Monday, December 22, 2008

Tracking him like Santa

I told Rick that I feel like I'm tracking Santa.

Hubby was hanging out on the west coast a lot this time out. It was so hard to know that he was just a 2 hour drive away....twice. I would've gladly driven up to see him, but it was a logistical nightmare. I'm not going to drive 4 hours roundtrip if I only get to see him for 10 minutes.....

As it got closer and closer for home time and he was still on the west coast, we thought for sure he'd get sent to South Carolina...aka the Bermuda Triangle. Whenever he goes to South Carolina before home time he is always late...very late....

But guess what? He went to Illinois and then he got a load going to Phoenix!! We started tracking him through the bad weather and each time he passed through another state with weather that could shut him down... I got a little more giddy. For the first time in 3 years, we might get to spend Christmas together.

And then.... they switched his loads and he got a load going to Riverside! That's even better, and he cleared all the snowy and icy states...he should be home free!!!!!

Yeah, well....we'll see about that! I'd like to publicly thank the idiot driver that picked up the load and didn't scale it out for California. And while I'm at it, I'd also like to thank the laws of California which always seem to be more difficult than any other state. (We sure want to have our food and our clothes and everything else we need on a daily basis, but hey...let's treat truckers like crap, not give them anyplace to park their trucks and make it truly difficult to drive in the state...because we care about the environment but not the people.)

Anyway.... as a driver you know the rules. You know you are supposed to take the laws of the states you are driving through into consideration when you pick up and scale your load. Well here's the thing.... the person who picked up the load KNEW he would not be delivering it. He either didn't scale it at all to make sure it would be ok, or he did and was too lazy to go back to the shipper to get it adjusted....

So hubby has the trailer and he is on his way to California...only he can't enter California until they find a way to fix the load.

So because one person was too lazy and rude to do his job right..... The dispatcher is currently trying to find a way to fix this. She has to make arrangements to find a place where they can either re-load the truck and distribute the weight differently and the company would obviously have to pay for the service...and/or...they have to find another truck to meet hubby and take part of the load. So far that's a lot of people being inconvenienced because of one person's laziness. Sure hope he has a Merry Christmas.

Me? I'm mentally preparing for the fact that Christmas just might be taking place in a truck stop somewhere near, but not inside, the California border.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Mother, Happy Blogger... Life is Good

As I was sitting on hold with Palm today, I had a post brewing in my head. Companies should be very wary when making a blogger unhappy.

I was going to share my tale of woe with you. You see, after years of getting the cheapest phone available on my wireless plan and letting my hubby and son get all the cool gadgety phones... I found a phone I really wanted. I waited patiently for it to be time to upgrade and even then I felt guilty for spending the money on a new phone!! I definately needed a new phone, but I didn't "need" to get a pda phone. I had a pda that worked just fine!!

But it was cute and it was pink and I really wanted to stop carrying a phone AND a pda. So I used birthday money and I bought myself a pink centro and it was true love. I love, love, love my phone. It's cute and it's functional and I even made the big leap to....text messaging!!!

Sadly my phone developed a problem that Palm was not going to take care of and I knew better than to even bother with Sprint's lovely customer service. I was not a happy camper... Thankfully I talked to a "supervisor" that decided it is important to make a customer happy. My refurbished Centro is on it's way and the compromise we made is something I can live with. (Still bummed about the problem, but the solution is way better than paying $199 to repair my 6 month old phone!!! Oh and no, they don't sell the parts!! I know they make them... otherwise how can they fix them??)

I never had to mention the blog post I was composing in my head.... and it was a doozy!!

And as if that wasn't enough good news for one day.... I am also an extremely happy mother!!

We have roof problems. We have never ending roof problems. In fact in a more jovial moment, hubby and son contemplated hooking up a webcam so that people could watch the roof leak. I guess there comes a point when you just have to laugh, because otherwise you might cry!

Today, my darling son got on the roof, patched the heck out of it and then took a hose to the roof to test it and so leaking. The big rainstorm tonight will be the true test.

Then Josh said to me... "I was thinking you should buy a couple more cans of the patch and I'll go up and put a new coat on all the old patch so that it will have time to cure before Dad gets home. Then we can put the top coat on when Dad is home."

It might sound simple to you, but it brought tears to my eyes!! He thought ahead. He had a plan and maybe, just maybe we'll get the stinkin top coat I bought MONTHS ago...on the roof so we can stop having Roof Woes!! (You have to put a top coat on or the patch dries and cracks in the sun and then.....your roof leaks...again!)

Obviously I'm choosing not to focus on the fact that it's so not fun that my phone broke, my roof leaks...and a few other things I could add to the list of woe. Instead I'm truly grateful that we've found a few solutions.

And that makes me a happy mother and a happy blogger. I like happy!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Bike to Beach and Back

Lately I've been dreaming and wishing about living someplace where it snows. Not a lot of snow, just enough to enjoy it. It's gotten worse now that hubby has been on the bandwagon. He keeps suggesting that we move to Utah....And then I go on the most amazing bike ride and I have to wonder... could I ever really leave paradise?
Saturday we rode from the Mission Gorge/Kaiser area (for you San Diego people) down to Pacific Beach and back and you seriously couldn't have asked for better weather! It was absolutely beautiful. It was sunny and warm and there was a little crispness in the air when we started.

We were following a ride sheet from the San Diego Recyclers website and kind of missed a turn. In our defense, it's not like they have street signs on bike paths. :-) It ended up being a happy error. Instead of turning off the bike path just shy of the end, we were able to take it all the way out to a little peninsula. On one side there was a marina with boats and the other side was Dog Beach.
Jane and her new bike!!
Candace and Dawn

We stopped at George's Bread for a little snack and a truly delicious cinnamon roll...yumm!!! And then headed back.

This is probably the last time you could do this ride this time of year simply because the ride back by Fashion Valley and Mission Valley malls was a little scary! I know that sometimes drivers just aren't sure whether to wait for you or go in front of you and I can totally understand that...but the drivers that speed up, go around you and then slam on their breaks so they can turn right? They totally annoy me!!!!
Once we got past the malls, it was smooth sailing again and a truly fun ride!! Well, until Jane got a flat. And then it went flat again.. ooops!! Luckily we were almost done and it was good flat changing practice. :-)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Our Turkey Day Ride....

If you're reading this and you don't live in southern California, you might not know about our strange weather. We rarely get any rain, but when we pours!!! We got hit with a huge rain storm last week. I believe we even set a record for the most rain in a 24 hour period for this time of year.

And so I woke up to the sound of pounding rain on Thanksgiving morning.... immediately different thoughts started going through my head...

"How are we going to ride in this?"
"How can I get out of riding in this without disappointing Jane?"
"Surely, even Jane won't want to ride in the pouring rain"
"Maybe I can go to the gym and do the elliptical if it keeps raining."

Then Josh came in my room, all excited and happy to be heading off to his "Turkey Bowl" (football game) and he asked me if we were still going for our ride." When I delivered a less than enthusiastic answer he said "You should go, you know you'll have fun."

Finally I dragged my butt out of bed, got dressed, checked the air in my tires and started to get excited about the adventure. The rain stopped, but the streets were still drenched and it was cold and everything smelled clean. I called Candace to make sure she was still going to join us, but I got her answering machine. A half hour later she called back with her sleepy voice and said she thought staying in bed sounded like more fun.

At 9am Jane and I headed off on our adventure. We rode out Hwy 8 to Lake Jennings and climbed up our two little hills. (Funny that I call them little now!) And then we got to fly down Lake Jennings to El Monte Rd. It was sooo fun! I love that descent. The road is nice and wide with a great bike lane.

Then we turned down El Monte Rd. to go down to the park. Truth be told, I was a little nervous about this part of the ride. I tried to ride it once before a few months ago and it was harder than it looked. It turned out to be my favorite part of the ride! It's amazing how you can be out in the "country" just a few miles from my house. We checked out the cows and horses and we enjoyed the smell of the pepper trees and the grapefruit. Jane even pointed out that there were pomegranate trees along the road. I never knew they were pomegranate trees!

Here we are at our turn-around point.

The strangest thing about riding down El Monte is that it seems like you end up with a head wind in both directions. It doesn't make sense, but no matter what it feels like you're going into the wind. Then when it looks like you should be coasting downhill, you end up peddling like crazy. Jane and I think we're going to have to come back out there and put a marble on the road to see which way it rolls. It's got to be some kind of optical illusion. Even with the wind and the strange "downhills," the ride was pretty easy. It really showed me how much I have improved over the last few months!

We had a great time riding back and we hatched a plan to take a little "detour" and stop by Candace's on the way home. We'll teach her skip out on our ride...hahaha... We thought it was funny that we never got rained on the whole way....until....ooops... was that a raindrop? First there were just a couple, then a few more, until we got hit with a pretty steady drizzle on Julian. By the time we started heading up Los Coches towards Candace's, it had pretty much stopped.

We giggled as we pulled into Candace's driveway. I thought she'd be hanging out, drinking coffee and feeling guilty over not riding with us.... Instead we caught her on her treadmill!! Turns out she felt guilty enough that she created her own little workout while we were riding.

The last mile home from Candace's was a little bit harder for me. My legs were getting tired. I probably would've been better off not stopping, but that wouldn't have been as much fun. In the end we went about 16 miles and we had a fabulous time!!!!! So much so that we have now decided it's going to be our annual Turkey day ride....and next time... Candace is going to join us!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Ok, before I say this, please don't hate me..... I watched The Grinch Who Stole Christmas AND Jack Frost last night and it filled me with joy and made me all happy that my most favorite movie watching season has already started!! I know I should be frustrated that they started showing these movies on tv and it's not even Thanksgiving, and I did kind of think it was odd, but mostly I loved it.

I wonder how many people spent their Sunday...
  • cooking a Turkey (hey it was a deal $7 for a bunch of meals works for me!)
  • creating projects for the Santa's Workshop
  • watching Christmas movies
  • and...watching the Wizard of Oz
And all of this while the temperatures soared to the 90's.... Crazy!
I'd apologize some more for my craziness, but I had way too much fun and I love all of my holiday projects, so instead I'll share a few pictures...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tuesday Night Ride

I was a little worried about riding home Tuesday after our big ride on Monday. Was I going to be too sore? Could I make it? The ride seemed doomed at the start when I realized I forgot my water bottle. Oh well, Josh was on standby. I'd probably be calling him before I got too thirsty.

When I hopped on my bike some "parts" were pretty sore, but pedaling seemed almost effortless! It was a crisp evening and the cool air seemed energizing. I zipped through the first part of my ride and I felt great. The hills seemed almost effortless. I finally warmed up and took my jacket off on Broadway (near Yogurt Mill for you locals...and I didn't even consider stopping!)

I rarely feel thirsty when I'm riding, mostly I drink because I'm supposed to. I learned the hard way that the way I feel "thirst" is in lack of energy. I'll be zipping along and then all of the sudden I feel like I'm pedaling through mud or I notice I'm shaking when I stop at a light. In order to be better about managing my energy, I build in little "rest stops" on my ride. I drink some water before I start, then I stop on Broadway (past 2nd street), just before I start the long slow climb home. Usually I'll eat a shot blok and take a few sips and it gives me the burst of energy I need to make it home.

Well, I got to my "rest stop" and kept on pedaling because I felt great and I had no water anyway. When I got to the gas stations on Greenfield, I knew I wanted to ride the rest of the way so I stopped and bought some water....

I got "Smart Water" in hopes that it would help me to remember my water bottle next time....

As I sipped my water and enjoyed a couple of orange candy slices... I flipped through the modes on my bike computer. Were my eyes playing tricks on me?

It said it was 7:22 pm (I never switched it after Daylight Savings Time - it was really 6:22)

But then...did I really see 7.22 miles?

The true miracle is that I flipped through it a couple of times just to make sure I wasn't dreaming it up, then I grabbed my phone and I was still able to take the picture before the time changed.... Too fun!

The rest of the ride home was absolutely wonderful!! One of my best yet.... made even sweeter in my mind, knowing that I had just ridden 40 miles the day before. Maybe one of those long bike adventures truly is in my future!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dana Point or Bust

Here we are at Dana Point - 1/2 the ride down....1/2 to go.....

Our little bike gang grew to five people this week. Joshua and Tony joined us for our longest ride!! We started out at the Las Pulgas exit off the I-5 at Camp Pendleton and rode along the old freeway, through San Onofre and San Clemente and ended at RJ's in Dana Point and then rode all the way back.

My ride started out a little rough. I got on my bike, pedaled a few times and the rest of the group was probably a block ahead of me. Ok, so maybe I exaggerate a little bit, but I was thinking it was going to be a long, long, ride all alone at the back.

At one point I looked down at my front tire and it looked kind of flat. I got off the bike and checked it and it seemed fine. After a few miles of me straggling along, Joshua rode next to me and said "your tires look flat." Sure enough, the tire pressure was REALLY low. Ooops.. Major cycling boo-boo, but I think I learned my lesson! Josh pumped them up as high as he could with the manual pump and then we planned a stop at a gas station further down the road.

When we got to the gas station, we bought drinks, Josh adjusted my seat, we rested and then we started riding again. As soon as we left I remembered we were supposed to put air in my tires. What a dork I am!! We were just a couple of miles from our turnaround point so we hit the gas station on the way back. Needless to ride home was much easier than my ride out!!

Why do I ride so much? I think pictures like this tell the story. It was absolutely beautiful!! Instead of spending the day in the house watching tv, we spent the day enjoying views like this. Amazing!!

And here we are finishing up the ride.... Doesn't Jane look like a pro??

Hey Tony looks pretty good doesn't he??? Especially since he thought we were going 20 miles round trip when he volunteered to come with us. What? He didn't get the memo that it was 20 miles EACH way. Ooops! I wonder if he'll ever trust us on another ride again......

Here's Candace and I pulling up the rear....

I had to make Josh (aka the photographer) go back and pose so I could get a picture of his finish.... Love the pose!!

So what's next??? Jane's doing a century in January and I'm looking at doing 50 miles in December. Stay tuned....

20 Cards - From Art and Soul

I have been on a cardmaking binge lately and I am loving it. I actually have a nice little stash of cards made up. Who knows, maybe I'll actually mail a few. That would be a miracle!! I am soooo bad about mailing stuff. Seriously! It's worse now that I commute by bike (you knew I'd work the bike into the post somehow....) I only have the car on Fridays and there are so many errands to squeeze into one little lunch hour.

I have a new plan though..... I'm putting together a little box of cards to keep at my desk at work. I'm stopping at the post office on my way back to the office today (chiropractor appointment) and I'm going to put some stamps in the box and then....then... I will be out of excuses. When I think "oh no, it's _____ birthday and I didn't mail a card." I shall pull out my little box of treasures and mail one out. It makes me feel organized just thinking about it.

So, why the card making binge? It all started with the latest Art and Soul episode on my website. They made 20 Christmas cards with a level 2 paper pack and still had paper left over! I wanted to show my customers the cards in person, so I made the cards using a totally different paper pack and I was hooked!! It just opened the creative flood gates and before I knew it I was using all sorts of scraps of paper to make cards.

For some reason, I only have pictures of 16...wonder where the other cards went?? They're probably on my table somewhere...

Monday, November 03, 2008

My latest cycling adventure....

Ok, so I've been a bad blogger - AGAIN. I have an interesting story to share, but I find myself at a loss as to how to share it. You see I think it has a happy ending, but there are two distinct camps of thought in my real life.

Non Cyclists - "Oh no...."

Cyclists - "I remember when...."

But before we get to that, let's go back to the beginning.....

Candace, the party planner, put together a weekend of fun at our local mountain retreat. (Laguna Mountain Lodge.) She rented the three bedroom cabin and invited a ton of people and they filled up her cabin and rented a couple more and I think there were over 20 people there at one point in time. I'm not really sure what the reason was, but they planned to hike Stonewall Peak while they were there. Stonewall peak about killed me the last time I hiked it and since I'm still not supposed to be walking much.....well the hiking thing wasn't a big draw for me.... but then Jane and I immediately began brainstorming how we could fit cycling into the weekend.

Did you know that if you ride from Laguna to Julian it's only about 650 feet of climbing, but over 2300 feet down. Wheeeee........ Jane probably would've made the journey a round trip, but I'm a little smarter than she is (wink, wink) and I thought it would be more fun to ride to Julian and then have Jr. Slave Boy (Josh) drive us back. Sadly we couldn't talk anyone else into making the journey with us. Something about winding roads and traffic.

We had a short little hill at the beginning and then wheeeee......... we had sooooo much fun. Jane stayed with me at first, but then I encouraged her to go and have fun. She's quick and she was on her road bike. No sense holding her back!!

And then we got to the hills. I'm not the greatest hill climber in the first place, add about 5000 feet of altitude and I had a hard time breathing. The cool thing is that my legs were fine. I actually didn't mind the climbing. If only I could breathe! I just took it slow and stopped a few times to catch my breath, but I never walked the bike!!!!! I played the old mind trick..."I'll keep peddling until I get to the next sign..."

Good thing you can't see my face too clearly because I'm sure I was going to die!

I love this picture of Jane coming up the hill. She said she saw Josh and knew she had to be strong!

I did find it amusing to see Linda (Josh's navigator and fellow photographer) peering down one of the hills to see if I was still coming. I was glad that they let me tough it out and didn't come down to see if I wanted a ride up though.

At one point I thought about cheating and getting a ride, but Josh didn't really give me an opportunity. (I think he knows his stubborn mom wouldn't have been happy about it later.) When I got to the top of that hill I pulled up alongside the car and said "I'm so glad you didn't let me cheat." Little did I know that they were ready to give me a ride up the next one. But off I went. I turned the corner and started toward Julian and then all of the sudden I was going down.... I have replayed the scene in my head a thousand times and I cannot figure out what happened. I very distinctly remember my front wheel going down, like in a hole, but we never found a hole. All I know is that something happened and then I made the rookie mistake of pulling hard on my brakes. In hindsight I think my bike and I would have fared better if I hadn't done that... Even still, I'm totally fine. I got scraped up and believe me I had some amazing bruises on my legs and my ribs were sore for a day or two, but other than that I am completely fine. I wasn't scared or upset, in fact I was almost giddy.

My poor wobbly wheel

You see the ride was so much fun that my little crash can't possibly wipe the memory of it out. In fact, I can hardly wait to go do the ride again. And... I've always known I would crash at some point and I have been terrified. Now that it happened and I survived, I'm fine. I'll learn what I can and hopefully be a better cyclist.... but I'm definately still peddling around!!!!

See, there's no denying the sheer joy on our faces, even though I have my elbow resting on a frozen water bottle.

(If you've read this far....stay tuned... I made 20 cards yesterday AND Jane is joining me for my first commute since the time change!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Invite and Card Swap

Here's my card for the November stamp of the month swap. I love snow men and I had so much fun creating this card. Of course, now that I mailed it, I wish I had added white sassy strands. I tried adding blue and didn't like it. Never even considered white until I saw Bren's card.....

And here's one of the invitations I made for the Court of Honor. The scout paper was another brand and I think it's not available anymore. I ran out and looked everywhere for it. I ended up having to use different paper on some of the invitations. Of course I kept one of my favorites for myself. The stamps are from a set called Legendary Moments. How appropriate!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 20, 2008

Eagle Court of Honor

Here it is a few days later and my heart is still so full that I find myself at a loss of words. Joshua's Eagle Court of Honor was wonderful. We were blessed to have so many people come and share the evening with us. It reiterated how truly lucky we are to have such a large group of friends and family that love and support us!!

Here is a picture of the two boys taking the Eagle Charge....

But I love that when my step-dad zoomed out you could see the row of men who have helped the boys along the way. We kind of broke tradition a little bit and we split the Eagle Challenge up amongst the wonderful spiritual and scouting leaders these boys had. I think technically we should have used Eagle scouts. These men may not have earned their Eagle when they were young, but they have definately fostered the scouting spirit and have done some amazing things with the boys in our ward/troop/team.

They each had a "written" part to read, but they all added a few extra comments when they got up there. They kept it short and sweet but you could hear the love and admiration they had for each of the boys. I think it was my favorite part of the whole ceremony.

The eagle medal package comes with one mentor pin, but you can purchase additional pins as needed. Both boys immediately knew they would need two pins. There's no way to separate the "Ambassador of Fun" (Mark), from the "Assistant Ambassador of Fun" (Barry).

Later on that night, when things had settled down I expressed my thanks to both of them and they looked down at the pins on their chest and said "There's no greater thanks than this."

And the surprise of the evening was when I saw these two walk in the door. A few minutes after the ceremony started, Rick nudged me and said "look at the door." I looked over and saw the Polls sneaking in, then I looked up at Josh and saw his eyes get big and his face light up. I will admit, it was a little hard to patiently sit through the rest of the ceremony when all I wanted to do was go give them a big hug!

We love the Polls for many reasons but whenever we thought about this night, we always thought of sharing it with them. You see Bishop Poll was the one who first called us as Cub Scout leaders and he's the one that shared his testimony of scouting with us. He helped us to see the importance of scouting and how it helps to shape the young men and prepare them for a mission. He gave us the insight to understand the long term goals so that we could get through the short term difficulties.

The Polls moved to Utah a few years ago, but they continued to ask how Josh was doing and where he was in the process. We promised to keep them informed and let them know when the big event would happen. When it came time to send out the invites, we made sure we mailed theirs right away. I never called or followed up. I didn't want to add pressure or expect them to make the trip, but I hoped....

When I hadn't heard from them I told Josh, "I wonder if they would just surprise us."

And they did... and we are truly grateful!!

There are many other great people who joined the celebration Saturday night and we are just as grateful for their presence. My Mom flew in and when she found out that the girls didn't have a babysitter for the weekend, she bought them tickets and brought them with her. (They loved their first plane ride!) Our ward family was there as well as my dad and step-mom and so many of my friends; friends who know nothing about scouting, but came to support Josh. Friends who were balling their eyes out and I couldn't even look at them because I was afraid they'd make me cry. They were surprised I was able to keep my composure. I said "I think it's because I shed all my tears when I wrote his letter of recommendation and went to his board of review," now it was time to just enjoy the celebration. (We have more photos on other cameras...I may have to post a few more pictures once I see them.)

I'm not very photogenic, but here are my favorite photos of our family.

I love the cute smile Josh has as he goes to hug me. Yep, the boy still loves his mama!

And... this picture says it all. I remember the exact moment it was taken. Rick was so proud of Josh and you could just see how much he loves his son when he gave him that hug. It was a sweet moment of seriousness. You don't see that much with two "men" in the house. Usually you see them goofing around or annoying each other.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Halloween's Past

They were talking about haunted houses on the radio this morning, which prompted me to ask Josh about his recent trip with his friends. I laughed as he described how much fun they had. Apparently Bre was a good sport and fun to scare so the actors were calling to the rooms ahead saying "get the girl in the back." Josh said that at one point he was standing still like a pillar and Bre kept running around, hiding behind him and the actors would follow her from room to room. He said sometimes he'd warn her, but other times he just watched as they sneaked up beside her and walked along with her.

I love haunted houses. Mom wouldn't let us trick or treat when we were kids. She heard the stories of razor blades in apples and tampered candy and said it was too dangerous. Then Mike was diagnosed with diabetes so he couldn't have candy anyway. Our Halloween's were spent at carnivals and haunted houses. I was absolutely thrilled when I was a teenager and a church youth group asked me to work at their haunted house. Our room was a surgical room with a "mad" doctor performing a gruesome surgery and we had a few other people in the room, like a crazy person in a straight jacket. Guess who played crazy real well? I had a blast. I asked people to play patty cake with me and danced around the room. My big claim to fame is that the local news channel came through and filmed our room and my antics and I ended up being on t.v. I also got to play Princess Leia chained to Jaba the Hut and a grim reaper.

I guess all that exposure kind of turned me into a warped mom because when it came time to take Joshua to his first haunted house we went straight to the big, professional, scary ones. We never took him to the ones at the little carnivals where you stick your hands through holes and feel strange things like spaghettti and pretend it's intestines. Of course our daredevil child was definately up for the task. He couldn't wait. We walked through and we laughed and screamed and Josh took it all in.... and then we got to the room with the chainsaws. They chased Josh around the room until he backed into a corner, scooched down the wall, at down and laughed and screamed. Rick and I just stood there and laughed.

As we were talking about it this morning I suddenly thought it was pretty odd that we just let them torture our kid and once again I told Josh "I'm sorry, we probably warped you didn't we." He laughed and said "yes, definately."

Once again I'm left to wonder if it's his nature or if the child truly did just have to learn to survive his crazy parents. I wonder if I'll be allowed to babysit when grandchildren come along?

Friday, October 10, 2008

I See You've Been Here

Hubby sent me this picture with a text that said "I see you've been here :-)" I saw the picture and wrote back "it even looks like my smiley."

People ask how we do it. Honestly, this week has been hard. I feel awful and there's nothing I'd like more than to have my hubby home so that he can massage my head and neck, listen to me whine, remind me to take my medicine and take over so I can just sleep and recuperate. Instead of telling Rick all this, I've been grumpy and haven't wanted to chat much with him. Then I almost lost it when I found out he won't be home on Monday, like planned. If you heard that conversation, then you'd realize that some days it feels like we can't do this anymore....

and then he'll send me a cute message like this and I remember all the reasons I love him and how proud I am to be his wife and I get excited because soon he will be home. Soon I will be able to lay down with him and he will massage my neck and make me feel like I am completely safe and loved.

Until then we just have to send silly text messages.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Awesome Women

Ok, I'm weird, but I absolutely love finding out cool things from people I know. I love learning homeopathic remedies, recipes, favorite products, organizing tips.... It's probably why I love reading blogs so much. You find out the coolest things.

I'm not sure why, but the other day I was thinking about how many great friends I have and how they have enriched my life by the cool things they know and love and before I knew it I was writing them down. It was pretty fun and I'm no where near done. I keep thinking of more. Plus there are some friends that entertain me in a variety of ways. It's pretty hard to narrow it down to just one. So, I've decided to make it a new feature on my blog. Periodicaly I'll throw a few from my list together and I'll post them.

Here's my disclaimer: If you know me in real life, rest assured you're probably on my list. You'll just have to keep checking my updates to see when you show up on the blog. There's no particular order. I'll probably choose a few that are relevant at the Anita... I ran out of something that Anita shared with me.

Anita: Pomegranate and Mango Softsoap. She gave me a bottle for my birthday and I absolutely love it!! Anita is also sure to remember the crazy things that just kind of pop out of your the time I told someone that I thought wearing a bra was standard operating procedure. In my defense, it was kind of appropriate at the time and I'm sure everyone else was thinking it. I just happened to actually say it.

And since I've been on a cycling kick... I'll share a couple from my cycling friends

Jane: She doesn’t send emails or type much, but the girl can find a bargain online and it’s sure to be cute and match you and your personality. You could call it a bad thing. I mean she finds deals that you just can’t pass up, so you might find yourself spending money you hadn’t planned on, but I’m still loving my $24 cycling jersey that was normally $75! I think that bargain will be hard to beat. It was only on sale in MY size!! Want a medium? Fork over $75.

Candace: I could list the things that she has shared with me over the years, but I will kind of lump a bunch of them into one category. Want to go out to eat? Call Candace. Not only will she come up with a great idea, but she might even join you. She's kind of turned over a new leaf and she's actually cooking now, so you can also give her a call if you'd like an idea for a healthy meal too. Wait - here's a tip from Candace. I love El Toritos Chicken Caesar Salad. The bottled cilantro dressing? Well, it just isn't the same. It's too thick. The other day she put a little in a bowl and added quite a bit of water. It was VERY runny, but it was awesome!! I got the taste and kept it low-cal.

and now that I've mentioned food....

Jessica – (My sister in-law) I love watching Jessica look at a cookbook and/or talk about cooking or food. She makes it all sound way more exciting than it feels when you’re tired and in the kitchen chopping vegetables. Thanks to Miss Jessica I now make homemade corn bread stuffing and rolls for Thanksgiving.

Teresa – I can’t mention Jessica without mentioning Teresa because Teresa is just as excited and passionate about eastern medicine and acupuncture and herbs and the cool homeopathic things you can do to heal your body. It’s endearing and infectious to listen to her. Love it!

What have you learned from your friends? What do you find endearing about them? Take a minute and think about it. Feel free to leave a few in the comments or send me a link to your blog.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Stamping AND Cycling in the same post!

I decided to shake things up a bit. Before I start talking about cycling...I'm going to share some stamping. What a novel concept!!

Here's a simple card I made using the October Stamp of the Month Annotations. The paper is from the Magic Moments Paper Pack. I absolutely love this set! It is perfect to add little journaling spots/embellishments to pages and cards. I think it definately goes in the "must have" column. (Sorry about the photography....I seem to be having issues lately...)

And here is a sneak peek from my 14 card holiday workshop in November. Of course I haven't decided what I'm showing at my workshop this Saturday...ooops.... It will be a surprise.

Now can we talk about cycling? Here's a link to a fun blog that Jane shared with me. Velo Vogue I am fascinated with this blog. I think it's because I just can't relate.... Is it even possible to look cute and chic and vogue while riding a bike? Heck, I can't even wear cute shoes when I'm not riding. I wonder what it would be like to put on some heels and pedal around?

Seriously. When I ride my bike, it's a whole production. Not only do I wear cycling gloves, workout wear and tennis shoes; I even take the time to change bras! My life would be so much easier if I didn't have to haul an extra set of clothes with me to work each day. My desk would look better too! Here's the view under my counter.

The lovely plastic bag is my breakfast/lunch, then we have my saddlebag. Mostly it contains clothes, but the pockets have an extra innertube and tools. Next is my front bag aka purse, aka pharmacy (I think it has more meds than "purse" items right now....) and my helmet is on top. You should see me walking in with all of this each morning. It's comical.

I did make one change. It seems I've decided to stop changing my shoes each day. I'm sure my coworkers love the fashion statement. White tennis shoes....lovely.... Apparently I'm too lazy to switch my orthotics around twice a day so if there is any white in my outfit whatsoever, then I think the white tennies match... right?

I think I'm going to make it a goal to wear a skirt while riding some day. Stay tuned! Maybe they will feature me on Velo Vogue.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Tour de Poway

I've gotten a couple of emails and I've talked to a couple of friends and it turns out that there really are people who read my blog and they noticed my absence. Ooops. Sorry about that... It's that same old problem... I set this up to be my creative space; my scrapbooking and stamping blog, and lately I have been filling it up with cycling news, so I felt guilty and besides...aren't you all tired of hearing about cycling? (apparently not, since that's what I've been getting emails about...) and so I am here and I am repentent...haha...

No wonder I got emails. I didn't realize it has been a whole month since I posted!! You probably thought that the Coronado bridge did me in and I have given up. Not so, not so...

Shortly after we finished the Bike the Bay, Jane (the temptress) was making plans for our next big ride. I called Candace and told her I was pretty sure Jane was trying to kill us because what did she pick? The Tour de Poway. We ended up compromising. Jane and Karen signed up for the 50; Candace and I signed up for the 18...and even then we were pretty sure the hills would still kill us.

For me, it was almost the ride that wasn't. I spent the whole month working on hills and I was feeling pretty good. Mapmyride even made it seem like it was similar in climbing to my commute... I was ready for this... and then....

  • Mon - Bike fell over on driveway and bent derailleur in. Josh bent it back and adjusted.

  • Tues - Bike "feels funny" and I'm slower than molasses.

  • Wed - Gave up the big booty seat in hopes that would make me faster. Just made me sore.

  • Thurs - Chain came off bike and got stuck. Couldn't finish ride.

  • Fri - Rest day

  • Saturday - Josh attempted to fix chain, it broke. Put on new chain, bike shifts funny. Begged Inky's Bike Shop to take a look. They said no more cheap chains. Put a different chain on and told me to move basket mount. Put big booty seat back on. Too sore to attempt it for Tour de Poway.

  • Sunday - Headache that I've had since wednesday is now approaching migraine status. Took Excedrin Migraine and went to put everything in driveway....No helmet... it's in the back of the car!!! The car that Josh took to his soccer game.... Had to buy helmet on way to ride.

But miracles of miracles, somehow I actually made it to the ride and my bike ran perfectly. The headache kind of sucked, but I was determined to ride. I ended up taking some ibuprofen partway through and it knocked it down to tolerable. Other than that, I felt great!!!! I was one of the SLOWEST riders, but I really didn't care.

Candace and I ended up being a good match. I was slow and she needed rest on the hills so she would stop and I'd catch up and we'd ride together until she pulled away. There were a couple of hills that were pretty harsh, but I never walked my bike!!!!!!! After the bridge, it has been my goal to never walk again. So far, so good.

Headache update: Doc says, sinus infection. At least I have some meds now. Should be better soon.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Bike the Bay, Walk the Bridge

Bike the Bay, Walk the Bridge... haha. Ok, so the ride was really called "Bike the Bay," but I figured that the title I came up with more accurately represents how I approached the ride.

Unfortunately I didn't start the day out real well. I woke up feeling awful. I had horrible cramps and it was like my body was in overdrive. I was cold/clammy/sweaty/anxious and short of breath. It was the oddest thing. I got winded just on the short ride from the car to the beginning of the race and then I got anxious because I was so out of breath.... At that point I think I was battling a mental and physical battle.

I calmed down a little bit while we stood around waiting for the beginning of the ride. It was fun to see all the different groups and the cool jerseys. We marveled at those who were riding the "fixies" and the beach cruisers. We needed every single one of our 21 gears. haha! Finally the ride got started and we were off. We barely got going and we hit the beginning of the bridge. No time to settle in and relax. I didn't even make it up the entrance ramp. It was a sharp turning ramp. It was even hard to walk it. Then I was huffing and puffing and freaking out in my head. "What the heck? I can't even make it up the ramp?" I caught my breath and rode some more and stopped again. Mentally, I think it's easier to stop the second time. It was like I was defeated. I was so upset and so worried. I kept walking, but I was going over every possible scenario. Could I quit? How would I let Candace and Jane know? Would I be able to live with myself if I quit? Physically, could I possibly go on? I honestly thought I was going to puke and cry and pass out all at the same time... but I kept walking.... and then finally I got back on my bike and started riding and it was EASY!!! I mean seriously. Granted I got back on when the slope wasn't so bad, but I was still shocked at how easy it was to pedal... I finished up the slope of the bridge and then calmed down as I rode down the other side.

By the time we made it to the first pit-stop (about 3 miles into the race), I knew I could continue on but I still wasn't feeling real good. I took some ibuprofen at the pit stop and Jane gave me a shot blok. I drank some water and had the pit crew adjust my seat a little bit and we were off... A few miles later I finally started to shake it off. Candace gave me another shot blok at the next pit stop and I was finally able to stomach the idea of food. I ate a couple orange slices, a piece of banana and more water....and from that point on I absolutely loved the race. I made it up every single hill and I had fun.

At the first pit stop Candace was frustrated with herself too and said she was going to do the ride next year and she was determined to make it up the whole bridge. I said "have fun, I'm never doing it again. I'll be lucky if I finish this one." (you should know, I'm generally miss I can do anything!!! so this was totally out of character.) By about 15 miles I knew I would do the ride again....

But during the last couple of miles Jane looked up and saw the bridge and she said "do you see that?" and I said "Yea, it's that ugly bridge" and we burst into a fit of giggles. I may have been enjoying the ride, but I hadn't befriended the bridge yet. Give me a few days and I might be able to look at it and remember that I did indeed conquer it....even if I walked part of it. Just wait until next year.

One of the fun things about the ride was how many comments we got about our outfits!! You see it's all about the shopping and color coordination. Our outfits and bike accessories match our bikes. Jane has a pink bike...and pink accessories...Candace is purple and I am blue. While we knew this and we do indeed plan our outfits and accessories, we had no idea that it would be so obvious to everyone else. It was hilarious. We got comments all day long.

We spent a lot of time checking out everyone's jerseys. We saw quite a few that we've looked at and considered buying and then we saw a lot of unique ones. I think one of our favorites was the girls wearing the shirts that said "I may be slow, but I'm in front of you."

The volunteer riders were great! We started out at the front of our group and our rider was pretty funny. He stopped and helped so many people with blown tires that he ended up passing us a couple of times. The best was when he passed us on the bridge and reminded us there was no stopping and Candace said that she knew but thought breathing was kind of important (or something like that.) He chuckled and agreed. Many volunteers and fellow riders passed by while I was walking and there were so many kind words and offers of help. It was nice! Nobody seemed to judge me for walking, they just wanted to make sure I was ok.

And here's my little shout out for Shot Bloks!! They are made by Cliff bars and they look sort of like little jello blocks. I think they help replace electolytes or something like that. I've experimented with what to eat before, during and after a ride and these really are my favorite. At first I didn't really like the idea of them. They seemed like empty calories, but for me they work! I can't deny that I feel so much better when I eat a couple of them on the long rides and I truly think they saved me yesterday. So of course, I bought a few more packages after the ride so I wouldn't have to get handouts from my friends. (I still don't think I'd eat them, just to eat them...still not so sure about the whole empty calorie thing...)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Students First

"Students First" - roughly translated it means, we're parking off campus so that the students can have our parking spaces. In the interest of full disclosure, the school has made alternate arrangments available. We have an off-site parking lot and a free shuttle that I am more than welcome to use. And I do have one of the coveted on campus parking permits thanks to my lovely foot injury....but I am demented....and I have decided to bike commute!

Here's the plan

Monday - Thursday Josh is dropping me off in the morning and I'm riding home.
Friday - Park on campus day so we all get to have our cars.

Depending on which route I take, I'll be riding between 6 and 11 miles. 6 miles if I decide to stop at Dad's house, 9 if I go up the big hill and 11 if I go around and take the long slow climb...

We did a few test runs a couple of weeks ago and I worked out some of the bugs. I'd still like to get panniers for my bike, but until I work it into the budget, I'll be using a backpack and the bag on the front of the bike.

So this weekends prep included:

Grocery shopping - yep, no more lunches out. I actually had to buy and make my lunch.
Bike Store - switched out the knobby mountain bike tires for some less knobby tires. The guy at the bike shop said it will make me go 20% faster, but my question is "will it be 20% easier?" I'm not trying to win a race. I just want to survive. :-)

I got on the scale this morning so that I can see if this new venture will also yield some other fun results and I lost four pounds just contemplating the change...hahaha! I think maybe the four pounds was from all the other cycling I've been doing lately. Maybe that's a good sign for the future?!

Stay tuned and I'll let you know how Day 1 went....and I might even remember to take pictures from my weekend stamping projects....

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

200 Miles and I stamped too!!

Ok first...I got permission from my midnight madness buddies to post a fun picture of the three of us, so here's a little more madness....

Here's the beginning of the race. (Josh came along with us, helped with the bikes and took pictures too.)

And speaking of odometer met a new milestone.....

Not only did I hit 200 miles, but I also rode all the way up Los Coches. The funny thing is that as I was riding down Los Coches, I was really enjoying it. I kept thinking "now, why is it that I thought I liked riding? Why isn't this more fun?" Maybe it was the fear and the dread of going back up, but I really wasn't all that into the ride.

Then I started back up the hill. Now this isn't a big giant hill or anything. It's a long, slow increase that gets a little bit steeper towards the end. Normally I stop at Candace's, which is right before the incline gets harder, but since I have to ride up the Coronado Bridge soon, I figured I'd better become friends with the hills.

So anyway, just after I pass the turn off to Candace's I start start getting out of breath and I have to gear down and I'm sweating and suddenly.... I am absolutely LOVING it. I just had to laugh at myself. I thought it sucked when I was flying down the hill with the wind and I loved it when I thought I was going to die. Crazy!

Ok...and yes... I stamped too!! Here's the first card I made using the September Stamp of the Month "Treasure Life." This was my prototype and I ended up switching the saying to another one in the set. I made 11 cards and I even mailed them! Wooooo

Monday, August 18, 2008

Midnight Madness

We did it! Candace, Jane and I completed the Midnight Madness bike ride and we had a blast!! The ride was actually pretty easy. There were only a couple of minor hills and since it was at night it was nice and cool outside. I think the hardest part for all of us was the whole riding at midnight thing. In my head I might still think I'm a teenager, but my body doesn't really enjoy staying up all night anymore. :-)

The ride is a little over 18 miles and we went on Harbor Island, Shelter Island, part of Point Loma and through Old Town. Overall most of the riders were fun and kind, but there were quite a few non-registered riders that smelled like a brewery when they passed and acted obnoxious!! We weren't real sad when they started talking about meeting at "Joel's house" in Pt. Loma. I'm not sure if they headed off to another party or joined the crazy riders that stopped at the Pt. Loma liquor store on the way back downtown. Seriously, there were so many riders stopped at the liquor store that it looked like a pit stop. Crazy! All I know is we seemed to leave them behind and the last part of the ride was quiet and peaceful.

The costumes were hilarious. I think my favorite was the tandem bike that had a bubble blower and a disco ball. I also loved the people who strapped boom boxes onto their bikes and blared music for us....especially when we were going uphill....

Overall, it was a fun, fun time... so fun... that Jane talked me into signing up for Bike the Bay on September 7th. I'm pretty sure I'll be walking my bike up the Coronado bridge, but at least it will be a nice view. I'm trying to talk Candace into going with us. She's my best hope of having a walking partner. Jane? Oh she'll blast right up the hill and be waiting for me on the other side.

Well I better go.... I've got some hill climbing to practice.... (Oh, please let me survive!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Journal Time!

Fellow consultant, Jan Dagley, shared some amazing journals at our mini-convention recently and she re-inspired me to have fun with journals. I made a quick trip to Michaels yesterday and the $1 bin lured me over... Just had to buy a few of those $1 journals.

Sorry for the icky picture! I figured you'd all rather have a picture taken with my cell phone instead of another excuse about why I was too busy to take a picture.

I used the Life's Delight paper pack and matching stickers and embellished with assorted ribbons. You can't see them, but the My Stickease assortment has a few of those cute little tab divider stickers. I added a couple of pieces of cardstock to the journal while I had it taken apart and put the little divider stickers on the cardstock to create sections in the journal.

Have you covered any journals? Leave me a comment with a link to your blog. I'd love to see them.