Winter Wednesday

It’s cold. And changing my antidepressant from Cymbalta (which was helping my fibromyalgia but had quit helping my depression) to Fetzima (vice versa) isn’t helping my grumpy mood any. I have developed strange food cravings (carbs, sugar, and more carbs) and I am frighteningly grateful for cable TV and Law & Order reruns.

Lucky for me, I have a husband and dog to snuggle with when it’s cold and snowy outside.

A Hot Chocolate Kind of Day. And the Super Bowl Thing.

A snowy, chilly, February Saturday…I’ve spent the afternoon snuggling with Fiona (our cocker spaniel) on the couch, drinking hot chocolate–with lots of marshmallows, of course–and reading my new book about the Nazi Occupation of Paris, Les Parisiennes: Resistance, Collaboration, and the Women of Paris Under Nazi Occupation, by Anne Sebba. I love it so far, and highly recommend it, Sebba has an engaging narrative style that truly makes her prose come to life.

I’m looking forward to getting my husband back after tomorrow. He’s a photojournalist with our local NBC affiliate, and Minneapolis is hosting the Super Bowl this year (tomorrow!), so he’s been putting in 12+ hour days for over a week now covering all of the Super Bowl hoopla and festivities downtown. This is going to be the coldest Super Bowl ever (yay Minnesota!) so I imagine there will be lots of (spiked?) hot chocolate consumed tomorrow. 🙂 #SuperBowlLII #SuperBowlLIIMinneapolis #KARE11 #chocolateishealthy #BoldNorth

N.B. I don’t like football. At all. Baseball and hockey are my sports…but I do love my city, and I’m so proud to show it off to the rest of the country!

Wordless Wednesday (But Not Really)

We have just endured several weeks of a painful cold snap here in Minnesota–you know, the kind that makes your face hurt every time you go outside, and a high temperature that straggles above zero degrees Fahrenheit is cause for celebration? One member of our little family, however, is a champion at keeping warm. It’s a dog’s life, as the saying goes.

Let it snow…

There is a Winter Weather Advisory out for the Minneapolis-St Paul metro area this afternoon and evening, and we are supposed to get around 4+ inches of snow, although how much we will actually get is anybody’s guess, as the forecasters haven’t gotten it right once yet this winter. This has proved another wimpy winter by Minnesota standards, especially for those of us who were children in the 1970s and ’80s. Still, although I’m sure there are snowboarders and skiers who are excited for snow, and I must admit that snow is prettier than our current brown and drab color scheme, I am ready for spring. Sunshine, blue skies, and flowers, please: tulips, hyacinths, lilacs and peonies…If you know how I feel, here are some tulip pics to keep you going until the real thing starts growing outside.

“The deep roots never doubt that spring will come.” Marty Rubin

Have a hygge February

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Relaxing with a good book (or two or three) is quite hygeelig!

This winter the word hygge seems to be everywhere, and from what I’m reading it sounds like a marvelous idea. Although we Americans often translate it loosely as “cozy”, that doesn’t capture the full meaning of the word. In The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through  the Danish Concept of Hygge, author Pia Edberg gives her definition of hygge :

hygge (n/vb.): /HOO-gah/

the Danish concept of coziness…

…the art of creating warmth, comfort, and wellbeing through connection, treasuring the moment, and surrounding yourself with the things you love.

Flaky, sweet, pastries are hygge, especially warm from the oven, as is brisk exercise such a snowshoeing or skiing; the hygge feeling is enhanced, according to my books, if such activities are shared with friends and/or family. All of the authors I’ve been reading stress the importance of social connection and togetherness, and stress that these strong relationships and making time with each other a priority are what help them survive their long, dark, frozen winters (kind of like our Minnesota winters, yes). Pia notes that hygge is a lifestyle that feels like being “wrapped up…in a big hug.” You’ll know you’re experiencing hygge when you sense that you are really home: safe, content, happy, and grounded in the present moment.

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Hygge is a warm puppy to snuggle with….
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waking up in the morning with hot tea, fuzzy warm socks, and cosy throws…
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a vigorous hike along the lakeshore in the brisk winter air (yeah, right, sounds great in theory…)