Credit: Pranay Pareek / Unsplash

We’re coming up on the Winter Solstice (the Farmer’s Almanac tells me that it’s at exactly 4:02 AM on Monday, December 21) so I hope all of you have been like the good little squirrels of the forest and depositing your acorns at the First Nutional Bank to get ready for hibernating in your treehouse this season.

(an excerpt of Now That Summer is Gone, a 1938 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies short directed by Frank Tashlin.)

If you haven’t yet, it’s a good time to pull down your storm windows, change the filter on the furnace inlet, and/or insulate your windows with plastic. For renters who might need some assistance, it’s perfectly OK to check in with your landlord or maintenance person to see if this is stuff they can help out with. A little bit of preventative work can save you on your heat bills and save them the possibility of bigger repairs down the road. And if you’re renting, and your landlord refuses to do necessary repairs, here’s Illinois Legal Aid’s advice.

Once you’re all settled in and squirreled away (sorry) (no, not sorry), make yourself a bowl of arroz caldo, one of my favorite foods. If you’re familiar with this dish from the Philippines, I prefer leaving the safflower out, and you can also do it without the fish sauce. Check out this recipe from the Kawaling Pinoy blog. And make a big batch to share on December 21 while you watch Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang celebrate properly with their annual Solstice concerts.

Things to read, listen to, or try out this weekend:

Upcoming virtual events: