Saturday, January 07, 2012

What Comforts You?

In my corner of the world, it's winter now. Short days, cold nights. For a person of a particular temperament, it's enough to make you -- well, me -- scramble under the covers and stay there.
It works! If you can configure your life to ignore winter, give this a try. (You will need reading material, a dog, and a loving servant. You will also need exercise; get outta the damn bed already!)
It hasn't rained so far this winter in Northern California, so that's one pressure-point less. Open the blinds and get some of that daylight inside your cabin. Mood goes up a bit.
Rather than pretend winter's not happening, though, one might as well embrace it. All those stews and braises. Brandy in a snifter if you're so inclined. The wearing of the scarves (Cranky's favorite part of winter, and he has a lot of scarves). The awesome rain boots you can wear even if it's not raining.
The new year brings an urge for renewal, but getting renewal done is not comforting. Sigh. Bite the bullet. Order those appliances and have your favorite plumber install them Expertly Plus One. Now you have comfort!
Which is a little life lesson. Sometimes you have to earn your comfort by doing one or a couple hard things.

23 comments:

Zoomie said...

I have been amazed at how dark it stays in the mornings now - for some reason, all this sunshine points up the darkness in the early mornings. My solution is walking the dog - I get at least an hour of outdoor time, moving my blood and my butt. Even if I start off chilled, I'm unwrapping the scarves by the end of the walk. Chilly sunshine works for me, even if warm sunshine is ever better.

kudzu said...

Even dogless and servantless, I'm with you on the bed-and-comfort thing. I do have to get up and I try to follow the sun around my house, ending up near my sunny front window in late afternoon, perfect for reading and watching twilight as it approaches (fine sunsets, recently). Other comforts: the narcissi and daffies poking up even as dry winter has hurt a few other big plants. More teas, this year (warm mugs) and more Asian soups, which seem to -- literally -- warm one more. And lots of ginger anythings.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: I think the skid into lengthening daylight is happening now, if not soon. I'm sitting on the patio with some sun on my back, and it's vital!
You are heroic to walk your dog, no matter what. As I recall, you go out with her in the rain when you have to. !

Kudzu: I love the idea of you chasing the sun as it slides past your house, room by room. My mid-century has enormously bashful windows on the front and sides. Only the back is fully windowed, and I mean fully!
We do what we can. Today it was roasted vegetables with cream, devoured on the patio. Happy Helios to you.

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: PS, I propose ginger soups and ginger teas.

kudzu said...

My Japanese friend used to make fresh ginger tea for me this way: several "coins" of thinly sliced ginger, bruised, steeped in near-boiling water in a mug, then brown sugar to taste. (Or, if I had a cold, a teeny chile.)

Ms Brown Mouse said...

Cashmere, get yourself some and wear it close to the skin. It's warm and comforting and LIGHT!

Southern Cookie said...

Nice thoughts, Crumb! I, too, have found that comfort recently and am happy to be back in the land of the living. (sorry for the hiatus) The meal I had my new One loyally serve me was a huge, hot bowl of minestrone. Ahh, the joys of those moments! Cheers!

Chilebrown said...

I know it is late, but Ms. Goofy says she wants to go to the market in the morning. See you there, maybee.

Zoomie said...

It doesn't feel heroic when it's raining. If I had a fenced yard, I'd just turn her out on those days. :-)

Chilebrown said...

Just spent 25 dollars buying hot sauces at triple T's. Just what I need, more hot sauce.

Greg said...

You captured me at brandy. I vote for a cruise to Mexico. Cabo San Lucas 80 degrees today.

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: I love the sound of that tea. So easy to make. Even if I didn't have a cold, I'd probably be popping in the teeny chiles.
Last night for comfort, I had packaged ramen. Upscale, see, it cost about forty cents. Really good.

Mouse: Oh, ho! Cashmere, is it? I'll talk to Mr. Claus. :)

Southern Cookie: I'm happy you're happy! Yes, a lovingly delivered dose of minestrone scares away the boogeyman.

Zoomie: No, it IS heroic on those days. BTW, Bartlett doesn't go by herself in the yard. She wears a leash and wants a bathroom attendant, or no results. Prissy.

Chilebrown: We didn't even wake up in time to read your invitation! Sorry we missed you.
Have you heard of Papalote brand salsa? I gather it's rather tomatoey. In jars, Whole Foods. People rave about it.

Greg: Skoal!

Kate said...

Binkies and warm, cozy things to wear must be universal comforts. And hot things to slurp: tea, soup, etc. Not to mention starchy goodness, like mashed taters, or dumplings. A personal favorite is homemade chicken stock with a bit of "white" miso and (homegrown) dried garlic cracked into it. Just a cup of that stuff, and all seems pretty okay with the world. Oh, and I take my cuddles from a feline companion; the species doing the comforting and cuddling must be theoretically fungible, even though in practice the opposite is indubitable.

Our winter is so warm it's creepy here. I prefer to suffer through the cold, dark, ice and wind for my springtime payoff. (Oh, my catholic [upbringing] must be showing there!) This just ain't right.

namastenancy said...

My sister in Minnesota laughs at us California weenies. But really, you should have come to SF today. Blue skies and a balmy 67+ degrees. It sure doesn't feel like winter to me.

Chilebrown said...

Pinch your nose and hold your head up and say:

I do not go to Whole Foods

cookiecrumb said...

Kate: I agree with your list of comforts, though I was disturbed by the fungible indubitability. But I reread the list and comforted right up again.

Nancy: I'm gonna have to wear sunscreen if I go out much. Yikes!

Chilebrown: Is that a union thing with you?

cookiecrumb said...

I USED TO LIVE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. I DIDN'T VOTE.

namastenancy said...

Or you can comfort yourself by eating warm winter salads - recipes in my column at the paper via my blog: roasted vegetables sprinkled with lovely dressings. What's not to like? I'm also looking into posting a recipe for pears baked in red wine and flavored with brown sugar and cinnamon. Take a little wine for your stomach's (and psyche's sake?) http://cheznamastenancy.blogspot.com/

Zoomie said...

Oh, noes! And here I was envying you your back yard where doggies can do their "business" without help! You still have to suit up on rainy days and take her out! Can you at least stand under the lanai roof and encourage her from there?

cookiecrumb said...

Nancy: Ha, warm winter salads. We roasted a pan of veggies and apples the other day and called it Food. :)

Zoomie: She will do it on her own first thing in the morning (and we still gotta go pick it up), but after that she wants full personal attention. She's worth it.

Zoomie said...

Yes, picking up is inevitable, no matter where they drop it. And, yes, they are worth it - no matter what their quirks.

Hungry Dog said...

I have reading material and a faithful, cuddly, large dog, but no servant. The huz will not apply for this job. Would be useful to have one, and not just for hunkering down in winter. ANy time of year.

cookiecrumb said...

Doggie: My huzb WANTS to be a housewife. As soon as he retired, well, I don't even wash any dishes anymore. Just wait it out. And cuddle the poochie.