Jet Lag, Kitchen Shock, and Other (Chilly) Adventures

I’ve left Montana and returned to Portland, and I have to say: it’s a big jolt, after being away for almost a month. Although I’m happy to be back, my brain is not 100%. I’ve chosen to blame jet lag, which may or may not be true, considering that Portland is only an hour behind Big Sky, time zone-wise.

In the Wow-that’s-weird-and-random department, I have a bad case of “Kitchen Shock.” –You’ve probably never heard of that before, because I just made up that term.–It’s basically the same as “Culture Shock,” except exclusive to your kitchen. Since I enjoy cooking and food, I  tend to spend a lot of time in my kitchen. So, I’m usually pretty aware of what I’ve stocked in my pantry and freezer at all times. Except now, I’m calibrated to the kitchen in Montana instead of the one here at home. I’m like, do I have butter? Yes! Wait, no – you left it in Montana. Oh, do I have ginger? Nope, you already looked – no, wait a sec. It’s here in this pantry. 

And cleaning out the dishwasher and putting pots and pans away? It takes twice as long as normal, because I have to stop and remember where everything goes.

(The only other thing I’m like that with – ie. aware of what I have in stock – is my book collection. Except I’m even weirder about that – I actually have an Excel file in my computer labeled “Shelby’s Library,” which tells me what state that book is in–either North Carolina, Montana, or Oregon–and then lists what box or bookcase I left it in.

Yes, I’m very strange. I feel okay admitting that to you. We all have our quirks. Like my Mom says, “The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.” Well, my mom and Alfred Adler. :-P)

In other news, Kaitlyn and I had a lovely time during my last week in Montana. I only wish it had been warmer. The day she came up, a cold front blew in, along with some heavy snow. The snow was welcome, but the cold took us by surprise. The next day, I went skiing with her without a face mask, and when my cheeks and lips started going numb, I said it must have been colder than we thought. Someone overheard me, and said, “Yeah, it’s negative 11 degrees today(!), and with wind chill, it’s supposed to be negative 32 degrees (!!!!).”

Obviously, it wasn’t an awesome day to forget my face mask.

The Coldest Place, ie. the Lift, where you were lifted clear of the trees and straight into the wind. (We learned quickly to huddle for warmth.)

The Coldest Place, ie. the Lift, where you were lifted clear of the trees and straight into the wind.
(We learned quickly to huddle for warmth.)

Anyway, a couple runs later, we went back to the cabin, cold down to our bones, and before I could unlock the door, I had to blow on my hands to warm them up and convince them to work and bend and grip the key the way they were supposed to. We got inside okay, but we may gotten a touch of frostbite. Our fingertips ached for the rest of the day, and I had two bright pink spots on my cheeks that didn’t turn a normal color until about twenty-four hours later. (Now, those same spots are peeling – almost like they were sunburnt.)

But it was all good. When we got inside, we started laughing, which we dubbed the “cold hysterics” (also a made up term, FYI). Then we watched a ton of movies.

Even though it warmed a little each day, it never quite reached 0 degrees the whole weekend, but we had wised up.  We never stayed out for much longer than an hour, and we were super vigilant about exposed skin.

Weirdest of all, in this post of weird things, I didn’t mind being so cold. You see, my WIP (ie. The Ever Afters 3) is set in a Very Cold Place, and the whole time, I was taking notes, translating my experience into something that might happen to Rory….


  1. Dara January 21, 2013
    • Shelby January 22, 2013