February – The Worst Month of the Year

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I’m sorry. I try not to discriminate against any one month, but I can’t help it. February is the worst. I wanted to call this “The Bleakest Month,” but I am pretty sure “bleakest” is not a word. I looked it up and found that “bleak” means “lacking in warmth, life, or kindliness; not hopeful or encouraging.” Well. . . yes. That is the perfect definition for February. And the synonyms! These can lead you down a black hole of despair: gloomy, cheerless, chill, comfortless, darkening, desolate, dire, disconsolate, dismal, dreary, elegiac, forlorn, funereal, glum, godforsaken, lonesome, lugubrious, morose, sepulchral, sullen, sunless, wretched! Feel better? Me neither.

I try not to hate February because it is the month of my Dear One’s birth. He’s a lovely Pisces with a kind heart and he deserves to have a happy birthday. But it’s a struggle to make fun happen in February — unless we use it as an opportunity to get away to someplace warm!

Why is February worse than any other winter month? December is loaded with exciting distractions and beautiful celebrations, of course. January is bearable and filled with the possibility of snow days. By February? Please! We are “over winter” and any charms it may have held before we froze our fingers off, shrugged in and out of coats every day, and grew tired of being in the house with one another! March, which barely introduces spring, usually treats us to a few warm days, a week off school, and (here in the Midwest) daffodils along the highway. We are so desperate for spring that we all rush to the zoo on the first day temps reach 50! Our banner picture for the spoon and the thimble was taken in March — on a hike — with NO COATS!

Some facts to read before this excruciating experience draws to a close. . .

February is the second month of the year in the Gregorian calendar and its predecessor, the Julian Calendar, and is the only month that has less than 30 days. It was named after the Latin word februum, which means purification because the month was a time for purification.

  • Middle English – Februarius
  • Latin name – Februarius mensis – Month of Februa
  • Latin – dies februatus – Day of Purification
  • Old English – Solmonath – mud month

History of February

The old Roman calendar considered winter a monthless period (sensible, truly), thus it only consisted of 10 months. The month of February was added, along with January around 700 BCE by Numa Pompilius so that the calendar would equal a standard lunar year of 355 days. February became the second month of the year around 450 BCE, although it was originally the last month of the year in the old Roman calendar.

February was shortened to either 23 or 24 days at certain intervals in the Roman calendar, in which a 27 day intercalary month was inserted after February to realign the year with the seasons. During the Julian calendar reform, the intercalary month was abolished and leap years were added every fourth year thus February gained a 29th day in leap years.

Second Month

February is the second month of the year in the Gregorian calendar and its predecessor, the Julian calendar, and consists of 28 days in common years and 29 days in leap years. It did not exist in the 10-month Roman calendar. It is considered the seasonal equivalent of August in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the only month that can pass without a single full moon.

February starts on the same day of the week as March and November in common years. During leap years, February starts on the same day of the week as August. Once every six years and twice every 11 years, the month of February will have only four full seven-day weeks, where the first day of the month starts on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday.

Let’s give ourselves a pat on the back for surviving another February.

Two more days, and we will be well on our way to spring! Yahoooooooo!

Four seasons in 40 seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmIFXIXQQ_E

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A POWERHOUSE lunch that tastes good too!

I always feel healthy after yoga and so for at least a good hour and a half I try to eat clean.  🙂  Today I decided to make a Kale and Quinoa salad.  This salad is filling, good for you and tastes great too. Kale and Quinoa Salad 1 Bunch of Kale (cleaned and de stemmed) 1 cup Quinoa (cooked and cooled) I used Gluten free 1/4 avocado 3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Organic) 2 T Fresh lemon juice 1 t Dijon mustard 1 garlic clove diced salt and pepper to taste Clean and de stem Kale.  Roll Kale leaves and chiffon chop them.  Place chopped kale and about 1/2 cup quinoa in a bowl. In a small bowl mix E.V.O.O., Dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Put about 1 T of the dressing on the kale and quinoa mixture.  Top with avocado and chow! I save the extra kale, quinoa, avocado and dressing in separate left over dishes.  I plan on eating this for lunch everyday this week. ENJOY!  Your body will thank you. quin 2

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice SNOW DAY Soup

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Finally! The first snow day of 2015. . . and the kids had the day off school anyway! Oh well, slows life down a bit and makes me want to snuggle under a blanket in front of the fireplace. Also makes me eat my way through hibernation and NEED this soup. I found the recipe on Lauren’s Latest and will link to her at bottom of post. In my house, this recipe must be doubled (or the last guy to the pot won’t get any!). Happy Hibernating!

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup onion, diced

4 ribs celery, chopped

4 large carrots, peeled and cubed

6 cups good quality chicken broth

3/4 lbs. chicken breasts, cubed

1-6 oz. box Uncle Ben’s Long Grain & Wild Rice

1 1/2 cups half and half

1/3 cup all purpose flour

plenty of salt and pepper

Directions:

In large pot, heat butter and olive oil. Saute onions, celery and carrots on medium low heat for 10 minutes to soften. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Pour in chicken broth and cubed raw chicken. Raise temperature to medium high heat to poach chicken in cooking liquid. Once chicken has cooked and become opaque, pour in rice and seasoning packet that came with the rice. Cover and reduce heat to simmer lightly for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. In small bowl, whisk cold half and half with flour until smooth. Pour into soup pot and reduce heat completely to low. Cook 10 minutes or until rice is softened completely and soup has thickened slightly. Taste and season accordingly. Serve hot.

http://www.laurenslatest.com/creamy-chicken-and-wild-rice-soup/