Slowing Down

While we’re sheltering in place most of the time these days the sunny yet breezy weather is drawing the health conscious and outdoorsy ones out. While I’m currently discovering all kinds of new skills such as having a very precise phone conversation in order to get work done efficiently by avoiding misunderstandings – you’d think that’s child’s play but not for everyone my friend – I’m also falling in love with old habits and make them a regular part of my week. Apart from my ever present running and yoga I re-introduced regular walking and hiking into the weekly routine. It offers me a clear end to my work day, fresh air, cross-training and gleeful conversations held at a safe distance if I’m inclined to walk with a friend.

Social distancing might suck but we’re discovering long lost ways to really talk to and be close to each other. And to slow down and reflect when we no longer can rush around and get caught up in all our social events and obligations.

Stay healthy and safe out there. And try to enjoy a walk or two once in a while. You’ll most certainly discover new, less obscured views.

Owl Painting I

So after finishing one in fall for my neighbor’s birthday I decided to start another “painting by numbers” painting, this time for my better half who just as I happens to love owls.

As I’ve been fascinated by the progress I made the first time – at first it seems like I’m advancing at a snail pace while later on it all seems happening at once – I’ve decided that this time I would document my progress. Here are the first six hours…

Day 1 – 1.5h
Day 2 – 30min. Total 2h
Day 3 – 1h. Total 3h
Day 4 – 1h. Total 4h
Day 5 – 1h. Total 5h
Day 6 – 1h. Total 6h

I truly have enjoyed every minute of those six very meditative hours.

Random Events of Last Week

Bearing the crown is such a burden…

Last week brought the celebration of Epiphany with it. We crowned two kings: One was rather unfazed about it – see above – the other immediately picked a fight with the crown, not realizing that is him… a hit of a schizophrenic ruler…

Last week was also the first work week of the year and for some reason I feel like I did more of everything else than working. Must be the fact that I spent what felt like more time at the doctors than at the (home) office. Tuesday I had an appointment with the dental hygienist and a check-up with the dentist after over 1.5y owing to covid (they didn’t get around to invite all of the patients on time as they fell behind schedule in spring with the complete lockdown). All went well but I finally had to replace a filling that was starting to corrode around the edges, so that was done on Thursday.

The worst of the doctors appointments was Wednesday when I had to get the last of three tick-borne encephalitis vaccination. The second one already left me with massive side-effects for two days so I was expecting to suffer again. And so it was: Minutes after I left the docs office my arm started to cramp and hurt and then tingle. This spread all over my shoulder and neck and I soon felt feverish and flu like. Luckily the yoga session in the evening offered some relief through stretching and thus I was able to fall into a deep coma quite early in the evening… and this missing the whole riot at the capitol in Washington…

What a shock it was to wake to the news that the U.S. finally managed to fall into the pits of a system way removed from the democracy it stands for. It pained me immensely to realize what a mess has been made of Obama’s legacy. America is such a great place, I sincerely hope the new president will be able to quickly reunite the country and lead it back to its democratic principles of former days.

Luckily, the week ended on a good note, finally bringing some sunshine with it after all the gray and dulled days. Let’s hope for some more sunshine, snow and maybe cold to bring about a frozen lake to be enjoyed by many in different ways.

Anticipatory Pain

Ever since I first read the term I have been intrigued by it because it very much resonated with me.

Since we were scheduled to fly back to daily life on the 2nd, the 1st was packing and cleaning up day which meant putting away all the Christmas decorations and leaving the house seemingly dull and dark.

Anticipatory pain seemed to affect my partner a tad more than me as this is literally his second home. And I was missing my kitties and as much as I wanted to stay longer, I just as much wanted to cuddle my boys.

Still, anticipatory pain is supposed to be often more painful than the actual thing. This we cut ourselves some slack on this first day of a seemingly new year and took everything in stride. Just like the real life pros we are… (we wish…)

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve, what a happy occasion. How we wished we could have simply left the old year with all its ghosts behind but as we know from loooong experience that is jot how it works.

New Year’s Eve is just another day. Though the number of the year changes the next day, very little else does. We thought it couldn’t get much worse but only over the last couple of hours we realized it can. It’s been all downhill so far but do not lose hope – what goes down usually rises and blossoms again. That is the law of nature. Though whatever rises from the ashes might take another form. Whether we’ll like it or not is yet to be seen…

Wishing you all the best, especially good health and lots of strength through these rough times. Big virtual hug!

Baking Power

The wish for some seasonal baking has been in the room for a while now and things finally fell into place with all the right ingredients and plenty of time at hand to engage in some creative baking.

Joulutorttu was the suggestion and it seemed straight forward enough even for my long idling baking abilities. And so it was… until the oven played a trick on me and burned the marmalade. Because we were supposed to use preserves instead of marmalade which we only did for half of the Joulutorttu.

But never mind, we didn’t eat the run out, burned marmalade and since the rest was still very much okay we had ourselves a nice little baking adventure. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself…

Another Cold Run

Tuesday, 29th December called me for another run in the cold. I don’t mind cold runs as long as I got my exercise-induced asthma under control which unfortunately I have to admit is easier away from my cats (I only learned I have a cat allergy when I already had cats).

The surroundings were eerily beautiful in their white snow cover and today I did not meet one soul outside of the shelter of their heated cars.

When I passed a seemingly forlorn hamlet I saw a sign warning me to beware of the dog – which according to the picture had to be massive. I felt utterly grateful to not have met that beast in person.

A little after the hamlet back in the woods my eyes caught a slight glimpse of something that attracted my attention and when stepping closer I realized it was a bunch of white crosses in the middle of the woods surrounded by a white snow blanket. That definitely gave me the creeps and I sprinted for a little while, remembering the pretty little cottage with the birch alley I spotted earlier on in the run. Just keeping my mind busy and getting as much distance between the cemetery and me.

Sometimes if you’re not quite in the mood for a fast workout life hands it to you anyway.

Sh** Happens

The day started differently than anticipated – an outside control peep hole for the toilet drainage overflowed and this indicated a… situation. The drainage pipe must be clogged.

So the plumber was called, hours spent with unclogging the pipes and our grocery shopping trip postponed to the evening hours.

Apart from standing outside and freezing the tushes off we still managed to have an enjoyable vacation day. In the meanwhile the blockage has been fixed and all is well again, so nothing that couldn’t be handled.

Run Through the Woods

A happy run is an important ingredient of every good, restoring vacation. Be it in a new city, by the beach or in the woods as was the case here.

I was going for an easy 5-6k but ended up doing 9k owing to a missed fork in the path which send me on a 2.5k extra loop.

Apart from the fact that dawn was drawing in which makes every single forest a somewhat mystic and even slightly creepy place to be I didn’t mind in the least as the running was going smooth and easy and I had a general feeling of peacefulness and content.

Pure outdoors bliss!

Everyday life of a Swiss… no longer in Texas.