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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > The Long Stretch Before Spring...(whole grains and a discussion of vegetarian options)

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Now that the holidays are mostly over (There's one...I don't know what the hell it is...Three Wise Men day or whatever in early January...where the kids get little things...right? Am I hallucinating?) we're entering the long stretch of January and February without a whole lot of days off, no major celebrations, etc.

I've heard some people describe the period from early January through spring as one grey, dull expanse of calendar. Do you see it that way? Maybe it's worse in the north with the cold and the rain. How do you approach these cold winter months, if they're cold where you are? Are you happy the holidays are over so you can get to a routine? Are you going through a post-holiday hangover? How do you keep the routine from becoming deadening?

A friend of mine swore by the idea of planning small events every couple of weeks in January and February in order to give himself something to anticipate, to look forward to (that sounds like bad grammar), if you will. Our symphony tickets, spaced out through spring, give us some of that. But in our field the semester starts around MLK day so there's that natural change and novelty...you get new students, classes, etc. so there's a sense of rebirth well before the natural spring rebirth. I'm looking forward to getting back in the office Monday morning, believe it or not.

If there's a lot of snow late spring can be rough. Last year we didn't see grass in any form from December through, oh, when was it, Jim, maybe April? Last winter sucked. It was easy to go into the worst kind of walking hibernation.


message 2: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) I love winter. I don't get tired of it til March. It's the fall I find one long dark endless tunnel...

shellyindallas Spring is the period where I adjust to it being a new year b/c I can't believe the previous one is over already.

message 4: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) I think I know what you mean--

message 5: by Cyril (new)

Cyril | 493 comments Now that the holidays are mostly over (There's one...I don't know what the hell it is...Three Wise Men day or whatever in early January...where the kids get little things...right? Am I hallucinating?)

the Epiphany

message 6: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) Jan 6....3 Kings Day in Spain (Los Reyes Magos)

message 7: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17319 comments Mod
I loathe Spring. January and February are still ok, winterey, vacation, Valentines, Mardi Gras (x3). But then after spring break...ugh. I HATE the months of April and May. Still cold. Still snowy, not springey or summery at all. Colorado really makes you beg for summer, and by the time it finally arrives, you're all tired of wanting it so much.

message 8: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments Christmas night I am ready for the tree to come down (it's still not) and all the lights and such to be put away. Christmas decorations seem magical Christmas Eve and gaudy Christmas night. On the 26th I am ready for Spring and warm weather. I hate being cold. In Indiana not many beautiful Winter days. More gray, cold, windy, dreary days. I am awaiting anxiously the first Spring flowers, baseball and weather warm enough to ride my motorcycle.

message 9: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Seems you need to move south, there, Kevin.

message 10: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments yeah but Indiana is glorious in the fall

message 11: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Yes it is.

message 12: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments But, this time of year is GREAT for reading. Gets dark early and you can cozy up with coffee and read lots (unless you are dorking around on a web site about reading). Braving the cold to go to the library is totally worth it and what is better than finding a new magazine in your mailbox on a snowy day?

message 13: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17319 comments Mod
I agree with all that Kevin. Winter is great for reading. I love that it is dark and cold out, and what else am I going to do, now that I am so poor post-Christmas, right?

Spring semester it is easier to study/focus, too.

message 14: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments does anyone "save" books to read them at a special time? i held off on "Ends Of The Earth", which i ordered and got in the mail, just so i could read it on a 3 day cabin reading vacation i took. now i have a book that i got for Christmas that i am "saving" The City Of Joy for a long trip i am taking to India in 2 weeks

message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

My son plays basketball and has 2 games every weekend, and we have hockey tickets to the Badgers, so we get out quite a bit on the weekends, it is during the week that by the time you get done with work there isn't enough daylight to accomplish much. Hopefully we have had the majority of our snow already, because as RA said last year winter never seemed to end.

message 16: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17319 comments Mod
I saved Centennial for the Christmas vacation - I wanted to read it when I'd have days on end to devote to it.

message 17: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments Great book Sally. I collect Michener. My first read of his was Alaska and I was hooked. I am sorta re-reading Texas right now. The Source was one of my favorites. He is easily in my top 5 authors list

message 18: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I think Russian novels are good for winter. I'm going to be starting Doctor Zhivago soon and then Anna Karenina.

message 19: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) The Source was indeed very good.

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

I had to wait until Thanksgiving to read The Corrections because of the cover art. Even though it spans many years, I still couldn't read it until the holidays (a few years ago).

message 21: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i am like sally in that sometimes i "save" a book for when i can give it full devotion. (wow, that sounds like a geeky reader eh?) like right now, i am reading two books (Traffic & The Reaper) because although so far they both are pretty good, neither one is a "can't put down"

message 22: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Yes, I definitely save some books for vacations or stretches when I can focus upon the texts in question.

I also agree that reading in winter is wonderful. I save more serious, involved texts for long winter nights...it's harder for me to read Dickens, etc. when it's warm.

message 23: by Jackie "the Librarian" (last edited Jan 03, 2009 02:14PM) (new)

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Since I'm an Oscar buff, this is the time of year I go to see all the serious movies that are getting all the buzz right now.
It's perfect timing, because the weather is gray and too cold and damp for bike rides, it gets dark early anyhow, and because who wants to waste that glorious summer sunshine on sitting in a movie theater?
I'm also looking forward to Lent, when I voluntarily give up sweets for a few weeks. After all the candy and cookies over the holidays, it's nice to have a formal period where you avoid all that stuff.

message 24: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17319 comments Mod
Oh Sarah, I love Anna Karenina. I've read that five times, and it gets better with every read.

message 25: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments this kind of weather makes me wish we had a good coffee/bookstore in our town. i do NOT count FourBucks or Mega-Bookstores in this catagory.

message 26: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I don't observe Lent but I am doing a fast that starts tomorrow. It's 21 days and I can only have fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and water. I see a lot of vegetable and legume soups in my future!!

message 27: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17319 comments Mod
Wow. Good for you, Sarah. I'm looking forward to hearing about how that works. Two years ago I changed my diet for lent. I ate fish and/or whole grains every single day for the duration. By the end I was completely different. In a good way.

message 28: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17319 comments Mod
It was like a kick-start of vitamin B to the brain. That is when I decided to go back to school and quit doing hair.

message 29: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Yeah I want to hear how it goes, too. Goo dluck, Sarah. I'm curious as to how it'll go. What about protein? You can get some of that from the legumes and whole grains, right?

I've been hooked on quinoa lately...



message 30: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 777 comments I save books that I think are going to be page turners that I can't put down if I am anticipating going through a difficult time, like surgery or something. That way, I feel like I will get a real break when I read, not a half-hearted one. My whole mind will be in the book and I'll be able to forget what's going on or what I'm feeling for a while.
For me, down here in Florida--I live in Bradenton, which is just north of Sarasota, the months of June, July, August, September are miserable, weather wise. It's a matter of dashing from one air-conditioned environment to another. I love living here for lots of other reasons, including the weather in winter, but the summers are long and brutal.

message 31: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Anthony, so far I've been getting protein from beans and nuts. Tomorrow I'm going to go to the store and get some Boca burger and Boca crumbles. I can make lettuce wraps, veggie tacos (I'm allowed corn tortillas), and stuff with the crumbles. And grilling up a Boca burger patty and serving it with brown rice (or even potatoes, which I'm also allowed) and salad sounds really good!

message 32: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments I love Boca burgers.

message 33: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Boca chicken patties are good, too.

message 34: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 777 comments My daughter loves the vegetarian meatballs. She became a vegetarian after she went to school for two years at an animal sanctuary.

message 35: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments whew, that'll do it!

message 36: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 777 comments Yeah, it was 6th and 7th grade. She's in 10th now and she still misses it so much! We both do!

message 37: by Chloe (last edited Jan 05, 2009 08:50PM) (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 347 comments Leslie, that's really funny. We only figured out how to use the ground round to make meatballs last week. We never knew what our spaghetti was missing! The ground fake meat has really opened entirely new vistas of cooking possibilities (or maybe we just weren't being imaginative enough).

message 38: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments here is something vegetarian related that made me laugh: i have a family friend who is a teenager who is reading the Twilight series. she was trying to explain the whole deal to me and she said "a vegetarian vampire" and that really struck me as funny. is blood a fruit? that is what we need in this world, a socially conscious blood sucking Transylvanian

message 39: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17319 comments Mod
You know there is something called "bloodfruit" - it is yum.

message 40: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments It IS yum! And very dramatic looking.

message 41: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments blood fruit? what's next, kidney pie?

message 42: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Actually, you've likely seen them. I've heard them called "blood fruit," "blood orange."

message 43: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments oh geesh (after Google image search) those are not nearly as gruesome as they could have been. i was thinking of a kiwi flavored bleeding heart shaped treat

message 44: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments It'll make you pucker. :)

message 45: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 777 comments Yeah, it is nice to have spaghetti and meatballs, even if my kid is a vegetarian! I hardly ever bother to cook meat, so our food bill is low too. Her dad was against it and they were giving her a hard time over at his house, but she stuck to it and they are leaving her alone. So it's good.

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