Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: snow

Snow, my cold, and conflicting emotions

let it snow!
My happy place.

The snow, it is real. It’s been a steady accumulation over the last few days, and it’s making me a very happy camper. Indoor camper.

Side rant: I love snow. I always have. Ever since I was a little kid and played in the snow as I was bundled up so only my nose was showing. I’d go sledding (which I loved) until my fingers and toes were numb, and then I’d drink hot chocolate. Snowmen were a thing, too.

Winter was great because I loved the cold and because my allergies were mostly dead. I’ve been very open about my love of snow and cold, which for the most part has been fine. However, whenever I post about it or tweet about it, there’s inevitably one person who has to say how much they hate it. Or remind me that it’s a bitch to drive in. Or shovel. It’s gotten to the point where I preempt it by mentioning my gratitude in not having to drive in it when I talk about it in hopes I can be allowed to enjoy my snow somewhat unimpeded.

Snow is one thing that gives me pure joy. Can I please have that? It’s good to be aware of other people’s issues and whatnot, but at some point, I just want to revel in the fluffy white goodness.

Side note to the side rant: It’s different when I’m talking to friends who have to struggle with the snow affecting their commute or income (having clients cancel because of weather). I can empathize with them and their frustrations. It’s more the people who feel the need to tell me unprompted that snow is a problem for people. I’m not stupid or ignorant. I know this. And yet, it’s a bit too ‘there are starving children in Africa’ for me. There is nothing that doesn’t cause problems for SOMEONE. Does that mean always having to qualify one’s own pleasures/enjoyment/happiness?

Anyway. Back to snow. We’ve gotten 10 inches to a foot, and it’s lightly snowing now. It’s the fluffy and light snow, which is my favorite to frolic in. There will be no midnight nekkid snow dancing, however, because I’m still having sinus issues. The cough has diminished, but the congestion has increased. The needles pricking my nostrils feeling has come back again. When I woke up, my forehead was hot. I popped two (generic) Migraine Excedrin, and I’m hoping that will do the trick. I also have a raspy voice, which, while sexy, may be a harbinger of more congestion.

I’ve been incredibly crabby over being sick, but at the same time, really happy about the snow. It’s a weird mix of feelings that keeps whiplashing back and forth.

*a thousand needles prick my nose*

I hate having a cold!

*looks out the window at the gently-falling snow*

Oooooh, so pretty!

We’ve gotten between 10-12 inches over the last few days and are supposed to get a few more inches. Maybe this is my consolation prize for this cold dragging on. Either way, I’m enjoying it–just not as fully as I would if I weren’t sick.

Still. It reminds me of what I love about Minnesota winters, which have sadly become more tame over the years. Thank you, climate change. No, really, thank you for fucking up my favorite season. Trying not to be bitter because it seems a bit ungrateful as we’re in the middle of ALL THE SNOW, but I’m greedy. I want so much more.

Side note II to side rant: I want to say that if people want to bitch about how much they hate snow on their own FB walls/tweet about it–have at it. I know most people don’t feel the same way about snow that I do, and that’s fine. I’m used to being in the minority about–well, pretty much everything. Except loving chocolate. I think I’m in the majority there. So, yeah, I’m used to biting my tongue when certain subjects come up. When other Minnesotans grumble about the snow and talk about wanting spring, I just nod and smile. Or, if I’m in a feisty mood, I’ll say I like winter, but I understand how they feel.*

So on my own FB wall or Twitter TL, just fucking let me have this, ok? To hell with it. I may actually do nekkid midnight snow dancing tonight, my cold be damned.

 

 

*I don’t, but it’s a social nicety that keeps things moving.

Just fuck everything, but snow?!?

To no one’s surprise, I have a fucking cold. Warning: I will be fucking sweary in this post because I am so fucking sick and tired of being, well, sick and tired. A deep hacking cough, a stuffed nose that simultaneously feels as if it has pine needles jabbing into it from time to time. Add chest congestion to that, and you can understand why I’m irritated. Not just irritated, but downright pissed off. I have been sick on and off for the past few months, and every time I feel better, something else happens to me. It’s not as if I’m in the public all the time, a lot, or much at all. So why the hell am I getting sick? It’s a question for my doc the next time I go, which will be soon because I have to get my annual thyroid check for my meds.

Speaking of docs….Every year, I have to deal with my insurance, and I thought I set it last year so I wouldn’t have to do it again this year. I got a notice saying my insurance would end because I hadn’t re-enrolled, and I found an earlier letter with the re-enrollment form. I filled it out and sent it in with a brief explanation of what happened. I sent it in before the end of the month, and then this week, I got a notice that my insurance had ended last month. I thought about checking my mail today before I called the insurance office, but I didn’t because I’m lazy. I called, resigned to wait for over an hour as I had to do the other times I called them (this is a governmental office, so you know how that goes), but I got someone within five minutes. She told me there was nothing wrong with my insurance, and I had her double check and read it to me exactly to make sure. Afterwards, I went to check the mail because I was going out, anyway, and sure enough, there was my health plan letter. I had to laugh, but I’m relieved that it ended well.


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Checking in on my health

drink it all up!
Staying cozy and warm.

The vaunted snowstorm netted us a whopping three to four inches of snow. I’m not mad, really, just disappointed. However, I knew it wasn’t going to be eight to ten inches because we’ve consistently gotten less than has been predicted, so I’m not crushed as I would be otherwise. It’s lightly snowing now, and we’re supposed to get more snow during the big storm next week. Only a few more inches, but I’ll take it. We haven’t had snow hardly at all this winter.

As for the cold, it’s really fucking cold. Currently, the temp is ‘feels like’ -28. There is no feeling going on at that temp. That’s cold, even for me. I did have the window slightly rolled down when I ran to Cubs this morning, but it’s only three minutes from my house.

Fun fact: Some years ago, the windchill factor formula was tweaked so that it more accurately reflects how the wind feels on your skin. As a result, there will probably never be a -100 windchill again. We used to get them when I was a kid, and about ten years ago, I started wondering why I never saw -100 again. It tuns out that a new windchill factor was established in 2001, which was comforting to discover. It wasn’t just me this time!

Anyway, now I’m back at home, and taiji classes have been canceled due to the extreme cold. I had been considering going to the new class tonight (new to me, not to my teacher. She’s taking it over for her teacher), but even if the classes hadn’t been cancelled, I wouldn’t have gone. I’m not leaving the house for the rest of the day. I have my traveling mug of tea and my comfy throw over my legs. I’m hunkering down until this cold snap passes because it’s too cold even for me.

Unfortunately, I’m fighting off the crud. I feel on the cusp of being sick, which is worse than actually being sick. When I’m sick, I’m just dealing with being sick. I don’t really think of much else. When I’m maybe about to get sick, I can’t do anything to stop it, and it makes me pissed off. I don’t go out into public that often except to the grocery store, which, come to think of it, is a terrible place to go if you’re trying not to be sick.

It actually makes me angry that I can’t stop myself from getting sick. I’m drinking all the tea, including immunity-boosting tea in addition to my usual honey, ginger, lemon tea. I’m doing my taiji routine every morning (including stretching), which is a half hour. When I first started taiji, I didn’t practice at home at all. In fact, I was resentful of the idea that I should practice. I don’t know why. I was a bitter, negative, and deeply depressed person when I started taking taiji classes. I’m still depressed and negative, but not nearly as much as I used to be.

When I first started practicing taiji at home, I did it for two minutes. The first section of the Solo Form, and even that was begrudging. I slowly started adding to my morning regime, and now, I’m up to a half hour of stretching and taiji. It doesn’t even feel like anything most of the time. My taiji teacher says an hour a day is the most I should do, and I don’t have to do it in one session. Looking back, I can’t believe how much I resented having to do even two minutes of it every day.

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Let it snow, let it snow, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD LET IT SNOW

WHERE IS MY SNOW?!?
The majesty of freshly-fallen snow.

I’ve been like a kid in the candy store with no money for the past few weeks, watching everywhere in the US* get snow. Places that shouldn’t get snow have gotten hit, and places that are supposed to get snow have been hammered. I was driving a few weeks ago, and I heard on MPR that cities in northern Minnesota were getting up to a foot of snow. I nearly cried in frustration because in the Twin Cities, we’ve had one measurable snowfall, and that seems like ages ago.

Fast-forward to yesterday. It was lightly snowing as I went to taiji, and people were mostly fine. Cautious and slow, which is exactly right as it’s snowing. It’s also bitterly cold. Right now it “feels like” -8, and it’s supposed to get down to a windchill of -55. I mean, I’m a cold person, but that’s too cold even for me. I’ve found that the older I get, the less I’m able to handle extreme cold. I have a little test every winter to see how long it takes me to roll up the car windows in the winter. In the past, I had them down, even when it was well below zero. Now, I’m finding that I have to put gloves on around ‘feels like’ -5, and I’ll probably roll them up if I go anywhere in the next few days. -30 was beyond me even during the old days, though, especially with a windchill of -55.

Back to driving to taiji. There was a sudden slowdown, and because I was well behind the car in front of me, I was able to slow my car down with no problem (in the right lane). However, an SUV in the left lane (two lanes over) was apparently texting or talking on their phone whilst driving because the SUV suddenly spun out and started careening wildly all over its lane before spinning into the lane next to it. It dinged another SUV/van-like vehicle as the driver struggled for control. The spinning SUV pulled over to the left shoulder while the dinged vehicle pulled over to the right shoulder. I felt really bad for the second driver because through no fault of their own, they had to deal with the fallout of being hit for an hour or so in the bitter cold.

Side rant: This is purely anecdotal, but it seems like the bigger/fancier the car, the more reckless the driver. What I mean is that whenever I come across cars that are spun-out or in a ditch, they tend to be SUVs and such. My theory is that they think they’re invincible given all the bells and whistles they have. It gives them an over-inflated sense of invulnerability and a skewed sense of safety. In addition, everyone is so distracted when they drive these days. It’s a recipe for disaster.

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On the road to recovery

I am slowly, painfully, clawing my way out of sickness and hopefully on my way to recovery. This is by far the worst I’ve had it, and I’ve had my share of UGH in the past few years. I am thinking about seeing the doctor, even though I’m getting better because I want to know if there is something at the root of all my sickness. I also want to start cooking, even if it’s just simple things. To that end, I bought gluten-free pasta and gluten-free spaghetti sauce. Yeah, I know it’s not really cooking, but I have to start somewhere. I want to say, it’s not that I can’t cook, but that I don’t like cooking. At all. I don’t like the prep work. I don’t like having to watch everything. I don’t like cleaning up after myself. I don’t like how you get such limited output for such copious input.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I have found that I own a slow cooker. It’s from the seventies by the drab olive green looks of it, but my brother reassures me that it should still work. I like the idea of just throwing a bunch of stuff into a pot, walking away, and letting it do its magic. I’d probably start with a simple stew and then work my way up from there. Once I actually make it to the co-op (on my way to taiji), I’ll buy whatever I need to make a gluten-free, dairy-free stew.

We’re supposed to get a few more inches of snow tomorrow, which is just the icing on the cake for me. We ended up getting over fifteen inches of snow, and I’m deliriously happy about it. Here’s a better of Prince singing, Sometimes It Snows in April.

Let it snow, let it snow, fuck yeah!, let it snow

april snow brings may...rainbows?
It sure is purty!

I am a happy camper right now, and I’ll tell you why. It’s been snowing steadily since Friday night now Sunday afternoon), and we’ve gotten 12.5 inches of snow so far (and still counting). Yes, it’s mid-April, and no, this isn’t an April Fool’s Day joke. When I saw earlier in the week that we were supposed to get 8-12 inches, I was stoked, but skeptical. The last time we were supposed to get a lot of snow, it turned out to just be a big, fat lot of nothing. I was not about to get my hopes up only to have them dashed again. I woke up Friday morning to nothing. I tweeted about WHERE IS MY SNOW?, and a fellow Minnesotan reminded me that it wasn’t supposed to start until night. I knew that, but I was so excited, I wanted it to come early.

A light sleet started to fall around 1 p.m. Then, hail. Then, nothing. Intellectually, I knew that it wasn’t really supposed to start until late evening, but I still kept an eye out for it. Around ten, it started to snow steadily, and by the time I woke up Saturday, we had a few inches. It was lightly snowing, but I wasn’t sure we would get the real snow we were promised. Around ten a.m., it started snowing for real. Taiji was cancelled as the snow continued to fall. It made me so happy, and it kept. on. falling. By the time I went to bed, we had 7.5 inches (with other areas having a foot already), and I was pretty content with that. By the time I woke up Sunday morning, we had 12.5 inches (and it was still snowing, which it still is).

I have a longstanding agreement with myself that if we get over a foot of snow at a time, I will do nekkid midnight dancing in the snow. I haven’t had to put this into practice, but now, I actually do. Of course, there’s the small problem that I’m still sick, which means dancing naked in snow probably isn’t a good thing. Still. How many chances do I get to do this? Not many. It’ll be brief, and, disappointing the few people who ask for it every time, video-free. We’ll see if it’s actually at midnight because my sleep schedule has been all over the map since I’ve been sick. I’ve been going to bed at weird times, sleeping for longer than I normally would, and having to deal with a very cross cat when I wake up (my current theory is that he thinks he’s DYING because breakfast is at a different time every day now).

I want to say, I know most of my fellow Minnesotans are thoroughly sick and tired of the snow and cold, and I don’t blame them at all. It’s mid-April, so it should be spring! I love it, but I also know that I’ve very lucky because I have a snow guy and a garage, and I work from home so I don’t have to deal with driving to and from work. I’m totally privileged in this situation, and I fully acknowledge it. That’s part of the reason I can really sympathize with other Minnesotans. That said, I’m loving it. I love snow. I love the way it looks as it’s falling. I love the way it feels on my body. I love everything about it (until it melts and turns everything brown and muddy), and I make no bones about that.

Anyway, it’s supposed to be cold enough to stick around for a few days, and we’re supposed to get maybe an inch more on Tuesday/Wednesday (along with a little more today). I’m just going to enjoy it while I can. To my fellow Minnesotans, remember what Prince sang, “Sometimes, it snows in April.”