Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Monday, January 2, 2012

Putting In The Miles

End of the bike trail today in Huntington Beach... ocean directly ahead.

Happy New Year everyone!  Did you all have an exciting New Year's Eve?  We didn't, but it was nice all the same.  L and I got on our bikes and rode 14 miles - all the way to Angel Stadium and back.  It was really fun while we were doing it, but I was so tired after we got home - nothing that a nice hot shower didn't cure, however! I took some time after washing my hair to curl it and then we went out and had a little dinner at our favorite little Mexican restaurant - Mi Casa.  It's funny - it's not so much my favorite because the food is like no other.  The food is good, but not great.  What I like is that it's very neighborhood-y - that "come as you are" kind of place where you can look really nice, but you'll be just as comfortable in jeans and no makeup (which is how I usually go there).  We had a quiet little dinner and found our way home before all of the idiots got on the road after partying.  About 8:30 I caught Katie on Face Time (just before her New Year came!) and was able to visit with her for a few minutes.  We watched a little TV and rang in the new year with a Cold Play concert on PBS.  Homeboy and I gave each other a kiss at midnight to ring in the new year and went to sleep.  For an hour.  Then I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep until about 2:30 - after I'd made my next move on Words With Friends and read a little of one of my Kindle books.

And oh, my friends - 9:00 church came early on New Year's Day.  But luckily! - I had washed and curled my hair the night before and it still looked good so it was a jump out of bed, 5 minute shower, quick makeup and out the door kind of morning.  And when we got back home after church?  Why, L and I treated each other to a 2 hour nap!  Ooooh that felt good.  And then the real fun began.

TAKING DOWN THE CHRISTMAS CRAP.  Yes, yes - it was THAT dreaded weekend.  Although, in all reality, I was kind of looking forward to it.  And now, with the house looking spare and zen, my seashells back up on the mantle. and everything freshly dusted and vacuumed, it feels very, very good.  Light and bright, if you will.  Moving on into 2012.

Today, again, was yet another day of holiday/no work.  I was thinking it WAS a work day, though, and I started in at about 8am - until I realized (by looking at who was available on Instant Messenger and realizing NO ONE WAS WORKING) that I wasn't supposed to be working yet either.  So I quietly turned off my laptop and rejoiced.  Sang a quiet hallelujah in my heart.
We watched the Rose Parade on TV for a little bit.  A Palomino horse in a group of riders got excited, reared up, and actually fell over in the street.  I've NEVER seen that happen before!  His poor rider didn't seem to be hurt (luckily!) and led him alongside the rest of the group by the reins.  We turned the TV off and it didn't go on the rest of the day - not even for football games.  I read later online that Oregon won the Rose Bowl game - go Ducks!

L and I went on another good bike ride.  This time we started down in Costa Mesa and rode a little more than 5.5 miles to the beach.  Right onto the sand.  It was about 82 degrees, sunny and gorgeous.  We parked the Explorer in a strip mall parking lot and hopped on the trail at Segerstrom Street.  It was beautifully maintained and it was so enjoyable to look at different scenery from what we've been used to.  The trail led us past neighborhoods, a little greenbelt park, and then ran alongside a canal that led to the ocean.  About a mile out we could smell the ocean and salt air.  Once we got there, we sat on some rocks and rested, drinking some water while we watched the waves in the distance.

And then we hopped on our bikes and pedaled back the way we came.  The way back was a little more difficult, being slightly uphill and against the wind.  But we did it!  We figured the distance was about 11.5 miles, and on such a beautiful day it was a treat.
On the way home we were starving so we stopped at In 'n Out for a hamburger and fries - and a Diet Coke!  I know, I know... that pretty much neutralized any benefit gained from riding the 11 miles.  But I don't remember when a hamburger tasted so good!  When we got back home, after putting the bikes away L took down the rest of the Christmas lights and I cleaned out the closet in my office.  So now everything fits, and it's nice and neat.  You can actually find what you're looking for now, and all of my boots fit on the top shelf.  I do love a neat closet.
L went for a haircut, and after that we ventured out to our newest fascination: Home Goods.  It's like TJ Maxx for furniture and, well... home goods.  Besides furniture they have lamps, mirrors, shelving, artwork, throw pillows, decorative items of every sort, shape and size, a bedding department, children's section, and heaven help me, a kitchen section - which I did NOT visit tonight so as to keep my focus.  We went in looking for some new sleeping pillows.  We found those AND a perfect shelf to put my Hummels on, AND a dress form.  I know.  That's random.  But I saw one in a bedroom in the Restoration Hardware catalog, and it looked so pretty standing in a corner.  I have it wearing my 3 long necklaces - you know, the ones that are usually tangled up in a box.  This way, they stay nice and straight.  And I threw an ivory pashmina scarf around it that I never wear - it's an acquisition from back in the day when I worked for Frette - an Italian luxury linen store - and we were required to wear these scarves for a store event.  I've never worn it since.  I guess I'm not much of a scarf person - probably because it's rarely cold enough here to wear them.  Love the look, but when I get them on, I feel all hot and sweaty.  So I keep them for that random day that happens to dip below 60 degrees.  Or when I go to the movies, because heaven knows those theaters are FREEZING.
Speaking of movies, on Monday L and I went to see Hugo.  I didn't know what to expect - the promo clips don't really tell you much.  Again - I loved it!  It's a pretty long movie, so I don't know if toddlers or even children under 8 could sit through it, but otherwise it's a movie the whole family can go to.  Directed by Martin Scorsese (is that how you spell it?) and the cast ranges from from Ben Kingsley to Jude Law to Sasha Baron Cohen (BORAT!) of all people.  Really good.  Go see it.  I think I might like to read the book as well.
So that's the new year wrap from our house.  We are boring old geezers, but we have a good time together.  Tomorrow it's back to work (which, luckily, is just down the hall from my bed), and the routine goes back to normal.  One new thing - I decided to go back to my yoga studio.  I find I'm not able to get a long bike ride in on a daily basis, and I need to move more to offset the 8 hours of sitting at a computer every day.  So yay! - yoga and cycling for 2012!  We'll see if I can make some of those extra pounds budge.  (please, please, please... )
I can hear L in there turning on the TV.  Time to settle in and relax.  And I think I'm just tired enough tonight to sleep like a log.


  1. My goodness, you two are soooo energetic! Good for you.

    Happy New Year! - Marsha

  2. I have yet to take down Christmas. It always makes me kinda sad to do so. But things are fresh and zen, as you say, when the house is back in order.

    awesome about the bike riding! I train for another half marathon starting tomorrow. Yay for fitness! :)

  3. Good for you in keeping up your bike riding! I, too, thought I had to work yesterday and it was such a wonderufl surprise when I found out I didn't. Happy New Year to you!

  4. Well I must be an old geezer too because I thought your whole post sounded fun and rather magical - not to mention warm and sunny and the beach - ahhhhhhhh :-D

    Glad you got your Christmas crap down - I still have to do that this week UGH!! I go back to work today and then have that to look forward too.

    Have a GREAT Day!

    Oh and Happy New Year!

  5. Since you play "Words With Friends" you might like to visit my blog to try my TV trivia anagram game. Unscrambling letters to make words is good practice for WWF.

  6. I really wish I could pick up on a sport's activity that I love. Every time I read about you riding your bike, I'm jealous. It's time for me to get busy with exercise. I love how you go with your husband and do fun things along the way.

    Happy New Year!

  7. Minus the bike rides, I could have written this myself. We watched the Coldplay, took everything down the same day and felt good about putting our shells back, had a quiet dinner on New Year's Eve, and watched Hugo (which we also loved).

    I think we must be on the same wavelength!


  8. I had no idea we were so close to you when we were in California. We stayed at Surfside and had a ball, even rode bikes to Huntington Beach.

  9. I was so loving the post...until I read the temp..82de...I wanted to hit the screen because I was so jealous..but being jealous is a sin..sooooo...I smiled and thought: "that's OK..it's going to warm up tomorrow to 28de"..maybe I can go outside and the snot won't freeze to my face....please don't feel bad for me...Ok, please feel just a little bad? Have a great rest of the week Karen, you know I love ya!

  10. Just got back from taking the kids to Hugo. I really liked it--would have loved it if Evie hadn't lost her pacy in the theater and then was bad as dirt for the rest of the movie.
    You're becoming quite the cyclist, my friend!

  11. I am jealous indeed. We still have all of our Christmas to take down, but it just won't get done until Dick and I are feeling a little bit stronger. We are both exhausted, so are trying to take it a bit easy.

    Don't you just love Home Goods? That is one of my favorite stores. The only trouble is that whenever we do go, we spend SO much time in there. We have been able to find many good things there though.

    Your cycling trips sound wonderful. I think it is good that you and LaMar are so into it because I'm told it is a very good form of exercise. I only ride a stationary one and only for about ten minutes after I have walked on the treadmill for 20 or 30 minutes. I am sure that is why I feel so much better in the summer because we actually do get in quite a lot of exercise as we go in the pool every day except for Sunday and do about a 40 minute aerobic routine plus the treadmill plus the bike, so all in all I get in about an hour and a half of exercise.

    Take Kare, Karen and have a Happy New Year!

  12. Karen, I have the same trouble with the conflict of enjoying food so much after a great workout. I'm going to have to change my lifestyle even more, because my runs at the gym aren't enough. You inspire me to think about going out for longer trips, taking different routes and embracing the beauty around you. The ocean would be a constant draw for me! When you said Christmas Crap, I totally identified. This year I looked at the tree decorations just like that...and thankfully Richard was willing to pack them all away. I think I need to collect an entirely new set of decorations that are more appealing. Your home sounds lovely and comfortable...all fresh and zen!


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