Tag Archives: cold

Why Winter Sucks More Than a Hoover

NOTE: As I am writing this, I get an email from our local Patch with this headline: “A Little More Snow, Dangerous Winds, 25 Below Zero Wind Chills.” It’s time to move.

I realize not everyone has the distinct pleasure of living in a place where you get projectile vomited on with the white stuff before winter has barely started. But I do. Which gives me the qualifications to get my bitch on.

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Don’t be fooled by it’s beauty. It’s really just a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

I have lived in the Northeast for about 40 of my nearly 48 years of life. Which is a strange choice seeing that I have no outdoor winter skills to speak of whatsoever. I don’t ski, I can’t stand up on a pair of ice skates, and snowboarding? The thought makes me hyperventilate and I’m not even claustrophobic. I used to be able to build a mean snowman, but I lost that skill somewhere around 1982.

With that being said, I usually don’t mind a good snowstorm. As long as I have a bottle of my favorite wine, some french fries and working WiFi. Which, by the way, can be touch and go if the storm is bad enough.

But something happened to me this year. I snapped. And I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m just about ready to join the Snowbirds in Florida. Hell, they have it right with their afternoon cocktails, early bird specials and bed by 8.

Also, I realized the other day that I was in dire need of some sunshine when, while watching television, I paused the TV on a commercial advertising an island vacation and I put my face up to the screen to get a dose of some Vitamin D. Just so you know, it didn’t work so don’t bother.

Anyway, I’ve devised a list of why I just can’t take it anymore. It wasn’t hard to come up with.
  1. Static. If I get shocked one more f***ing time when I touch anything, I will kill something. Same thing goes for my flying hair, sticking clothes and the blankets on my bed. Every time I move, I fear going up in flames. It’s a good thing I’ve got 911 on speed dial.
  2. Slipping. I wonder how many people wind up in the emergency room this time of year? I swear Mother Nature and the medical industry are in cahoots. It doesn’t matter how careful I am, it’s a constant struggle to keep myself in the upright position when I venture out-of-doors. It may look funny but it doesn’t feel funny because I’m not laughing.
  3. Mud and slush. It’s on my car. My coat. My shoes. The back of my pants, my butt (okay, so that’s when I do #3). There are footprints all over my house, and that’s after everyone has taken off their shoes at the door.
  4. IMG_0229Piles of snow. Every-freaking-where. The piles are so big, I can’t see around or over them. I run the risk of getting slammed by a car because I can’t see it coming. And space is running low. What I like the best is when you ricochet off of one of these guys. Last time I checked, I wasn’t living in a county fair on a bumper car ride. If I was, it’d be warm out. And I’d be happy.
  5. Cold. The cold is permeating through the windows and doors as if there are no windows and doors. Making my oil bill go through the roof. My house isn’t built like Alcatraz. Even if it was, I don’t think it would help.
  6. No school. Please. Just go to school. Enough said.
  7. Dry everything. The mucus in my nose has hardened up so bad from the dry air that I need a chisel to remove it. The skin on my heels so sharp, I’m afraid I’ll stab my husband to death in our sleep. The skin on my legs flaking so much that I can feed the entire population of bed bugs. Yeah, that was gross. The truth is ugly.
  8. The prep. It takes a half hour to get ready to go outside. And although you are wearing a t-shirt, a long sleeved shirt, a sweater, leggings, jeans, your parka, a hat, scarf, gloves, two pairs of socks and boots so big and heavy it’s almost impossible to walk, you still run the risk of hypothermia.
  9. Shoveling. Although shoveling does burn a lot of calories, the process is a major pain in the ass. After you get dressed (see #8) you have to fight to stay upright (see #3) and then have nowhere to put it (see #4).
  10. Not enough sun. Wait. What? What is the sun again and where does it come from?

So there you have it. I’m sure there is more but I’m too depressed to think any more. I’m going to go sit under my desk lamp and pretend I’m in Cancun. Or hibernate like a bear.

PS – After the writing of this post, our furnace died. I believe it tried to hibernate as well. What sucks worse than winter? Having no heat when it’s 7 degrees outside.

PPS – You know what also sucks? Ice DamminIMG_4225g.

 

Snow Day Fun In a Handbasket

When did I start to hate snow?  Like really, really hate it?  Probably yesterday.  Seriously.  I complain about the stuff, but secretly I enjoy a good snow day.  I mean, if I don’t have to go anywhere.  Or shovel it.  Or play in it.  Or stand outside.  Or touch it.

All was fine and dandy with the world, until DH had the bright idea to help him shovel the 200,000 pounds of snow off of the deck.  Some crap about the weight blah blah collapsing blah blah blah.  If you’ve been to my house and had the pleasure of enjoying a margarita on my deck when it is a balmy summer evening, then you know that my deck is just about as big as the smallest island of Hawaii.  What’s it called?  Kahoolawe?  Yeah, I just looked that up.  And I am exaggerating a little.  Obviously.  But it is big.  My deck.

A teeny of the deck from hell BEFORE the big lift

A teeny portion of the deck from hell BEFORE the big lift

You know that expression that you bit off more than you can chew?  Yeah, well, I just took a huge chunk out of Antarctica.  And it wasn’t going down.  DH was helping me.  Then he left to rake snow off the roof so we didn’t have another episode of ice damming.  And he raked the snow off the boat.  And he snow blowed the driveway.  And he snow blowed the walkway.  And shoveled the front stoop.  In other words, he was busy.

When I realized I was probably going to have to finish the job alone, I started to cry.  Not the “I’m sad because my goldfish just died” kind of cry.  It was the “holy freaking hell, this is the most frustratingly awful thing ever and I want to just throw myself over the edge of this deck and put myself out of total and complete misery now this very minute” kind of cry.  And I was dropping the “F” bomb every 30 seconds.  I might have to go to confession to wash my soul.

This wasn’t fluffy, fun, nice, sweet angel snow.  This was something the devil sent.  The top 5 inches was ice.  And a shovelful of snow felt like I was lifting half a car.  Every muscle in my arms were screaming.  My back felt like it was going to split.  And both my knees were starting to crack under the pressure.  Yeah, my good knee too.  And when I looked around, I felt like I hadn’t accomplished a thing.  Not a damn-friggin’ thing.  True story.

To make matters worse, I realized half way through it (at about hour #2) that I never stocked up on wine.  I had no wine.  Not that I NEEDED wine.  But  I WANTED wine.  And I deserved it dammit.  So, it was at that moment that I was going to brave those deadly snow plows and ice balls and crazy wind-blown tree branches and walk my butt down to my neighbor’s house to borrow some (I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for some wine today).  The walk there and back is probably close to a half a mile.  I didn’t care.  And I knew she had it because they are prepared for an apocalypse.  Or in this case, Snow-mageddon.

I was dripping wet.  Not from sweat although there was plenty of that as well.  But it was sleeting/raining/snowing and my parka was not keeping me dry.  My hair was a mass of frozen icicles and my nose…well, let’s just say it’s hard to tell what is coming out of your nose holes when your face is suffering from hypothermia.  Remember the cart attendant at Shop Rite?  Yeah, that.

That teeny portion AFTer the big lift

That teeny portion AFTER the big lift

So, now I was down to a smallish but biggish ovally mound.  As I was standing there staring at it because I did not have one bit of energy left in my little biceps to lift one more smidgeon of freaking snow off of that deck, DH came around the corner and had mercy on me.

My leftover mound

My leftover mound

It was then that I realized I could not take another step.  Even if it was to get some red medicine that can only be opened with a cork screw.  So, I sat my wet ass in my car and literally slid down the road.  I stood on my neighbor’s front step and eagerly accepted her gift.  Not one, but two bottles of wine.  Thank you.  You are my savior.

When I got home, I took a 150 degree shower, poured that very well-deserved glass of wine, sat on the couch and fell into a deep, dreamless coma.  That is what I did on our snow day.  The End.

snow wine

My borrowed reward

Quick Call the Doctor. I Think I Have Cabin Fever.

Just kidding.

Just kidding.

Part 2 of My Reader’s Suggestions.  This one is about Cabin Fever.  Because when we can’t get out, that’s what it feels like.  A damn fever.  A fever that will not go away.  No amount of Motrin can help either.  Believe me.  I tried.

If you live in the Northeast like I do, hell, if you live anywhere besides Hawaii, you have suffered the effects of this crazy winter.  I will almost bet there is an epidemic of Cabin Fever going on all over the country.  As for me?  I’m just about at my wit’s end.  I can tell you that.

I’m not a skier.  I’m not a sledder.  I’m not an outside in the cold kind of person in any way.  I secretly feel blessed when I ask the kid if she wants to go outside and build a snowman or make snow angels and her answer is, “heck no.”  Thank the Lord.  Following in her mom’s footsteps.  That’s good, right?

So, now if it isn’t bad enough, I have a disgusting head cold.  Disgusting.  With snot, phlegm, the works.  I feel like crap.  Which translates to not wanting to leave the house because I don’t have the energy.  But at the same time, I am beyond bored out of my gourd.  The Kid wanted a drive over to a friend’s house last night.  Even in my fog, I jumped at the chance to actually breathe a little fresh air.  Even if I was just going from the garage back to the, umm, garage.  Hmmm.  I feel duped.  How did that happen?

Anyway, how do we cure the dreaded Cabin Fever?  You know, if you don’t ski, sled, ice fish or partake in any of the fun outside snow activities you can do?  Damn.  Even if you do do those things, it’s just too damn cold out.  Unless you like frostbite.  But I’m guessing you don’t.

I’ll tell you what I have been doing:

There are 10 billion channels on cable.  Yet there is nothing on.  I have become a Facebook stalker to the creepy extent.  My brain is so fuzzed up from mucus plugs and television radioactive waves, that it can’t think.  So, in my attempt to write, I sound like Justin Beiber on pot, tequila and prescription meds.  You know…stupid.  (Yeah, yeah.  You’re all sick of hearing jabs about JB.  But I haven’t said a thing about him yet, so I’m allowed.)

I could play a game with The Kid, but I haven’t.  And don’t really want to.  I mean, I will if she asks.  But I’m hoping she doesn’t.  I could get up and go on the elliptical.  But that would mean I would have to remove myself from the position in which I have been for the last 3 days on this couch.  And the indentation from my butt in the leather is at such a comfort level that if I move, I fear losing that.  Besides I don’t feel good.  But I mentioned that.

I could walk to a neighbor’s house.  But I’m afraid of the cold freezing my nose hair to the point where they break off.  And we need our nose hair.  Don’t we?  But I could go there with my hairless nostrils and drink wine and sit by her fire and bitch about stuff only we girls can bitch about.  But I don’t feel good.  But I already mentioned that.  Three times.

So, this reader of mine with the suggestion to write about Cabin Fever?  Sorry.  I think I just completely disappointed you.  I cannot help in any way.  Well, I did attempt to clean out the toilets before I got sick.  I even stared at my closet to organize it.  But I just stared.  That, by the way, was my second attempt.  Three time’s a charm?

It seems I’m not the best person to ask about Cabin Fever.  Probably because I’ve got it so bad, I’m delirious.  But it was fun talking about it.  And getting it off my chest.

So, stay warm everyone.  Only 146 more days till summer.  I think.  I may have forgotten how to count.  Actually, I just cheated and looked on-line at one of those countdown sites.  Because I believe I have forgotten how to count.  That’s what happens to frozen mucus brain.

The Polar Vortex Is Not a Shirt

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I’m very distracted by the number of typos in this card. But you get the picture.

Last week, I asked my readers for some ideas for a topic.  One of them suggested Polar Vortex.  So here goes.  This is what I know.  Or more accurately, don’t know.

I have to be honest here.  I did not know what Polar Vortex was.  In case you haven’t realized by now, I kind of live under a rock.  I hate the news.  It depresses me.  When DH puts on the evening news, I zone out on my iPhone like a prepubescent teenage girl.

Now that I have that out of the way, what comes to mind when you hear these two words?  Polar = cold.  Like Polar Bear.  Not that a Polar Bear is cold exactly, but he lives in the cold.  When I think of Vortex, I think of, well, um…some kind of material that you wear to keep sweat from touching your skin?  Or it could be something weird going on in your brain.  Wasn’t there some strange movie about that once?  Probably not.

I looked it up and here is the real meaning:  “A persistent, large scale cyclone located near either of a planet’s geographical poles.”  Well, that’s the short version.  I don’t understand the rest.  This is good enough for me.  So, in layman’s terms, there is a cyclone at the North or South pole?  Am I close?  Again, probably not.  But I have to ask.  What does a cyclone at the North Pole have anything to do with us?  I’m so confused and still feel like I’m in the dark.  Maybe if I tuned into the news?  Nah.

Whatever it means, it’s a bit nuts.  I’m telling you people, this winter sucks minus.  It doesn’t seem to matter what part of the country you are from.  Florida doesn’t even seem safe.  What the heck is going on?  I mean figuratively.  Because we already know  what’s going on literally.  In case you zoned out, it has to do with a cyclone or two (I think).  I mean, I’m not equipped for this business.  My parka isn’t even enough to keep out the cold.  The last time I checked, I’m not an Eskimo.  If I wanted to partake in this crap, I would have moved my buns to Alaska.

Below zero temperatures is cruel.  It’s like a bad joke.  And then we wake up 2 days later and it’s 52 degrees.  People have become so accustomed to minus 10 degrees that when it’s 50, they feel it’s okay to bring out the shorts and tank tops.  Seriously.  I, myself, have contemplated pulling out the tankini and catching a few rays.  The snow?  It’s no longer white and fluffy.  It’s a disgusting mess of mud and slush.  It’s everywhere.  On your car.  On your legs.  All over those really cute riding boots you got for Christmas.

Ok, so is it over?  This Polar Vortex business?  I hope so.  Today hit around the 45 degree mark.  I didn’t wear a coat to work.  And when I got out of work at 5pm and stepped outside, I wasn’t even cold.  Now do that in August and we’d be freezing our asses off.  It’s just so weird to me.  It’s January people.  JAN-U-AR-Y.  Did I get off topic?  Sorry.

And the material you wear that keeps sweat from touching your skin? That would be Gortex.  See?  I know what I’m talking about.  Kind of.

Liquid Gold

550px-Relieve-Stuffy-Nose-in-Toddlers-Step-4I have a love affair with nasal decongestant spray.  AKA Afrin.  Zicam.  Vicks.   Who cares what the name of it is, it’s what is inside that counts.  Like my Oxi Clean, this liquid is a miracle.  And I absolutely, positively CANNOT live without it.  God bless the inventor.  Johnson & Johnson or whoever.  God bless you.

I am currently suffering from a mean head cold.  And every single night for the past few nights, as I’m trying to fall asleep, one or both of my nostrils closes up like a sphincter during a rectal exam.  Some people will sit up in bed praying for some air to get into their swollen membranes, some will put on one of those strip things.  Some will hold their head over a pot of boiling water.  None of that helps me.  Not at all.

So I have to go straight to the good stuff.  Pulling no punches.  Why waste time sniffing in steam when I can sniff in some instant gratification?  But be careful, because “they” say it can be addicting.  I make sure I only do it once every 24 hours and then stop after about a week.  Which is how long my colds usually last.  If it goes longer, well, then, I cannot tell a lie.  My Afrin stays on my bedside table.  Within my reach.  Just in case.

When I was pregnant, DH was a little anal about what I put in my body.  Sometimes it worked in my favor.  He didn’t want me inhaling chemicals.  Which meant no cleaning bathrooms for 9 months.  He was freaked out about nitrates too.  So anytime I had a craving for a ham sandwich, I had to go underground and ingest one illegally.

Pregnancies typically last 9 months.  I usually get a cold once a year.  So what are the chances I would get a cold while I was pregnant?  Well, I don’t know because I’m not good at math but my chances were pretty good.  During this cold I had while I was pregnant, I needed a dose of nasal decongestant.  I had to wait until DH was asleep.  This was not an easy task because he is not much of a sleeper.  I tiptoed to the bathroom to my private stash.  Not only did I have to flush the toilet, but I had to run the water as well, as I squeezed 1 shot up each nostril.  Ahhh.  Sweet, sweet relief.

Hey, don’t judge me.  I’m usually a 2-3 shot user.  Anyway, did I feel guilty?  No.  Not really.  Because it was only a little bit.  And besides, a pregnant wife who can breathe freely is a happy wife.  And we all know what happens when pregnant wives are happy, don’t we?  Well, me neither.  But I do know my nose is stuffy, so I have to go.  I have some business to attend to.  See you on the dark side.

Old Man Winter Must Die

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That dark blue crap right there means “Heavy.” Awesome.

I live in the NorthEast.  Last week we had 50 degree weather.  It was awesome.  I took my walks with no coat, ate lunch on the sidewalk of New York City and drove with my windows open.

I am currently looking out my window.  They said there would be snow.  Mixed with ice.  And sleet.  And I’m thinking this is all a cruel joke.  It’s as if winter is mocking us.

I know I’m being a total ingrate.  Last winter it barely snowed at all.  Well, if you don’t count October.  But technically that isn’t winter.  If we didn’t have October, the kids would have gotten out of school on the original last-day-of-school date.  Or pretty damn close to it.  Stupid October.

If I sound bitter, that’s because I am.  I’m tired of the teases.  It’s worse than the proverbial dangling carrot.  I’m on a diet.  So I will compare it to someone putting a plate full of nachos with oozy cheese and greasy beef piled high with sour cream and a pitcher of margaritas with a salt shaker in front of me knowing I can’t touch it (ok, shouldn’t touch it — we all know I probably would).  It’s cruel and unusual.

Didn’t the groundhog say spring was coming early?  I think Phil needs to die with Old Man Winter.  Sorry animal lovers.  I do mean it in a joking way.  So don’t get all PETA on me. Thanks and don’t remove your snow tires yet.  You’ll be needing them.