Wednesday, 30 January 2013

There's a fairly gentle but thick fall of snow accumulating outside my office window, covering the tree limbs with a soft white coating and beginning to pile up on railings and deck. And, after our spell of cold, cold mornings (the coldest was -32ºC = approx - 25ºF), it is fairly mild and windless. The birds are back at the feeders; during the cold spell we had a few spherical chickadees, but not much more. And I am contemplating a list of tasks that I should be doing but none of which seem urgent enough to cause me to stop typing and go and actually do them.

In truth, very little seems urgent to me today. Maybe it is having reached my three score and ten, or maybe it is only winter torpor, but I find that I am feeling accepting rather than caring, disengaged, distanced, from the alarums and excursions ? of this weird and wifi world. It's rather a nice feeling, as if hearing bagpipes from far away, echoing through fog. (We went to a Robbie Burns Dinner on Saturday and they piped the haggis into a hall with poor acoustics, right behind our table. Oy!)

Those two paragraphs were written earlier this week, but when I tried to go on with it from the bagpipe interjection, the post took off and went in an entirely different direction than I had wanted to send it. In fact, I have the start of several posts that have done this to me lately, ripping the reins out of my (admittedly loose) grasp and galloping off in all directions. Although I end up in intricate discussions with myself when this happens, I usually have no idea how to get back to anything coherent.

And so - today we have real fog. We also have a 'temperature inversion' that is causing the fog and melting the snow into slush that will freeze into slippery lumps when the weather inverts itself back to winter tomorrow. I keep hearing thumps as ice breaks off the roof and falls or is carried into the newly thawed down spouts. It is also windy and since this type of weather can cause a tree to fall onto the power lines, I am saving text almost as I type it, lest the power suddenly fail, and my computer noiselessly die.

I am rotating between watching the wood stove, pouring melt water from a pail under the down spout into my plant water containers and looking at the weather radar. A storm with cold green and blue arms and an orange heart is heading straight for here. I suspect that in a short time it will be pouring rain onto the slush that the warm wind has made of our snow. Am I obsessing about the weather? I'm Canadian - of course I am.

Did you know that when there's a weather inversion, it is very hard to make the wood stove draw properly? If you didn't, I think I envy you. And my feet are now wet because I was pouring ice cold water while wearing Birkenstocks and socks.

And there went my morning. Does anyone have any good advice as to how to get the most out of Kijiji?

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Post Holiday Feeble Musings

There was a watercolour dawn this morning - faint pink wisps of cloud against a sky washed with pale, pale blue. Later, as the sun cleared the horizon (and I trekked down the lane way for the newspapers), all the trees wore glitter and gold, the gold reflecting from ice rime covering even the tiniest twigs. Unfortunately there is some (more!) snow forecast, and the sky is now a murky white and the snow is shadowless. The only colours are the dark green of the pines (where the needles show through puffs of snow) and some golden brown leaves that have clung to their parent tree through all of the storms of the last few weeks. I suppose it is truly a winter wonderland, but it would be fine with me if the heavy snow came off the trees and our electricity stopped flickering every time there is some wind.

Last winter we had ice, the walking was terrible, and I longed for big falls of snow. This winter we have had several heavy, heavy falls and, although I am not longing for ice, I am quite happy with what we have and (weather gods, are you paying attention?) would like some clear, snowless days, thank you very much. Poor JG is clearing the roofs with a snow rake and shovel and he has had to take the tractor loader to scrape compacted snow away from the garage. And there are a lot of trees and limbs of trees down everywhere.

I think I was muttering a while back that I did not want a Christmas tree and sounding like Scrooge incarnate. Then in came JG with the news that he had cut a tree and would I determine the height I wanted. It wasn't a bad shape as Chez G trees go, but I messed up a bit with the height, and we ended up with the angel ten feet in the air. I also ended up with two poinsettias (I am a certificated poinsettia killer), a Christmas bouquet from my darling godson, and lots of decorations everywhere. Plus the YD's ménage between Christmas and New Year's. Now this is mostly all cleaned up and packed away, I have removed dog spit and cat skid marks from the hardwood and the only ghosts of Christmas Passed are the two frail remnants of the damn poinsettias, dropping leaves in a sad circle around themselves.

I also have the remnants of a horrible head cold that has kept me doped up and sleeping every time I sat down for the last several days. Today my head is actually clearing, I can breathe (cheers!) and, maybe, tackle the piled up laundry and sew up the crotch of JG's chainsaw pants*.

After I get another cup of coffee and post this. Maybe in a few days my head will have cleared enough that I can actually write something sensible. In the meantime, though, Julie Pippert has a really thought-provoking post about young girlsand cyber bullying up on her site. Parents and grandparents, go take a look!

* For urban readers, chainsaw pants are a nylon and padding sort of apron that fastens around the waist and legs and are supposed to keep the chainsaw from slicing up the wearer, should it slip during use. They do not come with a fly, but JG likes his to have one and so I take the front seam apart and add a zipper, sewed by hand because the protective padding prevents it fitting through the sewing machine. Hand stitching has now pulled out and I need to get out my sailor's palm and put it back.