Saturday, June 5, 2010

Ruminations - as an addendum to yesterday's venting:
So to make peace with this week, I forced myself out of bed at 5am and took off on the trusty treadmill (I didn't dare go outside in case my back seized up 5 miles from home). I managed to trudge out 10 miles, although I had to stop every couple of miles to stretch my back. Still, it was 10 miles with an average 9-minute-mile pace (not nearly my best or even normal pace, but good enough). I spent a long time stretching and icing afterwards, took some pills, aimed the hot water on my back in the shower, and then I was prepared to meet the day.
It was a good day.
After picking up my basket of fruits & veggies from the co-op thingy (Bountiful Baskets), I sent Jeff & the boys off to mow lawns. The girls and I played Memory and pieced together puzzles, then I cleaned all the whole main level floors. No more spots. Phew!
My very cool mom was all set to babysit the girls so I could leave, but my guys came home just as I set out the last lunch plate - perfect timing. I left Jeff with lunch and the kids to drive out to Rigby Lake for a mid-day swim (THANK YOU, JEFF!). I'm pretty sure the water temperature was below 50 degrees F. It actually felt like 50 below. My wetsuit is pretty good, but it still takes a while for the water inside the suit to warm up. I bet I swam a good 25 yards with my head out (too cold to put it in, plus I was hyperventilating, which you can't do with your face in the water). I really couldn't breathe for a while. Finally I either got numb or the water in my suit warmed up, and then I was good to go. (Sad news - there's a tear in my wetsuit from the last time I put it on. I filled it with super glue, but it's just not the same).
I had a tentative swim date with some friends, but they both couldn't make it, so I swam alone. I know, you shouldn't swim alone. BUT!! Our good friend (who wins all the local triathlons and is an amazing athlete) told me that sometimes he swims alone and just stays along the shore. Duh - how come I never even considered that!? So today I felt empowered to swim alone (plus there were campers along the lake edges). I swam around the lake, sticking close to the shore. I could touch bottom pretty much the whole way around. I think it was a mile or so swim, based on the time it took me.
I love open water swimming - when it's close to the shore :) Every breath I took was wonderful. I didn't turn my head and see the side of the pool, instead I got to see clouds, opposite shore, water, and - drum roll - I got to see the sun (YES! The sun was there! Off and on, of course, but still I saw the sun!). I practiced sighting and got in a good rhythm of sighting every 4th stroke, so I wasn't zig-zagging like I usually do in open water.
My arms felt strong. I think it was the wetsuit that gave me that feeling, but I'm going to pretend it really was me (it was the wetsuit). I'm pretty sure an ice-water swim was good for my back, too. At least, that's what I kept telling myself. I was so cold I didn't feel my back hurting, anyway. :)
I managed to leave the water without freezing, get the wetsuit off with numb fingers, and hop into my warm car with very little trouble. I shivered the whole way home, but a long, HOT shower warmed me up. Jeff & the kids were at the store, but they came home just as I finished dressing. Perfect timing, again.
I folded the laundry, played with the kids, then I got to putter in the kitchen! Wow - is this a good day, or what? I started roasting the turkey breast, then went outside to watch the girls jump on the tramp while I shucked corn. Very pleasant, except for the wind and too many clouds, but at least I was outside.
Dinner was roasted turkey & gravy, corn, sauteed baby bok choy, and black berries. Oliver (8 yr old) took charge of dessert and made (from scratch) his delicious brownies.
We served brownies with ice cream, caramel, and chocolate syrup for dessert. My Oliver (8 years old) made the brownies all by himself.

Oliver's Brownies:
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x9 (or 8x8 for thicker brownies - or double the recipe and use a 9x13).

In microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt together the following (about 2 minutes):
1 Cup butter or margarine
3/4 C. baking cocoa powder (or 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, and reduce butter/margarine to 3/4 cup)
2 C. sugar

Stir well until completely combined. Add and mix well:
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla.

Stir in:
1 C. flour
1 C. walnuts, chopped (optional).

Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs.
Things keep getting better! Jeff decided to treat the kids to a double feature in our basement after dinner. I'm not big on movies, so I was delighted when Jeff said his mom had an extra ticket to a play at the University (actually, two plays - a double feature!). I went a few minutes early and sat outside in the SUN!!! for like, two minutes (yes, the sun was shining AGAIN! - but for only like, two minutes...I'll take what I can get!).
The plays were both written by Brome. Abraham & Isaac, followed by Everyman. I really enjoyed both plays - especially Everyman - and I enjoyed the company. My mother-in-law is, like my mom, also a very cool lady.
So then I got home, tucked the kids in, spent some time just hanging out with Jeff and talking about the plays (he'd taken Oliver to them last night; next play it's Samuel's turn). My back locked up before the play, but I stretched it as inconspicuously as possible when the lights were off, and by intermission it was relaxed again. It's getting better!
I haven't read today, but I did listen to my scriptures while I ran and I count watching the play as at least something similar to reading. Works for me!
It's amazing what a difference a day can make. I like today.


  1. a very FULL saturday! go team steph!

  2. OH, steph, so sorry about the stupid back. I have IT band issues, which has sealed the deal that I am really not going to run another marathon. It hurts my body too much. You obviously have a much much stronger body than mine! The great thing about these bodies of ours is that they heal. Well, I guess if we let them (not very good at that). You're amazing.