Wollaston Beach in February

people walking on Wollaston Beach

The sunset was stunning tonight. Driving by Wollaston Beach. Looking at the sky and the water. The colors took my breath away. I was reminded again why I love Quincy.

Just a few moments drive from home and I’m by the water. I got out and walked around. The wind was biting cold, so I didn’t stay out for long. But I enjoyed these serene scenes.

Wollaston Beach with lights in the distance

Lights twinkling in the distance beyond the soft sand. Breathing in the fresh air. Noticing that it’s still light after 5:00pm.

sunset colors on Wollaston Beach

No filter needed. Sometimes reality is beyond beautiful.

Seaweed + Sweet Potato Soup


I didn’t set out to create a new favorite soup today. But that’s what happened with this seaweed and sweet potato soup!

When January is acting like itself, it’s soup weather here in Massachusetts. So today, I decided to use some sweet potatoes and seaweed to make a quick and healthy soup. I purchased the nori, dried seaweed sheets, a while ago, but hadn’t used it too often. I was inspired to buy it after seeing several vloggers that I follow using it.

It’s not just for sushi. Nori can be cut up and used on noodles, rice and in soups. Since seaweed is so healthy, I want to incorporate it into my diet more often.

When I cook, I rarely use recipes and usually have a feel for what a dish needs. I always have soup stock ready to go in the freezer in easy to use portions. So I grabbed two large cubes of stock, and melted it in a pan with a chicken bouillon cube. It would have been easier if I did everything in one pan, but I did things out of order, so it took longer.

In a larger pan, I sauteed some shallots, sweet potatoes, and garlic in olive oil and butter until softened. I poured the stock into the large pan and added enough water to cover the vegetables with liquid. Then using kitchen scissors, I cut the nori into pieces and added it to the pan.

Now I’m trying to remember everything else that I used. Some ground spices: lemon pepper blend, garlic powder, cumin and turmeric. I think that the only other things were maple syrup, toasted sesame seed oil and rice vinegar.

These are the hazards of not using a recipe or measuring anything. It will be impossible to exactly replicate what I did. But I can come close. Since I’m documenting this for my future self. And for you if you’d like to try it.

This soup was such an unexpected treat and I’m looking forward to having some again tomorrow.

Polar Night in Svalbard

Have you heard of Svalbard? I hadn’t until this past week.

A suggested YouTube video for me with the title, “Life in the DARKEST PLACE on earth (24/7 darkness)︱Svalbard, an island close to the North Pole” caught my eye and I watched.

I had never heard the term “Polar Night” until then either. I’ve heard of places where it’s dark 24/7 for periods of time during the winter, but this term seemed to encapsulate something different the way the vlogger, Cecilia, describes it. Polar Night in Svalbard lasts for two months!

The tourism website for Svalbard describes it in a rather fun way too.

‘Winter doesn’t just show up overnight’ is something you’d be safe enough to say most other places in the world without being wrong. But what if the night doesn’t just last a couple of hours, but instead spans over two months? The dark season in Svalbard lasts from around the end of October until the middle of February, but between November 14th and January 29th we enter the darkest and cosiest part of the dark season, also known as the Polar Night. As the days darken during late autumn the cold of winter also creeps in, and with the coming of the sun the light also shines on a new winter in our archipelago. While winter may not show up overnight, a lot can happen during the course of a Polar Night!

Cecilia loves this season and really leans into it. She’s all about the hot drinks with sweets, lighting fires and plaid flannel pajamas. Full on cozy! Which I love, and reminds me of when I started writing my Collection Of Moments series. Where I could find the good in all the seasons, not just the warm ones that I prefer.

I learned about hygge, which is a Danish term, where they also lean into the coziness of the dark winter months. Svalbard is one of a cluster of islands that are part of Norway, but very west of the country and closer to the North Pole.

One of the wildest things that she talks about is the polar bears. There are many around and they are a real threat. In one of the videos when she went for a walk, not only does she have a hat with a spotlight, she slung a rifle over her back. I’m not a gun person, but I can definitely see the need for one. This is no joke and one of the many tools for survival.

So I’m enjoying the videos and will watch more. But I don’t think that I would visit. Especially not during Polar Night. We’re in the darkest month right now here in Massachusetts. It will keep getting darker until the Winter Solstice on December 21st. Getting dark at 4pm is bad enough. Never mind complete darkness for two months!

I don’t want to wish time away, so I’m leaning into the cozy as well. The light will return soon enough. And at least we don’t have to worry about polar bears!

+ + +
Image: Screenshot

A Collection Of Moments: March

March

A Collection Of Moments, is my attempt to actively notice the changes and beauty within each month. Because what is life, but a series of moments strung together like twinkling lights on a string?

+ + +

MARCH is …

Melting snow.

Madness.

Eyes smiling.

Saving daylight.

Jumping puddles.

Verdant.

Noting the other half.

The fours.

4th, 14th and 24th

Celebration, mourning and laying to rest.

Getting away.

Seasons change.

Time flows.

The way of the world.