Recent Non-fiction Reads

Every year, I have a goal of reading more non-fiction books and just about every year, I fail or succeed less than I think I should. Fiction is my weakness. When I’m tired at the end of the day, I just want to disappear into a story or a different world. I can rarely raise the mental energy to pick up anything too close to reality. But recently, I think I’ve hit on a solution. Audiobooks. 

Yeah, duh. Why didn’t I think of that before? I actually did, but the library’s audiobook app was awful and listening was a chore, but a recent update made it much, much better and I’ve found non-fiction audio often replacing podcasts on my walks with Dash or in the car. 

Not sure if it will stick, but here are 3 recent non-fiction audiobooks that I enjoyed. Continue Reading

Race Recap: Trillium 5k 2018

Trillium Brewery Spring 5k

One silver lining to being limited to shorter distances is that you can race more. You might find yourself racing four times in five weeks. I love racing. I love the nerves and possibility of the start line. I love suffering and pushing myself, at least after the fact. 

But even I’ll admit that four in five weeks might be a bit much. And I have two more weeks coming up of races. I’m going to need a break before I get injured or burn out. But back to last weekend. This one wasn’t my fault. Really. I hadn’t scheduled this one on the calendar. A friend who is not quite as obsessed with running and racing as I am suggested we try this race and, to support him, I agreed. Turns out the Trillium 5k is pretty popular and parking is pretty limited at the brewery so entry is a lottery system. You know the end of this story. I was selected. He was not. Therefor, four races in five weeks. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + Chasing the Ice Cream Man

When I was in high school, some of the more talented musicians formed a band. I don’t think it lasted a month, but it did produce one memorable single: The Ice Cream Man Goes 80 MPH. I don’t remember much about the actual song other than it sounded like a wall of static on in my Pontiac 6000’s cassette player, but that is one great song title.

As the weather has become warmer, we’ve started eating dinner on the porch with the screen doors open. We live on a side street off a side street, but the sound carries. Specifically the dulcet, calliope tones of an ice cream truck trolling along a suburban street. On any halfway sunny day, Ally can hardly make it through her broccoli as she fidgets at every buzz or rattle straining to hear that siren song.

On those rare days (two so far this year) when she hears it, she transforms into a high-pitched puddle of pink and purple vibration. I’ve tried to rationally explain that you can buy just about every one of the novelties in the food store, but it makes no impact. There is something magical about a music-playing truck that delivers ice cream to your house.

But actually hearing the music is only the first step. The truck doesn’t come up our street, so we now need to scramble to actually catch up to him. He doesn’t quite go 80 miles per hour, but he doesn’t dawdle, either. Time is money. We need to hustle if Ally is going to her ice cream treat. 

Let me tell you, there is no greater hero in the world than when Dad catches up to the ice cream man…. Continue Reading

5 Tools to Make Your Homemade Pizza More Consistent

5 Next Level Pizza Tools

So you’ve taken the plunge, tackled the basics and found that you just might like this homemade pizza making thing. If you are looking to take your home pizza game up a notch, here are a few more tools you might consider. None of them are essential to making good pizza at home, but each one can potentially take your homemade pizza from good to great.

You might notice a trend with the tools on this list: they all help with consistency. You might make a great pie once in a while with the essential tools. And a blind squirrel might find a nut. But if you really want to have consistent, predictable results, say, you want to invite people over for pizza and know that you will produce something worthwhile, you need to be confident that your processes and recipes will produce results. These tools, along with some high heat, can help. Continue Reading

Race Recap: Powisett Trail Run Series

By the fourth mile I was cursing the bride and groom. Turns out when you are a master’s runner, it’s not a great idea to prep for a race by staying up to the small hours of the morning drinking, dancing and eating way too many shrimp appetizers. At my age, I need a week to recover from such debauchery, so running a 5.6 mile trail race a mere two days later was tough.

The series started in 2015 and it’s been my white whale. Each year, circumstances (it is a holiday weekend), injuries, freak diseases or weather (one year was absolutely torrential rains) has kept me from racing. So, given that history, I wasn’t about to let a lingering hangover keep me from racing on Monday. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + Wedding Aftermath

We spent Thursday afternoon getting a jump on the holiday traffic and drove down to Philly for a wedding. There is no need to visit a specialist or take a social media quiz to figure out your child’s spirit animal or personality type. You just need a few solid hours in a broiling New Jersey traffic jam to bring out everyone’s true colors.

Cecilia will ask a single question (“How much longer?”) at regular intervals and say little else, spending the time drawing or watching shows on her tablet. 

Allison….takes a different approach to car rides. She starts any journey much like her sister, but quickly tires of the insular world of headphones and downloads. After an hour, she may take a “snoozie” (something she always asks permission to do), but once she wakes up, she is ready for some action. 

You don’t need satellite radio when you have Ally in the backseat. She will keep up a running commentary of what’s going past the window, mixing in verses of songs that she knows. And don’t think being strapped in stops the dancing. She has full-on rhythm above the waist.

Ally’s spirit animal is a hyperactive dolphin that likes to do constant tail stands and bob to the music. Continue Reading

Homemade Ice Cream Bon Bons

homemade ice cream bon bons

This quick and easy dessert hits the trifecta for me. It’s quick and easy. It’s a great kid’s activity. It’s perfect for a crowd.

Despite being quick and easy to pull together, just quick hands, these ice cream bon bons make a big impression. They are different from the usual plate of cookies or brownies and looks far more fancy and elegant than the effort put into them. Hard to beat that! Continue Reading