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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Don’t Look Now, But It’s Getting Cold

The temperature is dropping; and the number of articles of clothing I am now wearing on a regular basis render me invincible in a strip poker game, barring some funky, underhanded dealing.

Think of the opportunities.

People, I swear I am this close to turning on the furnace.

It’s a bit of sport we Minnesotans play, this “have you turned on your furnace yet” game. Derived from the pioneer pastime of “Hoozat wit de Hot Brick” (Scandinavian, I believe), the object is to fool yourself into believing that the cold is something you can control, maybe even avoid altogether.

Despite so many indications to the contrary, you can take my word for it: the pioneers were a silly people.

And so in an effort to regain the feeling in my fingertips, I’ve done what many cold-climate people have done before me.

I have taken a really hot bath. Ladies and gentlemen, my toes are pink, my fingers are nimble, and the end of my nose is dang-near room temperature.

I’m livin’ like rich people.

Of course, bathing, no matter how enjoyable, doesn’t replace the ever-increasing need to turn on the furnace; and once you’ve flipped that switch, well, you’ve opened a door to all manner of winter-related to-dos. The ice scraper hasn’t been seen since March; my six-year-old winter coat, a down-filled sleeping-bag of a coat with room for you and your closest friends, has mysteriously burst in a cloud of feathered exhaustion; and the words “Christmas list” have just popped, unbidden, into my mind.

Christmas list?

If you need me, I’ll be in the bathtub.

57 comments:

Scarlet Blue said...

Yes, I started lighting my woodburner at the beginning of the week. And I have reconnected with my mittens, but somehow I reckon it's just a tad colder where you are!
Sx

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

You can't stay there all day Pearl...

Eva Gallant said...

I loved this post. We've broken down and turned the heat on for a bit twice this month. But we're old people and our joints start aching if we get too cold. The electric blanket helps, though!

Joshua said...

The coat burst? You should get the cats drunk and see if they fess up.

Laraine Eddington said...

Arizonans play the same sad macho game with our air conditioners. You can smell the winners

Joshua said...

And no less than 5 minutes after posting that comment, they turned the heat on at work. Now it smells like burning dust. I guess I'll turn my fan on.

Pearl said...

Scarlet, it will definitely get -- and stay! -- colder than where you are, but cold is cold. At some point, we'll both be sitting under a pile of blankets wondering how many pets one can own/hold on own's lap before being considered "odd"...

Delores, I do tend to "prune". :-)

Eva, my poor left hand has a bit of arthritis, I think, and the cold hurts it. Have not used an electric blanket since Mary woke up to find hers on fire!!

Joshua, great minds. :-) I'll be questionning them later...

Pearl said...

Laraine, that's quite funny! :-) Had not thought about that!!

Joshua, you have my sympathies. (And gesundheit!)

Simply Suthern said...

Strip poker in Minnesota in the dead of winter sounds like it would last longer than a game of Monopoly.

Vicus Scurra said...

No more naked gymnastics in the park for me this year.

jabblog said...

At least there's no mistaking which season you're in. I'm imagining an exploding coat . . .

Shelly said...

I have to say, I'm a little jealous. We've just taken our first foray down into the high 80's, and I sit here in a cashmere sweater and boots trying to pretend it's fall, with the ac blasting away, and it just doesn't cut it.

I know, if I were in extreme cold day after day I probably wouldn't long for it, but for now, I almost ache for colder weather.

20prospect said...

GAH!!! Don't say the C word yet! It's not allowed until we put away the orange and black decorations. It's still fall! No really. If we keep saying it, it must be true!

SherilinR said...

i live in the south & i just turned on my heat to raise the temp 3 measly degrees. then i felt guilty & turned it back off again. you'd probably still have the windows open if you lived here. i've gone soft in my old southern age.

Pearl said...

Simply, which is precisely why we drink. :-)

Vicus Scurra, exactly. We'll have to move the nakedness to where it belongs. Online, via skype. :-)

jabblog, the seasons are distinct in Minnesota. Stay tuned for the post six months from now when I go three-drink giddy over the appearance of a leaf...

20, horrifying, iddin it?!

Sherilin, T, my friend who moved from Mpls to FL now thinks 60 degrees is cold. :-) I call him all kinds of interesting names because of this and he, sadly, has no defense... :-)

Macy said...

Hi Pearl, I'd make a humorous comment... but there's nothing but nothing funny about cold weather coming.
Nothing...

lisleman said...

"invincible in a strip poker game" - thanks I'll remember never to play with anyone from MN.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

We play the furnace game here,too. It's a bit like chicken, only with more layers involved.

Douglas said...

Yes, winter has arrived here in Paradise also. Why, just overnight the temperature drifted down to 58. I am proposing legislation as we speak.

Joyful Things said...

I feel your pain. I grew up in Manitoba and I know your weather - and walk. Head down, shoulders hunched, strides long, hands in the pockets and elbows tucked in close to the body. The only good thing is that with the head down one can often find change and other sidewalk-find treasures that become a game at the office. Who found the most money, who found the most unusual, who found the most disgusting? Hunker down Pearl, you'll be facing the Spring floods before you know it! And for heavens sake - turn on the heat!

haphazardlife said...

I've caved. The switch is flipped. Sigh

R. Jacob said...

It dropped 20 degrees overnight here down in southern Florida, into the sixty's! I am thinking of turning off the AC soon.

I play strip poker wearing only a pair of shorts. The women take turns losing to delay the inevitable! The best defense is a good offense!

Glen said...

A the beauty of central heating. While you are in the bath you can be working on that list

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

My down coat has issues, too. Thanks to your post, I'm not going to wait for it to explode. I'm going to buy a new one. It's either that or never go outside the house until about April 15.

Ruth said...

This Iowa girl has her furnace on. I know many people that won't turn their furnace on before November 1 and than turn the oven on for heat and use portable heaters. I'm a furnace girl and hot baths are great too.

alwaysinthebackrow said...

My coat may have been left at your house...it sounds like the same coat, anyway.
Furnace on here. I have waved the white flag of surrender with hand frozen to the little stick that holds that flag. Husband and I have a little contest to see who can spot the first real sign of winter (besides turning on the heat). I win this year.

Pat Tillett said...

than goodness I don't live there!
We're looking for temps in the low 80's for a couple more weeks before it cools down to the 70's...Sorry!

Sush said...

Oh yes, was just discussing with my husband who wanted to turn on the heater he needed to wait longer. OK he says...then I head downstairs to make sure he hasn't forgotten and turned it on. There I find my poor ancient lab shivering in her favorite spot in the living room. So I did what any cold hearted (only in the climate controlled meaning of the word) does and turned on the heat. Way to early in the season but she's an old girl and needs her heat.
Sigh~

Russ said...

We in the south play that game with our AC units. We usually lose, since our bedroom is on the second floor. The heat and humidity of the south, gotta love it!

Now, we will get to mid to late November before turning on the heat. Maybe even December if it is mild.

mrwriteon said...

You haven't yet turned on your furnace? I admire ya, baby. You are indeed pure pioneer stock.

Susan Kane said...

When I was a child, we took an aluminum glass with water upstairs in our farmhouse bedrooms. Over night, that water froze solid. We were under layers of wool quilts. Turn the heat on!

Dan said...

Hmm..obversely we in the latitudes south of the equator are desperately doing the opposite....shedding those layers and readying ourselves for the journey into Hades...it is kinda cool this morning here in Melbourne town...

Ponita in Real Life said...

I had to scrape frost off my car's windows this morning!! Luckily, I had just put the scraper in it yesterday. Now I must dig out my extension cord. I don't think I will be needing to plug it in soon, but you never know!

I want a hot tub for the winter. You would be hard pressed to get me out of it, although I would have to let my fingers and toes de-prune once in a while. ;-)

A cat in the lap under the blanket, and one perched on your chest do wonders to keep the body temperature near normal.

Antares Cryptos said...

Lalalalala.

I can't hear you.

Pearl said...

Macy, cold isn’t funny, no. But the stuff we do in the cold can be. :-)

Lisleman, awww come on! Ante up!

Green Girl, that’s delightful. :-)

Douglas, stay right where you are. I’m coming to your house and demanding a margarita. WITH salt!

Joyful, oooh. Manitoba. Yep, they’ve got some winter up there! I knew I liked you – I always like Canadians. They’re like Minnesotans with funny accents. :-)

Haphazardlife, mine is going to be, too. Just as soon as I get home…

R. Jacob, I love it. :-)

Glen, I really should do something about that list. October and November RACE by in Minnesota. I don’t know if that’s true in other places, but it is here…

Blissed-Out, I think if you bought a condo downtown that there may be ways to get around ONLY using the skyways. Wouldn’t that be a lovely winter experiment?!

Ruth, the oven used as dinner-maker and house-warmer is one of my favorite aspects of cold weather! :-)

Always in the back row, it’s a hollow victory, isn’t it?!

Pat, cooling down to the 70s?! Why I oughta…

Sush, awww! Sometimes you just have to turn the heat on!

Russ, we do the same with the airconditioner (this June was in the high 90s every day, as I recall it) but I think we’ve reached the end of the road as far as “no heat”. You shouldn’t have to wear a hat in the house.

Mrwriteon, :-) Now I feel kinda bad that I’ll be turning it on tonight!

Susan, my mom tells similar stories – and they had an outhouse!

Dan, I know it’s silly, but I just love the idea that summer has moved south…

Ponita, hot tubs leave me light-headed! Layers of cats, however, make me feel warm and oddly earth-bound. :-)

Antares, ask not for whom the winter tolls!!

Happy Frog and I said...

England seems to have bypassed Autumn passed go and headed straight to winter, yet as Scarlet said above I imagine it is a lot colder where you are. Hot baths and cups of tea are a worthy antidote though.

Gigi said...

This is too funny....I JUST mentioned to hubby that it seems to be "bath season" again. In fact, I think I hear the tub calling my name right now.

The Elephant's Child said...

Jealous. The weather is warming. All layers that can be decently removed have been. And I know that the temperature has a way yet to go. Sigh.

vanilla said...

Oh, no! The burst down coat. Best you scratch your Christmas list and get yourself a new coat, asap. (I saw the long-range forecast from NOAA today-- trust me on this.)

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

I so enjoy your blog, Pearl! This post brought up so many memories when I was in college and grad school in Chicago (a transplanted L.A. native). For all the time I cursed the cold, I found I missed the rituals and dramatic changes of the seasons after returning to L.A. and, later on, moving to Arizona. There really is nothing like a hot bath on a cold and blustery day!

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

During this morning's ablutions, I had an idea for a blog post: "When a Long Hot Shower is not Long Enough". The seasons are definitely changing for the wicked, from the point of view of an island hopper.
Rosemary

Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michelle said...

Poor Pearl...that guy is talking STOCC?
How about GLYCHIPS and FLYCHIPS.
That's the GIMES.
NESSEPA?
Then there's AKEYN.
With STAWBRIDGE and RICKY the GREYHOUND?
That's why you're all on IRONICUS MAXIMUS?
PENN VALLEY and " GIFT"?
IRA- PLO - OSIRIS- PETWOOD- HYDRA?
Nothing about the AGONY of the GREYHOUNDS.
Oh..we all shall remember that " hat".
" Pearl"...politicians in explosives with Aryans and " Mother Jones"?
You on DADYWA are all so " PUNKED".

Diane said...

Pffff! My furnace has been on for a month! I'm taking my hot brick and turning on my electric blanket and staying away from the bathtub! Bed and feather comforter, here I come!
I have only one question: How many people were in that coat when it burst?!

Michelle said...

Tomorrow..pearl..could you talk to us about SLYTOSMA - SLY?
TORONTO?
And maybe you could connect the CONSLYO and the SLYZEN to BEESS and ESSAT?
You know...do your ARYAN DANCE for us?
Especially since it's " cold ".
Don will help.
He was pretty good in PASO DE VENCEDORAS.
Better yet, you must have something to say on the IRONICUS BLOG by now.
Be a " good sport" since you flunked out...with the rest of them.

W.C.Camp said...

Oh no, I don't want to start thinking about Christmas yet much less the cold!!! I am lucky because the house just turns on AC or Furnace and heats the floors as is needed so never touch thermostat unless guests need different temp. Sad though because I have to wear a coat outside again! W.C.C.

Michelle said...

DIANA?
You are talking about your HO for a husband RICKY?
That EL YORKO DORKO in COCHEAT?
And what about you?
You were always GREED ARK and now we are hearing you are very tight with the QUEEN?
And HILLARY?
The two lousiest mothers on earth COMBINE to make OSIRIS- PETWOOD- HYDRA - PROFITABLE for CULLS and KILLS?
Oh..such a pleasure to be even remotely related!
You know, that movie " KANSAS KINGS" ?
We won't change your name...we'll make it a BAG- SHAW..just like " MUM".
Like it?
I think you say " LIKETE"?

Michelle said...

MP?
DI gets FRENCH FEES with RENE in TEXAS?
Is this the GEOLOGIE and the REMMY GENTO LITTLE ZOO gig?
This is with MISHOLEG and MISHEMO- MICHE?
Wow.
Ain't " family" " GRAND?

Leslie said...

Dats some crazy talk up there. I was just going to say that I lost the furnace game by going away for the weekend during which time the teenagers turned it on. Darn them.

Crystal Pistol said...

Life is never so clear as when one soaks in a hot bath. Ahhh. I may have to have a soak myself in a moment... I have no excuse though given the high in Tucson today was 95-ish.

Roses said...

In that case, I lost the game. My heating came on last week. It's true. But my excuse is that I was born in the West Indies and I feel the cold.

(man, that excuse is just never gonna get old)

Tempo said...

..and while you're luxuriating in the cool weather we poor Australians are stripping off.. (down to singlet and shorts, I dont go further...not since the Judge said I couldn't anymore)The air conditioners have been cleaned out and fired up ready for the first heat wave.. I blame you for this Pearl.

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl! Winter arrived a few days ago here, directly after the sweltering summer ended. Autumn? Nada. The leaves magicked from somewhere on Monday; I got a good five minutes of leaf kicking in before I was too cold to be outdoors. I look forward to your happy tales of snow; we may get a few inches if we're really lucky. Stupid Cambridge weather. Indigo x

IndigoWrath said...

Oh, and to avoid funky dealing, never play with badgers - Avoid Any Quiet Knocking

Sausage Fingers said...

Yeah I feel your pain...I actually had to wear socks yesterday. The bloody humanity

KAT said...

Maybe you could put in an indoor heated swimming pool or hot tub. At least you wouldn't have to worry about running out of hot water! :>)

R. Jacob said...

I do have a favorite deck of um, unmarked cards. Care to play?