Dec. 16, 2009

Gear Up!

Autumn sets in rapidly here in the NW in October, sometimes you start to feel it in September.  There is a noticeable change. Our gorgeous summer is dissipating into brisk mornings and evenings.  1776019-The-Colours-of-Autumn-1The brilliant hues of reds, oranges, and golds have replaced the green of summer and you can feel and smell the rain, it's coming.  And when we have our first good downpour, we're out in it.  I love the feel of the rain pelting my face, getting drenched while out walking my pooches, it's exhilarating!  To hear it falling on the rooftop or raining so hard, you can hear it hitting the ground.  There we are, out on the porch watching in amazement. That's why we live here.  Because we love and yearn for the cooler season, or like me, for all of the seasons.  The colors and briskness of Autumn, the rains of winter and on occasion a sprinkle of snow.  004If you're anything like me and the countless many that have relocated to Bellingham, you yearn for the changes of the seasons.  Yes, we actually get bored with the same weather day in and day out.  Believe me, in 90-120 days, I'll be screaming for summer again.  But now, winter is setting in and I'm looking forward to it.  I'm also here to offer some tips on keeping warm and comfortable in this, the colder of the seasons.   It's time to rummage through your stored away winter clothing or cedar chest and start digging out the GEAR.

First for those rainy days of Autumn, WATER REPELLANT CLOTHING and if you're into hats, a good, old baseball cap to keep the water out of your eyes.  Toss the umbrella for a lightweight water repellant jacket with a hood. 008 They are the best!  Umbrellas are cumbersome, while a jacket with a hood is flexible.  Pull the hood on , pull it off, that simple.  and believe me, if you're going to worry about what the hood will do to your hair, maybe this is not the climate for you, or.....get a different cut!  Also, Autumn can still be shorts weather here, but you may want to wear a pair of socks with your sandals,  you just never know what Mother Nature will bring!

Although known for having mild winters in comparison to some, on occasion Bellingham does get it's share of FRIGID cold weather coming down from Canada.  BBBBBBRRRRRRRRR is my word these days.  Right now at 11:35 a.m. with the sun blaring in all it's glory, (clear as bell outside, no cloud in the sky) the weather channel says it's 25 degrees and with the winds we've been having the wind chill makes it feel like 11.  Did I say BBBBBRRRRRRRR??!!
I did and do loud and clear.

Deceiving as it is, one might think that all you need is a light windbreaker if you decide to venture out for a jog, walk the pup, go Christmas shopping, rake the leaves??  NOT!  It's time to GEAR UP.

Take my morning walk attire for example.  One long sleeve tightly knit shirt underneath a fleece lined sweatshirt, BUFF around the neck , ski jacket on top and of course silkies worn beneath the sweatpants, 012topped off with a knit hat or at least ear muffs to protect the ears and a nice warm pair of gloves.  It's called layering.  Oh, and don't forget the feet, wool socks.  I did say walk, right?  From the looks of me you'd think I was ready for the slopes.  Hmmm, better yet,  sitting in front of a roaring fire sipping a nice hot cocoa or spiced cider up at Mt. Baker sounds good right about now!
With all this layered garb on, I can barely bend the knees, but I did accomplish what I set out to do, KEEP WARM!

Another recommendation for "Gearing up in the NW"......A recent survey taken amongst friends and acquaintances, suggests that one must get an  Electric Blanket to survive the cold nights or,  get a couple of canines. They no doubt will somehow creep up in the middle of night to snuggle up and get warm as well.  I myself like the Canine approach best!

Gearing up also refers to the home.

If you are fortunate enough to have a fireplace or insert or pellet stove, keep it stoked, keep it turned on or keep the pellets flowing!! These are also a great resource to have as a backup heat source when the power goes out.  On occasion this does happen, especially when the Northeasterly's blow.

Green is the word these days, green as in Energy efficient,  so look into insulating your home if it is not, replacing the old single pane sash windows with newer vinyl double pane or at least put up the storm 004windows.  To protect your outdoor faucet from freezing over, remove all water hoses and cover with a Faucet Cover.  You can pick them up at your local hardware stores for around $5.00.  005Get the furnace serviced and replace those filters for top efficiency.  Getting new Energy Star appliances and improvements to your home  will not only help our environment, but will also get you some credits on your tax return.

So rummage through the closet, rummage through the garage, gather up the family and snuggle up with hot cups of cocoa and get ready to Gear Up!

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