Tag Archives: Winter

Finter, Winter, Sprinter, and Summer, oh my!

Boo Boo knows how to keep warm.
Boo Boo knows how to keep warm.

I can remember sitting on the patio of a restaurant in Cape Coral, Florida, saying goodbye to local friends and colleagues before my husband, son, and I moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana. I felt pretty good about the move. South Florida had gotten gritty, crowded, and nothing like it was when I was growing up there. I knew it would be cold up north, but I also knew there would not be tourists or as much traffic. I knew prices would be lower. After all, we were buying a house that was twice as big as our Florida home for LESS money.

One of my Florida friends, a bridesmaid in my wedding and fellow teacher, warned me about the cold. She was originally from New York and told me that my nose would constantly run and bleed all winter. She also told me I would never feel warm, no matter how many layers I put on. I rolled my eyes. I worked from home. I would just crank up the heat. No big deal. HA! You were right, M.

As I mentioned in Bite Me Polar Vortex, winter was cute when we first moved to Fort Wayne. There were deer in our backyard since our house was near the woods. The snow was like glitter. It was almost like Santa himself would appear on our lawn, which was buried under glitter, at any moment.

My new neighbors told me how wonderful it was to have four seasons, and how they could not imagine living in Florida. I looked forward to these four seasons I had always learned about in school: winter, spring, summer, and fall. I soon learned, that the seasons have different names when you are a Floridian.

Summer

This is truly my favorite time of the year because it is very Florida-like. A couple of years ago, temperatures in the Midwest got up to 100. I LOVED IT. Even though I hate reptiles, I must be one. There is nothing better than hot rock weather. So, from about mid-May until the beginning of September, I am OK with going outside.

Finter

Most people call this season “fall” or “autumn.” Really, for a southern person, it’s just winter light, or finter. It’s cold, windy and dreary. It even tends to snow in late October. UCK! The leaves are pretty, but finter still sucks.

Winter

This is by far my least favorite time of the year. I now understand why Pagans started having winter festivals and celebrations hundreds of years ago. It was to keep people from committing suicide. Winter is dark and cold and just all around miserable.

Sprinter

People like to think that spring begins at the end of March. It does not. Up here in Yankee land, the leaves do not grow back and flowers do not bloom until at least May. Early spring is still winter-like. It’s the time of year when you can get pinged in the head with freezing rain, hail, or sleet.  I still don’t know the difference. I just know that it’s hard and cold and miserable.

So, what are the seasons like where you live? Are you lucky enough to live in Florida, Southern California or Hawaii? Feel free to tell me all about how warm it is. I promise not to hate you. : )

Great Dane Lab
Sophie is the only one who is dumb enough to like winter.

Fat, Forty, and Falling

Ice is my enemy.
Ice is my enemy.

I may have mentioned a few months ago in my Metal Mom piece that I live in a cookie cutter, Wisteria Lane type neighborhood. Everyone notices when something is not right.  When we first moved in, my husband was putting in a raised bed garden in the back yard. The president of the homeowners association came right over and asked us if we were building a “structure.” I wanted to tell him, “Yes, we are building a small home for our servants.” I didn’t say that because I’ve learned that most people don’t speak sarcasm. Anyway, since we got that kind of attention for a garden, I was certain SOMEONE would come to my assistance while I was on my ass in the middle of my driveway mumbling “fuck” and shouting for my son. Certainly, someone would notice a short, chubby woman CRAWLING up her driveway at 7:45am. Nope. Unless your mailbox is the wrong color or you are building a “structure” no one cares. I’m lucky that the dogs alerted my son to my little accident. As much as I hate to admit this, my favorite cats were no shows.

Like an idiot, I attempted to walk down my icy driveway to get that last little bit of trash to the curb before the truck came. I just HAD to get that tiny bag of trash out there. The world may have ended if I had to hold on to it for a week. I walked down the driveway like a moron. Usually, I walk on the grass, through the snow rather than brave the driveway. My only explanation for my moronic decision is I had not had coffee. I remember noticing dog and human footprints on the sidewalk near my driveway and thinking about how it was good that there wasn’t too much snow so that this person could walk a dog. Then, my feet slipped out from under me and I slipped and fell right on my ass in an almost cartoon like manner. It would have been funny if it didn’t hurt so damn bad.

I felt like I would not be able to get up and walk ever again. I hit the hard ground and I felt like my spine broke. It was cold, and I really wanted to get back to the house. I swore and then yelled for my son. Then, I got too damn cold waiting, but I didn’t know if I could get up, and I was afraid to fall again, so I crawled up the driveway. At this point, the dogs that were staring out he front window and barking had alerted my son. He came outside to pick me up and take me to the ER.

Obviously, this was a painful experience that would have been embarrassing if I were the type of person to give a shit about what other people think. I don’t think my neighbors saw me fall, and if they did they should be embarrassed for not helping me. I am grateful for this experience though, because I learned how to be better prepared for sudden trips to the ER.

Be glad you can't see my pits or my legs.
Be glad you can’t see my pits or my legs.

First of all, shave your legs and armpits at least every other day, even in the winter, ladies. You don’t want to look like a gorilla in a hospital gown like I did. It had been a good 5 or 6 days since my last shave. Create your own visual here.

If you have Elvis Presley sideburns like I do (Yes, I am a woman), you want to make sure you keep those things waxed. I’m pretty sure the doctors and nurses were staring at the sides of my face and expecting me to start singing Viva Las Vegas at any moment.

Just wear real clothes to bed. Lucky for me, I had worn sweat pants to bed and I didn’t have to go to the hospital in my snowflake jammies, or worse yet, my Bud Light jammies. (Note: I think Bud Light is vile. The pajamas were purchased for a costume party.)

DO NOT tell anyone that pain pills make you nauseous. You will get sent home with Naproxen instead of REAL pain relief. Naproxen is Latin for “will eat your stomach but do diddly squat for pain.”

Have a son, and make sure he can drive before you decide to injure yourself. A teen son can pick you up off of the floor and drive you to the hospital. A teen girl would look down at you on the ground, roll her eyes, and tell you that she hates you for messing up her plans by making her drive you to the hospital. I love my son.

Don’t be a neat freak. I just couldn’t leave the last little bag of trash for next week. I had to go walking down my driveway to the curb like I was trying to get rid of a bomb. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Try not to have a dog the size of a pony. My Great Dane almost knocked me down again when I finally got into the house. At least the cats didn’t try to hurt me more.

Be ready to pee. They are always going to ask for a urine sample. You could come crawling into the ER with a missing leg and a story about a man with a chainsaw, and they would say, “OK. We will take care of that gushing stub as soon as you give us a little urine.” What do they do with all of that pee? Are they like vampires, but they need pee instead of blood to stay alive. Oh, wait. They usually ask for that, too.

It’s OK to be chubby. I was so glad I had never been able to lose those pesky 20 pounds. My fat ass saved me from breaking my tailbone. At least, I’m pretty sure I didn’t break it, based on my symptoms. There’s no way to be certain, as it’s difficult to x-ray. Well, there is an exam they can do, but I don’t recommend it.

Say no to the tailbone exam. There’s no way to tell if you have a broken tailbone because that involves a rectal exam. There is no way to slap a cast on a coccyx bone, so why bother to be violated like this. I looked around when the option was given, and since there was not an open bar and a plate of roofies, I said no.

I think I’m going to go back to my original plan for avoiding winter injuries – just stay inside until May. If you MUST leave the house, bring ski poles with you and wear golf shoes. Also, wrap yourself in bubble wrap. It will keep you safe and it will make other people stay far away from you, except for those freaks who want to pop you.

So, have you ever fallen on ice? Were you injured?  

Any words of wisdom you can share with us?

Eye-burning Fickle Fireball

Does February, the Polar Vortex’s BFF, suck your brain out, too? This is what happened to me this month.  I was on a roll, doing that whole day job thing, posting blogs two or three times a week, keeping the house super clean, baking, cooking, and then February came and took my brain from me. 

IMG_0979Way back in the day, when I was going to elementary school in South Florida, I learned all of those cute seasonal rhymes like the rest of you.  March was in like a lion and out like a lamb.  Everyone knew that April showers brought May flowers, but not pilgrims.  The Mayflowers brought those.  I repeated these sayings, just like I repeated my times tables, without really understanding them.  In South Florida, March and April are identical.  The summer is rainy season, and flowers are a year round thing.  I didn’t see leafless trees or snow until I was 35.  I had no idea what these little rhymes meant.

Then, we moved to Fort Wayne, IN (AKA the armpit of America).  We stayed there for 5 LONG years, and now we are next door in Ohio.  For a year or two, seasons were cool. The colored leaves were SOOOOOOO pretty, and snow was like magical fairy glitter.  I LOVED seasons.  See that past tense.  Now, my eternal, inner Floridian has had enough. 

 

More Frigging snow!
More Frigging snow!

This winter has been incredibly long.  It snowed on Halloween, and it is going to snow again on Sunday, March 2.  There’s that lion.  Here in Ohio, it is cloudy 99.967543% of the time.  When the sun comes out, for like 49 seconds at a time, my eyes actually hurt.  There is not enough coffee in the world since the clouds somehow sneak into my brain and take over.  And the thing that is really annoying, other than shoveling snow, is that people around here think that FIFTY degrees is warm.  Yes! The locals will actually put on shorts and pronounce it “nice outside” when I am still in layer upon layer of wool goodness. 

 The only thing that gets me through the 5 or 6 months of cold every year is my Hawaiian fantasy land.  I daydream about endless summers, wearing sandals every day, and living on pineapples.  I may need to retire there.  I am looking forward to old age.