Tag Archive: cold

Wishing the Best

Dear Jane,

Dear Jane,

Jane AustenAnother year, another birthday. If I could I would grant you a wonderful birthday, as I would to all of my friends and family.

I wanted to write you a nice letter, I really did. But those darn children of mine have given me a cold. I am a bit wheezy and coughing and having plenty of drainage in the sinus.

I am weak and miserable so I apologize for the not so great letter you are reading at the moment.

I simply do not have the energy or wherewithal to make witty comments and stunning put downs.

Not that there have not been a few opportunities.

The Tea Party Republicans have been making silly demands such as one senatorial candidate in North Carolina who thinks public schools should be closed and that women do not need birth control. Then there are the idiots in the House of Representatives who finally admitted they did not think the government shutdown would really de-fund the ACA, only after the government had been shutdown for 16 days.

Image from Wikipdeia

Image from Wikipdeia

When your Republican Speaker of the house finally says “You’ve got to be kidding me?” I think the faction might have taken things too far. Those goofs are about to find out how much they are not needed to get laws passed that needed to be passed.

But enough on politics.

Life at my house has consisted of Christmas activities and sickness. Our 16 y.o. had bronchitis while the daughter and I are in the midst of colds. I watched way more TV than usual today because what energy I had was zapped up almost immediately. Imagine getting winded from sweeping up the kitchen.

Picture by Mensatic.

Picture by Mensatic.

Soon it will be my birthday. I hope that you can stop by as I am sure there will be some delightful bit of cake. Perhaps over a wonderfully hot cup of tea we can discuss the plot points of my book that need improvement. It is nearly done, I need only one or two more chapters.

Then comes the fun part – editing.

Until next year, wishing you the happiest and a healthy birthday.

Your devoted fan, etc…


I am going to confess something to everyone who stops by.

 I have been sick for the last two or three weeks.

Picture by Penny Wise

It wasn’t something big like cancer or a chronic illness that is not going away anytime soon which is why I feel so wimpy. I am not going in for surgery or have dialysis or any major procedure.

It was a cold.

Nose running, coughing all of the time and feeling worn-out tired without doing anything worth feeling tired about. There was no fever or achiness, just tiredness and a cough and a drippy nose along with a clouding of the head. I read blogs about people who have beaten cancer or dealing with MS or fibromyalgia only to feel guilty. I should feel so lucky that it is only a cold.

 I spent most of the Christmas season not being able to guzzle eggnog in the way I like to do because it would make the snot population grow. That is a crying shame, except I do not want to cry either. That gets the headache going.

 By the way I am knocking back Ny-Quil, I should buy stock in the company. The next med I need to be on continuously is Tylenol to kill the sinus headache. All this bright sunlight on the snow is putting a small dagger right above my right eye despite my new Fossil sunglasses my mother gave me (love, love love these sunglasses).

All this sleeping and resting has allowed me to take naps with the kids, cuddle with the husband while he watches the Bears make an improbable run to the playoffs and enjoy my avocado walls in the bedroom. I am also thankful for figuring out having a flannel top sheet and cotton fitted sheet is the best way to be winter warm and not too hot.

 I have looked at all of the magazines and catalogues by my bedside and started figuring out what items I need to rejuvenate the wardrobe I already have. I have tried reading the simplest of mystery books only to find I hate, hate, hate the Faith Fairchild series. My attempts at River-Horse by William Least Heat-Moon have been disastrous.

Picture by M. Conners

So if you will excuse me, it is about time to have another cup of tea and a little something sweet. Then I plan to find my way to the couch and sleep a little more.

Thank God the husband is willing to give the dog his afternoon run walk.

The Beauty of Hoarfrost

 Yesterday as I drove to work I noticed my world became one filled with crystaline trees and bushes. A fog had gone through in the early morning hours and left frozen moisture on the branches. The picture below is a pretty good depiction of what I saw.

The frost simply shimmers and shines as the sun dances upon the frozen droplets. Before it melts away, we live in a crystal world that dazzles before disappearing.

Tree covered with Hoar Frost, Picture by Black Creed

 It is what one calls Hoar Frost. Some dictionaries define it as frozen dew that comes in the shape of tiny needles. We always notice it after any foggy morning. It is quite beautiful as we head north and west towards our church on a Sunday morning.

Close up of Hoar Frost, Picture by Idaho Editor

Now, I know what you are thinking. What a terrible name for something so beautiful. But this is one of those words that come from the German language according to Dictionary.com. Some note its use around the 12oos, other claim it comes from before 900 A.D.

According to Blurtit.com, the origins are from the German word “herh” which means sublime. But “Herr” is a proper title for a man, as in Herr Schmidt. So the term could be old/grey combined with frost.

I would like to think it means sublime because the look of hoarfrost in the morning is just that. I also find it suitable for December when we still love snow and find it magical. Quite frankly, hoarfrost makes snow magical in January and February as well. By then the feeling is as fleeting as the hoarfrost.

How do you find the magical in wintertime?

The real winter begins

Winter has arrived.

Snow scene

Saturday the snow fell and fell and fell.
It looked like  four or five inches by the time it was over. The kids are loving it. We have a small snowman in the back yard.
While I was inside church helping with the blood drive, my husband was watching as the kids go down the hill in their snow disks. At some point, snow went down someone’s back and there was crying and complaining.

Another snow scene

We got over that disruption to get into a warm car and head home. Hot showers, hot chocolate and pizza warmed the rest of the day.

Now starts indoor life. 

When the weather is warm, I feel the need to be outside every moment possible.  Once the snow and drop in temperature occurs, we are inside. Tasks, such as finishing the closet of doom and cleaning up of rooms, come to the forefront.

Another tradition of our family’s becomes even more important – that is the Sunday dinner. Every week, someone has a turn in making it. They choose the menu, find recipes, plan the purchases and cook it up. A parent helps the kid in charge or, in the case of the six-year-old, makes the meal.

Not as pretty as elly's but quite tasty with cinnamon and allspice in the meatball.

Last night, it was my turn and I made a greek meatball dish with rice and tomato sauce. It was a meal in which I has to make a variety of substitutions. The ground lamb was replaced by ground beef. Cloves of garlic became a limited amount of garlic powder.  Sour cream was used instead of greek yogurt and the rice was leftover white rice instead of basmati rice.

The recipe came from the wonderful cooking blog, Elly Says Opa. Her pictures are closer and probably shows of the dish better.  And I am not sure how she would appreciate what I did with it.

However, let me say that my kids ate it up. They loved the meatballs and rice; loved pouring the tomato sauce from a gravy boat. The touch of sour cream was a tasty addition as well. I was not thinking otherwise I would have served a traditional Greek salad with this meal. Instead, I had cranberry sauce on the side.

The next time I make this dish, I will more than likely bake the meatballs and have a fruit like pears on the side. And next time when I make cake with cherries on the inside, perhaps the cake will not fall apart when I take it out of the bundt pan.

It was a great evening that ended with a Wii bowling tournament and early to bed. When it is too cold, the best place to be is under the covers.