“I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood.”

When I woke up, it was cloudy and dark. Now the sky is blue and the sun has returned for the first time in days, but it is mostly light and a bit of show. The early morning, even with the sun, was so cold my car windshield had frost for the first time this year.

Last night was the coldest night since March. Gracie got under the spread and stayed there all night which is unusual. Most times she starts to pant from the warmth and uncovers herself again. Right now she is napping, exhausted from barking outside at nothing and from playing fetch down the hall. She is finally back to her chipper self. I was a bit worried.

Today we’re going to the dump then we’ll Christmas shop along 6A. Gracie will be my co-pilot. Once the cold weather arrives, she gets to wait in the car, not something we can do in summer. She always keeps an eye out the closest window for my return.

One of the guest room beds is filled with boxes and bags, all Christmas presents. When something arrives, I just put it upstairs without marking anything down so I need to check and make a list of what I have for whom. Naughty or nice doesn’t count. I do love to Christmas shop, to find just the perfect gift. I never last-minute shop. All year-long I put gifts into my Christmas box. Over time I have learned to buy it when I see a perfect gift no matter the time of year as it might not be there the next time.

The gold finches have taken root at the feeders. They stayed around last winter, and it looks as if they’ll be here again. I did notice a few other sorts of birds in and out, but most take a seed and fly to a branch to eat it. The finches just hang around. A woodpecker stopped at the suet feeder. It stayed a while. I noticed the thistle feeders need to be filled, but I’ill wait for a warmer day.

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8 Comments on ““I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    It was the opposite here today, grey and boring but we did get some snow during the night and some of it stayed all day.. I worked a few hours so I didn’t mind that much. They say we might get sunshine tomorrow though and a bit colder than it was today.

    It’s a good idea to buy what ever You think is a good present at any time of the year, just imagine how relaxed people would be if more did like that. But I guess they think that something better will turn up and when it doesn’t they stress like insane when it is almost too late 🙂

    The colder weather is on its way so it is time to start feeding both birds and deers. I’ve started to protect some plants with nets so the deers won’t eat them up during winter 🙂 So far they have behaved but most of the old timers are gone now and the new ones might not be that polite 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      Take away the snow, and you ave our weather since Wednesday. We had rain for 2 days then dark, brooding clouds. We, on the other hand, have warmer days coming.

      It’s true. By the time Christmas comes I have gifts for most everyone. All that is left is small things I give every year like soap, toothbrushes and ornaments. Today I got the second to the last gift I needed. Only one of my sisters is left.

      The rabbits are the only animals around here which eat plants, and I never see any in winter. I thin it’s a great idea to feed the deer to keep them away from your plants.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Sunny and cold up here today.
    Rocky woke up feeling il. He didn’t want to move. I carried him outside and he just stood there hunched up and shivering so I brought him back in. When I decided to feed Piki Dog, Rocky showed some interest so I rugged them up and took them out for a walk. He was much perkier and did all his business easily enough. He demanded food when we returned so I fed him. He seems okay now. It’s a mystery.

    I have not started Christmas shopping yet. Everyone gets Amazon gift cards because that’s what they want. Easy enough. I still have cards to choose and send out, That’s not so easily done but I have to do it very soon.

    Enjoy the evening.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      It was the same weather here today. I went shopping and enjoyed the sun.

      Gracie had been not feeling good for a few days. She was gulping a lot, threw up once, had a grumbling stomach and been picky about food. Today she was back to herself. I think she ate something that didn’t agree with her, but like Rocky, it’s a mystery.

      I have my cards and even my stamps. I’m getting two gift cards for my sister to finish her off, but it is my other sister who is always trouble. She is really the only one left to get gifts for.

      Have a great Saturday night!

  3. flyboybob Says:

    Today was gorgeous with high temperatures near 80 with clear skies. There was some wind blowing around the leaves that turned golden last week. As I returned home from Toronto Tuesday evening I could see the beautiful foliage as we approached the DFW airport. We don’t have the forests that you have in New England but our the fall foliage looked good.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      We didn’t even hot 80˚ much last summer let alone this time of year.

      The foliage in new England is beautiful and the leaves turn at different times in different places. Here we don’t have the major changes as we don’t have a variety of trees because of the salt air.

  4. Morpfy Says:

    Slow Cooker Guinness Stew Recipe

    Prep time: 20 minutesCook time: 4 hours, 30 minutesYield: Serves 6-8.
    These instructions are for making the stew in a slow cooker. If you don’t have a slow cooker and would prefer to make the stew in the oven, cook everything in a large Dutch oven. After you add the liquid, bring it to a simmer on the stovetop then put it, tightly covered, in a 225°F oven for 6 hours (or a 300°F oven for 4 hours).
    Note that different people have different sensitivities to bitter flavors. If Guinness Stout tastes bitter to you, then the stew will taste bitter as well. If it doesn’t taste bitter to you, the stew should not taste bitter.
    The recipe calls for young turnips which are much milder and sweeter than older large turnips which can be bitter. If you don’t have access to young turnips, you can sub with more carrots and parsnips.
    Ingredients
    2 Tbsp butter
    2 pounds (900 g) well marbled chuck beef roast, cut into 2-inch pieces
    Salt
    2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
    2 celery stalks, chopped
    2 Tbsp tomato paste
    1 pint (16 ounces, 475 ml) Guinness extra stout (make sure you use extra stout and not draught)
    3 cups (700 ml) beef broth
    2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
    3-4 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
    1/2 pound (280 g) young turnips, peeled and cut into chunks
    2 teaspoons dried thyme
    Salt
    4 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)
    Method
    slow-cooker-guinness-stew-1 slow-cooker-guinness-stew-2
    1 Heat the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Brown the beef in the butter, starting with the fattiest pieces of meat, fat side down in the pan. This will allow some beef fat to render out. Work in batches as to not crowd the pan. Sprinkle salt over the beef as it browns. Once browned on all sides, transfer the beef pieces into the slow cooker.
    slow-cooker-guinness-stew-3
    2 Add the onions and celery to the pan in which you just browned the beef. Sauté the onions and celery until they begin to brown at the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and mix well. Cook for a minute or two, then add a little of the Guinness, enough to make it easier for you to scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Transfer the celery and onions into the slow cooker.
    slow-cooker-guinness-stew-4 slow-cooker-guinness-stew-5
    3 Add the rest of the Guinness, the beef broth, carrots, parsnips, turnips, and thyme to the slow cooker. Add two teaspoons of salt. Cover and cook on “high” for 4 hours, or “low” for 8 hours. When done, add more salt to taste. If you want, sprinkle with fresh parsley to serve.

    • katry Says:

      Thanks, morpfy

      I have copied the recipe for my file. It s the perfect timing with winter coming. A stew is a great winter’s night dinner.


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