Thursday, October 27, 2005

Rockin, Not Shakin Ms Journal

A lot of us are, including Dale who wrote I'm Shaking Ms Journal, exactly one week ago when he was feeling the cold, doing our best not to turn our the furnaces on until November. Towards the end of every October, this becomes a bit of an endurance test. It's a Canadian thing, or at least a southern Canadian thing; I can't imagine that Martin, up there inside the Arctic Circle, would contemplate such a thing. (By the way, Martin, I still have trouble commenting on your site. I've been having trouble commenting on a lot of sites lately, but I've always had that trouble on Eclectic Blogs.)


Last evening, the kids had us over for supper, and The Boy shamefacedly confessed to having turned on the furnace for about an hour when he got home yesterday. He claimed that it was down to 13°C/55°F and that he really needed to take the chill off. Although I'm sure that he exaggerated somewhat, nobody blamed him. But my own rectitude in this matter leaves me feeling like a holy martyr because I am holding firm in my resolve.


Yes, we did capitulate when we had company last weekend. We didn't want Mary's sweet potato soup freezing over before she dipped her spoon in. Did we? And although I'm told that some have fantasies in this area (ménage à trois I am told), we didn't want her crawling into bed with us either in a desperate search for warmth.


Besides, I already endure a crowded bed of three. It's the cat, of course! He may be small but he manages to take up a disproportionate amount of space. Not only that, but he has taken to sleeping by my feet! I don't know why. Cuppa is his favourite person. I lose count of the number of times that he simply uses me to get to her. We'll be sitting on the couch, Cuppa and me, watching tv. Suddenly, he jumps up on my lap; I begin to feel fuzzy-hearted and proud to be blessed by the Furry Critter of Purr. It is invariably at that moment that he chooses to shatter my spirit by crossing over to Cuppa's preferred lap.


So, it boggles my miniscule mind to fathom why he is sleeping at my feet and not hers. It can't be for comfort because I am taller than Cuppa, and I'm sure that my longer legs cause some discomfort; surely he endures numerous kicks, nudges, and proddings through the night. But he persists. Some cats skedadle at the slightest twitch of an eyebrow, but not The Rocks who endures like ... well, like a rock.


Eventually, in these circumstances, I often begin to feel constrained. What with Cuppa taking her 55% of the bed on my left and Rocky taking his 35% on my right, I sometimes find my 20% to be rather confining and feel the need to seek alternate accommodations. It's not always his/their fault as I am a frequent night-roamer regardless. There are times, for example, when I do my best impression of a glowing ember. I may simply start to roast and swelter for no apparent reason and opt to seek relief by distancing myself from other bodies.


Last night, however, with the outside temperature falling below freezing, I was not having a heat problem, however: just a space one. I simply couldn't seem to get comfortable on my meagre 20% of what has become the family bed. So, I trundled off to find leg and elbow room elsewhere. That I found, but what I didn't find was much protective cover, just one thin blanket. It sufficed for a while, but I was shortly forced to return to the crowded bed. This time, however, I didn't mind, for by that time of night it was cold enough to snuggle right up to Cuppa and hold on tight. Yum!


This morning, I sit well-bundled at the computer. I wear my long johns, a heavy sweatshirt, and a toque. Oh the toque: a name that causes great confusion. Some people, some Americans at least, call it a toboggan. But in the Great White North a toboggan is something that we slide down hills on — a sleigh of sorts — and a toque is what we wear on our heads. I was not even aware of this distinction until last winter when a fellow blogger from Alabama wrote about wearing a toboggan on his head. That cracked me up, and he didn't know why, so I wrote this blog (it has pictures of the two items if you're still not sure of what I'm blathering on about — and I'm wearing that same toque at this moment, and Cuppa has just wandered in and snapped a picture that I now offer up to my loyal fan base).



A well-bundled, toqued maestro typing with a flourish


Look, all that I really wanted to say is that it's chilly this morning, but I resist turning the heat on for another few days, so I am well but oddly swathed. But I have gone the long way round and talked about cats in the bed, guests, and toques and toboggans. In fact, I have let this become one of my longer blogs. I attempt to keep blogs to between four and six paragraphs for the most part as I reckon that's about as long as the typical blogospherian will stick with you — and also because I'm normally more concise than verbose — but not this morning, apparently.


Finally, I want you to rest assured, that I'm comfortable, that I'm not depriving myself unduly because I am downright and Scrooge-like miserly. I'm not freezing my buns off or suffering in any way. That's one thing about cold weather. If you dress appropriately, you can almost always be warm, even when it's well below zero and you're outside taking the air, as they say. Generally, people only feel the cold in winter because they refuse to dress appropriately.


I'm not sure if most would consider long johns and toques to be appropriate attire for the house in October, but I'm content. Besides, I've taken long enough to write this blessed piece that the day has warmed up somewhat, and so I can begin to shed some of my wrappings.


 

23 comments:

Bonita said...

I was beginning to wonder if you had frozen up there. I'm glad all is well with Cat, Cuppa and yourself. As regards long johns, I've read that the old-timers up there kept them on all year long, without changing. Their leg hairs would pop through the fabric, keeping everything well anchored. Does that happen to their caps as well?

Loner said...

Unbelievable - you turned on your furnace the same day we did - it is in the 50's during the day and we had our first freeze last night - weird - you'd think that a huge distance like that would have meant winter a lot earlier for you all!

Simply Coll said...

Love the photo :-).. I understand completely. I don't wear toques (never heard them called toboggans before) but my computer chair almost always has a fleece sweater wrapped on its back... just in case. These days my internal thermostat is a little out of wack.

We ignited our furnace about a week ago.. but since then the weather has turned warmer and I have yet to hear its hum.

I'll bet you have warm feet.. ask Rocky.

PBS said...

My tiny little dog takes up 55% of the bed space. We turned our heat on about a week ago. Yes, I know we're wimps but I was afraid the pipes might freeze!

Anvilcloud said...

Yes, PBS, but although you're American and I'm Canadian, you live significantly further north than I.

Loner: perhaps it's the path of the current jet streams.

defiant goddess said...

Now I know what a toque and a toboggan are. ;)

Dale said...

I'm laughing my frozen buns off here, AC. That photo is hilarious! Remember Bob and Doug Mackenzie, the "hosers" from SCTV? That pic reminds me of them.

"Take off, eh?" LOL!!!

Christi said...

What's scary is that it's pretty cold here already. That's not normal. You sound like we do in the summer. You guys don't have to turn your a/c's on forever compared to us. We try and try to hold out till June, but I don't think I've ever made it!

Okay, I'm a little confused now. I read your link to the blog about dialects and whatnot. Am I British? I say mobile (moble) and schedule (skedual). I've never heard anyone say it any other way, either. Well, the South was mostly made up of conservative Britians, so maybe that's why! I didn't know about using presently like that, though, and I thought that was pretty cool.

Gina said...

I see that even with the big chill going on, you are loyal to your Diet Coke. At least you don't even have to keep it in the fridge to keep it cold. ;)

Mel said...

I love this longer discourses. And the flourish while typing and wearing a toque? Very impressive.

Lynn said...

I am trying to hold off turning on the furnace in sunny Chicago. I'm wearing a heavy long sleaved shirt, a sweatshirt, and parka liner as I write this. When I have to put another layer of sweatshirt, I'll know it's definitely time to turn on the heat.

Valerie - Riding Solo said...

No! You take off! LOL

We call it a beanie here. Call it what you will, they keep the heat in!

Linda said...

Here in Winnipeg, we are basking in 17 degree temps. No need for the furnace yet!

Heather said...

Linda's right, we ARE having lovely weather in Winnipeg right now, but we HAVE had to turn the furnace on a few times already.

I LOVE the toque. Tres chic!

Judy said...

I'm still hanging laundry outside to dry.

It comes in covered with leaves, and takes a LONG time to dry, but I refuse to hang it inside until I absolutely have to.

As far as heat goes, it goes on once it hits sixty degrees in the living room.

I like it cold.

swamp4me said...

LOL, I never heard the word toque and had to go look it up just to be sure you weren't making it up.

Oh, and not to be picky or anything but...
55% + 35% + 20% = 110%
You are really only getting a meager 15% of the bed!

Norma said...

You Canadians are such a brave, hardy group. We just turn on the heat when it drops below 40 here.

Did I miss something or someone? Why do you only get 20% of the family bed?

Anvilcloud said...

Hey Swamp. I think you're right, but you're wrong. I'd be getting 10%. So, let's just say that The Rocks gets 25%. Eh?

It's in paragraph 6, Norma. Your eyes were probably glazing over by then. lol Apparently, my brain was fogging up too.

swamp4me said...

Haha...now I'm really laughing! Can't even do my own math. That's the kind of mistake I used to rag my students about...the infamous careless error.

swamp4me said...

No heat in our house yet either. I just checked the thermometer in the kitchen -- indoor temp is 58.3 degrees F at the moment. It has been cold (at least by our standards) this week, but we are expecting highs to be back in the 70s next week...
We are expecting our first frost tonight, though. Guess I'd better get my house plants in.

gemmak said...

Lol...what a lightweight I must be! I've had my heating on for weeks!

Oh, and I sympathise with the cat &bed thing, our new kitten, despite being only about 6 inches long seems to need all the bed for nocturnal games....that include pouncing on my face when she's not gained attention any other way....with claws that have not yet learned to retract :o/

Martin said...

John,
What do you consider cold where you are? At what temperature do you turn your furnace on? We turn our boiler on when the nights are below 0 but if it is sunny out during the day and the temperature is even slightly above 0 we turn it back off. Good insulation and solar heat help I guess.

Lora said...

I've never hear the term toque before. I would call it a bobble hat. In my opinion the avoidance of turning on the furnace on is the perfect excuse to bake a lot of fattening goodies.

However, my husband is a southern in many ways and her is warm Texas he has already turned the heat on. It drives me nuts, because I am of the breed more likely to be wearing long-johns and a bobble hat to avoid turning the heat on before a certain date.