Slowly

Attila took a log nap when he got home from work yesterday, 40 minutes. I had thawed some stewing beef, organic grass fed beef purchased many years ago when we lived at the Country House, before we bought Mist Cottage. It turned into a lovely stew in the Instant Pot, and was ready when Attila got up from his nap. After eating, he changed into his work clothes, and out he went to work on the garage roof.

Yesterday it rained hard, for a quite a long time. In the morning I had ventured into the garage and placed tarps over all the water vulnerable items. Attila felt the unfinished roof might leak where the nails held down the waterproof sheeting. At noon, during his lunch break, Attila called to see how the garage roof was holding up. The tarps were dry, dry, dry. It put his mind at rest, and mine. No extra clean up needed!

Last night’s efforts on the roof saw the metal trim installed, and two of the nine metal panels installed. The trim and the panels look beautiful! It is very pleasing that the colour we chose is so very close to the colour of the trim on the house, which we did not realize until the metal panels were in place. Bonus.

Two metal roof panels installed.

Two metal roof panels installed.

Attila is beginning to grow weary. This morning his alarm went off for twenty minutes, wakening me from time to time, until I finally realized he wasn’t getting up to turn it off. When I woke him up he was in a deep sleep. I am so glad that the roof panels are finally going on, which I hope he finishes tonight. Once the roof panels are on, the roof will be reliably waterproof, and the rest of the project can proceed at a slower pace. It might be time then, for Attila to take a few days off the project!

The Instant Pot cooked my breakfast yesterday, a Bread Pudding. Another Bread Pudding was pressure cooked this morning. This time I used very low-sodium homemade bread and added diced apple. The apple added so much volume that my appetite was fully sated by eating just half of the pudding. The other half is safely stashed away in the refrigerator, a quick breakfast for tomorrow morning.

Bread Pudding in the Instant Pot!

Bread Pudding in the Instant Pot!

When I made the Beef Stew in the Instant Pot last night, I sautéed half of the stewing beef, removed it from the pot, and refrigerated it for tonight’s dinner. The Beef Stew was such a big hit with Attila that I will make another one tonight. I don’t care much for beef, although I can enjoy a bit of hamburger from time to time, if it is well browned. Attila likes beef, sometimes he craves it, so I try to take as little of it in my portion of the stew as possible, since I don’t enjoy it, and leave the rest to Attila.

Apparently a heat wave, high heat and high humidity, is fast approaching. I hope Attila gets all of the metal roof panels installed tonight, so that he won’t be on the roof in the extreme heat. There is still a lot of work to be done on the walls, installing the window, the cleanup, and then organization, all of which can be done in a leisurely fashion, slowly, in the shade. It is a long weekend, Monday is a statutory holiday. It would be ideal if Attila allows himself to slow down once the roof panels are safely secured into place.

The faux Cabana Curtains I created out of old white flat sheets are working very well. The afternoon sun no longer turns the back porch into an oven. With the Cabana Curtains drawn, the back porch remains at ambient temperature. The back porch will be hot during the heat wave, but no more so than sitting in the shade under a tree.

When it started to rain yesterday, I ran out into the yard and removed the cover on the rain barrel under the drip line of the back porch. This is kept covered during fair weather, to prevent mosquito reproduction, and to prevent loss due to evaporation. Much water will be needed to water the gardens during the heat wave, and now the rain barrels are full and ready for action. So far this season, intermittent rain has minimized the need to water the gardens. Even so, the rain barrels have been emptied several times, only to be refilled by the heavens.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

22°C
Date: 1:00 PM EDT Thursday 28 June 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 22.4°C
Dew point: 20.2°C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: SSW 10 km/h
Humidex: 30
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“The best time to plant an oak tree was twenty-five years ago. The second best time is today.”
James Carville
1944 –

Craving!

I have been craving something sweet. What caught my fancy was bread pudding. I’ve been thinking about bread pudding ever since the Instant Pot came into the house. I have gotten out of the habit of serving desserts with a meal, so it seemed that this craving would not be satisfied. This morning I thought, well, why not for breakfast!

I don’t like “fussy” recipes, ones with lots of ingredients that are not usually found in our home. For instance, bread pudding recipes that call for egg bread, or cinnamon bread, are glossed over, those kinds of specialized ingredients won’t be found in the Mist Cottage kitchen.

I don’t plan menus, or make grocery lists from them, never have. I look in the garden, in the freezer, in the refrigerator, to see what is available. I choose an ingredient, and then the search is on to find or create a recipe that will bring that ingredient to the table in a pleasing way. This past week it was a forgotten cabbage at the back of the vegetable bin, which inspired several meals of cabbage roll casserole and a wonderful Sweet & Sour beef and cabbage casserole. This morning I noticed two withering apples at the back of the other vegetable drawer… and I meant to chop one of those apples to add to my bread pudding. Perhaps I will make another bread pudding tomorrow, chop one of the apples to add to it, and restrict myself to only eating one serving for my breakfast!

Here is my recipe, developed by reading dozens of recipes, coming to the conclusion that I could use bread ends, saved studiously in the freezer so that nothing would go to waste. So I rummaged around in the refrigerator freezer and produced a small bag of rye bread ends. Perfect. I used the equivalent of two slices of that bread, which was very easy to cube in its frozen state. I used one cup of milk, one egg, some sugar, some raisins, some vanilla, some cinnamon… Maggie’s Bread Pudding For One!

What I am very impressed by is the nutritional lineup of this particular dish, lots of nutrients to counterbalance the indulgence in calories, sodium, sugar, and cholesterol. No empty calories here!

The dish was meant to last for two breakfasts, one hot out of the Instant Pot, and the other cold from the refrigerator, to be heated in the microwave. Well, that didn’t work out, I celebrated my successful recipe by eating the whole thing at one sitting! And even then, if I’m careful for the rest of the day, it won’t put me over any of my daily limits. An improvement for future puddings: I will use my own low-sodium homemade bread instead of store bought bread, which will reduce the sodium content to almost nothing. The nutrient information with the recipe reflects the amount of sodium in commercial breads, not my homemade bread.

The last loaf of bread I made, on Sunday, turned out very well. I used less than 1/8 tsp of salt in that loaf, so eating it will not affect my daily sodium intake. It will be better for Attila too, he needs to cut down on sodium, because he is a condiment hound. He love salty condiments of all kinds. That is where he enjoys his sodium intake most, so cutting down the sodium in other food items helps him keep his intake down, while eating the foods he loves.

11:00 a.m.

A thunderstorm is predicted for today, and rain. The garage roof is a bit vulnerable to the rain just now, the strapping will prevent the water from draining off the roof, so it will pool on the upside of the strapping, and lead down into the holes where the nails are holding down the sheeting and strapping. It can’t be helped. Tonight Attila will be adding flashing to the roof. And when the whole thing dries again, when fairer weather returns, the metal will be installed. So close and yet so far. I am not cleaning the garage until the metal roof is installed.

The rain has started. I was just down in the garage, in my rubber boots, proper footwear, to check the roof for leaks. No leaks so far, but the day is young. I covered all open containers and cardboard boxes with tarps, it is the best I can do. If the roof leaks, these few days of rain will be the last time, this will be the last cleanup after a rain. I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable with the pound of cure approach to projects.

I notice the wind is billowing some of the waterproof sheeting. This is a bit of bad luck. Some of it has been lifted, torn from the nails that were holding it, that will need to be repaired before the metal roof can be installed. This might involve pulling up some of the strapping, I hope not. Attila, when pressed, has been known to take the “good enough” approach to resolving an issue, which is a very bad idea when it comes to a roof. I will get involved in the decision making about this issue, when the time comes, for my own peace of mind. The roof is worth taking the time to do it right the first time.

Roof renovations remind me of farming. So much risk due to weather! I would not have made a good farmer, scratch that, I would have made an excellent farmer, I worry enough to watch and to think ahead, but I wouldn’t have been a happy farmer, not happy at all.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

18°C
Date: 12:32 PM EDT Wednesday 27 June 2018
Condition: Light Rainshower
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 17.7°C
Dew point: 17.0°C
Humidity: 96%
Wind: SE 23 km/h
Visibility: 8 km

Quote

“When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure.”
Alice Hoffman

Sick Day

Today is a sick day; I began to feeling not quite myself yesterday. Nausea, abdominal cramps, hot and cold sweats, shortness of breath… no fever. Luckily the air conditioner was installed in the bedroom window last night and I am able to sit in a relatively cool room with low humidity. The symptoms get worse when I venture out into the rest of the house, so I don’t. Still drinking copious amounts of water. Eating is extremely unpleasant, so not doing much of that. I have never been able to physically tolerate heat and humidity, and as I get older I have less tolerance; a fact, not a complaint.

Attila called to touch base in the afternoon. Although it is unfortunate that others are suffering as I am, the news that some of the people he works with are suffering the same symptoms is a bit of a relief. It isn’t just me, or my age, other people are finding the extreme weather is taking a toll on their health.

Thunder and rain visited this morning. The temperature is still 27C in the house, the humidity is around 83%, it is very unpleasant. The temperature outdoors is lower than indoors, as is the humidity, so the windows are open.

Terra is not feeling well right now, she has an infection and is on antibiotics.

Attila’s skin is healing, almost miraculously! The tepid baths, followed by the application of coconut oil are doing the trick. The itching is now minimal, despite the current heat wave. Sweet relief for him; and I have my Attila, the man I know and love, back again.

The heat wave has had adverse effects on all of us, to varying degrees.

Tomorrow is the last day predicted to be uncomfortably hot and humid. So just today and tomorrow to get through, and two more nights of misery to maneuver.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

25°C
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 25.1°C
Dewpoint: 21.5°C
Humidity: 80%
Wind: WNW 9 km/h
Humidex: 34

Quote

“Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.”
Mark Twain
1835 – 1910

Thunderstorms, maybe, maybe not.

This morning we have intermittent torrential rain, thunder, and intermittent power outages. I have the fans going, attempting to bring the cooler air into the house; they will suddenly stop whirling, falling silent, only to surge back into operation when the power returns.

The sliding glass door leads to a deck, where the rain falls and splatters into the house, through the screen. It is important to try and keep this door open when trying to cool the house, but the rain is problem on the hardwood floor. Towels were arranged around the door, but were soon soaked. The solution was a cookie sheet and a plastic tray, placed in the opening. They do a fine job of deflecting the back splash.

Mist does not like this solution, as she feels that the screen at the slider is HER window to the world. The blockage is not appreciated, and she has made her perspective known, loudly. It can’t be helped though, the clutter at the door will remain until the rain subsides.

This morning Attila rummaged through the garden shed and emerged with a tube of glue. The shoe, the upper ripped away from the sole, now sits, repaired, on the screened in porch. Where, I might add, the mosquitoes were rather fierce, but are now decimated.

The bills are paid, the forms are filled in, the outgoing mail is on its way to the letterbox, the tedious administrative chores of life are temporarily completed.

This morning the genealogy project is once more underway, after a lengthy hiatus. It is time to adjust to isolation again. There is little paid work going, although a few hours of work are scheduled for the end of August. That may be the last of it, or it may not be the last of it. There is no telling. It wouldn’t be missed, working in a corporate machine is not a lot of fun, and being the “outsider”, endlessly, is very wearing. The company is gearing down, losing business and cutting back.

So, here I sit in my easy chair, keyboard on my lap, sorting through my citations, in preparation for publication. There is no hurry.

Just before lunch a storm warning for this area appeared on the Environment Canada site. We could get 90 km/hr winds, hail 2″ in diameter and 50 ml of rain in one hour. It might miss us, it might pass over us in a less intense form, if we are lucky. Attila took a short break from work to come home and move the car into a sheltered position. I spent some time assessing the yard, putting the garbage cans and blue box away in the locked shed, moving a few items to the floor of the screened in porch so they would not blow away, and bringing in the stevia plant from the deck. If we do get hail it will destroy the flower garden, and the portulaca blooming in riots in the planter on the deck.

If we do get 2″ hail, I hope Attila can find shelter quickly. Hail that large can do a lot of damage to a person. He knows it is coming, so with any luck he will be near shelter if the storm hits his workplace in full force.

The distant thunder is draws nearer, retreats into the distance, then draws nearer. The sky is darkens, lightens, the sun shines, the cloud roll in again, and so it has gone all day. The wind has picked up, tossing the leafy branches, creating a wave of movement in the tree tops. The electricity was lost, came back on, was lost again, the pattern repeating itself all through the morning hours.

The cooler has all the necessities for quick sandwiches, in the event that the power goes out for an extended period of time.

I am going to upload this entry now, in case we are without power later today.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

24°C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 100.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 23.7°C
Dewpoint: 17.6°C
Humidity: 68%
Wind: WNW 22 gust 34 km/h
Humidex: 29

“Potential for severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening along a cold front.

This is an alert to the potential development of severe thunderstorms with large hail, damaging winds or heavy rainfall..Monitor weather conditions and listen for updated bulletins.

A cold front will cross Southern Ontario from west to east this afternoon and evening. Conditions ahead of and along the front will be favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms. Wind gusts to 90 km/h are possible with these storms, as well as hail 2 cm in diameter and heavy downpours up to 50 mm in an hour.

The front will affect Southwestern Ontario early this afternoon, the Greater Toronto area and South Central Ontario by mid afternoon, and Eastern Ontario late this afternoon and early this evening.

Environment Canada is closely monitoring this situation and will issue further watches and warnings as necessary. ”

Quote

“Wanting to be someone you’re not is a waste of the person you are.”
Kurt Cobain
1967 – 1994

Open Windows

A Robin from Forty Feet
Robin 2013 april

Thunder booms, lightning flashes, rain pours from the sky, the metal roof hums in the falling rain. We are experiencing our first thunder storm of the season! I think of Attila working out of doors, and I shiver.

The snow is very patchy, but still very deep in spots. Yesterday I took a little walk towards the back of the property and sank in snow deeper than my boots. I got a “soaker”! It won’t be long though, until even the deep snow will be gone.

This morning Mist was in a mood. She decided she wanted the blinds opened. I do not open the blinks until dawn, so since it was still dark Mist did not get her way. Attila assured her that my affection for him would magically open the blinds when he left for work, as I would wave goodbye. Mist did not care, she was miffed.

While the morning was wet, the afternoon was merely cloudy; and warm. For the first time this spring I have windows open. The fresh air is wandering through the house, sniffing in all the corners, leaving freshness behind. I can hear the wind in the pines. I can hear the birds calling to each other. I can hear the hum of distant traffic on tarmac. It is all familiar and welcome.

The book Cane River has my complete attention at the moment. I borrowed it from the library on my Kobo. When I become entangled in the web of a book, I find myself thinking of the story at odd moments, and sometimes stopping as I bend my head to a task, wondering where I left the Kobo, suddenly wanting to read more of the story, hear more in my head.

The first fruit and vegetable basket was picked up in town today. I arrived at the allotted time, but the delivery truck was 45 minutes late. I decided to wait, rather than spend my fuel getting home, only to have to come back again. Attila has yet to determine if the box of fresh fruit and vegetable will be economical. Certainly if my time is worth anything, it will not be. But today I had time, so it was not wasted, and will not be tallied into the cost. I placed the entire contents of the basket on the counter and took a photo, so that Attila has an accurate record to figure from. It seemed a lot simpler to take a photo than to make a list.

The genealogy sources continue to occupy chunks of time. I am working my way through the sources for my GGG Grandmother and GGG Aunts and GGG Uncles. Most of the research was done with microfilm and microfiche, in libraries, through interlibrary loans. It is so different now, with so much available online. It is easy to find copies of the referenced documents to verify the accuracy of my data and to create a proper source for each bit of information for each person. So far, I have found two errors that I made over the years of hurried research, both of which have now been corrected.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

21°C °C
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 100.3 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 20.8°C
Dewpoint: 13.8°C
Humidity: 64%
Wind: S 43 gust 54 km/h

Quote

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature…. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
Helen Keller
1880 – 1968