Brrrr, It’s An Intensely Cccold Winter! What to Do!


WINTER LANDSCAPE Photo by Tesnim Shoemaker

WINTER LANDSCAPE
Photo by Tesnim Shoemaker

Many cities in this country are preparing for an Arctic freeze, meaning a lot of people of all ages and conditions will be experiencing dangerously low temperatures. I affirm that there is NO where Divine Good is not, even where it seems an impossibility. However, it’s not enough to pray for your good, you have to help it manifest. Some of the weather conditions will reach record lows that have not occurred for many decades. Thus, many who are in the midst of these extreme temperatures may have no idea how to handle them.

So, with you in mind, I have written this blog and posted a few links at the end of my blog to further inform you on how to survive, even enjoy, these extreme conditions safely. (Oh, quick shout out to my dearly treasured family and friends  and to everyone facing extreme cold, I, we, are praying you warmth, safety, protection and to fare well during these very intense climatic times. Now, please read on…)

Do wear a lot of layers (4), starting with a soft shell, followed by a layer that gives you wind & water protection. The layers trap air. There are never too many layers. Keep your neck, the back of it, particularly, your mouth & nostrils, hands and toes well covered. It’s better to have too much clothing than too little.

Sitting in your car while it’s idling in the snow can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, especially if the back of the car is buried in snow. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning resemble the symptoms of cold, but since the car is running, they may be a bit more apparent: fatigue, nausea, dizziness and headache.

Do use wisdom when keeping warm inside your homes. Fireplaces should have the logs fitting within the fireplace, not hanging outside of it. Also, make certain the chute is open so the carbon monoxide does not overcome your room or home. That actually happened to me a few years ago when I was living in Sacramento. I went to bed as the rest of the logs were burning out. I did not realize my chimney chute had closed. Thank goodness, I went to sleep with my bedroom door closed as I would usually like that heat to keep me warm. When I awakened, I could hardly lift my head from the pillow it hurt so badly. I finally got myself up, dizzy with the banging headache. When I opened the door, the room was filled with smoke. I grabbed something to cover my mouth and nose and opened all the windows. Some writer could have been using me as an example of why you want to be absolutely certain your chimney chutes are open when you are using your fireplace.

The other story is that of a dear friend who cleaned out her fireplace a few days after burning logs and papers. She absentmindedly put the seemingly cold remains of the fire in paper bags and left them on her back deck. By midnight a fire was raging and she and her husband were thankfully awakened by neighbors. Fortunate for them, they were alright and had to wait a couple of years for the renovation of their home after the fire.

Another danger is space heaters. Not only do you have to be certain the cords on the heaters are not worn, you must also be concerned with where you place the heaters. Too many people have lost their lives because they have gone to sleep and the heater caught something on fire or the cord was worn and started a fire. Also, please be careful using your oven to heat your home. Most local gas companies send out safety information for using gas items to keep warm. Any flammable items should be used cautiously and with wisdom. You cannot be too cautious!

If you are out and about during the extreme cold, keep blankets and an emergency kit in your car. It’s also important to know that symptoms of hypothermia can occur very quickly in extreme cold conditions. You may also be on the lookout for any signs in people you pass who may not be as fortunate as you to be properly dressed or sheltered. The following list is from www.mayoclinic.org and lists hypothermia symptoms and here are a few of them:

“Shivering is your body’s automatic defense against cold temperature — an attempt to warm itself. Constant shivering is a key sign of hypothermia. Signs and symptoms of moderate to severe hypothermia include:

  • Shivering
  • Clumsiness or lack of coordination
  • Slurred speech or mumbling
  • Stumbling
  • Confusion or difficulty thinking
  • Poor decision-making, such as trying to remove warm clothes
  • Drowsiness or very low energy
  • Apathy or lack of concern about one’s condition
  • Progressive loss of consciousness
  • Weak pulse
  • Slow, shallow breathing

A person with hypothermia usually isn’t aware of his or her condition, because the symptoms often begin gradually and because the confused thinking associated with hypothermia prevents self-awareness.” – By Mayo Clinic Staff

Do phone, text, email, as you are able, family, good friends, or young folks who may not be exposed to how to survive during harsh weather conditions and share these tips with them. This info may be life-sustaining for them. Keep a lookout for others whom you may pass during your time outdoors. Give generously to people who need a hand.

I just want you to know we are thinking of you, praying for you, and knowing that your needs are met. Please keep your tempers and choose to quiet yourselves when needed, keeping your tempers in balance and your fears controlled. This is a good time to reconnect with family members with whom you live. Sometimes life’s hustle and bustle keep us from really stopping to hear and know each other. After awhile, families are more like strangers. So, you may choose to find some games, projects, or the like to keep engaged with each other, especially if you’re forced to be indoors.

This is a time to share with those who were not, are not as prepared, for whatever reason. Kindly put your judgments aside as those folks may be facing life or death situations and you may not be aware of that at first glance.  Please also check on any elders you know, or anyone you know may be vulnerable during this time. Keep your children close and highly informed with common sense approach to being out in the cold. See that they have a list, not on their phones, but in their pockets of emergency numbers they may need to call. Let others you trust know their route from school or perhaps form a team of parents to keep all the children safe, especially the ones whose parents will not be as attentive. Remember: All children are our children. They’re safety is a community affair.

While you’re out, do let your folks know where you’re going and your estimated time of return, just in case they need to look for you because a blizzard occurred.

Remember: There are Divine Angels all around you. Call on them to assist you. You are never alone. Most High bless, guide and deliver you as needed. Be wise, please.

Here are a few websites with more information about how to stay safe in the cold weather conditions:

http://www.weather.com/news/weather-winter/winter-storm-live-updates-snow-ice-latest-20131106

http://articles.philly.com/1996-01-10/news/25652238_1_carbon-monoxide-car-exhaust-poison-control-center

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothermia/basics/symptoms/CON-20020453

http://www.ehow.com/list_6869570_dangers-running-gas-fireplace_.html

http://www.today.com/money/hidden-dangers-gas-fireplaces-6C9675769

http://www.csia.org/homeowner-resources/the_facts_about_chimney_fires.aspx

http://myhomecare.ie/index.php/top-tips-for-the-elderly-in-cold-weather/

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And, To All A Good Life!


Happy, safe, & enjoyable Holy Holidays to ALL!

ImageWhatever your belief, I hope this season finds you to be of good heart and generous character. We are all in this together and during this season, especially, we are given great opportunity to develop and express the spirit of brother & sisterhood to all, not just those in our circles, of our own race, ethnicity, gender, religion, etc. We can choose to honor and respect ALL life. We can choose Love over hate, acceptance over intolerance, and we can choose to exemplify standards of morality that will aid our children in respecting and Loving themselves and each other.

These are beautiful times, and yet, highly emotional times for many, many people.  While some of us will be enjoying connecting with family and friends over a great meal on Christmas, others will be grieving for those who are not present at the table this year. Others still may not have a table at which to feast. As well, there are families missing children, parents, friends, and even pets. There are those whose lives were upset by natural disasters and they have not recovered. We have so many unemployed who are stressing to bring home gifts for their children, or just food. There are people who are justly or unjustly incarcerated. They may be inhumanely treated even if their crime is minor. There are wars being fought and service men and women who will not be home for the holidays. While we have a lot for which to be thankful, the challenges may scream louder than our voice of gratitude. We are reminded to keep a soft light on in our hearts for our fellow sisters and brothers who are experiencing hard times. There are young folks without families who care about them and it becomes more pronounced during the holidays.

Suicides are on the rise during the winter season. S.A.D. aka Seasonal Affective Disorder may not be easily recognizable, but here are some signs Mayo Clinic asks us to watch out for:

  • Depression
  • Hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of energy
  • Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
  • Social withdrawal
  • Oversleeping
  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty concentrating

The holidays also tend to have people rushing around for gifts, holiday parties or just running to get that last task completed before taking off on holiday vacation. Rushing causes mindlessness and accidents of any nature can occur. This is a time to slow down and take heed of what’s in your surroundings. You may be running around so quickly that you don’t even realize you didn’t hold that heavy store door open for the next person, who may have been an elder, a child or a person with physical disabilities. Or perhaps, you have a long list of gifts to buy and didn’t find that item at the store you’re at and need to make a mad dash to another store. This may result in your driving too close and not have enough space to stop when the car in front of you brakes without warning, or speeding and losing control. And, those Christmas parties may have you drinking a bit too much. You can avoid the backlash if you keep your mind with you. Plan ahead and decide to drink and behave responsibly. Believe me, there is no better gift than the gift of life. No gift you can give is better than you being able to show up or to stay alive and safe.

There are those who have gone through tumultuous times this year and are thrilled to be beyond the depths of their struggle. “Yay, it’s over,” is their cheer! Their gift is that they can now finally exhale after months or a year of great trials. There are others who need Forgiveness and to Forgive a large or small transgression. Whatever the case, let us strive to be vehicles of goodness to ourselves and each other. We do not know what another person is feeling when they have that scowl on their face. It may be an incredibly hard time for that person. They don’t need our grief to add to their own. And, unless they are doing harm, we can ignore a bit of rudeness or meet it with a smile, if we just let ourselves slow down a bit and consider what another may be feeling beyond the surface.

This is a time for deepening, cleansing, and releasing what no longer serves our good, especially our Divine Goodness. Please take moments of Silence throughout your day and give thanks for your many precious treasures. Taking moments of Silence also allows us to make better choices with our reactions to adverse situations, avoiding the off-the-cuff responses for which later we may need to apologize. Let’s choose to keep an open Heart for those who may need our Kindness and Compassion. Tis the Season to Forgive. The best changes start within our own selves. Let us be of service where we are guided to be, and use the power of Prayer, powerfully positive affirmations when we are shown our place is to be on the sidelines, not to meddle or interfere in another’s process. Every season is a season for growth and new understandings. Please keep your focus on remaining safe and choose to do no harm.

The very best to you ALL! And, to all a good life! ❤