Days 141 & 142: Walking with Crutches!

Days 141 & 142 of the Papa’s Walk Challenge!  

I blew my knee out. I may have wrenched it moving boxes or just getting in and out of my car, but it had been delivering twinges of pain for at least a week.  On Saturday, November 2nd, I decided to take an extra long walk to  sort of work out the kinks. (That was Day 140, when I smelled the aroma of Pumpkin Bread baking.  )crutch

Anyway, everything seemed fine, but as the day progressed my knee got sorer and I was walking with a limp. By evening, the pain was so intense that I could barely stand. I needed to use crutches to get around. (Fortunately, we had a pair in the closet – leftovers from the days when my son had multiple mishaps on a skateboard.)

I rested my knee, iced it, took some Motrin, and by Sunday morning (Day 141) it was slightly better, but I still needed the crutches to get around. I rested all day Sunday but allowed myself to say that hobbling around on crutches counted as part of my “Papa Walk.”  🙂

Today, Monday, November 4, 2013, is Day 142.  I’m able to limp around without crutches, but my knee is still too weak to withstand a walk.  I think I’ll just be grateful that it’s healing and maybe let limping up and down my hallway a few times count as a “Papa Walk” today. 🙂


Day 140: Pumpkin Bread Walk!

Today is Day 140 of the Papa’s Walk Challenge!  

The aroma of freshly baked pumpkin bread was in the air today!  In my neighborhood, it smells like folks are recycling their Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns!jack o lantern 2

I used to make pumpkin bread from scratch for Papa after every Halloween.  Here’s the recipe for…

Papa’s Favorite Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Bread!

After Halloween, cut a Jack-O-Lantern into quarters and set it skin side up on a foil-lined cookie sheet or baking pan. Bake at 350° F for 40-50 minutes or so, until pumpkin is tender when pierced with fork. Cool the pumpkin, remove the skin, and put the soft, cooked pumpkin into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Use the pumpkin puree to make pumpkin bread as follows…

Ingredients (makes 2 loaves):

1 ½ cups sugar or sugar substitute
1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup water
1 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin (yes, you can substitute canned pumpkin)
½ cup chopped dates
½ cup chopped pecans

Directions: Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease and flour two 8” loaf pans.

Mix all the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices) in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, oil, water, and pumpkin. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and beat until well blended. Fold in the dates and pecans.

Pour the batter into the loaf pans and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each loaf comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the loaf pans, then, using a thin knife, trace the edge along the sides of the pans to loosen the loaves. Remove them from the pans, and set on a rack until they are completely cooled. Slice and serve with a dollop of whipped cream. You can also enjoy it the way Papa preferred; toast a slice and spread it with butter for a breakfast treat.


Day 138 & 139: Halloween & Dia de los Muertos!

Days 138 and 139 of the Papa’s Walk Challenge!  

Yesterday was Halloween and today is Dia de Los Muertos. I enjoyed walking around the neighborhood to take in all of the fun decorations. A large percentage skullof front lawns have been transformed into graveyards with coffins and headstones – and this year, there were lots of skeletons!

One house displayed a graveyard with 4 skeletons seated at a card table playing poker and drinking whiskey, a skeleton chef standing at a barbecue with an apron that had the words “Killin’ and Grillin'” written in blood on it, a bride and groom skeleton, a pirate skeleton (straight out of Pirates of the Caribbean), a skeleton grim reaper, and an assortment of bones, ghouls, and ghosts. It looked like a Hollywood horror movie set!

I wonder if the rise in popularity of skeleton decorations is because of the increase in celebrations of Dia de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead (on November 1st and 2nd). This Mexican holiday tradition, when families remember and honor relatives and friends who have died, is becoming more prevalent in California culture.

In fact, Redwood City (where I live) is having its first “Dia de los Muertos” celebration on November 1st. I think I’ll honor Papa’s memory by walking downtown and joining the festivities.

If you want to learn more about Dia de los Muertos, visit Monica Oivera’s website, MommyMaestra. She’s a homeschool mom and writer and recipient of the Latinos in Social Media’s “Best Latina Education Blogger” award.