According to the calendar, it is officially still winter for another week. But we did change the clocks for daylight savings time, and the sky is actually blue today, so maybe…
This has been a heck of a winter here in the Pacific North West. We got most of our snow in February – but so far March has done it’s fair share of adding to the difficult morning commutes. I’m honestly not sure which is worse, a morning commute after a foot of snow, or a morning commute after 4 inches of snow. I’m grateful for the highway department who provides snow plows and ice melt, and generally makes it possible for me to get to and from work each day. I’m also grateful for 40 degree days and 20 degree nights with blue skies. This allows the snow to melt during the day, but slows it back down overnight – which ultimately helps me not be quite so nervous about spring run-off and the potential for flooding! We currently have about 2 feet of snow on the level, but mountains of snow banks where it’s been plowed off the driveway. While we often have some snowbanks left still thawing in April, I’m thinking it may very well be May before they all melt this year.
Speaking of spring…I’ve been spending my weekends preparing for spring craft shows. This past weekend (which I extended to a 4-day weekend!) I did quite a bit of production. 144 bars of soap, 120 tubes of lip balm, and an assortment of lotions, creams and salves. I still need to do a couple more varieties of lotions, but I’m feeling much more comfortable with what I have on hand preparing for the spring craft shows. Over the next couple of weekends I will spend some time actually packing up my craft show bins and getting things organized. My craft show trailer is currently surrounded by snow all the way around past the tops of the fenders, I am hopeful that most of that will melt off on it’s own and I won’t have to do too much to get it pulled out and loaded up. Just under a month, so I’ve got my fingers crossed!
It’s been 7 months now since my back surgery. I’m fairly well settled into a routine and feeling pretty normal. I’m increasing my activity level slowly, trying not to aggravate anything – and paying particular attention to my body mechanics and alignment. I’m able to do more yoga and more walking, and making sure I’m doing my stretches and exercises for my back and core regularly. In general I feel really good, and I’m looking at what I can be doing long term to keep myself healthy. I’m hopeful that as the driveway thaws out I will be able to walk at home more regularly – Bella sure enjoys it when we go for a walk, since it usually involves a ball!
I’m still eating cleanly and well – tracking my food daily and noticing/correcting patterns as necessary. The scale is still working itself down slowly and I’m trying to be disciplined about making a weekly meal plan and sticking to it. This helps me to not cook the same old thing over and over again, but also makes me think about what is in the freezer that needs to be eaten. A couple months back I went online and ordered a binder for organizing my recipes. It came with an assortment of page protectors, scrapbook style pages, and pages to fit recipe cards. After about 3 marathon sessions, I managed to get most of my recipes into the binder with some semblance of order. I often cruise around recipe blogs looking for inspiration, and print off recipes that entice me. I rarely follow them to the letter, but it at least gives me a good place to start….and if I like my modifications, I generally make notes about what I did. So now I have a binder that has all my recipes in mostly one spot. I of course, still have my cookbook collection – but all the family recipes that have been handed down, and all the magazine clippings and internet printed recipes now all live together in the binder.
For Lent this year I’m reading a book called 40 days of Decrease by Alicia Britt Chole. Each day has a scripture reading and mini lesson, a passage about Lent, and a focus on something to fast for the day: Regrets, Tidy Faith, Rationalism, Isolation, etc. It’s been an interesting read so far, and a good reminder of love, self-care, discipline, and sacrifice. It’s a great way to focus my daily devotional and bible study time, and to get a fresh outlook on scripture passages and stories I already know well. The more I immerse myself in God’s word, the stronger my faith becomes, and the more I see the relevance in my own life – as God planned it of course.