Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Winter Round Up

Winter Round-Up
Seems like winter weather waited until February to make an appearance this year; dumping all the snow and sustained bitter cold and winds over a 3 week period. But now it's March and that means the arrival of spring. Even though mother nature doesn't equate the arrival of March with the arrival of spring, as I do, I'm sticking to it.

So here's my send off to all things winter.

Winter Favorites:

I've long been a fan of hummus, especially the Trader Joe's brand hummus. Recently I began to grow tired of it but retained a desire to consume it. In an effort to jazz it up for my taste buds a bit, I picked up this Trader Joe's Edamame Hummus. Voila! Just the thing.

Winter Successes:

With the obvious exception of my chronic migraines and fibromyalgia, winter went pretty well. I ended up feeling good enough to enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day plans with family, which was great. We really only had two other goals for the January and February - get a whole house humidifier and a water softener - check and check.

The whole house humidifier was something we really needed to get to keep our wood floors from drying out and becoming a problem. But the benefits extend far beyond that. Right away I noticed a big difference - suddenly that painfully dry feeling in my nose was gone and my skin wasn't nearly as tight and itchy.

Doesn't look like much but boy am I fan.
The water softener is something we've talked about doing for about 6 months. I was excited about all the expected benefits; good for our pipes and appliances, requires less detergent, soap, shampoo, etc. to clean stuff. I've been surprised by a couple of unexpected benefits like losing less hair in the shower and my hair/skin don't dry out nearly as much after getting wet.

Okay, so our winter projects haven't been nearly as sexy as the summer and fall projects but they certainly improved our home and our daily lives.

Winter Failures:

February. The whole month was kind of a loss. It's been a tough migraine month, although that can be said of every month. The real problem was that the last 3 weeks of the month a relentless winter funk has settled over the area. Nothing like what has been happening on the East Coast - thankfully - but it has been unusual for us. We did finally get the snow I wanted but with it came day after day of terrible cold and wind. Each week I find myself saying, "there is no place I want to go bad enough that I'll go out in this." Each week expecting that the next week things will get better - but it didn't. As a result, I've only left the house a handful of times in the past 3 weeks.

Gypsy has been just miserable. One especially bad day the poor little girl was blown over mid-poo by a stiff wind. For a while, she didn't want to walk at all because it was just too cold or too snowy but after about a week of that she became so restless she finally started walking again. But even when she was up for a walk she couldn't go as far as usual (her poor little paws just got too cold) so she was stuck with all kinds of pent up energy.

Walking has also been complicated because the snow. Almost nobody in the neighborhood shovels their sidewalks so we have had to walk in the street and with all the grass being covered with snow she has had little opportunity to relieve herself on the walks. We are the only ones who have shoveled some of our lawn. This is the kind of thing you have to do when you have a chihuahua.


The highlight of winter was, as always, Christmas. The decorations and the gathering with family, the holiday movies and driving around looking at the lights - I just love it.


The lowlight of this winter is the challenge we've had balancing the pH in Gypsy's urine. Ultimately, this all goes back to her bladder stones this past fall. Because of the type of stones she had, we need to keep her urine perfectly balanced in order to prevent future stones. This is done with diet. Sounds easy enough, but so far we have not succeeded. Eventually, it will come together but until then we are doing a lot of urine tests. No fun.

What I am Reading: 

I'm just about to start a new book recommended and lent to me by my mother-in-law called The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. This will be the first time I've read anything by this author so I don't know what to expect.

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