Posted in Christmas, Family life, Writing

Rethinking the calendar

Over 15″ of snow fell on my driveway this weekend, and I’m not counting the drifts. This would have been welcome and fun in December, but in April, not so much.  We barely had snow in December, the month when we sing songs celebrating the joy of snow. Something is wrong.

I blame our collective attachment to the Georgian calendar, the one predominately used today. The Georgian calendar has been kicking around since the 1580s.  Prior to that, the Roman Calendar provided dating in Western Civilizations. That problematic calendar had only 10 months and was about 60 days too short for Earth’s journey around the Sun. Adapting a new calendar is not out of the realm of historical possibility.

Change is tough and I suspect song writing is too. But something is not matching up. Those lazy hazy days of Summer are not likely to roll around until September.  We need a new system with different names. Now, I’m not a scientific expert, and I really like the handy way of remembering how many days are in each month by counting on the knuckles, so I’ll keep the dates the same, but the months get new names. Any holidays deeply tied to a specific month will move to appropriate “new” month.  Also – this is a bit North-hemisphere -entric. My brain is too cold to fully think through all the consequences, that’s because my foolish brain still associates April with Spring.

February becomes “Newano.” By starting the calendar on the old Feb first, we will better align with the traditional Chinese New Year.

March becomes “Midwinter.” I would suggest moving Groundhog’s day to Midwinter, but some of us are ready to choke the little rodent so maybe not.

April becomes “Stillwinter.” St. Patrick’s day brightens up the snow with a bit of much longed for greenery.

May becomes “Frostend.” You can begin to put out garden plants, but chances are high your crocus will end up covered in snow.

June becomes “Junette.” It’s a light name befitting long hours of sunshine and springlike warmth against your skin.

July stays July.

August becomes “Highsummer.” The temperatures soar during this peak summer month.

September becomes “Lingersommer.” The long summer has become stale. Parents are counting the days until back to school.

October becomes “Threeano.” The month has been misnamed so long, why break with tradition. School starts.

November becomes “Plantend.” Harvest the last of your tomatoes before Halloween night.

December becomes “Monthopause.” The calendar year is transitioning. The linguistic gymnastics burn an extra calorie or two so you don’t need to feel guilty about that extra slice of pie on Thanksgiving.

January becomes “December.” Just because I’m reinventing the calendar, I don’t have to throw away all our mental associations with December. Let’s keep the last month the same, except with more snow and a more realistic expectation of how long we have to wait until spring.


Posted in Family life, Photography

Redefining Thigh Gap

The magazine and modeling world exist to sell products and ideas. Last week, they sold plenty of people on the idea of full-frontal Kim Kardashian. Hopefully by now, most mere mortals are aware that those stunning images of amazingly human beings are often less than real.  The one that gets me is “thigh gap.”

For the uninitiated, the illusion of thigh gap, prevalent in oh so many ads geared toward tweens, teens and young adults, dictates  that the inner thighs of a female must not touch.  Perhaps this exists on a few people naturally, but in most cases, thigh gap is created through the magic of Photoshop. One classic bad example comes from a Target ad.

I propose a new definition of Thigh Gap.  The idea came to me while walking the kids to the bus stop this morning. They were appropriately dressed for the zero degree temps in snow pants and coats. I was not. Sure I had my coat, and layered long socks under my jeans, but I neglected the snow pants for the five-minute trip.  Only one layer of cloth protected two inches of my thighs from the elements and, let me tell you, wind whips through jeans.

I hereby suggest Thigh Gap be redefined as the awkward distance between ones under and outer layers. Although this type of thigh gap will be harder to Photoshop, but should be avoided.

What do you think? How would you redefine Thigh Gap?

Posted in Crimson Romance, First Friday Five, Food, Lists, Reading, Winter Fairy

5 Winter Boredom Busters

Cold enough for you? If you’re in North America, chances are high you’re a little tired of winter at this point.  Maybe my “First Friday Five” this month will help.

5) Snow shoe.  If you don’t own a pair of snow shoes (and I didn’t until about two weeks ago), bundle up until you can’t move your arms and take a nature hike.  Chances are a little sunshine and fresh air will do you good.

4) Bake something with cinnamon. Your home will smell warm and cozy. Snickerdoodles anyone?  Or try this recipe from Fleishmann’s Yeast for a One Dish Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake (click for the link). It’s one of my favorites.

3) Do a puzzle.  If you have a cat, you will enjoy a bonus game of hide and seek since the cat will need to sit in the middle of the puzzle before sneaking off with pieces adhered to paws.

2) Crank up  the heat, play beach music and have a limbo contest in your living room. Bonus points for bare feet.

1) Read a book.  If you’ve already read my book, Winter Fairy, then let yourself be transported to a tropical destination. I recommend Hawaii, the setting for Robyn Neeley’s Destination Wedding and Sarah Madison’s The Boys of Summer.

If you haven’t read Winter Fairy, February 2014 is a great time to pick up your copy.  Winter Fairy by Lola Karns is one of many Crimson Romance titles on sale at Amazon for $1.99 all month long.  Winterfairycover