The blizzard arrived this morning. We were expecting it yesterday afternoon. Around six inches of snow fell over the course of the night. As morning light seeped through the white veil, the snowfall intensified, as did the wind. The wind has been literally roaring. With a wind chill of -33, three firings will be mandatory in the masonry heater. So far we have hydro, so I baked a pan of mincemeat squares, cooked a batch of spaghetti sauce, and have taken a shower while there is hot water.

Attila is out there, in the cold, for his eight hours. When he gets home he will be toting wood and removing snow. The snow plough went by about ten minutes before Attila came home for lunch, leaving me no lead time for shovelling. I need a lot of lead time because I work very slowly. So Attila parked on the road and shovelled out a spot for the car, parked it, then made his way into the house for a bite of lunch. Luckily we have a snow blower to use on the remainder of the driveway. This snow is ideal for a snow blower. The flakes are completely frozen, the drifts soft and voluminous.

The nearby highway is closed again, for the second time this winter. This is the first winter I remember that highway being closed at all, during the last ten years that we have lived here.

“Snow Banks” are accumulating on the tree branches, despite the high winds. All that whiteness in the distance is snow banks on the branches, twenty feet off the ground, or higher. I have to admit this is the first time I have seen this, but then, I have only lived a total of twenty years in the near north, so what do I know!

The storm here is predicted to blow itself away by tomorrow afternoon, and then on Thursday, remarkably, there is to be a day of sunshine. And then, the temperature will rise significantly! The January thaw is just around the corner.

I think about the -50C wind chill on the prairies, and I shudder. No wonder the first white settlers in the Canadian West used thick sod as a building material!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 9:00 AM EST Tuesday 7 January 2014
Condition: Heavy Snow
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Visibility: 0.2 km
Temperature: -20.6°C
Dewpoint: -22.9°C
Humidity: 82%
Wind: SSW 26 gust 43 km/h
Wind Chill: -33


“When I’m working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.”
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895 – 1983)

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Joan Lansberry

The news is full of the cold weather which has effected so much of North America. Strength to you and Attila as you deal with the worst, “polar vortex”, the weather expert on PBS news described it.


I have been living in no-internet hell for 2 days… my modem broke, had to order a new one, knew I wouldn’t be able to hook it up (I never can!) and had to have a neighbor (engineer) come over and help me, which took us 3 hours but we did it…it was awful… I basically had a breakdown while being disconnected from the world! It’s cold here too and my hands are frozen.