Saturday, October 8, 2016

I slept in until 6:52 a.m.!!!! Wow! A rare event! Getting knocked back by this Shingles Vaccination has an upside.

By 9:30 a.m. we had our picnic lunch packed, along with equipment, and had headed out to the Rideau Camp. It was a chilly day, and we were both glad to have brought jackets along with us. Attila worked at removing cedar logs from the log pile, and extracting dead branches, which I burned. Everything was damp when we got there, so I took extra care setting the fire in the fire pit. We saved the branches from two dead Juniper bushes, the fine spindly branches burn easily. Attila dug out last week’s ashes, to use as landfill, and I set about setting my fire. I used dry newspaper, four sheets crumpled, on the bottom, then a two inch layer of fine Juniper branches, then some pine branches about one inch in diameter, and then some larger pine branches. I lit the newspaper and within a few minutes we had a roaring fire. The flames from the dry newspaper were able to dry out the Juniper branches so that they burned well. The flames from the Juniper branches were able to dry out the pine branches so that they burned well. When the fire was roaring, I began to add the damp cedar branches as Attila pulled them out of the ground. This went on all day.

At about noon I let the fire burn itself down to ashes, so that Attila could grill our cheese and onion on rye sandwiches. There really is nothing like a cheese sandwich grilled over an open fire, oh so delicious.

After we had eaten, I used small pine branches to get the fire going again. I didn’t need paper; setting the pine branches on the hot coals was very effective, within ten minutes the pine burst into flame and I was able to resume burning the branches that Attila was pulling out of the dirt in the log pile.

Can you see the frog? When I was reaching for a small fallen branch to burn in the camp fire, something jumped and rustled the leaves. I withdrew my hand quickly, looked around and could see nothing. Then then I heard the leaves near my feet rustle again, and I looked down to see a frog. He is a long way from water, and perhaps is attracted by the spiders, we have a lot of really big spiders in our bush. That fox we saw the other week would love to eat him for dinner, but first he would have to find him!
Frog 1
Can you see the frog? I panned in to the area where the frog was sitting.
Frog 2
Can you see the frog? I bet you can! There he sat, still as stone, for the better part of a half hour. Then he moved, and although he couldn’t have gone far, I couldn’t find him! His camouflage is very good. We avoided walking in that section of the camp during our visit, to ensure we didn’t step on him. He will have moved on by the time we return for our next visit.
Frog 3

We drove home into the sunset, quite literally. We drive west to return home, so that when we leave in the fading light, we are driving into the sunset. The drive home was quite beautiful, some of the farm fields along the way had been harvested, others had not. The fall colours in this part of Ontario are quite subdued, compared to what we enjoyed at our country house, but still quite beautiful.

As a treat for ourselves, after a day spent working in the bush, we ordered a pizza for our dinner. Pizza Pizza lists every single ingredient in their food, so I know what I can have, and what to avoid. We enjoyed our pizza, and topped off the evening by watching a few episodes of Upstairs Downstairs, an old favourite.

Monday, October 9, 2016

We had frost last night! It got some of the Scarlet Runner beans, where the wind had blown off the plastic sheeting that Attila had covered them with. The rest of the garden stayed covered and made it through.

It is finished!! Attila worked most of the day installing the rest of the shelves in the garden shed. This garden shed has taken from June to October to build, much longer than the two-weekends-and-the-week-in-between that was estimated when we made our plans for the summer. Of course family events this summer took priority over any projects. Our Grandbabies Sunny and Sky were born prematurely, which interrupted construction; and the sudden death of my brother Carl shut down projects for much of July and August. But at long last the project is finished, and today we started to move things into it. So far just empty appliance boxes (I keep them, I know!!!), and some camping equipment and extra coolers.

Here it is, the garden shed, all ready for occupancy.
The interior of the shed, at the top you can see the floor of the attic. The shelves were old steel hardware store shelves that were being thrown out, so Attila snatched them up, years ago, we have been moving these babies around, so it is great relief to be finally using them.
The drain, that I have been calling a French drain, but perhaps it isn’t strictly a French drain. It runs along the side of the shed. The photo shows all three stages of construction. On the right the crushed stone can be seen, then the black section to the left of the stone, near the middle, is garden fabric, and on the far left Attila has begun to cover the fabric with earth and sod. On the very far left is a rain barrel (really a large plastic garbage can) sitting on large piece of granite that we brought home from our Rideau Camp. The Camp is on the Canadian Shield, so there is lots of granite on the property.

I spent part of my morning choosing a new front entry door. The door we presently have does not work well, does not close property, and the wind blows in as a result. A new front door has been on our list since we purchased Mist Cottage six years ago. The door will be ordered and will take about a month to be delivered, then Attila will install it. We really should have thought to order it earlier, as November is not an ideal time of year to be installing a door; we weren’t anticipating that we would need to order it and have to wait for delivery. The new door should help us keep the house warm this winter. The present door will be saved to use at the Rideau Camp, when we build a garden shed there, someday.

The reaction to the Shingles Vaccine is beginning to dissipate. I received the shot last Tuesday. By Saturday the swollen, red, and itchy area had spread on the underside of my arm, from my underarm to my elbow. It was sore to the touch, and itchy, but didn’t really bother me too much unless I bumped it on something. Yesterday the area affected had diminished, but it was much itchier, and this morning the red swollen area has shrunk to it’s original size, about two inches in diameter, and it is no longer itchy. I think I am on the mend. I am still tired though, and sleeping 8 hours a night, so I am still recovering even though the redness and swelling have gone down significantly.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 AM EDT Monday 10 October 2016
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 103.0 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 0.2°C
Dewpoint: -1.4°C
Humidity: 89%
Wind: N 8 km/h


“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.”
Will Durant
1885 – 1981


  1. Nora

    Hi Maggie,
    Happy Thanksgiving.

    I could not see the frog in the first photo. I tried! the Then I saw frogy in second and a really neat shot in third. Wonder what it was doing but obviously interested in you. The Frog Whisperer.

    Love the shed especially the color that it was painted. I’d love to have a little shed again. I had something like that years ago but it was attached to a porch on the house.

    Glad you are healing up form the vaccine. Feel better.


  2. Nora, I kept losing sight of the frog, and finally had to memorize the stick he was near to find him again. My eyes probably aren’t as keen as a predators, but this little fellow had very effective camouflage!

    Our house is painted the same colour as the shed, we really like it. To be honest though, this colour only looks good if it is solid. When we first bought it to paint the siding of the house, Attila painted a test patch over the old orange/blue/white layers of paint. It looked so awful, and that upset me so much, that I went right out and bought a cake mix, came home and baked it and ate the whole thing. Once the second coat was on it looked great to me though!

    Having a shed is wonderful! We have a garage, but the roof leaks, and it is full of mice, and wouldn’t hold all of our stuff anyway. The shed is mouse proof, at least that is how it was built. We tested it several times to see if there was even a sliver of life coming through, and used caulking, screening and foam to block all entry points. So far no mice, we have traps in there to see if we can catch any, they come indoors this time of year.

    Having a reaction to the vaccine took me by surprise, it didn’t occur to me that it was a possibility. If I had done my research, I would have waited until AFTER Thanksgiving to have the shot. Then we could have had a Thanksgiving dinner with Luna and family and Terra and family and seen all the Grandbabies. Oh well, you live and learn. 🙂

  3. I know Kate! Didn’t that time slip by like lightning! We have been living here since September 10th 2015, so that is one year in residence. Time seems to speed up as I get older, and I’ve heard older people tell me that all of my life, now I know it is true!

  4. Thanks Diane! We like the shed so much that we plan on eventually building one like it at the Rideau Camp, probably the same colour. The shed is very useful indeed, already we have moved enough stuff into it so that we can actually walk to the front side of the basement! We will be working on getting things moved into the shed for the rest of the autumn, and it is fun!

  5. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    The shed looks wonderful! Attila, you’ve done yourself proud, very nicely done!

    Maggie, so glad to hear the reaction on your arm is dissipating!

    We had a temp this morning of -1.6C (about 29F?) and quite the frost. DH has been working on stripping our front yard bare, putting down soil, and now grass seed. I don’t think this temp will hurt the seed, considering how winter wheat can grow in much colder temps. Hopefully, we see some green by next week.

  6. Thanks Teri!

    The grass seed should be fine. One year when I was living in an old house during my first marriage, the sewers backed up. They had to be replaced. It was autumn when they dug up the front yard and then backfilled it. I sewed grass seed and raked it in, and the next day I arose to a snow storm, the snow didn’t melt, winter had begun. To my amazement, in the spring, the planted grass seed grew right along with the undistrubed grass in the rest of the yard, it was difficult to discern where the seed had been sewn. I hope your grass seed grows into a beautiful lawn for you!

  7. We have a little shed too, only ours is brick red with white trim to match our red brick home. Gordon built it about 11-12 years ago and it was really in bad shape, rotted wood of trim, hole in door, so door wouldn’t close properly and I had to prop it closed. But since our eldest son is staying here, he has fixed it up really well. He’s also done many other “honeydew” jobs. It’s very nice when your children come home later in life. We’re having a little cool spell here, temps in the 70s and beautiful sunny skies.

  8. Ava, wood does tend to age! Your shed sounds lovely, red and white. It is lovely that your son is interested in projects; it must be a source of pleasure to maintain the shed that his father built. Your weather sounds wonderful!

    I wanted to side our shed with metal siding, and the roof too, but Attila had already collected almost all the wood and shingles needed at discount prices, so that is what we ended up with. If and when we put new siding on the house, the garden shed will have the same siding… I will be much more insistent on getting my own way when that project comes around!

Comments are closed.