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Entries in weather (4)


Healthy eating

The wind has been whipping around here with a force equal to the weather's fickle attitude. Forty degrees and sunny on Saturday, twenty degrees and snowing on Sunday, a high of six degrees today. It buffeted the house loudly enough to wake both Jon and me from a deep sleep in the middle of the night, and a minute later we heard Calvin awake as well. So far, whenever it's cold enough for us to enjoy a fire and marshmallows, it's windy enough that we just can't.

It may be 66 inside, but it's all of 4 outside.

But for all the weather oddities there is no doubt that the month is January when you're perusing the Pinterest boards or the Facebook feed—a majority of links are for exercise plans, healthy eating tips and recipes, or organizational techniques. I scoff at a few of them (why on earth would I put designer wrapping paper on the bottoms of my drawers? I'll never get to see it), but others have been just what we needed to get our own 2013 off to a good start.

Apart from my Pinterest reading, Calvin's growing interest in nutrition and cooking has really kicked our healthy resolution pursuits into high gear. Two weeks ago we sat down with the revised food pyramid given to us by his pediatrician. He drew a plate to demonstrate proper portions and food group distribution, then planned a full day's worth of meals and snacks so as to cover all the general healthy guidelines. It drove home how lazy we've been, particularly with breakfast, lunch, and snack, covering protein, grain, veggie, and fruit, but not getting more specific than that. Cheese and crackers with carrots and berries does not a good lunch make, at least not on a weekly basis.

That first week we revamped our snack habits, aiming to include nuts and fruits and avoid, for the most part, the refined grains we've often fallen back on. Last week we started reworking our entire lunch menu, zeroing in on greens, legumes, and fruits. This week we target our breakfasts, cutting out the standard store-bough (albeit whole grain) bagel, and leaning instead toward more noticeable whole grains, and homemade at that.

I hear, via Pinterest of course, that it takes 21 days for something new to become a habit. I'm not sure that's entirely true—I ran daily for forty-some-odd days between Thanksgiving and New Years and still had no problem last week, while I was down and out with this cold, reverting to my original habit of occasional running. The first day, even the second, was hard, but by this weekend it was more difficult to run than not, my only excuse being that I'm still finding it hard to breathe just sitting on the couch. Still, I'm hoping that our eating habits are another story.

So far, colds notwithstanding, it has been a very healthy new year. Every Sunday has found Calvin and me sitting at the table with a variety of new recipes (thank you Pinterest) and a grocery list, making out a meal and snack plan for the week that is full of bright colors, fresh flavors, and general homemade goodness. During the week he helps me prepare at least two meals from beginning to end, reading recipes, measuring, stirring, cracking eggs, even sometimes cutting. Since two nights of meal preparation usually feed us for at least four, he's helping not only plan, but prepare at least half the week's worth of edibles. This Sunday he helped make a mostly healthy breakfast casserole that we prepared ahead for the coming week. I can practically feel myself being healthier.

Making breakfast oatmeal casserole

Homemade oatmeal casserole

Homemade mac&cheese for lunch, with a large and colorful salad

Makeover tuna salad stuffed avocado


All about weather

Calvin wanted not a day of vacation to go by without swimming, so with rain in the forecast we set out early this morning to the nearby state park shore on Little Traverse Bay. We'd already been to the even closer beach in Harbor Springs so we decided that the slightly longer drive was worth the chance for variety. That slightly longer drive meant that we were soaking up sand and the last few rays of sun on the innermost part of the bay when the storms started to make their way inshore.

Watching a storm roll in over the water is fantastic—seeing the clouds travel toward you and the curtain of rain slowly draw in and obscure the details across the water. We'd gotten in a good hour of swimming and digging in the sand, so as the sky darkened we packed up our things and decided to watch the progression from the car.

Just as the rains hit and the little town of Harbor Springs became hidden from view we left the park and drove around the bay, directly through the storm, arriving in Harbor in time to watch it head further inland, moving away from us now that we were on the other side of the bay.

And that was a moment of weather discovery made all the more enjoyable by the fact that we'd already done our swimming, and by the return of the sun not even an hour later.


Petoskey State Park

Little Traverse Bay

Harbor Springs



Please not the sump pump

The rain, the rain. We received almost three inches of just yesterday, and then more today. We did not suffer any truly violent weather, and in light of the happenings around the country I will not complain. My only concern here is for our new trees, who seem to be struggling to get established in such a deluge, and for our basement. I keep listening for our sump pump, which is running several times an hour, and thinking about the backup pump with battery that we bought not even a month ago and have not had a chance to install. Fat lot of good it will do us still sitting in the box.

I have precious few pictures from today and yesterday, mostly because of the dark, dark weather. Yesterday the thunder rumbled pretty regularly from two in the afternoon until long after my bedtime. I actually love that sound, and in the absence of violent storms this added some amount of enjoyment to an otherwise dreary day. Today it was just rain. Rain, rain, rain. We used the time to explore many things. We built with Legos: houses, castles, cars, carts, and everything under the sun. We played game after game: Carcassonne, Camp, chess, and other games that don't start with that same letter. We watched birds out the window. Very wet birds. We watched old school Sesame Street and a video about ancient Rome. We did many, many quiet things.

I am cursing the rain because of our new trees, and because I have several friends with flooded basements, but a rainy day can add just the right amount of melancholy to color a day for art, for books, for napping, for enjoying each other. Of course I say this now because the weather report shows sun, sun, sun, for the next seven days, if we, and our sump pump and our trees, can just get through tomorrow.


It's about the weather again

Yesterday was so dreary, so dark, that I wasn't able to take any pictures. And last night was the season finale for our one and only weekly show. How depressing.

We checked our frog (rain gauge) this afternoon. Three inches of rain in two days. I'm worried about our new trees, but the gardens look so beautiful when the sun comes out and they're still wet with rain, and that is the kind of weather we finally got this afternoon. Finally. Though we spent the morning reading, writing in our journals, playing games, and visiting the library, we spent the afternoon with the windows open, watching the birds while we waited for the outside to dry a bit, and then we broke out of our prison and toured the gardens. We played more games, we made granola, we made play dough. We read books in the garden. And the house is still open, long after dark.