February’s polar vortex

February started out okay, and then all of a sudden it got cold. Like really cold.

Historic Arctic outbreak brings dangerous cold, snow and ice to central and southern U.S. reports the Washington Post. And from CBS news, Polar vortex brings most extreme winter weather in years.

Friday, Feb. 12

The “feels like” temperature was -15. It’s been cold enough that the boys have not ventured out to play disc golf. No worries, let’s back the cars out of the garage, drag our putting basket in and bring out a space heater.

The school district sent an email that all students were to learn remotely on Monday and Tuesday, due to the extreme temperatures.

Saturday, Feb. 13

Might as well make the boys submit their taxes online, since it’s too cold to do anything else. #Adulting is so annoying. Zach made about $2,000 and Adam reported around $3,000.

Sunday, Feb. 14

Again with the #adulting. It’s hard when you have to go to work. The temperature was -18 but he is wearing a sweatshirt so he must be warm. No gloves or hat, by the way.

I fully expected the Camry not to start during this cold snap, but it’s a beast and came through for us. He was originally scheduled to work 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. When he woke up, the time had changed to 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Then he got a text from his manager to come in at noon. He had just pulled into work when he was notified he did not need to come in today. I guess it’s too cold to get takeout!

Not much else to do so I made peanut butter and sugar cookies for Valentine’s Day, and even got some delicious fudge from the Nifty Nut House.

Adam and I had scheduled a tour of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on Tuesday, but received an email that the campus would be closed because of the extremely temperatures. We rescheduled for Feb. 24.

Monday, Feb. 15

Here’s what it felt like on Monday morning.

It’s a federal holiday, so no work for Scott and I. The boys did schoolwork, and everyone mostly stayed inside.

This extreme weather is affecting half of the United States, and natural gas and energy output so widely that many energy companies are doing mandatory rolling “blackouts.” This means your electricity may be turned off for 30-60 minutes at a time. It’s so widespread that #RollingBlackouts was trending on Twitter in our area.

Experts encourage keeping blinds closed (to keep warm air in), using the oven, dishwasher and dryer sparingly and lowering thermostats to 65-68 degrees. We don’t have a problem with the latter. πŸ˜†

There was ice on the inside of my front glass door, and on our kitchen windows.

We took the dog for a walk and any skin that was exposed starting hurting after a few minutes. Then we found out that you shouldn’t walk your dog when the temperature is below 0. Poor Ali!

It’s not even the “good” kind of snow that is fun to play in. It just looks miserable.

Soccer practice was cancelled Monday night and so was next weekend’s tournament in Kansas City.

Tuesday, Feb. 16

It was our turn to experience the rolling blackouts. This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it does cause lots of #firstworldproblems. Electricity turned off at 6:55 a.m. I had *just* made my coffee. Whew! Except usually I have to heat it up 2-3 times during the morning. It got cold. 😐

It’s amazing how many things rely on electricity. We don’t realize it until we have none. When there’s no electricity, that also means no Wi Fi and no heat. Which means I sat in the dark and read emails and scrolled through social on my phone.

The boys did not have any remote check-ins that morning, so at least their schoolwork was not affected.

At one point, I knocked my entire cup of coffee (it was cold anyway) onto the floor of our bedroom. Coffee splashed everywhere, even waking up Scott. I had to clean up this coffee mess in the dark, and then couldn’t even wash the sheets yet because … ya know … no electricity.

There’s a map you can check to monitor the #RollingBlackouts. This is the whole service area, which includes the eastern half of Kansas and the Kansas City area.

Our electricity was off for more than two hours. When it’s -22, it gets cold fast inside. Oh, we have a gas fireplace, except it turns on with an electric switch. When the electricity came back on it was 57 degrees in the house. πŸ₯Ά Took a while to “heat up” to 67 degrees.

Wednesday, Feb. 17

It appears we are pulling out of the polar vortex. It was sunny today, and temperatures were in the 20s. The weather forecast shows a steady increase in temperature with temps in the 40s by this weekend.

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