the new year

Attila and I celebrated New Years Eve with a long, cozy FaceTime chat. When we rang off at 10 p.m. we were both headed for our pillows. We greeted each other first thing the next morning, the next year, and chatted over coffee, before signing off and getting down to little odd jobs around our respective places of residence. We spoke several times during the day, and ended our first day of the New Year with another long and cozy chat.

On New Years Eve and New Years Day I chatted with Harriet, who has time off work right now. My Mom wrote to say she was enjoying walking with her friends, playing cards, and just generally having a great time. Terra stopped by for a brief chat after her session at the nearby gym, Lares side of the family provides a lot of drama in their lives. They don’t need “reality” TV!

Yesterday my “big adventure” was a trip to the laundromat. I gathered up the dirty laundry into a pillow case, donned my coat, carried it out to Tank, and drove to the nearby laundromat. Once there I carried in my laundry, and realized, just after entering through the door, that I had not brought the laundry soap! So, back out to Tank I went, drove home, grabbed the laundry soap, and then drove back to the laundromat.

After washing the laundry, I decided to dry it a bit before taking it home. The dryers were stacked. I loaded my laundry into the lower dryer, put the quarter in and hit the start button. The empty dryer above sprang into action, drying nothing at all. I had a closer look at the panels. BIG arrows indicated where to put your change for the upper and the lower dryer. In a new environment auto-pilot does not work well! I got out my change purse and set the lower dryer in action.

The clothes were damp when I loaded them into the pillow case to take them home. I had decided to hang them to dry at home, since the humidity in the house is now at 33%, which is quite low. I draped socks and underwear, t-shirts and trousers, all over the chairs in the living room and dining room. It looked pretty chaotic, but this would only be a temporary situation.

I decided to make a large macaroni and cheese casserole, to eat intermittently with my chili, for my supper. I use dry macaroni, and make a white sauce with cheese when I make macaroni and cheese. The kitchen is small, so as I was finishing there were dirty dishes everywhere, cheese grater, pots and pans, wooden spoons. More chaos!

That was when Terra arrived. Since I had to clear a chair for her to sit on, I apologized for the chaos.

She said, “Mom, if I had to follow a tunnel through piles of newspapers and boxes, then I would be worried about you. You have seen my house at times, stop worrying!”

One of the things I love about Terra is that she says exactly what she thinks. There are no guessing games with Terra! Most of the time this is refreshing, occasionally it can be disconcerting, and I wouldn’t have her any other way!

I have managed to go for my walk every day for over a week now, and I feel much better for it. It is worth repeating the advice to wear two pairs of socks, and firmly secure the laces on boots, as this has made all the difference in the world. My blister is almost healed and I do not feel it at all when I am walking.

I do notice that the knee I injured last summer bothers me a bit on my walks. When I sense that it is tired I slow my pace, and then quicken it slowly. I notice the other people out walking always pass me by, as they walk much more quickly than I do. But you know, I am just grateful to be out there walking!

Colder weather is on the way next week, according to the weather people.

As Attila says, “At is January!”

This morning it was -10C and windy, so there was a significant wind chill factor. My parka was made for days like this! I bought this parka in 1993, so it is 21 years old. It has been my only winter coat for that long, I have no other. It is a GoreTex parka, made for inclement weather, made in Canada. It cost the moon when I bought it, but when you consider this parka is in almost new condition after 21 years of constant use, it was very inexpensive over the long term. The benefits are outstanding. I bought a men’s size large, there was method in my madness. The parka has a thin lining, that will keep me warm if I am active in temperatures as low as -15C. Because it fits bigs, I can layer under it, so that at -35C, with a Cowichan sweater underneath, the parka will keep me warm for hours, and if I am active, indefinitely. It is windproof, so I do not loose body heat to high winds. It is waterproof, so I can walk in winter rain and remain comfortable and dry.

I have been so happy with my GoreTex parka that I bought GoreTex winter boots, that lace up. My feet are always warm and dry, even when it is -35C, even in winter rain.

There is some efficacy in the saying that there is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-10°C
Date: 8:00 AM EST Saturday 3 January 2015
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 103.2 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -10.2°C
Dewpoint: -14.3°C
Humidity: 72%
Wind: NE 12 km/h
Wind Chill: -16

Quote

“My pipe is out, my glass is dry;
My fire is almost ashes too;
But once again, before you go,
And I prepare to meet the New:
Old Year! a parting word that’s true,
For we’ve been comrades, you and I —
I thank God for each day of you;
There! bless you now! Old Year, good-bye!”

Robert Service, The Passing of the Year

11 Comments

  1. Bex

    I’d say of all the things you did this day, I am most envious of 1) the walk; and 2) the mac and cheese! I need to think about making one of those soon. I made a veggie/potato/leek/cheddar soup the other night and we are still eating it each night. It was a spontaneous invention on my part and it came out so good. xxxx

  2. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Most of the time I don’t walk outside when the weather is really bad. After damaging my knee so badly last year that I was doing one step at a time on the stairs for close to 6 months I thought I’d better be careful.

    I remember when DH and I first met. We lived about an hour and a half apart and would talk through Yahoo messenger or on the phone for hours.

    Over here, it’s snowing like crazy. That’s fine. I’m just not looking forward to freezing rain.

  3. You’ve given me an idea about boots. I have Sorels, but find my feet are still cold in them. I think it’s all about the socks, but … will check into Goretex, as my Sorels aren’t holding up well; the fabric outside the zippers has torn. I’ve had a seamstress repair one tear, and now there are two others in different places. Also, the zippers work their way down and so the boots are loose on my feet and I can feel them slipping over my heels while I walk. No blisters, but still they don’t feel secure and I worry about GETTING a blister. I wonder if moccasins or mukluks might work as well for warmth and support on my country road. Hm. Anyway, good on you for walking every day! Even a short walk has a positive effect on outlook, I find. It’s the magic of outdoor air and sunlight, and trees and birds.

  4. I’m glad you’re not housebound and are able to get out and about. I’m also there with you in the “men’s size large” coats, these here in the polar fleece, as Yuma temps are more mild, but still a nice long coat keeps the rump cozy! (And the long sleeves helps keep the hands warm.)

  5. It sounds like you and Attila have a good system for communication. Your Laundromat adventure had more adventure than I would ordinarily see in a week! The winter I lived in Nashville, I hand washed my laundry (long boring story) and draped it everywhere to dry. Whatever works!

  6. I am here at last! Just after I posted this entry my wordpress account went haywire. I wasn’t playing with it, I think someone else was! Suddenly I needed a password to access my admin functions. I contacted the host, because I hadn’t setup any password protection, and it took them until today to get back to me. They told me exactly which directory had been password protected, so I went and unprotected it, and here I am. There is an ongoing ticket to figure out how/who setup the password protection, since it wasn’t me. Creepy. But probably some kind of programme loop, or obscure security measure that was activated by something I did.

    I am still embroiled in this, and will be back here to chat when I get it sorted!

  7. Bex, the walk is something to be grateful for!! About twenty years ago I tore a muscle in my back, tore, I heard it rip, scary! I couldn’t walk about for more than six months. There were times when I though I would never be able to go for a walk again. Thankfully, within a few years, with a lot of hard work, I was back to my walks. I don’t take it for granted!

    Your soup sounds wonderful!

  8. Teri, it snowed here too, quite a storm! Then it rained. Then the snow plough went by. Then I had what seemed like TONS of wet slush to shovel, what a job. I have read about heart attacks caused by shovelling snow, so I took my sweet time, and it took hours to shovel only part of the driveway, the part with the most snow. Then I gave up!

    Long distance relationships are OK, as long as they end in close distance relationships!

  9. Thanks Joan! It is great to be able to get out and about! What a difference it makes, I really can’t find words to adequately describe the different it makes!

    LOL, you are so right, covering the rump is an important aspect of keeping warm!

  10. Reenie, I love the concept “whatever works!” That must have been some experience, doing all your laundry by hand and draping it around your space to dry. I have been doing a little bit of that, but then I get lazy and traipse off to the laundromat to let it all wash in one load in a machine, lol.

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