Amy Artisan

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Beating back the Bleak

For this Tuesday…how to make winter less bleak. Knock on a wood-like surface, winter around here this year hasn’t been nearly as bleak as last winter. In fact on Sunday evening, a local newscast mentioned that this time last year PENNDOT had used 4 times as much salt as they have so far this season. While the snow has been less than last year, we have definitely had quite a few gray days and soggy days here – so there is some bleakness.

In the bleak midwinter...

In the bleak midwinter…

So, a hodge podge of simple things that seem to keep the bleak at bay around here.

  1. Lighting a candle in the evening – the glow & scent of citrus candles easily takes me to warmer days on the calendar.
  2. Snacking on citrus. Now is the time to enjoy peel & eat mandarins (which honestly seem not as good as past years). It’s time to make my Sunshine Citrus Salad again, too.
  3. Starting to plan summer vacation fun…looking at the summer months and fun times with family & friends on the horizon…family camp in NY…graduation & birthdays in WI…and more…
  4. Even though toes are hidden in thick socks, bright colored pedicures bring some cheer.
  5. Using the Shutterfly Storybook app to get back into personal scrapbooking…remembering bright bright days and good memories as I create pages (an evolution from January scrapbooking weekends to escape winter)
  6. Wearing the hand knits – without a doubt, this is the season when being a knitter is the best.
  7. Accessorizing the work wardrobe with travel memories…the scarves I picked up from Liberty in London last year; a scarf from Assisi in 2011; my cameo from Italy in 2005; fun necklaces from visits with my girlies in TX…bringing a bit of travel into the office…
  8. Meyer Lemons – the smell of one takes me back to my Grandma’s house in Southern California
  9. Wrapping up in my Wisconsin Wanderings afghan – keeping warm in the living room while remembering happy days
  10. Keeping on top of groceries and having basics on hand so when bad weather comes through, I can easily choose to “hunker down” through the weather.

Connecting up with Carole’s 10 on Tuesday prompts.

How do you battle the bleak during these winter days?


  1. What an amazing blanket!!!

  2. Yay! I love wearing my colorful handknit socks inside my boots on cold winter days. I haven’t knit any socks in recent years, but I’m very motivated to finish the pair that I’m working on now so I can wear them!
    Yum yum yum — loving the oranges right now! I can’t wait for blood oranges to come into season. They always seem auspicious to me.

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