Tag Archives: Running

A Combined Disaster

by Mary

Last Saturday I went to a square dance that was held at Leo and Leona’s. My Parents, Robert, Colleen, Clare, and a Ukrainian exchange student friend of Colleen’s also were there.

The fact that the dance gave me an opportunity to wiggle into wranglers and put my cowboy boots back into commission, made me a happy woman. Drinking a gin and tonic and ordering a second against the advice of Robert also brightened my spirits. Although my spirits were high, my memory wasn’t. Generally, a few helpful skills for ones success at square dancing are: Memory, a attention span that is longer then like 20 seconds, rhythm, and a crazy bright IQ that knows the directions right from left.

Oops-all of those slight skills were sorely lacking. Giggling nonstop and kicking up my heels were the only fortes that I amply possessed.

Somehow, I managed to forget that I had run 6.5 miles and declared war on my garden and raked the muddy yard earlier on. Therefore, drinking was a very very bad idea.

The extreme challenge of detecting right from left wasn’t the only challenge that I faced. I also had the problem of John. For those of you that don’t know John, he is the 50 something year old developmentally disabled foster son of a couple that my parents are friends with. Because his foster parents own the greenhouse that my Dad rents space at, I have had many  run-ins with him. He is obsessed with my hair and has gone as far as to write a letter to my Father asking to date me. His affections towards me are like mean karma. Long, long ago he liked my sister Kate. At this time I found his interests in her a most amusing comedy. But after Kate grew up and moved to the city, his interests boomerranged and came right back to the family tree….. me. Now Kate’s entirely unsympathetic towards my plight from him and tells me that I am getting just what I deserved.

A few weeks ago, I was at the farm he lives at helping a crew of guys to get the green house up and running for the season. I had my hair braided and a power drill in my hand. At this point being a pretend carpenter was more of a problem then John’s presence.

But not at the dance! By the time I finished dancing a call with John, I was cured of my laughter. Suddenly, square dancing, the extreme complexity of lefts and rights, and John’s own laughter and hugs didn’t hold much amusement.

I think that wise women sticks to what she is good at. I am pretty decent at playing at sports. I also am a fantastic water chugger.  Also, I have super natural instincts of telling up from down. Maybe I should stick to these skill sets in the days to come. Plus, with the weather becoming absolutely beautiful again, I don’t have to find an excuse to wear my boots and wranglers. Now I can swoop around the fields and pastures on my quarter horse without the added distractions that I listed above.

Dasvidayna all!


More about Mary’s adventures at Leo and Leona’s here:

Bud Light and Amish Boys

More about her Russian Mission trip here:

Snow Memories

Sunday Sugar Doughnuts

by Mary and Colleen

This Sunday morning, two bakers set out to saturate the kitchen at Sweet Ridge Farm in sugar and butter.  Due to a lack of sugar intake on typical weekdays in Lent, and a huge family gathering and meal after mass, Sunday is the day to bake! Later we run several miles to work off the sugar and catch up on the weekly happenings.

Mary decided on doughnuts for her Sunday contribution, and Colleen settled for the unbeatable allure of chocolate chip banana bread (loved by all Slattery boys). What did these stylish bakers wear?

Mary sported a daring apron, created in a dual effort of Mom’s sewing power and Mary’s design and cussword creativity.

And Colleen went with her favorite apron, a donation from her musical aunt. Mary does not like said apron. Colleen has no shame, and will probably be taking it with her to college.

Mary got the doughnuts frying in no time at all.

Main ingredient? We live in Wisconsin, duh! Butter!! Not just any butter- this is a bucket of pure ghee from Organic Valley.

As per Slattery tradition, Colleen shook the newly fried doughnuts in paper bags filled with powdered sugar and a cinnamon sugar mixture. (This part is always the most fun)

The doughnuts were a great success.

Of course, one can’t go to mass looking like an apron clad pajama princess! Let me assure you, we  know how to clean up.

Here is the recipe for our Lenten Sunday sugar doughnut feast.

Sunday Sugar Doughnuts

2/3 cup white sugar
3/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg

in a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients:
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup raw milk
1/4 cup organic valley melted butter

Gently fold together wet and dry ingredients. If you are not too impatient, chill for two hours. (We are always too impatient and have never actually done this, but we hear it is helpful.) Drop spoonfuls into a cast iron pan full of heated butter (or cooking oil if you are not from Wisconsin and don’t have a bucket of butter handy) and fry over medium heat. When bottom is nicely browned, flip and fry remaining side. Shake with powdered sugar in a brown bag from the food co-op.

Running on the Ridge

by Colleen

The weekend is coming up, and to normal people that means relaxation. To me, it means freedom from a school that I am growing less attached to with each successively boring day and running out on the Ridge. I am currently in track at my high school and although I love my running friend, Amelia, dearly, there is nothing better than a long run on the roads around home, either all alone or with Mary (I thank God that she is a runner, too!). The hills are steep and the routes may be dangerous, but I love every minute of it. I have a feeling that Ridge running will be one of the (few) things I miss most when I head out to Dallas this fall.

Here’s a little poem I composed about one of my favorite Sunday Runs recently. This was a day when Wisconsin was still mired in Winter, but a hint of Spring had appeared to tease us.

Sunday Runs

The pavement beneath my feet
is cool and dry-and clear of that wretched snow!-
as I run down the road.
The sun is shining, and
the air kisses, rather than bites, my cheeks.
And I beam bright as those sweet rays.

The road is warming
beneath this miraculous winter sun,
and the familiar smell
of musky tar and dry snow plow sand
greets me again for the first time in months.

I could go on like this forever-
just the road, my legs propelling me forward in smooth motion
and an open horizon-
polished and sparkling under a crystal sun.

My own Sunday run under winter sun.

“No, Bub, No!”


He came to us a cute, slobbering puppy, bleary eyed from a long car ride, fluffy black and white tail wagging in a hopeful manner. His name is Bub, and oh how well does that name suit. Let me first say that I am a dog person. There is no competition, Cats are aloof, cats are smug, and cats are boring. I will not apologize for my dislike of the things. But dogs, puppies especially, now there is an animal that I can tolerate. In most cases.

Bub would be the exception. From the very moment he set paw upon our hardwood floor, trouble arose. First of all, there was the never-ending debate over what to name this bundle of Australian Shepard fur. That puppy was at one time called Henry, Abe, Bob, Mate, and most repulsively of all, Baby. The debate could only be ended by a good family friend of ours, an Australian priest, who, when asked to approve the name of Bob for the dog, said, “Oh yeah, Bob’s a great name for the dog,”. Only, he said this in his delightful Australian accent, pronouncing Bob, Bub. The name was set. (Although Mary to this day insists on calling him Baby, and Clare stubbornly holds out for Mate.)

As I said before, I am a dog person, but I am most definitely not a Bub person. Mary spoiled the thing in it’s formative months, fawning over him, and letting him come along on runs with her, oblivious to the dangers of semi trucks blasting by both of them. Soon even she gave up on that venture, but Bub did not get the hint.

I run everyday after school when not in a sport, out in the cold, out in the gray, out with the semis (but respectfully far, far onto the shoulder of the road, unlike some). And Bub decided that if Mary let him run with her, why not with me? This began all the trouble with Bub, who at this time was not cute anymore, having somehow morphed into a squat ball of haphazard, scruffy fur and chub. He’d sneak up behind me when I least expected it and follow behind me on the road, little claws clicking along on the road. No amount of very, very stern, “No, Bub, no!”‘s or “Go home!”‘s could change his tiny mind.

I could forgive this idiot dog if he wasn’t, well, such an idiot. He has an odd fascination with the cars barreling towards him at 55 mph. Instead of running away like any normal dog, he must run towards these death machines. I’ve quite given up on that dog, and find myself chanting, “Hit the dog, hit the dog,” under my breath whenever the sound of his little paws tapping the cold pavement behind me reaches my ears on a run. But, I digress, I really am a dog person……