Tag Archives: winter

Wintery Life Lately

I have just made a whole carafe of black cherry tea. For myself.

It has been a cold week and I can still hardly feel my toes!

(Frost on my windshield – how beautiful!)

I’ve settled back into life after a week in California visiting friends and family. That one snowless week definitely helped! We’ve gotten over 24″ of snow in the last two weeks!

This weekend was spent with my parents attempting other cold weather activities like jigsaw puzzles, board games, battling the lines at Trader Joe’s and, YES, finalizing our tile choices at The Tile Shop.

Friends and I have taken to mall-walking to get some exercise in. Too bad the malls have cupcakes. I think that definitely cancels out the exercise aspect. :p

There’s a lot to do, but nothing seems to get done (cougholympicscough), and that’s okay for now. I look forward to this time of year to stay at home and hunker down.

Hopefully next week I’ll be inspired to write some more posts 😛 I have lots of topics waiting to be covered!

How is winter treating you?

Cross Country Skiing in the Berkshires

Cross Country Skiing in the Berkshiresvia

The first of [February] was covered with snow
So was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston
The Berkshires seemed dream-like on account of that frosting
With ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to go.

While some parts of the U.S. are blooming with flowers and sunshine-y afternoons allow *gasp* a pair of sandals, it’s still snowy here in Boston.

As we celebrated the vernal equinox last week, it’s technically spring. But today I’m going to talk about snow and my new hobby – cross country skiing. I should post on this topic before we (finally) catch up to the rest of you!

The last few years I’ve wanted to buy cross country skis. I have no winter hobby, and one can only watch so many movies when the world is covered in snow for months at a time. Cross country skiing was going to be that hobby.

Cross Country Skiing in the Berkshires
This year we finally did it! We waited until the end of the season and snatched up all our gear at L.L. Bean for 50% off. If you’re lucky they might still have a pair. Plus, you will get ski passes for local trails with your purchase. All in all, the cost for everything was less than a one-time downhill lift ticket for just one of us!

We purchased Classic Touring skis. Classics have “fish scale” texture on the bottom of the ski for gripping. Touring skis are best for beginners and for use on groomed trails, as opposed to skate skiing, which is a motion similar to ice skating. Touring skis are a bit wider, therefore steadier.

You will want to get fitted for your skis and poles, as there are several varying factors like weight and height.

Cross Country Skiing in the Berkshires

Our first foray into our new hobby drove us out to the beautiful Berkshires a few days after a snowstorm (hence the James Taylor quote above). I’ve been driving through the Berkshires for nearly ten years now, but this summer when we went to a James Taylor concert at Tanglewood, was the first time we actually visited. It’s a beautiful area.

Canterbury Farms

Canterbury Farms of Becket, MA was our snowy destination.

“With 22 Kilometers of groomed and tracked ski trails, you will ski alongside beautiful brooks, beaver ponds, stone walls, lakes, fields and mountains where nature abounds. Our trails meander through old wood stands which gives you the feel of being in the wilderness.”

Sounds lovely, huh? As the say, a picture says a thousand words:

Cross Country Skiing in the Berkshires

The trails were well-groomed and very pretty.

Trails were easily marked, and you are well warned of difficult hills ahead if you want to stick to flatter trails.

We saw a few other skiers, but most of the time it was just us. As evidenced by the strong sun, we went in the late afternoon.

Cross Country Skiing in the Berkshires

Don’t Own Skis?

If you don’t own skis, they have all the equipment available for a day rental.

Canterbury Farms also has an inn and kitchen. Eat something hearty – XC skiing burns lots of calories!

What to Wear

Don’t be fooled into dressing for downhill skiing. Cross country is a WORKOUT and you will warm up right away. I was happy in leggings under thin waterproof exercise pants (falling happens to every snow-bunny), a fleece, sunglasses and my trusty felt earwarmers. I didn’t even wear gloves I was so warm from the workout.

I also wore a small backpack that held an unneeded scarf, my camera and a bottle of water (we definitely needed that!).

For a Weekend in the Berkshires

Next year we plan to rent a small cabin and make a weekend of it.

In that case, I’d also like to spend my time in the Berkshires exploring some of the following:

I can truly say I’m a bit sad to see the snow go – I want to go skiing again!!

Have you ever tried cross country skiing? What’s your winter hobby?

The Last Stillness of Winter

I’ve returned from Atlanta, and my trip was just peachy. (Too cheeky?)

Although I saw shamefully little of the city, I did experience a few new things: my first foray into Caribou Coffee meeting up with an old friend, I went to a restaurant with a ham bar and ordered grits, and survived the MARTA train system. Not exactly a deep cultural experience for my first time in the South, but I will be back there in a few months – so maybe I will have more to report on Georgia then.

Before I left we had a beautiful dusting of snow.

We’ve had quite a few lovely snows this year.

Now that March has officially begun, we’re starting to see glimpses of spring. A warm day here, sprouting buds there. While I’m sure we will continue to get a few more snowfalls, I’m trying to appreciate the last days of fleeting winter beauty.

While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I “like” winter, I have a deep appreciation for it. Having lived in the snow belt for my entire life, the calendar year seems incomplete without the season of frigid whiteness.

frosty morning view from bed

Maybe I do like winter. It gives me the excuse to sit inside and watch early 90s sitcoms while the roast from the slow cooker wafts throughout the house.

Maybe I like it because it covers up our disaster of a frozen, excavated yard for a few months of the year.

And how the reflective snow brings so much LIGHT into our home.

Soon it will be over. For now I will enjoy the stillness.

Scenes from a Boston Blizzard

Boston Blizzard

Every morning I drive to work past this pond right by our home.

The last month or two, every morning I spy a few crazies out there on the ice.

They are ice fishing!

It looks pretty miserable to me, but whatever floats your boat… or… whatever you use for ice fishing.

Whatever warms your Longjohns?

Okay, this analogy is dying a swift death.

DesignLively - Boston Blizzard

On Friday afternoon the blizzard that took New England by storm (*pun intended) arrived.

As soon as I woke up the next morning I peered out our bedroom window, and saw our cars buried beneath a thick, white blanket of snow.

DesignLively - Boston Blizzard

Fortunately we kept our power throughout the storm, and didn’t lose any tree branches! We haven’t had the best of luck in that area.

Before the storm we lined our driveway with these orange poles, so we would know where our driveway ended and the yard started – very important if you are plowing your driveway.

DesignLively - Boston Blizzard

Thankfully I’m married to Mister Prepared, and we had all the tools for a proper snow jailbreak.

Can you see our big marshmallow cars in the driveway?

DesignLively - Boston Blizzard

My favorite part about blizzards is hunkering down with some warm food and pajamas.

We started the day off right with a big, hot breakfast.

Including my Granna’s recipe for homemade scones and coffee!

DesignLively - Boston Blizzard

Anything to fuel the manpower to unearth our vehicles…

DesignLively - Boston Blizzard

I brought our yardstick downstairs to measure the snow.

We had a whopping 28″ in the front walkway!

DesignLively - Boston Blizzard

Everybody needs a good blizzard every once in a while!

I hope my New England friends are staying warm and dry!