I got up this morning discovered that the house was a little nippy. We have our heat on a timer thing, so we save energy by having the heat down while we are in our cozy beds and then it comes on again before we get up. We had to spend the money for the one that turns the heat up on its own. If it is left to me to be the one who has to get up in the freezing cold house to turn up the heat…I will not get out of bed. I will want to…I will try to….but I will not. I will lie there feeling terrible about how it is that the children will be late for school again, but I will not be able to bring myself to put my feet outside of the bed. Do not suggest that Joe could get up. Joe is a Musician/record producer. I can count the number of times in our entire marriage that he has been up before me on one hand. The computer thermostat thing has saved my children from a less than punctual fate by pre-warming the house to a temperature I can emerge into.

So this morning the house seems a little nippy. I figured that I was just up before the heat, and tossed on an extra sweater. I put the coffee maker on, grabbed my coat and opened the door to go to the bakery down the street. (Forgot to buy bread for the school lunches last night. I know. Mother of the year award again). I opened the door, stepped outside and gasped. The air was so cold that it immediately froze all the hairs in my nose, I slammed the door shut and re-organized my thoughts.

Holy insert challenging expletive here How cold is it? I check the weather station. -33 (That’s like -27F) Next thought….how badly do I need bread? Is there something else I could use in the place of bread? How bad a mother are you if you send your kids to school with a half a cracker and some pickles because it was cold out? (Kindly ignore the hypocrisy of me sending my children out into the bitter cold with a crappy lunch because I didn’t want to go into the bitter cold.)

After searching the kitchen I decide there’s absolutely nothing for it. I’m going to have to go out there. I get my coat, my hat, my scarf, my mittens and I put it all on, chug my coffee and bolt out the door. I run to the corner, dash and weave through traffic, and throw myself through the door of the bakery where I buy bread and a half a dozen bagels. I bought the bagels because they were still hot and I thought that if I clutched them to my chest and face all the way home I might stand a chance.

I dressed the kids for school like this.


You will note that the sun is shining brightly. This is a cruel joke that Canadian weather runs all the time. It’s the only sun that we’ve seen in weeks, but it is so cold out that you would have to be a freaking moron to go for a walk. Instead the sunshine taunts us while we scurry from building to building…waiting for the the exact moment that the temperature rises enough that you could go out, then the sun will leave and it will probably rain until it’s -33 again.

It turns out, now that it is mid-morning and the house is still nippy, that it is not that the furnace isn’t fully on yet. The furnace is more than on. The furnace has not even been off for a moment. It is simply that we live in an old house with lots of drafts, have an old furnace, and are stupid enough to live in a god forsaken country that is -33. The furnace can’t keep up.

(As an aside? So when the first people to come to Canada landed, I understand why they stayed. It was fall. The autumn is beautiful here, but after the first winter? Why would they stay? Why would you settle this place? Why wouldn’t you get back on your boat the minute the ice broke and get the hell out of here! Why! I have a theory myself…I think they tried to leave. That they thought “holy crap. We have made a serious mistake. We should get right back on the boat to Ireland and forget we ever saw this place.” and then they went to leave and discovered that some arse had burned the boats to keep warm. That’s what I think. It’s the only reasonable theory.)

I worked on the MSF mittens last night


but this morning I’ve cast them aside and begun a pair of fuzzy feet knit from leftovers.


I understand that this is ridiculous. I have full comprehension of the nature of the mistake that I’m making. This is a classic Harlot error. I’m knitting something because my feet are cold. As long as it’s -33 I will feel that I have a footwear emergency and continue knititng. Then, tomorrow or the next day it’s going to warm up, and I’m going to forget what my feet felt like today and I’ll put the fuzzy feet aside and knit some pretty mittens or a new sweater. (Did I tell you I’m thinking about a sweater?) The fuzzy feet will become yet another abandoned harlot project, until the next time it’s -33.

The next time it’s -33 I will do one of two things.

1. I will remember about these fuzzy feet and reclaim them from the knitting bin and keep working on them until it’s not -33 again, repeating this process until I have a pair of fuzzy feet…sometime in 2006, right about the same time that I buy an new furnace.


2. In true Harlot form I will knit these fuzzy feet at the speed of light. I will be almost finished when Toronto experiences a freakish warm snap and I will lose my focus and the fuzzy feet end up stuffed into the knitting basket. Then, it will get appallingly cold again and I will think “Wow, I sure wish I had some fuzzy feet to keep me warm” and I will dig up some leftovers and cast on ANOTHER entirely different pair, having completely forgotten about the almost finished pair in the basket.

The pair in the basket will naturally be discovered when the weather warms again and I go to stuff the second pair into it. It’s so predictable. The only question about this whole thing is, if I can see it coming, Why is it going to happen anyway?