View of my backyard wearing it’s Winters Look

I am sitting here in front of my kitchen window looking at the amazing winter wonderland that Mother Nature has created. Not that I haven’t seen it before as 10 years in New York State does get you acclimatized to snow storms. I just haven’t seen it in the 44 years that I have lived in the Austin area. Sure we have had snow and some frosts but nothing like what we are going through now. Continuous below freezing temperatures for several days at a time has not happened that I can remember, in those years.

I had to check that the pumps were running in the ponds especially the aerators which prevents the ice from covering the entire surface area, important in maintaining oxygen in the water. I went outside followed by the dogs. Mikey took to the snow without any trouble and ran and jumped in an excited way. Sandy, not so much as she stayed on the deck under the awning. As soon as Mikey and I were through with our business, we went back indoors along with Sandy who then immediately went into her little song and dance routine that generally precedes our daily walk. She was not satisfied with the garden and wanted to walk the streets.

Without further ado, I got them all harnessed up and off we went. My neighbor, Chris, was busy shovelling the snow from his driveway so we stopped and chatted for a bit before heading off down the road, walking in the tire tracks of the few vehicles that had made it out with Sandy out front, as usual, leading the way. There were a couple of other neighbors also walking their dogs ahead of us so we made sure not to catch up. Not because of Covid or bad neighborliness on my part but because I just did not want Sandy performing her usual sorry behaviour towards any other dog that we happen to run into regardless of their size, breed or sex. There is one exception and that is the little Chit Zhu that my hispanic lady friends that I encounter on our walks, have and for some reason, Sandy has sort of made friends with her.

I decided to go back as the wind chill was turning pretty cold and I did not feel very comfortable but the dogs showed no sign of feeling the cold. However, they did not object or complan when we turned around after about a half mile of walking and made our way back to the semi warmth of the house. I say semi warm as the house heater is really struggling to keep the place warm and the thermostat shows it to be 69° F. Bearable but not really comfortable. Still, with an extra sweater or two, we can live it out until the weather decides to return to Texas normal. I did add an extra cover to the bed and managed to sleep like a baby last night. Well, that is except for the usual old man’s problem of a couple of bathroom breaks, one of the banes of growing old, on top of radiation prostate treatment 12 years ago.

I do have an auxiliary heater that would be ideal to help warm the house. The problem is that it is in the RV, not heating it but just there. I used it when I was installing the desk and left it in the RV on purpose figuring that I would not need it in the time I have left in the house. Boy, was I wrong as I could really use it about now. Again though, due to this storm, the roads are not very driveable and not worth taking the chance.

Oh yes, I tried to light a fire in the fireplace which hasn’t been used for several years and much to my dismay, the house rapidly filled up with smoke setting off alarms all over the place. I quickly doused the fire and turned on overhead fans, opened a couple of outside doors and let things air out until the smoke had cleared. I guess, there must be a blockage in the chimney, maybe a squirrel’s nest or something similar. It can wait until the weather warms up.
Now the house smells of smoke or maybe it’s my sweater, darn it.

Written 02/15/2021