Tag Archives: farmers’ almanac

No Spring for You!

A multiple sclerosis weather report

Harvey Leonard majorly annoyed me yesterday.

What, you don’t know who Harvey Leonard is? He is the Boston area’s head honcho in the meteorology world. He’s been at it for over thirty years, cutting his teeth as a somewhat newbie during the infamous Blizzard of 78.

What, you’ve never heard of the Blizzard of 78? It was the weather event of the millennium. You can’t call yourself a true New Englander unless you have a Blizzard of 78 story. I was nine. My story featured me panicking about a giant tidal wave wiping out my town. The snow was nothing, just an excuse to miss school for a bit.

 

Anyway, I was watching Harvey yesterday when he said something that really made me mad. I was so furious that I actually wrote it down. And then I accidentally threw the piece of paper away. But he said something kind of like this, “you’ll definitely need a coat today and no one is happy about that.”

How does he know? He doesn’t speak for me. Perhaps I AM happy about it Mr. Leonard, thank you very much.

 

You may know your weather, getting your reports accurate about 35% of the time as opposed to the 32% accuracy rating of your fellow weathermen,-statistics courtesy of yvonnedesousa.com which means they are totally made up- but I doubt you know what is in the mind of the entire population of Massachusetts. Most of the time I don’t even know what’s in my own mind, so how can you?

As many of you know from some of my past blogs, thinking especially of Chop Their Happy Little Heads Off, I do not like spring. Spring is the least favorite of my seasons.

And may I remind you that I have not once complained about what many seem to think was a treacherous winter.

 

I have not complained about the cold, the rain, the snow, or the wind.

I have not once complained about the several predicted storms we heard about whether or not they actually showed up.

Going back to last October, I did not complain about how dark it gets so early following Daylight Savings Time.

I DID complain about how confusing Daylight Savings Time is in my post Falling Backwards but that was a complaint about math, not the onslaught of winter or the cold or the dark.

 

I am an autumn/winter person and thus was happy when the Farmer’s Almanac talked about a long winter and was even happier when their predictions came true- take that Mr. Leonard!

By not complaining about any of that I respectfully reserve the right to complain about my least favorite season spring, and my second to least favorite season summer. Let’s begin now shall we? Except the irony of all of this is that we who live in the northeast part of the country don’t even have a spring!

No matter what the calendar claims on March 20th, spring does not exist in our world. Oh, we try to pretend it does. We bring out flip flops and line up for Ben and Jerry’s free cone day, snowflakes falling on our Phish Food like nature’s very own sprinkles.

We tell the world that we are turning the heat off for good only to creep out of our beds at 2AM trying to use our frozen fingers to crank the thermostat.

 

And some of the crazy among us take selfies by the annoying daffodils spreading through a blanket of snow. But let’s face it, we’re cold.

And we’re cold every year. And it rains, a lot. And we walk through these days covered in pollen and talking about how soon spring really will be here. And it never arrives. And we’re surprised.

Then one day we wake up and there are no more school buses blocking traffic and suddenly there is a heat wave and the Fourth of July is in three days. Yes, spring does not show up.

So how can someone like me, with weird temperature sensitivities likely due to multiple sclerosis dread spring when it never even appears in my area anyway?

Because the world around me insists on celebrating spring and acting like it is with us all the time.

The bugs still show up.

The allergies still kick in even on the chilliest of days.

You fall into the mindset of those around you and put on a light jacket and freeze as you do your errands, eagerly anticipating going home and burring yourself under your super warm thermal Bruins blankie.

 

(Slight shout out to the Bears of Boston- this time of year does bring the NHL playoffs on which the Bruins are splendidly skating their way through!)

And here is a complaint I only recently came up with- since everyone likes to pretend spring has sprung suddenly all you hears is super obnoxious home repair noises.

Yes my friends, in addition to my weird temperature sensitivities, MS also gives me weird ear noises that are greatly increased by the sounds of construction, street sweeping and landscaping.

Funny how I’m not troubled by snow plow sounds. But the hammering and motoring sounds of seasonal neighborhoods coming alive make me want to grab some ear plugs, build a blankie fort and live under it forever.

So yes, I admit it. I do not like spring, even when it doesn’t exist. I didn’t mind the ten inches of snow that arrived on March 26th. I don’t mind that my landlord keeps putting my snow shovel in the basement and twice I have had to go back down to grab it.

 

What I did mind was being afraid for my safety when people around me lamented about the horrible winter and expected me to agree. For fear of being attacked, I kept my anti-spring thoughts to myself, smiling as if I agreed while I tucked my hands deeper into my warm mittens.

I do mind that Harvey Leonard, who I used to think was pretty smart, thinks I mind needing to wear a coat today. I don’t.

And while those around me think I’m a fool in my heavy coat and insulated socks, my feet aren’t turning blue from the sandals you should not be wearing yet.

So, to Mr. Leonard and all those who think everyone agrees with them about being ready for spring, my MS challenged brain knows something that you don’t.

This is New England and that means, no spring for you!

Note- you also can’t call yourself a true New Englander if you don’t make complaining about the weather a habit, whatever the weather might be. This blog is all about finding humor to deal and thus I adopt a tongue in cheek style. However, please know that minor complaints about the weather are not meant to disparage in any way the people facing the devastating tornadoes in our country.

My deepest prayers and well wishes are being sent their way…

 

Gonna be a DOOZY…

An MS’er tackles a NOR’easter that could turn into a blizzard

I was going to start 2014 off healthy, I swear, I really was! But in the days leading up to the new year, the weather folks started talking about Hercules-a massive NOR’easter about to attack my area. And EVERYONE, even super healthy people, know that the only way you can weather a storm is with the three C’s- chocolate, chips and candy.

What is a healthy, fit, svelte MS’er, stuck in a not so fit, not so svelte, not so healthy body to do? You have to be storm ready.

The only appropriate thing seems to be to plan on re-starting my ‘get fit’ plan after the storm. Actually, Farmer’s Almanac says it is going to be a stormy winter. Best to start the plan in April. Or maybe May.

 

Seriously friends, holidays, storm planning, brain fog, fatigue and possible power outages have made it necessary for me to release today’s blog one day early. And while I don’t exactly know what Hercules will bring, it seems likely that it will look like the blizzard of 2013, which I have already written about.

So for this week, please allow me to re-post what was originally titled Could Be Minutes, Could Be Days.

For the record, a second blizzard is upon us and I STILL haven’t bought vinyl toilet seat covers!

 

Could Be Minutes, Could Be Days

An MS’er tackles a blizzard

In my world, cold is better than hot (as long as cold includes a nice cup of scalding hot tea,) and snow is better than humidity. Seems I remember in the past, losing hot water and having to take an ice cold shower before heading off to work. It wasn’t fun, but it wasn’t hell.

More recently and AMSEML (after MS entered my life,) I lost hot water again and attempted the cold shower. It was summer and so while I was not looking forward to it, I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal. It was.

The icy water was not refreshing. It felt more like sharp edged icicles stabbing me all over. It hurt so much that I wasn’t able to breathe. I kept telling myself to breathe, what was wrong with me that I wasn’t breathing? It was too much and I burst from my shower covered in soap.

 

Flash forward to storm prep for the blizzard of 2013- the storm that was to arrive only two weeks after a previously predicted snow storm never showed up. I love winter and had eagerly awaited this one, the winter the Farmers’ Almanac promised would be cold and snowy.

The reality is that what I love about the season is being toasty warm and drinking tea while watching the lovely snow fall from my window. I didn’t doubt the blizzard predictions and even enjoyed monitoring them on the nightly news. But no one, no matter how prepared you are, seriously appreciates what a lack of power means on a 20 degree day, at least for more than a few hours.

 

I bought the batteries and bottled water. I watched the weather reports. As the wind kicked up late in the afternoon before the blizzard, I plugged in my electric blanket to warm my bed up before the expected power outages. Just before nine it happened; the power was gone and so was the immediate future of further electrically generated heat. Since I had pre-warmed my bed, and was exhausted as always, I drifted off to sleep.

Morning and frigid air came quickly. When I awoke, I buried deep under my covers and rested there for another hour. I tried to flood my brain with positive self talk.

You knew power outages were likely.

It’s not like you are going to die from the cold, you’re still inside.

So it will suck for a bit, so what, that’s life.

There’s no way to know how long this will last. It could be minutes, it could be days.

Get up and get moving, you’ll have to at some point.

 

When I accepted that cold or no cold, I couldn’t justify lying in bed all day, I crawled from my cocoon and began to layer up. Me, the girl who has never, ever worn hats since rapidly removing the ones my mom insisted I wear on my walk to grade school, (removing the hat as soon as our house was out of sight-hopefully enough time has passed that I won’t be grounded for admitting this,) put on a hat.

It was a miracle I even found a hat in my house. (I think it must have come in the pretty scarf/glove/hat Christmas gift set several holidays before, the scarf and gloves I do use).

I layered on anything I could possibly think of; undershirt, turtleneck, sweater, sweatshirt, sweatpants, three pairs of socks. Where oh where did my leg warmers from the eighties go?

 

I layered up so much that I looked and walked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters.

Then I realized I had to pee.

My vow to all those reading these words is to never, ever again silently make fun of people who have those soft, vinyl padded toilet seat covers. I may even buy one, if only to use during cold weather power outages.

 

Once I recovered from that shock, I wobbled my padded self and my blankets to where I could be productive in spite of the circumstances, the sofa. Wrapped in my Boston Bruins thermal blankie (still one of the best Christmas gifts eva!), I tried to decide how to spend the arctic day. I was determined not to use the blizzard as an excuse to fall off my “get fit” plan.

I could exercise. But no, I needed to save the treasured batteries on the Wii Fit board and there was no tv anyway. How about outside to shovel? No point, the snow was still coming down and there would be no way to warm up when I was done. I could just move around my house but hauling all those blankets and layers seemed dangerous.

I insisted I would at least eat healthy and hydrate properly. I had even prepared for that- buying produce and rinsing it before the storm so that I could make myself a salad and eat fruit so as not to falter on my plan.

But that wasn’t happening. Everything was so frosty there was no way I was sinking my teeth into an ice cold apple or orange or even attempting to put together a salad. And the water was ice cold too. I did manage a banana for breakfast but that was the end of eating healthy.

 

After that I went to the snacks; easy to open, not cold to bite into. One may wonder why I had snacks in the house in the first place. Remember, there was a blizzard coming and my ‘get fit’ plan is taking the baby steps route.

Still trying to be somewhat productive, I thought I would use my laptop battery to get some writing done. But no, between MS and the freezing air, my fingers were not inclined to cooperate.

 

What I missed most was that scalding cup of tea I so treasure. So much so, that when due to a dangerously low amount of wax I needed to blow out one candle, I fell into a dangerously euphoric state. Picking up the glass covered candle, I realized how hot it was.

As I tightly grasped the bottle with both hands, I almost felt it was a mug of tea I was holding. I popped out of my reverie before I gulped the wax itself and made the best of the situation by cuddling the bottle against my face, neck, hands and arms until its warmth was gone.

 

Soon the MS aches ramped up and the cold went from being unpleasant to excruciating. At some point it turned dark again and I shuffled back to my cocoon of bedding, hat and all.

I was luckier than most. By the next morning, the power was back, 36 hours after it went out; much, much better than what some folks were dealing with.

Here is what the storm taught me. The best of intentions can often go awry if something bigger than you has other plans. Like say, God, or storm fronts, or multiple sclerosis.

 

Sometimes you just have to give in and wait out what is holding you back, even if it could be minutes or could be days.

Controlled cold is better than uncontrolled heat. Controlled heat is better than uncontrolled cold. And, in spite of this frigid, miserable Saturday, I stand by uncontrolled cold being better than uncontrolled heat. This way, I can still whine in August.

And lastly, what I learned most, I need to start looking for vinyl toilet seat covers…..

 

 

Could Be Minutes, Could Be Days

An MS’er tackles a blizzard

In my world, cold is better than hot (as long as cold includes a nice cup of scalding hot tea,) and snow is better than humidity. Seems I remember in the past, losing hot water and having to take an ice cold shower before heading off to work. It wasn’t fun, but it wasn’t hell.

More recently and AMSEML (after MS entered my life,) I lost hot water again and attempted the cold shower. It was summer and so while I was not looking forward to it, I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal. It was.

The icy water was not refreshing. It felt more like sharp edged icicles stabbing me all over. It hurt so much that I wasn’t able to breathe. I kept telling myself to breathe, what was wrong with me that I wasn’t breathing? It was too much and I burst from my shower covered in soap.

 

Flash forward to storm prep for the blizzard of 2013– the storm that was to arrive only two weeks after a previously predicted snow storm never showed up. I love winter and had eagerly awaited this one, the winter the Farmers’ Almanac promised would be cold and snowy.

The reality is that what I love about the season is being toasty warm and drinking tea while watching the lovely snow fall from my window. I didn’t doubt the blizzard predictions and even enjoyed monitoring them on the nightly news. But no one, no matter how prepared you are, seriously appreciates what a lack of power means on a 20 degree day, at least for more than a few hours.

I bought the batteries and bottled water. I watched the weather reports. As the wind kicked up late in the afternoon before the blizzard, I plugged in my electric blanket to warm my bed up before the expected power outages. Just before nine it happened; the power was gone and so was the immediate future of further electrically generated heat. Since I had pre-warmed my bed, and was exhausted as always, I drifted off to sleep.

Morning and frigid air came quickly. When I awoke, I buried deep under my covers and rested there for another hour. I tried to flood my brain with positive self talk.

You knew power outages were likely.

It’s not like you are going to die from the cold, you’re still inside.

So it will suck for a bit, so what, that’s life.

There’s no way to know how long this will last. It could be minutes, it could be days.

Get up and get moving, you’ll have to at some point.

When I accepted that cold or no cold, I couldn’t justify laying in bed all day, I crawled from my cocoon and began to layer up. Me, the girl who has never, ever worn hats since rapidly removing the ones my mom insisted I wear on my walk to grade school, (removing the hat as soon as our house was out of sight-hopefully enough time has passed that I won’t be grounded for admitting this,) put on a hat.

It was a miracle I even found a hat in my house. (I think it must have come in the pretty scarf/glove/hat Christmas gift set several holidays before, the scarf and gloves I do use).

I layered on anything I could possibly think of; undershirt, turtleneck, sweater, sweatshirt, sweatpants, three pairs of socks. Where oh where did my leg warmers from the eighties go? I layered up so much that I looked and walked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters.

 

Then I realized I had to pee. My vow to all those reading these words is to never, ever again silently make fun of people who have those soft, vinyl padded toilet seat covers. I may even buy one, if only to use during cold weather power outages.

Once I recovered from that shock, I wobbled my padded self and my blankets to where I could be productive in spite of the circumstances, the sofa. Wrapped in my Boston Bruins thermal blankie (still one of the best Christmas gifts eva!), I tried to decide how to spend the arctic day. I was determined not to use the blizzard as an excuse to fall off my “get fit” plan.

I could exercise. But no, I needed to save the treasured batteries on the Wii Fit board and there was no tv anyway. How about outside to shovel? No point, the snow was still coming down and there would be no way to warm up when I was done. I could just move around my house but hauling all those blankets and layers seemed dangerous.

I insisted I would at least eat healthy and hydrate properly. I had even prepared for that- buying produce and rinsing it before the storm so that I could make myself a salad and eat fruit so as not to falter on my plan.

But that wasn’t happening. Everything was so frosty there was no way I was sinking my teeth into an ice cold apple or orange or even attempting to put together a salad. And the water was ice cold too. I did manage a banana for breakfast but that was the end of eating healthy.

After that I went to the snacks; easy to open, not cold to bite into. One may wonder why I had snacks in the house in the first place. Remember, there was a blizzard coming and my “get fit” plan is taking the baby steps route.

Still trying to be somewhat productive, I thought I would use my laptop battery to get some writing done. But no, between MS and the freezing air, my fingers were not inclined to cooperate.

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What I missed most was that scalding cup of tea I so treasure. So much so, that when due to a dangerously low amount of wax I needed to blow out one candle, I fell into a dangerously euphoric state. Picking up the glass covered candle, I realized how hot it was.

As I tightly grasped the bottle with both hands, I almost felt it was a mug of tea I was holding. I popped out of my reverie before I gulped the wax itself and made the best of the situation by cuddling the bottle against my face, neck, hands and arms until its warmth was gone.

Soon the MS aches ramped up and the cold went from being unpleasant to excruciating. At some point it turned dark again and I shuffled back to my cocoon of bedding, hat and all.

I was luckier than most. By the next morning, the power was back, 36 hours after it went out; much, much better than what some folks were dealing with.

 

Here is what the storm taught me. The best of intentions can often go awry if something bigger than you has other plans. Like say, God, or storm fronts, or multiple sclerosis.

Sometimes you just have to give in and wait out what is holding you back, even if it could be minutes or could be days.

Controlled cold is better than uncontrolled heat. Controlled heat is better than uncontrolled cold. And, in spite of this frigid, miserable Saturday, I stand by uncontrolled cold being better than uncontrolled heat. This way, I can still whine in August.

And lastly, what I learned most, I need to start looking for vinyl toilet seat covers…..

 

Image courtesy of [digitalart] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net