Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Snowflakes, Guns, Hibernation and Runs

Christmas is over. For another year. The anticipation ramps up all month, and then it is just done. That is why you have to enjoy the Christmas season, all the activities that lead up to Christmas Day, or you will be disappointed when it is all over.
My full Christmas tree is shedding. The fuller it is, the more it has to lose, you know? I hate to do it, but I think I am going to have to take my tree down this week. It has been up for three weeks already, but taking it down does signal the end of the season. And then we are on to just winter. Christina Rosseti's bleak midwinter. 
As I write, it is snowing. Big, fluffy, wet flakes. It is warm, and it isn't going to stick. Our  potential winter is getting shorter and shorter. This is a very good thing. It is kind of amazing that it is the end of December and we haven't had a really good snowstorm yet. Just watch out though...winter will probably hit with a vengeance next week. Christmas is over...its hibernation time. Bundle up with your new fleece blankets, drink coffee or cocoa or hot cider or tea, read lots of good books, and stay inside. On a positive note...the days are on a longer trend now. I love that. They will get lighter and lighter longer until
June 21. I much prefer this elongating time, rather than the abbreviating of days.

Sometime if this winter you go
Abroad to see the falling snow -
You will find to your surprise
That a trillion flakes will greet your eyes.

Swirling, dancing in the day,
Who could make them quite this way?
Each one new, six sides on all,
Each reflects light as they fall.

No two ever found alike
With lace and rays and sculptured spike.
Here one moment, then they melt,
But what a silent scene is felt!

Discern in those dear tiny flakes
The face of God who nature makes
To please His children and show His love
To all the world from heaven above.

-Christine Fitzgerald

This week is going to be full of post holiday company. Brian has the week off, and we always try to get together with people we don't see that often. I am cooking pots of chili and soup, things that will stretch for company. And hopefully we will put a huge dent in my "bar" collection. I hate to see food go to waste, which leads to me eating way too much of it. But, I have no qualms about sharing it with other people's waist lines.=) Today I am going to cook my sister in law's White Chicken Chili. It is the best I have EVER had. I would share the recipe, but I don't know if she would appreciate it. You will just have to visit me for some.
Tomorrow is Brian's birthday. I am making him a Boston Cream Pie. I think it is his favorite. He told me that it was. Once. A long time ago. So now he gets one every year. Whether he likes it or not.=) One of my other sister in laws is going to watch all of our kids so we can go on a date. PF Chang's and the newest Sherlock Holmes. I think I am going to do a little more shopping for his birthday. (Brian, you can just skip the rest of this paragraph). We both have guns, and we need a cleaning kit. I thought that is what he had bought for me at the hardware store, but I was mistaken. I am going to get one for him for his birthday. Then we need to go shooting. We have lots of ammo, and we need practice. I love shooting btw. I might also pick up some ear muff things. His hearing is bad enough. Or else we are going to be one of those deaf couples shouting at each other in church thinking that we are being really quiet.
Though it is traditional hibernation time, I can't totally hibernate this year. I have convinced Brian that 2012 is our 5/3 Riverbank Run 25k year. We downloaded a training schedule yesterday, and we are getting serious. There is two different plans-the E and the N. I am not sure what exactly either of those stand for, but we are going to do the N. It starts more where we are at currently. I think this is going to be a challenge, lots of interval training, sprints, long runs, etc. I should be fit as a fiddle come May. Or, at least, that is the plan.=) Brian is Dutch, and I have been married to him for 10 years, so we are signing up early to get the cheaper rate. But we are going to get the good t-shirts for upgrade price. So we will be spending approximately the same amount as we would be spending if we waited until April to sign up. I am excited about doing this race. The training will be hard. I am not looking forward to running in the winter. But, I know this is going to raise the bar again. It is going to stretch me in many new ways. A virtuous women strengthens her arms, you know?=) Not that I am terribly virtuous, and it probably wasn't referring to athletics. But it will help with bread kneading.=)

Partial hibernation, anyone?