Cabin Fever – Time to Dream & Plan

by Kathryn Albright

Cabin Fever anyone?

We have it so much better than the pioneers did in the Old West!
Although they had their share of quilting bees and sleigh rides,
I’m sure that by the middle of March they were dog-gone tired of the snow and slush and cold.

I can’t imagine that anyone in the southern states has to deal with such a thing
(except in the form of putting up with snowbirds who fly down from the north!)
but here in northern Illinois, cabin fever is a very real feeling!

All I can say is thank goodness for books, movies, and the internet!
(And my husband, board games, puzzles…)

This is me with cabin fever…well, not really.
I just loved the dress (and I wish I had her waist!)

But truthfully, I love the change of seasons.
The rest of the year, I am outside with all sorts of busyness,
but when the months of January through March happen,
suddenly I am tucked inside, cozy and content.
For some reason, being closed in by the cold weather,
I feel safe and cocooned and that is when my imagination takes wing and…

Magic Happens!



I dream up new stories…

I dream up the next big road trip I hope to take with my husband…


Last year’s epic trip to the Northwest!

We are thinking about Branson, Missouri for a new destination.
Have any of you been there? Any suggestions or advice?



I dream up the next landscaping renovation for my aging house…

We are putting in a patio that I designed after scouring Pinterest!
Thank goodness my sons live close enough to help with some of the heavy lifting!


This winter, I also started cooking lighter. I’ve had a few fails — such as making cauliflower buns for turkey burgers. Those simply fell apart 🙂 But I did come across one recipe my family loved and I thought I would share it here…


Chicken Taco Soup (for the crock pot)

2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 teaspoon taco seasoning mix
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
13-14 oz raw chicken breasts – should yield 9 oz cooked
2 cups cabbage, chopped (May need more because of shrinkage)
2 oz shredded Mexican Cheese to garnish

Combine chicken broth, water, diced tomatoes, taco seasoning, cumin, chili powder, garlic, cabbage and chicken in a crock pot. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours. Shred chicken breasts in crock pot before serving. Pour soup into bowls and top with cheese.

Servings: 2

(I doubled this recipe for my family. It is just as tasty as leftovers.)

* * * * * * * *

What about you? Do you deal with cabin fever or are you snug and content where you live?

Here’s wishing everyone at Petticoats and Pistols

— readers and fillies alike —

a Warm, Happy Spring!




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34 thoughts on “Cabin Fever – Time to Dream & Plan”

  1. Good morning. I deal with cabin fever one book at a time. Thank goodness for all you wonderful authors for giving us virtual vacations from the comforts of our homes!! We can travel everywhere in your books!! Thank you for the delicious recipe, yummy!! Happy Easter to you! ???

  2. I do get cabin fever. Books do help but I am looking forward to some colors. I have never been to Branson. Hope you enjoy it.

  3. Yesterday I posted that I don’t get cabin fever because in Texas, we don’t get all of the snow. but after thinking about it, I do get it during spring storm season. I don’t like to drive in the rain and the thought of possibly tornadoes or hail scares me. I usually do lots of reading and watching movies on tv. I also like to have good snack food too. but unlike you’re new healthy cooking, my snack food consists of junk which is my comfort food when I need it.

    • HI Janine!

      Ah! Spring storm season! I can’t believe how many close calls I’ve had with heavy rain and wind on MONDAYS!!! here where I live. Downed trees and flattened cornstalks (the corn happened in August). I’m staying close to home on Mondays this year!

  4. I live in the Pacific Northwest. I rains here into May, so I do get cabin fever. I read and use the internet to combat it.

    • Hi Estella,

      Yes, thank goodness for the internet! One thing I am always in the mood for is baking when it is stormy out. Seems I like to make cookies when that happens 🙂

  5. Yes I do have cabin fever right now so sick of winter and all the rain we are getting. I think you soup sounds good but my boys wouldn’t eat it because it has cabbage in it. I fix cabbage for me all the time but they want touch it. Now I can make homemade chicken noodle soup and the will be very happy with that but I have to make it with Creamette fine egg noodle which I have to order on line to get because the stores here don’t carry it. Its call living with picky eaters.

    • HI Quilt Lady,

      Have you ever tried to make homemade noodles? That is usually what I do and my family likes those best. I think there are frozen “homemade” ones — Reams I think is the brand. Those taste good too. I know about picky eaters. Although my boys never complained much, they sure didn’t like vegetables! Take heart — spring is coming!

  6. Oh yummy, I will have to try the soup! I have never been to Branson, but my parents have and loved it. I hope you have fun!

    • I always have one non-fiction book going and one fiction book. I do the Goodreads Reading Challenge and try to add a few more books each year. I’m trying to broaden my reading choices!

  7. Love your blog and especially the red dress pix! I think you look good in it. LOL Thanks for the soup recipe. I have a lot of trouble with cabin fever. My grand daddy used to tell me that when the sun goes down it’s God’s sign to go to bed; otherwise, He’s leave it up. I guess it was drilled into me because during the winter, I’d prefer to stay wrapped up in a warm blanket and either do Seek and Finds, play games on my iPad, read, do adult coloring and watch TV when it’s hazy, cold and dark outside! Again great blog and thanks for a special cabin fever blog!

    • Hey Phyliss! Thanks for stopping by! I tried a few adult coloring books over the past few years and they sure are soothing! I really enjoy the ones I have. I like your granddads way of thinking. Kind of–slow down and enjoy the moments. In the summer, the sun is out so much and there is so much more to do. I guess it makes for a nice ebb and flow — at least here in the rural heartland. It is definitely not a city-slickers way of looking at things!

  8. I do get it if I am stuck indoors for more than 3 days, here in Nebraska between freezing rain, sleet, snow and temps that drop to the sub zero temps it can be 3 to 6 days before its warm enough to go outside. Spring is finally here but so is the rain. The last 3 days we have had some sun thank goodness I almost forgot how good it feels on the skin.

    • Oh Kim! Our weather is so similar to yours! I am always watching the radar weather to see what is coming from your part of the country because we usually get it next. The last two storms we have had have been very strange in that the wind came from the south east. I’m one of those who needs to take Vitamin D (and I am not very good at keeping it in my routine) but I know in the cold and cloudy weather that it is important to remember.

  9. I do get winter blues but I’m more of a hibernating bear type, trying to stay warm and getting extra sleep. Loads of extra sleep!

    Like you I generally have one fiction and one nonfiction book going at the same time too. Lately I’ve been reading far more non-fiction by a favorite scholar because finer distinctions can be a challenge to understand at times and keeps me on my toes (not thinking about winter blues). I’ve been to a lecture he gave and got to talk to him–just a lovely man–so reading a few of his books I hadn’t read yet are my way of dealing with my impatience for spring to be here. When I run out of his works for the public I may give his work for his peers another try, or maybe just start over and do some re-reading for newer insights.

    Happy Spring to you and yours!

    • Hi Eliza! Yes — Happy Spring to you! Oh, I wish you would share with us the name of this man and the books that have grabbed your attention! My grandson has been after me to read the Lorien Chronicles (which is a fantasy series for teens). He wants to discuss it with me (and he also wishes that I would write a little sci-fi fantasy for his age so I believe he is trying to sway me!) For non-fiction, I am reading a faith-based book at the moment.

  10. Brandon is a great place to visit. While there, go check out Top of the Rock. The scenery and views are outstanding as is the food at the restaurant.

    • Oh – thank you Melanie! I’ll put that on my list of things to do there! A friend of mine also said that if the weather is nice, to got out of town just a ways to the Bass Pro Shop and rent a golf cart. They have a trail that takes you through a few old covered bridges and the countryside is beautiful. I’ll check on the map and see where Top of the Rock is. Perhaps that will be more do-able for us. Thanks for your suggestion!

  11. Thank you for the soup recipe. We love soup and this one sounds good.
    I don’t mind being snowed in, although when we lived up North, the winters did get long. We got out in the snow, walked in the woods, ice fished, played with the kids and ice skated. My husband and children did ski, but I didn’t think I was coordinated enough to try.
    We live in Tennessee now and do get snow, ice, and cold weather. Now it is a time to stay in and enjoy the wood stove. We don’t have the clothes for the weather anymore, plus there just aren’t the same things to do here. Add to that the fact that people don’t know how to drive in that type of weather and the Dept. Of Transportation just doesn’t have the equipment to take care of the roads the way they do in snow country.
    I cook, read, plan trips, and volunteer. We have been to Branson. We had an Air Force Unit reunion there several years ago. We did catch a few shows.We like the smaller venues better. There is something for every taste. They have something We enjoyed two side trips. One was to Dogwood Canyon. The area flooded badly since, but I hope they came through it OK. It is a pleasant place to walk with streams holding trophy trout. You can rent a bike if you like. They had a tram that took you through the park and to a neighboring ranch with longhorn cattle, bison, and elk. They also have segway tours. I just took their website and it looks like they are still in business and have expanded. It is a pleasant way to spend a few hours.
    We also did a day trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It is a lovely old town. There was a college jazz band playing in the park when we were there. There are many interesting shops and a bit of history to discover. There is more to do in the area, so it would be good to spend a day or two there to see everything.
    If you want to swing through Springfield, MO on your way there or back, there are many Civil War sites there to visit among other things. There is a cave in the area you can visit, but I don’t remember the details.

    I hope you have a wonderful trip. I had planned a 3 month trip driving to Alaska, but a serious health diagnosis has put an end to that trip. There is a nation organization conference for those patients, doctors and families dealing with this disease in San Diego, CA. We are going to try to make that trip depending on the treatment schedule.

    • Thank you for all the wonderful ideas around Branson! I will check them out online and see if they are do-able! Dogwood Canyon sounds like my kind of place. (I may have to talk my husband into it!) And Eureka Springs does too.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your change of plans due to your health (or perhaps your husband’s health or someone else in your family?) That must have come as such a shock. Please know that I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Please stop in to visit when you are able Patricia. It is always a joy to chat with you.

      • Kathryn, The diagnosis is mine. I can’t get in to a specialist until the end of June. Dumb, but I have been more upset about the impact on my traveling than anything else. I am sure that will change once things sink in and I get a better idea about treatment and progression of the disease. I will definitely be looking for work arounds so I can still travel.

  12. I definitely read through the winter. Having COPD makes it difficult to go out when it’s very cold . It’s been a crazy and endless Winter here in New Jersey. It’s Spring but you’d never know it here. Thank you for that great soup recipe. My daughter loves soups & stews so I’m going to make this one.
    Also, Tbe Madness of Ian MacKenzie is one of my favorite reads.. You will definitely enjoy the rest of the books with his brothers.

  13. I get needing the sunshine and getting outside without snowboots, not really cabin fever per se. I just am ready for sunshine and new growth. Spring and fall are my favorite times of year.

    • Hi Sabrina!
      Thanks for popping in and commenting!

      Spring is a bit too wet for me here, but my oh my is it great to see that sun and actually start feeling it’s WARMTH again! The wind is fierce many days. Fall –a bit drier here– is wonderful and my favorite time.

      Happy Easter to you!

  14. I always enjoy a good snow (or two) but I prefer them in Jan. or Feb. This past weekend we had six+ inches in Kentucky and a week earlier we also had snow. I am ready for some pretty weather and a chance to work in my yard!
    Hope you have a blessed Easter!

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