Winter can bite me.
This was our street on Monday.
Prior to the blizzard that came out of nowhere, we had somewhat warm temperatures (all the way to 35!), but we also had this intense shellac of ice which meant you ice skated everywhere you went. Pretty much since December it has either been a) snowing b) really fucking cold or c) really fucking icy. Sometimes you get all three at once.
I’m a winter lover. I love hiding out in my office and cuddling under blankets, and I love wearing my sweaters. But this year even I am crying uncle. I think I cried that last year too. It’s just so wearying, this endless snow and cold, and the ice can just go hang itself. We’re back to cold now, the kind of cold where you never really get full use of your fingers. Really Dan and I should spend the day putting the rest of the plastic up on the windows, but something tells me we’ll find an excuse to skip it again. He’s reading the Special Delivery galley, which is due Monday, and I’m fussing with the formatting and clean-up edit of Double Blind, which is due Friday. Tonight we’re running away to Jan & Sarah’s to make pizzas and have family fun, but today will be full of work. (Unless we give in and run down to Costco for Veggie Straws & that huge chocolate cake.)
Since I can’t make winter go away and since the plastic only does so much, I’ve attacked the cold with one of my favorite weapons: curtains. If you’ve been to my house, you know how you come in the front door off the porch to a cozy little foyer beside the stairs with an entryway to the living room and to the kitchen, and of course the family altar. (We have statues of Ganesh, Bast, and Buddah, and a poster of Anna’s 6 year-old admonition that "God says we should love one another." The Cullinans are Unitarians for a reason.) Well, that entryway now looks like this:
Ultimately that quilt will be replaced with the same fabric that’s going into the kitchen (the narrower entryway), but I haven’t gotten the sewing machine out yet, and to do the quick and dirty cut & hang I did on that one would require me to run a stitch down the center or live with a gap. To give you the full sense of my lack of glamor: that quilt hanging there? In addition to being in tatters, it was lying on the floor of the living room because it had cat barf on it and needed to be washed until I turned it into a curtain. Yes. The barf is still there somewhere.
Why did I do this? Because despite the fact that we have a porch on the front of the house and weather stripping, that door leeches cold like nothing else. It makes the kitchen and the living room cold, and worst of all, the thermostat is in the living room. That barrier will help keep the thermostat more sane while at the same time keeping the heat in the living room and kitchen. As a consequence, the foyer is fantastically cold. It hasn’t yet crept up the stairs (if it does, I’ll just hang a curtain at the top of them as well), and I am feeling very pleased with myself. And once again, I am the queen of bargain curtains. The poles, the hardware, and 14 yards of fabric were under $100. Dan and his father installed the poles for me on Monday when Dan’s parents were stranded here by the blizzard, and last night we picked up the rings at Lowes. The poles can come down during the off-season, or the curtains can slide neatly to the sides. And yes, it’s already warmer in here.
By the way: if you were wondering what the Cullinan altar looks like, here it is.
The pink cat is something Anna made at a birthday party. The androgynous figure bearing up Ganesh is something random I found at Hobby Lobby; usually I put pennies in her lap. The feathers, birch strip, and rocks are Anna’s latest nature treasures she brings home and deposits there. Usually we have pine cones as well, though I dislike them as they pick up dust bunnies. The snowman is art by , our friend and Anna’s godfather. The necklace is Anna’s, a present from her uncle and her aunt-to-be. (The altar is also the place where people put things randomly, and this is the current offering. I moved a fairy book, a juice box, and a cookie from church for the photo.)
Now I’m going to go back to work, snug in my bathrobe and a lap blanket, my feet over a heat vent and kept from a draft by the barrier of a barf-laden quilt and an unfinished length of fabric.