Well, we plowed through that Cranberry Sandwich Bread I made recently, so I thought I’d try a variation on a theme. I thought that it would probably be even better if the bread itself tasted like stuffing.
I made a calendar. It’s got 12 recipes and 25 pictures.
Here it is:
It was hard to pick which recipes to use. In some cases, I had to reject some because I didn’t have really good images to upload and, since I’m so last minute about things, I didn’t have time to make the recipe again and take new pictures.
All of the recipes came from this website. Some were sentimental, some were just yummy, and I tried to set them up seasonally, at least according to my little corner of the world.
Anyway, that’s been my labor of love and sleeplessness recently.
Every year around this time, the Thomas’ Cranberry English Muffins make their appearance in the grocery stores. I love these. So does Julia. No matter how hard I resist, my hand just reaches out and grabs a package whenever I’m within a 40 foot radius of the display. I’m not kidding. You can imagine the looks I get.
So the other day, when I was baking bread for the week (it sounds like I do this regularly, and I should, but I am not as organized as I wish. Can you get an organizational skills transplant?), I thought I should throw some cranberries into one of the loaves, just to see how the loaf would turn out.
I’m here to tell you it turned out pretty darn yummy.
…for my family, my friends, good health, our home, our pets, my kids’ art projects, hugs, laughter, more hugs, more laughter, meals my husband cooks, our winter garden, bubble baths, mint chocolate chip ice cream on occasion, King Arthur flour on sale at Shaw’s yesterday (I bought 50 lbs), good food aromas, mornings, evenings, good coffee, hugs and laughter again, and things I can’t think of yet because it’s so early…
It’s getting to be Frantic Cookie-Baking Time around here. Time to make dozens and dozens of cookies to send out to family and friends for the holidays. For some reason (perhaps a hard whack on the head that I don’t remember) I’m not all anxious about getting it all done this year. I haven’t deluded myself into thinking I’ll start early, either. It crossed my mind once, and I just let it keep going. Who am I kidding? I will start after Thanksgiving, and I will finish in time to ship them out. And all will be fine.
But that’s not the cookie project I’m talking about.
So, my laptop was infiltrated by a rather clinging and persistent spyware program. I'd run my anti-malware software and it would look like it found the problem and then got rid of it, but after rebooting and running the laptop a while, the problem would creep back in. Or come out of hiding. Whatever they do. So I shut the thing off, went to our other computer and looked it up and realized...well...that I was going to need a bigger boat.
I spent a couple hours yesterday cleaning out/cleaning up my work area in the basement. It was cluttered with plastic bins of beads and wire and other jewelry ingredients…recycled paper tags that I made but I’m not happy with how they came out, so I’ll be adding them to the next batch of paper pulp…scraps of fabric from my recent and future sewing projects…accumulated stuff that needs to be put away.
I’ve had the name of the shop on my mind for some time now, though I had it wrong, which led to all sorts of creating of accounts and cancelling of accounts when I realized the whole world would be exposed to my inaccuracies.
I mentioned yesterday that, among other things, Bill made a green papaya salad as part of our dinner on Sunday. He makes this nearly every time he does an Asian market trip, as long as they have green papayas available. And they pretty much always do.
I’m posting the recipe and a picture at the request of Amanda N. Hope this is what you’re looking for, Amanda!
The recipe we use comes from Keo’s Thai Cuisine, by Keo Sananikone. Bill sometimes adds cilantro if we have some out in the garden, and he also mentioned this morning that the amount of liquid could be reduced, especially if you won’t be eating the whole thing in one sitting. If the salad sits, say, overnight, then the bottom portion, which is sitting in the liquid, tends to get mushy. We actually place any leftover salad in a Tupperware steamer so the liquid drains out and the papaya stays crisp. Then, when it’s time to serve it again, we just toss it all – liquid and papaya – together again.
Here’s the recipe, as Bill made it the other day:
1 green papaya, peeled, seeds removed, flesh shredded. We use the shredding attachment on our food processor, but you can shred it the old fashioned way with a box grater as well. About 2 lbs flesh.
4 cloves garlic
8-12 red chili peppers, seeded and chopped. We used some cayenne that we’d frozen from our garden, and maybe a habanero or two.
1 large tomato, sliced in strips
4-8 tablespoons fish sauce
about 3/4 cup lime juice
lime wedges and red chili peppers to garnish
Grind together the garlic and chili peppers – we use a mortar and pestle; you can use a food processor as well.
Combine lime juice and fish sauce.
In a large bowl, combine papaya, tomato slices, and garlic/chili mixture. Just before serving, toss this together with the lime juice/fish sauce.
And that’s it. Really easy, incredibly flavorful. We had some alongside the pho at dinner, and the bright, crisp flavors of the salad were a nice contrast with the richness of the broth and the slight fattiness of some of the cooked meat, tendon and marrow we had in the pho.
We’re also thinking this would work really nicely in a Thai-inspired fish taco. More on that once we’ve tried it out.
I believe I have ADCD. Not ADD, not ADHD, not even AC/DC, though my husband probably has a CD or two of theirs (or a cassette tape, even!) kicking around somewhere.
No, the recently diagnosed affliction I speak of is the less-known ADCD: Attention Deficit Creativity Disorder. You might have some of the symptoms yourself. It’s basically when you start one project, and then you think of another one to do and decided that THAT one is more important/necessary/interesting/fun/easy and so you set the first one aside and move to the next, but you also know you need to put together a little recipe to send to a friend who’s putting together a new thing on her blog and you said you’d contribute and those apples and pears really need to be either baked with or thrown in the compost and we need bread so you better make it toDAY and oh wait, this would be a cool idea, i’d better sketch it so i don’t forget it, and i really need to clear off the stuff on the table so i can move my sewing machine over to a better spot and i wonder how much striped fabric i have…that would work well for project idea #352…should i work on these…or this? I really want to make these, but would those sell better on Etsy? where’s my crystal ball?????
And that’s just during a 17 second time period in my head.
And I left out the parts having to do with laundry or feeding family (including cats) and errands and kids’ homework and all those other things.
I also wish I didn’t require sleep, but that’s old news.
I spent a chunk of yesterday baking stuff – bread, a pumpkin pie, an apple/pear cake (yes, I finally used them up), and some oatmeal cookies with some chopped-up Halloween candy mixed in. Bill made two batches of Thai red curry paste (one mild and one scorching), and prepped stuff for the pho we were having for dinner. He’d made the stock a couple days earlier. I’m telling you, I would be quite content to just sip a mug of pho broth instead of tea or coffee. Well, not first thing in the morning, maybe, but it’s really, really, really good. Oh, and he made green papaya salad, too.
We had the pho for dinner. Yum. I love the fact that my kids just take this sort of meal for granted. And that Alex – who has never been a big fan of soup, listed his favorites (or the only ones he really likes) as – in order of favoriteness – miso soup, pho, and tomato. (And he means canned Campbell’s tomato, btw. With crumbled up Ritz crackers in it and a grilled tuna melt made with cheddar cheese and JUST tuna, no mayo.) I just love the fact that miso and pho top the list.
I am in a less cooking/more sewing phase at the moment. That’s my excuse for the lack of food writing on this here blog. But I did take pictures of the cake I made yesterday so I’ll put together a post about that at some point in the next few days.
And here’s a picture of the pumpkin pie.
I made this with the pumpkin Julia picked out on a field trip last month, shortly before Halloween. We carved (well, Bill carved) the other two we had and they ended up as compost. This one we saved, and Julia wanted it to become a pie. I cut it up, toasted the seeds with a little vegetable oil and salt, and roasted the flesh. Actually, it’s going to become two pies – I froze the rest of it for Thanksgiving.
Here’s another picture of the pie. I liked the light.
That’s it for now. Time to make lunches for the kids and shuttle them to school, run to the store for coffee and cat litter and a few other necessities, and then I’ll be downstairs in my work area at my crowded little work table, sewing one of my too-many projects.
This week’s French Fridays with Dorie selection is the Pumpkin Gorgonzola Flan. At least, that’s what I’m posting this week. We were given the option this month of posting in any order, so some of the other members may have the Flan up, others will have something different. Exciting, no?
I know, that’s the kind of post title that just reaches out and yanks you right in, isn’t it?
Well, as you probably know, thanks to my moments of whining in recent posts, I’ve been sick, and Bill’s been sick. For two and a half weeks. It just started out with simple colds – annoying but tolerable. But they just lingered, and lingered, and I’ve had aches and hoarseness and then my voice went completely for a couple of days and Bill had terrible sinus headaches.
Anyway, on Monday I thought I was getting better. Sure, I couldn’t talk, but physically I felt a lot healthier. So what did I do? I spent most of the day running around the house cleaning. Cleaning surfaces with germ-killing wipes, emptying every speck of trash, cleaning floors, dusting, vacuuming, doing laundry…and despite the fact that the power went out about 3 times due to all the crazy wind we had around here, I got a lot done.
And then Tuesday morning I felt much worse. Of course. My voice was back, kind of, but everything else felt horrible again. And Bill still had the remains of a sinus headache he’d had the night before.
I told him I couldn’t take this any more, and I was going to the doctor’s. He called in sick – very reluctantly – he HATES calling in sick – and said he’d go to the doctor, too.
Now, by doctor, we mean the walk-in clinic in town. We’ve gone to them for years, so they pretty much ARE our regular doctors.
Anyway, so I think Bill said, “Hey, we could go together!” And I said, “Yeah, it’ll be a date!” And really, it’s probably the first time in a long time we’ve done something together without the kids.
We don’t plan well, I guess. We talk about going out and getting a sitter, but then we forget about it and end up doing other things.
So really, this was our chance.
We slept in a little bit, or dozed and grumbled about how sick we are of feeling sick (because what’s more romantic than sharing the same cranky feelings?) and finally got up, had coffee, fed the kids, and dropped them off at school.
At last! Our date!
So with a song in our hearts, congestion in our heads, and supplies of tissues clutched in our hands, we skipped out the door to the car and were on our merry way.
Bill brought a magazine and I brought a sketch pad, because the reading material in the waiting room consists of past issues of WebMD and Car and Driver or something like it. Occasionally they have the morning paper or some other magazine, but really, there’s not a lot to choose from.
I said to Bill that if he wanted to go first, that was okay with me, since he gets fidgety when he has to wait more than, oh, three seconds, for anything. But he generously declined my offer, explaining that he had his magazine (latest copy of “Brew Your Own”) and he would be fine.
“I really don’t mind,” I said.
“No, that’s okay, you can go first,” he told me.
We smiled googly-eyed at each other and headed into the building, where we were surprised and delighted to discover that there was no one else there! Yay, no waiting!
I zipped past Bill to sign us in, and I put his name first, because I like to get my way when I’m trying to be generous. He thought I’d just signed myself in, so he went over to write his name in and – Surprise! – he was already on there. He just gave me a very patient and bemused look as he sat down beside me.
The tv was blaring some morning show too loudly, but we didn’t watch that; Bill opened his magazine and I grabbed a battered copy of People or Entertainment Weekly – I didn’t look. I just figured it would be perfect for the short amount of time we’d have to wait.
I started reading about various famous people and their escapades, and Bill perused beer recipes and articles about oh, different types of hops or something. Then his name was called, so he went up to the little window to tell the receptionist why he was there. I guess he explained to her that we were both there not because we were really sick, but that it was because we don’t get out together much. I confirmed this and told her this is a big date for us. I told her my symptoms – pretty much the same as his – and she had me sign the paperwork and told me, as I got my wallet out to hand over the co-pay, that Bill had already paid for me. He’s a sweet guy.
“Thank you, honey!” I yelled.
Then the receptionist asked if we both wanted to go in together, and I had to laugh at the ridiculousness of the whole thing.
“Do we want to go in together?” I asked Bill.
“Sure,” he said.
“Okay,” I told the receptionist.
Pretty soon the door opened and we were called in to the first room, where they take your pulse and blood pressure and temperature. Bill went first, and when it was my turn to sit on the gurney, a nurse going by in the hall outside saw me and called in “You had the baby?”
I looked at her, and I think she’s been there for a while, but, well, the last time I had a baby was six and a half years ago…does she really remember me from some visit way back then? Or does she think I’m someone else.
“Um…well, yes – eight and six years ago,” I replied politely.
She sort of shook her head and laughed. “Two boys?”
“Boy and a girl,” I told her.
She said something approving and congratulatory and may have mentioned how time flies, before heading on her way.
It was a strange little interlude.
Next, we were off to our shared exam room, where we would wait our turns to be x-rayed. They were only going to x-ray Bill’s head (oh, the jokes we could have made about the contents – but we didn’t, because we were on a DATE), but they were going to do both my head and chest, so I had to remove my clothes from the waist up and don a johnny.
Didn’t realize the joint had a dress code.
So I switched garments, and we settled in with reading material (I never ended up sketching anything) until it was time for our internal portraits. Bill went first, then me, and you know, I’ll admit this silly little thing to you – I take a certain amount of pride in being able to hold VERY still when my picture – internal or external – is being taken. I think it comes from having a photographer for a father. Sit very still. Turn your head just a bit this way. Lift your chin, now hold. Don’t move! Just like that. Good!
I’m very good at holding my poses.
Yes, all those little thoughts danced through my head as I held very still and held my breath while the three x-rays (one head and two chest) were shot.
Then it was back to the room to wait some more.
The doctor came in, and though he’s seen me before, it’s never been with Bill. Bill was there for some other matter not too long ago, but I haven’t been in ages, so he nodded at Bill and shook my hand and asked “Are you into music, too?” I wasn’t expecting a non-symptom question, so it threw me for a second, but I quickly recovered and said “No, I just married into it.” Har, har.
Anyway, he listened to my lungs, and told me there really wasn’t much to see in the x-rays of my chest, but both of us had swelling in our sinuses and whatever else we’ve go in our heads, so he prescribed, for both of us, a course of steroids to decrease the swelling, and an antibiotic to fight the evil infection. He also prescribed some OTC decongestant/expectorant, but we had stuff at home so we didn’t fill that one. Or, rather, those two.
And that was pretty much it. Out of the building we skipped, multiple scrips in hand. We swung through the drive-thru at CVS to drop them off, and then he brought me home.
Not much else to tell about the rest of the day. For some reason I felt more and more wiped out as the day went on, and ended up taking a nap in the afternoon. Bill was increasingly fidgety (he hates calling in sick – it triggers guilt reflexes and he feels he needs to DO SOMETHING to make for his slacker ways) so he decided to make the stock for another batch of pho, and make some kale and chard dish to freeze (and to use up our abundance of kale). I did a few dishes and then took my nap. Then it was time to get the kids from school.
I’ve got little to no voice today. A cold has moved from my head down to my chest and along the way has bound and gagged my vocal cords.
I don’t mind, in a way. Not entirely. It’s nice to not talk sometimes. And I find I can communicate enough with pointing and gesturing, with a bit of whispering when needed.
Yesterday and today I’ve been sewing. I made a triceratops for my son (see previous post), and today I’m working on an elephant for Julia. I’ve also sketched and cut out a pattern for another dinosaur.
I’m sewing by hand. Every little bit. I’ve got a machine. It’s right here – to my right on this table. But I’m not using it. Not right now.
I think, somehow, my enforced muteness has made me want to work quietly as I play with fabric. I don’t want any unnecessary noise. Of course, there’s the hum of the dryer…and I have the tv on for background noise (and since I’m sick, I get to pick the channel. I’m on the Create channel right now. Love that stuff. I need to add woodworking to my hobbies.)…but mainly it is quiet down here.
Quiet and peaceful.
I like sewing by hand. I used to do a lot more of it, once upon a time when I had an entirely different life. Now, I’m trying to reclaim some of that old me.
I like the rhythm of the stitches, and I like the feel of fabric in my hands. (The elephant is a soft, thin flannel.) I like letting my mind drift around where it will while my fingers take care of the needle and pins and thread and fabric. It’s meditative. And productive.
That’s about it for the moment. Need to get back to Julia’s elephant. I’m hoping to finish it today, and if I do, I’ll put the pictures up. I think she’ll be a pretty little pachyderm.
About a year and a half ago, or longer, Alex asked me to make him a Triceratops. A stuffed animal version, not a real one. I’d made Julia some dolls, and my son, understandably, wanting something less frou-frouey. I sketched out parts, and got some of it pieced together, but I wasn’t really…feeling it. I don’t know how to explain that, but for whatever reason, I just kept putting it off. Lack of confidence? Probably. I’m sure I expected perfection from myself. I wanted my soft sculpture to look real, at least from a distance. Children would scream in fear: “MOMMY! LOOK! A TRICERATOPS AT ALEX’S HOUSE! RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!”
So I took the bits and pieces of it out every now and again and quietly put them back.
This morning I was up very early, and I decided to start over. I just finished it a little while ago, and so here’s what it looks like…
Years ago…a lot of them, actually, I had a new apartment back here in my home state of RI, and that year I hosted dinner for my mom’s birthday. I remember I roasted a leg of lamb, and we probably had potatoes in some form with it…maybe Brussels sprouts too, and maybe some orange vegetable as well. Or maybe there was salad. I don’t remember those details.
Sorry for the lack of food posts recently. I’ve been sick, and wrapped up in making my kids’ costumes, staggering through the most recent 5K (see last full post for costumes and staggering), and then moving around like Frankenstein’s monster because of all the resulting soreness and stiffness in my underused muscles.
Yesterday, election day, was a day off from school for my kids and my husband. After he went to vote, Bill bundled up the kids – really bundled up, it was cold and windy – and took them fishing for trout. They brought two thermoses of hot cocoa, and the kids had fun climbing around on the rocks. They caught nothing, and Bill got tired of the cold sooner than the kids did (for a change), so they didn’t really stay out all that long.
But to back up a bit…after they all left in the truck with their tackle box and poles and thermoses of cocoa, I bundled up, started up my ipod, and walked. First – over to the elementary school to vote. I scooted past the campaign volunteers with their signs and ducked into the gym (or “all-purpose room” which was WARM, took my time voting just to soak up the warmth, and then hit the road.
I didn’t run at all, but I walked probably about a mile and a half, wincing with every step. Ow ow ow. But – I did it. And today, interestingly, I don’t feel as sore or stiff.
Oh – and to back up further…on Monday, I registered for another 5K. It’s the “Downtown Jingle 5K” – another new 5K in Providence. Same route, I think, as the Monster Mini Dash.
There’s some humor in the fact that I was hobbling around in pain and still felt it absolutely imperative that I register for the Jingle 5K. Some form of insanity, I think.
So that’s the reason for my walk yesterday. I did two minutes better in this 5K than in the one in September, and I think that got my competitive juices flowing. (Although, given the fact that I’ve been sick for days, those juices might just be a sinus infection.) If I did two whole minutes better without even trying…maybe I could do even better if I tried harder. Wow! What a novel idea!
So my goal, this time, is to…well…do better. Not very specific, I know, but in my thoughts, “better” might mean running the whole 3.1 miles, or at least running more of them than I did in this last race. And I know that to accomplish this, I need to run more. I need to build up endurance and muscles.
Simple stuff, but so hard at the same time. Not the actual exercising. That’s actually not difficult.
It’s that whole “finding the time” thing that I still struggle with.
I’ll let you know how that goes.
Yesterday, after my walk, I went shopping for ingredients so I could make ALL FOUR of this month’s French Fridays with Dorie recipes. And I made them. All. Yesterday. For dinner and dessert.
Again with the insanity.
First I made the dessert, then the main course, and then the two sides. (Main and sides needed vastly different oven temperatures – something I neglected to make note of when I was planning my marathon.)
Everything turned out the way it was supposed to, though the dessert wasn’t as pretty as I’d hoped – totally my fault and nothing to do with the recipe itself. And it tasted good, which is the most important thing anyway.
Likes/dislikes will be discussed when I write up those four posts, but I will say that I wasn’t surprised at all with who liked this and who didn’t like that. No – wait – I’m wrong. There was one surprise. But you’ll have to wait to hear about it.
I know. I’m so mean.
This morning when my husband headed out the door to go to work, we were surprised to see frost all over the car and the truck. Heavy frost that had to be scraped. (It’s dark when he leaves the house, so we hadn’t noticed the frost earlier, while sitting in our chairs drinking coffee and checking on the election results and grumbling about still feeling run down.)
After he’d gone, and the sun rose higher, I was in the kitchen reheating coffee when I noticed the spoon out on our deck railing. The spoon in the first picture of this post, I mean.
I love frosty pictures. So I got my camera and went outside to snap a few. The spoon. The welding gloves Bill uses when he’s playing with fire (or grilling, whatever you call it), dill, kale, and the peas we thought we might have time to grow. As you can see, we’ve got a few blossoms, but I’m not sure they’ll bear fruit.
Though it’s supposed to warm up a smidge this week, so who knows?
And with that, I’m done for now. I’ve got some other non-food and non-computer projects I’d like to work on today.
First – I hope you all had a great last-weekend-of-October/Halloween-weekend.
Important things first – here’s my kids in their Halloween costumes:
Julia, as you can probably guess, is a very stylish and beautiful little witchling.
We took her devil costume from last year, removed the sequined pitchfork, changed the stand-up collar into a cape, and i put the sequin strands that dangled from her pitchfork around her cute little hat.
I also made her an earring with a little spider dangling from it.
Unfortunately, you can’t really see it in these pictures.
Oh, and she wore black tights (and two shirts under the costume – it was pretty cold last night) and sparkly red shoes. Everything the fashion-forward witch-girl-on-the-go needs!
Now, Alex’s costume took a little more work and might need a little more ‘splaining for some of you.
First of all, in case you’ve forgotten what he really looks like, here’s my little boy:
And he wanted to dress up as Billy the Exterminator. (No, don’t bother clicking on the “watch video” thing below – that’s just a picture from the site.)
We love Billy. We first saw him in an episode of Dirty Jobs, and recently (we’re a little slow) discovered his show on A&E.
The kids, of course, love watching Billy tackle ‘gators and big snakes, mostly.
I love the fact that Billy prefers to set animals free whenever possible, and he uses environmentally safe pesticides and animal deterrents whenever possible. AND I love that fact that he exemplifies the whole “Don’t judge a book by its cover” thing.
But enough of that.
There is an actual “Billy the Exterminator” costume you can buy, but I didn’t want to buy it – I wanted to make it. I’m wacky like that.
So I went shopping one day for a few items of necessity…a black hat, a black tee shirt, some black gloves, some studs, and some white paint.
The first, and easiest, thing I did was to make the gloves. I just cut off the fingertips and sewed the little studs on. (The studs were part of a Halloween “goth” set of earrings, a bracelet and a necklace. I just removed the earring backs and cut the sections apart on the bracelet and necklace. The studs were in little groups of three.
Next thing I had to do was make the shirt. I took a look at the VexCon logo and did my best to paint one like it. I think I did pretty well.
Now, for the studded wrist bands, I just cut the ends off the shirt (which was an adult small – couldn’t find a long-sleeve kids’ tee in black), reinforced the cut sections with some denim, and then I sewed some more studs along there.
And once the shirt was dry, I stitched some studs along the shoulders, too.
I made the belt out of a piece of chain and a plastic skull with the back cut off. Easy.
Now, the hat. I had to get the hat right. I started off with a cheapo black almost-cowboy-style hat I bought at iParty. It was kind of like Woody’s hat in Toy Story, only black. Very simple. And the brim was easily bent, which was important.
OH! Almost forgot. I needed hair, so I could create a kind of mullet for Alex. I looked at all the wigs – male and female – and didn’t like ANY of them, not even the actual mullet wig. (It was a really weird color, and I’m all about realistic-looking fake hair on my child at Halloween. I’ve got standards.)
I finally settled on the “Surfer Dude” wig – it was a shorter, shaggy style on an adult, but long enough for the back of the mullet on my boy.
So, back to the hat. First, I wanted to make the sort of band thing that runs around it. The real hat has what look like sections of chain, but I didn’t have any of that, so I drew on a piece of gray denim with a sharpie and glued it on. I’m pretty happy with the result. Then I folded the sides and stitched them down. And, finally, I stitched part of the Surfer Dude wig to the back of the inside of the hat.
We used Bill’s (my husband, not Billly) sunglasses, and for the skinny little beard? It’s actually deer fur (or whatever you call it) from Bill’s fly-tying supplies, trimmed and stuck on Alex’s face with double-sided tape.
OH – and Bill made the little cage for Alex to carry around. (I didn’t get a good picture of it – sorry!) It’s fashioned a bit like a Have-a-Heart trap, only smaller and lighter. Alex put a little stuffed animal fox inside, and then used it to collect candy as he roamed the neighborhood.
And I think that’s everything.
By the way, they raked in the candy last night.
I’m thinking their costumes had something to do with that….
Now, Bill and I’ve had colds of some kind since last week – sore throats, congestion, aches (me), and other various afflictions, but we managed to accomplish a few things over the weekend. We picked up Bill’s and the kids’ skiis and the kids’ new ski boots and a pair of goggles for Julia, so they’re all set for the winter.
I took a nap.
And then Sunday morning I ran/walked the 1st annual Monster Mini-Dash 5K in Providence with my sister and a couple friends. I’d signed up a while back, and though I felt lousy, and Bill sort of urged me not to go, I went anyway. My head had that kind of swimmy feel from the congestion pressure, and my throat still hurt, and I ached, and – during the race – I discovered a particularly nasty, metallic taste in my mouth whenever I coughed. That was fun.
In addition to the 5K, there was also a 1K for kids, and most of the people – kids and adults – wore costumes. The kids were adorable, and a lot of the adult costumes were really impressive. Next year, we’re dressing up.
(I said I was dressing up as a runner this year. HAHAHAHA!)
I actually did okay. Especially when you consider that I haven’t run AT ALL since the NK5K in September AND I was sick.
It doesn’t seem right, I know. But I think I’ve discovered a secret that runners don’t like to share, and since I’m not reeeeeally a runner (yet), I’ll go ahead and blow the lid right off it: when you’re sick, you run FASTER, because you just want to get it over with so you can guzzle some water, eat some bananas, and curl up in a little shaking, coughing ball on the sidewalk.
Okay, I didn’t curl up on the sidewalk. But I did move faster, and I swear that at least PART of the reason was because I wanted to STOP. I didn’t want to be out there running and race-walking, even though it was a gorgeous Autumn day and perfect for running and race-walking.
I wanted to sit down.
And since I had to get back to the finish line in order to get back to my sister and our friends and my sister’s vehicle, I kind of had to keep going.
So I did some of what I did last time – I picked out people I thought I might remotely be able to move past, and I’d run enough to go past them and put some distance between us, and then I’d drop down to a walk. A fast walk. A fast, coughing walk.
But, of course, some of those people I passed were doing the same thing I was (minus the coughing), so eventually they’d pass me and get ahead a little bit.
So that’s how it went – a little group of us passing and re-passing each other. If we’d had the breath to talk, we might have even introduced ourselves. But it’s hard to talk when you’re gasping and coughing.
Funny thing – before the race we (Mere (my sister), Beth, and Stephanie) were talking about hills, and types of hills – long, slow inclines vs. steeper hills. I sort of like the steep ones better, and (not that I’ve got a great long history of running) I tend to like to run up them. It gets them over with quicker.
And wouldn’t you know it, there was a little hill at one of the turns, – a very little one – and I ran right up it. So there!
And another thing…at each mile marker there was a digital time display, so, you know, you could keep track of how you were doing. To my surprise, at the first marker, I was apparently doing better than I’d done in the NK5K. Hm! So I made sure to RUN to it and past it, just to psychologically keep my time low. Mental games.
And when I got to the second marker, I was still (amazingly) doing better than before. Wow!
And, yes, at the third marker I was still in good (for me) shape. And then it was just that little tenth of a mile remaining. Just a tenth of a mile. And then I would be done.
So I ran. And I ran most of it. I had to stop to gasp and cough briefly, but I made sure to run the rest of it, and I even tried to crack a smile a bit, so that in the pictures I wouldn’t look like I was wearing some really scary, ominous mask.
I haven’t seen any pictures, but I did check out my time this morning.
And the funny thing? My time was almost exactly TWO MINUTES faster than last time.
So now my sister is trying to get me to run in the Jingle All the Way (or whatever it’s called) race in December.
I’m planning to get the flu, just so I can shave off another two minutes.