Sunbeams

Tuesday a.m.

This morning I am sitting in sunbeams. I can close my eyes and feel the light; how glorious it is. Having the blinds open comes with a price this morning though, as it is -25C on the other side of the glass and the room is noticeably and quickly cooling. It is worth bundling up for though, to have sunbeams playing on my face. Sunshine is rare this winter, and it comes at a high price, cold snaps.

Attila heard the trees snapping in the deep freeze last night. I had already turned in for the night, and he stayed up to wait for, then dampen, the spent fire.

This winter is either colder than last, or my aging body has reached some sort of threshold. At night my shoulders can get uncomfortably cold, this is new. Also, the back of my head can get cold, again something new. I think I will consider a night cap, and fold down the comforter to double thickness, before I tuck it in around my shoulders at night. It is quite cold in the bedroom, and I sleep near the north wall, so during the coldest of nights, -30C and below, that area gets cold, but is still above freezing. We are experiencing our second, or is it our third, serious cold snap.

Eventually I may consider abandoning the bedrooms in the winter, and setup a sleeping arrangement near the masonry heater; I am not there yet though.

There are electric heaters in the house, but they are extremely expensive to use, and beyond our financial means as a source of heat, except for special occasions, like a few days at Christmas. The cost of hydro has doubled since we moved here, our income is lower.

Were I to design a house for this climate, it would have a central core of plumbing and heating, well away from exterior walls. The exterior doors would not open under the drip line of the roof. “Summer rooms” would surround the periphery of the floor plan, rooms to close down during the winter heating months. There are no houses designed in this way, although there may be a few architect designed seasonal homes that come close, built for the elite who really do not need to concern themselves with the cost of heating. Conventional floor plans, the ones used by builders for almost all of the housing in Canada, fail to adapt to local conditions in significant ways.

I would love to design a home adapted to the climate here!

Attila’s Mom just arrived home from a trip to the Southern USA. What a shock the weather had in store for her, back at home in Northern Michigan. She had a lovely trip by all accounts, visiting with her older sister, nieces, grandnephews and grandnieces. She and her sister both celebrate birthdays in the early part of January, so they were able to celebrate together this year. Terra shares the same birthday as Attila’s Mom, and Terra turned 30! Lares treated her to a weekend away at the same place they spent their honeymoon. Luna and Janus went along to share in the fun. They had a great time, by all accounts.

My winter trips to warmer climes involve moving my chair closer to the masonry heater, LOL!

Terra’s new puppy is called Maci. I can hear her yipping and jumping and playing in the background when we talk on the phone. I even got to see her when Terra and I spoke on Facetime.

Tuesday p.m.

Since the sun was shining and the roads were good today, Attila took three hours off work, left early, picked me up, and drove to the lab for his blood test. We hit the high spots, the grocery store and Home Depot, buying a few supplies and an extension cord. Things are tight right now, because all the Christmas bills are paid, including the extra heating bills, and that has emptied the coffers. We can’t complain about that, but we can’t spend much money either.

Our coffee machine, ordered from Sears using points, finally arrived at the Sears outlet. We picked it up during our excursion to the lab, which saved us an extra trip. Tomorrow morning it will be put the test!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

WIND CHILL WARNING IN EFFECT
-28°C: Low -32C
Date: 6:00 AM EST Tuesday 21 January 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -28.4°C
Dewpoint: -31.2°C
Humidity: 77%
Wind: NW 4 km/h
Wind Chill: -33 rising to Wind chill -40C

Quote

“It is by universal misunderstanding that all agree. For if, by ill luck, people understood each other, they would never agree.”
Charles Baudelaire
1821 – 1867

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6 Responses to Sunbeams

  1. WendyNC says:

    Maggie, would an electric blanket or electric mattress pad be something to consider for the future?

  2. Bex says:

    For some reason, no matter how cold our house gets at night (and we keep it set at around 62 overnight), my duvet on my bed keeps me toasty warm – at all times. And it’s not even an official duvet that I use, it’s just a spread with a duvet cover over it. I gave the goose-down-filled real duvet w/cover to Paul because he likes to be really warm in bed but I tend to be too hot and have to stick my feet outside. So I guess it’s just my body heat that keeps me warm inside the duvet.

  3. Maggie says:

    Good ideas Wendy! My sister uses an electric blanket when they visit their nearby cottage in the winter, and she really likes it. Our duvet does a great job at keeping our bodies warm, which is good for all but my head! My shoulders getting cold is something new this past week, but wearing a neck scarf to bed seemed to alleviate the problem. When we roll over cold air can find its way in around my neck, which is when my shoulders get cold. I think if I could sleep without moving it would be fine. I can’t sleep without moving!

  4. Maggie says:

    We have a duvet that works very well, but the shoulder and head are areas not covered by the duvet. When our house cools overnight it falls below 10C (50F) in the bedroom, probably significantly colder than that near the wall where my head rests. Wearing a neck scarf seems to help, and a toque. The toque rolls off my head though, as I toss and turn, so next I will try my wool cap with ties.

    The weather is supposed to warm up for the rest of the month, night time lows around -20C, it dropped to -37C last night, so it is possible I won’t have to worry about this again until next winter. Fingers crossed.

  5. WendyNC says:

    Maggie, my other thought for the head/neck/shoulders challenge is a hoodie, preferably one with a front zipper for easy access. When our upstairs furnace froze up recently, pulling that hood up made for comfortable sleeping.

  6. Maggie says:

    Excellent idea Wendy. Tonight is the night! I will definitely give the hood a go.

    Update January 23, 2014
    Wendy, it works perfectly!