We've had such mild winters here for so long that I'd forgotten what a "real" winter felt like. I'm learning very quickly, but I am far from a willing pupil. For three or four days in a row, it was so cold (daytime temps in the teens) that the furnace ran pretty much continuously -- and my place was still cold. Everywhere that has a northern exposure is still covered in a frozen sheet of snow. Unless it warms up dramatically, and soon, we're going to be looking at this stuff 'til June. I've been eating too much junk food out of boredom, because it's too damn cold to go and do anything else. I've been going to bed early some nights, simply because it's more comfortable to lie in bed under a pile of covers and watch TV than to sit in the living room with a scrawny little afghan.
I'm not much for winter gear. I tend to eschew hats. I don't own a woolen scarf. I do have gloves, and they've seen more use this year than the last 10 winters combined. I mostly prefer my leather jacket but, in this bitter cold, I've had to suck it up and wear heavy, bulky coats a lot.
Regardless of the weather, the poor dog has to have someone take her out to see to her bodily functions. That would be me. This takes a lot of planning. I gamble on weekend mornings, waiting on it to warm up a little for as long as I think her poor little bladder will hold. Weekday mornings, there's no choice; she has to go out before I go to work, period, even if there are no degrees showing on the thermometer. Evenings, I have to get her out before dark, which can be tricky on overcast days. The trek outdoors involves bundling myself up like I'm about to scale Mt. Everest -- socks, heavy shoes or boots, extra sweater, coat, hat pulled down over my ears, and gloves. Dressed up like a Yeti, God forbid I should have to draw my phone -- or my pepper spray -- out of my pocket quickly. Luckily for me, the dog has been taking care of business at rapid speed during this cold spell. Said dog usually likes to keep some distance between us when she's sleeping. She likes to sleep at the foot of the bed, under her own little blanket (which is actually a towel). I guess she's getting cold, too, because the past few mornings I've awakened to find her nudged up under my armpit.
Hurry, Springtime! And if that damned groundhog dares to say next month that it'll arrive late, I'm fixing a big pot of groundhog stew and you're all invited to dinner.