A very warm welcome to Friday’s weekly blessing list, hosted by my long-time blog friend, Susanne, at Living To Tell The Story.
My post is late this week – the days after the Christmas season always feel a little unsettled for me. It takes a few weeks to get back into a routine. But it’s happening. So that’s # 1 on my list this week.
1. Beginning to feel rested and settled after a wonderful, but tiring, Christmas/New Year/Birthday/Anniversary season. (We could have planned that a little better, don’t you think?? 🙂 Winter is a lovely, quiet time here – a time of hearth and home, as a neighbour of mine phrased it. More time for reading around the woodstove in the evenings (always with a good hot cup of tea!) or a little early morning birdwatching.
2. Winter is also a great time to start something new which leads me to my second favourite ~ I’m taking an art class taught by Susan Christensen. Our first assignment was to choose a photograph to paint. Here’s mine.
I chose this scene because it I thought it would be easier to draw, as it’s primarily lines. That was before I understood about “tone” – oh my! Lots of tone variations in this picture. Believe me, I’m on a steep learning curve in this art class. But I’m enjoying it 🙂
3. Winter is a fun time to experiment with some new recipes. So I was really pleased when my sister gave me a subscription to Fine Cooking for Christmas. It’s a lovely magazine filled with easy recipes and great cooking tips.
Tonight I’m trying a recipe for a healthier version of Shepherd’s Pie – made with sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
4. Post Christmas always seems to be the time to focus on exercise again. I can’t do hard aerobic exercise because of my heart problem. And I know myself well – if exercise isn’t “fun”, I won’t do it consistently. Swimming is fun for me and I love to do it. But winter swimming means a pool and the nearest is 30 minutes away. Leslie Sansone and I go a long way back, but I find it a little boring to walk in place. I’ll do it, but I have to make myself. However, I’ve discovered a new exercise. I’ve been doing it since Christmas and I love it! I actually look forward to it. What is it, you may be asking?
A weighted hula hoop! John and Kathleen gave it to me for Christmas. It’s taken me a few weeks ( and a few bruises) but I can keep it going now for 10 minutes. I never could hula hoop when I was a child, but I studied the technique on youtube and I practiced – and I’m getting better each week. When you do it properly, it’s a subtle, low-impact movement but very effective to tighten abs. But most of all, it’s fun. And I like that!
5. Winter is a great time to practice photography too. It’s challenging – especially nature photography. Your fingers get cold and you don’t have the variety of subjects you find in the other seasons. But that can work in your favour. The landscape is less distracting, light and shadow are more striking on snow and a rosy sunset sky is especially stunning against winter’s muted palette.
And then there’s snowflake photography! Jill is leading the way for me.
It’s a lovely sunny day, so I hope to get some more practice in this afternoon.
That’s my five favourites for this week. Hope you enjoyed them!
Thanks so much for dropping in for a visit.