Friday, November 26, 2010

Staying the course

This photo is from Turkeyman Trot in Lansing, Michigan, my last and best 5k of the year but not my last race of the year. One more to run and that will complete my race a month goal for 2010. I'll end the year with a 5 mile race on New Year's day that will earn me the right to go to bed before midnight and miss the coming of 2011.

Truthfully, I've enjoyed running at least a race a month or maybe what I really liked was the selection process and anticipation of each run. I had one friend complete the challenge with me even though several of us started out in January with the same goal. It is easy to let life get in the way but with all the organized races now I'm not sure that there is a single weekend of the year where there is not a race within two hours of where I live and I live in the middle of nowhere.

I haven't set any goals yet for 2011 and this is the first time in a long time, if ever, that I have made a resolution and stuck with it. And although it sounds easy to run a race a month with the kind of year I had medically (torn hamstring, crappy lupus, back surgery, etc.) I'm very pleased that I have almost finished the journey. If necessary, I'll be crawling across the finish line on New Year's Eve unless I run a safety net race between now and then.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bread

"The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight."
M. F. K. Fisher (1908-1992)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Artist Soup

****I've been working intensely on clearing out the clutter in our house before Christmas strikes again. We aren't a "huge pile of gifts" type of family but even a few more things added to the contents of our already over-packed house may cause it to burst. Most items I can look at and give to the proper charity or the pile by the road with no problem but the it devastates me to toss the kids' artwork. I don't mean every little scribble that they put on paper while I'm making dinner but the more elaborate pieces, the
ones they really spent some time on. I'm learning to take photos of the pieces, then I gently fold them and push them into the proper bag. Here are two works by Gibson that were created in last year's art class with the most amazing first year art teacher. Unfortunately she went looking for greener pastures and found them in Colorado.

















****Diezel baked a cake the other day and stated as he took it out of the oven, "Yeah, I'll be a chef if my first plan doesn't work out." His first plan is to be a Lego designer. He is the type of kid that as I am cooking he will walk by, pick up the lid and stir whatever is in there. He peels, chops and cracks without being asked and is always cooking up breakfast for himself and his dad. I was making beef soup in this photo and Diezel was learning how to cook pork sausage from one of our homegrown pigs. Fergie thought she would lend a hand and supervise the browning of the patties.




****One of the best things about this past year is that we are relying more and more on our own homegrown food and less on the mass produced food. We are a long way from where I would like to be but I'm making baby steps toward grocery store independence. Here is Diezel with a carrot that he went outside and picked for our beef soup.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Playing the lottery, again

It is difficult to believe that it has been an entire year since I attempted to gain a lottery entry into the New York City Marathon. And here I am again, not even stalling this time to debate whether or not it is a wise idea to put my name back in. My sister got in for 2010 and deferred in the hopes that I would get in for 2011 and we could go together. Visiting New York City has always been on my bucket list and what a better way to experience the city than to lace up my shoes and run through all the places I should see.

Trouble is, I'm not certain I can run 26.2 miles as well as I would like and I need to swallow that and keep on moving. My goal this year with running was to run a race each month and so far I'm on track with one month to go. But, it has been a struggle, not the registering and committing, but the actual getting out the door and on the road. My joints are worse than they were three years ago when I attempted my last marathon and my hips frequently suggest that a half marathon is all they have in them, if even that. I hate it. And I think the reason I despise it so much it that it all seems so out of my control. I follow my doctor's suggestions, I have rest days in my schedule, I do yoga faithfully and I have tried treatments that I never dreamed would be a part of my life. Nothing seems to make a substantial difference and there appears to be no end in sight.

Registering for the lottery again might be my way back in or it may be what it takes to humble me (As if my struggles this summer haven't done that!). I want a spot but I'm scared I'll get a spot. When I didn't get in last year I pondered doing the Chicago Marathon instead but stalled long enough that it filled up. Sometimes blessings don't appear to be blessings at the time. With a few injuries haunting me and my auto-immune issues sticking their nose in my face I'm grateful I didn't make the attempt this year. Finally, my hamstring is substantially better and my back doctor kicked butt on my surgery, now if I could only throw my pills to the wind.

If I get in I'll be there, no matter what. Securing a bib number and running NYC with my sister is a thought so wonderful that I have no words to describe it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Boo!

Halloween 2010
(If I were smarter I would have gotten the Christmas photo done at the same time.)


Friday, September 10, 2010

Vacation!

We went on a short trip and I don't even need words to describe our adventure, the kids do it for me in this photo:



Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Eggscellent!

The Kuchar Farm hens, all named Betty, came through for Gibson this year by laying 2 different first place dozens!

First place brown eggs.
First place heaviest dozen. If you look at the egg scale you can see the super jumbo egg is too heavy to be weighed. You can make a whole omelet with one egg!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Fair photo results

Five of my photo entries placed at the Saginaw county fair this year. I had the first place winner in the extreme close-up category with a photo of a blade of grass with dew drops on it but it is lost in computer space so I can't post it. Here are the other winners:


3rd place snowscapes

3rd place human interest

3rd place animals

1st place flowers

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Round II Pig Show Day

Pig show day starts early, ends late and is nothing short of exhausting. Not only do the pigs need to be bathed but the show person needs to be in tip top shape too. Thankfully the show starts with showmanship which is how well the handle manages his/her pig in the show ring. After showmanship winners are selected in each division it switches to market hog judging where the pig is judged on the quality of meat it will produce. Finally, there is pen of hogs, and the judge evaluates how similar your pigs are to each other in body style and weight.


All ready to show and waiting to be called into the show ring!


On her way in for the showmanship judging.


Doing an excellent job of showing her pig, "Abraham".


The boys coming to watch Seneca in the ring with cupcakes in hand.


Showing her pen of hogs with a friend. It takes two to show the pen so you have to find a buddy to help you .


When it was all said and done Seneca came away with first place junior showmanship, 9th place market hog and 4th place pen of hogs.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The beginning of fair week

The educational pork exhibit that Vinnie built for the pig barn. The cuts of meat pull out so you know exactly what the cut is called and what you can do with it.


The pigs always have access to water and they like to drink together.

Sometimes they try to snuggle. There are usually two pigs to a pen and these pigs are just getting to know each other through the pens.

The boys love to pet baby chicks.

All the kids did well with the projects they submitted, here is Gibby with the first place water color painting for ages 6-10. We are very proud of him!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kids, candy, and racing

Oliver attended the NL kindergarten round-up where they tried to bribe him into wanting to go to kindergarten there for 2010-2011. He didn't fall for it and will stick with his beloved Ms. Shari for another year. Good choice Oliver!











My blogging is so far behind that Fergie celebrated her 1st birthday with a homemade cake by Diezel and decorating by the group. It was more than a little messy and Fergie enjoyed her slice so much that she came back to the table for more.















Oliver's class had their annual lemonade stand and here he is with Ms. Marcia selling lemonade and popcorn to his friends and family. He tired out quickly and soon sat down for his own snack.















I spent almost 3 months helping the 5th grade girls at the middle school get ready for the Girls on the Run 5k in Owosso. Gibson decided to run too with both Seneca and him having a great debut race. Now they want to run another one!














Although I haven't updated my race calendar I have still managed a race a month since the year began. My June race hit on my birthday and while I was busy running the kids were hard at work on my cake. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting, they did an amazing job baking and cleaning up the mess. It was the best birthday ever!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cake time


I think I may have matured and I came to this conclusion when I decided, just the other day, that buttercream frosting was really was too sweet and overrated. I'm starting to enjoy cakes that old ladies like. They don't necessarily need frosting and don't have to be gooey. I hate getting old.

Whenever I offer to bring something to an event the hostess usually requests a dessert which I am thankful for because I love baking and am not confident in my cooking skills. Their faith in my baked goods works for everyone involved. So I had this small family event to attend and was in charge of dessert, luckily I brought this tidbit up with a friend as she told me about Oprah's Favorite Things and this cake that was on the show. (I don't do Oprah and the only thing I know about her has to do with her marathon running experience, go figure.)

For $28 and $19.95 shipping you could order this in an 8" size. I don't do Oprah like I don't do mail order cakes. If I won the lottery that would all change, the cake part at least.

So I searched my friendly internet and found what I deemed to be the closest thing to the We Take the Cake recipe and I think I succeeded. My glaze wasn't as glazey as theirs but that was definitely my fault for not thinning it as much and the zest in the cream cheese glaze sort-of made it look like relish but the taste made up for the condiment-like appearance.

Totally an old lady recipe, or maybe a mature audience selection, rated R for really good and not worth wasting on a child that just wouldn't appreciate the melding of pie flavors with cake.