That Was Winter

Whirlwinds of ice crystals racing each other along the snow-covered road…

Long and snowy road

Long and snowy road

Shoveling the driveway clear and salting the footpath. Crisp whiteness, icicle cold air to breathe …

Wintertree - up to her knees in the white stuff

Wintertree – up to her knees in the white stuff

A halcyon time, seven days long …

Widderlake - frozen over

Widderlake – frozen over

… and now?

… it’s raining … again.

Someone Deserves A Raise

This, from The Bluebird of Bitterness

The owner did say to leave the package on the sidewalk, but the delivery guy insisted.

Finally

After torturing me with well over two months of UN-RE-LENT-ING rain, the temperature finally dropped low enough for this to happen …

Our backyard - the bean pyramid, our newly enclosed patio, and falling snow

Our backyard – the bean pyramid, our newly enclosed patio, and falling snow

It’s not much, just a handful of centimeters, but there’s more in the forecast.

Will we, or nil we, the Seasons turn … The Summer Tree takes on new foliage and becomes the Winter Tree …

Wet snow drapes the windsock  low

Wet snow drapes the windsock low

Australia Is Burning

melina-ilustrates (Australia is burning)

melina-ilustrates (Australia is burning)

Melina who is Greek Australian painted this heartbreaking image.  It seems to have touched many people and her post is going viral.  She has given permission for the image to be shared but asks that a donation be made to one of the many charities set up to deal with the crisis.  Her website on face book is called Melina illustrates – if you would like to follow the thread and see the photo /comments/ links to donation sites.‘ – quote from Sue Llewellyn’s post, ‘Australia is Burning’

A Lost Weekend And Monday Songs

A song-list (video quality will vary) that says a whole lot more about me than anything to do with Mondays … except that it’s yet another rainy Monday …

8pm Friday night … I’m trundling along, minding my own business when I noticed a certain sparkle out of the corner of my eye. Turns out that was in the corner of my eye. That familiar and slightly nauseating ‘cracked glass’ vision distortion that is a migraine’s harbinger.

I do my usual, swallow a couple of pseudoephedrine so they take effect as the headache part of the migraine takes hold. If I’m lucky this’ll be a mild one. I’m not lucky.

I reschedule, cancel, and otherwise rearrange all plans for the weekend.

4am Saturday morning … I can finally lay down without feeling like I’m going to throw up.

7.30pm Saturday evening … I’m chatting with Mrs Widds when suddenly half of her face disappears in a soft blur of colour that is the harbinger of the ‘cracked glass’ effect.

Yes folks, we’re in a cluster. My personal best is five migraines in four days. I morbidly wonder if I’ll break my record.

More pseudoephedrine. I try to keep any pharmaceuticals down to a minimum. Decades of painkillers for my knees have taken their toll on my gizzards.

I break out the hot water-bottles. One on the back of my neck and one on either side of my head. This helps me relax my shoulders and head muscles that I squinch up into tight knots in a futile effort to subvert the crushing pain inside my skull.

4am Sunday morning … I can finally lay down without feeling like I’m going to throw up.

3pm Sunday afternoon … I surface long enough to eat a piece of toast and delicately sip a cup of tea, both of which stay in my stomach long enough to satisfy minimal blood-sugar requirements. Soon thereafter I crawl back into bed.

Weekend. Done. Now it’s Monday … and it’s still raining.

Mrs Widds Rides Again

 In my own defense I do a lot of stuff around here too, but it seems that Mrs Widds is on a roll so it’s only right that credit is given where credit is due.

(As an aside, we have a good working relationship with our landlady and if we can fix things ourselves, she has no problem OK-ing it, and paying for parts, etc)

On the 23rd of December, right at the tail end of the baking frenzy that is part of our year-end gifting to the offspring, (from Mrs Widds loins they sprung, not mine. I can’t think of anything more horrifyingly painful than trying to squeeze a whole, albeit small, human being out of my vagina, and I have the utmost admiration for all the women who do) the oven stopped working. Well, not completely, just the bottom element, the most important one.

Only the upper one remained, which left to its own devices, proved that it had the capacity to burn everything to a charred wasteland if left unattended for three seconds. Mrs Widds was not amused.

Once the Christmas festivities had concluded, the last ‘do’ was on Boxing Day, Mrs Widds, true to form, eviscerated the oven and discovered this …

Ring connectors, lightly fried

Ring connectors, lightly fried

Ring connectors are the little thing-a-ma-jigs that transfer electricity from the wiring to the heating element itself. Tucked away behind the back wall of the oven. Tightly secured. Really tightly secured. So tightly secured that we had to cut the wires to get the bloody things out.

Take one trip to Canadian Tire, add a small packet of ring connectors, stir in Mrs Widds to reassemble, and turn the oven on again.

Heating, heating …

BOOM! KAPOW!

This happened …

It looks like Kane's chest after the alien exploded from him ... Emegherd! There was an alien in our oven!!!  ...Alien (the movie) reference, in case you missed it

It looks like Kane’s chest after the alien exploded from him… Emegherd! There was an alien in our oven!!! …Alien (the movie) reference, in case you missed it

Out into the pouring rain we went, again. (it’s been raining, heavily, here since the end of November)This time to our local hardware store who had the exact right replacement element.

And now the oven looks like this …

Working perfectly, and a whole lot cleaner

Working perfectly, and a whole lot cleaner

Mrs Widds bakery on Widder Island is back in business!

We did pick up a couple of loaves to tide us over, they were OK, but nothing compared to the real home-baked thing.

Spanish Flea

I had a completely indulgent day today.

I had the house to myself.

I stayed in bed, all day, reading and sipping tea.

Because Winter has finally taken the plunge into the minus temperatures, (and it’s finally stopped raining, for a few days at least) I had a little fan heater to keep the chills at bay. (we don’t use the built-in bar heaters in the bedrooms – little cottage, not necessary – and when we do the entire place smells like scorched dust bunnies! … so the fan heater steps up to the plate when the occasion arises)

I was reading book 9 in the Mary Russell series by Laurie King – a fabulous take on the Sherlock Holmes mythos … and Dragon Wing by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman – a 7 book series that I haven’t read since they were first released thirty years ago. I don’t usually read more than one book at a time, but it was a Day of Indulgence, so I did!

I was listening to my favourite music streaming channel, AccuRadio, when on a whim I did a search of their ‘Chill’ category, and came across their ‘Lounge/Exotica’ playlist, (which is an let’s call it ‘eclectic’, collection, I’ve listened to a few times) and what should be the first song off the rank but this.

If nothing else I hope it puts a smile on your dial …