Yes, folks it's not quite officially winter but it's bloody freezing in Chicago. Yesterday, the actual temp on the walk to school was ZERO Fahrenheit; a whopping minus 17.7778 Celsius if you want to get fancy and cosmopolitan.
Any idea what that feels like? Well, first of all the cold as you walk out the door makes you catch your breath; then you realize that you can't quite catch your breath because you're getting ever-so-slightly asthmatic. (Seriously - many people experience asthma symptoms for the first time.) After you've gone about twenty yards along the street you realize that your scarf is slightly useless just sitting on your shoulders and needs to be pulled across as much of your face as possible. How else to stop the annoying prickle of freezing nose hairs and the imminent onset of frostbite?
A bit like this -
Dog walking outfit.
And if you choose to wear your hair exposed, it had better be bone dry because hair freezes too!
If this photo were a full length job, you'd see a coat that resembles a duvet, down to my ankles, then big fat boots sticking out the bottom. Fashion has no place in Chicago in the winter. (Not that it ever gets a look-in around here.)
My house in winter always looks more like a garage/jumble sale than normal. Five different varieties of industrial strength parkas hanging in the hallway, multiple pairs of boots flung far and wide, ready to trip the nearest mother, and salt all over my hardwood floors. (They salt the roads here so you can't help but trek it back indoors. It ruins the wood.) Oh and a snow shovel leaning against the wall at both doors.
Dog owners have to do double duty as walkers and groomers as the dogs come in with salt on their paws and ice stuck between the pads. There's a manky looking old towel at the front and back door to wipe ours off with, but I have to say, I'm very tempted to put her in dog booties just to see her do this -