Saturday, February 10, 2007

February magic

I've had a few emails with very kind worries over my stress and wintertime coping skills. All is fine--there are just a few things that, while not completely public blog material, are weighing on our minds around my Grandfather used to say, "It's a stage. This too shall pass!" In the meanwhile, I love your notes and comments. Here's what we're doing to pass the time around here.

It's been noted by the professor that even though I love snow and winter time activities, I cope with February, the longest shortest month, in very specific ways.
#1) I sleep. (Sally posed for this picture in the interval when I was not in bed. It was brief.) Who knew anyone could sleep so much? I compete with the bears. I also cook and eat tons this time of year--Yesterday's Shabbat dinner included a tagine with beef, carrots, apples, potatoes, prunes, onions, saffron, tumeric, coriander, and other spice delights. Challah, couscous, a green salad, and some red zinfandel rounded out the meal. For dessert, handmade 70% cocoa dark chocolate bark, with roasted pine nuts, salt and sugar embedded in it. (yes, this is the way that word might have been used, before the war in Iraq...)

#2) I consume books like cotton candy. Although our town has only one big bookstore and one small used one, we have a fabulous public library. It holds book sales to raise money to support its events. This time, I spent $7, and bought some old favorites to reread, and some new ones, too...(Cross Creek, The Shell Seekers, and Plain Jane are the old favorites, for those who are curious.) On an average week, I read a novel and listen to an audiobook each week. February isn't average here, especially because there's little snow to shovel, nowhere to ice skate, and still, the lows are in the teens at night. Aside from dog walks and an occasional lecture at the university, there's no reason to go outside! In the background of this photograph, you can see my cookbook shelf. Those are all cookbooks. I read those too. Current reading: Reading Lolita in Tehran (the author, Azar Nafisi, is coming to WKU to lecture this Tuesday) and Jay Weinstein's The Ethical Gourmet. I'm between audiobooks.

#3) I'm a Daddy's girl. My dad's hat, pictured in this entry, didn't fit him. I volunteered to make him another one. Since I'm always cold in the winter unless I wear a lot of layers, I sympathized with his need for extra warmth. Here's my newest solution:

This thick hat is magic in the warmth department. Doubled up, like some Scandinavian hats I've seen, it's reversible. One side is handspun brown wool and camel. The other side is handspun brown llama and wool, and Cotswold blue wool, plied with llama. Now, I hope it fits, because this is the 5th? hat I've knit this season..and as a double layer hat, this counts as my fifth and sixth! I've already started my 7th and last February hat for a little cousin. I'll send it all off in the mail soon.

Stay tuned for more ways of making cabin fever February magical. What's your magic for this month?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool hat! Most I've seen look the same whichever way it's flipped, but you'd never know it was the same hat with yours!

Well, the temps here are dangerous, so I don't go out much either. My favorite way is to rent sappy movies and knit/spin till I can barely keep my eyes open. I got a couple of new books that I really want to read, but every time I open one I fall asleep, so I haven't gotten very far. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri and Red River by Lalita Tademy (her book Cane River) is my all-time favorite).

February 10, 2007 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I'm a Daddy's girl too - and your hats are now on my list. Reading, riding the exercise bike (still 10" of snow on the ground here in N CO), reading new-to-me blogs and using up the stash are on my mind.

February 10, 2007 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

Great hat(s), Joanne! It's almost time to stop hibernating, thank goodness.

February 11, 2007 at 1:59 AM  
Blogger e's knitting and spinning blog said...

Great hat!!! I hope it fits too:-)

February 11, 2007 at 6:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice hat! And so good looking! I love the ribby look and the colors, too.

It's been so cold I've been wearing my still-new hat all day long, inside and out.

February 11, 2007 at 1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very cool! let's just say i am not coping very well with february this year. although i do tend to spindle spin more this time of year than any other. go figure.

February 12, 2007 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

I want a closer look at the cookbook shelf!

Loving the double-thick hats.

February tricks, uhhhhhhh... I read more cooking magazines, and I'm trying to finish up some UFOs to get rid of that baggage/weight.

February 12, 2007 at 10:43 PM  

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