So, about that weather in Texas…
First off, we’re okay. I’m a veteran of blizzards so we did a humongous food stock-up for all house residents, we never lost power (we’re three blocks away from a police station and a corner ER so I’m assuming we’re on an essential grid), I shut off the sprinkler system and winterized all the outside taps so they came through without a hitch, and none of the inside pipes burst (although we did have a near miss with the hot water tap upstairs, of all things––luckily Ramón caught it and we left it on stream until the ice clog dissolved. Since that tap is NOT on an outside wall I’m a little confused about what was going on there, but whatever).
The worst thing that happened was spending five days nervous about the possibility of losing power and having a pipe burst, and the fact that our pool vacuum hoses became brittle due to the cold and had to be replaced. Considering how many people I know lost power, or have to replace burst pipes, or wound up with some kind of major residential problem, I will take stress and buying new vacuum hoses any day.
Also, I must stress that the fact we came through without any real problems is because we never lost power. If we had, all of the trickling taps in the world wouldn’t have stopped the pipes from freezing due to the extremely cold temperatures. The ironic thing is, the picture at right shows how much snow we got. Maybe six inches in total? But it wasn’t the snow that wrecked Texas so badly––it was the temperature. Houses down here are simply not set up to handle days of temps below freezing, much less temps that go down to single digits. On the plus side, I have now ordered a combo tool that will let me unlock the water meter box and shut off the water, so if this ever happens again and we do lose power, we’ll fill up every available jug/tub/bucket/2 liter bottle we have with water, then shut off the sumbitch and drain the pipes. Especially since the Railroad Commission, may the fleas of a thousand camels infest their groin hair, isn’t going to force power companies to winterize their equipment, which would have stopped much of this from happening.
Stores down here are still recovering, but we’re also still eating out of the stock-up I did on 2/10 so we’re okay. Ramón picked up some extras on Monday, and I figure I’ll hit the store and the butcher’s tomorrow and do a proper stock-up for the weekend. The stress from the storm cut into my writing because it’s kind of hard to focus on a story when you’re waiting for the power to go out, but the nice weather this week has helped with that. I mean, I spent Tuesday writing on the patio––go figure. You can expect Shifter Woods: Growl by the end of next week, and The Crimson and the Black will be available sometime mid-March. Sorry about that, but I can’t control the weather or loons trying to overthrow the government.