You’re Gonna Freeze Your Balls Off…

It feels like it has been a while since we had to contend with negative wind chill temperatures and actual accumulations of snow. Olivia Wigglebothum brought the Polar Vortex in 2014 which was exciting. However last winter was so mild that my parsley overwintered. Fucking parsley.

This winter, I have to figure out how to dress like I’m harnessing my cat sled team for tundra travel, but spending the majority of my day inside at work looking “professional.” Mostly I want to go into hibernation mode. According to people who live in REALLY cold areas, “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing” and Ohioans should figure out how to dress for the weather and get over it. I feel like these people don’t get punched in the crotch enough.

Because I seem to advocate for crotch punching and profanity, a friend shared this app with me: What The Forecast?!! I set it on “obscene” and proceeded to share my forecast and freezing giggles with everyone. It was free fun!img_3906

The same friend and I signed on for our metro parks‘ winter hikes series. We did it last year, but last year was parsley-growing mild! What seemed like a good idea a month or two ago now seemed like a bad dare when Saturday morning’s forecast looked like this:

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I sent her this forecast hoping she’d call my bluff and suggest that yes, we would be incredibly stupid to go for a hike in the woods. Even if there was soup at the end.

Unfortunately, we know that, unlike hibernating bears, we are not living off our body fat so much as adding to it during the winter. So we layered up like the little brother from A Christmas Story and chose the two mile option for the first hike of the season.

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It was so cold that my phone died.

Given, I did have Pokemon Go open (we were in a metro park there were balls to get!), was trying to take a photo, AND got a text message at that exact moment which was more than my phone could take. Solution: tuck it into my ample bosom to warm it up.

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Before my phone fainted from hypothermia.

It’s nice to be in the woods even if it is on a march with a hundred other people, and the sound of squeaking snow under boots is the equivalent of nails on chalkboard to me. Somehow I could still hear the birds, mostly blue jays, over the squeaking. Being among the trees is calming. It doesn’t take too much effort to find something beautiful in nature. Eventually, I got used to walking with my glasses frosted over.

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One of the perks of the winter hike series, besides getting some exercise, is the volunteers at the end. Each hike ends with volunteers serving hot cocoa, soup, and other treats. Last year, we practically had a full meal after one hike. This hike ended with veggie soup and a fire pit where it was comfortable enough to loosen up some of the layers. We learned last year that it is good etiquette make a small cash donation at the end of each hike, supporting the park programming. This time we signed on as “Friends of the Metro Parks.” Twelve more hikes to go!

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My “resting soup face.”

A new twist to this year’s hike series is donations to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. The parks are encouraging hikers to bring non-perishables and personal care items to each hike for the donation boxes. We’re all just a jar of peanut butter and tube of toothpaste away from helping out.

If you’re in the Central Ohio area freezing your balls or lady parts off, check out the hike series.

#ColdAF

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Cue the sad music

I was trying to get some work done, but could hear the periodic rustle of paper in the living room somewhere out of my eye line. This could be one of the cats shredding important documents for me, or someone playing in the gigantic Amazon box that has been in the living room for months now.

The box has been a source of great entertainment. It’s fun to jump in and out of, especially with toys in one’s mouth. Olivia Wigglebothum’s newest dinner time game is to drag our string toy around while I eat. She jumps with it into the box, and then proceeds to shred the Hell out of the butcher paper as if hiding the string. The paper which started as several feet of solid wrapping is now the consistency of something you might put in a gerbil’s cage. To add interest, I recently cut a door and some “windows” in one side of the box. These are good for stealthy exits and for smacking the other cats.

However the rustling I was hearing was not the enthusiastic leaping and tearing about associated with the box. These rustles were the equivalents of dramatic, long-suffering sighs of tragic discomfort.

Birdie.

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Birdie had crafted a nest in the paper and was allegedly sleeping in between sadly rearranging her position. No one sleeps in the box! However Birdie was busy channeling her former homeless self. She’s a “domestic short hair” like everybody else in the house, but somehow she managed to poof out her fur as if she was battling the cold, cruel winds of central heating.

I swear she got into my Sarah McLachlan cd‘s. (I don’t allow the cats to watch those commercials.)

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It took me a moment to figure out WHY she was impersonating a sad street cat. Birdie is in a  deeply emotional relationship with the duvet on my bed and I had the gall to strip the bedding and wash the duvet cover in a fit of tidiness.

Since putting the duvet on the bed for cold weather, Birdie’s life has a new purpose. She talks to the duvet, she kneads it, she burrows into it, she creates little valleys and pockets to sleep in. I’ve never seen her happier than when she sleepily looks up from its polyester-filled folds. (This does not bode well for her warm weather emotional state.)

Washing and drying done, I made the bed. I selfishly wanted clean bedding for myself. I always forget that none of this is about me. Birdie and duvet reunited.

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My Case for the Pillows

I thought they were my pillows. I bought them. Bitch, please.

Turns out I was just holding them for somebody. Guess I’m sleeping on the couch.

Crazy cheap and kind of scratchy pillowcases and duvet cover by IKEA. Bought specifically for my cats to shed all over this winter. The duvet won’t fit in the washing machine, but the cover will. I’m lucky it’s getting a high approval rating.

It’s Only Tuesday

It’s only Tuesday. I took an informal survey at work, and we’re just fucking disappointed as Hell that IT IS ONLY TUESDAY!

It feels like it should at least be Thursday. Wednesday night if you really want to push my emotional maturity. I swear I saw some people walking this afternoon as if it were Friday.

It’s going to a long week. I need this panther action.

Powerful panther

Claws! Leaping at stringy prey

Instant feline joy

Dear Oreo

Dear Oreo,

You’ve never been my favorite cookie. I’m sorry if that’s hard to hear.

You’re no Nutter Butter, but you’re cheap, generally a known entity, and you’ll do in a pinch. When it comes to pumping teenagers full of sugar, your “2 for whatever” pricing is an easy answer. My publication staff can tell when I’ve been grocery shopping because I’ll randomly show up to class with two packs of Oreos. This elevates me to benevolent overlord/ goddess in one bite. Their constant state of overly dramatic starvation is my excuse to try your new and sometimes questionable flavors.

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These flavors were mostly not gag inducing although the salted caramel was a bit fake tasting, and I still have no clue what the Hell cookie butter is supposed to be.

This year, we’ve elevated our Oreo tasting status to something less like a shark feeding frenzy and more like wine tasting.

For the recent Mystery Oreo campaign, I bought a pack without telling them what we were doing. My theory was that outside stimuli or verbalizing would influence the tasting process… and we could really use $50,000.

Everyone got  a post-it note to respond on, I turned out the classroom lights and pulled up a candle with soothing music on the iPad. Technology! We sat in a circle and I talked them through some incredibly dorky yoga breathing, and “mind clearing.” No one was allowed to talk. In fact, there was to be no talking until everyone had thoroughly sampled a mystery Oreo and written down a response. They did amazingly well. This was serious business.

My adult palate registered hints of poison, some type of cough syrup I’ve thrown up before, and fake oranges. They tasted Fruit Loops.

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These are not okay. Do not put them in your mouth.

Now when the 2-for packs show up, they sample them thoughtfully. Taking time to nibble the creamy filling, and sniff the cookies, as they stand around talking about the hints of flavors they’re sensing.

Perhaps this has all become more serious because we vote on our “would you ever purchase this flavor again” choice. Sometimes it’s a case of the lesser evil. For example, they were okay with apple pie even after the initial smell impact, but I voted blueberry pie because, in spite of its disturbing color, it had LESS fake flavor to it. However they did NOT finish either pack which is unusual for them.

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So, my dear Oreo, your tiny audience has concluded two things:

One, we hate the “graham flavored cookie.” Stick with chocolate or vanilla.

Two, you weren’t meant for most fruit flavored fillings. Traditional creme, birthday cake, chocolate, maybe mint or lemon if you’re feeling adventurous.

Until you come to this realization with us, we’ll keep taking the dare that is your current trend.

 

Upset Tum Tuesday

Me: “Who wants their tum rubbed? Do you want your tum rubbed?”

Olivia Wigglebothum: “I WANT Donald Trump to go away.”

Me: “Yea, we all do.”

Olivia Wigglebothum: “He’s embarrassing, sad, and frightening all at once. This shit keeps me up at night. He makes the Bush years seem elegant, safe, and rational. Is there no psych eval for world leaders? Why does he hate EVERYTHING? What the Hell?!”

Me: “I know, kitten. How about that tummy rub now?”

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For less upset tums, check out Katzenworld’s weekly Tummy Rub Tuesday.

Happy Friday the 13th

Nothing unlucky here except that these two got snagged for an early morning selfie and kisses.

Yes, those are Lularoe black cat leggings. Paired with a lovely “Scaredy Cat” tee from Shred My Couch. I bought it because, at the time, they were making donations to hurricane (pick one!) relief for animal shelters. Squirrel Den Studios made me do it!