It is supposed to be thirty degrees today. If you’re reading this from the US, I should note that I’m getting pretty tired of writing Celsius on the end of my temperatures so as not to confuse you further, so I’m officially phasing out my unit conversion service, trimming back the excess overgrowth and organic creep, just like I did in my flowerbed for and hour and a half last night. On hands and knees I clipped a good five centimeters of overreaching lawn from the edging around my tulip farm. With this and the other winter dead fall I filled nearly an entire composting bag… from one flower bed. It looks darn good, even though it has yet to fully emerge for the season, but it makes me realize just how much yardwork I have to do in the coming weeks to catch up. Can you believe we had ten centimeters of snow less than two weeks ago?
Sunday’s run was one of those days when you go out running, and you’re only glad you went out because the experience of it is (a) something that needs to be shared to be appreciated, and (b) leaves you with both a story (as in “remember that day…”) and a point of comparison for all future runs that will undoubtedly have better trail conditions than this one.
The temperature was hovering just around freezing, and maybe even a bit above. We had accumulated a couple centimeters of fresh, wet snow overnight. And everything instantly began to melt just enough to become a lake of cold, sloppy slush on every possible surface.
By the time we’d reached the relative dryness of the gravel river-valley trails, we’d traversed enough puddle-laden asphalt that our feet were soaked.
Every step was a sloppy little splash. Every step squeezed a little more icy water between our numb toes. Every step had us yearning for a dry pair of socks back home.
I slept Sunday night with wool socks on.
Pictures? Yes. I brought my GoPro! The following are animated GIFs. Click each to view, wait a few seconds for it to load, but make sure you’re on wifi because they are pretty big downloads.
This winter I’m going to hope that I can give that title to my super-grippy running shoes. Though if I actually didn’t need them because the streets are clear that would be ok, too.
Frozen. Bleak. Dark.
Probably shoveling. Yeah, shoveling snow is so awesome. It’s the best. You should come over next time it snows. I’ll let you try it. Just don’t tell anyone else how awesome it is.
It’s still cold outside. Really cold. In fact a few minutes before I went to write this, the following message came over the notification on my phone:
Extreme Cold Warning
Issued at 19:22 Friday 16 December 2016
A period of very cold wind chills is expected.
Clear skies and cold Arctic air are causing temperatures throughout Alberta to plummet this evening and wind chill values are already reaching -40 in several regions.
…and it goes on, generally informing readers how not to die of hypothermia tonight while they sleep. Welcome to Canada, folks!
Because of the cold weather and despite the fact that we’re still a few slabs of quartz short of a full kitchen, I was able to piece together a rather respectable chili tonight for dinner, chopping veggies at the dining table and generally trying to limit my mess. And it helped the whole production along that we had a brand new cast iron dutch oven to break in, too.
Or as Claire says: “Ahhhh! Why did you let him buy more cast iron, mom!”
I took a bit of some cash I got for my birthday recently and invested it in yet another piece of kitchen kitsch that will likely outlive me. It turns out that pre-holidays shopping is almost as good as Boxing Day or Black Friday sales. (The kid is gonna be cooking in style… at least some day when I’m through with it all and she inherits it all!) We rounded out our cast iron collection with a 7 quart (roughly 7 litre for we not as familiar with crazy american sizing) dutch oven. It’s weighs about fifteen pounds and sits on the stovetop like a glorious cauldron of epic cooking awesomeness. And it simmered up one heck of a chili.
I helped, too.
And Claire actually ate most of her serving… despite the beans.
Just going to throw this out there: Dear weather, you can warm up a bit now. Minus twenty was funny for a few days, but really? Sincerely, my toes.
December 10 What do we do when the weather turns REALLY FREAKING COLD? We hide in the house, stay in our pajamas until well after noon, play a lot of video games, do a few chores, poke at some of the leftover renovation tasks, paint a bit, read a bit, work on a jigsaw puzzle while we listen to the radio and drink hot coffee, and then curl up on the couch and fall asleep watching holiday movies. The thermometer dropped into the nearly minus thirty range, and the windchill made it essentially unbearable to even step outside to grab the newspaper. Tomorrow is supposed to be even worse: it makes me glad that I’m no longer training for a race… I might just sleep in.
We had summer?
Photo of the Day Theme
A standard toned wide-shot photo of your choice of subject.
I made everyone go for a walk this evening despite the impending rain.
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Ulterior motive: some pictures in the park.
This is shot at 24mm with a mid-range f-stop and about 1/750 sec exposure. The light was peeking from behind the looming clouds and offering a tempting perspective. Now if only we could do something about those bulldozers.
Honestly, since I haven’t been much for attending Wednesday evening run club for the last few months (see excuses related to parenting & bagpipes from a previous post) I was kinda expecting an easy loop, say five or six klicks around the neighbourhood.
The storm lurking on the horizon wasn’t prompting me to feel good about anything much longer than that distance, either.
But I arrived and there was Miss H, boldly asserting her training plan upon the rest of us, insisting that yes we could leave her to go run hills-with-a-chance-of-rain by herself, no problem, but she was going with or without us.
What else could I do? I ran hills.
Of course I haven’t run serious hill training in months. At least not hill training per se, not counting the epic mountain summit climbing race I’d done earlier in the month which my calves are still stubbornly bitter at me about. They were just barely talking to me again, and there I was pushing tread up the rolling, lolling creek valley as the storm flashed us with epic displays of distant lightning and grumbles of threatening thunder.
Up, down, up, down… repeat until sore.
Ten-and-change klicks later, tired and with burning calves of fury dangling with frustration from my hips, we rolled, plodded, slogged back into the shed just as the first spits of rain were poking at the sidewalk around us. By the time I made it to my truck I needed my windshield wipers.
And then it rained.