Cold Snap

Cold Snap

The roads were bad yesterday, Sunday, preventing us from attending a family get together. I would have loved to have been there, but circumstances were beyond anyone’s control.

The temperature this morning was -26C. A midday firing of the masonry heater is required. The sun in shining, which adds some cheer to the day. This is the second day in December that we have seen stretches of sunshine. I will open the blinds on one of the windows, despite the fact that it will significantly cool the room, move my chair closer to the masonry heater, and rotate it so that I am gazing at the blue sky.

Time has slipped away, filled with little domestic chores; the setting of the fire in the hearth, the peeling of vegetables for the cast iron dutch oven, where they simmered all the day, ready for an “instant” evening meal. The rest of the time Mist and I sat warm by the fire, resistant to venturing towards the nippy corners of the room.

Attila has set the evening fire, and then headed back to the wood shed once more, to gather the wood needed for tomorrow morning and midday firings. It will drop to -27C tonight, we are in the midst of a cold snap!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 6:00 AM EST Monday 16 December 2013
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -26.1°C
Dewpoint: -28.5°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: NW 5 km/h
Wind Chill: -31


“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”
Mahatma Gandhi
1869 – 1948


  1. Thanks for the warm wishes Joan and Wendy! The three firings seem to be keeping us relatively comfortable, as long as we are wearing long johns, layers, down vests, and warm footwear.

    My Grandmother, who lived all her life just north of us, wore a balaclava to bed at night, in the winter, in her last years. Their house was old and drafty; heated with a wood furnace in the basement, and a wood stove in the kitchen.

  2. Bex

    So, Maggie, are you heating only with wood now? Or is there a back-up heating scheme there? Oil? Gas? We are also frigid here in New England. If it’s too cold for Paul to go lobstering, you know it’s cooooooooold. Good luck staying warm!

  3. Just wood Bex, at the country house it has always been just wood.

    Backup is electric heaters, which were on twice last winter, in the bathrooms only, to keep the pipes from freezing; once when we were away a few days at Christmas, and once during the winter when we were away for two nights visiting the little house in the city. Every other bit of heat in the house was supplied by Attila and his firewood.

  4. Bex

    wow, well, they always say heating with wood is twice warmed… once chopping it and once burning it. Could you continue this heating technique if you lived alone? I imagine the answer will be yes, knowing how you tackled that bathroom in the city house! I think of you as the Canadian Pioneer Woman!

  5. LOL, Attila is twice warmed! I could manage the wood heating on my own, if I had to. However, if Attila were unable to manage the wood heating for some reason, I think I would be pretty quick to think up a viable alternative, or move! Hopefully I will never find out!

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