Friday, January 21, 2011

about what you'd expect

Yesterday (about 4 days before the Packers win the playoffs) the kids had a strange problem during lunch at PS. They couldn't drink their milk out of their cartons. Several children came back to the kitchen to ask what was going on with their milk--it wouldn't come up through their straws. Upon further investigation (read: tearing open the entire top side of a milk carton) we discovered that their milk was frozen. I spun it as the day's special: Milk Slushies. Chocolate and vanilla milk shakes. Turned out PS was at the end of the milk delivery route and our milk had arrived about 20 minutes before lunch time. It had frozen on the truck in transit and hadn't had a chance to thaw out yet. That, my friends, sums up winter in Wisconsin.

It's -30 degrees Farenheit with the windchill factor today. We're coping in various ways. Should you move to Wisconsin to enjoy our balmy winter weather, here are a few tips to make your stay more pleasant:

1. Keep your gas tank over 1/2 full. Less than that, the gas may freeze in the lines, and people, that's an expensive problem.
2. Keep an extra blanket and a few granola bars or energy bars in your vehicle. Since nearly everyone carries a cell phone, getting roadside assistance for a stalled engine is easier than ever before, but you'll need to stay warm while waiting.
3. Let your engine run a few minutes before driving off. Believe me, your car and your body will thank you. I have friends with remote ignitions which is even better--before they leave their houses or wherever they're at, they press a button and a few minutes later they get into a heated car to drive away. On a similar note, cloth seats are better in winter because they aren't shockingly cold against your backside when you sit down.
4. Better yet, if you can avoid leaving your house, stay put.
5. Quit shaving. Thanks to my Sasquatchian ancestry, I'm able to grow a layer of pelt to hold my body heat close. Sadly, I haven't been able to grow a full beard to keep my face and neck warm.
6. Wear layers and accept the fact that you'll have hat head. Wisconsin people trundle about all winter wearing big clunky boots, mittens, scarves, bulky coats, turtlenecks and hats. Only the foolhardy venture out in this weather showing any skin. When you live in the tundra, it's not about fashion, it's about survival.
7. Consume only hot foods and beverages: cocoa, coffee, tea, soup, pizza, casseroles, bratwurst, stews, mashed potatoes, shots of rye whiskey or brandy. Forget about that diet plan to incorporate fresh vegetables and salads in your daily meals. You're packing on pounds for insulation and that's serious business around here. Besides, who's going to notice the shape of your body when it's buried beneath four layers of clothing?
8. Flannel sheets.

You'll spend your winter cozy and warm, guaranteed. And California readers, this will explain why I'll look furry, fluffy (except my hair, which shall be flattened by wearing hats all the time) and pale upon my arrival next month. Weaning my body off the carbohydrates and wool socks will be tough, but I'm willing to try it for a long weekend because oh. my. holy. frostbitten. cheeks. it's freakingcoldhere.

California Countdown: 3 weeks, 4 hours and 13 minutes to go. Not that I'm counting.

Spill it, reader. How are you staying warm this weekend?

35 comments:

  1. By not leaving the house. At all.

    And not being able to grow a full beard saddens you? Who knew?

    I hear you though. This morning I ran Lola from the car to daycare, about 30 feet, and it took a full 20 minutes for my ears to stop hurting from the cold. Shoulda worn a hat, even for that short distance.

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  2. Green Girl, I would NEVER EVER live somewhere as cold as that. It took me my whole life to return permanently to England and even here on the Balmy South Coast I am STILL too cold.

    Weeks like this, I'm almost prepared to move back to the third world.

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  3. It's snowing hard here, and 16 degrees. But you've gone way beyond that! I stay in the house to keep warm also. It's the only way!

    The poor kiddies with their frozen milk! I'm glad you could put a positive spin on it.

    Coincidentally, it's now 3 days before the Steelers beat the Jets in the playoffs. Maybe we will meet in the Super Bowl! Fingers crossed.

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  4. And that is why I live in Hotlanta!

    It's a bit warmer here. Of course in the summer, if you don't have AC, you'll DIE. I'm just sayin'.

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  7. How am I staying warm? On weekends, we fill the bathtub up with hot cocoa <--accompanied by a side of straws, marshmallows, plenty of magazines and, if you're lucky, the portable attached to a really long cord, gets rolled in, so you can watch a little Teedley Veedley --usually an America's Next Top Model marathon (it being the weekend and all, the pickin's are slim). Then, we take turns unthawing.

    I live in Wisconsin, too.

    Stay toasty!
    SparkleFarkle~~~~*

    P.S. I'm a firm believer in your #5!

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  8. I went to the gym. It felt good to sweat for and hour and 20 minutes.

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  9. I always tell people that I turn into a polar bear in winter. I become really pale and hairy and put on a few tons of blubber. And I'm also really cross. My hubby is so lucky! ;)

    It was -5 degrees this morning and that was without the wind chill factor. Egad. How many months until summer?

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  10. I rarely shave in the winter, only for special occasions!

    Great winter tips!

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  11. I find a coating of Vaseline very helpful! ;)

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  12. I move to North Carolina. That's how I stay warm -- that 60 degree day at the park on Wednesday was just about right. ;)

    I don't know that I could EVER live in Wisconsin. I'm not even sure I could ever move back to my home state (Kansas) as it's too cold for my tastes.

    -Abby

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  13. Well well, the Chicago Bears fan stumbles upon the Packers fan's blog. Go Bears! :)

    Anyway - this is really great advice. I have to say, I laugh at the women who go outside in this weather in heels or tights or something of the like. I'll wear my heeled cowboy boots (a joke of a heel, really) when it's in the upper 20s or so but when it's this cold outside (it's 4 here with a windchill of -10, not quite as bad as you've got it but still pretty darn brutal) no way am I stepping foot out there without being covered from head to toe in dorky warm get up. Nuh uh. Stay warm! I'm totally jealous of you going to California soon!

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  14. You can tell I've lived in Wisconsin for a long time. I've been in and out all day and it doesn't seem that bad out there. I did skip my morning walk though. We'll stay warm this weekend hanging around by the fireplace watching massive amounts of Sports Center and cheering the Pack on.

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  15. It's nineteen here. I would die if I lived in Wisconsin. Counting down the three weeks to Honduras. It's warm there--- in the 80's! Practically summer.

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  16. And I thought 40 was cold ;)

    I have a heated mattress pad - but only my side since my hubby likes to be Nordicly cold

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  17. -30 is pretty darn cold. I live in balmy Virginia, but I miss really cold winters, like we had in Buffalo when I was growing up. There's something physically and mentally fortifying and wholesome about living in a cold climate. I don't observe the same kind of toughness in having to deal with an unbearably hot summer, such as there is in Virginia.

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  18. If I lived in Wisconsin, I think I'd put underground tunnels from my house to every place I'd need to go. And I wouldn't go outside until March or April. I'd even jog down there.

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  19. Definitely going to let the hair on my legs grow out.

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  20. I discovered heated seats in cars a few years ago and I'm hooked. One of our cars doesn't have them and no one wants to drive that when it's really cold out.

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  21. I'll be hoping we don't squander all our 75 degree winter days before you get here!

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  22. I'm happy to say, I've migrated to California, after 48 years in Chicago. I know winter, I lived winter - I'm not a wuss - just a person who wanted to live a different way. I'm spending the weekend in a sweater, doing a walk through the hills and enjoying my 60+ degree weather. When you get out here in 3+ weeks, you will adapt very quickly!

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  23. My husband and I are Minnesotans. We left MN for CA where we lived for a number of years, but now we've moved back. And really, I can't think of one darn good reason why. Every winter we look at each other and laugh. Especially when the temp doesn't get above 0.

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  24. Knee-high socks, leg warmers, and snowpants. But I don't know if that would be sufficient for -30. We've got 0 deg F here tonight.

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  25. i won't say "never" because that opens up a whole set of things but - i don't think i'd EVER want to live anyplace that gets that cold.

    brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

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  26. Yes, I would say that home-grown fur and remote car starters is how I survive Alberta. Alas, I also cannot grow a FULL beard. ;)

    This post will leave me chuckling for the rest of the night. :D

    Cheers!

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  27. My Appleton friend has a horse that she needs to tend to every day. Just for kicks she sends me lists of what she is wearing to go out to the barn.

    It's going back down to the 30's here tonight. I'll dig out my one thermal nightgown and fleecy socks to sleep in tonight and I'll probably make a pot of Chai sometime today. The thermostat is set to kick on the heat if the apartment drops below 68 degrees.

    Keep warm up there!

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  28. I'm doing 6, 7 and 8. With extra 7. And some 7.

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  29. Oh, that reminds me. I need to fill the minivan with gas. Good thing we just updated that home equity line of credit!
    In college we noticed that we didn't recognize people in winter; we recognized coats, hats, and other winter gear. I had a fluorescent yellow scarf with a white coat; classmates said they could see me all the way across the (admittedly small) LU campus.

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  30. Oh, that reminds me. I need to fill the minivan with gas. Good thing we just updated that home equity line of credit!
    In college we noticed that we didn't recognize people in winter; we recognized coats, hats, and other winter gear. I had a fluorescent yellow scarf with a white coat; classmates said they could see me all the way across the (admittedly small) LU campus.

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  31. Have so much fun planning for Cali, it will keep you warm with anticipation!
    xoxo
    SC

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  32. I am spending some quality time with my brand-new flat screen TV. We just shared a plate of fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies.

    The snow is drifting outside but I don't care!

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  33. OH my goodness!!!! I left my water bottle in the car the other day while I was at the gym and it froze too...thanks for all of the great tips! We'll be keeping warm by cheering for the Steelers over here :)

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  34. I had forgotten about frozen gas lines. I'm getting soft in my old age and more temperate climate.

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  35. You're California bound? That's awesome! Hope the weather holds up for you (high 70's in So. Cal today)...

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Spill it, reader.