Friday, February 12, 2016

Good Morning, Arctic Circle!

Remember that scene from Good Morning, Vietnam with Robin Williams? 

          Well, it’s cold here. Damn cold.

          So cold that I suspect the mourning doves hunkered in the snow under the bird feeders are actually frozen to the spot. 

       So cold that the pitiable Liberty Tax wavers are now wearing balaclavas and look more like hold-up men than sign holders. 

       So cold that the only warning of the man in the cherry-picker doing roadside tree work was the police car parked in back of him. The gentleman of the law must have figured his flashing lights were an acceptable substitute for his actual presence out in the sub-freezing air.  

The wake-up temperature in our neck of the woods was 5 degrees, with wind chill warnings of 25 degrees below zero. Tonight it’ll be even more delightful, with a nighttime low of -7 and the forecast is filled with words like hypothermia and frostbite.

          The people across the street are in Hawaii for the next two weeks and I’m trying really hard to wish them well instead of inside a volcano. In fact, we had scheduled a trip to a much warmer zone ourselves, but that’s been postponed for at least a month due to circumstances beyond our control.  

          The mice and chipmunks are moving closer to the house. We’re waging an ongoing battle with the mice in the basement, and chipmunks dash back and forth across our front sidewalk. There was a thump outside yesterday morning. There sat a hawk the size and heft of a fireplug, steps from the front door, likely driven to desperate measures by the shortage of game out in the woods. 

          I’m praying for no power outages in the near future. What’s left of our woodpile is halfway across our snow-crusted yard, while the sled we need to pull those logs to the house is in the shed, another thirty feet from the woodpile.

After this last snowstorm, our old SUV taught us a useful lesson about the effect of cold on polymer parts when the door handle snapped off in W.’s hand. Climbing across the passenger seat and over the console in winter gear (guess who was the only one limber and small enough, to do this?) is an experience not to be forgotten.

          My cooking repertoire has taken a dangerous shift toward mashed potatoes, pasta, and pie, while any desire for a salad with, perhaps a heart-healthy fillet of fish, has completely evaporated.  

          And cabin fever could become an issue since these days I hesitate to leave the house. This week I developed a case of dry-air nosebleeds which merrily erupt with no warning.



  1. I realized that tonight is the first time I will have left the house since 6 days ago! And we are only in the low 20's here.

  2. Dry-air nosebleeds? Nasty. Very nasty.
    I hope you get some respite soon. And mashed potato sounds very good indeed. With lots of butter.

    1. And garlic. Garlic mashed potatoes. Yum.

  3. Brrr. I remember those winter days--and nights--well. Bring on the mashed potatoes. You'll work them off shivering to keep warm!

  4. Work them off. You'll work them off!

  5. You have a full blown case of winter blues. I fully sympathize. We are on the other side of the winter equinox; hang tough.
    Can you believe that I'm not whining.

  6. WE are very cold here and way below zero windchills...parka weather for sure! I guess we are used to it:)

  7. Super description of some nasty weather. I can almost feel it. Keep safe and warm.

  8. You woke up to 5 degrees?? We work in Celsius here downunder, so that's off the scale for us. Our 5C is 41F and even that is far too cold for me.

    Sorry to hear about the nosebleeds, I get similar from extreme heat, but not often.

  9. While you are experiencing frigid temps, here in CO it has decided to veer temporarily toward spring. People are outside in shirtsleeves. Keep warm!

  10. I remember those nosebleeds when I lived in Boulder, Colorado in the wintertime. No such thing happens here in the Pacific Northwest where it's much warmer and wetter! That snapped-off door handle is no joke. Yikes! :-(

  11. Stay safe and warm. I can't even imagine that cold.

  12. I don't think I could deal with that much cold. We've lived in Colorado and Germany and both got cold, but not that cold. Hope you have a very warm trip.

  13. You have permanently cured me of any thought of ever moving north.

  14. Damn, that's cold! :-) And here's me complaining about 5-6 degrees above. :-)

    Greetings from London.

  15. That IS cold! We're a lot colder than we were a week ago here too, though not as bad off as you. (I can still get outside, I hesitate to tell you.)


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