Very restless weather all day. It was in the high 50's F well into the afternoon with a wind that billowed the flannel sheets I pegged on the line.
I wanted to be outside, taking advantage of the strange, almost balmy warmth before the record cold blast hits our area.
I fed the barn cats, fed Pebbles.
Looking for a reason to stay out, I decided to snip off the straggling branches of a Knock Out rose--I didn't prune that one in October when its companions were done--there were still a few roses blooming.
I snipped away, but it wasn't a good task for a windy day.
I turned my attention to the row of cabbages in the lower garden. We have been harvesting them as needed, stripping off frost-bitten outer leaves, uncovering a few chilled green cabbage worms before reaching the clean solid inner heads.
I found three cabbages that couldn't be salvaged. They seemed to have had a bit too much frost and a soggy rot had set in.
I rescued 7.
There is surely no room in the fridge for 7 cabbages--there was half of a large one already reposing in the veg drawer.
I have Matt's truck in the dooryard while he, with Gina and Jimmy, are taking part in a family holiday.
I made a quick trip to Wal Mart for ground beef, a big bunch of celery and a bag of carrots.
My first batch of French Cabbage Soup [what is French about it?] simmered, filling the kitchen with a savory smell, even as the wind grew stronger and dirty grey clouds billowed across the darkening sky.
I hurried up to the barn to give Pebbles another pad of hay and shake extra kibble in the cat dish.
Cold rain struck my face as I leaned into the wind.
Within minutes the rain had become sloppy snow.
Back in the kitchen I discovered a few lemons lurking in the bottom drawer of the fridge.
An hour later two loaves of lemon bread cooled on a rack, lemon glaze puddling beneath them.
The needle on the old thermometer in the carport was holding steady at 49 degrees.
The cats, as always, have felt the approaching change in the weather.
The three boys popped in and out until the falling temps dictated closing the sliding doors.
Inside, they milled about, provoking mock quarrels, skittering found objects along the hall floor.
Charlie and Willis went in and out each time I fetched another armload of firewood.
They became indignant at being left in the carport as a thin layer of snow sifted in, blown on the nipping wind.
Coaxed inside they begged to go back out, Charlie fussing at the door, complaining in his silly
D. and his friend stopped by to inquire if I needed more wood brought in.
I gestured toward the tipple of chunks I had piled around the living room fireplace.
The boys were full of excitement, having driven home from town in the flurry of snow.
They seemed almost as storm possessed as my cats.
Slowly the evening has wound down.
My son phoned telling me it is colder in Wyoming than in Kentucky.
I sat curled in a corner of the sofa, weighted in cats.
Somehow an hour had escaped me!
"I must ladle my soup into containers," I announced.
"Yes, I should let you go do that," responded H. then happily talking on.
Soup put away, lemon bread sampled and the loaves wrapped in cling film.
Downstairs to stash my bounty in the freezer, trailed by restless felines.
Rather than keep opening the door, letting in cold, I resorted to checking accuweather for our area--at half hour intervals the temp was dropping 8 or 9 degrees.
At midnight it hovered at 20 F.
Notices have already been posted that schools in the tri-county area will be closed on Monday and Tuesday due to the record [for Kentucky] cold.
I will be checking the fire during the night, although the furnace is set to come on at 64 degrees.
Dealing with ice in Pebbles' water tub will be a chore for morning.
J. carried wood downstairs before he left. A fire in the family room will help to keep the house cozy, and hopefully insure that no water lines freeze.
Accuweather now stands at 17 F.
The wind buffets the house, subsides, strengthens again, wailing through the bare branches of the
The cats have curled up in favorite places.
I have done all that is possible to have the barn animals safe and well fed.
The house is tucked up for the night.
The clock has rolled round to the earliest hours of Monday.
Time for me to put on my warmest nightgown--left draped over my rocking chair near the fire.
My bed awaits, spread in clean flannel sheets with a fleece blanket, a quilt and the shabby charity shop comforter which the cats adore.
For the next 48 hours I am committed to the timeless task of stoking fires and waiting on the weather.