With certainty, I can make this statement: I’ll never be climbing Mount Everest

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life63 Comments


It's -17 degrees. Right now, at 5:11 a.m., in St. Paul, Minnesota. Where I live.

Now right now, I don't know what you find more shocking: a) that it's -17, b) that I'm up at 5:11 a.m., or c) that I live in St. Paul. I suppose all three of them carry their own unique shudder values, don't they?

But I'm just here to tell you: baby, it's cold outside.

My reporter friend, Molly Millett, called me yesterday for a quote about the weather. I feel my line about Mt. Everest was particularly clever. Clever schmever. I speak the truth.

I have to take my car into the shop a bit later on this morning. I'm hoping to drive it, rather than push it. My battery is not liking the cold snap. This means, at roughly 8:30 this morning, I'll be walking home from my neighborhood mechanic. Outside. In nature. At which point in time, it might just warm up to -13 if I'm lucky.

I have no true winter garb, save for my Uggs. I realize Ugg boots aren't necessarily the Gear of Mountaineers, but I will tell you this: the ONLY part of me that will not be frozen in my four block dash to home will be my feet. I wish I could get a whole damned suit made of Uggs.

That's all I'm sayin'.


Cathy ZielskeWith certainty, I can make this statement: I’ll never be climbing Mount Everest

63 Comments on “With certainty, I can make this statement: I’ll never be climbing Mount Everest”

  1. #1
    ~ Kim

    I am such a wimpy Florida chick! lol I’m whining and freezing and bundled up as if it were -17 degrees…but I’m sorry!! 55.9 FEELS LIKE -17 to me!! lol Maybe you should let the munchkins skip school today so they don’t freeze on the way!! πŸ™‚

    Have a great day and try to keep warm!!

  2. #3

    Your quotes in the article were nice – but I had to chuckle at the reference to hunting. Life is not so bad – we have shopping & hunting. πŸ™‚

    We are getting down into the teens tomorrow & I am getting nervous. I only recently bought a coat after moving south six years ago. I think that I will hibernate until it’s 50 again.

  3. #4

    School just cancelled….to cold -22. woohoo. luv those unplanned days off! luv my uggs too!! feeling your car pains, but be careful out there frostbite happens fast!! luv your blog!! a daily dose of fun. thanks for that!!

  4. #6

    Our weather (in Baton Rouge, LA) says 32 degrees – feels like 32 degrees – high 51 – winds 10 to 20 mph. And we think it’s really cold. I won’t see you on that mountain either.

  5. #7

    do your kids have school when it’s that cold. The standing rule in Springfield is that it has to feel like -20 or colder before they close it up. Since I teach pre-k it’s a stay-home day for me today!

  6. #8
    Susan W

    I just bought a new battery yesterday for my car. It always happens in winter. And they are way too expensive … at least it came with a long warranty. It is supposed to be in the teens tomorrow and I wanted the battery before then. There was no way I was going to hang out at the bus stop freezing my butt off without being in my warm car. Off to check my powerball ticket to see if I can move to a warm tropical climate. thanks for a great blog!

  7. #9

    I remember many many years ago, living in Minnesota where I grew up….we had to plug in our cars in the winter. I also remember the -17 feeling too. I too, shall never climb Mt. Everest. Or any mountain for that matter!

  8. #11
    Jeannette P

    You are NUTS Cathy!!! I mean that in the nicest of ways. We have -11 without the windchill (like -25 or something) and I am sooooo happy to be locked up inside the house for the day. No school for the kiddos due to ‘incliment weather’ and we did about 2 weeks worth of grocery shopping on Sunday in anticipation of the freezing weather. Don’t want to take my 2 yr old with asthma out in this stuff. We’ll be skipping Music class today because of it. I think my DH said the cold was coming from MN so thanks for sharing. LOL Isn’t there anyone who could drive you home so you don’t have to do the 4 blocks in this cold of weather? Maybe someone will offer you a ride home…take it!

    Gotta get the kiddos some breakfast now that they’re up.

  9. #12
    sue Treiber

    It’s only -4 here, so school isn’t cancelled (much to the chagrin of my non-Ugg owning 11 year old).
    I want to see a mock up of your Ugg suit!

  10. #13

    Layer, layer, layer. And a scarf. Mittens, a hat. and whiskey. J/K =)…about the hat. It’s snowing and 20 degrees here (balmy) but alas it is Thursday and that means WW meeting so out I must go. And I WON’T be layering that’s for sure. Maybe shorts and a tank top.

  11. #14
    Sarah in MN

    Cathy, one hour inland from you, the raw temp is -24, but the “feels like” with the windchill factored in is -33! Our school called a 2 hour late start for today…. YEAH, I’m sure it’s really going to be a heat wave by 10AM you know!

    My new (used) car, a ’04 VW Passat, wouldn’t start the other morning when our raw temp was -22. Hmmm, not so promising for today, is it? The car came from California… we figure that it just doesn’t know how to act in weather that cold. That, and the fact that it might be the original battery. Something to look into, I guess.

    Hopefully the mechanic will offer to give you a ride back home. Otherwise, run fast… really, really fast! (Then, when you get home, reward yourself for the EXERCISE! I would start with hot cocoa, for sure!)

  12. #15

    We’re getting up to a toasty -8 today. Without the wind chill. Schools are closed, thankfully. But I still have to take the dog outside. She’s small. I hope she doesn’t instantly freeze. Wear lots of layers!

  13. #17
    Karen Y

    I’m down in Florida where it’s cold, but not THAT cold! And the weathermen keep showing all the REALLY cold temps up in the Northern states. I guess to make us feel better. πŸ˜‰ The really sucky thing though is that I will be camping this weekend (annual cub scout trip to Disney’s Ft. Wilderness). And it’s supposed to be 30 at night. In a sleeping bag. In a tent. Brrrr! No, it’s not -17, but too cold for me! Thank goodness we’ll warm up to 60 during the day or else I’d be in that sleeping bag all weekend! Just moved here 3.5 years ago from Massachusetts and I’m already a wimpy Southern girl.

  14. #19

    Isn’t it funny how cold is relative? Up here in NE Minnesota school was called off because of the FIFTY below windchill. Yesterday we had a thirty below windchill, and had school, so apparently that wasn’t quite cold enough. Stay warm, everyone!

  15. #21
    Shelby Cariker

    I am sorry it’s so cold there – but if it makes you feel any better, the low tonight in Mississippi is 9 – and that NEVER happens!! Southern people don’t know how to handle that! I also love my UGG boots – just got them when we went skiing in Colorado a few weeks ago and wore them today. Have a great day!

  16. #22

    Baby it’s cold outside! No school for my kids today because of the cold temps. Right now it’s -10 without the windchill.

    Stay warm !

  17. #23

    Ditto! I can also say that I will never climb Mount Everst. I am a creater of (indoor) comfort and warmth! While I’m a proud St. Paul native girl, my husband and I live in Madison, WI. As we drove into work today, I couldn’t believe my car was displaying a temp of -13! I thank my blessings for a warm house, working car, and warm office building. Oh! And I thank my blessings that my husband is a walking space heater and I snuggle up to him on the couch, bed…wherever I need heat!

  18. #24

    Oh yeah it’s COLD! Up here in Duluth it’s a frigid -28 raw and the”feels like” is in the -55 to -60 area. School was called off last night for today with the possibility for tomorrow, too! And one question – Who really needs to climb Mount Everest when we live here? πŸ™‚ I think living in Minnesota is adventure enough! Especially when you move here after 18 years in Phoenix like my family did! ( I know, but, crazy runs in the genes!) Stay safe everyone!

  19. #25
    Alis in Wnderlnd

    We feel your pain here in Chicagoland, too. I don’t mind the snow–at all–but the cold, that’s my gripe.

  20. #26

    Good grief…that IS COLD! I don’t envy you though I can honestly say I wish I were there. I have lots of cousins in the St. Paul area that I haven’t seen in way too long. πŸ™‚ By this writing you’ll be home again, hopefully warm & cozy. Hope all goes well with your car! It’s been balmy here in UT compared to MN but even my car is having trouble starting.

    ps. I like watching the cable news networks and just recently I’ve come across this gal, Rachel Maddow, on MSNBC (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26318771/) who I think looks like your long lost twin. πŸ™‚ Now, I haven’t watched her show enough to say I agree or disagree with her views – I just think you two look alike). :)Especially when you’re both wearing your glasses. I wish I could wear my hair cropped all sassy like that!

  21. #27

    Okay, I’ll take the Seattle drizzle over that any day. Although today it’s 32 and foggy/sunny. Here I was, worrying about my son traveling to D.C. for the inauguration, where it should be in the 20’s! Thank goodness our forebears didn’t choose Minnesota for the capital πŸ˜‰

  22. #29

    We have a high of 54 and low of 32 without a cloud in the sky…I’m loving it. I can’t imagine being somewhere that cold. Eat soup and stay warm!!!

  23. #30

    Hi Cathy! I hear ya. I live about 6 1/2 hours drive north of St. Paul and it’s -39C with the wind chill (I think that’s around the same in Fahrenheit) up here in Thunder Bay. Brrr… We’re driving down toward your area hoping to catch a break this weekend but alas, it seems we’re out of luck. I agree, UGG should make snowsuits!

  24. #31

    Oh Cathy I feel your pain! Just start thinking “summer” – OK so that is just wishful thinking. I’m not trying to rub it in or anything, but here in AZ it will be around 70 degrees today…are you now considering moving? I bet it crossed your mind at least once today. Thanks for the post – really cute.

  25. #32

    Cathy I feel your pain. I am in Iowa and right now its -20. No school for the 2nd day in a row here. I hate winter. I hibernate until spring comes. No mountain climbing for me either…. to cold

  26. #33

    We’re “warm” in Buffalo today (only 7 degrees), but we’re getting your weather sometime overnight.

    I’ll take the snow, thanks.


  27. #35
    Shannon H

    We’re an hour south of you. School was cancelled last night. So we are watching a movie and eating popcorn. Having cabin fever, but wouldn’t even consider going out in this. Don’t even think I will be getting the mail! Really it just isn’t even worth it.

  28. #36

    Cathy, it was the middle statistic that jumped out at me – what WERE you doing up at 5.11 a.m.? Is this your normal time? Did you have a deadline to meet? Is the eating-less thing leaving you too hungry to sleep through? Is this a way of using up more calories? Do tell! x alexa

  29. #37

    Hi Kathy,
    I just moved from North Dakota to Florida, so I know just what -17 feels like. I’m so sorry!
    And aaah! Out in NATURE? Does that mean that all those other cards in eysterday’s post are coming back to haunt you for passing them over? Low media? Take withs? SHARE FOOD?!?
    I hope not GF.
    -Bev πŸ™‚

  30. #38

    I can’t tell you how much i admire your heroic spirit. You are the woMAN! You see, I was born in Phoenix, Arizona. I lived all my life (north of 40 years, people) there, until two and a half years ago, when we moved the family to northern California. I have never ever been in the kind of weather you describe.

    Until last February, on a business trip to Chicago. A bunch of us chose to go to the movies one evening, the one evening that, unbeknownst to us, the news was saying “don’t go outside! not for ANYTHING! Have your baby in the bathtub, sew up the gash from broken glass yourself, use the scraped end of the vacuum cleaner’s power cord to restart Grampa’s heart–just DON’T GO OUT!” The 20-yard walk from the parking garage in the door of the theater was the most horrific thing i’ve ever experienced. It was as though the wind and cold were actively trying to kill me, to steal my living breath from my lungs and replace it with ice. I swear could hear the White Witch from Narnia whispering behind me, ready to freeze me and take me to display in her icy courtyard. And all the way through the movie the one and only, terrifying, thing I could think about was that we had to go back out into THAT in order to get to the hotel. I think i might have peed my pants a little.

    And in two weeks–I’m going back there. To that place. The White Witch’s kingdom.

    The night terrors have already started.

  31. #39

    Are you sure you can’t get work to send you to Seattle for the week?? It is not balmy but our #’s are positive and NOT negative. We even have blue sky today!! I know some good scrapbook stores where we could shop!! πŸ™‚

  32. #40

    Some of us still plan a day trip to Seattle and use “when Boeing lets out” as a timeline spot. ie. be out of town before…. or stay in town until after 6pm when shift change is over. ahh, the early 80s.
    I am empathetic to all you mid-west folks. I grew up in Spencer, SD. I remember THAT cold. I remember the inside of my nose freezing when I took a breath. And reading all of your posts and comments, I remember why I live in Olympia, WA. Yes, we have rain. Sometimes even 8 inches in 24 hours, and yes, our rivers flood to great devastation. But it’s like my room mates in college said, when I wanted to move back home after my first winter here in the rain. They said, “just wait for spring, it’s beautiful here in the spring.” And so I do. Spring will come to MN too. take care

    Olympia, WA

  33. #41
    melissa cavanaugh

    Another poster from sunny AZ, doncha just wann move here? The weather is great, jump on in… I lived where it gets bitterly cold in SD for a year, so I feel your pain, but honestly, how do you do it? (and my freshly painted piggies, would hate to not be in flip flops…) love reading your blog… Melissa

  34. #43
    Heather H.

    Yes ma’am it’s pretty freakin’ cold. Hope your walk home was not too bad. It is nice and sunny though! And isn’t that just how MN is!? Freakin’ cold and sunny!

  35. #45
    gina ferraro

    wow! You’ll be burning a lot of calories in that 4 block dash to stay warm and to move!! That means exra points.

  36. #46

    Cathy, the weather’s warm here – come on over, downunder! It’s 37 (celcius) here & that’s in the shade! I’ll think of you while I’m lazing on the beach later on this morning.

  37. #47

    I have been on Weight Watchers 14 months and am at this point 2/10’s of a pound less than I started. OK that really sucks. It is not Weight Watchers fault. I basically ignore everything about it. I was thinking about canceling my online subscription but yesterday decided I would give it one more college try and actually do the things I am supposed. I did good for one day! Today didn’t go well…my husband fixed breakfast while I was in the shower. Egg and Italian sausage mixture thingy, toasted french bread, berries and yogurt. Sort of healthy if the sausage wasn’t there. But I HAD to eat it so as not to hurt his feelings. I now have 5 points left for tonight and it is girls night birthday party at my friends house. And she just called to tell me about all the yummy food and Champagne…so…second day and I am already screwed. Oh well…..tomorrow is another day…

  38. #48

    This is when I appreciate living in the south! Our summers may be brutal, but we can function in the winters without having to deal with snow and sub-zero temps! Whew…hope you stay warm enough!

    Ok…but really…how do you live in Minn and NOT have some real winter garb?

    Be sure to wear a hat and your gloves! πŸ™‚

  39. #49

    Hi Cathy,

    I have been a non-commenting lurker for well over a year now, and I thought I’d finally come out of the closet and say hello.

    Thank you for bringing much-needed laughs into my life!

    Stay warm. πŸ™‚

  40. #50
    Traci Smith

    i HOPE you made it home without frost bite! Or maybe the garage gave you a ride home I hope!! I have the same weather being 2 hours SE of you! Good Luck with that!!

  41. #52
    Susan M

    It’s pretty sad for us when we’re wishing for a balmy 20 degree day. I’m in Michigan, I feel your pain. Take care!

  42. #53

    It’s short sleeves and mid- to high-60s in CA. My son thinks people who live where it snows are lucky. It’s only an hour and a half to Tahoe and that’s close enough for this born and raised CA girl!!! I wish you warmth and luck!

    PS I just heard about Simple. SOOOO sad! πŸ™

  43. #54
    Kathy in Minnesota

    Girl-I’m SO sick of this cold snap …. well, you know. Love my Uggs, been wearing them all week to work, because our 4th floor office has a huge bank of windows. Usually nice, but you can just feel the cold blowing in. And the dog has been going mental, but you just can’t go for a walk in this weather. GET ME OUT OF MINNESOTA!!

    Ok-time to throw some shorts on and hit the treadmill.

    You do make me laugh!

  44. #55

    Cathy- I’m totally with you on the cold. We also had school canceled here in Milwaukee for the weather- and tomorrow too! Unfortunately, we had to take my 84 year old grandma to the doctor, so I just had to take an extra kid. Glad DH could come help out!

    I just saw the announcement on Stacy’s blog- oh, I hope that you will continue with CK. I don’t know what I would do without your column and your perspective in general, which is all over Simple. Good luck to you in these trying times!

  45. #56

    UM, THAT’S WAY TOO FREAKIN COLD FOR ME! If I were you I’d be calling my husband or best friends to follow me over to the car place so I wouldn’t freeze my booty off. You are one brave lady! And I can’t complain about weather here in beautiful San Diego, it’s been warm enough to wear shorts again…I know, good grief it’s January for crying out loud! (I’m from the mid west so this is strange for me!)

  46. #58
    Sally Miller

    I am sorry you are so cold. My daughter and her family live in North Branch up north. I hope you all warm up soon. Love a mom from |Idaho who misses her daughter and when I see MN. Iget excited.

  47. #59

    I hear you on so many levels today. Here in North Dakota, we woke to a “brisk” -44 (and believe it or not, that wasn’t record breaking WTH??). I put my Uggs on also, and also wished for an Ugg snowsuit.
    Have a warm day inside…after your sprint from the mechanic

  48. #60

    Time for a vacation Cathy! Come to Southern California where it’s been in the mid to upper 80’s all week! We’re having a strange heat wave. Yep. In the middle of January. Actually hoping for colder weather soon. πŸ˜‰

  49. #61
    Margy Eastman

    So for the first two weeks of the new year it was -40 and below here in North Pole, Alaska. Now you’ve got it. Take heart though – today hit 50 above. What we get, you get later. A ninty degree difference in one month is freakish.

    Stay warm!
    Margy E

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