Tuesday, January 7, 2014

That Time Michigan Turned into Hoth

Michigan is cold. This may be the understatement of the year, which isn't hard to do because it's not like we're that far into the year yet. We are currently experiencing the "polar vortex" that has plummeted most of the middle/northern states into insane sub-zero temperatures, cancelled schools, and caused us to not leave the house for three days. Usually when someone says it feels like it's -40 outside, they're just really cold. Those have been our actual temperatures, people! Really, it's been only (ONLY!) -6 to -10 degrees, but with the wind, it feels like -40. Roads have closed. Brett was encouraged to work from home. We haven't gotten mail. It is seriously like living on Hoth. The wind and snow make visibility close to zero. Plus, there's so much snow in our back alley that there's literally nowhere to put it, so we haven't shoveled much. Brett tried to dig out our front porch yesterday and by the time he came inside, his eyelashes and eyebrows were developing frost.

This picture isn't the best of the eyelash frost, but it was definitely there. And he hadn't been outside that long, maybe half an hour? He's a brave man. 

Even though we have been stuck inside and the kids are starting to drive each other crazy (and me, too, who are we kidding?) there are lots of things I'm grateful for in this experience.
First, we all have colds, but aren't deathly ill. We are healthy enough to just ride this out at home. Second, Brett is in the habit of checking the weather regularly. This meant that we stocked up on groceries at Costco on Saturday and he swung by work to grab papers, in case he had to work from home. Bless him and his thinking ahead! I'm so glad that he has a job that has allowed, and even encouraged, him to work from home at this time rather than try to go in to the office.
Additionally, I'm so glad that we have power/heat/water, all of which (knock on wood) have been working just fine, so that even in the literal blizzard outside, we have stayed comfortable inside. 
I really wish I had better pictures to show the craziness of this storm, but I don't dare venture outside long enough to take any good ones. Here's what we have:

All our windows look like this. The winds have plastered snow to the screens and it just accumulates. 

That's about an inch and a half of snow in between the screen and the actual window. It's especially windy on this side of the house. 

Our car after Brett cleaned it off. Before he got to it, it just looked like a giant mound of snow- you couldn't see any gray.

This is our basement window, it's at ground level. It's entirely buried in the snow. 

Another one of our windows. We can't really see anything out of them anymore. 

Frozen porch light.
Since these aren't the typical snow days where we can just bundle up the kids and let them run off energy by playing outside, we have had to be a little creative with them. They've been doing a lot of this:

Yes, we are literally running off their energy with the treadmill. Brett got it for me for Christmas (let the record show, I asked for it and wanted it, it wasn't a rude "you're getting fat and this is a hint" type of present) and it's been getting quite a lot of use! I really like it because it allows me to walk or jog when the weather is, well, like a polar vortex outside! The boys love it and are always anxious to walk or jog on it, with our careful supervision, of course. :)

We also looked up a few things you can do in sub-zero temperatures. You can blow bubbles and they will freeze before they hit the ground. It works, but it's so windy we couldn't get pictures of them. You can also take boiling water straight from the stove top, take it outside and throw it in the air and it'll turn into snow. Note: Your children will be mad about this because they associate a pan of boiling water with making hot chocolate for them. 

I have a video of us doing the boiling water thing, but it won't upload. :( I blame blogger. 

I'm hoping that the next few days warm up a bit. I'm also hoping that our cars will start so that when it's safe for us to go somewhere that we can actually go somewhere. In the meantime, we will stay warm and hope all of you are doing the same!

1 comment:

  1. I saw your video on facebook :) I NEED to try that! But just not right now. Our -25 degree (for real temperature, the wind chill was -50) passed a week ago. Bummer. CUTE kids and fun things to do!