I guess you may have noticed I've been sort of missing from Blogland for a bit.
No doubt I do more in the two hours before work than some people do in an entire day!
First things first, I run downstairs and let the pups out. Poor little things, their little furry legs are crossed by that time, and they need my attention before anything else happens.
We run back upstairs, and I let them out the kitchen door for their 'peepitees.'
What....that's what they call them!
They usually run towards the bird feeders first, to see if they can scare a squirrel or two.
The squirrels are onto their little routine, and scoot down the stairs when they hear the kitchen door open.
Then down to the garden they go....but it's cold out there, they don't waste any time and are back scratching at the door within minutes.
Time for morning 'cookies' - they each get a glucosamine cookie for healthy joints and a multi vitamin.
They call those 'shake-a-shake-a-witamins.'
Yes, really. They do!
Now it's time to get the fire going again. There may be ashes to take out, or wood to be brought in from the garage.
Once the fire is going, the bed gets made. Do you make your bed every morning? I can't stand to look at the bed all rumpled up, it just seems the whole room is so much cleaner when the bed is made.
We have a nice coating of snow outside, and everything is bright and cheery with the sun reflecting off the snow.
While I'm in the bedroom, I'll turn on the gas fireplace to warm up the room. It will be nice and toasty when I finally make it in for a shower.
I'll toss in a load of laundry before I head back out of the bedroom. I love having a washer and dryer right there in my master suite, it's so convenient.
Back into the kitchen now to unload the dishwasher and put the dishes away. I turn the coffee maker on at this point, getting ready for that first cup.
Standing at the kitchen counter, I can see the birds outside on the feeder....which reminds me to put on my winter clogs and run out to dump some sunflower seeds and peanuts on the flat feeder.
The blue jays attack within seconds. I think they watch for me, they know my routine.
I check on the fire, hopefully it's taking off by now....if not I mess with it a little more, add a little more kindling or fatwood.
Back into the kitchen, time to think about what will be for dinner that evening.
It all has to be planned, you know. Something to be left out of the freezer, or something to be started in the crock pot.
The other day it was The Most Amazing Split Pea Soup Ever. Funny enough, I sometimes have to look up recipes on my blog because I don't remember how I made things. I must be getting old!
Yesterday it was a big pot of chicken broth. I don't have to look that recipe up, I make it so often it's engrained in my mind.
This morning it was straining that chicken broth, to use in tonight's dinner. I got two quart size jars plus the same again in a giant Pyrex bowl with a lid.
Just look at that gorgeous color, the key is to simmer the broth for at least 24 hours.
After the chicken broth is strained, it's time to take out the stinky garbage, where I've tossed all the scraps I strained out of the broth.
No way could I leave that in the house all day while I'm at work, ewwww!
While I'm out in the garage dumping the garbage, I hunt around in the freezer for a loaf of crusty bread to leave out for dinner.
We'll have warm crusty bread to go with the soup I'll be making with that awesome broth. I'm already drooling!
Back inside, and my old girl usually has to go out for a second time by now. She rushes back in to the house for her cookies the first time I let her out, and then drinks a ton of water. So she always has to go out again within a half hour or so. Sometimes I let her out 4 times before I even leave for work!
Meanwhile, guess where we can find the little Monkey....curled up in 'her' chair in front of the fire, in a sun puddle.
Protecting her favorite orange squeaky ball.
What a weirdo.
Maybe I'll get five minutes to sit with my coffee at this point, but then it's time to hop in the shower.
After the shower, put in the contacts, follow the skincare routine, comb the knots out of my hair....that's always fun.
Then it's time for a morning workout,
Also not fun.
Once I'm dressed and makeup on, hair done, it's time to let the pups out one more time.
Then they go back downstairs to my daughter's room, where they will spend the day until I get home from work.
I run back upstairs, start the car with the remote start, and load up the fire for the day.
I pack my breakfast and lunch, grab my work tote, and get ready to hit the road.
Coat on, boots on, out the door.
I'm exhausted already and my work day hasn't even begun!
But the beauty of my routine is that by getting up earlier and taking care of chores for an hour or two before work I can relax and enjoy my evening when I get home.
Sure, It starts all over again when I get home, letting the pups out, making dinner, the evening routine.
But by doing a bit before work, the evenings are much more peaceful and something to be treasured.
And I truly do treasure my evenings.
There's nothing like coming home.