Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Angry at Winter? Here's my plan

I went to bed yesterday shivering and cold, the area where my desk is, right by the lovely picture window, lets in a lot of cold air. New house, new windows, not so great at -25 Celsius. Depressing piles of snow out my window and grey skies. It made me wonder why we put up with this climate in Canada.

This morning, the depression was replaced with anger - I've had it with winter. Every morning we check the thermometer, hoping for an improvement. It's only mid-February. It's been below -15 for weeks. Weather channel says another month of this....arrgh. 

How I decided to vanquish winter

This particular winter feels like a long famine of colour and comfort, so I decided I needed a feast. I popped into the grocery store after getting my car washed (all the salt on the roads had turned it light gray and my red coat is covered in this grime). A balmy -8 this morning, at least the doors won't freeze shut. Then the sun came out,  bonus! 

Filled the shopping cart with bright  greens, kale, lettuce, asparagus! cauliflower, pears and grapefruits, then papaya and strawberries (I normally only buy fruit in season, but the colours screamed out at me - pick me!). Next I picked up some lovely yellow and coral coloured tulips - I'll beat these blahs with flowers. Rack of lamb, pulled pork, (normally I only order organic meat online from a regional farm, but I am really pissed off at winter today). To top it off, dark chocolate with sea salt for dessert.

We will feast our way through the rest of this week. I'm making soups and stews: cabbage soup, onion soup, lentil soup, the slow cooker working double time. Crisping Kale in the oven with garlic salt, cayenne and Herbamare (to make chips) - I am not going to take this winter lying down in starvation, that's for sure. 

While I was out and about today, buying gifts for my niece's new baby, I saw a coffee depot in the mall and did something I NEVER do, bought a caffe latte and chocolate almonds (I haven't drank coffee in the afternoon since menopause 9 years ago). I am so mad at winter I'm throwing my old cautious lifestyle out the window. Take that sluggish moods and blah depressing feelings.

Kicking the frozen slush of the tire walls of my car made me feel better, but not stepping into deep icy puddles in the parking lot, watching my UGG boots get white tipped with salt. Back home, let the pooch run on the frozen lake, for a whole 15 minutes, which is the longest we've been outside in weeks! These are the only excursions out of doors, besides driving to the grocery store or out to Hudson Music Club rehearsals.

Know this Winter: I will not be defeated by you nor by seasonal affective disorder. I am going to make comfort food, roasts, stews, bake cakes and bread (gluten free chocolate of course), and keep my self bundled up in cashmere, wool scarves, and double layers of quilting. I may even get the cross country skis out if it goes above -10 this weekend.

Stay Warm and Eat lots of Fattening Foods! see poem below on February.


Winter. Time to eat fat
and watch hockey. In the pewter mornings, the cat,   
a black fur sausage with yellow
Houdini eyes, jumps up on the bed and tries   
to get onto my head. It’s his
way of telling whether or not I’m dead.
If I’m not, he wants to be scratched; if I am   
He’ll think of something. He settles
on my chest, breathing his breath
of burped-up meat and musty sofas,
purring like a washboard. Some other tomcat,   
not yet a capon, has been spraying our front door,   
declaring war. It’s all about sex and territory,   
which are what will finish us off
in the long run. Some cat owners around here   
should snip a few testicles. If we wise   
hominids were sensible, we’d do that too,   
or eat our young, like sharks.
But it’s love that does us in. Over and over   
again, He shoots, he scores! and famine
crouches in the bedsheets, ambushing the pulsing   
eiderdown, and the windchill factor hits   
thirty below, and pollution pours
out of our chimneys to keep us warm.
February, month of despair,
with a skewered heart in the centre.
I think dire thoughts, and lust for French fries   
with a splash of vinegar.
Cat, enough of your greedy whining
and your small pink bumhole.
Off my face! You’re the life principle,
more or less, so get going
on a little optimism around here.
Get rid of death. Celebrate increase. Make it be spring.

Margaret Atwood, “February” from Morning in the Burned House

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