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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Colder than a witch’s t!t

Colder than a witch’s t!t
My ex had a way with words. I haven’t seen him since 1992, but with this week’s record breaking cold snap, that phrase came to the forefront of my mind as I walked around the village all bundled up.
I live in rural Quebec on the Ottawa River between Ottawa and Montreal. Wednesday, with an overnight temperature of -29 C or-20 F, Ottawa was the coldest capital in the world! We beat Reykjavik, Moscow and Nuuk (I had to look it up. It’s in Greenland.)We even beat in Mongolia’s capital Ulan Bator which is on average the coldest capital in the world. They had a balmy26 C or -14 F the very same night.
This ol’ witch ain’t complaining.
I pull on long underwear and warm socks first thing in the morning. I harden myself by going out at least twice a day, despite the cold and the wind. Sometimes, all you can see when you meet others are their eyes.
We Northerners have a tendency to recognize each other by our winter clothing and our gait as we approach one another. If you want to confuse the villagers and venture out incognito, just your switch your coats, tuques and scarves and walk funny.
So how do we embrace the cold? By playing outside! Make sure you dress in layers. Wear wool, polar fleece, or acrylic near your skin, but always avoid cotton. Cover up with appropriate outer layers that work against the wind and precipitation which can fall as snow, sleet or freezing rain. Pull on warm winter boots and strap on ice cleats if there’s even a remote chance you might end up ar$e over tea kettle (Yes, another one of my ex’s expressions).
We lose 50% of body heat through our head. Come to think of it, that’s a good way to let off steam if something has got you upset!
If you want to be warm, you have to live with a months-long condition called hat head.
I love funky knit hats with a polar fleece interior. Ear flaps are good but seem to be out of style around here this year. I’m way too frugal to rush out and get the newer vintage looking knit hat with big pompoms. Meh!
Move your body! Find a winter sport that you can embrace alone or with friends.
If you are engaged in something active like Nordic skiing or snowshoeing, you tend to heat up and cool down depending on the terrain (up and down hills, the cover of forests, wind-smacked open fields, frozen lakes and rivers).
When I go for off for more than an hour, I always bring a light knap sack with spare warm mitts, socks, a face mask, water, chocolate or energy bars, a whistle, small first aid kit, lip balm, matches or lighter, and enough room to stuff my packable puffy jacket.
Yes, it’s cold out there! Colder than normal. I’m posting this and then heading out to ski.
Want to come out and play?


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