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April 18, 1999
a year ago

Puttering

I haven't really gained any weight since the move, but I also haven't lost any. I'm getting tired of the lack of shape I have, and I am getting tired of being breathless from coming up the stairs. Step at a time, is what it's really going to take.

This morning I took a first step, and John and I rode out into the wind on our mountain bikes and took a circuit of all the cul de sacs in our neighborhood. The wind was just howling. I could hear it in my spokes when I turned sideways to it, and everytime I turned into it, it just took away all my breath and thought and hearing as it roared on either side. The amusing thing was that into the wind was downhill. It felt like I wasn't getting anywhere, while heading into the wind, but gravity really helped, even when it didn't feel like it. Then, when I was going uphill it was like the wind stopped and the slope was ridiculously easy for what it looked like.

It was about a twenty minute ride, and I took it with the intent to keep my heartrate up and my breathing pretty quick. The one completely disconcerting thing was that when I was done, even in the sunshine and the warmth, I wasn't even damp with sweat. None. It was all dried off my body. John wasn't even damp, which is entirely unnatural. I know that I sweated. Fezzik licked me enthusiastically whenever I was still enough for him to do it. He likes the salt. But that was really disconcerting compared to the kinds of sweats I get when working out in Seattle. It almost felt like I hadn't done anything, eventhough some of my muscles were shivering from lack of blood sugar (yeah, I throw up if I eat before exercising and doing it the first thing in the morning is sometimes stupid) and my breathing was still taking a bit to get back to normal.

I also took the opportunity to pull up weeds in the lawn. The ground is still soft and moist from all the snow, so, with the weed digger, the dandelions come up without any protest at all. So that was really cool and it was close enough to deep knee bends that my legs are now kinda wobbly.

The shower felt wonderful after all that, though, and I could taste the salt in water that ran over my face. I was also a great deal less cranky with John after the ride, and I've a feeling that I will be able to sleep pretty well tonight.

Breakfast showed me exactly how good it can be to have avocados grown locally. The breakfast burritos were wonderful with their creamy addition. It really is worthwhile as a trade, I think. I'm able to cook better Chinese food even as we can't buy as much of it. The Mexican food more than makes up for it in my diet, though. I'm just basking in the land of green chilies and guacamole and truly fresh tortillas.

We had green chili for dinner Thursday night, found a little burrito stand in Boulder Friday that had lovely tamales smothered in green chilies, and I'm glad to be able to do that. I'm not sure that Mai will find it as much of a consolation, but the produce might help with some of that. Bok Choy in the grocery store! And real yellow bean spouts! And tofu in the refrigerated section in a dozen different varieties! And huge slabs of BEEF everywhere! The slab of beef we bought, last night, from Biggs turned out to be six pounds worth of ground beef, that I've put into neat, little one-third pound balls and frozen. The label read three pounds as part of the description, but John and I finally figured out that it was a description for price purposes. There's a twenty cent per pound price break if you buy more than three pounds at a time. Turns out that the price for all six was about what we'd normally pay for three pound of 85% fat free beef, which is why it was such a surprise.

I also bought a quart of the local, fresh soy milk stuff, and used it with the bottled concentrate for Chai made by the Republic of Teas, and it made a creamy, sweet drink with just a bite of spice and a background note of green, green tea. I think that the trick with soy milk is to remember that it really isn't milk. It really is soy and it should and will taste that way and it's the real bonus if you like soy. I like it. Your milage may vary.

So, yeah, I'm getting immersed in the local food culture, and it's a good thing.

There are actually wisps of clouds today, cutting the glare of the sunshine. A lot more comfortable for my Seattle adapted eyes. And I finally discovered the usage of the upstairs bedrooms, including the study. I brought John's laptop up here to catch up with all the things that have been going on to save my hands during work hours. Here it's natural to take breaks when Fezzik wants out, or John has a question, or something else has to be done. Like the laundry. So it makes it easy and the stairs are good for my heart. At work, I get to concentrating and forget to come up for air or a stretch, which is bad all around.

John left in the early afternoon to find plumbing things for installing the washer and to get bookshelves for the upstairs bedrooms, including more from the oak place that was doing a clearance sale.

I just puttered about, going through the whole mountain of laundry, then folding it all, and in between all the things, I carved two more quill points to my satisfaction, did most of the last three days for the journal, and basically put one foot in front of another for all the things that I wanted done in the house. I am a little worried about the herb seedling for the week that John and I will be off to Seattle. Without root systems, the soil they're in doesn't hold water all that well, so I'm having to water them every day, presently. I was pretty worried about how quickly they'd come up until I noticed that a slew of chives are already starting to sprout. Little tiny, pale green shoots are starting to push their way out of the soil. The warmth outside along with all the intense sunshine seemed to get them going really quickly, almost visibly brightening and turning darker green with the application.

By the time I brought them all indoors for the night, the garlic chives had started to sprout as well. That was pretty cool to see. I think my bush basil seeds are a few years old, so may not sprout at all, but the rosemary is being shy.

I got a heat rash from all the sunshine on my arms. For some reason, while I don't burn, I get an itchy rash on skin that gets too much sun at once. Put some lotion on it and I'll have to remember sun screen the next time I go out.

John got back with some triumph as he'd found, at Eagle, six inch shelves for the paperbacks. Paperbacks don't take the kind of shelf space one usually finds on most bookshelves. I usually have to stack 'em two deep in some of them, just to take advantage of the room; but we wanted to build a Wall of Paperbacks, as we had in the other house, so John was really glad to find the shallower shelves. We can put them closer to each other and that should make a nice, dense shelving set that can handle a lot of weight. The longer shelf brackets sometimes get weaker because of the length from the wall.

He put the dishwasher together, and, eventually, I made dinner, after checking the two local BBQ places to see if they were open. They weren't. So I made spaghetti and meatballs. The meatballs were fun, with crumbs from the Daily Bread, lots of parmesian cheese, plenty of spices, eggs, milk, and both a third of a pound of beef and the left over lean ground pork from a few days back. It made a lot of meatballs, and baking them pulled out nearly all the fat. I paired it with a spinich and cheese jarred spaghetti sauce and poured it all over pasta. The last of the Daily Bread got made into garlic bread, and that was yummy as well, though my bridge wasn't all that happy with the chewing to get through the crunchy, thick crust.

Dessert was another slice of the Phili creamcheese cake. Yum. And, sure enough, as predicted, sleep was easy after the bike ride. Though I dreamed about going into production with the quills and cutting them for someone repeatedly. I think, in my sleep, I really learned how to cut the things really well.

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