Turn, Turn, Turn

Some sort of turning point has been taken here at Mist Cottage. I can’t really define just when it turned, or what it is, just how it feels. It feels settled. It feels comfortable. It feels right. It feels challenging. It feels fluid. It feels a bit unpredictable. I don’t really trust this change, not yet anyway, in time, if it is real and stable, I will grow to trust it. Trust is earned.

Attila seems to have not only recovered from his “terrible, terrible mistake”, but to have come through some kind of dark night of the soul, and out the other side. He is still the same old Attila, but seems to have awakened anew, and is now able to smell the roses in this lucky life he has with me.

What a year this has been so far! Every year seems that way though, but my mileage varies.

The garage roof project is not done yet. Attila doesn’t usually finish projects at one go. He will push until he is very nearly finished, then suddenly stop altogether. It will take some prodding on my part to get him to complete the few, small remaining bits of the exterior. And that prodding will not occur until he has completely recovered from his injured ankle, however long that takes.

The interior of the garage, well as far as I am concerned, the interior is his space and he can take the rest of his life to finish it, if that is what he wants to do. As long as he moves his tools and building materials out of the tiny basement, to make room for easy access to the stored items that are going to be stored down there long-term, then I am good with whatever timeline he has for the garage interior.

The Heliopsis in the garden is a transplant from my Granny’s flower garden. So many fond memories of that garden, and time spent with my Granny, sitting on the porch beside the flower garden. It loves being here at Mist Cottage. It is over eight feet tall, and is blooming profusely. The right yellow blooms have been cut for vases, and grace the living room and the kitchen with their cheer.

The Rose plant that was transplanted from my Granny’s garden is alive, and has about a foot of growth on it, no blooms this year. I have tried many times before to transplant cuttings and root-stock of those roses, and this is the first time the effort has succeeded to any degree. I am concerned about the plant surviving the winter here. At my Granny’s house the snow is deep all winter, covering the plants and protecting them from frost damage. At Mist Cottage we get some weather just as cold as that at Granny’s house, but the snow cover is significantly less, and sporadic. I plan on putting a heavy mulch over the rose for the winter months, and hope that will protect it from ground frost.

The Inspector for the Hydro Affordability Plan visited yesterday for our eligibility inspection. He was a very personable young man, and even though the news was disappointing, it was a good experience. The upshot was that we are so frugal with our use of hydro that our points were negligible. Assistance is given based on points, the more points you have the more assistance you are eligible for. So no new energy-efficient appliances for us. But we were eligible for some LED light bulbs and a power bar, which was a pleasant surprise. With this assistance program we shot ourselves in the foot by being so frugal with our use of hydro, altering our lifestyle significantly to keep the bills affordable. No rewards for trying! Still, no regrets, we will carry on as we have been, minimizing power usage whenever we can.

The tomatoes are really coming on now! They are being frozen whole as they are harvested, so that the processing can take place all at once. Processing will involve placing the frozen tomatoes in boiling water to thaw them, draining away the water, putting them through the Food Mill, and finally canning them in the pressure canner. Three of the varieties are heritage, so they are high acid and can be canned in a hot water bath, but I will pressure can them, just in case.

I don’t really like eating meat. Attila loves meat.

Years ago we bought a quarter of beef, grass-fed beef. Two grocery bags of the beef packages are still in the freezer. There are several packages of stewing beef. One package came out of the freezer, was thawed overnight, and cooked yesterday in a dish new to us, Lebanese Green Beans and Beef Casserole. Preparing it using diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce and reducing the salt to 1/2 teaspoon as opposed to 1 1/2 teaspoons, resulted in burning, which I caught immediately, turning off the Instant Pot, and deglazing the bottom of the not so very burnt pot in order to try again. Not enough liquid in the recipe, I reckoned, so a cup of water was added before starting again. The cup of water did the trick, it cooked as it should. It was a bit watery though, so it needed to be thickened after cooking, which is easily done by adding a flour and water mixture and cooking it on Saute for a short time.

This recipe is a keeper at our house. Attila loved it. I wasn’t sure how I Liked it, but found myself returning for a second helping without thinking. That must mean that I like it.

Since Attila is supposed to stay off his feet as much as possible, the shopping has landed in my court. I am more prone to impulse buying than is Attila, as I demonstrated once again. My indulgence? A three litre basket of new potatoes for $3.97. My Grandparents grew wonderful potatoes, and the only commercial potatoes that come close in taste is autumn harvest new potatoes. What a treat!

This morning, at 5:45 a.m., those lovely little potatoes were lovingly washed, pricked with a fork, and set on the rack in the Instant Pot. A cup of water was poured into the bottom of the pot, the lid secured, the vent closed, the timer set to 12 minutes, and the start button pushed. At 6:15 a.m. the lid came off and those lovely little potatoes were cooked to perfection. And that is what I had for breakfast, two little potatoes, with salt free margarine, and a sprinkling of roasted garlic and pepper spice. I felt wealthy!

For dinner tonight I plan on steaming Coconut Lime Fish in the Instant Pot, to serve with new potatoes and fresh Scarlet Runner Beans from the garden. Steaming fish in the Instant Pot is an experiment, wish me luck!

Worldly

Weather

14°C
Date: 8:00 AM EDT Thursday 23 August 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 14.4°C
Dew point: 12.1°C
Humidity: 86%
Wind: WNW 10 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

As you can see, our heat wave has ended! What a relief!

Quote

“The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else.”
Umberto Eco
1932 – 2016

Not all cowards are honest cowards!

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8 Responses to Turn, Turn, Turn

  1. WendyNC says:

    Maggie, I think that was an excellent “impulse” buy. It’s not as if it’s anything unhealthy for either of you or anything which will go to waste.

    It struck me awhile back that you and Attila had to spend a long, long time in survival mode at the country house and in survival mode, there’s not much room for individual or relationship development. It seemed that it took quite awhile for either of you to realize when your circumstances had improved and then, for Attila, it exploded all at once. I might suggest he didn’t express himself very well, but there are reasons you refer to him here as Attila.

  2. Teri says:

    Oh, Maggie. As things have dragged on I’ve wondered how things would go. I hope for the best but, please, don’t take things with Attila at face value. You need to air this out, talk about it. It would be all the harder for you to be caught unawares again.

    DH and I often make extra mini potatoes. We love them cold from the refrigerator, with or without butter.

  3. Wendy, the new potatoes are a real treat! I had them for dinner again last night, although I had intended to cook a fish dinner, leftover Lebanese Green Beans and Beef with new potatoes was just too tempting.

    Thanks for sharing your insights about survival pressures and release. I laughed when you wrote “he didn’t express himself very well”, so very true! Yes, I call him Attila with good reason, his emotions can be a blunt instrument that he struggles to understand and direct, sometimes with limited success.

    The Country House phase of our life, although it had its good moments, is not one that I look back on fondly. I have not missed it, not even once. There are things I miss that coincided with our residence there, like our dear Mist the Kitty, and the forest. I don’t look back on living there with any fondness, nor with any bitterness. We were in the wrong place, and now we are in a better place.

  4. Teri, you are right that being caught unawares would be even harder, if Attila has another melt down. It is my “sword of Damocles”, as Wendy alluded to once. That is where the trust comes in, it will either develop organically, or it won’t. Things are unpredictable and fluid, so who knows really, what the future will bring. In the meantime, I will allow myself to feel comfortable with the moments that come my way, even if it might be the eye of the storm.

    The little potatoes are quite a treat aren’t they! The basket of new potatoes is half gone already! I’ll cook the remainder in the Instant Pot tomorrow, and I think I’ll splurge on another basket when if they are still available on the next visit to the grocery store.

  5. I’m so glad life is getting smoother for you! So much deserved!
    I’m impressed that your splurge is simple potatoes. My splurges…
    Too many cartons of Strauss brand ice cream. I admire your healthy determination!

  6. Thank you Joan, things are smoother here, and it is a lot better. I think it really helps that the big, overwhelming, disgusting garage roof project is permanently behind us… it isn’t like making your bed in the morning, one fix should do the job!

    I love vegetables, just love them. New potatoes are so tasty. This morning I forgot to eat breakfast, and I was too busy to fix something to eat, so I grabbed a small potato in my hand and ate it, it hit the spot. Oh my that ice cream sounds good though! If my blood pressure weren’t such a huge concern, if it could be controlled with medications… well, I think my splurges would veer in the ice cream direction!

  7. The song my sister (and her pastor) sang at Oscar’s funeral was Turn, Turn, Turn.
    Just a little coincidence.
    -Kate

  8. Kate, so sorry for your loss. A lovely little coincidence.