19 February

Wow, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride here for the last five days. I meant to publish another post on Monday but we got slammed with rolling power outages and ridiculously cold weather (for this part of the country, anyway). Beginning early Monday morning before dawn and lasting well into Tuesday, our power would cycle on and off at approximately 1-2 hour intervals. We would have electricity for maybe 45 minutes to an hour, then it would go down for an hour or more. Our night-time lows were in the single digits and hovering close to 0 for two nights, which for us is DAMN COLD. I don’t know how many plants we’ve lost but I’m sure we’ll get a better idea of the carnage once all the snow melts and the temps climb back up, which should start happening today. We bundled the most delicate babies as much as we could but I have a sinking feeling that I’m going to lose my orchid rockroses and Cleveland sages. The latter is a California native and not at ALL suited for sub-freezing temps! Our lemongrasses are toast as well but they grow like weeds and they’re easy to find in the nurseries out here, unlike the rockroses and sages, which I’ll have to special order from a nursery out on the West Coast.

Our ability to leave the house was curtailed by the storm as well and until yesterday our food supply was getting a bit sparse. Our local grocery chain, HEB, was forced to close many of its stores due to icy conditions and interrupted supply deliveries but they did their very best to at least offer limited shopping hours at some locations and Rory was finally able to get out and pick up some of the things we were running low on, everything except eggs. I nearly cried when he brought back a bunch of celery! I would occasionally grumble about HEB having too much of a monopoly here in Texas but that was before the pandemic and this cold weather. They’re all frickin’ heroes, every last one of them. They’ve done an incredible job keeping their customers fed and supplied.❤️

In other news… I’ve got the entire dining area off the kitchen sealed and ready for the skim coat. Boy, that sealant I bought is OBNOXIOUS. Its texture is very similar to acrylic matte medium but it has a really strong smell that induces headaches and burning in the eyes/nose. I’ll probably have to wait until the outdoor temps climb before I can finish sealing the rest of the kitchen because I’ll have to open windows and right now that option is out of the question. Still, I’m making good progress. I may be able to get the kitchen painted before summer! I’m soooo tired of looking at the old two-tone sage green paint job in there now. The pale neutral grey I’ve chosen for the walls will brighten things up a lot and once I get the cabinets painted in their new coat of white, it’ll almost be like having a brand-new kitchen, complete with new hardware! The countertops are another story, however – I haven’t yet priced any options but the surface that I want (Silestone or Caesarstone) is probably going to be out of reach for us for now. Besides, Rory says that the next big project he wants to tackle is getting new wood floors down in the living room. Our existing light beige carpet is vile and that’s being kind. It harbors all sorts of crud, it’s hard to clean, it’s obnoxious (I seem to be using that word a lot today) and I HATE it. Time for a much-needed upgrade!

Geez, I sure hope our postal service resumes pickups and deliveries. We haven’t received any mail since last Saturday and I’m getting a bit concerned about outstanding bills that are probably lurking out there somewhere…