Yes, I know it’s September, but the leaves started to turn in mid-August! Word is that it has to do with the drought and heatwaves that we had this summer. So, this year I’m not going to be caught off guard when it comes to winter. I’m already thinking through things I need to buy and do before the snow starts to fall. Plus, I’m wearing warmer clothes now!

I’ll tell you this though. At least I don’t need to worry about when to get winter tires! I have no idea when I will drive again, but someday, I will experience this funny part of Canadian culture that involves putting on winter tires!

Example of Winter Tires Culture:

Before we moved here, we asked our friends in Canada about driving. The FIRST THING they said to us is your insurance is void in the winter if you don’t have proper snow tires! Since then, I have noticed it’s a common piece of conversation. One of my favourite films to watch is called Being Canadian. It features Rob Cohen who is travelling across Canada with a goal to find out what it means to be Canadian. He ends his journey in Vancouver on Canada Day. When he’s in Ottawa, it’s snowing. One person he attempts to interview for the movie is Prime Minister Stephen Harper. But when he arrives at 24 Sussex, the PM’s security detail says that Harper is out buying snow tires! That says more than any interview with the Prime Minister ever could! Since then, I have heard some funny anecdotes about winter tires!

Okay, no winter tires this year, but it’s still funny!

What AM I Doing to Prepare for Winter Though?

I learned last winter that I have to keep my cold-weather items in good condition and monitor them. I’m checking to make sure all my winter items are okay and going to replace certain items. Additionally, winter requires A LOT of skincare, especially in a dry climate! I will do a separate post about that. Bottom line: you need to take care of your skin more than you think you do. I’m glad I know how to take care of my feet after being in ballet for years and I can help my Mum with it too. After I left ballet, I didn’t care about my feet because frankly, I HATE feet! It has been very good for me to live in Canada because I can get into the habit of taking care of my feet again and enjoy it.

Beautiful Autumn Leaves:

Since August, I have been on standby to take photos of the foliage. Here are some pics I took last week! I know the first day of Autumn is on the 22nd. Um, not here it isn’t!

Additionally, I was walking by this certain church last week. As a bit of a backstory, discoveries of mass graves at former residential schools were being reported last summer. Indigenous people were throwing red paint on church doors, sometimes with the words, “We were children”. This particular church said they weren’t going to remove the paint nor press charges. And they have been good to their word. One time, I walked by there and noticed people left flowers by the door and tied orange ribbons to the railings. Someday, nature is going to leave her contribution by dropping orange leaves on the church. I didn’t take a photo because I want to be respectful.

September 30 is the first Truth and Reconciliation Day. I like how it’s happening at a time when leaves are turning orange. For those of you wondering why orange, it’s a symbol of Indigenous children who had their culture and identities stripped away from them. You can read more here. Some provinces aren’t observing Truth and Reconciliation Day, which just shows you how some people in charge need to be more woke!

Books:

I’m planning what I’m going to read this winter. Reading is non-negotiable during a long winter! It stops you from going crazy or at least delays it a bit longer. When I moved here, I only brought two books with me. One was The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson and the other was Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran. I didn’t want to read either of them while I was dealing with culture shock, but I’m fine to read them now.

I didn’t read during the summer because I was spending more time out of doors. Also, I didn’t want to admit it, but I got separation anxiety from the books I left behind. It doesn’t matter how much I move overseas, books are VERY hard to donate, leave behind, ship separately or put in storage. Yes, I have done all four. When I get separation anxiety, I can’t read for a while because I feel like I’m being unfaithful to the books that have gone with me from country to country. Here are the books I just got at the library

Books!

I let myself have separation anxiety this summer and then I went to my local library and realized, “I’m over it! Now I want to get off this toxic internet!”

I am going to do a post about a summer recap because I stopped doing my X-Month Theme posts. I didn’t have a lot of time to do the monthly recap posts as well as my parks posts and apply for PR at the same time. My Eighth Month Theme post was the last one.

It’s also been 20 years since 9/11 and I’m working on a post about that. I had more revelations this year, especially from living in Canada that I wish to share.

One Last Thing:

As many of you know, Canada is having a federal election next week. I haven’t said much about it, or other things affecting Canada right now because I’m not a citizen. Please don’t ask me about it because I’m not in a position to talk about it! I am having conversations with people I trust, but I keep it on the down-low. Additionally, since 2016, elections make me sick! I know I throw shade at the US and UK, but they are my passport countries, so I can just go there with them! I’m still a guest in Canada, but I am encouraging others to talk about it. Sometimes I say, “Say it louder for the people in the back!” I feel like I’m walking a double-edged sword right now because I can’t vote, but it matters just as much to me as it does to citizens.

I did watch the French and English debates and I actually enjoyed the French debate. Yeah, there was some catfighting, but, well it sounds better in French. This year, I have been trying to understand Québécois French so the debate was a great way to work on it. I’ll do another post on what I have learned about Québécois French this past year. Anyway, I’m trying not to be American and talk about politics all the time.

What are you doing to prepare for winter? What is autumn like for you?

25 thoughts on “Preparing for Winter 2021”

  1. Ahh, it’s so tough with books. I started selling some of my old books here and got rid of about two until I realized I didn’t want to do it anymore. I can understand your anxiety. Thanks for sharing the photos and about the incident at the church. You probably know too here in the States they’ve been trying to replace Columbus Day with Native American Heritage Day, it sounds like a similar deal where some states are behind it and other’s a little more loyal to Columbus. Anyway, I hope you get well prepared for winter this year!

    1. The struggle is real with books! When I moved to California in 2013, I know California already called Columbus Day Indigenous People’s Day. So yeah, I am familiar with the movement to change it. Canada has a lot more days and months to recognize Indigenous people, I have noticed. Quite progressive! Thanks for commenting 😊

  2. I’m pretty ready for winter although it doesn’t even feel like fall out here in Ontario! It’s still quite hot and I haven’t really noticed the leaves changing yet. I’m looking forward to it though- fall and winter are always my favourite.

        1. Love that! I thought Calgary was though because we have all these chinooks and thunderstorms and variable weather, but I guess I will call it the wild child

          1. I heard of snow tire, but I’ve never used it myself. Are they increasing the friction a lot? Do they make the car go slower? Yes, take care of your skin and your feet. And your hands too. These are the extremities of the body that need more blood circulation. Wish you have a wonderful time in your first winter in the northern country. I’ve never heard about Canadian election much and would be interested to read anything you want to write about it. Even though you are not officially a Canadian yet, you can still talk about it and let people know the ins and outs of it. I read an article comparing the current prime minister with his father. That’s as much as I know of Canadian politics. Would love to know your opinion, always.

            1. Snow tires increase the friction, yes. If you have them on when there’s no snow, the car does go slower. Otherwise, cars go slow here in snow anyway. It’s actually going to be my second winter here because I moved in October last year. I am planning to do a post about Canada’s government system, but in terms of what’s going on politically, I really am not in a position to talk about it. I’m a guest here and I don’t want to jeopardize that. If you want some political satire though, I recommend searching YouTube for This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Some of their clips are available outside Canada. Thanks for commenting 😊

          2. I always get the WORST dry skin during the winter, so I’m looking forward to your separate post on that. Best of luck preparing for winter well in advance. The leaves are just starting to change here in southern Ontario and it’s definitely starting to feel like fall. Winter will be here before we know it.

            1. Yep, last year was almost a baptism of fire. One week in October, I am having a goodbye barbeque with my uncle and cousin (safely, of course) and the next week, I arrive to a place that just snowed the day before! I missed the leaves changing last year, which was a bummer, but I love it this year! Thanks for commenting 🙂

          3. Looks like you learned a lot from last winter. I agree with Allan I don’t think your insurance is void, at least not in AB or BC, but there are some mountain highways that require winter tires. It’s funny to me that you find it funny because it’s a part of life here 😊. By the way CBC Radio One usually has a huge used book sale every April/May but hab8bcausenof Covid. I’m hoping it will be back next spring.

            1. Well, my introduction to winter tires culture was done by comedy. My friends said your insurance is void, but maybe it’s specifically their insurance. Thanks for letting me know about the book sale! I will keep my eyes peeled. Hope you’re both staying safe and healthy. It’s crazy how things have reached breaking point with COVID-19! Thanks for commenting 😊

          4. Winter skin care is so important!!!! Though I love skincare through the year but during the winters my skin just needs that extra love otherwise it is so so dry.

            I haven’t moved a lot just 2 times but I haven’t left any book ever even the ones I didn’t enjoy. I usually just ship the box to my parent’s place for safe keeping. Though when my parent’s were moving homes 6-7 years back – a box of my books got ruined in the rains and it broke my heart since it had my original Harry Potter’s 🥺

            1. Winters here are especially dry because Calgary is on the high planes right before the Canadian Rockies. That’s so sad about your books! 😭 I had books ruined too, but not while moving. Houses in London get serious mould problems and my books got a mould attack and had to be thrown out. This is among many reasons why I hate mould! Thanks for commenting 😊

            1. There really is something special about voting abroad! Were you able to see the French debate on YouTube? That was the only place I could get it. The translation from CBC got in the way. Québécois est très intéressant et c’est tout maintenant! 🙂

          5. Ha Ha. Not sure about insurance being null and void in winter if you do not have winter tires. That may be only certain companies. I will be changing the tires on my 2 cars around mid October. Yeah, its a hassle, but it is better than red light tickets and crashes because we are not able to stop. Right now, I am cleaning my yard up and this Thursday I will rip out my remaining tomato vines and a few carrots. The other carrots must be Canadian as they actually taste sweeter after frost and snow. Leaf cleanup will be ongoing until the snow flies. I will be changing out the furnace filter and making sure my snow shovels are in good nick. But, mostly, I will be outdoors, walking biking, hiking or chillaxing on the back deck as long as good fall weather permits. In mid October, I will reinstall my plastic deck bubble to extend the fall season a bit. All too soon, the winter will be here, it is not like we do not know this. I have seen this happen 67 times before. It is pretty for a while, it is annoying when you have to shovel it and it gets old in a hurry. But, hey, there are no mosquitoes tornadoes, hurricanes, flash floods or wild fires. Winter white is a reasonable trade off. Fingers crossed that autumn lingers longer. Stay well and happy preparedness. Allan

            1. I like the idea of Canadian carrots! That’s interesting about insurance companies and winter tires. I heard it’s always void if you don’t have them. I would definitely prefer winter over what we had last summer. Wildfires SUCK!! Plus, since 2017, not a summer has gone by without having wildfires. It gets old really fast especially when summer is short here. If I were to go to a climate protest, my sign would say, “Give us back our summers!”

          6. An interesting post, TCK. I enjoyed the winter tires video clip 😀 I’ve never had to prepare for winter so that your post is a great learning opportunity. Better you than me. I’ve had to leave several of my favorite books behind with each move, so I understand how you must feel. While I’m not following Canada’s elections, I will be on the lookout for the winning team.

            1. The first time I saw the winter tires clip, I couldn’t stop laughing! I watch it often. Books are hard to get rid of 😔. Plus, I grew up on French children’s books so those are even more precious! Thanks for your kind wishes with the election. I forgot how tough it is to not be able to vote. Thanks for commenting 😊

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