Oh winter is really coming.
Daylight Savings Time has ended (the concept to be discussed in a separate post…it deserves one); clocks were adjusted to an hour back. Plus the other day, it was so cold that I added the extra layer – a wool blanket / bed sheet – on our already bed sheet covered mattress to help keep us warm through the colder nights.
I used to be excited to experience real winter, not the kind that we experienced in Dubai. You know the winter in the song “Winter Wonderland”, the winter when “Frosty the Snowman” frolicked with ear muffed, scarfed children stomping through the blanket of shiny white snow or sledding down the hill, the winter where everyone gathered in front of a roaring fireplace, the winter when you’d lie down in the snow and flap your arms and legs to create snow angels?
That winter with the biting cold and, most importantly, snow. And lucky for us, since we live in North Texas, we still get to experience a little bit of snow.
But winter, even if the snow showers are hypnotising, dazzling (I can stare at it as long as the snow falls – maybe a relatively shorter time here in Texas), can be a pain. There are just these little things that I never imagined would make life a little more challenging during the cold months.
How so? Let’s go through a number of day-to-day winter concerns one by one…
- It’s time to bring out the winter collection! I consider myself lucky since we live in a small space. Its small enough that I do not need to pack our winter clothes in boxes. But yes, it is time to say goodbye to shorts, your favorite lightweight cotton tops and sundresses.
- Speaking of winter clothes, one cannot get out of the house without the proper layers – wool bonnet, under shirt and/or thermal shirt, coat, scarf, gloves, pants (good thing I don’t need thermal underpants), socks, boots. Sometimes I feel that I spend more time layering clothes on versus the time spent picking up the mail.
- No more sleeping in night shirts or a short set. Say hello to full on long sleeved shirts, pajamas and wool socks. Cotton socks won’t do you any good.
- Cooking fried food is extra challenging. On normal non-winter days, I usually turn the fans on and keep the doors open to let the smoke out and, of course, prevent the smoke alarm from ringing up the Fire Department. But during the winter, opening the door means letting the cold in and letting the warm air out. That means our heater would have a harder time keeping us, humans warm. Therefore, working harder, which means more electricity spent. Kaching-kaching.
- And yes, electricity bills are at an all time high during the winter months. This is since our apartment’s heating is powered by electricity. In some homes, they use heating oil, so, of course, that adds to the usual bills paid on non-winter days.
- The heater emits dry heat, which means it zaps all the moisture from your skin. So if you’re not used to slathering lotion on you skin, you need to pick up the habit, unless you want to suffer unquenchable itching for the rest of the winter months. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
- Speaking of insatiable, your hunger also seems to be insatiable! Yes, you are ALWAYS hungry. Apparently, the body needs more food to help keep it warm in the cold. Hence, the hunger. Winter is not good if you are struggling to keep off the pounds. Or you just have to work extra hard in the winter months to nullify the extra calories.
- I also think that we do waste a little bit more water in the winter. Not because of increased consumption (You can actually get away with not taking a bath. Wink!), but because it does take too long for the water to warm up. So all that cold water just gets flushed down the drain as you wait for the water to get to the perfect dishwashing or bathing temperature.
- Let’s also not forget about the hair situation. I’m a wash and wear kind of girl. So using the hair dryer is such a pain. And with freezing temperatures, going out with wet hair is not an ideal situation. For the ladies (and men) with long hair, the hair dryer is your best friend during winter.
- Oh, and your lips’ best friend is a good emollient lip balm for chapped lips. You will get chapped lips.
- If you don’t have a covered garage, the snow and ice will be a pain for you and your car. You need to learn how to chip off hardened snow or ice on your windshield and rear window. No, a halo-halo ice shaver won’t work. Instead, you can get a plastic ice scraper at your neighborhood supermart.
- I thank God that the snow is not so heavy in our part of the US because we don’t need snow shovels or blowers!Can you imagine the snow clearing work you need to do if you lived in places up north with so much more snow like New York, Chicago, Seattle or Canada? YIKES. My back is in pain at the thought.
- Even with the heater turned on and the socks and the jammies and the sweater, you still won’t feel warm enough. So you do need to bundle up some more with cozy mini blankets / throw blankets, which reminds me that we still don’t have that.
- Winter is also the flu season. I actually am beefing up my immune system because I cannot afford to get sick. Remember how much we spent at the dentist? Well, I don’t want to spend any more at the doctor!
- I talked about the ice storm last year. And I don’t miss the slippery roads, which is a challenge to walk on. You actually glide on them, like skating. So I do get praning about slipping and hitting my head on the concrete floor.
- And more on the ice storm, whenever temperatures go below freezing, I can’t afford to forget to not drip our faucets. Don’t want those pipes to explode!
- I noticed that, in winter, my wedding ring gets loose whenever it hits the outdoor cold weather. I fear that one day it would slip off my finger and get lost. I sometimes put the ring in my pocket, but still get praning that I would forget it or it would accidentally slip out when I pull out something else from my pocket. As you can see, my neuroses shines the brightest right now.
- And yes, the cold weather makes it oh-so hard to get out from under the covers. Lazies every darn day!
Sooooo many things to do during the winter season right? Is it still the winter wonderland I’ve dreamt of? I do enjoy the cold weather, but it really is not so merry and bright all the time. Dami seremonyas! Di ba?
Any other lifestyle changes you’ve noticed during winter?