Saturday, 22 December 2012

Winter musings


1. It was (by S.W. Florida standards) quite chilly this morning (46 f,/7.7 c).  For my 6:30 a.m. walk with Penne I donned a top coat, scarf , and gloves.

46f in Massachusetts on December 22nd would have seemed to be almost balmy.  After six and a half years in Florida it feels cold!

Is it true that our blood “thins”, (that’s the lore), or is there an alternative explanation as to why differing temperatures change our bodily reactions?

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2. The cooler weather has its upside.  I was able to walk five miles yesterday, and about four and a half miles today. Penne was so happy!

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3. She has been so happy that she dragged me out for a walk at about 4:45 p.m. today.

There was a method in her madness. Somehow she knew that my neighbour, the recently widowed Sophie would also be out and about. She was correct,

So Penne encountered Sophie this afternoon, and  Sophie met Penne.

Mutual joy abounded.

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4. It got better. Yesterday Penne and I came across Alison who was in the neighbourhood to visit with her parents for “the holidays”.  Alison was entranced with my entirely lovable dog.

Unbeknownst to me, Alison urged her mother to take a walk this afternoon, saying “maybe we’ll see that lovely dog again”.

The timing was right this afternoon. As we walked Penne countered Alison, and Alison met Penne.

 Mutual joy abounded.

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5. O.K. –  So I boast!  But the truth is that my Penne (I adopted her from the Sarasota Humane Society 4 ½ years ago) is truly a fabulously people friendly dog.

I love her to bits, and both friends and strangers respond with joy to her friendliness.

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6. Cooler weather calls for soups.

So today a made a mess of black bean soup.

Finely chopped sweet onion, garlic, red pepper and celery as a base – simmered in vegetable stock for ten minutes,

Half a can of undrained black beans added, with half teaspoons of salt and cumin, then simmered for about another five minutes, and  then pureed with an immersion blender.

1 ½ cans of black beans added, with a bit of cornstarch and the juice from half a lemon,  the  whole mess then  simmered again until it thickens.

Oh my!  Zesty and nutritious soup for the next four suppers!

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7. On the cusp of Christmas.

In my book I do not get too bothered that Christmas is a cultural as well as a religious holiday. I am glad for any religious/secular holiday which brings people together and helps to create loving community.

With that in mind I spent a few hours this afternoon in telephoning dear friends to “keep in touch”.

That’s as good a reason for the Christmas holiday as is the Christian celebration of the myths which surround the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

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