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Craving Spring

I have crazy Spring fever! New Hampshire takes forever to thaw out so I’m not inspired by the weather lately, it’s been a real downer. Perhaps in your part of the world you are already seeing signs of Spring but not here. Poor me. It has everything to do with my childhood because I grew up in low country South Carolina and find winters in New England particularly hard to deal with. I thought it would get better the longer I lived here but sadly it seems to get worse. Winters in New Hampshire begin beautifully, almost poetic… the first snow, fantastic snow angels are made, photos are taken of red barns with fresh glistening powder on rooftops. Then the snow turns to ice followed by (or along with) dark gray slush. Daily vacuuming and mopping is the norm. Hours or even days when the power is out or we cannot leave due to the ice rink that is our driveway. The farms that I love to shop, the ones with the finches and peonies and fresh produce, are closed for the season. Life takes a much needed pause at first, which is wonderful post holidays, but then the pause slips into a deep sleep, then a coma. I love New England but what’s a girl to do?

To lift the mood I have all sorts of tricks I play on myself in order to “deal” (yes, I just used air quotes), things that I have to practice regularly in order to avoid turning into a bitter lump of depression. I buy flowers weekly, mostly from stores like Trader Joe’s but occasionally I’ll order them from my florist friend who frequents the Boston flower markets and brings me the most delightful bunches at wholesale. Over the weekend I ordered flowers from Martha Stewart online because I had a coupon and felt like celebrating my new writing assignment. They’ll be delivered tomorrow so expect a few review of Martha’s flowers to follow on Wednesday!

To further inspire me, I sometimes hit local shops that energize like privately owned stores and of course J Crew and Anthropologie, which I hit this weekend because it just feels good to see Spring merchandise and displays. I hung out for an hour at Winston’s this weekend to enjoy the plants and flowers, though I cannot imagine paying $60 for a tiny bouquet of roses I still appreciate such a beautiful store and the gorgeous colors and fragrances there. It’s such an escape! A new CD also always helps, or I pull out some old tunes and make a new playlist on iTunes that energizes me. Hitting the gym also helps, something I’ve become more regular at thanks to the Creative Series I’m writing on Thursdays. I’ve been doing a lot writing, researching, and checking off tasks from my must do list so I do feel like this Winter has been very productive but goodness do I ever need a little sunshine, a walk on the beach, a few chirping birds! Until I can hop in the car with my camera and head to the shore, I’m enjoying a virtual Spring from pretty photos online that give me a little brain boost, from the blogs that I read to the websites that I find of professional photographers who work for some of my favorite magazines.

Speaking of, and in case you missed her link in my previous post, I thought I’d quickly highlight the work of photographer Debi Treloar. She gives me my virtual Spring today. I’ve mentioned her before but you really should visit her online portfolio for beautiful afternoon eye candy! Eye candy isn’t all about looking at something with desire or to simply feed the senses, it’s also a great way to escape and create an alternate reality for yourself that you can for just a moment pretend that exists in your own world like a warm sunny day, an outdoor party with friends, a fresh picked bouquet from the backyard.

When winter starts to weigh you down, what do you do to cope?

(photography by debi treloar)

Posted by decor8 in inspiration on February 23, 2009

Your comments...

  1. Taylor commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 3:47pm

    I’m in Beaufort, SC so you know how when the temp. drops below 70 it’s uncomfortable. We were lucky enough to have a 75 degree Christmas Day but as soon as Jan. came, I about froze!
    I crank my heating blanket on the bed up to High and fix some hot tea to warm me up quickly. I’m also guilty of cranking the heat up past 68 on some days to knock the chill off in the house.
    As soon as the temp. gets above 70, I open the doors. Luckily I’ve been able to do that a few times this year, already. Even on those days I begin to catch Spring Fever. I want to pull out my Spring/Summer clothes and put away the sweaters and jeans, but then I remember that tomorrow will be cold once again.

    Taylors last blog post: A Variation

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  2. Hilary at Tandem Antiques commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 3:49pm

    I so hear what you are saying! I am a North Carolina girl here in the wilds of (way) upstate NY. The countryside is beautiful and yes, the first touches of winter are lovely as well. But I am OVER IT at this point.

    My hubby (the yankee by birth) and I were just saying that we thought I would get better at it as the years passed, but that does not seem to be happening.

    So thank you for the lovely photos and thoughts. I think I’ll go put on a t-shirt, at least for a few minutes!

    Hilary

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  3. cdelphine commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 3:51pm

    I live in Maryland so I actually wish that I had more winter. I love snow and we don’t get enough of it here to satisfy me. Though, I have to admit, I can’t wait until the farmer’s market is back. I love fresh produce. So to cope with that, I made peach cobbler the other night with peaches that we canned last summer. *so good*

    cdelphines last blog post: shed

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  4. Melissa de la Fuente commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 3:56pm

    Such great ideas…and I hear you! Winter here in Jersey is equally as blah. It is sunny today though so, that helps! I love this photographer, her work is lovely and that one photo with the yellow dress makes me feel so happy!
    xo
    Melis

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  5. suzi commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 4:01pm

    Since I’m living in Sweden and it was snowing the other day, spring seems so far away. However it helps doing some “sunny” work, like creating with bright colors and taking walks when the sun is out playing. In a short while we’ll have forgotten all about the darkness that has surrounded us the last couple of months.

    suzis last blog post: Flickring art…

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  6. leaca commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 4:02pm

    I pull out old pictures from the spring and I crank up the tunes and go somewhere else…mentally.

    I can’t wait to see the review of the flowers. I also buy a lot of flowers this time of year. I have three vases full of flowers right now. They really help with the Alaska winters I have found.

    leacas last blog post: 7 questions–Zoogal (Darla)

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  7. Shanon commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 4:07pm

    When winter gets me down I do one of two things.
    I either embrace it and find the beauty in it, which is usually difficult, but can be rewarding. Sometimes it’s just easier to not fight the tide. So I light lots of candles, make soup, and look for simple things to photograph.
    OR
    I start drawing up plans for the garden. I look through plant catalogs and warm weather recipe cookbooks. I change out a lot my decor to lighter Spring fare, and put vases of flowers all through the house.

    Shanons last blog post: What catches my eye: Shophouse

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  8. Jeska commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 4:20pm

    so many pretty things, you inspired my post today, happy Monday to you Holly!

    Jeskas last blog post: Camping and caravanning

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  9. ||| laura frantz ||| commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 4:26pm

    Projects! Only projects make life in winter bearable. I just finished and blogged about my most recent room makeover. Now I have to hurry up and find something else to work on until this central New York winter finally ends sometime in May…

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  10. Melanie O commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 4:44pm

    I love the reference to the coma! I live in Wisconsin, so we can’t realistically think spring much before May! After the first couple winter thaws I start thinking about my gardens. I start planning the vegetable garden and look for ideas to get it started early (this year I might try a cloche – wish me luck!). I also think about what types of perennials to add to the flower gardens and how to plant containers. Awww, I just can’t wait!!

    Melanie Os last blog post: Five Weeks of Amy Butler – Bag Pattern & Fabric Giveaway!

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  11. Leslie commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 4:44pm

    Great ideas, the winter blaahhhs…….
    They almost always come back to visit at the end of the year as well as the beginning. I love to try to battle them with a cozy comfy wardrobe, soft and long sleeved lounge wear, a great book or indoor project this is the perfect time to finish up, & always a great new smelling lotion or creme for those dry skin days!
    A cup of tea never hurt either!
    lamaisonfou blog

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  12. Ana commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 4:56pm

    I relish the rainy days of Northern California, because I can sit home all day and read without an inner voice saying “get outside and enjoy the day!”

    Anas last blog post: Oscar Fashion Faves

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  13. Ester commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 4:59pm

    Nice pictures Holly!

    I already had a little spring exactly 2 weeks ago. I was for 3 weeks in North Germany (Hamburg) and for one week we had a real spring. All the flower shops sold already the spring flowers, I took a long walks and I enjoyed soooo much these beautiful flowers. I was so inspired with them that I needed to photodocument it on my blog. I also bought some of them for our table in the kitchen. Flowers can really bring spring to our homes!
    Other idea: use yellow colour as much as possible, for example yellow frames on the wall, yellow blanket or just draw something in yellow. Sunny mood is guaranteed!

    Esters last blog post: Happy Valentine´s Day!

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  14. Jane commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 5:04pm

    Ooh, I had a glimpse of Spring just this last week. The pale, low sun was shining so I opened up the doors and windows, changed the bedlinen and actually hung some washing on the line. As much as I love Winter, I found myself breathing in the scent of our washing that had been blowing on the line, and had to admit – it smelt good. xx

    Janes last blog post: My Space

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  15. Gisele commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 5:26pm

    Debi’s work is amazing, beautiful to illustrate your post :)

    Giseles last blog post: Birdie Presents: Gregory Crewdson

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  16. Elissa commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 5:30pm

    I’ve been feeling the same way. This time of year I usually start thinking about what I want to plant in my garden. The thing is, this year I’m at a new place and I don’t yet know what I have. I keep going outside to see if anything is showing signs of life. Last week there were some snowdrops, but only a few. I keep hoping to see something more.

    Elissas last blog post: Itchin’ for Spring

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  17. Lea commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 5:34pm

    I actually love winter and get a little sad when signs of spring appear (especially since winter and autumn seem to be getting shorter over here in Sacramento, CA). To cope with that, I visit Lake Tahoe or leave the heater off so the apartment doesn’t get toasty.

    Yin and Yang, eh?

    Leas last blog post: cute, cheap oufit

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  18. tracy commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 5:38pm

    When winter comes and it gets gloomy (admittadly, it is rare in So. California) – I give myself the freedom to light a fire in the fireplace (candles work, too!) for a little extra light, get into the most comfortable clothes (PJ’s work!) and big socks. I will curl up with an overdue book, magazines or Blogs for a good hour in the morning. A few days later, and if it is still gloomy, I will go to my linen closet and get the most floral, spring-y table cloth and napkins and set the table as if it were spring outside. Why wait!?

    tracys last blog post: Its cookie season!

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  19. Cassandra commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 6:10pm

    I’m in NH too, and I’m coping with winter decently only because I have an incredibly sunny and warm apartment. I’ve already been attempting to take my bike out on days where it’s not snowing and 30+ degrees, but it’s still cold and sort of awful.

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  20. cassandra commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 6:23pm

    we’ve had a rare bout of nonstop sunshine in the past week in seattle, and today…. back to grey & rain. *sigh*. just when i thought spring was around the corner. fresh flowers always help me perk up too! and maybe a little spring cleaning… just to keep things fresh around the house.

    cassandras last blog post: Portraits of Love

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  21. decor8 commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 6:38pm

    Thanks everyone. I love reading your tips, so many helpful ideas. The more I look at Debi’s work the more I feel a very bright light, a positive flow of energy, a feeling of warmth, new beginnings. Spring appears in my mind. As I wrote this post originally with only one paragraph about Debi, I felt inclined to add the feelings that accompanied my experience of looking through her portfolio. I’m glad that you enjoyed it.

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  22. Allison commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 6:44pm

    I get tired of winter in February too because I know I still have all of March and half of April before it really feels like Spring here in Montreal. I usually buy myself flowers regularly and go visit the greenhouses at the botanical gardens. The warm humidity, the butterflies, and the fresh smells of things growing is really a boost. I also try to get out in the sun whenever I can to replenish that precious vitamin D.

    Allisons last blog post: A Milestone

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  23. molly commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 6:45pm

    Thanks for the inspiration, Holly! This has felt like the longest winter here in New England, I’m so ready for spring and in need of lovely warm days.

    Winston’s is a great place to go to feel like spring… I was sent flowers from them once about 8 years ago, and will always remember how gorgeous they were (and they were delivered by a white-gloved delivery man!).

    mollys last blog post: A lovely little diversion

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  24. Katie Stephenson commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 6:56pm

    I’m also a big proponent of the fresh flowers. Whenever anyone tells me they are blue and sick of winter I tell them to take a trip to their favorite florist for a sweet pick-me-up. My latest love is buying $6 bouquets from Trader Joe’s which aren’t the most lovely–then making them into a few posies to put around the house. I also buy T.J.’s flowering bulbs like Hyacinth that smell wonderful and last a little longer than the cut flowers. Here’s an image of one of my current posies–above the kitchen sink http://tinyurl.com/cd3gvh

    Katie Stephensons last blog post: Save Gocco Campaign Update

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  25. Andi-A commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 7:40pm

    Gosh here in Oklahoma the weather changes dramatically everyday. This is apparently a great source of pride as we can become so animated and alive discussing the lamest small talk ever, dont even mention tornadoes unless the person is from Tulsa then your safe. As far as winter goes I was actually hoping for a little more, why? so I can finish wearing all my sweaters and layered outfits. As someone who is not a size 10 or below colder weather affords me the chance to look more like I put in some effort and not just covering my body parts due to the law and all. Also since I work nontraditionally I don’t always get to join the public every day.
    We were in the 40′s yesterday and high 60′s today. This goes on all the time and it’s exhausting many of the slim and fit set have taken to just wearing athletic shorts all the time or flannel pj pants, seriously.
    So as much as I love a pretty flower give me a consistent fall and winter where I know bug colonies have been killed and I can complete my wardrobe without sweating and looking overdressed. Love fall and winter and I actually hide from the mags with all the pictures of bikini’s, smiling kids finding eggs, and spring clean how tos.

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  26. bo commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 9:22pm

    i moved to chicago last month after having lived in los angeles my entire life, only to be hit by one of the coldest winters in recent years. i fluctuate between wonder and awe at the starkness of the winter, and feeling cooped up inside. it helps that a real winter is a novelty for me, that i’m in a great city, and am newly married. i bought a fern last week, and like you, try to keep fresh flowers in the house. they really make a difference. as cold as it is, i try to go out regularly. i also enrolled in a photography class at a local city college. having a new hobby helps.

    bos last blog post: chi town’s k-town

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  27. GoodApple commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 9:34pm

    my hubby and i went for a winter hike this weekend and as we waltzed down the trails i imagined doing the same thing in the summer. i tried to imagine everything…what flowers would be in bloom, the wind in my hair, the excitement that comes with summer warmth, what cute summery clothes i would be wearing, how our puppy running ahead would get little sticky green briars in his fur, and how after our hike i’d want a swim and ice cream instead of a hot shower and coffee :)

    GoodApples last blog post: A Hoppy Pair II

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  28. Betty Parker commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 10:10pm

    I hink everyone is yearning for Spring. I always try and capture pictures of my first blooms every Spring. It helps to look at those during the cold of winter. I resolved to only have pictures from MY garden on my website.
    Please take a look! Thanks!

    Betty Parkers last blog post: Mardi Gras Magic

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  29. min hus commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 10:25pm

    Lots of hot tea, fresh flowers, and since I miss my garden, I winter sow. (www.wintersown.org). It give me a chance to play in the dirt which helps.

    I also get outside anyway when it’s not absolutely freezing and I try to air out the house for a little while on the weekends if it’s above 40 or so.

    min huss last blog post: The Living Room Fan Search Is Over. Maybe.

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  30. lindsay commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 10:26pm

    I grew up in Tennessee and now live in Michigan. When I start hating the cold and snow, I think back to the times as a kid when I would have done ANYTHING to have 10 inches of snow. So me and the girls go outside, make short videos, and send them to our cousins who still live in Tennessee.

    Here’s a video link of a snow luge we made in our backyard last month..it provided weeks of entertainment for our whole neighborhood! We served hot chocolate, spanish coffees, and roasted nuts. It was a blast. :)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindsaybrackeen/3228150059/

    lindsays last blog post: Earthy…

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  31. Alicia commented
    February 23rd, 2009 at 10:27pm

    Your post really touched me as it completely captured the winter blues I get here in Edmonton. I escape from that deep blanket of snow and cold by perusing yours and other’s sites for inspiration and ideas to create a warm home to dwell in…and today is the reason why… your thoughts and the beautiful pictures accompanying them were perfect! Sublime.

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  32. Marilyn from Ohio commented
    February 24th, 2009 at 12:13am

    Holly,
    I love winter and the changing seasons of living in the north, having grown up in Michigan.
    Coffee shops and bakeries are made for winter months. Walking our golden retriever Mack on ice crusted snow across our farm field is a joy as he gallops like a race horse.
    Quiet moments in rooms soft with color and snuggling under quilts on a big old metal framed bed.
    Doing dishes and looking out our big kitchen window to the trees in the woods beyond and their graceful limbs.
    I would not trade this season for any global warming!

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  33. Mary Chatman commented
    February 24th, 2009 at 2:29am

    You are soooo right! So that’s what’s wrong/right with me!! I have spring fever! I’m in Suwanee, Georgia a burb outside of Atlanta. The weather here is up and down, it’s good overall not to cold right now but I can’t wait for my tulips, the dogwoods and azaleas to bloom! They make me smile and feel inspired. I’m like Marilyn originally from Ohio, I miss the change of seasons too! Here it never gets really cold and it really never snows, except when it snows for 10 minutes and it’s gone in 5 minutes!

    Mary Chatmans last blog post: Flower Power!!!!….

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  34. Jacqueline commented
    February 24th, 2009 at 3:33am

    Oh such lovely photos and thoughts! Is summer all year long here in Malaysia…but i do enjoy reading this post alot!
    Thank you for sharing! have a lovely merry happy day. Love to you and yours!

    Jacquelines last blog post: I heart you…

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  35. juliette commented
    February 24th, 2009 at 3:59am

    loving the images – thanks for sharing your finds!

    we’re combating the wishing-for-spring blues with forced bulbs all around the house. They’re fun and springy and are in cute containers!

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  36. Shelagh commented
    February 24th, 2009 at 7:25am

    This entry certainly resonated with a lot of people:) Here in Nova Scotia, Spring won’t arrive for a while. I do take joy in the fact that the days are starting to get brighter and longer:) I like to buy potted bulbs and have an early indoor Spring. All of the suggestions everyone has made are great coping tools. That is what we have to do isn’t it:) Make it through these last few weeks before the thaw:)
    CHeers, Shelagh

    Shelaghs last blog post: Sylvester

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  37. Allison commented
    February 24th, 2009 at 10:27am

    Believe it or not, the spring crocuses have come out just today here in Northern Germany. As you very well know, having lived here, the irregularity of sunny and bright days does leave one with a longing for warm weather. We did take a quick trip in January into the sun for a week, which pretty much did the trick to push aside the winter blues. I always work with very vibrant fabrics, so just a quick peek at them throughout the day does wonders for me.

    Allisons last blog post: Spring Is In The Air

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  38. Marisa and Creative Thursday commented
    February 24th, 2009 at 11:02am

    please come to Los Angeles where the sun is shining and the birds are singing!

    Marisa and Creative Thursdays last blog post: May Victory be Yours

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  39. JTay commented
    February 24th, 2009 at 11:59am

    Ugh. Here in Saskatchewan (Canada) it’s -18 (C) and it’s snowing. This is exactly the kind of now that would have enchanted me before Christmas — thick and fluffy. But now it makes me want to hurl. Or go outside with a blowdryer and melt as much of it as I can.

    But, neither of those are very good (or safe) options. So here’s some tips from a Weary Canadian:

    -Last week I went and got a major haircut and style. My hairdresser informed me it’s called teh “February Frumpies” and everyone’s doing it. If you can’t change the weather, you can change your look!

    -Get outside as much as possible. Whenever the sun shines, embrace it by going for a walk. Or try to do winter activities like skating, sledding, snowshoeing, skiing and appreciate winter for what it is. The fresh air and excercise are vital for mental health.

    -Buy some new winter clothes — a sweater, a coat, some cozy socks. It’s all on clearance now, and it might even make you hope winter stays around a few more weeks so you can wear you new stuff!

    -Justine

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  40. JTay commented
    February 24th, 2009 at 11:59am

    *That should say “Snow”, not “now” (line 2)

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  41. kbd commented
    February 24th, 2009 at 3:42pm

    So glad to see I am not alone… I grew up in South Africa and now live in Boston. I spent the Christmas holidays there (where it was summer) and have found coming back to the cold particularly hard. I have no ideas, but just wanted to say thanks for sharing, it has made me feel less burdened by the winter and I will definitely be trying out your ideas… and spring will be here soon!

    kbds last blog post: Putting Pieces Back Together Again

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  42. 3Winteriver commented
    February 25th, 2009 at 2:15pm

    People- you can make it! The light is getting unbelieveable and the sky is absolutely opening up! The sap has started, the owls are owling, and if you look you will see witchhazel in bloom- in new england!
    Here are my tips- I am a life long new englander.
    Sauna- build one,find a friend with one, or join a spa. Min 2 per month
    Dress like you live in Montreal or Quebec- Great stylish clothes- no reliance on poly-pro
    Silk long underwear in many colors
    sno shoe and x country ski- now it is time to start hiking up something once per month
    Read to much
    Leave in mud season for at least 7 days

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  43. pixie commented
    February 25th, 2009 at 5:23pm

    I find that I’m extremely affected by light, so I open the blinds and pull back the curtains to get as much sunshine as possible in the short hours it’s out here. Also, about this time, I start going through the stored spring and summer clothes and ironing. Seriously, it’s quite a boost to think that *soon* I’ll be wearing them and I’ve always thought that ironing is theraputic for me…I have no idea why. And yes, my friends think the ironing thing is crazy. lol

    pixies last blog post: And at last…

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