As tradition goes, we spend our day off for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday doing some kind of community service. It’s just one of several days each year we get out there to lend a hand, but it is without a doubt the most organized day with the most opportunities to volunteer as an entire family. No matter if rain, sleet or snow, there is always a sliver of sunlight on this particular January day when we join forces with others to help people and/or places in our local area.

This year, however, was a bit different.

Only my wife was out there doing good on Monday, donating 4 hours of her time (and $22 to the city of Philadelphia to park — grrr) at a LGBTQ shelter in the city. Meanwhile, the girls and I were at home, attempting to solve… [drum roll please] The Yeast Mystery!

Tomorrow, my 2nd grader will become the first in this family of Bogles (and, possibly, the first in the history of all Bogles — one can never be certain) to submit herself to the cruel (not really) judging of the world renown (nope) elementary school science fair, the most hotly contested scientific contest this side of the Mississippi (not quite).

The 7-year-old girl I call The Mouse wanted to learn about her daddy’s (that’s me) homemade bread, specifically, how yeast works and what would happen if you alter the master recipe. As you may know, the words ‘altering’ and ‘baking’ don’t usually play nicely together in the lexicon sandbox.

For my part, this meant 4 separate loaves were made and baked yesterday with my rambunctious daughter helping to scoop, scrape, measure and stir, results examined. Notes were then taken by her and conclusions drawn. Solving The Yeast Mystery! also meant I was in the kitchen prepping, cleaning, precisely measuring (with a 7-year-old…so, you know) and baking, then rinsing and repeating the process four times.

Because my cracked, bleeding, dry-skin hands hadn’t taken enough of a beating under the hot faucet all day, I also used every pot and pan in my possession to make a massive home cooked meal with 9 (count ’em, nine!!) different fresh veggies to make up for what seemed like a month of eating out, take-out, and breakfast for dinner. By nightfall, I was pooped, fried, cooked, burned out, spent, exhausted and, well, really really tired. I was also prone to repeating myself, saying things again and again, and being redundant.

The Yeast Mystery 2nd Grade Science Fair Experiment

I then went for an absolutely miserable, dead-legged 2.5 mile run.

And then I collapsed.

Did I help my community on MLK Day 2015? Nope. Did I help make a science-loving little girl happy? Yep. Did I eat too much bread at dinner? You betcha.

And now I’ve got a sick kid (the other one) at home (IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BREAD!) and so I will turn to Art Eddy’s Art & Crafts column here on Life of Dad for ideas on passing the time today.