Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Polar Vortex, Part Deux. It Isn't Completely Miserable

I have no doubt you have heard plenty of complaining and whining and "I'm so blankety-blank sick of this blankety-blank cold and this blankety-blank snow!"-ing.  Much of it on this blog.  Well, there will be no more of that nonsense!  Yes, it's mind-numbingly cold.  Yes, it's stupidly windy.  Yes, the snow has gone waaay past the point of pretty.  For Pete's sake, it's winter.  We just need to suck it up and get over our cold selves.  Embrace the vortex!  To help you along with this, because I know many of you are going to need a lot of help with this, I have come up with...


Sure, the button thing isn't exactly easy to read, but it's an improvement from past attempts!

1.  There are opportunities for plenty of exercise.  The obvious is the shoveling, and when you live out in the middle of nowhere, there is plenty of it.  A polar vortex is a constant battle between the shoveler and the ferocious wind blowing all the snow onto the newly shoveled areas.  So far, the score is PolarVortex-134, Coop Family-0.  That is a whole mess of exercise!  But don't forget the other, less obvious exercise opportunities, like the "push a shopping cart through the snow- and slush-covered parking lot to your car parked 300 yards away because you chose to grocery shop at the same time as the rest of storm-fearing humanity did".  And I'd be remiss if I failed to mention the muscle-toning which occurs during the "clench those gluteus maximus/upper thigh/kegel muscles as your van slides all willy-nilly through intersections and around turns".  Plenty of ways to build muscle and work up a good sweat.

2.  The snow being blown through the cracks in the storm windows by the ferocious wind makes the cobwebs between the inside window and the storm window so very, very pretty.

3.  There is remarkable satisfaction from the sight of your teens, who believe proper outerwear to be cumbersome and ugly and exceptionally uncool, shivering their barelegged, coatless keisters off.

4.  The number of science experiments to do in the sub-zero cold are limitless.  Our favorites so far are the popular Throw Boiling Water in the Air and See What Happens trick and the less-known How Long Does It Take for Saliva to Freeze on Your Teeth? trial.  (The answer today was .002 seconds.  Smiling outside is frowned upon.)

 5.  You have a better chance of not stepping in dog poop when you do have to go outside.  Even if your dogs are like mine, who prefer to poop in the less-deep snow on the walkway to the house, you should be able to avoid the poo bombs.  Brown shows up really, really well on the snow.  On a related note, you will also be able to tell if your dog is dehydrated or not.  (This one's kinda subtle. Don't eat the yellow snow?)

6.  You will get a better understanding of scenes from your favorite books.  There is one book I remember reading long ago, where the pioneer family had to tie a rope connecting the back door to the barn so they wouldn't get lost on their way back and forth during the storms.  Last night, coming into the house from the car, I was wishing for such a rope.  The wind was blowing so hard, the snow was actually going back up into the air, causing a white-out that tried to take me off my course to the front door.  In short, pioneers were tough cookies.

7.  You get plenty of use out of all those clothes hanging in your closet/stuffed in your drawers.  In order to stay warm, layering is required.  Getting to wear three or four shirts at one time really helps in the cost/use formula.

8.  Those extra pounds you put on during the holidays are being put to good use keeping your organs nice and cozy.  Just like the pipes in your home, the "pipes" in your belly need to be insulated from the cold.  Just imagine how ugly it would be if your internal organs froze and burst!

9.  Each day is a new adventure.  Will school be closed?  Will there be a 2 hour delay?  Will the car start?  Will I be able to find the driveway?  How many lights will I slide through?  Will I be able to make it through another day with the kids underfoot?  Will we have enough ingredients to make French toast?  It all makes life interesting.  And blogworthy.

10.  It makes the one sunshiny day of 33 degrees feel like you are on a vacation in Florida.  Who doesn't like to vacation in Florida?  Break out the beach toys, sunscreen and the flip-flops, and enjoy the fresh air.  Or just take a jog around the neighborhood and get really muddy.  Either one.

My kids, not my neighborhood.

To all my friends and family living through this ridiculous weather, stay warm and keep those spirits up.  Spring will come eventually.  To all my friends and family living in the south, having to endure *gasp* 30 degree temperatures, grab a blanket.  You'll be fine.

Have a lovely day!

****News flash! ****

It was just announced that I have been nominated for a Sheenazing Award in the funniest blog category.

      The Sheenazing Blogger Awards get their name from Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, who was amazing at using the newest forms of media to communicate the beauty of the Catholic Church and his love of Christ to the world. They are a fun way to celebrate the excellence of the Catholic blogosphere and honor Venerable 



 It's quite exciting, even though the chance of me winning against these rock stars of blogging is slim to none.  You may know many of the other ladies nominated in all categories, so head on over to A Knotted Life and vote for your favorites!

Now, for real, have a lovely day!

40 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your nomination! You have my vote.

    I'll share our warm California weather. No need for you to reciprocate with your polar vortex winter, though. Stay warm!

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    1. Thank you, Kristi!

      What, you have something against cold wind and snow?? :) I'd be thrilled to have some warm California weather.

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  2. 8 - I imagined it and laughed out loud. Just think of the mess it would make! :)

    Congratulations on your nomination, I've just voted for you.

    If you've had enough of the cold and snow I'll send you some of our mild wet weather if you like. Since the end of November it's rained almost constantly with only the odd dry day here and there. My garden is so saturated I can't even let the dogs out there now as they just come back in soaking wet and muddy. Right now I'd give anything for some cold dry weather.

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    1. Glad you found it amusing. :)

      Thank you!

      Um...thanks for the offer...you make it sound so lovely...I'd hate to take it from you. I can imagine the mud, and I do believe mud is worse than snow.

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    2. Forgot to say, on the subject of the dog poo 'bombs' they're are much easier to clear up when they're frozen! Send me some of your cold weather please! :)

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  3. I appreciate your attempts are humor about the cold (I'll admit that I even LOL'd a bit) but I am still cold. I do not want to suck it up. I am seriously questioning why I live here in the frozen tundra. I don't recall ever hating winter this much. I mean, I have lived in Indiana for 40 years, so chances are good that I have hated it with this kind of intensity before, but I have no recollection of it.

    OK, I'm done. Thanks for letting me vent. Your list was funny. I especially liked the part about the cobwebs.

    Congratulations on your major award...I will celebrate that. :)

    Keep warmish, my friend!

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    1. I thought of you when I wrote this and expected such a rant. :)

      Thank you!

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  4. I giggled a LOT about the saliva freezing on your teeth. And your silly teens. And the exercise.

    But seriously, you might be my hero - if I was trying to deal with that, I would be HIBERNATING and letting the rest of the damn world take care of itself. Fun, games, driving, shopping, going out, would NOT be happening. And there would be so much whinging and bitching that even Mrs A.R. (with whom I *totally* sympathise, and my heart goes out to her) would look like she was handling it angelically by comparison.

    You. Are. Incredible.

    AND WAHEY! The NOMINATION! Gosh, I'm so excited for ya. I hope you get it.

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    1. I was completely shocked when my teeth froze the moment I stepped out the door.

      Ah, you'd be going out and shopping and all, simply because you wouldn't have a choice. Yes, you'd be complaining up a storm, but you'd be doing it.

      Thank you! You are the best cheerleader a person could have.

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  5. I laughed all the way through this! While we aren't in the middle of the vortex, I did celebrate our "warm" weather by sanding my kitchen table in the garage yesterday. I think it hit 39. And the part about bare legged teenagers...I nearly spit water all over my computer screen!!! This seriously made my day!

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    1. Yay! I love it when people laugh!
      I would be dancing in the streets if we had 39 degrees. It's 10 today, and will be down to -15 on Tuesday.

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  6. Congratulations on your nomination and I voted for you too. Way to go.

    I laughed and laughed with the dog poo.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ☺

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    1. Thank you, Sandee!

      I love to be able to laugh about the silly little things that make up our days, dog poo and all.

      Delete
  7. For my son, it wasn't until his junior year in college (early 20's) that he decided a decent winter coat was necessary and he actually bought boots for himself (after years of his mother offering to do so)!

    I know I certainly love the days off school! The Polar Vortex didn't keep me inside either. I had to get my exercise pushing that shopping cart you mentioned!

    More snow headed my way. Not sure about regions south of me :)! Sunshine is peeking out right now and I'm going to relish in it!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. In his 20s!?!?!? Ugh.

      Yes, the days off of school are great, although I'm sure I'll be complaining on the make-up days.

      We are going to be getting more snow, but I think you will be getting more than us. I happily took in the peeks of sun, too.

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  8. totally they need to award you this Award, cuz it's true (…er, the being funny)(…which is what the Award is about…right?)

    v cool….

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    1. Thank you, Clark. There are awards for several categories, and I'm up for the funniest blogger category.

      Delete
  9. Your post cracked me up! One of my friends linked to it on FB and I had to come check it out. I have dogs too and I DID notice how much easier it is to pick up after them in this weather. As long as you hurry and grab it before it freezes to the ground. Chipping away at it with a shovel isn't much fun. Just have to make sure that I don't miss any - bad news if you get a melt and a refreeze. Nothing like company coming up your walkway and seeing dog poo enshrined in the ice there.

    Loved the saliva comment! Thanks for the laugh!

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    1. Thank you for coming by and leaving such a nice comment.

      Ha, the image of enshrined poo on the walkway is hilarious. At least it wouldn't get on your shoe!

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  10. I found this last night and have been giggling at number 8 ever since. Well, at the whole thing, but number 8 was immediately recognized as my own Official Seasonal Reason for the extra padding. And when summer comes? I'll bet I'm not the only one counting on you to provide a good reason for ice cream insulation. Please don't let us down.

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    1. Well I'm glad you got a laugh out of it, and thank you for coming back to let me know!

      I shall mark my calendar! And start thinking of a reason...

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  11. Ugh, my first comment got eaten. Trying again...

    Yay for the Ingalls' inventiveness! When I was a kid, I used to think the pioneer lifestyle could have been for me. Now I am wise enough to know I'm too big of a wimp. Blizzards? Grasshopper infestations? No way.

    Yay for finding the positive! I see it might make it to 33 on my birthday so I am thrilled and might even step outside. And congrats on your nomination!

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    1. I hate it when that happens! Sorry. But thanks for trying again.

      It was a Little House book!! I thought so, but I couldn't remember. I am good with being a half-pioneer. I'll do the garden and the raising animals and even the clothes on the line, but I would not, for any reason, want to give up the indoor plumbing and the furnace.

      33 degrees sounds like a great birthday present. :)

      Thank you!

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  12. I could SO use the work-out.. I talked to my co-worker from New York today, and he mentioned that the vortex is back. Maybe you get your kiddos to build a snowman for Lily and Violet, because since you're polaring away, there's not a flurry of snow anywhere in sight here. Keep sane, my friend!!

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    1. Yes, it is back with a vengence. This time, we are getting less snow, but even colder temps. I'm actually OK with our 10 degrees today, seeing as how it will be -15 by Tuesday. Can't imagine my kids will be out building snowmen this time around.

      I'm doing my best! Thanks!

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  13. Oh this totally CRACKED me UP!!!!! I can totally relate!! It's such SUCH an exciting season isn't it? I am looooooooooooving it! (NOT. NO. NO I AM NOT.)

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    1. Yay! A good laugh is a wonderful thing. Exciting is one word for it... :)

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  14. Just discovered your blog today, laughed hard enough exercise my abs and I think you are rock-star quality. Good luck and keep the humor flowing as if it were spring melt! Thanks for introducing me to Fulton Sheen, too.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by! Glad I could help with your exercise regime. :)

      Oh, a spring melt...I'm crossing my fingers that I can stay chipper for that long.

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  15. Congrats on your nomination and congrats on finding all the good things about the being in the middle of the Polar Vortex. I loved it: the exercise shovelling, the pretty patterns behind the storm windows - and especially the satisfaction at your teens "shivering their barelegged, coatless keisters off." I can so relate to that one, even without a Polar Vortex. I guess teens have similar traits the world over!

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    1. Thank you!

      What is it with teens?? I don't know if I'm happy or sad to know that kids all over the world have the same stubborness when it comes to coats.

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  16. great way to look at the cold. we don't have it as bad where I am, but it is reminding me of my younger days in Vermont. I don't think I would want to live this every year but I know when spring comes it will go the other direction and be unbearably hot and humid.

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    1. Thanks! Oh, I'm guessing Vermont saw this kind of weather pretty frequently, seeing how far north it is. I most certainly don't want to see this weather every year.
      I'm good with hot and humid. (I can say that now, but in August I very well may write a post on "The Sucky Sauna Isn't Completely Miserable".

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  17. This is hilarious. I just shared it with my friends back East. Glad to see you are keeping your good humor despite the cold!

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    1. Aw, thank you Lillian! I'm trying my best to keep my good humor. As winter goes on an on and on, it is getting harder and harder, but I'm trying!

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  18. 1st let me say… it is no vacation in Florida when it is 33 degrees
    2nd you are pretty tough almost pioneer like with the animals and snow I'd never make it, I need summer more than winter
    3rd my kids and all southern kids wear the "puffy coat" all day we can't handle the cold

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    1. Oh, I know. I'd be ticked if I was in Florida and it was only 33 degrees. Unless it was -15 here at home. :)
      I am a modern pioneer. I'll do select pioneerish things, but don't be taking away my plumbing and electricity.
      Ha! Not mine. I'm lucky to get them to wear a real coat at all. In any weather.

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