How to ward off the winter blues...

I've recently noticed that my love for warm weather is a stronger desire than I realized. For the past two weeks, I don't think a day has gone by without me uttering 1 or more of the following words: Beach, sand, palm trees, shorts, bathing suit, summertime, warm weather, water sports, sunshine...and the list goes on. I am trying to be thankful for this season, as we have had 2 wonderful snows that we fully enjoyed, but I'm finding it difficult when the temperature does not get above the 30's during the day with a windchill of 15. Definitely not bathing suit weather!!

Here's a remedy I came up with last week when I had a no-napper on my hands. Its amazing what a little swim at 3 in the afternoon can do to lift your spirits.

Mama and Kayna trying to stay warm to enjoy the first snow!



As i'm preparing my lunch today (leftover potatoes and red lentil curry soup), I am reminded of 3rd grade and my favorite weekly cafeteria lunch experience. I went to a small private school in Florida and Friday's were designated as 'Loaded Baked Potato Day'. I LOVED purchasing my lunch on Friday's, a special treat in my eyes as I mainly brought my lunch to school everyday. I would behold the largest baked potato i'd ever seen, slice it open and slather on butter, sour cream, cheese and...the best part...bacon! I enjoyed every minute of lunch break on those days. I can taste the loaded potato now! Today though, i'll settle for a small amount of butter and some salt and pepper....seeing as I no longer have the metabolism of a 7 year old.
Just for good measure, here's a picture of what I looked like during this time period. Mullet and all.



So, I had my 7 year old niece over today for a play date with Kayna. I pulled out all the tricks to be a 'cool aunt'. We made cookies, smoothies, a fort, and I even let her try on my old cheerleading uniform. Oh yeah! - Major points there.

Towards the end of our time together she asked why I had a few banana peels stacked on top of a bucket in the kitchen. Before I could even answer her question she said, "do you have a compost?" I told her that I did but that i'm not very diligent at taking the bucket out to the corner of the yard where the actual compost 'house' is. Especially in the snow/ice/rain/and the backed up water from the beaver dam (scroll to older posts for pictures!). Anyways, I was very impressed that she knew about composting - most importantly ;) how the worms eat, digest and poop out good earth. Kayna then asked if there were worms in my bucket that I leave under the sink. A perfectly good question, now thinking back on the fact that she's 2.5 and simply observing our conversation.

All this to say, if you currently do not have a compost, I would highly suggest starting one. Its very simple and a MAJOR benefit is that we're separating natural waste from man-made waste so not as many bad gasses get released into the atmosphere.

Here are some things that you can start composting (from epa.gov):


Animal manure
Cardboard rolls
Clean paper
Coffee grounds and filters
Cotton rags
Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint
Fireplace ashes
Fruits and vegetables
Grass clippings
Hair and fur
Hay and straw
Nut shells
Shredded newspaper
Tea bags
Wood chips
Wool rags
Yard trimmings

Leave Out/Reason Why


Black walnut tree leaves or twigs - Releases substances that might be harmful to plants
Coal or charcoal ash - Might contain substances harmful to plants
Dairy products (e.g., butter, egg yolks, milk, sour cream, yogurt) - Create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies
Diseased or insect-ridden plants - Diseases or insects might survive and be transferred back to other plants
Fats, grease, lard, or oils - Create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies
Meat or fish bones and scraps -Create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies
Pet wastes (e.g., dog or cat feces, soiled cat litter) - Might contain parasites, bacteria, germs, pathogens, and viruses harmful to humans
Yard trimmings treated with chemical pesticides - Might kill beneficial composting organisms

Happy composting!