Wednesday, June 29, 2011

There Is Still a Chance That They Will See

Coadster looking a little psycho with her boy.

The scene is our house on Sunday evening. The Guy and I are in the living room. The girls are in the kitchen with Coadster's boyfriend. They are bickering...As usual.

Coadster says something to Stinky that I can't make out. Then Stinky says, "Oh my god! She's psycho! How can you stand to date her?"

The Guy pipes up from the living room, "Hey, are you talking to me or Coadster's boyfriend?" (har har)

Stinky and one of her best friends at her friend's graduation last month.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

IsThis Place at Your Command?

J. and I giving G. some support before, during and after her race.

So, hey...Yeah. I thought I might get all crazy and actually blog today. Weird.

This weekend was lovely again. I had four whole days of it, so that was great in and of itself. On Friday I ran and mowed and planted some gladiola bulbs. The Guy wanted to take me out for dinner...Because he's sweet and wonderful. Our friend J. wanted us to meet him for a drink and we usually don't go out much on Friday nights, but for him, we made an exception.

G after finishing her first 5K. Yea!

On Saturday morning, I got up and went with J. to see our friend G. in her first 5K ever. She was afraid she would stop and walk or not finish, but she ran the whole thing. I was so proud of her. The Guy couldn't make it, because he needed to do some bike training. So, after G. finished running, J. suggested we go find The Guy on his time trial bike. I knew the route he was taking, and that made the stalking that much easier.

The rest of the day, I spent cleaning the hell out of my house. The Guy went to the Quad Cities with his mom to pick his sister up from the airport. When they got back, we all went to Pagliais for pizza. It's her favorite place to go when she comes back home.

Catching up to The Guy on his time trial bike.

On Sunday we went to The Guy's family lunch thing. Both of The Guy's parents grew up on farms in small towns around the area. This thing was for his mom's side of the family. At one point The Guy asked me if his quirks all made sense after meeting his family, and I told him all families were crazy in their own special way. Before the lunch, The Guy drove me around where he grew up in Coralville and showed me his childhood home and a few other places. I loved it.

His family was just fine. They all seemed to have at least two little, yappy accessory dogs a piece. One of his aunts looked like she just stepped out of a 1968 cocktail party. She had those huge dark, Jackie O sunglasses and wore a wig and the first thing she said to me was, "Cats, dogs and old men love me...And I can't stand any of 'em." Awesome.

At one point at the end of the shindig, her wig fell off her head and her son quipped, "I thought one of the dogs dropped dead, but it's just her "hair"'.

The Guy was really good about introducing me to everyone and then his mom asked him how he was referring to me to the family. The Guy told her he was just calling me his landlady. His mom asked me if I ever felt like punching The Guy. Have I ever told you all how much I like The Guy's mom?

Anyway, my weekend turned out very, very well. I got a lot done, got to run and bike and meet some of The Guy's extended family.

Monday, June 20, 2011

You're Only Dancing On This Earth for a Short While

Here is our Friday dinner.

So, this weekend....Wasn't super wonderful. it wasn't bad or anything, it's just that for the last few months, I've had amazing weekend , after amazing weekend, after amazing weekend, and I've become a bit spoiled by all of it.

There were definitely wonderful parts to my weekend. On Friday night we grilled salmon and asparagus and I made foil packets of sweet potatoes and beets marinated in balsamic vinegar, garlic, rosemary and a little olive oil. We watched two Andy Griffith episodes, had a sweet little talk and decompressed from the week.

Here is a wacky dinner party shot.

On Saturday we had to get up pretty early because we had a race in a very small town called Bangor, Ia. It was my second race, and my first race was a little more informal than most, so this was really my first more official race. Originally, The Guy and I were going to go together, but he had to help his mom with something, so I went by myself. Of course, The Guy made me very easy to follow directions and printed out a map, so I could make my way to this tiny town.

I woke up around 3:30 am with a migraine. Great. I tried some biofeedback techniques that didn't touch it, and then took my meds. They knocked me out for about an hour, until I had to get up and go to the race. I made it to the race just fine, and registered and warmed up and talked to some of the women I was racing against. I think I've already said this, but the women's cycling community has been nothing but nice and welcoming of me - no matter how badly I suck.

I sucked the worst ever at this race. My meds are vasoconstrictors - which can decrease blood flow to certain areas of the body, and seem to make my arms and legs very weak. Not the best thing during a bike race. Needless to say, I got smoked. The course was lovely and it was a nice cloudy mild day for a ride. The Guy met me on his bike close to the end of the race and rode behind me as I finished. Very sweet of him.

I left before The Guy's race, because he had a while to wait for it, and I had to get home and get things ready for our dinner that night. My friend, K. her fiance, and G. were coming over for dinner.

The Guy got home and helped clean-up while I cooked. Our friends came over, we ate, we drank, we chatted and everyone went home by around 9. Perfect.

So, again. My weekend was fine, it just wasn't wonderful and amazing. I'm going to take it as a very good sign when wonderful and amazing is the norm and it's odd when things are just okay.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Modern Thought Can Get the Best of You

The Guy maniacally and simultaneously spanking the cats' asses.

It's beautiful here today. I went for a walk downtown on my lunch break and saw a very pregnant woman sitting on a bench. My first thought was, "Whew! I'm glad I don't have to do that again." Don't get me wrong. I'm glad I did it when I was younger, and I love my girls, but my tolerance for certain things seems to get so much lower the older I get.

I'm also glad I'm not as poor as I was back then, I'm glad I'm not in an abusive marriage, like I was back then, I'm glad I have more free time and I'm glad I have a hell of a lot more options than I did in my twenties. Of course, the cats are kind of annoying, but that's just a given, right?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Oh no. Not Me. We Never Lost Control.

Me pointing out one of the places where a bird shit on me. Nice.

Neither The Guy or I consider ourselves all that very social, but lately, our calendar has seemed extremely full. Last Wednesday we had our race, on Thursday The Guy went to his mom's house. (although, I did get some alone time Thursday night and brought home cheese fries from the Hilltop, drank a few beers and watched North By Northwest. Perfect) On Friday we left for TOMRV and stayed with Bry at our friend Timmer's, rode with a ton of people and then shared a hotel room with Bry on Saturday night. When we got home on Sunday, we were met by our friend's D. and G. with food they had cooked for us and the next night was the Monday night ride. Whew! It was all wonderful and I'm not complaining at all, but I was really happy when I talked to The Guy about what his plans were for the week and he said, " I don't know. A few quiet nights at home sound wonderful...."

So, last night we got home, both did a couple of chores, had veggie pizza burgers and soup for dinner, then sat out on the screened-in porch and drank wine and talked. We even got in an Andy Griffith episode before bed. So, yeah. I love all the active, social stuff we do, but it all makes me appreciate our, quiet evenings at home that much more.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

And You May Find Yourself In Another Part of the World

So, Tour of the Mississippi River Valley was amazing. It was beautiful and long and challenging and grueling at some points, but always fun and what a great ride - all 204 miles of it. When we woke up on Saturday morning, The Guy asked me if I was ready for an adventure. My answer to that was, "Always." And it was a crazy adventure.

We started riding from Bettendorf, Iowa at 7:22 in the morning. The forecast originally called for sunny and 75 degrees, but what we got was cloudy and misty and about 60 degrees. All the cyclists were terribly under dressed.

The first day was the hardest. It was 107 miles of crazy hills along and across the Mississippi River with a tough head wind for most of the day. We stopped at all the scheduled stops for bathroom, water and food breaks, and then finally stopped in Galena, Illinois for a real break where we ate a real meal and drank some cocktails. By that time, it was about 4 in the afternoon and we really needed it.

We finally crossed back over the Mississippi River to Dubuque, Ia. around 6 and reached our final stop of the day and most importantly, the buffet that came as part of our registration. At one point, The Guy asked me if I wanted to go down to the lounge at our hotel for a drink, but I was so tired, I couldn't get up and walk for one more second. Needless to say, I slept like a baby that night.

On Sunday, we only rode around 90 miles, but we were all still tired and sore from the day before. We rode a different route on the way back to Bettendorf. We got a glorious day of 75 degrees and sunny with very little wind.

We ran into these boys raking it in at their lemonade stand. Brilliant.

We found a great small town, Sunday brunch buffet in Preston, Iowa, with all the same kinds of homemade type food you'd find at an Iowa family reunion. We stuffed ourselves and couldn't drink much more than one beer when we went across the street to a bar.

We got separated from our friend Bry and when we hit another small town a few hours later, had to decide if we wanted to just ride the next hour and half and get it over, or stop and have a beer and rest and relax. We chose to stop and I was really glad we did. It was nice to talk to The Guy about how we felt about the ride and what on us was the sorest and meet some of the other cyclists who stopped there..

We made it back into Bettendorf, around 4'ish, and Bry was waiting for us with his camera in hand. He took a great pic of us riding into the parking lot hand in hand and I REALLY want a copy of that, but since he's a guy, he may never get it posted on FB. So, after 204 miles, about 50 bazillion hills, and top speeds of 40 mph, I would say we had one hell of an adventure. I'd do it again in a minute...Well, maybe after my legs heal a little, anyway.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

They Deftly Maneuver and Muscle for Rank

Okay, so. I did my first bike race last night and it was fun and interesting. Here's me with my registration form in hand, looking like I'm heading to my first day in kindergarten.

Here I am signing the legal forms saying I won't sue in the event of death or dismemberment...Or whatever else. Gulp.

I rode hard. but not quite hard enough. In bike racing, once you get dropped from the pack, it's almost impossible to catch up again. So, I need to learn not to be so cautious or conserve my energy and stay with everyone as long as possible. Got it.

I really did love it, though. It's great to be out in the middle of nowhere, flying down hills and taking note of all the roadkill (there are a lot of dead snakes on Iowa roads this Summer, by the way). I also like challenging myself and seeing how strong I am (or not) and how fast I can go. Looks like I better start training for the next one now....

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

And All the Girls Out On the Stoops, Yeah.

Poor Archie cant' take the heat, but is too dumb to get out of the kitchen.

Well, it's still hot today. Sigh. My race should be VERY challenging, but then if I'm going to race bikes in Iowa in the Summer, then I better get used to it.

Last night was very lovely. We just had grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup and salads for dinner. Then we had a great talk on the screened-in porch. If you don't have air conditioning, it's nice to at least have a screened-in porch to hang out on in the evening.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

So Smile for a While and Let's be Jolly.

Today it was ridiculously hot here. The roses didn't seem to mind, but the cats did a lot of lying around.

Tomorrow is my first bike race. I came home from the Monday night ride last night, wired and overwhelmed with crap I either needed to do, or thought I needed to worry about. I didn't get much sleep at all. I woke up about 5:30, feeling like poop. I had a good talk with The Guy about stressing out about stupid shit. He was, of course, wonderful and supportive as ever. I decided I was too tired to be any good at work, so I called in and stayed home.

I went back to bed and woke up again in the afternoon, feeling a ton better. I took some time to myself to play in the dirt and plant some marigolds, snap dragons, gerbera daisies and a black forest calla lily. You would not believe (or maybe you would) how much better you can feel about your world in general after you get your hands dirty and plant pretty flowers. I highly recommend it.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Hey, Babe. Let's Go Out Tonight.

Archie resting for those of us who are too stupid to do that on the weekends.

I had another glorious weekend. I got off early on Friday. I ran an errand or two and then took my bike to West Branch to ride the course I'm going to race this Wednesday. It was in the 90's and ridiculously windy. The Guy was great and printed out a map, because I am lousy about directions. I did the route, but it definitely kicked my ass. It's okay, though. Getting my ass kicked will only make me stronger, right?

After I got home, The Guy drove up just as Stinky and I were going to the store to get things for dinner. He asked me if I didn't think it would be better, if we sat in an air conditioned restaurant and let someone bring us food and cold beverages and if I would let him take me out to dinner. Um, yes I did and yes, I would. So, he took me out for tapas at Devotay, and it was lovely. We got home and sat on the porch, talking with Coadster, until we finally went to bed.

On Saturday I woke up to a migraine. The Guy was great and went and got us bagels and then drove me to the pharmacy the minute it opened so I could get my meds. In the past I would have done all of that myself, and it would have sucked, so it's nice to actually have help.

By 11, my migraine had calmed down and The Guy and I met some friends for a 50 mile bike ride. It was another windy warm day...Just not as bad as the day before.

We got home around 6'ish and watched a couple of Andy Griffith's. ate pizza and then watched The Awful Truth starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. it was great.

On Sunday, my head was all better. I got up and did some gardening and then we went on another bike ride. It was my third long ride in three days, but I felt pretty good for it. Only two days until my first bike race. I hope all this riding helps with that.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Searchin' For Light in the Darkness of Insanity

Here is a picture looking up the skirt of a tower in Rock Island, Il.

Oh, kids. I think I have officially become the worst Blogger ever. I keep trying and I will continue to try, but I'm sure I will be inconsistent at best.

On the plus side...It means that I am so busy and excited and doing so many things in the real world to Blog.

Sooooo, right now I'm working and thinking about what I'll be doing after work. If it quits raining, I'll go running and do recycling and garden until it is too dark to see, then I'll go inside and fold laundry and watch Twilight Zone episodes on Netlfix streaming. If it continues to rain, I might just scrap it all and watch Twilight Zone - with our without the laundry folding.