Cold and Spicy

You gotta love Texas weather. 82 degrees yesterday, 38 degrees as I type. We have no subtle season changes, only drastic, polar-opposite temperatures to "ease" us into Winter; or indecisive weather most likely to snatch away the chill a few times before January. But today we have Winter. This morning I pulled on my longish forest green button-up coat over a T-shirt and jeans. I met one of my best friends, Amy, and her two sons, Athan and Ian, for coffee at Starbucks. Grey skies drizzled ice water on my hair and eyelashes as I hopped in the car. I decided the last day of November should be freaking cold - cold to Texans, anyway - and it is perfect coffee-chatting weather. I popped in a Paste sampler and kept repeating Ron Sexsmith's song, "All in Good Time," which turned into my personal soundtrack for Thursday. I played that upbeat song over and over, sang along, and tapped my toes at stoplights:

It all seems so obvious now
When I look back over my life
There were times that I really felt down
To think it passed me by

But in these hours of serious doubt
Through the coal black lonely night
Something told me, “it’ll work out”
Something deep inside
Was comforting me

All in good time
All in good time
It said all in good time
The bad times will be gone

As Athan and Ian munched on cookies and I savored a grande Christmas Blend, Amy informed me that not only was her gingerbread latte yummy, but I needed to hear a David Mead CD due to his voice and a penchant for good melody. "I really appreciate a good melody," she said, and I nodded thinking of Sexsmith, his distinctive voice and gift for good tunes. I was into his music long before John and I saw him open for Coldplay. His good-time song set a hopeful tone for an ordinary day of errand-running and checking off lists.

I stopped by Barnes & Noble to hopefully find Christmas cards, but I swear they were the same exact cards on display last year. I did find a box of cute typewriter thank-you notes, and the new issue of Real Simple promising genius Christmas gift and decorating ideas, and the best hand creams, all of which seem necessary. Oh, and the new Houston Press, the cover featuring a guy who thinks he is Jesus H. Christ, somehow both sad and funny.

In Whole Foods I was determined to keep my eyes on the grocery list, not on all the sparkly gifts trying to hop in my basket, but I am weak. In addition to health food I walked out with cinnamon-ylang ylang mist and a tall vanilla-cinnamon-nutmeg pillar candle. What is it with me and ylang ylang lately? I think it's Aunt Denise's fault. She used to wear a to-die-for ylang ylang-myrrh scent before Bath and Body Works discontinued it from their aromatherapy line. I also picked up two free publications, Delicious Living and Whole Foods Market Holiday Handbook, chock full of recipes sure to induce drool: Spiced and Roasted Winter Vegetables, Soft & Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies, Spiced Nuts, Chai-Spiced Tea Cookies, Cranberry-Ginger Biscotti, and Pumpkin-Walnut Bars. I noticed all of these treats involve my favorite spices, and the Holiday Handbook's pages were lined with pictures of spices I could smell: star anise, cumin, nutmeg, paprika, cloves, allspice, cardamom, and cinnamon. My cooking forte is assuredly baking, so I ought to bake the tea cookies soon; who says I can't dip them in coffee?

I ran into HEB for only pragmatic items while rain slashed my cheeks (is a bottle of Llano Estacado Texas merlot practical?). Back home the weather tugged on my eyelids. The gym? What gym? Oh, that gym. Tomorrow. I promise. I changed into PJ's, socks, anticipated evening coffee, and inhaled the new candle while Harley cocked his head studying the fluid flame. I fought the urge to nap - there are dishes and laundry to be done!

Tonight I will flip the aforementioned magazines + a free issue of Salvo in the mail. And watch Grey's Anatomy - does anyone else think Leonardo DiCaprio could play McSteamy's little brother? The cats are rolled into groggy, respective balls. Johnny is practicing in his studio and driving on hopefully non-icy roads to rehearsal. Winter blew in peace, joy, hope, rain, spices, and slumber just in time for the season of Advent on Sunday. "You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the season that their grain and wine increased. I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."


Christine said...

Sensory overload! There is so much great stuff in this post. 1) Do you drink decaf at night or regular? 2) You are killing me with all the Whole Foods stuff, because we're on a strict anti-fungal diet while we're on this cleanse. I feel great, but I"m DYING without coffee and regular food!

Jenni said...

I drink regular coffee in the early evening. I can sleep that way, but if I drink regular coffee later into the night, I cannot sleep as well...

I'm on a semi-antifungal diet, too, so I won't be making those recipes anytime soon! Maybe for Christmas, though.