Posts Tagged ‘winter’

Silver Linings

december 2009 008

Another delightful sunrise. A little freaky looking, actually.

Something I for sure wouldn’t have seen if I hadn’t had to take the van into the mechanic’s before first light this morning. And who knew that the early morning walk home would be so beautiful?

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Not In The Mood

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Just as almost all the snow had melted, we woke up to a world of white. My reaction and Tee’s couldn’t have been more different. My first thought was Oh no. The roads are going to be a mess and he leapt out of bed shrieking snowballs! I grumped about having to dig up the snowpants and he raced through his oatmeal so that he would have extra time to build a snowfort before school. Sigh. To be a kid again.

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We’re Going Skating

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The weather last week was freakishly warm, and for the first time that I can remember, it rained in February. Temperatures hovered around 0C which made driving absolutely life threatening, because all of that precipitation froze in sheets overnight, when temps dropped below freezing. The highways were closed, there were semi trucks and snow plows lying wheels up in the ditches, and there were six times the usual number of slip-and-fall accidents in the emergency rooms. It was really a case of having to gingerly tip toe down the sidewalk, arms stretched wide, and even then, one false step and on your keister. Fun for the kids, who reported mass student pile ups as one after another fell down in the exact same spot.

From our kitchen window, it seemed like the river had actually melted, but it was only a foot on the surface that was water. There was still the 5 extra feet of thick ice beneath, which made it possible for snowmobiles to swish their way through. I told the kids NOT to go on the river, just in case.

It’s since gotten colder again, and the river is one flat surface of ice. All of that water froze into a smooth, skateable surface. Where there once was a whole heap of snow and a carved out ice skating trail, there is now one enormous rink. So nifty.

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Behind our house is our garden.

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At the bottom of the garden is the river.

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On the river is an ice rink.

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In the middle of the rink is a snow fort.

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And in the middle of the snow fort is a tunnel.

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(thanks to our neighbors, who dedicated the afternoon to shoveling snow off the river instead of off their driveway.)

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It’s 3pm and the sun is already getting low in the sky.

It was -26 C today, with winds gusting to 60kmph, making the air temp more like -45C.

The snow creaks when you walk on it, there are teeny tiny ice crystals in the air, and the city is enveloped in frozen exhaust fumes.

My eyelashes froze together when I went out to shovel the driveway.

We’re going to an outdoor solstice party tonight.

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Turning My Frown Upside Down


Well, seeing as there’s no getting around the fact that it’s going to be winter for a while longer yet, I’ve decided to come up with a list of positives about going for a run when it’s minus 20 and we’ve just had a fresh dump of snow:

  1. I can sing along with my iPod as loud as I like and not worry about looking like a fool, because all you can see of my face is my eyes.
  2. As long as I’m careful to avoid a groin injury, I get double the aerobic workout  because it’s like running on shifting sand. Two steps forward, one step back, the whole way.
  3. I can’t get lazy and walk, because the moment I stop, the sweat on my back freezes into a sheet of ice.
  4. It IS gosh darn beautiful when the sun is shining and the snow is all a-glitter.

Artwork credit: Jay

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La Nina


Good news for all you (Canadian) cold weather enthusiasts out there.

 I read in the paper this morning that Environment Canada is predicting below normal temperatures across the entire country for the next three months. It’s apparently going to be the coldest winter since 1994-1995, which I do remember as being frighteningly frigid.( I had a newborn that January, and I started feeling a little like an OCD sufferer the way I obsessed about having my front door key in my pocket when he and I went for our little I’m Going Stir Crazy And Your Colic Isn’t Helping walks.)

The freezing forecast is the result of a cooling of surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, causing a shifting of air currents that will draw Arctic air over much of southern Canada.

We had a relatively warm winter last year, and the coldest day was still -41.7°C. Brrrrr…..

It was *only* minus 22 this morning, and my eyelashes froze together on my run. I wonder if iPODs were tested down to 40 below….


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Too Cold to Shovel


27 degrees below zero this morning. Minus 32 with the wind chill.

I put long johns under my jeans, which feels not unlike exactly like wearing bulky nylons under tight pants. I forced L to wear snowpants, hat, mitts, boots, and scarf. She waddled to school along with the other faceless stuffed sausages. Even R wore his parka with the “fur” lined hood, and the boots that I think were invented for polar explorers. He lumbered out of the driveway and disappeared into the hanging cloud of ice fog that emanates from car exhausts at this temperature.

Winter was such a slow, creeping, inexorable force this year. We went for a long time without snow, and for weeks the temperatures hovered around zero, allowing me to hope that we would be lowered gently into the deep freeze, but the inevitable has arrived with it’s usual brutality.

Next up: endless whining posts about having to zip up jackets (I CAN’T do it myself, my mitts are on!) and tie up scarves (my eyes! I can’t see!) and zip snowpant zippers down over snowboots (it’s too tight!) and tripping over boots, and wet mitts wadded into smelly wads instead of on the radiators where they can dry for goodness sakes, and taking half an hour to even get out the door.

I hate winter.

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