Friday, December 21, 2012

And a Real Famous Cat All Dressed Up in Red

Have a great Christmas, or solstice or apocalypse, or whatever holiday you care to celebrate. It looks like Archie will be providing the entertainment and keeping our house Santa free this year.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Stinky with Archie.
My cat can be such a fucking asshole most of the time, but I still love him so much. One of my co-workers said,"The things we put up with for our cats, we would never tolerate in a relationship" Ain't it the truth.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Time Doesn't Wait for Me

Oh, hell. Sorry about the absence...Again. Today I will just post photos of the last few months. if I try to add much text, I'm sure I won't finish this post either. So, here it is:

We went to the State Fair in August.

In September we went to La Crosse, Wisconsin for a weekend of bike riding for The Guy's birthday. This was at the railroad trails.

Then Cyclocross racing season started.
We did a race outside of Iowa City and it rained the whole weekend. I told The Guy that he looked like a sad clown when he finished. He told me that he felt like a sad clown too.
Here we are both muddy and looking like sad clowns.

For a race before Halloween, called Spooky Cross at Living History Farms in Des Moines, we decided to dress-up. The Guy strapped a creepy zombie baby on his back and rode the whole thing with it. Pretty.

I decided to just go as a zombie. I called myself The Riding Dead, and it was pretty accurate.
If I was a little faster, an image of me in zombie make-up, coming over a hill might be a bit more frightening...
In Iowa, our audiences aren't always that impressed with our races.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Too Hot, This Town is Too Hot

Hey, remember me? yeah, I'm the slacker who never writes and never calls...

Anyway, I thought I'd post about RAGBRAI, since it was well over a month ago, and all. This will mostly be a photo post, because I'm still busy and lame - an annoying combination. I'll also say that the president and his posse will be speaking across the street from my office on Friday. They'll be closing most of our building up for much of the day. None of the muckety-mucks are telling us what that means for us. I'm sure it will be interesting, though.

Soooo, RAGBRAI.....RAGBRAI was very, very hot. It was 100's of degrees out and we rode in the sun in that heat for the first 4 days. On the 100 mile day, I got a little heat stroke by the end. I had the chills and was super disoriented and weak and it didn't occur to me to get off my bike and sit in the shade. Duh. Luckily, The Guy noticed I had fallen off the back of our little riding pack and came looking for me. He told me just to pull over by some trees and we could sit for a bit. Another guy came and joined us with the same issue. Up the road, someone was selling coconut water out of the trunk of his car. I have no idea what was in it, but it made me feel instantly better. I had tons of regular water on me, but I think I was sweating out any electrolytes or vitamins.

So, after a stormy night in marshaltown - one that was so windy, it bent our tent pole, the weather became much more temperate and we had lovely days filled with bicycling, eating bad food and drinking any type of beverage...And fun. The days were very full of fun.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Oh, I'm Getting Older Too

My birthday was a mixed bag this year. After last year's totally perfect birthday weekend, I knew I couldn't expect that again. But luckily, the good easily outweighed the bad.

I took Friday off of work and went to visit Coadster in Ames. We went to Reiman Gardens and checked out the butterflies, the Leggo sculptures, and of course, the world's largest cement gnome.

Then we drove to Des Moines to eat lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. We stopped at Trader Joe's to pick up all kinds of stuff, since we don't have one in my town, and then finally to the gas station, to fill up The Guy's car. Alas, I couldn't get the gas cap unlocked. I tried, Coadster tired and then three other customers tried, with no luck. I called The Guy and he had no idea why we couldn't get it unlocked. He had to work until 5, but then he would drive to Des Moines with his other key to see if that helped. Of course, it would take 4 hours for that to happen and I would be sitting in a parking lot in West Des Moines on a 95 degree day that whole time. The Guy was smart enough to call a locksmith to help me out. It took a while for him to get there and he couldn't unlock the cap without basically beating the cap into many, many messy shards. So, three hours later, I finally got out of the damn parking lot and on the interstate home.

Saturday of my birthday weekend, we were supposed to do a bike race in a little town called Le Claire, Ia.  We decided to pre-ride the course and somehow got lost. We found ourselves in the next town over and had to ride down a busy street along the Mississippi River to our race. By the time we got there, everyone had already taken off. Oh, well. Our ride was pretty anyway.

We then headed to Maquoketa and went on a bike ride there. It was the third day of a migraine for me, and after all that riding and taking migraine meds, I was beat. We made it to a church, when I told The Guy I needed to stop. he was a very gallant boyfriend and I rested under a tree while he took off back to his car, on his bike and drove back to pick me up.

We met Coadster and her boyfriend at the hotel and they had sodas while The Guy and I had a drink at the bar downstairs. Then we had a lovely dinner and went to see Brave at the drive-in theater just outside of town.

On Sunday, we went to the caves in Maquoketa and hiked around. We were going to try to canoe or kayak, but it was extremely hot and the river was crazy low, on account of the damn drought. Instead, we all decided to go our separate ways and The Guy and I headed back home.

On Monday (my actual birthday). I got up and had the 5th day of my migraine (le sigh). I took even more meds and was able to make it though another hot, but nice day of lunch with The Guy and his mom, a nap, ice cream with The Guy and my girls and finally our Monday Night Bike Ride with some friends. So, aside from a few bumps, I couldn't ask for much more from my extended birthday weekend.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Right Before My Very Eyes.

Me getting a gander at my new bike in the hotel lobby.
It's been almost a month since I posted. Sorry. In that time I turned 47, did some races and went on RAGBRAI.

I guess I'll start with my birthday. Which started about 2 weeks early. I had been interested in getting a road bike - a Cannondale Caad 10. It's aluminum, instead of carbon fiber, so it handles really well, but is about half the price of most road bikes. Cannondale doesn't sell their bikes on-line and there isn't a dealer anywhere near us who had the bike in my size. So, I had to let it go and figured I'd wait until next year's bikes came out and there were still plenty of them to buy at the beginning of the season.

Then, when we went to meet my brother and his wife at the hotel in Maquoketa, before the triathlon, I was telling my brother how I had to make sure I could ride my time trial bike up that 20% grade hill at the beginning of the bike portion of our race. He said, "Wouldn't it be easier on a faster, lighter road bike?"

"Um, I guess..." At that point, my sister-in-law walked behind me and The Guy wandered into the other part of the hotel lobby and reappeared with a Cannondale exactly like the one I wanted. Still not getting it and thinking that one of the other racers had left their bike in the lobby like my brother had, I said, "Hey, this is exactly like the bike. I want! I wonder who's it is?"

The Guy answered, "Yours." He had been sneaky and found a shop in Madison, where my brother lives and had him pick it up and bring it down for me. The best surprise and birthday present ever!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

I'm Hotter Than the Sun on the Fourth of July

Stinky in her funky 4th get-up.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. It was hot here, but we were able to deal with it.

On Tuesday night, Stinky and Coadster had gone to the Quad Cities and The Guy and I were happy to have a night to ourselves - for the most part. He went on a training ride, and I got everything ready for dinner. I grilled salmon with a lemon. butter and fresh dill sauce. I steamed asparagus, made a salad, aute'd zucchini and red peppers and then served it with good bread from the co-op and brie. It was all very good. While we were eating, our friend JH stopped by to show off his '80's Panasonic bike that he bought from the Bike Library and was fixing up. He stayed and ate some salad and salmon and we talked bikes for a while, before he took off. I've been DVR"ing The Tour, so we watched the last part of it, before we went to bed.

I went for an early run on the 4th - it was almost 80 degrees by 7:30. The Guy went to his mom's to help her with a few things. My plan was to tidy-up the house and go to the store, before The Guy's ex and still friend, came to visit from Minneapolis. I made the mistake of reading my book for a half hour, but it was so good, I had to finish it. If you haven't already, The Elegance of the Hedgehog is a great read...Especially the last half.

The Guy's friend finally arrived and we had lunch and then road our bikes, in the hot, hot, heat to the Resevoir to swim. Riding home, after we were soaking wet, was WAY more comfortable than riding there.

In the evening we went downtown to eat. Almost every restaurant was closed.We were on a waiting list for a while at one place, but the kept telling us it would be longer and longer, so we finally went to The Mill. Coadster joined us and I had the veggie lasagna and we all tried to avoid watching the hotdog eating contest that was being shown on all the TV's there.

We rode our bikes home to the sounds of the fireworks display going on behind us and it was all so very nice.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Rock the Boat. Don't Rock the Boat, Baby

So, I did my second triathlon of my life, which was also my second triathlon this month. Jeesh! I might be a little too old for all of this, but I really like triathlons.

This one was called an adventure race and took place in Maquoketa, Ia. Basically, they just replaced the quick swim with a very long and arduous canoe race - at least for those of us who didn't train for it...

We left for Maquoketa on Friday evening to make sure I could actually ride my bike up the 20% grade hill, right after the canoe section. We met my brother and his wife for dinner at the really cool hotel where they stayed, then we went back to their room for a drink and to talk about our itinerary the next day.
There were these cool lime kilns at the last transition spot.

We got up early and deposited our things at each transition.

We listened to our instructions and then we were off. The canoe part was the hardest for me. My brother races canoes on a regular basis, but I've been on a canoe about 4 times my entire life.The water was very low and so we had to maneuver a lot and our times were much slower than they would have been, had their been more water. My brother yelled at me a couple of times, but I just told him I didn't understand what he was saying and he said, "I guess I should stop yelling then..." Yes. he should.

We finished the canoe and grabbed our bikes. I was dead after the canoe, but my brother was raring to go. He took that steep hill in no time flat. I, however, felt like I crawled up it. I regained my strength a few miles into the ride and came in only about a minute behind my brother.

The Guy was waiting for me at the last transition. This race was a little more lax. usually,  you aren't allowed to have any outside contact, but here they didn't care, so the guy took my bike and helmet from me and I was off to run my 5K.

Of course, it was about 95 degrees by then and I hadn't been drinking enough water. I started getting the chills, but I kept going and when I finished the race, a man came over and handed me a piece of cold watermelon. It was the best thing anyone could have done for me.

My brother and I ended up winning the co-ed, race canoe category and got $80. Since my brother paid the $50 entrance fee, he kept the cash, but he had paid for our dinner the night before, so it was only fair.

 I went home hot and tired and happy. It was pretty grueling, but I'm so glad I did it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

I Love the Passing of Time

Say...This place looks familiar. Didn't I used to have a blog here a long time ago?

So, yeah. Things are going well. I'm reading and watching movies and running and riding my bike and I even did my fist triathlon a couple of weeks ago.

it is Summer here in Iowa and it is green and full of flowers and farm animals and rolling hills and topped off with amazing skies.

...And while I'm filling you in, I should probably tell you the most important news - the cats are just fine, thank you.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Beep Beep M'Beep Beep. Yeah!

Tried to plant some coleus in the front yard for a little more curb appeal.
Sooo, The Guy and I decided to refinance the house and put more money down to get rid of our mortgage insurance and go down to a 15 year mortgage. We met with the mortgage man and got everything okay'ed and locked in at 3%. (holy crap!)

Because we're in our 40's and not in our 20's, we talked about what we would do if, (goddess forbid) we didn't make it as a couple. Since The Guy has put more money into it than me, he would probably buy me out. This is the conversation that followed our meeting with the mortgage man:

Me: So, do you mind waiting a few years to dump me, so we can build up enough equity for me to put down on another house?

The Guy: Well, the reality is, even if we don't break-up, we won't be together forever, because one of us will die first. Do you mind waiting to die after I do, so I don't have to miss you?

Me: We could always die together. In a fiery car crash...

The Guy: That would be great, Let's hope for that...But what about the cats?

Don't worry. Archie's only sleeping here.

Me: Let's leave everything to my girls with the condition that they have to take care of the cats until they die.

The Guy: Of course, that will probably mean that Archie will mysteriously get run over by a Stinky teenage girl in one of our cars.

Me: Yeah. Poor Archie doesn't stand a chance after we die in our fiery car crash...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

You Have to Learn to Pace Yourself. Pressure.

Things last weekend were crazy busy. It was all good busy, but like The Guy says, "Good or bad, it's still stress".

So, as I was stressing about all that I had to do, The Guy counted up all of my stressful events and we came up with 5.

1. Attend Stinky's graduation on Friday night and subsequent dinner with the family at Village Inn.

2. Get up early on Saturday morning, drive to Burlington and race Snake Alley up one of the twistiest, steepest hills I've ever ridden.

3. Come home and get a lesson in canoe racing from my brother.

4. Cook and clean and shop and get ready for...

5. Stinky's graduation party on Sunday.

I'm adding a 6, but it was not a stressful thing. It was to relax after all of it. On Monday The Guy had a cold and I woke up with a migraine, so we spent the day, going out for breakfast, coming home and napping, going for a bike ride, then going out for lunch then, coming home and napping and then going to a little party at our friends. Ahhhhhhh!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

No More Teacher's Dirty Looks

This is the youngest on her very last day of high school, ever. So weird, but good. After 20 years of being a mom, I'm okay with my role changing. Stinky hasn't decided if she will live at home with us or not, but even if she does, I told her that my chauffeuring and chef days are over. Sure, I will give her rides from time to time and if she is home at the same time I'm making dinner and wants to eat what I'm making, she's welcome to it, but part of growing up and being independent is doing all of that stuff for yourself. I think she's more than ready, Lord knows, I am.