Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Thursday Three

It's a cold and blustery day here, giving the feeling that you couldn't get warm if you tried. And believe me, I'm trying. Fuzzy sweater, thick socks, big cup of chai tea, sleeping dog keeping my feet warm - but I still feel cold every time I look out the window. So how about talking about

Fun things about Winter

I'm quite sure this will be followed in about February with a Things I can't stand about Winter list, if past history holds up. But for now, while it's still new and fresh, lets look at the positives, okay?

#1. Homemade hot chocolate.
Every Fall I whip up a huge batch of homemade hot chocolate mix from scratch. I make so much that I mix it in a trash bag. (Clean, of course. This isn't that kind of recipe). The recipe I use is the one that's been around the block a million times, with the dry coffee creamer and nonfat milk powder base, but I doctor it up to within an inch of its life and it is seriously yummy. We always have mini-marshmallows in the baking cupboard as an extra nice touch, although my kids tend to used the hot chocolate as (in the FG's words) a marshmallow delivery device. Sometimes there's even whipped cream for the top. I have a pretty good variety of extracts too, so you can have mint or orange or even coconut flavoring in your cocoa. This alone makes winter worth it.

#2. The first snowfall. As I write this we have still not really seen snow this year. Oh, it flirted with us last week, but it was just a tease and not the real thing. I love snow. I just don't like driving in it, shoveling it or when it gets all brown and slushy. I love watching it fall and seeing how gorgeous everything looks blanketed in white, and especially coming in from it and having a cup of List item #1. (I would've said plain old #1 but then some literal person looking to stir up trouble - you know who you are - would've asked why I was drinking pee when I have perfectly good hot chocolate mix all made up. I'm getting good about heading these things off).

But there are some really fun things that come out of snow. My kids built some great snow forts last year and we had a neighborhood snow brawl. Sasquatch and I had a snowball fight that left me absolutely exhilarated with the sanctioned ability (all in the name of fun, no less) to pound him as hard as I wanted to with no ramifications. He kept telling me what a good shot I was and all I could think was Oh, kid. If you only knew...

#3. Candles. I really love candles, but don't usually light them in the warmer months. But about this time of year I seriously start feeling the lack of light and candles help a lot. Of course so does my newly usable fireplace, although I think I need to work on my fire starting skills. Candles also have the extra advantage of smelling really good, and who doesn't like the scent of vanilla or cinnamon or caramel?

Being a worrywart, I'm pretty careful with candles, but I think it's very peaceful to watch a bunch of tealight or votives burn. I just have to keep them higher than the dogs. The kids, thank
goodness, are at the point where I'd like to think they had some sense. (Sure do hope I'm right on this). During the warmer months I like incense (and still burn it in winter), but there's something mesmerizing about a flickering flame. Especially when it smells good too.


Lucia Gomez said...

Hello, my name is Lucia and I was just browsing through blogs and saw that you were talking about winter and it reminded me of the years that I lived in the U.S. I lived in Texas for most of the time but I lived in Colorado for a short while and all your talk about winter and hot chocolate and trying to stay warm reminded me of how much I loved the wintery weather in the US, here in El Salvador you don't see that kind of weather. Well, I just thought it'd be nice to leave a comment, if you wish to comment back feel free.

ped crossing said...

I have to agree with the list. I have the yummy dark drinking chocolate that is my new favorite thing.

My absolute favorite candle is the peppermint vanilla one from Method. It fills the house with a fabulous scent and it is soy, so it releases less soot. I find they also scent better. They only have that scent around the holidays, so stock up if you like it.

aCey said...

wow, winter must be nice. we don't have winter over this side of the world. that choco drink looks sooooooo goooood!

my two cents said...

You are seriously killing me here and if I hear snow is expected I'll be on the next plane out there.

Three things I miss about winter:

Snow, snow, and new fallen snow.

Three things I like about winter here:

The possibility of rain; long pants and sweaters and sweatshirts; violets and pansies and stock and snapdragons.

Sounds like spring, I know.

ciara said...

the only thing i like on your list are candles...but those are good all yr round. snow? no thanks, i'll let you keep it. since i'm hypothyroid i'm always colder than everyone else...i HATE the cold. ok, i semi like hot chocolate. lol

Willowtree said...

Hmmm, well at least I like hot chocolate, although I make mine with milk.

la bellina mammina said...

I love all those things too, when I was living in Italy... No winter here but it's the rainy season, so the hot chocolate applies. And I love lighting up candles, especially when I have a dinner party.

We've missed the snow and the boys are looking forward to it when we go to the States in less than 10 days! First white christmas for the baby too:-)

Flowerpot said...

I love candles too though I cant stand hot chocolate - much too sweet for me. It's very wet and mild and gale force winds here in cornwall. Just got back from walking Mollie on the beach and had to change everything except bra and knickers!

auntie barbie said...

I really don’t like winter at all except for Christmas Day and about the first hour of snow for the season.
Go to Wallmart or a hardware store and get yourself a box of fire starters. I guarantee it will make your life much easier.

laurie said...

wow, everyone on this blog is a snow crab! i LOVE to shovel. seriously. truly. i do not like driving in snow, and on tuesday we got about six inches and it took me more than an hour to get home. (this is normally a 14-minute commute.)

i was exhausted when i got home. it was 7:40 p.m. i was hungry. and what was my first thought? damn, doug shoveled!

but it snowed all night and there was plenty for me to do in the morning.

Potty Mummy said...

Wait, wait, wait. You have a BAKING CUPBOARD? Wow. I dream of having enough space for a Baking Cupboard.

Jen said...

MMMMMM, hot chocolate. My husband makes this great hot chocolate with metled bittersweet chocolate and cream.

I love a fire in the fireplace. It always makes me feel warm and cozy. And I love wearing sweaters, too. Great things about winter. *grin* I also used to love cross country skiing. I was never good an downhill (my mom didn't want me to learn), but I developed a love of the peace and quiet that comes with striding through the forest on a new snow. Arrgh! Now I've gone and made myself homesick, too!

Mya said...

Winter means ski-ing over here. Not for idle pelts like myself, though - I like to look at snow, but can't bear to be in it.
One of my favourite things about winter is slow cooking stews that bubble away all day and taste delicious. Mmmmmmm. Can you tell I'm on a pre-Christmas diet?

Mya x

Akelamalu said...

That hot chocolate sounds yummy! I love candles too, especially the scented ones. :)

Akelamalu said...

PS I've posted the second Christmas Carols Quiz today.

Beckie said...

I like Thursday three much better than Thursday thirteen. I can probably come up with three things - thirteen is hard (sometimes).

I had to laugh when you said that these would later be on the things that you can't stand about winter. I SO get that. They're all good now, but give me a couple of months and I will be done with them for a while.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Lucia, acey and beckie - welcome! Thanks for stopping by.

ped crossing - that candle sounds great. I'll have to check it out. And I put a bunch of dark chocolate in my cocoa mix. Yummmmm....

my two cents - then you really don't want me to tell you that we're actually getting our first snowfall as we speak. (And a fair amount of it, too). Go outside and smell your jasmine and get back to me, okay??

ciara - I usually drink tea, myself, but a nice cup of hot chocolate is really nice when you've been outside.

willowtree - mine is made with milk too. It's dry milk though, so all you have to do is add hot water and it's all creamy and chocolaty.

bella - where exactly are you going in the US? I can't remember.

flowerpot - trade you. Please????

auntie barbie - I meant to buy some of those fire starter thingies yesterday and completely forgot. So here we are today with snow falling and I'm trying to decide how badly I want them. I think I may head out to grab some.

laurie - okay, listen carefully. I'm going to give you directions to my house. First you start driving south...

Don't forget your shovel. I'll make it worth your while and give you one of the best cups of cocoa you've ever had. Promise.

potty mummy - I'm embarrassed to say that I do. Whoever remodeled our kitchen (before we bought the house) had some kind of a cabinet fetish. It's actually not a whole cupboard, just two shelves of one.

jen- I'm sorry you're homesick. Watch your video again. And try to remember how much it hurts to fall down on skis.

mya - pre-Christmas diet? Right there with ya, babe. Ick. And ick again.

akelamalu - I'll try the quiz again. I've learned how badly I stink with the last ones, but I'll give it another shot.

beckie - the Feb. list will be a lot more entertaining. Trust me.

PixelPi said...

Well, better late than never. I love all the snowfalls of winter. Sometimes the first one is too puny to really impress. The second thing I love is having a fire in the fireplace (now that we have one). And the third thing I love is baking--which I don't do in the summer. It heats the kitchen up too much. But I bake all the time in the winter.

Kimberly said...

I so need a mug of hot chocolate after that. Mmmmm....

Kaycie said...

I went to bed early last night and I've been out all day, so I'm just now reading. I like your list. My top three would be:

1. big warm comfy sweaters
2. Cadbury's drinking chocolate
3. a lovely smelling fire in the fireplace

I think Laurie's off her rocker about the shoveling, though. Even when I lived in Kansas, I didn't shovel snow. Of course, I didn't work then, so I just refused to leave the house!

laurie said...

HA! shoveling gets you outside, you're moving around so vigorously you can't be cold, and there's a great sense of accomplishment when you're done.

also, there's a camaraderie when it's snowing.

yesterday i was busily shoveling off my neighbor's front walk (i thought she was out of town and i didn't want her house to look abandoned) and while i was doing that good deed another neighbor came by with a snow thrower and cleaned off our public sidewalk.

good will and good deeds abound.

la bellina mammina said...

We're headed to Washington State - where it's already snowing now I was told.