Dressing warmly is the key to not only surviving but actually enjoying single-digit weather, especially when the frozen landscape is SO beautiful.
I think I spent more time outside in yesterday's frigid air than any other day this year. Okay---so we've had just two days of this year, but still, I wanted to be outside as much as possible.
The biggest problem with the outside activities when it's this cold is the thought of all that clothing that has to be added and how long it usually takes to put it all on before heading out the door.
My Border Collie buddy Liam can tell you that Mom takes far too long to get dressed when HE wants out. In fact, Liam even jumps up on my back just about every dressing session as his way of telling me to please get a move on.
Anyway, after all that time has been invested in donning the boots, the gloves, the snow pants, those extra top layers of grunge shirts and jackets, ear warmers and hat, a person needs to make it worth the effort and stay outside as long as possible.
And, for me, the morning coffee/latte drinker, it helps to wait a while before stepping into those snow pants with no zipper.
What is the big problem with adding a zipper in snow and rain pants anyway?
Twould be a lot easier to put the dang things with their elastic waist on without stumbling into a survival dance around the living room on the second and third and even the fourth attempt at aiming the foot through that waist band and toward the elusive pant leg.
Or, better yet, tripping and falling on the floor with half your pants on cuz ya lost your balance and totally missed the second pant leg and got your foot caught just inside the pants tops.
Once you do get those pants on, it seems that your bladder gets really upset by all that floor action and decides it needs some emptying NOW, so one more trip to the bathroom before going outside leads to one really agitated Liam cuz "Mom IS never gonna take me outside."
In disgust, Liam always flops to the floor just outside the bathroom door when I'm taking my umpteenth trip to take care of bladder urgency.
Actually, bladder uncertainty kept me from going snow shoeing with Bill yesterday afternoon.
All I could think of was getting so far down the trail with my afternoon coffee racing through my inner plumbing and suddenly having nature call.
That would mean having to go somewhere off the trail, bending over, lifting up those six layers so I could reach the elastic pants band, pulling pants down for doing the North Idaho squat and having a frostbitten derriere by the time the process was over.
So, I said I'd just stick around and do my outside trips with the luxury and proximity of an inside facility. Bill seemed fine with that.
Men don't have to think of all the work involved when using the BIF, especially a frigid BIF! Their extra pants always have zippers, it seems.
Anyway, dressing for survival in the cold north country does add a lot of time to the daily schedule AND then once, we're dressed, other problems occur----notably for me, a constant cycle of gloves coming off, gloves going back on.
I noticed this irritant this morning when I had to cut the twine on a bale of hay. My knife was deep within my jeans pockets which were deep inside that elastic waistband on my snow pants underneath all those layers.
No way the gloves could reach down inside and grab that knife, so off went the gloves and fingers went to work to separate the knife from the usual lipstick tube and cash (coins and paper) which are always stashed inside my left pocket.
All too often the entire pocket inventory comes out when I finally get ahold of the knife. So, I end up picking it all off the floor or the ground and stuffing it back where it belongs.
Fortunately, this morning, I struck paydirt cuz the knife came out on its own. With a smile, I put my gloves back on and cut the strings on the hay bale.
Once again removing my gloves, though, I stuffed the knife back into the direction of the pocket AND missed.
Instead of the pocket, it fell deep into the snowpants leg and dropped at the bottom where the pant leg is snapped together.
So, that added another step----bending over with six layers of bulky top wear, unsnapping the pant leg, and reaching for the knife which happily fell out onto the hay.
So, all I had to do was pick up the knife, snap the pants back together, aim better at the pocket and then put those gloves back on those cold hands.
At this point, Lefty and Lily wanted to come over and jump on my back as their way of saying, "Mom, hurry it up . . . we're hungry."
Fortunately, Liam does not come out with me during morning chore time, so I only dealt with impatient horses while dealing with all those apparel operations. The horses got fed.
I cleaned stalls, got the paper, came inside and spent five minutes removing all the stuff I wear to keep warm outside. I'll probably go through this process three or four more times today.
It's all worth the effort cuz even though it's cold outside, it's mighty pretty, and the bathroom isn't usually too far away.
Happy Tuesday. Stay warm. How 'bout those ZAGS----No. 5 in this week's poll and undefeated!