Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Monday, January 16, 2017

Wintering in Aspen Willow ~ the cold is not old, yet

It’s been cold, have had a few--ok, a lot, of negative number days. Nevertheless, I still say that I would rather be cold than be hot. And, in my opinion, anything over 98 degrees is simply hot- really doesn’t feel just feels hot!  As well, all temperatures under 10 degrees are simply COLD.

There was one day I ‘needed’ to plow the driveway and it was very cold and wet. WOW! My fingers and toes got frozen! Frost Nip cold, that kind of cold that isn’t painful when cold, but when you are heating things back up it hurts like the devil. Fortunately I had my rice-flax heating pads and was able to be back to normal in a jiffy. But getting there reminded me that there is line which my “it’s okay to be cold” can be drawn. Also, as I sat there toes and fingers bundled I thought of those mountaineers that climb mountains like thank you. Okay that is too cold!

So, how do I stay warm?

Besides my little heating rice-flax bundles when body parts get too cold, I do dress warmly, but in layers, and many times throughout the day put this one over that and then take it off again only to put it back on.... haha!  Layered clothing is nice. Also, there have been many days the I have stayed in my nightclothes all day, until the next, because I didn’t want to put “chilly” clothes on- “the warm ones I am wearing will do just fine thank you.” It works for me, and living in solitude, works very well.

At night I have taken to sleeping under a full set of covers; spread, blanket, sheet. As a rule my sleeping preference is just a lightweight blanket on top of me...on top of the bed- thus I don’t feel so trapped, I can poke feet and hands out at my desire. BUT, when the MC night temperature is 57/58...snuggling under some covers is nice.

Gypsy, bless her heart, keeps me warm. Almost every night she gets up on the bed before me; thus, heating the bed before I get under the covers. The trick is getting her to move off her warm spot to allow me under there. Electric blankets, I keep looking at them, but I just can’t get myself to purchase one- I would not sleep under it all night and it only takes a couple of minutes for me to warm the bed myself. (rather hot blooded, I am) No, no electric blankets for me, not yet at least.

Lots of hot tea, coffee, other beverages (hot coco and spiced cider have to be limited due to my diabetes- so, they are rare treats) and cooking lots of hot soups, stews, chowders. Those comfort foods you loved as a child being able to play out in the winter’s day and come inside to a tummy warming meal.

Then there is my cast iron fireplace- made a fire my last full snow day. It not only kept the MC warm- in the 70’s- all day but long into the night as well. I even had a few coals left the next morning which I could have used to build another fire if needed. So, friends, moral of this tale is... if you have a cabin in the mountains get a cast iron stove and not a fireplace. Ahh, the fireplace... it does have a nice ambiance, but it does not heat for a “long” period of time, if heat is what you need, a cast iron stove is what is prescribed.

What do I use when no fire? Propane Heaters, two, one at each end of the MC, their thermostats usually set to around 60 degrees. There have been a couple of times I just wanted more...and raised it for a short time. And then... there are those, more often, times when I get my book, tea, and sit on a little stool in front of my propane heater... happy as a camper in the desert in July. :)

And my “place of happiness” in the afternoon...the MC’s sun-room- which I have taken to calling the Solar; like days of old in a castle, where they would sit, sew, relax, chat, but mainly stayed warm. Actually all three of us: Samantha, Gypsy and I, head there in the middle of the day after being outside in the cold- nap, read, sew and relish in the warm sun shining through the windows... ahhhh, nice.

I know there will be a day, maybe even several moments where I’ll say “ok, I am done with the cold!” but that day hasn’t come yet. And when I do feel a little tired of being “chilled” I remind myself what it feels like to be so hot that you are covered in sweat, it dribbles down your body in rivers of disgust; you step out of the shower, dry off....ten times because you just can’t get fully dry. I have lived in Arizona...egads, that was a nightmare! I consider those years as training years for my “rather be cold” memories I now use. And more recently I have lived in Southern California, where it has its fair share of above 100 hot humid days.        

NO, give me Cold or give me “more Cold”....

I am a penguin and I am proud of it!  

 Gypsy and Samantha .... Wintertime Eskimo Kisses

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