Cold Snap

Thursday, February 11, 2016

We are heading into what is shaping up to be the coldest few days of the winter season. It is significantly colder out there than it has been so far this winter, at -16C. This is our first real cold snap of the winter. At our country house we would have thought of -16C as rather mild. Here we think of it as frigid! I love it!

This weekend the temperature will dip even further, according to the weather mavens. They tell us that on Saturday night the temperature might fall as low as -26C. Again, at our country house we considered this cold, but really only considered the weather to be bitter when the thermometer dipped below -30C, as it would several times during the course of a winter.

As things are here at Mist Cottage, we have plenty of fuel for heat on hand to keep us warm and cozy through the cold snap. No worries, and no wood toting, heavenly.

On this day in 2011:

“The snow squalls were interesting yesterday. At times the sky looked like it was clearing, shortly thereafter all you could see out the window was snow. When I drove home from work yesterday it was snowing hard, and a sudden strong blast of wind brought additional snow showering out of the towering roadside trees. Visibility was zero. And suddenly there was an SUV heading straight for me, well into my lane of the highway. Luckily I live here and respect the weather conditions, I was traveling around 40 km per hour, so I could swerve towards the ditch to avoid a head on collision. The driver of the SUV didn’t slow, stop or seem to think anything at all of forcing me off the road, they just kept speeding along. The road was wider where this occurred so I didn’t end up in the ditch, didn’t get stuck. I just carried on at a snail’s pace until I reached home, safe and sound. I don’t yet look old enough to pull off the “little old lady driver” thing, but give me time and I’ll get there.”
February 11, 2011 at the Country House
-21 °C
Condition: Snow
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -21.0°C
Dewpoint: -22.9°C
Humidity: 85 %
Wind: SSE 8 km/h
Wind Chill: -27

Attila wanted to take the car in this week for an oil, lube and filter change. He also requested that the mechanic look at the back brakes. Sure enough, we needed new back brakes. He immediately installed them for us. The bill however, was something we didn’t need. Just call me the juggler.

Attila will get a small hourly wage increase at the end of the month. That little bit will make a big difference. I often wonder what life would be like if one could depend upon having enough money to pay one’s bills. It seems to me it would be a serene and peaceful sort of existence, if one could take the basics of life for granted.

It snowed on Monday, and again on Wednesday, so the roads were uncertain for walking. There isn’t all that much snow, but there are slippery patches, and uneven patches. Thus, this week my daily walk has been suspended, and how I miss it. It looks like next week there will be milder temperatures, so that the snow on the road may melt. As soon as it does I will be back out there.

The backing up project is progressing. It is very time consuming. I have to sort through files, and have deleted quite a few items that have lost their relevance. I am fairly lazy when it comes to saving files. If I think I might want to refer to the information again, I save the file. When I download pictures from the camera, I download them all into a file and do not look at the again. In this way I have large image files that display a clear blue sky, and nothing else, or unfocused images taken from the car window. Out they go.

The purging continues, at a snails pace. I plan on “nickel and diming” the purging efforts until we are cleansed of the superfluous. There is no longer any reason to save items in case we move to a place where they would “fit”. We are where we want to be. On Tuesday of this week I found a box of electronic cables and gadgets. None of these items has been used in the last 20 years, it is time to donate them, or barring that, to throw them out.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

We are “bottoming out” on the cold front. Right now, as I sit looking out a serene cloudless sky, the temperature is -28C, and the wind chill is -41C.

Tomorrow night will dip to -28C. There was no strolling neighbourhood today! We enjoyed intense snow squalls yesterday morning, Attila removed the snow from the drive and the walkway to the front door as soon as it stopped snowing in the afternoon, before the temperature began to plummet. This is the most extreme weather we have seen here this winter, and it is mid-February. At our country house, the extreme cold and snow squalls were frequent events, beginning in November and carrying on until the end of March. One extreme cold snap seems more like a short temporary adventure, here in the land of thermostats.

I talked to my sister and my Mom this morning on FaceTime. My Mom looks good, although she seems weary of the treatments and the side effects. She is in good hands, my sisters have got her back, accompanying her to her appointments, assisting with the needed home care. My niece is going to spend the next two weeks accompanying Mom to the treatments, and assisting her with the home care she needs for the duration of the treatments. My Mom was instrumental in raising my two sister’s children, so it is wonderful that they are now able to be there for her, as she was able to be there for them.

Mom is being a wonderful sport about letting people help her through the last weeks of this ordeal. I am sure it must be hard for her, as she is usually the one helping others, and she is accustomed to being super active. Mom, you are the best!

I texted Terra to ask her how her recent scan went. Good news there, the babies are developing as expected, and Terra remains healthy. Terra sent me a picture of Lares preparing the new nursery. He is wearing a breathing mask, has a hammer in his hand, and stands in front of a partially demolished lath and plaster wall. Their house is very old, the walls in the original part of the house are all lath and plaster. Getting that nursery ready will be a very big job. Lares does not look joyful in the picture.

Today we are replacing the flooring in the landing by the back door. This little bit of floor is what you step onto when you walk in the back door, and from there you can step up into the kitchen, or down the stairs to the basement. When we bought the place there were cheap vinyl tiles on the this landing, and they have worked well. They aren’t pretty though, and the colour is not to our liking.

We bought new floor tiles for the landing last week. We visited the Habitat store because we had items to donate. Having handed over the donations, we perused the store. We found some green linoleum tiles, just 12 of them, for $.50 each, so for $6 we have a new floor for the landing.

I like linoleum. The tiles are solid, so that the colour and the design on them is consistent from top to bottom. What this means is that when they are scratched, there is no layer to scratch off, the colour and design remain the same. They wear well. They are easy to clean. And they are a colour that we like.

This is the landing at the back door. The tiles are not the colour we would like, and they are poorly installed. As well, they have chipped and torn at the edge of the stairs. They have served adequately for the last five years, but now they are going to retire from duty.
DSCF7824 ed
The tiles came up very easily, and the clean up was relatively easy as well. Attila had some nail heads to deal with, but they were also easily dealt with.
DSCF7827 ed
Since the floor boards were so uneven, a subfloor was installed. Nothing in this house is even or level. It has “character”, and like all characters it is work to deal with.
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Almost there, most of the tiles are down. As usual, there are a few little “mistakes”, and although I noticed them and commented on them immediately, in a matter of days I will no longer be aware of them. They are not glaring, just slightly imperfect.
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The finished job, the baseboards reinstalled, and a new door sweep to help keep the cold winds from blowing into the house.
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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

Wow, last night it got cold. When I opened the drapes on the south facing window this morning, the cafe curtains were frozen to the glass, an icy chill crept into the house, and a few moments later the thermostat realized what was going on and kicked the furnace into action. At -30C I imagine last night we saw the coldest temperature of the winter. The weather report tells us that it will be getting warmer; rising from -30C doesn’t exactly mean getting warm. The warmer temperatures are probably going to bring snow with them.

I have been working hard on setting up the backup system on my Cloud, external USB drive and DVDs. I hit a snag! My Cloud by Western Digital does not allow a file search from Mac OSX, the Apple operating system. I ask you, how useful is a storage system without a search function! After searching high and low at the Western Digital support site, and around the internet in general, I found no solutions to the problem. I began to search for applications to do the job, and that is when I bumped into a little program called EasyFind, by DEVON Technologies. I read reviews, and the consensus was that the software used to be great, but was outdated, made redundant by the incredible Spotlight, the search function provided with the operating system for the computer. I downloaded the program and voila, it searched the Cloud, albeit slowly, and did a fine job of it. Problem solved.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 AM EST Thursday 11 February 2016
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: rising
Temperature: -15.9°C
Dewpoint: -19.2°C
Humidity: 75%
Wind: NW 21 km/h
Wind Chill: -26

Date: 10:00 AM EST Saturday 13 February 2016
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Tendency: rising
Temperature: -26.7°C
Dewpoint: -34.8°C
Humidity: 46%
Wind: NW 26 km/h
Wind Chill: -41
Mainly sunny. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40. High minus 18. Wind chill minus 34.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind northwest 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 28. Wind chill minus 36.

Date: 6:00 AM EST Sunday 14 February 2016
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 103.6 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -29.8°C
Dewpoint: -35.1°C
Humidity: 61%
Wind: NW 13 km/h
Wind Chill: -40


“By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.”
Charles Wadsworth

It seems the same thing is equally true of mother and daughters.

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Maggie, your cold snap and snow have made their way down to my little southern world. Granted, our cold was 13F and the snow will be 1 to 3 inches at most, but our reaction to it is quite strong.

Our big difference is that by Tuesday, it will be 56F and we can probably declare winter over. πŸ™‚

Your new bit of linoleum is nice. Mist Cottage continues to come along, bit by bit, and it’s a pleasure to read about and see.

crochetlady or Lee Ann

I remember when you wrote about being forced to the side of the road by that SUV. Glad those days are over?
Your entryway looks great. Little changes help alot. Those things that no longer have to be done to maintain basic comfort add hours to the days, not to mention the lack of smoke dust and ash accuilation!
Happy Valentines Day to you and Attila.

Bex Crowell

You accomplish all the things I have on my “to do” list… you are an inspiration. I have not backed-up my files yet. I keep waiting for the man across the street to get some free time to show me how it’s done. I had ONE day of trouble-free computer time yesterday… every other day for the last month or two has had problems. I hesitate to begin another project for a while!
Love your linoleum work!

Bex Crowell

Just after I left this page, I went to a blog to read the recent entry and in it he quoted this short 2-line poem:

“Let’s live with that small pittance that we have;
Who covets more, is evermore a slave.

Robert Herrick, Poem 607, Ibid.”

It’s a nice site, one I’ve referenced before, called First Known When Lost

That quote just seemed to fit in with your thought: “I often wonder what life would be like if one could depend upon having enough money to pay one’s bills.” Maybe less really IS better! I keep telling myself this, anyway.