Coping with the Cold

We drove 500 miles Tuesday straight into wind chills of -30 F.  The van performed admirably, not kicking up a fuss until we got home. The Check Engine and You are Skidding lights came on and wouldn’t turn off.  Tonight the temperature soared to 11, and the lights went off.  I don’t blame the van for the protest.  I am grateful I don’t have to take the van in for repairs.

Husband traveled to the Fort Berthold reservation tonight to find that the pipes are frozen in his tribal housing. He got tons of bottled water,  turned on the space heater, opened the cupboard doors, and prayed that the pipes thaw in the night. If not, he stays at the casino tomorrow. We remain grateful, cheerful,  and hopeful. After all, what else is there to do?

What are good ways to cope with the cold?

38 thoughts on “Coping with the Cold”

  1. Missed a doctor appointment yesterday. My car wouldn’t start, which is the first time that’s happened in 15 years. The battery finally succumbed to age and bitter weather. So I got a chance to cope with the cold. My sense of things is when your car is perfect for that many years, you forgive it the one day it wouldn’t go. With a fresh battery, I look forward to today (still cold) with confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The rez pipes freeze at least once a year for husband. He probably needs to leave the cupboard doors open when he isn’t there. I don’t miss walking a dog today. I shall wear a Norwegian sweater to work.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Rise and Shiver Baboons,

    Wool socks (smart wool) and hot coffee with cream are the secret to staying warm in the severe cold. That must have felt like a long trip Renee.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Extra layers (insulated vests and pullovers are great). More activity (I get cold just sitting in my house because we keep the thermostat brutally low for parts of the day. Fingerless gloves because I suffer from Reynaud’s Syndrome and the gloves help to keep my fingertips from turning white (a symptom). Hearty soups for dinner. A fire in the fireplace when “necessary.” Utilizing the oven for cooking meals low and slow to add extra heat to the living areas. Planning trips for spring, summer, and fall.

    When all else fails, bug out to AZ for a few days. 😉

    Chris in (cold and snowy) Owatonna

    Liked by 3 people

  5. It’s mukluk weather! My trusty 20 year old Steger mukluks are out of the closet and ready for their first expedition of the season. They are a bit of a pain to put on, so I don’t wear them unless the weather calls for it. Once I get them on, I’m good to go. That and a warm coat, hat, and mittens. I’ve inherited a full length down coat from my friend Ken who no longer needs it. It’s light, warm, and not bulky, but I suspect I still look like the Michelin man when I venture out. My vanity, such as it is, sacrificed on the altar of comfort and warmth. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Our power went out from 2:43 am to 9:00 am yesterday. -29 degrees outside. When I first moved here I made sure I had back-up heat with a German ceramic-tiled wood stove. First thing. fired up the wood stove. Since I have a well with an electric pump…no water. Luckily I keep a half gallon of water in the fridge for drinking. Then midst my collection of various coffee pots, I put a small espresso pot on the woodstove. You know, the one that heats the water below and sends it up the spout through the grounds. Have never been able to satisfactorily make it work. Until yesterday. I also noticed another small metal coffee pot that could do the same thing that I probably have never used, but will in the future as it makes a larger amount of coffee. Heated the milk in a metal pitcher on the stove…and voila! I had morning coffee! l also happened to have some barley porridge in the fridge, leftover stollen and saffron buns…I was able have breakfast before going out to feed the beasts…where I found a frozen pump. But with 3 heat lamps in the pump box I was able to draw water for evening chores. Luckily I had filled all the waterers the day before.
    So…learned some new skills while waiting for the power to return…
    Still…hope it doesn’t test me again this winter. or ever.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Husband phoned tribal maintenance, but who knows when they might arrive. He decided to stay in his place and rough it for one more night.


  8. Friendly cats.

    I always say you can mark the seasons by how interested in us as something beyond opposable thumbs that open doors and cans.

    Right now, we are utterly fascinating and their very best friends.

    The s&h is getting in his miles, cold or not. I put cider on the stove and picked up a nice balaclava for him to cover the maximum amount of exposed skin and let him go. He came in on Tuesday covered in slush and I thought he had fallen.

    Nope. Sweat frost. a little fascinating, a lot ewwwww!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Ah no, I know Baboons to be a sturdy and resourceful lot, either bravely facing the elements or sensible sheltering from them.

        But ‘fraidy? Never.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I seem to recall mentioning this event a year ago, but it fits so nicely into today’s topic, I’ll bring it up again. On last year’s coldest temp all season, -35, some drunk drove into a power poll, knocking out power for 13 hours. I foolishly thought I could manage to stay here and survive by putting on several layers. Honestly, the determination to tough it out was because I believed that, at any minute, the power would be restored. Had I known that it’d be 13 hours, I hope that I’d have had enough sense to seek shelter elsewhere.

    It took many hours, once the heat was on, to warm my bones from the outside in. I wish I’d thought of having a fire in the fireplace, Duh. The only long lasting damage from this ordeal was that the cold killed literally all of my houseplants, some of which I’d had for 20 years.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Long underwear is a must, inside and out.

    If driving, a good battery and good tires help instill confidence in driving on less than ideal road conditions. I also really like to have a car heater that works.

    If walking or bussing, multiple layers. I have some wonderfully warm boots that have good traction (Vasque Lost 40) and a nice warm thick wool-lined-with-fleece hat. Scarf to cover face if windy. Warm sweater under the coat. I have wool mittens but am not happy with them when it’s windy and/or very cold out. I need to find something warmer.

    My favorite hot drink when it’s cold outside and I’m feeling under the weather: squeeze lemon juice into a mug, add honey to taste, add boiling water, spike with some whiskey. It just feels good to drink it.

    Bedtime: flannel sheets and I have a big fleece sack of rice that I heat in the microwave. It stays warm for hours. I no longer have a cat so this is almost as good.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for asking, Linda. The stray cats around here drove my cat batty, especially one that would come up to the front door and stare into the side window there (and refuse to leave). I think this is what made him start to mark his territory and it got to be too much of a problem. Other than that he was a great cat and I tried various things to stop the marking behavior but it didn’t work. So I gave him to the humane society in hopes that he would find a home that wouldn’t have other cats lurking around. He was adopted and I hope that he’s happy in his new home because I still miss him.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Oh, these all sound wonderful. The best way to deal with cold is to not go outside! HIBERNATE! But alas, we have to work, buy groceries, run errands, visit people, etc. Home made soups in the crockpot, hot herbal teas, awesome Lands End flannel sheets, and my comfiest old chenille zip-up sweater.
    If one must go out, you need good boots, heavy mittens and a trustworthy coat along with the necessary layers. That heated up sack of rice sounds like a great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The cheapskate version: fill up a long sock with rice. It doesn’t hold its heat as long as one that’s has a fleece cover, but it takes off that initial chill.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. My daughter in law and I found Sorrel boots on sale in Sioux Falls. Neither of us had good boots, so we bought the Joan of Arctic model (what a name!)

    Liked by 2 people

  13. years ago when living next door to the golf course cross country ski trail i discovered the ideal temp for skiing was -10 degrees
    it changed my view of winter
    i now love winter and need to dress for the particular activity
    i now say there is no such thing as a cold day just the wrong clothing choice

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It must be the weather…even though I have several winter boots of various ages…including snowmobile boots, Steger mukluks, Uggs and others…today I ordered another pair of Sorel type boots which were on sale at Sierra Trading…then to determine which of them will work best with my new snowshoes.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Late entry:

    To keep warm: Cuddle Duds in the house and outside, wool sweaters, fleece, down vests, Uggs, Sorrel boots, fleece lined wool hats, Lands’ End down parka with fake fur lined hood, fleece or down throws when sitting around in the house, Smart Wool socks. I wish my car had heated seats but it is too old.

    OT: Have not been chiming in very much because of mom’s significantly failing health beginning in November. She passed away on December 10th – no longer confined to a wheelchair or dependent on care attendants 24/7, which she hated (though she loved her care attendants). We said our final goodbye to her yesterday – brief gravesite service due to the bitter cold followed by a lovely service in her home church.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. So sorry for your loss, K-two. That’s really tough, especially that close to Christmas. Glad that your mom is no longer wheel chair bound.


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