Sunshine on the Snow

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is LOOKING OUT MY FRONT DOOR.

Since we live in a mobile home, with both doors on the same side, the view isn’t any different. However, today we do have a lovely view — with a promise of spring to come. Yesterday morning the temp was -31C first thing; this morning it was -14, so a great improvement. Hubby says it’s +1 C this afternoon. With the sun so bright and warm, our snow is getting soft.

Because we’ve been putting out birdseed, a flock of English sparrows has moved into our trees; we see a lot of them in the caragana bushes outside our front window. As I write this, dozens are scrambling around and under the bird feeder, grabbing what they can.

Come spring when the tree swallows return, I’ll be ready to shoot all these aggressive English invaders before they drive my swallows away. I see a few have already claimed the swallow nest on the garage. By feeding the birds we were actually hoping to attract chickadees and woodpeckers, and one hairy woodpecker does raid the feeder regularly.

I’m not feeling very inspired to write today, so this will have to be a sufficient response. However, while I’m here I’ll mention another writing prompt you might like to try your hand at: Crispina’s Creative Challenge, or CCC. Every Wednesday Crispina Kemp posts a photo as inspiration and you can write up to 150 words, in any genre. Better yet, you have a whole week to do it.

This week’s picture is a rather forlorn old mill. Check it out HERE

Not Moving Much

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is STATIONARY and I found the perfect photo on Pixabay to illustrate this concept. Where do you think these fellows were going when they were turned to stone?

Statues.Meatle
Meatle  —  Pixabay

As the prompter mentions, STATIONARY is one of those words easily misspelled. Many a time I’ve see writers mistakenly use this spelling when they really meant the STATIONERY you write on, or vice versa.

Not quite as glaring, or open to misinterpretation as when someone writes “The hunter bagged a dear,” when they mean, “The hunter bagged a deer.” English is like that — you gotta watch out.

This morning I’ll start with a cup of hot coffee as I check the weather. Likely the school children will remain stationary in their beds for an extra hour this morning, too, as school is often called off when the temp goes below -40̊. And Environment Canada tells me that it’s -30̊ C with a wind chill factor of -43̊ – for US readers that’s -21̊ F with a wind chill factor cooling us down to -45̊ if we happen to venture outdoors. Here on the prairies we call that COLD.

We don’t have an attached, heated garage, so at this temp our automatic garage door won’t work — which means we tend to stay home whenever possible. If we must go somewhere Bob has to disconnect it from the mechanism and operate it manually with the cord and muscles to lift the door.

The temp is supposed to hit -27 C̊or -17 F̊ by this afternoon, a negligible difference. If we didn’t have warm houses on days like this we may well be as frozen as the fellows in the photo – but picture about 20 cm/ 8″ of snow everywhere to give the true impression.

Wishing you all a lovely, sunny day and a good cup of coffee.

Poor Planning

Ragtag Daily Prompt word today: ARCHITECT

Poor Planning

He hired a trendy architect to design a beautiful, large house with an open floor plan and lots of windows, for he loved the sunlight.

Architect

The crowning touch was his spiral staircase winding up to a brilliant skylight.

A Spiral.stairs (2)

Yes, it was a house anyone would be proud to own, and delighted to live in. His guests oohed and ahhed.

The only thing he never factored in was the weather. He built his house on the Canadian prairie and the very first winter the thermometer dropped to -40F/C and hovered there for ten days. January was warmer, -30 C. By the end of Feb is was all the way up to -20 C and by April 15th it hit 0 C. On June 1st, after he paid his heating bill, he was bankrupt.

Images courtesy of Pixabay.

In actual fact we do have some very nice houses and office buildings here, but serious consideration is given as to how we’ll keep them warm in winter.  🙂

Global Storming

Good morning everyone and happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians.

I want to extend sympathies to our suffering next-door-neighbours in the province of Manitoba, as residents there recover from a major snowstorm. They took quite a bashing at the end of last week.

News reports say that heavy wet snow, up to 60 mm of precipitation, fell across the province, leaving 32,000 residents without power, including most of the city of Portage-la-Prairie and 2000 in Winnipeg. Manitoba is asking for help from utilities in their neighbouring provinces and the state of Minnesota to help restore their system after power lines and pylons were damaged or downed.

The Mayor of Winnipeg and the provincial premier, Brian Pallister, both declared a state of emergency yesterday, according to today’s Winnipeg Free Press. This gives city employees and Manitoba Hydro work crews more authority to enter private property for assessment and repairs as well as and giving both governments access to additional support.

In addition to lack of power, Winnipeg’s emergency response manager Jason Shaw reported that, “At least 30,000 city-owned trees have been impacted by the storm, with a significant portion completely felled or damaged to the point where they may need to be cut down. There is no estimate how many non-city-owned trees have been damaged.”

Twenty years ago we were hearing so much about Global Warming, and since then we here on the prairies have seen some of the coolest, wettest summers in memory. My husband and his relatives were talking not long ago about the hot summers they remembered when they were young, back in the late 50s – early 60s and I can recall summers in the late 60s that daytime temps over 100 degrees F were common. In our old age none of us want to go back there, so we were giving thanks that climate change has been good for the prairies, with our cooler summers and more abundant rainfall. 🙂

I also recall that when I was a teen, weather forecasters were predicting a coming ice age, since globally temperatures were dropping. Considering that they had the 1930s stats factored in, that’s not so surprising. Summers on the great plains of North America were fiercely hot, winters fiercely cold, and all seasons fiercely dry. Temps had moderated a lot by the 1950s. As I recall, the idea of global warming swept in around the late 1980s. The world would get hotter and drier.

I’ve since read that the “proof” for global warming came from juggling weather statistics and omitting those that didn’t fit the theory. While I have a very small — and very regional — understanding of  world climate, from what I gather the globe really hasn’t gotten much warmer. Consequently the concept has been replaced by “climate change” — supposedly being responsible for the increase in severe hurricanes and storms we’re seeing in the news nowadays. Considering what our neighbours in Manitoba have just been through, “global storming” might be a more apt expression.

Weather history includes some really wild storms, like the freak thunder storm in July of 1935 that left a good strip of southern Alberta covered with 20 cm, or 8″, of hail.

I’m definitely against polluting the environment, but whether there are actually more — or more severe storms — in our day, I just can’t say.

What happened to September?

Dear Friends,

It’s been awhile…as I’ve been otherwise occupied…and maybe a bit burnt out with writing? Lots of things I’d like to say, but hardly anything got written. You know how that goes, I’m sure. Life happens and sweeps a person on in a flurry of small stuff. Being obsessive-compulsive, it’s so easy for me to get caught up in, and totally distracted by, flurries of small stuff.

Anyway, here’s a quick report of our comings, goings, and doings this month.

I did write about cleaning up and getting rid of things. I went through my craft magazines and bookcase, sent a box of books to the used book sale coming up next month. Bob got in the mood and sent a few boxes of his books as well.

I’ve read a number of books, but mostly e-books, so they still clutter my e-reader and probably always will. My problem is to decide which of the used books I’ve bought at past sales that I’ll actually never read. What is it about used books sales…? 🙂

I cleaned up my sewing room (aka the spare bedroom) so it looks half decent now, and pieced three blanket tops for our Sewing Circle. I also cut out a dress for myself. Next project.

Among the finish-and/or-mend project in my sewing room I found the small storage tub of Socks-to-darn and have been working on those. I don’t repair large holes in sock feet; those get tossed, but most of these have small holes up toward the cuff. These can easily be darned so I’ve thrown a number of them in a “Someday” tub. And now someday has come, as part of my overall clean-and-declutter project.

I’ve dug up a strip for perennials in my former garden, now overgrown with weeds, grass, and tree roots. Replanted my iris into this new spot; they’ve been struggling and straggling for the past few years in long-neglected perennial beds. I actually found a few tiny hollyhocks growing in the garden and have planted these in the new bed beside the iris. Now it’s time to empty the large flowerpots and prepare for winter.

On Tuesday we took a drive up to Naicam to locate the graves of my Falconer great-grandparents, supposedly buried in a cemetery there. Nada. Guess I’ll need to go back to the older family members and ask again.

The trip took several hours; en route we saw some huge flocks of snow geese. One pond, and one hillside, were almost white — hundreds of geese! We drove by the Quill Lakes, hoping to see some birds at the Sanctuary there, but couldn’t drive close enough. That’s canola country and we saw many fields of canola swathed, a few combines going. It’s been wet and harvest has been slow this fall.

Winter is definitely around the next corner; we’ve had predictions of snow flurries already. It was only 2 degrees (36 F) at 6:30 am this morning. Our resident barn swallow pair raised their second batch of young — only two this time — and they’ve stayed in and around the shed until a few days ago. I guess by now they’ve joined the flocks heading south.

My computer’s been giving me problems, slowly getting more sluggish in the past months. At the last it kept shutting off and taking five minutes or so to fire up again. I finally sent it for a checkup on Monday and the tech fellow says the hard drive’s been slowly dying, so he replaced it and I’m good to go. We were dreading having to shell out for a new PC, but the cost for this repair was only $75, thanks be! We fetched the PC home yesterday and Bob got it up and running again. Works smoothly and speedily now.

I’ll celebrate by squashing all this procrastination and doing a blog post. 🙂

Little Pilgrim

but how will you know
where the sweet flowers grow
my little pilgrim

Hummer.GeorgeB2
       GeorgeB2 – Pixabay

August 24th and the female hummingbirds are still here, definitely three, maybe even four. They’re making frequent trips to feeders, tanking up — if peewees like this can tank up.  I think of the long journey ahead of them and wonder where all they will stop en route. Have they travelled this route before? Do they know where to find the best rest stops, flower beds and feeders on their route? Will they return to our yard next June?

Here on the Saskatchewan plains the grain fields have been turning golden blond in the warm sunshine these past few weeks. I imagine some farmers would be out swathing today if the weather looked promising, but we’ve just had a day of rain and a few sprinkles this morning. Weather the farmers don’t want to see while their precious heads of grain are still in the fields.