2012-03-19

Notes on the cabin

All this sunshine and star gazing at the cabin has prompted me to restore KosmoKaryote's theme to one of stars.  (If you still see snowflakes, try ctrl-r or ctrl-F5 to do a hard refresh.)

Anyway, I thought I'd share some more details.  Please skip if my weekends bore you. :)

Food

Being vegan and going to a cabin with omnivores requires some extra planning and self-sufficiency.  Last time I acquired groceries while there (from nearby Sauble beach) and this time I prepared foods in advance.  I brought salsa, chips, tortillas, beans, sushi (I had some left over from this past week), and a lot of cookies.  A lot of cookies.  They were all gone after the first 24 hours, constituting part of our supper and our breakfast.

There is a barbecue there so we went into town for supplies (propane (actually for the house's generator), meat, fake-meat, canned chilli, canned vegetarian chilli, etc.) and the meat burgers when frozen looked like brains.  I regret not taking a picture.  They were noodly and folded like brains.  They had enough fat filler in them that they shrunk half their original volume.  It was neat to watch.  While shopping, there was uncertainty over which steak to get the cook (who was not with us) so I got to pick it out.  I think my distance from the act of eating it made me somehow more impartial.  I'm not sure if impartiality is what you want when selecting meats though.

There was also pie.  Last time, pie was picked up from the Williamsford pie company, whose pies are not vegan, so this time I brought a small blueberry pie (bought on π day) from Metro.  I like pie.

For breakfast the one day, we went to a local café (Renee's Restaurant) which was perhaps the most awkward meal.  I ended up having salad for breakfast, and had fun trying to additionally order beans (hopefully not in pork) on toast (not buttered please).

Given that it was St. Patrick's day, I also brought two bottles of Mug's Root Beer and enjoyed a bottle of green apple Jone's Soda.  I sure know how to party.

Wonder

We stopped off at a bridge by a river and went exploring.  My sensei is also a photographer and likes making stops like that.  M and I went about exploring rocks and water and tunnels.  I like crawling into strange places, especially when they resemble ruined structures.  There's a half of a concrete pipe at the water's edge, a wall that stands alone that can be walked across, and a little fall.

Last time we wandered Sauble and visited The Patch clothing store, which was like visiting an oasis in a desert (the town otherwise deserted).

The weather was a great introduction to spring.  I woke early and watched the sun rise over the marshy lake.  My plans to live outside of the city are continually reinforced.  Given a forest, I must wander it, so M and I went on an adventure to seek The Folly, a bizarre, ancient structure initiated by my sensei's brother and never completed.  Our first venture out to it lasted a few hours, as we completely missed it and ended up running apace, crashing through branches and getting well scraped and scratched.  The cool puddles and marsh water felt great on my feet, and there were numerous natural and unnatural sights to delight.  Stones in the shape of a prehistoric (computer) mouse, a random boat (we were short on oars), a fissure that led deep (a metre) into the ground.  Eventually we encountered the edge of the property and acknowledged that to go further, we really should have brought water.   The sun, a little telephony, and common sense got us back to the cabin after walking along the lake side and finding beautifully layered cliff (2 metres tall) side with water dripping down through mossy overhangs.  Oh, and a white bunny rabbit.  I didn't follow it into its hole, though, as there was enough wonder in the land around me.  (We found the Folly on a second outing later and discovered it's a nice place to sit and talk in the late evening.)

The night before and that morning I'd heard a mammal rustling around the cabin, and upon our return to the cabin, my sensei noted he heard it too, and asked us if we could go to the other side of the property and see if we could find it.  We didn't find that, but we did find the perfect lounging tree, which requires some upper arm strength and teasing to get up on.  Sitting on a mossy rock for a long while reinforces my conviction to have an outdoor living room with mossy furniture (during the summer).  I might be lazy, as I'm quite resistant to the concept of 40+ hour work weeks in city offices, and aim instead to maximise lounging in trees. 

I wonder what proportion of the population shares in my interests.  Most people end up living in cities.  Do most of them dream the same dreams I do?  Do I have some privilege they lack, that they don't pursue it as I do?  I'm still in school, and am not certain what my ability to find gainful computer employment in the woods will be, but I'm pretty content with my current direction.  (I actually DO hope to live and work in some cities, but I mostly mean not just in Toronto or Vancouver or anywhere permanently: I'd like to work in Berlin for a little bit, and in other cities, for cultural interests.  It's mostly the freedom to work from the woods that I want to be able to exercise (and boy will I exercise it).)

Activities

We also did star gazing.  P has a telescope she brought with, and showed M and I Jupiter and four of its moons (!) through it.  We also saw Venus.  We didn't get to see Saturn, sadly, but we did get to lay on the deck and just stare up at a sky with so little pollution.  I don't think I've gotten to see it so clearly since I was last in Algonquin park.  It's really awesome.  I realised at one point that I'm not sure what I can say about the stars.  They're so detached from my daily activities, and yet I plaster them everywhere.  At home, there are stars on my wall and ceiling, on my door, on clothing of mine, they're on my website, my phone. I'm not sure why I don't have them tattooed over my skin.

I don't think I spend enough time day dreaming about the night sky any more.  Back in Flesherton, we could sometimes drive a bit out of town and just have our eyes filled by the static noise of stellar light and be delighted.  Walking through the trees at home, looking up, let me feel like I was embedded in northern forests without other human concerns to bother me.  I've sometimes spent too much time in front of a computer.  I've done a better job of managing that this past year, though, and I need to keep that up.

I also got to beat the dust (not quite the stuffing) out of a mattress with a cane.  It's a lot more satisfying than you might imagine.  Good solid whomps and clouds of dust flying everywhere.  I got to break a lamp.  Sometimes I've felt more aware and less clumsy than the average person, but now I think I'm not.  I break stuff too.  Sometimes paranoia just has me take more preventative measures to mitigate that.  I did not do this with the lamp. :D  There was fun trying to set up a tent which ended in "This mildew is probably not good for us" and lots of downtime for reading and chatting over tea, pop, et al.

Other thoughts

This cabin hosts way too much technology, I think.  Cellular data plans provide Internet, the gas generator ensures speakers with iPods play music the whole time and laptops can plug in.  Last time I avoided bringing my laptop.  This time I had work to do, but after an hour of trying to work, I gave up, and have left it until today to finish.  (Uh oh!)  Ah well.  At least there is no hot water. :D  The cabin also gets energy from a small wind turbine (which currently has a fault) and a solar panel, so at least it's mostly self-sufficient.

I think the toilet paper there was 18-ply.  It's thicker than some books.

Watching the ice melt completely off a lake over two days gives a neat perspective on the passage of time and the seasons.

Great Books and Café in Williamsford is a great book store and café.   I purchased 3 old novels by Paul O. Williams (two to be lent out, about life a few centuries after an apocalyptic war) and a book on Japanese cooking (with pretty pictures).  They delightfully have vegan soups.  If only more restaurateurs had a vegan daughter, then I could eat anywhere!

Late night conversations as you're trying to fall asleep are silly and informative.  I'm not sure if it's the best time to explain ones thoughts on free will. :) 

I am good at mopping up floors. 

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I am aeronautical, vanship-style.  I am olympic and mythical.  I rest on my laurels.