Stormy Weather

Stormy Weather

Today is a day to work on the genealogy book. It is painful, trying to get the images just right. Layout is tricky business too, where to put what is crucial to a tolerable result. So far I have prepared eight images to the correct specifications. I have yet to successfully place one though, on the pages of text. Since this book will have over 130 pages of text, and more of images, it is going to take some time. Once I develop skills and know how, it should go a little faster. The learning curve is long, not steep, just long.

Another project on my list is to get FaceTime up and running. It will be used as an alternative form of communication with Attila during my solo visits to the little house in the city. We have been using Skype, but the poor quality of the connection makes it less than ideal.

One thing I would dearly like to accomplish in the next few months, is to find an honest, down to earth, reliable, reasonably priced place to take our vehicles for regular maintenance. The dealership where we bought our Matrix is an hour away, and the prices for normal maintenance are a little high. Which wouldn’t be so bad, but what truly discourages me from taking the car back to them, is that they are always trying to UPSELL. What a disgusting concept that is, upsell. What it means in most establishments is that they are trying to convince you to buy something you do not need, and probably do not want. The car dealership always finds something wrong that they pressure me to fix, or buy some kind of coverage, or, well, they just always want me to spend more, and more, and more. We need a place to take the vehicles to have regular maintenance done, and not have someone looking for that extra buck, at our expense. Maybe I’m dreaming.

Snow Squall: Well it is almost a snow squall, but not really. This is looking out towards the road, some 60 feet away, taken as I am standing at the dining room window. The trees across the road are obscured by the heavy snowfall. This is the raw material for a snow squall, this pictured snowfall. When the wind whips up the evergreen in the foreground becomes obscured from view. Visibility is good, not so good, bad, really bad, and can change from minute to minute. That is why snow squalls are so dangerous to drive in, poor visibility can descend on you within seconds.
Snow Squall: A calm moment late in the afternoon. Five inches of the stuff is sitting on the deck railings, white and fluffy and pretending innocence. It is still snowing heavily, but the wind has subsided.

Worldly Distractions


Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Visibility: 2 km
Temperature: -0.9°C
Dewpoint: -1.8°C
Humidity: 94%
Wind: WNW 11 km/h
Wind Chill:


“Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.”
1694 – 1778

I think this is a very good reason not to go down in it!


  1. NORA

    Maggie, I am wondering about your project with the genealogy book. Is this for the family or something to market? It sounds like a lot of work both in finding the correct materials and then setting it all up for printing. It must be fascinating though.

    FaceTime, why I have never heard of it but that comes as no surprise. I tend to think I live under a rock, particularly when it comes to cyber anything.

    UPSELL might equal UPSET to some!

    Love the snow. Oh, Maggie I just have always loved snow. Something about it makes me come alive. The air is so fresh and clean and I get frisky! Glad you are safe and warm in your cozy nest. x0x0x0

  2. Gathering the information for my genealogy book has been an ongoing project since 1996. It is for my own family, although I anticipate some sales to libraries. I am fooling around with software and options, tried and found it frustrating, now I am trying and we shall see how that goes. Once I settle on what software to use, I will know better how to proceed. I don’t enjoy looking for the right software and venue for publishing the book, but once all of those decisions are made, the project will be a lot more fun.

    Nora, snow is wonderful, in reasonable doses! Since we have lived in the country, slowly but surely, snow has come to represent hard work. The first snow is usually quite magical, and the expanses of white seem beautiful until into January, and then the novelty wears off. By March it is a tough slog to see the month through until April, when it all finally begins to melt away.

  3. Maggie, I waver between loving your snow pics and feeling uneasy. Snow can be so very beautiful. You can stand there in the hush and muffled sounds of it all, or on a cold day you can hear the little bell-tinkling sound the snow makes as it hits the ground. And in the heavy, rushing snows the sound is almost exactly like a waterfall tumbling down. So beautiful, both in sounds and in the way it looks, from tiny crystal to snowy expanse. Still, having been caught in blinding snow squalls, I know the fear of it too.

    Your description of setting up your book reminds me of work I’m doing on my company webpage right now. I just noticed an activity report that said that people are using larger screen resolutions now, so I’m enlarging my webpages. I desperately needed to expand to more pages due to having many more products and types of products now, so I needed more space for links and pictures. I’m doing this as a stop-gap measure. Writing the html isn’t too bad, but most likely in December I’ll be tearing things down and using some kind of web editor to create a new page that does more than what I’m capable of with my limited html knowledge.

    Hope you’re enjoying a lovely evening by the firelight as snow sifts down around you.

  4. Nora

    Oh, Maggie that is beyond a project! That is a long time. Your heart and soul have been poured into this.

    I am familiar with the downside of winter….I lived in NY for most of my life. I do love snow but know the novelty does wear off after several months. The first real snow is the best.

  5. I haven’t worked on my family’s genealogy, but have spent many hours researching the provenance of my art. I sometimes spend many hours trying to trace an artist. This project of mine would’ve never been this difficult if I’d kept a paper trail etc as I added to my collection. *sigh*

    Yesterday my FEDX driver delivered a painting. We got to talking about the weather and the threat of snow, which actually didn’t appear last night as I thought it would. I was stunned to hear him say that there are areas he won’t drive when there’s snow… and my neighborhood is one of those areas. My home is about 2 miles of skinny paved road to the main road. There are numerous dips and rises with no guard rails and plenty of ravines. Though I’m pretty certain no one would be killed or badly injured, who wants to slide into a ravine – even a shallow one? His remarks validated my choice to stay home even with the slightest snow.

  6. Bex

    “…The car dealership always finds something wrong that they pressure me to fix, or buy some kind of coverage, or, well, they just always want me to spend more, and more, and more…”

    You can substitute “car dealership” for almost any type of company these days, especially “car mechanic,” “computer guru” etc. I heard a radio interview last night (parts of it) about a group of people who are into “fixing” things rather than resorting to throwing away gadgets that break, like laptops, keyboards, computers, etc. It was quite illuminating as to how do-able it would be to fix our own gadgets (some, not all) instead of just tossing them into the dump-pile and thereby polluting the earth evermore. It’s an idea whose time has come – The Fixers!

  7. Yes Teri, I think anyone who has been caught in snow squalls has a healthy respect for the power of inclement weather. My sister told me that once, when her kids were little, during the winter she had such severe cabin fever that she bundled the kids and began the three hour drive to a museum, through snow squalls. She said she hadn’t realized when she left home just what “snow squalls” would entail. She said the trip was terrifying, but she made it safe and sound, and never tried travelling snow squalls again!

    Teri, your work sounds interesting. Sometimes I look at items on Etsy, there are some real gems there. I don’t like kijiji, or ebay, as a rule, although I have purchased things through ebay, and the old dented freezer at the little house in the city was found through kijiji. I paid a lot of attention to web design for a number of years, ran my own server, etc., then lost interest in it and moved onto other things.

  8. Nora, you are so right about he genealogy project, it has been a long-term labour of love. Working on it lets me feel connected to my Granny and Grandpa, and the healthy community they helped to create.

    Yes, the first snow, and these first days of white are wonderful. Last winter I snuck out and made a snow angel, hoping not to be seen by the neighbours – small town, big gossip. I succeeded with my stealth angel!

  9. Reenie, your art collection is such a wonderful expression of self, and celebration of other. It must feel incredibly satisfying, to sit amidst all that beauty and creativity, and know that you brought it all together!

    Keeping records is the painful part of collecting, in my view. I could speed through my genealogy research if I skipped recording sources. Over the past 20 years I have tried a few referencing shortcuts, and they came back to bite me, so now I slog through the boring aspect of the research, recording sources. I call my genealogy research “knitting with people”; what a beautiful woven fabric emerges!

  10. I love the idea of “The Fixers” Bex! Wouldn’t it be grand to keep appliances and machines running smoothly for decades. I grow attached to my appliances, knowing their quirks and foibles, getting the best performance out of them. The thing is though, there are only a few appliances actually made here in North America, I think Bunn coffee makers are made in USA, and the All American Pressure Canner is made in the USA, my Paderno Canadiana cooking pots are made in Canada. We will probably need another new coffee maker in the next year or so, as the new one we will start using next week, made in China, will probably only last a year or so.

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