Meteorological Misfits and the Dogs Destined to Deal with them


Neither my partner Sara nor I is what you’d call climatically well-adjusted.

I hate heat, but Sara isn’t exactly fond of freezing either.

This past week in Kentucky, for example, Sara has found it challengingly chilly.  Our dogs, too, are uncomfortable with the cold.

dog wearing hat and scarf

They force me to wear my hat and scarf indoors.

I, on the other hand, am loving it.  I’m snuggling-down-under-the blankets loving it—drinking-steaming-cups-of-hot-tea loving it.

And I’m loud about that love.  (Then again, I’m loud about a lot of things.)

However, as much as I love fall’s chill, I hate heat. I abhor it, actually.  So when we lived, for two out of the past three years, in infernally hot places—inhumanly humid places—I complained a bit.  I engaged in a bit of meteorological moaning, you might say.

You see, in 2009 my partner and I moved with our dogs to Vietnam, and then lived the year after that in Haiti. Even our Maltese Lucy dressed for Hanoi’s heat.

Please, I beg of you, help me get this damn thing off.

Vietnam was definitely the hotter of the two places.  Yet living in a place like Port-au-Prince, where access to electricity was inconsistent at best, air conditioning was lacking, and we often didn’t have the power to run a fan either.

Certainly, this exposure to our planet’s “hot spots” has helped me better tolerate the “heat” we had here in Kentucky last summer, our warmest on record.  This doesn’t mean, however, that I complained a whole lot less about the inferno we suffered—though I suppose I should have, for Sara’s sake, to save her from my unrelenting heat-related commentary.

You see, Sara insists that if it’s hot, I invariably comment on that fact, unceasingly and with, at least, a borderline whine.  I don’t deny noting that it’s hot, but I flatly refuse to accept that I whine in any situation where that whining is not thermostatically justified—allowing me to blow off steam, if you will.  Far be it from me to “make much ado” if I don’t need to!

But, I’d like to think I whined, at least, a little less last summer, because, in all honesty, I believe, I’ve acclimated a bit to the heat.  And Kentucky heat is less oppressive than the “hot” that is Hanoi in summer or Texas under a Rick Perry administration.  Kentucky is clearly in the minor leagues compared to Vietnam, not to mention Houston.  It’s hot, yes, but ungodly and inhumanely hot?  Probably not.

Nonetheless, I’m welcoming this fall’s break from summer heat.  I’m bundled up in sweatshirts and heavy socks—breathing deeply of the crisp and almost chill.   And I’m talkin’ about it.

A lot.

Sara, on the other hand, isn’t exactly a happy camper this week—or, I should say, she isn’t happy camping in tent-like temperatures.

You see, our house is drafty.  It’s old.  It’s cold.  It makes my Sara miserable.

However, last night when Sara dramatically draped a wool, winter scarf around her neck and crawled diva-like into bed, I’m sorry to say, I laughed.

I laughed at her wordless but ever so over-stated woe.  Though she doesn’t always vocalize her misery, she does complain in equally obvious ways.

I know I shouldn’t have laughed.  I know I should have snuggled close and kept her warm.  I should have remembered my misery in Hanoi’s heat.

But the fact of the matter is—it is cold in Kentucky this week.  So maybe I mocked out of my own discomfort with the cold.

At least I’m not complaining about it—because, God knows, I’m capable of that.  This climatically challenged chic complains with the best of them.  I’m a meteorological misfit, who hates heat and isn’t always crazy about the cold either.  And Sara’s not a whole lot better.

Even little Lucy’s dressed for sweater weather.

They’re killing me here.

It’s sad.  Isn’t it?  Even our canines are climatically challenged.

Do you prefer warm or chilly weather?  Do you complain when it’s too hot or uncommonly cold?  Are you, or someone you know, climatically challenged?

98 thoughts on “Meteorological Misfits and the Dogs Destined to Deal with them

  1. I prefer fall — glorious in the sunshine but a nip in the air, a chance to layer and the return of my childhood friend, the wind. Summer’s in MI are infernally hot and miserably humid. I spend most of it in the pool or near a fan and yes, I complain a LOT. Winter is fine with me, I can always add a layer or 5. 🙂 Hubbs has little body fat and he loves summer and hates winter. We’re a perfect match!!

    The hats & blankies on the dogs are just the cutest EVER!

    MJ

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  2. I am with Sara, I suspect we are sisters. I whine constantly and relentlessly when the temp drops below 50, never mind when it gets to 40 and when it creeps to the 30’s, oh no my bed looks like I failed to fold and put away the extra blankets.

    On the other hand, Houston (home) with its perfect heat and humidity mix is heaven. Singapore was one step up! Dallas, where I live now is nice but it is missing the humidity that keeps our skin young.

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    • Oh, I thought Dallas was miserably hot and humid. Isn’t it amazing how differently people can experience temperature? Perception is such a strange phenomenon. But, gosh, I’m so happy you are living in the perfect place for you. I suppose the pacific northwest would be perfect for me. Great to hear from you. Thanks so much for your comment!

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  3. I too can’t deal with the heat, especially when it’s combined with humidity and allergens. On the other hand I don’t really like being too cold. But autumn’s crispness suits me fine. I can always add another layer, put on a hat (to keep the heat in) or a scarf. It’s nice to have a fire in the fireplace even if it does affect the air quality in the house just a little bit. But you’re right. Snuggling with Sara is definitely a better response than laughing.

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    • It truly was awful of me. Eventually I did crawl into bed with her, but not before mocking mercilessly. I agree that fall is perfect. And I, too, prefer it a little cold to too much heat. Layering is such an easy answer. WIsh we had wood-burning fireplace. Great to hear from you, Lisa. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. In Joburg, we can have 4 seasons in one day! Seriously…even in mid winter, the temperatures can vary between minus 0 degrees Celsius to 20 degrees Celsius in one day. A bit tricky to figure out what to wear sometimes… I prefer spring, when it is not too hot yet, but cold enough to pull the duvet up in the early morning hours…

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    • Wow, that is quite a range. But how hot does it get in the summer–which I suppose you are approaching now? And I don’t know why pulling the cover up and snuggling in bed is so appealing. Wish I could go do it now. Thanks for your comment, Gertie. Hope you’ve had a good day.

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      • Oh, in summer we average 28 degrees C as maximum, mornings around 15. It is very warm, but the humidity is low as we are so high (more than 1700 meters above sea level). The best thing about Joburg is the afternoon thunderstorms. Quite hectic, but normally doesn’t last long. Lovely cooling down effect! And the sunshine. We have on average more than 250 hours sunshine a month almost right throughout the year.

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  5. Loved this, Kathryn! I’m a strong believer in a good wine! Ooops, I mean, a good whine! It’s got the same satisfactory/effectiveness(?) as screaming, when you smash your baby toe into something! Somehow, it just helps! I haven’t enjoyed the heat since about age 40…..when my internal things started to change. Sad thing is, I really don’t enjoy winter all that much either. Yikes! Where’s that leave me, ‘eh? LOL! I just make the best of it all, I guess. I love the pic of the dogs, although, girlfriend, you’d better watch it, someday those animals are going do a payback and you and Sara both will be in a mess of trouble! Maybe when you’re too elderly to chase them around, ‘eh? lol Take care and tell Miss Sara that I send warm cheer and best wishes! xoxoJulia

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    • Yeah, I hear pay-backs are a bitch–at least where Lucy is concerned. Don’t ever force a female dog to don a red stocking cap–literally a hat made from cutting up a wool sock–as Sara said, “a perfectly good wool sock.” Oh well. That’s the price we pay for blogging, I suppose. Sara and I will be on guard for revenge. Great to hear from you Julia. Hugs to you!

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  6. I love cold weather and have been accused of whining about the heat myself. I’m with you, Kathy – bring on the autumn chill, the warm blankets, and the hot mugs of tea!

    And I lived in Hawaii for 9 years of my life. You’d think I’d be acclimated to a little heat and humidity now and then. So not the case!

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    • Hmmm–not a fan of the heat, eh? Good thing you live in the Pacific Northwest, my friend. It’s kind of funny to me who many bloggers today have said they prefer cooler weather. Wonder if that’s some weird writerly thing.

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  7. I can handle heat if you give me an ocean. The year I was fifteen, I went outside almost never. We lived in a drafty old farmhouse, then. It was negligibly warmer indoors .My daughter’s Asperger’s comes with a host of sensory issues including the complete inability to process extreme temps in either direction, but especially cold. Oh how that girl hates to freeze.

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    • Was there something different about your 15th year from any other? Why did you only stay inside that year? To be honest, I don’t care for either extreme too much, probably most folks feel that way. But some folks tolerate extreme more than others. Thanks for weighing in,Jessie.

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  8. Oh, you BETTER believe I complain when it’s too hot! In Mid-Michigan, we get horrible humidity. At least, when you’re by one of the great lakes, you can enjoy the cool sea breeze… not so, here. I cannot tolerate humidity! The heat is OK, as long as I don’t feel it. I really don’t mind the cold too much, I can always bundle up. As I had to do a few days ago (when our furnace wouldn’t turn on) – I went to bed with 3 layers of clothes, my fleece bathrobe, and about 4 blankets (the house got down to 48°, THAT was uncomfortable). I love it when the temperature is between 60-75, to me – that’s perfect!

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    • I’d be curious to know how hot the actual temperatures get up there in the summer–cause 80 and humid is a whole lot different than 100 and humid.

      Wow, Holly–48 inside is cold–even for sleeping. Hope you got the furnaced fixed. Thanks for your commment. Great to hear from you!

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  9. I hate the heat and humidity. I actually can’t stand it if it’s above 80 degrees. An ideal day for me would be sunny, but crisp, like in the fall. I don’t mind the winter either, I love snow. It’s the bitterly cold sub-zero temps we get in February I could do without. When I go outside and my eyeballs freeze up, I’m ready for warm weather again.

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    • Those are my preferences almost exactly. Sunshine makes a huge difference. ANd don’t care for sub-zero temps either, but prefer them to 100+. We had a few days this past summer that were near 110 and humid–unheard of for us. Glad to know you’re a fellow heat hater. Thanks.

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  10. I hate the heat worse than the cold. At least in the cold you can burrow in blankets or make attempts to correct the situation. Our furnace was out for the past three days, though, and I can tell you, I had a few words to say about the cold here then.

    The dog pictures are adorable, and make me think Arthur needs a hat.

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    • Thanks, Christine. So happy you like the hats. Methinks Arthur, indeed, needs a hat! Perhaps, a conical one is in order. LOL Sorry to hear about your furnace. Is it fixed now? Poor Authur’s ears must be freezing with no hat for his little head.

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  11. I feel for Sarah like I feel for Husband/David…. I too complain vocally and quickly if there is an…issue (climate related or not). Why bother with bottling up the frustration? Let it loose!

    And Husband/David, like Sarah (sorry Sarah) also has his way of complaining without complaining. 😉

    Besides, if WE didn’t complain what would they have to complain about? 🙂

    HUGS TO YOU BOTH! 🙂

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    • Amen, sister! Bottling it up is bad for ones mental health. Glad I’m not the only vocal one. I find it interesting that David complainsabout the complaining, as well. My vocalizing is one thing Sara truly dislikes. I just don’t know how to be any other way. And my vocalizing is rarely about Sara, but she somehow says it feels like it is–even though truly I have no issue with her. Alas. We big mouths have it bad, but maybe our significant others have it worse? I don’t know.

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      • Seldom does David “say” anything about my complaining, that is also one of his “complain without complaining abilities”. 🙂 But I do apologize to him CONSTANTLY because when I snarkle I know he is the one who has to hear it, which makes me feel bad. I’m not even “dumping” on him. It’s like I just have to physically release it and he happens to hear it! 🙂 I would not say we are big mouths. I would say we are passionate! About our joy AND our frustrations. How’s that for spinning a good out of it?

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      • You’re welcome. In fairness to me (and probably you) I am vocal when NO ONE is around when I let that crazy and negative energy loose. Sometimes he just happens to hear it. 😉

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      • I try to do the same. However, sometimes I don’t even know that I’m doing it. Sara says I tend to almost talk to myself when I’m frustrated. And I don’t realize it as it’s happening. Kind of an ongoing dialogue with myself. Sara rarely talk to herself. You know, this might be an interesting subject for a post.

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      • I think it is a great idea for a post! I can’t wait to read it! 🙂 David has learned to tune me out. Though sometimes he takes comfort from me expressing it because he feels the same way! So really, I’m doing him a favor. HA! 🙂

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      • HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA–yes, of course, you’re doing him a favor! LOL Love it, Colleen. My post about talking is scheduled for tomorrow morning (MOnday). Don’t know if it’s any good or not. I’ve worked on it all weekend, and give the time I’ve taken with it, I should win a Pulitzer for it. I don’t know why writing is so slow for me! LOL

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      • I can’ wait to read it! 🙂 I know it will be spectacular. All of your posts are. I have been busy all day working on holiday gifts. Doing a lot of home made stuff. For fun. It’s a lot of work, and if anyone understands that it is you. 🙂

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      • There are some wooden things being made. 😉 And there are quite a few bracelets made as well. I’ll share pictures with you when I get things further along. I am sure I will be commenting some more tomorrow!

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  12. Winter is too cold. Spring is too wet. Summer is too hot. Fall, now that’s a season I think is just right. Unfortunately for me, it is also the shortest. I can tolerate the cold much easier than the heat, but I am admittedly unhappy with either extreme……The dogs look sooooo cute! Especially Ralph, if I may say so.

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    • I’m with you, Sista. Fall is my favorite, as well. However, you raise an issue I’ve never heard addressed before and one that hadn’t occurred to me. However, you are so correct. Why is fall so short? It certainly feels like it is. Come on–summer is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO damn long. And, god, I pray we don’t have any more weather like we did when you and Jim were here. I swear, that was the worse, ever!

      I knew you were gonna love the Ralph photos! He cracks me up in this one. That look!

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      • That heat was horrible! I hope you never have that again either! I for one hope another hurricane never comes near our area again! My in laws have been without power for four days and Jim and I have been the only people helping them. My father in law can’t do anything because of his hip replacement and my poor mother in law is stressed to the max. We all feel half dead from chopping wood, hauling water and schlepping across town every single day. I want to find a cave and hibernate until JUNE!

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      • They’re STILL without power! Incredible. Now that’s the kind of story we aren’t hearing about in the media–power outages in Ohio! Damn! Hang in there, sweetie. Wish I could help—and hope you get some relief soon.

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  13. I love this! I hate the heat and have done summers in both Houston and New Orleans! Though since it’s gotten chilly in Oregon and I am slightly uncomfortable…. the cold discomfort is so much easier to deal with and even enjoy… what with the sweaters and scarves and socks and soup and cuddling if I can remember what that’s like. I don’t get heat, not even a little bit and am oh so grateful for the cold…. so I hear you. I get it and thank you for sharing! I often feel like the only one who welcomes the chill with open arms and a big smile. 🙂

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    • So happy you enjoyed this one, Currie. I have to admit, that I’m amazed how many folks who commented today have expressed similar feelings. Wonder what it is about those of us who write. We all like chilly weather. Kind of cracks me up. I’m delighted to have your comment. And I’m so happy to hear about your new employment opportunities. And your huge, giving heart, as well! Hugs to you, sweetie!

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    • I promise you aren’t the only one, at least if these comments are any indication. And I couldn’t agree with you more. Even though cold is terribly uncomfortable, it’s easier to deal with. In other words sweaters an layers, etc. Make all the difference. May you find a cuddle partner very soon, my friend. It’s great to hear from you!

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  14. Willie and I are also “meteorological misfits” and “climatically challenged”! 🙂 Love that last photo of Lucy. That dog really know how to play up to the camera.

    Wish we were going into winter as well . . . Enjoy it!

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    • Thanks, Lisa. Glad to know that Sara and I share this disorder with you and Willie. And, yes, Lucy is such a ham–and a constant souce of amusement. So great to hear from you, Lisa. Sorry you all are facing another summer!

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  15. I’m much better in cool weather than hot (visiting Viet Nam in the summer was a nightmare for me), but I find as I get older, my margins of comfort are shrinking. Like Goldilocks, I want it “not too hot, not too cold.” Ah, but we’re fragile little flowers!

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    • I’m so glad you’ve experienced summer in Vietnam. It is, indeed, insufferable. But I think you might be expressing something that is very true for a lot of us. We don’t have the ability to tolerate extremes the way we did when we were younger. I also wonder if bipolar cycling lessens, at least, my abiity to tolerate a lot of things. Great to hear from you, Sandy. Have a great weekend.

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  16. I love love love the chillier months. As a fair-skinned girl, the summer makes me cringe because I’m almost always an unattractive shade of fire engine red…even if I haven’t had any sun exposure. And in the South, the summer tends to come around late February (we had about two days of Spring right after Mel was born…and then it was hot again). I get annoyed when I watch local meteorologists announce in October or November, “and good news, it will be warming up later in the week.” Good news?? How is that good news?? It’s supposed to be cooling off. A few summers ago, some friends and I went to a yoga ashram in the Bahamas…what a mistake that was. Although visiting the ashram and the Bahamas was incredible, we had no idea that this was the ashram’s off-season…because it was hot as the core of the Earth…and all the mosquitoes in the world came to breed there. After that experience (also sans much air conditioning except for a little oscillating fan…for only three days), I shouldn’t complain about the normal summertime heat here. But I do. And probably always will. But isn’t that the nature of our species? We can only self-regulate so well…and then we expect other resources to comfort us the rest of the way.

    Also, in light of this topic…I just want to say that I feel very fortunate and grateful that I can complain about the chilly weather while my heater is blowing. I have a friend in PA who has been without power since about 8:30 Monday night and has been told that she will not have power again until either after this weekend or even two weeks from now. She is fortunate enough to have a boyfriend who can host her in his heated home for a while. But there are so many people in that region who aren’t as lucky. I wish I could donate heat.

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    • Gooddness, Amanda, your trip to the Bahamas sounds truly miserable. We have lived way too many places without ac in recent years, so I don’t envy you that experience. Yuck! And I know what you mean about the length of summer in the South. Fortunately it’s a bit better here in Kentucky than in Alabama, but not good enough for my liking.

      I know what you mean about so many folks being without power in the Northeast. It worries me about the election on Tuesday. It occurs to me–that wouldn’t be part of why Romney has decided to go campaign there this weekend, do you? I mean–the hope that this crisis will make it more difficult for poorer folks, who might be more inclined to vote for Obama, to get to the poles and swing things in his favor. Until you mentioned your friend, I hadn’t even made that connection in PA. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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  17. I think you’re so fortunate that work has taken you to places like Vietnam and Haiti. You can’t compare a one week vacation with a one year stay.

    I much prefer heat any day. I cannot take the cold: my feet and hands were always freezing when we lived in the frozen north. However while I like hot summers I can’t bear HOT and HUMID. My ankles swell… OK you can say it, I’m a princess 🙂

    Love the photos of your dogs!

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    • Yes, a princess, perhaps, but if you are, Rosie, then I am, too, I’m afraid. Something makes me think you live in Texas now. I could have dreamt that, however. If it is Texas, gosh, the humidity must make you miserable. Yikes!

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  18. Lucy doesn’t look so thrilled about her winter attire! 🙂

    I can relate to Sara’s misery. The cold makes me cranky. Temperatures are beginning to drop here in Minnesota. It’s not even close to as cold as it’s going to get this winter and I’m already complaining, already dreading what’s to come. The down comforter is my best friend over the winter, but it sure makes it hard to get out of bed in the morning.

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    • Goodness, if you hate the cold, then Minnesota might not be the best place for you. Yeah, down comforters are awesome, but now you need a programmable thermostat, so you can set the temp higher 30 minutes or so before you get up. Do you have one. We don’t, but that might help you.

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  19. I must be a well-adapted Minnesotan as I hate it past 90. Humidity kills me too! I don’t like it when we are 10 below zero either but the cold weather is something I can deal with as I just put on another layer. I’ve learned to take the best out of what we have. Otherwise there is no way I could live here! It is getting really cold now and November is ugly, brown, dead and barren. I can’t wait until we get it white with snow! 🙂

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    • I think you’re doing pretty well to be able to tolerate temps as high as 90, especially since my friend Terri in the comment above says you all get high humidity in Minnesota. I suspect your travel has helped you better tolerate extremes–not that it’s helped me, however. LOL

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  20. I have fibromyalgia and can’t take the cold. My Chihuahua girls and I huddle together to keep warm. Not so when it comes to my husband and the Pomeranian as they love cold weather.

    Do I whine when it’s cold? Not for long. I’m action orientated. I march out to the woodshed, chop kindling, carry in rounds and fire up the wood stove. Ta Da! I take off my sweater and the girl’s sweaters too and we are happy as soon as the boys start complaining that it’s too hot.

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    • How funny! Sounds like our house–at least once I get my Maltese Lucy’s hair cut. SHe shiveres. Hates the cold–like my Sara. Our other dog is more like me–doesn’t seem to bother him. Sorry to hear you have fibromyalgia, but it’s wonderful to hear from you this weekend. Stay warm!

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  21. I am wondering that when the Grand Partner-in-the-sky picks out partners if she/he doesn’t try to find one who loves cold and one who loves heat. Rarely will he/she put two similar sorts together. It’s to help us grow in compassion, I am sure! Great blog post!

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  22. I love drafty old houses as well, the one we live in now lets enough of a draft through to affect our candles. Although the draft can be uncomfortable at times, the draft is part of the reason your house has survived as long as I am assuming it has, The draft in an old house is a magical thing that should be thought of as the essence of an old house, essentially your house breathes… God that is a special thing when you think about it, it not only benefits the house… but also the inhabitants!
    I love your blog and I am excited to catch up tonight!
    I say embrace the cold while you can, and please don’t try to “fix” that draft.

    Oh Yeah – I prefer warm weather… but spring warm weather… Not fall warm weather… And I never complain, but apparently my girlfriend thinks differently.

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    • Oh, Chris, what a great comment! I had never thought about the house breathing. That’s magical, isn’t it? Plus, I had no idea that breathing helps the house age well. Thanks so much for sharing these ideas. I think I will now think differently about the “breath.”

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  23. Lucy looks so cute in her hats! I prefer the warm weather. The medication I currently take makes me feel chilled, especially in the colder weather. I don’t like it very much. I welcome the hot flashes, they help me to warm up. lol!

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  24. Oh yes, I am climatically challenged when it comes to heat. I swear (and most people don’t believe me) that I get a summer version of SAD. When it’s hot, I am lethargic and get a good case of the blues. Or the angers. I just hate to be hot. And now that I am bodily challenged with hot flashes that I am positive will cause me to one day spontaneously combust, summer heat and humidity are a thousand times worse to me. Give me snow. Ice. Fog. Rain. Anything but heat and humidity. My husband’s first good job offer after he graduated from graduate school was in Mobile, Alabama. Can you imagine?? Thank goodness he got a better offer from a school in Huntington, WV. Alabama would have tested our marriage big time. I have always maintained that cold is easier to deal with because you can cover up. In the heat, there’s little you can do, especially in public, unless you’re a nudist.

    Love Lucy’s expressions (although I’m probably anthropomorphizing).

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    • Robin, I’m going to make sure Sara sees your comment, as you have articulated something that is so true for me and I didn’t quite know how to explain. I think this may truly be some kind of condition. Imagine me–moving to Vietnam and Haiti! Yes, in the winter, Haiti has gorgeous weather with relatively low humidity, but during the rainy season, it’s hell. Hanoi is more like Seattle in the winter, but summer is brutal. Infernal. There’s no other way to describe it. Glad you got to go to WV. Jeeper! I’m totally with you on this, Robin. I think it deserves a LOT more attention than it gets.

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  25. It really depends on what I’m doing. If I have to be at work, I’d definitely prefer cooler (even cold) temperatures outside. If I’m free to hike, though, bring on that heat! (How’s that for a diva-like answer?)

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