Extreme Winter Sport-Do Over Sudoku

Sudoku is a once in a while thing for me
Summer-forget it-so many places to be

The puzzle is fine….as long as I get it
If I mess up, I chuck it and say forget it

It’s then been a waste of my time I deduce
Trying to pry those pesky numbers loose

But this inhospitable winter weather is getting my goat
I am staying inside much more than reaching for my coat

In chatting with friends they told of puzzle in the paper just now                                                                         Five stars and special codes to crack from people who knew how

Into the re-cycle I went and retrieved the five-star game
I tried it once, failed and said “this is lame”

I looked on the internet for clues on puzzles tough
Their hints were written in a way to make it more rough

Why can’t people write in language some plain
Instead they want to, on our Sudoku parade, rain

Rule of K or Rule of Necessity they do give lip
I looked briefly and gave the whole thing the slip

I tossed the puzzle back into the box black
But this morning once again to the container went back

And ERASED the errant answers from yesterday’s attempt
A challenge was needed, winter’s got me verklempt 

I ciphered and cogitated, this failure, it mars
And in the end solved that sucker with five stars

Author: Unknown

Do you have things you do only in winter?  Like a do over on a Sudoku?

A Portable Musical Instrument

Yesterday I purchased a portable musical instrument.  It’s an instrument some like to ridicule.  An eye roller to some.  It’s the instrument our mother played.  I don’t recall how she came to play it.  Perhaps it was her Polish heritage or the just the era and community where she was raised.  It’s the instrument our parents bought us and we shared it and all took lessons.  I was never much more than a beginner but have always thought I should give it another go.  Somewhere along the way the instrument became a bit of a joke in some arenas but it’s always had a place in my heart and hey, Leonard Cohen’s songs often feature it.

Yes, it is the accordion.  Since it is possible there may be a comment or tease or two in response to this blog, thought I’d just get things going:

  • What’s the difference between an accordion and a macaw? 
One is loud, obnoxious and noisy; the other is a bird.
  • Why did the chicken cross the road? 
To get away from the accordion recital.
  • What’s the difference between an accordion and an onion? 
People cry when you chop up an onion.

No matter, I now own a cute grey/green 40 bass vintage Weltmeister accordion yesterday and am very tickled with the purchase!  



I have a talented enthusiastic teacher and once I remember where the C key is located we can start.  I haven’t taken lessons for decades.  Many decades.  But no matter, here we go.  It’s important to have goals and I’ve set one and will work towards it, enthusiastically.  By the end of this year I want to play the Beatles song “When I’m Sixty Four”.  Because I own an accordion and that’s what I am.  Sixty four, not an accordion.

When leaving the house to buy the accordion yesterday I asked my husband if he wanted to come with me.  He said no thanks, he wanted to stay home and enjoy his last hours of peace and quiet.  

There’s An App For That

It is a truth ( to use my friend Mike’s saying) that everything takes longer than you think.  And sometimes you just need to laugh about how long some things take when they should take no time at all.  Laughing is a great option since crying or cursing would be a close second.

This morning I misplaced my iPhone.  I had it in my hand and thought I put it in my purse as I left the house but it wasn’t in my purse when I looked later.  When I got home I looked everywhere including the mindless places I could have put it-the fridge, the bedside table, the microwave and so on.  

No worries, technology wizard that I am, I know there is a Find My iPhone App.  And so to find the app-I look on my iPad, on my computer and nada, can’t find it.  I try to find the app to download it.  No luck.

In the end I found the phone before the app.  I’m sure I’ll find the app one day when I’m looking for the broccoli I’ve misplaced.  



Wads Of Weather Warnings

It is the middle of winter.  I was whining about a stretch of cold weather only a few days ago but wait…..can we have that weather back, please?  This morning we are advised there are three weather warnings for our locale.  Not one, not two.  I wonder if there are a maximum number of warnings that can be issued at one time.  And get this, our warnings tell us to be prepared for rain and windchill in the same day.

Environment Canada has issued a freezing rain warning, a flash freeze warning and a windchill warning for us today.  

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 5.36.26 AM

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 5.37.23 AM

Outside the little cushion of snow that fell yesterday is covered with some 20mm of rain, the driveway and street are shimmering in wet and ice.  Later today the wind will gust, the temperatures will plummet and getting around outside will be even more treacherous than it is this morning. The temperature will fall from -2 to -33 in less than 24 hours.  Roads and sidewalks will be turned into ice rinks.

Today you wouldn’t want to have a job as a paper delivery or a Canada Post delivery person or be out at all, really.  People will be slipping and falling and emergency departments will be busy with visits due to mishaps from the weather.  It would be a good outdoor day if you had a job where you travelled from place to place on skates using a parasail.  

It’s days like this when my husband says it’s good people aren’t constituted as bi-metal strips.  If we were, I suppose it would be good for business for massage therapists and chiropractors.  

It’s A Mean -40

It is the dead of winter here in Canada, the second coldest country in the world.  There has been bitterly cold weather in many parts of the country.  While we don’t live in the coldest part of the country, we’ve had “unseasonably” cold temperatures this past while.  

The past few days the temperature, including windchill, has been hovering around -40 C. People are being cautioned to dress properly, to be careful when driving and not to travel when bad storms are forecast.  

The days are short. It gets dark so early.  You come down with “cabin fever” from staying inside for days. Cars won’t start.  Some people have had their water pipes freeze in their homes and have tried to unthaw them using an open flame.   They have used a blowtorch, for example.  And then the fire department comes to call as you’ve started a house fire.  (I don’t know this from experience, I am only repeating what I heard on the radio.  I wouldn’t attempt to unthaw frozen pipes.  Although once I did try attempt a temporary plumbing fix ones using balloons and duct tape.  It ended badly).  There are still 936 hockey game left in the NHL season. There’s a storm forecast for a few days from now bringing 15 cm of snow, they say.  Friends are leaving for Florida and Hawaii and other warm places.  And this morning it was a mean -40C.  

Still, there are hints this won’t last forever.  The temperature is supposed to moderate starting tomorrow.  My gardening partner and I have started to plan our garden for the coming season.  Seed catalogues should arrive soon.    I watched some golf on television today and they talked about how the players are looking pretty sharp for the beginning of the golf season.  The beginning!  And we have dairy products in our fridge that have a best before date of March 13th.  I bet it won’t be a mean -40 outside then!

Do you have words of comfort and wisdom about coping with the dead of winter? Got any advice for a friend of mine who has cabin fever?  It’s not me.  Really.