So, today isn’t turning out as planned.
It was supposed to warm up today. Technically, I suppose it did. When I headed out to do my rounds in the morning, it was only about -19C/-2F; much warmer than the past few days.
The wind chill was -33C/-27F, according to the weather apps.
That’s a lie.
The wind chill was definitely colder than that, here.
For all the bitter cold we had the last few days, the winds weren’t all that severe around our place. Not that it mattered much. At those temperatures, even a light breeze makes a huge difference. The winds were mostly from the North/ North-West, and we’ve got some pretty decent sheltering trees on that side of the house.
This morning, however, we had a strong wind, with even stronger gusts. The tarp on the shelter we made for the cats outside the sun room was being whipped about like crazy. Thankfully, the last time it got torn loose, I was able to tie down part of it with rope, so where the wind was hitting it the strongest, it was holding.
We have the inner and outer doors to the sun room partly open, so the cats can come in and out, while still keeping most of the weather out, using sliding knots on rope looped around the door knobs to make it easy to take them on and off. The wind was strong enough that the outer door was being blown further and further open, as the loop around the knob kept sliding. I had to be careful opening it the rest of the way, because the wind was trying to tear it out of my hands.
The outside cats were smart, and nowhere to be seen – though I really can’t understand why they’re not using the much warmer sun room, with its food, water and litter pans, as well as numerous places to stay even warmer. The most likely theory is that they are being driven away by Nicky the Nose. 😦
The winds were whipping around the house from the South/South-East, which meant there was almost no shelter from it as I put food out for the deer and birds. Normally, when I’m done there, I put away the feed bucket in the sun room, fasten the doors in their partly open positions, then continue doing my rounds, which includes switching out the memory cards on the trail cams.
After making a mad dash back to the sun room with the feed bucket, I stayed there, sheltered from the wind, watching the tarp shelter outside the door and noticing that the wind was strong enough to even push around the sheet of rigid insulation I’d set to make a sheltering wall, under where one end of the tarp was affixed to.
As I watched, half the sheet of insulation disappeared! It snapped in the wind and blew under the tarp so fast, I didn’t even see it.
While the other end of the sheltering tarp had mostly blown itself loose, there was still enough of a “wall” that the piece got hung up, rather than blowing away. I grabbed it and tried to place it back where it was, and set it more solidly, only to have it snap again in my hands.
That’s right. It was cold enough that rigid insulation became so brittle, it easily snapped into pieces.
I ended up putting the pieces on the concrete floor in the sun room, to help keep little cat paws warm.
This attempt at making a shelter for the cats outside the sun room has certainly been a learning experience. I had expected north winds whipping around the house to be the biggest problem. It isn’t. It’s winds from the south west that have been the most brutal and damaging. We will have to keep this in mind, as we redo the shelter for next winter.
After dealing with the broken piece of rigid insulation, I just fixed the doors in position – placing something heavy as a door stop on the outside, so the wind couldn’t push the outside door open again – and headed back indoors.
My plan had been to head into town today for some errands, using my mother’s car to get more of the mileage needed until I can get the new tires torqued, as well as listening for the noise it was making. My thought being that, maybe warmer temperatures might make a difference.
That’s not going to happen.
Granted, as I’m writing this, the winds have died down and it has gotten a bit warmer. Well, sort of. We’re at -13C/8F now, but the wind chill is -30C/-22F. We’re supposed to continue to warm up through the evening until we reach a relatively balmy -7C/19F with a wind chill of -13C/8F, but not until 9pm.
Thankfully, while we will be colder again over the weekend, it won’t be as severe. Still, I won’t be using my mother’s car for anything, yet. Maybe next weekend, when we’re supposed to reach above 0C/32F. According to the app on my phone, we’re actually supposed to hit +3C/37F two Sundays from now!
Meanwhile, I’ve used the time indoors to do a bit of crochet, experimenting and modifying a pattern I’ve made, years ago.
It wasn’t working out like I wanted, so I’m starting over and trying again.
I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of that, over the past couple of years.