Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Some Snow Advice

That's right, it's all my fault. I have been praying for snow. When I heard about this last system moving our way I picked up my praying. Let's be honest, as many residents will attest, snow is ALWAYS better than ice. That said, thanks to all who have thought that my prayers would have that much influence. If you think about it though, we humans have been messing with Mother Earth and me thinks she might be giving it back to us just a wee bit. It is winter after all and why shouldn't it snow?

So here are my tips to help you embrace the snow, cold and winter in general.

1.Dress appropriately- Don't leave the house in flip flops, a short sleeve T-shirt, miniskirt and a lightweight jacket and then complain you are cold. Of course you are, you ninny! IT'S WINTER! In the winter there is one rule of thumb for dressing: LAYER, LAYER, LAYER! Thin, warm layers are the best. When you get to work remove the outermost layers. You can even strip down to that t-shirt, miniskirt and flip flops if you so desire. Buy a good pair of snow boots, a nice 3/4 length down filled coat, warm gloves, hat or earmuffs and wool socks(or equivalent) then WEAR THEM. My goodness, if I have to hear my husband complain one more time about how cold it is I think I'll pull my hair out. It is winter and when you live North of the Mason-Dixon Line, it is bound to be chilly in the winter. Dress appropriately!

2. Learn to Drive in Inclement Weather- When the weather is frightening, so is everyone's driving. The reason some people are driving like ninnies is because the roads are crap. Just because you have 4 wheel drive does not mean you can drive on ice. I can't count how many times I have been passed by some driver who obviously thought he or she was a better driver than I was in snow and ice. I reduce my speed and I make it to my destination every time. And at my snail's pace, I pass those great drivers who knew how to drive in snow and ice, as they wait impatiently for the tow truck to get them out of the median, ditch, etc. If you see the snow plows moving slowly, it's a good indicator that the roads should probably be driven at that speed. Keep in mind, these plow drivers are out there every time it snows. They are out there in the worst of weather even when we aren't. Follow their lead and while you're at it take a winter driving course if you really need to be out there in the thick of it.

3. Just Say NO!- Unless you have a vital job that requires you to be at work when the snow and ice start flying, take a personal day. Don't risk life and limb for a company that doesn't have the common sense to close the office during the storm of the century. Your life is much more valuable than that job. Plus, most responsible employers would allow their employees to work from home so you wouldn't have to risk life and limb. Value yourself even if they won't. There are some jobs that this is not applicable for but, for the vast majority, it holds true. Besides, how much work will really get done if you are arriving 4 hours late and leaving 3 hours early?

4. Find a Winter Activity You Enjoy - When I was little, I loved going out in the snow, making snow angels, building snowmen. Then, for the longest time, I hated winter, until I went to Canada in the dead of winter. The difference between the Canadians I met and the American's I lived around was the Canadians seemed to make the best of winter, they embraced it, they celebrated it. The Americans complained, they moaned, they whined. Canadians will skate to work, American's will complain about how lousy the roads were. My advice, even if you find only one winter activity that you like, you will look forward to winter more than if you continue to complain about everything and only look at the negatives. Try snowshoeing, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, ice skating, sledding, hiking, hockey, ice fishing, snowman building, igloo building, ice sculpting, writing your name in the snow, ANYTHING that will get you out in the weather, enjoying it. And remember rule #1) Dress Appropriately!

5.Embrace the Challenge and Your Loved Ones- Winter weather can be challenging. You constantly need to clean the driveway, your car, take the dog out in drifts of snow, put the garbage on the curb but there is three feet of plowed snow where the can goes. It takes ten minutes just to layer up and as soon as you get out the door you are pummeled with bone chilling winds. Suck it up, try to figure out a new way of doing things, become a winter weather champion, challenge yourself to win over old man winter. Mind over matter. If I can survive hot, humid, miserable summers with rarely a complaint, surely everyone out there who loathes winter can develop a positive attitude. And what better way to pass the time on those cold nights but cuddling with your loved ones in front of a nice warm fire!

6. Take Full Advantage of all the Yummy Food and Drink you can enjoy in the Winter- That's right hot chocolate, coffee, stews, soups, grapefruit, clementines (anything heavier than you normally enjoy in the summer). Even if you gain a couple pounds, it'll be hidden under those layers. Plus, your metabolism has to work over time to keep you warm in the cold weather so it can use the extra calories!

7. Plan your Garden then Start Your own Seedlings.-This is a great activity for those who love gardening and being outside. There is something therapeutic about starting your own plants in the winter. The smell of the soil and watching the seedlings grow. If you have little ones, they will love to help plus you'll get a head start on that garden come spring. And, if you do veggies, you'll get to enjoy the fruits of your labor come summer!

8. Move- If you really hate the snow that much then move. That's right, I said it, MOVE! No one is forcing you to put up with miserable weather. If you live in an area where snow happens and you can't develop a positive or at least healthy attitude, then move. Find a climate you like and then create a plan to get yourself there. Life is too short to complain about the weather.

I probably could find more but these are the one's that came to mind. I hope someone may have received something from them, even if just a chuckle. Hunker down and try to enjoy the weather. It'll be summer before you know it!