Two Sides

Heading into winter, my favourite season of the year, there are two sides to it and I embrace both equally passionately: The Cold and Dark, and the Warm and Comfy. 6583f3cef53ea929e1811bebcaa8c560e387072a63b739b34c1cc3ba6666e50e

I am just as happy to be out in the cold air, in a dark forest, silence thick as the snow, looking for tracks and places where the deer sleep with my dogs around me sniffing the trail and leaping about in the snow, as I am to be in thick, warm socks, snug and warm clothing and a big soft jersey, with a hot cup of tea or hot chocolate, enjoying good music or some tv shows or a movie, with my dogs snoring around my feet.

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Winter, for me, is a time of reflection and silence, and also a time of comfort and care for oneself, two sides as to everything. I become even more of a hermit in the dark months, than I am normally in the summer and spring. This winter will be different, as it doesn’t get very cold here and there is minimal snow (or so it seemed last year when we first got here – but there are mutterings from locals that “this one” could be a harsh one… I won’t hold my breath, but I would be pleasantly surprised) and I will also (once again) have my husband with me for a change.

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Halloween, Samhain, is the start of MY time of the year, when I truly become “myself”, and I will relish every crisp morning, and cold evening and downpour and icy wind for the next couple of months. I will try and “store” the cold feelings in my head, so I can remember them when I’m sweltering in the Georgia summer yet again.

I still remember every single winter I saw in Germany. Each one was different, and each place we lived was different as well. The forests and fields will stay with me for the rest of my life – there is nothing like Germany in the deep winter, and I clung to the memory of those icy, dark days when our first summer rolled in here in the South. It helped a little bit. A smidgen.

The time has come for warm gloves and hats and scarves and winter boots and good jackets, and I cannot wait for it!

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And one day soon, when our dreams come true (and, oh, they will come true) we will live in Colorado and I’ll get my snow and the dogs will learn to pull a sled and we’ll have a fireplace and a little cabin in the woods.

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WOOOOOWEEEEE

HO-LEE-CRAP it’s windy out there! I felt like I was back home in Cape Town, doing a working ride with Mandy on the horses! Just _walking_ along relatively flat ground (just a few hills) was exhausting! Even Azzie was tired! Both dogs just plopped down immediately when we got home. I made their food and set it down for them and Gina just looked at me and rolled over onto her side – too tired to eat. Azzie ate a little bit but she was also tired and went and hopped onto the couch in her towel and fell asleep straight away.
And we got soaked – along with the gale force winds, came heavy rain.
Didn’t take any photos – it was just too wet and cold and windy to bring my phone out.

Hopefully they will now settle for a few hours and we won’t have to go out there again for a while!

another long walk

Dogs and I decided to head out in a new direction this afternoon, thinking of exploring some areas we’ve not been yet.

So we headed down into the industrial area, and out the back of  it onto the grass/forested area there. The path I’d found on google maps was covered in downed trees and was very muddy so we had to figure out a new path, but we ended up walking along a nice single lane/bicycle path which headed into our tiny village from another side. It was lovely. Dogs were awesome, super well behaved.

G’s tummy was very good, but Azzie’s wasn’t the greatest. It’s ok, they’re still 90% better and improving every day.

A day of silence, it seems.

Yay, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has started up again! All cued up and ready to go! Now I’m making some killer dinner to go with it, and then I’m going to start watching!

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Nothing to do with big butts, promise. Mine is being carefully kept in check by energetic walking and playing with my dogs, 3 times a day, and a run every second day. I’m also going to get back into my yoga… might have to do it in a separate room, of course, because according to Berners: if you are on the ground, you are on their turf and they pile on top of you in a big happy furry love flop. Not so nice when you’re trying to go from Downward Dog into Plank etc.

Our Dog Food Adventure unfortunately came to a painful end, after Gina developed a horribly inflamed stomach and colon and was pooping blood and had almost permanent diarrhoea for 2 days. She was so stoic and polite about it, that I don’t really know when the problem started, and only saw that something was wrong when it got that bad. I felt terrible for my poor, gentle girl. But she’s all fixed up now, after 2 weeks of various medications to soothe her stomach and colon lining, to put back the good bacteria in her tummy and some antibiotics to kill any nasties that decided to take root while she was under the weather. I switched her to “sensitive stomach” prescription diet and she is doing impressively well on it. Stomach is settled, good poops, she seems more energetic and full of vim and vigour – but that’s also because the weather is finally turning to Berner weather: icy cold, lots of rain, lots of puddles, mounds of fallen leaves under every tree! Azzie also had tummy issues with the diet I had them on – but nothing as severe. She had ups and downs and it was highly unpredictable which way her tummy would go each day. She also developed an itchy problem. So I switched her over to “sensitive skin” prescription diet and she is doing remarkably well too 🙂 Besides the occasional “dietary indiscretion” which causes some tummy woes, she is in excellent health. The itching subsides during the day, but I think there is something else she is allergic too (besides GRASS, which she LOVES to roll around in when it’s wet!) in the other food or treats that they get, so I’m in the process of elimination now to see when the itching stops – until then, she gets a Loratadine 10mg tablet every evening to help her relax enough to sleep. (Vet approved, don’t worry, and the absolute mildest dose I can give)

So unfortunately, the Dog Food Adventure is over – some dogs do very well on raw diets, some do very well on “human food” diets, but my girls just need to stick to something tried and tested. They are now very healthy, and very happy, and this makes me a happy furry mommy.

What else…. hmmm *thinks*

I’ve put all my items up in my shop again, but haven’t had any clients ordering vintage clothing so far…

I am strangely both happy and sad about that. The perfectionist in me grimaces at the idea that I will get an order and I would not get it PERFECT first time, in time, so I don’t WANT any orders! But the vintage lover and creative side of me says PLEASE! Bring it!

I tried making stuff for myself (I have a fabric stash… *hangs head*) but I just seem to lack the inclination. I did finish a nice wiggle skirt, done in black micro suede, but as usual, I did it “my way” and it came out nothing like the way it was meant to. It’s like when I make for myself, my perfectionist self wanders off to a back room and ignores me until it’s “all over” and she can come out and say “told you so!”

I do want to make some casual tops and some yoga pants, just for fun. I have some GREAT patterns. Some are not “vintage” inspired – they just looked simple and useful.

 

I was pondering trying NaNoWriMo this year. I just wish my brain could stick to one idea. I have so many “snippets” but I just can’t seem to “see” further than the scene that I initially write.

My husband is away, again. I miss him terribly. Very little contact, so it’s very quiet in the evenings for me and the girls.

I read. I watch my tv series. I watch movies.

He might be going away again, quite soon after he gets back from this one.

Not sure how I feel about that yet.

I just take it day by day. Try and fill the hours after sundown.

 

I’ve also, after much thought, decided to go back to being vegetarian. (lacto-ovo, for now, in case anyone cares about the technical stuff) after many years “break” from it.

I initially decided I wanted to be vegetarian at the age of 16. It lasted 10 years, and then due to various things, my diet was NOT up to par, and I became anaemic and under weight and very weak and had terribly low blood pressure (even more so than I normally do) and I finally saw the doctor and she said I _have_ to either fix up my vegetarian diet (which I did not see happening, due to the circumstances at the time, which I won’t go in to now) or start eating meat. I chose meat. Now I will admit that I like the taste of meat – I am a meat eater, no doubt – and that’s not why I chose to go veg last time, nor this time. I simply couldn’t handle the inner mental/emotional battle that I seem to have with myself about eating animals whenever I think about it too much.

I’m not going to evangelise to my husband and force him to come over to the “Veg Side” – we have tofu – this is not an activist thing, or a soap box thing. It’s a personal thing and has nothing to do with him. I will continue making him DELICIOUS food, with meat, and I will also make myself delicious food, without meat. Simple as that. More work, but that’s totally OK. I’ve been eating meat-less for about a week or so now, and I must admit, I feel great. I’ve lost 2 or 3 pounds (the bathroom scale is set to pounds, to help me learn the silly American way 🙂 and the stove is set to Fahrenheit) and I feel lighter. Of course it could be my imagination, the weather, and the exercise 🙂 I’ll take whatever I get, really!

 

I’ve also tried to start incorporating meditation in my day. Just 10 or 15 minutes to start. Some days I forget, or I just don’t “feel like it” – but the days I do make a plan, I feel calmer and more patient (especially with the dogs, and annoying people)

It will take time to reach a proper meditation level to feel any REAL benefits (like yoga) but I know it works, as I used to do it a lot when I was on my own. It would take the form of a silent ride, sometimes, or a walk with the dogs in the rain, with not another soul around, or a longer than usual run with music in my ears and the wind blowing me forward.

I have rediscovered Debussy (not just Claire de Lune) and the dogs and I spent an afternoon relaxing (they were snoring, happily) while we enjoyed his music.