How have you been coping in this bitter cold weather?

1270317843i7t8u91.jpgHow are you all enjoying our lovely COLD weather these days?  It was bad enough to have been snow bound for h0w many days?  How many centimeters?  Breaking records since 197what?  And yes {sigh!} I am old enough to vaguely remember.

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Initially, when I started writing this blog, I had young children in mind who were cooped up in the house due this cold weather and I was thinking about what parents and stay at home moms/dads were able to come up with as resources to occupy their offsprings {good word…springing up and down and going bonkers from not enough to do!!! if you can’t diffuse that pent up energy outside.}

I was fortunate enough to raise my children at that age (under 5) in Suburbia and I also had an amazing neighbour/friend who rescued me from shere insanity many a times…”Bless you Janet, and thank you! Paul sure helped too by being more of a kid than our kids:)” …but for those families living in condos and apartments…not as well acquainted with their surroundings, neighbours or community activities I thought I would share a few ideas that worked for me.

WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOGCAST  FOR THIS  IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT  ON THE COLD FRONT…I was also thinking of adults…like me and not so fortunate individuals who had to brave this cold snap we had last week.   It is true, that we are now enjoying a balmy -6C today, so that cold stuff  has already passed as you read this, yet,  Winter is NOT over and more COLD {brrrrrr} is sure to return and maybe even with fury… So…BEWARE!

ALL last week,  I kept telling myself, “It’s gonna get warmer tomorrow”…but nope, it got colder and windier each  day.  So how cold was it? -26C but factoring the windchill made it rise to -40!!  I was pretty proud of my 2003 Hyundai Tiburon though;  it started at the first try after being id0l for 7 days…good lil’ shark that she is:)  We shall NOT talk about the lost air in my tires…that could be for another blog and I am starting to see more and more that helium inflated tires may be a good idea…but moving on…

2003 Hyundai Tiburon

2003 Hyundai Tiburon


A cyclist is braving the cold as he is cycling on Rachel street in Montreal on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 on a very cold night. e temperature will dip to mid minus-30s Celsius with windchill.
Photograph by: Marie-France Coallier, The Gazette

I have to admit that I have not seen7857200 7857402 7857202 this cold weather last so long since a long long time;  I thought of less fortunate folks who could not brave this cold weather such as homeless persons, people who did not have warm enough winter clothes and   some residents who went  without hydro who, hopefully some  had warm wool and down blankets to keep warm for a while. The homeless may not all have had that option…

Back to this Cold weather … There were several weather warnings and here are a few that the media advised the public about:

  • Hydro pleads to residents to reduce Power during peak hours.

  • Protecting pets: Take precautions to keep dogs and cats safe as temperatures dip. My son and daughter-in-law went to see the strays on Ile Charon yesterday…Why isnt anyone doing anything about those poor strays?   To make matters worse, the hotel (I wont mention since I don`t want to give it a good rating since management warns employees of expulsion from their  jobs if they feed the strays!) If you want to spread the word to get some people involved here is a link about these strays

Strays at Ile Charon...

Strays at Ile Charon…


Cold weather also means icy roads…black ice …watch out folks!! Slow down!!!

  • Shelters gather homeless during cold snap but what if some do not make it the shelters?  I finish work late and get to the Bonaventure Metro Station about 11p.m. every night and I see many homeless huddled in warmth, trying to get a few hours of “warm” sleepy time before being sent out to the streets (and sometimes they may choose not to go to shelters).

“The Welcome Home Mission works with the Old Brewery Mission and Maison du P’ere toprovide a shuttle service between shelters.  When on reaches capacity, the shuttle will drive people to another shelter which has vacant beds.  Altogether the three shelters can provide beds for 600 people.  On Thursday, 573 were in use.”…  read more

It’s a good thing, I had the day off last Sunday, so it gave me the opportunity to shop and I found a really warm “pilot” style winter hat for half price.  And it IS very warm.  By the time I end my shift and leave the centre, it is close to midnight and the wind-chill is excruciating.  All I have to do is lower that furry flap over my forehead, 20130128_041555pull down the ear flaps and tie this lovely invention under my chin and I am snug as a bug…well, you get my drift.

I doubt many people could do much “outdoor” sports this past week either.  Maybe some brave soul got to do some cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing…at least within a few minutes you get into the woods and are protected “somewhat” from the cold.  Other than that, it is time to find things to do inside. I don’t envy families with young children who really need to be entertained and busy busy busy. Some have houses and so, the children can probably expend some of that energy indoors; some are in daycares and the workers have lots of tricks and things they can do…but for the apartment or condo sheltered little family or single parent family, it might get a tad challenging.

This is a great time to have arts and craft instruments on hand.  It need not be expensive either.  I did not always have Play dough…but rather made it with flour. The colour it always ended up being was this turquoise bluish tone…somewhat like that the tones on this website.  So, um, yeah, it is probably because I like those colours. I used to keep a huge suitcase as well filled with clothes for “dress-up”. The kids seemed to have fun with that.  It was my “rainy day” kiddy tool for those cold/rainy days stuck indoors. Board games can be fun but for the little guys under 5 you might consider easier ones that they can WIN 😛 ;  games like Memory, card games (War) or just having them guess (red or black).

My grandson used to love to just do spelling  20130126_141931
or additions 20130126_141856    …I kid you not!! From the place mat that came along with the booster seat. Painting of all sorts is always fun…finger painting for the parent who does not mind messes…”Uh, isn’t that the whole point of this wonderful art form?”;  What else did we do when we felt like climbing the walls…reading stories, making up stories…I like that part.

And switching that around and asking your child to tell YOU a story is pretty  cool too. Working on a puzzle can actually be a seasonal family thing set up in a 20130126_142228 a nice corner reserved in your family room pantomimes are fun for any age, games like Mother Mother May I can be fun and of course baking together can be a scrumptious passtime…licking the bowl and mixing utensils are the best part!!  Watching the baking in anticipation through your not too dirty oven window…kids really don’t care as long as the lights on, they are content. These days, with super smart phones having recorders and video recorders…well, that  can encouarge some form of entertainment and you being the camera person and your child being the singer, actor, lecturer…dancer…the list is limitless. Have your child choose from a list 3 things so it makes it less overwhelming to decide (for some children).

Taking a bubble bath and tricking your child by saying you have decided to invite them to a SPA day…so the bath with those bubbles can last a good 30 minutes (adding hot water now and then of course); then trimming those fingernails and toenails…putting on some nailpolish…do NOT go all weird and frantic if your little boy wants to partake in the Pedi-manicure…hey! it’s a SPA day…chill why don’t you and have fun.  Kids do NOT have biases like us adults do…kids do not care if they wear pink or camouflage green and boys and girls alike dress up to look like other people they have seen or know.  So let them have fun! If your 4 year old starts dancing all dressed up looking like Cindy Lauper or Lady Gaga…get over it…they are mimicking!!! what they see…they are not all of a sudden “premature sex goddesses”  Pullleeze.

If you have a little tent, set it up in the living room and pretend you are camping…lay out a table cloth (or beach towel) and have your lunch there.  That’s pretty cool and kids love it.  If you don’t have a tent…let the kids make their own with couch cushions and sheets/blankets…that’s fun and it may have taken them a good 30 minutes just to set it up…during that time, you can read a magazine or no brainer novel with ONE eye and relax a little too with our cuppa whatever    makes you happy. Have a tea party.  Boys and girls love this too.  There is decaf tea but for the “pure” and granola parent…herbal teas that are fruity etc. can do the trick too.  The point is to have those cute lil’ teacups (if you don’t have that, you may have a few espresso cups that are just the same).  I love this best.

Kids love to pretend they are grown ups, don’t you remember? I used to drink my sugary milky tea when I was under 5 many times and it was a special time for me. As for baking or cooking…if you don’t have too much patience…just asking your child to stir for a while…or set them up with their own bowl of what you are doing…yes, yes, you can do it double…it is a lot cheaper than spending the afternoon at those pricey kid entertaining places, right?  I rest my case. Now if you want to set up your Wii or PS1,2 or 3…set your child on the computer…that’s fine too…but more than an hour is way enough for any child under 5…so try to add to the list of things I just shared…oh yeah, did I mention, “Hide and go Seek”?… And if you are burning to exercise…well, put on some of your favourite dance music and dance away in your living room…the kids don’t car about how you or they look…they just go with the rhythm and the beat.

7857205   I am sure if this weird weather cold to milder to too warm for winter is due to global warming but it sure is unpredictable.  We are aiming for mild mild weather by Wednesday…ok, so today I was wearing my sheep lined boots and Wednesday I may have to wear my rubber rain boots.  Well, it does help to add versatility to day to day outerwear…I hve many many winter coats of varying warmth depending on the roller coaster weather we get. If we are going to suffer through this, may as well do it in style:)

Watch that ice in the meantime…help out someone struggling on the icy sidewalks or parking lots of malls…

especially lil`old ladies like me…565896_321340717981189_727961699_n

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, Tao2Oat, January 27, 2013

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