Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ten on Tuesday: Things To Do Inside

...When It's Too Cold To Go Outside.  Playing along with Carole again on Tuesday! Let me preface my list with this story.

In November 2004 or 2005 I went camping with P and my friend Shannon in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.  Projected temperatures were low.  But we had good sleeping bags and we brought lots of layers. Sadly, our tent was crap. As in, Target-bought summer-weight, non-insulated, and I think we even lost the rain-cap for it.  That night the temps dipped to about 14 degrees before the wind-chill.  With the 30-mile per hour winds the wind-chill factor brought the temperature down to the negatives. It was freakin' cold.  In the morning our bags and tent were covered in ice crystals from our breath condensing and freezing on every surface.  P braved the winds and scorched us some Pop Tarts for breakfast.  Then we got up and went for a 7-mile round-trip hike to see the Supernova Pictograph.  By then the temps were in the low 20s, but the windchill factor was still in play because of howling winds. But the New Mexico sun was up and when we found places sheltered from the wind we could bask in the sun like lizards.

Cold is relative after all. Some Floridians I have known have been just about crippled when the needle dips to 31 degrees. I have also known some Minnesotans to wear shorts and sandals when it is the same temperature. (Both lived in my freshman dorm.)

For me, it is really slush, sleet, or the ever-popular "Wintery Mix" that keeps me inside.  I hate to be both cold AND wet. Blech.

So, Ten Things to Do Inside When It's Too Cold To Go Outside

1. Create a nest on the living room couch, start a Thin Man marathon and knit.

2. Make soup! (See last Tuesday's post)

3. Re-organize the stash. Seeing all the lovely colors in my stash makes me realize that the seasons will change again. And that I am perhaps half squirrel.

4. Work on my Rigid Heddle Loom - weaving goes so fast, and it is fun to experiment. I am still working on some color studies.

5. Jigsaw puzzles by the fire. My favorite are the 1,000+ pieces. But make sure it is colorful!

6. Plan a vacation.  Ok, so my top two places I want to go right now are Iceland and Norway, not exactly warm-weather getaways, but it is the fantasy of the trip that is more important.

7. Design your own hat to knit.  The extra brain power required is warming.

8. Workout at home.  Sometimes I just can't get warm on super cold and damp days.  Using the treadmill, the Wii, or even doing a good intensity yoga workout warms me up.

9. Give yourself a full manicure/pedicure.  Don't skimp on this - break out your luxury moisturizer, your most fantastic smelling skin scrub and your favorite nail polish.  I have been known to put a rhinestone on my toe every once in a while, just for the added (and secret) pleasure.

10. Make an apple crisp.  There is nothing better than a home that smells of baking apples!

And heck, here is my mom's recipe:

Apple Crisp

5 cups peeled & sliced granny smith apples or other baking apples

1/2 cup flour (I now use 1/4 whole wheat, 1/4 all purpose)
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 Tbs butter at room temperature

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Places apples in a greased 8 x 8" glass baking dish.

Combine flour, oatmeal, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut in the butter with two knives, or use your fingers.  Topping should get lumpy - about the size of peas. Sprinkle mixture over the top of the apples before baking.

Bake for 30 minutes (I usually need to do 45 minutes) or until tender and topping is golden brown.

I have started experimenting with this recipe - adding other dried fruit, cutting down on the sugar a bit, etc. I think next time I am going to add some ground Chipotle.


  1. Oh, I've really been wanting to plan a vacation, too! Great list, Meg!

  2. Ugh, I wish I had this problem. It's a muggy, hot, cedary, and mosquito-ridden January day in Texas. I truly hate the weather here.

    Great list. For Austin, I'd change it thusly:
    10 things to do when it's too HOT to go outside:
    Crank up the AC and refer to Meg's list.

    Thanks for the recipe- might have to make that this week after the "cold" front hits. (Oooh- highs in the 50s! Whatever shall we do?)

    Speaking of which, you still interested in coming down for a mid-winter thaw?

    1. Oh Jenny, I feel so bad for you! You are a New Mexico girl, and should have crisp mornings and pinon scented cold nights! Yes, I want to come down to Austin. I will give you a call this week!

  3. The apple crisp sounds divine.

    I really want to visit Iceland too. They have these wonderful thermal springs that are apparently really warm and just beautiful - my dad went about ten years ago on a stopover from the US to the UK and I've been dying to go ever since. Plus, I used to be a Germanic Studies major - I love the Vikings and their history :)