Cold, Getting Colder

I’ll just put on a sweater, thanks.

As I type this, the sky has darkened, the wind has picked up, and it looks like a fine time to brew tea and grab a blanket. Of late, I’ve been gathering little strands of LED lights, candles, and anything else that shimmers or glows so I can scatter points of light around the house. This morning, in the four-degree air, we walked our dog and inhaled that sharp, cold air that wakes us up like nothing else, noticed frost on shingles, windshields, asphalt, the last of the leaves. The dog, all bundled up in her tiny version of a puffer jacket, seemed okay with trotting along on that frozen ground.

I have never wanted to live in a climate that didn’t have these cold, clear mornings. Sound seems to carry further in this frigid atmosphere, while steam lingers low over buildings. There is a special quality to the November sunlight as it struggles up over the horizon at the same time as the almost-full moon slips away. Birds flock around our bird feeders and crabapple tree in a frenzy. When we get back inside after our walk, we huddle around the stove, waiting for the water to heat for our morning coffee.

It all feels perfect.

Will I ever be a “snowbird”? Will I ever want to move to a place that doesn’t so starkly demonstrate the life cycle, with beauty shown in naked trees and icy sheen as much as it is in full-blooming flowers and lapping warm water? I don’t think so.

Dead flower or exploding sun?

The dog’s still here.

Last week, I wrote about my mini-dachshund Truffles and her incessant coughing. Since then, she’s had a visit to the Veterinary Medical Center’s emergency room at the University of Minnesota – at around 2:30 one morning in the middle of last week when we couldn’t stand listening to her struggle and cough anymore. Her trachea shows “evidence of cervical tracheal collapse” (ripped right from the printout we got when we took Truffles home). The general consensus is that she has dynamic airway disease. Tracheal collapse makes her cough.

We aren’t quite sure what’s next. In the meantime, she’s getting antibiotics for a suspected underlying illness that triggered the excessive coughing, and we have a new cough suppressant for overnight so we can all sleep. The first one we got didn’t work. It took almost a week to figure all this out, so by the time we got an effective cough suppressant, we were exhausted.

Sleep is a beautiful thing. So is a quiet, happy dog, and a helpful veterinary staff.

Truffles in a quiet moment

A new look – again.

I’ve been struggling with how this blog looks for the past few months, trying to find a simple, clean theme that doesn’t make me tear my hair out when I try to customize it. This one feels about right. We’ll see how it goes. Let me know what you think in a comment.


  1. I knew something was different. But, until you mentioned it I couldn’t have told you it was a new format. So… it is clean and crisp. I think a nice background photo for your Title Header would make it pop a bit or a calm background color. Just my opinion and I have been struggling with changing my format too, but it will stay the same as I can’t make anything work like I want it to work. Better to work with what I know than someone new.

    That is sad about your dog. Glad you finally figured out what is happening, and got some sleep.

    I miss the change of seasons. You are lucky to have them and mild weather is not all it is cracked up to be. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m thinking about that header photo, too – still learning the variations for this theme. The last one just didn’t play well with me (or I didn’t play well with it is more like it) and I finally had it yesterday when I was writing today’s post. More tweaks to come.

      As for the seasons, yes, I would miss them terribly if I moved somewhere more moderate. I think this climate has shaped me so deeply and sunk into my bones in such a way that leaving it would feel like losing a limb.

      Truffles is currently snoozing. She puffs her cheeks out when she’s coughing, sounds a little like a cold car trying to start.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Best wishes with your new theme. Courageous you are. I totally understand your feelings on the seasons, it is why I come back to MN several times a year to experience what I miss. Although getting my ears frost bitten was not something I miss!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m thankful to hear Truffles has a diagnosis and treatment plan and that all of you are getting more sleep.

    As far as the look, I agree with Paula on the header photo. But the rest, I like the look. Now, how about you come and help me update my site? I haven’t a clue and will continue with what I know.

    on the weather, I like your idea of weaving pops of light into your home. I need to do that as I struggle in these cold and dark days. I much prefer warmer weather.

    BTW, I just commented on your new post (in case the comment has once again gone missing).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If I lived somewhere too warm, I wouldn’t want to knit! Then what would I do with my alpaca yarn?
    Although when it gets to 30 below here, I don’t think even qiviut yarn would keep me warm.
    Hang in there, Truffles! Merlin sends his sympathies.

    Liked by 1 person

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