A restful few days after Christmas

My across the street neighbor has been driving out early each day and when he’s gone, I open my office window and blinds and let the morning sun stream onto my desk. This is the window that if I have the lights on at night and the blinds open, it is like I am on a tv screen for everyone on the street to see.  In the daytime, I have more privacy though, since the eleagnus bush at the street line hides me.  You literally have to stand at a certain spot on the driveway or in the yard to see into my office window and you have to know where to look.  So when the neighbor drives out for his early errands, I open my blinds all up and feel like I have a giant picture window onto my street as the sun comes over the treeline.

It drizzled all evening and off and on all night, so everything is all glistening and sparklee.   It always looks so magical here, every morning.  It’s  about 65 degrees, about 80% humidity, it’s clear and sunny, skies are blue.  The yard is loving the rain, all the foliage looks lush and tropical.  It certainly doesn’t feel like any Christmas I remember.  The last two months of the year I have to do the magazines back to back with no time off in between, since I lose a week of print time during Thanksgiving week and Christmas week.  It’s only after the January magazine is in my hands, usually the week before Christmas, that I can relax for a couple of weeks.  This year I’m making the most of it!  I mean, I have to stay in town for other reasons and do some computer and phone work each day, but it’s very much like vacation time for me.

This is usually the time I catch up on sleep, as well, since I am very prone to getting off my sleep schedule.  Usually the weather is cooler, and I spend the time off hacking new trails through the woods and palmettos, and clearing the undergrowth.  I could do that now, the weather is certainly nice enough, except it’s warm enough that the misquitoes are still here.  When working with misquitoes, I either spray stuff on me or wear long sleeved everything.  In the palmettos, long sleeves and long pants are a pain since they snag every few minutes.   I don’t mind being bare armed and getting cut, but when I sweat, the misquito repellent comes right off and I’m stung anyway.  I let it be such a hassle that it’s easier to wait until the first nice cold spell to work on the trails.  Note: if you work in the garden and have cuts that don’t heal as quickly as they used to, begin taking 4,000 vitamin D3 a day to boost your immune system, and using virgin organic coconut oil on your skin, your arms and legs especially.  It will go on greasy and be absorbed in within minutes, it’s antiviral, antibacterial.  Wash your hands. Caveat: If it’s not virgin and organic, it will stay greasy on you.

So, instead of spending time hacking new trails in my woods, I’m spending my time creating a little workout space inside.  I want a place set up to do a decent routine on days I don’t get to the gym.  It’s just weights and mats in front of a mirror but that’s all I need.  I wrote about my quick routine here. I like the camaraderie of the gym, and I like the treadmill and the variety of machines, but often my end of day is 2:00-3:00am and that’s the perfect time to relax myself through strength training.  If  I keep a space set up, it’s easy to step into the space and begin doing it.  So far, it’s been fun and a welcome addition to my daily yoga.  I can feel myself getting stronger, like when I got the five gallon water  bottles refilled and they were super easy to carry in.  I had no idea rebuilding muscle could be so easy and happen so fast.

First thing this morning I went to the gym and walked the treadmill, and stopped by Walmart on the way home.  It was still dark but not far from sunrise, and I put my chicken, my broccoli and my bottle of white pinot grigio on the counter.   I’ve been playing with a new lowfat chicken in wine sauce recipe The cashier told me she couldn’t sell me wine before 7:00am, there was no alcohol sold between midnight and 7:00am.    I forgot there were laws about stuff like that.

I thought, what a cool rule that is!  However, I wanted to do my recipe but didn’t want to wait 15 minutes until I could buy the wine.  I paid for the chicken and broccoli and sat a moment in my car with new cell phone and checked email.  I realized I could walk through the store and read email and the 15 minutes would fly by in no time.  So that’s what I did.   I went inside, asked the cashier to hang on to the wine that I’d be back for it.  Then I walked up and down the aisles reading my email.

At 7:02am I wander back to her register and step into the line,  with a couple behind me and a man ahead of me.  She notes the time and nods, and smiles conspiratorially.  She rather surrepitiously slips the bottle from the cart behind her to the plastic bag, and then double bags it!  I told her, “I don’t need a bag,” and she looks a little horrified and almost imperceptibly shakes her head like, “no, don’t carry a bottle of wine out of here at 7:00am what will people think?.” Um, they’d think I was making chicken and broccoli with wine sauce if you let me buy it 15 minutes ago with the rest of the dinner…

Anyway, she hands me the double bagged bottle and gives me a sly wink.  At this point, I can only assume she’s a raging alcoholic who thinks she enabling me to have my early morning fix.  I simply smile and say thank you and walk to my car.  I wasn’t sure what all that was about.  I kinda of wondered what it all looked like to the couple behind me LOL clearly we were in cahoots about something, using some secret language.

So this morning will be spent cooking yet another version, with fresh mushrooms this time.  I’ve learned to cook small batches at a time, just a mini meal’s worth.  I much prefer that to having large pots of food in the fridge that I feel obligated to eat long after I’ve lost the taste for whatever I cooked too much of.  Now I may spend 2 hours preparing a meal that is simply 2 cups of  soup and a small entree and salad.  The pleasure is in the journey also, in the planning and preparation, and I like to clean as I work and I enjoy that part of  it also.  Now that I think of it, today may just turn out to be cook and clean day, with some breaks for working out here and maybe a treadmill run about sunset.  We’ll see.  At this point, that’s all I’m willing to commit to.