1. The Deke and I continue to stick with it. We buzzed out to the Wellness Center and worked out for over an hour. I increased my cardio workout a bit again and worked my upper body on the weight machines. While I was pedaling away on one of the cardio machines, I got a shot of encouragement as Patti Hei strolled in and came over to say hello, happy to see that the Deke and I were hittin' it regularly at the gym. I, too, am happy we are stickin' with it. We were both worn out this afternoon, but agreed these sessions had us both feeling better.
2. I've never made a soup with ham hocks before, so today I went to Stein's and bought three ham hocks, poured water over them, chopped up an onion, threw some celery scraps into the pot, and salt and peppered it. I also added a pound of dry navy beans. By around eight o'clock or so, an aroma very familiar to this house began to fill it: the salty, sweet, and savory smell of ham and beans cooking. It transported me back to winter Sundays when I was young. On occasion, Mom fixed ham and beans and baked loaves of bread and the heat of the oven and the steam of the soup fogged up our windows and home felt especially warm and comfortable and secure and these dinners were among my favorites.
3. Earlier in the day, Shawn came by. The Deke had texted him after Patti told her that he was recovering from the flu, but was battling the gout. He is still weak and is baching it for a few days, so the Deke invited him over for dinner on Thursday and I'm hoping my first attempt at ham and bean soup served with cornbread succeeds at some level.