It feels like it’s been years since we had an actual winter. It usually just feels like “oh this is a cold week.” We grilled & sat outside for Christmas two years ago. When we bought our first house, we loaded up on salt, knowing that we were responsible for keeping our sidewalk clear, and several years later, the plastic bags are still unopened in a tupperware container that moved with us to the new house. If it snows again we might have to actually open a bag, but there’s been very little moisture so almost none of it has turned to ice. The last time I remember snow actually sticking around (in any quantity) was a few months before I met my wife, back in 2008, when she was still in school and had a snow day on her birthday (which is in March).
The picture was taken in our front yard after I got done shoveling the sidewalk, with what little feeling was left in my fingers. I didn’t check how cold it was before heading out, but it was a short task so I just finished it versus heading back in to change. The weather definitely has me craving soup now. After coming back in, I took a peek at the recipes to try to decide which one we’re having tonight, and I realized that I forgot an ingredient on our shopping list (it’s kind of a main one so I don’t want to just skip it), so the decision was made. Tonight’s dinner will be Hot and Sour Shiitake Mushroom Soup (sorry Chris, I know mushrooms aren’t your favorite). Making the broth yesterday had our whole house smelling wonderful, and I hope the smell lingers as much tonight. The kitchen is right next to our main air intake, so it’s pretty easy for us to spread smells throughout our house (we just have to be a little mindful about being careful not to burn popcorn and the frequency of making seafood). We keep an incense burner near it just in case (or in the case of an extreme diaper change).
Date night was one of the cheaper ones in recent memory (if you ignore the part where we bought Christmas gifts for my family, which we host this weekend since they’re always scattered for the holiday itself). We specifically picked a restaurant that has Wednesday specials, and then instead of ordering drinks there, we bought a cheap bottle of liquor at a grocery store to open at home, since cheap ones run roughly the same price as getting two cocktails at a restaurant by the time you add tip, and it lasts a lot longer. It also gives us an excuse to use our copper mugs that we got for Christmas.
Cheaper dates & meal planning are steps towards being more financially responsible. We need to get our credit cards paid off. It should be easy since the holidays are basically over, but it will still probably take at least a year. When the weather warms up it’ll also be easier to start going to parks or on walks for our dates, and we won’t feel like we have to always eat out when we actually leave the house. Walking will also help us hit our step goals, which in turn makes our health insurance cheaper, and frees up more income for paying stuff off (plus, you know, I hear being healthy has benefits too). Once the credit cards are paid off, we’ll actually start seeing a difference in bills from moving, but right now our monthly totals run about the same as the old house.