We were colder than Mars today!

doll-figures-3015495_960_720 couleur

The weather forecasters and social media have been inundating us with factoids …

dates

… and funny memes about this spate of ugly Winter weather here in the Midwest.

driving advice

Since Monday’s snowstorm is in the rear view mirror now, everyone is focused on “The Big Chill” and, of all the facts and figures I’ve heard about our weather, the biggest giggle was discovering we were colder than Mars today.  Our temps have even dipped lower than the Arctic Circle.  Yikes!  Michigan made the national news today because Hell froze over – oh yes it did.  The temps fell to -12 F (-24 C) in Hell, Michigan, which is a town about 50 miles from where I live.  So, you can no longer use the expression about “when Hell freezes over” …. because it has now happened.

Many Michiganders stayed home today.  No, it wasn’t the blue flu.  Or the regular flu.  It was because schools and organizations by the score elected to close down Monday afternoon for the snowstorm.  Those closures snowballed, (if you’ll pardon the pun), into a massive shutdown due to freezing rain after the storm, black ice Tuesday and then the Polar Vortex that has swept across the U.S. bringing a brutally cold Canadian air mass.  Thanks a lot Canada.

closed due to inclement weather

It’s a sure bet those folks aren’t spending their day enjoying “Pure Michigan” … most people are hunkered down inside and looking out.  I for one am glad to work from home and not have to deal with the bus commute.   I had way too many of those trips in and out of the City of Detroit in extreme cold or blizzard conditions.  I’ve paid my dues, so I’m glad to be home working in my PJs and bunny slippers.

And just who are some of those folks sipping hot chocolate and taking naps on the couch?  They include students from elementary school all the way to university level and their teachers/professors and the schools’ administrative staff members.  Some of the universities were reluctant to close Monday, knowing full well this Polar Vortex coming down the pipeline might necessitate even more days off.  But the students had a rebellion – no, they didn’t protest in front of Old Main on Wayne State University’s campus … they took to Twitter and other social media and shamed WSU into closing down due to the snow and the Polar Vortex, which was already on the way.

wsu

Back when your roving reporter was at Wayne State University, we closed one day for the Blizzard of ’78 … one little old day, and we waited for the school to announce it on the AM all-news radio station.  It was quite the event … a university closing down for the weather.  After all, we weren’t little kids – we knew how to bundle up and walk, heads bent down against the wind, as we trudged from class to class.

Fast forward 41 years.

Our new governor defined our cold spell as “generational” and called for all State agencies to be shut down during the snow storm and brutally cold weather days.  All non-essential workers were sent home … you are familiar with the term “non-essential workers” of course from the recent federal government shutdown.  With a snowstorm and impending “Big Chill” are you happy or sad to know your job and yourself are “non-essential” … talk about wounding the ego and bursting your bubble of importance!

state is closed

The list of cancelled activities and closures rambles on and on – the polar bears may be lovin’ this weather, but if you wanted to watch them cavort in their habitat, better make it another day as the Detroit Zoo was closed today.

The U.S. Postal Service, which features the motto “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” got an asterisk to that motto when Michigan, as well as ten other states, kept their mail carriers at home, saving them traipsing in sub-zero temps today and tomorrow as well.

As the list grew, I wondered why the traffic reporters were still listing the accidents because who could have been left driving on the roads for goodness sake?

The Trudge Report.

 The bright blue sky belied what the real deal was … at a glance, it looked beautiful outside, but the reality was horrid:  it was -6 F (-21 C) and a real feel of -34 F (-36 C) when I suited up to go run the car.  Because the news suggested covering your mouth to avoid damaging your lungs from the extreme cold air, I went outside sporting a bandana that had me looking a little like a cowboy fresh from a long, dusty ride on his horse through the sagebrush in the wild, wild West.

Plumes were drifting out of almost every chimney on the block, occasionally casting curling shadows on the bright-white snow.

I checked for icicles – none – yeah!

I checked if the snow was still on the roof – yes – yeah!  I just discovered yesterday that means your attic insulation is good if the snow hasn’t melted.

I heard a blue jay calling in the distance, perhaps hopeful I’d share some peanuts with him.  I had taken some extra peanuts out with me, so I yanked them from my pocket and wiggled the bag.  But that action did not have the same Pavlovian effect that it does with the squirrels who come bounding over … that blue jay remained elusive.  Momentarily I thought of Parker and his friends and how they would love if I suddenly appeared and jiggled the bag of peanuts, but I reminded myself they were likely huddled in their nests and not down at ground level due to the snow and the cold.  I also wondered what happened to my blue jay from last year.  The endless snow shoveling the Winter of 2017-2018 found me outside nearly every morning.  I would share a few peanuts, which I propped up in the snow on top of a flat Boxwood bush, with a blue jay who was willing to fly down from his high perch and grab them … just as soon as I turned my back.  I’d check back before I came into the house and the peanuts were gone.  Eventually he tired of our ritual – I continued putting out peanuts, but maybe someone was offering better treats and he didn’t return.

The sparrows were huddled close together on the window ledge, not even taking flight when they saw me.  Tomorrow I’ll take some stale bread which I intended to take to the Park birds on Sunday – I’ll place it on top of the bush for them to see like I did with the blue jay.

Happily the car engine turned over thanks to the trickle charger – it has been plugged in continuously when the car is not in use since October of 2015.  I still run it every day in the cold weather, even if I don’t take it out of the garage.

Feasting, but not foraging for frozen goodies

I inspected the porch and found that the peanuts I tossed out before I took 12 minutes to finish getting my outerwear and boots on, were gone, yet, I looked up in the trees, scanning for squirrels (and hawks), but saw none of my furry friends jumping from branch to branch, or running on the utility wires.  That small pile of shells and some redskin chaff from the peanuts told me my furry pals were indeed there – might as well eat them as there’s no use hiding those peanuts as the ground is frozen solid.  Good going guys.

Since I was out there running the car for about 20 minutes, I put more peanuts out.  Grady was no doubt perplexed, because the peanuts placed on the ledge in two places on Monday morning got zapped with the post-snowstorm freezing rain that arrived after dark.  He didn’t return and the snow began in earnest, then the wintry precip.  So, that my dear Grady is what you call  a “peanutsicle” … a mass of peanuts encased in ice.  Just as I had to chip the ice off the mailbox which had sealed shut, I likewise had to pry those peanuts from the ledge.  I laid them on some bushes and tomorrow I’ll bring a cup of hot water with me and try to de-ice those peanuts.  I’ll bet Grady looked at them longingly thinking “Linda – take them apart so I can eat them please!”  Frankly I was surprised Grady (and maybe his pal – I didn’t see either of them) showed up.  I’d have stayed tucked in the warm nest, but you know how it is when your stomach growls.  What Grady really needed was someone to toss a Snickers bar up to the nest so he didn’t need to venture out.

So, I got to wondering if we were hardier kids back in the day.

 On Monday, lots of schools were closed – not just elementary and secondary schools, but some colleges and universities as well.  My first thought was “really?!”  OK, the kids that are bussed to school or have long walks maybe I can see it, but we walked to elementary school with no angst about those snowy morns.  However, trending on Twitter was one local school, Wayne State University, my alma mater.  They were holding out shutting the school while snow swirled and whipped around WSU’s campus.  Soon students converged on Twitter, trying to shame WSU into closing due to the snow and impending cold, disparaging them for staying open.  WSU caved and became one of the 800 schools in Michigan that have been closed since Monday afternoon.

I wandered over to Facebook late on Monday and chatted with my friend Cheryl – we were both attending WSU when the Blizzard of 1978 closed school for a day.  It was unprecedented back in those days and we were both grateful to be spared the long and snowy commute.  So, that raised the question of just how hardy we were back in the day, as teens walking to junior high and the high school.

The junior high and high school were right next to one another, and were a nearly 1 ½ mile trek each way.  I walked every day, except the occasional times, when the neighbor across the street would fire up the old station wagon to take her two high school-aged boys to school.  She and my mom were best friends, but she never called on ugly Winter mornings and asked “would Linda like a ride?”  My mom, feeling that lack of invitation was a little unjust, would park herself behind the living room curtains and I’d stand in the cellarway with my hand on the door knob, ready to bolt out the door, once her station wagon was sufficiently warmed up and the boys came out of the house.  As she pulled out of the snowy driveway, it was my turn to leave the house  and see her “unexpectedly” pulling into the street.  If my timing was impeccable, she’d roll down the window and say “would you like a ride Linda?”  And I’d feign surprise and say “oh, that would be great – thank you for asking me.”  So, yes,  I was spared a snowy trek but those times were few and far between, because kids in those days were considered young and healthy and that 3-mile round trip was good exercise.

Then I decided to tread back in time a little further

Well we were exemplary teens braving the elements to walk to school where we never had school cancelled due to snow or cold, nor a stifling hot June spent in a classroom with not so much as a fan nor a window cracked open … I began to wonder what happened back when I was a wee nipper and in elementary school?

I went directly to the source, the Facebook site for all kids who attended E.A. Orr Public School, an elementary school in Oakville, Ontario that I had attended from 1961-1966.

ea orr

I wondered if my former peers remembered trudging to school on those cold and snowy Winter days without ever getting a snow day.  I posed this question to the alumni of that group that I discovered four years ago:

 

ea orr group question

Well, then a lively discussion ensued which yielded 14 comments which branched out into multiple comments about how we went to school in snow and cold and only one person recalled a snow day where E.A. Orr closed down, but it was after I departed.  Those 14 comments about what brave souls we were venturing forth on our own, eventually dwindled into a lot of side conversations wherein we girls stepped back in time and chatted about jumping rope and playing “elastics” (Chinese jump rope as it is known in the U.S.), our Beatles buttons we proudly pinned to our coat lapels  and other girl stuff circa 1964, give or take a year.  Didn’t our parents worry about us?  No, we trundled along, just a group of neighborhood kids, and our classmates joined us along the way, similarly bundled up in snow pants stuffed into our brown overshoes, mufflers masking our faces, mittens clasping books or homework assignments – no backpacks back in those days.  Our heavy parkas featured fur-trimmed hoods pulled snugly over our woolen toques with their fuzzy pompoms.  We arrived at school where our principal, Mr. Buckley, greeted us, and we were bright-eyed, pink-cheeked and ready to sing “God Save the Queen” and learn the Three Rs, but first we had to peel off those layers of clothing.

This scenario was repeated over and over all through the cold snowy Canadian Winter – not just for school, but for skating, tobogganing and building snow forts.  So, did we have maple syrup running in our veins or perhaps we were just oblivious to the elements back then?

Or maybe the memories fade and tarnish a little through the years, eh?

How low can you go?

No, it’s not a reference to Chubby Checker’s dance “The Limbo” … it is the question asked to Mother Nature.  Here in Michigan we will dip to -16 F (-26 C) and -40 F (-40 C) … -40 is a magical temperature … the same in Fahrenheit as Celsius.

Not to worry, we will do a rapid turnabout and enjoy temps in the 50s come Monday – break out the shorts and flip flops!

big swing in temps

Meanwhile the endless trickle of water in the nearby sink keeps making my eyes get heavy while proofreading this very long post.  The corner cabinet creaks and groans, reminding me that it needs a good coat of furniture polish.  And the frost quakes, those little burst of energy that occur when ice suddenly expands, and creates big booms around the house, have startled me out of this trance to my childhood and teenaged years more than once while compiling this tale.

[Images from Twitter, Click on Detroit and header image by Couleur from Pixabay]

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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104 Responses to We were colder than Mars today!

  1. Where is this cold weather coming and making us Stay at Home? Love in those days…there was no snow day – are we not that stronger.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I understand this Polar Vortex is coming from Canada … we had one in early 2014 and it was very cold … I lost alot of plants and bushes from that cold spell. This time we are having cold air temps as well – the coldest since 1994. It’s very scary being this cold … frostbite can begin on unprotected skin within five minutes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In fact when someone doesn’t know then its up to other people that they will help, so here it takes place.

    Like

  3. The whole of the UK stops if there is a threat of snow.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Ha ha – this is a pretty ugly Winter siege we are having right now Andy. The temps are brutal out there and we have one more day before temperatures moderate to the freezing level. I am ready for Spring.

      Like

  4. Eliza says:

    Gosh it’s cold by you!!! I’m so glad I don’t live in the US at the moment. Do you stock up on things in case you get snowed in?
    Hope you enjoyed your trip down memory lane 🙂 I guess you were hardier, but not because you were, but rather because you got used to it….
    Lotsa love and light
    Happy Thursday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, still like that this morning … steeling myself to head out and run the car and feed Grady and his pal (I don’t know how many are showing up but the peanuts are getting eaten) … one more day of extreme cold and this is not the norm … thank goodness. I don’t like to drive in the snow/ice so I do stock up a lot on pantry items in the Fall. I only go shopping about once/month for fresh dairy/produce, things like that. So, I’m good right now … car still has 3/4s of a tank of gas despite running it for long periods of time in the garage. I did enjoy that trip down memory lane … even though it was snowy. Have a good one with lots love and light too Eliza. Half your Thursday is over … mine is just beginning.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza says:

        Now my Thursday really is over 🙂 or, almost over.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        And by the time I am reading this you are fast asleep given our five-hour time difference. One more brutal night of cold and done with it for a while … thank goodness for that.

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      • Eliza says:

        Yay!!!
        Happy Friday now 🙂 (coz’ I woke up)

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Amen to Friday – this has been on loooong week and we are above zero – yay to that as well. A few more hours for you and home free!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza says:

        ((((((((hugs))))))))

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thank you Eliza – I needed that for sure. ((((((((hugs)))))))) back at you, already sleeping and I am so late getting here today.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That time my comment went through – the last time I got that little red message that it was not going through … WordPress was having a rebellious moment, so I had to leave my comment on another post directly on your site.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza says:

        Yeah, I saw it. Lotsa love and light…. hope you’re having a good day today.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I’m glad as it flew off the page and didn’t say “you replied” … I thought it went to cyberspace. I cannot believe how late I am again here and never got over to Reader so apologies if you have any posts in Reader … I will for sure catch up again tomorrow. No walk today – a little bummed about it, but just too slippery … the snow and ice and didn’t want to take any chances walking on it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza says:

        ((((hugs))))
        I don’t have any new posts at the moment. I kinda see it that just as I sometimes have more headspace, and less headspace, same for others. When we get to the posts we do….. I’ve actually removed most blogs I’m following so I only get posts from a few people (a lot of the blogs I followed just don’t post anymore 😦 ). No rush to get to posts… just give yourself the time you need 🙂
        Lotsa love and light. And happy sunday!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Hi Eliza – Well I got in a walk but had to wait til really late in the day … I like to walk in the mornng better, but to avoid ice … I couldn’t be choosey. I just loaded a bunch of photos for today’s post and still have to write it after I stop and eat dinner. It was good to get out, even sunny out and 50 degrees which is almost 70 degrees higher than a few days ago – unbelievable. I have a lot of people who just dropped off the map as well – and they may have gone great guns for a while, posting every day, then nothing. I don’t post as much in Winter unless the weather is good. Enjoy the rest of your day, though I fear you are likely headed to bed soon – this time difference makes it difficult to connect sometimes. Lotsa love and light back at you kid …

        Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza says:

        Heading to bed actually right now just stopped to read this first. Looking forward to see the pictures! Yeah, the morning is nicer, it’s a nice way to start the day but probably way slipperier, I know not a word. Love and light…. (((hugs)))

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I just finished the post about a half-hour ago for goodness sake. When I got to the Park I told myself “you know that you can walk here and not take pictures, because you’ll jam yourself up the rest of the day by the time you upload the pics, write the post ….” The first squirrel that came running over, out came the camera. 🙂 Oh well … Love and light and (((hugs))) sent back your way to start your day off right!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza says:

        Thanks. Too late to start the day off right, but maybe it’ll make the day right lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Agreed – whatever works sometimes!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza says:

        By the way, I’m going to be away this week – travelling soon.
        Will think of you (don’t know for sure that I won’t come on, it’ll be a good sign if I don’t though)
        (((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))
        *hugcoupon1
        *hugcoupon2
        *hugcoupon3
        Love and light….
        E

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Safe travels Eliza – enjoy your break away from our mundane day-to-day existence, especially in the Winter months. Get some sunshine in your face and unplug too.

        I love this:

        *hugcoupon1
        *hugcoupon2
        *hugcoupon3

        Love and light and (((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))) back at you!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Shelley says:

    You hit the highs and the lows of the week – congrats – and so fun that you called it a ‘peanutsicle’ and that you checked in with old classmates for their opinions! Your devotion to supporting documentation and stellar photos to represent, continue to impress me!! Stay warm, and dust off those flip-flops for the weekend ahead. You’ll want to keep the boots handy though, winter isn’t quite over yet!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks for your comments Shelley – I am getting geared up mentally to go outside … it’ll take a good 15 minutes to bundle up. I’m later today as I stayed up late to ensure I did another small load of washing to keep the pipes warm despite the trickle of water. We are asked to put our furnaces to 65 as there was an explosion at a natural gas facility in Michigan … it is just voluntary right now. Yes, you’re so right – Winter has a looooong way to go. Heaven help us!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        I saw you stayed up late! I don’t know how you do that, I was sleeping long before that! Take care, layer up and you’ll make it through the day, once again! xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I couldn’t do that on an everyday basis Shelley – as it is, I am nodding off a little as the heat is on and that ever-present trickle of water I hear out of the corner of my ear begins to drone and my eyes slide to half-mast. I wanted to ensure I got a small load of laundry done at the coldest time of the evening – so stayed up and went down early this morning … boy, nothing like leaving your nice cozy bed and going down in the cold basement before you are wide awake! One more night of this brutal cold – can we please move on to Spring then?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        That’s a shocker to the systems – Copper knows how you feel. I wake him up, tell him he has to go out to do his business, he bolts out the door and freezes. He’s not been happy – but he’s survived so far, and he was happy to see -5 instead of -34 below today!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I’ll bet he’s happy – they said we were 2 above and that’s cause for enjoyment but there are water main breaks everywhere. A large one within a quarter mile from my house, but doesn’t affect me … we had one a few years ago in the opposite direction. Funky-looking water, no water pressure – I’m still holding my glass up to the light to be sure it is clear though. The streets near the break are blocked off because ice is everywhere and they couldn’t access it to fix it til later today. More water main breaks expected this weekend – I think Mother Nature needs to be less erratic!! At least you have Tostitos and adult beverages to ease through the tail end of this cold spell. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        Yikes! Two years ago, we had all of the water mains in our rentals in our downtown area freeze up. It took weeks to thaw places out. I’m glad your water is still working. Good thinking to make sure it looks safe to drink! This weather is crazy…hang in there, spring is on its way!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, we had issues last year and I heard it on the traffic report – I had not checked the crime report for the City on Facebook which is usually pretty good for advising us plus I subscribe to Nixle, which is an alert system for most cities, and they had no info out because it was Labor Day weekend. I didn’t notice the water until I heard the traffic reporter say there was a backup due to the water main, then saw no water pressure and also cloudy (funky) water. Spring, where art thou?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        Craziness, I tell, pure craziness! Well, let’s see what Phil has to say today re: when spring will arrive or not!?!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        They said on the news that the incidences of the Groundhog not seeing his shadow are fewer. Our Michigan resident woodchuck (Woody) did not see her shadow either. I’d enjoy Spring in six weeks – maybe fingers crossed it happens.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        I love it how the news people can’t embrace good news – they have to filter it with the odds of how the little guy is wrong. I’ll take an early Spring any day! I’ll keep my fingers crossed too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I agree – they had to analyze it down to how many times Phil was wrong when he said it was an early Spring – get past it! We were supposed to have an El Nino Winter … that’s all we heard about all October, and we had a horrid November which led me to kinda/sorta figure it was not going to happen. I’m happy for an early Spring – Winter spilled into the second week of April for goodness sake. I had a teeth cleaning appointment and it was sleeting and snowing and I walked on the highway as the sidewalks were so slick … my dentist was not there that day as he was running the Boston Marathon and when I saw him in October, he said runners said at the finish line “you didn’t just finish the Boston Marathon, you finished the 2018 h*llish version.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        Yeah, it has been a weird year! My friend ran the Boston Marathon and that is her description as well. Her spouse watched and video taped sections of the run, the runners had to be hard-core devoted to run in that. Yuck…! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for an early Spring – I’m cheering the groundhogs on!! Go Team Spring Go!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Mostly worried about the plants I will lose. Our temps are a bit milder than you. We were at 1 this morning but that’s enough to lose some borderline hardy plants.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      That’s my concern too Kate. I lost all my butterfly garden with the 2013 polar vortex, even the butterfly bushes and perennials like coneflowers and black-eyed susans which were hardy for my zone. I was exasperated and so angry that I didn’t replace any of them. The following year my holly bush and the roses were hit hard. I sawed down the holly bush (planted in 1985) and intended to just camouflage the stump – it was a large bush but I have other large bushes around it and it is in the front, so getting a new bush would have looked silly as way too small. But first I gave it Hollytone and Miracid in large doses, hoping I could bring it back. I will take a pic of it this Summer. I wrote a whole blog on whacking it down to the ground and then as the green began to appear I was ecstatic. It is as large as it was before, but took five years. Same thing happened with the roses – hacked them down to the ground and they came back … all Phoenix-like, rising from the ashes. I hope this is not a repeat of before as this was much colder air temps and wind chill than the prior polar vortexes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I lost butterfly bushes and they didn’t come back. I have a Vitex that is touchy in our area. Some people call it summer lilac because it has beautiful purple blooms all summer. I have lost that in past years. The one I have now is about 5 years old but this is a cold winter.

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      • lindasschaub says:

        I was surprised losing my butterfly bushes as I thought they were hardier … I wonder if that is the beautiful purple flower a fellow blogger mentioned to me. She lives in Oregon and had taken some pictures of them with butterflies or bees and I commented how lovely and she looked for hardiness for Michigan and said I’d be okay. I lost my clematis and one I had trailing up a PVC pole beneath a bird feeder for years – I planted it for my mom so she could see it out her back bedroom window as she never went in the backyard as it was too difficult to walk on her cane, even on the patio. She admired the clematis whenever we went to The Olive Garden as they had clematis winding around every pillar as you walked up the walkway to the restaurant. The clematis I refused to replant so all the trellises are still out in the yard. I washed my hands of all of it after losing everything that I’d nurtured for so long. At least we had some snow on the ground and on top of the bushes/flowers so that would likely insulate everything like a blanket. The Polar Vortex that took out so much of my yard, we did not have snow and had not had as much rain as we had in 2018 so the roots could not get moisture and survive … they just died underground and never came up. That is how the guy on the gardening show explained it. We’ll have to keep our fingers crossed. In this post, about halfway down is my Nelly Moser clematis I referenced above – I stuck it in the post as I showed how I cover up the birdfeeder (I don’t fill it – the pigeons roosted on it so it is for show). https://lindaschaubblog.net/2018/02/04/tenacity-and-tranquility/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Butterfly bushes aren’t hardy. They reseed themselves so some will come up even if the old one dies. The wood is week and I had one I lost to a summer storm. The wind broke up the branches.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I didn’t realize that when I bought them. I am Zone 6b and I looked for my roses tonight – they are “Home Run” roses and hardy to Zone 8. Hopefully they don’t look like they did last time.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. We get cold weather from Alaska and that guy in the picture saying Michigan is closed is Canadian John Candy and I bet it was taken from the movie American Vacation where he was the guard for “Wally World”.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh Linda – you crack me up, who da thunk, cold weather could inspire such laughter. I especially liked the thought of Grandma and the gravy… Seriously, how do you write so prolifically and it’s always interesting? Stay warm my friend. We are cold here too, but us southerners aren’t cold hearty. xo kim

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I decided to make light of it Kim – glad you got a laugh from this post. I kept writing and writing and then trying to proofread it before posting, when the furnace was kicking on, the water trickling in the corner, I kept nodding off … isn’t that funny about how to drive slow? I must confess that’s how I drive in the snow, a death grip on the steering wheel,despite living in a four-season climate my entire life … it must be a deficient gene like not knowing how to bake or cook. One more night of this brutal cold and home free and then almost tropical temps – SMH!

      Like

  9. A really great post Linda, with lots of great visuals. But don’t blame me, blame Western Canada…..I am blaming them too! I enjoyed your trip down memory lane, as I remember only one snow day during my entire elementary school time and that was for two days…..and none at all due to cold weather. No closures in university either, although I remember one blizzard that was so bad I got blown across Bloor St….luckily there were no cars coming. That was probably in 1978 now that I think of it. I also remember the winter of 1994 as being exceptionally bad. I’ll be glad when the weekend rain and balmy weather arrives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Joan – it took all last evening to write it and I had been snipping and clipping some inserts during the week. I won’t blame you then for our polar vortex – our weather forecasters kept saying all week “blame Canada for this cold air” … it is the last day of brutal cold weather and it was sunny again today, not that it did any good. We finally got to zero air temp around noon but we’re still lagging behind normalcy due to the wind chill values. See, we just didn’t close for anything back then and we were surprised about Wayne State University closing for the Blizzard of ’78 – unprecedented in its history and WSU just celebrated its centennial last year or the year before. We were little troopers for sure … the group of my elementary school pals are very nice – I got some nice responses and then we chatted amongst ourselves afterward. I discovered the girl who stood next to me for the class pic four years ago and we kept in touch for awhile and she decided to drop out of Facebook after all the privacy breaches there. Bloor Street is busy! I’ve not been to downtown Toronto in many years. I took a co-worker from the diner there to spend a week with my grandmother at her house and to see the sights as she’d never been to Toronto before. The TTC went on strike that week … of all the dumb luck! We walked everywhere – even back home from downtown and from the Exhibition where we went for two concerts, and walked at night (what were we thinking???) but it was safe. We saw Chicago and The Beach Boys and walked home from “The Ex” after walking there in the morning and walking around all day – ah youth! I am behind in Reader as I didn’t jump on there last night and was still behind beyond that from the plumbing debacle last weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Toronto was very windy with all those tall buildings. I lived on Bloor St in 3rd year university in a students residence, I think on the 21 floor which is not something I could do now. It was such a weird sensation to be picked up by the wind and blown across the street that I’ve never forgotten it but I didn’t weigh much back then. The wind was so strong I remember trying to hang on to a lamp post and was lucky there weren’t any cars coming, but traffic was light due to the storm, even downtown. Chicago was one of my favourite bands back then – I loved their hit, “If You Leave Me Now”. That was a lot of walking at the Ex. but you must have liked walking even back then!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        You are quite a lightweight to be picked up by the wind Joan – I have always been tall so that might not have happened – you are likely more petite than me, but I can imagine it was really scary. I always loved Chicago too. In college I was on the college newspaper and all of the staff members were friends and we hung out together after school as well, and every year we went to Pine Knob (now DTE Music Theatre), which was an outside concert venue like the Ex, but just for concerts. We always got the “series” every year and lawn seats and there were six concerts with the same six bands in the series every year … always Chicago and Beach Boys … can’t remember the others, maybe America but those two were the most memorable. So that year I saw Chicago and Beach Boys twice, but I think the concerts at the Ex may have been part of admission? It was 1976 and the parade of tall ships was also at the waterfront. I think we walked in higher-heels than my flat walking shoes then. I was only 20 – lots of energy back then!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am fairly short, 5 ft 3in….my Irish genes…like the leprachauns!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Ha ha – and it’s been years since my height has been measured, I may not be 5′ 9″ tall anymore and may have shrunk! My parents were short … my mom was 5′ 2″ and my father 5′ 3″. I looked like an Amazon in pictures with them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I actually lost an inch….I used to be 5-4, but when I had my last bone density test I had shrunk a bit. I always wanted to be taller.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I wonder if I have lost any inches off my height? I used to make all my own clothes back in high school as my arms and legs were long and in those days they did not make clothes in tall sizes.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. It is so cold there! I hope you are keeping warm. It’s very cold here, but nothing compared to how it is there. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Tonight is the last bitter cold night then we have some normal temps for February 1st – thank goodness for that. Hope you don’t get a polar vortex over there – it was worse than the ones we had in 2013 and 2014 and hopefully what was salvaged in my garden from those events don’t bite the dust this time. I worry about my furry friends at the Park and I’m still feeding Grady and his pal, though I’ve not seen them, but they are eating the peanuts right there and not hiding them, so that’s good – I know they are doing okay.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. That was a fun look at your school past. I’ve forgotten how old you were when you moved to the US.

    This is the first time I’ve ever heard of frost quakes. They sound startling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Anne – I’m glad you liked it – it was fun when I connected with Maggie four years ago and I decided it would be fun to reach out to that group again. Not many people post in there but I always look at the new posts, thinking I may know someone else. We had fun talking about how we spent our time, Winter and the nice months as well. The frost quakes were explained to us during the last polar vortex in 2014. They even brought recordings of them – I had no idea what happened and was worried – the first time I thought it was actually in the house, but it is outside and it is so still and quiet it reverberates – sounds like little explosions in the house and like big pops, almost like a gun. This article explains it – they have the in Illinois right now as they have been much colder than us … beware when you open this up, it is loud music – I almost flew off the chair!!
      https://foxillinois.com/news/local/ice-quakes-across-illinois

      Like

      • lindasschaub says:

        I looked around for an audio of the pop but couldn’t find one … they have subsided now that we are 2 above and the windchill is not as severe. There are water main breaks everywhere now … one 1/4 mile away but opposite direction and doesn’t affect me … they can’t repair it until it warms up. It’s been a very long week which started with the plumbing debacle last Saturday … glad to not have to stay up late and get up really early to run small loads of laundry to warm the pipes. Now to head out for the car … hoping for a walk tomorrow or Sunday if it is not slippery from the ice on sidewalks or pathways.

        Like

      • Our roads remained clear during our snow and arctic temperatures. Today I wore a sweatshirt and a windbreaker while walking. The cold weather is over for a while.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I’m envious of the quick change to nice weather Anne. We are finally down to a more normal Winter temperature and tomorrow afternoon we get snow, but they say the cold pavement will cause the rain to turn to black ice. If I walk, it will be tomorrow and that’s about it and that’s even dicey as they could not put down salt due to the cold as it would not be effective. I hope the Sunday temps in the 50s makes the ice and snow go away from the streets and sidewalks. Ugh to Winter!

        Like

      • Winter is brutal in Detroit.

        Like

      • lindasschaub says:

        It sure is – they say it will be better than last year in that it will not stretch into April like last year … I thought Winter would never end, and when we finally had no snow in April, it began to rain in earnest. It began in April 14th – I know because I had a hair appointment and cancelled it as it was a torrential storm … it rained every weekend for 8 or 9 more weeks after that. We have a little snow and wintry precip on Tuesday night – ugh for that.

        Like

  12. Hopefully this polar vortex will be gone soon! I’d have to get a whole new wardrobe for weather like that. We might finally get some freezing temps next week. But nothing like yours! It’s been such a warm January here. I noticed some crocus blooming in a neighbors yard! My camellias are starting to flower too. Stay warm! ☃️

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      They are saying this is the last night for the bitter cold Sabine – thank goodness. We will moderate tomorrow to normal weather than 50s Sunday and Monday which is crazy. I hope none of the nice flowers there are affected by the sudden freezing temps. I lost many plants and bushes after the first, and then the second polar vortexes in 2013 and 2014 – I think I mentioned that to you when we were discussing hardiness zones for the pretty purple plant. I hope I don’t lose anything this time. I believe if they are covered in snow if affords some protection, plus we had a lot of rain all Summer and Fall, so that is good for the bushes and trees as well (that is what the gardening show “Gardening Doctor” told the listening audience after we called in to say we had lost so many garden favorites back in 2014) – he said there had been no snow and a dry Fall). Hopefully we fare better this time.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Dear Miss: “peanutsicle”…………………………..yes we who lived in Michigan way-back-then, never had a snow day that I can think of either……………….and yes we walked to school every day but it wasn’t a mile like you had………………………..but in high school we walked and it was over a mile and a half and we enjoyed it……………………..no one expected a ride from anyone………………….we were more healthier, I think

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Ann Marie – I was thinking of you and wondering if you ever had a snow day as a student or as a teacher through the years. I think Lincoln Park has one more day off today. Heard on the news that the kids have had 7 Winter days off already and 7 is allowed and they may have to get a special waiver for any more school closure days … of course they’ll have to, we have another good 2 months of Winter. Are you walking to the apartment gym these days or staying put as it’s icy to cross your apartment complex to get there? Remind me please not to whine about the heat and humidity come August. Just slap me if I do!

      Like

  14. Thank you for sharing this post. I must say these arctic temperatures have been insane. The funny thing is I actually grew up in Vermont where winter is COLD, but now I live in the south and we have actually had so freezing temperatures. It honestly wasn’t until my MS kicked in that the cold really is hard for me. The cold weather causes me to tense up which is terrible for pain. I do sincerely hope things warm up for you soon and I do look forward to reading more from you. I hope if you find the time you will check out my blog. I try to not focus on what MS has caused for me, but spread as much positivity as I can while also keeping things very real and honest. I hope you have a good day and you are feeling well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      You are welcome Alyssa – I’m glad you enjoyed it. This cold has been brutal, but it is on its way out thankfully. Still a little cold today but not dangerously so. I know that I don’t like the cold because I fear that something will happen to the house (freezing pipes was foremost in my mind), but I am also mindful that the cold will go away – unfortunately your medical problems will not disappear as quickly. I will follow you back Alyssa … I’m guessing you discovered my blog through my comments on Heather and Dizzy’s blog as Jennifer’s blog is not as active as Heather’s. Here is Jennifer’s blog: (https://msluckyduck.com/)

      Vermont – you are a trooper growing up there. I always admire the beauty of your state and those states on the East Coast, especially in the Fall, but I can imagine how brutal the Winters are … but then, even the Southern states are taking a beating now with this weather. Every day I hear that global warming is causing warmer winters but more erratic weather events – I sure hope this doesn’t mean more of these polar vortexes! Yikes, if that is the case! Take care and stay warm … is that groundhog going to see his shadow? If he does, six more weeks of Winter … you know we’ll get slammed again since we had a nice December and part of January … I’m a realist after all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am glad the weather is going to be getting better for you soon! The cold is not any fun. Some people enjoy it, like my husband loves it. It makes me laugh because he is a southern boy, but my goodness he loves the snow. You are right, I did discover your site from Heather’s blog. Heather is pretty great! I do already follow Jennifer’s blog, msluckyduck I enjoy both of their blogs!

        Vermont is a pretty state, but I don’t miss it at all! I have been in the Carolina’s for 20 years now. It has actually been pretty cold in the south as well, but today was beautiful!!!! I hope the groundhog sees his shadow and winter will end!!! Try to stay warm for the rest of the nasty winter!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Hi Alyssa – I like interacting with Heather and Jennifer – have you read Jennifer’s other blog about her daughter? I also interract with them by e-mail too as sometimes I have sent pictures and you can’t do that here. They are both very nice. I have met many nice people since blogging began … in a week or so I will be blogging six years, but I only had a handful of people following me by e-mail for nearly five years, then all of a sudden a few people discovered my blog (don’t know how as I never used tags) and things took off after that.

        I have a friend from high school who has lived in Cary, North Carolina for about 30 years now. I was in North Carolina traveling with my mom in the early 90s going through Cherokee and the Great Smoky Mountains. I don’t know anyone in South Carolina but the pictures I’ve seen of it seem quaint and picturesque.

        I am never this late on here – usually in bed earlier than this but I had to work today kind of unexpectedly and it threw off my schedule.

        I don’t mind the cold (except the Polar Vortex – worried for the house getting damage and worried about losing power. Our streets and sidewalks are still a little icy and snowy and as a result no walk – so how did the day go by so quickly Alyssa?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have had much communication with both Jennifer and Heather! They are great people! I did read about Jennifer’s daughter.
        My non-working schedule is throwing me off so much! I normally feel much worse later in the days, but at this point just feel awful all day.
        I really hope things get warmer for you soon. Please be careful out there with the ice and snow!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Hi Alyssa – Finally made it here because I took advantage of that almost balmy weather and went for a walk later in the day. I did wait until 1:00 p.m. so hopefully the slippery sidewalks and street were gone. I did walk in the middle of the streets, and just a mile at the Park – I was not comfortable with the icy patches, though I walked on the grass/snow. I’m no fan of Winter and don’t want to wipe out. Then had photos to be uploaded and did a post – and here it is 11:13 p.m. – it may seem this is my usual operating mode but it is not – I used to be in bed much earlier before blogging took off! I must do better … the flu is slowly reaching and settling into Michigan.
        Yes Heather and Jennifer are great people and I enjoy interacting with them. Jennifer has a lot going on right now and her 2018 was horrendous. I am sorry to hear that your MS is restricting you and making you feel awful all day – is it strictly the MS or does the weather also contribute to your feeling that way at this point? I know in Heather’s posts she says some days are better than others, but often the need to sleep is just overwhelming. You are in my thoughts and prayers Alyssa.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am glad the temps are warming up and just hope they stay that way for you! The flu is really horrible this year and seems to just worse every year. Take care and Vitamin C works great! I take LOTS of Vitamin C because my immune system is weak and I can’t deal with getting sick!
        The weather does factor into how I feel because it plays games with the MS. I agree with Heather that some days are better than others and the feeling of fatigue is crazy! I really appreciate your kindness and hope the rest of your week is warm!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, the flu is worrisome now that it has ramped up. I eat a lot of clementines – I like them and they are good for natural Vitamin C but also take a supplement as well. And a flu shot – I think the shot is better this year than last year. Here in Michigan we have the big auto show in the second and third week of January. Before the show opens to the public they have “press previews” the week before. Someone visited during press preview and had the German Measles and was unaware of it. So they are warning anyone who was there at that time, to be wary … it takes up to 21 days to find out if you come down with it. I know the Winter is not good for you, or other people who have MS … hard enough to navigate on a good day, let alone snow. I’ll be glad for Spring and get this bad weather done with – the ice storm tomorrow night is a little worrisome. I’m glad for working from home and not dealing with it. Take good care of yourself Alyssa.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am glad you eat lots of clementines, they are really yummy and healthy! I never get the flu shot because it has a horrible reaction to the medicine I take for the MS or I guess I should say the medicine I take reacts badly with the flu shot. Oh my word, I kind of feel bad for the person that had German Measles and didn’t know it. I hope you don’t end up with this though!! That is great you get to work from home, that is something I would really love!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        My mom was on a lot of medicines for her orthopedic issues … she was hit by a car at age 11 and had 42 operations in her lifetime, most orthopedic related … she was advised not to take OTC medicines due to the different meds she was on, so we ate a lot of clementines through the years. She ate a lot of other Vitamin C foods to keep sickness at bay (red peppers are full of Vitamin C, broccoli too). Even though she passed away in 2010, I still eat a lot of clementines to ward off sickness. I got laid off in 2009, then hired back in 2011 part-time and started working from home because I did not want to travel to Detroit for a half-day of work. I hated the commute … I commuted by bus for decades, to Detroit and that was fairly smooth, but my boss and I moved out on our own in early 2003 after our law firm went thru a merger. Then I had to take two buses each way to work … not a good option and I don’t like to drive in Winter, so this works well for me – I have not worked on site since 2009. Hope it is a good day for you Alyssa.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you! I am glad things worked out so well for you and I am sure working from home is great! You and your boss went out on your own, does that mean you are an attorney? I hope you had a great day as well!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Hi Alyssa … no, I am a legal secretary, but we left our firm due to a merger with a large firm in Richmond, Virginia. They wanted to raise my boss’ rates over $100.00-$125.00 per hour so he did not want to do this to our clients and lose them, so he asked me to go with him. I guess I should not say “we” started our own firm, but it was a big endeavor – more than I thought it would be when I agreed to go with him. You get used to the convenience of a large firm if you need a computer person, they are a phonecall away – I learned more about computers than I thought I ever would. Setting up vendors, setting up an office was really a lot of work and you still had to get work done. So, he told everyone “we” went out on “our” own. We stayed in touch with our old Firm, left on good terms, but unfortunately they were not considered profitable enough and the home office shuttered them not quite two years later.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That sounds so exciting though! Being a legal secretary you must be able to see so many interesting things! I thought about going back to school to become a Paralegal, but it hasn’t worked yet.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Have you thought about accredited online classes Alyssa? Like this one: https://nationalparalegal.edu/ That might be an option for you to do. I remember some of the legal secretaries on the bus were taking some classes to further their career. There are paralegal jobs you could get as an independent contractor – a smaller law firm may not need the services of a paralegal full time, but would like someone available for research on an as-needed basis. That would be perfect for you … you’d not need to be going out in inclement weather and easier for you than a traditional 9-5 type job.

        Like

  15. Laurie says:

    Man, Michigan is COLD!!! That’s colder than we ever get here in PA. I hated to leave the nice, warm Florida sunshine, but we left on Wednesday and headed for home. We got home today after driving through snow for about 3 hours – all the way from DC to PA. Drivers here do not do well in snow (we only got about 2 inches), so traffic crawled. I bet your feathered and furry friends really appreciate you getting all dressed up to venture out in the cold for their benefit. what would they do without you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I’m glad you didn’t get as cold there in PA because at one point I thought “I hope Laurie’s friend who is taking care of Benji is also going to Laurie and Bill’s house and letting the hot water dribble through the pipes and putting up the thermostat.” Glad you made it back and without incident to you two or your house. It has been brutal here and today it has “relaxed” a bit and we are now a normal temperature. Rain tomorrow, but they say since the pavement was so cold for so long, it will make the rain become black ice and be treacherous driving – yikes! Winter woes for sure!

      Like

    • lindasschaub says:

      I forgot to say that I’ve been taking care of my neighborhood critters but worry for Parker and his friends … hopefully the streets are better tomorrow morning for a trip to see them but if too dicey, I won’t chance it. And, in MIchigan we had a natural gas explosion for one of the energy providers – before they contained the fire a lot of natural gas was lost, so they asked all Michigan residents and businesses to curtail their usage … the suggestion was lowering the thermostat to 65 and if away from your house more than five hours, lowering it to 62. I worried for my pipes … even with insulation my house was cold at 73 degrees. Some of the GM plants shut down operations and Ford lowered the heat and that took the strain off the natural gas and they were able to confidently tell us that we could return to our regular thermostat settings, some 36 hours after making the request. That was the first time in 130 years such a request was asked of consumers and on the coldest day of the year in decades!

      Like

  16. I have been thinking about you and many others over there with such terrible weather. Can’t believe you were colder than Mars. That is bizarre. Hope you are okay ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It’s much better Zena – thanks for having me in your thoughts. It is hard to believe but today we are 50 degrees F (10 C) … that is nearly 70 degrees warmer than we had on Wednesday and Thursday. Just unbelievable. I got to the Park and have finished loading my photos and will be back to write a post later about today’s trek – it felt good to get out.

      Like

  17. Mackenzie says:

    That weatherman picture is SO funny!!!! Fascinating to hear how society’s response to the cold has changed over time. Hopefully things will warm up soon!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      They had so many memes and that was my favorite one … I am so ready for Spring. This ice storm tonight starts overnight and maybe 1/4 of ice. They have 300 linemen from other states on standby – hope they don’t need them. At least it is not as bitter cold this time if the power would go out.

      Liked by 1 person

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