Avoiding Cabin Fever

I’ve mentioned before how cabin fever sets in quickly for me. We have a very cold (I haven’t heard anyone trot out the now-infamous “polar vortex” terminology, but it’s that cold again) week, with very little by way of direct sunlight. I’m not sure what we’re going to do to avoid my rapid-onset cabin fever. Perhaps some variation of the weekend.

We didn’t do anything extravagant, beyond making excuses to eat Polish food. But if you’ve had good Polish food, you’ll understand that even though it takes an hour in the car to get there, it doesn’t take a strong excuse to pull us away from home. This time, we tacked shopping for Petey onto the to-do list, and headed north.

I’m not sure why Traverse City doesn’t have a specialty pet shop. It has a PetSmart, but you’d think that there’d be a shop here with hand-dyed organic fiber dog clothes and vegan treats. Or something. But we had to go to Petoskey for such a treasure. And yes, I’m making fun of a place that I’m grateful exists. Because we got Petey a winter coat at PetSmart, and I’ve already had to use fabric glue to hold it together, and he only uses it on tame leash-walks. So. New coat from the very nice folks (seriously, the owner fed Petey a treat that he was holding between his teeth!) at a snooty pet shop – check 🙂

Being that the food and coat were the sole items on outhe long walkr agenda, we aimed back home after a brief walk about town. On our way, we stopped at the north end of Torch Lake to check out the ice – plenty of it, but it’s not frozen over yet. And since there’s that whole cabin fever thing, we drove across the street the other way to check out the beach at the end of Traverse Bay road.

The plowed portion of the road ended abruptly and the rest was passable only for foot traffic and snowmobiles. We hitched up our pants and decided to give Petey’s new threads a spin. Half a mile later and we were at the beach. Or “beach,” since the shore is a chain of ice mountains and ice volcanoes, and even the occasional iceberg. But, I am happy to report, this beach – a rock hound’s dream – boasted some exposed stones, including a few petoskeys.


It also boasted an inordinate number of crawfish parts along with a dead bird or so tossed in for variety. Petey couldn’t care less about the blue exoskeletons, but he was mesmerized by the gull remains – which we of course wouldn’t let him explore. He probably thought I was far too into the little crabby things. Fair’s fair.

The sun knifed its way through a split in the clouds, adding some drama to an otherwise flat landscape. And though it was brief, it was a pleasant reminder that the sun is still up there, behind all those snow-making clouds.

Traverse Bay winter beach panorama

Yesterday was a similar story. We lazed around the house until after lunch, and then made the trek into Traverse City for groceries and a dinner date with a friend. We padded along the icy pier at Clinch Marina, again grateful for a sun that we never actually saw.
Clinch Marina - Traverse City

Clinch Marina - Traverse City-2

Isn’t it interesting that even in the winter the beach can be so restorative? We didn’t spend much time at the water’s edge, but felt refreshed for having visited. And doesn’t Petey look dashing digging in his new coat? 😉

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14 thoughts on “Avoiding Cabin Fever

  1. But of course he looks very stylish indeed, does Gentleman Petey 🙂

    It is isn’t it? Restorative I mean…the beach, just like the Sun even when it’s hidden behind the snow clouds. The pictures are amazing as always 🙂 My favourites are the little blue claws of the crayfish…pretty pops of colour on the snow…I know they’re dead and all…but still!

    I totally approve of your way of combatting cabin fever 😉

    • Thank goodness someone approves 😉 Of course Petey does. And Tony’s usually fully on board, but I do sometimes feel like I’m making him leave a cozy house 🙂
      I know they were dead and gone, but I was so excited about the crayfish (crawfish? crawdads?). Yep – I definitely need more sun! In the meantime, I expect bubbles to happen 😉

      • Oooh!! More bubbles! Me likes 🙂 although I’m sorry the weather is freezing in that way again!

        Had a lovely picture of a bubble in the CameraShy Take52 Challenge that I’m taking. She mentioned a recipe for making sturdier bubbles…dishwashing liquid and corn syrup were in there I think!

        • Corn syrup definitely makes them sturdier, and makes them freeze in prettier formations. Might try it this go-around. But I just used the bottle of stuff I keep next to the sink, originally. Didn’t want to add a bunch of sugar to it 😉

  2. Petey is a very dashing young man; how could anyone question that? Water does it for me every time – brings new life to soul weary of cold and darkness, although we’ve had a very mild winter over all. But still it’s winter.

    • I’m glad winter has treated you well. We haven’t actually had it too bad. I think it’s that we haven’t seen the ground since November that makes it seem so tough. As the season wears on, we typically get more blue days. Looking forward to it. And more time on the beach!

  3. I hope the new coat is hand-dyed organic fiber! 🙂
    Fabric glue to hold the old coat together?? Really Heather, sewing isn’t that hard 😛
    The beach looks beautiful, even on such wintry days, your photos have this wonderful blue-ness and clarity that always make your blog posts visually stunning…..love it! Glad you got out of the house 🙂

    • It is not organic or hand-dyed. But it is of much better construction. The organic, hand-dyed things were all sweaters, which looked pretty, but did not seem particularly functional for cold weather and stiff winds. I would have sewn the previous cape, but it was that nylon-esque fabric that had already torn/frayed where it had been hemmed. I figured if I stitched it again, it would just pull apart again. So I slathered it in glue, and though ugly, it’s held 😉
      In the late afternoon in the winter, things around here take on a decidedly blue cast. All that white snow just reflects whatever’s going on in the sky. It’s lovely – when I see it from outside and not stuck inside. I’m rather morose about it now. It must be time for a walk!

  4. Hullo, you who regularly escape cabin fever. And do it in such fun ways! Yes, Petey is adorable, and how I liked his stretched-out bum pic on the previous blog. I wish the weather would clear up enough so we could go to Houghton or even–think of it–Marquette. That sounds like a dream. Well, tonight we’re going out to dinner in L’Anse or Covington with friends. That’s at least out of the house. You going anywhere this weekend?

    • We are heading out in a bit for a little adventure, but otherwise we’ve stayed near home. Tony fought with the drifted snow in the driveway yesterday while Petey and I went for a trip around the block. Ten degrees (feels like -3) doesn’t seem so bad when you’re jogging in ski gear 😉 And a good friend came over last night to recreate a family Christmas tradition with us, since her family is in Hawaii right now on a Coast Guard assignment. Tough post 😉

  5. Pingback: When the Sun Comes Calling | Adventures in Michigan's Up North

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