The Date

Monday, 19 August, 2014

Sunday, and again Monday, Terra dropped by on her lunch break. Her workplace is a few minutes from our little house, so it makes for a nice break from work for her. For me, it is a treat. I prepared salami and cheese sandwiches for us, topped with a thick slice of the fresh tomato she brought for me over the weekend. It was a heritage tomato, fresh from her garden.

Today Terra and I have a date. She is coming over to “help” me mow the front lawn. Truth be told, she will be doing the lion’s share of the work. The push mower is tough going, the lawn is large, and my injured knee is still recovering nicely. I am not taking any chances with this knee!

I have been able to chat with Attila daily, morning and night, and it makes such a difference to my comfort level, when we are apart for more than a few days. He is accomplishing much in my absence. All of the split wood is now in the woodshed, and it amounts to about half of what we will need to get through the winter. The brush from the storm-toppled yellow birch tree has all been burned, thanks to the rainy weather, which allows a decent safety factor for burning. The rest of the week, Attila’s evenings will be spent bringing in more wood from the back of the property, splitting it and storing it in the woodshed.

Monday I bit the bullet and ordered the pressure canner that I have had my eye on for quite some time. The factor that tipped the scale was an article about canning beans. We eat a lot of beans, and have been cooking and freezing them. Canned beans would be much handier though. We buy dried beans in bulk, so it would be very economical to can beans. I do not buy canned beans because of the commercial canning containers, either metal, or plastic lined cans. With a pressure canner we will be able to can anything, in glass. Since harvest season is upon is Ontario, this canner can be put to use immediately. I will need to plan my future canning shelves now, storage is important, both for the empty jars and for the jars of canned food. The canner is a present to myself. It is a good one, an All American, which should last a few lifetimes, and will eventually land with Terra with the huge garden, when I am no longer able to use it. Who knows, Terra and I might just end up having canning days together, that would be a bit of old fashioned fun!

Our little garden, at the little house in the city. The cucumber plant, on the right, is one cucumber plant, it is still spreading! I have too many cucumbers!
Citygarden2014

One of the projects I wanted to accomplish while staying at the little house, was washing and cleaning the car. It hadn’t been done since last summer. I began the project a few days ago. It is slow going for me, as I take frequent breaks, at the slightest twinge from my knee. Today I finally finished the job! It began with the shop vac, proceeded to cleaning the unbelievably dirty roof, progressed to the exterior body of the car, and ended with a wash down of the interior, including window washing. It looks great! Since I used a bucket and rag, it only took about ten buckets of water to complete the entire job. If I had used a hose, it would have taken a lot more water to accomplish the same result.

Monday morning I took the shiny clean car to the grocery store, thought I’d show it off a bit. I don’t think anyone noticed how spiffy she looked, but I noticed. The shopping trip included an error in the store’s computer, where they charged me $5.99 for a block of cheese that was actually $3.00. Since I purchased four of them, three for the freezer, one for today, the refund was significant. I seldom pay attention to the prices at the checkout counter, but this bill seemed high to me, so I checked it before I left the store, thank goodness.

Little tasks kept me busy for the rest of the day Monday. I sewed a few buttons on my work shirt, an used man’s shirt I picked up at the second hand store. I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to this little job, it only took a few minutes, and it was so annoying to use bobby pins to keep the shirt closed while working.

There is some excitement in the neighbourhood at the little house. Our dead end street is changing, drastically. A new subdivision is being built in the swampy area at the end of the street, an area that has two streams feeding into it. One wonders about the wisdom of this, profit is obviously a strong factor in the building approval in this situation. Today the company who is developing the area had their workers busy destroying the forest. They cut down the trees, and fed them into a chipper. It has been very noisy here today. The forest behind the homes across the street has been clear cut in this way, the neighbours are devastated by the loss of the trees. Apparently the new build will be a high-end seniors complex, with expensive rental units. And we will be living on a through street, instead of a dead end street. I suppose this kind of development happens around you, when you have a property at the periphery of a town or city. The only positive I can think of, is that the new homes will be worth a lot more than this little house! It might have a positive effect on property values.

Giant Marigolds, I am finding them very cheerful!
Marigoldgiant2014

I arrived at the little house in the city one week ago Monday. The transition period was longer than usual on this visit, probably because I haven’t been here on my own much this spring and summer. We can blame the purchase of the camp lot, and putting the country house up for sale, for that! So here I am, and finally, finally, I am settling into being here. Projects are popping up in front of me, all over the place! I am planning my days around projects, little ones of course, in keeping with my abilities. My meals are a source of pleasure, plenty of fresh vegetables, cheese, and fruit. I am drinking lots of water, and sticking to my “one big mug of coffee” in the morning routine.

The thing is, just as I am settling in nicely here, but I am also aware that soon I will be travelling back to the country house. Activities await! A dinner hosted by Attila’s employers is coming up, on San Souci Island. A visit with a gentleman I met on-line is coming up, he is married to a cousin of my mother’s, and they will be visiting us at the camp, and also Granny and Grandpa’s house. He has wonderful memories of going to dances with my Aunts, and we have a great time sharing our memories of the area and the people we knew, despite our significant age difference. And, as a super treat, Luna, Janus and the Grandbabies are arriving next week for an overnight stay, sort of like a slumber party, our annual overnight visit with the Grandbabies.

Attila and I are very pleased that we have managed to finally pay off the camp lot! This is not as impressive as it sounds, as we purchased the least expensive piece of property that I have EVER seen on the market in that area. In fact, when we purchased the camp lot, the MLS listings had only two properties that were around the same price, in all of Ontario, and both of them were very remote, much further north, on seasonal roads. The camp lot purchase was a once in a lifetime thing, for both Attila and I. The land is purely recreational, and will not appreciate in value in the future. No one else will love it the way we do! It was an impractical indulgence, and we are both delighted with it.

Tuesday, 19 August, 2014

A bit of excitement here at the little house in the city this morning! I had the window in the bathroom open, but it was chilly in there, so I closed the door, so as not to lose any more heat. I did not realize the keyed lock had been engaged. Hours later I needed to use the facilities, and the door was locked! And of course, in this old house, I had NO KEY! The window is too small to allow a body through it, so that option was out. I tried the credit card thing, that did not work. I looked at videos geared to opening locks from the outside, but they were either irrelevant (not dealing with keyed locks) or extreme (cutting out pieces of the frame). I messaged Terra, thinking she might have an idea, she was unavailable.

I thought I might try to pick the lock. But before trying that, I got out all the keys on my keychain and began to try them in the lock. “You never know,” I thought. As it turned out, the mail key opened the bathroom door! Thank goodness for that. Now we have keep that mail key forever, or at least until we change the hardware on the bathroom door. I might be able to disable the locking mechanism, another research project in the making.

Terra came to visit, she and I had a date, to mow the front lawn. She pulled out the lawn mower and had the lawn cut in less than a half hour. What a girl! I took the snippers and trimmed around the trees and the front steps. She finished before I did.

As an added bonus, Terra brought along her skill saw. I do not have power tools here with me, so I asked her if she could bring a saw. We measured the table legs, on an old table that I purchased many years ago. The bottom section of the legs were rotted, so I wanted to saw off the rotted sections on the bottom and put casters on the legs. It only took her a few minutes to complete the job. Now I have some sanding to do! I can’t put the casters on until I have access to a drill, which I will bring down with me the next time we visit the little house in the city. I will be doing some research on refinishing painted furniture.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

19°C
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Monday 18 August 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 18.9°C
Dewpoint: 11.3°C
Humidity: 61%
Wind: SSW 13 km/h

Quote

“Never be haughty to the humble; never be humble to the haughty.”
Jefferson Davis
1808 – 1889

8 Comments

  1. TopsyTurvy

    You’re a brave one with canning, Maggie. Year after year I have this wish to can jams and jellies but I honestly fear I’ll do it wrong and poison us, so I never try.

    You sound like a cheese lover, like DH and I. Have you seen the new 700g cheeses by Black Diamond? DH and I were so glad to see the larger sizes coming back, and on sale it was only $6.99.

    You and Attila are so lucky to have found your little parcel of paradise. DH and I are still looking for ours. The other day I saw an article on a houseboat on a Maine lake and that got me dreaming of lake houseboats. After reading a little about regulations, DH and I considered trying a week of houseboating on the Trent-Severn Waterway. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll be able to afford it this year, as DH’s next vacation is on the more expensive Labor Day weekend.

  2. Bex

    Wow, this entry was so long that I would think of comments about your story and then would forget what I had thought of by the next paragraph!!! Anyway, I clicked on the link about the canner and found out something I didn’t know before, that amazon has a separate canada address! I use the amazon in the uk all the time for British things but I’d never thought of Canada… so thanks…

    The bathroom door getting locked – I’m having deja vu! I did the same thing once. I had pushed the lock button and when out – the wind blew the door shut and I couldn’t get back in, however, my use of the old credit card technique did the trick, and after that I had Paul put in a new door knob mechanism with NO lock on it!

    I know there was something else but I’ve forgotten it!!! xxxxx

  3. The pressure canner is new to me TopsyTurvey. I am a little apprehensive, but determined to conquer its use. The instruction manual will be read, cover to cover, and I will be staying completely focused on it when it is in use.

    I haven’t seen the Black Diamond 700g packages yet, they haven’t arrived in the stores we shop in, which are low volume stores, so are not up to date on new products.

    Looking for dreams is so much fun! I hope you find the perfect vacation!

  4. LOL Bex, it is a bit of rambler isn’t it, this entry!

    Amazon.ca has improved as they have expanded their offerings. The canner was available by order through a local store at the little house in the city, but the price was more than $100 more. The choice was obvious. When we win the lottery I will buy locally no matter what the price, but until then the budget has to be respected.

    The credit card technique did not work for me, so maybe I need a lesson!

  5. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    When talking about finding your piece of paradise I actally meant your camp and the lovely place I’m sure you and Attila will create. That’s what DH and I haven’t found yet, the perfect retirement place for us.

    Yes, we also buy from Amazon. Amazon.com usually has the better prices but now they’re less likely to ship things to Canada.

    Andnat this point I’m not so sure DH and I will get to that vacation this year as we had a number of sudden expenses in the last week with paying for the blanks and envelopes for SS28’s wedding invitations and now just yesterday my printer decided it was going to go on strike, just in time for when I was going to be printing the invitations, so got to buy one of those yesterday…

  6. A friend of mine started canning this summer – using a pressure cooker. Her mother was always afraid of them (and lived with my friend), so with her passing last summer, my friend decided she was ready to try. She bartered with a niece-in-law with a cheesecake for lessons. 🙂

  7. Teri, I found the same thing with amazon.com, the last few times I tried to purchase something there, they did not ship the item to Canada.

    Oh dear, I do hope you are able to have a soul-satisfying vacation of some kind!

  8. Lessons would be a very good idea Reenie, this equipment is to be respected! I have just read the first few pages of the manual, and will need to read it again when I am not so tired, there are lots of safety rules.j I might even make notes. I will also be looking for a video on youtube, sometimes seeing things demonstrated is more memorable than reading the same information as text.

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