The cold weather has arrived! Until today the winter weather has been relatively mild and benign. It has been warm enough that a lot of our heat has been generated by the air source heat pump, which heats the house when the temperature is above -7C. The oil furnace took over last night, and will be doing all the work until next Tuesday, at the earliest. The cold snap is meant to intensify into a major winter storm over the weekend, before easing up over the course of next week. There will be snow shoveling going on this weekend!
The air is house is dry! Our humidity is at 25% relative humidity. In the past, this level of humidity resulted in my multiple nosebleeds throughout each day. Since the specialist cauterized my nostrils, I have had only one nosebleed, which was less than a week after the procedure, and must have been due to incomplete healing of the wound. No nosebleeds since then. Yay.
Attempts to raise the humidity have met with little success. A load of wet laundry is drying on a collapsible rack in the living room. Large tea towels have been soaked, and hang on hangers over the heating vents. Tubs of water sit on the floor near the heating vents. Five different soaked cloths hang in various locations around the house. The soaked towels and cloths dry in a matter of hours, so it keeps me busy running around soaking them over and over again. And still the humidity does not change, I am merely keeping it from falling further.
If we ever have to replace our furnace, the expense of a built in humidification system will be seriously considered.
Well, the challenges of winter’s first roar are really not that odious. We are warm here, the furnace heats this little house quite well, and much more effectively with the added attic insulation, all new windows, and some new insulation on the basement wall and rim joists. We are keeping the house much warmer this winter, than in winter’s past. In the past the thermostat was lowered to 17C at night. In the morning everything touched was cool, and it cooled the body, made one feel chilly. This winter we are not lowering the temperature at night, and it has made a difference in our heating fuel consumption. I will be able to calculate just how big a difference this made at the end of the heating season. Our bills are definitely higher, but not drastically so. We do notice though.
Attila is busy in the kitchen. He likes to cook his soups on the weekends. Last weekend it was Pea Soup. This weekend it is Cabbage Soup. These soups serve as Attila’s “second suppers”, he eats an entire second evening meal, every day of the week. I do not eat a “second supper”.
I have been enjoying Taco Soup this past week, for my lunches. I made it last Wednesday, thinking that I might can it in 500 ml jars, for quick lunches. But we ended up eating it for supper instead, so there wasn’t enough left to justify a pressure canning session. Since I like Taco Soup, Attila has been leaving it alone, so that I could enjoy it for my lunches. I would like to make another batch this week, and pressure can it. Once canned it can sit on the shelf for a year or more, waiting until I have a craving for it.
The pressure canner is a big beast, and although I can get it up the stairs from the basement, it isn’t a quick or easy endeavor. It takes up a lot of room in the kitchen, so I need to commit to canning if I, or Attila, bring it up into the kitchen. My future plans for the kitchen include a space to store the pressure canner. Perhaps this storage space will be tackled by next winter, perhaps not. I’ve more ideas for improvements, than time or money to get them done,
EXTREME COLD WARNING
WINTER STORM WARNING
Date: 11:00 AM EST Saturday 19 January 2019
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 103.0 kPa
Dew point: -26.6°C
Wind: NNE 21 km/h
Wind Chill: -31
Visibility: 24 km
“In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald
1896 – 1940
NOTE: What is it about 3:00 a.m.!?!