Things did not get extremely cold here.
Yes, it got cold, but the cold was no worse than it has been in previous winters. We haven’t dropped below 0ºF, which we have done a time or two in the past.
We haven’t had lots of snow, which we’ve also had in the past.
And the ice we got was negligible – something I can’t say for previous years.
With the winter-proofing and such I’ve been doing to my house over the years, the coldest it now gets indoors is about 40ºF – that’s when the outside temp is 6ºF and the windchills are well below zero. Caulking, weather-stripping, blankets, carpet over the interior of the doors, threshold gaskets, and plastic over the windows makes a tremendous difference.
With the heated sofa (an electric mattress pad under a sofa cover, with blankets on top), it was warm enough to leave Xoco and Nigel at home this year.
In past years, when the weather was bad, I brought all the dogs to work with me, just in case, because the interior of the house would get down into the 20’s. It’s chilly, but not deadly now.
Xoco adores being left at home. She really doesn’t like going anywhere at all. She loves car rides and loves going to drive-thrus for snacks (the Gyro Place is her all time favorite because she not only loves Gyro meat, she now recognizes and loves the man who runs the little gyro stand and he loves her).
Nigel has no choice but to stay home. He is too high energy and hyperactive to take to work with me, too big to fit on top of my desk, plus he will bark. I haven’t been able to train him out of that. He barks a lot less than he used to, because neither Itzl nor Xoco bark, but he will still bark, and his voice is deep enough I can hear it (mostly). I have hopes that he will eventually stop barking entirely.
I also have hopes that he will learn his name, learn to sit on command, learn to come when called.
He stays home because he’s not well-behaved enough to go out in public.
Itzl accompanies me everywhere.
OK, that’s no longer entirely true.
I have a friend who lives on the second floor of a condo with outside steps. Those stairs scare me. They are set so I have to take really large steps to get up them and they feel shaky, as if they will pull away from the top at any minute. The railing is also tenuously attached and jiggles when you hold onto it. I am terrified of carrying Itzl up those stairs, especially when they are covered with ice (I now bring pet friendly ice melt with me because they do not de-ice those stairs), so when I visit her, I will not risk Itzl on those stairs.
When possible, I arrange to meet her elsewhere – the library, the clubhouse at her condos, a coffee shop, the park…
So, on the whole, it’s been a pleasant winter so far. A bit chilly, but not unreasonable.
It hasn’t been cold enough for long enough to justify a pot of Back Burner Stew. We don’t get many winters that mild.