Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How to keep your shampoo from freezing

Or the fine art of building a fire in a wood-burning stove.

Homer is in the "Banana Belt of Alaska" (which means that first snow doesn't come until Halloween and the temperature doesn't dip below -50 too often. OK, OK, the -50 is an exaggeration but the snowfall thing is true!) Banana Belt, Schmanana Belt, it is COLD here.  If you think I am still exaggerating please refer to my Facebook (final authority on all things factual) status dated Oct. 5, at 8:52 am, "Can toothpaste freeze?" (link to said status for all you non-addicts with real lives and Doubters in Gerneral.)  "Easy fix," I thinks to meself! Turn up the heat! I hunted high and low for that thermostat. I finally had to ask S.A.M. (that wonderful Strapping Alaskan Man of mine) where it was. After he stopped laughing (which took awhile. He likes to live dangerously) he informed me that there is not central heat here in Homer and that big, black oven-looking thing in the living room was our main source of heat (wood-burning stove for those of you citified people. I refer to it as Butch: Bullish, ugly, temperamental, crotchety, horror.) After I stopped laughing, crying, banging my heels and bargaining with God, I began to understand the severity of my situation. I am going to be cold all the time...

I like to think of myself as a woman of action (Bubbles of the Power Puff Girls is one of my heroines) or at least smart enough to figure most things out. I asked Danger S.A.M. for guidance, but he is a self-admitted crappy wood-burning stove fire builder. Danger Jr. is a pretty decent firestarter, but being a teenager, he sleeps waaayyyy too late to be of any use to me in this arena. I used my fail-safe girl scout fire builder techniques. They failed. (I did get the wadded up paper to burn completely.) I did a Google search which gave about 3,650,000 useless links in 23 seconds. You Tube: 75 videos of no value. I cannot (and by cannot I mean don't really want to) overcome that huge, hideous, gaping maw of blackness. 

So, since that fateful morning I have come to enjoy the refreshing sensation that actual ice particles embedded in toothpaste impart to my twice daily (and as needed) oral hygiene routine. (OK, my routine is just brushing. Please don't tell my dentist that I don't floss. I do use the "tooth polisher" brush head on my electric toothbrush when I think about it. Now that is refreshing.) I don't, however, enjoy scrubbing my scalp with frozen shampoo. It hurts quite frankly, and is also difficult to squeeze out of the bottle with my icicle fingers. I don't even want to get started on the conditioner! (Luckily for me my facial cleanser has those tiny little pieces of granite meant to leave me with the glow of a young girl in it so I have no idea if it freezes or not. I already had to use a C-clamp to squeeze it out.)  We do have a couple of very nice electric heaters (Sally, it's a Suntwin!) to supplement Butch's erratic warmth, but Danger S.A.M. told me that it is unwise to actually bathe with them. (Ironic huh, with a name like Danger.)

I guess for now I will just have to knit my shampoo bottle a cozy, wear my ugly fake sherpa slippers  and warm my frozen digits from the heat of my laptop. (Note to self: use this as an excuse to shop for fabulous fur slippers AND cashmere yarn for fingerless gloves.) Maybe The Wonder Dog will share some of her Bichon body heat.
Maddy The Wonder Dog hogging the blanket!


  1. Love, love, love it!!! Butch--so much better than Big Bertha. No central heat?? What kind of backwoods part of Alaska are you living in. I think knitting cozies for all of your products is a FAB idea!! Tell Danger Sam hi!!

  2. Leslie as far as central heat is concerned there is NO part of Alaska that is not backwoods. Our choices appear to be Butch, or a monitor stove that burns oil of some sort. Fancy, huh? It is like the ground freezes really hard or something. Whatever!

  3. Better you than me, sweetie-baby... and you thought Florida was BAD.... Well, at least there's no creepy-crawler bugs in Alaska! That's one thing the cold is good for!
    And I suppose you could just wear your white coat indoors since it lack a certain Alaskan pizzaz. Or remodel the coat for Maddie's outdoor wardrobe. Sally...in the warm office.

  4. First a pig in the front yard, now no central heat. I guess you really are worse off that Northern Exposure (who'd thunk it) The girly girl in the back woods. That sounds my nightmare of camping and you have to do it on a daily basis. Well all I can say if good for you and glad it isn't me I would have already crawled back with my tail between my legs and begged for my shoes and clothes back. Love ya