Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Queen Ice Digits

It's gotten cold.  Okay, so it's gotten to be in the forties regularly.  So nothing is frozen yet, but wait! There is a frost warning for tonight and tomorrow!

When I first moved to California from New York and I saw my first frost warning I thought it was the most preposterous thing in the world.  Who cares if there's frost?! I want to know when we're getting three feet of snow! HA! No such thing along the coast.  But of course, there are farms. 

Produce is one of the life bloods of California. We grow things here. *grin* Necessarily, farmers are interested in climate and weather.  It impacts the choices they make during their days, whether or not the fruit is going to be sweet, whether or not wine will be a-m-a-z-i-n-g that year, whether to cover the veggies or not.  And believe me, the number of fields we pass when we drive down to Santa Barbara from Hayward make it clear how important farmers' daily actions are.

So now I understand the reason for frost warnings.  Of course, I don't need a frost warning myself necessarily.  Still, it has special baring on me as well.  But I don't need a frost warning to know that I need to take action.  You see, I have a sensitive system.  It is annoying to say the least. Let me explain the temperature issue. Unless I am used to heat (which thankfully for the moment I am), I slow down.  I get so sluggish I stop functioning.  On the opposite side of the spectrum, wet cold impacts me in a worse way. Thanks to my British blood, I have small veins.  Tiny.  And when it gets south of 50F I have to start wearing thick wool socks and gloves.  In fact, any exposure of my fingers and toes to the cold causes my blood vessels to constrict and form blood blisters - pernio.  It's not contagious, obviously.  It has to do with the unique expression of the genes my parents gave me. It's rare.  Shows up primarily in people with a lot of British blood (Thanks Dad!).  I've only had one or two bad outbreaks where nearly all my fingers and toes were swollen, itchy, and painful.  Those of course, were the ones that caused me to investigate what was going on and now I know to take precautions.  Because, like many things, it can get worse.  If you don't treat an outbreak (i.e. keep your hands warm or take medication if it is very bad) the blisters can ulcerate.  Gross!

You can imagine for the past few weeks I've had to don my large woolly socks and wear gloves to drive (leather + metal = bad). Even with my wool socks, my feet are still cold.  I get into bed and will push my feet under Java or Christian and frequently shock Christian (fortunately he's a space heater, so it works out). The normal response is "Your feet are ice!" Yes, yes that's me - Queen Ice Digits.  Even the carpeted floor doesn't help.  Regular socks are useless without slippers.  Keep in mind guys, this happens even after I've been working out regularly (unless it is directly after a run for 20+ minutes).

I once heard that an official prep would never wear socks unless there are very specific circumstances.   Unless I'm living in a very consistently warm place, there is no way I could meet the description, even if I shopped at J. Crew and Lacoste religiously, I would fail.  I need my socks, not just your average athletic sock, I need huge unmistakable thick wool socks, even living in Coastal Southern California I needed them.

Frost warnings? Who needs them! I have cold feet!

P.S. This discussion makes me wonder, does Dumbledore have pernio? Or does J.K. Rowling? Because it is true, you can never have too many good socks.

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