Saturday, November 2, 2013

St Eugene Trot or Treat

St Eugene's 

I signed daughter and I for this race when the 5k class she wanted to do with the park district was cancelled due to low enrollment.  We picked this race because the timing worked well and this was the one she was supposed to run with the class.  

I have to admit our weekend training runs were a bit tough to schedule.  I know I can run 5k on an empty stomach and eat after but she likes a bigger breakfast.

We set out Saturday morning to the race, neither of us wore the race race shirt cause for some reason it stank - not the design I mean the actual aroma.  I don 't know if it was the fabric or the ink, but even after washing them they smelled nasty so they've been donated.

The course was through a neighborhood, a few people dressed up but not many (we didn't). Once again I let her set the running pace and I set the walking pace. I only had one pair of headphones but since this was a pretty casual race, I just turned my music on low without the headphones so she could hear it and the intervals on Endomondo.  We alternated 2 minutes of running with 1 minute of walking. She was usually eager to stop running at the end of each running interval, but never skipped a running interval and finished strong.  Final time 39:36

We hung out for a little bit getting bananas water and some candy.  There was free pizza and a few games but we skipped all that and headed home as we had a friend's birthday party to go to.  Just before we were about to leave for the party the doorbell rang - the mailman bringing the medals from the virtual race I had signed us up for (so she could get a medal for her first race).  I had hoped to give it to her at the finish line but it didn't arrive in time.  She was still excited to get it, and wants to do the local Turkey Trot with me on Thanksgiving morning.  I'm holding off signing up til after my 10 miler this weekend since my foot has been bothering me, but it seems to be getting better so I should be good to go. 

Swedish Apple Pie

Years ago, my then boyfriend now husband and I went apple picking. As usually happens, we ended up coming home with more apples than we could possibly eat.  A friend was well known in her family for an apple pie recipe she had learned years ago from a Girl Scouts cookbook her troop put together, so I asked her for it.  It's been a favorite of ours ever since.  Easy, yummy and a staple at our Thanksgiving and Christmas tables

5-6  Macintosh apples
2 sticks butter
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Peel, core and cut apples into chunks.  Put into a 9x9 baking dish. 

  Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top to cover

Combine egg, flour and sugar.  Melt the butter and add that to the sugar mixture.  

Pour on top of the apples to cover.  

Sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar. 

Bake for 35-45 minutes (until golden brown).  Serve with vanilla ice cream.  Since I often bring this to Thanksgiving dinner, I bake it about 35 minutes at home, and then bake for another 10 or so at the hosts' house.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

Tell the Wolves I'm Home

I saw this book many times over the summer and finally bought it.  It started off slowly but the fact that I was a 14 year old in Westchester in 1987 just like June kept me interested. I got all the pop culture references - Fiorucci, Reagan, WPLJ, Dennis Miller on Saturday Night Live (it wasn't SNL yet).

It's a coming of age novel but almost too much.  I read the summaries on the backs of books when I buy them, but after that I don't read it til after I have read the book.  When I started this book I thought. June was much younger than 14.  She seemed very immature to me - maybe 9 or 10.  

Back up a bit.  June and her older sister Greta are sitting for a portrait by their renowned artist uncle Finn.  Finn is June's godfather and they have a close relationship.  She enjoys going into the city for the sittings, Greta attends but can't wait to go home.   

Their parents are accountants and largely leave them on their own during tax season.  Another reviewer likened them to the Peanuts parents. Just background noise.  Although Mom's part becomes more important in the end. Mom had a tense relationship with her brother and that translates to her relationship with June, although they never talk about why there are problems, just get upset at each other. 

Finn dies of AIDS and June notices a man lingering on the side of the funeral.  Shortly after she receives a teapot in the mail (from the stranger aka Finn's lover Toby).  Despite Finn and Toby having a long committed relationship, June and Greta were never introduced to Finn as their mother did not approve of him.  

June reaches out to Toby as she feels no one else understands the pain she feels from Finn dying. They form a strong bond which is often misconstrued as an older man taking advantage of a much younger girl. 

There is a great deal of drama throughout the book (between Greta and June, between June and her parents, and between Toby and pretty much every one but June, and the usual high school drama of both June and Greta).

It's one of the first books in a while that I didn't really enjoy the parts but looking at the whole, it was a good read.  So I guess, if you give it a try you need to stick with it.  I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to others - I don't normally do stars but I guess if I did for this one, I'd give 3.5.  Better than average but not one I'd be recommending to everyone.