Monday, February 1, 2016

Saving My Life This Winter

What's saving my life right now?  I survived January in pretty good shape, but I'd still like to link up with Modern Mrs. Darcy and friends to share what's saving my life this winter ...

Sunshine and warm(ish) temps -- It's been a mild winter in Chicago (so far and KNOCK ON WOOD).  We've had a handful of brutally cold days, just enough to make us appreciate these days in the 30s.  I actually think we hit 40s today, and the sun was shining.  I spent five minutes pleasurably watching, for the first time ever, actual birds flying in and out of the birdhouse my parents gave me last year for my 40th birthday.  I don't do stuff like that, but I did today.

Tennis -- This sport is my fun, my escape, and my only exercise.  The tennis court is where I leave all the crap on my to-do list and all my worries, both petty and real, behind.  I am ridiculously protective of this time (i.e., I do not skip unless a kid is sick and sometimes not even then) because it is a key component of my (relative) mental health.  The added bonus is the chance to laugh with, learn from, and be encouraged by awesome, strong women at all stages of life.

Audiobooks -- These enrich my life in every season of every year.  I'm currently listening to Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend.  Jury is still out as to how strongly I shall recommend it.

Neighbors -- One of my dear friends moved in across the street at the end of the summer.  Our kids had a half day from school on Friday, and we did a swap-a-roo.  She picked up all the kiddos at school and fed them lunch so that I could play in my tennis match (see above).  When I got back, I brought them all across the street to my house so she could go to Costco and run an errand or two in peace.  Just another reminder: ask for help, and you'll usually get it.

Crock Pot -- Peel and slice a bunch of potatoes and one onion and put in bottom of crock.  Cover with broth.  Stir in packet of ranch dressing mix.  Heat on high until potatoes are soft.  Stick your immersion blender in there and blend it all up (or blend in batches in regular blender?).  Serve your potato soup with sour cream, bacon, and cheddar cheese.  I'd say my kids love it, but that would be lying.  I love it though.

Refrigerator in the Laundry Room -- We used to have a second refrigerator in the garage.  In a semi-unconscious, self-punishing act, I stored my Diet Cokes in there and thus had to brave the cold, dirty garage every morning as I started my day.  Sometimes the items in the garage fridge would all freeze and explode.  It is not super fun to clean up frozen chunks of root beer and the glass from an exploded milk bottle.  We did a home project this Fall that resulted in a new laundry room with space for the back-up fridge.  What a treat to have this refrigerator inside the house.  I am grateful each morning when I retrieve my DC and the lunchbox-only items that would be vulnerable to being pilfered if in the main fridge.

All of the above strike me as plenty to be grateful for this winter.  I think I'm going to make it.  How about you?


  1. I've had a winter of saying "yes" to concerts and shows I want to see (when normally I talk myself out of it). It has really been great. In the past few weeks, I've been to a rock concert in Boston with a childhood BFF, the symphony for a movie score performance and next week a comedy show (David Cross!). I can't tell you how much winter has been with some fun stuff planned with friends (and Randy).

  2. Amen to neighbors and audiobooks (and for me, podcasts). I have been slowly rebuilding my circle of support since my best friend moved a year or so ago, and neighbors have been a delightful surprise to help fill the void.