Take a walk in Blue Bell Woods listen to the sounds around you, of bird song and bees. Smell the flowers and the scent of Spring in the air. Every year is a new beginning and every day a blessing

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Managing winter............

Maybe being raised in England has given me a different perspective on things. I know that one has to be sensible. In Michigan winter can be dangerous. It means respecting nature in all things, it means thinking ahead and making do. If you travel anywhere, even a short distance, have essentials in your car. I seldom wear a coat no matter the weather and now I don't have a horse I don't have boots. So........when we travel we have blankets in the car. If we are going any distance I have my coat in the car. I have to say I seldom go out if the weather is iffy. Still, most Michigan cars are equipped with sand bags in the trunk and a shovel, blankets etc. We do if we leave town. Even a short distance in below zero can be deadly so its best to be prepared and if possible don't go. Well, this has been one of those winters. One that will be remembered as was 1978. My granddaughter Gabrielle has stayed here two nights rather than travel on the slick and drifted roads.
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My ex sister in law was up in Canada when this last lot of weather came in. She was stuck an extra day there. The roads were closed. The picture above is the Mackinaw Bridge that connects the Upper and Lower Peninsula's of Michigan. It was closed that day. They escort people over the bridge (5 miles) when the winds are high or visibility is poor. So if you are trying to get either way when it closes you had better have a plan B. That's what its all about, being prepared and making good choices.
A lot of folks have been without power. Again, the secret is planning. Knowing where you live and knowing how to cope when things go wrong. We are lucky here, we don't deal with hurricanes or earthquakes. We do get occasional tornadoes and we do get blizzards. Sometimes forest fires but not on the scale that the folks out west get. Michigan is a pretty safe state if you respect the elements.
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Animals need special care. Bijou had her hair cut but Bella did not. has a coat on. You can not let animals stay out for any length of time. Even with a coat, their pads on their feet can get frost bite. No problem with these girls. If they don't want to go out there is always the piddle pad by the back door. The cat has a litter box that I seldom have to empty. Well, she has been staying in, I can tell.
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In the house we need to keep candles on hand. We have them somewhere or other in every room. The power here in town is not often off for long, so that when it is its fun. If you live out in the country though, best to invest in a generator. Keep bottled water on hand and a good food pantry. I have always been in the habit of having a stock of food. A flash light and batteries are handy and a radio. When I was a kid, the essential thing was a hot water bottle. I do actually have an old china one here just to remind me of "the olden days". I remember going to bed with my hat and scarf, gloves and hot water bottle. Me and the dog would snuggle to keep warm, but inevitably sleep was hard come by when your breath would frost in the air. The windows would have ice on them inside, and a small trace of snow would be on the window sill come morning. So.......Michigan can not really get me down. I know how to get warm if I have to. Everyone in one bed to begin with and the dogs as well. Maybe the cat?????
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I remember one year when my aunt and uncle had to come to our house on Bidwell Hill every day for water and a bath. The pipes froze under the main road. (In England) When we first came here my sister in law and family came to our house for the night when their furnace went out. It was quite soon after coming here and as happy as I was to have them, I didn't get it. My kids were born in England and mums house had no heat upstairs even then. When Laura was a baby I would go in and make sure she was covered at night, but quite often she was outside the covers fast asleep. Granted it was not sub zero but even so it was bloody cold. Still the kids were healthy and cold didn't bother them.
Now, I find the houses way to warm for me and I like nothing more than standing with the door open while the dogs go potty, and feeling the cold on my skin. I love husband is always yelling "shut the door" .........ah well.
Winter.......its long, really long, almost 6 months of it. I love the change in seasons and I do not like the heat. So apart from the travel aspect that I no longer have to worry about that much, I enjoy the winters. Shorter would be nice but hey, its better than a hurricane.


JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

And that, ladies and gents, is exactly why we live in the Pacific Northwest - LOL But I'm glad you know how to survive it.

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

My parents being from New York always instilled the respect for your climate in me. Even though we now live in SE Tennessee, every winter I put my heavy coat, warm gloves and knit hat in my car along with other items of need. The last several winters have been mild here, but this year has been a doozy. We have had more single digit and below zero wind chills. But I do love winter and I do love the cold. Oppressive heat makes me ill. As much as I love California (lived there from 1960-76 and 1985-90) I don't think I could stand the heat again.

Magic Love Crow said...

I am with you Janice! I am a winter girl! I am always opening the door, and I don't have any animals! LOL! I love being outside! Snow shoveling isn't fun, but I love breathing in that cold air ;o)

NanaDiana said...

Janice- I can so identify with all of that. I wonder sometimes why I continue to live here but know it is because of my kids/family. I do NOT like the cold and would love to be South for the winter. Although, I must say- I turn the heat WAY down at night because I like it cold to sleep.

Have a good COLD day! xo Diana