I used to count my cats in pairs: the big boys, the bitches, the fuzzy girls, the siblings etc, but lately am finding it easier to do a nose count by color: at the moment i'm seeing five black, two tabbies, one red and one grey; which means i'm missing a tabby (Fraidy), two reds (the siblings) and, oh, there's the other grey.
This matters today because we've got a big storm coming, beginning, uhm, soon. It's quarter after one in the afternoon as i write, and "scattered showers" were forecast to begin at noon today (Sunday). 100% rain this evening, turning into 100% snow a little after dark, and then the temperature drops, from 46F (8C) right now, drops continuously without a single upward spike, till it bottoms out at 6 below zero (-26C) around sunrise Tuesday. Then Wednesday and the rest of the week back up into the mid-forties, smh.
I've spent the day so far splitting firewood and bringing it to the back porch and into the house, emptying standing buckets of water so they don't freeze and split, adding canvas tarpaulin doorway curtains and insulating layers of straw to the dog houses, bringing in the quilts that normally lie on the porch furniture: more layers to hang in doorways and over windows; more insulation to push into cracks where the wind sneaks through. And it does. A few years ago th'Mr and his best friend replaced the old masonite siding with vinyl, never considering the windbreak properties of the masonite, which the vinyl seriously lacks. I plan to eventually tear out the inner paneling and at least add a layer of fiberglass insulation to the outer walls, but that's a job for warm times.
I worry for my water pipes, though i probably shouldn't. Don't we have temperatures this low almost every winter? "but do we have them suddenly and for 36 hours at a time, in the middle of two weeks of highs in the 40s?" a small voice in my head frets, "and haven't the winters been mild since the siding fiasco?" Burst water pipes might be the last straw for my fragile hold on give-a-shitness. These days i function simply because the cats need feeding, and i can't just leave the house and cats to someone because the house isn't paid off. I have built-in space heaters in both bathrooms. They're nearly as old as this house and they demand a lot of electricity, so i rarely use them. Usually the wood stove is my only heat source, but last month i bought a small EdenPure. It's wonderful, and it's going in the kitchen tonight. I can't do anything about the pipes under the floors but keep the water trickling at all faucets. I do hope they don't burst. As long as the power doesn't go out it should be okay.