The Last Tomato, Marco Polo, and Chip n’ Dale

It turns out that my prediction that the kitchen floor would be finished this past weekend was a bit premature. Fitting trim on out of square, wonky old walls, repairing holes in floors, and cutting tiles to fit around floor registers and into closets needs to be carefully executed. Attila finished the dining area, and is working on the other end of the kitchen now, which is chock full of fiddly bits. When he is done, the commercial floor polish needs to be applied, three coats, and that will take a whole day, at least, probably two to make sure it is completely dry. What a process! I will be very glad when it is done. Our kitchen sees intense use, so kitchen renovations are particularly irksome.

Attila likes to take a project slowly, it is his preferred way of approaching projects. He whistles and sings while he works in this way. Since we will probably be renovating for the rest of our lives, here at Mist Cottage, it is best that he proceed with it as comfortably as possible. I find it difficult from my end though, to live in relative chaos for the duration of a project. So far I have found kitchen renovations to be the most draining of all the projects we have taken on. What I really need is a companion to spend time with while Attila works contentedly on his projects.

I have completed a round of single crochet edging on my blanket and am quite pleased with it, much more so than the first attempt, which I ripped out. I used a 5 mm hook for the Suzette stitch on the body of the blanket, and a 5.5 mm hook for the single crochet border. I may leave it just as it is, but now that I think about it, I will probably go around again with a slip stitch.

The last of our garden tomatoes were harvested a few weeks ago. Since then the they have been sitting on the kitchen counter in a clear plastic vegetable carton. I ate the last tomatoe for lunch today!

I enjoy looking at vintage illustrations. This morning there was one that triggered a physical reaction, which I was not expecting.

A vague sense of unease hits me occasionally.

It comes when I see things I was exposed to in the 50s and early 60s, when they pop up on the computer. Sometimes the connection escapes me. For instance, this morning someone posted an image of GOLDEN STAMP BOOK OF MARCO POLO, from 1954/55. I remember those stamp books. What this Marco Polo item triggered for me was a feeling, which I have been exploring all morning, trying to find the connection between Marco Polo, stamp books, and churches.

As a kid churches were always stalking the countryside for souls, and they loved us. They would drive into the country to our farm, pick us up, and transport us to their edifices of education. There we would learn that the word kindness had more than one meaning, and most of it wasn’t what the dictionary said it was.

We were taught songs, coloured biblical scenes, and listened to a steady stream of indoctrinating stories, more fantastic than the fairy tales my Granny told us. Questions were not tolerated. Observations were quashed.

I think that they gave us each a stamp book during our time in one of those cheerless basements.

When I see certain children’s books, the ones they used at the various churches, who failed their God by not convincing us of anything other than their essential wrongness, that old feeling of being pressed face first into the earth, and held there, wells up from the depths of the past. It is vague only because it comes from a time and place that I don’t visit unless I have to. Sometimes though, the environment conspires to defeat my defences.

I tried to watch Cable Girls on Netflix and could not tolerate it. All of the female voices sound like the chipmunks Chip n’ Dale, or teenage valley girls, both unbearable coming out of female mouths. There was disco music playing at a party that supposedly took place in 1920, other music was out of period as well. What a misery to watch. It isn’t much of a period piece in my view. I didn’t manage to get to the end of the first episode.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-2°C
Date: 2:00 PM EST Monday 20 November 2017
Condition: Light Snowshower
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -1.6°C
Dew point: -3.7°C
Humidity: 86%
Wind: N 14 km/h
Wind Chill: -6
Visibility: 10 km

Quote

“Concern for someone else was a good remedy for taking the mind off one’s own troubles.”
Elizabeth Aston

I like “concern for others”, a valid alternative to humour or denial as a coping mechanisms.

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6 Responses to The Last Tomato, Marco Polo, and Chip n’ Dale

  1. TopsyTurvy (Teri) says:

    I know I won’t be thrilled when we finally start our kitchen renovations. Our kitchen is such a mess of things haphazardly placed that it will take a lot of gutting to make it look normal, even 1970s normal.

  2. Bex Crowell says:

    “I will probably go around again with a slip stitch.” I guarantee you that the addition of the slip-stitch row on the edging will blow your mind at how finished it looks. I use that a lot now. One thing to remember is that when you do the slip-stitch… the side facing you will show it but the other side won’t… you can do slip stitches around both sides though… so it will show up on the inside and the outside (or front and back) but I’d do the “back” first and then finish off with the “front” if you do both. That would give you a really nice edge!

  3. Teri, yes, kitchens are something we rely on every day, when they don’t function well we really feel it! You have two kitchens, are you referring to the house kitchen or the cottage kitchen! Neat isn’t it, to have two kitchens to mix up.

  4. Bex, thanks for the tips! I ended up liking the edging with just one round of single crochet, which looks OK. When I tried to add more edging the whole thing curled on me, tried it a few times, then decided the single crochet looked just fine, and so that is how it will be left.

  5. Teri says:

    Maggie, the house kitchen is a mess. We bought this house as a bank foreclosure and it was in terrible shape. A dishwasher had been placed in the side of a cabinet with the drain on the opposite side of the room, a pipe sticking up from another cabinet between the cabinet and the free-standing oven. The refrigerator is on the far wall as the dishwasher is in the side of the cabinet that would otherwise be facing the side of the refrigerator.

    The cottage kitchen is small and not anything to look at, but it is serviceable, though it looks like something from the 80s. The only complaints I have with the cottage kitchen is the pantry like cupboard stinks of some kind of heavy spice and it contaminates the dry goods with that smell, a drawer front is broken off and some of the countertop has been chipped off. Small things, compared to what’s going on at the house.

  6. It sounds like you have your work cut out for you with your house kitchen! I love renovation/domestic blogs, the ones where people describe their space, their plan, and then keep a log of how they progress… doesn’t sound exciting to most people I guess, but i enjoy it. I have always enjoyed reading women’s writing about their lives, and read many diaries written in bygone eras. Looking forward to hearing more about your domestic adventures!