On snow and slowing down + pancakes

I love a good snow storm.Snowday Pancakes

I love waking to the quiet, sounds muffled by the blanket of white, even the rumble-scrape-clank of the plow quieted.

I love staying in my pjs late into the morning, savoring my coffee, standing at the counter mixing pancakes, listening to sausage sizzle on the stove.

I love too that my kids can get themselves into snowsuits, hats, boots, mittens with maybe just a little help with the zipper and get out the door to make snowmen and snow forts while I sip a little more coffee, read another chapter of my book.

I love getting out for the clearing, the roar of snowblowers up and down the street, talking with neighbors, the way people help others.

I love my girls’ excitement sledding, though bump that they mostly ignore jolts through me.

I love rosy cheeks coming back in for cocoa and snuggling back into pjs in front of the fire.

We had a snow storm yesterday that didn’t live up to the hype, but it slowed us down. Maybe that’s what I like best about a good snow storm, that slow down, winter’s permission to skip our regular routines and hunker in.

Today, we’re back to normal, almost. School starts late for my big girl, which means school is cancelled for the little one. Maybe they’ll sleep in. Maybe we’ll snuggle and read in front of the fire or they’ll practice their magic or work on a project. Maybe they’ll zip themselves up and get out into the snow long before it’s time to look for the bus. In any case, we have a little extra time today, not the full day stretching ahead of us like yesterday, but two hours to play with before we jump back in to school and work and errands.


That extra time on snow days always leads me to a special breakfast—pancakes or waffles, something I wouldn’t do on regular school day. This was our treat from yesterday, using the Fannie Farmer griddlecake recipe as a starting point and using the tiny bit of cider that was hiding in the back of the fridge. Butterfly pancakes would have been a treat too.

Snow Day Spiced Cider Pancakes

1 cup milk
½ cup cider
2 Tbsp butter melted
1 egg
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
½ tsp salt

  1. Melt the butter in a small bowl (I use a four cup liquid measurer). Add the egg, milk, and cider and mix.
  2. In a larger bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  3. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir just enough to combine.
  4. Heat and grease your griddle. Drop batter by the spoonful on the hot griddle. When the tops begin to dimple, flip them to brown the other side.


So I love a good storm. What do you love?
Tell me in the comments—and sign up for Write What You Love, it’s fun and free and starts February 11.

Dreaming & Downtime Instead of To Dos

The garden is covered in snow and a sheet of ice. Stonework, fencing, the plants I didn’t cut back the only things showing where it should be. Garden books and seedwinter dreams catalogs are stacked by my chair. It’s time to dream

I dream of green:
Lettuce and spinach

I wonder how my garlic, planted in the fall, is doing. I imagine where the tomatoes will go. I contemplate new beds for fresh strawberry plants.

My garden sleeps, and I dream. 

This time of year, I read about new projects, new things to grow, new ways to grow it. I choose seeds. I just dream of warm days, moist earth, and green growth. And I wait.

This dormant time, this slow down, this dream time matters. The garden needs it. We do too. I tend to forget this. I need to turn off the computer and get outside for a walk (that one’s been tough lately). I find new energy as I move slowly through yoga again and go to bed earlier. I soak in hot baths and am mesmerized by the fire.

It looks like doing nothing, but a lot is happening. Resting, gathering energy, letting things move within you that are too busy when you are busy busy busy gogogo. Take time to daydream. Let yourself rest and go quiet like the garden does. Let your energy gather for more growth.

Take a walk, in woods or by water if you can. Mediate or do some yoga. Shut off your computer and tablet and phone. Let go of your list. Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea or wine. Sip. Contemplate.

Then if you want, doodle, draw, or write in a journal.

For your journal

Try one of these prompts or words:

I dream of

  • Write the word or phrase at the top of the page and create a list or freewrite starting from it.
  • Write it in the middle of the page. Circle it and add other words and ideas branching off it.
  • Write it in the middle of the page and spiral your thoughts outward.

Be dreamy, be open. Don’t edit or censor. Just write and see what comes out.

 What are you dreaming of these days?