Winter Weariness a Sure Sign It's JanuFeb

Tired of this year's weird winter weather, commentator Laura Lorson has coined a phrase for this dreary time of year: "JanuFeb." She thinks it captures the strange, worn-out feeling these months can bring.

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MICHELE NORRIS, host:

This winter has been hard across much of the nation. Between the frigid temperatures and punishing snowstorms, even the most die-hard fans of the season are getting a bit worn out. Our commentator, Laura Lorson, is one of them.

Ms. LAURA LORSON (Commentator): And here we are in deepest, darkest JanuFeb. That time of the year where everything looks crummy and you're sick as snow. That part of the year that straddles the end of January and beginning of February which may as well come with a warning sign on the calendar that says, abandon hope all ye who enter here. I feel obligated to eat root vegetables like turnips and parsnips. I tried to make hot things in slow cookers that will be ready to eat when I come home from work.

Regrettably, the only slow cooker recipes I know have been handed down from my mother, which means that they invariably involve ingredients that seem designed to create parodies of food. Take a can of beans(ph) and sausages. Combine a half a jar of grape jelly with a cup of ketchup. Cover and cook for six hours on low. Serve stew. Or they involve some kind of mixed frozen vegetables cooked for 12 hours in coca-cola and chicken broth and consumed on crackers with mayonnaise. Trust me on this. If my mother gives you an all-day cooker recipe, throw it away and go get take out.

This year's crazy weather has not helped my mindset any at all. Thunders now, regular snow, fleet, rain, mud up your truck axles, which then freezes and screws up your differential. Lather, rinse, repeat. The dogs are tracking in snow, mud, unspeakable green slop that I don't even want to know where it came from. I don't want to mop because I know I'll just have to do it again tomorrow. And I don't want to turn on the television either because then I'll just see someone else's beautiful home or beautiful car or beautiful campaign speech.

I'm wallowing in JanuFeb reading Charles Dickens by the freaky light of a 40-watt, compact fluorescent bulb and wearing fingerless gloves, fretting about the ice buildup on the Lecompton Bridge and wishing I knew a good recipe for stew. I finally decided that my mom's slow-cooker recipes can't be all that bad, and I try another one. Take six pieces of bacon, a whole chicken, a jar of horse radish and a can of beets. Combine. Cook for eight hours on low. Throw in trash. Eat a sandwich. Play with dogs. Think about the lilacs in April. Watch the snow fall. Wish for spring.

NORRIS: Laura Lorson lives in Prairie, Kansas, where tonight's weather forecast is for blustery conditions with a low of one degree.

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