December 27th, 2012



The low sun of winter shone as brightly as it could, but couldn't warm the northern air. The clouds were few and failed to bring rain. This morning the lawns and my roof were white with frost, but night had brought no snow. The water in the feral cats' bowls was frozen, though, and I had to break the ice surfaces and refill them. Tonight will probably be even colder than last night, but so far it doesn't look as though the scattered clouds will thicken and bring snow.

Still, there's not a single mild day in sight. I'm tired of being cold day after day, but I don't dare raise the thermostat. If I haven't screwed up my bookkeeping, I'll be starting the new year with thirty dollars in the bank— not enough to risk having a higher gas bill. If I have screwed up my bookkeeping, there might be even less, and I would be at risk of having an overdraft if I send in the payment for the property taxes before January. 2013 could be the year when I finally have to give up cable television. I might not be able to afford it anymore.

I'm a bit disappointed that the Mayans turned out to be wrong. Annihilation would have been very economical for me, and I wouldn't be cold anymore. But I'm sure Portia would .disagree with me. The cold doesn't seem to bother her, and she's clearly enjoying her life. Right now she's giving herself an after-dinner bath at the corner of my desk, and shedding fur onto my keyboard. What could be more fun than that?