I need to work on tweaking the settings on my new camera. That’s using the cloudy setting with flash. Apparently, SoDak really is this dark & depressing. I’m really trying not to let SAD get the better of me today, but the faster the snow falls, the faster my mood falls. 3 more inches between now & tomorrow, then semi-blizzard conditions kick in. I’ve heard from more than one person around town that this winter has been particularly harsh, and not because the snowfall’s been all that unusual or anything…There hasn’t been nearly as much of a break as far as the really frigid temps, or the frequency of snow. This winter (with the exception of a couple of freakish days in early October), the snow held off until December. But it’s basically been falling a couple inches at a time (or more, in some cases)  once or twice a week since probably December 15th. And off-hand, there was a string of maybe 3 or 4 days last month where there was sun, and things started to melt. Then the temp dropped again, and the snow started up. I keep thinking about a passage from one of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books (and I can’t remember which one exactly, but I think it’s Little Town on the Prairie), where she’s taken a teaching job somewhere outside of De Smet, and she has to live with the superintendent or some other school official. She wakes up one night to witness the man’s wife holding him at knifepoint, and she’s telling him she wants to move back East. I’m beginning to understand exactly why that woman cracked.

Although we have a self-imposed ban on any spending other than food, bills, or other necessities, we did venture out to lunch this afternoon, and we’re going out for dinner tomorrow night. We took the bambino to Nick’s again, although this time he was more interested in spinning around on the stool than he was in his cheeseburger. No matter. He’s a Brookings native, so most likely, if he ever moves away, Nick’s will be one of the places he’ll need to stop when he comes home to visit…Not unlike my need for Skyline & LaRosa’s whenever I’m in Cincinnati.

I got the grocery shopping done…I kind of figured that if I can’t spend money on things other than food or bills these days, I might as well go back to buying more expensive and organic food. I’m trying to decide if I want to make Pasta Filetto di Pomodoro (from the Rao’s cookbook), or if I want to attempt Tubetti Cacio e Uova. I did buy pancetta this morning, with the specific intent of using it for the Pasta Filetto di Pomodoro, but we’ve eaten a LOT of red meat in the past couple of days (and I know neither Jay or the bambino would find anything wrong with that), so a simple yet filling meatless dish might be nice. We’ll see though. I was thinking I need to make some Hot Fudge Brownie Pudding (which is what it’s called in my mom’s old-school Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, although in my not-as-old-school BHG cookbook, it’s called Brownie Pudding Cake, and online, it’s been given yet another new name), since I have this need to use my still-new dessert bowls and I did buy some organic vanilla ice cream as well this morning. I also need to bake bread sometime this weekend, although if that doesn’t get done before tonight’s dinner, that’s okay. Our dinner reservations aren’t until 5 tomorrow night, so I have plenty of time, even if it goes into the oven after the bambino goes to bed.

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