Since I'm a huge skiing enthusiast, I didn't have a good answer because I've braved the cold to go skiing when it's been -15 degrees. (Minus 15 degrees. Below zero. Fahrenheit.) But when my sister told me that it was 10 degrees and my eight-year-old nephew didn't have a turtle fur for his neck and face, I suggested that she keep him home and make O'Henry bars instead.
Clearly she was on the same wave length, because at that very moment, the timer went off for a batch of chocolate chip cookies she was pulling out of the oven.
The turtle fur is essentially a tube of soft fleece that you pull over your head and wear like a turtleneck. What I love about them is that they can be pulled up high to cover your lower face and ears - or - you can push them down so that they just cover your neck.
Whenever we venture in to a climate where the thermostat drops below 30 degrees, I make sure that I have my turtle fur. And whenever I go downhill skiing, regardless of the temperature, I make sure that I have my turtle fur. Nothing beats a turtle fur when you are whipping down a slope in the late afternoon and the sun is on the other side of the mountain. And you pass a snow blower that shoots icicles all over your face.
We've owned our turtle furs for at least 15 years. I have since seen similar garments made by other companies and they all appear comparable. They come in both adult and children's sizes. Infact, the picture above is one that I just recently picked up for my eight-year-old nephew that I plan to drop in the mail tomorrow ... so that he never has to miss a skiing lesson again.
But while we are on the subject of cold necks and faces...
Here are pictures of the fuzzy-scarves that I've
Thankfully, I'm not easily discouraged.
My cousin, Margaret, on the other hand.
She called me yesterday in a panic.
I answered the phone to hear her gasping, "I cannot believe it. I cannot believe it. What am I doing? Am I out of my mind? How in the world am I supposed to raise $4,100.00 for this marathon? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO DO IT?!"
"Hello? Hello? Margaret? Is that you??"
"YES IT'S ME. How am I supposed to do this?! I am sitting here eating raw cookie dough and Hershey Kisses and peanut butter. I AM IN TRAINING FOR A MARATHON AND YET I'VE GAINED EIGHT POUNDS IN TWO WEEKS. How is that POSSIBLE?! My heart is beating out of my chest and all I can do is EAT!!"
I calmly asked if she had sent out her fundraising letters yet and she exasperatedly said, "No. No, not yet. But, I did just send out an e-mail to NINETY EIGHT people and no one has responded to me. NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON! But oh thank GOD for your reader, Amy, that donated to me last week. GOD BLESS AMY!!"
I asked her when she sent out her e-mail and she said, "Ten minutes ago. I sent my e-mail TEN MINUTES ago and no one has replied!! Have you looked at my fundraising page? HAVE YOU LOOKED AT IT?? On yours and Charlie's, the fundraising ticker has already started to move. On mine it's still stuck at ZERO!!"
My attempt at stifling a laugh was unsuccessful. So I said, "Margaret. Listen. Take a deep breath. You need to give this some time. Most people don't sit in front of their computer all day hitting REFRESH on their e-mail account. I'm sure at least one person will respond to you."
As we were talking, someone did respond to her.
A woman from Margaret's Catholic church wrote her an e-mail to say that she would not be able to support this particular cause because The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society supports the use of embryonic stem cells in finding a cure for cancer. Soon after that e-mail rolled in, Margaret heard from other people within her homeschool co-op where they also stated that they would not be able to contribute to her cause for the same reason.
Margaret met with some of these people today, and apparently it was brought up that in her efforts to raise money for a cure to cancer, she may as well be promoting abortion and pregnancies that result in the birth of octuplets.
And here I thought that the reason people weren't contributing was because of the economy!
Suffice to say, Margaret went in to an absolute tailspin.
Ultimately, I told her that she needs to relax and not take everything so personally. Yes, it is difficult to put yourself out there when you are trying to do something for a good cause and yes, you do open yourself up to judgment and criticism.
After three years of public blogging, I guess I'm use to it.
But then I told her, "Imagine how I feel? Here I am making something with my own two hands that no one wants or is willing to bid on for a single dollar!! NOT EVEN MY MOTHER!! I think that perhaps I've overestimated my knitting abilities!!"
We laughed for a minute before I added, "It probably wasn't a good idea for me to post knitting instructions on my blog a few weeks before I tried to raffle off scarves. Anyone can make them now!! Maybe I should hold off on posting how you FINISH knitting until a much later date? OR, unless people donate to the cause?! My poor readers will have scarves that are 20 feet long and they'll be thinking, 'How the heck do I end this thing? Is she ever going to tell us?!'!!"
I actually think that considering we haven't sent out our fundraising letters yet, across the three of us, we've done remarkably well. As of today, we have raised over $1,500.00 in the past week. (There are a few checks that came in that will be added to the accounts). So for those of you who have donated, thank you a million times over. (Especially you, Amy. If not for you, Margaret would be curled up in a ball with empty tubes of cookie dough clutched in each hand.)
The question does still remain why Margaret needs to raise more money than Charlie and I, combined. And until the official answer is provided to us next week from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, we have a two-part theory.
First: the fundraising goals are set by each chapter. Since there is a higher participation in the San Diego chapter than in the Greenville (South Carolina) chapter, Margaret is required to raise more.
Second: the race is in San Diego. So for people living in this area, they do not need to cover air travel or have accommodations, provided. I'm fairly certain that is at least part of the reason Margaret's fundraising costs are higher than ours, but although a certain percentage does go toward travel, 75-80% of the money raised goes directly to research and patient care.
Since tomorrow is Valentine's Day ... and Margaret's 45th birthday is on the 16th ... if you are feeling any love for this cause, please drop your donation in to her fundraising account.
Please keep in mind that I make this suggestion only to help my cousin out and in no way to guilt people in to bidding for one of my meticulously hand knit scarves.