After the spring-tease last weekend, the temperatures plummeted last night and it’s back to feeling like we have a long way to till spring. Dominoes night tonight at our house which meant a lot of cooking and prep to get ready. We try not to stress about these nights. It’s supposed to be fun. Nothing worse than making yourself crazy by stressing out over having friends over. Still, probably best to clean up the laundry, school bags and random sparkly shoes before they arrive.
I don’t really need any reason or excuse to bake some bread, but if one presents itself? All the better. My parents were coming over for a Sunday dinner of stuffed shells and salad and a family meal like that just wouldn’t be complete without a nice crusty loaf of bread.
So on Saturday I plucked Ken Forkish’s Flour Water Salt Yeast off the shelf and took it to the park with the girls. I flipped through it while the girls hung upside from various pieces of equipment in the spring-like sun. It all ended well. No broken necks for them and I decided on the overnight wheat bread. We all headed off to for lunch quite satisfied. That satisfaction lasted about six hours.
After a decade of swimming in the daily residue of day care, we appear to finally be reaping some bacterial rewards for the kids. Cecilia has been remarkably healthy since about age 3. Ally hasn’t been quite that hardy, but this winter she appears to have turned a corner. No trips to the pediatrician, no major colds, only one extended week-long cough. Michelle, on the other hand, has not been so lucky getting a couple nasty infections over the last six months both of which required antibiotics to clear up. Both of which the doctors believe were happenstance or bad luck.
I will be the last one to bash modern medication as it literally keeps me alive each day and antibiotics definitely have a time and a place, but the downside is that they do not play favorites and do not differentiate in the bacteria they kill. Good or bad, it’s all meat through the grinder and it can take months, or even years, to get that good bacteria humming again and get your gut back in balance.
Here are some quick thoughts on the fiction that I’ve read since Christmas. The two standouts for me were The Dry and The Underground Railroad and would recommend either book to just about anyone. The Underground Railroad should be required reading for all. I also really enjoyed Wolf Road, but it’s so unique and twisted and dark that I’d have to be really confident we have the same tastes to recommend it wholeheartedly, otherwise I’d risk having you look at me sideways when I rave about the book.
It was school vacation week here in Massachusetts so we were mostly off our regular schedule and, while we stayed home and had to work, we tried to spice things up a bit for the kids a little bit. There was vacation camp for Cecilia, a Beatles cover band concert, an overnight to the grandparents, a day at Fungineers and the pool. Plus, with the warm temps, all that time at the playground yesterday. Oh, and there was still training. There is always training….Some notes on the rest of the week.
The (almost creepy) warm weather we’ve been having for most of this week looks set to end tomorrow, so I decided to flip-flop my long bike and run days so that I could enjoy the luxury of doing my long run in shirt sleeves and shorts in February. Too good a chance to pass up. Here’s how it went, plus the what the rest of Saturday looked like:
Here’s a free tip. The night before a half marathon don’t stick your face in a bucket of tabbouleh salad and eat till you’re stomach swells with bulgur and parsley. It won’t end well. There were some nervous moments in the hours leading up to the race and a few frantic twinges in the middle miles, but (spoiler) everything ended up ok and I actually had a pretty solid race in a unique twist to the annual Old Fashioned Ten Miler in Foxborough.