Probably my favorite winter-word of all. Apricity is the warmth of the sun on a chilly day. ~Susie Dent
It has been five days since I made the vow to dump sensationalized social media. I am happy to report that I haven’t a clue as to what Trump is tweeting nor what Kim Kardashian is saying about her mother/sister/husband. It is refreshing.
I am watching the movie Gladiator. It is an epic production, but all the killing makes me sad. Oh, it’s only a movie, but it’s based on a truth. How many people have died in one war or another? And I’m not just talking about the United States. The Mongol Conquests took 34,641,016+; Spanish Conquest of the Aztec World, 24,300,000+, and back home, World War II, 36,696,798+. (statistics from Wikipedia.) There is no glory in war. When will the world learn this?
I have lost the buzz to write. Is it the weather? Is it that I’m tired when I get home from work? Have I given up? I would say this happens to everyone now and then, but at this moment, I don’t care. And that’s what’s not good. I’ve left my heroine on a parallel planet pregnant with the king’s child, not married, someone trying to kill her, and the edge of the world is crumbling. Why can’t I get going on this?
I love my cats and like my dog, but I have been a crazy person lately babysitting my brother-in-law’s yappy dog. And over the weekend my son’s dog, too. I am feeling so anti-pet lately…is that because I’m getting old? Tired of dogs and cats sleeping on my bed so I can’t turn over? Tired of their meowing because they’re hungry or bored? I do admit my patience is thinning the older I get. Just trying to keep my cool. .
Do you go through grandparent withdrawal? Do you pace the floor and count the days until you can next get together? My heart hurts for those of you who live far from your grandbabies. Even if they’re in high school or college, they’re still your grandbabes. What wonderful, naughty, childish things you do when you are together! Sit on the floor (and can’t get up), ride a bike (better get a helmet and shin guards), play baseball (can’t catch but, oh well..), eat ice cream cones (one scoop or two?) I’m rested and ready.
Do you like the winter? The gentle sparkle of falling flakes, the laughter of children playing in the snow, fireplaces and hot chocolate, snuggles and cuddles and crisp cold air that brings a hard blush to your face?
I don’t either. Come on Spring!
The weather is evilly cold in Wisconsin. Whipping winds, below freezing temperatures, all make for long nights under the blanket.
It also is a marvelous time for ice sculptures. So this fine winter’s evening I thought I would share a couple of images from my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog — Ice Sculptures. (https://wp.me/p5LGaO-zg)
Most of my colleagues at work are dressed up in wonderfully warm cable knit sweaters, turtlenecks, and fleece hoodies. Some are extra chilled, relying on an extra sweater or even their coat to keep the freezies away. Getting together with my friends, they all show off their sports hoodies, camo jackets, and other warm and fluffy garb.
And then there’s me.
Short sleeves, sometimes a tank top beneath, a medium-weight sweater that is off as often as it’s on, and a small fan blowing and stirring the air.
I suffer from a strong case of freezy envy. I am always jealous of all these colleagues showing off their long sweaters with just the tips of their fingers peeking out and over-sized-neck turtlenecks and Christmas sweaters with bling or Christmas trees. Winter is full of great looks, and yet I can’t take advantage of them because I’m still as warm as a toaster oven.
I suppose it’s some kind of cosmic hot flash flashback. I thought I was past the hots of menopause, but its tentacles still must be wrapped around my body. My house thermostat is set at a balmy 65 degrees — it’s the one place I can get into my fuzzies and get under the blanket and snuggle for least for 10 minutes. Half hour, even.
Bedtime is toss and turn time, hot flash time, throw the covers off, pull the covers back on time. I make myself tired with all the on-and-off clothes routine. You would think with the weather being sub-zero that I would be able to embrace the cold with the same apprehension my friends and colleagues do.
For my male friend readers: Do guys have this kind of hot and cold thing going?
Do you suffer from freezy envy? Ever wish you could spend the day in a hoodie or sweater without sweating profusely?
I’ve always been a fan of layering. It’s easier to layer to get warmer than it is to peel off to get cooler. You would think that once the temperature dropped below 10-15 degrees, the world in general would be in favor of layering to get warmer. No one wears short-sleeved peasant shirts or cutsie T-shirts when there’s 5 inches of snow outside.
I trust that as the years go by the hot flashes will, too. That I will be able to wear my pink camo hoodie and my leopard print lounging pants and my heavy-duty Bears sweatshirt or be able to watch TV from under the blankets for at least an hour. Until then, I will deal with this envy and wear something close to what everyone else is wearing.
Just have to remember no footed jammies or pulled up hoodies — there might be spontaneous combustion in there….
During these doldrums of Winter, I’ve been planning my new fashion statement. Or rather looking for one. I’m up for the Boho Chic style (Old Lady BoHo http://wp.me/p1pIBL-uu). But I can’t really BoHo now, because there’s something about wind chills of ten below and snow two feet deep in every direction that discourages peasant dresses and shawls and beaded whatevers. I figure between now and Spring I’ll gather up some fun things and have fun being a fun kinda woman.
But lately I’ve been seeing a few “Middle Age Magic” women following their own fashion muse, and, well, the sight is not a pretty one. I am all for comfort, fashion, and practicality. My BoHo is not your BoHo and all that. But good taste should always be good taste. I am all for the “this is who I am” state of being, too, but there are some things Middle Age (and older) women should really think twice about. Here are a few of my humble fashion suggestions:
1. Leggings and long sweaters and boots can look good on some women. Velvety purple leggings can not. Ever.
2. Pigtails should only be worn by women under 10 or those who want to play the baby doll thing with their loved one. In private.
3. Makeup is not a necessity. A fresh face is. Cleopatra’s eyes looked good only on Cleopatra. On older women it just looks scary.
4. I know it’s sometimes necessary to run to the store in jogging pants. It’s just the nature of the beast. But jogging pants and chuggie boots and parkas are not a fashion statement now or ever. Remember — you are a woman first. Don’t ever be mistaken for the football player down the street.
5. The office is as good a place as any to try out a new look. Just don’t be the one to test the dress code every time you do. You do nothing but create army punishment for the rest of us, making us unhappy co-workers and fashion enemies.
6. Did I mention the thing about leggings and sweaters and boots? The older you get, the more you should think twice about it.
7. Know you don’t have to spend a lot of money to try new looks. Just use your head. Don’t wear shoes that pinch, pants that bulge in the butt, tops that show too much of your endowments, shoes your father would wear, tops that make you look like a sausage, colors that make you look like a clown, or earrings bigger than your head.
There is fashion, and then there is fashion. And then there is no fashion. And then there is deliberate no fashion. Don’t let your steadfastness close your mind to the colors and sensations of the world. But in the same vein, don’t let your need to make a statement as you get older make you say something you’ll regret later. If a look works, great. If not, make sure you have a great look to go back to. Be proud of who you are and how you got there. Don’t let others dictate the colors of your feathers. But don’t forget you’ve GOT feathers.
And they never look good in velvety purple leggings.
But first, my turn.
I often think the older I get the crabbier I get. I find I have less tolerance, less worldliness, than I did years ago. This lioness of emotions seems to rear its head during the cold, dark, snowy days of winter.
Does anyone out there find themselves turning into sulking, bulking creatures this time of the year?
I feel bad about this. I really do. I have a job that I can tolerate for another 7 or 8 years, great co-workers, and a short commute to and from work. I have a family that’s fun and loving, I’ve got great friends that ride the roller coaster of life with me all the time, and right now I have a chocolate chip cookie and glass of milk to keep me happy. I’m cancer free (as far as I know), I walked away from a rollover, and my sick cat has turned the corner and is getting better.
Yet still I walk outside and hate the weather, hate the freeze and the snow and the gray. And I find myself saying the “hate” work more often than not. I personally believe hate is a strong word and should be reserved for truly evil people and things, but it seems to slip out on a frequent basis these days. I have little energy to do the things I love, and have insomnia to the max. I feel fat and dumpy and don’t want to deal with either.
This isn’t me — is it?
I am a lover of life, lover of friends and chocolate and watching movies with my grandbaby. Yet a lot of the time I feel I’m wandering aimlessly through the cold, not caring if I’m entertained or not. What a contrast of emotions. Which, in turn, messes me up even more.
I really think the older I get the more the weather affects me. I don’t remember feeling this cranky when I was younger. Maybe I was, yet I was too busy with kids and soccer games to pay attention to it. I mean well — I am still nice to people, and I do find my way to the computer now and then. I know this mindset isn’t set in stone, but I do feel it’s stuck in a snowbank somewhere.
So let me know — are you affected by the depths of winter? Are you a Dr. Jeckyll waiting to turn into a Mr. Hyde? Or are you a fluffy snowflake having a wonderful time turning into a diamond?
I’d love to hear your side of the weather. And, if not, you can always growl…
Being stuck inside a Wisconsin winter, even the easiest-going person can find themselves absorbed in the business of escape. Some plan summer vacations. Some make ice sculptures. Some bury themselves under layers of blankets and wait for the first ray of sun to melt a snow mound or ten. Me? I watch cooking shows. Now, I watch the Food Network year-round. No biggie. But the it becomes a problem when I think I can actually COOK like the Iron Chef or the Master Chef. Like, if I only took a few hours and paid attention and bought all the right food and wrote down every little detail, that my dish might look (and taste) like Iron Chef Michael Simon’s or Gordon Ramsey’s.
I imagine I could just as well try to paint like Monet or sing like Beyoncé.
I watched Master Chef Junior recently and was humbled by what 9- and 10- and 12-year-olds could do with a basket or a piece of fish. I have seen what Rachel Ray and Guy Fieri’s kids did during a cook off. Then there’s always what the contestants on Chopped make out of pickled pigs feet and reindeer pate. Amazing. And, of course, there’s always Rachel and Robert and Guy and Alton who make gourmet out of kitchen scraps. I look at my jar of garlic powder and pound of lean ground beef and feel overwhelmed.
Don’t get me wrong. I love cooking. I have whipped up many a gourmet dish in my time. My homemade spaghetti sauce is to die for (or at least good enough to have third helpings). I have tried trifles, coq au vin, and shrimp scampi. But with working full time and a few personal bumps and my anti-cancer meds making me tired and sunset before I get home and below zero temperatures — let’s just say my cooking aspirations have turned into mounds of grey slush. Kinda flat and uninspiring.
I know it will come full circle — that with spring flinging in a few months I will whip out the cookbooks or surf the Food Network website and I’ll be wowing my dinner guests and myself.
Until then, I think I’ll let my husband cook.
How bout you? Are you cooking away a storm these freezy days?