A Gentle Reminder: Be Prepared As 2017 Chills Out

December 29, 2016 (File photo)

As if it wasn’t chilly enough, the weather predictors are claiming that 2017 is going to repeat 2016’s cold shoulder departure. The good news is that ice is not a major part of the equation. Still, if drizzle and a wintry mix does pop up, it just may freeze resulting in slip-and-slide conditions. Hopefully, electricity won’t be compromised. Luckily, Oncor and TxDot are already taking steps just in case.

Suggestion: Why not take a second to prepare as the Arctic Front rolls this way. Here are some items to consider:

  • Have a blanket in your car.
  • Bring your pets and plants indoors.
  • Pull out those gloves, woolly socks, six-foot scarves, ear muffs and sock caps.
  • Get those errands run now. No need to trek out as the temperatures drop and the wind picks up.
  • Start making some soups, gingerbread and chili. Not only will they taste good, they’ll create a great aroma for the house.
  • Check leaks in windows and doors to cut down on the outside temperature sneaking in.
  • Cover all outdoor pipes.
  • Stock up on batteries.
  • If your car is outdoors, cover the windshield to prevent possible wintry mix from coating it.
  • Check on your neighbors and elderly/disabled friends. They may be trying to cut down on costs by reducing the heat in their homes.
  • Don’t use your fireplace if it hasn’t cleaned.
  • Candles and space heaters are nice, but they also can start fires. Keep them away from combustibles. The fire department really doesn’t want to make a house call.
  • Check your fire and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Buy a fire extinguisher.

Seasonal Dip In Temperatures Approaches

Some folks have been complaining about temperatures hitting the upper 80s this month. After all, it is November and it just seems downright unnatural to wear shorts when you have a herd of woollies in your closet bleating to come out.

February 2015

February 2015 (File photo)

Well, pack up the shorts and pull out the cashmeres because today the temps are going to be dipping like a debutante on stage. Word has it that Saturday night, it just might hit the upper 30s. But this first cold front of the season ain’t going to be anything like the freezers of 2011 or 2015. Still, why not prepare now for what probably lies ahead in the weeks to come?

For oldtimers, you know the drill. For newcomers, here are some suggestions:

Snow covers neighborhoods (File photo)

February 2011 (File photo)

  • Bundle up with gloves, caps and jackets, if you’re going to catch a Friday night lights game.
  • Remember to take care of the three P’s — pets, plants and plumbing. It’s not going to freeze, but why not prepare those pipes now?
  • Put a blanket and some water in your car. Who knows? If you get stuck, you just might want a gulp of water and a wrapper until you get a tow.
  • Have your HVAC checked. It’s been a while since you turned on the heating element.
  • Check on your senior buds and physically challenged folks. Cold weather seems to hit them harder than you hardy types. See if their windows and doors are sealed to keep out the cold. And while you’re at it check yours, too.
  • It’s not too late to have a chimney sweep check your fireplace. You might also want them to clean your clothes dryer, too. After all, you don’t want the holiday glow to be your home going up in smoke.
  • Stock up on all those comfort foods. Homes just seem to handle the chill when hot chocolate is served or brownies are in the oven.
  • Remember those old blankets that you replaced with brand new ones? Why not donate the older ones to Goodwill or Dallas Animal Services?
  • Stock up on batteries, candles and matches.
  • Get a book and a couple of board games and/or jigsaw puzzles. If you lose electricity, you’ll find high tech goes down the drain and these old-timers can come in handy to handle the boredom.
  • Buy a toy. No, it has absolutely nothing to do with staving off the cold, but you just know you’re going to want to donate to a toy drive, so why not buy something now!

As The Chill Approaches, It’s Time To Part Company With Old Pals

Ralph Lauren sweater and shawl

Ralph Lauren sweater and shawl

The weather is going to dip to the chilly level this weekend and there are loads of bargains. Translation: Perfect time to go shopping for those items to stave off the cold. A Ralph Lauren turtleneck with shawl wouldn’t be bad. A fluffy duvet with a King Pheasant duvet cover would be peachy to snuggle under. And, of course, a new Paddington coat would be just perfect.

But, wait! Where to put these new must-haves? Simple answer. Edit that closet. There’s “stuff” in there that hasn’t seen the light of day in seasons.

Face it. They’re old friends that were spectacular in their day. And like an old friend, they shouldn’t be abandoned, nor should they grow old and stale in an old closet.

Aha, you know where this line of thinking is going. Why not put your mind in that gut-wrenching place, go through your closet and have a going-away party for those clothes and blankets that you no longer need. After wiping away the tears, take them to Goodwill, Attitudes and Attire, The Family Place Resale Shop, Genesis Benefit Thrift Store or your fav shelter.

Not only might you be providing warmth for a total stranger, but your “old friend” might just give that person a new lease on life and get them headed in a totally new and better direction.