Category Archives: Rain and wind storm

Ice Storms Tornadoes Rain bring havoc to US and Canada

Tree destruction from ice storm

Tree destruction from ice storm

Wicked weather over the January 13 weekend and continuing this week if nothing else proves that we can no longer feel safe in our world – as if most of us didn’t already know that .It is heartbreaking and the icy conditions and tornadoes in the USA and now the ice storms, rainfalls and winds in Ontario from the same storm hit it home harder. So do the  torrential rains coming up to lower British Columbia. These and more (watch The Weather Network, especially the Force of Nature videos clips and that last word in the title is a misnomer and also Accuweather) should serve as a warning that we have to do something about this. Before we can even get -to climate change, first there are the current situations’ damage  that have to be taken care of.

Those last three words are important here. We need to go beyond hope and beyond prayer and get in there and help each other. If the power is out in your neighbourhood, make sure your neighbours are okay and help them  – if you have a generator and gas fireplace and/or gas stove, open your home to those that don’t. I keep thinking of the big southern Ontario ice storm of December 2013 and how my neighbours helped me and how my son, especially helped my then boarder and me by booking (and paying for) a hotel room for a few days in downtown Toronto where the power stayed on. My son, Martin, also took us out to dinner near the hotel, picked us up and drove us home for Christmas (we had the power back on then) and even brought Christmas dinner and helped cook it. Fortunately, I hadn’t opened the big freezer during the power outage, the freezer was full and except for the odd item in the fridge-top freezer and fridge that didn’t make it into my makeshift freezer – an old-fashioned milk shut-turned mailbox on an outside wall, food was okay.

Put salt on your driveway, sidewalks and verandah to melt the ice. As long as the temperature doesn’t go much below freezing it will soften the ice somewhat. Then get out there and move the ice with a sharp shovel. A garden digging shovel works fine. I know some of you with be tut-tutting the choice of salt, but in a situation like this people’s safety is the main thing. If you really want to get all environmentally proactive clearing the ice, use sand, but good luck finding any in winter.

I also have another problem to watch and with me it can happen without the torrential rainfalls in BC. I’m talking about basement flooding. Many properties in the area I live in have this problem due to the area being low level, with old sewers. The City of Toronto is working to remedy this situation but it will take years. See basement flooding program for more info on this.

My problem can happen no matter what the sewer infrastructure is because a contractor named  Nigel Applewaite who I hired to dig the side of the house with the wall cracks and to seal it, didn’t dig down far enough. He won ‘t do anything about it and has blamed it on the sewer drains. I had city workers check that out – twice. Drain was clear.

There was one other thing that developed that has something to do with it – the-eavestrough middle on the east side of the house got mis-shaped into a bow, no doubt from something in “nature” – i.e. extreme weather and/or raccoons.  My handyman noticed it when he put up heating cables there and on the roof. I hired a professional eavestrough company (I checked with three of them) last year to fix it. The eavesgtrough needed re-aligning. So far it seems to be helping, but I keep an eye on my basement floors and heavy towels on the floors under two windows are a permanent part of the decor. Today, with heavy rains and winds from the east I am doing regular checks of my basement and there better not be any water get in.

One thing all this weather damage does to you. If you’ve lived through it, you become wary and worried, sometimes to the point of paranoia.

Another reason to help your family, friends and neighbours when extreme weather hits. They say misery loves company. But so does picking up after all the misery. It is being pro-active together, much better than burying your face in whatever. Much better than doing something to relax. You need to take action and sometimes the adrenalin from the worry and the bad surprise can act as a catalyst for strength to try to fix the situation.

Just think if a group of neighbours, friends, etc. all work together towards this.

Fix the current disaster, then move on to climate change action. Do it in steps from the beginning.

And yes, I haven’t forgotten that governments and corporations have to do their part too. Some are.

But that’s a topic for another blog post.

As for Nigel Applewaite, he has had flooding in the basement and garage of his home. Sometimes what goes around does actually come around if we just let it.

Be safe.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Climate Change, Extreme Weather, Faulty Contractors, Floods, Helping Others, Hydro power outage, Ice Storms, Life demands, Only child, Rain and wind storm

Only Child gets those life irritations out of the way

Only child in her home

Only child in her home

Sometimes just listing the 10 or 12 things that irritate you the most can help you get going into what to focus on (or not) in 2017. As I often do, I took this process backwards – did my focus and goals first. But I do have a category box for What I don’t like doing/What I don’t need to do.

So, loosely based on that,  (or some of the flip side of my goals) and just what I’ve observed in the world the past year, here in no particular order is my dirty dozen:

  1. Friends who phone and don’t leave a message. How am I supposed to know they called when I was out or otherwise not available?
  2. Telemarketers and the like who leave a voice mail message.
  3. Rain in the winter – heavy or otherwise and heavy rain, heavy winds any other time as well.
  4. Winter
  5. Unforeseeable house and property problems such as water getting in the basement from no. 3 above or for any reason.
  6. Consumer service and utility screw-ups.
  7. Family, friends and yes, me too, getting sick, especially with something serious.
  8. Public transit problems.
  9. Leaders of countries who are dictators (that’s the leaders, not the country here).
  10. Rude pushy people.
  11. Not getting enough sleep.
  12. Going crazy trying to manage my time.

That’s the tip of the iceberg. But I do love many things like gardening, writing and reading. Another blog post will go into some of that.

What are your pet peeves – what irritates you a lot?

May your 2017 be happier, brighter and more focused than 2016.

Good riddance to 2016.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

 

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Filed under Civility, Extreme Weather, Leaky Basements, Life demands, Lists, Only child, Public Transit, Rain and wind storm, Sleep deprivation, Time management, Weather

Only Child’s hearing returns – problem list still long

Martin, Juni and me on the new couch. I'm the sloucher

Martin, Juni and me on the new couch. I’m the sloucher.

My hearing is back to normal thanks to the ear drops and the doctor flushing out my ears again. I’m grateful for that. A few days after that some of the respiratory gland stuff died down – at least it looks that way. Still have the tinnitus in one ear and some sinus problems but the latter could very well be from allergies. I want to get tested for allergies in the next few months.

This big scare made me think about all the problems – health and otherwise – I’ve had to face during the summer and the fall so far. One of my friends says I have a hard life and he is right. Sometimes I think someone or something has put a curse on me.

Won’t rehash my whole life – that’s for the memoir books. But a partial list of the problems over the last six months is scary enough. Besides the ear and respiratory problems mentioned above, the following has been happening.

  • got stung by a wasp with a local allergic reaction in August
  • tripped over picture hanging wire some asshole left on the sidewalk
  • water got in the basement with the rainstorm Oct. 28
  • constant problems with eaves troughs and tree overhanging and squirrels (I’ve been yelling “roadkill” a lot lately)
  • more house and property repairs/upgrades for safe living
  • many other ongoing health problems including oste0arthritis in my neck
  • too many wind and heavy rain storms causing worries about power outages, roofs, trees, etc. (Another one due here this Thursday – garbage collection day, of course)
  • too many good dishes falling down when I’m not near them – and of course breaking
  • vacuum cleaner hose detaching from vacuum
  • Utilities and businesses screwing up my accounts
  • Dealing with the city for partial green pickup and getting the sewers cleaned

To offset some of this I have a wonderful son and some wonderful friends. Many of you know that my son Martin paid for the new chesterfield that I purchased in August. Sunday, Martin, his girlfriend Juni and my school friend Margaret came over for dinner. But not just dinner. Martin drove Juni and Margaret here and Margaret brought a ton of fresh fruit, cakes (one gluten-free) and two bottles of wine (no we didn’t finish them and Martin as DD didn’t drink any) and Martin and Juni brought some lettuce greens for me to make a salad to go with our dinner. Juni helped me transfer digital photos from my camera to my laptop. I can never get the hang of it. Martin did some other computer stuff and also some minor house fix-its, like taping that vacuum cleaner hose solidly to the vacuum and changing the battery in the smoke alarm in the basement ceiling.

So, there are good and bad. Sometimes the bad is more than the good. It should be more good than bad, but when you look outside at this world (the weather is a good example – but more on that in another post) and see all the crap going on, all the bad things, no wonder people’s personal lives are a mess. It’s like constant uphill living. No smoothies except the drinks.

Like I said before, someone or something put a curse on me – perhaps right when I was born.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Anxiety, Bug bites, Extreme Weather, Family and Friends, Health, Health Seniors, Help and Support, Home and Garden, Life Balance, Life demands, November Weather, Only child, Power Outages, Problems, Rain and wind storm

Only Child looks at bleakness outside

Another look at this bleak tree photo. Bleak, bleak, bleak.

Another look at this bleak tree photo. Bleak, bleak, bleak.

There is an old traditional song called In the Bleak Mid-Winter, which Sarah McLachlan composed new lyrics to, arranged and sings on her 2006 CD Wintersong.

The song is so right about now, November, one of the bleakest, if not the bleakest, months of the year. The sun rarely shines. Each day is dark, grey, miserable. Even when the temperature does an unseasonable rise to 14 Celcius, there is little or no sun. Instead it is rain and wind at the worst and those clouds at the least. Inside the house you need a flashlight to go from room to room. You have to turn on the lights to see the dirt to vacuum and dust it away.

As I did on Sunday when the temperature rose to14 Celsius. I did revel in that warm temperature and wearing my running shoes and spring/fall trench coat while outside briefly in the garden, moving fallen leaves to under the juniper tree in front and putting up more burlap, this time around what is left of the boxwood after God’s destruction of last winter.

Still have to spray the big juniper – at least what came back after last winter – with the protection for windburn this winter.

The rest is all hope and a determination to press on with living and thinking of what is good when the weather isn’t.

For me that is my writing, planning the 2015 garden, indoor gardening, reading, listening to music, walking, even watching favourite TV programs. And friends and family.

Especially family.

Especially my son Martin and his girlfriend Juni.

They took me out to dinner for my birthday last evening. Afterwards we walked the few blocks to the Hudson Bay store and looked at the Christmas scenes in the windows. Christmas scenes of old-fashioned Christmases from the 1800s and how people celebrated Christmas then. And how Santa and the elves prepared before and recuperated afterwards. Some of the elves at Santa’s Christmas dinner table pound their cutlery on the table demanding their Christmas dinner.

One of my favourite scenes here is the basement scene, underneath the family doing last minute Christmas prep. This basement scene shows the house mice all tucked in sleeping in match boxes.

Not really how mice live in a house they infest. But it is in keeping with the scene.

An nary a nativity scene – which suits me just fine.

More on what Christmas means to me in my pre-Christmas Eve post.

Until then, listen to Sarah McLachlan sing In the Bleak Mid-winter at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phhRrGTKa5w

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Gardening, November Weather, Only child, Rain and wind storm, Sharon A. Crawford, Trees and Shrubs, Weather, Winter Weather

Wind storm prompts Only Child to random acts of kindness

Trees  bleak fall wind stormSouth and southwestern Ontario, Canada got hit with a horrible windstorm – gusts over 100 km in some places and much wind damage including trees down and power outages. Some places such as Kitchener and London, Ontario received flooding from the heavy rain. As I watched the videos about it on the weather network and listed what I did and didn’t want to happen, something good came out of all of this.

But first some background.

As many of you know I take the weather situations around the world seriously. No matter where you live you get plummeted with what I call the wrath of God, weather-wise. If you think I am nuts, just check out The Weather Network www.theweathernetwork.com or watch it on TV. The Force of Nature video clips are especially interesting, not just because they go round the world, but because of that title. Think about it “Force of Nature.” Really? Nature in that sense doesn’t seem appropriate. And then there is my favourite “Mother Nature” who in my mind doesn’t exist, especially when you think of all the extreme weather conditions as the norm worldwide. For those interested in the earliest recorded info about Mother Nature (not the Bible folks), and some variations through the ages, go to http://www.gotquestions.org/mother-nature.html

In previous posts I have also mentioned my takes on praying to God and the shakiness about “ask and you will receive.” So, with this storm coming and while it was here, I decided to lay it on the line, so to speak, to God about what I didn’t want to happen – not just for me but for everyone in the area being hit by the windstorm.

Those videos and stories on The Weather Network show that he didn’t listen completely. However, as I was checking for damage here and so far found I was lucky (We still have somewhat higher winds here in Toronto but not nearly as bad as last night, buy I’m keeping toes crossed), I made a decision.

We are all in this mess of weather God sends us. Some worse than others. As I watched some of the videos I felt badly for the people who lost homes from floods, winds, and in the Buffalo, New York area, from way too much snow last week. The latter claimed a dozen or so lives

Not right.

While I will continue to make my take on it all to God, etc., I plan to do some good. No I’m not rushing out to the damaged areas to help remove trees and restore hydro service. That’s for the experts.

Instead, I’m going to try to do random acts of kindness – once a day – all spontaneous. It may be as small as opening a door for someone or giving directions for someone trying to find a location. (I like to do the latter, perhaps because I have gotten lost before and just the thought of it is frightening).

Just to be clear, I am not doing it as Christian or Catholic duty. After all that has happened to me and what I have seen happen to others, I don’t consider myself Christian or Catholic anymore. Not sure what you would call me here – not agnostic or atheist and probably not even humanist, as I do believe in God – what I believe about him is just not any conventional belief. So what I want to do has nothing to do with God, religion and anything related.

I’m doing it because we are in the same leaky boat (any pun intended) in this life and if we don’t help one another some way, who will do it?

You probably can guess whom I think won’t do it.

 

Cheers.

 

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Floods, God, Only child, Prayer, Rain and wind storm, Sharon A. Crawford, Snow, Trees and Shrubs, Weather, Winter Weather

Only Child looks at Crowd Prayer

Only Child  contemplates God, weather, and prayer

Only Child contemplates God, weather, and prayer

Sunday morning I woke up to a dark sky, heavy rain and wind – a great forecast for the annual outdoor Word on the Street book fair in Toronto, Canada. I had a volunteer shift at the Crime Writers of Canada booth plus I wanted to walk around and talk to other writers, publishers, etc.

In the pouring rain with thunder?

I think not.

Shaking my fist at the sky I told God just what I thought of the weather and added, “It’s not just me; there are thousands of others who are going to Word on the Street and won’t like being stuck in the rain.”

To add insult to injury both my land line and Internet were down – and they are part and parcel of the whole utility she-bang where I daily ask God to keep them all working. I may not be Christian but I do believe in God and believe he should listen to our prayers. Some things ingrained from growing up Catholic never disappear.

Soon the darkness outside changed to lighter and one hour before the start of Word on the Street the sun came out and stayed out until sundown. (The weather forecast itself had been for thundershowers all day). The rain stayed away until way after night arrived. WOTS went until 6 p.m. and it was a beautiful summer day, hot and sunny and very pleasant (except for the persistent wasp buzzing around the CWC booth). I met some interesting readers and writers, connected with some writers I already knew and sold the first copy of my new mystery novel Beyond Blood (excluding Amazon and other online sales).

As for the phone and Internet, after a call to Bell Canada and being told the earliest time a techie could show up was Monday after 12 noon, I went back to scurrying around getting ready to attend WOTS.

A ring on my phone sounded and the phone was back. So was the Internet.

What does all this tell me?

The lone person praying to God is very likely not to be heard. Remember I daily ask not to have utility services stop working – that was the ask. But pray on behalf of many, even thousands of people and God has to sit up and listen (And of course, I did thank him).

I call it a form of crowd praying. Not necessarily a crowd of people praying together although I don’t doubt many others coming to WOTS asked God to stop the rain.

Well, there is crowd funding. Why not crowd praying in different versions? A study was done on an actual group of people praying for others with heart conditions. Being a scientific study, there was a placebo group and the real praying group. As posted on http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/prayer.html here are some of the specifics:

Cardiac patients from the San Francisco General Medical Center were randomly divided (using a computer-generated list) into two groups. The names of the patients in the “test” group were given to a group of Christians, who prayed for them while they were in the hospital…

The “placebo” group received no prayer. Neither the “test” nor the “placebo” group of patients knew if they were receiving prayer. Likewise, the hospital staff, doctors, or nurses were “blinded” since they did not know which patient belonged to which group (Source: Scientific Evidence for Answered Prayer and the Existence of God by Richard Deem).

Results?

Patients who received prayers had fewer diseases and symptoms, including less congestive heart failure, fewer heart attacks and fewer setbacks of pneumonia.

Besides this site (see URL above) you can read more about this type of study by going to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed and doing a search for “effects intercessory prayer”

Cheers.

 

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Crowd Praying, God, Only child, Prayer, Rain and wind storm, Sharon A. Crawford, Weather, Word on the Street

Only Child on cause and effect with floods, etc.

Only Child and her parents  in another time and world

Only Child and her parents in another time and world

Yet another heavy flash downpour hit southern Ontario late yesterday afternoon. It got me fine-tuning my beliefs and attitudes towards this world we live in. And yes, more water got into my basement. But before I delve into that, more on yesterday’s storm and the unnecessary hardship it caused people. I say “unnecessary” because the storm should never have happened.

Toronto received a record amount of rainfall in one hour . Here’s the beginning of a story in the Globe and Mail by Vidya Kauri and Kaleigh Rogers http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/thunderstorm-knocks-out-power-in-toronto/article13080793/

The Toronto area was drying out Tuesday morning after record rainfall the night before closed transit and roadways, stranded commuters knocked out power in several areas, flooded homes and caused other damage.

Environment Canada said some parts of the GTA had been drenched with more than 100 millimetres of rain, trouncing the previous one-day rainfall record of 29.2 mm in 2008 for Toronto and even beating the 74.4 mm monthly average for July.

As I’ve posted before something’s not right in this world. And it looks like another story by Rita Silvan at http://www.theloop.ca/living/house-and-home/realty-check/article/-/a/2559094/There-will-be-flood-here-s-how-to-stay-above-water  is at least acknowledging the flooding to the end of the world belief – even the title. The story begins:

There will be flood… here’s how to stay above water

According to the biblical Book of Exodus, plagues come in ten different flavours, including frogs, locusts and flood. Bad-ass floods have been appearing with increasing frequency across the globe. Whether the cause is global warming or the wrath of the Gods, or both, it’s mighty inconvenient. We expect coastal habitats to get water-logged from time-to-time but Calgary and Manhattan underwater?

Not only has the frequency of flooding increased but so has the damage they inflict. Economists estimate that the floods in Alberta will cost the province billions of dollars and lower Canada’s GDP by $2 billion. That’s just the meta-view. Down at street level, shopkeepers are going out of business, workers are getting laid-off, and hippos are on the loose.

Well it’s more than hippos on the loose and they aren’t causing the floods. Although the article goes on about global warming and where houses should and should not be built, it is the first part of this story that resonates with me.

In the GTA alone, there were rampant floods around, including the big shopping mall in Mississauga just west of Toronto; power outages inside and outside Toronto (about 80 per cent of Mississauga at one point), Toronto’s subways were halted due to flooding and one portion in the west end of a subway line was still closed this morning. Highways were flooded with motorists stranded. And are you ready for this one? A GO commuter train with 1400 passengers got stuck in a flood of water in Toronto when the Don River overflowed. The water flooded the train’s lower level and passengers had to go to the upper level. The train couldn’t go either way and it was seven hours before all passengers could be removed because the police marine unit had to remove them a few at a time in their four water rafts.

Ridiculous and not acceptable. Excluding the flood part, why did the police use or have only a small number of rafts? Couldn’t other organizations’ boats come to the scene to help? There certainly was enough water for their travel.

And my basement got some water in yet again, mostly in the laundry room, including in a place where it hadn’t gotten in before. However, so far all laundry room water entries are on the side of the house and in the area where N. did the excavation and sealing two years ago. That was supposed to stop any flooding from over there. Obviously not. N. has not been doing his due diligence and fixing his error – which it is now clear is the cause of that (not the actual rainstorm/GTA flooding itself, though). The City of Toronto water people have been in and done the drain testing – my property’s part and the city’s part and it showed clear. Repeated calls to N. (with this drain result, a test he kept harping on for me to get done) about it’s not the drains and he needs to finish testing the areas of the wall to find the source have gone unanswered. I may have to take legal action. Next week I have an appointment with my lawyer to update something in my will and I’m going to ask George what my legal options here are. Not that I can afford any.

In the immediate aftermath of the rain and thunderstorm, I realized two things.

1.      You can do your best to protect yourself and your family, your property, etc. but something from “out there” will shove itself in and cause problems, even disasters.

2.      This one more a firming up – all those responsible for doing harm to people, their pets and their property, to any piece of land etc. should acknowledge their responsibility and make amends to all those they harm. That’s everybody. The insurance companies don’t call floods, earthquakes, etc. “Acts of God” for nothing. Not that humans aren’t to blame for many of the world’s disasters, such as that recent airplane crash landing at San Francisco airport and possibly the running train carrying oil that crashed into a Quebec town. I don’t see the hand of God in either of these.

I really like the physicians’ motto – “Do No Harm.”

Too bad it isn’t the modus operandi for all others.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawforf

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Extreme Weather, Floods, Home and Garden, Learning Experience, Only child, Problems, Rain and wind storm, Responsibility, Sharon A. Crawford, Toronto, Water, Weather