A Happy Day

Diesel and I slept through the worst of the frigid night, warm enough at 16C. The cold snap continues. Attila is holding up well, he was cheerful enough when I talked to him pre-dawn this morning, I could hear the crackling of the fire in the masonry heater as we chatted. Neither abode received any overnight snowfall, for that at least we are grateful. The weather people say the temperatures should begin to rise towards normal by the end of the weekend. We shall see!

Yesterday it snowed most of the day, and the plough went through mid-day. The five inch thick, slushy mess at the end of the driveway needed to be shifted. That would be me! I struggled with it for a few hours and got it cleared. It is getting tricky for me, because the banks near the road are shoulder high now, and that is a long way up for me and my snow shovel. Still, little loads, many times, and eventually the job gets done. No new snow this morning, and the sun is shining, so I have a much appreciated reprieve from shovelling. The kind neighbour across the street has gone south for the next month or so, I surely miss him! I don’t blame him though, Attila and I would love to follow suit.

To keep active, a shopping trip to Walmart was planned. The trip provided a good long walk, cruising up and down the aisles. When my back began to ache, I headed for the checkout, to pay a whole $4.03 for my spinach, bananas, fresh ginger root, and fresh garlic.

Later in the day I grabbed the full compost bucket, and a dustpan, threw on my parka, slipped into my boots, and headed out to the compost at the back of the yard. Attila had shovelled out a path for me, as my last trip was exhausting, battling through knee deep snow. This trip was not nearly so challenging. I dug into the snow at the compost pile with the dustpan, dumped the greenery into it, then used the dustpan to shovel snow back onto it, to prevent the brisk wind gusts from scattering the future soil. As I turned and headed back to the house, I had to stop and enjoy the scene. The wind was brisk and frigid, the sky a brilliant blue, the air clean and invigorating, the naked trees danced with each gust of wind.

And now I am sitting comfortably in my easy chair, and Diesel is nestled comfortably on his human, me. He is a big cat, so in order to type on the keyboard, I have to turn to the side of the chair and reach onto the small table where the computer rests. Diesel watches me, occasionally becoming annoyed with the computer, bunting his head against it hard enough to move it. I persevere, and Diesel forgives me. What happy days that allow these simple pleasures such great importance.

I am looking forward to chatting with Attila later tonight, to hear how his day went, out there in the arctic cold.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Little House in the City

-19°C
Date: 7:00 AM EST Monday 23 February 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 103.2 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -19.3°C
Dewpoint: -24.9°C
Humidity: 62%
Wind: NNW 14 km/h
Wind Chill: -28

Country House

-25°C
Date: 7:00 AM EST Monday 23 February 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 103.3 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -25.2°C
Dewpoint: -28.5°C
Humidity: 75%
Wind:WNW 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -33

Quote

“You better live your best and act your best and think your best today, for today is the sure preparation for tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that follow.”
Harriet Martineau
1802 – 1876

10 Comments

  1. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Sounds like you had a good day, Maggie. These crystal blue skies are beautiful, aren’t they. They make for cold nights but I remind myself that the sun is storing energy in our streets and buildings, slowly increasing our temperatures.

    Yes, the weather people are forecasting a larger increase in temp next week, bringing the temp closer to freezing. That would be wonderful!

    We got our heating bill, today. I was amazed. We’ll be paying the same $175 that we did last month. I tthought for sure we’d be upto at least $200, so I was quite pleased.

  2. Our heating expenses here at the little house have been much higher for the month of February, which I attribute to the arctic temperatures, but also to the high winds, we have had high winds all month. It is a lot windier here than anywhere else I have ever lived in Southern Ontario, which took me by surprise. We didn’t notice it much in the summer because it didn’t affect our expenses or lifestyle, and we were hardly here really. But I have been here since November, and the wind is a significant element of the weather here. I am beginning to think about a windmill to augment our electricity bills! We now know also that we need to bolster the insulation on the north and west sides of the house, which receive the brunt of the winter winds.

  3. Bex

    I was wondering if Diesel will be coming home with you to the country house when you go back? Surely by now he is part of your life and parting with each other would be very difficult. I wonder also if Mist would like company, as well?

    I’ve just signed up to have our septic system pumped out for June 1st. I’m keeping that date in my head, hoping that there won’t be 5 feet of snow over the septic tank clean-out spot still!

  4. Bex, Diesel is with me on a temporary basis, and I doubt very much my daughter will give him up! Personally, I think MIst would make his life miserable, she is very spoiled and set in her ways, and she has claws, where Diesel does not, but who knows! Diesel does not travel well, even for short distances. Mist manages the long trips between our houses, not with good grace, but she does handle the journeys. It might be possible to bring her down and see how she and Diesel get on. To date the plan is that Diesel will go back to his loving home for the summer months, while I am at the country house. I will sorely miss him!

    I do hope your snow is gone by June!!!!! Attila and I estimate that this year you have more snow than we do at the country house. Some years we see as much snow or more than you have now, but not this year!! Lucky us, unlucky you, for this year at least. 🙂

  5. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Yes, I’ve thought of things like a windmill here too, Maggie. Our house sits on a straight away on the street and the winds can often be quite high, hitting our house at our bedroom at the back. You can always tell those days, both by the rushing sound of the wind (like today) and because the temp in our bedroom is lower than at any other time.

    I wonder where one would get a neighborhood-sized windmill that wouldn’t annoy the neighbors?

  6. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Interesting! I do see they have an email address for a US/Canada contact but the company listed doesn’t currently have any wind turbines listed on their pages.

  7. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Maggie, I was looking at a website that discussed tower height for wind turbines. Unfortunately, the proper height for a residential turbine of 1 to 10 kWh is more than 70ft! Even with the few neighbor that we have here on our corner, I can’t see such a high tower going over well in our neighborhood.

    Guess I’ll go back to researching solar panels. There are houses here that have those.

  8. Yes Teri, until the rooftop models become feasible, it really is more than an urban home might want to setup. The archimedes project does show installation on the roof of two storey buildings, which is intriguing. It isn’t the conventional blade installation, which is what all the residential turbine recommendations are referring to. I await developments. We probably won’t be doing any of it, because we are old and the return on investment takes years, which we don’t have a lot of left, so it wouldn’t save us any money. It might be a good contribution to the environment though, so if we win the lottery, we might give it a go!

  9. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    There is a gov’t subsidy to do the solar panels, though I don’t know about wind turbines. I know there have been companies here our area that will put the solar panels on your home free of cost and then they take in the income from electricity that goes into the grid, in other words you get your electricity for the most part free (when you produce enough) and they make money off what is sold back to the grid for the first 20 years.

    Yeah, I know, 20 years is a long time. I know I doubt we’ll have this house in 20 years.

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