The Reserve

I have been waking up very early for the last week or so, sometimes as early as 4:00 a.m. I don’t like it much.

Once I fell asleep again, which inspired me on subsequent mornings, to roll over and wait for sleep. It hasn’t come again. So now I am getting up when I wake up, turning up the thermostat. [Thermostat! I love that word.] I turn the Christmas tree lights on, as it is still dark. I sit quietly with the lights for a while, then I get out the laptop and check out a few things on the internet. I am not fully committed to the computer though, my attention frequently wanders to the windows. It has become a game, waiting for the first signs of dawn. This morning the dawn was lovely, with a few pink clouds, which disappeared into a blue sky.

Our Christmas was lovely. Just the two of us celebrating together. Terra messaged a picture of herself with Lares and Sunny and Sky, wishing us a Merry Christmas. My Mom and my sisters sent email messages and messaged; and we spoke via FaceTime twice on Christmas Day, which is always a treat. We also got to say hello to my Brother-The-Middle-Boy, who was visiting with Mom for Christmas, and my nephew, and my niece. Later in the day we spoke with Attila’s Mom, by telephone to the US, she is an American Citizen. We exchanged gifts and spent our day reading (me), cooking (Attila), watching a few films, and listening to Christmas Choirs. Attila cooked a delicious turkey dinner, with all the trimmings (no salt added). I made Mincemeat Muffins, a recipe I made up the Friday before Christmas, they are a big hit around here.

Yesterday we decided to brave the retail wilds and go shopping, which took us to the city.

First, we dropped off a large box of items to the Salvation Army Thrift Store. While we were at the thrift store, I found and purchased for $1.00 a perforated metal container to place dirty cutlery in, while it waits to go into the dishwasher. I like donating to the Salvation Army Thrift Store because their resale prices are very low, so that the items can be obtained more easily by people who can barely afford food and shelter and heat. Value Village prices are ridiculously high, so I donate nothing to them; a significant proportion of their clientele are not in the least bit needy. I shop there myself.

We bought everything on our list, and one extra item. Actually, there was only one item on our list, and that was a sink drainer/stopper for our kitchen sink. On Christmas Day the old one literally broke, the metal gave out and it was stuck in the drain so tightly that Attila could only get it out with some effort. We think it is the original, which would make it over 50 years old. I looked for replacement at the Salvation Army Store, because you just never know what you will find there, but they didn’t have a used one. So we set off from the thrift store to Home Depot and found a replacement for $10, which I hope will last another 50 years, so that when it breaks it will be someone else’s problem, although I imagine they will throw out the sink rather than replace the stopper.

While at Home Depot we also purchased a Carbon Monoxide Detector. We had one at the Country House, because we heated with wood, and we left it for the new owners. Mist Cottage really does need one since it is partially heated with an oil furnace. A Carbon Monoxide Detectors is a costly item. We also found a small level, a tool, for $2.00 that we will used to level Iris the trailer next summer.

That concluded our shopping excursion. An added benefit was that we walked around quite a bit while looking at all the things we didn’t need or want. It is an odd feeling, not needing anything! I love it.

Yesterday morning, before we left on our shopping excursion, our microwave began to make a disturbing sound. My morning bowl of oatmeal emerged from the microwave undercooked. Attila’s breakfast also heated to the odd sound, and it too was undercooked. Our microwave was no longer viable.

The broken microwave was one that Luna and Janus gave us six years ago, to use at Mist Cottage. They had upgraded all of their appliances and donated the redundant microwave to us. It was old when we got it six years ago, and it has worked reliably ever since, until yesterday.

Because we had two houses, we had two microwaves. When we moved to Mist Cottage over a year ago, we brought the country house microwave with us, and stored it in the basement here at Mist Cottage. It was relatively new, and had been used for only a few months when it was packed away for the move. So obtaining a new microwave oven was as easy as carrying a box up from the basement, unwrapping the microwave, and setting it on the counter. The two appliances that wear out with some frequency at our house are the microwave oven and the coffee maker. I have one more coffee maker, and a two slice toaster, in reserve in the basement. There are no more microwave ovens in reserve.

Slowly but surely our downsizing is progressing.

Yesterday we got rid of two boxes! One was full of items donated to the Salvation Army Thrift Store, and the other was the last microwave oven from the basement.

We attempted to drop off the old microwave oven and the old VCR, but the eWaste drop off centre was temporarily shut down, so we will have to go again another time.

The weather has been unpleasant, and good at the same time. Unpleasant because it has been raining and it is too cold to go out walking in the rain, and good because it is raining and not snowing.

Dawn has arrived here at Mist Cottage. Attila sleeps on. I have enjoyed my morning coffee. The day beckons!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 8:00 AM EST Wednesday 28 December 2016
Condition:Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -2.0°C
Dew point: -5.5°C
Humidity: 77%
Wind: W 12 km/h
Wind Chill: -6
Visibility: 24 km


“A gift, with a kind countenance, is a double present.”
Thomas Fuller
1608 – 1661

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Bex C.

Funny how coincidences happen.
” Actually, there was only one item on our list, and that was a sink drainer/stopper for our kitchen sink.”
I just got off-line with amaz0n where I ordered an “InSinkErator cover/stopper” for our kitchen sink! I was cleaning the old one this morning and globs of black pulverized rubber were coming off in the sink from the bottom of it, so we have a new one on the way now! We don’t actually use our garbage disposal all that much anymore, having a septic system in the back yard, but it’s there if/when we need it.
I have been thinking about getting the carbon monoxide detector, as well, lately. We heat with oil here. Might be a good idea!

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

Interesting timing in that I was also looking at sink and tub stoppers the other day. My purpose, though, was to learn how to disconnect the stopper as semi-preparation for possible upgrades in our bathroom.

Also interesting that you’re having some insomnia problems, Maggie. The last few days I’ve been waking up aound 4 or 5 AM and am not able to go back to sleep. Sometimes I get up for a while and eventually become tired again.

DH is doing some work on the flooring for the room that will be our new office. Next on the list is purchasing some underlayment to ease sound transfer. Can’t wait for the floor to be in, though we also need to paint and even assemble some new desks. DH’s brother has offered to help us with the flooring, since he’s done several at his own home. That will certainly make things easier!

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

This is the room that had 2 water leaks in it a few years ago, so the original parquet floor had a literal basketball-sized bubble in it. It couldn’t stay the way it was – so, new flooring.

Also, last year I got sick from being in the downstairs office when we couldn’t keep the temperature reasonable down there, so I’ve been pushing real hard for us to get this nice warm upstairs office in place before it gets really cold this winter.