The snowflakes falling outside are so fine they could be drifting from the mills of the gods. Winter may finally be settling in to My Minnesota. Two weeks from now will be winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. By then, the backyard may well look like the picture above. By then, maybe I'll start to settle in and try writing something more than a blog post a day. I've already dragged out the heavy winter Hudson's Bay Point Blanket (4 points). One of winter's finer pleasures is pulling it up to my nose and staying warm while I wait for the coffee to finish brewing. If this season is anything like normal, we're six to eight weeks from the nadir of winter, but that's not the hardest part of the season. The hardest part is just before spring when we're well beyond any point of return and some of us have found that our taste for the fourth season has ebbed lower than we thought it could. But, before that happens there may be snowball fights to be fought, snow men and women to be sculpted (I wonder if Michaelangelo ever tried a snowman in Italy.), coffee to be sipped, books to be read (and maybe written), naps to be taken and silence, broken by coyote howls, to be enjoyed. May all your winter pleasures be cool, or warm.