After the third consecutive night of our heater apparently running nonstop (I do hope it cut off at least a bit while we dozed), I've had it with this cold spell.
The storm blasted into Austin early Tuesday morning, rattling our front door and the glass panels on each side of it so much that I wedged a chair under the door handle to keep it from blowing wide open.
But that didn't do much to slow the whistling winds that poured through the obviously shot weatherstripping. Our doorway now has a lovely blue painter's tape trim. Once you get past the obvious home decor faux pas, the temporary weather seal at least silenced the eerie serenade.
Since the cold front's arrival, we've had two nights of temperatures in the teens -- the coldest it's been here in 20 years -- combined with wind chills near zero and daylight thermometer readings that haven't cleared freezing.
While the persistent freeze has created some lovely ice art in our backyard stream -- I love the stacked ice cubes formation pouring from the urn's mouth (click the photo for a closer look) -- enough is enough.
I have a friend in Arizona who chided me for complaining about Central Texas' cold weather. Other places, he notes, are having it much worse.
He's right, of course. But I'm still going to whine. If it's cold where you are, feel free to do so, too. We can get back to him when it's 120 degrees in Phoenix this summer and see what his mood is then.
Tax help with storm damages: I've been dripping water every night to keep pipes from freezing. (Oh joy, I can't wait for our next heating and water bills!) At least the moisture is going into the houseplants I've placed in the sinks.
I'm hoping my efforts work, as I'm not in any mood to deal with winter storm damage.
But if worse does come to worst, folks who suffer losses in connection with this massive winter storm might be able to get some help from the IRS. The damages count as casualty losses that are claimed as itemized deductions.
You also might want to check out these tips for dealing with possible winter storm property damage, as well as suggestions for preparing for winter in case Punxsutawny Phil was wrong and this chill persists.
Also keep an eye on FEMA's disaster declaration list. If your region is deemed especially hard hit, it could help you get IRS help on your taxes sooner.
- Tax relief for disaster victims
- California flood, mud disaster
- IRS issues Chinese drywall disaster claim guidance
- IRS give NC storm victims more time
- Tax rules on charitable giving
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