Yep that's about the extent of the fun in January. I have to say though I've been enjoying winter more than usual I do not enjoy January. It's just one of those months, like August, that just seem to drag on forever.
Today it's cold and they say it will continue to get colder as the day chugs along. Well currently it's -19c and with the wind it's -25C. Certainly not the mild winter we got last year.
The worst part is that in this weather they keep the kids in and they don't get to stretch their legs quite the way they would if they were dressed up like tiny Michelin Men and booted outside to run for 20 minutes. There is no break in the day really when all they do is change classrooms or even get ushered into the gym to run there.
Soon, it will be February and I'll be celebrating Groundhogs day. It also appears that Groundhog day might wind up being a snow day so we can get up and enjoy the telecast in pj's! See so much to look forward to in February!
It wouldn't be winter without a few good colds spread along in the family the way one might pass the salt at the dinner table. This one originated with my oldest boy and was handed down unceremoniously to the little one who hasn't learned the fine art of using a Kleenex. E is a "sniffer". L is a "wipe it up the full length of his sleeve", kid.
So when they get colds it drives me nuts. Yesterday L's cough was so bad that he came home early from school because his tummy was starting to hurt. He couldn't stop coughing. His appetite way down, his eye lids droopy. The only silver lining in him getting sick is that he gets really cuddly when he's not well. And I sacrifice my own good health to lap up all that cuddle time. Even if I complain when I can't breathe through my nose or feel like something scraped off the bottom of a shoe, I love the snuggling.
The cough getting worse and changing during the night had us dropping E off at school and going straight to the doctors. Necessary but unpleasant as that was. The office teaming with all the sick kids it could hold. The adults looking tired and uncomfortable knowing that whatever their own child had was likely nothing compared to the Typhoid Mary sitting next to them. Every parent surreptitiously scoping out the children to see if they could find the sickest and persuade their own child to avoid them.
Kudos to the parents who offered up their Blackberry and Ipods as entertainment to keep their kids away from the contaminated junior set. This was a dire sacrifice, indeed, as it seemed the wait list was terminal. I had long ago realized that even when a child is sick there is little you can do to shield them once they enter school. So my boy was the only one very happily playing with the cootie toys. Of course I was still white knuckling the disinfectant gel bottle waiting for him to come back to me to be decontaminated.
Perhaps this will be a quiet weekend spent close to home. Some scouring. Some baking to entice an appetite. Some crafts and perhaps a little play in the snow if we turn the corner on the cootie-zone.
Spent shopping to the beat of my own drummer. It was grocery day. Actually, that whole task feels like it sucked up the better part of my day. I left the house around 10:30 and got home around noon. I'm still trying to figure out just exactly why it took so long? Strange. Though I will say that as far as grocery shopping goes, I rather enjoyed myself.
The store wasn't busy. The shelves were stocked with everything I needed with enough organic produce to get me through this week's planned meals.
No one getting in my way. No children to distract me. My bluetooth headset playing a very long playlist of all my favourite tunes. I caught myself humming or mouthing the words a few times. Didn't matter to me that I might have looked a little off, I was relaxed and having fun. Who can say that their last food shopping trip left them happy?
I was also delighted in the little indulgence of a cast iron skillet. It's being seasoned as I type. I'll keep seasoning it today and tomorrow until it's smooth and black. I can't wait to make my first dutch apple pancake! All of my other iron skillets have gone missing over the years and instead of just buying new ones I hold on to hope that they will return. They never have *sob* This one will be guarded fiercely.
Today is a good day for day dreaming about spring. The one thing that cheered me up was seeing the Valentine's Day displays and all the spring flowers. Soon, spring will happen. And when it does...I'm going to be freaking giddy! It was miserable out today. At least if it's going to be that cold it would be nice if the sun were out. I'm in some dire need of Vitamin D, oh and some dirt under my finger nails.
Some of you don't know this but I've got two dogs. Both are Dachshunds. Both are nuts. Both drive me insane. A few of my friends have said that they heard me talk about my dogs and have visited my home but have never seen them. Well there's a reason....my dogs embarrass me.
Finnigan is a Hannibal Lecter in training. A smooth dapple coat, standing all of 12 inches tall and 40 inches long, he'd have your liver with a fine Chianti if given the opportunity. Nah, that's an exaggeration. He's actually really sweet once he gets to know you and he's only been exceptional with us but show him a dog that's not his brother and he FREAKS out. He loses it if he sees a dog on the flat screen. I can no longer watch equestrian riding because he leaps around trying to get at the horse on the TV. We've nearly given up walking him due to his irrationality. Blowing leaves, snowmen and flags have all met his wrath. The neighbours look out their windows when we put them on leashes because it sounds like a cheap soundtrack from a prison break movie. He is chewing his way through the back cedar fence to get at the little puff-ball dog on the other side! Totally embarrassing.
Casey is the opposite though he gets rather cranky with Finnigan and really, who could blame him? With all that silly aggression, Finnigan can grate on the nerves. Casey is a long-haired blonde wiener the same height and length but about 25lbs heavier. I've nicknamed him Haggis. All Casey thinks about night and day is food. He has chewed his way into a 40lb bag of kibble and eaten himself to sleep, woken up and started all over. If he were human I would have had to chain the fridge and cupboards closed. He's daft and wants a whole lot of love. He will stare at you with his big brown eyes to make you feel guilty for not sharing your coffee!
We got Finnigan just a few days after we got married. Finnigan had separation anxiety so badly that we bought him his own dog. Casey is actually Finnigan's dog. Two wiener puppies less than two weeks apart equals a whole lot of stress. When we got them, we lived in an apartment on Bloor Street West and the owner didn't want dogs on the premises so we had to move out within a month of getting them. We wanted to move anyway but they hastened the search.
We've had them for 7 years now and they've mellowed with professional training and age. Finnigan's muzzle is greying. Casey naps more these days then he used too. Now that the boys are older and I've got more energy to spread around I've been enjoying them a little more than I did when the boys were really young.
On super cold days there is nothing better than knitting with a wiener on your feet and one on your lap. Who needs slippers when you've got a Casey? They are awesome security. When they bark you can hear them down the block. No one can walk up to the porch without the wiener security system alerting me.
However crazy they are....and they totally are! I love them.
Sometimes it's better to have a distraction then it is to actually put words to an irritation. Happy dancing around the vitriol.
I have this absolutely fabulous friend. She's my I Ching. The translator of the Rosetta Stone. She always has the answers and it is likely because she's lived a life. Had many experiences and has no problem being real about sharing those life lessons. On top of being this great wealth of experience and alternate perspectives she is just completely interesting. She isn't done living life and she makes no bones about it. I love that she appears fearless! Never predictable and I love her! Hopefully, she knows this.
When I'm faced with something that niggles at me. I wonder to myself. What would she do? What would she offer me in the way of another perspective. Since we've been friends I've opened myself up in ways I never knew possible. I've grown a lot. She's inspired me to do things I never thought I'd entertain and it's all in the spirit of expanding my threshold. Challenged to live this life I've been given instead of merely shutting down and saying no to things that are new or uncomfortable. I hope that I offer her back even a 10th of what she gives me.
It's in the spirit of writing this blog that I'm redirecting myself to think of better things than the irritants that niggle when my mind is idle. Consciously not giving name to the people and slights that take up space without paying rent. Crowding out the negative people and thoughts with the good things that give back in positive ways and nourishes my soul rather than robbing it blind.
Turning my thoughts inward, re-examining what I once thought to be true. Tipping the painting on end to take get another work of art, entirely. Almost Zen. Thank you, my friend!
I've really been warming up to winter, lately. Or I should say it doesn't bother me as much as it once did. Perhaps it's because I'm forced out of my warm den each day to drop one or two of my kids off at school when I'd prefer to chug coffee in my PJ's.
Could be that because I'm addicted to running that I am forced to layer up and head out to prove that I can conquer the elements. Though it's been unanimously agreed to that pooping in the bush in the dead of winter is the true test to being hardcore. You might be shaking your head wondering where that comes from. For clarification, it's a runner thing.
I've found myself enjoying shoveling the driveway and got quite put out yesterday when I couldn't find the shovel. This morning on just one cup of coffee I enjoyed defending a snow fort from rambunctious school kids. More and more I find myself being drawn to winter sports. We have a new rink in our backyard that requires me to purchase skates. I haven't been on skates legitimately since I was 12. I want to take up snowshoe running but haven't found anyone willing to take on this challenge with me. I may just have to do it on my own. Now how hard core is that?
The other day I nearly challenged a girlfriend of mine to a snow plank-off. I'd likely lose since she's in my better shape but it seemed like a hard core punishment that we'd both enjoy. You'd have thought that after 10 years living in Winnipeg that I'd have earned this wintertime appreciation much sooner.
Today it's a crisp -17C with the wind and the sun is bright and gleams off the snow in deep blue hues. I just want to be out there. Too bad I have to wait until tonight to enjoy a winter run. Perhaps part of my budding love for winter is just a distraction from my desire for spring? January always brings a fresh crop of seed catalogues and gardening dreams. What's the cure for cabin fever? Yes, snow planks!