Dreary November Cure

What it looks like around here, minus the elegant swan, unfortunately. (photo: barefoothippiegirl)

The end of beautiful fall has arrived and dreary fall has begun. There’s something about November that marks a totally new sort of season. Instead of brilliant blue skies, falling coloured leaves, and deliciously warm afternoons of outdoor play, we’re now into the cold, drizzling rain, the grey landscape, the stark leafless silhouettes of trees, dark against an iron sky. I know it’s partly the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy that we’re feeling with all this endless rain, but November usually is dull anyways. So that’s why I’m going to focus on all the awesome things I can do in November to spice it up and make it a memorable month.

Things I want to do with my kids:

Bake:
Baking in a divinely-scented kitchen as the rain pelts the glass outside is highly satisfying. I crave Starbucks-style sweets, like berry-studded coffee cakes, molasses cookies, and hearty date squares. It’s also time to bring out the old rice pudding recipe, though I inevitably eat the entire pot in one evening, which is quite despicable.

Read:
We make regular pilgrimages to the library, and now there’s more reason than ever to curl up on the couch with a warm blanket and work our way through the stack. Yesterday brought home several of Chris Van Allsburg’s amazing stories. The three-year-old sits motionless, riveted by the story, while I can barely get the baby to sit through “Pat the Bunny.” Not quite sure what I’m going to do about him, born into a family of book lovers!

Showing off his leaves

Walk:
As counterintuitive as it may sound, I take perverse enjoyment in walking in miserable weather. Not only does getting out of the house and being active make me feel good, it also makes the return to a cozy house feel that much more awesome. My uncle told me, “There’s no such thing has bad weather, only inadequate clothing.” It’s true. With rain boots, rain coats, and the baby in a backpack carrier with a plastic roof over top, we’re good to go.

Things to do for myself:

Entertain:
November is a good month to have people over because there’s nothing more pleasant than sitting around the table and enjoying a good meal while visiting. This month it’s our turn to host our dinner club, and there also are a number of new friends I’m looking forward to getting to know. I also would like to host a Christmas party, because last year with a newborn I was hardly up to the challenge.

Spa night:
I have this idea to invite some girls over for a homemade spa night, using regular kitchen ingredients to make scrubs, masks, and various treatments. Add a good romantic drama and a few pints of ice cream, and it sounds like a good time to me.

Christmas prep:
Like last year, I want to go the homemade gift route as much as possible, so that requires some advance planning. I need to finish knitting the scarf I started last year and begin my online research for what I can make. Usually I’m limited to knitting, baking, and compiling photo albums, which gets rather boring for my gift recipients, so hopefully this year I can shake up the routine a bit

Indulge:
Watching Downton Abbey Season 3 (I only have one episode under my belt so far and it’s as spectacular as ever), eating the aforementioned rice pudding that I love so much, enjoying more writing time, thanks to the recent return of an old child care provider to town (yay!), heading to Toronto for our last and final wedding of the year (no. 6 out of the 8 we we’ve been invited to in 2012), going on weekend dates with my man. I might even do some more interior painting, though that’s hardly an indulgence because I hate painting so much.

Looking at this list makes me not mind the grey dreariness outside, or the great “shivering freeze,” as my son poetically describes it whenever he climbs out from beneath his toasty duvet. November is going to be a good time, no matter how nasty the weather gets.

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2 thoughts on “Dreary November Cure

  1. Being from Seattle, I feel like an expert in gray! Some days, the sky and the water and the land all blend into one dull flat shade. But, I totally agree with the walking thing. One thing I love about fall and winter is walking the forest/beaches in Seattle’s parks and being the only one there – a contrast to the summer hoards. There’s nothing like a walk to perk up the day – no matter the weather. And, I’m totally jealous you get Downton Abbey already! We have to wait until January or February to get the new season. It’s torture!

    1. Well, maybe it’s wrong to confess this, but we just watch it online 🙂 I’m sure you could find it there, but maybe you’re enjoying the torturous wait, just as I did… It came out officially here in Sept but I’ve waited till this week to start watching!
      Seattle is gorgeous and I”m sure that beauty comes through at any time of year. I once visited during a gigantic snowstorm and we could barely leave the house for a week — not what I’d been expecting!

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