Thursday, March 14, 2013


A couple of years ago, I bicycled from my house in Marblemount on the West side of the Cascade Mountains to the town of Winthrop, which is 91 miles away on the other side of the mountains. This involved my dinky old mountain bike, an elevation gain of 6,908 feet, and 8.5 hours in the saddle. In other words, I blissfully biked all day, all by myself, up two mountain passes, and I never once felt like giving up.

So why is it so hard for me to RUN three miles? Our family has been training for a 5km run, and the most I've ever ran (this weekend) is four miles, every single one of which kicked my butt. And I had to take breaks walking on the last mile.
Put me on a bike, and I can easily do 100 miles. Put me on my own two feet, and I huff and puff like a chain smoker. It's incredibly frustrating, especially when I run with my 8 and 10 year old sons, who barely change their breathing patterns or break a sweat while jogging next to me, while I drip and groan and moan. Is this going to get any easier, or what? I mean it, people - suggestions are highly welcome here.

I am blown away by how many people read my blog (and I know there must be some runners out there who read it). I can view the statistics of my blog writing endeavor, and I can tell how many pages are read every day. I have only started blogging in November, but there have already been three thousand page views (not including mine). This feels so very lovely, because I feel like I am writing to an audience – to you! My words don't get lost in outer space somewhere, but they land – with you! Wow! I love it when people leave comments on the blog, although most people leave comments on Facebook, after I post my new entry there. So all I'm saying, feel free to post here, in this space, although I know it's kind of annoying to sign up for the whole google thing. Just know it makes my day to read your comments, thoughts and ideas, and it's also really great for my Ego! And – runners – please tell me what I should do to hang in there with my pathetic running efforts, okay?

We've been spending our days home schooling, practicing fiddle, starting more veggies seeds, taking enchanted walks through the woods to the river, baking bread, and making good food. I can't eat the bread, what with my elimination diet and all, but the rest of the family enjoys it.
I feel great, by the way! No sugar, no dairy, no gluten, no alcohol – and no cramps this month! I usually have to swallow ibuprofin to get through my moon time, but this month, I am breezing through it. I have lots of energy as well. That must have to do with my eating, don't you think? I am really trying hard to feel proud of myself for being so virtuous, but I still do feel deprived. Especially when my terrible dear family stuffs their faces with my home made bread, dripping with butter and honey, while I munch carrots with tahini instead. Or when Lukas inhales chocolate chips after our training run, with the smell wafting right under my nose. Sigh...

These are my brassica starts, poking their lovely heads out of the soil.

Thanks to our wonderful friend and neighbor, Kai is getting fiddle lessons.  He really, really wants to learn how to play fiddle, because, in his own words, "It makes my heart happy."

This is one of our typical meals.  Here you see salmon with garlic and dill, plus lots and lots of vegetables.

One of our projects this week involved fire, and lots of it. For months, I had been walking by the huge brush pile next to one of the living room windows, and I finally declared that I had enough of the mess. I am Southern German, after all, and it is deeply instilled in my genetic material that picture perfect farms do not entail big, ugly brush piles next to the house. So we spent an afternoon dragging logs and branches over to a roaring fire. We also burnt a lot of bamboo, since I had cut down lots of it the week before. You can imagine how wretched it looked after having been bent over by winter rains and snow. So my German sense of orderliness hacked a lot of it down. Have you ever heard the racket bamboo canes make when they burn? They sound like fireworks, with their popping and cracking. That's why they call it BAM-boo!

Check out the sound in this video.  The bamboo sounds like gun shots!  

I've been on a sock knitting kick lately. This way, my family ends up with plenty of wool socks, nice and warm for this temperamental spring weather. And they feel so heavenly comfortable on your feet. Another plus is the fact that when they get wet (since I have plenty of puddle splashing children), they still feel warm. When Lukas put on his first pair of wool socks, he looked at me in astonishment and exclaimed, “Wow, these socks feel like walking on water!” For the ones of us who have never walked on water, we can just assume he marveled at their softness and magic.

This is a hat I knit up in half an hour for Lukas.  Hurray for bulky yarn!


  1. Wow, what a week!

    I ran both regular and cross country track in school for 8 years and could run and run forever. But when I turned 17, I just couldn't do it anymore. It's like my body just refused : / Have never gotten the magic or stamina back but your story is making me think of trying again. So cool that you're challenging yourself!!

    I'm also having an identical experience on the sugar/grain/alcohol/dairy free diet. It's awesome!

    1. Crazy, hu, Erin? This whole phenomenon of bodies changing...
      And just imagine, we had two or three kids in between as well! That'll change your body!

  2. I'm inspired to at least take a walk today.I need to do that diet too. Love your Photos, your kids are awesome!

  3. My experience with running is that you can't compare yourself to others, especially not boys. But having running partners is the best way to keep doing it and have fun too. It's a lot easier to find excuses when you don't have someone counting on you. Keep it up, have fun with it, and remember that you are only in competition with yourself.

  4. Melissa, thanks for your encouraging words. What a great reminder: I'm only in competition with myself! That's a hard thing to let go of for a Type A German!


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