Cattitude at -22C

Drying clothes before the fire during a January cold snap.
Drying Clothes before the fire during a January cold snap.
Mist Sleeping on a frigid January afternoon.
Mist Sleeping on a frigid January afternoon.

This morning the temperature is -22C and the masonry heater has caught up with the weather. The thermometer by the heater reads 21C. I still need to wear a down vest, thermal socks and thick slippers in the house, but I am warm. Today we are expecting a high of -17C, much warmer than yesterday. Then milder weather is on the way.

Attila and I slept very soundly last night. When the temperature is between 10C and 15C in the bedroom our sleep experience is significantly enhanced. The bedroom is remote, from the masonry heater where the thermometer rests, making it considably cooler than the living area.

What reads as 15C at our house is only experienced when you stand beside the heater. The farther you venture from the hearth the colder it gets. Standing beside a window is ill advised. From experience, we know that if the temperature falls below 5C, on the thermometer near the hearth, we need to wear wool hats while sleeping, otherwise we get headaches.

Mist prefers a much warmer night. When the house cools she prefers to sleep in the chair beside the masonry heater, cozy and warm. She has very strong opinions about temperatures. Yesterday I planned on setting the fire just after lunch. Mist didn’t think so. She followed me about, yowling. When I focused on her she made her way over the masonry heater and sat in front of it looking at me with great forbearance, waiting for me to “get it”. I did of course, and set the fire for her earlier than I had planned. Mist has a lot of cattitude. As soon as she had basked in the heat for a bit, she jumped onto the couch near the masonry heater, sprawled out, and drifted off to sleep. I suppose a 17 year old cat is entitled to be opinionated!

Until the temperature rises out of doors I dare not open the blinds on the windows to let the sun shine in; the temperature in the room drops noticably if I do. However, this morning, although it is still below -20C, I have pulled up the blind on one of the south facing windows, the sunshine is wonderful! I have moved my desk to stand bathed in light, baring my arms and legs to soak up those few precious rays.

Due to the extra firings in the masonry heater and the cast iron wood stove, the air in the house is extremely dry. Usually I am quite prone to nose bleeds when it gets this dry in the house. However, a coworker shared his doctor’s thoughts on a significant cause of nose bleeds, aspirin. I am careful not to take aspirin while heating with wood, and have suffered no nose bleeds since I stopped using aspirin in the winter.

To combat the dryness I have been soaking facecloths and hanging them to dry in the living area. After an hour they are bone dry, so I soak and hang them over and over again. Drying laundry is also a very good way to address both the lack of humidity in the house during the winter, and at the same time one’s conscience in relation to conservation of resources. We wash the laundry in a machine designed to minimize water usage and drying time, usually during off-peak hydro hours. Drying the laundry in front of the masonry heater means that the atmosphere receives all that lovely moisture, and the clothes are dried without using any additional energy. Two check marks for drying cloths before the fire in the winter.

I have just discovered songza, reccommended to Attila by several of the fellows where he works. It is deeply disappointing that the local artists I know are not on any of the playlists. Although I appreciate all the commercially produced and well known artist’s work, I also crave the familiar and wonderful songs that I have had the privilege to hear played live. The cost of commercial concerts has always been way beyond my frugal budget, both while I was supporting my children, and now that I remain underemployed for the duration.

Worldly Distractions


A few clouds
Feels Like : -31C
Wind : N 12 km/h
Humidity : 72%
Pressure : 103 kPa
Visibility : 14.5 km
Sunrise : 7:44
Sunset : 17:14
Ceiling : unlimited


“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.”
Mark Twain
1835 – 1910

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It’s always delightful to get caught up on Mist and her doings. Glad to read that she’s still perking along, with that good, strong catitude.