One of the first things my Oura ring helped me figure out when I got it 4 years ago, was that if I eat a meal in the 4 hours before bedtime it interferes with my sleep. The effect was dramatic enough that Jackie and I switched to eating just two meals a day: breakfast an hour or two after we get up, and then our main meal of the day around 2:00 PM. Since that change, I’ve slept much better.
Sometimes though… life intervenes. Yesterday was one of those days. My local Esperanto group had its annual Zamenfest, and I brought pizza and cookies to the meeting, and ate a lot of both. (In fact, I not only ate several of the ginger sparkles I bought, I also ate some green star-shaped sugar cookies and some peanut butter cookies brought by other members of the group. It was a real cookie fest, as well as a Zamenfest.)
Unsurprisingly, I saw a repeat of the various issues that showed up 4 years ago, as can be seeing from looking at my Readiness metrics from my Oura ring:
The “Recovery index” basically means that my heart rate remained elevated until shortly before I woke up. That’s on top of the fact that it only got down to 53, which is rather high for me. My body temperature was 1.1℉ above baseline, which is probably just that my body was very active digesting food, rather than being a fever due to an infection or something.
A single day of this is no problem. Today I’ll eat on my usual schedule, and I expect I’ll sleep very well tonight. But I thought it was an interesting example of the sort of thing that the Oura ring is good at alerting the user to.
I didn’t get a picture of yesterday’s cookies, but here’s some from a prior year’s batch:
I started this post basically as a shout-out to the post office for doing a pretty good job of covering the range of holiday stamp needs. If you want to honor a major religious or ethnic northern-hemisphere-winter celebration with your stamp choice, the U.S. post office has you pretty well covered.
Jews and African-Americans will find Hanukkah and Kwanzaa stamps.
Christians who want to focus on the religious aspects of the holiday have two choices—manger scene with star, or the slightly more subtle lamb. (Is it the Lamb of God? Is it a reference to flocks watched over by shepherds at night? It’s a stretch, but you could even choose to pretend it’s a secular reference to wool production and the making of cozy sweaters—an option I mention because it’s a real possibility in this household.)
If your winter-holiday celebration has its roots in the Christian tradition, but is a bit less religious-focused, you have several choices. There’s a kid in a snow-suit making a snow-angel, a one-horse-open-sleigh reference, a Santa Claus, and some holiday decorations with Christmas cookies.
There’s even a stamp for Diwali (and the post office always has a stamp for Eid, although I guess this year, since Ramadan was back in the summer, they didn’t see fit to include it with the winter holiday stamps).
But just as I was getting ready to sing the praises of the U.S. Post Office for hitting just about every note, I realized that they’d left me out. There’s no stamp for me to put on my solstice cards. Those bastards!
I considered putting a note to that effect on the door, but I was afraid there would be people who wouldn’t get the joke. (The downside of having such a diverse group of friends—no matter how pervasive something is in our culture, Jackie and I will know a few people for whom it is utterly outside their experience.)
Party preparations are nearly complete.
I got the study tidy! (Those of you who have seen it in the past month would be astounded.) I need to do a photo shoot of my writing space, now that it is so wonderfully open and inviting, but I have not yet had the time to get good pictures.
This morning I made candy and baked cookies for the party. (The candy is what I call Platonic Candy, because it is candy reduced to its platonic essence: sugar, fat, a little flavoring. The cookies are Ginger Sparkles.)
This afternoon, while I’m at Esperanto, Jackie will prepare her contributions to the party comestibles.
In the evening we’ll do our final cleaning up.
Sunday we’ll be able to laze about lazily all morning, until people start showing up for the party.
Yesterday’s weather report was kind of alarming, predicting that several inches of snow were possible. Today’s forecast is better, with less snow expected. Hopefully the weather won’t keep too many people home from our party.