Whistle While You Work

Whistle While You Work

It seems we are just getting started with the really cold weather. The prediction for tonight’s overnight low is -20C, with a windchill of -24C. When we lived at the Country House, we would not have considered this extremely cold, it had to dip to -30C or colder for that. But here at Mist Cottage -20C is very cold indeed.

The colder weather means that our heating has switched to the oil furnace, which is a very dry heat. The humidity in the house is dropping steadily, and measures are being taken in an attempt to keep it above 30% relative humidity. Clean wet laundry is being washed in small loads, and hung on racks in the living room, which helps. Trays of water are placed in front of each heating vent; they empty quickly. Bath water is left in the tub for a day, to maximize evaporation.

On Saturday, into Sunday, we received a lot of snow. Nothing like the amount that our Atlantic provinces have just experienced, where Newfoundland declared a state of emergency, but a lot of snow relative to this area. Attila got it all shoveled into banks.

By late Sunday morning I was feeling sufficiently recovered, from the bug I have picked up, to help with the snow removal project by brushing the snow off of the vehicles. I was out there for almost an hour, snow brush in hand. It was very cold and I stayed out too long, my fingers suffered. Not since I was a child have my fingers suffered the cold so severely, they stung for about 15 minutes after I came back in the house. At first I was concerned that I might have frostbite, but the fingers were pink and healthy looking, thank goodness. But my oh my, did they sting as they slowly warmed.

I took it easy late last week and through the weekend, but I did manage to get a few tasks completed. I baked muffins for Attila’s lunches. I also baked another loaf of Panettone, this time adding flax seed and substituting a half cup of rolled oats for the some of the whole wheat flour.. It tastes wonderful, and the texture is crumblier. I will be experimenting with this recipe to see if I can add more ingredients such as seeds, and perhaps some nuts. Eventually the recipe will morph into a healthier and healthier loaf.

Attila had the last load of drywall delivered on Saturday morning, before the snow storm hit. He got it safely stowed away in the garage, and has been installing a few sheets. The frigid weather has slowed his progress.

Today I was going to have a small skin biopsy, not thought to be a serious health risk, but a thing that needed to be done. This is a medical facility that has my records, and that I have visited regularly for several years. But my regular health care person has moved on to other things, and I am now assigned to a new health care person. So we are starting from scratch. As a result, due to my anaphylaxis, I was unable to get the biopsy today, and will have to push to get it at a future date, without freezing. The anaphylaxis adds an incredible level of complication to otherwise routine health care procedures.

Life can be hard work sometimes, and luckily during my formative years I received an excellent tip from an indirect source, “Whistle While You Work“. Puckering up now!



Date: 5:00 AM EST Monday 20 January 2020
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 103.1 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -16.6°C
Wind: WNW 7 km/h
Wind Chill: -22


“The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.”
Bertrand Russell
1872 – 1970


  1. Teri

    It’s been very cold here too, the last few days. We ended up with about 10 inches of snow. Before this we’d only get a few inches at a time and they’d melt within days. Might take a while, this time.

    Best wishes for your biopsy! I had a few skin concerns last year and saw a dermatologist, and was floored as she briskly went “Nope. Nope. Nope.” Well, I guess I don’t have to worry, I now know I’m over cautious in my estimations of what might be a skin oddity.

    Stay warm!

  2. Teri, our weather is similar to yours this winter. We didn’t get as much snow as you did over the weekend, just around 6 inches. The weather people say it is going to warm up to -3C tomorrow, and 0C on Tuesday, so fingers crossed we lost some of this snow! Skin issues are difficult to assess, I think your caution is warranted, better safe than sorry. It would cost the health care a lot more money if an issue was not caught early, so i figure caution is the most practical course to take.

  3. Brrr! It sounds really cold there! We had some snow here on the Pacific Coast, and it completely snarled things up…We are just not used to it! I don’t think our city even owns snow plows! Any way, everything is melted now, and we have tons of rain. Too bad about your health care person leaving—that always causes the patient a lot of work.

  4. Diane, I have only visited Vancouver twice, once on a vacation decades ago, and once to attend a friend’s wedding. I loved the city, and the surrounding area. Surprisingly, both of my visits were dominated by sunny weather, it didn’t rain! Snow is problematic when it is unexpected, and cities cannot prepare for every rare event that nature brings, so the infrastructures and population densities just don’t deal well with surprising natural events. I’ve just been watching a Wyoming University video about the 1949 winter storms they experienced. Nature is in charge!
    A new health care person is a lot of work, I am optimistic they will adjust though, given time and patience.

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