Ty: I only threw the gravel at you because you wouldn't hold still for me to knock you down ...
The whoosh/slam was the sound of me wheeling on my heels and slamming the door behind myself. The slamming of the door was, unfortunately, the extent of the physical exercise I got over the winter. Unless you count flipping pages in really heavy books.
So it was a winter of mental strengthening leaving me to play catch-up on actual physical strengthening for the summer months. The treadmill and I have been getting reacquainted these past several weeks. And I am not certain whether it will kill me prior to making me stronger.
I am not the most athletic person in the world (read: I'm a hopeless klutz) and merely staying upright on the treadmill requires immense concentration. That is made difficult when one child is standing behind you breathing in and out through a harmonica and another is standing in front of you saying, "Mommy! You're going backwards! Mommy! I am very, very hungry. Can I have some raisins? MOMMYYOUAREGOINGTOFALLOFFBECAREFUL!!!"
But I'm not dead yet, so I guess something must be working. And I've had an important epiphany. The only reason I continue to exercise is because it feels so good when I stop.
My long winter with little transportation made me use every ingredient in my pantry including the languishing bags of dried beans that were frequently passed over for their more convenient canned brethren. I found, much to my surprise, that it wasn't so difficult to make the beans frequently with a little forethought and planning. I also found that my family much preferred the taste and texture of the beans I had cooked myself.
Aside from the obvious things to recommend dried beans over canned ones (price, longevity, ease of storage, etc.) is the less obvious advantage of healthier eating. Both dried and canned beans are chock full of nutrients, vitamins and fiber, but dried beans allow you to control the amount of sodium and are entirely devoid of preservatives. Two points for the home (bound) team! Will the wonders of this winter's lessons never cease?