Thursday, November 06, 2008

CG asks NG for advice

You remember the song don't you?
"The Northern Girls, with the way they kiss,
they keep their boyfriends warm at night..
I wish they all could be California girls...."

Even though I am a CG, I think I can manage to figure out how to kiss so as to keep my boyfriend/husband warm at night...but I do have another question to ask about this current gig of being a "Northern Girl."

What do you NGs know about life with snow that I don't know, but should?

Especially in terms of driving.

(I'm a bit freaked about driving in icy conditions...)

However, I am interested in anything else that you could share about living safely and wisely with snow.

I am serious.

Help out this new member of the NG sisterhood.

Former CG now Coloradan NG BGF Gail has given me her best tips gleaned during her two decades of life with snow.

They are as follows:

1. Always have a warm coat, sleeping bag, hat and gloves in the car at all times.

2. Leave your windshield wipers point up when you stop them to make it easier to de-snow/ice the windshield later.

3. Wear the slip-on anti slip things on your shoes when you go out.

4. Get your car washed and waxed to prepare for winter.

5. Wearing silk long underwear is better than heavy layers.

Bernie lived in Chicago for a year, and advises:

1. If it is snow slippery, take the foot off the gas and let the car inch along on its own.

2. Steer into a slide. (DON'T take hands off the first inclination...)

3. Jackets with zippers need to have something covering the zipper, preferably a flap with snaps and not Velcro.

My own advice to myself:

1.Wear a brimmed hat so the glasses don't get snow on them.

2. Don't drive if you don't have to if it is wet and icy out.

3. Remember to button up before going out the door.

4. Always have something ready to blot nose drippies.

5. Mittens really are warmer.

My co-worker suggested that on heavy snow/freezing rain days it is a good idea to put a tarp over your car in the parking lot when you get to work, and put a brick on the top of it to hold the tarp down. She says it is easier to whisk off the tarp later than try to scrap ice and snow in the dark.

While you are mulling over what you want to tell me, you can enjoy these pictures from yesterday.

The Catholic church is across the street from our school's parking lot.

It is just a gorgeous building, and photographers are photographing it all the time. I keep meaning to bring a tripod and get going on shooting all the interesting details of the structure. And I want to go inside too to see that massive round stained glass window from the inside.

White trees look so good in front of red brick buildings.
This snow storm happened on Wednesday; it was so hard to go to work when I wanted to do was to walk around and take pictures, or sit in front of a fire and stare out the window.

I guess there will be time for in the future...after all, I do actually live here now. This isn't a vacation, I get to stay for keeps!

Autumn was spectacular, and there still is plenty of color around.
I want to make sure I know all the insider tricks to making life in winter's snow as pleasant of an experience as well.
Got any tips for me?
Come on all you Northern Girls.
I know you learned how to keep yourselves safe and comfortable in the snow.
Share with me, OK?
It is getting colder at night.
Your "boyfriend" will be willing to wait for you...cuz he knows all about that signature NG Kiss!


Lovella said...

I feel actually quite ignorant .. .I might be a NG according to the map but on the wet coast we have much more rain than snow.
I know the basics that B mentioned about taking your foot off the gas, and steering into a slide.
Hmm, let's see . .. . .spray your winter boots to keep them protected from the elements, make a big pot of soup and freeze it in containers for the days you need something warm. .. I don't know, these suggestions are pitifull, you'll have to get help from the real NG.

Sara said...

Your snow shots are so beautiful...winter, winter, winter! the view of the church looks like it could be a Christmas card.

Well, I stopped here to see if any of the NGs have given you some advice. You know I have none...being the CG through and through that I am. I'd probably freeze my toes off if I had to survive in your winter wonderland!

It sure is beautiful though.

Anonymous said...

Well, when it gets too cold for you, you can always think of your old life in Texas where it is still in the high 80's and you hardly had much winter. We had a balmy
day in your home town today in So. California but your snow pictures look so beautiful. So no help from this Calif. native as I would be as lost as what to do as you are. So I can only say as your Mommy..."be very careful". Love you.Mom

Kate said...

Here's one that has worked for me both in Virginia snow and Texas gullywashers (i.e., hydroplaning). Always turn into a spin NOT the opposite which some are wont to do. It does minimize the trauma of a spinout. I have recently learned about HEATED seats in newer cars and bought the "winter package" when I bought my Mini just so I'd have them. They are worth any price at my age!

Take your time is probably the best advice - and leave plenty of room for those speeders who THINK they know how to drive in snow.

Love that Tarp idea. I don't have a garage at my new place so will look into getting one. Won't have to be big for my Mini.

Enjoy your snow!
K Q:-)

Vicki said...

Gorgeous snow pictures!

Let's see what I can remember...

How about keeping a bag of clay-type kitty litter in your trunk. That's in case you get stuck and need to create your own traction.

That lock-antifreeze stuff is good to have, too, in case your lock gets frozen...but don't keep it inside the car!! (Do not use warm or hot water to 'defrost' the windows, doors, or locks...common sense, I know, but some people forget that hot water freezes quickly and can crack your windsheld.)

If your area uses salt or brine on the roads, be sure to get your car washed afterwards on the first nice day. (KY tints it blue so you can tell the roads have been treated.)

Contact AAA for other great tips.

I love snow, and ice turns the landscape incredibly pretty, but I dislike driving in that stuff. My favorite advice for driving in it:
1. Stay home.
2. Bum a ride.
3. Public transportation (cab or bus).

Good luck!

running wildly said...

I'm not much for driving in the snow myself, but I do know to always have a full load of windshield wiper fluid on board. It helps to defrost a whole lot quicker.

Don't drive with just a bikini on. I know you do that often, so please resist the temptation.

Always keep your distance from the vehicle in front of you in case you must suddenly stop.

No hanky panky in the car.....especially when it's cold and snowing outside. It doesn't matter how you kiss.....just DON'T do it ;)

Make sure you have tires with tread on them. We might like bald men, but not bald tires.

I have more tips, but I'll have to start charging you soon.....

Vicki said...

Okay, I'm laughing hard at RW's tips!

Islandsparrow said...

Wow - you have snow and I'm swimming?? How's that for a NG?

A tip we use - park your car so that it's facing the sun - then you don't have as much frost to scrape off in the morning. (if you don't park in a garage)

Get very good tires - we use studded tires here - it really helps on slippery roads.

Stay home if you can.

Give yourself plenty of time to get places and go slow.

Get a down coat - that's my best advice for having fun in winter. There is no such as too cold weather - you just have to dress for it. Snow is fun!! Much better than cold dark rains. (sorry Lovella) I'll change my tune in March when I get a little tired of all that white stuff. . .

Anonymous said...

Instead of a house, buy that condo in the city with the covered, heated garage, use public transportation as much as possible, and enjoy the snow in the parks. Wherever you live, make sure your home stays warm enough to keep pipes from freezing and bursting inside. Debbie

Junior said...


Junior's Meowm here. There are several bits of good advice here. I have a little to add.

1. Be sure to get the windshield fluid good for low temperatures, and you can also put a bottle of alcohol in the fluid. Sometimes it gets so cold the fluid will freeze and teh alcohol will help keep that from happening.

2. If you don't want to tarp the entire car, conside an old sheet on the windshield. Hold it down by tucking it under the wipers and then putting it inside the doors.

3. I have a friend who was able to find small brooms and that was helpful in brushing the snow off, especially if you have a larger vehicle.

4. As far as actual driving...slow and easy. Think of yourself as the tortoise...there will be plenty of hares around. (Although you don't have to go quite as slow as a tortoise actually does.)

Anonymous said...

Dearest Jill!
Greetings from a sunny, lovely Venice, Italy, where I came from yesterday,and even from a sunny Amsterdam, Holland 4 weeks ago, where a bought a lot of tulip bulps etc! I do not like the winter time with that white staff, slippery roads and cold days with lots of clothes!
I'm so used to drive in the snow and icy roads that it seems strange in the first place to realize that it can be such a great problem for CGs to know how to manage the transportation. I think Debbie has the right idea about what to do!!!
By the way, Janitha's sister & her boyfriend,are in Houston just now until the 17th! Love to all of you, Pia from Stockholm, Sweden

Julie said...

Hi Jill.. loved your post and have been smiling at all the good advice !
I think one that no one mentioned is wait for the snow plow to clear the road before you go out to drive!
I LOVE the snow, and the only thing I hated about it was driving in it. Now that I don't have to go to work anymore..,. its almost perfect -- except now I worry about the kids driving in it!

Ohh.. and watch out for black ice on the roads... that is the real killer.

I love the photo of that church.. very beautiful !

Kathy said...

Minnesota girl checking in. Let's see - good winter tires, scrape all windows, slow down, keep lots of extra distance, watch your rear view mirror so if the car behind you is sliding to a stop behind you - you can get out of his way. Practice. Take your car out on snowy days to parking lots and quiet streets and put it into skids and quick stops and learn how it feels. Know if you have disc or ABS brakes. If you have ABS brakes, you just push the brake pedal down and it will pulse if needed. If you have the older kind you may need to pump them yourself. Also watch the temperature. It's always more slippery when it's just around the freezing mark. I'd rather drive any day in Minnesota winters than in BC when it snows due to drivers' inexperience and more slippery snow and ice more often.

Throw some snowballs for me.

Becky said...

I have to agree with Kathy!!! I spent years in the Okanagan, (hilly & snowy) and then 8 years in Alberta. Being at the Wet Coast, there is nothing more maddening than driving with these drivers when it snows. The slow and steady idea is not bad, except when you are so slow that you can't make it up a hill. If you are driving standard, which is the best vehicle to drive for snowy conditions, lug it. Meaning, drive in second, instead of first, your wheels won't spin as much, and you'll have better grip. For an automatic, put it into third, or second when going down hills so you don't have to use the brakes, and don't spin your wheels, or gun it, when going up hills. BUT keep at a steady speed. Nothing worse than following an insecure driver that varies the speed when driving on ice or snow. Oh, and driving on snow is so much better than ice! Look for those patches of snow, they give you better grip. Like Kathy said, practice!! Its actually pretty fun! Oh, and always have a chocolate bar in the car with a candle and lighter. Warmth, atmosphere, and chocolate while waiting for the road to clear, or the tow truck to arrive! :)