Tag Archives: winter

January is Blue

trees winter snow

Blue and green are next to each other on the color wheel, but around this time of year, they couldn’t seem more opposite to me.

When I look outside right now, I see white, gray and, if I’m lucky, a blue sky (and sunny sparkles). Still, even when the sky is also gray and white (as it usually is… this is Michigan), the world has a bluish cast to it.

Even the cat is feeling the lack of outdoor green. It’s been an ongoing battle to keep him from eating my houseplants.

Fortunately, I like blue. While its paler incarnations invoke icy landscapes and wintry skies, the deeper, brighter blues put me in mind of exotic climates and sensual fabrics.

Still, without any green (or red), blue is just kind of cold, and I’m already dreaming of March with its glimpses of Spring and St. Patrick’s Day decor.

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Seasonally Deviant

Let’s go.

I’m breaking the rules.

Considering my dislike for the cold, tendency to deal with SAD and passion for spring, I think I’ve done quite well with winter in recent history. Wonderful traditions like Winterfest and Chinese New Year, not to mention a small human who loves snow and wearing boots, make the season cozy and reflective rather than isolating and oppressive.

But. It’s February, and I admit to tiring of the barren and monochromatic world outside each and every window. I long for green, the sound of birds, sandals, psychedelic music, safe roads and the sight of my beloved neighbors lounging in their lush back yard (with their garden and their chiminea and their grill and their speakers pumping WYCE… *sigh*…).

Also, I finally succumbed to a nasty winter bug, and rode the roller coaster of fever, sinus pain and digestive upset that came with it.

Right this minute, as I write to you, sun is pouring on the snow outside. The slightly golden hue is fleeting, but I’m harnessing it to drift back to one of my favorite summers, and listen to Umphrey’s McGee cover a laid back tune of my childhood.

Cue the summer mindset in three, two, one…

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Cold, Fresh Air

I work hard at not hating winter, mostly for Iris’ sake. But, in all honesty, it’s tough to get excited about playing outside in this weather.

So, I look to the benefits of getting out in the frigid air. Did you know that outdoor winter exercise can ward off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and support immunity? In Finland, babies and young children actually nap in the winter elements to boost their health.

When a hot tub is involved, I don’t mind being out in the cold much. And I admit that swimming in a heated pool under the winter night sky sounds pretty sweet.

For now, I’ll meander around the backyard while Iris investigates the bird bath ice rink and squeals over the crunch of snow. And I’ll do it in 20 minute increments.

Hope you’re staying cozy!

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Anticipating Thaw

four colored ice balls snow

My favorite thing about Winter is Spring cleaning.

I recognize the necessary death and destruction of spent foliage and harmful microbes that the cold temperatures bring. I appreciate the sense of clean slates, quiet reflection and beauty in silence and solitude.

But I like the rebirth better. I want it sooner. Maybe I should live somewhere with a shorter Winter. Because these days, I spend

too much time

in my house, and I am

too frequently reminded

of all those projects that need doing. The foundation, the garage, the kitchen counters… all better tackled in dry, mild weather. Winter makes me feel a little

too helpless and dormant, and that’s when the demons creep in. Nasty buggers.

And this year we haven’t even gotten to say “vortex.” What is the point?

My point is in the tip of my nose, and I’m directing it toward March April May. The most beautiful time of the year.

For today, I make lists of all the little tasks Spring will hold, and count the growing days until we can again clear the air of frigid dust and shuttered windows.

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Not a Resolution

‘Winter Blue’ by SheepoftheShepherd

I’m not one for labels or resolutions. Something about the absolutist attitude just makes me uncomfortable.

However, one year ago, I was resolute. I intended to waste less time on Facebook, and have been somewhat successful. I also had a sense of reconnecting with an earlier self, which I’ve done in other ways throughout the year.

Today, I’m trying to clean a somewhat smudgy slate. In addition to holiday indulgence, and a shameful lack of exercise, I’ve dealt with the erratic undercurrent of my personal anxieties. It’s possible that the aforementioned behavior contributed to the latter. It’s also possible that my almost-three-year-old is in a “mummy’s-girl” phase, and would prefer for me to play the fire engine or mama cat in her ongoing sagas, rather than squeeze in 20 minutes of yoga.

Work, I’m happy to say, is still going quite well. Better, I’ve settled some things in the creative department that allow me to at least feel like I sometimes write for myself.

I did not manage a 5K.

I eat too much sugar.

I look at screens more than I ought.

I have a punch card for a yoga class.

I learned to bake a pie from scratch.

I kept up with my paper magazines.

I didn’t dance enough with my child.

I fell victim to vodka’s siren call.

I celebrated the Winter Solstice beautifully.

I taught my daughter the names of several vegetables.

Significantly, I reached the age my mother was when she gave birth to me.

Pickle soup.

Four year olds.

Pained wrists.

New Orleans…

It’s a balance, and an ongoing evolution into ourselves. I try not to keep score against myself, and instead see this whole ordeal as a movement toward a mindset that suits me, and puts good out into the world.

From a headspace that is half nestled in blue winter, and half running through the French Quarter, I greet 2015. No resolutions, but resolute to move forward.

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It Feels Like Years Since It’s Been Here

Spring is here.

There may still be snow, there may still be clouds. But the calendar don’t lie.

If you’ve been living in this Narnia with us, breathe in the slightly warmer air. Breathe in relief. Breathe… outside.

Be in Spring.

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I Am a Winter Lump

snowman lump red hat scarf

That. That picture. That picture right up there.

That’s how I’m beginning to feel this winter.

Not because I’m depressed or lonely or fatigued. No. Because I just want to get out and move and the Snow. Just. Keeps. Falling.

I am a winter lump who is home bound and getting more misshapen by the minute. I dare not go for a run because I will fall or get frostbite. I miss half of my Zumba time because class gets cancelled or driving is too treacherous. I do yoga, but it just doesn’t give the same rush as continuous fast movement.

Couple this with a lot of time wrapped in blankets on the couch and too many caves to comfort food cravings and you’ve got that lumpy snowmoundman right up there. My almost two-year-old could take him down. My almost two-year-old did take him down.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think winter hunkering is great, and there’s a small part of me that relishes not having to do yard work or shave my legs. But this is beginning to feel like Narnia, and my inner hippie needs to run free on a beach that isn’t frozen over.

I’ve been really well behaved this year as far as not bah-humbugging and enjoying the cozy. Still, I’m confident that I’m not alone in my sentiments. When Spring does make her grand entrance, me and my sneakers are gonna give her what for.



Filed under Health

Cooking in Big Pots

big blue pot on stove flameThere’s a lot of cooking in big pots at our house this time of year. It’s too cold, and the days are too short, to mess around with entrees, side dishes, etc. Just throw it all in a pot and we’ll eat it with some rice.

Now that Iris can eat just about anything, I’ve taken to giving her blended portions of whatever I’m eating. So far she’s tried homemade shells n’ cheese with veggies, bulger with salmon and veggies and a Mexican-inspired concoction of black beans, avocado, mild salsa, spinach and corn. I’ll tell you, earlier this week that child ate an amount of food that would almost put me to shame (if you’ve seen me eat, you know what I mean).

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Filed under Of Family and Children, Recipes

Warm, Green

ice on green leaves

The trees look better with leaves

and the grass looks much better when you can see it.

The roofs should be black;

the sky should be blue.

I see you, pretty winter

and raise you

no glass.


…sorry, just not feeling this cold front and snow thing. On a positive note, the days are definitely getting longer!


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Fire Trees, Black Bean Chili and Sweaters

yellow autumn leavesThis weekend was one of those “I’m slowly accepting that summer is over” kind of weekends.

Really, I do love fall. It’s got a ton of awesome things – Halloween, chili, pretty colors, pumpkin stuff, lessened concern about body hair… It’s what comes after that I have trouble with.

You see, I take some issue with winter and its holidays. Add to this my addiction to Michigan summers, and fall is basically the come down before withdrawal.

Still, I try to enjoy it. I appreciate our sunny days when the temps are only in the mid 60s and leaves reflecting the warm side of the color wheel drift around the lawn. I happily stir a pot of black bean chili. I spend two days straight in a soft brown cardigan.

I listen to Ben Folds 5, Counting Crows and Tori Amos (my ‘fall music’ since the late 90s, when the gloomy seasons were all the rage for goth kids and alternateens).

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