Oregon Hygge

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Hygge is that trendy Danish word that fathomaway describes as the art of creating intimacy: a sense of comradeship, conviviality, and contentment rolled into one. We’ve been snowed in recently, but aren’t snow days one of life’s delicious bonuses?

{Before any further rhapsodies, let me acknowledge we don’t have sick family members, stock (countryspeak for animals; think ‘livestock’), emergencies to respond to, or young children going bonkers.}

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Fresh herbs (this is mint) are an affordable splurge.

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My sister-in-law crochets these in small moments. They are a benediction.

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Mid-century house, old cabinets.
Curt and I worked together installing pull-out shelves.
Out with stale, in with organization.

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One of the most hygge activities we do is to  listen together to Harry Potter.
We’re in year five;  Harry is our tidy-up-after-dinner soundtrack.
And then we sit down and listen the way most people watch television.
I cut out stuff from catalogs to put into the small blank spots in my journal.

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The timing couldn’t have been more fortuitous!
A friend gave me a box of Blue Apron meals. (Thank you, Dana!)
We have everything  needed for a restaurant quality meal.
I supplied salt and pepper. Yum!

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The smell of bread baking in the oven has to be hygge!

dsc_0971One way we keep warm.

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Abacus gallery sells poster calendars with artwork by Dana Heacock.

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This is more OCD than hygge, but I’m indexing my journals.

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Candles seem a big piece of hygge. My husband is allergic to the scents.  I roast garlic each time I turn the oven on. The fragrance wafts through the house.

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Hygge.

Rethinking Winter

photo credit: National Audubon Society

photo credit: National Audubon Society

Ought not
WINTER
in allegorical designs,
rather be represented by
such things that might suggest HOPE
than convey a cold and grim despair?
the withered leaf, the snowflake,
the hedge-bill that cuts and destroys—
Why these?
Why not rather the dear larks for one?
The lark, the bird of the light is there
in the bitter short days.
Put the lark then for winter,
a sign of HOPE,
a certainty of
summer.

…the bud is alive in its sheath;
the green corn under the snow;
the lark twitters as he passes.
Now these to me are the allegory of winter.

— from Out of Doors in February
by Richard Jefferies

Destinations

Some days (often Tuesdays) the web is wonderful.  I can’t keep these to myself.

~ I’ve already linked once to Nancy Wilson’s post on January attitudes.  It’s worth a second look.

~ I received a trial (print) subscription to Books and Culture.  I knew I would never get any “real stuff” (read cleaning, cooking, dusting, teaching) done if I received this oversized periodical on books regularly.  Instead I get the free newsletter which comes on Tuesdays and is manageable. 

~  Today’s Book and Culture newsletter has N.D. Wilson’s article about the debate between atheist Christopher Hitchens and Christian pastor Douglas Wilson. 

Cindy had a sidelink to a reading schedule for Calvin’s Institutes.  My dear friend Lisa and I have been talking about doing this together for a while.  Lisa moved last year and is still unpacking boxes of books.  Start digging, Lisa, before we get too far behind!

~ We are moving towards a more liturgical approach to the calendar.  We’ve been celebrating Advent for a few years; today we’re celebrating Epiphany.  We’ve kept our decorations up (that involves a changing of the mind) and our lights on.  I am encouraged by Kristen at This Classical Life who writes:

When Yuletide ends there is a mixture of sadness and joy, the sadness of knowing that every day cannot be a holiday, but the joy of knowing that each season brings newness and fresh delights.

I really like the words Yuletide and Eastertide.

~ The end of the Christmas season is called Little Christmas in Ireland.  The men take over all the household chores and the women go out to restaurants and pubs.  Hmmmmm.

~ A friend on Facebook recommended The Book of Ebenezer Le Page for those interested in Guernsey after having read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  Her quote from Ebenezer will make you want to get the book today.  

Meanwhile it snows.  My husband went to work yesterday at 4:00 a.m. and shoveled snow for ten hours (not his normal duty).  He came home, ate dinner and went to bed at 5:30 p.m.  One trip to see our Seattle grandson has been canceled due to snow; it is quite possible our plans this week may go the way of the snowplow.  I have pictures of Noah, but it’s not the same as cuddling him myself. 

The monochromatic landscape is beautiful and achingly quiet.  Yesterday my neighbor took me to her back window.  There were 100 birds on her apple tree having a feeding frenzy.  Some birds looked drunk.

I have new and old books to read, pots of tea to drink, real work to do (gasp!), and food in the freezer.  We’re hunkering down.  Life is an adventure!       

The Old Year Now Away Is Fled


Sung to the tune of Greensleeves, author unknown

The old year now away is fled, the new year now is entered;
Then let us now our sins downtread, and joyfully all appear.
Merry be the holiday, and let us run with sport and play,
Hang sorrow, cast care away, God send you a Happy New Year!

And now with New Year’s gifts each friend unto each other they do send;
God grant we may our lives amend, and that the truth may appear.
Like the snake cast off your skin of evil thoughts and wicked sin,
To amend this new year begin, God send us a Merry New Year!