I don't know that I've ever been in cold like this.
Thermometer on the porch is reading -19°F. It only goes down to -30, which we might hit after nightfall. The windchill was supposed to be -40. I have about two days' worth of wood stacked on the porch. Inside the cabin, the woodstove is keeping the livingroom at about a cheery 60°. Not too bad, considering that the gas is out in our whole town. Our tiny furnace is hardly more than an oversized space heater. Never enough to heat the house by itself, it could still take the chill off and bring us up about five more degrees. I still have fuel for the kerosene heater, which I haven't lit yet, as well. Maybe I'll make some bread in the electric oven to get a little more heat that way, too.
The dogs are so much like little children, the older one copying me and the puppy copying T. The older dog will come inside when she's cold; she's made it a point to be outside doing her business for as few seconds as possible. The younger one, just like T, doesn't seem to notice how cold she is. She just wants to be where I am. She'll come out and frolic in the snow with me, steal sticks from my kindling pile, and generally ignore the temperature until all of a sudden she's really cold. Have to keep an eye on her. I wonder about getting them dog sweaters. Stupid as a fashion statement, they'd be practical if ever I wanted -- or needed -- to bring them on a hike with me in weather like this.
We have a new cat, the first cat I've owned since childhood. He's quite antisocial. Spending most of his days hiding under the couch, he comes out occasionally to bother the dogs and eat pieces of plastic. If he keeps attacking the puppy unprovoked, he's going to find himself locked outside with the cold and the foxes to fend for himself.
Work is canceled due to weather, as are most of my volunteer hobbies. The fire department is on standby, expecting to shelter residents affected by the extreme cold and lack of utilities. But so far, we haven't had any takers. Everyone up here on the mountain seems pretty self-sufficient. I wonder at what sort of panic might ensue if the folks down in Colorado Springs lost the utility umbilical cord to their furnaces in weather like this. Meanwhile, tendrils of woodsmoke curl up from my neighbors' stovepipes. An excuse to stay home, tend the fire, make cocoa, and catch up on reading isn't really so bad.