Tag Archives: snow

What a winter was 2014-2015! Let me tell you my story

As goes life, 2015 is proving to be another year of challenges and concerns. I was going to share a little with you months ago; however, the way things have been going I am so very late starting it. It’s amazing to me how quickly we are almost half way through 2015! Perhaps you won’t mind indulging me anyway?

It seems there is always one grief or stress to deal with, hardly is one behind us then another is on the horizon, besides the ongoing ones. A cousin of my mum passed away during the winter; however, because of the tremendous amount of snow we were getting, and the storms that seemed never-ending for awhile, the funeral service was not held until May when family could get together again. Of course, the next day Dad didn’t remember anything about it.

In January our daughter in Alberta asked for our advice. She’d decided it was time to move home and had a job offer here in NS! After six years of being away it was a major life change for her, an exciting one for all of us. Once the plan was settled I got busy on this end of the country. Online shopping can be fun when looking for good secondhand furniture on Kijiji. After I found an apartment that way, located a few minutes from her new job, we also were able to get a washer, a dryer, and a table and chairs set for her. Our main concern, though, was that she was determined to drive home, about 3000 miles or about 5000 kilometers – in her jeep, with all her belongings – including her two adult cats. Alone. In the dead of winter.   um… NO!   We bought a ticket for my husband who flew out to Alberta the first of February to drive home with her. That was the beginning of a crazy week.

After arriving there and getting a good night’s sleep, the next day he and she packed her belongings into a U-haul rental trailer – so full he said they couldn’t have wedged in a box of kleenex. They drove farther north to briefly visit her friend from NS who has lived out there longer than she, then started their long journey home. Since the plan was to take turns – one sleeping when needing to while the other was driving and then switching roles – and with the cats in their enclosure taking up the back seat, there was only room to sleep sitting up in the front passenger seat … as comfortably as could be arranged.

Remember, this was in the worst of our unpredictable Canadian winter. Coming across the middle of the country they experienced frigid minus-degree temperatures and bitterly cold winds in which no one should be out in the elements in miles/kilometers of nothing but dangerous weather. Nevertheless, they passed a hitchhiker daring to do just that! The jeep was crammed so full they had no room for an extra passenger, so when they stopped at a little diner they told a police officer. The officer picked up the hitchhiker to find a place for him to stay the night; otherwise, that person very possibly would have succumbed to the elements. 

 Meanwhile …

It was my week at home (instead of at my dad’s), so I was trying to keep the house and myself warm. The challenge for me was our outdoor wood furnace which I had never loaded or maintained because my husband always took care of it. I just didn’t want to. Usually, most of the wood my husband lifts into it is very heavy, way beyond what I can lift. It’s actually whole tree trunks cut into three-foot lengths or so, much of it not even split as it’s not necessary because it burns well as it is. It was only split if it was not possible for him to lift whole. Fortunately, last winter’s stash of wood had more small-sized sticks available than usual, many of a size I could handle without injury – if I were careful in how I lifted, didn’t slip in the very deep snow, and could propel the wood into the furnace to properly load it for efficient airflow. 

Now, the wood my husband can load in is so big the furnace has to be reloaded only twice a day, morning and evening. The wood I could manage was much smaller, therefore it had to be replenished much more often as it burned quicker. Let me tell you, I got more exercise than I wanted!

Because …

Unfortunately, soon after my husband and daughter started their journey eastward, here in NS we were hit with a wild blizzard that dumped a few feet of snow on us. When that settled I found, because of how the ‘white stuff’ had drifted, I could still make my way through a path in the snow to keep the furnace stoked. Then, hardly had a way been cleared in this province when we were hit with a snowstorm. A huge one. With loads more snow. By the time that one ended I had so much snow I couldn’t get out my back door so had to battle my way out the front and around the house to the now buried path to the furnace. Did I say buried? There was no longer a path beside the truck which was half buried. (see top right photo below) I have never spent so much effort and energy repeatedly struggling through such deep snow, bitter cold, and biting wind – quite an experience for little me. It had to be done. I couldn’t let the fire die out, but the snow was so high and dense I couldn’t struggle through it anymore. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it but I was determined not to ask for help for as long as I could hold out.

snow halfway up our back doorMORE snow, truck half buried

can't get in this way our back door from the outside

 

 

 

 

That’s when my dear father-in-law came to my rescue. That morning he arrived on his tractor equipped with snowplow and blower, after I’d been shovelling in an attempt to clear snow off my deck so I could open the door and also begin a new path to the furnace. If you look at the above photos, the bottom right one, my path was along the front of the deck railing on the right, across what was our lawn and up a rise.The snow was very heavy and packed solid, so by that time I was so depleted of energy I’d given up for awhile and gone inside to warm up and gain some energy back. I told my dad-in-law I would finish the deck, just had to stop awhile because I was so exhausted, but I would do it. He insisted on doing it for me. Bless his heart. I knew he was not feeling well, either, but he still insisted despite my objections. He got it done much quicker than I could have, for sure. I certainly appreciate him, he’s a good man.

Dad D clearing deck for meDad D plowing for me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for the travellers …

My husband and daughter stayed in a hotel one night – a place that allowed her cats – because it was a long stretch of nothing they were on, getting on for dark, with no idea what they might encounter since it was blustery and very, very cold. I’m sure they slept better that night; the rest of the time they slept on route.

In less than five days they made it home and I was so excited to get my arms around them! I’d prayed much for their safe travels. Interestingly,  they missed all the storms since it began storming in Alberta after they left so the bad weather heading east was always behind them, and the worst happened in Nova Scotia before they arrived. :)  Granted, there was a lot of snow clearing for my beloved to undertake once he got back, and he felt sorry I’d been stuck with so much to handle while he was away, but I survived!  :)  (And now he knows I can load that darn furnace if the wood is small enough. ah well.)

In this photo (left), with more snow coming down, I was leaning on a snowbank under which was our lawn swinging-chairs set. Somewhere.
I am happy to say there is NO SNOW now. :)  How I do love Spring and Summer!

too much snow!I'm leaning on a snowbank

 

 

 

The last thing I’ll say for now is this …

My dad – who will be 90 in a few days – is getting worse (wretched Alzheimer’s, and weak heart) but is still spunky and usually cheerful; and another dear family member has been recently diagnosed with Mesothelioma (incurable cancer) with not much time left with us. Some days life’s stresses feel so heavy on me, but then I remember the Lord is my Strength and the Song and Light in my heart. If God is for me, who can be against me?

I wish you each a sweet song in your heart.

What has been going on in your life? How do you cope? What joys do you have to share with us?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 


 

 

 

Let’s think SPRING, shall we?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had about enough of Winter. It’s time for disappearing snow, no ice, warm days, gentle breezes, birds pairing off and building nests, buds swelling on trees and flowering hedges, early flowers pushing through … oh my … yes! I want all that! How about you?

Let’s think SPRING, shall we? 

Usually Winter doesn’t get to me anymore, although I don’t like being cold; I can tolerate the season and enjoy its unique intense beauty, but this year it’s been pulling me down and sitting on me. And it’s been so constantly cold, way too snowy and icy, that I am just plain ready for Spring! Depression has weighed on me for many months; not so much that I can’t function at all, but enough that I have been low on energy and finding it hard to get and stay interested in anything. I would like to crawl into bed and stay there for … I don’t care how long. Apparently, I have a real thing … a low-grade depression that is enough to keep me in this lacklustre state of mental weariness where I’m wanting to do but lack motivation and energy to accomplish much at all. It’s exasperating, disappointing, and exhausting. I’ve lost my joie de vivre and I’m tired of being tired!

As a result of all that, just one thing that has suffered is my blog — for which I have felt twinges of guilt — and my reading and writing have been making next-to-no progress. I do apologize to you again, my dear reader, for not keeping up with posting here. I hope you will forgive my lack of enthusiasm and commitment and not quit on me.

We had a break in our weather for a few days, but now we are in the beginnings of the receiving end of a few more centimeters of snow. Do we need more? I THINK NOT! 

snow buntings on top of our hedge

This is a flurry of snow buntings, the whitest of winter birds. Do you know what they are sitting on? MY HEDGE! Yes, my hedge is under all that snow. I really am not pleased to see more snow coming down, even though it is pretty. Enough is enough, thank you.

To look ahead a little, today I have this link to share with you that I think will remind us all of the season we long to celebrate. (Or I do, anyway.) Maybe it will give you some new ideas for your gardens. Click on the red words here to see a list of flower names from A to Z. There are no images with the flower names, so we have to “Google” them to see what they look like or search in gardening books. I hope you enjoy the list, anyway.

How have you been surviving Winter? Do you have favourite flowers you can hardly wait to enjoy?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

 

How cold is it? Celcius vs Fahrenheit

It seemed to me that we have had a very cold winter here in Nova Scotia this year. The weather has been varying a lot but when it was cold it was COLD. And windy. And snowy .. yes, lots of snow, even with a bit of a break because of our January thaw. There are some who love it, but I .. I? .. not so much. This winter I bought myself a very good pair of snowpants so I can be comfortable when taking my puppy, Meyya, out every day. Even she, although loving to bounce around in the snow, cannot tolerate it when it’s crunchy cold under foot. She refuses to walk in it, trying to hold up first one tiny foot then another because it is way too cold for her. A friend of mine knit Meyya a sweater since she outgrew the little red one, and so she wouldn’t shiver as much, but the little socks I bought Meyya wouldn’t stay on, so she goes .. um .. barefoot? Well, without the socks. :) (I know, I never thought I would try to put socks or boots on a dog but it was worth a try. And cute while it lasted — all of a few seconds.)

Having said all the above, apparently our winter is warmer than usual this year. *sigh* I guess I must just be getting older and don’t appreciate the season as much anymore. And it could be that since we got her on November 30 I was out every day but two because of Meyya, so I notice the winter chill more. I do remember years ago the snowbanks being very much higher than we get now, and more blizzards. It is true our climate is changing.

Talking about cold, I found this information I thought you might be interested in seeing. It shows temperatures in Celsius which is the metric measure Canada uses now, … well, most Canadians, I suppose. I still refer to old standard measure in most things since that’s what I grew up knowing, so I included the Fahrenheit, too, for comparison. Very interesting, I think.

2º to 3º Celsius is the average temperature inside a refrigerator. That’s 35.6º F.

-10º C to -20º C is the average temperature inside a household freezer. That’s 14º F to -4º F.

– 38º C is the freezing temperature of mercury. That’s -36.4º F.

– 63º C is the coldest temperature recorded in Canada. (Feb. 3, 1947 at Snag, Yukon) That’s -81.4º F.

– 79º C is the temperature of dry ice. That’s -110.2º F.

– 89.2º C is the coldest temperature recorded on Earth. (July 21, 1983, at Vostock II, Antarctica) That’s -128.56º F.

– 150º C is the average night temperature on the moon. That’s -238º F.

– 196º C is the temperature of liquid nitrogen. (perfect for freezing liquid metal Terminators)  That’s -320.8º F.

– 218º C is the freezing point of oxygen. That’s -360.4º F.

– 228º C to 238º C is the average surface temperature on Pluto, the planet. That’s -378.4º F to -396.4º F.

– 270º C is the estimated coldest temperature in deep space. That’s -454º F.

– 272º C is the freezing point of helium. That’s -457.6º F.

– 273.16º C is absolute zero. (meaning it is exactly the same in Fahrenheit.) All atomic motion comes to a standstill. In 2003, MIT scientists cooled sodium gas to the lowest temperature yet recorded – only a half-a-billionth of a degree above absolute zero.

Amazing, isn’t it? Yep! There’s no convincing me this all happened by chance.

How cold was your winter? What’s your favourite winter pastime?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

Did I say Spring? Welcome to Nova Scotia in March

I wasn’t going to write a post today, but something happened that is worth sharing. Something cold, white, and wintry.

Yes, I know that I said Spring was in sight. You can read my post here. The little snow we had was disappearing, then it rained, followed by warming temperatures, then … look at what happened during last night …

Yes, MORE snow! I have a ‘great’ young friend who would absolutely love this. :) It is heavy wet snow, ideal for making snowballs and building snowmen.

For little dogs, on the other hand, it’s not so fun when it comes right up under the belly.

This is Sammy. I didn’t get a photo of him when he first went out, before the snow was cleared a little. He’s so short that he pushed snow. He didn’t leave tracks in the snow, he body-pushed his way through it so that he left one long trail. Funny little guy! :) But he does love to try to run in it.

And then the birds needed some help …

so I refilled their feeders and put out a new ‘birdseed cake’ for them.

Tonight the snow is starting to settle, and it’s turning slippery as it is getting cooler. In a couple of days we will get warmer weather again. Yes, Spring is coming a little at a time.

Winter is so beautiful, but I am a warm-weather person.

How about you, which season do you prefer?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

Is that SPRING I see?!

Here in Nova Scotia we have had what we call an “open winter”, meaning we have not been buried under several feet of snow for most of it. We haven’t had major storm after storm, or ice storms, which we have suffered in past years. This year we have experienced very few snowfalls of any consequence.

Am I complaining? … Do pigs have wings?

   No, I mean for REAL!

Of course not.

BUT … today I saw Spring.  Yes, I did!

Look:

 

 

Did you catch that?

Look again:

ROBINS!

YAY!  This to me is a sure sign of Spring. And not just one robin did I see, but a small flock of them – foraging on the ground and sitting in the trees.

Oh my gosh!  Can it be true?   

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPRING HAS SPRUNG!  In February!

Now, I realize two things about the above.  First: Winter is not officially over yet and we are sure to get more snow, but the robins are out in the open when usually we don’t see them until sometime in March. I have never seen them this early in the year. Second: It is not good writing form to use so many exclamation points, but … gosh dern it! I saw robins today! And that always makes me happy!  :)

How about you? Have you seen any signs of Spring yet?

(Photos not mine)

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

Day 21: NaNoWriMo & PiBoIdMo

Sunday, Day 21 of NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo:  Sunday is always a busy day for me, time away from writing, computer, home.  I got up early this morning and spent some time reading my Bible, then we got ready to go pick up our grandson to go to fellowship with me.  He enjoys the worship music and Sunday School. This morning he was very squirmy – his money for the offering kept falling out of his pocket, his papers and book (to keep him occupied if needed) fell onto the floor when he was enjoying the music, then his crayons followed suit so that he finally decided to pick them all up and sit there and colour.  That was nice for awhile.  :)  He is so darling.

I think I neglected to mention in last night’s post that we got snow in the afternoon so that I was ‘encouraged’ to get out my winter boots.  It was cold today, icy and windy, so boots and winter jacket it was!  Looks as if winter weather has arrived.  (I’m not complaining but .. blah!  and brrr! and — blah!)

This evening (Sunday) I did not get into Valley Sunshine but I did work on my NaNo writing.   I’m continuing my wondering about how I am ever going to sort this story out and get it on paper (I’m writing longhand) in no less than 50,000 words before November 30 comes and goes, taking with it my last chance to complete this challenge for a win.  Completing is winning and I must complete! I did manage to squeak out 1298 words, taking my total count to 26525 and my completion up to 54%.  [just a note here: yesterday the counter finally showed my % and it was over 50% to 51%.  No big deal? Well, you try writing in this pressure cooker and see how much 1% point means!  :) ]

Tonight in my NaNo story there was another interesting little extra that got written in, another little thing that adds to the mystery and probably aiding in the final solving of it.  I think.  Maybe.  Quite possibly.  :)

PiBoIdMo is not something I have to be concerned about anymore since I met the goal, but I am still trying to come up with an idea a day until that challenge ends.  Today’s was not coming until just past midnight, after I had posted my word count for NaNoWriMo, but I did get an idea which I’m counting for Sunday’s.  For some reason I remembered a young bluejay that was snubbed by his siblings .. and I had my story idea.

Have a great week.  What’s on your agenda?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)