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Blizzard

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Washington, DC.  January 2016.

Into the storm

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Blizzard night walk.  Washington, DC. January 2016.

Winter’s glow

DSC_2194 Washington, DC. February 2015.

A Winter’s Night

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Is there snow where you live?  Winter has been visiting every few days here, and I’m spending as much time as possible curled up under cozy blankets with warm drinks.  Last year’s long harsh winter was a struggle for me, and I felt so low during all those bitter, gray days.  This year I’ve been focusing hard to fill my spare time up with good books, quiet documentaries, exercise, lots of citrus (grapefruit makes me sublimely happy these days), and spending time with good friends.  Daydreaming about the desert hasn’t hurt either ;)

What have you been doing to stave off the winter blues?

Call her green and the winter cannot fade her

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Another day, another snowstorm, this time turning all the promised greens of St. Patrick’s day a wintery white.  Apart from a brief stroll through the zoo and a stolen hour for coffee and croissants in Dupont Circle, I spent most of the weekend at home working and flipping through photos from time spent in Argentina a few years ago.

Since I’m deep in winter denial at this point, I thought it would be fun to spend the next few days reminiscing about a lovely mild winter in Buenos Aires.

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Hidden from the winter

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On a recent Sunday, having had enough of winter, I snuck away to the botanical gardens down on the National Mall.  While the grey city outside alternated between sleet and snow, inside the glassy greenhouse walls, the world was balmy and lush with greenery.  Kumquat trees were heavy with fruit, orchids and bromeliads radiated bright colors, and every now and then the rooms grew hazy with cool mist.

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I wandered around quietly, wondering why I hadn’t been spending every weekend here since winter had begun to wear me down in January.  Eventually, I climbed to the upper tier of the large rainforest room and found an empty bench, determined to stay until closing and forget about winter for a little while.  Before long I noticed that the other people occupying the benches were doing the same thing: sometimes reading, mostly alone, and sitting far too long on the benches to just be resting from a long day of sightseeing like the tourists that whirled around the greenhouse paths.  It was nice, quiet company, all of us basking in the refuge of a manufactured summer’s day.

[3/14/14] Edited just a tad to join in to for Fiesta Friday, hosted by one of my favorite bloggers, The Novice Gardener.  It’s been a long week, and I could use a little fun.

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The winter and her idle hands

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One of the bright sides to this snow storm—hopefully the last of the year—was that much of it happened over daylight hours instead of in the middle of the night.  Around midday, I pulled on my winter boots, piled on the layers, and headed outside, eager for a little exercise and a chance to enjoy the snow while it was still pure and unsullied by boots and plows.

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The cruel wind blew

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Every week that passes, I remind myself that we are just a little closer to spring.  Soon there will be buds on the trees and the cherry blossoms will come, and there will be crocuses and picnics and bike rides.  But not yet.

Work is sending me to Texas for a couple of days this week.  Sadly, not home—not Austin—but it will be warmer and sunny, and I hope to carve out a few hours to catch up with family in the area.  In the meantime, I’ve set up a few posts reflecting on travels in Spain—an exercise undertaken to remind myself that winter can be delightful.  Hope you enjoy and be back soon.

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Cold shoulder, colder skies

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When the weather is warmer and the days are longer, I pass through Rock Creek Park almost every day, usually on my bike.  Lately it’s been too cold and icy to ride, and I think the lack of exercise has contributed to my cabin fever.  Over the weekend, the Mister had a pile of homework to do, so to get out of his hair, I went for a little hike in the Park.

Normally, the route I took would be a short, brisk walk, dodging bikers and joggers all the way.  The recent storm, however, left the park silent and white, the trail still buried under several inches of snow and ice.  Picking my way along the frozen path took nearly four times as long as it normally would, and the entire time I only saw two other people.  It was a tiring and slippery walk, but I was happy for the chance to see the park quieted by snow.

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All aflush and aflutter

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Rainy and snowy weather can make for a lovely visit to the zoo.  With the crowds snug and warm at home, I have the place mostly to myself and can linger as long as I please.  We had a second light snow on Saturday, and I found myself at the bird house, watching the storks stretch their wings and blend into the snow, while the flamingos fluttered about in their steamy pond and struck a stark contrast.

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White as snow, nowhere to go

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We had another snow day after last week’s storm.  On days like this, I like to get out for a walk early and have a look around before the hustle and bustle of the city turns the pristine snow to gray slush.

It’s hard to go far on those mornings.  The buses aren’t running, the cabs are charging extra, and the sidewalks aren’t yet shoveled.  Still, we made it as far as Rock Creek Park, tromping around in snow up to our shins, watching children go zipping down hills on colorful sleds, and taking a few minutes to make a panda out of snow.

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The snow kissed the curb

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A snowy hike at 3:00 a.m.

It’s been four years since we’ve had anything like the snowstorm that rolled through last week.  Something like 8 inches of snow in one night.  I know I’ve whined a lot about winter lately, but it’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement of a coming storm, especially since it’s been so long since we’ve had that much snow in a single day.

The heart of the storms always seem to come in the middle of the night when most of the city is sound asleep.  That is my favorite part.  When all the cars have given up for the night and the plows have yet to do their work.  The streets and sidewalks disappear under a white plain, and for a little while the city is silent.  Around 3 a.m., I spied this lonely walker making his way through the snow in the middle of the road, an eerie and otherworldly sight on what is normally a busy street.

Light December snow on the right; Heavy February snowstorm on the right

Light December snow on the left; Heavy February snowstorm on the right

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Endless winter

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Someday I’ll stop complaining about the cold and gray and snow.  Today is not that day.  I got brought down by another cold over the weekend, and the one time I ventured outdoors it snowed.  More—possibly a lot more—is forecast for tomorrow night.

Winter hasn’t gotten to me this badly since the first one I spent in Michigan, now, eight years ago.  Next year I’ll need to remember to schedule more travel during the cold months–preferably somewhere warm and green.  For now, I keep trying to snap myself out of my funk with fresh flowers, cooking lots of fresh vegetables, and eating entire boxes of strawberries if I feel like it.

Put some flowers ’round my room

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Sometimes all you really need to brighten up your gloomy winter days are $10 worth of flowers from the shop down the street.  It’s extra nice when they wrap up your bright yellow mimosas and cabbage flower with brown paper and string.  Looking at these beauties, I can almost imagine it’s spring.

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Go to sleep and dream of snow

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Everyone loves a snow day, and even though I’m recovering from a bad cold, I couldn’t help but sneak out for a few minutes to twirl around in the swirling flakes.  We’re promised bitter temperatures tomorrow, but for now, I’m happy to delight in a magical wintery snowfall.

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It’s Friday, I’m in love

Cooking with Lana Del Rey

Cooking with Lana Del Rey

Now that we’re starting to defrost in DC, I feel like I can finally crawl out from under my pile of blankets, shed a couple of pairs of socks, and maybe get a few things done.  I’m hoping to do some baking and take advantage of a little sunshine on Sunday to bike down to the farmer’s market.

Here are a few photos from the week.  Have a great weekend!

Just when I thought I'd never feel warm again, someone whipped up homemade ramen

Just when I thought I’d never feel warm again, someone whipped up homemade ramen

So. Many. Layers.

So. Many. Layers.

Morning light and a layer of ice inside the windows

Morning light and a layer of ice inside the windows

Icy bike ride through Rock Creek Park

Icy bike ride through Rock Creek Park

Blazer weather, come back

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Winter this year has been all over the place in terms of weather.  We’ve alternated snow, warm drizzle, ice, sleet, pouring rain, biting wind, and our current bitterly cold polar vortex.  Also in that mix were a few unseasonably warm and sunny days, which we took advantage of to meet up for brunch outdoors with friends.

I usually love coat weather, but it was a nice change to throw a blazer over a cozy gray sweatshirt and enjoy brunch outdoors.  My friend showed up wearing the most gorgeous crystal earrings.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of them and I loved they way they contrasted with her black leather jacket.

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Baby, it’s cold out there

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Brrrr… these have been cold days.  Much of the country seems to be buried under snow or warm blankets.  We’ve been coping by staying mostly at home, wearing extra layers, drinking lots of hot tea and coffee, and working through our Netflix queue.

Hope you stay cozy and warm indoors.

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Winter’s first storm

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Sunday morning saw the start of our first winter storm of the year.  For several hours, everything was coated with a lovely layer of soft white snow.  I spent the afternoon baking cookies with a few of my favorite holiday movies playing in the background.

As the day wore on, the snow turned to a far less pleasant wintery mix.  The ice and sleet will surely make my Monday morning commute interesting but I’m glad to have had a few hours to enjoy the snowy scene today.  Has this winter storm been affecting you?

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