Every year I feel that the first full week of a new year crawls by incredible slowly, and after those first few days the weeks seem to chase each other throughout the year. This year's beginning was no exception - something I really enjoy by now, knowing that this feeling of time passing slowly will not last for long.
There was time to enjoy special moments and be grateful for them.
Like two very amazing sunrises that I could witness from my bedroom window. The sky shows these incredible colors only during winter, the colors are clear and very intense. It gives the beginning of a new day a completely new meaning. Sunsets were amazing as well!
It was the first week of school, and we're back to our daily routine. Interesting how fast that happens. I wake up on my own at 5:45 and get up just a few minutes after that. My daughter is the same. This week we left the house for school a few minutes later than usual, trying to break the old pattern, only to find that the parking lot at the school resembles a zoo - and returned to our old pattern. It's so much nicer to start the day in a more relaxed way.
I'm happy that I am back to my workout routine, although I want to mix it up a bit and spend more days at the lake this year. I haven't done so this past week because I first wanted to have five straight days of exercise to get back into it. There was only one day when I felt like there was lead in my legs, but the others were fantastic. I'm thankful to be back to my activity level.
I am immensely thankful for the heating in our house. We had some colder days with lots of sun and clear skies, but it comes at the price of lower temperatures, especially in the mornings and evenings. During the day the sun heats our house by shining straight in through the large windows. These clear and dry days (oh, how I miss the December rains - please let there be more rain!!) made it also possible to work in the garden. My poppies from last year have re-seeded like crazy and I need to pull a lot of them so that they don't crowd out everything else. Not my favorite kind of gardening, but it needs to be done. It helps that the ground is still wet and everything pulls out easily.
While gardening I discovered a new visitor to our garden, a little black cat. She hangs around the bird feeders which I don't particularly like, but she also just sits on top of the fence. She is still quite shy, but by now she doesn't run away immediately when she sees me, but keeps a safe distance. It has been a long time since I last had a feline companion in my garden.
Speaking of animals, there are two or three coyotes roaming the forested hill across from our house. The first time I heard them howling was in December. After we had returned from our trip I didn't hear them, but this week I heard them twice. They howl in the night, and one night they appeared to have been pretty close. Sometimes I hear only one coyote, sometimes at least two, but I don't think there are more than three of them. Some of you might remember how much I love coyotes. They're my spirit animal, I love their howling and the place they occupy in Native American legends. I just hope that nobody goes nuts and shoots them.
I started an online photography class called "The Art of Photography" with RMIT University in Australia. While there wasn't anything new to learn in the first week, I love the class and the way it is set up. The instructor explains everything in a very clear way, often with interesting examples. I did all my quizzes for this first week and now want to start my first assessment.
Last but not least, I am grateful for good bread (this is something I could mention every Sunday). I missed hearty bread during our trip (although I enjoyed the Navajo fry bread very much) and I started baking bread immediately after we had returned from the Southwest. Our favorite at the moment is this whole wheat bread.
What are you grateful for at the end of this first full week of 2015?