Speaking of running - on Monday (which now has transpired to be my "long run" day of the week) the 19th, despite coming off 11 days of working (with extra hours) and some sleepless nights (for reasons I won't go into), I ran my longest run of 10 miles since September, and broke 10 min/mile average barrier for that (meaning there were definitely good quality miles in there, as I start slow, but alas, I don't have devices to track them). And that happened on the morning Texas winter gave in to that summery warm and humid air of 65F/90%. Yowser! #nevergiveup
The Valentine craze almost put me down. Fortunately (and almost surprisingly) not so much physically, despite upping the hours, but threatening my introverted personality. My regular Thursday day off turned into a working day, that week also saw all my handful of house clients showing up on top of Myo extended schedule, and being surrounded by people without time for myself put me over the edge of handling things. Not to mention there was some semi-crisis going on I had to tend to and manage through 3rd party...sigh. Anyway, that Thursday the 15th I drove to a yarn store, bought a nice replacement for my seriously reduced yarn stash, came home, praying Larry is still not there, brew a cup of coffee, locked a door in my craft room - and cried a bit.
I did finish a gorgeous dress (if I may say so) at the beginning of the month, and "took it out" for a dinner night! Yarn is Merino wool from my latest Portland trip past December, shopping spree with Monika in a newly discovered store.
For the food part of this month, that very Valentine week was also "maslennica" week in Russian Orthodox calendar. Which, in a nutshell, is a "gorge yourself before Lent and eat lots of buttery stuff" week. I made crepes one morning, syrniki - another, and pel'meni for dinner - all consumed with sour cream from the Russian store. Larry's favorite time of the year:)
I've been asked if I am giving up anything for Lent this year. This time around Lent came almost without warning, I was so consumed with daily living. And I wasn't prepared. But as I thought about it, I realized I had already given up a lot of material sort of items/tasks in a normal existence and exercised my will power enough to know I got it. So the thing I decided to go with is sort of a personal and internal commitment I don't care to share publicly. But I am absolutely certain it will improve quality of our life. Lets see how this goes.
On the 22nd it turned 2 years since my father lost his battle to cancer at the age of 79. He fought hard to the end, just as he did all his life. The words following are the ones I said when he died, repeated at the first year's anniversary, and say again, as they are the truest words about my Father. He might have not been the best dad, but he was the best at what he did, in his field - a bomber pilot and an air-force commanding officer. He was a father to more people than his own two daughters, his subordinates loved him - and feared him, with that very great love. His calling was to serve his country, and he did it at all costs, all-consuming. He taught us by example, not by words: overcoming life's obstacles with toughness and a smile, not complaining, having a huge work ethic and discipline, honesty, bullheadedness in reaching the goals, rule following, military precision and punctuality, zest for life and love for friends. He carried those traits to the very last moments - and being a "white bone officer". Most of all, he loved the sky, the high blue sky. It was his true passion like nothing else. May the Earth soil be soft as Feathers for him. May his soul soar high where it belongs...
Somewhere at the end of the month we met with our CPA and fed Uncle Sam - he is always hungry, this man. But I digress. Just part of living here.
To offset this event, Larry and I went straight to Waco, home of Joanna and Chip Gaines, main characters from our favorite HDTV show "Fixer-Upper". We happen to enjoy their antique and seemed-to-be real family interactions, and despite a dreary weather, visited their Silos, Bakery and The Magnolia Store. The baking goods were great, store - not so much (or, rather, not what I would have wanted and expected to see). I hoped the store is filled with a locally produced handcrafts they promote in the show, but it was rather a weak collection of China-made stuff with Magnolia stamp on it). Anyway, another "get to see and do while still in TX" item off the list checked. A local coffee shop smoothed the experience:)
On an unrelated note, lately, every time I have that actual Thursday off and then drive to work on Friday, it feels surreal and I am bewildered anew each time: what am I doing and where am I going? Don't take me wrong, I still like what I do and enjoy my workplace and helping people live a better quality life (and I surely love it by far more than my last 5 years in academic science, working at UT, under a worst asshole professor - 3 years as I left that 20 years science career!)...but, suddenly, with 5-0 approaching, I wonder...May be it's a sign of outgrowing (all those degrees, and?). Larry claims it's a way of emotionally detaching as the move and potential changes in that area of my life, along with all others, are coming closer...
So this pretty much how February went - which is the end of our normal hibernation period. March is going to be a full-on awaking and a blast, in many kinds of ways.