Heat Wave, Part 2
Canada has been under a heat wave for more than seven days. We get warm temperatures here but they usually don’t last this long. Heat can be very dangerous especially when combined with humidity. They are big on giving you the humidex numbers up here and everything is in celsius which makes it difficult to figure out but let me tell you, hot is hot and whether it says 40 or 95 you know it is hot. During the week we had major work going on with the rebuild of our deck and I worried about the people working here because of the heat. I kept going out with ice and water for them and told them to take breaks and go for a swim if it got too bad. Didn’t need anyone passing out. However, all was well and it appears now that the heat wave is over and we are thinking about building a fire and finding our sweaters and quilts again.
Our poor boy, Wyke, ended up getting terrible hot spots all over his head. I will spare you a picture because it’s not pretty but he has been miserable. We took him up to the vet right away when we knew something was wrong and they shaved his head, gave us anti-itch medicine and two antibiotics and told us no swimming for a week. How mean is that? Actually he didn’t feel very well so he just slept in the living room where we had installed an air conditioner. It’s been more than three or four years or maybe even more than that, since we felt the need to put the air conditioner in the living room. It really was the humidity that was the problem. Bean, however, has learned how to swim and appears to like it. She actually went in to visit with some ducks who were close by. I kept her on the leash but she returned on her own as they were a little too far from shore. She’s not that brave yet.
Exercise during the Heat Wave
Walking was not pleasant. I did walk but it was very slow and there were lots of stops for chatting and letting the pups have a swim (except Wyke after his diagnosis). What I did do was play some golf which was also rather warm. Took a cart because you could at least get a breeze when you drove from one spot to the next. Staying hydrated was the big thing and we took lots of water with us. Neither the cats nor the dogs were really very interested in doing anything but sleeping in the coolest spot they could find. Maybe we humans should learn from them. Check out Lena’s preferred spot!
As soon as the heat wave broke on Friday, we were back out there walking and talking our way around town. Glorious to be back outside and no air conditioners. The sky is so blue and the air so clean and clear. It’s why we come to Canada for the summer.
We are under construction in a big way. This week they started on the deteriorating stairs. This required a very large digger and a very skilled driver. My heart was in my throat watching him inch down the stairs to grab the big stones and bring them up to a pile in the driveway. I was assured that our man Pierre was the best. He had even won a contest that involved picking up an egg carton with a dozen eggs in it and not breaking a single one. Now that’s precision. It’s actually quite exciting to watch all this and to be amazed at the skill it takes to do this kind of work. With under a week to go for the party for Margot and Hadley, we don’t have a finished porch, we don’t have stairs to the lawn and we don’t have stairs to the parking lot and garage. We had huge rains that washed out the driveway – again.
Work came to a standstill after installation of the footings for the stairs as the supplies had not come in so no more work could be done. Progress was made on the frames for the screen porch so that should be ready to go at the beginning of the week. Also the outside of the railing on the covered porch was painted BEFORE the screens go on. What a thought. Hadn’t actually thought about that until the last minute but of course the painting should be done before the screens go on. It would be a major deal to have to take the screens off to paint later. I have discovered that Troy, our contractor, is held in rather high regard around here because he produced two painters in less than 18 hours who came and worked their magic. He also seemed to be able to pull the back hoe operator and the pile driver from nowhere, at the last minute.
If this all doesn’t come together it will not be for lack of trying. This is months of work being compacted into a very short time span. It is going to be a major push come next week for sure. Right now you cannot get into our house very easily, it is sort of slip slide your way down the mess. I may install a water slide and hand out jello shots!!!!
Food is Taking A Back Seat
Somehow cooking during construction isn’t quite a top priority. We have the grill and have managed to produce acceptable meals while trying to maintain our sanity through the noise and the constant comings and goings of people. You never know who will walk by the door or who might pop in with a question. I love to do my tour to my favorite vegetable and fruit stand Marché Ferme Beaulieu and then head to Boucherie Face de Boeuf . These are my two favorite stops on the circuit that I do once a week. The vegetables are grown locally and the meat is also local and grass fed. There is also a stop to our local Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning, usually to get flowers but sometimes there are some other goodies there that I just have to have. It really is a very social event and you get to see everyone who is in town there. Now they have wonderful music playing and last week the two playing were students over at Mount Orford Music Camp. They were very good and provided a lovely backdrop to all the folks milling around chatting and catching up with each other.
Simple Roasted Vegetables on the Grill
You can roast just about any vegetable but here are some of my favorites.
little baby potatoes
zucchini and yellow squash
chunks of onion, sweet is best
Toss them all in a baggie with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper until well coated. Spread evening on a grill pan and roast over the coals or your gas grill until brown. If you have a grilling basket that works really well. The amounts depend on how many people are being fed and also on how many different vegetables you have.
Soccer and Tennis
One way to keep cool was to stay inside and watch the World Cup and also the beginning of Wimbledon Tennis. Much to our surprise, we have a kitten who appears to love tennis. She spent quite a bit of time in front of the television swatting at the tennis balls. It is rather fun to have something to watch when you need a break from all the kerfuffle.