Tag Archive | keeping warm

It’s Unseasonably Warm

All the calendars tell me it’s November again. The only real evidence of that fact is we had to “fall back” with our clocks last Saturday. Instead  of getting cold, though, we’re having a week of 70 degree temperatures with bright sunshine and clear blue skies. I think Mother Nature is making up for her nasty behavior in the Spring.

But even the warm temperatures can’t deny winter is lurking behind the curtain. It’s dark at 4:30 in the afternoon and Christmas commercials are already appearing on television. Yuck. Another downside of the warm temps is not having the excuse to snuggle in the blankets in the early darkness. I tell everybody who will listen that I would have made a very good bear because I do hibernate.

So how do we get through the next four to six months? (Yes, six months — I live in a northern state where winter is never-ending.) I think the anticipation of the holidays of Thanksgiving and the craziness of Christmas and all it’s “traditions” pull us through this time of year.

So for all you other “sun signs” like me, keep a calendar handy and check off the days until April. It makes you think you’re making progress to more consistent nice, warm, weather. This stretch of present warm temperatures is a fluke.

Cold Weather Strategies

With temperatures in Chicago colder than Siberia, and temperatures where I live even colder than that, Ken and I are hunkered down with 60% of the rest of the country. We all have our own strategy to keep warm.

Vinnie, my shy cat, has parked his fat little body in front of the heating vent as a constant stream of warm air emits from the furnace.scan0001

Ernie is dressed in his sweater, perched in his favorite spot on the back of the couch, keeping a watchful eye on everything going on outside our window. I think he actually felt sorry for the mailman this morning because he neglected to bark as poor Travis dropped the mailbox.

Christmas Party 015

Ken and I are still in our flannel pajamas, wrapped in a fleece bathrobes, under an electric blanket, while we both type away on our laptop. He’s been working on his word search puzzles, while I’ve drafted three new chapters for my novel. That in itself warms my heart. Writer’s block has miraculously left me and my mind is once again communing with my characters again. It’s a good day.

But as I stay toasty, I pray for others who are not as fortunate to have a warm place to wait out this arctic cold snap. With temperatures at fifteen degrees below zero and wind chills between thirty and forty degrees below zero, the weather has been the headline story for the lower 48 states. In fact, last night anchor people spoke about “warming places” that have been established, so people can get out of the dangerous cold. At these places, people can also get hats, gloves, mittens, sweaters, and other warm clothes, as well as something warm to drink. In the background of the location, I could see small children with their parents trying to stay warm, and this image made me sad.

It’s my opinion people shouldn’t be homeless in a country of such wealth, but then, I’m a bleeding heart liberal who thinks human rights and dignity are more important than developing more and more weapons that can obliterate a population. I think taking care of our citizens should be a priority, not an obligation . . . Silly me.

So stay safe if you’re lucky enough to have a nice warm home as Mother Nature does her worst. Remember those indoor projects you never have time to complete? Now’s the time to get them done.

If you’re lucky to be in a warmer place, count your blessings. We northerners will pray for you in the summertime. Promise.


A Dumb White Collar Writer

Garfield and MondayDid you ever endure “hardship” because it was the weekend and you didn’t want to call a repairman and endure the weekend double-time charge? I did. Yesterday.

The thermostat for the furnace pooped out, so we relied on a little space heater to keep us warm. It does an adequate job to warm the living room. Our beautiful autumn weather has turned cold enough to fire up the furnace.

All day, Ken and I huddled under warm fleece blankets while we sat in our comfy chairs and enjoyed a full day of football games. In between keeping our body masses warm, we dared to venture down the hallway for a couple of bathroom breaks and into the kitchen for lunch. By suppertime, the heater had warmed the room to 68 degrees, so we watched “The Good Wife” in comfort.

Needless to say, the first thing I did this morning was pick up the phone and dial our heating and cooling professionals to see if someone could come out and fix whatever major catastrophe we had suffered. Much to my surprise the woman who answered the phone said, “We can be there in twenty minutes.”

Twenty minutes! I was still in my pj’s and hadn’t had my first cup of coffee! Like somebody who just had a fire lit under her bum, I jumped up, pulled on some jeans and a sweater, ran a comb through my hair and next thing I knew, Ernie was barking and the repairman was on our porch.

I let the repairman in with a bright smile and showed him the thermostat. He took off the cover and said, “Do you have a couple of batteries?”

I was puzzled. “Batteries? Really? That’s all that’s wrong with this thing? I thought, “I could have replaced the batteries. Even I’m capable of that!”

Sure enough, Jason the furnace man popped in two new AA batteries and the damn furnace fired up and heat started pouring out of the vents.  I felt so stupid. Two AA batteries, honest to God!

I think he felt a little silly charging me $70 for a trip charge to just swap out a couple of batteries, so he took a quick look at the furnace in the basement. He reported everything looked good except we had a dirty filter. After a trip back to the store and a return trip back to our house, (The store is about ten minutes away.)  Jason installed a new filter and only charged me $84 for the whole enchilada. If anybody is looking for a fair furnace repair service, call Kiernan in Racine.

So, my Monday was full of surprises. Not only did I get the furnace “fixed,” my day also included a trip to the doctor. Because I haven’t had insurance for over three years, and my doctor moved out of town, I had to break in a new doctor. This time around, I’m opting for a female doctor who thinks I have carpal tunnel inflammation going on in my hands, but I also have to have a series of blood tests to check out other possible maladies. I won’t know anything for sure for two weeks, but she gave me two wrist supports at no cost. Between Jason the furnace guy and the new female doctor I saw, I know there are fair caring people still left in the world. My only regret is not paying attention when my father tried to show me how to fix stuff around the house. Being a dumb white collar writer can be very costly.