How many people are tired of me talking about the weather?  How many people are tired of EVERYONE talking about the weather?  It seems like in the Midwest that we all have tunnel vision during the first couple months of the year.

In our defense, we don’t only talk about the snow.  We talk about being sick.  This has been a doozy of a year for everyone that I know.  I’ve heard about every ailment and flu that is out there.

In all fairness, I don’t label my bugs.  (H1N1, Bird Flu, Cooties..all the same in my world.)  So last night when I was up (not feeling well), I thought about the ABC’s of winter illness.

ABC’s of Winter Illness

A is for Aches.  I’m not sure if my aches are cold related or if I’m just old.

B is for Blowing…your nose.  I would like my reader’s to give a collective “Aw, poor baby” to my husband for having to listen to me EVERY morning.

C is Cooties.  Cooties can include everything from your common cold to Crohn’s to crabs.  (Just kidding, none of my readers probably have Crohn’s.)

D is for Decongestants.  Anything that can clear your head up is awesome even if you do need your ID to buy it!

E is for Earplugs.  These are needed when your spouse is sick and you are tired of his/her complaining.

F is for Flu.  The people I know who have gotten the flu this year have been really sick.  (Insert debate on the flu vaccine here.)

G is for Gray.  I swear that my skin is gray.  How does skin turn gray?!

H is for Honking.  This is the noise my nose makes in the morning.  It is like a gaggle of geese flying over.  (This is where you can give my hubby another “Aw, poor baby.”)

I is for Insensitivity.  “E” and “I” kind of go together.  It has been said I am the worst caretaker EVER.  I have to work on that whole “Aw, poor baby” thing.

K is for Kleenex.  I have always been a fan of Kleenex.  It seems to hold up for a couple of good blows.  (It has  also been the proud sponsor of my bra the last 20 years.)

L is for Laughter.  It is the best medicine!

M is for Mucus.  Does that one need explanation?

N is for Noses.  It is really hard not to stare at people’s noses right now.  Either they are red and peely or there is a bear in the cave and you have to decide if you are close enough to said person to tell them!

O is for Old Movies.  One of the best things about being home sick is watching old movies on TV.

P is for Pity Parties.  At some point during winter illness, we all have to have a pity party.  It is allowed.

Q is for Quiet.  There is something wonderful about being alone in a quiet house when you are sick unless there is someone saying “Aw, poor baby.”

R is for Rest.  I am not usually a “napper” but when I am sick I can’t fight those heavy sleepy eyes in the afternoon.

S is for Sneezing.  Seriously, I can’t remember the last day when I did not sneeze.

T is for Tired.  I am so tired.  I am tired of the cold and the colds!

U is for Underwear.  If you are staying home a lot, it is optional when you are sick.  I don’t know about you but going commando with a cold makes me feel like I have some control.

V is for Vaporub.  My hubby keeps offering to rub it on my chest.  He offers to rub my chest all the time!  He is a giving guy.  (Of course, his offers may have something to do with “U”.)

W is for Weight loss.  For most people this isn’t a bad thing but if I lose any more weight this season I’m going to be two-dimensional.

X is for X-ray.  Hopefully your cold doesn’t get so bad that you have to get a chest x-ray.  (Make sure you remove all necklaces and husbands hands before they shoot the picture.)

Y is for YUCK!  Colds are gross and people with colds are yucky.  I know it is a harsh thing to say but you know when you see a person coughing and sneezing, you turn around and walk the other way!

Z is for Z-Pak.  Although you think you need an antibiotic, you probably don’t.  These things don’t work on viral infections like the common cold.   You would probably get the same effects by loading up on Wild Cherry Lifesavers.

So between the common cold and Crohn’s Disease, I’ve really had a rough couple of weeks.  The only thing I really am in the mood for is soup but I like to have some sort of bread on the side.

One of my favorite recipes from my early cooking days is a simple sundried tomato spread that you spread on some French bread and sprinkle with cheese.  A couple minutes under the broiler and you have an EASY side to eat with a bowl of soup.

Broiled Sundried Tomato Bread Spread


4 ounces of sundried tomatoes (Oil packed), drained

3 cloves of garlic

6-8 slices of a French Baguette.  (When I buy a loaf, I always freeze a few slices for a cold day.)

1 cup of shredded Emmentaler cheese (mozzarella is good too)

Salt and Pepper (Or red pepper flakes if you like spicy)


Turn broiler on.

In a food processor, add the tomatoes and garlic.  Puree until it is all “spreadable.”

Taste for seasoning.  You can add some fresh basil, salt, or pepper but usually the oil packed tomatoes have enough seasoning on them to make them taste good.

Lay baguette slices on your baking sheet and spread each one with the tomato spread.

Sprinkle with cheese.

Broil for 2-3 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

Serve with your favorite soup.

I’ve been whacked by both Crohn’s issues and colds but I know that brighter days will come!  Hope everyone gets to spring in one piece but until then “Aw, poor babies.”