winter is a good time for taking it easy and rejuvenating yourself and your life and it’s one of the needed cycles that we must go through to maintain balance and happiness in life, but i am sick and tired of the cloudy, snowy, cold weather.
give me birds singing and sun shining and plants growing.
i want to lay out on a big, warm rock and soak up the sun’s rays like a giant lizard without a care in the world.
i want to go on adventures and long drives without having to pack half an antarctic expedition’s worth of cold weather gear with me.
mostly, i just want to not be trapped indoors anymore.
i have faith that we’ll get there, most likely only in a few weeks’ time, but it’s the waiting that’s the hard part.
it’s fitting that there was snowfall last night, calm and quiet, with little wind to usher in the shortest day of the year.
many people, myself as well sometimes, don’t enjoy the snow or cold or bitterness that seems to trail after every thing and one this time of year, but the snow last night was a welcome one.
waking up to a pristine unbothered whiteness and a crisp chill was a reminder to take it easy and to take the time to slow down, dress warmly and go with intention into the new cycle.
on this shortest day of the year, i will be taking the time to reflect on the last 12 months and meditate on how i’d like to spend the next 12 upcoming.
we can leave the past behind us, but we do ourselves a great disservice if we fail to learn from both our triumphs and mistakes.
i would implore you to also make a moment to sit with yourself, to check in, and to take stock of what’s important to you. it’s okay if those things aren’t the same as they once were. people grow and change, and with that, their priorities.
may you find peace and happiness with your life, your self, and those around you in the coming year.
here in the midwest, this time of year is known as a lot of things but to some people, it’s known affectionately and unofficially as “soup season”.
soup is honestly one of my most loved meals. they’re just so comforting and hearty and really do warm the soul on cold, blustery days, especially if you’re able to have them with warm from the oven homemade bread.
for the challenge, i thought i’d share a recipe that’s near and dear to my heart. i have long since believed that my grandmother was magic and this recipe and the way it makes me feel does nothing to convince me otherwise.
Grammy’s Chicken Dumpling Soup
What you’ll need:
one(1) medium onion, diced for protection, remembering loved ones, breaking down barriers
three (3) large carrots, diced for prosperity, abundance, and wellbeing
three (3) stalks celery, diced
three (3) medium potatoes, diced to ground you and remind you to keep your feet firmly planted
two (2) cans chicken noodle soup one (1) carton chicken stock
one (1) tbsp thyme for protection
one (1) tbsp marjoram for good luck and happiness
one (1) tbsp sage for cleansing of negativity
two (2) bay leaves for health, luck, and joy
three (3) chicken bouillon cubes two (2) eggs two (2) cups flour one (1) cup milk salt and pepper to taste
and now, we cook.
start by melting some butter in the bottom of your soup kettle and adding the diced veggies and spices, cooking them until they’re slightly tender. once this is done, add in the chicken noodle soup, potatoes (not pictured bc we didn’t have any), and bouillon cubes and simmer until your heart says it’s enough.
from here, you’ll want to add the chicken stock and allow the flavors to continue to incorporate while you mix up the dumplings.
in a bowl, mix together the flour, eggs, milk, and a little salt and pepper. DO NOT OVER MIX.
bring your soup to a steady boil and heat the head of a tablespoon in the broth. once heated, scoop a bit of dumpling batter onto the spoon (again, measuring with your heart) and drop it into the broth, shaking the spoon a bit to dislodge.
continue to drop all dumplings into the broth until done and then cover and let simmer for twenty minutes. DO NOT REMOVE LID.
after twenty minutes, remove the lid and give the soup a good stir. ladle into soup bowls, tear of a chunk of bread and enjoy!
this soup is such a good way to end the day. it’s cozy, comforting, and most importantly, delicious. i always like to send up a little “hi grammy” as i tuck in. perhaps you can use this time to remember someone you care for who is no longer around as well!
i don’t think i’ve had a proper christmas since the year i stood in front of my mother, pleading with her that she get up off her chair and help me set up the christmas tree on christmas eve.
she never did.
she wouldn’t even look at me, asking if it was so wrong of her to want her children with her for christmas, like i wasn’t even there.
my brother had declined to come home, and somehow, my being home instead wasn’t good enough or even considered any sort of reason for festivities and yuletide fun at all.
she didn’t budge and my dad and i, dejected but trudging along because what else could we do?, made the best of it, just the two of us, putting up the tree and making dinner.
fast forward a few years and my parents are now divorced and i’m not a teenager begging for my mother to love me anymore, but seeing happy families with their perfect trees and their trauma-free yule time celebrations is just… really bittersweet.
i know it’s not the tree itself that’s important. the tree is inconsequential. nor is the fact that i don’t have any ornaments.
i don’t even know if i want a christmas tree and i’m actually feeling quite stupid for feeling so upset over such a dumb thing, but i told myself a while back that i would learn to sit and be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
i guess this is a part of that.
anyway, christmases may be hard, but i do try to remember that there are good things as well as bad and that bad things don’t last forever, even if the hurts tend to.
maybe tomorrow i’ll go out and pick out a tree and decorate it as ridiculously as i can with what i have on hand.
it holds a lot of meaning from my childhood, in that it means family coming together after months apart to celebrate life and each other and all the fun things we’ve done and accomplished since last we spoke.
it means that the days are getting shorter as we near the winter solstice, reminding us to take time to rest and relax and it’s okay if a task didn’t get done, it’s a problem for tomorrow.
it’s a reminder that with every cycle’s ending, there’s also a beginning and while sometimes we aren’t looking forward to it, change is a good thing and keeps us from becoming complacent.
i, myself, have been dealing with a lot of change during the last quarter of this year and not all of it has been good, but because of it, i feel like i’m stepping more into who i am and who i want to be, and that’s kind of the whole point, isn’t it?
this time of year is a reminder to slow down, enjoy some comforts, and open your mind to the idea of change so that when it happens?
you’re ready to receive whatever the universe has in store for you.
i know i am.
i hope you all have the very best time this yule season, with family, friends, and those you hold dear.