The weather is cooler and I am back to muffin making! We bought 15 overripe bananas for $1.49 yesterday. That many bananas will translate into five batches of muffins. Two batches have been made since yesterday, and out of those 24 muffins, 14 are left. We like our muffins!

We also purchased a half bushel of Ontario peaches. They are ripening in their containers on the kitchen floor as I type. By tomorrow I should be enjoying fresh peach smoothies for my lunches, and Giant Oven Pancake with fresh peaches for my suppers.

It seems that every visit to the bush includes a guest appearance from a star. Last Sunday this individual appeared. He/she is clinging to the bottom ridge of plastic on my plastic-five-gallon-pail-chamber-pot, which, having been emptied and cleaned, was left upside down on the crushed stone to dry. Apparently this beauty found the object a perfectly acceptable place to enjoy the sun. There are a lot of dragonflies at our Rideau Camp, and every one of them has a different wing pattern and/or body type. It has been a real fashion parade.

Dragonfly DSCF0960 Our visiting dragonfly, about three inches long. This beauty remained on the blue bucket for over ten minutes, despite being blown this way and that by the wind.

I have a project lined up to perform at the Rideau Camp. The crushed stone drive, and main area, are being overtaken by weeds. This is undesirable because plants provide launch areas for mosquitoes and ticks. The recipe to be used is not as effective as chemicals such as roundup, but it is partially successful.

Weed Killer

4 cups vinegar
½ cup epsom salts
1 tbsp dawn dish detergent

Mix to dissolve, spray weeds, wait.

The yard will smell like a chip stand for a day or so, salt and vinegar.

If you spend time in the “wild” in Ontario, you might notice the ubiquitous empty beer bottle. Sometimes they are whole, and other times they have been ceremoniously smashed and lie in sharp shards waiting for the unwary. We find them along trails, and just about anywhere we walk in the bush. They seem to represent a rural rite of passage into the wilds of adolescence. Our property came with the traditional empty beer bottle, luckily it is intact.

Beer bottle DSCF1056 Here it is, our very own Canadiana. Can you spot the empty beer bottle? It has been left intact, as a testatment to, and reminder of, the nature the rural rituals of humans.

Worldly Distractions


Date:2:00 PM EDT Thursday 24 August 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 19.4°C
Dew point: 11.7°C
Humidity: 61%
Wind: NW 16 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of witnesses.”
Margaret Millar

I find this more true of men than I do of women, men talking to women that is, or is it talking at women, because that is what a lot of men do when they talk to me. I can think of only two women who indulged in monologue when interaction was available. One I met when a family visited our farm, the daughter talked in a steady stream, barely pausing for breath, for hours… I was amazed. The other was an adult woman who I spent one day with, I uttered two sentences that day, she filled the airwaves the rest of the time. I know more about her than I wanted to. I find most women converse in a very interactive way, with me. Of course, they do not feel any pressure to impress, that might be a factor for males when interacting with females.

Sunny Days

Thursday, April 28, 2016

It temperature dipped below freezing last night, but bounced back up after the light of dawn. Although this cold weather is not much to my liking, I am grateful not be on the west coast of Scotland right now, where some areas have received three inches of snow, and it has been described as the heaviest snow fall of the winter; on April 28th, imagine that.

Yesterday I watched a YouTube video, “Elizabeth at 90 – A Family Tribute”. When returning to get the link to include here, the video was gone, with the message “This video contains content from BBC Worldwide, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.” Such a shame really, as we can’t get the BBC programming here in Canada, and now I can’t share the link. I enjoyed the tribute very much, it showed me a side of Queen Elizabeth I hadn’t really seen before, it was chiefly narrated by Prince Charles, in conversation with Queen Elizabeth, and includes comments from many members of the Royal Family.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Today dawned sunny, and slightly colder than yesterday morning. However, the temperature had not fallen below freezing last night, so the temperature rose through morning at a quicker pace.

This morning I was thinking of a story a friend of mine told me about his daughter. When she was quite young they were playing hide and seek. To avoid being found she would cover her eyes and shout, “you can’t see me.” In her innocence she believed that this tactic worked.

Next door to us live two little boys. They are as different as “chalk and cheese”. The older loves to talk, he makes eye contact, smiles a lot, and is affectionate. The younger loves to explore, he asks questions, and will walk through any door that is open, anywhere. When I arrived home in the car last week, after having been out, the older boy ran up to the car door as I emerged, threw his arms around my neck and gave me a big hug. Then off he ran to join his mother and brother, as they headed down the street for their walk. He whispered to his mother, “I have a secret. I hugged her.” Then he giggled. Who wouldn’t be completely charmed by such a boy.

Today I searched for “Elizabeth at 90 – A Family Tribute”, and found that someone else had posted it to YouTube. I guess the BBC is going to have their hands full trying to put the Genie back in the box. Really though, it is such a lovely tribute to the Queen that I feel it should be freely available to the public. As I watched it I realized that what I appreciate about the Queen is the continuity she has provided. My whole life her picture has officiated the classrooms where I was taught, the libraries I visited, and many other public places. One of my Aunts kept a Royal Scrapbook, which I loved to look at when I was young. The Royal Family didn’t play an active role in my existence, but the Queen has always been there, actively demonstrating that with privilege and honour came responsibility and consideration.

Projects that needed to be accomplished before our next visit to the Rideau Camp were tackled.

First, there have been various media alerts that tick season has begun. While the Lyme Disease carrying black ticks are not found near Mist Cottage, or our Ancestral Camp, the Rideau Camp is in black tick territory. This means that we need to exercise caution while working, or recreating, at the Rideau Camp. To that end, Attila’s coveralls needed to be treated with permethrin, to aid in repelling ticks. This morning, when I carefully applied the permethrin spray to Attila’s coveralls, I treated an old pair of pants of mine. That gives me two pairs of pants that will repel ticks, mosquitoes, and black flies. I only have one treated shirt, an old, large man’s shirt that I picked up at a used clothing store. A second one is called for, and is on the shopping list for the next visit to the charity shops. In addition, a pair of sharp tweezers for tick removal was added to the first aid kit. Best to be prepared.

Second, the driveway and parking area at the Rideau camp are crushed stone. There are a lot of tall weeds growing up out of the crushed stone. I am going to spray the area of crushed stone with a mixture of epsom salts, vinegar, and Dawn detergent, to get rid of the weeds there.

Here is a photo to warm the cockles of your heart, our very own septic tank at the Rideau Camp. This gem was part of the deal, it came with the camp. Unfortunately it is garbage, it leaks, it is cracked. We won’t be stuffing this 5 foot high inheritance into a green garbage bag, throwing a tag on the bag, and putting it on the curb to go out with the trash! It might come in handy during a flood, we could stand on it.
Septic tank

Worldly Distractions


Date: 10:00 AM EDT Thursday 28 April 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 5.2°C
Dewpoint: -6.4°C
Humidity: 43%
Wind: NNE 17 gust 30 km/h

Date: 8:00 AM EDT Friday 29 April 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 4.4°C
Dewpoint: -7.4°C
Humidity: 42%
Wind: NE 26 gust 37 km/h


“Anything that has real and lasting value is always a gift from within.”
Franz Kafka
1883 – 1924