It's been chilly y'all.
I know y'all up in the Great White North just sit back and laaaaaaaugh at us silly Southerners and how we just fall apart when it drops below 50 degrees. And we do. We head to the grocery store and buy out all the bottled water and bread as soon as the freeze warning is issued. We cover our plants with bedsheets and put a pot of soup on to cook. Then we pop in some cornbread, put on an extra pair of socks and wait for the cold front to actually show up. I know, it's hilarious. But here is why we absolutely freak out when we hear that an ice storm is on the way.
Because our towns shut down.
Shut down. Y'all, we just aren't equipped to handle this kind of weather. Snow is one thing, but ice, really, ice? It makes things slick. And our communities don't have the budgets for sand/salt trucks to cover our streets. We don't own snow shovels to clear our sidewalks. So you can't get anywhere. Schools are closed, work (if you are lucky) closes too. And then you are stuck at home, freezing. You better hope that pantry is full!
We aren't entirely stupid about weather. See you in August when we've had 30+ days of well over 100 degree weather. We're like, "what heat?" We are all about keeping cool. We have it down. But cold? Paralyzing. We don't own heavy coats. Why would we when it dips down below freezing so seldom? Laugh all you want, I realize it's funny. I'm sure we are a sight to see.
Woke up yesterday early to thundersnow and sleet. Sleet is difficult to sleep through. One, it's loud and two, you just know what is coming. Ice Day. Around 4:30 am my phone rang and it was my boss telling me that we'd be closed for the day. It had been sleeting for hours and was only going to get worse. Smiling, I rolled over and went back to sleep for about four more hours. Bliss.
And then woke up to two snuggly cats and this.
Yep, that's my driveway, looking like a skating rink. The garage door wouldn't even open, it was frozen shut with ice build up. Having a detached garage means there is only one way to get in my garage. And all the tools that might help me dig it out, welp, they were trapped inside said garage. Lovely. I had nowhere to be so I spent the day relaxing, making soup and watching Netflix. I really enjoyed this unexpected day off! Around 10 pm as I was getting ready for bed I noticed that it seemed kinda cool in the house. Then it occurred to me that I hasn't heard the heater come on in a while. Sure enough, it was only 58 (14 C) in the house. The thermostat was set for 67 (19.) Yep, heater done broke. I'll admit, I freaked out a bit. But what's a Pink Girl to do? So I just put on a few more layers, piled on a couple more blankets, scooped up the cats and hunkered down. It's not like I was going to actually freeze to death.
It was all very Little House on the Prairie. Anna reminded me that Ma used to put cooked potatoes in bed with the girls to keep their feet warm, ha!
Have no fear, I woke up safely only to find that we had a delayed opening today. And yet, they were calling for us to conserve energy and avoid traveling the roads if at all possible. Eyeing the tundra like conditions in my neighborhood, I made the decision to just take PTO and stay home. Stay safe.
We've had rolling electricity blackouts all day. They are encouraging us to use as little electricity as possible. The grid just can't handle the demand. It's only one of the coldest days on record here. Ever. Brr. Trying to be a good citizen, I kept tv and computer off. The heater wasn't working so there was that. I cleaned house, which wasn't difficult since it really wasn't dirty. I broke with the electrical ban and busted out the vacuum. Moved all the furniture away from the walls and vacuumed like nobody's bidnas. Wiped down the furniture with furniture oil. Organized cabinets.
But around luchtime I started to get ready to be out of the house. I hadn't seen another human since Sunday. Yikes! So I made the decision to bundle up and walk to the neighborhood store, about a mile away. Y'all, we are so bad at this cold weather thing, we get warnings like this one. Go ahead, laugh. Seriously though? Who needs a reminder to wear gloves and a hat when it's in the single digits?
I put on my running tights under some jeans, layered a comfy shirt that my roommate left behind and pulled on some boots over two pairs of socks. I really wish my roommate would have left behind some socks. Boy socks are thick and tall. All I have are low cut, thin running socks. Footwear FAIL.
No worries. I wore a hat and gloves too. Two pairs of gloves actually. Roommate left behind thick boy gloves that are much more effective than my super cute, but oh so thin, pink gloves. Appropriately bundled up, I cautiously headed out.
Here is a shot of the terrain I had to navigate. The seemingly gray area is the road, covered by a very thick layer of ice. The white in front of me is the sidewalk. Also ice. So I tried to stick to the yards, the grass was frozen, but at least it was crunchy and had a little give. I walked heel first to try to get some solid footing. I totes felt like Laura Ingals walking to school, uphill in the snow both ways. No heat, trudging through the ice, so Pioneer Days.
I only fell once! And I landed firmly on my tail. Fortch, I had so many layers on it didn't hurt a bit! I didn't have a plan, I knew I wanted a coke, but that was about it. I picked up some cornmeal to make cornbread to go with my soup and just for good measure, some canned cinnamon rolls. What is it about inclement weather that makes you crave j-u-n-k?
Safe at home once more, they called off the blackouts. Apparently they've got the energy thing under control. Talked to the heater repair guy and after, embarrassingly, making sick heater noises over the phone for him, he determined that there is in fact, nothing wrong with my heater. They can't meet the gas supply either. I have a gas heater. So, every now and then they cut off the gas supply. Then air gets in the line and when the heater tries to come on, it can't. It's been working on and off. I'm comfortable with that.
Who wouldn't be comfy with this little guy all snuggled up next to me?
All in all I've enjoyed my second Ice Day. It was good to get out of the house for a bit but in all honesty, it's been nice to relax at home. Sometimes we need nature to force us to slow down. The Pink Pioneer Girl got the message!
UPDATE: Just noticed that the brand of cornmeal I got is "Pioneer." Perfect for this Pink Pioneer Girl!