arrived home, but since our clothing reeked, we wore the same layers all weekend, and when we got home today we began to do loads of laundry. This includes washing my parka, which I had to wear all weekend because it was so darned cold out there! Hopefully next weekend will be milder, so that I can wear a lighter jacket while tending the fire, which will be easier to launder than a parka.

We are totally in love with the Rideau Camp!

Worldly Distractions


Cloudy. Periods of snow mixed with ice pellets beginning early this evening then changing to rain overnight. Risk of freezing rain after midnight. Snow and ice pellet amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h this evening. Temperature rising to plus 4 by morning.

Date: 5:00 PM EDT Sunday 10 April 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -0.1°C
Dewpoint: -8.1°C
Humidity: 55%
Wind: S 17 km/h
Wind Chill: -5


“By health I mean the power to live a full, adult, living, breathing life in close contact with… the earth and the wonders thereof – the sea – the sun.”
Katherine Mansfield
1888 – 1923

The sea has not been a part of my life, but the sun, inland lakes, precambrian rocks, pine trees, maples trees, oak trees…

And The Good News Is…

What a day!

First, near our former residence, the country house, where our Ancestral Camp is located, they are expecting 31 cm of snow today. And the good news is, I am not there!!!!!! It is snowing here at Mist Cottage, and the predicted accumulation is between 2 and 4 cm, tropical!

Next on my good news list is that a visit to the lawyers office, the signing of a stack of papers, and the handing over of funds, means that the Rideau Camp is ours as of the end of this week.

And last, but definitely not least, I received a call back from the nurse at my country GP’s office. My GP went over the hospital reports from my last visit, reviewed all of my records, and has categorically stated that I DO NOT have Chronic Kidney Disease. How cool is that!!!!!!

I intend to follow up the happy diagnosis with some tests and checks when we get a family doctor here at Mist Cottage, but for now I am content with the diagnosis, and very grateful that I have such a thorough and conscientious GP to rely on for information. I think the doctor in the emergency department was just a little too enthusiastic with her diagnosis, she is young, and due to her age must be inexperienced. No harm done. Actually, it was a a wake up call, I have improved my diet as a result of the inaccurate diagnosis, and will continue with some of the moderate dietary changes I have made over the last few weeks, as they are good for general health.

In future I will be insisting on seeing details of test results. It is best to monitor what the health care practitioners are doing, they make mistakes sometimes, they are only human.

So that is me, happy as a clam, celebrating my good fortune with a glass of cranberry juice! Cheers!

Worldly Distractions


A band of snow is moving through the regions north of Lake Ontario early this afternoon.
The snow will be briefly heavy at times, with a quick 2 to 4 centimetres possible in some areas.
Motorists should be prepared for winter driving conditions with low visibility in bursts of heavy snow. Untreated roads may briefly become covered in snow or slush.
The snow is expected to end or change over to some rain later today as milder air arrives from the southwest.

Date: 1:05 PM EDT Wednesday 6 April 2016
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 2 km
Temperature: -0.7°C
Dewpoint: -4.8°C
Humidity: 74%
Wind: S 37 km/h
Wind Chill: -8


“Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.”