Monday, January 6, 2014

Cold Weather Blues

Good morning!

The great winter freeze of 2013 is a'pongst us, folks! I bet it's cold in your neck of the woods, too, but here in sunny Tennessee, we've reached the single digits on the thermometer. That's atypical in the extreme even for winter weather-- it hasn't been this cold in Nashville in over twenty years! You'd think I was about a million years old in that the thought of the pipes bursting or an icy route to work this morning kept me tossing and turning even in my dreams last night. However, bright and early this morning at 6 am, the wind chill was brutal but the roads clear. Here's the front yard, dotted with snow. Don't some of the houses on my street look just like Monopoly real estate?

Matthew made me some coffee and poured out cereal while I struggled to keep my eyes open in the brisk-even-indoors temperature. It is hard to wake up in an ice cold house! I set the thermostat to something like 60, because our heating and air unit is almost legal drinking age and this would be a very inopportune time for it to go out. It felt like I lived in some drafty New England farmhouse instead of a perfectly well insulated fifties' ranch. I staggered around half asleep, 90% blind, getting ready for the day. Bad as my eyes are, sometimes I wander around the house like Mr. Magoo first thing in the morning, brushing my teeth in the soothing blurriness of extreme nearsighted vision, putting on tights and sweaters and boots and all the accouterments cold weather requires with half sight. I outfitted myself as best I could -- somehow, even in January, most of my cold weather duds are still in the attic, and I've mostly just worn my regular late summer/fall clothes with a sweater over top. Today, I put on a wool skirt over my regular skirt, two shirts, and a beaded cardigan and my fur coat. After contacts, eyeliner, and lipstick, I looked like this!

The coat looks weirdly wrinkled in the lighting, but I assure you, it's a perfectly serviceable faux fur and faux leather coat. The most interesting parts about the coat, besides the Dr. Zhivago vibes it gives off, are definitely the two interior tags, which read, respectively:
"Tissavel France GENUINE FRENCH SIMULATION FUR. Treat and clean like fur" 
Now tell me one normal thing about those garment markings-- not faux fur, but simulation fur. All caps, the word "furrierized", the odd distribution of acrylic to cotton proportions , the fact that it was made in Israel but distributed through a French manufacturer...I don't know what to tell you kids, the provenance of this coat is an enigma. Well, not it's latest provenance, as it came from the Rivergate Goodwill in a moment of weakness for $19.99 (I mentioned it in this better lit post here...maybe I should have worn it with that same belt! I feel regret).

I was reading this discussion thread on a vintage resellers message board about how instead of "faux" fur, you could describe these coats of the sixties' and seventies' as "fun" fur. Now, isn't that a Mad Men turn of phrase if ever you've heard it? I wore this coat to the flea market a couple months ago when it was mildly cold and heard no less than four jokes about my Teutonic appearance. Full disclosure, I had my hair in my usual braid-o'er-head and these same knee high leather boots on. "Is your name Heeeeidi?" one ancient woman in a folding in chair in the mule barn drawled at me. "Haha, no," I said, to which she replied, "You suuure look like a Heeeidi." Another guy in a baseball cap in the animal sheds asked "Sprecken sie deutsch?". Sadly, I do not sprecken. I've been watching a silent movie the last two days with English intertitles but German subtitles on Youtube, and it's funny how some sentences are completely understandable between knowing English and French, and some are as incomprehensible as Sanskrit to me. I think it's all the words mushed together into single words in some clauses...I was always impressed by my friends Ruthie and Tom who took upper level German right next door to my upper level French class in high school and could rattle off a pithy quote in the tongue of der Fatherland like it was nothing.

I wish I was wearing any of these outfits, esp the one on the right, today (source)

How do you deal with cold weather? Are you a snowbird, or do you hate, hate, hate being in sub-fifty-degree weather? What kinds of outfits inspire you when you have to dress like a Russian nesting doll to go out in the arctic? Let's talk!

Well, I'm going to spend the rest of the day pretending I have the day off due to snow-- I'm stuck in the phone room for most of my shifts today, which means plenty of time to finish watching my John Gilbert queue on Youtube  help patrons through the wonder of telephone reference. Have a great Monday! I'll see you tomorrow.


  1. you guys got all the winter! and i´m wondering why here seems like spring!
    if you like to see how a german gal dresses in real winter you have to look on my blog but 12 months ago - this seasons winter is somewhere else........
    stay warm!!!!!!

    1. Haha, you know it's very strange for us to have such cold weather-- you can have it back!! PS your snow outfits of last year are so cute!

  2. this cold has been shocking to me! i had to scrounge around for gloves this morning and could only find two mismatched skeleton gloves! i didn't look nearly as put together as you when i was struggling into work at 6 am

    1. Right?!? I found ONE of my good leather gloves, but only have a pair of mittens to keep my fingers warm! I was not prepared! I hope it warms up soon, girl!

  3. You look super darling! I must say I had it super easy today. School got cancelled (one more precious day of break for me). Tomorrow I must brave the cold to teach the kiddos though. I've been enjoying the cold, Tyler and I are bigger fans of cold than heat. I think I would be a wee happier if we had a proper snow. Oh well. The cold shan't last for long. Stay warm!


    1. Thanks, Emma! My dad (he's a teacher, too) got an extra day of break as well, you lucky ducks! :D I'm looking on the bright side of getting to wear my nice cold weather duds for once; it would be neat to have a real snow, I think the last time must have been two years ago or so, right? Still, I won't be missing the cold when it warms up!!

  4. I wear several hooded sweat jackets with a denim coat over that, thinsulate mittens, sometimes a polar fleece hood. Two pairs of socks, leg warmers. Iowa gets cold often. The water to this little house first goes to one across the gravel road. In 50's to save money only one hook up fee for water... but now they let it freeze so I lost water over 24 hours. My pipes are FINE. If they run a few taps full blast I do not have water in the summer either. See how nice your place is there? Very nice. Actual temp. last night was -15, tonight -8. We are having a heat wave!

    1. I was in a tizzy about *just my own* pipes, I can't imagine if I had some clods up the road trying to mess with 'em, too! That stinks about the shared water lines. I hope you guys get some positive degree temperatures soon!!



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