Lovely Things

This week winter arrived in earnest. The temperatures dropped down to the single digits and the wind blew right down to the bones. It is gray. It is cold. It is January. I’ve always found this time of year challenging no matter where I happened to live. News from Pennsylvania tells of a foot of snow over night. Texas, while somewhat milder, turns a depressing shade of grayish brown and doesn’t have benefit/charm of snow. Kentucky is cold and wet. Indiana? A combination of all three states mixed together with no clear result.

It is tempting in during these January days to crawl under a blanket with a box of cookies and hibernate until spring. Too specific? I can’t say I haven’t entertained the idea… Thin mints? However, there are still students to teach, poems to write, books to read, and beauty to find even in these relentless days of mid winter. With that in mind, I give you a list of things that allowed me to push through one of many gray days:

Photo courtesy of Random House.

Jhumpa Lahiri’s newest novel is to be released September 2013. I have read everything Lahiri is written and I love her. My friend, Natalie, gave me her first novel The Namesake when I was in graduate school and from then on, I was hooked. I use stories from her collection Interpreter of Maladies in my creative writing classes and I recommended her second collection, Unaccustomed Earth, to my mother (she loved it). Her prose is beautiful and lyrical and when I had the opportunity to her her speak at AWP several years ago, I hung on her every word. If you have not read her books, you are missing out on a gem.

This video comes to courtesy of my sister, Ashley of Apathetic Herbivore and HiFi Hilarity fame. If this doesn’t make you smile, you may not have a heart. Sorry.



I was feeling kind of “blah” today when I left work but I went to hot yoga anyway. I did the routine. I sweated profusely. I also spent a fair amount of time in child’s pose (see picture to the right). And you know what? I left feeling lighter. I didn’t even mind the freezing air hitting my sweaty skin as I walked out to my car.

Thanks, Mom!

This is my Aphrodite Amaryllis that my mother gave me for Christmas. Gorgeous, right? It opened this week and it makes my day to walk in and see beautiful flowers when there is nothing but bare ground outside.

Fleece blanket courtesy of Janeane Pike.

 Warm blankets and tea? Could there be any better way to battle the cold? I think not.

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