Hello from the deep freeze that is Austin, Texas.

Some years, the temperatures never get below freezing in Austin. In the years when it does freeze, it doesn’t last longer than a few hours. We’re accustomed to 70 degree days in January, not consistently, but warm enough that some younger men don’t even seem to own a pair of long pants.

Not this year. We are breathing Arctic air, experiencing ice, snow, and prolonged below-freezing temps, and many are without heat and water due to the Texas electrical grid being overloaded and shutting down in many places for several days, so far.

I’ve been extremely fortunate that my power has stayed on the entire time.

My central heat is struggling to keep up. I’ve had a large pot of bone broth simmering on my stove day and night, dipping into it for an occasional cup of warm nourishment.

I discovered that a weighted blanket is even better than a sleeping bag at keeping me warm because I can sprawl out underneath it and it holds my body heat in just as well.

It’s chilly at home, but it’s a fun challenge, like winter camping. So far, anyway!

It started when it rained on 2/11 and froze on the bare limbs and twigs of the trees and bushes around my place.

On 2/12, the temperature briefly rose above freezing, and the ice on the branches slowly started melting.

On 2/13 I covered my Meyer lemon tree with a quilt and 3 tarps to prepare for temps in the teens. They’re supposed to be good down to 20 degrees F, but seeing as it’s 6 degrees as I write this on 2/16, I’m pretty sure it’s not going to make it.

We got five inches of snow overnight on Feb. 14-15. It’s the most snow I’ve ever seen in Austin in my many years here, and it’s definitely lingering the longest. The forecast changes slightly from day to day, but it looks like we may get above freezing briefly Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

My four square-foot gardens are covered in snow. Not sure which plants will make it.

From my long-ago experience of an entire January spent below freezing in Oklahoma, it will melt the roads just enough to be passable for a few afternoon hours, and then slick over once temps drop at night. Saturday night will remain above freezing, or so it’s forecast.

It was 4 degrees this morning, and more snow and freezing rain are forecast.

My bird feeder has been super busy with puffed up birdies getting nourishment for all the energy they need to stay alive in these temps.

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Well, at nine am, I ran out of propane. My daughter is coming to pick me up, and I’ll stay with her until this cold front is over, probably on Friday.

Amy Purdy: Living beyond limits | Video on TED.com

Amy Purdy: Living beyond limits | Video on TED.com.

If you are up against an obstacle in your life, watch this video for inspiration. Amy Purdy, 30, will inspire you, telling her story about losing her legs to an infection at age 19 and going on to become a world-class pro snowboarder.

I feel an affinity with her.

She asks the important question:

If my life were a book and I were the author, how would I want the story to go?

I really like what she says about facing fears head-on and living our lives beyond limits.

Our borders and our obstacles can only do two things. One, stop us in our tracks, or two, force us to get creative.

In my life, innovation has only been possible because of my borders. I’ve learned that borders are where the actual ends but also where imagination and the story begins.

Instead of looking at our challenges and limitations as something negative or bad, we can begin to look at them as blessings, magnificent gifts that can be used to ignite our imaginations and help us go further than we ever knew we could go.

It’s not about breaking down borders. It’s about pushing off of them and seeing what amazing places they might bring us.