Ah, what a lovely long holiday weekend it has been! Thanksgiving on Thursday was decadent and delicious. Bookman started the day off by making us a pancake breakfast. These weren’t just any pancakes though. No sirree. These pancakes are actually supposed to be waffles but they stick to our waffle iron so badly they have become pancakes. Brownie pancakes. Walnuts and chocolate and drizzled with a cashew cream. My blood sugar is generally pretty low in the morning and let me tell you, these things pumped it up pretty darn fast! Combined with some very strong coffee, they kept us going into the middle of the afternoon when we decided it was time to have pumpkin pie.

As you can tell, we live by the motto, “dessert first” at our house.

The enchiladas at dinner were delicious as always and provided two days of leftovers. Normal eating will now resume until Winter Solstice.

To compensate for all the food, I rode 75 miles/121 km on my bike trainer on Saturday and burned close to 1800 calories. It was a fun ride. There were a lot of people riding in Zwift that day because there were several group rides going on for charity that were being led by professional cyclists. I don’t really follow professional cycling but even I recognized some of the names. I did not join any rides but I did occasionally get caught up in a group especially on the uphill sections of the course where everyone slows down and the pack gets strung out along the virtual mountain.

Also, note to self, just because Astrid is on a trainer doesn’t mean I don’t have to regularly check the tire pressure. My cadence and trainer feed kept skipping off and on and I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. The computer was working and all the tech seemed fine. Then Bookman noticed my back tire that sits against the trainer wheel thingy was looking a little flat. He set the trainer tighter against the wheel and problem solved. Today I got out the pump to discover I had only about 70 psi in the tire and there is supposed to be 120 psi! Oops.

Thursday it snowed all day. We only got about an inch/2.5 cm but it is amazing how just that little bit of snow has changed the landscape so much. October weather lasted far into November and really, we only had about a week of November blah. November here is usually a cold, gray month. Everything has been killed by frost, all the leaves have dropped and it is drab and dull. But the leaves hung on through the first part of the month and I still had a few flowers and plants in the garden until a little over a week ago. And now we have snow. We will be getting more snow tomorrow, enough that we will have to shovel. Time to get out the winter coat and find my snowboots.

As the snow fell outside I was inside reading Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. It just so happens the chapter was called “Winter.” I had an extra happy moment of recognition when I read this:

I bloom indoors in the winter like a forced forsythia; I come in to come out. At night I read and write, and things I have never understood become clear; I reap the harvest of the rest of the year’s planting.

When the weather is warm spring and summer and fall I am outdoors doing, doing, doing. There is not much time to stop and think because those flowers need to be staked, the beans need to be picked, The rose needs to be deadheaded and everything needs to be weeded. There is laundry on the line and long bike rides to far away parks and lakes, and even when I do stop and look and be still it is a very active sort of stillness. Now, indoors with snow on the ground, there isn’t as much to do and time feels thick and sticky like molasses and things get done when they get done. There is much more staring off into space and gazing out of windows giving thoughts plenty of room to cavort.

During one of my window gazings the other day I spied a big fat squirrel. This squirrel was so big and fat that I did not immediately recognize it as being a squirrel. My eyes landed on it and I thought, there is a woodchuck in the yard, how strange. And I blinked and the woodchuck became a squirrel. The fattest squirrel I have ever seen. It is well provisioned for the winter!

Waldo and Dickens are wearing their winter fur now too. They were both so very happy these last few days. I got out a quilt and put it on my reading chaise and spent many hours reading. There is just enough room for the three of use to curl up together. And when I get stiff from sitting and need to get up, Waldo glares at me in such a way that I am glad he is a small housecat. He is so good at these threatening looks that I think he may be a reincarnated gangster who regularly sighs, what fresh hell is this? All three of us will be very sad when I have to go back to work on Monday morning.

However, there is a long vacation ahead. Three weeks and then I get a two-week vacation. I have no travel plans. It is the busiest time of year at work for Bookman. I will be left mostly to my own devices. Quilt, chaise, cats, a big pile of books. I can hardly wait!

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