After last year’s epiphany, I learned the best way to handle winter was to accept it. Whining about heavier coats, gloves and boots only serves to make the season uncomfortable. My new mantra is to “embrace the cold”, dress for it properly so the bite is less painful. Nothing you can do will stop or slow it down, avoidance is the only escape by way of airline tickets to a sunny, tropical climate. I can’t help but think, how boring to live in a sun drenched climate, with its nonstop tropical flavour, serving the same dish day in and day out with only the occasional storm to shake things up. It must be truly awful.....
Being a conformed whiner, you can take my word that if you dress properly, cold isn’t that bad. Just to be clear, I am referring to Nova Scotia cold, not anything further north, this chick will never live in a climate that is cold enough to sustain an igloo. I can be accepting of a reasonable chill in the air but no dipping past -7. I have my limitations. Anything lower is a day to stay home snuggled in front of the fire to contemplate a move.
Last year I finally got it, after decades of hating winter, I finally accepted its gifts and was happy to be here to experience it. As we get older and there is more sand at the bottom of the hour glass than the top, we learn to appreciate every minute of every day. Besides, if you step back and forget about the cold, winter is actually one of the most beautiful seasons, filled with the art of Jack Frost and Currier & Ives paintings beyond our window panes to take our breath away. We are certainly torn between the beauty and the beast of winter and know, it is a season to be respected.
Last week there was a lot of ambulance and fire truck activity, no doubt rushing to the first accidents on slippery roads. I hope no one was seriously hurt! Probably not many winter tires on this time of year but I’ll bet this coming week will see a lot of appointments for the changeover. A friend drove home from PEI and said there were 10 cars off the road and it was a harrowing ride for her. Play it smart and drive to the conditions so if you go into a slide, only the car will be bumped, a very fixable problem, don’t be foolhardy and ruin the upcoming holidays for the people who love you. No place is so important that you need to take risks, slow down and play it smart, play it safe for all concerned on the highways.
Then came Sunday, a day almost surreal compared to the frigid cold and snow of last week. I took the pups outside to play ball on the lawn. It was crisp but not biting. My cheeks felt alive, happy and pink, a natural blush. It was truly invigorating. It was almost cold enough to wear gloves, my fingertips felt the nibble of the cool air and when I came inside, they were red and heated up like a furnace as the blood rushed in. Happy and exhausted, the pups curled up for a nap around my feet, all tuckered from playing in the fresh air. Happiness for them is a little blue ball and a cuddle. Life doesn’t get simpler than that!
I got up this morning to mild, almost spring like temperatures, probably normal for this time of year if winter hadn’t bumped itself to steal the end of fall. The weather is nothing short of schizophrenic, one minute we’re worried about the driving hazards and then it feels like time to rake a few leaves and wash the car. Mother Nature’s baby sister is Global Warming and she’s a bitch. She’s pretty annoyed how we’ve polluted the planet and mistreated her older sibling so she’s out for a bit of revenge, so hang on, it could be a very bumpy winter!
I’ve been cutting kits for days which reminded me of the tip I posted last year. Now with artificial heat turned on, the air is dry and charged with static electricity. Cutting wool under these conditions can be trying as a static charge makes the wool stick to the metal, continually feeding in on the cylinder. Also, drying wool in a machine will build up a static charge and trying to cut it fresh out of the dryer is impossible, you’ll spend more time pulling it off the blade than actually cutting.
When you are cutting wool with a machine, sometimes the strips stick to the blade and rolls under the wheel and before you know what has happened you cut it in half. You try to dig it out and maybe back up a bit to retrieve it, but it keeps happening over and over and you get a bit flustered. All you want to do is cut fast and get hooking!
Sometimes you try blowing with hot, moist breath and it works to a degree, but the static keeps coming back. Cutting takes forever! Dry winter days are the worst and if you've just pulled your wool out of the dryer cutting it is almost impossible. Frustrating? Tell me about it! I cut more wool than most and let me tell you, it's aggravating! And then after the wool is cut it keeps sticking to your hands as you try to lay it out flat on the table to tie into a bundle. Yup...we've all been there and will be again, time after time. Oh joy! If only someone could invent a way to stop the madness!!
The answer is so simple you'll kick yourself for not thinking of it first. Before you start to cut, get out a bottle of hand cream and add the teensiest bit to the hand that holds the wool. Rub it in well over the underside of the fingers...the palm doesn't matter. I guarantee, the wool will feed straight through, no static, no charge! So grease up and do some cutting!