THE BLOG

Fun Ways To Spend Time When You're Snowed In

11/16/2015 02:19 EST | Updated 11/16/2016 05:12 EST
Oliver Rossi via Getty Images
A young woman is lying on a white couch reading a book. In the backround there is a fireplace.

It's mid-November and we still don't have snow in Saskatoon. I've been loving this nice long fall, but I'm also itching for winter to kick in.

I'm one of those bizarre souls who adores winter. To be honest, I could live without having to drive after freezing rain; and I could definitely live without those -45 degree Celsius windchill days (if you don't use the Celsius scale, -45 degrees Celsius just sort of converts to "really freakin' cold"). But, overall, I love snow and hoarfrost and bright blue skies. I would much rather shovel snow than mow the lawn. Seriously.

In addition to the outdoor beauty, I love the downtime winter provides. I get to catch up on my reading and Netflix. I might even throw in a craft project or two.

What are you looking forward to reading this winter? Browsing through Indigo's Best Books of 2015 and the Amazon Hot New Releases lists, I see I have some catching up to do, in addition to anticipating new releases.

On the catching-up side, I still want to get to Julie Murphy's highly lauded young adult novel, Dumplin', as well as Judy Blume's In the Unlikely Event. From the newer and upcoming releases, I'm leaning toward the kind of books that encourage you to be your baddest best self, like Amy Cuddy's Presence: Bringing your Boldest Self to your Biggest Challenges, and Shonda Rhimes' Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be your Own Person.

While I'm shopping for books, I'm sure I'll succumb to the temptation to pick up an adult colouring book or two -- never mind the fact that I already have one that doesn't have a single lick of colour in it (yet). But I will get to that once the snow flies. Perhaps a seasonal one, like Home for the Holidays: A Seasonal Hand-Crafted Adult Colouring Book, by Galadriel A. L. Thompson, will make it feel more wintry around here.

When I need a break from reading or olouring and the wind is howling outside my windows, Netflix will be standing by at the ready. Anxiously anticipating snow, I Googled a bit, turning up a list of shows coming to Canadian Netflix in November. I will give the British comedy Black Books a whirl. But other than that, nothing on the list of November releases really grabs me, so I asked friends for recommendations.

Many of the usual suspects turned up in their suggestions -- Mad Men, Downton Abbey, Dexter, Longmire, House of Cards and Grace and Frankie. Several people mentioned Orange is the New Black, and I sheepishly have to admit that I haven't watched that one at all yet. Perhaps it will snow soon, so that I can. (Mother Nature, are you listening?)

One of my friends told me that she is watching American Horror Story, which is available on American Netflix, but not on Canadian Netflix. This brings up that old debate about whether American Netflix is better than Canadian Netflix; and, whether it is unlawful or unethical to access another country's Netflix.

I've been a Canadian Netflix subscriber since 2010, and the service is indisputably better than when it first debuted, with a much wider array of titles (and a wider array of closed captioned titles). I'm generally happy with Canadian Netflix, but I was curious about how much of a hassle it is to access American Netflix when you are not in the USA. Turns out, it's not much of a hassle at all, legal and ethical considerations notwithstanding.

As much as I like lazing about in front of my fake fire with a cup a steaming tea in hand, I do like my projects, too -- especially the ones that allow my creative self to shine.

One thing I have long wanted to do is somehow capture my dogs' paw prints. I've often seen projects where you dip your dog's paw in paint and then press the paw onto a piece of paper. Given that I am single and would be doing this on my own, this seems like a recipe for disaster, with painted paw prints ending up everywhere in my house, and most likely on me as well. (My dogs are not *ahem* that well behaved.)

However, paw prints pressed into a dough- or cement-like substance (which is baked to preserve it) would likely be doable for us. I would also love to try making stencilled pillows. I think these could be great gifts, especially if meaningful song lyrics or inspirational quotes are used.

Not all my projects are of the creative kind, unfortunately. Winter is also a terrific time to clean closets, organize junk drawers, and just generally declutter. I've heard good things about Marie Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, and might use that as a springboard to my own decluttering sessions. I'm looking forward to letting stuff go, and freeing up that space and energy.

What are you looking forward to doing this winter? I would love to know. Let me know in the comments below.