Saturday, December 12, 2009

The sharp bite of cold

Seattle seldom gets very cold - many degrees below freezing. Fewer still are the days that it remains sub-freezing all day. This week records have been falling as we stray from 16 (-9C) to 28F (-2) as daily lows and highs. We've been feeling the cold on our morning walks to the school bus and nightly drafts of cold air through the uninsulated bathroom.

Frost and Wren wait for the bus

Its still that bright early light. Its been so clear I could see constellations.

Frost, who normally "likes cold" has worn a hat almost every day.Bold

We've been having a remodel of the bathroom which has us down to a single toilet downstairs and a makeshift shower in the laundry. Its stressful to be without a soaking tub and to have no place to pee at night. I let the kids pee in a bucket during the night and they find this exciting but I just avoid peeing. To add to complications the downstairs toilet has broken and now needs a bucket to slosh water into the cistern to flush. I hope I will have repaired it by early evening.

Thankfully, having plumbers on site during the cold snap has its perks. Last winter Joshua was under the deck with a blowtorch during the freeze as he tried to repair our outside hose piping. It had cracked and sprung a leak in the cold. This year, we asked the plumber to "fix it" and he installed a new style of tap without exposed pipe. This reduces our risk of burst pipes considerably. Neighbors have not been so lucky. On our morning bus walk we noticed an upstreet neighbor had lost a pipe and the spill had frozen overnight.

Wren enjoyed throwing pebbles along it "see if they slide" and tentatively walking on the slippery surface.

Into the maelstrom of icy weather and remodeling comes Kellie, my good friend from Australia. She's been performing with a circus / burlesque troupe around Holland and so has come from their winter to ours. She's lovely to have around - very easy going and self-sustaining but also helping out around the place. Our major problem is that she and I have the same laptop so I am constantly muddling one with the other.

Still, she has Josh and I out of the house more than usual. Last night we went to his company Christmas party (well, we would have gone anyway but it was fun to have company) and tonight Josh and Kellie went to a gallery opening at Roq la Rue gallery (they do a lot of pop surrealism). This weekend we will be going out for dinner on Sunday and next week we're planning on seeing Avatar which will be out in cinemas just before Kellie leaves.

Before all that we have Wren's 3rd birthday. That is this Sunday and will get its own post. His cake is tomorrow with a few friends and his presents are Sunday.

Advance notice: Wren's next cardiology appointment (first in 6 months) is on January 5th. We hope he still looks stable. He is always so good on the outside that we can only hope...

Wren having a puddle bath during bathroom remodeling.