Tuesday, December 8, 2009


November in our part of the world was quite lovely: warm, sunny, dry.

December is, however, like Eric the Red -- a Norse of a different colour. Last night's temperature was down to -33°C (-27°F), the wind chill took it down to -37°C (-35°F). When Sadie and I tried to go for a very short walk, she would just stop and hold her paws up, one after the other. So we beat a hasty retreat home. I went out for a short walk by myself, mostly just to stretch out my back. But it was too cold for me to go very far. By then, the temperature was up to a balmy -31°C, when I checked it out.

Yesterday, the ice pans on the river were quite large. We could hear them scraping against each other. Sadie kept stopping and trying to figure out what this strange, new noise was.

Today, we're one step past that.

The ice pans have piled up, and river is frozen right over, except for a few open spots.

There is still mist coming off the open bits of water, and the sun lends an etherial quality to the scene.

But the geese haven't left!

Silly as a goose, or what?

This is pretty much what it will be like until spring. Makes for hardy stock -- human and animal.
If you want to come for a visit, just make sure to bring your ice skates (we've got lot of skating rinks -- but no skating on the river -- too dangerous!). Or you could bring your cross-country skis.

Here's hoping you have a pleasant day, wherever you are. Sadie and I will likely sit on the sofa, beside the gas stove. I'll read; she'll sleep.


Rosaria Williams said...

Did I read minus 27F ? Ouch! We are now experiencing cold nights that tip into the 20's and are feeling those bones. Stay dry.

The Blog Fodder said...

You and Sadie have the right idea about what to do with winter. As to walks, can she wear doggie boots or will she just sit and take them off like anysensible small child?

Snowbrush said...

T'was 22 F on my thermometer this morning, and that was bad enough.

You asked about my Demerol experience a few months back. Seems the dosage given on the bottle was high. I took 200 mgs when 100 mgs would have been appropriate. At the correct dose, I have no complaints. This is yet another example of never trusting anyone to get it right when life and limb are at stake. Of course, one often HAS to trust--or to at least hope for the best, as with my surgery later this week.

Reasons said...

Brrrr!!! You stay right there until Spring, that's what bears do you know.

Rob-bear said...

® Lakeviewer: You did indeed read minus 27. Sometimes it gets down to minus 40. But at that temperature, only "mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun," to quote Noel Coward.

® FB: I think we'll pass on the doggie boots. She'd probably spend her time trying to pull them off.

® Snowbrush: 22 degrees? Practically a heat wave. Sorry to hear about the nasty Demerol experience. You really have to be careful. I was reading in a medical journal recently about the alarming rise in the number of deaths from OxyContin. Not a good sign.

® Reasons: I really should be hibernating, but like other wild animals accustomed to living among humans, I get a bit confused about things. Sigh! BTW, how is the move going?

Natalie said...

I cannot even begin to comprehend that level of cold.....why do you live there?

Why do I suffer through scorching summers? I do not know.It is what we know, I guess.x

Rob-bear said...

® Snowbrush: footnote -- see http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/painkiller-deaths-double-in-ontario/article1392262/ If you cannot access it, I'll try to find another way of sending it to you.

® Natalie: I live here because that's where my job is/was. We could live elsewhere, but it would be a LOT more expensive.

Snowbrush said...

I've known people, including myself, who couldn't get adequate pain relief from a doctor, but I've not known anyone who died from a painkiller, so talk about cutting back on the number of prescriptions scares me. Also, here in the U.S., insurance is such that I pay as much for ninety pills as for twenty, so I like big prescriptions, esp of drugs that I have to physically carry the prescription for from the doctor's office to the pharmacy, and then wait to physically take the prescription home with me when it is ready.

Gutsy Living said...

I thought we had cold weather in southern California right now, but not freezing like you. I'm sorry to ask, but you mention Sadie. What about the other dog you had pictures of when they were puppies?

Annie said...

Oh wow. Fab photos but that is seriously cold Rob-bear. I can not imagine how cold that must feel. Get in by that fire and stay cosy.
A x

Rob-bear said...

® Snowbrush: Just prescribing meds for pain is often far too easy. Pain is a complex process, as I came to understand when working on my thesis. Intense chronic pain requires a multi-faceted strategy, addiction counseling not normally being one of those.

® GW: I can hardly imagine Southern California being "cold." Nuala is fine; she's my wife's dog. It's too cold for her too. So we let them play inside. Mind you, two forty-pound "puppies" can "play" pretty rough. But we have several spaces were they can chase each other around tables, etc. Just a bit hard on the carpet.

® Wipso: It's hard to imagine this kind of cold if you haven't lived with it. It's like fog by the sea -- you just get accustomed to it, and learn how to live with it. When I was a Boy Scout leader we used to take our Scouts winter camping (though not in weather this cold) precisely to help them learn how to live in this kind of weather, which is "normal" for us. That included learning how to build snow caves and live in them. (The snow actually gives very good insulation.)

Snowbrush said...

"Just prescribing meds for pain is often far too easy."

Did you imagine that I see painkillers as the preferred way of handling pain? As with my pain, I've spent years on many therapies and even now put up with a lot of pain rather than risk the side-effects of drugs. All that said, they do have their place. I've known nothing worse than pain for which I could find no relief whatsoever.

Tattieweasle said...

Ohhhhh poor paws! I bet it makes hardy stock. Don't think my chickens would last long...but I'm sure it makes cosing up round a fire/gas heater all that more enjoyable!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Brrrr....I've been complaining about our early snow...but ours is a nothing compared to yours!!!! Poor Sadie...poor YOU! Stay warm!!! Sending lots of warm hugs your way, Janine

cheshire wife said...

Just catching up with your blog. The snow and ice look so pretty especially with a blue sky. Oh, but those temperatures are mighty cold!

Renee said...

I love the pictured Rob-bear.

How about you read and Sadie and I both sleep I know I could fall asleep listening to you read.

Love Renee xoxoxo

Rob-bear said...

Sorry to be slow in responding here. Thanks for the notes.

® Snowbrush: Too easy for doctors. Effective management of chronic pain really needs a team of dedicated professionals. Such teams are rare.

® Tattie: In front of the gas stove. You've got the idea!

® Jeanine: I let Sadie out for about five minutes at a time. She'll start to stiffen up any longer than that. We don't want any "pupsicles" this winter.

® CW: Beautiful it is; also deadly if your not careful.

® Renee: Glad you liked the pix. Am currently reading The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy. It's on the "Canada Reads" list this year. Sadie can sleep on the floor in front the gas stove (which she often does); you can curl up on the sofa under a blanket, and I'll read it to you.

CAMILLA said...

Hi Bear,

Brrrr, sounds really cold where you are, lovely blue sky though. Great pics, you could skate on that ice, or perhaps not, Bear must be careful, stay snug and warm dear Bear.

Did you say 40 pounders of dogs, heck.... they have grown.! big hugs for Sadie and Nuala from me.