baby steps.

November 19, 2010

for those of you wondering if maybe i actually did collapse and die during the chocolate 5k (thus, explaining my long absence from blogging), rest assured that i finished it. more than finished, i actually ran the whole thing – one glorious modern miracle. in the excitement and energy at the end of the race, the chocolate so close by, i agreed to sign up for another 5k on thanksgiving morning which is now a decision that i am silently regretting from the couch.

i told myself i’d actually train for this one but that has yet to happen, other than a few instances of having to run after the bus. i did, however buy a running outfit to motivate myself. also because mark is running the same 5k and i have been mostly running in his clothes (or my pajamas, but now, that’s just tasteless in a race setting). ah, well. someday i’ll get my act together and be all sorts of fit. someday.

for now though i’ll continue this “preparation for hibernation” diet of mine, where you really only eat baked goods. within the last few months, i’ve somehow found my bearings in the kitchen, at least when it comes to baking. my adult mind has finally worked out the complicated logic that if i bake something, then i can eat it all myself. thus, i’ve pulverized all sorts of healthy things from our garden and mixed them into muffins, cakes, breads, and cookies. i’m sure they never saw it coming.

anyways, in my head, i plan on employing the stellar baking skills that i’ve developed in making real food. i’ve cultivated a love of soup and – after scorching one of mark’s favorite pots – learned the art of patience and attentiveness in the kitchen. i’ve been wondering a lot how people used to cook, back when they didn’t have all these fancy cooking contraptions that we so heavily rely on. i mean, was pureed anything a possibility before the twentieth century? this i do not know.

what i do know is that my motivation henceforth is to force myself to run and force myself to cook more. and then, subsequently to force myself to love both things.

to add to the string of disjointed thoughts, i’ll add that…

mark is deathly ill. well, it seems that way to me at least. he has been out of work/school all week, just looking and being miserable. this has amped up my maternal instincts and soup motivation in the kitchen but also made me very tired and germ weary. i hate to be thinking of myself in a situation such as this, but you see, i really can’t afford to be sick right now.

which leads to my admission that perhaps many of you are already aware: that i am a doula in training. i’ve got 3 clients (yeah, ms. scienski we’ve added another) already lined up for the coming month and a half or so and i am part nervous-wreck, part kid-on-christmas-eve about it all. the first baby is due to arrive, really any day now which is hella crazy to me. strolling after class with the parents-in-waiting last night, i was silently amazed that the next time i saw them would be in the enraptured throes of labor, barreling towards the emergence of their child into the world. why anyone would think i could be helpful in such a holy and intense situation as that, i do not know but i am immensely thankful and humbled that the invitation has been extended. i very much hope and pray that i serve them well. so far, the nearer the due date approaches, i’ve found the more my anxiety dissipates and my fortitude gathers. hopefully this trend continues.

and also hopefully, i do not leave laboring mama #1 on a bus somewhere because i did dream that last night. and it was terrifying.

i’ll be sure to keep y’all posted.



November 5, 2010

monday night mark and i finally had to do the deed: winterize the garden. it was sort of sad business, seeing that some things are still churning with life but, in an effort to avoid a frozen fate for the lot of them (besides the inside of our refrigerator), it had to be done. we did our clipping, weeding, raking, uprooting to the strange buzz of the streetlight – a foreign sound in an environment we usually only occupy during daytime hours. as the evening light quickly drew away it seemed like the whole earth was tucking back into itself, rolling over for a long sleep ahead.

the process of helping put our little plot to rest for the season was strange in a lot of ways. most basically because you’re tearing up the very things that you so gingerly protected and doted on for the better part of 6 months. we wrestled things out of the ground one by one and gawked at the incredible root structures we found, tangled veins running in every imaginable direction and gait, chasing down nutrients from one end of the garden to the other, it seemed. i suppose it sounds cliche but it boggled our little urban minds.

with our knees in the dirt that we have so often stared at, fussed with, battled over (with squash beetles – not necessarily each other), i started to get all nostalgic about the passing season. it made me think about all the blessings that i’m so quick to take for granted. in the beginning of the summer, i was like a neurotic young mother (as many may remember) reading, re-reading, my nose practically in the dirt, convinced that nothing could possibly grow and that i was an unfit gardener. and then sprouts came, spinach bloomed, i was happy. i forgot my neuroses promptly, as i am wont to do, and got caught up with the pace of the season. i fell into the pattern of habitual harvesting and eating without sincere appreciation for the miracle that the whole thing was, like a simple beggar who returns again and again to the bread line without a thought or a ‘thanks’ to the baker.

i guess its hard to be continually thankful, to be aware of the perfect gift that every moment offers (somehow, in messy forms and clean), to be constantly in awe of the omnipresent grace and spirit around me. but i do wish that i was. i wish i could train my crazy head to seek thankfulness instead of the complicated strands of anxiety that it so cleverly detects. i’m trying, at least. and its a good thing that i have lots of reminders like the people and the places and the root structures.

i’m already very excited for next season and i’ve barely put away the last.

at any rate, i appreciate you entertaining my garden ramblings all season.

oh, and lovers of marigolds and rosemary should contact us directly – i filled almost all of our vases with the former and have narrowed our diet to include only rosemary-flavored meats (and cookies, who knew?).

in other news, it’s friday. and tomorrow i “run” my “first” 5k. yeah, its true. i didn’t actually train for this. i was full of good intentions when my mom first signed me up but… the fact of the matter is that i am way more lazy than you probably assume. and also, i hate running.

but this 5k is a CHOCOLATE 5k. as in, 9,000-pounds-of-chocolate-fondue-and-5,000-pounds-of-ghiradelli-truffles-and-hot-chocolate-RIGHT-at-the-finish-line 5k. so, i rightly figured, this would be the only motivation i’d ever have to get myself to run. its like God actually invented this race to get me to run.

…and yet, i haven’t actually…run…more than twice…to prepare for this race. geez, i’m awful.

but i think you get the chocolate even if you walk the whole way. and i could walk a 1,000 miles for chocolate…i’m just not sure i’d run 3 miles for it. i might stroll 3 miles, while eating m&m’s, the van that picks up the cones at the end of the race grazing my ass. yeah, i could do that.

i’ll keep you posted.

jagged little pill

November 1, 2010

the new york times published an article recently about the link between hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer, which highlights the perhaps already-predicted-danger in using and manipulating hormones.

i’ve been terrified of breast cancer for as long as i can remember and, as many of you are painfully aware, i have become something of a broken record when it comes to natural birth control in the past few years. the following article from the director of human life international is pretty interesting both from a medical and catholic perspective:

Race for the Truth