A warm hello from a cold place.

That place is Minnesota.

When I look out my window on a winter’s day, I can hardly believe that in a few months green will replace the white and warmth will replace the cold.

But for now it’s as winter as winter gets.

winter window

It was -4 when I left for work on Monday morning.

That’s right…minus 4 (that’s -20 celsius!)

It’s not this cold all winter and this year it’s actually been milder than usual but we’re in a cold snap right now.

Tonight it’ll dip down to -9.

Burr!

cabin fever

Since we don’t have a garage we need to plug in my car before we go to bed to be sure it’ll start in the sub-zero morning.

My husband’s old truck does pretty good in cold temps…better than the newer car.

As you can see, I don’t go into full-blown hibernation because I work and have people in my life so it’s just partial.

And as much as I love living where the four seasons each reach their peak, I sometimes feel trapped by the indoor days of winter.

I mean, even if I did ski or dog sled, I’d still be indoors most of the time.

So, I’ve learned to live with it and turn it into a season I like, unless I have to drive in it and that’s a whole other blog post!

Ram truck

Baby, it’s cold outside.

Fingers, ears and noses should be covered to avoid frostbite.

That’s me peeking out from my favorite thrift store find, an infinity scarf that doubles as a hood.

cold weather

Let’s get in the house where hot tea is always ready.

tea time

Inside the house I’ve found a few small things go along way to make the winter more pleasant.

These ideas are simple yet make such a big impact.

Maybe where you live you don’t have the cold and snow like up north here or maybe winter is your warm season.

But everywhere on the planet there is that long cooler and or wet season, so you know what I’m talking about when I talk about those long, never ending days of life mostly indoors.

One thing I do is buy carnation flowers at the grocery store because they’re the cheapest flowers there and they last a long, long time.

They bring some much needed color to my life!

With so much white outside this is a must for me.

I’ve only been doing this the past few winters and I wished I thought of this years ago.

carnation flowers

floral centerpiece

The big old house gets very dry in the cold winter so I set out pretty vintage bowls full of water to get some moisture into the air.

Every few days I have to refill the bowls.

This idea is pretty and practical.

I have noticed a real difference in my skin, and my dry cough is better.

shabby chic water arrangement

green

Water water everywhere.

Another thing that has helped is to keep damp towels over the heat vents.

They need to be re-wet several times a day but it’s worth it.

This really puts moisture in the air.

I remember the days before humidifiers were common, and people would have pans of water on top of heat registers and on top of floor vents.

It was a common sight to see in homes during the Minnesota winters.

Below, a damp towel tucked into the heating vent really does the trick.

natural way to humidify the home

A good thing about being cooped up inside for the long winter is it’s a great time to get things done like organize those piles and corners, finish half way done projects, try some craft ideas and finish that summer reading.

This winter I’m organizing old family photos, finishing a collage project and reading about Greta Garbo.

old photo albums

The sun sets early and the dark evenings are long but that’s a plus for me because I am a candle lover!

With no small kids or tail waggin’ dogs in our home, (I love them both…just don’t have them..), I’m quick to have a candle lit as soon as the sun fades away.

I think I use candles because we don’t have a fireplace.

DYI fireplace

Every once in awhile I make a little DYI fireplace by putting lots of candles on a tray.

Then I just sit and enjoy the natural glow and quiet for awhile, taking a little time away from anything electric.

It’s that same feeling you get when sitting around a small campfire or relaxing in a hot bath by candlelight.

I should do it more often and so should you.

We deserve it.

This fireplace doesn’t kick out any heat, but it sure brings a sweet quiet calm to the home when the wind and snow is whirling around outside the house.

As you know it’s those little things you do that make your home a nice place to be.

So I say, so what if it’s a long, cold winter here up north…bring it on…I’ve got plenty to do in my cozy home.

Just give me a candle, hot tea, and a book…or my laptop!

this little light of mine

“Laura felt a warmth inside her. It was very small, but it was strong. It was steady, like a tiny light in the dark, and it burned very low but no winds could make it flicker because it would not give up.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Long Winter

I would love to hear from you!

Email me: beverly@renewandremember.com