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  1. We really got dumped on with slush (now solidly frozen ice for those who didn’t shovel it off their porches, sidewalks and driveways) that I spent hours cleaning up with my trusty shovel on Wednesday, then about 4 inches of light fluffy snow that I spent just a couple of hours cleaning up with my trust shovel on Thursday, and even managed to clear off half the patio so the birds and squirrels didn’t have to dig for the food I toss out for them in 4 inches of snow. Then the big one hit overnight and it snowed all day Friday into Saturday morning. All the neighbors were out up and down the street Saturday. I lost many large limbs off the two big pines on one side of my driveway, fortunately nothing landed on my house or my neighbor’s house! Large branches and limbs came off many of the street trees up and down the block. Evergreens are ice and snow coated and bent over, it’s awful. I tried knocking snow off the branches I could reach on my arborvitaes and little of the iced-on snow came off. Neighbors came over Saturday and helped me clear off my sidewalk with their snow blowers and one plowed out a portion of my driveway so I have a tractor wide “path” from my side door down the driveway to the sidewalk (I don’t use the front door to go in and out of the house). The temperature was still mild (in the high 20s) Saturday morning but it began a steady decline as everyone was outside trying to clear as much as possible before the deep freeze hit. We will be below zero all week long with windchills in the minus 30s. It was minus 16 when I got up this morning at 6:30. The sun is out and right now at least, not windy, thank goodness, and a balmy minus 5! I ran out of food for my birds and squirrels just before sunset yesterday. They are eating more than usual because they need to keep their energy levels up so they don’t freeze to death. A neighbor took me shopping earlier this morning to stock up and I bought enough bird and squirrel goodies to (I hope) last all week. We haven’t had this much snow and severe cold combined for several years as the climate has been changing. Some of the younger neighbors are shocked. At 72, I remember many storms like this one in years gone by, and some even worse. I count my blessings that the “youngsters” in the hood take good care of me 🙂 Be safe everyone. Next week temps are supposed to rise back into the 30s, I expect to see some young guys walking around in shorts.

  2. This has been a pretty harsh winter all around this year. I was going to suggest covering your plants too. Everyone… stay warm and safe indoors, if possible! It’s good that you have a pile of books to read to keep you busy, Brenda. It’s a cozy activity on a yucky, cold day. I love your sweet Ivy!

  3. It is bitter cold here in northeast IL. It’s been -30 with the wind chill factor all day. I’m wearing two layers of clothing (long sleeved shirt with a fleece hoodie and yoga pants with sweat pants over them), plus we have two electric heaters going on top of our regular gas heat.

    My mom wanted me to come to her house earlier today and I started to head out but 15 min into the trip, my windshield wiper fluid froze! The roads were also awful with blowing and drifting snow. I had to clean my windshield off with snow, turn around and come back home. I hate this extreme winter weather.

  4. Have you tried covering your ferns when it’s bitter cold? An old sheet works well preferably on the thin side. Hydrating plants and shrubs can also protect them from hard freezes. Don’t despair though – just try cutting them back in spring. I had a very large asparagus fern that bit the dust in Dec 22 and I cut it all the way back to just a few inches the following spring. It came back better than before!

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