Yes, the cry of the native key-bird, which hops, shivering, from branch to branch crying, “Key-rist, it’s cold!” is being heard all over South Texas this weekend. So help me God, I am so thankful that the new windows were all installed a week ago Saturday, since it was mild, and breezy and fair, and the work crew got it all done in a day. And just in time, because the normal weather for the upper Midwest has come south for an unexpected visit to places which just are not administratively set up to handle it, and where most people are not terribly experienced when it comes to dressing, for walking on, or driving through severe winter conditions. I was myself once so accustomed to such – winters in Northern Japan, Greenland, northern Utah, and in South Korea where the winter winds came straight off Siberia, but am now quite out of practice, and the winter things are packed away, if they have not been nibbled to death by moths. The Daughter Unit and I consulted on Friday, when it was already quite chilly, and decided that we would run the shopping errands … and absolutely not leave the house save to walk the dogs until the cold front eased up, sometime on Tuesday.

We got the biggest wire crate out of the shed, put our surviving hen, Betty, into it with food and chicken feed and brought her into the house. The patio cats are going into the other wire crate, as it’s predicted to be in the twenties tonight. We walked this morning, and it was quite exhausting, as many stretches of sidewalk were already glazed with ice. Benjy-dog has a nice time slipping and sliding on one part of it, and the Daughter Unit slipped and fell, catching herself fortunately on one knee and both hands. No, we’re not going to walk the dogs tomorrow – not that either of them will want to go outside. Nemo abominates cold and wet, and tomorrow is guaranteed to have lashings of both conditions. The tender plants were already in the pop-up greenhouse, and the four poinsettias are sheltered in the garage – I am pretty certain that the cold and ice will pretty well cut a swath through the garden as it is. The nectarine and the two lemon trees in pots had already put out blooms and tentative small leaves, too – although the plum and peach, as well as the grape vines haven’t. We’ll see what survives, if anything.

Again – I am so glad that the windows were installed when they were. The inside of the house is tight and warm. A bit crowded, but cozy and warm.

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