Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Well, Jack and I did venture out yesterday. Twice. About 1 in the afternoon, the sun came out for an hour or so, and the sidewalks got all melty and full of slush. It seemed like a good time to go for a walk, and so we did. It was a delightful walk, too. Sloppy and cold, but not really icy. The sun started to melt the ice off the trees and the wires, but it didn’t shine long enough to raise the temp above zero, and so today, the trees are still frosted. Jack and I went out again after supper, and the sidewalk slush had turned into rough frozen ice. It wasn’t as slippery as I’d thought. The snow that covered the ice helped rough it up, and the soles of my boots were mostly able to find traction. Even Jack managed better with only 1 slip and no falls. Today the world remains frosted with ice and snow, and I love the way things look. There’s so much more light, and it reflects like millions of tiny, shiny diamonds in the glow of streetlights at night and the short glimpses of the sun today. The walking is difficult, but not dangerous. Most people have shovelled, and what ice remains is rough and well trampled. We need to go slow and shuffle a bit, but it’s so pretty outside I don’t mind.

 

Here’s another song for today. I sing this song when I’m on the beach ins the summer looking for sea glass because they shine like diamonds when you find them. Today the whole world is made of diamonds. And of course, we’re all as bright, and beautiful as diamonds ourselves, so let’s all shine a bit today, too.

 

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

©voyager, all rights reserved

We had freezing rain all day yesterday, and it’s left our world coated in ice and a perilous place for walking. Jack and I set out early yesterday morning, just as the ice was starting, because I thought it might be the only window of opportunity for the whole day and I was right, The ice began to coat everything quickly, and a minute or two after leaving the house it was already slick walking. We went once around the big block, very slowly and cautiously. Mostly I walked on the grass, but Jack preferred the sidewalk because the grass was sharp with ice, and he was wearing vaseline boots that don’t have a decent protective tread* like mine. Jack did fine until we reached the places where the sidewalk slopes. Even four-footed Jack struggled once or twice with his balance on the sloped driveways. Poor Bubba found himself sliding sideways toward the street a few times, and in trying to correct himself, he had one or another of his back legs slip out. Then I’d see him freeze and dig his toenails into the ice and look up to me, asking what to do next. I encouraged him to use the grass a few times, but he said it hurt his feet and that made sense, so then I encouraged him to walk on the street, but Jack’s been raised to stay away from the road, and it’s so ingrained that he doesn’t like to do it. By the time we got home, the ice was already building up a thick coating on everything, and we both felt lucky to reach the house upright and undamaged. We didn’t leave the house again for the rest of the day.

©voyager, all rights reserved

©voyager, all rights reserved

We may not leave the house today, either. Today, we’re getting snow on top of the ice, making things even slipperier and more dangerous. No one has yet put down any salt, and it’s treacherous out there. Jack says he can use the backyard if he needs the toilet, and I thanked him very much for his consideration. Jack has seen me go Boom!, on the ice a few times in his life, and it always upsets him. When it’s slippery, Jack automatically slows down, and as he walks, he keeps looking over his shoulder to see how I’m doing. He’s such a good boy. Maybe I should try to take him out – just around the small block. What do you think – Should I stay or should I go?

 

  • I tried a set of real dog boots for Jack a few years back, and he wanted no part of them!

 

 

 

 

Jack Frost’s Little Prisoners

Stella Austin, S. Baring-Gould, Caroline Birley, E.H. Nachtbull-Hugessen, Charlotte M. Young, Mrs. Lucy Massey, Mrs. Molesworth, Anne Thackery-Ritchie, Ethel Mary Wilmot- Buxton. Jack Frost’s Little Prisoners. A collection of stories for children four to twelve years of age. Boston, Knight and Millet, 1887.

Welcome to December at The Art of Book Design. We have a full month of winter-themed books to share and I thought I’d start with a title that expresses how Jack and I feel about winter when it’s icy outside. It’s a book of winter stories for young children, and I love the little birds that decorate the cover.

via: The George Smathers Library at the University of Florida

Tree Tuesday

Our trees this week are brought to you by one of our readers, VBFF, who’s sent in a lovely photo of a winter sunset glimpsed through a stand of trees as well as a close-up shot of some icicles in tree branches. The far and the near of winter, well captured. I love reader submissions – thanks VBFF.

©VBFF, all rights reserved

©VBFF, all rights reserved

 

Jack’s Walk

A sky full of snow ©voyager, all rights reserved

Well, winter has landed with a cargo load of wet, heavy snow. We have about 15 cm already, and there’s still lots more to come. The sky is full of oppressive grey snow clouds in all directions, and the forecast says it’s going to persist for a few more days. It’s a constant fine snow that doesn’t look serious at all, but it’s sticky, and it clumps, and it requires shovelling – which Jack and I did this morning, to the consternation of my back and shoulder muscles. Usually, I’m more fit at this time of year, but I did altogether too much sitting over the summer and not enough hiking or gardening. Just a few inactive months and my muscles have atrophied to jello. Well, there’s only one thing to do – suck it up and take the pain of putting them to work again, The snow will force my hand at that. So will towelling off Mr. Wigglebum, which is labour intensive, but amusing. So, bring it on winter. I’ll take the pain. Ha, I’ll be ready for gardening season. I have a good attitude and a cheerful Jackson Brown. That’s enough to get me through the season of gloom.

Note to Self: Use it or lose it is sadly true.

Jack’s Walk

Shovel face ©voyager, all rights reserved

We’ve been having steady fine snow since early this morning and by mid-afternoon, there was about 8 cm of the stuff on the ground. That seems like more than enough to me, but the weather gods are in a giving mood and apparently, it’s going to snow for the rest of the week.  That’s right, 5 days in a row of snow. In November. It isn’t even winter yet, and I’m already fed up with the weather.

Jack’s feelings are quite different, though. Jack doesn’t mind getting cold and he thinks that snow is fun. He begged me to play outside with him all morning, so I finally took him to our little forest where he frolicked off-leash for about an hour. He kept laughing and telling me that his toes were tingling as he hopped off and on the path, leaving big, sloppy paw prints facing in all directions. He used his face like a shovel the whole way round. When I asked him why he did that he told me that snow smells are layered and it’s helpful to know what’s at the bottom.

“Oh,” I said, “but you must inhale snow when you’re sniffing like that.”

He was quiet for a beat or two and finally said” Snorting snow is fun, mommy. You should try it, the smells get smellier. And deeper.”

“Snorting snow, Jack. No thanks, I like my nose to stay warm and dry.”

“You have a bad attitude, mommy. You need to try new things. Maybe if you did, you wouldn’t hate winter as much.”

The boy has a point. It’s going to be a long winter and attitude is important. I’ll waste a lot of todays waiting for a warmer tomorrow. Even so, I still don’t think breathing in wet snow will help, Bubba. “How about you do the snorting for both of us.”

“I always do, mommy,” he said bounding off with a laugh. “we’d never know anything if we counted on your pitiful nose for information.”

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

By the end of last week I was beginning to see a few early signs of spring and I was sure the weather would continue to improve. It has not. Instead, the weather has chosen to regress by several weeks and return to the deep of winter. The weather provided us a steady snow on Saturday and by Sunday morning there was 5 cm. of the stuff on the ground and the temp was hanging well below zero. Well, Damn! It’s very pretty and it might actually be nicer to look at than the gray grass and mud of last week, but I don’t care. I’m gonna stamp my feet and mutter curses and shake my fist at the sky and tell winter to go home. Do you hear that, old man winter? Go on, now. I think I hear your mother calling.

Jack’s Walk

Melt, dammit! ©voyager, all rights reserved

Sorry to be late posting our walk today, but I spent the afternoon at my dentist’s office waiting for him to squeeze me in. It seems I’ve developed an abscess in a lower tooth that’s going to require a root canal, but first I’ll need to take a course of antibiotics. Ugh. The day itself was a bit grim as well with gloomy, overcast skies and a bitterly cold north wind. It even started to snow a few times, but thankfully only a few brief flakes that didn’t last. I feel like it’s Groundhog Day and winter is stuck on repeat. Again, Ugh.

Jack’s Walk

VanSittart Park ©voyager, all rights reserved

It was a damp, cold zero degrees when Jack and I were out this morning, but now it’s climbed to +4 º and melting is finally happening again. Hooray! It looks like Spring has finally decided to make a reappearance and this time it might actually stay. If the forecast is to be believed it’s supposed to stay above zero all week and might actually climb all the way up to +9º. Be still my heart. I cannot wait to see the end of snow and ice this year. It feels like winter’s been dragging on forever and I am bone tired of it. Melt, melt, melt, I say.