The Gales of November

The Gales of November

The first snow squalls of the season arrived this morning, as the day wore on they intensified, melting away between squalls. They were heralded by an event. I was sitting at the table, enjoying a late breakfast, when the house went still and quiet and dim. The hydro was out. The wind blows, the hydro fails, a simple equation, and the stuff of rural living.

Shortly after the hydro went out, the snow blew in, sheets of it. Not a fair trade, in my estimation.

I called the hydro hotline, and reported the outage. The fellow told me there were no other reports, had me check the breakers in the panel, all OK. I could have told him that, the hydro is constantly going out, and it has never been the breakers. So he said he was sending the report directly the repair services department. He also asked me if their follow up call should be made after 11 p.m., “No thank you,” I said. When we wake up in the morning there will either be hydro, or there will not. If not, I will call the hotline again to see what is going on.

I conserved my laptop battery power, the blog entry being the only computer activity that went on while the power was out.

I am in pretty good shape in here, despite the arrival of the first winter storm. The masonry heater will keep on going regardless, and that is why we invested all the money to install this unit, and the time to maintain and use it. I will be warm today, in spite of the complete failure of our traditional electric heating system.

The biggest inconvenience is that when the hydro goes, so does our water supply. No water pump, no tap water, no toilet flushing water. I can manually flush the toilet with the emergency jugs of water that we keep in the basement, at least there is that! Of secondary importance is that we don’t like to open the refrigerator when the power is out, so our food choices are limited. There is a work around for that, by keeping plastic bottles of water on the porch, and using them indoors in a cooler. It is still above freezing now, being early in the season, so that will not work. I hesitate to put any foodstuffs in the screened in porch, the wildlife would have no problem finding a way to help themselves.

It is very fortunate that I did the online legwork for the vehicle purchase yesterday, while we still had power! Sometimes things just work out well, with no planning or strategizing. I love it when that happens.

The CarProof reports arrived today, the vehicle is clean, according to the report. That is the best we can do in the way of looking into the vehicle history, to see if it has experienced any traumatic events.

The power was out for two hours. It made me realize how much the flow of my day is dependent on electricity, as I spent the “down” time puttering with odd jobs, and reading a hardcover book.

Attila came home for lunch, cold, the temperature is dropping out there, as this storm moves in, snow squalls seem imminent. The wind chill factor is significant out there today. A hot lunch helped. A hot supper will help too, and then a roaring fire to sit in front of!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 3:08 PM EST Wednesday 12 November 2014
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Visibility: 15 km
Temperature: 0.1°C
Dewpoint: -2.7°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: WSW 15 gust 30 km/h


“A person is always startled when he hears himself seriously called an old man for the first time.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes
1809 – 1894

Interesting, he starts with the word person, and then seamlessly moves into the masculine he and himself and man.
I’ve often heard that they didn’t know any better, but I don’t believe that. I think they said exactly what they knew, that men were the only real persons walking the earth, and they assumed that women could and would not walk or talk as equals among them. Assumptions are a form of knowing.


  1. Bex

    yes, that and that a woman probably wouldn’t be called an “old man”!
    So sorry about your weather. Don’t forward it on to us please. My email is doing nasty things to me and after a week of trying to get it working, I am not much closer to a good result than when I started. I am just too old for this stuff anymore.

    stay warm!

  2. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    I see it as he’s talking about himself while still trying to generalize.

    Glad your power came back on quickly! But thank goodness you heat isn’t tied to your power.

    Our temps here are now below freezing, and while there doesn’t appear to be a true storm it looks like we have a good chance for lake effect snow on Thurs, Fri, Sun and Monday.

  3. Thanks Bex Attila is out there bringing in firewood as I write. This is the kind of evening we are glad we heat with wood!

    Sorry to hear about your email issues! I don’t think it has anything to do with age really, that you have issues. I worked in IT support at a university for years, and the students weren’t faring any better with the technology than the older professors. It just keeps getting more complicated! When you think about it, when you buy a car, you don’t expect to have to know about fuel injections systems to drive it down the road, so why would we expect to be troubleshooting computer issues when all we want to do is use the darn email address as advertised!!

    Hope you get it up and running without too much pain!

  4. Yes, Teri, I could see that, him talking about himself while trying to generalize.

    The temperature has dropped significantly here too, but the wind is what picks up the snow and thrashes it about wildly, so the squalls can be blinding. Luckily we have no where we need to go tonight! I hope we don’t get too much snow this weekend, as Attila and I have to travel!

  5. I *met* you last winter a month or two or three before winter left your neighborhood. It seemed to last such a long time, the cold and snow. It hardly seems possible that the calendar has brought your blog to masonry heating and snowstorms so soon. You are such a modern day pioneer! And so spirited! xoxo

  6. Time flies Reenie!

    Winter weather is six months long where we are, so it comes back quickly and sticks around! This year we thought to celebrate Christmas with my family well before the roads got tricky, in November. Nope. It hasn’t worked out! Next year, we are aiming to celebrate Christmas in October, and I will bet that winter arrives early, LOL!

    In Canada we have a group of retired people, affluent retired people, who are called snowbirds. They live in Canada for the six or so months of mild weather, and then migrate to the southern States for the winter months. My Mom is a snowbird. Not us though, not now and probably not ever. Still, our little house in the city seems downright tropical compared to the country house, so maybe if we get to move there we will find winter less odious.

  7. NORA

    Wow, what an introduction to winter weather this year and officially it isn’t winter until 12/21. You and Attila appear very, very resourceful. I imagine rural living teaches that.

    No power for 2 hours. I guess there was time to reflect and realize once again how dependent we all have become on it. I’m glad it was for only 2 hours!

    I would love to be a snowbird! We got a taste of it while traveling in the 80s and camping with the folks that were snowbirds. It seemed like a very interesting life style to me. I know just traveling and camping for the three months we did while traveling across country holds some of the best memories of my life so far. Everyday literally a new beginning. Love that feeling.

  8. I am incredibly dependent on electricity! From reading online books, to writing this journal, to browsing around the internet looking for ideas, shopping, the list goes on!

    Your camping trip sounds like a lot of fun Nora! I have always wanted to travel, but made a few decisions in life that prevented it from happening. In my first marriage the person was terrified to travel, scared of everyone, unless we stayed in the “best” places, no “riff raff” for him to contend with. I would rather stay home than travel that way, so we stayed home. Then I was a single Mom, had to support the girls. Then Attila’s jobs have been six day a week affairs with few if any vacation days. We have become experts at the “staycation”, but still, I dream of travel!

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