Do you think YOUR winter was bad?

It’s official. My home town has experienced the worst winter in over a hundred years, according to our local newspaper.

Our front sidewalk, April 5th, 2014

Our front sidewalk, April 5th, 2014

The Winnipeg Free Press quotes the national meteorologist, Dave Phillips, who says, “Nobody alive can say they’ve had it colder in Winnipeg . . . The story about this winter was the relentlessness of it. There was really no break. It was from the get-go. Even October was a half-degree colder than normal. Nobody had the look and feel of winter more than Winnipeg,” he said. “So if we award the prize for citizens who’ve endured the toughest winter, I think you guys would win gold.”

Another view from our front window.

Another view from our front window.

There were days when we were colder than Syberia and even Mars! To read more about our record-breaking cold and snowfall, follow the link above.

Our back deck. For reference, our fence is 6 feet high.

Our back deck. For reference, our fence is 6 feet high.

And it’s not over, yet. We still have several feet of snow in our yard and had a few more inches fall yesterday. While we weren’t hit as hard as North Dakota & Minnesota to the south of us, or even east of us over the past few days, we are dreading what will happen when all that snow melts. With the Red River bringing in all that additional snow form down south, it’s anyone’s guess as to how high the flood levels will get. Our only consolation is the fact that the Floodway was recently expanded to hold more water, so the city itself should not be affected by floodwaters as much as the outlying areas.

Our back yard, with our trailer buried in the snow.

Our back yard, with our trailer buried in the snow.

However, the frost has dug so deeply this winter that thousands of Winnipeggers have experienced frozen water pipes. As of yesterday, according to the Free Press, 2, 359 properties have been affected. “While the city has been successful in thawing some lines, it can’t keep up.” There are still 1, 363 property owners who are on the waiting list. Most of those live in older neighbourhoods where pipes were laid closer to the surface. Fortunately, our neighbourhood is only about 30 years old.

In the Free Press article it states, “Even with warmer weather, the ground remains frozen and properties will be at risk of frozen lines until late May or early June.” Those affected have been asked to keep their water running 24/7 until the ground thaws to avoid pipes being damaged by frozen water. Their water bills will supposedly be ‘adjusted’ once the crisis is over.

Oh, in case you were wondering if I took the photos above during mid-winter, be assured, they were taken from my windows a few moments before posting this. While some snow has melted since mid-winter, all this still remains – and it’s already April 5th! Is there any wonder why I haven’t felt much like blogging? 😦

So, tell me about YOUR winter.

So Sorry For My Cyber Silence

camera photos 009

Let me begin by sending birthday wishes to my April Fool’s kitty. He is now 13 years old. He’s beginning to show his age – a little arthritic, like me & Hubby. He’s starting to slim down and his digestion isn’t as good as it used to be, but we still love him and hope he stays with us for many more years.

With that said, I want to apologize profusely for my my absence over the past month and thank those who expressed their concern. I appreciate you guys looking out for me. 🙂

I think my muse must have wondered where our spring weather was and was so depressed by the high snowbanks, unending snowfalls and frigid temperatures in March that she decided to go on vacation! As a result, she wasn’t around to motivate me into writing at all and is it any wonder? Here’s what it looked like out our windows, front and back, on Saturday – more like January than March. Blech! 😦

March 30, 2013

The snow bank is up against a 6 foot fence!

front, March 30, 2013

View across the street.

 

Another reason for my lethargy might be my overloaded email box. I’ve tried to keep up with all the blog posts that enter daily, but some time back in November I missed a few days of blog reading and it has snow-balled from there. As much as I love what you all have to say, I haven’t totally succeeded in keeping up with all of you. The enormity of this task has been a little overwhelming. I will start back again slowly, but it could take awhile before I get around to reading all the great stuff you have been doing.

We still have my brother-in-law living with us, recovering from the severe burns he received back in October. His inability to used his hands has meant that I have been playing nursemaid, chauffeur and companion, which leaves me very little time to even keep up with household chores (although if I were truly honest, housework would be last on the list of things I want to do, but it still needs to be done).

In addition, on Easter Sunday, we had a gathering with the in-laws where we celebrated 23 birthdays and 3 anniversaries (those from January to end of May), not including my birthday, both of my children’s birthdays and my son-in-law’s birthday as well as my anniversary. I’ve also had several close friends and family members with birthdays in February, March and April. Everyone expects a handmade card from me so I had my work cut out for me, especially since I make each one unique and try to make them different from the ones I made for them the previous year or two. I’ve been eating, breathing and dreaming card-making. I’ve spent considerable time on Pinterest trying to find ideas for cards. All-told, I think I must have made 3 dozen cards over the past month or so. I have taken pictures of them all and since they have now been given out, I won’t hesitate to show them to you during the next few Crafty Wednesdays.

I still have to finish reading and critiquing a friend’s Regency Romance novel. I’m really sorry that I haven’t been able to do this as quickly as I hoped! On top of all that, I have two more very large novels to read for reviews coming up this month…

…which brings me to some really exciting news: representatives from Penguin Books Canada discovered that I do interviews and book reviews on my blog, so they have asked me to do an interview with Julie Czerneda and review Guy Gavriel Kay‘s latest novel! I guess the whole social media thing actually works!

A TURN OF LIGHT

Image of RIVER OF STARSI have scheduled Julie’s interview for Sunday, April 16th so please drop by then to see what she has to say about her new novel, A Turn of Light. When I finish reading Guy Gavriel Kay’s River of Stars, I’ll post a review, as well.

Also this month, I have been asked to sit on several panels of a new local literary event called the C4 Lit Fest. It’s kind of a spin-off from Comic Con but will be directing its panels and workshops to writers especially those who write fantasy for teens. This means I have to prepare something to say at each panel and make notes to rely on in case of audience questions. If any of you are here in Winnipeg April 20th & 21st, you might want to check out our guest writer line-up and panels here. You can find more information about getting tickets here. It should be a lot of fun.

In closing, I want to say, I hope you haven’t all deserted me for being so silent these past few weeks. I promise to be more diligent with my blog writing and reading from now on. Thanks for your patience. 🙂