Wednesday With Wind And Sun

One of my web sites was hacked this morning, at least that is what my security software alerted me to, so that I was able to login to the server and rewrite the compromised files. I sent the information to the hosting company, to see what they can come up with as to how this occurred, and after sending the all the pertinent information, it appears it was a false positive on the part of the security software. I am relieved.

Yesterday morning the telephone rang while I was in the shower. It was during business hours, so it could have been one of many possibilities. No message was left on the answering machine. Yesterday, and today, I worked on calling a list of the possible expected calls. I have not found anyone who called yesterday morning. There is one more possibility, I have left a message on their machine, so hopefully they will get back to me. If it wasn’t them, then I have no more ideas, other than it was a wrong number.

I was chatting with my Sister-The-Youngest-Girl this morning, and one of the things she wondered about was how I thought of things to write on my blog. This is an interesting question. I don’t really think about things to write about on my blog, not until I am writing them. My writing is a part of a dialogue, with the universe, with the force that underlies life, and all that exists. There is a greater entity listening when I write, guiding me, an entity beyond my understanding, an entity at the core of all that is good. I offer up to it what I can, and that is to write, about what I know, and often about what I know I don’t know, which reaches out to infinity.

It is very windy, 60 to 80 km/h range, the clouds scud across the sky. I’ve already bundled up and headed into the back yard to retrieve light items that have been bouncing around the back yard, the wind’s playthings. During a bad storm in the summer, a big purple ball ended up in our back yard. Attila asked around the neighbourhood, thinking to return it to the child who lost it, but no one claimed it. I am amused by it. Every time I look out the window on a windy day, it has moved. Sometimes it moves while I am watching, but most of the time it waits quietly in place to take me by surprise. Today the purple ball is having a ball.

The sun has been playing peek-a-boo all morning. I am glad of the sun today, it feels gentle and friendly as the it lights and warms me.

Snow squalls are possible this afternoon, tonight and at various times over the next week. Wouldn’t you know it, we had planned an evening out! The weather forecast predicts that when the temperature falls below freezing on Friday, it will not rise above it again during the following week.

The Christmas Tree is also a source of pleasure. It is a real tree, which I prefer, as does Attila. The scent of pine is intoxicating, not to mention the visual delight it affords.

The garage where our car is being worked on called this morning, they advised that the rear brakes needed work as well. I asked for an estimate, and with my limited experience in these matters, decided the bill was within reason and approved the work. They called me a second time, before they started the work, to apologize and tell me they had omitted cost of one of the brakes in the estimate, and quoted a new, higher estimate, which was still acceptable. I thanked the fellow for the call, because it was an honest thing to do, and considerate of the garage/customer relationship. The car should be ready to pick up today. When Attila gets home from work he will call them to confirm that the work is done, and if it is, we will pick up the car and pay the bill. Tomorrow I should be able to start ticking chores, that require a vehicle, off my list.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

3°C
Date: 11:17 AM EST Wednesday 6 December 2017
Condition: Light Snowshower
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 2.5°C
Dew point: -5.6°C
Humidity: 55%
Wind: WSW 44 gust 62 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.”
Cary Grant
1904 – 1986

Quite a comment on appearances!

Snow Squalls Day Three

It seems my decision to make the trip to the bank yesterday was fortuitous. I have learned to pay attention to my body, it was the stomach ache yesterday that tipped me off. It may not have been prescient, but if I had ignored the physical cues to get going to bank we would have found ourselves in a pickle!

Today the snow squalls are hitting hard, so hard that I can hear the snow hitting the side of the house, and the chimneys. The wind is roaring out there, and it is loud! The wind seems intense, but by this afternoon the wind speed will be double what it is now. So far the electricity is holding on. Finger’s crossed.

I think of Attila out there, and shudder. He went to bed very early last night, and slept in until 6:00 a.m., which is really sleeping in on a work day. He was exhausted last night, shovelling all day, and coming home to more! And today, more again will be greeting him when he gets home. He has to do his wood chopping and snow shovelling chores at home in the dark, as on these overcast days the light fails early.

I am cozy in here though.

Watching that crazy weather out there today, I figured it would not go amiss to bake up a little something that Attila might like. He is a fan of hot peppers, and cheese, so this recipe looked interesting, Jalepeno Cheddar Bread. I decided to give it a try. Hmmm… I have only 1/4 cup of cheddar here in the refrigerator, Attila ate the rest. I have no jalepeno peppers, they are not something I stock in the kitchen. No fresh green or red peppers either. There is no running out to the store to pick up a few ingredients, one must improvise.

So I made it anyway, without the missing ingredients. Instead of hot peppers I added dried garlic and pepper spice, and lots of extra pepper. I grated the cheese and added what I had. Then I mixed it all up and set it in the oven to bake. After 30 minutes it began to smell rather wonderful. After 35 minutes I was hoping it could come out of the oven soon! Attila would not be getting the first taste of this experiment! After I had my first taste there was real concern that Attila might not get even one taste. This is seriously good quick bread.

Today I begin preparations for my solo visit to the little house in the city. Attila will be driving me down, and leaving me there. Next week I will pick up and pay for the new used vehicle, then stay on for a little while to putter with things, like sewing curtains. Then I will drive myself back to the country house with the new used vehicle. I am really, really, really looking forward to being in a place without snow! Of course, I may have just jinxed myself, I might end up bringing it with me!

The real luxury here is that when we are ready to leave the country house for our drive down, I can adjust the thermostat at the little house in the city from my computer desktop, so that it is warm and welcoming when we get there! Other winter visits have entailed staying in our parkas for a few hours until the place warmed up. No more!

I love thermostats.

Snow squalls are interesting because one moment the world can look like this, brilliant sunshine, and within minutes this world can be swallowed whole by whirling white. I like the sunshiny bits of the day.
Snow Nov19 2014 2
Attila just finished shovelling the driveway out again, and now he is working on clearing the deck. The snow from the roof falls onto the deck. It is supposed to get warmer. The snow will fall off the roof and hit the deck. So to prevent the deck from collapsing under the weight all that snow, Attila removes what is there.
Attila shovelling snow 20 nov 14
Workin’ hard on the farm!
OK, I had to put this up here. The image above this one shows Attila working into the night clearing snow, not as much snow as Buffalo, but still too much snow to leave on the deck. I sent the image down to Terra and Lares.
This is the image that came back. Attila and I laughed out loud! You can see why we think of our little house in the city as tropical, everything is relative. The depth of snow in front of Lares’ shovel is how much snow they got. You can see the grass peeking through the snow in the upper right of the image, it won’t last through a full day of sunshine.
Laressnowshoveling20nov14

Worldly Distractions

Weather

SNOW SQUALL WARNING IN EFFECT
-5°C
Date: 9:18 AM EST Thursday 20 November 2014
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 100.4 kPa
Visibility: 4 km
Temperature: -4.7°C
Dewpoint: -6.4°C
Humidity: 88%
Wind: SW 24 gust 35 km/h
Wind Chill: -12

Quote

“Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.”
Barry Switzer
1937-

I know far too many people who confuse good luck with personal superiority. All I can do is stare in speechless wonder at their hubris. They don’t know who they are.

To The Bank

To purchase the new used vehicle I needed to visit the bank. The weather people said that snow squalls are expected every single day between now and Saturday, when the bank is closed. The bank is usually a 35 minute drive away, on the highway. Yesterday the roads were really bad, so much so that one of the vehicles where Attila works was damaged in an unavoidable accident, sliding into a tree, even though it wasn’t moving. The roads were ploughed yesterday, but they were not in good condition today.

All morning this morning I fretted, and fretted, and fretted, about making the trip into the bank. It would be complicated, whenever I chose to do it. Attila would have to pick me up, which sounds simple, but his schedule is so tight that taking even that 15 minutes away from his work day would have to be carefully arranged. I knew this. And I fretted.

Finally, around noon, my stomach began to really hurt, and I thought, “this is stupid”! I am not going to spend the next three days stressing over trying to get to the damn bank!

So I called Attila, who came home to pick me up. Then I dropped him off at his workplace, and headed down the highway, off to the bank. Today the roads were BAD, snow packed into white ice, with crusty mounds of frozen slush over all; but visibility was good. I took my time, driving according to road conditions, it took an hour to get to the bank. Once there it was quick work to take care of all the financial odds and ends that needed doing. The next stop was the gas station to fill up with fuel, there are no gas stations where we live. Finally I was on my way home. The sky was darkening, the road conditions were still BAD, and the drive home took another hour. Just as I neared the village where we live, the odd snowflake began to drift out of the sky, and the wind began to pick up. By the time I arrived home it was snowing. I had arrived home just in time!

Of course, since the car was now in my possession, a trip into the village to collect Attila from work was necessary.

Other than my big adventure visiting the bank, the day was quiet. Laundry was washed and hung on racks in the living room to dry. This is still the best way to humidify the air in the living area. Mom and my sisters, who sent us home with date squares, homemade pie, Chelsea Buns, and a loaf of homemade bread, made the day’s meals a treat! Note, the pie and the Chelsea Buns, that were sent home with us, didn’t make it through the first night! Paying bills and filing has been completed, for the moment. Bills are like unmade beds, always in need of attention. Pictures of snow have been snapped, transferred from camera to computer, and filed, in hopes that they represent a blip in the weather, that the snow will melt away completely, and not come back until Christmas, at the earliest.

The top of the morning! This is what dawn looked like this morning. For scale, the horizontal board just below the 2 inch thick deck rail, which is covered with snow, is 6 inches high. More snow on the way!
SnowNov19 2014

At least we aren’t in Buffalo!!

From the weathernetwork.ca
“Buffalo buried under 6-feet of snow (Reporter can barely walk)
It’s the worst snow they’ve seen in 40 years and it’s not done quite yet. Details here.”

Worldly Distractions

Weather

SNOW SQUALL WATCH IN EFFECT
-7°C
Date: 3:14 PM EST Wednesday 19 November 2014
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Visibility: 5 km
Temperature: -6.8°C
Dewpoint: -9.2°C
Humidity: 83%
Wind:SSE 17 km/h
Wind Chill: -13

Quote

“True happiness is of a retired nature, and an enemy to pomp and noise; it arises, in the first place, from the enjoyment of one’s self, and in the next from the friendship and conversation of a few select companions.”
Joseph Addison
1672-1719

Blizzard!

It is snowin’ and blowin’ out there today! The wind is literally roaring around the house, 60 km/hr gusts announce themselves with great enthusiasm. I am taking the “you can’t see me” approach to this storm. You know, when you cover your eyes and say to the other person, “you can’t see me!” Yeah, right, lol!

Attila is out there. I am in here, beside the toasty warm masonry heater, with electricity service and everything! I am warmer than he is, he is fitter than I am.

The power will leave suddenly again during this storm, which is to last until Thursday. I made sure I got into the shower early this morning, while we have electricity, which means the water pump and the hot water tank are working. If the power goes, the water supply goes, and showers just have to wait until normal services are restored. I saved the water from my shower, so if the power goes I have a tub of water handy, with which to manually flush the toilet. It is the little things.

I have my Kobo charged and ready for a power failure, and I am keeping the laptop plugged in to that the batteries stay at 100% at all times. The laundry is done. The dinners are cooked.

When the weather gets like this I like to imagine how it could be a pleasant thing. IF our country house was in a place where family and/or friends were within walking distance, this kind of weather would merely make for an interesting walk. Dropping in for a coffee and a chin wag could happen, even on a day like this. In fact, it might even provide a sense of accomplishment, managing to get around and visit with people even though the storm rages. Our country house isn’t in this kind of a place. IF we lived within walking distance of shops, one could bundle up and head out with a sleigh, to say, buy a bag of milk, or pick up one’s mail. Our country house isn’t within walking distance of any kind of service. The ideal is very different than the reality.

Attila came home for lunch. He brought the car one car length into the driveway, he didn’t want to get stuck! He will park on the road when he comes home, and the snow blower will come out. The owner of the business where he works is considering shutting down for the rest of the day, the storm is so bad. Attila said that he only saw two other vehicles on the road when he came home for lunch. I hope he gets home without issue, or I will be toting wood from the wood shed!

The 60 km/hr winds are cooling the house, the interior temperature is beginning to drop this afternoon. An evening fire will be most welcome.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

SNOW SQUALL WARNING IN EFFECT
-9C
Date: 5:33 AM EST Tuesday 18 November 2014
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 99.9 kPa
Visibility: 10 km
Temperature: -8.6°C
Dewpoint: -11.3°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: SW 41 gust 59 km/h
Wind Chill: -17

Quote

“Feelings are like toes! They have to breathe free or they’ll stink to high heaven!”
Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka and Toshihiro Kawabata

Stormy Weather

Today is a day to work on the genealogy book. It is painful, trying to get the images just right. Layout is tricky business too, where to put what is crucial to a tolerable result. So far I have prepared eight images to the correct specifications. I have yet to successfully place one though, on the pages of text. Since this book will have over 130 pages of text, and more of images, it is going to take some time. Once I develop skills and know how, it should go a little faster. The learning curve is long, not steep, just long.

Another project on my list is to get FaceTime up and running. It will be used as an alternative form of communication with Attila during my solo visits to the little house in the city. We have been using Skype, but the poor quality of the connection makes it less than ideal.

One thing I would dearly like to accomplish in the next few months, is to find an honest, down to earth, reliable, reasonably priced place to take our vehicles for regular maintenance. The dealership where we bought our Matrix is an hour away, and the prices for normal maintenance are a little high. Which wouldn’t be so bad, but what truly discourages me from taking the car back to them, is that they are always trying to UPSELL. What a disgusting concept that is, upsell. What it means in most establishments is that they are trying to convince you to buy something you do not need, and probably do not want. The car dealership always finds something wrong that they pressure me to fix, or buy some kind of coverage, or, well, they just always want me to spend more, and more, and more. We need a place to take the vehicles to have regular maintenance done, and not have someone looking for that extra buck, at our expense. Maybe I’m dreaming.

Snow Squall: Well it is almost a snow squall, but not really. This is looking out towards the road, some 60 feet away, taken as I am standing at the dining room window. The trees across the road are obscured by the heavy snowfall. This is the raw material for a snow squall, this pictured snowfall. When the wind whips up the evergreen in the foreground becomes obscured from view. Visibility is good, not so good, bad, really bad, and can change from minute to minute. That is why snow squalls are so dangerous to drive in, poor visibility can descend on you within seconds.
Snowsquall2014NOV
Snow Squall: A calm moment late in the afternoon. Five inches of the stuff is sitting on the deck railings, white and fluffy and pretending innocence. It is still snowing heavily, but the wind has subsided.
Snowsquall2014NOV2

Worldly Distractions

Weather

SNOW SQUALL WARNING IN EFFECT
-1°C
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Visibility: 2 km
Temperature: -0.9°C
Dewpoint: -1.8°C
Humidity: 94%
Wind: WNW 11 km/h
Wind Chill:
-5

Quote

“Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.”
Voltaire
1694 – 1778

I think this is a very good reason not to go down in it!