February 5, 2008

Eight Weeks of Winter
Tour de Force



Here are a few of my favorite online haunts:

[This is the site I visit to fantasize about living in Toronto again, which is almost every single day during the winter]

Jonathan Cainer's Zodiac Forecasts
[This is where I visit in the morning, when I need a positive spin on things past, present and future.]

Living Local
[This is where I go to see what Canadians are up to, sometimes I even buy things from the businesses listed there.]

Environment Canada Weather
[This is the site I visit every morning, and before every road trip during the winter]

My new campaign for surviving these deadly grey days of winter is to implement a new campaign. Attila and I are unable to get out and about for long periods of time, sometimes weeks, in the winter. Bad road conditions, poor visibility, incessant grey skies, increased time needed for snow shoveling and providing wood for heating have combined to keep us home, safe and sound. Lucky as we are to have the basics taken care of, isolation can become an overbearing companion. Cabin fever is no joke, as anyone who has ever lived in the woods can tell you. Stories from the northern parts of Canada proliferate.

As I read through the symptoms of Cabin Fever, and the suggested remedial techniques to keep it in check, I realize that I am doing pretty well under the circumstances. I maintain my exercise regime, such that it is. I eat a healthy diet. I take advantage of every opportunity to interact with my friends, almost always Online, as transportation is such a defining issue in my lifestyle. I know my irritability and occasional bout of sadness stems from isolation, not from personal or relationship issues. Yes, I am in pretty good shape, all things considered. But still, I am struggling to keep my spirits up during the latter half of this long and seemingly endless winter. So, additional coping mechanisms are in order.

My plan is to implement the “Eight Weeks of Winter Tour de Force”. Beginning in February, each week Attila and I will allow one inexpensive indulgence. I already have two weeks worth of indulgences planned, one is the purchase of fresh flowers, or a blooming potted plant. This will give me a real lift, as I will place it in the middle of the open plan living area, so I can see it from anywhere I am working. Of course, it won’t be easy finding fresh flowers or potted plants near here, but I live in hope and will be searching diligently for the next month or so. The second sweet indulgence I have come up with is a look around the Chapters web site. There Attila and I might each choose a book, which will be delivered to the local Post Office, where we might easily fetch them. There, that’s two, six more to go!

As you might guess, the weather is abysmal again today. Fog, rain and snow are not a heart-warming combination. The roof is shedding large quantities of the last snowfall, occasionally falling to the earth with a loud thump. We are due to see the sun for one day, Wednesday, before the clouds gather once more, snow begins to fall again and the temperature plummets to –20.

Today my plans include washing laundry, which I will hang to dry in front of the fireplace and attending to more technical details on my servers and websites. Should keep me out of trouble today, and who knows, the sun may shine tomorrow!

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

Hemlocks in the Fog
Hemlocks in the Fog

"Cabin fever is a condition that produces restlessness and irritability caused from being in a confined space. The actual term is slang for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a party is isolated and/or shut in, alone or together, for an extended period."

"Rosenblatt stresses the normality of cabin fever, cautioning that there is nothing "wrong" with someone for having those feelings. Even the inertia people get is normal."

Temperature 1.1°C
Press 100.7 kPa / falling
Visibility 0.6 km
Humidity 100%
Dew Point 1.1°C
Wind Speed S 8 km/h

Page by Page: A Woman's Journal
by Maggie Turner

Canadian Maggie Turner writes and publishes poetry, photography, and a personal journal online. Her work reflects the current way of life in Canada, embracing Canada's past, present, and future in a unique portrayal of everyday life. Maggie's voice is one of the many that actively depict the rich diversity of Canadian culture.

Photography: "a term which comes from the Greek words photos (light) and graphos (drawing). A photograph is made with a camera by exposing film to light in order to create a negative. The negative is then used in the darkroom to print a photograph (positive) onto light-sensitive paper.
Source: University of Arizona Glossary

Poetry: "a form of speech or writing that harmonizes the music of its language with its subject. To read a great poem is to bring out the perfect marriage of its sound and thought in a silent or voiced performance. At least from the time of Aristotle's Poetics, drama was conceived of as a species of poetry."
Source: Creative Studios

Journal: " "Though a journal may be many things - a treasury, a storehouse, a jewelry box, a laboratory, a drafting board, a collector's cabinet, a snapshot album, a history, a travelogue..., a letter to oneself - it has some definable characteristics. It is a record, an entry-book, kept regularly, though not necessarily daily.... Some (entries) will be nearly illegible, written in the dark in the middle of the night.... Not only is it a record for oneself, but of oneself. Every memorable journal, any successful journal, is honest. Nothing sham, phony, false...." (Dorothy Lambert from Ken Macrorie's book, Writing to be Read )
A journal is a way to keep track of your thoughts about what you read... as well as what you did on any given day."
Source: Journal Writing

A Blog is an online journal created by server side software, often hosted by a commercial interest.

"The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger[4] on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com in April or May 1999.[5][6][7] Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms."
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_blogging

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