Last April we finally found a Sunday featuring good roads and good weather, allowing us to visit my family to celebrate Christmas. Originally the get together was scheduled the preceding December, but an ice storm, followed by an intense winter of Sunday’s with bad road conditions, conspired to postpone the trip until April.
This Christmas we decided to take a run at Christmas early, so yesterday was the day of the big get together. My youngest sister hosted the event, preparing an allergen free feast. She not only prepared a turkey dinner with all the fixings, she also baked homemade bread, and Chelsea Buns. And that wasn’t all! My other sister, and my Mom, baked a lemon meringue pie from scratch, using freshly squeezed lemon juice, and two perfect apple pies. The lemon meringue was a particular treat, as concentrated lemon juice is laced with preservatives and off limits.
It was a lovely visit, with my two sisters, their partners, my niece, and my Mom. We had a good old chin wag!
The weather was cooperative, but not perfect. The first thirty minutes of the three hour trip were spent driving through a light blowing snow, that melted on contact, so that the road was wet and visibility was slightly obscured. Then it was clear until we came close to Lake Ontario, where we encountered more blowing snow, and heavy traffic. The drive back was similar, snow at either end of the trip, sweet and clear in the middle.
It was great to see my Mom, who is driving to Florida in two weeks for her annual stay there, she is a Snow Bird. She is fit and spritely, and visits the gym to workout regularly. She and my youngest sister are planning a visit to the gym this morning! My two sisters live near each other and are taking a tax course together, which they say they are enjoying. I shudder at that, I hate taxes, accounting, bookkeeping, budgeting. My youngest sister is on vacation this coming week, a staycation which will include taxating! [I’m makin’ up my own words again, taxating!]
We returned to a warm house, and a happy cat! Mist gets concerned when we gad about in the winter, convinced we will forget to light the fire, the centre of her known universe and alter of her winter worship. Yesterday morning before we left for our visit, Attila built a hefty fire, which carried the warm temperature in the house through the whole day.
When we arrived home it was 8:30 p.m., time to light another fire in the masonry heater. After building the fire and getting it going, Attila unloaded the car, and then began to flag. And no wonder, it was a long and exciting day! I sent him off to bed, and stayed up with the fire until close to midnight. The fire must be watched closely near the end of the burn, so that the dampers can be shut as soon as the last flame flickers; otherwise there is serious heat loss out the chimney. By the time the fire died out, I was very tired and ready for a good night’s rest!
The bedroom where I sleep is not heated, and I have been keeping the door closed during the day. The temperature in there has been 11C, as it has been other winters. This winter though, that is too cold for me, and is affecting my sleep. I awake stiff and sore from “huddling” in the bed, during my sleep, and the duration of my rest is shortened. Last night I wore a sweater with a hood to bed, and it made quite a difference. 15C is the ideal temperature for a comfortable night’s rest, which gives me something to aim for.
It has been storming all day, lots and lots and lots of snow! Attila called to say he was working through his lunch hour, nothing new there, and mentioned that tomorrow we are expecting a winter storm. I looked out the window at all that snow out there, and watched more billowing out the sky, and though, “a storm, this isn’t a storm, tomorrow is the storm, but not today, yikes”!
I am cooking some one pot meals that can be kept in the cooler, and heated on the propane stove, for easy meals when the power fails again. If there is a storm, the power will fail. Well, it already went out once this afternoon, but it came back within minutes.
SNOW SQUALL WATCH IN EFFECT
Date: 2:44 PM EST Monday 17 November 2014
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 99.9 kPa
Visibility: 2 km
Wind: SSE 5 km/h
Wind Chill: -2
“Keep drapes closed and pretend it is a lovely day outside.”
My Mom, today re the snow squalls. Way to go Mom!