Cold Outside, Warm Inside

It is sunny and cold this morning. It snowed overnight, not deep, just a heavy dusting. The weather networks say it will be a cold week, with the temperature dipping down again to -20C during the night over the weekend to come. It is deadly cold in other parts of Canada, temperatures in the -40s, wind chills in the -50s. Brr….

I find myself with but a touch of cabin fever today, for the very first time since moving to Mist Cottage. This is attributable to the lock-down here, the stay-at-home order attached to the State of Emergency, to combat the Covid-19 Pandemic. Soon it will have been a full year since I’ve been out in public spaces for any reason but medical appointments, and one whirlwind trip to purchase baking supplies before the lock-downs began. That makes four times in a year that I have ventured away from home. We do not visit other people. There have been no visitors. Mostly I am my own company. At present, this is normal for many people. Perhaps that sunny milder day, that saw me sitting on the back porch, made me impatient for spring. It may have made the frigid weather seem more disagreeable than it might otherwise have seemed.

Good news about Bex yesterday, her hospital visit has improved her health, and she seems to be doing very well indeed. I admit to some relief on her behalf.

Yesterday was a busy day. This past weekend we enjoyed roasted Butternut Squash with our meals. It was a very large Squash, and we ate only a small proportion of it. The garden Squash have kept quite well in the basement, but time is marching on, and it seemed time to preserve what we had not already eaten. There were six Butternut Squash left. Very early in the morning I began to section, remove the seeds, and cook the sections in the Instant Pot. After cooking, the flesh was scooped out and pureed, put into clean margarine or sour cream containers, labelled, and popped into the freezer. It took all day, over 12 hours, to process and preserve five of the six Squash. The last remaining Squash awaits our winter dining pleasure. Yield: 11 2-cup containers of pureed Squash.

Today two of the containers were transformed into a batch of “Pumpkin Squares”. The Squash is used interchangeably with Pumpkin. It makes a healthy treat on these cold winter days.

When the weather is this cold the oil furnace heats the house. This means extra work. The relative humidity drops below 20% if measures are not taken. Every few hours, all day long, an assortment of hanging towels must be soaked and hung again to dry. It is the first activity attended to in the morning, and the last before retiring for the night. There are basins of water placed at each heating vent. Using these techniques, the relative humidity can be kept hovering around 30%. Although not ideal, this is far more comfortable and healthier than the alternative.

Pandemic Related

Tomorrow our provincial State of Emergency ends, and our area is no longer in lock-down. Personally I do not welcome these changes, as Attila still has to go to work, and it will be even more dangerous if the variants take hold, as people try to go “back to normal”. Only time will tell if my concerns are founded, I’d love to be wrong!
Canada continues to languish in the vaccination process, less than one million vaccinated. Our supplies of vaccine are not coming into the country as promised, so that very few people are being vaccinated right now. The long-term-care home residents continue to be prioritized, thankfully. But I worry about seniors who don’t live in long-term care, and other vulnerable people.
Canada had public facilities that would have been able to produce a vaccine for us, but decades ago our governments favoured privatizing public facilities, sold the facilities, and private ownership shut them down, profits before health. So here we are, decades later, without the means to save our own lives. In the 1990s I wrote several academic papers disagreeing with the process of privatizing publicly funded entities that served the public good. It wasn’t a politically popular viewpoint and that concern was ignored, although it was voiced by thousands of scientists of all kinds. We are paying the price of privatization now, some with their lives, some with their livelihoods.



Tue, Feb 9, 7:25 AM
Wind 9 N km/h
Humidity 96%
Visibility 2.8km
Sunrise 7:16AM
Wind gust 13km/h
Pressure 102.4kPa
Ceiling 300m
Sunset 5:28PM


“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look there.”
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
121 AD – 180 AD

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Hello Maggie: You were VERY busy getting all of that squash prepared and frozen…but, you will be thankful that you have it. The US has not done a great job with the pandemic. Mike and I received our 2nd injection on Tuesday. We are fortunate and thankful that this is behind us. Only one for side effects, and that is me. I feel like I am “getting a cold”. Hopefully, it will not bloom into a real cold…I cannot recall when I last had a cold. We are also having the worst cold snap, ever recorded. It is suppose to be 3 degrees on Monday. I know…it is almost unbelievable. We are supposed to go for the next 7 days…not above freezing. Between the weather, COVID, and the Trump impeachment stuff, one certainly feels unsettled. I realize I sound as if I am whining, but I am whining. I really am tired of all of it. I was able to get an appt to visit our library…so I have that to look forward to.
Tomorrow is Ryder’s 6th birthday…..they grow up way too fast. No party this year. They are all going on a long ski trip the end of the month, and the boys are excited. Brodie is settling in as well as a 3 month old puppy can. Brodie had one accident on the carpet, and Ryder was afraid they would have to give him back to his mother to teach him to “only do number 1 and number 2” outside. It really was his sincerity that was so precious. Another teaching moment!! I will keep you updated unless we freeze all the way off the planet!!