2022 Here We Come!

I’m back in the swing of it all, with my shiny new, curved, 32″ monitor.

These things have to be seen in action to be believed. The actual curve of the monitor took some getting used to, just because it’s visually unfamiliar, but once I did .. wow!

What a difference it makes to the far left and right of any images/print/video I’m looking at. I don’t have anywhere near the same feeling of eyestrain that I did with my flat screen … and this thing is 12cm (5″ bigger!)… sheer decadent indulgence, for the price of an average indulgence … I’m a happy camper!

This picture really doesn't do it justice, but you get the, ahem, picture. :)

This picture really doesn’t do it justice, but you get the, ahem, picture. 🙂

I still haven’t been able to find an adaptor for my old monitor at a price I’m prepared to pay, to even be able to find out whether the problem was with the adaptor or the monitor. So, for now Old Faithful is back in her box, and off to the storage unit she will go.

I had wanted to do a couple of posts videos and pictures about the wave after wave, after wave, of snowstorms followed by rain/ice storms we’ve had recently, but it seems that the modern world refuses to even to speak to my old computer which runs on Windows 7 … c’est la vie.

So I decided I’d just post a few of my favourite photos from the bunch of ’em … and unless something impressive happens, I’ll keep the rain/snow/mud slushiness currently surrounding us to meself.

I hope 2022 has been kind to you thus far, but I also hope you’ve got your seatbelt fastened … just in case.

Mrs Widds Vs the mountain

Mrs Widds Vs the mountain

-15C, not counting the wind-chill, and I'm  widds-cicle

-15C, not counting the wind-chill, and I’m widds-cicle  

Ice-crystals on the INSIDE of the window

Ice-crystals on the INSIDE of the window

45 cm of snow, and our poor long-suffering pontoon is iced in

45 cm of snow, and our poor long-suffering pontoon is iced in

The other end of the lake - through the truck window

The other end of the lake – through the truck window

Ice floes on the Fraser River

Ice floes on the Fraser River

It’s Not You, It’s Me

Things have been a bit quiet around here lately.

On the 30th of December, last year, (isn’t it wonderful that 2021 is now ‘last year’?)  my computer monitor stopped working.

It’s either the monitor, or the adapter. Parts have yet to arrive to tell which is which – stay tuned for the exciting conclusion!

I’ve been barely online using my old faithful hard drive, which thankfully I kept as a back-up, and using it to check my WordPress dashboard once a day.

So yeah, it’s not you, it’s me.

Also, at the end of they year I had a bit of a meltdown.

I was dealing with the multiple environmental disasters fairly well, I thought. But it seemed like I never had enough time to catch my breath at the end of one before the next one struck.

We live in an old house, and stuff keeps on breaking down. Stuff broke down, in the middle of an arctic outflow, with daytime temperatures in the double digits below freezing. (we now have our very own electrician on speed-dial)

Some health stuff happened too. The concussion … aren’t they fun? .. I didn’t have time to catch my breath there either.

… and then … and then … you get the picture.

I kept saying I wanted a break, for the world to stop for a while. You know that feeling, where you just want to get off for a while?

I cried a lot. A lot … and then my monitor stopped working. It wasn’t the break I wanted but it was the break I got.

Yeah, not you, me.

I sleep late, and go through my day slowly, sometimes staring out the window at the snow, watching the raccoon yearlings and their mum bound through it like its their own personal playground, which, of course, it is.

I can feel my energy returning as the days slowly, almost imperceptibly at this time of year, get longer.

2022 is going to be momentous. I’ll be ready.

A Last ‘Fuck You’, From 2021: Bon Voyage, Betty White

It would’ve been her 100th Birth Day on the 17th of January 2022. She was going to have a giant party. We were all invited, screened live, and everything. Now it will be a wake.

Fare the well bold Voyager, wherever you roam next. May you leave them rolling in the isles, and begging for more.

Winter Solstice – Snow And Ice

First came the snow …

Then the sun came out and the snow turned to  …

Slushies!

Slushies!

Then the ice rain …

Eerie coating on the jasmine vines

Eerie coating on the jasmine vines

Mother Nature in Her very best ‘deep midwinter’, mode …

Icicles in the night

Icicles in the night

Now, the days grow longer, and although our troubled world continues to struggle on under the weight of almost insurmountable challenges, this window of time, between the end of the old year and the beginning of the new one, always seems to be full of … possibilities.

May you find your possibilities. May you find your Path, and may there be beloved others who will choose to walk with you on it.

Blessed Be.

We’ve Been Here Before

Calamitous events of recent times, both near and far, have given me pause in these latter days of 2021. They might have for you too.

I find myself feeling a deep knowing, as though it comes from far enough within me that it might even be reflected on my DNA. It has certainly reflected on my Spirit.

The civilisations that have grown and thrived all over our world since the Industrial Revolution, are now seeing their Days of Autumn slide into Winter’s embrace.

It is the way of all living things, this birth, growth, decay and death. And are not our civilisations living, breathing entities as well? The Macro reflecting the Micro?

Our species has been here many, many times before. More times than even the most ardent of archeologists can only find mere remnants of.

The great city-states of Mesopotamia, Central America, Asia, Africa, and elsewhere, all rose to great heights, and all, finally, fell into ruin. It is only hubris that leads us to believe we will end differently.

Perhaps because our world actually does encompass the entire world, and not the ‘known’ world of those times, we have been provided with a unique time-scale.

Will we collapse on the swords of this mess we’ve created and leave our descendants to scrabble among the ruins of their forbears?

It’s happened before.

Or will we reach the stars, whether they be metaphorical or literal?

And has that happened before too?

-oOo-

I found inspiration for this post in the series, ‘Fall Of Civilizations’, on YouTube. It’s well worth a look.

 

The Strangeness Of Normal

Our Evac Alert has finally been lifted, and our main access road into town is once again open for business.

Which isn’t to say there aren’t still detours everywhere, and mud and debris from the floods and landslides, and broken bits of people’s livelihoods and possessions, to be sorted and scoured, but for the first time in well over two weeks we were able to leave our little island and see the state of things beyond our truncated horizon.

Apart from the lake still being about a meter above its usual level for this time of the year, and a few pools of water sporting the stubble after the corn harvest and an assortment of ducks that haven’t flown south, (those sorts of mass migrations have been breaking up for a few years now, so it’s no surprise really, that they’re still here) everything looked the same, looked like a normal early winter farmland landscape … on the surface.

If we lived in the Sumas Prairie, parts of which are still under significant amounts of water, our view would’ve been devastatingly different.

With the benefit of hindsight it was far too soon for my poor concussed brain to be exposed to the multiple onslaught of sensory information, movement, (driving) people, (we went shopping to re-stock our perishables) and noise. (created by all of the above)

However, the multitudinous events of the last five years or so, (and especially the last two) have irrevocably altered my world-view (yours too probably) as the calamities occurred closer and closer to home until this last one quite literally appeared on our doorstep.

And although everything appeared normal as while we drove the familiar roads, the strangeness I felt (apart from the concussion bits) was a sense of relief that the world (beyond the bridge that links us to the mainland) hadn’t collapsed, mixed with the knowledge that those afore mentioned calamities are still out there, still evolving, still challenging me to step through each day of my life with my eyes open.

Strange days indeed.

Flood Evac Update – The Rosebush Is Fine

It will live to bloom another day.

We’re still under the Alert Warning, but it hasn’t rained for 24 hours, and the lake is slowly, very slowly, draining into the Fraser River. So all things being equal, we should see the Alert lifted in the next couple of days.

The last of the storm-clouds, heading east

The last of the storm-clouds, heading east

Of course, nothing is ever simple. The past two weeks of storms has created some fabulously warmer temperatures, and now that they’re gone we’re back to our usual December, on-or-about-freezing night-time temperatures, and we all know what happens to water at 0°. (Celsius, that is)

I’m not sure what my life would feel like if there wasn’t some weather phenomenon going into crisis mode around me!

Anyway, that’s enough about the weather, let’s talk about my head. Specifically the way I banged it when I fell.

Yes, folks I have a classic case of concussion, with all the fabulous completely disorienting sensations that accompany it.

I read all your comments on my previous post. Thank you, one-and-all for your good wishes. Unfortunately, writing this post is the most focusing I’ve been able to manage so I haven’t been able to reply, and I’m going to have a good lie-down as soon as I’m done here.

I’m getting plenty of rest, lots of napping, which is the best thing I can do. That, and not moving my head in any direction too fast, or even moderately slowly.

As Mr Schwarzenegger was wont to say on far too many occasions, ‘I’ll be back’, in a few more days, and my usual chipper self.

Sunset, with some clouds, but I'll take all the blue sky I can get

Sunset, with some clouds, but I’ll take all the blue sky I can get

Have You Ever – Flood Evacuation Alert Edition …

(continuing my occasional series of weird and wonderful things that never, EVER, seriously, never, happen to me)

…been issued an Evacuation Alert, (an ‘Evacuation Alert’ is to get ready, an ‘Evacuation Order’, is to get out NOW) and …

… you spend the afternoon un-winterising your travel-trailer, that you spent an entire afternoon a week ago, winterising …

… and consulting the lists you and your spouse had been compiling since you decided that storing your travel-trailer in your front yard, is a lot more prudent in these trying times, than paying someone 45 minutes away to store it for you …

… you start transferring goods and chattels from various rooms throughout your little cottage into the travel-trailer …

…when, with arms too full, and too many thoughts whizzing around in your head, you miss-time the step off the front stoop, and go arse over tit into the rose bush?

Love these little smileys from Clip Art. :) ... in lieu of video or pics which, funnily enough, I didn't get a chance to take as the world tilted me over

Love these little smileys from Clip Art. 🙂 … in lieu of video or pics which, funnily enough, I didn’t get a chance to take as the world tilted me over

Nah, me neither!

-oOo-

Assorted notes:

I may appear cool-calm-and-collected, but after today’s activities it’s only because I’ve been listening to Brett Lenahan’s YouTube channel all evening.

We can’t say we were surprised at the Evac Alert, but it still came as a shock, which is part of the reason why my bum had a close encounter with a rose. A bit distracted, I was.

Mind you, nothing focuses the attention better than that tiniest of moments when you know that gravity has you, irrevocably, in its sights, and there’s not a damn thing you can do except relax and surrender.

The flooding (and the Alert) is as a result of Atmospheric River #3, which is forecast to flow into our neck of the woods this evening, (Tuesday) and bugger off to parts east by Thursday morning.

Atmospheric River #2 ended yesterday, and happily topped off the flooding that had only just started to recede from Atmospheric River #1, (a couple of weeks ago) so, the three-in-a-row floodwaters will now have nowhere to go, but up.

The rose-bush is fine, (as am I, just a few bumps, bruises, and achy bits) it needed a good prune for the winter anyway.

We’ve done everything we can tonight. Now, it’s a waiting game.

Have another one

Have another one

I’ll keep you updated.

-oOo-

A new favourite from Brett …

 

Hemmed In – A Soggy Update

The only road from our island to … well to anywhere, really, is now restricted to ‘essential services vehicles’, only … which doesn’t include people who might be trying to get to work/shops/etc except if they’re using public transport … which doesn’t run here on the island. Catch 22 anyone?

Thankfully we, in an abundance of caution, and paying attention to the weather forecasts, did an extra ‘top-up’ run to the shops the day the restriction was announced to start that evening at 8pm.

A teensy-bit more warning would’ve been useful.

The cause is obvious. Of the four main highways out of here, (the Lower Mainland) only one is open for business, intermittently, so ALL the freight that would’ve been transported across a total of ten lanes of various highways, is now rerouted through our town, (one lane of traffic each way) and onto the above-mentioned intermittent lane of highway … which caused a teensy-bit of congestion.

Our ‘top-up’ shop, a trip of half-an-hour, took two hours and two detours.

This video, posted yesterday (24th) gives you an idea of the current state of affairs …

… A lot of the water has receded, but everything, to the right of the highway at the beginning of the video to when the helicopter turns back west, was underwater up until a few days ago.

We’re on our second ‘atmospheric river’, and as I type it’s raining as though someone’s turned a tap on full-bore. Another one is due on Saturday, and a final one (at least for now) is due a few days after that.

Gas (petrol) rationing is still in effect, I don’t see it going away any time soon really.

And finally … cue this YouTube channel with some boots-on-the-ground video of the repairs to one of major washouts on the Coquihalla Highway, one of the afore-mentioned highways that isn’t open for business.

We’re both fine. I have moments when I’m not, but that’s OK, no-one can be fine all the time going through these times, even if she’s not flooded in.

Dodging Bullets

Migraine update – My brain is finally operating completely within my skull and no further galaxies have been busted.

I’ve been trying to finish this post for a few days now, but each time I think I’ve reached the end, another bullet whizzes past my ear, with that characteristic z-zip-p-p sound that a high velocity projectile makes when it doesn’t hit you.

Living through this climate crisis, the one thing you do above all else is dodge bullets.

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we’ve had a bit of rain here recently. If you do an internet search for ‘Fraser Valley BC flood’, you’ll see what I mean. Also …

Currently all four road and rail routes connecting us to the rest of BC are sporting gaping wounds and are out of commission for the foreseeable future. The only way out is to swim or fly.

I took this next video at the height of the deluge, standing on our front stoop as a river of water burbles its merry way along our footpath. At this point it’s about 10cm deep at one end and 5cm at the other …

Looks pretty doesn’t it, all that water filtering down through the grass/moss lawn.

Another torrent of water ran down the side of the house and ended up here …

But for all that water, (and it just kept on coming for hours, and hours) our little cottage remained high and dry, as are we.

The lake too filled, and filled, and filled, and two days later when the clouds had almost cleared, we pootled down to take a look …

See that pontoon out there? It usually rests on the lakeshore. The old-timers here tell us that the water’s never been this high before.

This is where I shot that video from

This is where I shot that video from

There are fuel and food shortfalls, (not quite ‘shortages’, yet) farmland devastated, farm animals barely rescued in time, or drowned, livelihoods destroyed, towns inundated with floodwaters, and mass evacuations.

The houses on the low-lying areas of our island are under a meter of water.

Thankfully, nothing ‘gushes’ on a lake, so no washouts, or eroding of banks, and the bridge on and off the island is still firmly where it ought to be. In that, we dodged a bullet.

Gasoline is being rationed until the end of the month. (no roads, no deliveries) Because we rotate through two 20L gas cans on a regular basis, and there’s really nowhere to drive to because of all the road closures, that’s another bullet (temporarily) dodged.

Our Province, only just emerging from fifteen months of a Covid-19 State of Emergency, has now declared another one to deal with the scope of this disaster.

From my, admittedly not entirely objective viewpoint at the moment, the last eighteen months seem as though every disaster movie has come home to roost.

I’m not feeling completely doom-y and gloom-y. There is good in the world, and everyday people have been working like Trojans from one end of the current devastation here in the Fraser Valley to the other. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Who knows, once the dust clears, in a handful of decades, these global crises, for those who survive them, might just be the making of us as a species … maybe.