img_20190129_185127423This is the state of my living room fireplace as I write, the fire blazing warmth into the space I call my home.  In the next 24 hours, I am going to be very glad that I spent the money for a cord of well seasoned dry firewood.  Temperatures in the Chicago area are expected to drop below minus 20 degrees, wind chills dropping to the minus 60 mark.  Any thought of venturing outside tomorrow will be pure insanity.  When I prayed for my meal tonight, I thanked God for a warm house to live in, asked for his added protection of anyone who is not blessed in the same way.  Anyone stuck outside will quickly resemble Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining.

I also prayed that any and all stinkbugs be stuck outside of my home, frozen in death and never to taunt me from my ceiling again.  The cold weather has brought them in.  I flush at least one a day.  When the fire is lit, I cackle with satisfaction as I toss the insidious brown creature on the coals, watch it pop.  There is a special place in hell for stink bugs.  Why they exist is a mystery to me.

My car is in the garage tonight.  For the past month or so, my daughter’s car has been there.  Since she won’t need the car until this June, when she comes home for two months, my VW has dibs on the warmer space for the next day or so.  Her car is parked in a guest space tonight.. I am such a scofflaw.

Most businesses around here are closed tomorrow.  Everyone in my office is working from home.  As my boss reminded me, my VW may make it to work, but it probably won’t start after sitting in the parking lot for an hour or more.  So I brought my lap top, a price book, and a writing project home with me tonight.  Yes, a writing project.  My company publishes a quarterly magazine, with success stories in each issue.  I have written a few success stories that are published, so I guess that means I am a published author.  My boss assigned another writing project to me, an application where one of our controls is operating successfully in a carbon black application.  I was the one who helped make it happen, something that is pretty cool, so I guess I have reason to proudly write the story.

I can’t wait to crawl under the covers tonight, the weight of the multiple layers of blankets a cloth hug that surrounds and comforts me.  My thermostat is set to automatically drop to the lowest temperature setting after 10 PM, so it gets fairly frigid in my place over night.  I like that.  It makes any middle of the night trip to the potty a trip through the arctic, but it’s worth it.  My furnace becomes my alarm clock, since it comes on at six in the morning, long enough for me to take a shower without goose bumps.

This fire is wonderful.  Time to put the laptop away, get out a jigsaw puzzle, sip some wine.  Any young ladies who would care to come over for a snuggle in front of the fire, well, there’s room……