Skating Uphill - February 2018

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“February is cold and ugly, but to make up for it we have Valentine’s Day and a
long President’s Day weekend. Yay!”
– The Uphill Skater –

Although we are deep into winter and we’ve had some cold, shivering days and nights, the good news is we’re on the home stretch of the winter blahs being behind us. There are some fun things to look forward to in February, and I have a few suggestions for you, as always.

My husband and I were so poor on our first wedding anniversary we had no choice but to stay home and do nothing, not even exchange gifts. As it turned out, we had such a great time, we cherished the tradition of doing nothing on Valentine’s Day and kept doing it. Then, years later, we decided to go all out for Valentine’s Day, and we have kept that tradition, too. One of our best ideas was to plan and prepare a candlelight dinner for ourselves. We chose yummy looking recipes from a cookbook and made a lovely four-course dinner, and secretly wrote each other a love letter and put it under the other’s plate. We had such a memorable evening that we now do that frequently—not just on Valentine’s.

Suggestion: Find something you like to do with someone you love and give it a special twist. Perhaps it will take hold. Traditions are empowering to a relationship.

February brings President’s Day, which gives many of us an extra Monday off, so now we need something fun to do for a long weekend. Since this column is about living a healthy lifestyle in all of its definitions, let’s look at something healthy. If you are able, financially and time wise, by all means pack up and go somewhere. Get out of the house. Do whatever you can to do that. Go for a drive, go to a granny’s house, visit friends, whatever! If you can’t, don’t worry. There are still fun things to do just for a change. Here is a suggestion I read in a children’s magazine years ago and have used several times. I set up a room in the house as a craft camp. I moved furniture back and put up a card table and covered the floor with a big blue drop cloth, and we went to “camp” for the better part of two days. We were home, of course, so we had naps, meals, etc. but all other time was spent in camp. We worked with paint, clay, finger paint, Legos, big blocks and so on, but we also made a woven mat to hang on the wall and some other great crafts. My husband got behind it, too, and took the kids, and a couple of their friends who came in on the fun, out to the garage to make a bird house. What a hit!
We also have done sort of a cook/shop/learn day as we took a staycation. My favorite tool for this is an old “kids in the kitchen” type cookbook called The Please Touch Cookbook. It is old but still available online. It is a ring binder type paper back and quite cheap. It has crafts, recipes that are ALL winners, and fun learning experiences.  There is also a section on kitchen vocabulary that I think every “learner” should know.

One of the best tips I found in this book was one we all should know: Read the entire recipe together first and then check the ingredients. Duh, you say? So, that means you have never misread a recipe, or been half way through and discovered you were out of eggs?

There are tons of other books and suggestions out there. Take a minute and get your ducks in a row so there are no surprises, then see how much fun you can have on a staycation. By the way, I have reviewed the suggested book on my blog and included several craft hints and recipes. Also, I need to disclose I get no payment for anything I mention or review—just so you know.
Go ahead. Bundle up and put on a happy face. Choose to make the best of the last days of winter. Make something different, healthy and tasty for dinner and pack a surprise lunch. Walk outside and open the windows whenever you can, and let’s see if we can make it through until March.

Remember that the days get a little longer and there is that bit more
daylight as we move toward spring!  Love, Judith

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