Winter arrived with a bang last night.
Well, the snow started quite a bit before-hand, but when the transformer behind the middle houses on our block got all crazy and the wiring in the house began to crackle and pop and the smell of burning electrics filled the air, well, let's just say my usually calm demeanor collapsed into girly screams and rushing around to pull every plug I could reach (I can't reach the main shut off anymore). When Oscar got home about 15 minutes later, we were sitting in the dark with some flashlights and a few candles.
The cats were rushing around with me (until the screams, when they rushed away) and we were without power until about noon today. As the temps were in the teens last night (and still are today) We spent the night at a cheap hotel. The power returned, but our furnace and microwave are casualties. We have warmed the house by turning on all the lights, running the dryer and oven and so forth. It is a reasonable temperature now, and the furnace guy is due this evening to check things out.
Edited to add: The furnace's transformer had blown, as well. The money for the hotel and the repair was almost exactly what Oscar had saved back for my gift this year. I am so glad we had it to spend!
(photo is from last year, out back of the house)