Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhogs, Armadillos, and Rolling Blackouts

I’m kind of fond of the first two. The last one, not that much. That one is the reason my blog is going up so late today! We “only” lost power three times and never for more than an hour at a time. Good thing, because we’re very, very cold for this part of the world. Austin, TX, is south of baking hot  Arizona and southern California, also New Mexico. We’re south of most of this country. All except Louisiana and Florida. Latitude about 30.27. My point being that it’s usually pretty dang hot here. Since moving here more than five years ago, I’ve observed two season: Summer and Not-Summer. This isn’t a place where you can wear wool. Until today!

I hear Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring. Maybe for Pennsylvania! I’m very happy for them.

In 2010 it was determined that Phil has no relevance for Texas, so Armadillo Bob emerged
from his burrow for the first time in 2010. Here are some photos of the big event:

I haven’t heard what he predicted but I can’t imagine it will be an early spring around here.

All day long Texas has experience rolling blackouts. This is where the power goes off without warning, stays off from thirty to forty minutes, officially. Unofficially, some people are losing power for hours at a time. Our Lt. Governor says that the water pipes froze at one (or maybe two?) power stations, on the coldest day in--well maybe recorded history. It didn’t get above freezing today, and won’t tomorrow either. It’s beginning to look like the panhandle around here with patches of frozen water here and there from recent rains.

The TV reporters promised we’d have no more blackouts tonight, but also said we’d have more tomorrow. Brrrrr!

Now, this gal has weathered a few years in Great Falls, Montana, so I do know what real cold is. But I also know it’s better in a house that’s built for it! I still have my wool scarf and down vest, and an awesome wool hat I bought in Iceland. I’m using them.

Stay warm!

 Photo from Rafi B at wikimedia commons


  1. Good Heavens, Kaye!! Stay warm!! Brrrr.....

  2. We're lucky! The house warms up between the outages. Our son's family lives near a fire station and didn't lose power at all! We do too, but we must not be on the same grid or line or something.

  3. I've been up since 4:38 a.m., waiting for the electricity to go off. So far, so good.

  4. Cold weather, when you live in what is supposed to be a warm climate really sucks.
    The past two years in FL have been the coldest recorded.
    There have been years I never put on a winter jacket--or maybe once or twice. That jacket is about 30 years old and ugly. But I keep thinking, why buy another one when you won't wear it?

  5. No power outage here either--yet!

    And it's official. Bee Cave Bob (that's his real name, I've discovered) wouldn't even come out of his hole to give a prediction. Armadillos are dumb, but not THAT dumb.

  6. I've experienced the cold and power outages in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Now I only have to deal with the way-of-life power outages here in Hawaii.

    Keep warm, Kate. The bright side is, if you can't go outside, you can write more - by candlelight!

  7. We lost power for 9 days in the ice storm of 2009. Even a house built for cold weather gets cold in that circumstance! At least my mother has a gas stove, so we could cook. Bundle up and remember--spring WILL come, eventually!

    Marian Allen

  8. We seem to be done with the outages and we were lucky here. Although more cold weather is predicted soon. This place isn't used to it!

    Three days is the most we lost power in Minnesota, Marian. Our house was VERY cold. 9 is a lot!

    We had snow last night! I really, really miss snow. Maybe some more tonight.