Mid-Winter Blarg (And A GIVEAWAY --Gasp!)

I am sorry for the radio silence. It's been quite the week.  AND, I've suddenly been beset by the mid-Winter Blarg, as my friend Shirley calls it.

One thing that no one tells you when you move from the South to the North is that, along with eventually getting tired of the snow (people DO tell you about that), there will be a day, usually in February, when the mid-Winter blues set in with such a vengeance that even the World's Most Bouncy Puppy will be unable to make you smile. Well, much. (More about that later.)

I haven't had much positive, good stuff to talk about, either.  Jane (10) has strep throat AGAIN --second time in a month, bookending a truly heinous cold, and spent last night throwing up, which was quite the party, especially since my husband is out of town. My FULF (Effed Up Left Foot) is giving me a very difficult time --the kind of pain that makes me worried that something new has gone wrong.  And the pain shimmer from my foot is eating all of my available bandwidth for, say, staying on top of things.  As evidenced, for example, by the fact that I left one of our cats outside overnight in sub-freezing weather. (Oh my GOODNESS, there was some very foul cat language hurled in my direction when I let him in.)

And you know how there are things that you can take in stride when it's sunny and you're getting a fair amount of time outside, but just bug the ever-loving SPIT out of you when it's gray out and there is old snow everywhere reminding you that spring is still a long way away?  (Okay, maybe that's just me.)  Well, I had to go have blood drawn and, as usual, no one could find my veins so they ended up digging around in both arms and now I look like a heroin addict. Every time I look down at my arms and see the hideous bruises, I get kind of disgusted. I don't think I'd feel like that if I had, say, a little tan.

OR, and this may actually be relevant to today's post, the fact that I found the World's Greatest Smelling lotion--lotion that smells so fabulous that I want to walk around licking my own arm --and have developed some sort of allergy to it.

See this?
Vanilla Chai, baby!
It's my favorite lotion ever.  Not tested on animals, contains no alcohol and y'all, it smells like STARBUCKS!  I am seriously addicted to it. In fact, when I couldn't get it at Whole Foods any longer, I ordered it on-line.  And then, I started to develop this red hot...well, red hot blotchy... condition whenever I used it.  Which I continued to do until it was impossible to deny any longer.  So, I now have two unopened tubes of the best smelling lotion on this planet and I can't use them (sob) so I am giving them away.  Leave me a comment on the blog saying something nice about something, tell me a positive story, spread a little love around and you'll be entered to win a tube of this best smelling lotion ever.  I'll have one of my daughters draw the names out of a hat. I might throw in some yarn and a copy of my book if you are a knitter and if you don't already have a copy of my book.  (If not, maybe I'll send you some snow.  I have a LOT of that to spare.)

There.  A giveaway should be fun and happy, right?

Also, this is what I did today.

For some reason, starting seeds in my AeroGarden thing makes me so happy.  I guess it's partly because it's almost like bringing a little bit of my garden inside.  And maybe it's also that I'm such a mom--it makes me happy to have things growing around me.

Also?  Watching these videos makes me laugh.

No animals were harmed in the making of this blog. No, really, I promise.


Carrie said…
I've been inside for pretty much a solid week with a feverish 7yo, a very inquisitive 4yo, and an extra 3yo, also a talker. I am READY FOR SPRING. Send them OUTSIDE to burn off this energy and talk to the birds.

(Not a knitter, but my mom sure is!)
Brenda said…
I had to share this on my FB page...I absolutely love this column! I have decided to advertise my new business - selling unassembled snowmen. All people have to do is come pick them up! :) So very funny - except the rash, the strep, and the colds flu and the FULF! But otherwise an amusing column!! xoxo
Stefanie said…
Something nice about something... I got an internship today! In something I actually want to do! Editing! And publishing! Woohoo!!! (!!!!!!!)
Mokihana said…
Okay, here's a positive story. Last October at Oregon Flock and Fiber I bought a couple of bags of some awesome "mystery batts", from a local gal who does carding. She tosses all kinds of wonderful things into each batt. I've only spun a little of the first bag.

On Ravelry I saw a request from someone I don't know who's desperately trying to find more batts for a lovely project she's working on from the same vendor. It's almost all finished, and she ran out of mystery batts to spin, even though she bought three pounds of it. No one had answered her plea by the time I saw it, even though she'd posted in several different forums.

Keep in mind that I bought the batts because I really loved them. However, I don't have a finished project in mind but was spinning it and loving it.

But guess what? I pm'd the lady and told her she could have mine. Because you know what? She needs them more than I do. And she's so close to finishing her absolutely amazing sweater.

So that's my nice story of the day. Not to glorify myself, mind you. Not at all. But because I know it's the right thing to do.

I am a knitter, and I would be honored to have a copy of your book. I'd also like to know how many calories are in a tablespoon of that lotion.
kim said…
Blarg. I'm going to use that one because I, too, have a very serious case of it. My house is trashed from sand and salt; my kitchen ceiling has wet spots; and I live in fear that my porch roof will fall off the house soon. Uncle!

Feel better soon, Jane!
hokgardner said…
I don't want the lotion because I can't use anything that has scent - triggers migraines.

But I will tell you that I've been sitting on the sofa with all four kids, snuggled under blankets, watching cartoons. Which is pretty much my favorite way to start the day. Especially when Elizabeth sits in my lap and I can sniff her head.
ccr in MA said…
The colorlessness of the northeast in winter is epic, isn't it? I'm planning a return trip to the greenhouses at Wellesley College, where I found tropical color and warmth in the middle of last winter. It was a tremendous boost to my senses, and I highly recommend it if you can find something similar near you. Color! Warmth! Ahhh.
Ei said…
We've had a bad blarg here too. Thank you, I didn't know there was a technical name for it.

I don't really knit (I kind of know how) I've read your book twice and it is next to my bed, not the bookshelf, and I can't expiriment with new smell good lotions because...oh that's a long story.

But I miss you and I'd like to talk to people again, so I wanted to start with you.
Ei said…
Oh and here's a happy I haven't shared with very many people. Dev is doing well...so amazingly well that his teachers are planning on dismissing him from the special ed program. And Elyas is being featured in a district art show this week.

And I'm going to buy a house. I'm not sure when, but its a big deal for me.

So here's to some sunshine this week to seal the deal.
Kris said…
Ohmygosh - I was just talking to Husband about getting one of those Aerothingies - I think the problem here is that we have No Fresh Herbs! Also - I throw the wet wubba for my Jarly - he can't seem to find the ball when it drops in the snow - it gets buried, then he makes it worse when he starts rooting around looking for it - that ball's not gonna surface until, oh, round about May, probably. At least Wubba's got tails that stick out.
pam taylor said…
Blargs are alive and active in Minn. also. I cheered myself up by looking at old photos-hundreds! I did find a cheery photo of my parents (both deceased) dancing at their 50th anniversary party. They looked so happy and enjoyed dancing so much. We were so happy that we had that party for them.
Just think, February is half over!
MKR said…
Winter bites! We've been sick for a month and the dog will not walk herself. I'd love some vanilla chai lotion!
Tenna Draper said…
I'm pretty sure that the snow will be gone by the end of March...especially if we have lots more days like today!

Then the daffodils will pop out and it will snow again.
TruBrooklyn said…
We have the AeroGardens,[4],and we grow romaine lettuce and big cherry tomatoes.Love it! When those romaine lettuces start growing and everyday you plan the salad bonanza you are going to eat...Why I feel like those Ecovillage granolas.Actually,the best thing we do to get through the dead of winter is to cook,cook and cook some more.Get some good movies going and read"Wave",about Laird Hamilton and surfing those humongous waves.Those people are the true free spirits who live on the edge of life.Then thank your lucky stars that we are living in a freedom loving country where people will fight to have smaller gov't and less taxes!
Lynn said…
Oh I hear you abt the weather. When we lived on LI Feb was the hardest! Cold and dreary. Did I mention cold?? I lived there for 5 years and there was one Feb where we never saw the sun. Coming from Florida, I KNEW there was one up there, it just didn't want to come out to play. What I found that helped was BRIGHT lights and BRIGHT fabric pillows. Made me happy just to look at them. You also might want to consider sitting near that light from the aero garden. That natural light can be mighty helpful. Pull out a good book, pick up the needles and just soak in the sunshine. Add some tropical music and an umbrella to your drink and you are all set!

Sorry to hear abt the bad reaction to the cream. Add my name to the hat and it will be put to good use. and I am a knitter.
Hannah said…
Ah, I well remember those awful never-ending northeastern winters. One way we deplan was to plan a vacation somewhere sunny toward the end of winter for a good vitamin D transfusion!
jennyp said…
Does it count as winter blarg that it was only high 50s or so in Florida today and I was freezing? No, I guess not. But I used to live in Virginia so I know what you mean. I always thought snow days off helped with that, an unexpected vacation!

Ok, a positive story!

My fourth grader, who had a horrid teacher 1st semester and was in danger of failing, is doing incredibly well at his new school! Interim had 4 As and 3 Bs, he is happy, the teachers treat him respectfully, I feel like I can breathe again. Such a relief. No more talk of ADD, as he does the work because he is in a positive environment where he gets his needs met. Happy, happy, happy!

Now, if I can just survive the teenager. (Actually he's fine, but he can make me crazy some days!)
Anonymous said…
Ok I would love a copy of your book and I will test the lotion and oh yes, I 'll take the pickles if you still have them!!!!! You know there is a disorder called SAD. Seasonal affect disorder and it is very helpful to get under artifical sunlight if you can't get the real thing. Going to florida helps too. think good thoughts it will be better soon. Hope your ole left foot does better---I have an old right foot so I understand. Andrea in TN
Lomagirl said…
That sounds yummy- the smell. ANd I'd love to have a copy of your book, and I aspire to be a knitter. I keep saying "When I finish the PhD, I'll really start doing this or that." I figure if I take up knitting, then even if I'm sitting around in a room full of people talking a different language or about something in which I have absolutely no interest, I'll at least be productive.
Bullwinkle said…
Blarg. That's the right word. And I can't even complain (much) because I see signs of spring (accompianied by signs of mud - which is different from snow and salt, but ...)

I actually came back to read comments, look at dogs playing in the snow :) and cheer up a bit. (At least my snow is melted.)

Hang in there - spring *is* coming. Also - tomorrow is Valentine's day and your darling husband will do something lovely and your cute children will make you cards. I'm sure they put Valentine's day in the middle of the month to cheer people up.
Marion Gropen said…
I do hope all feel better. Sometimes things get to be too much for me in February, too, and I'm generally a relentlessly positive person. Just give yourself permission to be blah.

A possible cure? A visit to the greenhouses of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. They have lovely tropical jungly places, as well as a number of things for kids.

A joyful story: when I was a teenager, my family used to camp in the high country around Yosemite. The bears had learned to co-exist with people pretty well, and some of them just adored people food.

Picture in your mind a pair of roly-poly black bear cubs with a string of sausages, playing "King of the Mountain" on a slanted old tree trunk, while Mama Bear kept a weather eye, and rooted through the remains of the cooler that once held the sausages.

(Yes, she knew that we were in the tree-line watching. We all called her Sally, and she was not only a wonderful mother, but also a very civil neighbor.)

I do knit, btw.
Shaatzie said…
Spring is asserting itself. My friend in the mountains near Luray, Virginia told me he heard a bird sing a spring song, and I heard one, too, the very same day.

Birds know before we humans do, and furthermore they
don't suffer from SAD, because they are up with the sun and have the whole sky, all day long, to enjoy.

My bluebirds are beginning to seek this season's nest, and my blue bird box is ready for them. Surely that is to be celebrated.

Keep your chin up, cuddling in blankets and watching cartoons, sniffing sweet-smelling little heads are also great recommendations!

We're on the upswing!
Anash said…
ok_ here something nice..the other day I seen the beauty in a birds nest sitting in a tree! I mean you dont really see the beauty in the things around you until you actually pay attention the things around you...which comes with maturity I believe ..and some people never mature unfortunately
Semele_74 said…
Anything vanilla scented is, in my experience, highly allergenic. For some reason cinnamon and pine scents seem to go over better- but I've actually had to flee the building if there are vanilla candles. I wouldn't dare wear vanilla lotion!

My grandmother used to call what you call "blarg" being "drippy dreary dark and weary." Man I miss her!
Judy said…
I do remember when I lived in New Orleans experiencing 6 solid weeks of gray rainy weather that ranged from 45 to 55. Being a 7th generation Floridian, I thought I was going to die. Not sure if I'll ever move out of Florida again, but I'd love to send you loads of sunshine thoughts and warm smiles ... and vanilla Starbucks breezes ... to get you thru the day.
Joni said…
Have a Happy Birthday, Barb -- broken toe and all. No need to send me smelly lotion, because I no sense of smell, but yarn is always good. Enjoy your special day!
Kerry said…
I’m really sorry about your rash.

We decided to travel for a year in our motor home, mostly to get away from the snow, but also to see the country and form some new connections. We were spending the day at Disney last month and rushing somewhere when a family stopped us to ask about our baby carrier. We ended up talking to them for more than an hour, forgetting all about our plans. They invited us to come stay in their yard, for free.

We have six children, they have four. All ten of the children get along so well, it’s amazing. There hasn’t been a single disagreement between them in a week! They play like old friends.

Our new friend’s family and friends think that they are insane for letting strangers come live with them, our friends and family think we are nuts for coming to live with strangers, but they trusted that we are good people, and we them. They have been so incredibly generous with us and we feel so grateful to count them among our friends. We are really happy that we took a chance and opened up to all the wonderful things the Universe has to offer!

Happy Birthday. I hope someone gives you some super dooper alcohol free non rashy lotion that smells yummy!