This is the first time since late March that it has been this cold. The truth is, I don't mind it so much. I have been out on the patio (with a jacket on) and my home seems to be able to keep a stable temperature of seventy three-good windows and doors all around. One of the many things to love about my new home is the constant sunshine-in the Denver area there are less than thirty completely overcast days per year. I am also appreciating sweaters-especially the long tunic style that can be worn over leggings and jeans. I need to add a couple more to my closet.
What I have NOT done, however, is actually leave the house grounds in two full days. I have spent much of my life in seriously snowy climes-from college in Connecticut to previous years in Denver, to Washington DC to Germany. I can, and have driven in literally every type of weather. Two years ago, I drove in white out conditions from Denver to Dallas. It was not by choice and I would not do it again-the weather man told me I had twenty four hours to beat the storm. But I can do it, and do so regularly.
What I can no longer do is walk on icy walks, or walks that have that uneven level of now and ice and clear spots that makes your car bump all over the place. At least fifty percent of my serious knee pain is not arthritis, but rather nerve and other damage caused by tripping down a serious of steps to cobblestones. A another fall (especially on ice or pavement) could put me into old lady with a walker territory and I cannot risk that. So here I sit, enjoying the view, the sunshine, and the patio-but waiting until tomorrow to venture out on foot (since we have still not completely unpacked, cars remain outside). Meanwhile, I'm happy I am that gal who keeps stocks on hand and has what she needs where she is.
This past weekend, I got a half spiral ham. We had it the first night, then a leftover night and it has made many lunches. Today I decided to make some soup out of what was left. With no recipe, I threw said ham bone into my large slow cooker. I added some vegetable stock, some v-8 juice (try it, I only use it to cook with), some wine and a little water. Since I wasn't venturing out to the store, I relied on pantry items. In my freezer I had some recipe mix type frozen veggies-cut carrots and celery, and minced tomatoes onions and garlic. To that I added white beans, tomatoes, a little brown sugar (trust me on this, it cuts the salt and all you need is a teaspoon or less) and some dry mustard). I still need to do a final tasting and take the ham off the bone. I may or may not blend some of the soup to make it thicker.
This is a perfect example of both what Barbara calls seat of the pants cooking, creative substitution and frugal buying. Had I planned ahead, I would have gotten fresh carrots and celery, and vegetables and browned them first. I also would have gotten a bean soup mix and maybe soaked the beans. All of the canned and frozen goods were bought at loss leader prices with coupons (there are coupons for real food), making this a frugal dish when adding whole wheat dinner rolls and a salad. With the exception of the cans I have no idea how much of what I put in-meaning the next time I do this, it will probably have a different taste. That's the best part.
Meanwhile I've having some of the generally low energy days I love. I made the non traditional runner above with matching coasters and napkins (to put in my shop), and today I aim to pin a couple quilts for some clients. We made this cute seasonal "fairly garden" with Lord Of The Rings figurines and little Christmas plants and cacti. Add that to a few more Christmas quilts and we are decorated except for a few wreaths-our walls are bare as we won't paint until after the holidays
I've been drinking lots of eggnog (yes already) and have read two books on my kindle-one the newest Michael Connelly book the Gods of Guilt and the other a knitting book. Last night I even broke down and streamed a Netflix B movie, Olympus Has Fallen.
Add some chair yoga and some list making and goal planning for Christmas and the new year, and you have a full but low energy couple of indoor days-just perfect!