Wednesday, January 8, 2014

How do you cope with #freezing #temperatures??? by Karen Rose Smith

Polar vortex or not, we've always had cold winters in Pennsylvania. Now when we hear a cold spell is coming, we think of the feral and stray cats outside. We have a feeder and shelters for them. We make sure the heat pads in the shelters are working, the heated bowl is set up and dry food is consistently added to the dish. If we see one of them coming across the field, we add wet food. But in 5 degrees, it freezes almost as fast as we put it out. For our three inside cats, I pull out mats that have thermal linings. They are supposed to reflect an animal's body heat and keep them warmer. They go to these mats in the winter and I believe they work.

When temperatures plummet, I pull out the camera.  In spring and summer I take lots of joy from snapping photos of our flowers and plants.  In the winter, I snap photos of the beautiful landscape, the feral cats, our three inside cats as well as dishes I've cooked or baked.  All of these photos come in handy throughout the year for Facebook, my blog but also for presents for next Christmas!  I use them for calendars and notecards. More personal photos are for special presents like pillows, throws and collages. 

When ice storms threaten or a blizzard, I cook.  I freeze soups and baked goods. If our electricity would go out, we could thaw soup and warm it on our gas stove or even grill.  Baked goods send wonderful aromas through the house and help ward off the chill of cloudy days.  I use this winter time for developing recipes for my mysteries or just stocking up.

Years ago, an alternative therapy practitioner informed me that electric blankets were not healthy, just as having a cell phone by your ear when you're sleeping might not be healthy. Since I have arthritis problems, etc. I haven't used one for twenty years!  But with the cold temps, I got one again.  And...I'm definitely sleeping better using it.  Besides that, our three rescued inside cats love it too!

I find that this time of the year is the best for writing.  I love the silence and quiet that snow brings. I like the cozy, under a fuzzy throw with my cats contentment of hunkering down and letting distractions fade away.  My husband and I spend more time indoors together this time of year, too, and that together time is something to look forward to.

In January I begin spring planting.  Geraniums have to be planted now to be ready to plant out in summer. I use a heat pad and grow light in our basement.  This time of year when the outside landscape can seem barren, it's magical to watch seeds transform into seedlings and then viable plants.


And last but not least, in winter I probably read and listen to audiobooks more than I do in any other season.  With less activity outside, I plug in my earphones or pick up my Kindle more often.  Research comes more easily this time of year, too.  I just finished spending a morning watching a puppy training video for my next mystery.  I can't imagine doing that except on the run in spring, summer and fall. do you cope with freezing temperatures to make your way through winter into spring?

Karen Rose Smith's romance website 
Karen Rose Smith's mystery website

©2014 Karen Rose Smith 


Kathryn R. Blake said...

I love what you do for the stray animals in your neighborhood. Cats are much more likely to be strays than dogs. I wish I could do something similar, but we don't have the facilities at our place. Great idea though. Thanks for posting.

KRS said...

It all started with a baby that needed a home and then a stray who needed us. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.