Kitchen Shelf

It is cold again, the temperature having dropped to -19C overnight, and now rising. When it gets that cold I begin to feel my age. This is a new phenomena, and a sign of days to come.

The thermostat (I love the thermostat) is set to 21.5C, it remains set at that temperature year round. But that does not mean there are no variations in the micro-environment of the house. My relationship with that micro-environment is becoming more intimate as time goes by.

When the temperature at night falls as low as -18C, the usual hand crocheted blanket on my bed is not up to protecting my hips from the cold. The only placement for the bed, there are no other options, is against the wall. The walls are poorly insulated. The location of the bed is colder than the temperature on the thermostat. The cold seeps in from the walls, slowly making its way towards the thermostat. Where the cold begins its journey inward at the wall, I lie in slumber. While the blanket provides adequate protection from the cold, there is one exception; my hips. I have little to no fat on my hips, the bones have no layer of protection. In the morning, I experience significant pain in both hips for a few hours after awakening, before movement and ambient warmth in the house alleviate the issue.

The solution is to throw another blanket over the bed at night. After forgetting to do this on the first night of a cold snap, discomfort ensures that the extra blanket finds its way to the bed the next morning.

On Tuesday evening the new kitchen shelf was installed. Hooray!

All day yesterday I was busy in the kitchen, organizing the cupboards, refilling jars, sorting out the most used items that will live on the new shelf. Awkward containers were emptied into convenient mason jars. Newly filled jars of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves now sit within easy reach. Small treasures from the garden, in small mason jars, will no longer be forgotten at the back of a cupboard. Dried chamomile flowers for tea, lavender blooms for flavouring, and coriander seeds pose where the eye can rest. Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder.

The new kitchen shelf, it sits just below the window, and above the table. The small jar of ginger, and the tin of cloves will be used before the contents of the jars. On the right there are three jars without labels, one of bulgur, one of millet, and one of couscous.



Date: 6:00 AM EST Thursday 30 January 2020
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -13.2°C
Dew point: -15.8°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: NE 12 km/h
Wind Chill: -26
Visibility: 24 km


“…humility is the foundation of all learning…”

Richard Wagamese, Indian Horse – words of the Grandmother to the Grandson

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Eileen Barton

The shelf turned out really well. I am not a big fan of cold weather. My daughter and I made microwaveable heating pads filled with corn and I like to heat one up and stick it in my bed right before I climb into it. Doesn’t stay warm all night but long enough to heat up the bed for a good while.


That’s really nice shelving. In the winter I tape my bedroom window with clear insulation tape and hang and tape clear plastic over it. It really cuts down on drafts due to the old window frames I have. Spring isn’t that far away!