Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday Five

At least I haven't forgotten what Fridays are for around here. It's also much easier to remember a title, too.

The weather has finally turned chilly here this week. We've had lows around freezing and frost on the grass and the cars each morning, and I absolutely love it. There are people who say you don't really get much of a change of seasons this far south, but it's really not true. Our maples are scarlet, and the oaks are turning a lovely golden colour. Maybe I just notice them more since they're mixed in with the pine trees. Either way, it's finally starting to feel like fall, even if it is almost winter in most of the rest of the country. So, today's Friday Five is...

Five Reasons I Love Colder Weather

1. My down blanket

We bought this when we lived in Raleigh, in a very drafty house, with a very weak and wheezy gas furnace. Our bedroom was always ten degrees colder than the rest of the house. But that was okay, because we had flannel sheets, and this marvelous down blanket. It's a bit lighter than a comforter, which makes it perfect for living in the south, but it also really traps the warmth without you having to pile on the blankets. And I like being cozy when I sleep in the wintertime. Just ask my father who once accused me of having every blanket in the house on my bed. Of course, at the time, I could see my breath when I stood near my bedroom windows, so I suppose it's open to interpretation.

2. Hearty Food

Braised short ribs in barbecue sauce with buttermilk mashed potatoes. Baked acorn squash with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Roasted root vegetables. Thick and rich chicken and dumplings. Fresh collard greens. Grillades and grits. Clam chowder. Pumpernickel bread. I could go on, but I need to go find something to eat.

3. Not having to shave my legs every day

Okay, guys, you may be grossed out, but it's a pain in the ass to shave legs. It's awkward, and sometimes down right dangerous. I'm too chicken to wax. I tried to do it myself once, and ended up with a lovely scar. But I'm hirsute enough that I could grow enough barbed wire in a day to surround a prison. So, I look forward to when I can wear woolly tights, and tall boots with my dresses, instead of bare legs and sandals. I don't think my husband is as crazy about it as I am, but he'll deal with it. I don't carp at him when he doesn't shave on the weekends.

4. Cold weather means the holidays are coming

I admit it. I love Christmas and all the trimmings. I love seeing people put up lights, I love the smell of fresh pine and cedar wreaths, and I just love the colours that go along with the holidays. Even when I lived alone in squalor, I always had a tree of some kind, even if it was just a plastic table top one. Yeah, I know it's sentimental, but Christmas has always held warm memories for me, even if some were lousy. It's especially wonderful now that I have a child of my own.

5. We get to watch my sport on TV.

I've grown to really like baseball because of Ray, but after a whole summer of it, I'm ready to watch what I want to watch, and that's hockey. I hate football. Maybe it's because I'm Canadian, I don't know, but I just don't get football (and that's American football, y'all). So, I've been getting my husband to watch hockey for the last five years. Last year, we actually lived in the same town as a Stanley Cup winning team. And I only had to move eight hundred miles south of my hometown to do it. I still love the Leafs, but it's going to be a long time before the Cup ends up in Toronto.

Okay, that's it. For those of you who hate winter/cold weather, tough. Or, you can write about the weather you do like. Or not. No posts this weekend, back on Monday, if you can drag me off the beach.


Dumdad said...

What are collard greens?

P.S. I hate the cold weather but you're right about the food compensation.

Jill said...

Wow - five things I love about cold (or not cold) weather. Being in the great white north (a homage to Bob and Doug MacKenzie!) I'll go with cold.

1) As with Jen, it means the holidays (ah to heck with it) it means that Christmas is coming. I have this tradition to decorate my Christmas tree while watching the big Toronto Santa Claus Parade. It's on November 18th this year, and while that might seem quite early, it gives you a good few weeks of enjoying the decorations in your house BEFORE the chaos of the Christmas season comes. So purty.

2) Making snow angels. Imagine it - 2 feet of fresh fallen snow. Fall backwards into that soft stuff, then wave your arms and legs as though you were doing jumping jacks. Jen - could you upload a pic for people if they want to see?

3) Catching snowflakes on your tongue. Sure, this might be silly, but it's fun as hell.

4) Hot apple cider with a fresh cinnamon stick after a long walk outside, snuggled with your special someone (in my case my dog!) under a blanket watching your favourite movie.

5) Speaking of movies - Christmas movies. I don't mean the updated colourized versions - I mean the ORIGINAL versions of holiday movies. Miracle on 34th Street with Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwynn and Natalie Wood. A Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim as Scrooge (so brilliantly done) and of course, the quintessential It's A Wonderful Life with James Stewart and Donna Reed. I LOVE THOSE MOVIES - and there are even times during the summer when I'll whip them out and watch. Love them. A Christmas Carol was our favourite (mine and Dad's). We would always watch that on Public Television on Christmas Eve - now that I have it on DVD, it's great to watch it anytime.

6) Though I was supposed to do 5, who am I to follow rules? Animated Christmas Specials. A Charlie Brown's Christmas, Rudolph - of course, Frosty the Snowman, and everyone's favourite - How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Grab some popcorn and a mug of hot chocoate with a big o' candy cane, and enjoy!

Diana said...

I love this time of year, too. I just wish Christmas was at the end of January so there weren't 3 long months between Christmas and lovely spring. Plus, it'd be nice to have a few more weeks to get ready for Christmas.

auntie barbie said...

5 things I like about cold weather.
1. Nothing
2. Nothing
3. Nothing
4. Nothing
5. Nothing

Sorry, but I never should have been a northerner. Winter just doesn't suit me.

Robot Lord of Tokyo said...

1. it doesn't have to be cold for you to watch hockey on tv. it was still tshirt weather up here when the season started.
2. this is the year the leafs will bring it home. the season start has been rocky, but i'm keeping the faith. nothing good was ever easy.
3. go leafs go!

Johnny Ferguson Junior said...

Tonite the Mighty Maple Leafs will dismantle Sabres of Buffalo.

Willowtree said...

1. Check and double check.
2. Check.
3. N/A (I shave mine all year round).
4. N/A wrong hemisphere.
5. N/A see #4.

Jen said...

dumdad Collard greens are like kale or mustard greens. In the south, they are cooked in water with a couple of ham hocks. They're best after the first frost because they get sweeter with cold weather. Otherwise, they're kinda bitter.

jill You just can't be brief, can you? LOL

diana I agree, but only if they snow would stay clean up north through January. Usually it's pretty ugly by then.

auntie barbie Daaaaamn, now who's got their grump on? And are you trying to tell me the thrill of using that gorgeous new fireplace doesn't make the cold kinda worth it? You wanna trade?

RLOT I wish you were right about the Leafs taking the cup, but that will happen when they buy a premiere goalie.

johnny jr. I'd like to see them kill Buffalo, because I hate Buffalo's fans. But I fear you are living in a fantasy world if you think the Leafs are getting the cup this year.

willowtree! You came back! I thought you were mad because I still haven't sent you your t-shirt. And thank you for the image of your shaven legs. I shall treasure it always. Especially the next time I need to throw up.

laurie said...

man, you lived in raleigh, too? where haven't you lived?

Jill said...


Jen said...

laurie I've lived in: Toronto, Detroit, Kalamazoo, Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Charleston, SC., Memphis, Raleigh and now outside of Savannah, GA. Those last five were all in the last seven years. I've never lived west of the Mississippi, though. Not yet, anyway.

my two cents said...

What I really miss about living in Southern California is the winter. Of course, we have winter, it says so on the calendar, but not real winter. It does get cool, and since the houses aren't terribly well insulated they can get cold. Winter here mainly means the possibility of rain, and I LOVE rain. During the colder weather I love: a fire in the fireplace; winter foods like soups and stews and chili and warm bread and hot tea; flannel - flannel sheets, quilts, robes, and clothes; Thanksgiving and Christmas (I am always a little sad when it is in the 80s around Christmas); and being able to do things outside without getting sweaty.

captain corky said...

I love Winter, especially around this time of year. Unfortunately it's supposed to be in the 70's today which sucks.

JRH said...

I sort of agree with Two Cents there: we kind of miss out on winter (and fall, for that matter) here in Southern California. It's a rare day indeed that doesn't break 60. But we do enjoy the liquid amber trees people plant all over the place for the simple reason that they actually change color this time of year. In truth, though, I can't say that I miss winter, since I've lived here all my life and know nothing different. I do know, though, that when the liquid ambers turn orange, Thanksgiving is almost here. I like that.

glscott said...

OK...time to get back in the game. I'm from the deep South so cold weather likes will be interesting for me. I guarantee...none of these will involve snuggling of any sort.

1. Hot apple cider. Love the stuff. PLEASE...don't hold the rum.

2. Being in the South...watching people react to the ANTICIPATION of snow.

3. Watching the ineptness of Southern drivers whenever ice comes into play. It's like pinball. Fun!

4. The ever-present internal debate. Do I light the fireplace? Do I not light the fireplace?

I already mentioned rum, so...

5. Taking a walk out in the weather when we do actually get snow. It can never actually compare to an honest-to-goodness "Great White North" blanket on the ground but we'll take what we can get.

BONUS: How does a radio guy know the holidays are coming?

When one station goes Wall-to-Wall with Christmas music long before it should (like Y-102.9 in Raleigh who's already doing it).

Oh well...

Willowtree said...

Has it been that long? I was offline for a few days, and I don't normally comment on posts where people are sick (it doesn't help anyway, and being supportive isn't my strong suit). Oh, and I'm pissed because you still haven't sent my t-shirt!