Winter Arrived!

I have been thinking about Icarus, a person who reached his potential in a manner of speaking, an individual who followed his dream, soared with the eagles, believed in himself, dared to break the rules. I often wonder about the advice given by those who were positioned in life to catch the right updrafts, and were blessed with the right sort of wings; I wonder at their assumption that the ingredients to their rise is due to their own desires and determination. I guess death, who so far as I know none of us escapes, will provide them with their Icarus moment.

On Saturday Attila and I headed out to the Rideau Camp, after a leisurely morning, lingering over our morning coffee. The weather was beautiful, warm, windy, and sunny, it would have seemed a lovely day even if it had arrived in July or August. Within an hour of our arrival we were down to our short sleeved shirts, and even then felt hot when we exerted ourselves. Attila stacked logs, I burned brush, and from time to time we both sat enjoying the roar of wind gusts and the rattle of bare branches. We knew it was the end of the fair weather season, so before we left we stacked our chairs, tipped the picnic table on its side so that the snow would slide off it, and arranged all the logs and branches for future burning where they could easily dry after the snow melts come spring. Reluctantly we left for home as the sun began to disappear behind the clouds, in the late afternoon. We drove under increasingly cloudy skies, through very strong winds. Soon it began to rain, just a few drops on the windshield at first, which turned into a downpour as we approached our driveway.

On Sunday morning winter arrived with a flourish. The temperature hovered around freezing then began to fall, and a light rain fell through the early morning. The trip to the grocery store around noon included walking across a very windy parking lot, hunkered down against the falling temperature. We came out of the grocery store to find vehicles recently arrived from north of town, covered with snow. Shortly after we arrived home the snow began to fall here, at first mixed with rain, but soon turning to small white flakes whipping across the view out the window. For me this is the first snow of the season, because it is accumulating for the first time, rather than melting on contact.

Cooking without using salt is going to take some getting used to. Today’s menu includes a lasagna pasta casserole, made with macaroni, meat sauce, and soft cheeses. After reading the label on the can of spaghetti sauce, it was shocking to discover that the small can of sauce contained 3699 mg of sodium. Clearly the contents could not be used for my low sodium meat sauce. So the content of the can was divided into three lots, two frozen in jars for future use, and one lot added to the meat sauce, bringing the total sodium content of the sauce to 1233 mg of sodium. A can of sodium free canned tomatoes were added as well. The recipe will probably provide us with two meals, which is four hearty servings, so that each serving will contain 308 mg of sodium, which is acceptable for a meal. Finding a canned tomato sauce with a low-sodium content is on my to-do list.

Attila spent Sunday reorganizing the garage. We will be using the garage door as our main entrance through the winter months, and right now one has to navigate a tunnel of junk to get into the house. The front door opens directly into our small living space, and when it is opened in the winter, the heat is sucked out the door within seconds. The garage entrance is sheltered, and the basement is not heated, so that not nearly as much heat is lost when that entrance is used. The other advantage to not using the front door during the winter is that snow need only be removed when it gets deep enough to obstruct opening the door, which is not very often.

Drying laundry on a clothesline during a snowstorm does not work well, as Attila discovered yesterday. The clothes were covered in snow when he brought them back in. We have two very handy folding drying racks, they are set up in the hallway, and his clothes should be dry by morning. He cannot dry them in the dryer, because he works with lubricating oils, which end up penetrating his coveralls to soil his clothing. Those clothes have to be hung up to dry after they are washed.

My Sunday was busy, sorting through the “stuff” in the second bedroom, a room where everything we don’t know what to do with ends up, and there is a lot of that kind of stuff, still. Four boxes of things to give away have been packed and sit in the middle of the bedroom floor. Also, the summer shoes were stowed away in a tote, to be stored in the basement for a few months until the white weather is discontinued. Still, things don’t seem any roomier in here!! More must go.

My MacBook Air has been giving me grief the last few days. It suddenly dies. The battery has been in need of servicing for quite some time, but I haven’t bothered to find an authorized service center to do the job, as it will cost around $200, and I am just fine using the power adapter to keep it connected to an electrical source at all times. There seems to be some sort of issue with it, so I might just break down and take it in for servicing, or then again, I might think about replacing the computer, as it is a 2012 model, no longer on warranty, and will eventually be unable to keep up with operating system updates.

The iMac is a 2007 model, and is now old enough that it cannot accept the new operating system updates, it will hold forever with El Capitan. It seems slower and slower to us all the time, as it struggles to use its limited resources to cope with the increasingly demanding modern digital world. It still succeeds though, as our primary entertainment centre, and work horse when long repetitive tasks need to be performed.

This morning Attila left for work in a dark, snowy world. It was snowing quite hard, and the wind was gusting at 70 km/hr, he was in for quite a journey to work. Having seen the weather report last night, he arose earlier than usual this morning and left for work earlier than usual, to contend with the driving conditions. As he was headed out the door I noticed he was wearing only a light jacket, and quickly fetched his winter parka, he might need it! We tend to watch out for each other in this way.

Today is not a day for walking! The snow plow did go by around 7 a.m., leaving the roads level, but slippery in spots. This town does not plow the sidewalks, so that one must walk on the road unless able to trek through rutted ice and snow. I originally tore the meniscus in my knee trying to walk on the sidewalks here in town, so I walk on the road. My walking season will now be sporadic, and it will be challenging to get enough exercise for the next three to four months. Time to set the kitchen timer for 30 minutes, and keep doing housework until the dinger rings.

The senior’s organization here offers recreational programs at a reasonable cost. However, attending a class for an hour a week is a poor substitute for a daily walk. There are walking programs in the high school gym, but again, twice a week isn’t enough to keep fit, and I loath the social aspect of attending these sorts of confined opportunities to move about. Attila suggested a treadmill, but I looked around the entire house, which I can do standing in the living room, it is very small here, and wondered, where would we put it?!?!?

We have been here at Mist Cottage for just over a year now (September 10th was our one year anniversary), and although we have donated almost two truckloads of possessions to our children, the Women’s Shelter, the Men’s Shelter, and a Homeless Shelter, we are still living in a cluttered space. Every day I try to sort through something, to either organize or purge. Settling in here is like peeling an onion, so many layers! In theory, at some point, we will find the innermost layer.

Autumn on the Frontenac Arch, a feature of the Canadian Shield, and more specifically, our Rideau Camp. When we took possession of this property last April, there were two large pumpkins, an empty beer bottle, and a dead potted Chrysanthemum sitting under this pine tree. By the end of April animals had eaten every last bit of the pumpkins, we used the soil from the dead plant as fill in a low spot beside the drive, and left the beer bottle in situ. An empty beer or liquor bottle seems to be a theme when we acquire a piece of land here in Ontario. We found many empty beer bottles on the property at the country house, some of them broken. We found empty liquor bottles at the Ancestral Camp in Parry Sound, intact and dating from the turn of the 20th century. We found empty beer bottles in the dilapidated garden shed here at Mist Cottage, and fittingly, there was the empty beer bottle at the Rideau Camp.
Autumn 2016 Frontenac Arch DSCF0237

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-2°C
Date: 3:00 PM EST Sunday 20 November 2016
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 100.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -2.4°C
Dew point: -4.1°C
Humidity: 88%
Wind: WNW 28 gust 40 km/h
Wind Chill: -9
Visibility: 1 km

SNOWFALL WARNING IN EFFECT
-4°C
Date: 8:00 AM EST Monday 21 November 2016
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 100.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -4.1°C
Dew point: -6.6°C
Humidity: 83%
Wind: W 32 gust 44 km/h
Wind Chill: -12
Visibility: 4 km

Quote

“You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.”

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
[Done! ergo Tech Neck]

Ray Bradbury
1920 – 2012

6 Comments

  1. “…until the white weather is discontinued…”
    Winter is a-comin’ for sure. Only some frost here early this a.m. but no snow yet… nearby maybe, but not here. We have the ocean effect here so it takes colder air for us to turn to the snow.
    Do you ever make your own tomato sauce/marinara sauce from scratch? It seems you have mentioned doing that before… and yes, trying to eat anything that is not purely homemade from scratch is very hard if you need to cut down on salt. We do need salt, so cutting it out totally would not be good, but wow, that tomato sauce was loaded!

  2. I have made my own tomato sauce Bex, it is the better way to approach a tomato sauce. The can of tomato sauce was purchased a while ago, before the blood pressure issue came to light. Clearly it is time to reject most commercially prepared foods as a viable way to eat a healthy diet.

  3. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Okay, you’ve got me wondering what brought Icarus to mind…

    On Saturday morning, we had a downpour for the local Santa Claus parade. By the time we were out and about doing our shopping, it was fits and starts of wet, heavy flakes and then sleet! By sundown we were getting periodic snowsqualls but the wind was so fierce that we never got more than a slight white skiff covering our grass. Today, the wind is still fierce and our windchill is down to -9C or 17F! Brrrrr!

    It’ll be a while before we tackle our storage bedroom. At this point we have a new bench to paint on the entryway landing and new laminate flooring to put in the back bedroom that will hopefully soon become a new upstairs office.

    I haven’t done well with exercise. Turns out my hemoglobin was very low so my energy was almost nil. After getting a transfusion, I’m now eating high amounts of iron and my energy is starting to come back again. I’m at the point where I don’t have much problem tiring out after coming upstairs, anymore.

    Do you get mail delivery at your house? Over here, we’re required to keep our walkways and entry clear for the mailman – and the city. It’s a pain having to do the sideyard sidewalk when we see the city clearing the walkway across the street from us. But that walkway is at the back of those houses, where as it’s on the side of our house. Wish they’d cross the street and plow over here, too!

  4. We sure do Kate! I was never into it much, due to my allergy, had to drink hard liquor, poor me. Ontario is littered with broken beer bottles, they will probably be found on archeological digs thousands of years from now. Now we use cans I think, but not being a beer drinker I am not entirely sure. We are leaving our decorative empty beer bottle under the pine tree, to honour the Canadian Way.

  5. Yes Teri, we get mail delivery to the house. It wasn’t deep enough to cause a problem for them today, only about two inches deep, deeper at the end of the driveway where the snow plow has a long drivewayless run before hitting our driveway with a triple load of snow. I shovelled this afternoon for about a half and hour and manged to get Attila’s parking area cleared out, and the snow bank at the end of the driveway shovelled away.

    What brought Icarus to mind was remembering a time in my life when things went well for me in the working world. I remember a Professor colleague of mine telling me he couldn’t figure out why I was experiencing such success while another colleague of ours, equally talented and hard working had to struggle so hard to achieve so much less. There was no reasonable explanation for it, just luck. At the time it felt like catching an updraft, as I see the turkey vultures doing as they rise high in the sky. Of course I worked hard for all my achievements and successes, but I knew then, and still know, that it is just shit luck that hard work is rewarded, that only the lucky ones see their hard work materialize into something tangible.

    Flooring! Our flooring is in a deplorable state, except in the bathroom where we installed a painted red pine floor. Another year!

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