The Big Chilly

Right now I am living deep inside a real big chilly. It’s something like -42 C or whatever. When it’s that cold, does it matter any more? I don’t even check. It’s -40, yada yada.

Up until recently, it’s been fairly easy to live with.

But … there’s always something.

First, my truck wouldn’t start. It was plugged in, but despite heat shots and trickle chargers and a couple of boosts, it protested and said no, I’m not starting. Now leave me alone or put me in a warm garage!

There I was, my whatis sticking up in the wind chill factor while I fussed over an exposed engine, checking oil and fumbling around trying to determine if the the block heater was still working as I invented a totally new dialect composed entirely of vulgarities.

Then my bathtub drain froze.

Yup. My bathtub drain.

I was standing in the tub shower, soaping up and enjoying the warmth when I realised that the water was up to my ankles. It wasn’t a clog, because the day before, the water was draining normally.

But now? There’s no movement at all, not even a trickle.

I have a bathtub full of used water and an open drain. It just sits there, staring stupidly at me while I think about flamethrowers and other incendiary devices.

Then my house door wouldn’t lock. It was too cold for the tumblers to engage. I almost got down on my knees and begged. Really? You aren’t going to lock? Just hang on a sec, I have to go throw a minor tantrum. Waaahh! 🀣

And let’s not forget the head cold. Its onset blended seamlessly with the arrival of several days of major meetings that I had to attend, a tissue box under one arm and a Vicks inhaler lodged, unnoticed, in a nostril.

Of course, all of this happened while my M is away. (Is there a message in that?)

But, an update.

It got warmer. Right now, it’s about -12 C.

I got my truck towed. It got its wish and is in warm garage awaiting a new block heater.

I awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of my bathtub draining. It turns out that all I had to do was wait. Scared the crap out of me though – there I was, creeping into the bathroom with my phone in one hand and a fly swatter in the other. If it had been an intruder, what was I going to do with the fly swatter??? (Oh look, there’s a mutant mosquito in the bathroom – hand me the swatter please.)

I got my hair dryer, pointed it at my door lock and warmed up all the parts.

That worked.

My cold is almost gone. So is a lot of the other cold.

Things are looking up, especially the temperature. (Okay, I’ll stop with the cheesy comments.)

So how has this “polar vortex” (doesn’t that sound like the name of a disaster movie? Polar Vortex, starring Jennifer Aniston and Tom Cruise. Watch if you dare. Because you may never go outside again. γ€ŠSound of loud chattering teeth.》) been treating you??? Among other places, it has hit the west coast of the continent pretty hard.

26 thoughts on “The Big Chilly”

    1. It’s actually dropped a bit today but when it was so cold and all these things started going wrong I was really feeling sorry for myself. Thank you – the landscape IS beautiful, if potentially deadly. πŸ™‚

  1. People always ask us why do we live here. We may like the seasons, but, sometimes winter is just too, well, wintery. Stay warm Lynette. Allan

  2. Oh no ! What a post ! I am so pleased that you overcame the havoc caused by the cold dear Lynette. I hope you are able to stay warm my friend ❀

  3. That is just too cold, Lynette. My sister has similar stories–in Indiana. Good f**** grief! The first thing I thought of was a hair dryer!

  4. I looked up -40 Celsius and it’s the same in Fahrenheit . . . freaking arctic-hell. You wouldn’t think -12 would melt things (like a frozen drain), since it’s still below freezing, but I’m glad the tub finally drained for you. Not to mention, it probably feels like a heatwave. How did you get to work with the broken down vehicle? Oh ugh, and getting sick, too. Of course these things would have to happen when there is no one else around to help out. Ack.

    I’m going to be on my own for a few days, and I’m praying nothing breaks down. During the Polar Vortex (yes, sounds post-apocalypse), our garage door froze shut. My husband kept pressing the button, and it tried so hard to open, it bent the bar on the opener. It appeared to be a goner, but the hubs is extremely handy. Somehow he got it working again. Thank God for him. I’m not looking forward to him being away.

    Hope you continue to feel better, and keep warm up there in the frozen tundra.

    1. Hi Lori, yup, it’s 40/40. Pretty cold. As I said, around -40 I stop bothering with it. It’s just “freaking arctic-hell.” I love that, btw. πŸ™‚
      I don’t know what that was with the drain. Maybe the room temperature water from the tub eventually melted the ice plug in there. I just know that waking up to the sound of it was interesting!

      I walked to work, which wasn’t as bad as it sounds. I have good attic gear and my work is only 7 minutes away. I usually walk anyway.

      This whole episode reminded me of your fridge troubles (and if I remember correctly you were sick as well). Nothing mechanical works well in the cold. I’m not surprised that your garage door refused. We’re hangaring our aircraft and blanketing the engines. Yup, our planes wear coats.

      I hope all goes well while your hub is away. πŸ™‚ I am feeling a lot better, thanks. πŸ™‚

  5. Sounds awful. We haven’t really had a winter in Ireland this year. I’m glad it’s down to -12 (still sounds awful) and things are on the up. Let’s hope the groundhog was right

  6. We heard about the Polar Vortex and our fear-mongering local weather team, Cinnamon boy, Strawhead, Marble mouth and Junior, were going on about how much snow we were going to get and the terrible cold, but nothing really happened.
    It’s somewhere around 50 right now, super gloomy and starting to rain. It’s a lot better than 40 below, I’m sure, but it’s still not anything like a nice day.
    Thanks for helping us all count our blessings. Ankle deep in shower water. .EEEEEEEEEEEEW!

    1. Yup, it was unpleasant to say the least.
      It’s amazing how the weather has been turned into a soap opera. Wind chill! Polar vortex! Green oatmeal! Yikes. It’s so silly.
      Yes – this cold really makes you appreciate a warm day, even if it’s raining. πŸ™‚

  7. I can’t get my head around having to tinker with the car to try to get it going in those horiffically freezing temperatures. πŸ™„ I’m so glad your cold is getting better. Hope it continues to warm up for you. πŸ€—

    1. Thank you. πŸ™‚
      Yes, trying to get the truck to start in that weather was really awful. I had to stick my bare hand down into the engine. So cold. I couldn’t wait to get my mitt back on. But things are much better now. πŸ™‚

  8. The photos are stunning but I can’t imagine being able to breathe in minus 40! Minus 12 I think it’s the lowest I’ve experienced. Stay safe! 😊

    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚
      I cover my mouth and nose – if it’s windy the cold can really take your breath away if you’re not protected. We have great arctic gear and we’re usually pretty safe. πŸ™‚

  9. Ooh, sounds like you had a bit of a bad go with all that cold! I’m glad things worked out eventually but boy, how frustrating to deal with in the moment!

    We had our own version of the Vortex – Chicago usually does. Our heater ran for something like 2 days straight but overall, we did pretty good, despite temps in the -25 range.

    This winter has lasted long enough, I say.

    ❀ xoxox

    1. Oh my yes! It was was certainly a bit of a go.
      It has definitely gone on long enough. But I work north of the 60th parallel, so I have to expect longer winters. I do get frustrated when things all start breaking down – but in that cold, that’s to be expected too!

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