I am trying to like winter, but winter is not cooperating.
I hate winter, and I’m not sure when it started because I didn’t mind it when I was younger. When I was in therapy, we tried to solve the winter hatred puzzle. We put our heads together and concluded it was probably because I gave birth to both of my children during winter. Something to do with having babies, bouts of postpartum blues, and being stuck inside, which gave me some PTSD. When you combine that with my anxiety, you get seasonal affective, post-traumatic, winter depression.
It got worse once I was in perimenopause and my estrogen levels dropped. Many women are unaware that once you enter perimenopause, your estrogen levels plummet, and that can give some women extreme bouts of depression from what feels like out of nowhere. Your gynecologist may not let you in on this little nugget of information.
I promise this post gets lighter.
I decided with my new “homework,” that I was going to try to shed my winter hatred.
I’m on an antidepressant now!
I am out of perimenopause!
I can do this!
Then January gave me a big old crap taco.
We have seen the sun twice in 2021.
Add in an insurrection and a shoulder injury of some sort that happened WHILE I WAS WALKING. Walking in order to get out of the house because we’ve only seen the sun twice in 2021.
Things to make winter not suck
(a lot of this is gonna be food)
My friend Kari (yes, she spells her name like mine; no, it’s not me referring to myself in the third person) told me about hot chocolate bombs a few weeks ago.
I had no idea these existed until she sent the recipe to me. I thought it would be a fun homeschool project to make. Did we do it? No.
Not because we weren’t excited or anything. We have the ingredients, we just didn’t do it. I think we went to the Starbucks drive-through and played a game instead?
But I made fish sticks for dinner. Does that count?
Remember my shoulder issue? Mike and I went for a two-mile walk in the woods in the snow on the day it happened. We had boots on and it was a “trek”. We also ran up a hill, and I was being funny and exaggerated the run. I believe I hurt my shoulder by being funny. By exaggerating the run.
THEN, that evening, I made these homemade fish sticks.
Over FaceTime the next day, I told Anna that I thought I aggravated the shoulder even more by making the fish sticks. Dipping, breading, egging, and so on.
And she didn’t blink an eye.
I AM AT THE AGE WHERE THIS IS NO LONGER A QUESTION.
Of course, I could do that.
Of course, I could.
But dammit if these weren’t the best fish sticks on this side of the Mississippi River.
The Gorton’s fisherman would be proud.
Here is the recipe.
Nothing says winter doesn’t suck like Swedish meatballs from IKEA. I miss IKEA. I don’t know why I’m not shopping at IKEA. They’re still open. In fact, I’m willing to bet if I go to my local IKEA on a random Tuesday morning, no one is even there.
I mean, I don’t really need anything from IKEA, but does anybody ever really need anything from IKEA? Furthermore, does anyone need an excuse to go to IKEA?
I just miss the idea of IKEA, I guess. Maybe I’ll eat these meatballs while wearing clogs. Here is the recipe.
Winter and candles go together like…winter and candles? Candle making might be fun? Apartment Therapy has a good tutorial. Or just go to Target and buy a candle. Not IKEA, though. Their candles suck. Oh, wait, not their tea lights. Man, I miss IKEA.
Ella and I have a fun tradition of making her cake on her birthday. But this year, instead of using a box mix which we normally use, we baked it from scratch using this recipe. It was incredible. Incredible isn’t the appropriate adjective to describe this cake.
It was magnificent.
I love cake. But the next day? I’m not usually interested. Box cakes usually lose their flavor and are dry and nasty. But this cake? I was hiding extra pieces on top of the refrigerator. Three days later. It was just that good. I am sharing the recipe with all of you because homemade magnificent cake is what will take the winter of 2021 to levels beyond what we are currently experiencing.
Do we need paper bag stars?
I am never sure if it’s my meds or sheer boredom or the soul homework.
Sorry, I am new to happiness and optimism. It’s like trying on a new pair of shoes.
Is that a blister or am I good?
meds, homework, optimism are is telling me that paper stars might be nice.
Learn how to make them here.
Looking for a challenge? Not me.
It involves self-care, so I guess it’s an enjoyable challenge.
Head here to read all about it. Or just write the ideas down from the above graphic.
I love this idea for several reasons. Plants. Lights. Plants.
You can read about her journey here.
This is probably more my speed. I could live under fluorescent lamps among plants.
Wonder what that says about me?
This gives me a 70s pie restaurant vibe. Remember restaurants where you would walk in and the first thing you saw was a revolving dessert cabinet?
Why aren’t we still doing that?
I want her artwork all over my home.
Guess what gives me migraines for certain? Donuts. What a shitty thing to discover about your life during a pandemic. Make some in honor of me.
See that up there? That is a gift from my mom. Think Colorforms for adults! I had it with all of my soul homework stuff and when I hurt my shoulder, it was the perfect remedy.
Because I couldn’t do things like cook or laundry or clean bathrooms. Aww, shucks.
Sitting on the couch playing with stickers is how I want to spend the rest of my days.
Think I will.
You can find them here, so you can play with stickers too.
You know what else is fun during winter? Dressing up the dog and having impromptu photoshoots.
If you don’t have a dog, insert your pet of choice. Or doll. Or stick. Or rock.
I made homemade hot chocolate mix while having a bad shoulder. It is that easy.
Only mine doesn’t look as pretty because I don’t have fancy accouterment.
It’s a hot chocolate mix. I’m not reinventing the wheel.
Happy Winter, don’t hurt your shoulder.