Thursday, January 8, 2015

Seven tips to cope with January

Cheerfully brought to you by Mary Jane Maffini aka Victoria Abbott 

According to my weather service, with the temp and the wind chill, it feels like minus 35 today.  The princess dachshunds hold me responsible, but I know there’s no one to blame.  I’ve decided after 33 years, to stop fighting Ottawa winters and just go with the snow.  If you live in central Canada or the mid-west of the USA, you may find these tips useful.  If you live somewhere warm, mild or even just rainy, feel free to send sympathy.  But maybe we don’t need that.  We have ways of coping and even being happy.

Here are my favorite tips for keeping the smile on my face despite what’s happening outside.

1.   Make oatmeal for breakfast.  Add maple syrup, brown sugar and cream.  There has to be an upside to these temps.  It’s probably too cold for calories to do whatever it is they do and anyway there was a frost quake in our region this week (yes, it's a real thing!)  and so we need a treat to make up for that.

2.       Curl up with some warm pets.  In time they will forgive you for the bad weather. In the meantime, they feel wonderfully cuddly. Of course, you might have to hunt for them: Lily tried hiding in a pillow case but was quickly detected.

3.       This may be the best time of year for reading:  think about it, here you are, warm and dry and reading up a storm despite the frigid exterior, slippery roads and wind. I’m almost through the twenty-nine Ngaio Marsh books that my friend Nancy gave me. It’s all research for the fourth Book Collector mystery and therefore work. The fact that I love reading them is neither here nor there.  Peachtree the Pug is impressed.

4.       Oddly enough, I am grateful: for a well-insulated house and plenty of hats, mitts and scarves at hand.


 Many people don’t have that. It's good time to make a contribution to one of the many organizations that help people who may be homeless, cold or hungry. Sharing our good fortune can make any day feel better.

5.       Take a tip from bright flowers. These geraniums have survived in my bedroom since they were brought in at first frost last fall. If they can do it, so can we.

6.       Step outside.  No this doesn’t mean having lunch in the screened porch, although I love that in summer.

But to get a bit of natural light can do you a world of good. I’m merely stepping out here to find where the newspaper has been ‘delivered’. 

7.       Consider firing up the grill. What? Oh maybe not today as it’s frozen shut. In that case, take comfort in the warmth of the great friendships that flourish in our reading and writing communities, not matter what the weather.

And now, over to you my friends.  Any tips of coping with January?  Wherever you are, hunkered down inside or strolling barefoot on the beach, let’s hear from you.   We recently Skyped with friends in Australia. They had tips for keeping cool in their heat wave.  All to say, we’re open to everything, here under our fuzzy blanket. 

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