Taking a Stand

It is still snowing today. It is getting a lot warmer now, with a temperature this morning of -12C, and predicted to be above freezing within the next few days.

The plough went by before 9:00 a.m. and I considered going out to shovel out the pile left at the end of the driveway. But the snowbanks are too high for me now, I would have to lift the snow above my shoulders to get it up and onto the snow banks. The risk is not reasonable. It will have to wait for Attila and the snowblower. Our snowblower is a big heavy-duty affair, which it needs to be, requiring more strength than I possess to operate.

Tonight Attila will spend a few hours shovelling the snow from the deck, it is almost three feet deep now. In the next few days the snow will come off the roof, and he will have to shovel the deck again!

Attila eats at least four times as many calories as I do, and he sometimes has trouble keeping the weight on. No wonder.

We eat at home every day, except when we visit friends and family. We cook most of what we eat “from scratch”. Our kitchen is the busiest room in our house. We use our appliances relentlessly.

An appliance that we operate at least twice, each and every day, is the coffee machine. When Luna and Janus got married we bought them a relatively expensive coffee machine, a Bunn. I bought one for Attila for Christmas that same year, 2001. This week the Bunn coffee machine failed, after 12 years of continuous daily use. It was certainly worth the investment! The added bonus for us, since we moved to this country house, is that the Bunn sits in an unheated room downstairs, and provides enough heat to keep that room above freezing all winter long.

Attila insisted he did not want another relatively expensive coffee machine. We have Sears points on our Sears card, accumulated since our vacation in September. There were enough points to buy one of the least expensive coffee machines, so I ordered it online, to be delivered to the local Sears catalogue outlet. Sears would not let me use all of my points though, I know not why, so the bill came to about $8.00, plus the gas to drive 60 km to the outlet and back. By the end of the month we should have a coffee machine again. In the meantime Attila has found a way to make coffee with the worn out Bunn, but that will only work for a limited time. If that fails we will use our campfire percolator.

Attila had planned to work on installing drywall this winter. We still have bare studs above the kitchen. The severe weather we have experienced since the beginning of December has consumed every available waking moment. All of Attila’s free time has been used for firewood management and snow removal, with the exception of our Christmas visit to the little house in the city and Terra’s Christmas get together. And we haven’t finished digging out from under all this snow yet! The drywall project has not even crossed our minds this winter!

It has been impossible to make any sort of plans. I am hoping to spend some time at the little house in the city in February, and again in March. These plans may or may not come to fruition. We also thought to visit with family in January, as the weather prevented a Christmas visit. I am not hopeful! The family has decided that they favour a wine tasting tour as a January family get together. I am deathly allergic to the preservatives used in wines, so this event is not only uninteresting to Attila and I, it could be quite dangerous for me. This tour doesn’t work for me, and for a variety of reasons it doesn’t work for some other family members, who also will not be attending. Maybe we will visit in the spring, when my Mom comes back from Florida.

Since inactivity is such an issue this winter, I have decided to take a stand, and stand for at least two consecutive hours every day. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you exist 24/7 in a small and confined space, any activity at all is liberating. I will continue to close down the computer for five minutes of walking every half hour.

This is where I stand when I am taking a stand. As you can see there is a lot of snow on the other side of the glass! Attila will shovel all it off the deck tonight, after work, after dark.

In spite of the severe weather, I have been quite comfortable here in the country house. Mist and I have been warm, well-fed and happy, although confined to one room. I have been out to shovel snow a few times since December 28th, but have not left the property since we got back from our trip to the little house in the city.

On another note, many years ago I created a web site for an organic farmer. Over the years he and his wife have become friends. The arrangement has been perfect, I volunteer to maintain the site, and they send high quality organic food to Attila and I. I still maintain the website for my friends, and they donate to my wellbeing by sending dried organic basil, lots of dried organic basil. We use a lot of basil during the course of a year. An email message arrived yesterday to let me know that the basil is on the way. Last year the staff at the post office found the aroma of the package wonderful. As far as Attila and I are concerned, you can never have too much basil!

Worldly Distractions


Light Snow
Date: 9:03 AM EST Thursday 9 January 2014
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 103.5 kPa
Visibility: 15 km
Temperature: -12.2°C
Dewpoint: -13.4°C
Humidity: 91%
Wind: SE 5 km/h
Wind Chill: -15


“A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view, a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.”
Junot Diaz

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Snow, snow everywhere and nowhere to put it!! Your snow plight certainly resonates with me. My hubby is away in India for two weeks and I have been barely managing to keep the driveway reasonably cleared. The white walls are closing in as I can no longer hoist the shovel high enough. It’s more about pushing it around now. I had abdominal surgery a few weeks ago and so have to go at it very gently and often. I summon my pioneer spirit and chide myself for complaining when single women friends older than I are managing to get the job done (and many other jobs that I never have to do!).