Thistles

October 3, 2013

A busy day! This morning I filled a bucket with hot water, soap, and a little bit of bleach, and went to work cleaning the “new” old freezer I bought yesterday.

Yesterday, after five, Lares and I met at the home of the seller as arranged, had a look at the freezer, I paid the man, Lares and he loaded the freezer into the van, and we headed home to my house. Lares used our dolly to move the freezer, a smallish one, into the basement. It smelled bad, they had kept it closed after unplugging it, so it was soggy and smelly.

Terra dropped by just before Lares left to work on another job, and she and I had a nice visit. Then Lares returned and off they went for a dinner out together. Terra looked pretty, with a new haircut and a nice outfit. My daughters are a lot more fashion conscious than I am!

But I digress. After cleaning the freezer this morning, I let it dry out for a short time. I filled a plastic washpan with water, and a few water filled plastic ice cream containers as well, and placed them all in the freezer. Then I closed the lid and plugged it in. I checked it after five hours, and the water was frozen solid, in all the containers. It works!

One never knows what to expect when buying second hand appliances from complete strangers. This seems to have worked out well for us. The exterior of the freezer is rough, with a lot of dents that look like someone attacked it with a hammer head, but the paint job is intact. The lid is also dented, but not warped, so it fits and seals well. So, despite how beat up this freezer looks, it works well. We did not buy it for its looks!

When I cut the lawn I noticed that there were a few large thistles hiding in the grass. This is a noxious weed, and it kills grass with its dense foliage. This morning, after cleaning the freezer, I put on my raggedy work cloths, grabbed a bucket, picked up my dandelion removal tool, and headed out into the yard to hunt thistles. I managed to fill a bucket! The new ditch at the front of the property, where the grass seed the town put down hasn’t grown yet, had quite a few healthy thistles growing in it. I removed all that I could find, so as to give the grass seed a fighting chance at survival.

While I was working at the front of the house, Sarah next door was out raking leaves in her front yard. We chatted a bit, and she offered some apples, which she had been given. They were windfalls, but in quite good condition, so I accepted her kind offer. After I finished up with the thistle removal project, I moved indoors, washed up, and began peeling those apples. They were all peeled, sliced into a pot, and cooked as a delicious applesauce. AND I can freeze some of the fresh applesauce in the new freezer!

One of the other projects I want to tackle while I am here, is to clean the house. It is a bit of a tip, and there is still a lot of drywall dust all over everything. To that end I tackled the spare bedroom today, and managed to get things organized to the point where I could wash the floor. The room is still crowded with extra bedding, toys from Luna and Harriet, Christmas decorations, clothing, renovation materials, cans of paint, and the list goes on. But it organized and we can walk into the room and find what we need, which is a big improvement.

Attila continues to work on the drywall at the country house. He is making progress, little by little. He managed to bring in the wood from the bush out back, the first few days I was gone, which was high on his to do list. He has also been working extra hours, early and late, intermittently.

October 4, 2013

This morning I was out bright and early, on a shopping trip! As the doors opened for business at the local grocery store, I was there, looking for the frozen turkeys that were on sale, at almost half the price offered by other grocery outlets. I bought five turkeys, under ten pounds each, and brought them directly home to place in the new used freezer. One turkey will remain at the little house in the city for Thanksgiving, and the remaining four will be carted back to the freezers at the country house.

I really wanted to buy free-range turkeys, from a local farm. I did find several farms that raised free-range turkeys, but they had sold out. One farm was kind enough to explain that they are only allowed to raise 50 turkeys, which isn’t very many. The price is another barrier to buying poultry at a local farm. The prices are usually at least eight times that of the prices at the grocery store, and often much more than that. But you do get what you pay for. Those free-range birds are a taste experience, nothing like the commercially farmed birds offered in our grocery store. If I was affluent, I know where I would be spending my money, local food!

I indulged myself this morning, by way of purchasing a decadent snack. I bought a pint of fresh raspberries, grown in California, as no local berries are available at the grocery store where I was shopping for turkeys. Originally I had planned on eating them with milk and sugar. But when I was washing them I tasted one, then two, and before I knew it every last one was gone.

The rest of the day was dedicated to sectioning the cardboard packaging that came with the bathtub, the toilet and the BBQ. What a job! The cardboard is dampish from sitting in the garage and there are piles of it. The local recycling site is only open on Saturdays, and is a bit of a drive. I haven’t decided how to handle the disposal of the cardboard, as I will not be present at the little house in the city when the cardboard recycling day comes along. At least it will be sectioned and bundled according to the local guidelines.

I am thinking of the people I know who live in the USA, and how everyone is, and will be, dealing with the current US government shutdown. There will be an impact on the many, and I suspect there will also be an impact on the many in Canada, somewhere down the road. I fear that we find ourselves living in interesting times.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

17°C
Date: 6:00 PM EDT Thursday 3 October 2013
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 16.8°C
Dewpoint: 13.4°C
Humidity: 80%
Wind: S 9 km/h

Quote

“Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.”
Albert Einstein
1879 – 1955

I wonder if he meant women too? I did not meet him, so I shall never know for sure.

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4 Responses to Thistles

  1. Bex says:

    I am completely exhausted reading about how you spend your days! I wish we had a spare freezer too. We used to have one but husb. hated having it and paying to run it so he dumped it and won’t have one again.

    I see some good turkey dishes in your future!

  2. Maggie says:

    Bex, you are presceint!

    We do not find the freezers all that expensive to run, compared to a clothes dryer, for instance. At the country house we have new, energy efficient freezers. We will see how much this old one costs to keep running. I turn the hot water heater off just before 7 pm so that is uses hydro only at the cheapest rates, maybe we can fix up a timer for the freezer as well. I will have to think about that one, and perhaps experiment with it sometime when there are few perishables in the new used freezer. Now would not be a good time.

    Turkey! We love our turkey dinners, which usually continue for a almost a week after the bird has been roasted. Then there are the leftover dishes, and Attila’s turkey soup! Five turkeys will provide us with a feast for each celebration: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, my birthday, and our anniversary.

    Freezers are a vital part of our lifestyle. Because:

    1. we can buy perishables like meat in bulk, from reliable sources, at prices we can afford.
    2. they ensure that there is a good supply of food in the country house, where there are no affordable shopping options.
    3. they ensure that there is a good supply of uncontaminated food at hand, at all times, for stress free cooking options.

    No contaminated food comes into our house, so I have one safe place in the world where I do not have to guard against sudden demise. Well, two safe places, the country house and the city house. Everywhere else I have to check every last morsel that passes through my lips.

  3. Irene says:

    I so enjoy reading about the various rhythms of your days. Today my to-do list has one item – to clean my small bedroom from stem to stern – well, maybe the bathroom, too. To earn extra money, I rent my home during university events and next weekend is Parents’ Weekend. The cleaning takes a while. I wear my long oxygen leash and have just completed crawling around the floor cleaning the perimeter floorboards and the abutting carpet. I clean a couple of feet and then rest to replenish my oxygen saturation. Then I continue for a few feet more. I have all week to clean my home which is long overdue for a scrubbing. Prior to having two hip replacements, I engaged a housekeeper to assist. I now only use her on-demand which is really never. The truth is that I really, really enjoy housecleaning. It’s still satisfying though it takes an entire day to clean one room… and maybe the adjoining bathroom. That might have to wait for tomorrow. 🙂

  4. Maggie says:

    Irene, that is one impressive cleaning project!

    Independence is wonderful, something to be treasured. I remember my Grandfather, when he was in his eighties, decided to put a new metal roof on his two story house. He would accept no assistance, I tried. It took him a long time, but he paced himself, rested when he needed to, and took precautions appropriate to working on heights, and did a great job.