Baby It’s Cold Outside

Many of you know that Rod Stewart and I spend a lot of time together — him streaming from the speakers in my truck while I drive.

With recent brutal temperatures  (we’ve flirted with 50-degrees below zero with windchill factored in), I’ve been listening to my favorite rendition of Baby It’s Cold Outside — a duet Rod Stewart shares with Dolly Parton.

In these frigid conditions, schools close, numerous employees telecommute from home, and some people become homebound. For many, the world can look downright dreary, even on the inside where it’s warm and toasty.

To beat the winter blues, do you:

  • Exercise inside — yoga, tai chi, hula hoop
  • Exercise outside — ice skate, snowboard, sled
  • Read books, watch movies, meditate
  • Bake, scrapbook, build a ship in a bottle

What boosts your spirits in the winter months and keeps you from feeling gloomy?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are  choosing.” — Laurie Buchanan

The Book — Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience — Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2014

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105 thoughts on “Baby It’s Cold Outside

  1. Such a great question, Laurie! For me, the key has always been exercise, usually done inside. Living within 200 miles of the equator has put a new spin on things, however. I’m less affected by seasonal changes in mood and can take the dogs for long walks all year round. LOVE it! Stay warm, my friend!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  2. No snow on the ground and around 5 degrees this morning. Feeling very fortunate.I used to live in Northern Vermont and on the February morning that my son was born it was 50 below. Thank God, I’m in Virginia now. Don’t think I could take it now.

    When we do have a snow day here and have to stay inside, I have a cross trainer I use to get my blood flowing.

  3. Florida is freezing today – for just 2 days though; then we warm up to 70+ for the weekend. However, tomorrow we are going to fly to Washington state to visit Cliff’s dad and play in the snow. Our formula: COLD —> COLDER = FUN

    • Marian – You’re going to have an absolute blast! What part of Washington state are you going to? I lived in Vancouver (on the Washington side of the Columbia River) for five years, and ventured all over that beautiful “liquid sunshine” state 🙂

      • Cliff’s Dad (age 94 and not doing well) lives in Spokane, so we are flying there this time. Usually we fly into Portland and cross the river to Vancouver where his other relatives live. We are familiar with the lush beauty of the Pacific Northwest in the summer time. According to the forecast, the liquid sunshine will be crystallized into snow shortly after we get there.

  4. Indoor projects. I am completely renovating the family room so that it will be my own personal space. I am quite excited about it and very thankful as well that the sun has been shining it’s sweet face to us even in these not so lovely temps. It sure helps. 71 days until Spring!

  5. Aye Laurie, you are in the arctic tundra zone, my thoughts and concern go out to you. I have indeed heard about all the school closings (a decision that boggles the mind, but accents the real threat of overexposure) and know that records have been broken. No severity of cold has matched yours, though certainly we are getting a fair dose of it, with last nights temperatures falling to 5 degrees with a wind chill factor well under zero. Today they are saying it will warm up to a high of 10 degrees. I did feel it acutely when I went out to the car this morning. That vehicle NEVER warmed up!

    Spending time with the family indoors is of course the one surefire way to feel upbeat with a little dab here and there of music, books and movies.

    Hang in there my friend.

  6. I XC ski and skate every chance I get in winter. Unfortunately, I’m not as cold-tolerant as I used to be. Low blood pressure yields slow circulation to my extremities, so my fingers and toes need it above 15 degrees or so to be able to endure for 30 minutes or so.

    Days like these, I’m forced inside onto aerobic equipment, which gets old really fast–like after the third day in a row. But one thing that helps pass that treadmill time is listening to e-audio books on my MP3 player. One of the better reasons to multitask, i.m.o., mindless activity with very mindful listening.


    • Chris – Even with glove liners yesterday, it felt like I had stinging needles in the ends of my fingers! Your remedies for a gloom-free winter are wonderful: Cross country skiing, and aerobic equipment while listening to e-audio books. Rock on!

  7. No snow here in North Wales at the moment, Laurie, just torrential rain, gales, high tides and flooding!! I’m staying safe and warm with my animals indoors and remembering to feed the birds, and the hedgehogs and the squirrels who don’t seem to have hibernated yet – perhaps because the weather hasn’t really been cold enough.
    Now, what do I do in the winter months? I like to learn something different. Last winter I did a photography course, this year I’m doing “An Introduction to Reading Music.” It’s been a lifetime dream of mine to learn to play the violin, so I have bought a violin, chosen a teacher and am now preparing with the music course. I also have a dream file, which I love to update – kind of like a scrapbook. When the weather isn’t too bad, I love to go walking in the valley and by the lake. I do 10 minutes yoga each evening and then a meditation. After that it’s early to bed, as I am an early riser.
    Take care and keep warm, my friend. I will be praying that the weather improves soon for you. Love and blessings ♥

  8. Talk about serendipity! I’m just back from working out with a friend and playing on Qatar radio was Rod Stewart (my mum’s a fan too!). I thought: “It’s a long time since I’ve heard a Rod Stewart song!” Your vibes really do travel at breakneck speed Laurie.
    The other coincidence was that this is one of my favourite “Christmas songs” and I cam across the original this year which made me smile so much: Eldest son says it is unbearably cheesy though, but then he says that about all the music I like (it’s true!).
    Winter and cold? Not terribly qualified to ask any more, but we are experiencing a cold spell in Qatar. It was only 18C (64F) today, so I’ve had on winter boots, a cardigan and my trusty old Barbour. And it’s not just me – the compound guys are in puffa jackets and woolly hats.
    What a bunch of wimps we are. Your current level of cold is positively dangerous, although your photos make it look so beautiful I want to dive in and make snow angels.

    • WarmGinger – Oh my gosh, the clip of Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban is fantastic — I’m glad you shared it here.

      If we had 64 degrees right now, I think we’d all be running around in shorts, tank tops, and flip flops!

      Trust me, if you dove into the snow to make snow angels, your butt cheeks would stick! 🙂

  9. Liquor and boots. Ok, ok, I’m kidding. Kind of…:)

    I write. Jog on the treadmill. Spend time with my pup. Catch up on things around the house – like cleaning – (which I don’t enjoy!), and hope the power stays on…:)

    By the way, Willie Nelson has a great version here:


    • Deborah – Your “pup” looks like a small horse. If your large-breed home is anything like ours, you spend a lot of time on hair removal. We joke with friends that we don’t have dust bunnies, we have dust buffalo!

      Thank you for the FANTASTIC Willie Nelson rendition of Baby It’s Cold Outside 🙂

      • Yes, she is a horse of course. ha. I haven’t been free from dust buffalo since my 20s!! 🙂

        I love Willie and this is one of my favorite Christmas gifts.

  10. I love, love, love Rod Stewart. His albums from recent years just stack up right on top of his old stuff. I also love the cold and snow and long for the days of my youth when skiing and skating were my top priority. Southern style living is not for me, but here I am, vicariously enjoying what points north are experiencing first hand. Now, I love to walk in any weather – wind, rain, sleet or …. 100 degree weather not so much. Stay warm! 16 here today and a brilliant blue sky.

    • Dorothy – I’m addicted to Rod Stewart’s GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK Collection.

      We’ve lived in the mid-west (an hour north of Chicago) for a little over 20 years now and we’re done with the harsh winters. We’ll put our house on the market again come spring. Once we sell, we’re heading to Boise, Idaho. Low property taxes, low income taxes, low crime rate, half of the snow that we currently experience, lots of cultural opportunities, and a pivotal point to: Oregon, Washington, Canada, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada 🙂

  11. Oh Laurie, poor you, I can not imagine temperatures like that . I love the snow but not that much …lots of hot chocolate …it’s a good excuse . I didn’t know you were in to our very own Rod …he looks so good these days don’t he.
    What I do on cold Sunday afternoon is leave my husband watching telly and I go to bed with fleece blankets , books , journals , laptop , radio ( for poetry please at 4) all my fairy lights , my snoring King Charles ( Oscar) and I’m in heaven . To top the lot my husband brings me a cuppa and some biscuits later …who needs the summer . Well I do really but I’ll make do and mend .lol
    Keep Warm Cherry x

  12. It’s seems like Mayne Island may be one of the warmest places in North America. Okay, maybe, Hawaii and Florida have us beat but…
    I grew up in Manitoba. And for the first half of my life I loved the snow. I recall building igloos and snow angels and even pretending to swim. I count down the days to the first snow–which I knew would occur on Halloween.
    But when I got older my husband and I fled the ice and snow. We moved to mainland B.C. When that proved not to be far enough be moved to Mayne Island.
    I still miss the sun. So I have a new tradition–starting on Halloween–I light a candle each night. And I tell myself, “The sun will return and it will bring with it Summer.” And I’m usually right. : )
    I love Rod Stewart too but I think he needs some friends.

    • Leanne – We’ve been in the mid-west for over 20 years now and it’s definitely time to relocate to a warmer climate. The Pacific Northwest is calling our name. Hopefully our home will sell early in 2014.

      I absolutely LOVE the beautiful tradition you shared here! 🙂

      Ahhhhhh, California Dreamin’ by the Mama’s and the Papa’s. yes, Yes, YES! I’ll be in sunny southern California in April. Yippee, skippy, doodah day!

  13. I am loving this! Usually, no matter how bad the weather,we don’t shut down – schools or businesses – here on Beaver Island. Now, it is the extreme cold. I had a trip planned to Lansing for an archipelago summit. I was terrified of the drive…on unpredictable mainland roads at speeds I’m unaccustomed to…and pretty stressed out the plane ride to the mainland, about finding my way, funding the trip (which would be covered in reimbursement, but out-of-pocket now), leaving my after-school art class to someone else in the first week after Christmas break, and even about the presentation I was supposed to give in Lansing. Due to weather all across the state, the meeting was postponed. I am thrilled! Instead of driving down I-75 today, I am cozy in my house with a good book! I do have a new exercise tape as well, if I get overly ambitious!

    • Cindy – I’m so happy you’re currently snug as a bug in a rug at home and can attend the Archipelago Summit when the weather is safe.

      A good book and an exercise tape – the perfect combination for an indoor day 🙂

  14. Hi Laurie

    Thinking of all you folks in the cold, while it is high summer here in NZ. Looking out the window I can see a few little traces of snow above 8,000ft, from a very cold front that came through last week.

    In winter, when it gets really cold (which is never really cold by your standards, rarely does it fall below 0 C here at our place, though we can get some amazing wind chill, with 70 knots being quite common, and winds over 100 knots every few years) mostly I just stoke up the fire, and every day I walk the dogs, whatever the weather, and mostly I play at least one round of golf a week, and most weeks 3, and sometimes there are cycle rides, though in winter I don’t need to ride very far for the temperature to drop 10 C, and my toes start to freeze.

    So fire and internet are my winter friends.

  15. Winter is actually the most creative time of year for me. I stock up on art supplies in the fall, then when winter comes I stay inside, work on my art, drink hot cocoa and watch the snow fly. I was born in the winter so like to think that’s the reason for the creativity boost. My mom liked to tell people about walking to the hospital in snow — she always left out the part about the hospital being across the street 🙂 I was out driving in the 15 below yesterday, but it wasn’t too bad. I had on about six layers of clothes and the streets were almost deserted — even the freeway.

    • Espirational – Oh my gosh, I laughed when I read, “…she always left out the part about the hospital being across the street.” I was born in autumn — my favorite time of year 🙂

    • Becwillmylife – My grandma was a knitter. I remember the soothing sounds of the needles whispering to each other as her hands worked magic. She was part of a knitting group called, “The Knit Wits” — that always cracked us up 🙂

  16. I love snowshoeing and then coming home to warm soup and hot tea. (However, that hasn’t happened much since we moved to the West, aka WET, Coast.) Stay warm, Laurie!

    • Cindy,
      I don’t know if you would. There have been some areas in the country, (including mine)where people were warned not to go outside. If they did, they were to make sure every inch of their body was protected. Frostbite could set in within minutes. Quite frightening. There’s nothing good about either scenario. The planet is no longer balanced and we’ve put ourselves in quite a mess.

  17. When I start feeling blue & weary & cold I shift my attention to the present moment and realize that there is not a thing missing in the present moment. In fact, it usually presents itself as amazingly interesting. It’s only when my mind is carrying on resisting the present moment (versus being in it) that there appears to be a problem. Stay warm, my friend!

  18. I love the photo of the red mailbox with the snow plopped on top! In my part of Australia we have never reached zero degrees celsius that I know of, let alone fahrenheit, and I would love the opportunity to experience such extreme temperatures! On cold days here I usually get into baking, the oven warms the house and the food warms our tummies. Stay safe, Laurie.

  19. Laurie, I have so enjoyed reading the comments posted today! Winter in every region of the World has it’s ups and owns, different ways of viewing the weather. Oddly enough, I am seldom every bored in Winter when my outdoors work comes to a halt. I enjoy the slow times because I know in a couple of months the work will start trickling in until by May it becomes a torrent. I read, cook and bake, do a little painting, do a little work outside weather permitting. Mostly I just try to make the most of the Moment and be grateful for the rest.

    • Sandi – And I know just how doggone busy “torrent” means for you, so it’s excellent that you downshift a wee bit in the winter to recharge your battery! Before we know if, you’ll be off and running again! 🙂

  20. We finally got cold (below 55 degrees) but boy do I have snow envy. Your pictures are beautiful! I love the winter, I always feel so motivated to be creative and try new things. Funny how seasons change my mental outlook lol! Great post!

    • MyDailyMinefield – Season do speak to different facets of our “self,” don’t they? I find my physical package more revved up in the spring and summer. My mind unleashes more creativity in the fall and winter. And my spirit resonates with each of the seasons.

  21. Laurie, we are in the deep damp fog where the clouds are kissing the earth like groveling fools. This is what I call dry rain. It is fine for walking even if my glasses get covered in mist. I picked an open road and mostly stayed dry while stretching out my muscles and breathing in the moist air. David opted to stay home. Right now, we have The BE GOOD TANYAS playing and David is cutting up a fresh pineapple. There is salad, canned sockeye salmon and butternut squash ravioli for supper. We plan to tuck in early with a movie and let the darkness still our hearts and minds. I like to dance in the kitchen and make cookies when it is too miserable or cold to be outside. I also like to take the compost out and go get the firewood or anything I can think of that takes me outside for just a few minutes. If it is too cold for even that I have been know to open the door and just hoop it up for a few seconds and then close it again. Strange I know but this act often makes me laugh and stop feeling sorry for myself about being stuck inside. Hope it warms up for you soon!

    • Terrill – Not only handy with brush, oils, and canvas, you paint wonderful word pictures!

      We love butternut squash ravioli too — we get ours at Trader Joe’s. Your fresh pineapple sounds delicious!

      I can readily picture you frolicking just outside the open door — long enough to get wet and throw your head back in laughter!

  22. I am lucky down here in Maryland, Laurie. Our winter lasts only about 3 months and even then, it is interspersed with 40 and 50 degree days. This little spell of 4 degree weather will break up and we’ll be in the 50’s by this weekend. I am fortunate to be an indoor tennis player. I save up my money and buy indoor court time 2 to 3 times a week so that I get my cardio and get to whack something.

    • Barbara – In the years that I’ve known you, you’ve continued to love tennis. I know your court-time means a lot to you. What great exercise it is! And like you said, there’s the added bonus of whacking something! 🙂

  23. I don’t know how you do it! I’m afraid I’d be so grumpy, feeling I might literally freeze. I can’t relate to this cold, but I have tremendous admiration for those of you who navigate and live with such tremendously cold weather. I have made a determination that I can never again say “I’m cold” here in Southern California. At least I should never say it out loud!! Sending a warm hug, Laurie, and I just love your doggy!

    • Three Well Beings – Thank you for sending warmth our way 🙂

      Willa (the dog in the photo) is the baby in the house, she’s only 7 years old. Her big sister, Lexi, is 11. Willa loves to play in the snow. Lexi, on the other hand, lays on her big “Princess mat” in front of the blazing fire.

  24. Love the portrait of the pooch in the snow! I love to exercise outside, shoveling snow leaves me feeling healthy and cheerful. Taking a walk with my camera is also invigorating. But I wouldn’t do it if the windchill was -50F! Inside I read books, watch movies, and snuggle with my cat or my husband. And put something that smells good to cook in the slow-cooker for dinner.

    • Barbara – My nose is wriggling trying to guess the lovely dinner aroma that’s coming from the slow-cooker in your kitchen.

      I don’t mind using the snow blower, but I lose interest after about five minutes of shoveling the stuff 🙂

  25. Hi Laurie!
    I CANNOT imagine that temperature! Yesterday and today, it’s cold (for us) in South Florida because it only reached the 60’s and it’s been raining. That’s more than 100 degrees different from you…and that is astounding, isn’t it?

    So, I spent my two days in the kitchen making chili, stir-fry, scones and tea…lots and lots of tea!

    Sending a New Year hug…

  26. Several years ago a young colleague told me that she liked winter because she “embraced it”. Since then I’ve tried to embrace winter (for example, I bought cross country skis); and I’ve found that I’m happier and it goes much faster.

  27. I’m in the northeast. What state or part of the country are you in ? I could use a little sun and warmth myself. I really like the quote you posted “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” Thank you for the reminder.

    • ABoomersVoice — I’m about an hour north of Chicago (just south of the Wisconsin border). My philosophy — WHATEVER YOU ARE NOT CHANGING, YOU ARE CHOOSING — came to me when I was on a hermitage in New Mexico. To this day, it remains the most important thing I’ve learned in life. I’m glad it resonates with you, thank you for letting me know 🙂

  28. I live close to Joan Rough above, so I’ve escaped the worst of the polar weather. I enjoyed a four-mile walk with my husband. Tonight we are going out to dinner to celebrate his birthday, so we hope to stay warm. Looking at a lovely sunset. Feeling mellow. Hoping you are finding ways to stay warm and mellow also. I know you are!

    I am so amazed by you, Laurie. You seem able to keep up with thousands of friends. I’m loving getting to know you through your posts and comments. Thanks for your generosity.

    • Shirley – You guys are going to have a wonderful time this evening. Happy birthday to your husband! 🙂

      We’ve warmed up considerably. As I type this we’re at 20-degrees (12 with the windchill factored in). That’s a zillion degree gain since Monday.

      I’m speaking at the Grand Geneva in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin this coming Saturday. They’re considerably colder than we are. I’ll leave exceptionally early, arrive well in advance with the intention of defrosting in the lobby where hopefully I can order a cuppa hot tea. I should be thawed out by the time I speak at 9am.

  29. I do remember those freezing cold and wind chill factor days – not quite as severely as the Polar Vortex. Stay warm and we will hope that the house sells early in this year.
    We are a bit worried because we have had cold, sunny and too dry for several weeks and now rain,rain, rain and warming. I saw a number of bulbs poking out of the ground on our morning walks. Nearly 50 today…so there is almost no snow even in the mountains.

    I exercise 3 hours 6 days a week part indoors and part dog walks. ZIP got kennel cough over the holidays and then it went to bronchitis and emergency runs to the emergency vet. 7 days of no walking. I went back out this weekend before starting walking again and picked up 31 piles of pooh and now we stay mostly on the street and not on the grassy areas – we need a good hard freeze to clean this up in the neighborhood. 21 hours of leaf raking ( to keep my house dry) and now dog pooh pick up – I think the neighborhood should pay me!

    I have upped my reading per week. I am working on reading 3 books per week and posting 2 reviews. It puts a little pressure on me and that keeps me from going into soggy thinking mode. I also eat more carrots and apples, because I just need more chewing time to relieve the stress and let go.

    Another good thinking piece and moves us forward no matter the weather.

    Thanks Laurie for keeping the spirits up and at ’em!

    • Patricia – Wow, you’re an amazingly diverse exerciser — I’m thoroughly impressed! 🙂 And I know that you read like a machine! A nice balance since one is so active and the other more sedentary. Happy weekend!

  30. The picture of your dog is so adorable! I’m reminded of why I traded Pennsylvania winters for Arizona’s sun! Stay warm. (You did, however, make me miss my ice-skating-on-grandpa’s-pond days as a kid).

  31. Oh My! That’s COLD! Love the photos … easy for this Texan to appreciate the stacked up-to-here piles of snow, since I haven’t seen snow in years. We are expecting a cold snap in a few days, which will put us right at freezing, but last night, it got so warm that I actually had to turn on the AC in order to sleep comfortably. That’s Texas in a nutshell. Up and down, sunny and hot one day, and a few days later, frozen pipes. But usually, no snow. At least not in my neck of the woods.


    That’s what works for me. Finding some way to bring color into my life. Sometimes that means working a brightly colored jigsaw puzzle, or creating a collage of color out of bits of this and that, or even just enjoying a computer game that is awash with vibrant colors. As long as I have some color in my life, then the drearies fade away. 🙂

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