Baby, It’s Cold Outside; Forty-Eight Weeks In

I don’t know if it was the polar vortex that settled itself on us, or the two days off of school because of Teacher’s Convention, or the fact that all four of us had dental appointments, but last week felt like it was six weeks long. I thought it was Thursday on Tuesday, and then Wednesday I was just completely confused all day.

Today is also a holiday; it’s Family Day, the designated day in the midst of winter to spend quality time with one’s family, which is great, because I have HARDLY SPENT ANY TIME with mine in the past eleven months. Clearly this holiday was not created with a pandemic in mind, but still, it’s kind of nice to have an extended long weekend, even with nowhere to go and nothing in particular to do. You know, except for Family Togetherness.

I am happy to say that, even with the polar vortex and temperatures dipping into the MINUS FORTIES with windchill, my step streak is still unbroken. My “looking nice while obtaining said steps” streak has been destroyed, however.

Who am I kidding, that was destroyed weeks ago. There’s nothing quite like iced-over eyelashes, which my friend Barret (HI BARRET) calls Manitoba Mascara.

Well, some places have brutally long, cold winters, some places have oppressively hot summers, some have both (I’m looking at you, Southern Ontario), some places rain a lot, some places have hurricanes and tornadoes and ice storms. Unless we all move to Maui, there is bound to be some weather-related unpleasantness. I have even heard that people who do live in places like Maui “miss the seasonal changes” which, well, I can’t really picture thinking ANYTHING at all would be less than perfect in Maui but who knows. Maybe I too would miss the seasonal changes. I don’t THINK I would miss the Reynaud’s and the aching hands and the never-getting-warm-again feeling of minus 30 but I will reserve judgement.

Back to reality, there is nothing to be done except wait it out and look for my invincible inner summer while reading, working on a Golden Girls puzzle, and drinking a lot of coffee. (Oh, I see you’re a coffee drinker the dental hygienist said conversationally.) I actually watched TWO episodes of the Crown over the weekend, which I count as binge-watching, and is more than I’ve watched over the past four weeks. At this rate I might actually finish Season Four before Season Five comes out. (IS there a Season Five coming out? I have no idea. I am the worst binge-watcher that ever there was.) Happily, things are looking up this week weather-wise, and also, heart-shaped chocolates are now cut-price at the grocery store, so we all win.

Outfit of the Week

So here’s the thing: twice a week I teach zoom yoga from my basement, but on Mondays I actually leave the house – an outing! I’m going somewhere! – to teach zoom yoga from a community centre. As bizarre as it is to be all by myself (cue music) in a giant room, it’s also really nice to, as I said, leave the house.

The only time it’s not great is when there is a polar vortex and the community centre is even colder than normal. Hence this week’s outfit, the warmest one I have!

That sweater is literally like a bathrobe. It is so cozy and warm, and it actually weighs a ton. Underneath is yoga pants, tank, and fairly thick tee for teaching. My friend Amy (HI AMY) made that mala, and it is so meaningful to me. I love it so much.

Quick! Put the sweater back on! Barkley is voicing his concern for my well-being.

Legwarmers, of course! My warmest “teaching” ones, on the cold, cold community centre floor.

All by myselllllfffff, don’t wanna be all by myself, anymore.

Pandemic Reading

Thanks to Allison for recommending this! This biography was the actual inspiration for the musical, and I like to think of Lin-Manuel reading this and thinking, hey, that would make a great song. I mean. How incredible is that. This is full of interesting details – there are SOME dry spots, like the writing of the Federalist papers – and really paints a picture of what life was like in the Caribbean and in America at that time. I was pretty fascinated by the description of the Caribbean and the sugar industry in the late 1700s; it was pretty wild and disturbing. The politics of the time really foreshadow the American Civil War, and it’s really interesting to see it all laid out.

I really wish there was more information available about Eliza Hamilton, and Lin-Manuel probably took some poetic license there about her burning all her letters after the Reynolds pamphlet, but it could be true. I mean, her husband described in detail his extramarital affair; I would probably burn everything too. Maybe even the house. Maybe even my husband IN the house.

Did you know that Hamilton was instrumental in starting up the textile manufacturing industry in America? I did not! It is also another piece of the set-up to the Civil War, seeing the North industrializing while the South stayed more agricultural, and, of course, relying on slavery to do so. Lots of information to digest in this one, and it’s a long book, so take it from me: pause all your other library holds if you take this on.

I am not normally a ghost story/ murder mystery kind of girl, but this was a really fun diversion after reading Alexander Hamilton. It’s the type of book that has plucky Nancy Drew-like characters and two different time periods, that are connected. The description of the 80s outfits and pop culture were PRETTY fun.

This poor puppers hasn’t been for a walk in ten days! Good thing he’s super lazy. The cold is a bit much for his arthritic old hips, so I think he’ll be happy about a milder forecast. You know, if he knew what a forecast was.

Have a beautiful, hopefully half-priced chocolate-filled week! xo


  1. We have an arthritic pet, too, but ours is a cat. He turned 18 yesterday, or somewhere in the vicinity of yesterday. When we adopted him the shelter said he was from a mid-February litter and he didn’t have an official birthday until North decided it should be Valentine’s Day. We gave him a bunch of cat treats to celebrate.

    I commend you for walking when it’s so cold.

  2. My cat, Petey, hasn’t tried to escape outside in a long time. The door opens and he runs!

  3. Well I have read Alexander Hamilton AND another Simone St. James book that sounds very much like the Simone St. James book you are reading now – I feel so close to you! I think I would miss the seasons a tiny bit – although I think that about winter less and less the older I get – but you should live in Maui. You need it, you deserve it, I would love to make it happen. They keep saying it’s very cold here, but I keep walking Lucy in her coat and both of us are too warm – as Matt says, it’s the time here when the sun being out makes a huge difference. But I did underdress the other day and stopped for gas and my fingers were too cold to pump a full tank.

  4. Manitoba Mascara! FAMILY DAY! I love both concepts.

    PS Your toe polish is excellent!

  5. I will NOT complain here about being cold….because compared to your weather we are practically having a heat wave. I love the Manitoba Mascara!!

  6. I need to get me some of them there legwarmers!

  7. I have not heard of family day. How great, but yes – during a pandemic maybe not necessary. When I was scrolling down in the first outfit photo, I caught the top of Barkly and thought you were wearing some form of furry legwarmers. I wouldn’t blame you. I cannot believe you are still getting outside. I couldn’t do it. I might be tied with you for inability to binge watch. I can’t do it. I just started watching the Crown a few months ago, but I’m only maybe 5 episodes into it. I do want to read that Hamilton book.

    Oh – so funny that you mention Maui, I have a Maui related story that I hope to post next week. I’m with Allison, I think the older I get the less I care about living somewhere where I can ‘enjoy’ a change in seasons.

    Stay warm!

  8. Again, I can’t even imagine the below zero temps. MIND BLOWING that you can get out there and walk.
    I love your yoga outfits….I’ll never have an excuse to wear leg warmers in my life unless I come and visit you.
    I read Allisons review of Hamilton and I too thought it sounded really interesting.

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