Wednesday, January 5, 2011


It is the January and all the frenetic rush of the holidays is over.  Although our weather here in Michigan has been strange as it was 50° and raining on New Year's Eve, we are entering the cold, dark days of winter.  I use to dread January and February.  The days are short, it is very cold, blizzards make the roads a mess, and the Great Lakes hold the clouds over Michigan so sunshine is very rare.  SAD, seasonal affected depression, is very common.  However, I have changed my thinking.  Instead of cursing the darkness and thinking that every day is a battle, I now think of this time of year as a time of renewal.  

Instead of rushing around, I slow down.  Slowing down is a very good thing to do on snowy roads and very good for mental health.  I try to do things that comfort me.  I try to take better care of myself because if I am healthy it is easier for me to take care of family and friends. I look inward and evaluate my thoughts.  Are they coming from the past?  Am I worried about the future?  Am I being negative?  Talking things out with dear friends helps immensely and I make sure I spend time with them.

I go to bed early.  All the studies that I read say we are a sleep deprived nation.  As the old saying goes:  Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man (or woman) healthy, wealthy, and wise. It is dark here by 5:30pm on a cloudy day, other than care of a dependent, every thing else will wait for tomorrow.  I curl up in my favorite pink plaid flannel comforter, the one Izzy and Tom are always trying to claim as their own, and try to relax and go to sleep.  If my mind starts to spin, I mentally say I'll take care of that tomorrow or just the word later.  My friend says I channel Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind!

Both Tom and I find home-made soups comforting in the winter.  I love making my Mom and Grandma's soups.  Comfort food to me is the food of my childhood.  I was lucky to have such great cooks in my family.  We have a big pot of Dutch Pea Soup on the stove.  Tom said he will find comfort with a big mug of pea soup, my comforter, and the Ohio State football game on TV.  I went to the library and picked up a big stack of books as they are my comfort rather than TV or movies.

So while we comfort ourselves we wonder, what is comfort to you!  What foods do you like?  Michigan Cottage Cook will have recipes form our comfort zone and we hope they will resonate with you.  Click the "COMMENT" button at the end of this post and let us know what comforts you?  How do you get through bad months of weather in your climate?

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