Groundhogs, Valentines, and Dollar Signs
January leaves the “D” in a vice-grip of frigid sub-zero weather. This morning the lowest temperature recorded at Detroit Metro Airport was-4 with a wind chill factor of 40 below. This tied with the record set in 1934. In 2018, on this date, the Thermometer read 12 degrees, big difference! Monday night Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an order declaring a state of emergency in Michigan ahead of the Forecast sub-zero temperatures. She said, “Keeping Michiganders safe during this Stretch of dangerously cold temperatures is our priority.”
You hear the terms Wind Chill and Polar Vortex but what do they mean to us in this frigid weather? “Wind Chill” is essentially how cold people and animals feel when they are outside. It is based on how much heat is lost from exposed skin when it’s windy and cold. “Polar Vortex” is circulation of strong upper-level wind that normally surrounds the North Pole. Being out in these conditions for long periods of time may result in Frostbite or Hypothermia. The best way to fight against this is to dress in layers, layers and more layers. Face masks help, plastic bags over your socks before putting on boots helps to keep out dampness. Mittens are better than gloves. For those people who have to go out; taking the bus and especially our seniors, these tips will help. Also, smooth Vaseline on your face or any exposed skin. One final note on these blustery, cold days, make a pot of HOMEMADE chicken soup with plenty of veggies and rice. Don’t forget the nice warm homemade bread to go with it. I can send you the recipes!
Ground Hog day is February 2 every year. There is a lot of history behind our large furry friend but I will be brief. According to folklore if the ground hog sees his shadow it means six more weeks of winter. For 132 years this day has been celebrated at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania. Their ground hog was given this name. The holiday ties in with an ancient Christian tradition at Candelmas (Christmas) when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. In 1956 the Canadians started their own version of Ground Hog day with a wood chuck ( ground hog) named Wiarton Willie who has since become a household word. They say his predictions are 100% accurate — “somewhere in the world.”
Valentines’ Day February 14 is a million dollar business for retailers, florists; you name it. Of all the many gifts you could give your “sweetie” this holiday there is one that “stands out” from all the rest and it’s from the heart. It’s three simple words “I Love You !” There is no greater gift than this, my friends.
’Til next time. Michelle
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