Some other quick checks (thermostat? check. breakers? check.) narrowed it down to a problem with the furnace itself. Further troubleshooting indicated that the fan was working but that the furnace was not igniting. Sigh.
I called in to the gas company and explained my plight. They said they'd have a service person out that day but could only give me an 8-hour window. So I set it up so that someone would come out sometime between 8 and 4 and called in to work to let them know that I wouldn't be in.
Close to noon, the repair person showed up, diagnosed the problem and replaced the faulty part. It seems that the manufacturer of my furnace has been experiencing a lot of similar faults and has added a special bracket to their igniter that seems to prevent it from breaking as often. We'll see if this one lasts out the year.
By the time the repair person was finished, the dogs fed and exercised and the house warmed up to the point that I felt confident that it would continue to do so unsupervised, it seemed silly to go in to work only to have to turn around and catch the bus back home in a couple of hours. Instead, I ran out to see Ericka in the hospital.
She's doing much better. Having regular PT and nebulizer treatments agrees with her, even if being in the hospital doesn't. We're currently looking at what it will take to get her home as they are swiftly approaching the point of not being able to do anything for her in hospital that couldn't be done at home. Her doctor would like her to go to a transitional care facility but Ericka hears that as "nursing home" and is immediately opposed. Can't say I blame her, but I also want her to be strong enough to come home and stay home. We shall see.