I really had a very nice day today. For starters, I went for a nice long walk with my friend who is also recently retired, and we talked about what that means to us and how we are coping with it. It turns out to be a process, and we are working through it together. We now have a standing date on Tuesday mornings, unless it is actually pouring rain which isn’t too usual in our neck of the woods. We walked on the Laguna de Santa Rosa trail and had some fine views of Mt. St. Helena, and some hot air baloons. At home again I did a little improv stitching which I will share later. Then I finished decorating the Christmas tree, which has been sitting there with just the lights on it for a couple of days. It was much quicker to decorate and slightly more fun when the kids were still at home, but it is also fun to think of them decorating their own homes now. I have been having a hard time getting into the Christmas holiday feeling, but I think I’m catching on. Finally, I went into the kitchen and did a little improv cooking. I think I have found the perfect combination of ingredients for the cold beet salad and it is like putting a bowl of Christmas jewels on the table. Cold steamed beets, tangerines, Fuyu persimmons, raspberries and red onions, in a vinaigrette of white balsamic and olive oil with lots of tarragon, and a little each of cardamom, allspice, ground pepper and salt.