Monday, November 25, 2013

do bad things always come in 3's?

This past weekend was chock-full, busy as could be and in ways I didn't expect. At the beginning of the year I printed out the Sub5 schedule and put it on my fridge to keep track of my points for the series. I also wrote on the calender all the races in the series so I didn't double-book, one has to prioritize and this year's races were close to the top of that list. Last year I should have learned my lesson when the Pumpkin run in Blue Hill was erroneously marked on one list as a Saturday and on another as the next day. The same thing occurred this year with the Turkey Trot and I was the only soul prepping and driving up to Brewer for the race last Sunday afternoon. However, I did manage to show up again yesterday with Maggie and Charlie in tow to run in tights, gloves, and hats to fight the bitterly cold 24 F day with head winds for the last 1.5 miles. 

It was a brutal run, but we quickly got warmed up and changed to drive to Orono for a piano concert I had bought tickets for months ago. Unfortunately, after missing out on the awards for the race to make the concert, I found at Will Call that they had no record of my purchase. I was so angry after having to rearrange Mass attendance, the misinformation about the race, and then being subjected to the snobby women in the ticket office telling me that I needed to buy more tickets to get in, that I just gathered our things and walked out. We got some hot cocoa and a little supper and went home to recover. However, when we were driving down our road I noticed red flashing lights beside our house. 

The town fire engine was there and I imagined the worst: injured child, the back of our house burnt down... a mother's mind can so quickly panic. After I pulled on a heavy coat I went out to discover that Tim had put the supposedly dead ashes from the wood boiler in the woods and they had spontaneously ignited and charred about 30 feet of brush. Apparently he hadn't learned his lesson either since he set fire to the compost bin last year doing the exact same thing. 

So, after one cross country banquet, one group piano lesson, one showing of Catching Fire with 15 8th graders, one road race, one non-attended concert, and one trip from the Fire Department, I'm really hoping Thanksgiving will be calm and peaceful with no drama.     

Saturday, November 16, 2013

back on track

All this past week I taped up my ankle and headed out for a run. My injury left me unable to work off all the extra calories I eat and my pants were starting to feel a little tight. Monday I ran 5 miles and by Thursday I was up to 10 miles. My foot is purple along the outside and is still a bit swollen, but with the Turkey Trot tomorrow, I didn't want to attempt it without some training. 

My gear has undergone a change with the shift downward in temperature: tights, gloves, winter shirt, and a blaze orange hat so I don't get mistaken for a running deer. Every fall I think about poor Mrs. Karen Wood from Hermon who was shot in her own backyard by a hunter 25 years ago. Because of that tragedy, laws have been changed dramatically in terms of hunters having to see what they are aiming for as well as educating the public about wearing orange when outside in November. Her death likely has contributed to the saving of hundreds of lives, which might give comfort to her family in some small way. As the winter progresses I will have to add more layers as well as grips on the bottom of my shoes. But running every day gives me a chance to be outside in the beautiful Maine countryside and be able to eat what I like without worrying about the wardrobe consequences.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

children learn at their own pace

We are having some issues with outside activities such as Cub Scouts and church due to homeschooling. It isn't that they discriminate against us because we teach our youngest at home, but they don't know what to do with a child who isn't in the proper age/grade slot compared to his peers. Timmy has had a very difficult time learning to read and is finally showing signs of speed and accuracy after starting his readers over again three times. We didn't start first grade until last January and are now in the final days of that grade. So he could be technically classified as being in the first or second grade depending on the subject and/or time spent on the enrolled curriculum; having a summer birthday doesn't clarify the situation. For activities I have placed him in 2nd grade and figure that it is better for me to demand that he be treated as such rather than let that decision be left up to someone else. Timmy will learn to read and do it well because he is a smart little boy and he lives in a family of readers and no amount of trying to hurry that along for someone else is going to work.    

Friday, November 08, 2013

more time to quilt

With  not being able to run, Tim running the big kids to school this week in the morning and the babysitter picking them up in the afternoon, I've had 3 extra hours a day to rest my ankle and make some progress on the long list of quilting projects I have accumulated. The swelling has gone down considerably, and I have moved from crutches to the velcro cast. It takes much less time to go up the stairs, but coming down is still a little difficult.

I finished sewing all 168 string pieced white/cream blocks for my Jamestown Landing quilt.

I finished up a blue star top, which will go to one of the boys. I love this pattern since it showcases great fabrics and goes together very easily.

I trimmed all 100 of my patriotic Log Cabin blocks and started putting them together with blue sashing and little white stars in the center. The points require 1 1/8th inch squares and very precise piecing. I've assembled 4 of the bigger units, so only 21 left to go. I' am really enjoying the pinning and sewing of each large block and seeing each little star come together. This might be one of those quilts I am loathe to part from, but I already promised it for the school auction in May.


Monday, November 04, 2013

DNF: did not finish

I have run my last trail race and I wish that I hadn't. My friend Shane was right in how treacherous yesterday's course was and I managed to fall twice. There were many opportunities to fall, slip, go right off the side of the mountain, and I waited until 2.5 miles into the 4.2 mile course to trip over something and go down wrong on my ankle. After taking off my shoe and sock I sat quietly until Maggie came along the path and got up to continue on. However, at the very end of the race, with only 1/10th of a mile left, I tripped on a root and hit the deck. I asked the next runner to send back help and with a burly man holding me upright, hobbled to the school to get some ice. I managed to drive home, thankful I wasn't driving the standard shift Jeep, and made french toast for the crew before I succumbed to the pain and lay down on the bed for the rest of the evening. Tim took the day off from work and it looks like, with my ankle swollen to 3 times its normal size that we are going to hit the ER later today.
So, my lesson for the day is, after 3 trail races this year, and 4 falls, I'm not suited for this sport and will stick to races on nice, level, non bumpy roads. Hopefully my foot will be back to normal by the Turkey Trot in 2 weeks, where I still hope to bring home the Thanksgiving dinner main course as a prize.