Snow Warning

I grew up in Manitoba, where twelve-foot snowbanks and frigid temperatures were considered nothing more than a worthy challenge. But here on Vancouver Island, businesses shut down and chaos reigns if a few snowflakes flutter down.

Last week my physiotherapy appointment was cancelled because of a few inches of snow. I was on the verge of complaining about the wimpiness of Island dwellers, but I suddenly recalled the sheer joy of those long-ago ‘snow days’ when I was a kid and school was cancelled.  My momentary pique vanished in a grin as I imagined full-grown adults peeking out their windows, happy-dancing and crowing, “Snow day!”

A ‘snow day’ in Manitoba in 1966.

I’ve complained about snow before and I probably will again; but the truth is, I kinda like the white stuff (now that I live in a place where it doesn’t stay around for six months at a time). Snow is pretty and sparkly; and it lights up our gloomy West Coast winters.

There are obvious disadvantages, of course.  Snow is cold, slippery, and dangerous to drivers, walkers, and shovellers; but today I’m here to warn you about its lesser-known and much more insidious downside: 

Snow is fattening!

You’d think fluffy frozen water would be calorie-free.  In fact, when you factor in the extra effort of clearing it and navigating through it, it should be a stellar weight-loss tool.

But not for me. Because when it’s snowing outside, I bake.  And when there are freshly-baked goodies, I eat.  And the longer the snow lasts, the more I bake and eat.

Yesterday my kitchen was gloriously perfumed by fresh cinnamon buns.  A couple of days ago there was a decadent chocolate cake.  Before that, peanut butter caramel squares.  And baklava.  And lemon pie.  That’s not even counting all the goodies stashed in our freezer ‘just in case’. And we’ve only had a week of snow.

I noted a few years ago that it’s dangerous to wear stretch pants on road trips. But it’s much worse than that: I’ve been schlepping around in stretch pants all winter, and I’ve just realized my comfy pants have been conspiring with the snow, too. Now I’m afraid to try on my jeans — I’m not sure I want to know what’s been going on behind my back(side).

Get out the forklift; I might need a boost up these stairs…

Book 18 progress: I’m partway through Chapter 1, and Aydan is finding out how hard Stemp’s job really was. But most of my recent time has been spent producing a book trailer for the series — and I’ve just finished it, woohoo! Watch for it in my next post and on my Facebook page!

35 thoughts on “Snow Warning

  1. Snow days are baking days. If I lived close I would show up on your doorstep on snow days. Tanya bakes periodically but none of the goodies you listed. Just as well as we’d only eat them.
    I need buffet pants for China Liangs Chinese Buffet which is our go to indulgence. Sweat pants are my indoor wear and outside I put jeans on over top. Bit of a stretch.
    Temps here have been up and down like a toilet seat at a keg party. I used to say like Mary’s pants at a picnic but I get guys asking for Mary’s number. Sidewalks are dangerously icy, especially when walking our GSD Lucky. I need spikes like you mentioned using in Calgary. Amazon has strap on adjustable ones. But spring is almost here Bwahahahahaha fade into maniacal laughter.


    • Ha! Maniacal laughter is the only reasonable response to ‘spring’ on the prairies. My ‘snow day’ photo above was taken after a huge storm in mid-March of that year. Mother Nature has a truly twisted sense of humour.

      The baking thing can be a bit of a problem when there are only two of us eating. I’m seriously considering setting up a little baking-for-sale stand out by the road just to transfer some of the goodies into other people’s bellies instead of our own. But that probably wouldn’t solve the problem — I’d only bake more!


  2. Had to laugh visualizing all of it. We’ve had a couple of brushes with snow here…..about three inches last week that lasted all of a half day due to rain washing it away. Having said that when it was snowing the flakes were so large….so peaceful and beautiful. We’re kind of like you in that we grew up in Iowa where the winters are brutal cold and snow stays forever. We lived in Denver where it snowed and melted within days….then snow again and it melted when the sun came out until the next round of snow. I’ll take the Pacific Northwest winters over any of that!! Also, now I know why my wife started baking last week…..huh….must be an instinctual thing:)


    • Aha, I’m not the only one! Humans must have a hibernation gene: When it gets cold and snowy, we automatically start loading up the calories. (That’s my excuse, anyway: Survival of the fittest!)


  3. You are so funny, Diane! But according to that conclusion, I should be skinny, since it never snows at our current elevation in Colombia. I think your theory is flawed… But, I wish I could eat some of those baked goodies. Such a treat. We can’t make any of that in our camper, so I’m envious. The next best thing is a French bakery.

    Congrats on the book trailer. I look forward to checking it out!


    • Thanks, Liesbet! Hmm, you may be right about the “snow is fattening” thing. Maybe heat is fattening, too…? 😉

      I would be miserable if I was permanently without a kitchen to bake in! And I usually don’t like bakery goods as well as homemade, plus they’re unbelievably expensive compared to home baking. I guess it’s just another reason why your lifestyle works wonderfully for you but wouldn’t for me — if having adventures means that I have to give up homemade baked goodies, then I’m out! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Have a split feeling towards the snow-the sixteen inches siting on top of the patio table was bit of a surprise on Wednesday morning but it was enough to persuade my wife that now we could cook some winter meals. Luckily she indulged me and I can play the part or a bear preparing for hibernation.

    The first meal I begged for was a good old turnip stew with dumplings and it did not disappoint! Not willing to push my luck to far, I was able to find a real ham (complete with bone) in the freezer and while my wife was distracted, I put the big old cast iron dutch oven on the stove and set some Bow Island beans in cold water to soak.

    I cooked the ham so I could extract the bone plus broth after slicing the ham for lunchtime sandwiches. The unruly chunks of ham would go along with the bone and broth into the soaked and drained beans the next day for true farm style baked beans.

    I don’t know if it is the weather or just being on the left coast but the Island style of food comes close to lettuce, water and air. But as Eugene Whelan pointed out, it takes red meat to make a Western Canadian!

    Happy shovelling!


    • Funny you should mention ham — we just cooked a big ham (complete with bone) a couple of days ago, too. I already boiled the bone up for stock, so there’s definitely split pea soup in our near future; and possibly baked beans, too. YUM! But I guess we aren’t very good Islanders — we’re definitely “meatatarians”. 😉


  5. I think you’re right–that same fattening snow fell in my area too. We call ’em “buffet pants” by the way. 😁

    We had more snow when I was a kid. I had snow forts all winter long. Older teens would bumper hitch down the streets. And “snow days” were 6+ inches of snow. Now they shut ’em down for an inch or two. Or the possibility of ice (like the ice storm we had last week). Snow barely sticks around anymore.

    I think the buffet pants are getting a bit tighter at home. I was on a kick of making brownies over the past couple of months, and also made some gluten-free chocolate chip cookies for my better half. When I get back home, we both need to be “glutton-free” if we want to fit into last year’s clothes!

    Back to that snow. I’m not home right now–I’m en route to Santa Fe. I’m in a place that gets usually gets way more snow than back home, yet we’re only getting an inch here in Manitou Springs CO (near Pike’s Peak) overnight where the same storm system is dumping 4-6 inches back home. Which is falling on Friday there, the day my better half flies out to meet me in Albuquerque. We’ll see if that happens…


    • What a crazy winter it’s been! I hope everything goes well with your trip, and with the flight into Albuquerque.

      “Buffet pants” – hahahaha!!! That’s perfect. I miss the days when I could out-eat anybody at a buffet, sigh. But on the upside, I’m glad I made a complete pig of myself back when my system could still handle it. No regrets! 🙂 (And mmmm, brownies!)


  6. Maaaaan can we shake hands or what?! Mother nature thought it was funny to give us a 5 day unplanned vacation around Christmas. To boot us in the behind she has been rather uncertain if she wants to stay warm or cold since. Most recently our parking lot was an ice skating rink! Although I don’t like my newly acquired caboos. Any bigger I’m going to have to register it with DMV! Someone out west, preferably where it’s warm, kick mother nature for us?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yikes, there’s nothing funny about those impromptu skating rinks! Calgary gets a lot of temperature fluctuations, and when I lived there I had a pair of those traction spikes you can strap to your boots. I haven’t used them since we moved out here, but I’m afraid to get rid of them. Just in case. 😉

      And I’m afraid to boot Mother Nature. She can be vicious if she turns on you!


  7. Here in the high desert, they call a snow day if the forecast has more than a 40% chance of snow in it. It doesn’t have to actually be falling, just the threat of it will drive people indoors for nice yummy baked goods.

    The way I figure it, spring will come and the snow and fat will melt … 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t know about Canada, Diane, but if we have one flake of snow fall here on Christmas Day, a White Christmas is declared. And Christmas Day is fattening, so with the snow, it would be doubly so!
    Living in a microclimate, we don’t often get snow here in my part of Cheshire, when other parts of the county grind to a halt… but when we do get snow, chaos reigns!
    And people eat. I think it’s a coping mechanism. 🤔😊

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Currently living in Manitoba I can appreciate the desire to not have winter last 6 months. Every time we get rid of most of it, it snows again. That being said I still love bugging my friends who moved to BC and get snow days for 1 inch and how no one knows how to drive in snow (we also forget at the beginning of winter lol) . Can’t wait for the new book!

    Liked by 1 person

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