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Posts tagged ‘winter’

C’mon People, it’s Only Winter.

winter word artIt’s time to stop treating winter like an unexpected house guest:

couple arguing

“I thought she was your friend.”

“I didn’t invite her, but how could I say no?”

“How long is she staying?”

“I don’t know, it seemed rude to ask.”

 

wintery bridge

It comes every year. If you live in the northern climes, it is no surprise. But everyone acts like they weren’t expecting it and wish it would go away. This isn’t the 12th century, you can choose where you live, and you have a pretty good idea of what the weather in those places are. If you choose to live here, you are tacitly accepting winter.

beautiful winter day

So, embrace the 6 months that are winter. I know, according to the calendar it is only three, but everyone knows that’s a lie. I always said I wouldn’t want to live somewhere that has worse winters than us, and when I see it has snowed in the Dakota’s, Montana and places like that in June, I decided those weren’t the places I wanted to live.

 

How to embrace it? Ski, snowshoe, hike, make snow angels. Enjoy hearty soups and stews. Cook things in the slow cooker. Enjoy the rough challenge of driving in bad weather. Buy a warm sweater. I was looking for pictures and I found this link to Montreal Winter activities! Looks great.

car off the road in winter.I realize that it is a challenge for many people. If you are elderly or in poor health, the uneven surfaces might cause you to fall, not to mention the ice. In those cases, I would say moving isn’t a bad option, many of our older friends have happily fled. If moving south isn’t an option, it might be a good time to think about moving somewhere where the shoveling and ice clearing either isn’t as daunting, or is taken care of for you. On the plus side, there are a plethora of gyms out there to join, to walk in heated comfort, or walk the mall.

For those that don’t fit in the above categories, get out there, fast. I see too many people making themselves invalids by allowing themselves to get so out of shape that they cannot handle what winter brings. Of course you are risking a heart attack if shoveling snow is the most exercise you’ve gotten in the last year. Of course it will give you a bad back if you don’t know how to lift properly, and haven’t practiced those motions on a regular basis. So, if you needed any more motivation to get to the gym, then picture yourself out there shoveling. If you don’t think you can do that- start now. Cable twists, wood choppers and hay bailers will strengthen those muscles. Dead lifts will strengthen your back. Lunges will strengthen your legs for those unexpected slides on the ice. Step ups will strengthen all your leg muscles to avoid twisting ankles. Finish up with the elliptical and you will be all set to cross country ski.

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H-h-m-m-m, maybe I will move when I retire.

Welcome to North Dakota

You notice there are no pictures of North Dakota in the winter.

I read this article on Yahoo this morning, and it does sound appealing:

“North Dakota: We’re No. 1 … or Darn Close to It!

North Dakotans are way too polite to make that boast, but I’ll do the honors. Here’s how North Dakota outranks most states:

Lowest unemployment rate among the 50 states. North Dakota’s 3.8 percent unemployment rate is less than half the national rate.

Statewide GDP growth of 3.9 percent ranked third in the nation in 2009 behind Oklahoma and Wyoming (2010’s figures are not yet available.)

Best job growth last year. A Gallup survey reported that North Dakota businesses had the best ratio of hiring to firing among the 50 states.

Stable housing market. Across the nation, nearly 1 in 4 homeowners with a mortgage are underwater. In North Dakota, just 1 in 14 have negative equity, the fourth lowest negative-equity ratio among all the states. The state also has the third-lowest home foreclosure rate. Affordable homes are a big part of the story here; let’s just say you don’t need to overstretch to own. According to Zillow, the median home price in North Dakota is below $150,000. That’s less than three times the state’s median household income. By comparison, even after sharp post-bubble price declines, the median priced home in California is still about five times median household income.

Low violent crime rate. The incidence of violent crime per 100,000 residents in North Dakota in 2008 (latest available data) was the fourth lowest in the country and nearly 60 percent lower than the national average.”

Lowest credit card default rate. According to TransUnion, North Dakotans seem to have a handle on spending within their means.

Add that all up and you have the makings for a pretty contended bunch. In fact, Gallup recently concluded that North Dakota is the third happiest state in the U.S., trailing only Hawaii and Wyoming. (The saddest state? West Virginia.)

Now may be what North Dakota is doing isn’t replicable everywhere, but considering the financial chaos we are in, maybe we should learn what we can from them. I would just have to really learn to like winter. A lot. That lasts into June.

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