Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's Chilly...

A little blurry

Frozen eyelashes and frozen hair are both fairly commonplace around here, but eyelashes frozen to frozen hair? Now, that was a first for me! When I left for school this morning the thermometer read -45.9. All along the way, my breath collected back on my face and parka, so that by the time I reached the playground I could feel the tug of my hair pulling on my eyelashes every time I tried to blink (or maybe it was my eyelashes tugging on my hair). So, I decided to attempt to capture this very typical arctic anomaly with the camera. Please forgive the fuzziness. Small buttons, freezing fingers...not a good combination!

Over the last several days our temperatures have hovered around forty-five degrees below zero. It has really wreaked havoc with our school schedule this week because we aren't allowed to run the school bus when the ambient temperature is colder than forty below. That is a fairly new development, though. Until the spring of 2006, school was rarely canceled, even for a blizzard, much less a little cold snap. So the wisdom of that policy is still the focus of considerable debate around the district.

But, bus or no bus, teachers are still expected to show up. So I arrived this morning, as every morning this time of year, with frost on my ruff and frost on my face. When I entered the school the frost quickly began to melt leaving my face wet, even dripping a little. My friend and fellow teacher, Ami, and I laughed about the futility of wearing make-up around here. I know there is such a thing as waterproof mascara, but I have to wonder what happens to that stuff when your eyelashes freeze. And I have a feeling they don't explain that on the box.

The big picture...

24 comments:

Karen said...

Well! I have to say I've never experienced THAT! But then, I've always shied away from the ruff-y jackets. And the full photo is just ADORABLE!

Bryan said...

Is it REALLY an arctic anomalie, or just an attempt to explain away the onslaught of grey at such a young age! :) LOL!

Kimberlee said...

Hi, Karen! Nice to hear from you! I'm glad YOU think that photo is adorable! :) It just makes me laugh! Having my hair freeze to my eyelashes was a new experience for me too. I have had my top/bottom eyelashes freeze together lots of times, though. And that feels just as strange. Thanks for stopping by!

Kimberlee said...

Very funny, Bryan! Onslaught of gray?...OUCH!...and only the right side of my head! :) I guess it could happen. Hmm.

Well, you did redeem yourself a little when you said, "At such a young age." Good call! :) Thanks for saying hello!

Steve said...

Wow, Kimberlee, great pictures of you! That first one, before melt, is entrancing.

Steve said...

I'm curious about the details of the ruff. I see paws but don't know what else is utilized or from what donor.

Kimberlee said...

Hi, Steve. It's good to hear from you. The ruff on my parka is wolverine. It's one continuous strip of fur, I'm guessing, from across the front shoulders. I bought my parka from an elder here in the village who originally made it for herself. It's much nicer than many that are available in stores, etc. It's completely lined with fur on the inside. When the wind is really raging during the winter months, this parka is the only thing that keeps me truly warm. A ruff like this costs from about $200 to $400.

On a different note...wolverines (qaaviks) are very common here and are feared for their ferocious temperament. I've actually seen one hunting/chasing caribou! That just amazes me because caribou are MANY times larger & heavier than an adult wolverine. That may be WAY more information than you were looking for! :)

Thanks for stopping by.

Bryan said...

That is so cool. Laurie and I were wondering the same thing. Now I am curious to see the whole parka! I love stuff like that, but I am so hot natured, that my simple denim jacket will carry me through most of the winter down here.

Steve said...

And the thing people don't understand is just how ferocious a denim can be. That's why we don't have caribou here in the south; they migrated north to escape the denims.

Bryan denim-slayer said...

The pelt of the denim has started replacing the wolverine around here. It is not as warm, but can usually cover more human, taking fewer denims to outfit the tribe.

Kimberlee said...

Hmm. I have to wonder if the denims of South Carolina would actually swallow all the baloney that is obviously indigenous to the area. There seems to be an overpopulation concentrated in the up-state region and I don't think wolverines would touch it!
:)

Meems said...

Hi Kimberlee: I have enjoyed perusing your site. How amazing you live in such a climate. It truly intrigues me. You and I are located at complete opposite parts of the U.S. - I am in Florida where it is high 70's/low 80's and spring-like this week.

I like your parka and I can't even imagine staying warm in those temps but I'm glad you know how to manage it.

Enjoy your weekend.

Kimberlee said...

Hi, Meems. It's nice to meet you! We definitely ARE living at opposite ends of the continent! You are amazed that I can deal with the cold...I am amazed that you can deal with that sweltering Florida heat and humidity. I guess both extremes can be dangerous if you aren't careful.

I checked out your blog and the photos of your garden are really gorgeous! I've heard of a green thumb, but you must have a green HAND!

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I hope you'll visit again!

Sarah said...

Hello there!

Thanks for the comment on my blog, it's fun to meet you! I've actually seen a bit of your blog before from stumbling upon it through Balance and I've meant to comment. I love reading about (and seeing the gorgeous pictures) of your adventures. I look forward to reading more!

Oh, and frozen eyelashes... well, I guess I'll quite complaining about the twenty five degree weather here in Colorado. :-)

Sarah said...

Oh, and Babette's Feast, I'd love to discuss it sometime. It really is rare to find someone who even has seen it.

Kimberlee said...

Hi, Sarah! I'm so excited to "meet" you! I visited your blog and it was great! I'm so pleased to know that you've enjoyed mine as well.

You know, when I lived in the South, 25 degrees seemed downright frigid! But, after living here for a few years, 25 degrees is short-sleeve weather! I guess it's all about adapting to the environment. :)

Thanks so much for stopping by and we should definitely plan a chat about Babette's Feast sometime soon! Have a great weekend.

Kimberlee said...

Sarah...I looked for an email address on your blog and didn't see one. My email is linked on my profile page when/if you feel up for a chat. Thanks!

Ami said...

Hysterical comments! Thanks for including me in your blog Kimberlee. It makes me feel almost famous...:).

Kimberlee said...

Well, you ARE almost famous! :) LOL!

Yes, the Denim Slayer and his illustrious compatriot are quite the comical duo. I shudder to think what type of mischief they undoubtedly create while roaming the wilds of denim territory together! They probably have a collection of poor defenseless blue jeans tacked to the side of a barn somewhere! Ew!

:)
Thanks for stopping by, Ami!

Bryan denim-slayer said...

Well, as ferocious as the denim can be, it is surprisingly simple to subdue. All you have to do is go to a mall, (Walmart will do) and hang out a big red sign saying "SALE" and the female members of our tribe will quickly overpower any denim within sight. The males will contentedly sit on a bench courteously provided by the instigating establishment and wait patiently for the feeding frenzy to slow to a moderate grazing.

Kimberlee said...

Poor denims...they just don't stand a chance!

I think I've seen a shoe commercial similar to what you described! Maybe you should be writing for TV? :)

Bryan said...

Hmm, maybe tv influenced my writing? Which came first, the commercial, or the denim?

Jean said...

Hi, I stumbled across your blog when looking for something else ( good old Google! ). It's fascinating and I love the picture of the hair & eyelashes - must have been a bit painful though.

Coming from the UK I can't imagine what it's like to have to walk to work at 40 below, we struggle when it gets below freezing. I assume that you have to respect the weather and really wrap up. Is it a problem going into a heated building where you then have to take off loads of layers to avoid overheating?

Kimberlee said...

Hi, Jean! I'm so glad you stumbled in! :) The frozen eyelashes weren't painful, but it does feel strange with that happens! Sometimes my cheeks sting from the cold and when the wind is blowing it's easy to get one of those headaches that people often refer to as a "brain freeze"...like when you eat ice cream too quickly. Are you familiar with that lovely phenomenon?

As far as dressing warmly...yes, it's absolutely essential. Anything not covered (especially in the wind) will get burned. Then, upon entering the building, it seems like the layers won't come off fast enough! On the coldest days I often have on three or four layers of clothing. But the heat inside the building is so intense that I often find long sleeves uncomfortabley warm in the classroom. It seems a little ironic to me that I wear lighter clothing in my classroom here than I did when I was teaching in New Orleans.

Thanks for taking the time to say hello! I hope you'll stop by again.