Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekend notes

Its kind of a goofy looking picture, whatcha gonna do with a cell phone? But that's Bubba's new haircut. Short, short, short. He loves it tho so what is a mom to do?

That is Miss I climbing the rock wall at the school's open house. How cool is it that elementary schools have rock climbing walls in the gym now? She climbed all the way to the top of the thing without any trouble.

My Honey has been out of town golfing since Thursday so its been me and the kids. I had the weekend off and considered leaving town, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. Too much work. I don't think I have sat at home for the weekend in awhile. I didn't get much done, lawn mowed, one of the trees got a haircut, kids got haircuts, and I went out Saturday night ...

Saturday Night. I don't "go out". It's not my scene, never has been, although I do have fun when I get there. My girl DW had a birthday last week so we were meeting to celebrate. Good times. Turned out that a few people I graduated with were also at the bar, a couple people I know from hockey (yes they is trying to recruit me again) and then a group of people I worked with once upon a time were there celebrating my friend Rachel's birthday. That was actually karma. I planned a dancing birthday party for her many, many years ago that I ended up not getting to go to (I know, how lame) and there we were on her birthday dancing. Yeah, you read that right, I danced (again). It was fun. The morning after... manageable.

There's so much else to the bar scene. The drama, the drinking, the boys and the girls, the girls and the girls. Different than my real life. But what struck me was how many of those folks I actually know. Once upon a time it would have been like going to a new city, last night it was like hanging with 85 of my friends. I don't quite know how to explain it. Except to say me and my ego felt kind of cool to be acknowledged by 4 different groups of people.

It's the last day of my weekend, kind of, I don't work till 5 tomorrow night, and its my last week of night shifts. If it wasn't so dang much fun I would be sad, but its really, really fun. I'm gonna miss it. Only 9 more months until I get to do it again.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thoughts on the Tri

I have been wanting to get into words on "paper" about what the triathlon was like.

I don't know if I can even come close in one sitting, let alone a few days of tyring to work it out. But I will give it a go and see what happens. (note: it took nearly two weeks)

It is actually a ten-year journey getting to the triathlon this past July.

In 1999 I watched an iron man event in Hawaii (on TV) and became mildly obsessed. I searched the web, found training plans, a "tri-a-tri" event nearby and went for it.

At the time I was already active, teaching 3 aerobics classes per week, and I thought that adding biking and running wouldn't really be that big of a deal. I recruited my sister-in-law to ride with me and I took on running on my own. I'm still not good at running, but I try. Running has been the most work. Finding a rhythm and sticking it out when the cramps start. I remember the first time I ran through a cramp and the feeling afterwards.

I didn't worry about the swimming, I don't have any water fears and I didn't think I was a sucky swimmer. Truthfully, I had no idea what kind of a swimmer I was. Fast, slow, no idea. I've never competed in anything before so I didn't even have any measure of what kind of an "athlete" I was. Or if I was an athlete at all. As I checked my stats for the individual disciplines I find that I don't suck as a swimmer, I placed 7th overall in my age group of 46 participants. (And that was in really crappy water conditions, too.)

About 6 weeks before the race I went mountain biking, crashed, and broke my collar bone in half, and cracked my shoulder blade. Needless to say, I didn't get to race. It also caused a halt in my teaching. I resumed teaching late that summer and then in November that year I got a new job. With the job came a screwy schedule, less access to working out (it wasn't part of my job anymore) and a desire, but disinterest in working out. I continued to think about a triathlon, even wanted to train again, but never got around to it.

Then I had a kid. Then the organization I worked for reorganized. Then I had another kid. Although I continued to think about it, I never got back into the groove of working out regularly or training.

Until this past year. I wouldn't say I was working out "regularly" but I did get back into working out. It's on-again, off-again, but I am doing it. So I figured I could do run/bikes/swim workouts and maybe do a triathlon.

In the past 5-7 years there have been triathlons in my area. I have watched some of them be very successful and others fail miserably. The past 2 or 3 years the Chelan Man Multi-sport event has taken off. I mentioned it to one of my work-girls that I run around with, JP, and she was all over it! "Lets do it, when do we register, what do we do, here's some books I got at the library." She caught the bug bad and it was contagious. So we signed up. She/we attempted to recruit several of our co-workers, but they didn't bite. There are a few on board for next year though!

We tried to workout together, but only managed a few swims and a run due to our totally opposite schedules, but we encouraged each other in our individual pursuits and agreed to run our own race in the end - meaning we'd look out for each other, but it wasn't about doing the race together, and it didn't matter who "won" it was about finishing. And we did finish!

I must say that finishing was kind of anti-climactic. I don't know if I can describe it. I swam, went through the transition to bike, met up with JP and started up the hill. We rode a bit together and then split off. I passed her on the way back we gave each other a "you go girl" and I continued back to the transition to the run. The transitions are interesting places. All the racers go to a central location to get their next set of gear. There are a few people around, mostly racers, just minding their own business getting ready for the next leg of the race. I changed my hat and headed out on my run. Again, I passed JP and we exchanged another "you go girl" and I headed for the finish line.

Once across the finish line I guess I felt kind of lost. Here I was at the end, a nice group of race people cheered me through, but then what? Nothing. That was the anti-climactic part. No one was there to congratulate me. I'm not whining. That's just the part, as I look back, that was the most disappointing. I changed my shoes, and went to wait for JP. Lucky for me, I knew the deputies at the road block so I just stood around chatting with them while waiting for her. We ran the last part of her race together, I cut around the finish line so she could have her own finish.

We wandered around the park afterward and then got our gear and headed home. My friend Pauly describes the day after really well, he says "it was just like a really hard workout." Exactly. Finishing was kind of like that too. I feel great about pushing myself and doing the race, fully intend to do another one or two next summer. But I don't know what to do about the finish line dilemma. I guess my ego needs a cheering section. Shame on her!

There's more. There's the part where I had to run and ride without music. They don't allow iPod's and the like during the race. (Sheesh, just because part of it is on the highway...) That meant I had to focus on something else, the scenery, the road, the person ahead of me - varoom, I mean behind me! The Lake, the lines in the road, the terrain, my breathing. Very different than my workouts.

There's the day we went to the Lake to swim for the first time in the open water. It was the most exhilarating thing ever. The feeling I had when I was done was, literally, something I could feel on my skin. It was tingly like I've never experienced before. Sort of like when you play outside in the snow and then come into the house where its warm and your fingers tingle, only it was all over. My arms, my legs, my face, back and feet. For hours.

Seeing the sand and rocks at the bottom of the lake instead of the lines on the bottom of a pool, seeing trees when I took a breath instead of concrete or a buoy line was a really wicked experience. Breathtaking. Being a part of someone's break through. Honoring.

For me, its a whole-life experience. I wonder if that makes sense to anyone else? 10 years is a long time to chase a dream. Even a little one - seriously, what's two hours of my life? But it continues to slowly change my world view and my self view. It's one of those things I can say I did. A dream I had, that I followed through and had success at. Finishing was my goal. I succeeded. I need a few (more) of those stories.

It challenges me to try other things that are scary or absurd-sounding - I had one person say to me "What? A triathlon, I never thought of you as the athletic type" neither did I. Just goes to show you :) I learned about another person's triathlon experience I never would have known about. I had others say "Wow, I have always wanted to do one of those." Those are the ones we are recruiting for next year! And I had a super supportive husband "Babe, you need to get up and ride today. ... What day are you running this week? ... You swimming tomorrow morning?" My Honey was very good to me.

All-in-all it was a great experience, but race day is only a small, almost the smallest part, of it. It's the getting there that is really the part that keeps popping up in my mind I guess. The process. The path. The struggle. That part.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fall - HA!

Take that Fall!

It's been 85-90 degrees the past 3 days. I think it might have been 100 today! I love summer weather. I took the soft top off the Jeep the other day to enjoy the last little bits of summer. I even put the car seats in the Jeep, since My Honey is out of town till Sunday, so the kids and I can soak up the last bits of summer. Ahhhh :)

And, I have the weekend off. And, I have a babysitter Saturday. And, I have Dead Guy Ale in the beer-fridge. Life is good.

One of the things I like about my job is the variety. It's never the same thing. Ever. Today I participated in an exercise (off site) intended to test the emergency response plan for a local PUD. I love these things. I don't know why, but I do. Then I had the opportunity to check out the new special operations mobile command post for one of our sheriff's offices. VERY COOL. I made several requests to be put on the list to dispatch out of that beauty of a command post. WOW! Very WOW. I don't even know how to describe it. They took a 5th wheel, gutted it, ordered anything a special response team and dispatcher would need to go live and that's whats in it. Nothing special to Joe Public, but to us dispatchers, WOW! Not sure what the field guys think, I was touring with the guy that ordered it (who thinks it's the baddest thing ever - duh) and a Sargent who really has no use for it, but went along with how cool it is, but from a practical standpoint for my job - looks like it would work really, really well! I hope I get the chance to try it. It could happen.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I am an afternoon person, if I have eaten breakfast. I took the kids downtown today for the Harvest festival. Truth be told, I wanted to listen to Fat Happy so I made them go too since My Honey was golfing. There was a whole lot of stuff to see downtown, we ran into lots of little friends, an old grade-through-high school friend of mine, and the Wild mascot! There was a lot to see and do but I was distracted by the clock, I have to work at 5, all I could think of was that we should go so we could get a nap in plus, I hadn't eaten so my mood turned sour rather rapidly and none of the fun things seemed fun to me.

All-in-all it was fun, Miss I's favorite part was dancing to the band, and dance she did! Bubba's favorite part was seeing the Wild mascot, Walt. We did make it home in time to get a short rest/nap in so it all worked out.

I know, relax, go with it! I try, I really do.

What I wish is I could have taken some time for more of these:


I am NOT a morning person. Ever. Anything I have to do before 10 is just a pain in my ass. Unfortunately I live with nothing BUT morning people. My kids, My Honey, they all like to get up and get going. Most of the time they will just get up together and let me sleep, but today My Honey is golfing so I am stuck getting up early.

My first wake up call today came at 6:15 when My Honey's alarm went off for golfing. The next wake up call was about an hour later when Miss I woke up. I told her to lie quietly with me or go play in her room. She chose her room, but on the way woke up Bubba. They played pretty well for awhile together and then Bubba asked if they could go watch TV - of course! Have at it!!

I hear the TV go on but I am also hearing chairs scrape on the floor in the kitchen and water running. I assumed they are getting water ready for hot chocolate and I figured I would get up when I heard the microwave go off. But it never did. The next thing I know Bubba is telling me that my favorite Disney show is on (Little Einsteins) and my coffee is ready. Coffee?

That got my attention. I went downstairs to find Miss I doing dishes and the coffee pot perking away. I asked Bubba how he made the coffee and he tells me "I did 12 ounces, I wasn't sure how much you wanted." That sounds perfect, but how much coffee grounds did you put in? "Three scoops." Well, what do you know, he did it just right. My little boy makes a good cuppa joe.

So the question begs to be asked: Why am I taking early morning shifts? For the sake of my family. I LOVE working nights but I don't see the family enough. Just 9 more shifts and back to getting up at oh-dark-thirty. Work-wise, I am not looking forward to it (booooring). Life-wise it will be very nice.

I don't think I have even mentioned how much FUN it's been working nights. I got everything I wanted - pursuits, stolen vehicles, fights in progress, awesome fires, requests for "emergency traffic only" on my radio. Fun stuff. Day shift just doesn't quite measure up to that. Plus, Thursday and Friday off rocked! I can't wait till January when I go back to those days off and I don't have to work till 5am. I think it will be pretty nice.

Coming up next month, we (just me and My Honey) are going on a cruise to Mexico.
I. Can't. Wait.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Opening weekend

We had a lot of fun at hockey games this weekend!
My sister, nephew, our kids, My Honey and I went to games on Friday and Saturday night. It might have been too much for the kids, but not for the adults and not for the team. They won both nights!! Way to go guys!

Of course no pictures of the game, sometimes I am embarrassed to pull out my camera and start clicking away...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Fair '09

"Yellow Cactus"

"Butterfly" I know, not very original

"Chihuly's Boat"

I turned this one upside down and called it "Splash"

Chelan County Fair, here I come.
I named and entered these in the fair this afternoon - yay me

Monday, September 07, 2009


Really? Nearly 90 minutes to edit and download this photo? I hope that RAM comes in tomorrow!

Thursday, September 03, 2009


I read this the other day about Yom Kippur and I liked it:

"Yom Kippur, the day of public and private atonement, a sacred withdrawal from the world for twenty-four hours in order to become right with God and others, so that real life might be renewed with passion and purpose."

The author goes on to say "... it's time for turning over a new leaf so that our lives might be restored."

It spoke to me on many levels. Maybe next year I can plan ahead, actually withdrawal from the world for 24 hours... Can you imagine?? Get right with God. Get right with others. Get right with myself.

Yeah, I know, kind of deep thoughts.

In other news, school started! I have TWO kids in school. It's kind of a mixed bag of emotions. I am very glad to see them go, we all need the break, but I miss them too. Miss I is just going on M,W,F mornings for a couple hours to pre-school. My girl DW (love that girl) recommended the pre-school her kids have gone to. What a great choice! It's not far from home, on the way to work for My Honey, not too expensive AND she will take Miss I part-time for day care.

Bubba is a second grader. He had "butterflies in my stomach until we got to the fence and then I was fine." He was talking about the fence around the school yard. I am very excited for him this year, he has some familiar kids in his class, some new ones too and his teacher is a science-y type which is right up his alley! She spends part of her summer break at a science camp so she brings back LOTS of great stuff.

I took pictures of the kids on their first day, but have not downloaded them yet, I am waiting on some new RAM and want to see if it makes a difference. Or, maybe I am rebelling against the system, everyone else posted pictures of the first day and I'm NOT. Either way, check back later, I am sure I will get around to it before too long.

Lastly, I have had (more) time off. I took part of this week off to be able to take the kids to school on their first day. I know, what a mom! Its been very relaxing, having nothing to do. The most effort I have put into life is mowing the lawn today. Seriously! I might go for a run or a ride tomorrow morning after I drop the kids off, but other than that, I have totally been chillin. Its been nice.

OK, wait, one more thing! The Nickelback concert was a TON of fun! Saving Abel, Papa Roach and Hinder opened for them. A definite do-over, same band, different band, who cares, it was fun, fun, fun. I might have lost my mind a little, danced, sang out loud, smoked, drunk-texted, who knows - what happens at the Gorge stays at the Gorge right? Right ;)