Monday, February 08, 2021

Deep Freeze


It finally happened-a properly snowy, cold winter in Omaha. We've been spoiled  in recent years and I try to remind myself of that fact as I dig our cars out after yet another snowstorm. This week, and for at least the next 10 days, we're getting the cold. Real, old-fashioned-freeze-your-tits-off cold.-13 F which is something like -23 C for everyone outside the United States. So yeah, cold. I'll leave the faucets dripping slowly overnight, and open the cabinets beneath the kitchen sink but other than that, all we can do is hope. I've recently re-vamped part of the basement so the majority of my good vintage is now stored in airtight plastic containers. I was thinking moths at the time, but probably good protection from burst pipes. I can't do anything about the streets though-expect burst water mains all over the city before this is over. Glad I don't work for MUD (Metropolitan Utilities District). If it were up to me they'd all get pay raises. 

My bedroom faces north and is freezing. This is fine most of the year, pleasant even but right now it is 55 degrees F. in my room (with the central heating thermostat set to 70 and it still can't keep up). If it gets much worse, I'll be decamping to the living room with pillows and blankets. Danny's room gets so hot he closed the vent! Old houses are curious, but this place isn't even that old-I mean it is by local standards, but it was only built in '68. Anyway, I have a good system:

If my typical response holds, by the middle of the night I'll be kicking off blankets because hot flashes don't end with menopause. Neither do migraines, but a migraine won't keep you warm in an arctic blast. 

Because I'm a Midwesterner and a storm spotter (*waves*) I feel it is my responsibility to remind you that if you live in a place that gets winter, you need an emergency kit in your car. You don't need the sort of temperatures we're experiencing to get into trouble either-hypothermia can happen at 40 degrees if you're ill prepared. 

So You're Going to Drive in Winter. The following things should go in the trunk/boot:
Small First Aid kit
Extra gloves/socks/hats
High energy snacks
Bottled Water
A metal tin that you can melt frozen water in (you did pack waterproof matches, right?)
Phone charger that you can crank

So those are the things I'd want at a minimum. A small shovel is helpful if you get stuck in snow, as is a small bag of kitty litter for traction on ice. Better yet, just don't go out in these conditions. It is also a good idea to check your battery. We invested in a portable charger a few years back and it has paid for itself. If you live in a place that gets very cold, but not cold enough to require investing in a block heater, the portable jumper thing is nice. It is also compact and won't take up much room in the car. 

OK, lecture over. I'll be back to warn you not to drive into flooded areas come spring thaw. 

Clothes, you say? Oh, I can do that though the wardrobe is getting a bit into the dregs as far as things you haven't seen before. Instead, I'm trying to mix them up a bit, some more successfully than others. 
Last wearing for this dress was spring of 2018. Obviously too cold to go sleeveless now, so I pulled up the cape sleeves and treated them like a scarf and wore the dress with a frock coat over.
Hard to believe it is the same dress. When in doubt, I wear a big belt and that too seemed like a good choice. I wore this to go out and pick up a few items at Target. Sure, I was over-dressed but when am I not?! I don't wear a great deal of bright pink, but I knew the day I found this dress it would be something I could wear. 
This entire outfit is thrifted save for the boots. I don't think it cost more than ten dollars, handbag included. 
This...this was a mood. I can't see dressing like this too often, but I wasn't going anywhere, so why not? 
So yeah, this is all thrifted vintage as well save for the tights. The acrylic Sears  poloneck unzips in back so you won't spoil your roller-set. The 80s purple leather skirt shows every lump and bump but at my age I truly don't care. Clog boots and handbag were both Goodwill finds that probably set me back $3.99 each. 
This 80s dress was today, but only briefly before the migraine and vertigo made me get into a velour tracksuit and back into bed. As I mentioned on Instagram, I know when it will be worth trying to force myself and when it will only make things worse. I slept all day and now in the evening am feeling well enough to sit up in bed and look at the computer. Anyway, the dress stayed clean so it will get another wear soon. 
The belt is falling apart but the buckle is still good, so time to replace it. 
That Givenchy choker gets plenty of wear but the matching earrings don't. I wonder if I should just move them on? I didn't buy them as a set, but was lucky enough to find the earrings. Or maybe not, as they're too heavy to wear! Decisions. 

Some other accessories...

And a few more...

I'll leave you with what might possibly be the most Iowan headline ever...
"Florida Man" is getting some serious competition from Council Bluffs Man. 

Allrighty, stay warm and away from other people. 


Bibi Maizoon said...

I am loving your bright pink Fanny Cradock dress as well as your swoon worthy jewelry collection ( especially the Indian pieces).
It has been unseasonably warm here in my little Himalayan valley, usually we get a couple of light frosts in January but none so far. Averaging about 70F/21C daily which is 5 degrees warmer than usual.
Your winter driving supplies are a must for driving in the Himalayas year round!
Where did you get those divine mustard tights?
Stay safe and warm,

bahnwärterin said...

-23°C! thats really sporty!
we have only around -10°C at nights, enough for my taste. and i guess a 130 y.o. european house is much more substantiell with its thick double brick walls. the missing isolation in the roof gets substituted by a thick layer of snow at the moment :-D but i sleep with a wooly hat, pullover and legwarmers under a thick down blanket because i close the vents too.....
and the BW has "fun" making the 500m driveway drivable.

the pink dress worn like this is so very cool! genius!! and i love the purple leather skirt with bright red and mustard yellow. and lots of stunning jewelry again!
give the heavy earrings away or wear them as brooches - the ear has many accupuncture/accupressure points which can be treated the wrong way by heavy earrings or strong clips.......

stay warm and safe!

Señora Allnut said...

Sorry that you have to deal with cold and snow!, these temperatures look like something incredible for me, I feel very lucky to live in a warm climate!.
Your advice on driving in Real Winter is totally common sense, particularly your advice on Not Driving when conditions are bad. We always carry some bottled water in our car, also a torch and other useful stuff (and snow chains, just in case), but many people don't carry even the minimal stuff even in the middle of a snow storm.
Love the way you've winterized your pink dress, and love your big buckle. And your fabulous jewellery collection! wow!.
You rock this leather skirt and red pullover!, looking so fabulous! and love those boots and bag!.
Sorry that you have those migraines, and hoping you feel better soon.

Vix said...

We've got -11°C forecast for tonight, that's bad enough. Rather you than me!
That's a wonderful list for the car, one of my blog friends works on the helpline for a well known breakdown assistance compnay and they always avocate cat litter in the boot too, Jon keeps ransacking the supply for the litter tray.
Genius idea to use those chiffon sleeves as a scarf! xxx

Polyester Princess said...

Minus 23°C sounds truly horrendous. I don't think I've ever experienced temperatures like that! We are having a cold snap, which in Belgium means less than a week of sub-zero temps. Suddenly Covid seems to have taken a backseat on the news, it's all "extreme" weather related :-) I do think that Jos can drive me to Antwerp and back without the need of an emergency kit!
Your pink dress is gorgeous in both its incarnations. It's looking very sophisticated worn with the frock coat and belt.
Wonderful parade of jewellery, but I'm particularly enamoured by the ducks and duckling brooch and hidden earrings!
Glad you're feeling a bit better xxx

Emily said...

It was brilliant of you to wear the pink dress with the black coat. The cascading, voluminous ruffles call to mind a rhododendron in full bloom, which is perfect for lifting the spirits on a cold winter day.

Could you wear the Givenchy earrings as shoe clips or put a short length of chain between them and turn them into a sweater clip? They're so pretty, it would be hard to give them up. Almost as hard as imagining the duck brooch being separated from the secret duck earrings (what an exceptionally clever design that is!).

Being a native Floridian, I've always loved the Florida Man meme. I suspect that for every humorous Midwestern headline involving a backhoe, a cow, or the YMCA, you could substitute the word "alligator," "python" or "strip club" and you'd get the Florida Man equivalent. Oh, but let's not forget that Florida Man is usually stark naked while making headlines. I suppose that doesn't happen in the Midwest this time of year!

Stay warm, and I hope the migraines leave you alone.

Anonymous said...

Loved the pink outfit. What a cheery outfit as we approach Valentine's Day. I found your jewelry show really interesting too. I showed my husband the pictures of your new to you antique pins. We got into a nice discussion over whether they where Marcasite or cut steel. Had to look up the difference. I went to my stash and pulled out a couple of belt buckles of similar look.

I do not have a blog but have been following yours and some of the other commenters here for a few years. I am 68 yrs old ,thrift shopping since the 1970s and sewing much of my own clothing for 25 yrs .I used to teach Fine Arts part time at our community college ( pottery and drawing ) for 36yrs. I miss the diversity and conversations we would have there . My aging Mother and Covid up ended my "retirement " goals.

For some reason your blog is the only one I seem to be able to comment on and post.
Stay Safe , Stay warm as you can. And Thank-you .
Gail from Pa.

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

And I thought -1 or -2 degrees was cold!

Your list was very helpful and although I have quite a few of those in my car already; when the weather is cold, snowy or icy I'm not driving anywhere...

Fabulous outfits and the jewellery was gorgeous. The duckling earrings and duck brooch was too cute for words!

Stay warm and burst pipe free.

Beth Waltz said...

We're also having real winter weather here in Indiana, which presents a challenge for organizations caring for the homeless population. Covid-19 restrictions have decimated the corps of elderly volunteers who staffed the warming centers. Some small family (single moms with lots of kiddies) shelters have opened their living areas to men, with the results one might anticipate. It's literally hell frozen over in some situations.

Thanks, Goody, for showing the backs of your jewelry pieces. Those ducks are truly unique!

I'd add one item to the emergency car kit. For years my contribution to "gag gift" birthday parties or showers has been a homemade port-a-loo, a covered detergent or kitty litter bucket, stocked with several inches of litter, a toilet roll, a plumber's candle and a small tin of matches. It's funny how many giftees have later told me the set-up came in handy!

Goody said...

I imagine driving in Nepal is a bit trickier as you can't just call AAA if you get stuck. At least Nebraska is flat. I bought the tights about 10 years ago at Walgreen's. They had all kinds of assorted colours on a big clear out so I bought them all.

It has only grown colder since I posted. We have another week of this ahead. I don't want to think about -40 temperature windchills but I'm told that's the same in F and C.
I did so much damage to my poor ears wearing heavy earrings in the 80s-it is a wonder I can still wear them at all.
I hope you are are well.

@Senora Allnut
It always shocks me how people will just get in a car and go without considering conditions-and then expect to be rescued when they run into trouble. Oh well, what can you do? I'm glad you're wiser than that!

You'd have the perfect wardrobe for our weather-those giant fur hats of yours would be perfect.
The other thing that works well if you get stuck in mud or snow is small rugs/pieces of carpet. If you have any old, useless rugs keep them in the boot and if you get stuck they can sometimes help under the wheels.

It got much worse! I've always lived in cold climates so I can't really say I'm not used to it, but a two week long stretch of it is very unusual. After the plague ends you should come visit some winter-just to say you've been somewhere where your eyelashes can freeze :)

I wasn't going to buy the brooch but I was at a thrift store buying half a dozen other pieces when the woman working the counter pointed it out to me-I'm glad she did. At first glance it really doesn't seem like anything special.
I used to visit Miami Beach quite a bit in the late 70s/early 80s and loved it. Jacksonville was scary though, and I say that as a Chicagoan that doesn't scare easily. Maybe it is better now but at the time it really felt like you could happen upon a Klan rally at any minute. Didn't see any naked drunks though!
I'm having the ophthalmologist check my eyes first to be sure it isn't being caused by a medication I take building up behind the eyes (it happens), but if that's clear, I was given the name and number of a chiropractor that has been helping someone I know with migraines. It is a drag, but I'm sure we'll figure something out eventually.

Thank you. I don't know why other blogs are hard to comment on-they re-did the Blogger stuff recently and it broke it for a number of people using older computers. I had a terrible time figuring out a way to post photos.
I believe they're cut steel, given the age and the way they sparkle. I've seen some cut-steel tiaras that in the right candlelight could definitely pass for diamonds.
It is so isolating being at home this long from Covid-I wonder if any of us will still be able to hold conversations when this is over? Then again, I'm so thankful for the Internet, a luxury not available during earlier pandemics. I try to remind myself that my grandmother spent the 1917 flu pandemic in Siberia, which had to be a LOT worse than anything I'm dealing with being stuck at home! Hope you stay well.

I keep going out to drive my car a bit each day just to ensure the battery stays charged but once we hit the weekend with projected sub-sub zero temps, there won't be much I can do about it. I've pulled out every blanket in the house and we're bundled up so hopefully all we'll have from it is a good story when it is over.
Stay well.

Our so-called "Warming centers" are really inadequate. The public library does a better job of keeping people safe and out of the cold. This is the Midwest-it gets cold. Every. Damn. Year. Really, they're just letting people die.
I like your porta-a-potty idea! Stay safe (and warm).

Mim said...

I can't imagine it being that cold - Pete thinks I'm loopy for wearing socks and a jumper to bed, but I can't sleep when I'm cold. Your room sounds far too chilly.

I hope you're able to warm up a bit!

Goody said...

It gets absolutely frozen in that room-even the walls feel like ice. It faces north which certainly doesn't help. I saw an article about a study indicating that people who wear socks to bed sleep better and fall asleep faster-so tell Pete to mind his own business!