Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I am not dreading January...

...because it's already HERE.

The high yesterday was 23. The wind was ugly.

I often wonder how I will adjust to the cold once winter sets in, but I need wonder no more!

And now, as one who has prematurely been cast into darkness and who is perpetually cold , let me share with you a few new and improved * TIPS FOR WINTER!


1. Keep your key fob in your bra (or undershorts)-

If the key fob to my Honda Civic gets cold, the remote keyless entry thing stops working, and I have to manually unlock the door myself. So while driving or walking or otherwise subjecting myself to unreasonable cold, I slip the key fob down my shirt, right against my bajungas. Keeps it toasty warm!

2. Rely on concentrated levels of glycerin ---that is how my little tube of Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand cream describes its magic. It was developed for Norwegian fisherman, after all, and many is the time I've bemoaned, "I have the hands of a Norwegian fisherman!" I'm sure they have little tubes of the stuff all over their fishing vessels. So this is the hand cream for me. It has kept my hands from falling off.

3. Build a tower of sweaters ----Thrift stores are a great source of second-hand sweaters, cardigans, and  hoodies that might not be "top-drawer", but will help you achieve unprecedented levels of layering. Mix and match them indiscriminately.....a cardigan over a hoodie, a sweater over a poncho....Don't waste time folding or hanging  them--just create a loose pile so they are easy to grab. Mine are tossed in a big heap on top of my writing desk. To make sure they are always ready to go, I never wash them.

4. Freely engage in shorts shaming---Who are the idiots who walk around in shorts when it's ten degrees?! They are sociopaths, and deserve mockery. Last night I was at Walgreens buying more Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand cream (I seriously was) and the cashier looked up and saw a man walk in wearing shorts. She made a remark, and I jeered, though not to his face. But it was a nice moment that the Walgreens clerk and I could share.

5. Don't bother with the Starbucks drive-thru ----There is no point in getting a hot drink in a drive-thru unless you are headed some place with a microwave to heat it back up. The cold will chill that caramel lat in no time flat.

6. Make the weatherman your gas pump buddy ---When it's cold, gas pumps take forever. To minimize discomfort, check forecasts and plan your re-fueling for the hour and day when the temperature is highest and wind gusts are lowest. Ration your driving accordingly.

7. There is no longer such a thing as "room temperature." Well, there is, but it is now only about ten degrees warmer than your fridge, so be prepared for disappointments like hard butter that won't spread on your toast and chili that is chilly.

8.  Forget boots, wear running shoes. ---Because you'll be running to the car a lot.

9. Pay heed to mall store closing times----If --god forbid, you find yourself at a mall, make note of where you parked and make damn sure that if you parked outside JCPenney you get your ass back to JCPenney before those bars come down and you are shut out and have to go out the main entrance and walk (run) halfway around the mall to your car.

*to see older and less improved tips for winter, click here and here!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dealing with the Cold

 Oh, what a demarcation, between the sunshiny goodness of the autumn day we had yesterday, and the grim chill that has descended today. Last night the mercury plummeted like a sinner bound for hell, taking our gaiety and laughter with it.

At least we'd been warned, we had time to prepare. Yesterday I got all my sweaters and cardigans out of the attic -- -all the used, stretched out, thrift-store sweaters and cardigans that I have kept alive winter after winter. If a sweater is pilled---well, I can just wear it around the house, I say. If a sweater has lost its shape---well, I can hide its untidiness under a jacket. And so it goes, as my winter wardrobe grows ever more seedy with age. But it's been so mild this autumn I haven't needed it. Now my drawers are stuffed full.

Another thing I did ---I seriously contemplated the purchase of a hot water bottle. I went to a drug store and asked the clerk if they had any for sale. She took me over to the aisle. It was in a box, but the picture on the box looked exactly like I'd remembered---a blood- red rubber vessel, waiting to be filled. Thinking she was being helpful, the clerk pointed out that they also had ice packs. I shivered just thinking about it. NO THANK YOU. Did she not catch the part where I asked for a *hot* water bottle?

She left and I read the box, and imagined myself heading out on bone-chilling mornings, the steaming rubber vessel filled with scalding water from the tea kettle, pressed against my skin. Aw, how warm that would be. But how quickly, on a 20 degree day, would the water cool off and the bottle lay against my stomach as cold and damp as a liver?  

The hot water bottle was $14. I decided not to get it. Instead, I spent nearly the same amount on two pairs of gloves.  I bought them because it's going to get cold, and because I wanted my daughters to have them, even though we probably have 10 mis-matched pairs at home.....

This morning, I wore long johns underneath my work pants. It was just supposed to be temporary--just a buffer for walking from my parking lot to the building. But when I got to my office, I didn't want to take them off. My work pants were a little roomy, so I kept them on, and wore them all day.