Get out the extra blankets and the long-johns, Old Man Winter has showed up early

Okay, it's officially cold now.

Okay, it’s officially cold now. The KIST thermometer says, “Get your ass inside the house before your feet stick to the concrete!”

 

I think my family has finally given in to the weather. It’s almost 10 am, and my son, who does not have any classes today, or a job (hold it, is this a ‘nor’ situation?), is still hunkered in his bed with a pile of old blankets dragged up over his head. I say, “Honey, you really need to get up.” To which he responds, “turn up the heater!” To which I respond, “Nope, 9am, 62.” And there it sits.

My husband has tried to go outside a half dozen times, slammed a few doors downstairs, taken out the trash, and watched both of the dogs empty a night’s worth out of their bladders. He can usually find a dozen chores to keep himself busy in the morning, but not today.  He’s back in the house now, rustling the pots and pans, getting ready to throw some Jenny-O! on the skillet. Mostly, I think, to warm up the kitchen and get the smell of bacon in the air. Takes the sting out of a 24 degree morning. 

I can't believe, just a couple of months ago, here stood my ginormous plastic swimming pool. And those artichokes to the upper left were about head high last Friday, now just a burned pile of gush.

I can’t believe, just a couple of months ago, here stood my ginormous plastic swimming pool. And those artichokes to the upper left were about four feet tall last Friday, now just a burned pile of gush.

 

These last few days we’ve been working hard to save our citrus trees and as much of the fruit as we could get. I stripped two boxes of navels and mandarins from those little trees, every last bit. Some of the mandarins are still green and will taste a little bitter, I don’t care. Having fruit like that in December and January cheers me up. My kids like to squeeze the juice together and make weird citrus drinks. We also stripped a lot of lemons, but there are still quite a few hanging on the interior of the tree. I have six bags and about half dozen pints already in the freezer, I think we’re set. But every time I go over to check those trees, I  grab a few more, they’re still good. We planted those close up to the house, with a fence close in on the other side, they do a little better during  cold times.

I have the worst feeling we’re in for a long one, like that deep freeze we had back in the 90’s, killed all those really gorgeous bottle brush bushes and some of the oleanders along the freeway. That was the year I found a dead hummingbird in my dead bottle brush bush, his little feet wrapped around a tiny interior branch, frozen stuck. I had to break off the branch to get him out of there and give him a proper burial out in the compost pile, where life  begins again. I thought of him this morning as I scanned the skies for my latest  little Hummer buddy. Just yesterday I watched him filling himself with the nectar from my rosemary bushes, which were covered with flowers. He came so close I could see the brilliant red scarf around his neck, I could see his plumage, glowing green in the sun.  This morning those bushes actually look burned, and I have to wonder – where did Hummer spend the night?

Today I made the buns BIG! They take longer to bake but that means the oven stays on longer!

Today I made the buns BIG! They take longer to bake but that means the oven stays on longer! 

 

As usual on a cold day, I do inside chores and BAKE!  Your oven pays two ways – the house stays warm, and you get something to eat.

 

 

 

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