It is freezing cold in Passau Germany today, yesterday and practically everyday since New Year's. Snowdrifts. Thank God the neighbor decided to shovel the driveway, so in turn I mopped the garage floor. Last year, if I recall, we had one snowfall all winter till Spring and then a short-lived blizzard. Brrrh. Can't even walk the pup cuz it's 10° in the morning and a whopping 20° in the afternoon. I think one day all month we got mid 30s. So I am humbly complaining, but not at all depressed about the situation, cuz I know it's only temporary and soon enough we'll get back into the 40s. Although, end of January in Rome hits 55°. Can't have our cake every year. We will return though. Via del Corso. Baked boxed brownies today that turned out like chocolate cake. Kitchen has been busy. Baked a mushroom béchamel lasagna with delicious homemade noodles. Makes such a difference. The pup weighs 9,5kg. She needs to lose 500 grams. Her 'choco pet' Rome jacket no longer fits her. She hasn't even gotten to wear it yet. Incentive to lose weight. Well, they've been plowing the roads with salt, so another reason why we haven't been walking. Normally we walk about 35 minutes every day. Some good news arrived so we are counting our blessings, and keeping our loved ones in our prayers. Thankful for Facebook to keep us all connected. 2016 was a year of deep savings, a lil travel, and a tad too much food. No weight loss, but changing course for 2017 with more daily walks, less carbs, and more veggie soups. For example, cabbage soup with shredded carrots, grilled onions and garlic, sea salt and pepper. Boiled dry garbanzo beans for bean soup and for hummus. My hummus is labor intensive - boil the beans and get rid of the skins. Makes for a glossy fresh hummus with lemon and roasted garlic, and Middle Eastern tahini (there is really a difference !!), with a sprinkle of Hungarian paprika. Wunderbar !! Sonst, the winter weather has put a damper on study. Awake early, sometimes 5:30am, but not as motivated. Awaiting big tv shows, Germany's Next Top Model with Heidi Klum, and the stages of Deutschland Sucht den Superstar with Dieter Bohlen. Otherwise, seldom watch TV, if not CNN. Rosamunde Pilcher romance an exception, and French movies on ARTE or TV5Monde Europe. New Year's Resolution: More protein at meals, more exercise and more mojo, which will lead to more study. As I am semi-retired, I keep busy with housework and hobbies, the blog for example. I also write sometimes and read books, study language. There's plenty to do to fill a day. And some fun as time allows. Will celebrate Chinese New Year on Saturday 28. January. The Year of the Rooster. Happy New Years !!