Friday, April 13, 2018

Friday Five: On Today's "To Do" List

On today's agenda:

1. Make two loaves of sourdough fermented bread -- make, not bake, as this recipe requires another 24-36 hours in the fridge after the loaves have been formed into their brotfrom baskets and before they go into an exceptionally hot Dutch oven in the oven.  We won't be slathering butter on fresh bread until mid-morning tomorrow. . .

2. A doctor's appointment. . . just crossing my fingers the waiting-room won't be full, and I can be back home quickly to "fold" my bread dough on schedule (don't worry: Pater will be baby-sitting it while I'm away).

3. A short run. I haven't managed a gym workout this week, which is unusual for me, but I've logged a fair number of kilometres walking. And last week, at my son's, I started back at the beginning of a simple program my physio made up over a year ago, for me to build up my running fitness again. I had to dial that right back, and then abandon it for several months, but I'm really missing something running gives me that so far nothing else does. I won't force it if it doesn't work, but I'm going to see what happens if I build back up with more rest days in between (more than a week, for example, since I ran at my son's).

4. Reading -- and perhaps working on a post for my reading blog. I've just finished a very moving and surprisingly entertaining memoir by my good friend and longtime neighbour Carol Matthews, Minerva's Owl: The Bereavement Phase of My Marriage. Carol's husband, Mike, died six years ago -- they'd been married 47 years, and she's been learning since to live with him and without him at once. More on this later. For now, I'm trying to decide which book to follow it with. The choice is between Edward St. Aubyn's At Last, the final volume in his Patrick Melrose series (I posted about the series here); Roz Chast's graphic memoir about the final years of her parents, Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant;  and the considerably lighter fare of Elly Griffiths' A Room Full of Bones, a Ruth Galloway mystery. Which would you choose?

5. Painting -- I started my watercolour classes yesterday, and brought home a sketch that needs much work. Foregrounds, backgrounds, wet-on-wet, wet-on-dry, mixing colours, choosing brushes, drawing in shapes to leave light, adding detail after this section dries, going back in after the next section dries to paint the negative space. . . so much to think about, but I also remind myself that I don't need to learn it all at once, that much of the knowledge, and any craft or skill I might acquire will arrive through the doing.

So I got this far, and then realized that if I didn't get out for that run, it wouldn't happen before my doctor's appointment, and if it didn't happen before my doctor's appointment, it wouldn't happen at all today.

By the time I got back from my run, I only had time enough to look after my bread dough before running out the door. Which means that as I write, I've already finished Items #1,#2, and #3, save shaping the dough into boules and letting it rest before popping those boules into the fridge until tomorrow morning. I've just brewed myself a cup of tea, and it's time to attack Task Number Four on today's list of Things To Do, and I'm leaning heavily toward indulging in a mystery novel this rainy day. Comfort is needed. . . 

Now, before I do anything else, even before I pour that tea, I'm going to ask you what's on your list today, and how you're tackling that? Have you built some comfort into your day, or is there no room at all? (Perhaps your blog-reading is comforting, and I hope you might find that here if you need it.) 




16 comments:

  1. You are wise to complete 3 of your 5 tasks before hitting 'publish'!

    My list for today consisted of 'go downtown and meet a friend for lunch' so mission accomplished. A simple goal easily met. :)

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    1. Ooooh, that's a splendid list! Hope the rest of your weekend is just as simple and enjoyable.

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  2. From sourdough to St. Aubyn! I read them all gorgeous writing that induced nausea, a strange experience. I am glad I did it, but it was not reading for pleasure, exactly. I'd vote for your friend's book, to support her.

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    1. I've finished my friend's book and was trying to decide on what to follow with. Decided on the mystery although I'm dipping into Chast's graphic memoir which is very entertaining. Yes, the St. Aubyn I've read is exactly as you describe. Going to stall a few more days before plunging into the last volume.

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  3. Yummmm...that intoxicating smell of sourdough bread wafting out of your kitchen. It sounds like a complex but awesome recipe. Your sourdough bread takes me back to the mid-80's living at the Presidio of San Francisco. A thick slice of sourdough bread, and a bowl of clam chowder was always a favorite for lunch. Still missing my son after five years...so am voting for your friend's book. I'm still tucking away at St. Abubyn and yes, gorgeous writing. Have a great weekend! ~Amelia

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    1. I can't imagine that you'll ever stop missing him, Amelia, and I'm so sorry. My friend's book is wonderful in the way she sees this stage (bereavement) as a continuation, somehow of her life with Mike, even as she "gets on with" life without him. . . I wish you a great weekend as well.

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  4. The day is now over and I'm sitting in front of a cozy fire while the rain pours down. In a few minutes we're going to watch a Father Brown mystery, followed by a Vera mystery on Knowledge. It's a Friday tradition for us.
    After a week of work (the first one since Spring Break), I'd definitely vote for the lighter fare in reading.
    That bread is going to be wonderful in the morning!

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    1. Nice to have those traditions at the end of the week, transitioning into personal time after work has taken its toll. . .
      As for the bread, I'd forgotten it needs a whole other day in the fridge, so we'll look forward to it for tomorrow ;-(

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  5. Today I made progress on my long writing project, tore myself away from said progress to do as I had promised myself and take an online yoga class, had lunch with my husband, saw my mother who was full of energy, and came home having already put on my to do list Don't Cook Dinner And Do Have A Glass Or Two of Wine. So, well done me:).

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    1. Good for you -- that sounds like a mix of demanding and rewarding, and you were very clever do end it with a dinner you didn't cook accompanied by a glass or two. ;-)

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  6. I had just started to give you an idea of yesterday's exploits (lots of schlepping involved, people not doing their jobs properly, missed appointments etc. while I was/am still feeling the aftermath of a heavy cold/flu/bronquitis), when suddenly the machine swallowed the whole lot. I have decided not to go into this painful history again but switch to today (Saturday) instead.
    I went to the market this morning, and apart from eggs and vegetables I also got some flowers to decorate my balcony. It turned out to be colder than I thought so I am leaving the planting for tomorrow.
    This afternoon I am going to finish the editing of a text for a local refugee help organization.
    Two of my plants seem to have some bug and will need a shower and some treatment. And that's it for today. I am still a bit wobbly at the knees.
    Comfort: a coffee in the afternoon, followed by a few rounds of knitting.

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    1. I hate when the machine shows us who's really boss. Today already sounds a bit more promising than yesterday -- I hope your plants -- and you! -- recover. Take it easy. Maybe add a nap to those few rounds of knitting (although then you'd have to skip the coffee!

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  7. Spring has obviously galvanised you, Frances! I have not yet dared worship at the shrine of sourdough bread - deciding to tackle macarons à la Jill from @madaboutmacarons first!
    Yes, pacing exercise is difficult when you're at our stage and wanting to keep or forge ahead with fitness. I was merrily following a 'knee exercises for runners' on the NHS website which said 'you will see an improvement after 2 weeks of doing these every day'. But then I realised that the every day bit was making things worse at my age so I'm now calculating when I will be able to attempt running again on a longer drawn out schedule.
    On the agenda - gardening and more gardening. AT LAST we have sun and non-glacial temperatures - 13 degrees, hurray! - and husband and son are here this weekend. So it's a work party all day.
    Ha - your reply to my comment about personal shopper intentions! Perhaps if I keep mentioning it I will do it! I was all set for this visit and then the root canal blew a hole in my shopping budget so I had to scale back. Instead I had a lovely lunch with a Bordeaux tourist guide I've got to know on IG, and we had fun chatting about our professional context - career change for both of us. I did also think what fun it would be to be lunching on a cafe terrace with you, @marob23 and @lezzles! One day...

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    1. Macarons? Wow! I remember David Lebovitz posting a recipe years ago, and it looked too daunting for me. I'd say sourdough is considerably more forgiving.
      We managed one day at 13 degrees, but I don't think it's been back up to even 11 or 12 in the several weeks since. And it rains and it rains and then it pours and it rains some more. . .
      Oh, I like your plans for One Day. . . let's make it happen!

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  8. I'd go for Elly Griffith but then I'm easily lead into a light read these days. Besides, as it;s already Sunday... you no doubt have finished whatever you started. Hope the bread was yummy.
    Envious about the running. Wish I could run. Hips protest too much, so not worth the problems that ensue.

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    1. Yep, I picked spending a few hours with Dr. Galloway and didn't regret it. In fact, I was just checking to see if the library had the next volume in an e-book I could download. . .
      If your hips are protesting, it's definitely not worth the trouble...

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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