Non-Consumer Photo Essay — Boring Edition

by Katy on January 19, 2024 · 45 comments

I’m continuing to gather second hand furniture for my son’s new apartment. I bought two barstools from Facebook marketplace for $15 apiece apiece, as well as a $15 IKEA rolling cart. I also picked up a cat tree, which was a freebie off my Buy Nothing group.

It’s giving “cluttered furniture showroom” aesthetic, especially with the dining room table in the corner.

The cat tree was an immediate hit with Mama’s Little Meatball.


I’m cloistered in my iced over house and eating a myriad of random meals like this lentil soup over rice. But don’t get too impressed with the healthiness of my choices, as my lunch was olive oil grilled bread and then a handful of dried cranberries. So . . . girl dinner?

I wanted to take a cute photo of my snowy/iced over yard for the blog, but Portland’s week’s long winter weather event has been anything but cute. Multiple deaths, a record number of emergency room visits for slip and falls and a huge nightmare all around.

So yeah, not cute.

My husband and I drove around and picked up the furniture yesterday when it seemed like the ice was defrosting, although we misjudged how bad things were up in the higher elevation neighborhoods. And that cat tree? My husband fell twice on the person’s iced over stairs and miraculously wasn’t hurt.

Here’s a short news video that demonstrates how iced over we are.

Bored at home, but reminding myself to be grateful that I’m safe and warm.

Has your corner of the world been effected by weather?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Mand01 January 19, 2024 at 9:56 pm

Amazing. We are sitting in our very warm house with ceiling fans going, drinking cold bubbly water and feeling lethargic from the heat. On the plus side, we have all the tomatoes and green beans it’s possible for one family to eat.
Hope the ice…melts soon? I don’t know how it works, I’ve never seen snow. I assume one day it just goes away.


Katy January 20, 2024 at 2:51 pm

You must be in Australia!


Marie-Josée January 20, 2024 at 3:54 am

We get icey conditions here as well and amongst the whole gamut of weather conditions we experience, this is the one that causes the most injuries (concussions, sprains and broken bones). Our winter has been unusually mild here in Quebec. We have had hardly any snow which sucks for the winter sport loving folks and brings joy to all those who find it an inconvenience. Western Canada has been subject to frigid temperatures due to the wobbly arctic vortex. I have developped the bad habit of not looking up the weather conditions before going to the office (which I don’t do often) via public transportation. We had a snowstorm last week and I stepped out the next day ready for winter armageddon: several layers, my warmest coat, scarf, tuque, mittens only to be met by rain and a mild spring temperature. Went back to get my umbrella. Walked out the next morning with my springish coat without my tuque and warm mitts to be met by biting frigid cold. Looking up the weather and discussing it is a Canadian hobby that I need to adopt.


Katy January 20, 2024 at 2:50 pm

It reminds me of a song we sang in elementary school with these lyrics:

Everyone talks of the weather, no one does a thing about it.
Will it be snow? Will it be rain? Or will we sit around and just complain.


K D January 20, 2024 at 4:37 am

I hope you thaw out soon Katy.

We awoke to several inches of snow on Tuesday (after a bit of snow on Monday) and yesterday it snowed all day to add several more inches. We did not go anywhere, except for careful walks on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. It is forecast to be cold through the weekend but relief should come next week.

I organized income tax documents yesterday and also spent time shoveling at our house and at a neighbor’s house.

It has been good for us working on our food stockpile.

I too am happy to be safe and warm.


Katy January 20, 2024 at 2:48 pm

I suppose I should work more on my food stockpile as well. I seem to pick up brownie mixes when they go on sale for 75¢ or so, yet rarely make them. I guess I have no choice but to bake up some brownies!


A. Marie January 20, 2024 at 5:34 am

As Marie-Josee has said about Quebec, it’s been an unusually mild winter here in Central NY–until the last two weeks, that is. We got a 12″ snow dump on Sunday 1/7 and have been in and out of the polar vortex ever since. But then we’re more used to dealing with it here than folks in a lot of other places are. And though my city gets laughed at for a lot of things, it does have excellent municipal snow removal.

All the same, with winter weather advisories today in both my city and the next one to the west, I’ve decided not to try to travel over to my JASNA region’s annual luncheon today. Bummer bummer bummer. And I confess I’m running the dishwasher this morning as much for the heat and humidity as for the clean dishes!


Katy January 20, 2024 at 2:46 pm

Sorry to hear you’re missing your luncheon. Jane Austen and I send our greatest sympathies.


Susan January 20, 2024 at 5:35 am

State of emergency in TN now. We’ve been pretty much snowed/iced in for over a week now. Thank goodness for oatmeal, soup and a generator…and a husband who’s willing to go out and hook it up


Katy January 20, 2024 at 2:45 pm

That’s a looong week!


MW January 20, 2024 at 5:43 am

I suspect I’ll be spending the afternoon chipping and scraping ice off my Portland sidewalk. A stroll yesterday had me flailing to stay upright several times


Katy January 20, 2024 at 2:45 pm

I may go see if I can clear my sidewalk some, although the cold air exacerbates my asthma, so maybe not.


Ruby January 20, 2024 at 5:51 am

That’s amazing that your husband fell twice and was not hurt. Thank goodnesss!

It’s been frostbite-inducing cold here in southeast Tennessee. We had snow, freezing rain, ice, then one day good enough to get out of the house to run errands before the next cold wave. Our neighborhood had two water mains break due to the cold. We sure are glad we replaced the furnace before this hit and and did not lose electrical power.

Our new rescued pup had a grand time in the snow. She loved running and kicking it up like a little kid.


A. Marie January 20, 2024 at 7:12 am

Ruby (and Susan, Ava, and other Tennesseans), I’ve been following your weather saga via a no-paywall local news site. This may be the longest siege of icy weather that Ruby’s current and my former hometown has had since the ice storm of 1960!


Ruby January 20, 2024 at 10:39 am

My dad was out of work at that time in 1960 and sent my mother, with infant me and my toddler brother, to stay with some of his relatives in the mountains of North Carolina. The experience gave her a genuine phobia about ice storms.


Katy January 20, 2024 at 2:44 pm

And it was all recorded on their video doorbell!


Carolyn January 20, 2024 at 6:07 am

Our back streets are snow packed but passable but the sidewalks where I usually walk for exercise are too deep to navigate. To augment my house heat I’ve been baking bread. Carefully walked to my across the street neighbor’s yesterday to deliver a still warm loaf. Always good to have good neighbors cause they come through for each other in times of need.


Katy January 20, 2024 at 2:43 pm

I’ll never understand people who don’t bother to forge relationships with their neighbors.


Ava January 20, 2024 at 6:10 am

This area of TN is used to maybe one smallish snow per winter. We got 8.5 inches on Mon. with intermittent flurries since. We have had almost no melting . This weekend will be below 0 wind chill at times. We have been out once since Mon. Interstates get plowed. Neighborhood streets are treacherous.


Katy January 20, 2024 at 2:42 pm

8-1/2 inches of snow? That’s insane!


Jill A January 20, 2024 at 6:48 am

I’m in Michigan so we’re set up for snow but it’s been too cold for the salt to work on the roads. We’re starting to get some warmer afternoon temps so hopefully the roads will be less slick. Ice is the worst though. The last really big ice storm we had, I lost power for 4 days so I’m thankful I have power and I can get out, we just drive very slow. My high energy pup has cabin fever though. It’s too cold and the snow’s too deep to go out and play and we can’t walk in this. I went to an estate sale Wednesday and the company running it said they had about 80 people outside waiting to get in…in like 8 degree weather. My dog isn’t the only one with cabin fever I guess.


Katy January 20, 2024 at 2:42 pm

I like a good second hand find, but not that much!


Andria January 20, 2024 at 7:59 am

It’s freezing cold in Boston, but we’re used to it. I’m exploiting the weather by defrosting my deep freeze, since I can just leave the contents on the back porch indefinitely! Currently hunkered down watching tv and making a lentil brown rice casserole. Very cozy.


Katy January 20, 2024 at 2:41 pm

I need to defrost my deep freeze and definitely should’ve added that to my to-do list a few days ago!


MB in MN January 20, 2024 at 8:38 am

Katy, I love those pieces you sourced for your son. And I’m glad your husband is okay after two falls – yikes – and on stairs to boot!

In Minnesota we’re accustomed to cold, ice and snow – and I dislike all of it except for the change of seasons and looking at sparkly snow from inside the house. My saving grace from the brutal cold has been my membership at the indoor walking track. My husband, on the other hand, enjoys walking outside in every type of weather. He’ll go out when it’s a bazillion degrees below zero with snow and wind – and on more than one occasion, he’s had people stop to see if he needs a ride somewhere because they think (correctly) that no one in their right mind would be walking outside in that kind of weather by choice.

Wishing everyone warmth and safety!


Katy January 20, 2024 at 2:40 pm

It’s not just the snow and ice, it’s the steep hills in Portland. I had a friend visit from Wisconsin a couple years ago and she was laughing about impossible it would be to drive here in winter. I went to college in Ohio and I was mesmerized by how flat the terrain was.


Blue Gate Farmgirl January 20, 2024 at 9:02 am

Nice collection started for your son’s apt. I wish we lived close to one another, I would’ve loaned you my propane weed burner – that would’ve safely taken care of the offending steps. I do not use it often for ice and snow removal, but it has come in handy for handling 1″+ ice off the ramp in order for the emt’s to safely get inside our home.
Tomorrow is ‘hopefully’ in the 50’s! Yay, back to our normal Oregon weather.
The new to the farm kitty is settling in nicely. He is fixed, full grown and is becoming buddies with the pup.
Today is Nat’l Cheese Day, so will make 4 cheese Mac & Cheese, only have penne left in the pantry, so there you go! I will also make sheet pan roasted veggies and then tomorrow will turn into minestrone with homemade gnocchi.
My chard, spinach and broccoli survived the deep freeze.
Have a great weekend, everyone.


Katy January 20, 2024 at 2:38 pm

Today is national cheese day? I might have to honor that, as I have a fair amount in the fridge at the moment.


Mary Ann January 20, 2024 at 9:35 am

I guess California is living up to its price tag right now. Central Valley here. We are desperate for rain and will get some over the next few days. Cold for us is 52. . Still, I am snuggling in and working on improving the lookbook for our inherited century home. Lighting guy and windows guy came. They are trying to convince use to replace a huge picture window and wooden side windows We are not going to do that yet. Also, lighting guys says we will kick ourselves if we don’t do canned lighting but I don’t know. I want to keep it simple with flush mounts. Research today. To see what is possible.

Found these great sconces on ebay to go with my subway tile bathrooms. Excited.


MB in MN January 20, 2024 at 12:03 pm

Mary Ann, those sconces are great! Subway tile is such a great timeless look.


Katy January 20, 2024 at 2:37 pm

Contractors aren’t always so savvy with home owners who want to honor an old house.


Teri January 20, 2024 at 11:43 am

I love to see the furniture finds you are sourcing for your son. I’m in Eastern WA , and we’re snowed/iced in. Everything cancelled, including school, church and games. We’re cold but it’s mainly the ice and coming ice storm that’s making it difficult. We are staying busy by cleaning up after frozen pipes (which we had a heater near!). What a mess that is including demo and restoration by professionals.
Hope we all survive!


Katy January 20, 2024 at 2:35 pm

Sorry to hear about your frozen pipes! I made sure to keep the doors under the kitchen sink open, but it sounds like you did everything you were supposed to.


Lindsey January 20, 2024 at 12:04 pm

I admire your tenacity, Katy. I get impatient while waiting for something I want to show up. I am also not good at recognizing a quality piece of furniture even if sitting in front of me. If it is not a mission chair, I don’t know what it is.

We have had a mild winter, with temperatures not much lower than 20 below (that is not wind chill, that is straight temperature) but the temps are falling now and it is supposed to hit 40 below this coming week. When it gets that cold, it doesn’t snow, so there is that. And we are still having tremors from yesterday’s earth quake. I am saving my baking and running the washer and dishwasher until it is 40 below, just to heat things up.


Katy January 20, 2024 at 2:34 pm

Again, I cannot even fathom these temperatures! Hopefully your baking is something yummy!


Peg January 20, 2024 at 1:22 pm

A week ago today it was -22 where we live in SE Wyoming. To be honest, the entire week has been crummy. Our son shoveled our driveway/sidewalk once, I did once, the snow removal guy did once, and I had to do part of it again yesterday. Today it is in the mid-40s, calm, and partly sunny. It’s been perfect (for January). Sheets/pillowcases are drying outside.

We aren’t young (I’m 63 and my husband’s 69 and in poor health). A couple years ago we started hiring someone to shovel our driveway/sidewalk when we get 2 or more inches of snow. Cheaper than a broken bone from falling on slick pavement.


Katy January 20, 2024 at 2:33 pm

I cannot even fathom what that must be like. It sounds like the money spent to hire out shoveling is money well spent!


Marie January 20, 2024 at 3:38 pm

Snow storms are very economical. Between a foot of snow, A little melting, more snow, than freezing rain, very little money spent. Though no money earned, as I was unable to get out. Going to be saving for better winter tires.
We live 8 miles from town and had a harrowing drive going out. Was just stir crazy, so we went to grocery outlet. No fruit, no veggies, no milk. Though I got half and half for our neighbor, who was stuck at home.
So, reading lots of free kindle books, and cooking. Though not with veggies, or milk.


Katy January 20, 2024 at 4:33 pm

No fruit, veggies or milk? Sounds like you probably put together some creative meals.


Flora Kelley January 20, 2024 at 7:27 pm

We have 5 degrees and 16 inches of snow this wonderful evening. We live in the mountains of West Virginia. I am so ready for spring.


Cindy in the South January 21, 2024 at 5:35 am

My son missed three days of work in North Alabama bc of being iced in and I missed two days of work bc courthouse closed in South Alabama. The furnace broke! My water was off for six hours yesterday bc the main line broke. Sounds like winter has come to places that rarely see much ice and snow, all over the U. S. Love your furniture and little meatball!


Katy January 21, 2024 at 9:33 am

I’m glad to read that your water came back on, that’s the worst utility to lose!


Bethany M January 21, 2024 at 12:36 pm

Cold!!! We’ve had 3 snow days and a 2 hour delay. Makes me grateful for a contract!


Ashley Bananas January 22, 2024 at 12:52 pm

One thing I will never miss is living up North with the extreme Winters. Even in Florida when it gets under 70 degrees I just don’t enjoy it at all. Please stay safe!!!
This week in frugal land…
1. I made recycled wax candles out of items that were given to me by neighbors. Ends of candles, broken candles, and candles put on wax warmers with wicks lost in them. I’ve made about seven candles so far and have some more to go. These make great gifts, and making them is really therapeutic for me. Yay for frugal crafting.
2. This past week I only spent $23 on groceries. I have been working on using what we have in the fridge/freezer/pantry. I skipped buying bacon, and went home and made egg bites with cubed ham I had at home. They’re wonderful and healthy, and I avoided spending money on other things.
3. I made $125 doing Door Dash and will apply that to bills I have. I will continue to work making extra money to apply to bills and debt.
4. I spent yesterday cooking at home. I made mini frittatas, cookies, cheesy potato casserole, and a ham stake. It’s oddly satisfying to cook at home and money saving.
5. This month’s electric bill came in at $69 dollars. I was very excited about this. My bills in Summer were around $250. This was a nice relief.

Hope you’re all having a great week!


Katy January 23, 2024 at 11:51 am

“Cheesy potato casserole” sounds delicious!

And hooray for lower utility bills!


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