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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Awe Winter!

Post Christmas and New Year's has seen Winter settle in. We have had some nice snow falls and above normal temperatures. Life has felt easy and we have done a lot of resting, which is my only excuse for not blogging more.

Here is my friend, Denis, (aka Bin Laden) between cases of beer. (He drinks enough beer for both of us and then some). As an abstainer, I am an easy designated driver. Denis is on R and R from his work as a driller on a mineral exploration site in Labrador. In a week, he will be off again to work in the North, perhaps, drilling for Kimberlite , (diamonds) for DeBeers. I envie his trips into the real north country but I don't envie working in the deep Winter cold, exposed to the elements. He like to work the night shift. It can be dangerous work. On his last job, the helicopter that ferried him daily to his drilling rig crashed and killed the pilot. Fortunately, Denis was on a short vacation in Halifax, which carries it's own hazhards for Denis.

(click on picture to enlarge)

Yesterday, the weather turned cold, sub -25C. Here is what Jack Frost left on my front door windows. It feels like sub -30C with a little wind. This morning my thermometer on the back porch read -38C, luckily it is clear and calm, no wind. You know it is cold because the snow sqeaks when you walk on it where it is packed down in the path.

The deepening temperatures means no more laying about. Life becomes a battle. The vehicles are plugged into their block heaters. Getting dresssed means hat, mitts, boots and the overcoat zipped up. Dressed right it is very comfortable, except when I had to repair an electrical cable bare handed. I develop a frosted beard from my breathe which makes me look like "papa smurf". This only begins when the teperature drops to -25C.

The biggest job is keeping the wood stoves going. I have three to tend, two in the house and one in the shed. Yesterday, I also had to go and start my neighbour's stove, as he is away visiting family in the Deep South, (Southern Ontario, that is.)

Oh! by the way my water froze again! I forgot to plug in the pump house heater. Damn! Being smarter than the average bear, I have jugs of water stored in the basement just for such occasions. So add lugging water to the chores. Keeps the heart rate up!

This is the snow piled along the road by the plow. My dog Gage managed to get his nose in the picture. He never is far away. I liked the white and shadows of this picture. it is looking west on the road so the sun is to the right. After another good snowfall the plow will cut the bank back about a foot off the ground which will leave a shelf of snow that will tempt snowmobilers to drive on it. It's real purpose is to make room for the next snowfall's offering to be plowed to the side. This way they keep the road plowed wide. Our snow covered roads are better than city streets in the Winter. And as a bonus the snow is stays nice and white.

My cats know how to get in the spirit of Winter. It started with one small kitten finding the top of the woodbox next to the cook stove as a good place to sleep away the cold weather. Then there were two. The word must have gotten out for now I have a pride of a plethora of pussies sharing the heat.
When I come back let it me as a cat!
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At 11:00 a.m., Blogger Neva said...

wow...quite a bit of work to survive! I am impressed! Stay warm!

At 12:08 p.m., Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It's amazing to me how well rural roads are kept up in winter.

At 2:43 p.m., Blogger Peggy said...

We only got down to 24F last night. Had to thaw the animals waterhose out but other than that all was fine. Wish we had snow to go with the cold but Monday the temp is suppose to be back to 70F!

At 3:04 p.m., Blogger Old Wom Tigley said...

This is the kind of post I wrote to you about, I'm so glad to hear things are well with you. I don't think I'd last 5 seconds out there now... ha!..
I hope you get the water sorted and are able to cut down on chores.

This as been a great read for me tonight, I'd just felt a draft and told Jane to put the heating up a notch... I now feel a right wimp..

All the best

At 4:29 p.m., Blogger david santos said...

Good work. You are Master. Thank you.

Hi Tossing!
Have a lovely, happy, healthy and successful 2008!

At 6:02 p.m., Blogger amelia said...

Your kitties are lovely and obviously well taken care of! To go with our four dogs we have an old nineteen year old cat and a twenty seven year old cockatiel. They both live the good life now, too old to do anything else!!!!

At 7:23 p.m., Blogger judie said...

Well Phillip, it got so cold here the tv people said the pool owners need to leave their pool pumps on all night since water freezes! Can you imagine being that cold? LOL yes I'm being facetious. It was a COLD 35 here last night! Brrrrrrr! It's funny, when the temps drop here, everyone goes crazy. TV tells where all the shelters are opened, newscasters remind you to bring your animals inside and take blankets to the humane society, cover your plants and the biggest news is how the citrus and berry farmers will save their crop, and they remind you over and over about leaving space heaters 3' away from everything. Gosh, I wonder what they would say if it got down to minus something? Happy day to you!

At 8:35 p.m., Blogger Renie Burghardt said...

Your cute kitties are smart!

The snow is pretty but makes life too hard, so I don't want any. It has gotten cold here in the last couple of days, but a warm-up is on the way, thank goodness. And no snow!

I enjoyed reading about your winter wonderland. Hope the pump is woring again, and you stay warm and snug.

Happy New Year!


At 7:51 a.m., Blogger GaP said...

Happy New Year, Philip. Always good to read aboot Canadian rural life. I have to get my tukas out in the cold to do my absentee vote for America's next president here in the NH Primary madhouse. I'm going to pretend that it actually matters. I was going to head up to visit my dad in Quebec for New Year's but the weather didn't cooperate.

Stay warm, sir...GaP

At 8:27 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots of memories. Corn cobs to heat with in my time as coal and wood just cost too much money. Cobs were free.

I like the cats. All cuddled together to get warm.

Your friend looks relatively young. I was surprised. His beard makes him look older than he is.

At 1:11 p.m., Blogger deborah wilson said...

OMG! Look at those front door windows! The snow pic is beautiful.

..Denis didn't want a blanket??

At 7:39 p.m., Blogger Mary said...


I loved the way Jack Frost painted the windows of your door. It brought back memories. I used to sit by the window and draw in the frost. You certainly don't see that much anymore.

Lugging wood and keeping woodstoves burning is a tedious and constant chore. Still, I envy your lifestyle.

Take care and try to remember to plug in everything that needs to be plugged in.



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