Anticlimactic Climate Twist

It seems the worst of the icepocalypse missed us down here, but blasted the whole upper midwest with dangerous, record-setting wind chills and wintry horrors, on its way east.  Misu the Brave ventured out this morning, then promptly returned and ran under the kitchen table to warm up.

It still amazes me that some people don’t get climate change, when all the evidence is in their face.  They’ll be the ones in the next ice age, which they brought about, chanting “See, no global warming here!” as the earth freezes to death.

My son is here today instead of tomorrow, as he’ll be traveling out of the country on work again.  It’s always nice anytime he can hang out here, and an honor to be able to provide a workspace. E cooked one of her infamous breakfasts, and I contributed the wholegrain cornbread I just baked.

I even remembered to sneak a photo this time!  I prefer the one “with”.

Hell Frozen Over

This is what I do now: I try to feel warmer by comparing our forecast to the midwest’s.

For example, right now our temp has risen to 24 from an overnight low of 18, will reach a high of 28 and low of 15.  Whereas Fairborn, Ohio, from which we escaped just in time, is -6 [minus 6], feels like -17 [minus 17] with winds up to 30mphwill reach a high of 2 whole degrees and a low of -4 [minus 4]!  That’s just wrong.

And that’s not as cold as some places in the upper midwest right now.  I mean you could step outside and literally be frozen solid in a matter of minutes!  So there’s that.  I feel warmer already.

Misu didn’t even think about going out this morning.  She barely made it out of her warm bed cranny, and after eating, made a beeline for her office blanket.  She’s no dummy.  Someone after my own heart.  Cold shmold.  Smart animals hibernate when hell freezes over.  Except for birds.  Birds are crazy.

And now back to not watching seeds germinate.  (A watched seed never germinates.)





No stinkin’ polar vortex stops The Germinatrix ©™!

Today I started four kinds of pepper seeds indoors under lamps, and cold stratification (chill in fridge) of three kinds of native prairie milkweed seeds (for butterflies, etc.).  In two weeks I’ll start my eggplant and Brassica (cabbage family) seeds and other native flowers, and so on, until it’s time to direct sow outdoors.

Meanwhile as able, I’ll work on prepping garden beds with appropriate amendments like the compost I’ve been building all year, leaf humus, topsoil, etc.  Winter shminter.

In other news, my new mini-bench is ready for action, Misu is lazily luxuriating, and misc. kitchen scraps are sending up shoots.



This is what Misu and I woke up to this morning.  Not quite the snowpocalypse or polar blast predicted, but that’s Tennessee for you.  I imagine hordes of southern snow-phobes are in a panicked frenzy spinning their wheels about now.  It was actually kind of pleasant.  Misu found it interesting for about five minutes, then retreated back into the lap of luxury.  As for me, I think it’s my cue to start germinating some seeds indoors.  More on that later.


Balm Before the Blast

It was weirdly warm (56°) ahead of the “polar vortex” moving in the next couple of days, so I took advantage of the relative balm to clean up the garden a little, especially the veg bed (which we’re still getting greens from).  Misu was happily racing around like a wildcat.

The forecasts for the upper midwest and much of the country are extremely dire, with very dangerous wind chills.  Again, please keep your animals and vulnerable family members indoors.

Inside, E has been working on a little bench/step stool for my “library”.  She cut, assembled, and stained it to match the new bookcase.  Here it is drying.

Well, time to start hunkering.  If you’re in the path of the Vortex, please stay safe and off the roads.


Southern Arctic Front

It sounds like a revolutionary guerrilla movement, but it’s our latest arctic blast moving into the area, and we are not amused.  This is getting old, like us.  Temps are threatening to go down to dangerous minus degree nights and single digit days.  Hopefully there won’t be the typical power outages we get down here a lot.  We laid in supplies for the week, and got in our last few moments of relatively mild fresh air out back.

Here are daffodils (with buds?!) and crowds of crocus shoots under the mistaken impression that spring is coming, and Misu and I romping and playing predator/prey.  (I’m the prey.)  If you’re reading this, please remember to keep your pets inside on freezing nights.


Let There Be Lighting

Here’s what E did in basically one day: she installed beautiful, dimmable LED disk lighting under the kitchen cabinets, after having cut and stained wood panels to house the wiring.  The lights burn cool and are very energy efficient.  Now we can actually see to work, or dim the lights for ambience.  The whole project, done from scratch, cost very little.

Along with other improvements like the ceiling fan she installed, and the unsafe wiring tangles she rewired, it’s starting to be more homey as well as closer to meeting safety code.  Some of the conditions we found when we moved in were unbelievable; it’s amazing more homes don’t burn down here, what with the indifferent regulation.  Everything is amateurish and jerry-rigged.  So one by one, E is addressing the priority issues.

Here are some sample scenes (plus another photo of the bookcases she made me from scratch).  The kitchen project freed up some lamps to light up other dark corners.  Eventually the house’s value will be higher than when we bought it.



All Quiet on the Southern Front {Rant Alert}

Despite national news becoming more alarming all the time, we try to seize onto any promising shred of evidence against these criminals in power, and the hope that justice will win out.  This current America is despicable and unrecognizable.

Seeking and receiving asylum is not illegal; it’s the basic constitutional right that many of our own ancestors depended upon to escape horrors and start a new life.  Sadly, it was not extended to the original native Americans who were here first, or the millions of slaves, here against their will, who helped build this country.

Now it’s being denied to honest, hard-working Latino families desperately seeking what all humans need.  Our economy runs because of the underpaid, hard work of immigrants like them.  Now our own federal workforce and our very security are threatened because an irrational toddler demands a stupid wall to keep people out.  We have all witnessed how well walls like Berlin or Israel worked out.  They tear families apart, destroy economies, and even affect nature itself.

It’s hard to stay patriotic in an atmosphere of such ignorance and arrogance, but we have to hold out for the better angels of our nature [Lincoln].  This level of depravity is not sustainable.  Every fascist regime eventually falls, when the burden of unspeakable crimes against humanity becomes too much to bear.  Unfortunately, some people never snap out of their complacency until it affects their bottom line.  But we have to believe that exposing the facts and evidence, and resisting surrender, will win out in the end.

Rant over.  It’s weird not having my son over for erev, but he’s working hard, and we’re carrying on.  Misu is hard at work lounging around after her ordeal.  E is busily installing things.  I’m, well, attempting to write stuff.  Life goes on.


Cat Quandary

We had a scare last night.  Misu was out, and suddenly I heard hideous howls, yelps, and barks sounding suspiciously like coyotes and dogs fighting.  Then it got quiet, and Misu never showed back up as usual.  We were worried, but finally in the middle of the night she reappeared, apparently none the worse for wear.

Since she’s technically not our cat, and an outdoor one at that, it’s hard to know how to proceed.  We don’t know her medical status, and can’t afford a vet exam and routine procedures for some unknown party’s cat, only to have her keep disappearing, no doubt making her rounds to her other providers.  Yet to all intents she has adopted us, and we feel a responsibility for her welfare.  It’s a dilemma.  I guess we’ll just keep her inside after dark, and hope no kittens appear.

I was afraid this would be the last picture I had of her, but she’s back to lounging in my office as if nothing happened.



Library Cats

We had a very pleasant visit from my son and a long-time colleague who has been co-working with him this week. The rest of their team is (are?) arriving tomorrow, and after that he’ll be traveling on work again, so this was a chance for us to meet up beforehand.  We ate and talked for a couple of hours; hopefully as good a break for them as it was for us.

We had a freakish springlike 60° interlude, before it returns to heavy rains, high winds, and arctic temps, here in our southern roller coaster of a climate.

Back in the library, Misu was making herself at home as our official Library Cat.  Every library has to have a cat or two.  Or at least a cat and a skeleton or two.