1. Eat something hearty and warm.
I've enjoyed homemade bread with Progresso Tortilla y Pollo soup (left) as well as homemade chili (right) recently, as well as other delicious soups and stews. They really hit the spot after a long cold day.
2. Drink cold! I know that seems counterintuitive, but it makes sense. I get super dehydrated during the driest coldest days of winter, and sometimes I crave a tall cold beverage even more than I enjoy my tea, hot chocolate, and coffee.
3. Snuggle! This is definitely the time of year when we tend to have more family movie nights where we all snuggle under some blankets together. Even the dogs and the cat join us. As my kids grow older, I appreciate any snuggling time I can get with them.
4. Wool!!!!! As my Ravelry project page can attest, I've been insane with my knitting lately because it's been so cold here. We haven't gone out unless we've had to go, so that's a lot more time spent knitting. When we do go out, we all have warm woollens to wear. For this week's excitement, here is in the inside of one of my Chevron Love Mittens. I'm posting this for Karen, who loves the floats.
I did weave in the ends since the photo was taken, but it still needs to be blocked.
Those sugar cookies are Mary's Sugar Cookies from this book, Betty Crocker's Cooky Book. My mom has the original 1963 version of the book. They reprinted it in 2002 and I have that version, which seems to be exactly the same. I love that, because it has the great 60's graphics and all the cookie recipes that I remember from my childhood. I'd highly recommend the book to anyone and, for less than $20, it's a deal. The only thing the modern version doesn't have that my mom's has are the wrinkles and stains on the pages for the recipes we made most frequently.
6. Try something new. One sure way to beat the blahs is to involve your mind and/or body in something new and different. I've been working on a project with steeks for the first time ever. I also used the self-cleaning function on my oven for the first time ever. Don't get me wrong; I have cleaned it during the 10+ years that I've owned it. However, I basically just wiped down spills and stuff. I grew up with an electric oven, as there was no gas service way out where we lived. My grandmother had a big old gas oven and the whole pilot light thing scared the crap out of me. But I decided to put on my big girl pants and try it, and the oven cleaned itself surprisingly well. As a bonus, it generated a lot of heat in the kitchen, so winter is definitely a good time to do this. (I would be remiss if I didn't remind everyone *not* to turn on your oven and leave the door open to heat your kitchen. That's the way to carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal.)
7. Go outside when you can, and enjoy the winter weather. I was so excited about how warm it was yesterday and I couldn't wait to get outside. This is mostly due to the fact that with the sub-freezing temperatures, the dogs haven't been getting walked and I haven't been picking up their poop in the backyard. So, I was actually looking forward to getting out and scooping a couple weeks' worth of dog poop. Unfortunately, it started to snow while I was out there (Of course - it only got warmer in order to snow.). I carried on until there was too much snow. The dogs came out with me and enjoyed themselves while I cleaned up their yard.
8. If you can't actually go there, you can at least think about going somewhere tropical. We've caught a whole lot of tv commercials about Puerto Rico lately and I have to say, they are the kind of thing that have us all riveted to the tv. I had a talk with my little one about how he likes the fresh bananas and orange juice in Puerto Rico yesterday morning and El Esposo has even agreed that he might like to go there with us some day. Looking at the commercials and remembering the tropical tastes is a lovely little mental vacation.
9. Make plans for the nice weather. Sometimes, all it takes is thinking about the things I want to do when it is nice out to make me think about all the things I could do now while I'm stuck inside. It's that kind of thinking that has had me cleaning the oven and other things in the kitchen. I feel like I'm doing some spring cleaning now so that I can enjoy spring when it gets here.
El Esposo and I have been talking about going whale watching this summer, and it's been fun to think about that. This photo is from the trip I took with a friend and all our kids during the summer of 2010. Everyone but me and our two youngest sons got sick. It was awful in that respect, because I was running up and down the ladder on the boat taking care of three sick kids and one adult and trying to keep my eyes on the two unaffected six year olds. When we finally saw the whales, I barely got a chance to see them. That was disappointing, because they were being really active. I got a couple of crappy photos, but that was it. I'd love to go again, without the kids. Hopefully, El Esposo doesn't get seasick. I've been on cruises in Boston Harbor with him and he was fine, so that's a hopeful sign.
10. Hit the movies, the books, the DVD's. . . this is the time to really immerse yourself in whatever sparks your interest. We went to see Gangster Squad this weekend and loved it. I'm still working on Fall of Giants, which has thus far provided many hours of enjoyment. I've also watched the first Cranford series on DVD and spent more time pruning my Netflix list than usual in order to take advantage of the viewing opportunities the cold weather provides.