Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Surviving in a winter wonderland

Look it's about -4 degrees!
As with much of the country, 'real' winter has arrived in Eastern Connecticut.  We had a small blizzard during the night with snow and wind, and day time highs in the teens and lows below zero last week!  Today the high is supposed to be 11 degrees.  However, we are not as cold as some of the really freezing weather that you've been hearing about on the news.  Eastern Connecticut is in the 6b growing zone because we are only about an hour from the Atlantic and that large body of water keeps us a bit warmer than some of the other New England states which are in grow zones 5 and 4.  Still, negative temperatures with snow and wind are really cold, and it is very different from were I grew up in Southeast Arizona, and Austin, TX where we lived for the last 5 years.  
I've got a few emails from friends and family wondering how I'm doing.  Here are a few quotes that I enjoyed.

"Can't wait to learn all about an Arizona native's adventure in winter.....Connecticut style!"

"Try to keep warm, too.  And a sense of humor I guess!"

"OMG Anna that is c-o-l-d!  I’ve never been in minus 0 temps before."

So, what have I been doing to survive the cold.  First, there's hunkering down.  During the negative temps and blizzard you won't find me outside and about!  I'm good at hunkering with soup, hot drinks, blankets, and snuggle dogs!  But we do go out and when we do, we bundle up.  I wear long-johns, two pairs of socks, pants, usually 2 shirts, a downy coat and rain/wind coat shell, fuzzy hat, mittens, and often a scarf.  The dogs get their jackets, too.  So, it takes me just about as long to get ready to go out as the amount of time before the dogs want back inside!  When we're outside we're walking, shoveling snow :), making paths for dogs, or building snowmen to stay warm.  (Jacob and I really had fun making a big snowman once the temperature rose high enough for the snow to stick together.  Unfortunately, the next morning brought rain and the snowman is mostly gone.) Once you get out there and get moving its fun and beautiful, but with temperatures under 20 the dogs and I usually are ready to head back in after only about 15 minutes.   

giant snowball monster!

Cici's come to help!

Silly, too!

 Last weekend, some friends, Jacob and I went cross-country skiing.  I really enjoyed myself even though I fell down several times.  It was my first time to ski, and we took the easy trail that was mostly flat with a few gentle slopes.  I don't have very good balance and think down hill skiing would be much harder, although cross-country is more aerobic since you have to push yourself along.  I;m really horrible at skating and am always falling on the hard ice with skiing you have the poles to help keep you from falling and the snow was much softer than ice.  I've heard, however, that snow gets compacted and hard after a while, too.  Cross country is a great way to get out and see the beautiful white scenery as you glide quietly along, that is if you can take you eyes off your feet without falling down.  We were also pretty sore after our adventure.  

I think I'm saying 'Ooo' that last fall was a good one :)

John and Hannah

Since it is only January, I'm sure I'll have more to say about an Arizona native's adventure in winter...Connecticut style soon.  How do you survive winter?  What's your advice for me?  As always thanks for reading and your comments! 

P.S.  I've added 2 book reviews, several interesting websites, and a few doggie pictures to the pages section of this blog.  Hope you enjoy!