It’s hard to believe next week kicks off the holiday season, huh.  I feel like I haven’t even had the chance to wrap my head around the fact it isn’t summer anymore.  Now we’re muddled down in the horror that is saving up for Christmas gifts, bogged down by the sluggish economy and high prices of EVERYTHING except gas, ironically enough.

Next week is my last non-regular pacemaker check.  If everything goes according to plan, I will only have it checked every six months at my normal cardiologist appointments.  I *think* all is well in that area.  This year has been one of the roughest so far in terms of seasonal adjustment.  For those who came in late – every year when the weather turns cold (as it seems to do quickly here – 70 one week, 50 the next!)  my heart gets a little touchy.   This year, with the surgeries that have occurred since August, my heart is particularly sensitive and tender and open to being a rebel.  I had such odd rhythms going on, I actually got worried and called my cardiologist of my own accord.  They sent down a heart monitor, but Murphy’s law kicked in, so as soon as I put the monitor on all the arrhythmias ceased.  Naughty heart.  The toughest part of the seasonal adjustment is the double whammy of feeling exhausted much of the time and then not being able to sleep.  Unless I perfectly manage how warm or cold I am, I have significant trouble sleeping.  For nearly a week straight, I was wiped out during the day and wide awake through the night.  I thought it was over and I had adjusted, but last night was another frustrating night.

Soup week is going very well, however.  For the past two days, our house has been steeped in the aromas of cooking vegetables; oven-roasted tomatoes and corn on Monday, and slow-cooker butternut squash soup yesterday.  Today, the schedule has us eating heart-healthy minestrone.  I’ve never made minestrone before, but I’m assuming it’s fairly easy.  We have a Doxa meeting tonight so it’ll be easier to manage an all vegetable soup than the other two soups we have this week.  My husband is thrilled at the minestrone.  Apparently he loves it – although I’ve never heard this fact before last week when I planned the menu.  Now that I know this, I’ll try to make it more often.  And if this recipe turns out as delightful as most of the other recipes from this cookbook, I’ll probably make a big batch next week and freeze some.  I think that soup is the perfect meal to eat in large quantities this week – not only because Thanksgiving is next week, but because it helps ease us into winter.  So much variety in soup, but still it never changes.  No matter what it’s made of, you still hold a steaming bowl in your hands, smelling the richness of harvest, warmth, and safety.