I know, I know, it's not much for those of you who regularly get minus 20 (or, gulp, worse) temperatures, but here on the Wet Coast this qualifies as Almost Closing Down The Town weather. There are cars sliding everywhere, people falling their way along the sidewalks, and the wind is terrible: icy cold and constant.
Yesterday, while the kids and their dad were at a performance of Silverwing (based on the Kenneth Oppel novel), I dashed around in my mother's fake fur (no wonder everyone used to wear fur - fake or otherwise - it's warm) buying the twins some of those hats with the ear flaps on them. FDPG got a bright blue number with bog polka dots and giant plush tassels, and Dominic got a MEC standard (he won't wear tassels) with polar fleece lining. I almost bought myself a new pair of mitts, to replace my dollar store reliables ($2 and they've lasted 4 years) but balked at the $25 price tag. I'm too cheap, I guess.
One of the more, err, thought-provoking moments to come out of the snowy day was the question of What To Do With Toffee: do we get out his litter box (Richard's idea) or do we chuck him out (my idea), even if he does tend to leave his excrement in the middle of the lawn on top of the snow? Our conclusion, coming as it did last night around 11pm, when Richard couldn't be bothered going outside in the wind to get the litter box out of the carport and fill it up, was "chuck him outside and slam the door really fast." Heartless of us, I know. But you know, Toffee survived just fine. He wasn't even out there more than five minutes, anyhow. Here he is, pretending to ignore me.
And then there was the hummingbird feeder. We have hummers who live here year round, and this morning their feeder was frozen solid, even with all that sugar in it. I scraped it out, heated it up, and poured it into the feeder again. Here is the hummingbird sitting in the Macintosh apple tree, no more than 6" away from me yesterday:
He kept buzzing me the entire time I was outside. I think he was trying to tell me that his feeder needed attention. And here he is guarding his feeder from the other hummingbirds. See him up there on the Christmas lights? His feeder is that red thing at the left of the picture, beside the hanging basket (my poor ice plant, it was never meant for this weather). I want you to know that I hung outside the bathroom window to get you this shot, even though the snow kept hitting me in the face (one, two, three: awwwwww). He sits there in this new weather and divebombs every other hummer that approaches the feeder. They are distressingly jealous about their territory, considering that there are three seats at it. They are also quite noisy. They remind me of the disparity between little dogs (yappy, aggressive towards other dogs) and big dogs (not so yappy and generally less aggressive towards other dogs). The bigger birds are much better at sharing the seed and bacon fat/peanut butter feeders we have sitting elsewhere on the deck. We even had to move the hummingbird feeder off on its own, because the hummers wouldn't let anyone near any of the feeders - even the ones they don't use.
Of course, the kids were over the moon about the snow. They don't see snow much here, and it never lasts for more than a day or two, so when it comes AND stays it's a thing of wonder and delight. Here's Max, pretending to be a snow statue.
Here's Dominic, getting ready for some sledding. Before his New Hat Experience, of course.
Here's Max, crashing into the trees at the end of the yard.
Here's FDPG, crashing into the trees at the end of the yard.
Our temperatures are hovering around the minus 6 mark, plus wind chill (but I don't know what it is). And wonder of wonders but the heat pump we just had installed is still functioning, even though it wasn't supposed to work below minus 5.
Now off to make gingerbread houses...