Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again

So, Thanksgiving weekend was long and wonderful and crazy. On Wednesday evening, the Guy and I decided to go get a beer at the Dublin, since our favorite bartender, S. was working. We then tried a new restaurant called Basta. The food was pretty good. I got the butternut squash ravioli and The Guy got sea scallops. We went home with bellies full of food and watched the movie, The Queen with Coadster.

Stinky foolishly thinking she could take a nap on Thanksgiving without getting dog piled. Not in this family.

On Thursday, I woke up and started making au gratin potatoes. The Guy went down to Ottumwa with us and met more of the extended family. He didn't run out of the house screaming, but he said he did understand more of the crazy family dynamic better. I guess that's what holidays are all about...

Everyone but me.

We drove home and he went to his mom's for a bit and I stayed home and hung out with Coadster for most of the evening.

All the cousins. Super silly.

On Friday, we woke up early again and tried to get ready for our afternoon race.

All of my siblings, but one showed up around 11. We ordered Chinese take-out and all had time to chat and catch-up, before The Guy, my brother and I went to Jinglecross Rock.

Here is me terrified on Saturday morning. I had never raced in rain and mud before.

On Friday evening, I raced and it was fun. We had a bunch of friends watching and I am finally getting good enough to have people to race with, as opposed to watching everyone go way ahead of me and me riding by myself until I get lapped. Progress!

After the race, we met my brother and his wife and daughter at The Mill for dinner. It is where my brother and his wife first met, and they had never been there before.

Turns out, I loved riding in the mud and beat more people than ever before.

On Saturday we got up and it was raining. I knew it would be and I was soooo stressed-out about riding under those conditions. I did great in it. Better than normal and had a blast in it. I can't tell you how many men I passed too. Nice!

The Guy had a good race too. Well, if you think racing well in the mud is good.

After our Saturday race, we just went home, showered and went out for sushi. In the evening, we watched the move, The Descent. It was creepy enough and had one of those non-Hollywood endings. Stinky popped her head in the living room for two seconds, but then when she saw the movie, ran off. She said even though she had already seen it, it still freaked her out.

Sunday was our last race. It was cold and I was exhausted, but still happy to ride the course. I'm pretty surprised at just how much I love cyclocross.

In the middle of the day on Sunday, they have the Speedo single speed race, which is really just an excuse for people to wear bikinis and mud wrestle...And who would ever want to stop people from doing that?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Raise Your Head and Wear Your Wounds With Pride

This is what the floor looked like when we started - all full of carpet backing and whatever they used to stick the carpet on with.

So, before the holiday starts, I thought I'd finally do a post from last weekend....Which I obviously didn't finish or really start much at all.

Here it is all sanded. It was a bitch to scrape all that black stuff off without ruining the floor.

Sooo, now that Thanksgiving is over, I'll finally post last weekend's entry. As you can see, we finally finished the floor in Coadster's old room with a lot of help from our friends' Jo Ann and Stacy. They were so wonderful to come over and use up at least 4 hours of their Saturday.

Here is the finished product. So lovely and that made it worth the work.

I wasn't able to go to my friend T-Rip's wedding, since this took way longer than I thought (like everything does).

On Sunday I raked leaves for an elderly woman. Lots and lots of leaves.

When I finally finished that, it was time to play. We went to the mountain bike trails and rode all around Lake MacBride. Beautiful.

Very beautiful.

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's Different Now That I'm Poor and Aging

Here is a picture of Heidi getting ready to give Archie the smack-down. You really can't blame her.

I have a longer weekend post coming, but we're too busy at work for me to finish that today.

Instead I will share a lovely text exchange I had with the oldest. I texted her to make sure she was going to eat dinner with me and The Guy tonight and to tell her I love her. This was her response:

I am going to have dinner with you guys! I love you too! Your cat just threw up.

Apparently, Archie doesn't deserve any exclamation points. Poor cat.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Burnin' a Special Substance. They gonna Pray for that Man

Archie in a box.

I have so much planned for the weekend, but I have no idea what I'll actually be able to fit into it.

Archie making a fort out of his box.

So, right now, all you get are adorable cat pics. I'm not sure whether to say, "Sorry" or "you're welcome."

Yes, the beer is called Lunasea, Hmmm.

Coadster should be home this weekend. I spent most of last night at a banquet for Stinky's youth group, where I met many perky christians. Not that there's anything wrong with that...But I did watch an episode of Dexter when I got home, just to balance things out.

I hope you all have a great weekend and that it is less busy than mine. I'm leaving work an hour early, to go rake leaves, since tomorrow is the last day the city will come and pick them up for free.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

You Know I've Seen a Lot of What the World Can Do.

I took this at The Living history Farms in Des Moines. It's a little crooked, but fitting for the subject matter, I think.

Oh, you know...I don't have a lot to say, or I do, but I don't have time to process it all. What the hell, I'll just blather on anyway.

Things are just fine at home. The Guy and I are happy as clams. We are having a little cooler day reunion party for the Monday Night Ride tonight. It's too cold for anyone to really want to ride at night here, but we are still going to have the normal riders over for Mexican food and drinks. The Guy was wonderful in helping me cook. We made veggie enchiladas, and refried beans and de gallo salsa. When I get home tonight, all I have to do is make guacamole, finish refrying the beans and put the enchiladas in the oven. With dinner parties, I've found the less cooking or drink making I have to do, the less stressful it is. I'd love to serve margaritas from scratch, but I wouldn't love to spend the whole evening, trying to make them. So, instead we're drinking beer and some sipping tequila. Let's hear it for simplification!

Oh, sure. It is a subtle beauty, but I do like the look of Iowa.

I get off work early today to sift through Stinky's senior picture proofs and pick the ones we like the best. I'm looking forward to that.

From what I hear, my friend G. had a bad day yesterday. I'm sure she's reaching the saturation point with her headaches. Her chiropractor was going to work with another friend of her's to arrange coming over to help with her pain and I told G. about a good physical therapist to go to, but I can't make her go. G. is at home for now, so all I can do right now, is wish her the best and let her know that I'm here if she needs me. I will post on here the second I hear that her headaches are finally gone. I can't wait for that day.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Just Another Day for You and Me in Paradise.

Archie "helping" me make the bed.

Thank the gods, this weekend was so much better than last. On Friday, I made a quick meal of miso soup, salad and steamed shrimp gyoza with spicy plum sauce. We ate we drank a couple of cocktails and then we watched the newer Tron movie. It was okay. It was very 80's and the music sounded a lot like a porn soundtrack to me - not that any of those are necessarily bad things, just observations...

The back end of the mountain bike trails at Sugarbottom.

Our original plan this weekend was to work with our friend Joanne to sand and refinish the floors in Coadster's old room. At the last minute, we found out that G. would be staying with us on Sunday night and not just during the day today. I didn't think that strong smell would work well with G.'s excruciating headache, so we're putting it off for another week.

The Guy coming out of the pine woods on the course.

The best part about that, is that the weather was beautiful here for November and we got to go out and play both days. We took our cyclocross bikes out on the mountain bike trails and had a blast. It was so fun riding through the woods and next to the lake and trying to figure out how to maneuver through hills and rocks and roots and not crash. It was such a great stress reliever after last week.

My handlebars at the brink of the bridge.

On Saturday night, we went out for one drink and then had Indian food. When we got home, we settled in on the couch and watched. E.T The Guy had never seen it before. After it was over, I asked him if it was cheesy enough for him. He agreed that it was pretty cheesy.

The Guy trying to figure out how to take photos and send them from his new phone.

On Sunday we went out for Mexican food as a late lunch after our bike ride and then home. I picked up G. and The Guy made some potato leek soup, while G. slept.

G, is doing much better, if only we could get rid of that nasty headache she still has....

Friday, November 11, 2011

You Float Like a Feather in a Beautiful World

The only smiley one.

Okay. This will be a quick and dirty post...just not all that dirty. Sorry.

I'm a fan of the black and whites.

So, I took Stinky to get her senior pictures taken yesterday afternoon, and we're both pretty happy with the ones we've seen. We went to a friend of a friend's studio and it was soooo much better than the guy we went to for Coadster's. This guy was cool, he worked out of a house and put on an old Radiohead CD during the studio session.

The color ones turned out well too.

Stinky wanted some outdoor shots down by the river, because I had taken some of her and her sister when they were little and there was one sculpture in particular that she wanted to be photographed in. Of course, Iowa in November made for some beautiful, if not very cold shooting locations.

We had to get at least one showing even a little bit of her attitude.

The photographer put a few of them up on his FB site. Most of them, I put on here for you all. next Thursday, Stinky and I will go through the hundreds of photos and pick out a few of our favorites to make into 8 x 10's and wallets. From the looks of things, it could be pretty tough to do that.
This is one of my favorites so far.

In other news...My friend G. is doing much better. She's actually eating and starting to get her short term memory back. She finally went to her own home. She is going to stay at our house from Sunday evening through Monday evening, because there is some construction work scheduled for her house. I can't wait to see her now that she is mostly conscious.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

And the Water Rolls Down the Drain. The Water Rolls Down the Drain

Here is a leaning gladiola that I grew in my garden.

So, a quick update on my friend G. She is out of the hospital but still has a looooong road ahead of her.

She is staying at a friend's house. Their house is very large and so she can sleep in a basement room that is completely dark and free from most noises. She is pretty much just sleeping. Her sister is a little worried that she isn't eating much, but I don't really want to eat when I have a migraine, so I can imagine being in that kind of pain can really kill an appetite.

Since we have no idea what to expect with her recovery, we're trying to make decisions about where she will stay and what kind of care she might need. The great thing about Iowa City, is that no matter what G. needs to heal, all of her friends will get together and make sure she gets it.

Monday, November 07, 2011

We Will Find You Acting On Your Best Behavior

Me and The Guy's ex and G. and our friend S., stalking in the background at The Guy's Ex's juried art show.

So, this weekend was weird and took a sharp left turn at the end.

Friday night was fine. We went with some friends to check out a few jewelry pieces The Guy's ex has in a juried art show at one of the galleries. The plan was to pay our respects, and then go out for Thai food and make an early night of it, since I wasn't feeling all that too well. We did all that and it was lovely, but then, as things happen with a group of people, we ended up at the bar. I quickly realized that I was too tired and cranky to be out, and had to go home. Yeah, I know I'm lame, but that should come as a surprise to exactly none of you.

The Guy riding his bike on gravel.

On Saturday, I slept a lot. I woke up feeling a little better and I REALLY wanted to ride my bike. The derailleur on my bike got all screwed up after I tried to ride in mud last weekend, The Guy bought me a new one, fixed my bike and after a week, I was very excited to ride it. We chose to do a gravel ride. We'd never really done one before, and it was pretty cool. It's harder to ride on gravel, but you get to take cool roads out in the country, that are off the beaten path. although it was cold and windy and smelled all over like feedlots, it felt great to be out on the bike in the country.

When we got home, The Guy went out and rode some more, but I was still pretty tired, so I stayed home and started making dinner. I made shrimp fajitas, because they're quick and easy. We basically stayed in and talked and watched a few episodes of the first season of Nurse Jackie. I love that show, but The Guy has never seen it before.

At 1 am, I was awakened by a text from my friend D. asking me to call her. I texted back, unsure if that text was meant for me, and then she called me. She told me she was at the hospital. She was at the Dublin and some jackass decided to do a back flip, off of the stairs in a crowded bar. No one really knew what happened, but apparently, as he was coming down, he kicked our friend G. so hard in the face that he sent her crashing down on the cement floor. After he saw what happened, he took off running. My friend G. was left with a fractured skull, a slight brain bleed, a small nasal fracture, stitches in her mouth and above her nose and a bruised septum. Ouch!

I spent most of the day in the hospital with her. The Guy canceled his race and came with me for a while in the morning, but I think it's kind of hard for him to sit around without being able to do anything to help, and there was no reason for both of us to be there on such a beautiful day, so I told him he should go out and ride his bike. He took off and rode some mountain bike trails and it sounds like he had a great ride. He picked me up from the hospital after my friend Jen came into replace me and took me out for an early dinner. We went home and took a nap.

In the evening, The Guy met his friend Bry to play pool and I was so wiped out, I was happy to hang out at home and watch some of this season's True Blood episodes.

As of now, our friend G. is doing okay. She is in some pain, but there should be no long lasting effects. She is still in the hospital, but will hopefully go home soon. Whew!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

I Hear the Crystal Raindrops Fall

Stinky as a Marine (because their uniforms totally look like that. Ahem.) and Slash.

So, Hey. What say we talk about something other than cyclocross today? Okay.

I am finishing that memoir called Falling Through the Earth by Iowa grad Danielle Trussoni. It's pretty good, and next I will read a book by another Iowa grad, Anne Patchett. It's called Bel Canto and it's been on my list for a few years now. I'm pretty excited to start it.

The Guy and I started watching the first season of The Walking Dead series. It has some very real flaws, but it's about zombies so I'm more forgiving.

I tried doing some yoga to a video yesterday for the first time. I figured I'd better get acquainted with some of the poses, before I did it in public at a class. I don't want people to worrying that I'm having a seizure and calling an ambulance for me. It was pretty tricky trying to do some of the movements while following Rodney Lee in the video, but I think it will get easier and easier the more I do it, and it does seem to be a nice contrast with the pounding my body takes while running and jumping on and off of my bike.

Coadster and her BF on Halloween. I think she was supposed to be a 1920's gangster, but had lost her hat by the time this was taken.

...And now, for the good news. Coadster got accepted into a study abroad program in London for 12 days of Spring Break. They don't usually take underclassmen, but this will be the only year she can do it, and her grade point is very high. So, they made an exception. Go Coadster!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

If You A Obstacle, She Just Drop You Cold

Okay, kids. Here is what my weekend looked like. It was Halloween, it is Fall and we were at Living History Farms in Des Moines. So lovely, so fun. Best part? We topped it all off by seeing They Might Be Giants on Sunday night. I don't have any pics of that show, since The Guy and I were all the way up in the balcony and we were busy dancing our asses off.

I stole this pic of The Guy racing off of the internet. Please look at the writing on the bottom and know that I attributed the hell out of this.

Word on the street is that this woman laid down on the ground and let people spin her Twister board and put their hands and feet all over her. Sadly, I was racing then and missed the whole thing. Damn it!