You know what’s sweet?

Maple syrup!

You know what’s really sweet?

When the maple syrup comes from your own back yard!

And, you know what’s EVEN sweeter?

When the maple sap starts to run earlier in the season than usual, and you manage to figure that out before it’s too late! 馃榾

You see, typically, the sap starts to run in mid-March. And it’s those days when the temps are above 5C in today and well below freezing at night that triggers the sap to glow up the tree. But we all know, (of us, everywhere!) that weather patterns are bonkers, do we must remain vigilant and observant.

In early February, I noticed the maple buds starting to swell and took a chance. Taps in trees – buckets under taps – sap boiled down (40 litres of sap = 1 litre of syrup). And, voila!!

Our own Maple Syrup! SWEET!!!



We have to have weather, whether or not. Right?

Or … Adapting to winter on the Coast of the North Atlantic

Wind is the story here. And wildly fluctuating temperatures.

In the previous post, I mentioned that the weather gods were sending us rain and wind for Christmas. It was the forecast of high winds that had me worried. That “gift” was delivered with enthusiasm! Oh, it rained alight!! The rain gutters sounded as if someone had turned in a tap on full force. Temperatures were mild, well above freezing. The wind blew roof shingles off houses, toppled trees and knocked out the electricity to tens of thousands.

We had a simple, old-fashioned county Christmas dinner, ourselves. (Luckily, the turkey had JUST come when the power went out). For us the outage added an element of atmosphere and was restored after about 6 hours – much to the relief of my millennial sons. Others were not so fortunate – some folks made due without power for three more days. Which really was a challenge because the storm was followed by super cold temperatures – in the -20C area with windchill around -27C.

Our annual Christmas hike was postponed till Boxing Day – and let me tell you, it was “some cold”!!

I do not envy those folks who had to cope with freezing houses, not knowing when their power would be back. Those cold temps lasted into the New Year.

And then.

The temps warmed up. Up, up,up! And carried with them another rain/wind storm. This was the storm that brought snow to a Florida and flooded Boston. It was massive! Not so much rain for us, but wind gusts in excess of 120km/hr. Well warned, we were all better prepared. The Power Corp brought in extra help and spread them throughout the land in anticipation. Lobster fishermen moved their boats and secured them as best they could. Hubby stashed everything that could blow around into the garage. I filled my bathtub with water, bought new flashlights and batteries, pulled out our hand-cranked radio and stocked up with snacks (#stormchips!!馃槈). I even made a pot of coffee and stored it the thermos before going to bed. How’s that for planning ahead?!

The next morning, we still had power! In fact, we didn’t lose power the in this storm at all. Lucky, again. Because more than half of all homes in the province did. The winds and tidal surge did the damage. The Halifax waterfront boardwalk was flooded and torn apart. Flights were cancelled. Bridges shut. Ferries ties up.

Our beach was “breached”.

Boats were toppled off their cradles, twisting masts.

And, dramatically, an entire wall of scaffolding blew off the Lunenburg Academy. This beauty is undergoing much needed renovations. However, questions abound about the wisdom of wrapping a large building, which is perched on a hill facing the North Atlantic, in plastic for the winter. But, no one was hurt and no serious damage was done to the building. So, that’s a question for another day.

Again, the system was followed with a deep freeze which lasted for about a week.

As I write this, we are experiencing yet another “wind/rain” event. It is worth noting that it is +15C and the rain is falling in sheets. The radio is reporting widespread power outages and flooding. Again. And, you guessed it, the forecast is for falling temps. The ground is frozen and is, therefore, unable to absorb all this water. Because temperatures are due to drop quickly, forecasters are warning about a “flash freeze”. That can’t be good!

I’m delighted to report that we, here, have sustained no damage or inconvenience from any of these storms really, except for a dark Christmas dinner. We have been in this area for more that 27 years, and have experienced more power outages in the past two than all the previous years put together. This brings me to the question of the season….

How do we adapt to, what seems to be, the new normal?

My husband and I are planning to build a new house in the summer. (Downsizing. Haha! Yeah, sure!). As we consider heating systems, we are hoping to build for the future. Whatever that brings. And what should we do for back up, when the power goes out – as it obviously, inevitably will.

In our present home we have radiant in-floor heat powered by a geo-thermal system. Which is great, but expensive and invasive to install. It would require some sort of back up, if we were to stay. The thought for the new house is in- floor heat powered by solar panels. With a power wall as back up.

We are still researching. Any thoughts?

WPC – weathered


Merry Christmas!

Christmas is coming – The goose is getting fat – Please put a penny in the old man’s hat – If you don’t have a penny, a ha’penny will do – If you don’t have a ha’penny, then God bless you.

A bit of peace and bliss at the beach today. A calm before the storm. Literally. The (ungrateful) weatherman is forecasting a Christmas Day storm of snow turning to rain with high winds for tomorrow. I expect we’ll get mostly rain. However, it’s the winds that can get me down.

We won’t notice this time though. Just so glad that we are all home here together. Both boys are home. The turkey is brining. The tree is lit and decorated. We’ll be busy catching up, playing games and just general silliness. Revisiting some traditions and creating new memories.

May the magic of the season gladden your heart and fulfill your desires!

Merry Christmas!



Dew drops on my pumpkin.

WPC – rounded



“Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.”

– Edith Wharton

Peaking out an upstairs window in Old Town Lunenburg.

WPC – window



The sun rising up over Rose Bay on a Monday morning in September.

Above the the trees, over the bay, past the headland and through the clouds …

WPC- layered