Dead of Winter

Mist and missing christmas treeFebruary 2, already! Thank goodness the first half of the winter has sped past. Saturday was Groundhog Day in Ontario, Canada. In all my years living in Ontario, which is my entire life, the timely arrival of spring has been totally unrelated to the predictions produced by Groundhog Day. Groundhog Day was around long before the Wiarton Willy version, as any older person who attended elementary school in Ontario would probably know.

All Groundhog Day does for me is to remind me that it is the dead of winter, and that spring is a long way off. Frump!

We bought a beautiful, real, Christmas Tree this past Christmas; a Fraser Fir. We have left it standing, fully decorated, in the corner of the room since the middle of December. Visual whimsy, colourful pleasure, every evening on those dark winter mornings and evenings. We decided that we would take the tree down on Groundhog Day, as it was just beginning to lose a few needles.

Yesterday, as Attila chopped firewood and shovelled snow, I carefully removed all the Christmas decorations from the tree. Later, Attila took the tree out the sliding glass door onto the deck, threw it over the railing into a snow bank, and so to be broken down and discarded. I cleaned the fallen needles and rearranged the furniture.

All this time Mist slept, curled and comfortable in her chair by the masonry heater, oblivious to human endeavor.

I mentioned to Attila at the time, that Mist would not be happy about the missing tree. Mist bonded with the tree, lying sprawled out where she could watch the lights. Our Mist is a “tree-hugger”.

When Mist woke up she didn’t seem to notice that the tree was no longer there. I counted us lucky, and hoped that she would not even notice its absence. The day passed quietly and Mist seemed quite content and relaxed. Eventually we retired for the night, and left our Mist sleeping quietly before the masonry heater.


Around midnight she noticed that her buddy the Christmas Tree was missing. We awoke to her yowling at the top of her lungs. Long, mournful yowls, interspersed with roaring howls of rage. After what seemed like forever, she fell asleep. An hour or so later, she began to lament her loss again. Off and on, all night long, Mist expressed her grief.

When we arose in the morning we were met with the same yowling, but it was becoming primarily angry yowling. She knew who was responsible for abducting her tree! She has spent most of the day today sitting where the tree used to sit, glaring at us and yowling (see photo on this page). I hope she forgives us before we retire for the night!

We experienced significant snow squalls yesterday, and the accumulation of about a foot of snow. The temperature went down to -19C last night. Winter will be with us for eight or nine more weeks. Thoughts of spring are not uplifting at this time of year.

We managed to get to town today for supplies. The last time we were able to get to town was three weeks ago, so we had accumulated quite a list of items to pick up. We found everything we needed in short order, as well as some “treats”.

As a treat I purchased a lemon, some fresh mushrooms and a green pepper to dehydrate. There is always a learning curve with food preparation appliances, so I though I’d begin with a few samples of foods that are difficult to get in the winter. If the results of dehydrating are good, we will be buying green peppers in quantity when they are in season and keeping the dried peppers on hand for winter use. I want to perfect my skills before harvest season arrives.

I have heard from Mom, sisters and brother today, which makes it a very good day indeed.

Heartfelt love and hugs to all.

Worldly Distractions


-9 °C
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -8.6°C
Dewpoint: -15.3°C
Humidity: 59 %
Wind: S 9 km/h


“I was brought up to believe that how I saw myself was more important than how others saw me.”
Anwar el-Sadat
1918 – 1981
[Just found this quote, kudos to his grandmother.]