Oh hell; It's cold again
Snow's on the way
Step one: Get out the shovels, salt and sand.
Step two: Remember you haven’t shoveled snow since last winter
Step three: Stock up on ibuprofen, just in case.
Yes, winter’s back.
The National Weather Service in Milwaukee/Sullivan has issued a winter storm watch for southern Wisconsin including the counties of Rock, Green, Walworth, Jefferson, Dane, Iowa, Sauk and Columbia. Local cities expected to be hardest hit include Monroe, Janesville, Beloit, Jefferson Elkhorn, Delevan and Lake Geneva.
The heaviest snow is anticipated late Friday evening into Saturday morning, the weather service said.
Snow accumulations of 4 to 6 inches are possible. Some 7-inch-totals are expected southwest of Madison.
The weather service warns that snow, sleet or ice accumulations could impact traveling.
JANESVILLE Do you hunch your shoulders in an effort to keep warm?
Do you consider a red nose a fashion faux pas?
Have you recently considered moving elsewhere?
If you answered, "yes" to two or more of those questions, it's time for an attitude adjustment.
Mind you, we understand: The weather outside is frightful. That's Freddy Krueger frightful, not "frightful" in the cheery-Christmas-carol kind of way.
But—and this is a very large but, like one that's been swaddled in long underwear, sweat pants and a snowmobile suit—we've got at least three months of this to get through, so it's in our own best interests to embrace winter.
With that in mind, we offer these ideas to get you started.
Janesville Ice Skating Center
-- Open skate for families, teens and adults on alternating Fridays and some Saturdays. During school break, Dec. 26-31, there will be a public skate every day. The schedule is posted on the city's website, ci.janesville.wi.us. Once at the site, click on the "city services" tab and pick "ice skating center" under departments. Rental skates are available. For information, call (608) 755-3015.
-- Polar Express learn-to-skate lessons. Open to children and adults at all levels, lessons are held Saturday mornings for eight weeks. Call the center for class start-up times.
-- Emotive stress release sessions. These sessions, also called Janesville Jets hockey games, allow staid citizens to shout as much as they like.
For a mere $10, participants can release frustrations about the economy, their jobs, their relationships or even the weather in the form of shouting and hand waving. In addition, seats are close to the boards to help heighten the adrenaline rush, there aren't any time outs to slow the game down and the concessions are inexpensive.
For more information, call (608) 755-3015 or visit janesvillejets.pointstreaksites.com.
Rock County has an estimated 226 miles of funded trails, said Lori Williams, county parks director. In addition, the county's nine snowmobile clubs, who do the grooming, have spurs off of the main lines.
Snowmobilers can travel to all four corners of Rock County without leaving the trails.
For information, maps or contact numbers for the clubs, to www.co.rock.wi.us/index.php/snowmowbile-trails or call (608) 757-5451.
During winter months, call (608) 757-5458 for trail conditions.
Cross county skiing
Cross-country skiing is really for people who have already adjust to living in the cold. But we're putting it out there to remind folks that the winter landscape can be beautiful.
-- Janesville's Rockport Park provides a scenic ski trail. Even better—but slightly more difficult—are the trails at Magnolia Bluff Park, 4002 North Croak Road, Evansville, and Carver Roehl County Park, 4907 South Carvers Rock Road, Clinton.
-- Gibbs Lake County Park, 9103 West Gibbs Lake Road, Evansville, is designed for the novice and intermediate skier.
If you'd like something less strenuous, try a walk through Rotary Botanical Gardens, 1455 Palmer Drive, Janesville.
During the garden's holiday light show from Dec. 17-23 and Dec. 26-31, the gardens are lit up with 200,000 seasonal lights. For the rest of the winter, the garden's main path is kept plowed to provide a quiet spot to walk.
Film and art
This year's Beloit Film Festival runs from Thursday to Sunday, Feb. 17-20, for the most part. Most venues are in Beloit, but the Metropolitan Restaurant, 12 S Main St., Janesville, also will show films this year. Festival organizers hope to run a bus between the Metropolitan and the Beloit venues.
The festival always includes a healthy mix of features, documentaries, shorts and children's films. Keep your eye on beloitfilmfest.org. for updates.
-- Consider creating your own tour of visual arts. A Janesville tour featuring all local artists might include Raven's Wish, 2871 Liberty Lane; Earthsong Books & Gifts, 2214 Kennedy Road; Artisan Locale Gift Gallery, 6 S. Main St.; Hedberg Public Library, 316 S. Main St; and the lobby of the Janesville Performing Arts Center, 408 S. Main St.
PROTECT YOUR BACK
Do you hunch your shoulders in an effort to keep warm?
Well stop it, it's not good for you.
Gary Olson, physical therapist and supervisor of therapy services at Dean Northview in Janesville, said even that little hunch can make a difference—especially if you've already had neck or back pain problems.
"When you're in that guarded positions, it adds tension to the muscles," Olson told the Gazette in a previous story about winter-related injuries. It's just another factor in the circle of pain."
A scarf and a hat are an easy solution.