Marching In

It’s dull here on this first weekend in March. The trees are bare, and the sky’s unfinished drywall. With the snow melted away–not that I’m complaining–the world outside my windows is brown and gray.
 
Right now feels like a holding pattern before the hopes (so often dashed) of April.
 
But I don’t wish time away, unless I’m in the dentist’s chair. I need March as it provides a few more weeks of hibernation for me. In fact, the last time I was out of the house, I WAS in the dentist’s chair, and barring unforeseen events or needs, I have no plans to leave my perch until March is in the rear view.
 
Winter’s a trade-off for me. I find it cold, wet and inconvenient–when I have to venture out into it. But since I rarely venture out into it, it provides me with a long stretch of solid at-home and at-work time.
 
It’s a pretty good deal.
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However, seeing this pretty little sign of coming spring pleases me enormously. Bulbs are starting to poke their way up out of the ground. Undoubtedly snow will fall on them before it’s done with us, but I love that sweet little reminder of things to come, and weekends of planting, weeding, throwing balls for the dogs and just being out in the warm air.
 
But I’ll take March and my winter routines.
 
Yesterday, at BW’s request, I made tortilla soup. Not only yummy, but leftovers mean no cooking for me today.IMG_1354 My house is in reasonable order–also addressed yesterday–so no need for me to spend time on that. Nice. I plan to spend the bulk of the day lolling around reading, and that is very, very nice indeed.
 
But before the lolling, comes another part of my daily routine. My gym. I workout every day–rarely miss. I love my little gym, and have taught myself to love (mostly) the workout. Yesterday I tried out a new ab DVD, and am torn between annoyance and satisfaction that my abs ache some this morning. I do not, and never will, have a six pack. I have maybe a three pack, but am fully aware I’d have a zero pack if I didn’t keep at it.IMG_1358
 
Even with my winter purging, I still own about 100 workout DVDs. This is no more excessive for me than my shoe collection. I need the variety to stay engaged, to talk myself–every day–into going out there and doing it. If I didn’t mix it up, I’d bore myself within a week.
 
Not so different from writing for me, as I have a process or routine, but ray out for variety from the suspense, the long-running series and the more fantasy or paranormal-based trilogies. Probably not so different from my approach to cooking where it’s let’s try some of this, or how about adding some of that. Just to mix it up.
 
Maybe that’s why I can embrace and seriously value routine without feeling I’m bogged down in a rut.
 
And that routine I embrace keeps me sitting on my butt for hours daily. Without the routine of hitting the gym, that butt would be the size of Utah. Plus, I like carbs! I am not giving them up! I’d rather sweat for an hour than deny myself french fries. And I want to fit into my clothes, I heard that a flex belt is one of the best home exercise tool for people like me. I really like my clothes even though when happily in routine I’m mostly wearing pjs, sweats or workout gear. But the clothes are there when I need them, and they need me to keep my butt in line.
 
So I’ll be hitting the gym shortly, aching abs and all. Pick out a couple of DVDs so I can sweat my way toward my 10,000 steps, maintain my three pack, maybe soothe the spirit with some yoga, then reward myself with an afternoon of reading.
 
While I’m working out, Parker will likely be following his routine. See how handsome he is? Doesn’t he look dignified and calm?160305-parker-1000
 
Do not be fooled. He mostly has two speeds. Manic delight and excitement, and sleep. This is his routine most days when I’m in the gym. She’s in there, he thinks, I can see her! She won’t let me in there, and she’s jumping around or lying on the floor. She won’t let me jump around with her, or lie on the floor with her? I’ll show her!
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He’ll come to the glass door, stare, go to the corner of the gym, dig in the dirt and mulch like a mad thing, come back, stare. Go dig some more. Too bad, he’s still not coming in.
 
So Parker and I (and Pancho who glances hopefully in the door, then wanders off to wait) will embrace our Sunday routine. After the workout, the dogs (yet another routine) will come in with me and get a much-desired Milk Bone. I’ll get a book, and maybe some carbs.
 
Sounds good.  
Nora

31 thoughts on “Marching In”

  1. Hey Nora,
    Thanks so much for the encouragement of keeping in shape. It is so nice to know that even though you spend hours in a chair writing those fantastic books, you’re not only keeping your brain active, but the rest of you, too!! I’ll be 65 this June and I am fully aware of the importance of being active and eating healthily. I’ve always been an avid lover of swimming and doing laps, and since I have a bad left hip and been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, I’m not able to do any strenuous exercise, so swimming provides an overall good workout with less impact on that painful joint, while exercising the heart muscle . So yesterday, with four of our grandkids in tow, we headed to our multiplex pool, and spent over an hour in the water. If nothing else, grandkids are a wonderful motivation to keep in good health so we can enjoy (and keep up with) them for, hopefully, many years to come! Rock on Nora and thanks!

  2. Parker looks like he could be a little mischievous. 🙂 Love hearing about your days. have a great one!

  3. Spring training has started and I saw a robin this morning and our snow has almost melted. Yeah!

  4. Thank you for sharing! After I work on taxes, I have the delicious pleasure of anticipating reading more of Brotherhood in Death – what a treat! The sun is shining, it is warming up – I may even be able to read outside for a while – in Chicagoland, in early March! Enjoy every moment of your Sunday, and thank you for sharing your wonderful gift of writing with all of us. It is truly one of my greatest joys!

  5. Good to know someone else doesn’t need to fill every minute of a day with doing stuff and more doing stuff.

  6. Reading is on my agenda for the day. Rereading the In the garden trilogy. Those books make me think of gardening when it’s cold and wet out. My niece is also reading them for the first time. So every night it’s text filled with what she got to read that day between work and kiddos. Our own mini bookclub she calls it. 🙂

  7. I love knowing your dedication to writing, and your talent have help provide you with such a wonderful life. That you can choose to (sort of) hibernate and enjoy your solitude as much as you want is wonderful. This sort of life appeals greatly to me. I like being able to relate, it makes me enjoy your books even more. 😀

  8. I love my workout too, a day without yoga is not a good day. I try to get to classes when I can because I love that energy but after work, life, etc often I’m too tired. Thank God for YouTube with all the free, ever increasing content – all kinds of different yogas, workouts, and more. Then reading a good book after, what’s better than that? What’re you currently reading? I’m enjoying The Cat Who mystery novels. Thanks for sharing your routine and life!

    1. Loved those Cat Who mysteries. I miss them. Almost, but not quite, every time I get hooked on an author he or she stops writing or dies.
      Maybe I should pick younger authors. Love Nora’s books but would like to see a “normal” trilogy every few years. Not too sold on the paranormal unless they are like The Chesapeake series!!!

  9. Reading about your everyday life is such a treat! I feel as though I’m reading letters from a longtime friend. I love that you are so open and personable. There’s nothing pretentious or pompous about you. I just finished reading Devoted last week and can’t wait until Brotherhood comes out in paperback! It’s so hard waiting, but the wait is always worthwhile. Whenever I buy the latest installment, be it an In Death or part of a trilogy, I always reread the previous book. It helps to keep details fresh in my mind, plus it’s a way to double the indulgence! I can honestly say there hasn’t been a Nora Roberts or J.D. Robb book that I haven’t enjoyed. Some, more than others, of course, but I’ve enjoyed them all. It was so heartwarming to see Trueheart earn his detective shield, and I can’t wait to see if Dallas does, indeed put in a request for a new uniform! I have no doubt that, if she does, it will be another fascinating character to add to the storyline. Now, I’m off to fold some laundry and begin prep on my famous potato soup—no written recipe, of course! Enjoy your Sunday, Nora. You, too, Laura! You do such a wonderful job.

  10. Parker’s no longer a pup! What a handsome dude! My first Japanese iris showed some bloom yesterday and a couple of crocus. This is nerve-wracking because in Colorado, March and April are major snow months. Still, it was beautiful to see, even if they get five foot of snow dumped on them next week.

  11. I don’t work out since all of the men decided to take over the pool at 5 a.m. in the spring. I hauled my curvy bottom over there all winter; spring comes, and the old guys decide they are going to take up all the lanes. (It kills me to not capitalize the seasons, as that is what I was taught. Somewhere along the way the rules changed. Maybe some Spring when I wasn’t looking East!)

    I woke up 2 days ago with a very sore hip, like it is broken. I don’t know what I did in my sleep…

    I am still looking for our tulips to start showing themselves. We got rid of our vegetable and flower gardens last fall and had grass laid. It is still nice and green in 5 patches. One area is filled with small rocks. I am too disabled now to tend gardens. I will miss them.

    Keep writing, please! My only hobby now is listening to books. Luckily, I keep losing weight without trying. I weigh less than I did in high school, so that’s good.

  12. Your post is staying in my saved mail. I’m your age, and have the time, but not the motivation, to work out. I love speed walking in my local park- overtaking guys half my age on the walking track. But due to osteopenia, I’ve broken 8 bones, & I have to watch where I walk. I also love to eat, so I’m super careful w/my portions. People like me need to do weights & resistance training- I have the weights, so no excuse there. If you can fit it into your busy schedule, why can’t I? So thanks- you will be my motivator now!

  13. Nora,
    Loved the peek at your gym. I am the owner of a new writing toy…a sit/stand option for my computer. It’s made by Kantek model STS800, and I love it. Don’t know if you’ve looked into this but since you work out daily an option when writing to sit or stand might be right up your alley! Happy Spring…hope it arrives soon.
    Nancy Kay

    1. I have a hospital-type side table, but my bed is too high for it to fit over and use for my computer. I have an extra thick mattress and a mattress topper. The first topper I had was so high I had to use a step stool to get into the bed, and I am 5’10”. This one is just perfect and feels much better. I do wish the table would swing over for me to use my laptop on.

  14. Here is some bright news. Daylight saving — fall forward is next Sunday March 13th 2016. SPRING EQUINOX happens March 19th 2016 at 2330 or 11:30pm. Spring will last 92 days, 18hrs and 32mins. Just so you know. Suzie

  15. Thank you for sharing your day. I’m the same when it comes to working out, I just need to do it, and add variety — Billy Blank’s cardio boot camp one day, Gunnar Peterson’s exercise ball works, or just a day of weights (taken from my time in PT last year). For me, it’s a necessary evil, plus I like the results. Happy March!
    Stephanie
    #professionalromancefan

  16. I saw two really fat robins this morning in WC Illinois. The hope of spring is a wondrous thing BUT that also means the influx of buffalo gnats (A.K.A. black flies) and the inability to take my walks and enjoy the beautiful weather. Will have to find an indoor routine until it is hot as blue blazes and the gnats are gone. Then it will be too hot to walk. Sigh.

  17. My hyacinths are peaking thru the ground. At least snow is melted. Wish I could work out, but at 83 balance is poor, need the use of walker, but do my leg exercises and walk.
    Just started reading 3 Fates, love it. Somehow missed it the first time around. But enjoying it this time around.

  18. Love those carbs too! Enjoy hearing about your routines. Just finished one of mine. I reread one of your books ‘The Villa’. I reread at least one of your books every week! Then I end up rereading extra if it’s part of a trilogy. Those are my favorites. Love your writing.

  19. I wish I had your disposition for working out. I don’t. I thought it would stick with me after reading the Bride’s Quartet but I guess I still need 98 more DVD to keep the focus and ambition. In me it’s not the some number pack thing but a stretching need. With time you stop being so flexible and just gardening doesn’t count as workout, I guess 😉
    I love Parker’s routine. 😀 There is something in a determined naughty and still so dignified looking dog I’m hopeless with. Go Parker! Mum will be right along to swap – do not neglect the arms 😉 Nora! – the dirt.
    Enjoy March! Soon great weather will take you out and about.
    Teresa

  20. My husband always says that without the workout, there is no pack of any size, just a keg. LOL

    1. I am glad to see the little green leaves popping up too! This week in Cincinnati, the temperature will be in the 60’s and 70’s all week. It is 73 today so we were able to sit out on the glassed-in porch and read a bit. We both work out three times a week at a small gym. I have lost 25% of my weight and need to continue the process. I cannot say I enjoy working out but I know I have to do it to stay healthy. How else can I go to Steak and Shake and enjoy the half price shakes with my husband? We do not do it often but when we do it is a real treat!

      1. Congratulations, Donna, on the weight loss. I know it isn’t easy. With help, I have lost almost 200 lbs. 🙂 We may be related some way. Miller is my maiden name. Nobody ever misspelled it or mispronounced it and it was much easier than the one I have now.

        1. Donna, losing a quarter of your weight and Jean, losing 200 pounds isn’t just amazing, it’s inspiring!

          Here’s to the healthier you!

  21. A tree we planted in memory of my step-father has little green buds on it, and two of our bushes have little yellow buds on them. Still no signs of tupils yet, though.

  22. Parker’s just gorgeous! At first glance, he does appear to be very dignified and staid, but if you look more closely you can see in his eyes that he’s ready for action at a moment’s notice. (Also , I can’t help feeling that he’s wondering why he’s wearing such a girly scarf!)

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