Well, I'm enjoying my winter writing schedule very much. Aside from a few bumps in the road, most of my days this winter are quite relaxing. They begin slightly (ahem) later than they used to when I had to hit the road at 6:30, and end later since I don't have to get up so early. I get house chores and busy work out of the way first thing, then go for a walk up our lovely dirt road, stopping whenever a photo jumps out at me, which is pretty often. Then I hit the laptop for a few hours, break for lunch and some fun reading, and then back to it. Late afternoon, I fill the bird feeders so there's plenty of sunflower seeds for the chickadee feeding frenzy as the light fades. Then it's cooking time and Dennis gets home and then maybe a little more writing or TV, which is something I never had time for before. We're watching series on DVD mostly -- our current favorites are Outlander and, surprisingly, The Flash. (Maybe not so surprisingly. Both deal with time travel, which is one of my favorite themes.)
But I am not alone all day. Our two kittens, collectively known as Piperwillow, which is what we yell when we hear something crash in the night because it's shorter than saying "Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer," are utterly adorable and ridiculous. Or perhaps I'm ridiculous. We have many daily rituals, beginning with "brush the kitties," which takes place on the bed as soon as I'm dressed in the morning. First I brush Piper, and then I brush Willow, which often takes fifteen minutes and involves much stretching and purring, especially during the tummy brush parts. Then we have "kittie treats," which involves special nibbles which are actually teeth cleaning kibble, but they don't know that. Some days, we have "trim the claws," which is less popular, but saves me forty bucks a month in vet bills. (I'm very proud of myself for doing this, btw. These two are the first of my pets that I've ever dared approach with claw clippers.) Then there is "Daddy pet me, no ME" time when Daddy gets home. There are always evening snuggles, with the kitties choosing a lap, and of course beddiebye snuggles, which always involve me becoming a pillow that is expected to be immobile all night. (I have been known to sit up with a roar, seize whichever toy they've brought to beddiebye with them, and disappear it until morning.) The floor is littered with things that squeak and rattle or go squish when you step on them barefoot in the dark. And there is a three-tiered cat tree in front of the living room windows, just because. Did I mention the laser pointer and the fish on a string? Spoiled? Ha.
On a personal improvement note, I'm doing a lot more cooking than I used to do, focusing on healthy recipes. It's such fun to have the energy to cook again, instead of dinner being just one more chore to get through before collapsing into bed. I'm back to making homemade bread once a week, kneading it by hand. I'm also challenging my brain by learning bird songs from the Peterson's Birding by Ear CDs. While I've always been pretty good at identifying birds by sight, I'm lousy at knowing them by their calls. Unlike the rest of my family, I'm not an auditory person. But I'm getting better. (Purple finch and house finch are killing me.)
But above all, I'm enjoying being in touch with nature more, sensing the daylight growing, sensing the seasons changing, and being aware of the quiet that surrounds me. Because it's from that quiet that words come to me.
I'm tired at night, and it's a good tired.