Business As Usual. Well, almost.

6:00 a.m.

I got the kitchen ladder and climbed up on it to reach the top cupboard above the range, where the appliance to create aqueous oxygen had been stored for many years. It has not been used since the contractor dug up around the basement, and I killed all the mould and mildew, spores included, in the suddenly dry basement. Now there is another mould and mildew challenge, this time in the garage.

I wasn’t sure the appliance would still work, after all it has been a long time. So I rummaged through the manual drawer until I found the original manual, followed directions and fired it up. Eureka, we have aqueous oxygen. The efficacy lasts only 15 minutes, then it reverts to plain water, so I wanted to use the first batch quickly. I threw on my housecoat, and headed out to the garage in my flip flops, pyjamas, housecoat, to spray the floor. Attila was concerned about my being out there in flip flops, thought I might hurt my foot somehow, or track horrid stuff through the house on my flip flops. Ignoring his concerns I sprayed the traffic areas, watching my feet carefully the whole time. He made me promise, before he left for work, that I would wear proper footwear to work in the garage. I agreed to that, he has an excellent point.

6:15 a.m.

Attila heads out the door, back to his job! He’d rather be here renovating any day. He packed a lunch with fresh homemade bread, and some homemade muffins, then drove off into the morning.

7:30 a.m.

A huge truck pulled up in front of the house, then backed up into the driveway to pick up the dumpster. I have no idea how the fellow maneuvered that huge truck into the narrow driveway, from the narrow road, but he did it without hesitation. The dumpster, the old roof, the mouldy, rotting lost items, gone!

truck and dumpster

8:00 a.m.

Looking out the kitchen window I spied, by the yard waste compost pile, a RABBIT! Aha! Out I went, grabbed my trusty water canon, and then snuck up on the rascally critter. I shot the water canon when I got close and the chase was on. Full circle around the yard we went, until the rabbit squeezed through a narrow opening between the porch support and fence. Aha, again! Another of the few remaining peas was bitten off at the stem, it was rabbit revenge. I took a cedar log and lodged it in the space where the rabbit had entered the yard. Then I found a piece of wood that was sitting in the back yard pile from the garage renovation, carried it around the house, and secured it along the bottom edge of the porch, no rabbits will be gaining access there again.

9:45 a.m.

Sitting here, in my easy chair, gazing out the window, listening to the birds, feeling the cool breeze from the open living room window, I suddenly notice that I feel calm within. For the last nine days, no longer than that, more like three weeks, I’ve been psychically “holding my breath” over this garage roof replacement. It was hard to know how it would go, if nine days were really enough for one man to remove the old roof and get far enough along that the new would shed the rain. That tension is no more. Suddenly there are no unspeakable regions here at Mist Cottage. There are no waiting piles of disgust that will have to be dealt with. Suddenly, it feels as if we have control here at Mist Cottage. This is a new feeling, and I like it. I can’t imagine how great this must feel for Attila, because added to the resolution of tension, there must be a feeling of accomplishment. Perhaps he is fending off that feeling of accomplishment until the many fiddly bits are done, the project is still a long way from completion. I think though, that he will enjoy the garage all the more in years to come, because he alone transformed it into a pleasant and secure space.

12:45 p.m.

A window will be installed in the north west wall of the garage. Natural light is desirable, and I privately think it is needed if Attila is to create an art studio in there. The window that was removed from the kitchen in March will be installed. It was covered with sawdust, and a lot of dirt from where it was stored in the garage. Attila put it out on the back porch for me. This morning I gave it a vacuum, and a wash. Then I applied privacy film to the glass. Really, I did a good job when I did the dining room windows, a few years ago, so what happened to me! The film did not go on well, there are huge bubbles. I had to get down on my hands and knees to do the job, and the mosquitoes were out and biting… perhaps that was the problem. Since this is a garage window, it isn’t crucial that the film look great, it will prevent intruders from seeing into the garage, and let the light in, so it will be good enough, bubbles and all. I don’t like doing projects that turn out to be “good enough”! The perfectionist in me is dissatisfied. I’ll have to get over it. Done!

2:40 p.m.

One of the goals for today was to clear the driveway of construction waste. It was kept relatively free of large debris, but there was a lot of small bits of singles, the gritty bits off shingles, sawdust, and just general dirt. I spent my afternoon with the shovel, a plastic bucket, and a dustpan. I filled the 5 gallon bucket with “stuff”, and pulled out all the plant life between the cracks in the concrete. The concrete driveway at Mist Cottage has seen better days. It is cracked, lots of cracks. The weeds march down the cracks like soldiers going to war, implacable. I haven’t pulled the weeds for a few years now, too busy with the Rideau Camp and other things. So this was the year for pulling weeds out of the cracks. The section of the driveway where Iris the trailer will rest has been cleared. The rest can be done at a later date.

That done, I am thinking about starting on the garage floor. It might happen, but then again it might not. At least it might not happen today. I am still wearing flip flops, it would require a change of footwear. I will though, at the very least, vacuum by the door from the garage to the basement, a lot of gritty shingle stuff and sawdust got tracked in there. It was sprayed with aqueous oxygen this morning, so it should be fine to vacuum. I can wear my flip flops to to that job.

I received a call from the dumpster company, Attila moved 2.2 tons of debris into that dumpster. I am so glad he only had to move that once!

Sitting here on my easy chair, I can see the windows in the dining area of the kitchen. The light has changed! The windows are just above the roof of the garage. The old roof was black, and tarry, and stinky, and hot, hot, hot. The plywood is fresh, sweet smelling, and light in colour. The light reflects off the wood, so different than the black that absorbed all light and turned it into unwanted heat. The light coming in the dining area windows is bright and cheerful. There is very little heat emanating from the plywood on the roof, so that the windows can remain open, whereas before I had to close them in the afternoons to keep the heat from the black roof from heating up the house. The new metal roof is light gray, so I anticipate that open windows are a part of my future. More delightful advantages of the new garage roof!

7:45 p.m.

Attila was a bit knackered when he got home from work today, first day back and all, so he put his head down for a 20 minute power nap before dinner.

Dinner was Nachos with Guacamole. Mine were made with salt free corn chips, which are seldom available in local stores, chopped sweet onion, and lactose free cheese. Attila does the traditional salted corn chip, sweet onion, and regular cheddar cheese. The Guacamole is homemade, a quick recipe with just fresh Avocados and Attila’s homemade salsa.

Now Attila is just outside the window happily hammering away. He is installing the waterproof sheeting over the plywood tonight. After he got home from work, he decided he needed plastic cap nails to install the waterproof sheeting. He wanted 1″ nails, but of course, none are available anywhere near here, so he decided 2″ nails would do the job. He sent me off to the building centre to buy the 2″ nails. I arrived at the building centre 15 minutes before closing time. They had some 2″ nails mixed in with 2 ½” nails, and it was so close to closing time that they weren’t going to sort through them to sell 200 nails. There was another box with exclusively 2 ½” nails, so I bought those instead. They assured me I could return them in the morning if they didn’t suit Attila. I was relieved that he decided they were just fine.

Waterproof sheeting is going on tonight. Then the strapping… then the metal roof.

Being a “runner” is a hard job. Decisions have to be made, out of context, one has no idea why the specific item is needed, so no idea what substitutes could work. Luckily, so far, on this project, I haven’t had to return any materials.

It has been a beautiful and busy day, my kind of day!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

22°C
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Monday 25 June 2018
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 22.2°C
Dew point: 4.5°C
Humidity: 31%
Wind: NW 18 gust 29 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that’s how dogs spend their lives.”
Sue Murphy

Ups & Downs

Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.

Believe it or not, yesterday was a down day. I have a summer cold, which began to show itself Sunday evening when I was sitting out on the back porch. I thought the cough, sore throat, and headache were from the citronella candle, made in China, but I haven’t been near that since, and the cough and sore throat persist. There is no fever, thank goodness, just this cough, sore throat, headache, and sneezing. It isn’t debilitating, just annoying.

Yesterday was a down day in another way, emotionally. It wasn’t that there was anything negative happening in my little world, quite the opposite. Attila and I have been amicably living together here at Mist Cottage, no changes there. I’ve been enjoying the open windows, the birdsong, the breezes whispering to me through the leaves outside the open windows, wonderful. But despite all of this good fortune, and good fortune it is, I was feeling a bit anxious. I don’t know what it was about, but this morning it has completely dissipated.

I plan on taking on a difficult project today. I want to apply a plastic film to the new big window in the basement, for privacy. It has a “curtain” at the moment, an old blue plastic shower curtain that I bought at the Dollar Store in 2010 for $1.00. But it does not do the new window justice. Last Friday I measured the window, cut the plastic film pieces to size, then set it all aside for another day. Today is the day. I am all thumbs when it comes to doing this kind of thing, so my patience cup has to be full.

The first part of the project involves cleaning the window. There are lots of bugs in the basement, so I’ll vacuum the bugs off the window, and from around the area around the window. Then I’ll use vinegar in a spray bottle to wash it clean. When it is dry the film will be applied. Two pieces of film needed to be cut for each window, as the glass surface is much larger than the width of the film.

But first, it is time to close the windows! The temperature outside, now, at 10:30 a.m., has risen to 23C. As much as I love the open windows, I enjoy physical comfort even more, so the windows will be closed, the curtains drawn, for the day.

OK, back to the project of the day. I did all the preparation of the windows, and applied the film. Well, what can I say, there are multiple bubbles that, no matter how many times I lifted the stuff and tried again, are still there. And there they will stay! Then I wanted to hang a light coloured curtain. White seemed like a good choice, as that window gets full sun during the day. A rummage through the fabric tote, nothing gets thrown out around here, revealed a beautiful wrap around skirt, that was a gift. It was worn about 35 pounds ago, and it is doubtful that this old body, as long as it remains healthy, will not be returning to that time and place and weight. It fit over the window beautifully, and is so cheerful in the dreary basement. There will be good memories of Joannie on every visit downstairs to retrieve or store cooking equipment, and it will be enjoyed when passing by that window, every time I leave or enter the house. Some solutions are just so very satisfying.

Wednesday, 12:25 p.m.

Hot! It is hot out there, too hot to run errands in town.

One of the two cheques that were “in the mail” has arrived. The grant for the attic insulation is exactly what we were promised. It is such a relief to see it, as I had overextended our financial situation quite a bit to take advantage of the grant program. It required an up front payment for the work done, and when all the paperwork was approved, a cheque would be sent in the mail. A trip to the bank to deposit the cheque will bring closure on the attic insulation project. One more cheque to come, for the new windows. It is a much more significant cheque, the windows were a lot more expensive than the attic insulation. I want to go to the bank, but after opening the door just now, I decided against it. Too hot!

Once the sun hits the back porch in the afternoons, it is too hot to sit out. Yesterday I hung a curtain rod across a portion of the porch and hung a white sheet on it. Shade. That is one section taken care of, there are two more. There are no more curtain rods here, so a purchase will be necessary. Luckily there are a few very old white sheets in the cupboard, as I said, very little gets thrown out around here. In the meantime, cotton sheets will be pinned across the porch clothesline, to provide partial shade. Yesterday afternoon, when two sheets were up on the porch, the temperature fell from 36C to 32C. The difference will be even more noticeable when the rods are in place, and sheets are hung on them, they will block all of the afternoon sun. The clothesline blocks only about 80% of the sunshine, it hangs lower than the curtain rod.

I know that they say don’t keep things just because someday you might need them… but hen’s teeth, we almost always end up using the old stuff… sometimes it takes 30 years to get around to it though. It is a calculated risk.

Posted this entry and forgot the picture I had taken of the Tamarack! It looses its needles for the winter, they are back again.

Tamarack Spring 2018 Ontario Canada Tamarack in spring, Ontario, Canada.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

23°C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Wednesday 30 May 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 22.9°C
Dew point: 10.5°C
Humidity: 45%
Wind: SSE 5 gust 28 km/h
Humidex: 24
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.”
George S. Patton
1885 – 1945