Monday, February 29, 2016

Last 5 for February for 2016!

1) Today Neil came home a little early and we went for a walk in the woods. It was SO nice to have that time outside--it's been a long winter! We all wore our boots and tromped through the streams and the mud and checked out all the newly fallen trees. At one point Neil yanked a smaller sapling out of the root-ball of another fallen tree (the sapling was entangled with the big tree, so it had been blown over too). It was about 30 feet long and he spent a good ten minutes breaking it up into chunks, one of which he challenged Isaac to carry for the rest of our hike--which was about a mile and a half. I was not a fan of this (as I expressed loudly and repeatedly) since I was worried that it would be way too much for Isaac (green wood so it was pretty darn heavy), but man, that kid was determined to get his log out of the woods! We finally made it back to the car and wedged it in so he could bring it home as firewood. Isaac was SUPER proud of himself and wrote a long entry about it in the letters we wrote later than night for FHE, which brings me to...

2) For leap year we wrote letters to ourselves to open on February 20, 2020. Crazy to realize that Abigail will be almost 15 by then! It was really fun thinking about where we would be and what advice we would give our future selves (my favorite was Juliet's advice to her 12-yr-old self: "Wear makeup for special occasions and distribute your money with great thought").

3) I made some Irish soda bread today. Normally I don't like Irish soda bread but a few years ago I found this Ina Garten recipe that I love (I sub in whole milk + vinegar for the buttermilk and use raisins rather than currants) and last night at about 9 PM I remembered that I liked it and decided to make some today. It was just as delicious as I recalled, and I sang along to John Denver as I was kneading, and felt very in love with the world and thought over and over again about one of my favorite poems that is thumb-tacked to my corkboard inside my cabinet door where I keep all the recipes I really love but don't yet have memorized. It's called "Baking Bread" and it's by Carol Lynn Pearson. My favorite stanzas are these:

And never even tried to explain
Her near-religious ritual:

How the flour on her fingers
Was the sun and the rain
And the earth

How the thump of her palms
On the dough
Was the dance of women
On the ancient threshing floor

How the smell of baking
Leavened her
And left her believing that
We rise, we rise

How the cutting
Of the first warm slice
For the first child home
Made her a bounteous goddess
With life in her hand.

4) I was able to do speedwork during my run today. This is so encouraging and wonderful! I'm back up to 5 runs a week, and adding in speedwork is the next step. I'm still SO much slower than I was before, but I can see improvements every week. I've read many anecdotal accounts of runners saying that stress fractures continue to bother them for the next year or even longer, so I'm just trying to keep my expectations and my goals reasonable. No more 60-mile weeks for me in the near future, but 30 or 40 is looking pretty darn good right now. :-)

5) I finished my course website for summer over the weekend. This is the first time I will have taught a summer course online, and the first time I've taught summer classes since 2007. I think it should go pretty smoothly, but it's the putting-together of the website that always looms large in my mind, and it's such a relief to have it done and well out of the way before classes start in June! (Yes, I know it's way in advance, but this is when I happened to have the time to do it.) Super glad to have all the coding and file transfers done, especially since HTML is something I've picked up along the way rather than actually knowing how to do because I've learned it formally, so it's still in that super-proud-of-myself stage when I actually get things working properly.

And that's it--Five for February is a wrap! It's been nice to revisit my blog. I think I'll have to do it more often. :-)

1 comment:

Jen Bosen said...

And now I want homemade bread. Thanks a lot. ;)

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