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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lots of Nothings and Very Long

Let me tell you: I am freezing and did freeze most of the day. I was freezing in the car, walking to take care of my hens, going into stores, and in my house. I was cold. I got up late because I went to bed late. (more about that later) I took my thyroid medicine, read email for about ten minutes, bathed, dressed and fixed my hair. All this took place in an hour.

My hens looked frigid when I went to feed them. The temperature was 17 F. They got to stay in the pen. Once in a while I get nervous about leaving them out when I am gone. They dig a hole in the leaves and pine straw, sit in the hole, fluff their feathers, and pull in their head to their body.

Every fourth Tuesday, a church has a dinner at 11:30 a.m. for anyone in town. The very poor, politicians, police, people taking lunch from offices--all come. My friend Fred was there, so I had not just someone to talk with who is interesting. There was turkey soup, cornbread muffins, desserts, and unsweetened tea. The boil of soup was absolutely boiling, but it was good since it was literally freezing in my house. At 12:30, I brought home three cornbread muffins for the hens and a bowl of soup for me.

After I fed the hens again, I left on icy roads to go to Walmart, grocery store, thrift bread store, OM and the gas station, but not in that order. The car never heated up because in this small town, there is no chance for the car to ever get warm! The streets were abandoned. All stores owned locally were closed.

At the grocery store, I cashed a check from one of my secret shopper jobs. I needed that money because I had less than a dollar. At the grocery store, the aisles were empty. I took the chance to go up and down every single aisle to see what was marked down and not on sale. Usually, I never even try at this store. I found a quart of milk on sale, a pint of chocolate milk that I translated into hot chocolate later at home. My favorite brand of bologna was on sale...sooo.. Then, since I had to take medicine, I got a quarter bottle of water from the shelf. They do sell Dasani and Aquafina, but they also break a pack of their store brand 12-packs of water and sell them individually.

When I went into this store, I was afraid of walking on the ice, but made it. On the way out I rode the electric cart and asked for an employee to help me and get the cart out of the way. I usually park it where no one will run over it, and just walk the few feet to the car. A few feet was too dangerous today. I got into the car and had the guy hand me everything, even my purse.

Then, I went to Walmart. It was deserted! I shopped for an external drive. I have figured out how I can use my rewards and cards and get it for nothing. I need to move everything to an external hard drive, put my computer back to factory settings, and then put everything back onto my computer, trusting that everything will happen as it should--nothing harmful will be allowed back on the computer hard--drive. Or, I can get a large capacity flash drive and do the same thing with that. So, I finished looking at the hard-drive.

There were several things I looked at, forgot what! You should have just asked me earlier. I am tired now. As I was at the register, asking about a gift card and which I could buy with a WM gift card, a young woman brought my notebook that I keep all receipts taped into. That is for another post. At any rate, I bought a chicken finger just before I left because I was cold and hungry. I put a $1.37 pizza into the cart. I really have only the paycheck and reimbursement for my mystery shopping, so I was not going to spend much.

At the thrift bread store, I got out of the car gingerly, walked to the door, and saw the closed sign. Ack. I want bread and cheap, healthful  bread.

I needed to go to Office Max and compare prices on the external hard drive to get it with my MaxPerks credit there. It was very icy looking when I walked to the door. The last customer left the store at 4 pm, about 30 seconds before I arrived at the door! I nervous because the temperature was dropping rapidly and I did not want to fall.

By this time it was 4 pm. The chickens needed to eat before they went to bed. But, I still needed gas because by this time, the car was running on fumes. A child who was a friend of my son, all grown up now, just bought a service station, runs it himself with some help from employees. It is a full service station. I never pay for full service, ever! However, my hands hurt from the cold with warm gloves on. Sooo, I pulled in and was met my the cheeriest smile. I only got $10 worth because I was afraid of the price. However, it was only $3.15 while the cheapest regular is at my normal station--$3.05. I was willing to pay almost anything NOT to pump gas.

I really felt pampered having gas pumped for me. I need to feel pampered because I am so cold and miserable.

Back home, I fed the hens cornbread and oats. Then, I noticed their water had frozen. I ran inside and got a huge insulated cup, about a quart, of boiling water, Gorilla Tape, new light bulb, and more food. As I set the water down on the ground, I poured boiling water into it and Thelma and Patsy Cline rushed over and drank and drank and drank. Poor things. Not enough water could kill them!

The bulb I thought had blown was okay. There are two nickel sized holes in the side of one of the components of the water heater near the top that had not been covered, so a huge piece of Gorilla Tape should have fixed that. However, since if was 14 F outside, the tape froze and would not stick. By pressing really hard and rubbing it, I think I made the tape stick.

Whew!  It was a hard day and not over yet.

Since it is going to be below 10F and is now 13 F, I am still up at midnight. All evening, I have been busy sopping up water with newspaper. I leave the sink running a bit. I figured out why the dishwasher had run all over the floor! When the water is running continually in the sink, the dishwasher fills up. I walked in about 6:30  pm and found water POURING from the dishwasher all over the kitchen. Grrrr! Now, I have to monitor it. The lamp is under the sink.

Since 5 pm, I have washed clothes several times to keep the pump in the washer and the pipes that drain and take water to the washer from freezing.  There are loads of things I need to wash. I still have a load or red and one of pink to wash, also one of black. The loads previous have been white clothes of various sorts.

The second load is going into the dishwasher in a few minutes. In the last two weeks, I have washed 7 loads in the dishwasher to keep it from freezing. We had a warm spell in between these two frigid periods.  I really don't have that many dishes. I put things in that needed to be washed so I could run the water without just wasting it. I took things out of the upper cabinets that are dusty and need to be packed away and washed them.

I flush the commode for no reason and allow the sink to run. Robbing a bank may be the only way to pay the water and electric bill!

I stopped writing and went out to cover my bulbs in pots. A sheet is now covering them. I know the fabric is not supposed to touch the plants, but I cannot care that much when it is now 13 F. 

And, I met a nice man in Walmart--former military, former farmer, now a security guard. We talked on the phone and he wants to talk with me again.

Have you seen the mess in south Alabama? People had been stranded in their cars on the interstate for over eight hours into the evening. Some actually got out and walked home with their children on the now frozen interstate! Newsman walked home. There are hills on the interstate and Red Mountain Parkway. Two vehicles drove into a river. Children cannot get home from school because their parents cannot drive to pick them up. Six inches fell in thirty minutes, I think. Exbf is snowed-in at home. Tuesday and Wednesday were his days off. We got a dusting, just enough on my concrete steps and sidewalk to get slippery eventually. I have a bucket of sand.

Tonight, I will stay up all night running water in sinks, checking dishwasher and washing another load, flushing commode, running water, hot and cold, in bathroom sink.

Hopefully, I will get the picture problem on Picasa fixed.

No longer can I feel my fingers and toes. My chair is less that 3 ft from the heater!

I would eat at KFC tomorrow if I had the money. Eating hot food in a warm place is comforting.

This has had NO editing at all.

Your turn
Are you caught in the throes of this southern frigid spell?


  1. That cold spell is crazy. I worry about what spring will be like.

    1. Jason and Michelle,
      Anything will be better than this! I suppose it will be surprise, or do you have any idea from signs or the news?

  2. Southern Chickens! :-) At negative 17 my chickens don't tuck in like that.
    Seriously, I hope it warms up soon. I'm not sure I'll be able to afford the LP gas if I need a refill before long.

    1. Patti,
      Mine would probably freeze and fall over in their box. I know the utility bill will be over $500! Fortunately, electricity just keeps flowing. Paying will be the problem. Then, it could stop flowing...ugh, hate to think about it.

  3. My son and family live in Roswell, GA. He got home at 2am last night after picking his children up.

    1. Patti,
      Some of the children in AL are spending their second night at school. I suppose your son and family are not expected at school or work.

  4. That weather sounds so miserable! Luckily here in western Washington we haven't had much in the way of the freezing weather. Please take care of yourself and stay off those icy roads.

    1. tana50,
      I am sitting in the house with the house as warm as I can get it. My hands are freezing; my fingers are frozen so I cannot feel them.

      My roads are clear, no ice today at all. Yesterday, there was a little that frightened me because I do not need to fall. 19 F right now. Thanks.

  5. I kept waiting to hear that you had fallen on all that ice, but you made it through your day. We had about 30cm of snow today, and it sounds crazy huge, but I heard today that total accumulation is about 400cm so far this winter. It's a good thing your chickies don't live here. ;-)

    1. Sue,
      I kept waiting to fall. HA! The ice is gone today where I live. Birmingham is really in bad shape. That is a lot of snow. I doubt it has even snowed here that much--30 cm--in last 25 years. My chickies would be house chickies if they lived there. They would live in a cage in here. Pretty chickies are still laying.


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