Oh, yes. This cold. Frigid, bone-chilling, teeth-chattering, and deadly.

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
Oh, yes. This cold. Frigid, bone-chilling, teeth-chattering, and deadly.
We are hunkered down, snuggled under cozy blankets, fireplaces lit - with crockpots and stew pots full of delicious comfort food to get us through this killer cold snap.
There is good news, though. The temperatures on Sunday are supposed to climb to 25°, and, no significant snow in the immediate forecast. Although Monday, unfortunately, may bring some ice and snow (sorry, I threw some bad news in there).
Our neighbors on the east coast and north to New England - they are not faring quite as well. Their blizzard conditions and bitter cold will have tragic consequences, especially with the electricity outages. Those of you who are followers of The Weather Channel know that these winter storms are named, just as hurricanes are. This storm is named Grayson.
So, here in the mountains of the Potomac Highlands and Western Maryland, what will you do to keep warm? What are some things you and your family can do inside while you wait out Winter Storm Grayson?
Here are some ideas:
* Make sure you have lots of blankets, candles and lighters handy.
* Keep your thermostats regulated at one temperature.
* Bring out the board games and playing cards! My family's favorites are Yahtzee, Life, Crazy Eights, War, Poker, Spades and Monopoly (my daughter-in-law Sarah told me that Monopoly was a full contact sport in her family LOL!). As far as Monopoly, play fair, have fun, and TJ - stop buying every piece of property you land on!!
* Get out the crockpot, and put on some homemade soup, chili or even some crockpot hot cocoa!
* Pull a book off the bookshelf...and read. And if you read it before, read it again!
* Pick a closet, and clean it out! (yes, I know that's no fun, but think of how good you will feel when it's all done when that miserable job is done for the year). Or, go out to that drawer in the kitchen...you know, that drawer with all the JUNK!! Dump it out, and make some tough decisions LOL. Trash or Keep.
* Sit down by the fire or wood stove and plan your dinner menu out for the next week. When I was growing up, my mom did this every single week. Our dinner menu was always posted on the refrigerator, and we kids always knew what meals were coming up and when we wanted to have dinner at a friend's house LOL. If fried eggs and sausage, or fried squash, okra, eggplant or green tomatoes were on the menu, I was hoping Candy's mom would invite me to dinner!! Now, fried chicken, mashed potatoes/gravy and green beans - THAT was my favorite!
* Work a puzzle. I love puzzles in the winter time, but my four cats won't stay off my puzzle table, and they knock my pieces off. But, there's nothing better than a beautiful and challenging 1,000 piece puzzle in the middle of a snowstorm!
* I don't know about you, but I have a basket full of unmatched socks. I just might get into that basket, match up the socks and throw the rest in the trash. One of those things I just never want to do, and certainly never get around to doing it. Why not this weekend?
* Check on your neighbors, especially the elderly or ill. Make sure they have heat and food. Please.
* Bring your animals inside. There is no way an animal can be outside and have fresh food and water and shelter in this kind of weather. Put them in a laundry room or in your basement, but not outside. No amount of fur is going to save their lives from this monster, blustery wind chill.
* Watch a movie with your special someone. Make some popcorn, turn out the lights, snuggle under blankets. No cell phone. No Facebook. No distractions. Just enjoy the crunchy, salted, buttery goodness and escape from life for a couple of hours.
Stay warm, folks. Stay safe. Keep your cellphone charged. Read your newspaper. Watch The Weather Channel. Read your Bible. Cling to the hope that spring is just a little over 70 days away! We can do this!! Grayson - be GONE!