There’s a fairly high-profile murder trial going on in my small city-town right now, and I was called as a potential juror for it yesterday. After eleven hours of waiting around to be questioned, I was finally let go and excused from jury duty at 8:30 last night. To say that I felt an overwhelming sense of relief would be a huge understatement; I feel for the jury they do end up selecting, however, since they’ve got a long and hard road ahead of them.

I’m pretty sure I’m the only potential juror who seized the hour-long lunch break as an opportunity to run, though. I thought: hey, I can squeeze in a quick 3 miles! And I did – these were my first sub-27:00 3 miles in my life, and with any luck won’t be my last. Today I get to do 4 with my new sometimes-running-buddy, which is exciting because I like having company. Plus it’s a beautiful day. And I have my freedom, which I will absolutely relish when I head out for the pavement this afternoon.

Relief, indeed.


Awww, come on!

So my jury duty is theoretically over, but I got a call from the sheriff’s office this morning asking me if I might possibly be available for jury selection on February 6 and/or 7. (What am I going to say, no? I kind of can’t, really, so thanks for the choice.) Yes, that is the Big Trial – the Huguely trial – and I’m hoping beyond hope that it won’t be necessary for me to report for it. That they had to expand the jury pool in the first place should tell them that they’re going to have a bit of a time indeed finding a jury; I maintain that I want no part of this, especially after how last week ended. I mean – your gut tells you (or at least mine tells me), “this guy is guilty, he should spend his life in prison”, but then you get the evidence and the facts that are the only things that you can legally consider, and I can see very easily how he could end up *not* spending his life in prison. And I want no part of that decision. I did the stupid thing where I read some of the comments being made online about the case I was on last week, and people were vicious in their characterization of the jury – but, as I kept telling myself, they weren’t there, and don’t know the facts of the case. Still, it’s kinda sucky.

On a brighter note, I made sweet potato soup with the skins on last night and it was delicious. Do you want the recipe? Here you go:

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 medium sweet potato, washed and pricked with a fork

A few splashes of heavy whipping cream

About half a bag of frozen spinach (optional)

To taste: salt, pepper, nutmeg, ginger, cumin, parmesan cheese


Microwave the sweet potato until it is softened, about ten minutes, while the chicken broth boils. Add softened potato, scraping out the insides and adding the skins with whatever potato is still attached to it. Add whipping cream and seasonings to taste; bring to a boil and then lower to simmer for at least 30 minutes (but the longer you can wait, the better). Five minutes before serving, add frozen spinach and simmer until softened.  Just before serving, add parmesan cheese and stir.

I don’t blend or puree my soup since I like it fairly thick; I make a butternut squash soup similar to this out of a puree, and it’s pretty good too. Good comfort food for those chilly Virginia winter nights.

I go to see my GI doctor for my month-in checkup tomorrow. Should be fun…!