Warning: there is a bit of a rant ahead. This freaking winter weather is driving me batty. It was stupid cold for several days this week, with -30C (-22F) and windchills closer to -40C/F in the early mornings. Day time highs were 10 degrees warmer but to add insult to injury, we had snow and wind as well. Thankfully, not a lot of snow, but with the wind it tends to blow in on certain parts of the driveway and sidewalks.
Oh, that reminds me. Recall the city by-law that requires residents to clear their sidewalks within 48 hours of a snowfall or risk a fine of $300 to be added to their property taxes? Recently, there were two individuals in the local news regarding this by-law. The first, a handicapped individual who was charged $482 for the clean-up of his sidewalks (he lives on a corner lot), when the volunteer from the Snow Angel group didn't clean the sidewalks to the width required. As with the second individual this was due in part to the city plows pushing snow from the streets onto the sidewalk. After some back and forth with the city, that fee has been cancelled. As the homeowner stated, he can't afford to pay to have his sidewalks cleared and he certainly can't afford to pay the additonal fees...especially as the city expects it to be paid with 90 days.
The second individual happens to be a former co-worker of mine. He lives on a crescent and the City plows that cleared the crescent pushed the snow onto the side walks and driveways. When he called the city to complain, a by-law officer came by and gave him a warning to clear it himself. He went to the local television news station and suddenly large equipment showed up in his crescent and took all the snow and ice build up, pushed it into the center of the crescent and then trucked it out.
Our City Manager has now come out and said that some "logic and empathy" should be applied to the policy. One councillor has suggested the by-law needs to be reviewed. I concur, especially when the cause of the problem is often the city plows. They've done the same on my side of the street, but so far no one has complained as most of us have cleared a wide enough path. Even though I long for spring, these troughs (with snow piles on either side) will be ponds in warm weather and skating rinks in the cold. That's when I get out and shovel the snow they've piled up onto the street again. Not supposed to do that either. Too bad, so sad as my dad used to say.
Needless to say I stayed indoors as much as posible this week, with quick trips out to the bird feeder and the mailbox, and one afternoon trip to pick up some groceries, I've accomplished that goal. Basically, I've spent my week puttering around the house in between curling draws, knitting and cross-stitching while the games are on, working on Ancestry, and cursing the weather the rest of the time. I didn't even go out to Stitch and Chat on Wednesday because it was so miserably cold.
Anyway, enough of that whining. We're supposed to get a break from the cold this weekend, and I've got plans to head out to my daughter's later next week. Someone is turning 6 on Thursday! Here's a cute photo my daughter sent me - they had a dress-up day for Valentine's Day at school. Lots of exchanging of Valentines and candy too. Do you see he's lost his first tooth? Exciting times, and let me tell you, I'm glad I'm not the tooth fairy - inflation has caused the price of teeth to go up. At least according to my daughter.
I'll leave you with a photo of a very special backyard visitor. The squirrels have broken the cage I used to hang the suet, so had placed it on top of the feeder. Something (probably a squirrel or larger bird) had knocked it to the ground. I had seen a larger bird on the fence and hustled to get my camera. The photo was taken about 8 a.m. and it was overcast so the quality isn't the best, but what you see here is a Northern Flicker, a woodpecker.
I've run out of suet, so will pick some up sometime this week. My cousin suggested a mesh onion bag to hold it and it just happens I bought onions in my groceries this week. I'll rig up the bag and hang it on the tree that holds the bird feeder. Hopefully the squirrels will leave it alone.
Have a great week ahead everyone!