Monthly Archives: December 2022

Another Day with Nothing to Say


In previous years, I’ve participated in “last ninety days” challenges, in an effort to maintain my good habits through the difficult end-of-year trappings. Shorter days, blustery weather, holiday gatherings, and seasonal comfort foods all work to foil the best intentions. This year, I didn’t fight it.

Last week, when the temperatures dropped, and the winds were blowing, I took no walks with the dogs. For three days, I didn’t even leave the house. I swept the snow away from the sliding door whenever the dogs went in or out, but otherwise did no snow removal. Inside, I could could have kept up with my exercise with any number of books, charts and videos, but I didn’t. The trampoline leans, unused for days, against the wall. The hand weights are gathering dust.

I have a long list of things that need my attention, “when I have time.” I found myself with time, but no energy…and no incentive. Without a bit of guilt or shame, I eschewed all major projects in favor of good books and old Christmas movies. When I felt up to it, I channeled my enthusiasm toward setting up my bullet journal for 2023. Funny how plotting out my objectives for the next year can make me feel better about abandoning this year’s goals!

My diet plan seems to have gone by the wayside, too. In my defense, it let me down first. I’ve been intermittent fasting for almost two years now. In the first ten months, it was working like a charm. I lost about twenty pounds, and felt terrific. Then, with little to account for it, the weight came back. Right now, I’m almost exactly where I was – weight-wise – when I started. So, these last few weeks, I’ve paid little attention to the plan. Raisin toast with my morning coffee. A shot of Irish Cream in my coffee on Christmas. Popcorn and cocoa at midnight.

I’ve been pretty lax about blogging, too, in these last several weeks. This is one of the habits I feel good about; I don’t want to abandon it. I’ve been keeping up with it for more than ten years, now; that’s an impressive record, for me! Yet, lately I’ve been struggling to find something to write about. I feel like I’ve run out of amusing stories and interesting observations. I’ve been thinking about ways to get around that problem: other approaches, fresh perspectives, and new inspiration.

As to all of my neglected good intentions, I’m sure the new calendar will help me find my focus again. Happy New Year!

This Snowy Day


Here, in this northern hemisphere, today is the shortest day of the year. The shortening days have been noticeable for weeks. It’s dark when I get up in the morning, dark already when I’m sitting down to my supper. It affects my sleep and my mood.

Winter, which technically only really begins today, has been coming at us in fits and starts. We got a big snow a few weeks ago, but then it melted away. After that, just a dusting. I had barely let the thought cross my mind that it would be nice to have a little more snow for Christmas…and there it was. Thursday, it was sleet, high winds, and freezing rain. Friday, the snow started. By Saturday morning, there was a good eight inches of fresh snow covering everything. Today, we’re getting more. On the one hand, it does look very festive for the holidays; on the other hand, I should be more careful what I wish for!

I’ve been feeling under-the-weather for several days now. No cough, no fever, but an allover feeling of lethargy, combined with headache, muscle aches, and vague but persistent discomfort. Other than walking the dogs each day, I’ve stayed home. I babied myself with comfort foods, hot baths, warming beverages, and daily naps. I wondered if I should stay home from work tomorrow. “Am I sick?” I wondered…and I couldn’t say definitely yes, or no.

Yesterday, while walking the dogs, I slipped on the ice and fell down. Twice. Even with studded grips on my boots, my feet went out from under me. No matter how much I rehearse, in my mind, how to fall properly, when I’m going down, I forget. If I have time to react, I react in the wrong way. I throw out an arm to break my fall, or wrench my back trying to stay upright. Yesterday, I landed badly on the middle finger of my left hand. It is swollen and sore, but not crooked or bent. Maybe broken, but probably just sprained, or jammed. I iced it, took ibuprofen for pain, and went to bed early.

Too early. Eight-thirty! I intended to finish my book by lamplight, but when I caught myself falling asleep between sentences, I gave up and turned off the light. Then, I woke up at three o’clock, and couldn’t get back to sleep. I made two batches of cookies while drinking coffee and catching up on the morning news. Then, at seven AM, I went back to bed for an hour.

When Maria called to see if we’d be having art class tomorrow, I said yes, probably. Unless I determine that I’m sick. Carolyn called, then, to invite me to join the sewing group for lunch today. “Maybe,” I told her, “I’m afraid I might be coming down with something.” Then I told myself it might just do me good to get out of the house.

I had the last of my Christmas cards to get in the mail, and one last gift to send out. I was sure I’d have letters and cards waiting for me at the Post Office. There was a paycheck for me behind the counter of the Community Center, and the bank would be open until one o’clock today. I could join my friends for lunch, and get several other tasks done, too. Looking toward the car, which would need to be cleared and scraped, I almost changed my mind.

But, I pushed through my reluctance. A quick shower, warm clothes, and a tramp through the snow to deal with the car. I made stops at the Community Center, Post Office and bank, before going to lunch. It was a pleasant gathering with good food and wonderful company. It was good for my spirits, too. I think maybe my “sickness” was just seasonal doldrums. And, now that we’re through this “shortest day,” it will be getting brighter all the time!

A Wintry Afternoon


We got some snow last night, here on Beaver Island.

The big, wet snowfall that arrived a couple weeks ago had completely melted, giving me time to get some – not all – of my fall chores done. I got both snow shovels out of my small garden shed. Once everything was put away, it would be impossible to access them. I’ve made that mistake before; that’s why I have two snow shovels for this household where there is only one “shoveller.”

I put away the tomato cages, pulled up the vines, and cut back the raspberries. After stacking the tomato cages against the back wall of the shed, I put the picnic table bench against the side wall. I pushed the mower inside, where it takes up most of the floor space in the center. Then, the old-fashioned metal lawn chair could be pushed into place, under the handle of the mower. Two folding lawn chairs were next, one standing on either side of the mower. Next, I rolled up the indoor-outdoor rug and slid it into place on top of the bench. Finally, I folded the table flat, stood it up just inside the door, and closed everything inside. I will hopefully not have any reason to get back in to the garden shed until spring time!

I moved three large agricultural panels – that will eventually be made into an arch to support my grape vines – from the front yard, where they were leaning against a tree, and creating a challenge to the woman that plows my driveway, to the back yard. Now, they are leaning against the garden fence. I had intended to lay them flat, but my cousin warned me that they’d be really hard to move from that position. if grass grew up around them. Clearly, I can’t trust myself to not let that happen!

I did not, as I’d intended, give the lawn one last mowing. I waited until most of the leaves had fallen so that the mower could chop them up as I mowed. That way, they could stay where they had fallen. Then, I’d only need to rake out the flower beds. A combination of procrastination and that early snowfall foiled that plan. As it was, I only got about half of the flower beds cleaned out, too, so I’ll have plenty of work waiting for me in the spring.

Last night’s snow was just enough to brighten the landscape. It covered the leaves that didn’t get mulched, the windfall that didn’t get picked up, and the bare patch of lawn where the rug prevented the grass from growing under the picnic table. There are a lot of reasons to dislike winter weather. I understand. I’d rather be warm than cold, and the cost of heating the house makes me shudder. I worry about falling when the roads get slippery. I’m not crazy about scraping walkways and car windows. Still, snow is easier to walk on than ice. I’d rather look at a white blanket of snow than the bare, cold ground. And, snow nicely hides all the jobs left unfinished around my yard. I may change my tune before winter is over, but for now, I welcome the snow!