Thursday, January 18, 2018

Stuck At Freezing

Snow began to fall over the weekend--the sticky wet kind that comes down on a grey and dismal day.
I noticed that the recorded temperature didn't seem to move from the freezing mark although by Sunday morning it was obviously much colder. 
A rim of wet snow had frozen around the edges of our old-fashioned outside thermometer.  I hoisted myself onto the kitchen counter, opened the window and tunked on the plastic case of the thermometer, then turned the bracket so that I could see the back.
The little coil on the back which responds to heat or cold to move the red indicator needle was frozen in place.
I fetched my hair dryer, turned it on and aimed it at the thermometer, shivering as a blast of cold air swept through the open window.

The blob of ice 'let go' suddenly and the red needle zoomed to the end of the dial, then began a slow descent. During this week of cold and snowy weather we've not felt sure that the thermometer was giving an accurate reading. We looked at those on offer at Lowes and once again agreed that we don't need/want a fancy digital thing that requires a battery, so a sleeker model of the dial type has been purchased and awaits installation.
My Dad was obsessed with knowing the outside temperature at all times and had thermometers posted at several downstairs windows of his home.
Jim refers frequently to the online doplar weather map, tracking storms as they move through the area.
I have accuweather forecast on my google news page--but I still want to look out the window and read the numbers!  After all, we might be in a situation where the weather is the only conversational tidbit.

After the snowfall the sun came out, skies were brilliantly blue.
Contrails stretched overhead.

The hillside beyond the retaining wall which seemed so drab during the falling of cold rain and snow, took on glitter and sparkle. Cardinals and robins have bounced from branch to branch dislodging snow in icy puffs.

Sally cat likes the old wicker loveseat on the side porch. I made her a snug bed by placing Jim's old down vest in a sturdy box.  Sally refused to get in the box, but will bundle up in the vest with the tipped box to her back. 

Ice has to be pounded out of the water dish for the outside cats.  There are frozen mounds at the edge of the porch where we push out the ice to refill the dish several times per day.
The stray black cat, Crumple, has been lured in to the bowls of kibble; he darts off when he sees us observing him through the glass pane in the front door.

Willis enjoys this shabby folding chair headed into the sun.
He has prowled about in the snow, ever vigilant in his duties as watch cat.

Charlie, the old buffoon who spends much of his days demanding to go out, come in, go out, come in, has decided that 'in' is the better place for a cat of his age. Here he is crowding his daughter, Mima. 
Charlie has conceded that perhaps he can remain quietly indoors during these nights of near zero temperatures. 

One of the loveliest winter sights in my native New England was blue shadows cast on snow.
It isn't often that we have enough snow in Kentucky to see that effect.

Icicles dangling from the stable roof. They dripped just enough in the afternoon sunshine to create a slight trench in the snow beneath the roof overhang.

Inside in the kitchen window the amaryllis has stirred to life and is climbing above its glass vase. 
Life this week has been much about staying warm.
As Jim remarked, most of his 'work' has been to carry in wood by the armload.
We've been grateful for the heavy coats and stout boots which came with us as a legacy from Wyoming winters. Grateful, too, that in retirement we can choose to stay at home until the cold spell is over.


  1. You and I seem to live parallel lives when it comes to cats! I have just upgraded the cat-box with bed in at the front porch (for Miffy) and she now has use of my Janome sewing machine box, which keeps the wind off whilst she chooses to linger at the front door - in hope of more food! We have two strays coming for food - one very like Crumple, but just called the Big Black Tom, and little Felix who I think can be less than a year old.

    We used to have an outside thermometer, but now we just have an inside one in the kitchen which never tells me a temperature in there I am happy with! Despite the Hergom being on, the room wants to linger on the wrong side of 60 most cold winter days!

    How pretty snow always looks, and as you rightly say, once you are retired there is no pressing need to have to go out in it, which means you can enjoy it far more from a warm house!

    1. Jennie; We can't deny the stray cats a meal or two, especially in cold weather. When we didn't see Crumple for months I was relieved to think that he had permanently gone away. I was able to stroke him a bit today when putting down kibble, although we were both wary---i sensed that he might turn and swat me.

  2. Brrrr! It all looks beautiful though. I 'always' love seeing the blue and purple colors in the snow. The cats are a joy to see and they look like they are doing just great.

    It must be exciting watching your amaryllis bulb grow.

    Be well, be warm & love & hugs for all of you ~ FlowerLady

    1. Rainey; Flowering plants indoors are a colorful delight during the winter. I wish that amaryllis held their bloom longer and that I could succeed in encouraging re-bloom. The cats are all utterly spoiled and they know it--to their advantage!

  3. No snow here this week, but more than cold enough. Our cat ran out in the snow last week, got her feet wet and immediately ran back in. She's definitely a fair weather kitty.
    Love that part of retirement that just lets you stay home and warm.

    1. Janet; I was glad to read that your heating system has been repaired. The south-east is definitely shivering this January!
      Our cats come inside and shake their damp paws as though we were to blame for the weather.

  4. Lovely pictures and captions.

    1. Lillian; My pictures this past 10 days have had a certain similarity--I haven't wandered very far with my camera--mostly shivering at the edge of the porch while I record the day's weather.

  5. I really can hardly bear being away from home for any length of time...especially when there's rain or snow to enjoy. Yes, retirement does have its rewards. Lucky kitties to have someone who cares!

    1. Chip B; I traveled the US, eastern Canada and down to Mexico in earlier years--and glad to have those differing views of the country, but i am essentially a home person. I love my own 'hearth!'