Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
If we were having coffee this Christmas morning I would invite you to sit back and enjoy the fire in the wood stove and the candle lighting around the room. I am up early to enjoy this predawn time, as usual. I am in a good mood because I realize how wonderful defining this year of 2017 has been. I did not plan to do a major change this year, but I have certainly accomplished one. I sold my extra red estate and pared down the size of my possessions in order to fit into my condo. This has been extremely liberating and satisfying. I am left with much less stuff, which I love much more.
I am serving coffee, and an assortment of teas, including some iced green tea. We have celebrated all month, and today have no plans to go out or do anything. We are not giving gifts because we just spent months deleting items from our possessions, and are not in the mood to fill up our space with stuff again. We are truly sated.
I did go on a shopping spree this fall, all of which has upgraded our lifestyle. I did little frivolous spending. Most of the spree was spent on very practical home improvements. I wrapped up the spree by buying a new garage door opener last weekend, because mine was on it’s last breath, about to break forever. I was so happy to replace it before it caused a tragic inconvenience in my life. I continue to take a box to the Goodwill each week to fine tune my stuff, since editing is forever. I have new underwear, socks, wifi speakers, and Alexa can now answer the phone on speaker. I have one more planned expenditure with my real estate profits, a hot springs vacation in February. I have not traveled much since I started my job last May, so I am planning a reward for myself in California. I will spa down for a few days, then stay in Joshua Tree in an air bnb. I have already booked my favorite hot springs hotel, but there are many highly desirable air bnb rentals near the Joshua Tree National Park. The decision is part of the fun for me. Are you going anywhere this winter? Do you like planing, or like to take off and see what happens? I like a good accommodation reservation and lots of free time. That is the perfect combination for me.
My blogging is slowly becoming regular once more. I changed may schedule at work, and have started doing my writing before I go to my job. This is working a little better. I do appreciate the return of the weekend coffee share because I enjoy keeping up with the group and the writing you are doing. Please join us on the weekends to share happenings and feelings over digital beverages. Eclectic Ali is hosting this movable feast, which includes a diverse group of writers from around the globe. The party is always digitally delicious. Merry Christmas to all! Thanks for stopping by.
If we were having coffee this weekend, 17 December, I would say life has been very festive indeed since we last met. I am very pleased to see that Electric Alli has revived the tradition of sharing a beverage and some personal news each weekend. This open invitation to stop, linger, chat, and share digital drinks is the perfect spot for a holiday party. Do drop in for some fun. Read what is new with the group, or share your own post here. The movable feast is on the move once more. Please join us.
I have a fire in the wood stove today to take a mild chill off the house. We have not really experienced any winter here yet, which is confusing all the plants. Although I sold the property with my big citrus trees I still have a large Lisbon lemon and a small Meyer lemon at my condo. Like many other trees in Tucson they bloomed several times last year, and then dropped all the fruit because the weather has been so bizarre. I am hoping this year will be better, but so far it is ridiculously warm. Please relax and let me make you one of my holiday teas. I have gone wild ordering flavored teas for the season, so I probably have exactly what you like. I can brew some coffee if that is what suits you.
I would tell you our lives have been super festive and bright since I sold my real estate and downsized to fit our belongings into our condo. It is a relief to be free of the tax burden and all the extra junk I had stored in the barn. I have gone a a little shopping spree to celebrate, acquiring upgrades for the home. Yesterday I had to buy a new garage door opening system, but I feel fine about it because I had the money to pay for it, and it will last for the rest of my life.
Our company had a holiday party this week. Since it was a workday Bob was too tired to attend. I was pleased that my neighbor Heidi was available to go at the last minute. The party was in a super location above the city, with a view of the lights. Food and drinks flowed lavishly, and every guest got a gift. We all had a great time, including Heidi. This happy situation was followed up by a generous bonus for every employee on Friday. The mood at work has been very festive. We are all having very happy holidays.
We began our holiday party by attending the Fiesta de Tumacacori on the first weekend of the month. It was wonderful. I love the mission and the natural setting next to the river. We stayed at a cool air bnb, and attended the gallery openings in Tubac for luminary nights, then enjoyed two days of street food and Mexican folkloric dancing, cum National Park Service, cum Catholic church. It was everything I hoped for and so much more. I think I will need to go every year in the future.
The next weekend we attended a magic show at the Scottish Rite temple downtown Tucson. Both the show and the amazing historic building were great to see. Outdoors after the show we enjoyed bands and food trucks set up for the Second Saturday downtown. The nights are still very warm, and downtown is decorated for the season, so we went back down last night for the Holiday Parade of Lights. It was pretty corny, but lots of fun. We discovered a new restaurant we love and enjoyed a great dinner while the parade finished and the crowd dispersed. It was another excellent trip to downtown for fun. We have been living it up without any regrets lately. I hope your season is turning out as well as ours.
I have not been writing as much as I would like. Starting tomorrow my work schedule will change. I hope it will restore my previous diligent writing practice. At least I know I will write a post each weekend to keep up with this talented and diverse group of writers. Happy holidays! Thanks for stopping by.
Dim lighting in the hallway that leads to the chamber
Where dreams become part of the sequence of life
Sleeping sprits ignite the vapors of memory contained
Within a secret dark closet under the stairway of memory
The crowded shelves of images and words are dusty
Brought into focus only during the deepest slumber
Which parts of your own well being will you sacrifice
To rush ahead in a mad dash to spend, light, over-do
Partying till you can’t remember why you started
Celebrating by stretching the calendar beyond reason
Saying it is an obligation that comes with the season?
You can stay home with a hot cup of cheer on the mantle
Enjoying of the cozy pleasures of darkness with a candle
Welcome to the coffee party. I am glad you have the time to drop in for a cup of coffee, tea, or good cheer. If we were having coffee today I would invite you to stay for a while to tell me what is up in your life. We have a very festive table set for your visit today. I just whipped up some cranberry rhubarb sauce, and am sipping on my new favorite tea, roiboos lemon cloud. In the back yard I am grilling up eggplants and a very large batch of green chiles I picked up at the produce bonanza this morning. The selection this week ( We get 60 pounds of produce for $10) was small, but the quality very high. Nothing says Christmas in Tucson like perfect green chile, so I filled the box to the brim. We brought home watermelons, green peppers and eggplant too. I enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to use/ and or give away all the fresh vegetables before they rot. There will be sour cream enchiladas, chiles rellenos, and some chilaquiles later today. Stick around if you like Mexican food. I made great tomatillo/jalapeño salsa last week that is outstanding. We like it spicy around here.
If you are not fond of Mexican food we have great leftovers from an impromptu party we threw this week. I made an English Christmas Pudding, which created discussion, which in turn lead to a weeknight party with great old friends. One of our guests lives close enough to walk over, and has vast experience with pudding like this. His family has a traditional holiday pudding called a puzzle pudding, which they inherited from their ancestors in Wales. I made one with apples and rum raisins, and served it with great quantities of whipped cream. We partied on homemade spinach artichoke dip, crudités, olives, and cheese fondue while sipping hot spiced cider. It was perfect for our low key style. We had a great time catching up with our friends, and the effort was minimal.
As we head into the darkest days of the year I am going extra dark next week. I have an appointment to receive a light treatment at my dermatologist’s office that is kind of tedious. It requires that I stay at the office for about 2 hours, which is not so severe. After the treatment I must avoid light of all kinds for about 3 days to ensure proper healing. It is even contraindicated to sit by a window inside the house. I have rolling shutters downstairs, so I can effectively create a black out inside. While the rest of the world rolls by I will spend three days 18-21 December in total darkness binging on television and hopefully doing some writing and art. I may do some cooking, but am feeling kind of finished with holiday meal preparation. I am accentuating the winter solstice for full effect. I have candles, essential oils, and fancy red robe to dress up like Mrs. Santa Claus. I will be going into deep cover. I hope to emerge refreshed and ready for a brand new year. I wish you all a happy Saturnalia.
I appreciate the chance to share coffee and more with this group of talented writers. Stop by Diana’s blog to read, comment, or post your own coffee stories. The group is welcoming and intelligent. We welcome your point of view.
“America, God shed his grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood…from sea to shining sea!” Happy 240th Birthday America! “The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.” President John F. Kennedy Freedom […]
Patriotic Poetry by the Man in Black, Johnny Cash
The “meaning of the holidays” is a phrase that has been diluted. Although this commercial venture of the company was done for public relations purposes, there could be no better public relations. I wish all the gentle readers comfort and joy for the season and beyond.
The month of November is a gateway to winter and festivities. In Tucson we have had a very mild warm fall season with generous amounts of rain. It is predicted to be an El Nino winter which will bring additional rain to the dessert. Our desert is green and lush right now and the weather has been superb for a string of lovely outdoor parties and events. We look forward to a neighborhood pot luck gathering this weekend to savor the place and the people where we live. This is the season to be jolly outside in Arizona. It is perfect for bike riding grilling or hiking.
At this time of year we switch wardrobes and perhaps change our activities. I began a tradition of cleaning and clearing for the holiday season last year. The big purge of wardrobe items was by far the best gift I gave myself because it keeps on giving in the form of a happy closet. This year I have fewer things to discard, but am taking a look at using and appreciating absolutely everything I own. There is no reason to store and care for stuff that no longer is useful. I also need to be aware of all the memberships and subscriptions I have that need to be rationalized. I need to evaluate to be sure I am not over cluttering my membership reality. Like clothing in the closet, if subscriptions are crammed in and too crowded they will not be noticed or appreciated.
This Thanksgiving I want to feel grateful for my extreme good fortune without creating too much waste. I want to prepare highly gourmet cuisine for the whole month that thrills, satisfies, and does not end up in the compost bin. I have improved my food prep skills to avoid waste but can still step up my game. I still need to cut down on portion size for the two of us. I believe that pulling off a month of healthy tasty meals we both enjoy will be a better use of my talents than making one big meal with too many leftovers. We like to go to Govinda’s vegetarian buffet for the Thanksgiving meal because it is good and you can usually have a photo shoot with a live turkey on the patio. That sets me free to find ways to make the rest of the month delicious. If you have any seasonal recipes you want to share, please send them this way. I will be cooking up a storm, just not an excess. Stay grateful, gentle reader.
My recent odyssey was perfect for my taste as well as my health. Winding up the last three days and nights in Desert Hot Springs gave me every chance to relax, release and renew in the water. The drinking water there is also excellent, so I came home hydrated and healthy. Taking a mineral water cure is always my favorite way to retreat to center and focus. Leaving home is a great way to assess which best and healthy practices to nurture, and which habits to eliminate. I was very lenient with my diet on holiday but did not suffer ill effects from a few days of extra alcohol and taste treats. We did not go overboard very much on the trip, and a little splurge is good for the attitude.
The first day of fall beckons to holiday celebrants to begin planning, singing, and collecting recipes. The Pumpkin Spice lifestyle is propagated everywhere, and obligatory holiday consumerism is praised as virtue. I am not opposed to merriment, gifting, or parties, but think it can all be done with less waste, more true spirit of giving, and some refined restraint. I plan to use this season of harvest and thanksgiving to clean up my act, my house, and my lifestyle choices. I am the only one who can give myself these gifts.
Now that I am home I have the chance to create positive new change:
When the winter solstice arrives in December I want to feel happier, lighter, and more free. Three months of concentration on my wellbeing is an investment that will pay big dividends long into the future. This holiday present I am giving to myself is more valuable than anything I could be given by another person.
Angels were common before Jesus was born. There were happy spirits protecting humans all over the pre-Christian world. Some people today debate the powers and presence attributed to angels because we know them through story and legend. Their existence is a rhetorical belief, but there has been no empirical evidence that proves they are here with us. December is a very popular time to display angels and even dress up and portray them in live nativity scenes. In the darkest month of the Northern Hemisphere’s year, angels usher in the light. They often wear white, have white wings and a bright body halo. They are messengers, beings of light, that assist humans on both sides of the grave. They intercede for the benefit of humans.
December is the right time to settle into a hot herbal bath, light a candle, and put out the do not disturb sign for the human element. Around the winter solstice have a conversation with angels. If this is easy and natural for you, pray and get in touch with the angelic realm. If you need some help getting used to the idea of being surrounded by beings of light, do some meditating. Soak in the aromas of your scented tub, breathing deeply and leave thought behind. Have a conversation, out loud or in your mind, with the spirit guardians of your life. Imagining the presence of another dimension, allow yourself to say what is in your heart and ask for help that you know you need. You can do it with eyes open our closed. Using this method is a formula to make wishes come true. Belief in our angels is belief in supernatural powers at work on our behalf. Speaking to angels has been done by all kinds of people without shame or embarrassment for a very long time. The time is right to tell your deepest wishes to the angels, Gentle Readers.