This was the scene last week 2 days into The Great Freeze of '11.

Notice the 6 inches of snow on the table top.

Now, while this looks like pretty much every 8-year-old's dream snow day, what you can't see is the inch thick layer of ice underneath the snow from the two previous day's thundersleet storms. Not that any of that was a problem for Daisy. My head cold and I just stayed inside in one of my many pairs of flannel pajamas; Twiggy stayed parked in the driveway, under his blanket of snow; and all was right with the world.

Everything except the lack of hot water in what my mother has taken to referring to as The Little House on the Prairie. You see, dear reader, apparently 4 degree temperatures can freeze pipes that are not properly insulated, as were the two pipes going to and from my hot water heater. The brand new hot water heater I had installed less than 2 months ago. (Notice the snow "gopher mound" that streaks across the backyard in the picture above? That would be where they replaced the entire gas line in my backyard. A reminder of the all-too-recent 12 day stint with no heat or hot water henceforth known as The Urban Camping Experience of 2010.)

4 days of hair dryers and heat guns and space heaters later, and we finally had functioning pipes. And now? Now a much smarter Daisy is running the dishwasher and dripping the faucets as the temperature drops yet again. Yesterday? 54 degrees. This morning? 16. And still dropping.

Schizophrenic Texas weather.

Fortunately, it is also sleeting again, so I am embarking on the 5th snow day in a little over a week. This time I'll be smart enough to run the hot water from time to time so it doesn't freeze up. This time I do not have a cold. This time I have leftover pizza in my fridge, a decent internet connection, and a trashy romance to read.

I could get used to this.