The Long, Dark Teatime

January in Wisconsin certainly qualifies…

Tempest teacup crop

 

We’ve certainly got dark down.  With our position on this tilted globe, our average sunlight in January is 9 hours.  This means I leave for work JUUUUUUST as the sun is breaking the horizon, and leave work as it’s brushing the hills to the west. All my free-time during the work week is spent in twilight and night.

 

We’ve got cold.  I got a warning last night from my computer that I ‘aught to bundle up this morning, because the morning temp was supposed to be hovering right around a single degree above zero.  When the average temps are afraid of double-digits, every single minute outdoors feels like 10.  That’s long…

 

And I’ve got tea.  Granted, I like the iced stuff with a hint of lemon, but I will occasionally brew up a hot cup.  The most wonderful thing in the world is a hot coffee mug encircled by hands that have just spent a 1:10 ratio of time in single-digit weather.

 

Once I get to this point in the year, I’m past the ‘I wanna hibernate’ phase, because the rest of the world is gone to sleep without me.  It’s quiet, because most of the energy in these parts is deep and slumbering beneath the blanket of snow…dreaming of sunshine and warmth and the promise of spring.

Look at me…all waxing poetic & stuff…

 

Winter, this year, certainly feels like the Long, Dark, Tea-time of the soul (with a subtle nod to Douglas Adams, of course…)

So far this year – I’ve been very contemplative.  Maybe it’s because, once again, I’m within the sphere of influence of the Fox River and the power-nexus which found me the last time I lived in Downtown Waukesha.

Maybe it’s because I’m adding yet another + to the growing string of ’em marching endlessly behind the 29 fiction I keep running regarding my physical age on this ball of dirt.

Maybe it’s because I (and the rest of the country) are holding their collective breaths – waiting to see what direction the inbound Creamsicle Administration (Orange in the White House) is going to spin our little Democratic Republic.

Naaaaaa…

I think I’m extra-contemplative this year because I’ve spent waaaaay too much time on this whirly bird chainmaille pattern.

A whirly group shot

To me – whirlys are a very soothing pattern.  The placement of each ring makes sense.  The form is balanced and ‘right.’   The marble within the cage is secure yet mobile.

And I can add a rainbow of colors with different colored glass.  As I’ve got a new shipment of various marbles winging it’s way to my doorstep right now – I should have plenty of whirlys to go around by spring.

If you want a little whirly of your very own to assist in contemplating the existence of tea and cold Wisconsin winters – you can get one here.

Stay warm, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

Denial is More than a River in Africa

a 20161204_190027.jpgSunday morning, I woke early, went downstairs, plunked myself down in front of my work station, grabbed a pair of pliers, and started opening rings.

I had a dude to finish, a tassel to put on my chainmaille mala, and I was itching to start on a new whirly project.

I glanced out the window at the rising light, and saw…to my horror…

little white flakes falling out of the sky.

OK…it’s December in Wisconsin.  I’ve had the big coat in use for about a week now, and pulled the heavy boots out of the closet.  My scarf and gloves were right where I left them (in the arm and pocket of the big coat, respectively), and in good shape.  All the winter-wear was assembled are ready for action.   I should be ready for this, right?

 

Sooooo wrong.  I fight the first snowfall each year, usually by refusing to believe that the white stuff drifting in lazy spirals from the heavens above is actually there.

Ok…I fight MOST snowfalls this way…

Nobody does Denial better than me when it comes to the White Menace.

So…contrary to what you may have heard on the news, your local and/or international weather program, or what I can see when I look out the windows…none of that non-existent white stuff fell from the sky in the city of Waukesha on Sunday…nor was there any accumulation of the aforementioned imaginary frozen/air-puffed di-hydrogen monoxide on my car, the sidewalks, the street, or any nearby rooftops or tree branches.

But you gotta admit – for an atmospheric/precipitation-ish event that doesn’t exist…it was kinda pretty…

In unrelated news not regarding freak weather patterns – my street was home to another running event today – the 5k Santa Run.

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I got to see (and hear) a veritable gaggle of people dressed in red & green running, walking, whooping and hollaring their way up my street – all while I and Mariko stayed nice & warm and dry.

(the blue car in the photo is mine…notice the ‘not’ accumulation of white stuff on the windshield?)

 

 

 

Other events over this holiday season in Downtown – an ugly Christmas Sweater contest (and I got a doozy for that one!), horse-drawn carriage rides, an art crawl, a breakfast workshop with Santa, savings cards for all the downtown merchants, and even a ‘selfie-window-decoration’ contest for those visitors to the area.

I LOVE this downtown area – from Friday Night Live all summer long, to a huge Farmer’s Market, to the Christmas season – the merchants and denizens who live above them show a wonderful sense of community spirit that you just don’t find many places in the states, anymore…we CARE about this little piece of the Earth we inhabit, and it shows.

Love your friends.  Love your neighbors.  Mostly…love the little slice of the Planet you’ve put down your own roots.

Well wishes to all my internet friends from my tiny patch of dirt on these shortest days of our solar year.

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Don’t you just LOVE that Brand New Year Smell?

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~~~~building across the street shot through frosted window.

Nope.  Not me.  Smells cold – icy, actually.  Winter temperatures have finally settled on Wisconsin.  Not the snow that everyone was hoping would fall in time for Christmas – just the cold.

Now, if I lived in a sane environment, like Florida (apologies to any Floridians I may have insulted with this statement…) the new year might smell more wonderful – like the salty-tang of the ocean spray…or the floral notes from your favorite blooming garden shrubbery…but it certainly wouldn’t smell cold.air hurts my face

Right now, it is 4 degrees.  With the winds up and ruffling everyone’s hair – the weather station says it feels like -10.

Brrrrr.

I certainly didn’t want to get out of bed this morning and make the trek through the freezer to work.  The cats didn’t want to see me go, either – they’d rather I performed the much more important task of comfortably settling into my recliner to be their warm-blooded furniture with hands that gently stroke the fur.  But…duty calls!

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last year, on my way to work, after a ‘light’ snow.

I really should be used to this by now – I’ve lived in the frozen Mid-west all my life – and every year it gets “Wow, that windchill is vicious!” cold.  Every year I re-acclimate myself to the heavy boots, the heavy coat, and gloves. Every year I leave the house a few minutes earlier than usual, so the car can have the 5 minutes it needs to warm up before I put it in drive and head to work.

But hey! – at least we’re over the sunshine dimming a bit quicker each year, and are on the upward swing toward more light each day.  In this kind of cold, you gotta take whatever little happy moments you can get.

New Year’s eve is presented as a time to ‘reset.’

lifegoal out old in new quirky phrase

Facebook, and other social media, are awash in everyone declaring how they’re going to be a better person once we toss the 2014 calendars, and hang new ones.

Oh…and in Wisconsin…we’re gearing up for the Beer-fest this evening.  Everyone spend the last few hours of the old year getting so sodding drunk you can’t remember the first few hours of the new one.

Have I mentioned lately that Wisconsin runs on hops?

So what are my resolutions?  I don’t have any.  I resolved quite a number of years ago to not do the New Year’s resolution bit…with great success, I might add.

What will come, will come…and I’ll ride the wave as I always do.