We're back in the cottage. For better or worse. We returned Sunday. The place is a mess, stuff strewn everywhere—bags, boxes, plastic tubs, teetering piles. Like a bomb detonated in every room. We're trying to put some of it in the best order possible given the situation, and the rest we'll get around to one of these days.
The carpet, pad, wood floors, and baseboards have been pulled up and piled in the yard. We're walking on rather rough concrete. But it's dry, swept as best we can, and with the little woodstove going and pumping out heat, sufficiently warm. The necessary bathroom facilities all work. The kitchen is usable. Truth is, we've camped under rather worse conditions.
Of course we returned on the day when that arctic low that's been making such headlines moved through. The day started off in the mid-30s˚F; above freezing. About noon it began to rain, and the rain soon intensified to where it was coming down pretty heavy. Temperatures began dropping. In mid-afternoon the rain turned to sleet—wet, sloppy, nasty, soak-you-in-a-minute sleet. The cold grew. The sleet continued unto well past dark, then sometime between 8–9 p.m. turned to snow, which eventually accumulated to maybe 2 inches. That on top of the wee'k earlier snow, plus the sleet and ice from the previous hours.
Sunday night the temperature plummeted to a record low for the date of -14˚F (-24˚C) with a windchill somewhere in the -45˚F. Brrrrrr. Trips to the woodpile were quick and interesting. Myladylove and Moon-the-Dog spent the night in the bedroom, which we've also put into usable shape, and which has electric baseboard heat. I was afraid I'd be too comfortable and sleep too well. Instead, I slept (sorta) on the recliner in the great room so's to be handy for tending the fire—which I did every couple of hours. I did the same thing last night when temperatures bottomed out at -10˚F, and I'll probably do so again tonight, though the low is only suppose to be a balmy 6˚F.
Today, as yesterday, will probably be spent cleaning up and/or organizing whatever I can and keeping the woodstove fed and glowing. The cold water taps in the shower and kitchen were frozen this morning, though the bathroom sink tap worked. I set up a heater and blew warm air into the plumbing access opening and managed to get both those going—but the bathtub refuses to drain. Don't quite understand why—ice in the outlet line?—and nothing I've tried so has helped.
Come leave for work time, Myladylove's Honda wouldn't start. I managed to get my truck up the driveway hill and she drove it to her branch office. The downside is I won't be making my planned grocery run.
The image above is of the river upstream this morning. In spite of our prolonged days and nights of seriously low temps, the slightly high water, and a fairly fast current caused by Sunday's rain and sleet has prevented a freeze over—though there're lots of ice chunks and slush being carried along. Incidentally, that blue is not the river's true water color but a reflection of the early-morning sky and shadows; the water is really an opaque dirty tan.