Winter is upon us in Wisconsin and so far it has been fairly mild. It hasn’t even dipped below the zero mark yet and the ice on the lakes is still dangerously thin. Here’s a live weather cam for our town.
But we have plenty of snow and it is cold, at least to this native Texan. The kids walk to school and at recess they play outside, so proper clothing is essential if you want to keep all of your digits. Remember the scene in the movie Christmas Story when the kids are being bundled up for school? Here it is:
Our routine isn’t quite that bad! The kids know how to dress themselves warmly but just as important, they’ve learned not to misplace their mittens and hats and to hang them so they will dry out. We’ve had to install an entire “Wall of Winter Weather Gear” for this purpose.
Must-have Wisconsin winter clothing:
2. Snow pants
3. Snow boots
It also helps to have thick socks that come up at least to mid-calf, and I always like to have tissue (my nose starts to drip with condensation) and chap stick. When it’s less than 15 degrees out even with all of this, I have to move around a lot or I start to get chilled. Here are my little snow monkeys enjoying one of the first snowfalls.
Notice they’re not wearing snow pants or boots in that photo; the snow wasn’t deep yet. Since then we’ve gotten more (it is snowing now as I type this).
To get the house toasty and also heat our water, we use a wood-fired boiler. It could be mistaken for a port-o-potty (or an ice shanty) but this little green gem burns wood so efficiently there is very little smoke produced. Our next step up to better renewable energy usage will be a Garn. Mark goes out first thing in the morning to stoke the fire (and pee the dog).
As you see, Harriet has her winter coat on, too.
You can’t build a snow man or even have a snow ball fight when it is really cold out because there is no moisture and it doesn’t pack together (and I don’t care how many layers I’m wearing or how much I jump up and down when it’s below zero outside – I start to freeze!). The weather so far has been in the low thirties/high twenties – perfect winter weather, I’d say.
So we built a snow man.
What? Not impressed? Fine. We also built…
Fancy, eh? Yes, Kailas has taken his snow boots off- he neglected to put the elastic from his snow pants on the outside of the boots and so snow had gotten in. The winter solstice is drawing near so we ran out of daylight just after 4 pm. But it was relatively warm, the snow was perfect- and we had so much fun!
Inside was quite cozy. Given how long a Wisconsin winter lasts, I expect this igloo to stick around until April. Not so sure about us…