“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
“Winter is dead.”
A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young
We only had 5 full minutes of snow in the entire winter.
It snowed one Saturday morning while we were gathered around the little white table eating scrambled eggs and tiny biscuits with jam. The girls nearly knocked our giant dog over as they ran for coats and rain boots and charged outside before it finished. We watched from the window and drank coffee as they flew around the yard catching minuscule flakes in gloved hands.
And just as it began, it was over. They came back in with red faces and fell into their chairs to finish breakfast. Lucy took one bite, sighed and said– “Well. That was unexpected!” And that is precisely how winter was this year. Completely unexpected. Hats and scarves one day, sandals the next. Add to that the crazy coincidence that Lance and I both were able to visit South Africa during our winter and their summer and we are throughly, seasonally confused.
Spring is already dusting its yellow self all over the front porch, but before it arrives– Let’s share what we learned in winter.
I learned the word, Hygge– and what it is not.
Hygge, a Danish term which doesn’t have a direct English translation, but comes close to ‘cozy’ — is an over-all feeling of enjoyment of people rather than things; time together soaking up simple pleasures in a welcoming atmosphere. It is a gratefulness for the simple, rather than seeking to amass wealth and stuff. But if you search the #Hygge hashtag on Instagram you may think that in order to be Hygge, you need to take your little self to Target and stock up on cozy blankets, candles and socks. But it truly does not seem to be one more way for us to indulge in home and garden hedonism, but to enjoy what we already have. This book is on my to-read list though, because I find concepts like this fascinating– The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living. And yes, this will probably be one more thing that will make me want to give it ALL to Goodwill and start over with an Ikea bud vase and a small stack of books.
I tried HelloFresh and found a few fringe hours. While Lance was out of the country and I was home with the girls, I had my first HelloFresh delivery. For those few days, I found great value in having those meals planned for me. The box came with all of the ingredients, perfectly portioned and ready to go. The recipes were great and the time saving aspect was even better. We won’t do it all the time, but there are definite weeks where a meal service helps. Here’s $40- off your first delivery if you want to try it out.
South Africans are Polite.
I try not to be the annoying american that nationals roll their eyes at, really I do. But I am such a word-girl and I love to hear colloquialisms in other parts of the world. South Africans have many words that I wish we would adopt, many seem to have a strong British influence. Here are just a few I learned while there:
Shame. This an endearing term. It can mean anything from “oh, that is a shame!” “oh, how cute!”
Pavement Special. This is the affectionate term for a dog of mixed breed; a much sweeter term than mutt, isn’t it?
Just Now. Doesn’t actually mean “just now.” It can, or maybe it means in an hour… or even next week. Not even South Africans always know when “just now” is.
Braai. A Barbecue. As in, a meal consisting mostly of meat, cooked over a fire.
Lift. An elevator, definitely British influence on this one.
What I’m Watching:
Victoria. We’re not currently caught up, but it is a typical Masterpiece treasure. Jenna Coleman is lovely.
What I’m Reading:
North! Or Be Eaten. by Andrew Peterson (This is the second book in the Wingfeather Saga.)
Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham (this memoir style book is a gem for any creative or lover of Lorelai and Rory. And bonus! On the audiobook, Lauren reads it herself– which makes it even better.
The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia)
The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia, Lucy and I have been working through the Narnia series together in school, so fun. )
What I’m Cooking in the Blue House Kitchen:
Kale Caesar Salad similar to this.
Your turn! I am always happy to hear what you have recently learned. Send me a note or tell me here in the comments or find me on Instagram.
I’m linking up with Emily Freeman for What We Learned. Hop over here and see what others have learned.
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