Thursday, July 31, 2014

gotta blame it on something

This morning was ripe with opportunity. The older guys were off to work, Meego was off to band camp.  I didn't have any tuting scheduled until late afternoon.

Furthermore, all of my housewifery and grocery shopping and such was all caught up.  RIPE I say!  What to do?!

Well, there was one slight glitch.  The reason I'm so caught up on everything is that it's been raining non-stop for two days.

What?  That's really rare around here.  Usually we get these flash flood gully washer wham-bams.  In and out in about 30 minutes or less.  What's this two-, going on three-day business??

I was getting grumpy.  I wanted to play outside.  Can you hear it?  Can you hear the whine in my voice?  It's really irritating, go back and read it again, I'll wait...


I was grumpy and blaming my grumpiness on the rain.  This is upstate New York weather.  This is why we left upstate New York.  Waaaah.  (hear it??)

Blame it on the rain.

In 1989, I was working as a summer intern with four other university students.  It was a fun and memorable summer, of the carefree college days.  We five - three guys, me and another girl - often got together during off-work hours, to go out dancing and such.  One of our favorite groups was Milli Vanilli.

Remember Milli Vanilli??  And their epic fall from grace??  Anyone?

I was really disappointed when the truth about them came out, I'd been a big fan!  So many good times were accompanied by good ol' Rob and Fab!  Or... NOT Rob and Fab... *ahem*. 

 So I was linking up with Mama Kat again this week, thinking about the prompt:

1.) A song you loved when you were younger, but now listen to the words and…

I thought back to my fave 80s tunes, and I remembered Milli Vanilli.  Blame it On the Rain came to mind since my ripe day of opportunity was looking like I might be spending it building an ark.

As I listened to [anonymous] sing the words, I was thinking, "Ah, shuddup about the rain, you whiner!  Your missed opportunities are your own dang fault!  Quit making excuses, whoever you are!"

First, lemme take
a selfie

Then I stopped my own pity party, got out the always- willing Bella, and went for a freaking awesome bike ride in the rain!

And the rain actually let up quite a bit, like it was just waiting to see who would go out despite it being around.  The fair weather riders were absent, and it was just us die-hards on the pathways.

You meet the nicest people on rainy days.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

this one time?

Meego starts band camp today.  Each of our kids participated in middle school band, but Meego is the only one who has, so far, spilled over into high school.

It's not sleepover camp, just nine fun-filled days at the high school.  I think it's mainly for the newbies, the optional sleepover camps being for the true band geeks.

It's reminded me of my own band camp experiences during the summer between my junior and senior years of high school.  Off I went from our little coal-mining / sex-change town to big Denver.  Five fun-filled days, with four sleepovers at a college campus.

It wasn't TRUE band camp however, but just flag / rifle / percussion camp, me being with the flags.  There were four of us flag girls, two rifle girls, no percussors.  Our band director drove us up in one of those huge 80s station wagons.

I was excited, a little nervous, and already missing my boyfriend - ah, teen drama.

Our director had put me in the "advanced" group, another of us in the "intermediate", and two newbies with the "beginners".  He sent me off with those advanced big-city flag girls, and actually spent most of his time with the newbies!

I remember our instructor was from the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps flag squad.  Fun, energetic, and a great leader.  She appeared that first morning, looking very strong, which had me wondering what she had in store for us.

Soon, we were in formation, going through drills.  The more we drilled, the less intimidated I became.  I noticed that those big city flag girls weren't all that sharp after all.  I was holding my own just fine!

I ended up having much fun, learning new moves, and making new friends.  

Then there was the time spent in the phone booth with my sniffling boyfriend *omg*.

I DID miss him.  I don't remember what we talked about, I just remember our alone time in that dorm phone booth.  I know what we didn't talk about though...

Back then, flag and rifle squads consisted of just girls.   We'd go through our hot daily schedules of drills and routines and practice, practice, practice, but I know we all looked forward to what became known as "drummer time"

We'd hear them before we saw them - the percussion teams.  While we flags and rifles had our designated patches of grass among the many fields, the drummers marched all around campus.  They'd come through our areas, announcing their presence with a stirring cadence.  We'd stop and watch and cheer them on. 

They were probably as geeky as we were, after all, they were at optional band camp.

But they were the only boys we saw for five days.  And, wisely, they stayed in a different dorm. 

Rock Stars.


Find Abby?
She's probably back row, fourth from the right


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

Greetings, Civilization!

Magnum, Meego, and I just got back from a techno-free wilderness weekend at Lake Isabel, one of our favorite techno-free locations.

It was nice to get away and commune with nature.  The weather was very welcoming, and we got in a fair amount of hiking, fishing, splashing, chopping, fetching, etc.

Chaco and Wolfgang both worked on Saturday, so they didn't join us.  While we missed having them around, it was nice knowing that someone was back holding down the house and giving the pets their needed affection.

And in the  meantime, we had some camp visitors from the animal kingdom so we wouldn't feel left out.

I awoke last night to see Magnum sitting up, unzipping the tent window and peering out.

"I heard a bear or something scratching on the bear boxes", he whispered.

"I didn't hear anything", I whispered, so as to cancel out his hearing a bear.

"It was a few minutes ago", he shushed.

A little while later, I heard what sounded to me like something scratching on a bear box farther away than our bear box.  Ah well...

The only furry critter we saw in our camp this morning was this one

He/she is going to be a nice big butterfly (moth?) soon, I think. 

So a good way to wrap up an otherwise nice week - communing with nature and carrying stuff, and stuff!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

something borrowed, something...

I just got it a couple of days ago.  It was totally unexpected - such a surprise!

And yet, its luster is already starting to fade.  In fact, this morning when I woke up, I'd forgotten I had it.  But I eventually remembered.

When I first received it, though, it was like WHAMMO!  Wow, I was so in the moment!  I got rather emotional, really.  I just couldn't contain myself.  My hands came up to my face to try to stifle my squeals.

Then, I just wanted to keep it all to myself.  I just wasn't ready to share it with the world.  I could imagine people seeing it and being all, "Oooh, where'd you get it!?"  "Wow, that's really something!" "Can I touch it?!"

So I sheltered it, even though I knew that I would eventually have to expose the gift since I couldn't just leave it home by itself while I went about my day.  I took pains to suppress its sparkle, thinking maybe I could get it to blend in, and no one would know what I had!

My efforts worked pretty well, actually, and eventually, I felt comfortable going out into the world with it.  It was kind of titillating, to be out walking around with it in my possession without anyone really noticing. 

But I noticed.  I knew what I had. The whole time, I would feel it and be reminded.  Once in a while, I'd take a furtive peek at it to make sure it wasn't busting out of its disguise in all its radiance. 

Now, it's like it's become part of me. It's blended in on its own and no longer seems like this separate entity, a meaningful presence with a mind of its own.  I've nearly fully absorbed it into my own being.

But dang, it was a Mother of a bruised bump when I first got it.   

Razzum Frazzum Frackum Frickum dog crate, right where my shin was going!


Linking up with Mama Kat again this week for the prompt:
3.) Something new.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

summer daze

Summertime is slipping by.  I keep getting e-mails about the start of school for me, the start of school for Meego... 

Our ducks are in their rows for the most part, I assume that Wolfgang's and Chaco's are too.  That's what they tell me anyways.

In the meantime, I've got my handful of tutees to keep my brain from turning totally to mush, but I've been enjoying the slower summer pace.  Yesterday afternoon, after my morning's tuting, Meego was hanging out on the futon.

"We should go to Lulu's", he mumbled from behind his tablet

"K", I sleepily responded from behind my book.

Lulu's is a create-your-own frozen yogurt place, just a pleasant bike ride away.  With the lure of a cold treat on a hot day, we managed to unfurl ourselves from our respective lounge positions.

It was a nice day for it - a bit on the hot side, but certainly bearable.  At one point, I sprayed Meego with my water bottle, too cool him mid-ride.

"No, we need to be all hot and miserable when we get there.  It'll make the yogurt taste better".

Ah, my young grasshopper has come to embrace some of my teachings!  If only I could get the same agreement for picking up his room...

And it worked.  The cold yogurt was yummy in the shady parlour. 

Here's Meego enjoying our respite.

Refreshed, we took a different, longer route back home.  We stopped to cool our tootsies in the stream near our house.  That portion of the bike path was closed due to the bridge being washed out a couple of weeks ago during that storm that the cat spent in the laundry basket

We figured the "Trail Closed" sign was just a CYA for the city parks and rec, and went down to the stream.  Someone had thrown a plank across where the bridge used to be, so I know we weren't the only trespassers.

Plus, we were hot and approaching miserable, so cooling the tootsies was a priority.  When we discovered how deep the pool was,we couldn't stop at just our tootsies.

We didn't go upstream to investigate Meego Falls - so named as I'm sure that Meego and I were the first to discover them a couple of years ago.  Meego Falls are more remote, and we had our bikes to schlep around, so we just hung out at the not-bridge until sufficiently cooled.

Tarzan / Jane time over, it was back to civilization.

A day to remember and refer to during the next blizzard.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

Well, first of all...

Happy Birthday to Wolfgang!  Big 19 today. 
He's a bit camera shy, this is about the best I can do.

We spent the day in Denver today, mainly to go to the big bargain computer stuff store.  He asked Magnum and me for cash towards building a new computer, then set about spending all of it.

It was a nice day.  While Wolfgang and Chaco hunted the technology, Magnum, Meego, and I hung out at a nice park across the street to commune with nature.

Speaking of new computers, I'm enjoying my new speedster.  And remember Old Bessie, my ex-computer?  Behold, she's been resurrected!

Her monitor's pretty diminutive next to her superiors, but she's up and feels good.  Chaco says she works fine now.  Even the USB ports that hated me are happy now.  Clearly, it was time for a fresh start.  I wish her jolly times with Chaco.

 Anyway, in local news, Kevin Bacon has been hanging around, filming a movie or something.  There had been a few KB sightings around, and eventually, he posted this on his fbook.

Was he really going to do the Incline?  Well, it IS the thing to do when in town in summertime, and shortly after, he posted this:

So, he did do it. 

Or did he? 

I mean, if you're going to do a selfie at the Incline, you do a selfie from the TOP, right??  Notice how Kevin Bacon's FACE takes up his post-Incline selfie, and it's pretty clear that he's not at the top.

Naturally, many of us are wondering...

Chaco and Wolfgang saw the controversial post.

Chaco:  Yah, either way, I beat his time! *flex*

Wolfgang:  Pfft, beat the time of, like a 50-something year-old-guy!

Me:  HEY!  I don't care, he's Mr. Footloose!


Saturday, July 19, 2014


Seems we're having a near repeat of last Saturday's weather.  Not as bad, though, thankfully.  But still a good day to stay inside and play in the sketchbook for this week's Illustration Friday prompt:  Repeat.

Seems we're having a near repeat of last Saturday's weather.  Not as bad, though, thankfully.  But still a good day to stay inside and play in the sketchbook for this week's Illustration Friday prompt:  Repeat.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

running Sue

After roughly 10 years, I'd decided to finally get back into the P.E.O. swing of things and was making my first of several visits to scope out local chapters. Hopefully I'd find one I felt was a good fit and vice versa.

I saw a spot on the sofa next to a woman wearing a sticky name tag similar to mine.  Ah, another visitor.

We talked a bit about our visitor status.  She had recently moved to the area from the midwest.  I explained that I'd been here for 10 years, slacking away as far as P.E.O was concerned.

She slid her purse over on the coffee table to make more room for me to sit, and that's when I saw the "26.2" dangling off her keys.

"You a marathoner?", I asked

"Yes!", she brightened, and filled me in on some of her various running adventures.

I could tell she was a bit older than me (I've since learned that she's 57), but she had bundles of energy.  She spoke rapidly with a slight midwestern accent.  Her hair was short, and she had that healthy weathered look of someone who spends a lot of time outdoors.  Her face never lost its smile. Her name is Sue.  She and her husband live in a mountain community just outside the city. 

Later that evening, Sue and I went with Ruthie to the basement where Ruthie hosts one of the local P.E.O. Bed and Breakfasts.  We got to know a little more about the chapter and each other.  When Ruthie told us of her husband's reluctance to have a Bed and Breakfast in their home - "Gee, I dunno about a Bed and Breakfast.   Maybe a 'Nap and Donut'?" - I knew I'd found at least two sisters I could get along with!

After visitng a few other chapters where I met plenty of nice people, I was drawn back to that initial chapter visit.  By that time, it was winter and Sue had also decided to stay, by then a member, fully transferred in.  I asked how her running was going.

"Great!  I'm going to do the Super half on Super Bowl Sunday!"

I casually replied that a half marathon sounded okay, although a full blown marathon wasn't in my sights.

"OH, you should do the Super half!  It's relatively flat, and you know it won't be oppressively hot!"

"*snicker* That's like two weeks away, and I really don't know...", but her enthusiasm was so contagious, "... well, maybe?"

So, running Sue thusly talked me into it only to get snowed in and miss the thing herself.

At our mid-June meeting, she told me about a marathon she's getting ready to do in September, out of state.  "And I'm doing the Fourth of July half-marathon here in town!"  (she often speaks in exclamation points).

I met up with Sue and her husband at the start of the race that morning.  He's not a runner, but was there, in cargo shorts and hiking boots, to happily support Sue. She was dressed in a bright fluorescent green top.

We went to line up, and I didn't see her again until later during the race.  It was an out-and-back course, and on my return trip I spotted her.  There she was in her white hat and bright shirt, moving at a steady balanced pace, looking focused and happy.  We gave each other breathy smiles and waves as we crossed paths.

We had a P.E.O. meeting this week, and I was hoping to catch Sue's thoughts on the race - how it compared with the many others she's done.

Alas, the road from Sue's home was closed due to flash flooding.

I half expected her to show up in a kayak.  With a big smile, of course!


Linking up again with Mama Kat this week:

1.) A new friend.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I took Napolion to the vet yesterday.  He's been coughing, or more specifically, having unproductive hacking jags 4 or 5 times a day.  They are most notable when he shakes, rattles, and rasps through one while atop the bed at 2 a.m. or so.

Magnum:  We should get that checked

Me:  (hoping to avoid hanging out at the vet's) Let's google it!

Chaco:  I did.  It could be a hairball, a heart attack, or a bunch of other things.

Me:  *sigh* fine.

So I got an appointment for yesterday afternoon, and the vet proceeded to poke, prod, and palpate away.  She detected "something" near his throat, but couldn't be more conclusive without getting more expen$ive invasive.

"Does he go outside?", she asks

"Yeah, lots", I answer

"It could be that he just inhaled a moth or something", she continues to palpate, "Does he eat mice?  Birds?"

I pause for her to continue with gophers, bunnies, and other assorted rodentia.  When she doesn't, I confirm that he's a mighty hunter and fill in the blanks.

"Does he fight with other cats?", she continues

"Yes to all of the above so far",  I inform

We decided to go with a de-worming in case it's some parasitic revenge from one of Napolion's victims.   Other than the hacking jags, everything else checked out fine.

The badass in repose

It seems to me that he's already improving.  In fact, I think he was already improving by the time I took him to the vet's.  

But there's just extra comfort in ramming a pill down his throat.  


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

On my Sunday morning bicycle therapy, I was able to check out some after-effects from yesterday's torrent.  A lot of mud, a lot of leaves and other debris, but nothing too lasting.

There were also noticeably a lot of bugs.  I ate my fair share.  The air was still thick with humidity, which is a rarity around here. I'll admit I don't like it, even though it provides free "food". Still, a lovely ride and I won't complain.

More rain was in the forecast today, and I'm actually glad it didn't happen.  The ground can't hold anymore. 

Meego and I made it to the bowling alley this week.  I sign up for free bowling each summer - 2 free games a day.  Our scores weren't all that bad.  For free, anyway.

In other excitement, a big, fancy, spanking new library opened up a couple of weeks ago, and it's conveniently located about a mile away from our house. I realize this is not earth-shattering fun for most.  But since I tutor, and part of the job is scrounging for a place to meet students, this is very handy for me.  I broke in their study rooms this week and give them two thumbs up.

In movie news, I was a bit disappointed by The Lone Ranger.  Plenty of fun action and, well... Johnny Depp, but it was much too long and I just didn't care about the characters.  In my opinion, there was just no buddy chemistry between the Lone Ranger and Tonto, nor romantic chemistry between the Lone Ranger and his love interest. 

To contrast, we also watched Lawless, which featured strong performances all around.  It's somewhat disturbingly violent, but based on true events, and so that made it even more interesting.

I called and wished my dad a happy 90th birthday, even though I knew he wouldn't be all that happy about turning 90 (that's my dad, I won't get into it).  Still, I'm used to it and it was nice to morbidly chat with him. 


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Oh my gush!

I was sitting here, ready to do some Illustration Friday action, but the prompt hasn't been updated!  I'm paralyzed with anticipation!

Well, okay.  Maybe nothing that dramatic.  But every time I go over to check for a new prompt, it still lists "Fragile" from last week.  So Wolfgang was over there doing a cool Batman with his new art toys, and I was here paralyzed when...


In came another summer storm.  But what a storm it was!  China, of course, was her typical basket case self with the thunder.  But this time, even tough guy Napolion joined in.  Literally:

He spotted a safe bunker - a.k.a. our laundry basket - and dove for safety.  Couldn't pry him out with a crowbar.

Eventually the thunder was drowned out by the sound of a crazy hail storm.  Strangely, China was totally chill with that, even though it sounded like we were being bombarded with machine gun fire.  This went on for about 2 hours, which is excessive for us.  Thank goodness.

Eventually, things calmed down.  I went out among the shredded trees to inspect our two vehicles that we have parked on the side of the house.  No hail damage to either, but what's wrong with this picture?

Ugh, the windows are all rolled down to let fresh air - and gallons of rain - in.  Oh well, it'll dry.

That white car in front is my parents' car.  Neither my mom nor my dad can safely drive anymore, so we have the car.  It's a good little car, 2000 Toyota Echo.

I did this sketch of my dad from an old blurry photo while waiting for Illustration Friday to tell me what to draw. 

He turns 90 tomorrow.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

the lie

Trevor was a busy and friendly little boy - so much energy, that kid!  He had just recently moved to a new neighborhood, and I suspect he was giving his mother little rest since he didn't know any other kids yet.  Other than his baby sister anyway.

One chilly day in autumn, he was outside with his mom and baby sis when he spied *gasp* another little boy, right about his age, sitting on the steps in front of a house just a few houses away from his own!

"Can we go talk to that little boy!?", he asked his mother, "and see if he can play with me!?"

And so they approached.  The little boy was shy, but that didn't deter Trevor.  He was just so happy to see another kid his age in the new neighborhood!

"Hi little boy, my name's Trevor.  Do you live here?" , he asked the shy kid.

"Yes", was the answer while still seated on the steps.  He was bundled up in a warm jacket handed down from an older brother, a knit hat and gloves, and warm wool pants.

"Would you like to play with me?  What's your name?", Trevor continued.

There was a moment's hesitation from the shy boy, who eventually answered, "John".

About that time, John's mother approached from the front porch, having seen the introduction.  John looked at his mother, but didn't say anything.  Nothing verbal anyway.  But his eyes and body language clearly implored,

"Please Mom.  I'd like him to be my friend.  Please don't tell him."

His mother gave a conspiratorial little smile, talked quietly with Trevor's mother for a bit, and then agreed that yes, the two children could play for a while at Trevor's house.

The two hit it off from the start.  From that day forward, they played together nearly every day.  Their little neighborhood provided many adventures - building forts, learning to ride bicycles, making little cities out of dirt...

In fact, it was on the afternoon of that very first day that John knew he couldn't lie to his new best friend.  Before he left Trevor's house, while they were still alone, he told him.  Told him the truth.

With much relief, Trevor had practically no reaction to this new information.  It was as if he hadn't heard it, or didn't understand the words.  The two best friends just continued on their journey together.

Fall became winter, winter became spring, spring became summer, and the children's happy adventures continued. 

Once in a while, the neighborhood fixit man would come across the two playing, and comment about the truth.   Trevor just ignored him, though, while the shy kid's eyes rolled.

Sadly, Trevor and his family had to move away at the end of that summer.  The two inseparable friends would never see nor hear from each other again.  Their sadness was cushioned by the fact that they both had new beginnings sprouting in each of their lives:  Kindergarten!  And beyond!

Still, however, I often think about Trevor.  I wonder where he is now.  I can barely remember what he looked like other than that he had soft fuzzy brown hair covering a perfectly round head.

And he was my first best friend.  Even after I told him that my name was not really John, and that I was not a little boy, but a girl.

To this day, I wonder.  Did he continue to believe I was a boy?  Did he just not care?  I know one thing, though.

I was wildly in love with him.


I'm hooking up with Mama Kat again this week, for the prompt:
1.) Have you ever felt that life was getting in the way of a big goal? Did you end up giving up or pressing forward? (inspired by Crissy)

I had a big goal, and I pressed forward! 


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

coming at you live from the internets!

My ex is sitting here, not speaking to me.  Fine.

Yup, got a new computer.  A shiny new desk top that Chaco built.  The old one, she had been fading for a while. 

Perhaps the worst thing was that, one by one, all of my USB ports shut down.  Not only would they not respond to devices plugged into them, but the mere act of plugging anything in caused a plethora of error messages and then *CRASH* followed by very colorful language.  ahem

For several weeks, I worked around it, thinking, "Boy, sure would be nice if I could upload photos / sync my ipod / copy files / etc."  But a big bummer was that I could no longer do online tutoring.  No more webcam, no more microphone, no more Wacom.  Sigh.

I discussed this with my IT department (Chaco), and he... er... the department concluded that the ex was beyond repair.  I needed new hardware.

He ordered.  He built.  I paid.

Today, I went to visit my online classroom and...

Although, it's pretty lonely there right now.

And in the meantime, my ex sits here.  There are a few files I want to get off of her, but... well, she won't speak to me.  I need to get with the IT department for a cable or two.  But he... er... the department isn't here right now. 

I know help is one the way, though, because Chaco says he's got plans for the ex.

Wait... didn't he say it was beyond repair...??


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

Happy 4th of July weekend, and there's still some left!

We were supposed to have a neighborhood block party, but it was cancelled at the 11th hour.  The family that was organizing it cited last minute conflicts (a.k.a the AbbyNormals said they're bringing baked beans - cancel the party!!)

So it was a rather subdued evening.  We staged a game night that mainly included China cowering under the table and Napolion meowing incessantly because he probably wanted to go outside and slaughter whatever was causing all the racket.  Apparently neither pet has any appreciation for their freedoms.

It was a nice all around week, the highlights of which were a few quick visits with brother Guano and family.  They were around for a few days, but busy busy,  so I only snagged a couple of snippets, but all good.  And the snippets included catching up with a couple of good friends from the growing up days as well.

Additionally, it was nice to get our kids together with their Guano cousins for a bit of socializing.  I didn't get any photos from this visit, but I found this one of Wolfgang and Guano's oldest from... what... just a couple years ago, I think?

 I also got a new computer this week!  More on that later.  We're still in the awkward getting-to-know-you stages, but things are progressing nicely

The Half on the Fourth was fun, although a bit hot and smelly.  The course followed a creek the entire way - nothing like nearly 2 hours of creek bed smell in the middle of summer! 

Some photo galleries are starting to pop up on the internet, and I found this shot from the local news.  It was taken at the last hobo bridge underpass, about a half mile from the finish.


Nice way to celebrate the holiday and scope out some possible future housing prospects at the same time!

Saturday, July 5, 2014


This morning, Wolfgang and I snuck out while his brothers were still in bed and went to the grown-up art store.  Omigosh, so many toys!  I was good, though, and only got a couple of pencils.

After we returned, I was ready to make a contribution to this week's Illustration Friday where the prompt is "fragile". 

Wolfgang and I had been discussing his damaged eyeglasses on the way home, so I chose that for my "fragile" subject.  Then I decided to put them on a person.  Then I decided to make the person damaged too.

What's the fragility?  His eyeglasses?  His nose?  His ego?  His hairline? 

I think he's had better days.


Friday, July 4, 2014

only half of us for the half on the fourth

A word to the wise:  If you want to do a half marathon, don't invite me to come with.

Recall that I did a half marathon last winter - the Super Half on Superbowl Sunday.  I did so at the encouragement of one of my P.E.O. sisters who was all set to do it.

She ended up getting snowed in.  Never made it to the start

This morning, I ran the Half on the Fourth.  This after the enticement from Wolfgang.  He never made it to the start.

Long story short, a few weeks ago, Wolfgang got the bug to do the Pikes Peak Ascent, which is a half marathon up the mountain (no way).  He found out that all the "regular citizen" slots were taken, but there were still some "fast people" slots open.  To get a "fast people" slot, he would need to do a qualifying half marathon in under 1:40.  So he went on the hunt and found the Half on the Fourth and planned to do it.  

Okay, I guess that was pretty much just the long story.

Anyway, he got me thinking about doing it too, and I made the decision last week to give it a go.  Then he became Road Rash Man.

The road rash is improving nicely, but he didn't run all week and was only back on his bike on Wednesday.  It was decided that he best not try for a "fast people" slot today.

So there I was, headed to the race all by my lonesome.  One nice twist, however, is that my P.E.O sis from Super Half scratch fame made this one.

It was a nice run, now I'm beat.  I wasn't looking to be in the winner's circle, just wanting to finish the thing, which I managed.

Wearing my free half-birthday hat

So, the stats:

Time:  1:48:43
14th out of 280 females
56th out of 466 humans
1st for women 40 and older


Tiki Man photo bomb

And I got this medal.  Magnum says, "Wow a medal and everything!", but everyone who crossed the finish line got one.

And a shout out to the refreshments.  I think I ate the best orange EVER after the run.

So, nice way to start the holiday.  Happy Independence Day to all my US friends!  Time to get drunk and blow stuff up?


Thursday, July 3, 2014

six years

Here's a typical shot from our hike last weekend:

We were stopped for a bit of rest, so I whipped out the camera.  The above is the usual reaction when I whip out the camera.  

"Okay, act natural!", I coached, and they each immediately struck a pose.

Doncha just love when your kids obey you?  

Actually, I kinda like that our kids are reluctant photo subjects - neither hams nor selfie obsessed.  Throw in the fact that it was their mom with the camera - their mom who blogs - and it's next to impossible to get a traditional wish-you-were-here! pic.

As I pulled this photo out, I dug around the archives to see if I could find a similar one taken on the same date.  Lo and behold, I found this from exactly 6 years prior:

Look, they're smiling! (sorta), and standing in assigned spots (more or less).  

What I like about this contrast is that I'm glad for both the things that have remained the same and the things that have changed.  We still enjoy the great outdoors as a family, and have the good health to do so.  But asserting some good natured individuality and non-compliance to convention is actually something Magnum and I have often encouraged.

Just be yourself... unless it will get you fired or arrrested or punched in the face or...  

Linking up with Mama Kat this week:
4.) Share your top favorite photo you took in June. Give us the back story.

(And, okay, actually it probably wasn't my "top favorite photo" from June, but it was an easy grab...)


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

speaking in tongues

I've concluded that the outdoor temperature is in direct proportion to the length of our dog's hair.  I swear, every time I take her for a grooming, the temperature drops to unseasonably chilly.  Every.  Time.

The weekend was a hot one, close to 100 on Sunday.  I was feeling smug that I'd booked a China grooming appointment for yesterday - perfect timing!  It was already getting hot when I took her shaggy self over at around 9 a.m.  When I picked her  up about 3 hours later, the clouds were moving in, cooling things off nicely.  They hung around.

This morning, it was 59 degrees at 5 a.m. - pretty typical.  It is now after 10 a.m. and still 59 degrees.  I'm wearing long sleeves.  Long sleeves!  And I feel like I should cover the dog up since I took her coat off.

Anyways, Meego was with me when we pulled up to get the freshly shorn China from Wag 'n' Wash.  He says, "When you started bringing China here, I thought it was 'Wag 'n' Wash".

I says, "It is 'Wag 'n' Wash'".

"No", he says, " I thought 'WAGON Wash', like why would you bring a dog to a wagon wash?"

And that reminded me of a few years ago when the kids and I went to get a Christmas tree.

Me:  Let's go get a tree

Chaco:  Where we going?

Me:  Phelan Gardens.

Chaco:  Felon Gardens?!?!

Me:  Yeah, it's a nice place, what?

Chaco:  I don't think we should get a CHRISTMAS tree from Felon Gardens!

Me:  ???


Then there was that one "Hat Day" at school:

Wolfgang:  Can I have a dollar for Hat Day?

Me:  Okay, what's Hat Day?

Wolfgang:  We can wear a hat to school if we pay a dollar.

Me:  Oh, what does the school do with the money?

Wolfgang:  They donate it to charity

Me:  "Charity"?  There are a lot of charities, that's kinda vague.

Wolfgang:  What kind of egg?

... Wait, what?