The Little Black Fly That Could

The Little Black Fly That Could

Here it is May! The weather has put its best foot forward to greet the new month. The last few days have been sunny and mild. The open windows let in fresh air, bird song, and the rustling of small animals scurrying about in the dry leaves on the forest floor. We have a red squirrel here, who leaps through the forest canopy. Yesterday he leaped onto the metal roof of the house, and slid down, unable to catch his footing until he reached the edge, then he leaped down onto the deck. Mist was aghast! An intruder. Do something! He ran away, no action was needed. Mist felt powerful and effective, it made her day!

The warmer weather has not arrived a moment too soon! We are out of firewood, completely. I will now need to watch the timing of opening the windows, closing them, opening the blinds, closing them, very carefully, so as to optimize the interior temperature of the house!

The instructions for the new water pump proved to be inspirational, as they contained some troubleshooting information, which in turn led Attila to investigate the plumbing itself, and the water pressure tank. That is when he determined the problem lay not with the pump, but with the water pipes, and the pressure tank! He ordered a new pressure tank, for roughly the same price as the new water pump, and it arrived yesterday. After bringing the pressure tank home from work, Attila went to work to install it.

And work he did. Attila spent his entire evening in that little utility room downstairs, wedged in between the wall the new pressure tank, replacing all the plumbing. He discovered that the pipes were almost completely clogged with mineral deposits, they are probably the original plumbing; no wonder the pump had to work so hard! Those pipes had to be replaced, before the new water tank could be hooked up. By the time all of that had been accomplished it was getting late. Attila kept on going though, only to find that there was a leak in one of the pipe connections. I went to bed, but Attila worked on. When he fixed the leak, and discovered that the fix had fixed one leak but create two others, he turned off the water and went to bed, it was midnight.

This morning Attila put buckets under the leaks in the pipe connections, and turned on the water. We flushed toilets, washed ourselves, did dishes, filled the tub with water for flushing the toilet, filled containers with drinking water, and turned the water off again. So, today I am without running water, and will be using the water jugs and tub water for domestic purposes. Attila will pick up new connectors and pipes at work today, and resume his installation efforts tonight, after he gets home from work.

It looks as if we can return the water pump, which makes me grateful we decided to purchase it at Canadian Tire, because there is an outlet in the town near here, only a 35 minute drive away. Living without a functioning vehicle is not possible where we live.

Yesterday I had water, and used it to wash all of the kitchen cupboard doors. It isn’t something anyone would necessarily notice, when walking through the house to purchase it. My theory is though, that the more things in the room that “shine”, the more appealing the visual effect. The kitchen cupboards occupy a lot of visual space, and look shiny and clean now. The other water consuming project I took on yesterday, was to clean the refrigerator. My, oh my, we have a lot of condiments! There are dozens of different bottles and jars, most of them half full, all of them needing to be kept in the refrigerator. Six jars of mustard! Six! The refrigerator is full of flavour! Attila’s condiments rule the refrigerator.

Today I will begin to clean the heating system, in and around the masonry heater. This is a big job, and really, really dirty. Since I have no water to clean myself up with, cleaning the ash will wait for another day!

My plan is to complete the cleaning in one area of the great room, then move to the next, complete that section, move to the next, and so on. Eventually I will come to the point where all the sections have been dealt with, and then it will be time to wash the floor, move the furniture, wash the floor again, then concentrate on tweaking, like window washing.

The last of the snow bank melted on Thursday. Yesterday, Friday, I was bitten twice by black flies. I didn’t see them, it isn’t the season yet, they aren’t swarming. But two of those sneaky little devils found me while I was shaking out the carpets from the deck, one biting me on the scalp, and one in my left ear. I did not feel the bites, but discovered the bloody scabs that resulted.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 9:00 AM EDT Saturday 2 May 2015
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 10.5°C
Dewpoint: 3.8°C
Humidity: 63%
Wind: WNW 13 km/h


“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
Martha Graham
1894 – 1991

This is one of the reasons I consider all people who are living with integrity, and busy being themselves, to be works of art.


  1. After all that work you went thru the last time the house went on the market, and then didn’t sell, and now all this work again! Wow, I really pray the perfect persons come along and snatch it up and know what amazing love has been poured into that house.

    When we looked at our house 29 years ago, it was a total mess inside and out. I saw potential and it was just the right size, with a huge yard front and back. But a lot of work was required inside and anyone without an imagination would never have chosen it!

  2. The winters here are long and hard, hard on us, hard on the house!

    We do hope the perfect family for this house finds it! It will be in very good condition for them.

    Your house is wonderful Bex, so comfortable and welcoming! I wonder if you have before pictures?

  3. WendyNC

    Reading that the day after the last of the snow disappeared you were bitten twice by black flies makes me understand fully why you’re so ready to be done with the county house. Enough already!

    Here’s wishing you good buyers in the very near future.

  4. Unfortunately, Maggie, I don’t have “before” pics of our house. Digital cameras weren’t around then – at least not for me – and we had so much to deal with (what with our water pipe freezing up etc) that I just didn’t think to take pics! Shame on me!

  5. Bex, I can understand completely that you might not have been rushing out to buy camera film to take pictures of aspects of the house that you didn’t like! I remember those days, taking a picture was a big deal, and costly!

    I have a picture taken during the depression, of my Aunt, my Uncle, and my Mom. It was my Aunt’s, the eldest, sixth or seventh birthday, snow in the background. The kids are are standing on Granny’s porch, where I often sit nowadays to remember them all. In front of them is a wooden stool, and on it sits a birthday cake. My Aunt, whose birthday cake it is, looks unhappy! She explained decades later to my Mom, that she was unhappy that her birthday picture, a very, very rare and special event, was shared by her two siblings. it was her birthday, and she felt the picture should be her and her birthday cake! Pictures were rare in those days, and I cherish every image that has been passed along to me!

  6. Such a lovely post and all I can see and recall is BLACK FLIES!

    They are undiluted winged evil. One brought me to tears years ago. I thought someone had jammed an icepick in my arm.

    How did you not feel the bites! I vicariously felt them and ran screaming from my computer.


  7. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Sounds like Mist was the one with the good day. Poor you and Attila! I hope that things are now closer to being completed, although now I remember Attila won’t be back until this evening.

    I’m amazed you didn’t feel the black fly bites, but I guess that’s a godsend.

  8. Reenie, I must be a lucky woman, because I don’t feel the black fly bites until after long after the biting has been accomplished. If I did feel it at the time it was happening, that would be one dead black fly!

    When I was a kid I didn’t notice it when they were biting me, and I didn’t notice the bites after the dried blood was washed away. Now that I am a fully ripened woman, I feel the bites afterwards, for quite a while!

  9. It is a godsend Teri, that I don’t feel them. They have driven people mad, in some instances, particularly in pioneer days. A family story relates that my G Grandmother smoked a pipe while she walked to visit her neighbouring grown children, it kept the bugs down!

    Attila came home early, and because he had all of the prep work done, he put in the new parts and had the water up and running in an hour! We have water! And the best water pressure we have even experienced in this house!

  10. We have:
    -plain old yellow
    -hot russian
    -sweet with heat
    -horseradish dijon
    -honey garlic
    -herbed rosemary

    Gosh, that is more than six! Eight jars of mustard! The only one I use is the sweet with heat, the rest are Attila’s.

  11. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    That’s quite a selection! DH sometimes has Keen’s and another one – can’t remember its name right now – but I don’t think we have either right now. We do have horseradish, which is DH’s. I don’t think we have wasabi right now.

    Herbed rosemary mustard… That’s really interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen half of those mustards.

  12. Attila has an eye for mustard. If we are out and about, and he sees an unusual mustard, he buys it. There are more mustards in the house, but they aren’t opened and don’t have to be refrigerated. I am trying to keep them out of sight, because I feel we have enough in the refrigerator already! 🙂

  13. NORA

    Hi Maggie,
    Mist and the red squirrel sounds like a book title. I love those little red rascals.

    I could almost be holding my sides laughing about ‘Blind Duty’ if it were not so consuming. There have been very few places I have lived where I did not have to report for blind duty. I have decided homes/living spaces are living entities requiring too much time and attention. I too have to shuffle about the draw or raise blinds, pull back curtains, adjust AC or heat depending on the weather and the FEEL of things. Outside ,though our patio is tiny, there are requirements too. It’s endless but I am glad I can do it. There have been times I could not. These things keep us going!

    Oy, on the water pump! Such frustration I would think.

    You appear to have a lot of work cut out for you. I think you got your comfy shoes just in time.

    You can’t feel a black fly bite….wow. I can’t feel a no see um bite or see them but that is so different however my reaction is like yours-delayed. Plus they do take longer to stop itching. Nasty little critters.

    I hope the shiny house sells quickly and you, Attila and Mist can move along.

  14. Nora, the red squirrel is quick and cute! The top of it’s tail is a shocking bright red, which seems to me a bit unusual, as if someone painted it, which I doubt.

    Temperature control is a big part of daily life! I wish that North American humans would design buildings for the landscape and weather conditions, rather than the current “house planes” that pay little to no attention to built form as a living micro-environment to be married to the natural settings in the larger environment.

    I agree that living spaces are living entities!

    The water pump issue is solved! We replaced the water pressure tank and voila! We have water pressure I never dreamed possible, it is wonderful. We could have replaced the pressure tank eleven years ago and enjoyed reasonable water pressure thw whole time we lived here! Who knew!

    Thanks for the good wishes about the house sale, we need all the positive energy we can get to break the inertia here at the country house.

    Mist is loving the “shiny” house!

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