Digging Deep

Been digging deeper and deeper these days to channel my inner Pollyanna. This brutal winter seems like it’s never going to end. So far, it’s been the coldest winter here in New York in 38 years. And, with a few days left to go to put an end to February, it’ll go down as  the 3rd coldest February, the 8th coldest month, has seen 6 nights with temperatures in the single digits and has only offered one day above normal.

It gets harder and harder to find the bright spots. But here’s a try:

•Spring is 28 days away.

•Daylight savings time starts on March 8th, 11 days away.

•The next season of House of Cards is just 2 days away.

March 1st is Sunday. Invite friends in for a celebratory dinner. Found a good one on Food52 today…

Chicken Gratín

Enjoy!…and hang in there.


Breakfast in Bed

I love breakfast in bed…actually lunch and dinner too. Bon Appétit recently ran an article about it, so of course I was interested. While I’d be the first to focus on the food, like they did, they missed badly by not going much further.

Like a good restaurant, ambiance is important. Taking notes from my Bed Camp strategy, an uncluttered room is important as are lots of pillows to lean against. A soothing playlist also helps set a relaxing atmosphere.

A good bed tray, big enough to hold the plates, sturdy enough not to tip over and big enough to stand over your legs is an absolute must. I even have a set of plates just for the bedroom. Don’t forget to bring in a carafe of coffee with cream and sugar, to avoid having to get up for refills.

Most important, leave yourself lots of time, to relax and recline after you’ve enjoyed your morning treat. Let the peace and contentment linger as long as you can.

See the article for the Bon Appétit suggested recipes —


Climbing the Walls!

First it was a bad cold that kept me indoors. Now, we’re into the third week of awfully cold weather that limits my time outside. This is really really cold weather…and now more snow is coming. This is far from over.

I’ve stayed indoors and made all the cold weather meals — braises and stews and soups. Hot coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate. I’ve knit sweaters and hats until my fingers are stiff. Caught up on my reading, made good progress on a pile of magazines and cleaned out a few closets. Binged-watched I don’t know how much TV. Doing laps to the fourth floor to get off the couch. Trying my best to stay hydrated and moisturized and sane. Thankful for FaceTime with friends who don’t want to venture out either.

Thirty-something days until Spring. Hang in there.

Enjoy Your Snow Day!

Snow on and off for most of the day. Now, just past 11PM and the blizzard is kicking in. New York has been shut down like never before for a winter storm. All traffic off the streets, subway and commuter trains out of service, bridges and tunnels off limits and all parks closed. Unlike other natural disasters, like tornados and earthquakes, we’ve had a few days to plan and prepare.


This morning, while others were grabbing bread and milk and snow salt off the supermarket’s shelves, I stood in line at the butcher for a big old chicken. Tomorrow morning, after shoveling however much snow falls, I’ll take out the big pot and start the stock.

There’s nothing more calming for me than the flavors of a big pot of stock wafting throughout the house. Yarn, afternoon nap, good book, Netflix…Bed Camp time. Don’t fight it, don’t let it ruffle your feathers. Give in and just enjoy a relaxing, peaceful day at home.

“In it for the long haul….at least for now.”

The words above summarized a good friend’s thoughts about her job, after weighing the pros and cons of her current position. “For the duration…at least for now”.

That phrase stuck in my head for days. The little voice in my head just wouldn’t let it go. It’s the same little voice that urges me to make New Year’s resolutions, which I rarely do. But I’ll admit it got me thinking. What in my life could be described the same way? Was I just coasting with some things, waiting for something better to come along? Was I sticking with easy things, not taking the next steps to make some things more meaningful?

We all get into ruts sometimes, go on auto pilot, don’t spend enough time being conscious and mindful of what we’re doing and why. So, okay little voice, I have a New Year’s resolution this year.

I promise I will explore where I am in my life, prioritize the importance of things I’m doing, make lists and determine what changes have to be made, especially in my ‘at least for now’ column. I am going to give myself more time to think and dream and reflect, and imagine the kind of life I want to live ‘for the duration’.

Happy New Year!

Yes, I’m Whining.

Just weeks after daylight saving time ended and I’m already pining for more light. The days are still getting shorter, and will until December 21st, the thought of which doesn’t help my head right now. Less light, less sunshine, less heat and my favorite fruit and vegetables are out of season. Blueberries are blue, without that cast of gray that celebrates freshness, strawberries aren’t close to summer-sweet and tomatoes and peaches are done. It was a fabulous summer and we had a good start to fall, but that seems all over now. The early cold wave is just fueling my misery.

I’m whining for the next 24 hours and then I’m going to get my head back on straight. I’ll start my countdown to the shortest day of the year when I can begin to celebrate the beginning of adding minutes at a time to sunlight. I’ll toast the season with another dozen jars of my favorite chunky cranberry jam, before putting away the canning equipment. I’ll take out my winter recipes and invite friends in for dinner. On gloomy days I’ll be sure to have a soothing pot of stock simmering on the stove, to freeze for fast and easy soups later on. I’ll make more pumpkin pies to make the house smell like the holidays, and I’ll step-up my Christmas shopping, before the stores get too crazy.

It’s okay to grieve the end of a season and the easy lifestyle that went with it. But I’m not going to waste too much time on it. Look forward, find things to celebrate in the today and move on. That first pot of winter chili or stew or pot roast is going to be something to celebrate. And who doesn’t like a slice of fresh pumpkin pie?

Click for my favorite Chunky Cranberry Jam recipe.


Falling for Fall

Poor Autumn, stuck between summer and winter. We spend half the season mourning the end of summer and the rest dreading the approaching dark cold days of winter. What keeps us from being in the moment, enjoying the glories of Fall? There’s so much to do and so much to celebrate. Three months is a long time to waste. Wake up and smell the pumpkins!
Enjoy a fabulous fall weekend!