Archive for October 14th, 2011

The Walk!

I’m not exactly sure where it began, my daily walks that is.  Perhaps it was an attempt to lose weight, maybe just some quiet. Perhaps it was an attempt to sort out thoughts or find some form of place of being. I’m not sure anymore it really matters to the where, when or why. I’ve found those during my time walking trails, roads or paths.  What I do remember is at first it was difficult, not so much physically as mentally.  There was nothing in the still quiet of the morning save some birds singing and my own mind to “busy” myself with.  Now, I find my walks reflect my mind and my emotions. If stressed I seem to take more walks then normal.  If stressed or contemplative they take longer, I take my time to really think on matters.  I don’t walk with headsets or carry electronics to communicate with the world on my journey.  Is it “my journey”?  Perhaps it is.  I’m not sure where I’m going, or when I’ll get there. Not even sure what I trying to reach or gain but step by step I’m getting there.

I’ve worn through so many pairs of walking shoes this year. Once crisp and white, now carrying marks, dirt and stress fractures from the miles.  Each holds a tale of it’s own. The ice of winter, spring rains, scorching roads of summer, dust from the drought and ash from the fires all have left their mark, not only on the shoes but on the wearer as well.

The children join me for the evening stroll, but in the early morning hours when the sun is just beginning to brighten the sky and the roosters and song birds begin their morning serenade as the crickets and frogs finish their…that is my time.

Somewhere along the way I stumbled…or walked into…doing walk-a-thon’s for Autism.  The list of charities has expanded, so to has my walk to now include running.  This was a bit more difficult transition.  Mostly it was convincing myself to try, having not run in many years due to a knee injury and surgery to repair the damage. I’m glad I did, I’ve found I enjoy it just as much as I remember.  There is a …I’m not sure this is right word, but best I can find….freedom when running.  It’s not the calm serenity of walking, but more a release.

Tomorrow morning, with the rise of the sun once more on horizon I will be attending yet another walk/run a-thon, for Alzheimer’s this time.  It’s the longest trail I’ve attempted to date and I hold no intentions of being near the front of the pack.  To me this isn’t a mission to win, just to finish still on my feet.

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The end of this week is lot of baking for me.  A fall festival/craft fair/bake sale on Saturday as well as Oktoberfest on Sunday means lots of treats and goodies to fill tables. I’m fairly sure by Monday morning I will be immobile and aching as along with the sales and festivals, at sunrise Saturday I will be participating in a Walk-a-thon for Alzheimer’s.  I look forward to all the events this weekend and the celebration of fall. Fall, for me, is my favorite season of the year.

This years baking sessions have been exceptionally fun for me. My daughter is old enough now to be a great aid and she loves getting in there and getting involved.  My son does also, though his interest is not so much in the actual mixing and baking, but rather in the reading the recipes ingredients, picture taking of the finished product and any decorating and sampling that might be required.

The icing might not be piped perfectly, the streusel crumbs might be a bit large in places but I am more then certain they will taste wonderful and be enjoyed deeply. They are made with a special kind of sugar only found in things decorated with the enthusiasm of a child.  If you are from the South you will more then understand the meaning of that.

Roasted Banana Bread with Caramel Streusel and Maple Cream Cheese Icing.

4 roasted banana’s – mashed

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup sugar

Place banana’s (with skins on) on cookie sheet in oven.  Cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until outsides skins turn black.  Let cool before peeling and mashing.

Combine all other ingredients with banana’s in bowl.  Spoon into greased bread pan, mini loaf pan, or cupcake pan.

Sprinkle top with Caramel Streusel Topping.

Cook at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Eat warm as is or add Maple Cream Cheese Icing.

Maple Cream Cheese Icing

11 oz softened cream cheese

2/3 cup butter, softened

4 cups confectioner sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

Beat the cream cheese and butter together in a large bowl until well combined.  Add 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar as well as maple syrup and beat until smooth. Use immediately or store in refrigerator until needed.


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