The mid-winter doldrums

The middle of January, when the dark, cold days seem to stretch endlessly ahead, is exactly what I think of as “the doldrums” of the year.

But apparently doldrums is defined as a spirit of listlessness or despondency, which may not exactly hold true for me right now.

Okay, maybe the despondency. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But listless I have not been.

In fact, since the new year began I feel like work and several sparse commitments have consumed nearly all my waking hours.

I’m again having employee challenges, which mean extra long hours each day.

Not that you asked, but if you did, I’d offer this piece of employment advice. If you simply stop coming to work without even a phone call, it is not a good way to leave a job. Your employer will worry, then become angry, and ultimately it leaves things on bad terms. Enough said.

I have a new and hopefully more responsible employee starting out, so I think things will even out soon. Somehow they always do.

Moving on from work, I do have a quick recipe I want to share.

{Shock and awe}

I know, I know — I haven’t shared a recipe in ages.

After Christmas I had all these leftover cans of pumpkin I didn’t quite get around to baking with. I thought about doing the healthy blogger thing and adding them to oatmeal or something, but then I had a much better idea.

I call it “breakfast extraordinaire” and I think it’s pretty filling and healthy. I loosely based it on this no crust pumpkin pie recipe that mostly has no instructions. It’s got eggs and nuts for protein, plus milk for calcium and more protein. And… I think pumpkin is even a vegetable. ๐Ÿ˜‰

First I beat the eggs and then added in the milk and pumpkin. Next I sort of dumped the rest of the ingredients in. I used a combo of fresh nutmeg, plus cloves, cinnamon and ginger I had in my cupboard. I also lessened the sugar to 3/4 cup. And during the last 10 minutes or so of baking I added some chopped pecans I’d drizzled with butter.

Warm or cold, a big slice of this filled me up in the morning. For the few days it lasted until it was gone.


Running Tales

It’s been a challenge to get my running in with the ice, dark, and negative temperatures of January, but this weekend I got something I think will help out my running volume.



She’s kind of old school with no bells and whistles, but Vision is supposed to be a solid brand that will run a long time.

For $125 I’m willing to find out. I’m mostly thankful my husband was able to get a friend to help load and unload this heavy machine!

A treadmill still isn’t my favorite way to run, but empty and dark roads in the cold winter just aren’t safe at all hours of the day. Plus, I think it’s the best way to do speed work in the winter.

If you have a treadmill, how do you care for it? Anything special I should be cleaning the belt with? Is there anyway to stop the little electric shocks I keep getting when I touch the buttons?

Happy January 15th to all. We’re halfway through the coldest month of the year here in Minnesota. It’s a balmy 15* out, which is far better than the -7 of last night. ๐Ÿ™‚

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
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12 Responses to The mid-winter doldrums

  1. Terzah says:

    I’m jealous you got a treadmill! I should probably keep my eye on Craig’s List for prices like that. I might be able to convince my husband if it were under $200. And I don’t try many recipes (not very motivated that way), but I love pumpkin and that looks really tasty.

    • Lisa says:

      Definitely keep an eye out; Craigslist is where I found this one. I watched awhile because most in this price range seem to be the type that sell new for $399 at Walmart. This is an older model, but new I think it lists for about $1500. I couldn’t find much for reliable treadmill reviews, so I looked up Runner’s World recommendations. Vision was a brand that made the list, so I hope that counts for something. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck in your search!

  2. jena says:

    Congrats on your {new to you} treadmill! I don’t use mine that often these days, but I like have the option of being able to go down stairs & get some cardio in when I want.

    I am NOT jealous of your extreme cold, but I am slightly jealous of people with cooler weather. I enjoy cooler weather, and it is anything but cool here right now. I did enjoy the beach on Sunday, but COME ON already…it’s January!

    So sorry to hear you are struggling with employee issues – isn’t it crazy? The economy is bad, jobs are sparse, yet people don’t show up to work..

  3. I’m not a fan of treadmill running, but I do have a Nordic Track brand one that I bought from Sears several years ago. It’s been a great machine, even though I’ve done zero maintenance on it.

    I’ve seen kits at Sports Authority and Dicks’ Sporting Goods for cleaning the belt for around $14. I haven’t tried one yet, but keep meaning to. I’m sure there is WAY too much cat hair stuck in there…

    Congrats on your treadmill purchase and good luck with the new employee!

  4. Kathy says:

    Glad you found a treadmill so that you can keep up your running! It’s been cold here (for Denver) for the past couple of weeks so I was very happy that it warmed up today!

    That’d be so frustrating to have employees just stop coming. Hope this new one works out better!

  5. Katie says:

    Congrats on finding one! The treadmills at my gym shock me sometimes too. I don’t know what it is- but I found if you just tap it randomly during your run it keeps the shocks from being really big when you accidentally hit it. Maybe it’s not grounded right?

    I am also a fan of speedwork on the treadmill!

  6. Heidi Nicole says:

    Yay for the treadmill! Definitely a nice thing to have in the midwest in the winter! I do not miss that at all. We had a week or so of freezing temps and it made my very grateful for our 50ish that came back yesterday! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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