First Snow

I follow a few online groups that allow members to offer free items, and to request free items. To date I have not needed any of the items on offer, but you never know. Why do I continue to follow these groups if I have nothing to offer, and need nothing? Well, for one thing, they amuse me. People mostly offer free items like egg cartons, broken bathroom scales, or a half a bag of sand. People mostly request things like beds, exercise bikes, washing machines, computers, or cell phones. I find it hilarious that the items people are giving away are so very divergent from what people seem to want free of charge. And of course, I just might find a recycled gem in there, something we could truly use, and used will do.

I am sitting in my new comfortable rocking chair gazing out of the living room window. there is a stiff breeze, and it is snowing. It is a light snow, which will probably melt on contact. Our first snow of the season. I really must press Attila to get Iris the trailer positioned so that snow can be easily removed around her, and to move the snow blower into the new garden shed. Moving the snow blower involves removing the garage door to get it out, so it is a project that will take a whole evening, or half a day. Better to get it done now than wait until we are desperate to use it!

I continue to drastically cut my sodium intake, it has been almost a week and there has been no affect on my blood pressure at all, it is still just as high as it was when I first became concerned about it. I have also begun 20 minutes of vigorous house cleaning every day, a period where I don’t stop moving, and am up and down stairs quite a bit. I used to these tasks intermittently, now I am doing everything in a cluster of activity. This has no perceivable effect on my blood pressure levels. Splitting the high cholesterol pills and taking the half dose daily has similarly no perceivable affect on my high blood pressure. The quadrupled dosage of blood pressure lowering medication has had no perceivable affect on my blood pressure levels. I can feel whatever the problem is as a pressure in my head. I will be taking myself back to the walk-in clinic very soon.

I remember when my Grandmother began having strokes, before there were effective medications to control high blood pressure. She was advised to make what the “experts” now call “lifestyle changes”, like walking every day. She did all of this, but she continued to suffer from small strokes, and eventually had a massive stroke that took her life. This condition is hereditary, it is serious, and I will resist being sent home by medical people to alter my lifestyle, when my lifestyle has been, and is, relatively healthy to begin with. My Granny led a wonderfully healthy lifestyle, she just pulled a short straw in the genetic draw, and it looks like I might have as well.

Other than the snow, it has been an entirely unremarkable day.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 8:00 PM EDT Thursday 27 October 2016
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 3.1°C
Dew point: 2.4°C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: ENE 14 km/h
Visibility: 6 km


“Follow the grain in your own wood.”
Howard Thurman


The blizzard arrived this morning. We were expecting it yesterday afternoon. Around six inches of snow fell over the course of the night. As morning light seeped through the white veil, the snowfall intensified, as did the wind. The wind has been literally roaring. With a wind chill of -33, three firings will be mandatory in the masonry heater. So far we have hydro, so I baked a pan of mincemeat squares, cooked a batch of spaghetti sauce, and have taken a shower while there is hot water.

Attila is out there, in the cold, for his eight hours. When he gets home he will be toting wood and removing snow. The snow plough went by about ten minutes before Attila came home for lunch, leaving me no lead time for shovelling. I need a lot of lead time because I work very slowly. So Attila parked on the road and shovelled out a spot for the car, parked it, then made his way into the house for a bite of lunch. Luckily we have a snow blower to use on the remainder of the driveway. This snow is ideal for a snow blower. The flakes are completely frozen, the drifts soft and voluminous.

The nearby highway is closed again, for the second time this winter. This is the first winter I remember that highway being closed at all, during the last ten years that we have lived here.

“Snow Banks” are accumulating on the tree branches, despite the high winds. All that whiteness in the distance is snow banks on the branches, twenty feet off the ground, or higher. I have to admit this is the first time I have seen this, but then, I have only lived a total of twenty years in the near north, so what do I know!

The storm here is predicted to blow itself away by tomorrow afternoon, and then on Thursday, remarkably, there is to be a day of sunshine. And then, the temperature will rise significantly! The January thaw is just around the corner.

I think about the -50C wind chill on the prairies, and I shudder. No wonder the first white settlers in the Canadian West used thick sod as a building material!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 9:00 AM EST Tuesday 7 January 2014
Condition: Heavy Snow
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Visibility: 0.2 km
Temperature: -20.6°C
Dewpoint: -22.9°C
Humidity: 82%
Wind: SSW 26 gust 43 km/h
Wind Chill: -33


“When I’m working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.”
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895 – 1983)