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!)