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?