Sunday, December 31, 2006

We finally made it to Phoenix

Photo of Bill "rock climbing" taken with my cell phone. Went for a nice hike today with the Fleck brothers on Wind Cave Trail. We're here with family until Tuesday and then it will be back to the rain, I think it was in the upper 60s here today. All I know is I had to wear sunglasses (yes) and I have shorts on now. Time for dinner!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Honeymoon story part two: 24 hours of terror

Other than the rain we experienced the first few days, everything went well on our honeymoon until I talked Bill into playing pool volleyball so we could meet some people at the resort. It seemed like there was quite an international crowd there (about 1/3 Mexican and a large amount of Canadians but also several people from European countries) and I was eager to mingle. About 10 minutes into the game (Bill was the only one scoring points--the guy can't help but excel in sports) Bill looks over at me all panicky and says, "My wedding ring is gone!" So everyone stops and starts searching the pool for his ring. We looked everywhere and it was not to be found so Bill got the hotel staff to look in the pool filter but they didn't find anything. His ring was gone.

Bill was disappointed and ticked off so I didn't get on his case about it at all, I just told him it would probably turn up eventually and if not then we would just get another one. No big deal. Still he was bummed, so I encouraged him to plan a scuba diving trip for the next day to cheer him up. I recalled that he was short on cash and the last time I tried to use the ATM it was broken so I told him he better find a dive shop that took credit cards or go get some money. All of our cards were locked in the safe in our room so Bill went to go get his card while I sat at the pool and tried not to be sad about the turn of events.

Bill comes back a few minutes later and says the safe won't open and it's just beeping. I had armed the safe and he must have entered the wrong code and now the safe wouldn't open. OK, no big deal, we'll just call the front desk and see what to do. Meanwhile, Bill makes arrangements to dive the next day at 9am. Finally we get the safe open but by then it's time to go to dinner and see the nightly show and we never made it to the ATM.

The next morning we get up early for breakfast but still don't have time to spare to hit the ATM so we scramble out to the rental car but it won't start. No juice. Ooops! Bill left the lights on and the battery is dead. We head back to the lobby to see about a jump start but the hotel won't do it until we get permission from the rental car company. Bill gets resourceful and asks a taxi to jump us and fortunately one of the taxis had jumper cables. He tipped the driver with our last $5 after he got the car started and ran inside to find me (I was waiting in the lobby like a good little woman).

He quickly called the dive shop to see if they would wait (yes they would) and we ran out to the car together but guess what? The car won't start again. And the taxi driver is gone. And we have no cash. So we go back to the lobby and he cancels his morning dive and tells me to wait while he goes to get some cash. Off he runs to the ATM where the US to peso conversion throws him for a loop. Bill has a bachelor's degree in finance and he's getting an MBA but that morning he could not figure out the 11 to 1 conversion rate so after getting 1,500 pesos out he tried to withdraw 10,000 pesos and the machine says "over daily limit" so he entered 5,000 pesos and the machine got sick of him and ate his card. The same card we used to pay for the hotel and rental car. Or planned to use to pay for everything.

Now why my new husband went to Mexico with $30 in his pocket and only one card I cannot tell you. I did ask him to leave his wallet at home but that doesn't mean just leave everything else. So we lived on 1,500 pesos for the rest of the week (no shopping for me) and I got to run back to the room for my credit cards to pay for his afternoon dive. We are husband and wife after all ;) Meanwhile, Bill got the car jumped again (that taxi driver made $10 fast) and off we went to Akumal for Bill to dive.

So to recap, in less than 24 hours Bill managed to:
1. lose his wedding ring on his honeymoon
2. jam the safe with all of our money in it
3. kill the rental car battery (twice)
4. have his only card eaten by an ATM machine

I kept it together pretty well through all this but I started to wonder... The drama had to be over, right? Apparently Bill thought I looked a little too relaxed so the next day he took off with a Canadian guy we just met and went cave diving and was two 1/2 hours late getting back to the hotel where his wife was getting increasingly panicky. You can lose your ring, your credit card, and kill the rental car but YOU BETTER NOT BE LATE FOR DINNER!

I don't know friends, I might need a do-over on this honeymoon thing. I wonder if there are any vacancies at Xcaret next week, it's pretty cold here in Oregon! Up next: Bill makes me laugh, therefore, he is allowed to come home with me from our honeymoon.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Our honeymoon story: what the heck is wrong with us?

Bill and I booked our honeymoon at an all inclusive resort near Playa del Carmen based on a recommendation from a nice man who occassionally reads my blog (he's much nicer than BeeHunter but that is a whole other story) Anyway! I checked out some guidebooks from the library, browsed the web extensively and packed my Spanish phrase book and got really excited to relax (finally!) I was so relieved to be going to an all inclusive vs. backpacking around Belize like we originally discussed because I was burned out and I blew a fuse planning our wedding so I needed a real BREAK!

Meanwhile, Bill threw some clothes in a suitcase and didn't think twice about the trip until we almost missed the plane out of Portland! The computers were intermittently working at US Air so we got to the gate at 5:30am, just in time for our 5:35am flight. We arrived in Cancun in the afternoon and were greeted with a torrential jungle downpour of rain which was a welcome sight considering we had been living with a torrential forest downpour of rain for the past two months.

We decided to rent a car at the last minute and I almost had to arm wrestle the Dollar rental car agent who tried to sell us timeshare and wouldn't let us out of there. NO MEANS NO LADY! I asked Bill to drive because I read in the guidebook that if you get in a fender bender in Mexico and the cops show up then everyone goes to jail until the court can settle things. We agreed that Bill would do better in a Mexico jail, he can play soccer with the other inmates, I have no skills that would be useful for jail so it was decided.

TRAVEL TIP: If you are driving down a two lane highway in Mexico and wish to pass the car in front of you, don't bother waiting for traffic to clear, just drive down the centerline at anytime.

We drove about 40 miles south of Cancun to our resort, the Occidental Grand Flamenco Xcaret which is located in a jungle and there are no other resorts nearby (yes!) Bill and I have never taken a vacation together that didn't involve sleeping in someone's spare bedroom the night before a triathlon or to visit family so to find ourselves in the lobby of a 4 star hotel with a room key was a first for us.

I think the hotel had about 10 restaurants and all the drinks you can order included in the price (we paid $1100 per person including airfare for 7 days which we thought was a nice deal) The first night out we went to Pacos Tacos and drank 3 margaritas with dinner and then a couple of strawberry daiquiris which made us very drunk. I think this was when Bill declared he was going to drink a 1/2 Ironman bike split in 7 days (56 drinks). Typically Bill has about 2-4 drink per month so you can see what a goal oriented kind of guy he is. We found out that the hotel offered nightly entertainment in the theatre so we scheduled our dinners for 7:30 each night so we could hang out for the 9:30 pm show. Bill especially liked the lady dancers, at one point he said, "These people better get their kids out of here, this show is heating up!" I think he fell asleep 5 minutes later. (tee hee)

This hotel made awesome drinks, some new favorites for us: mango margaritas and miami vice (pina colado and strawberry daiquiri mixed together) mmmmmmmm! We don't drink a whole lot so we were lit up the first few days before we built up a tolerance and then tired of drinking so much (by the last day). Anyway, day two arrived and there were still clouds in the sky and the threat of rain loomed.

Bill was sulking around about the weather and he kept eating too much so he felt like crap and was cranky. After about 10 minutes of this (because I am so patient) I said, "What the heck is wrong with you!?! Quit eating so much and who cares about the rain! It doesn't stop us in Oregon, we do all sorts of stuff in the rain!" After breakfast at the beach club I marched him down to the beach and said, "Let's just sit here and enjoy this 80 degree weather and see if the sun comes out." About 20 minutes later the sun came out and 10 minutes after that we were snorkeling in the little bay at the resort. Drama over (for now)... Up next: 24 hours of terror courtesy of my new husband.

Monster swim results

Today our swim class is doing some crazy 9400 yard swim. We're supposed to be on a holiday break and getting fat but NOT THESE PEOPLE so I will be joining them for a small part of that crazy swim. I don't think I posted Bill's results from the monster swim. He came in 3rd after all of the events, here are his times after swimming only once a week for 3 months.

200 fly: 2:45
400 IM: 5:26
1650 free: 21:56

Some people just don't lose much when they don't work out. I have been doing slightly better with my neck/shoulder/elbow injury. I think the most helpful thing I've done so far is use a TENS unit (see pic). I place electrodes on my skin in the areas where my muscles or nerves are flared up and send electric stimulation to the area via the TENS unit and find after about 15 minutes the inflammation and pain is better. It helps me mentally too because I know that if I am in pain I know there is something I can do to ease it.

I need to write up some stories from our Mexico trip, I'll try to do that today.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Happy holidays! We gathered together this morning for a family photo before Bill ran off with the dog for a round of disc golf. I am making some food for our dinner tonight and I also have a suprise gift for everyone: hats! (big suprise) I made hats for all of our south town friends so the Christmas spirit will be beaming from me. I have quit drinking coffee and alcohol (sob sob) so I needed some spirit since I am sadly missing Jubelale beer. Jubel jubel, jubel jubel ale beer! No time like the present to give yourself the gift of painful caffeine and seasonal ale withdrawal.

Season's greetings friends, I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

I tried!

We haven't been able to find the cookie cutters since we moved so yesterday I made our holiday cookies using flower shapes. I tried, I even drove around to the whole 2 stores in town that might have cookie cutters and they were SOLD OUT. Today we walked over to the hippies house and I borrowed Cindy's cutters and tried again with the cookies. I think I should give up on this venture.

Tomorrow we will share Christmas with friends, luckily we were invited to dinner so we won't starve or be sad tomorrow since our holiday plans were cancelled. Bill asked me what I wanted for Christmas and after a quick inventory I knew that I have everything I could want already this year. We made a lot of good things happen in 2006: we bought a house, got engaged, got married, and went on a great honeymoon (phew!). It wasn't all perfect, we started off 2006 with an eviction notice and Bill without a job, but we figured it out and whenever something came up we stuck together and the bottom line for Bill and I always came back to a single fact: we like being together so whatever chaos is going on around us will just have to take a back seat. 2007 will hopefully include some family planning for us and that will fill our plates even fuller.

Maybe these goofy cookies are a perfect example of how we don't always make things come together perfectly but we're doing pretty dang well in spite of ourselves. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday tomorrow and great plans for 2007. I will have to post a holiday photo with season's greetings from the funny farm tomorrow.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Home for the holidays

Photo of Cassie helping me make cookies. Well our flight to Phoenix didn't happen due to the layover in Denver where the airport was closed. We rescheduled our trip for New Year's weekend so we had to find some things to do at home this weekend. One of my co-workers gave me a Christmas tree (I must have looked really pathetic with my canceled holiday plans) and then Bill bought me some flannel pajamas with a holiday print so I am on my way to a merry Christmas.

Yesterday we went for a hike and did some shopping and today I started making cookies while Bill went on a trail run. He said he had to go for a long run to jump start his metabolism after our honeymoon. I think the threat of cookies made him realize that he had to exercise so he could eat without guilt. We should be headed for the mountains to do some skiing but I haven't felt great since we got back from Mexico so I don't feel too compelled to go anywhere. It's nice to be home with the funny farm. I've have been taking photos all weekend because I've missed them so much, here's what we are doing this weekend...





Thursday, December 21, 2006

Holiday travel

We were supposed to fly to Phoenix today with a layover in Denver but a major snowstorm closed the airport yesterday and our flight was canceled. We don't know what we are doing yet but United is not offering any alternatives and most of the other airlines are booked. I'm sad, we just got our holiday shopping done and we have no decorations at our own house so if we can't go I'll have to get some holiday cheer going.

Bill is trying to figure out an alternative now so we might still make it. Photo was taken Tuesday before my work holiday party. Bill likes to torment my boss and he stole all of the drink tickets from her. She will only give 2 tickets per person so Bill waits until she relaxes her grip on the tickets and then swipes them just to give her a bad time. My boss is very sweet, she gave me a nice bridal shower this past summer and has always been a good boss to me so I'm very sad that she has quit and is moving on to a new job in January.

While we were gone on our honeymoon there was a major windstorm in the Northwest and several old trees went down. This tree is in front of a dorm at OSU, I like to walk over there for coffee and the tree feel on the awning and destroyed it. I quit drinking coffee this week and I feel awful. I keep getting headaches so I'm drinking tea to try to ease off the caffeine. I love coffee so this isn't an easy habit to quit!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

TRIBABE.COM IS OPEN!

We're back in business... but I'm leaving for Phoenix on Thursday to see family so I will be taking the holidays off and will be back Monday. I just don't work any more, working is for other people! Actually, if you do want to order and can get it in before Thursday morning I will get it to embroidery before we leave again.

Photos from our trip to the Riveria Maya: http://tribabe.smugmug.com/gallery/2253182 I will write stories later because I'm swamped right now!

Monday, December 18, 2006

no muy bueno

My favorite place for breakfast at our hotel. Chocolate filled croissants and cappuccinos every morning. wah! It's freaking freezing in Oregon, what the heck! Yesterday morning we were in sunny Cancun and today... BRRR! Why do I live here? Bill said he feels better now that he's home but the only thing I feel cold!

I have lots of great photos to upload and I'll try to get them up sometime today. We had a great time, lots of laughs, and a rough 24 hours where Bill tried to see how much trouble he could find at an all inclusive resort in Mexico. It's a good thing he does a great impression of a monkey scratching his butt because apparently, that's a skill I appreciate in a man.

We learned a lot about eachother by spending 24 hours a day together for 7 days. I thought I knew it all about Bill but he keeps suprising me. I love him now more than ever! Fun details later!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Que?

No cell phone coverage here so I couldn{t post photos. We are having a blast, the hotel is great, the riveria maya is amazing and the unlimited drinks are keeping us laughing. Going diving-snorkeling tomorrow at Akumel. Rained like we were in the jungle the first two days, all sun past two days, who knows tomorrow! The hotel is keeping us happy with strawberry margaritas regardless of the weather.

Today Bill lost his wedding ring while playing pool volleyball :( hoping it comes up in pool filter. If not, he must die or sleep in the jungle with the rest of the monkeys. Did I say the hotel is great? Will have many stories to tell, don{t let me forget about the tennis pro and how Bill mastered Spanish in one day.

I miss Bubba and the rest of the funny farm at home but love Mexico so they will have to wait. Poor babies. Will post photos Monday. ADIOS AMIGOS!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

One for the road

If you click on this pic you can see baby Cassie's sharp little teeth piercing Marshall's eye. Good times! I'll miss the zoo while we're gone. We have to leave the house around 2 am to get up to Portland in time for our flight. Ouch! Gotta go!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Cold, foggy, and lovely

Oregon in the wintertime, photo taken with camera on cell phone and emailed to my blog. Fun! Next photos from phone will be from Mexico!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

In a fog--I need a margarita

Bill was up until 3:30 am this morning studying for finals and he has two left so he will be up late again tonight. I get about 15 minutes a night with him and then he's off to study. I think we're too old for this but he seems to be fine. He'll be done with finals Thursday night and then Friday we have the monster swim workout: 200 fly, 400 IM, and 1650 free. I'm doing the timing for the event so I don't aggravate my neck injury--that's a pretty hard workout. I'll report how Bill does on his one swim a week training program.

Last night I went out to walk the dog around 7:30 at night and it was cold and foggy so we walked down to towards the river where the fog was rolling in and glowing from the lights of nearby houses. I was trying to relax and find some stimulation from being outside in the cold but my brain is stuck right now and I hate feeling this way.

I could be at a crossroads professionally or... not. I'm trying to decide if I should apply for a new job due to the problems at work but with wanting to get pregnant and Bill finishing school in June it doesn't seem like a good time to make any changes. I just found out about a job that could be a good move for me professionally but it doesn't seem right for me to apply given my personal circumstances. At my current job my supervisor found a new job and is leaving at the end of the month and I will be moved to a new location and work for someone else. I don't want anything to change but it is going to change so I have to figure out what I want from all of it.

The other thing weighing on me is not knowing where Bill will get a job and if I will have to quit my job and move. I have never not worked, not since I was 16, so the idea of having kids and not working or even working part time is surreal. I know change is coming, I hope change is coming, but I don't know what it will be.

I have a honeymoon to go on, we leave really early on Sunday so we will be at the beach on Sunday afternoon. I wish I could just relax and not think about any of this. I need to not think about this right now. I need a margarita, in Mexico, poolside with my husband and none of this other stuff. I'm ready to go!

Monday, December 04, 2006

TRIBABE.COM IS CLOSED UNTIL 12/18/06

A note to customers of TRIBABE.COM: I had to close my web store at this busy time of year so we can go on our honeymoon. I apologize for the inconvenience and would like to offer you 20% off you next order when the web store re-opens on 12/18/06, use coupon code: happytrigeeks.

THANK YOU AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Never go on a date with me

The weekend was a bit of a blur but the weather was nice (I guess) since it was sunny with temps in the mid 40s (brrrr!) but at least it wasn't raining. Saturday night we went out to a new restaurant (burgers and beer place next to the university). I told Bill he had to go put on pants before we left since I couldn't stand looking at his sweatpants for another second (they are soccer pants from the 80s and they are awful) and he comes back wearing hiking boots, jeans, and a tshirt.

I say, "What's up with the hiking boots!?! Its freezing outside, why don't you go put on a long sleeve shirt!?" which seems to cause him all sorts of problems. I had styled my hair and put on make up so I was all cuted-up and here he was wearing hiking boots? I don't get it. So while he's changing I put on a sweater and decide to mess with him and put on some sunglasses (its 6:30 at night).

When he comes down with outfit #2 (a skiing sweater--ok!?!) I say "What do you think of my outfit, do you think this sweater is too much?" and he goes, "No, I think its the sunglasses." and I say, "I think this sweater doesn't go with these boots, I'm going to put on something else" and he says (urgently) "I think its the sunglases!" and I ignore him and put on a fleece jacket and act like I'm ready to go. WHAT A COUPLE OF FREAKS!

I started laughing and took the sunglasses off, he seriously thought I was going to dinner with Paris Hilton sunglasses on at night! HA! Later at dinner I asked him why he had hiking boots on and he said he wanted to break them in before we went hiking next time. I guess that makes sense. No wonder we don't go out much!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Day for Karma

Focusing on the positive... poor baby Cassie got fixed yesterday and tried to pull out her stitches so she has to wear this thing around her neck but DANG doesn't she look cute!

Can't resist this note on bad karma: this morning we came out of the house to see our neighbor's car had been broken into and his expensive stereo stolen. He drives around our quiet neighborhood with the stereo blaring all the time and they have loud parties with their garage door open so we get to hear everything. We haven't been hit by thieves yet so I think Bill will need to put motion detecting lights in front of the house as a deterrant but our cars are quite homely compared to the BMW and SUV these college kids drive. Did I mention their parents bought their house for them? We love them as neighboors (please graduate!)

And finally, it was announced in the local media today that my boss was arrested on DUII and assault charges after running his car into someone's garage. I won't be commenting further.

Back to the positive... sleeping kitties are the best kitties.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fine with it

Yesterday sucked! First my embroidery contact for tribabe.com notified me that she is leaving town this weekend for one week, the last week before I leave for our honeymoon which is right in the heat of the holiday rush. So I have to find someone else to handle the embroidery for my business or I have to shut the web store down in the next 24 hours.

Then I got bad news from my boss at the university but I can't put it on my blog because it hasn't been announced yet. A big change is coming in my work world and I'm not happy about it in any way. Sorry to be so cryptic but I know a couple of people at the university read my blog so I can't put details out yet.

Bill (smart and loving husband) took a night off from marathon studying and cooked dinner for me and we watched an old movie (Boomerang with Eddie Murhphy--love that movie and the soundtrack is the best!) and drank hot cocoa with whipped cream on top together. He also took the dog for a run which was a great relief to me, Bill has almost stopped working out since he started school and I've been trying to keep the dog exercised by myself which isn't easy people. Since I've known Bill he's been training for Ironmans so to see him swim once a week and run every other week is a bit of a shock. The one great thing about it is that he is fine with it. No worries about getting out of shape or losing his competitive edge, he's just fine with it.

So my goal for today is to be fine with myself. I have swim class, a date for coffee with a friend, and work piling up but its going to be a good day. I'm going to go make a video of myself singing "Forget your troubles come on get happy, its going to be a beautiful day!" and post it on my blog. Hold your breath waiting for it!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cranky!

Grrr my massage appt got canceled so the stuck back and bad attitude continues... Based on my horroscope for today I need a movie or book and to not express anger toward Bill (oops! messed that up already!) Here is the horrorscope:

You are being pushed and pulled all over the place and you might be close to snapping like an over-stretched rubber band. You can pull yourself together, but one little thing could just set you off again. Expressing your anger toward a loved one isn't going to help matters. No matter how much the situation is bothering you, today's solution requires you to change your attitude. And while you're doing your inner work, try some healthy outer distractions like spectator sports, a movie or reading a good novel.


I guess I can replace an hour long massage with walking the dog in 20 degree weather. gr gr gr gr gr grrr grrr grr gr grrrrrrrr brrr brrr brrr brrrr brrrrrrr

I know, my problems aren't that bad. I'm just CRANKY!

Dogs love snow

Well my wish for a snow day didn't come true, it snowed and we accumulated an inch but the university didn't close. Bummer! I have to take Baby Cassie in to the vet for her pre-op exam and then tomorrow our little sweetheart gets fixed. I bet Marshall will cuddle her and take care of her when she gets home. I don't know how to winterize a yard so I hope these freezing temperatures don't kill everything.

I am in a foul mood today. Bill's school schedule has been crazy busy (home at midnight Sunday then home at 9pm last night) and he's not in the best mood and I'm handling everything at home and getting busy with orders on tribabe.com for the holidays so... yeah I am cranky. I have a massage scheduled for tonight so hopefully that will set me straight, my back is still stuck so I'm going to ask her to focus on my hips to see if we can get them loosened up. Here is a short video of Marshall running around in the snow this morning, if this doesn't cheer me up...

Monday, November 27, 2006

How about a trip to Mexico now?

Photo taken with my mobile phone and posted to my blog by emailing to blogger. SO cool! While we are in Mexico I will have to take pics and send to the blog. It's snowing here in the Willamette Valley with more snow in the forecast but its not supposed to accumulate to much. We'll see if we wake up to a snow day tomorrow! It typically does not snow in Corvallis and never this early in the year!

On the road with the funny farm

Ms Kitty sitting on my lap for the 6.5 hour drive from Corvallis to Spokane. We left Thursday morning for the long drive with 2 cats, 1 dog, cross country skis and Xmas presents. Plus Bill brought his school books and planned to study during the entire trip which left me with the driving. I like driving through the Columbia Gorge area, its quite stunning, but the heavy rains kept me from feeling too inspired by the view.

Marshall with Baby Cassie in the backseat. We arrived in Spokane just in time for a huge turkey dinner and plenty of pie. The animals assimilated well to my parents animals and Cassie got to see her mommie (Spaz) and brother (Blacky) and the kitty hijinx went into high speed as Cassie and Blacky chased eachother around the house. Marshall was on high alert and spent the entire weekend trying to track the comings and goings of the people and cats. I had to take him on a long walk when we got back so he could settle down.

Friday we went for a hike at the Dishman Hills area and ate plenty of turkey leftovers which resulted in napping. We woke up in time for the Civil War football game and the Beavers beat the Ducks at the last minute for a very exciting game. There were more leftovers and more napping and the weekend was basically a big turkey napping blur. The hike lead us to the top of a hill with views ranging from downtown Spokane all the way over to Idaho. Click on this photo of me looking like a giraffe next to my mom to see the view to Idaho.

Saturday we hiked down by the Spokane River and then packed it up to drive the 6.5 hours home. A severe weather alert and forecast for several inches of snow got us out of town early, plus Bill had a 20 page paper to work on with his venture planning group so we needed to get home anyway! Here is Marshall loving up my mom and sister in the back seat of the car, he has a way with the ladies. Its snowing in Corvallis today with more snow tomorrow so I'm hoping for a snow day so I can stay home and cuddle the critters!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Retro race report: Wildflower 2003

This race was significant for me as this is where Bill and I looked at eachother with new eyes. We knew eachother through the triathlon club and I was always intrigued by Bill but I was dating someone and Bill seemed really into Ironman triathlons and not too into goofy women. Still, whenever we were in a room together, I found myself wanting to be near him. On the long drive down to Lake San Antonio in California I announced that I had broken off the relationship I had been in which would have been great for Bill to hear except he was napping in the back of the van. Yep, that's a photo of him so its documented.

At that time I was working full time and taking enough credits at OSU to be considered a full time student so I raced in the Collegiate Olympic distance race. I had been hanging out with a bunch of young college girls and one of them convinced me not to shave my legs for several weeks leading up to the race so that when we got there we could shave as part of our pre race ritual. That was a gross idea, don't ask me how I fell for it! We had a small team that year, three girls and three guys to complete our team but we hoped we could do relatively well with the talent we thought we had.

The weather at Wildflower can be really hot but this year it decided to dump rain on Fri and Sat. Sat morning we woke up with a small river flowing in front of our tent The race organizer had to modify the run course due to flooding which meant we had a much more difficult course to run on race day. I'll get back to that, but first, some more romance...

I asked Bill to go on a walk with me Saturday evening and so we got away from everyone for some private time. Bill detailed his Ironman experiences to me which only caused me to think that he REALLY was into triathlon. He was actually was training through Wildflower and had ridden the 1/2 Ironman course the day before our event so I was thinking he was kind of hard core. He is hard core (BTW he swam 1000 IM today because I was giving him a bad time about not swimming). While we were walking he would put his hand on my back to steer me clear of curbs and was quite the gentleman. I couldn't tell for sure if he was into me so later that night I reached over and touched his nose. He just sat there like a deer in headlights so I touched his nose again (hoping he liked me and wasn't horrified) and he finally reacted and touched my hair. It was really sweet and the beginning of our relationship. Neither one of us slept that night, we were too wound up by eachother and the race the next day.

Race day: the collegiate wave starts first with the men and then the women. Its great because you get to see the thousands of other racers as you come back on the bike, its like you are leading a gigantic race. I thought I had a rough time on the swim but when I came into T1 my two female teammates were still there and they are much better swimmers than I am so I thought I was about to have an awesome race! I went out hard on the bike, passing a bunch of people on the first hill. I think I red lined really fast and it took about 12 miles before I realized I was not going to have a great day. Dork! Then it became a race to not get passed by my teammates for the rest of the 24 mile bike ride. I was on the verge of cracking and still had a hard run ahead.

I got into T2 first but my teammate was right behind me. Not good, typically I am a better cyclist and a better runner but not today! I left T2 first but once I hit the first hill on the run I had to walk. They modifed the course to go up the 1/2 Ironman bike course which is a long steep hill right out of the transition area. I walked and my teammate caught me, she was running slow so I just kept her in my sight. As soon as it flattened out I passed her back and started running hard again until the next hill when I was reduced to a walk again. I could not get my legs to run up a hill which was the first time I had ever experienced something like that before. So I kept the back and forth going, encouraging my teammate to come run with me when I ran the flat parts. She couldn't go any faster. Finally, I hit the downhill to get back to the finish line, its a long steep hill that kills your quads to run down. I tried to open up my run but my legs were screaming so I could only modestly hobble down to the finish chute. I tried to finish strong and beat my poor teammate by 15 seconds.

I wish I would have waited for her and that we would have run in together so lesson learned there. She was the one who got me not to shave my legs so I guess we're even now. Here are my painful splits: swim 31:20 bike 1:30:16 run 53:46 (my slowest 10k)

Bill was a little more triumpant: swim 22:32 bike 1:11:19 run 41:02 Our team finished 6th out of 10 teams. After racing we had a long ride in the van to get home. Even though I was exhausted from racing, I was giddy about the potential with Bill. Turns out that my life was really just a long ride to get to this day, the day I found my life partner in Bill.

2 pies per person

Pic from last Xmas at Mt Spokane. The weather forecast for Spokane, WA this weekend is for snow so we'll have to load the cross country skis and snow clothes into the car for our trip tomorrow. My mom emailed me that she has made 9 pies so far, since there are only going to be 5 of us for dinner, I think Bill is going to be eating a lot of pie. Actually, I know she has plans to give some pies away but still, we are going to be eating some serious pie.

We are also celebrating Christmas with my family while we are there so I will be wrapping presents tonight, I don't feel ready to do that yet but I am.

Random news: I am thinking about taking guitar lessons next Jan. I used to sing with a small band (actually it was less of a band and more of a random assortment of musicians who were available that night) but all of the performances were in bars on weeknights and I don't have any interest in that anymore. I was meeting a guy once or twice a week to practice old jazz tunes but it kept coming back to performing in bars on weeknights. Now that I'm not triathlon training as much I have more time and energy so I think its time for me to get back into music.

So I'm just warning you that I will be talking about music next year in addition to babbling about my pets. I can't wait, I have held back from playing guitar because of arthritis but if I can practice with moderation then maybe I can make it hapen. I am going to be such a stereotypical Oregonian once I play the accoustic guitar! Jeez I just need to go vegetarian and then I'll be genuine.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Monster swims and wild beasts

I'm going to post some retro race reports tomorrow to keep the unfortunate people who read my blog mildly entertained while we are away for Thanksgiving weekend. By the way, our swim class is gearing up for a monster swim competition next Friday, the events are:

200 fly
1650 free
400 IM

Bill has only been able to swim once a week since September but he still thinks he can beat everyone in the class at this swim. I am getting ready to be entertained by his attempt.

Bill took this photo using the camera on his cell phone. The entire funny farm is sacked out on the couch with me. Yes, we let them on the couch. I want to frame this and put it in our entryway:

ALL NON-PET OWNERS WHO VISIT & LIKE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PETS

1. They live here. You don't.

2. If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.
(That's why they call it "fur"niture.)

3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.

4. To you, it's an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter
who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn't speak clearly.

Here is another funny one:
Dear Dogs and Cats,

The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The
other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a
paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim
for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically
pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating
me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I
fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry
about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to
ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball
when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each
other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know
that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the
other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If
by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it
is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get
your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit
through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the
bathroom for years --canine or feline attendance is not mandatory.

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat's
butt. I cannot stress this enough!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Drinking beer and football

I forgot to follow up on the turkey cupcakes train of thought... I get Betty Crocker recipe of the day updates and I thought these cute things were poorly named. Well I had a nice weekend but I'm not sure that Bill did...

Saturday I went on hike with the ladies and the dog then watched The Big Football game at the sports park with a bunch of men (and Bill). We drank too much beer, ate a bunch of tater tots and hot wings and then went back to The Hippie's house for ping pong. Apparently the guys drank way too much and were having trouble keeping upright. I had a great time observing the guys although one of them said "She quit triathlons and she's obsessed with getting pregnant now" which I didn't think was totally fair. I'm not obsessed with it I'm just goal oriented and I am very very focused AND I haven't quit triathlons so stuff it buddy. Maybe I can't hang out with the guys ;) These are the things I need to do before I get pregnant because I'm pretty sure I won't want to hang out with a bunch of boozy guys watching football when I'm 7 months pregnant. Who knows though!?!

Sunday we went to Bill's favorite place on the planet: Costco and I had to stop him from putting Xmas gifts in the cart for himself. He was good though and we were able to leave without an incident. I made a whole load of hats Sunday afternoon for a group of triathletes up in Canada and tried to clean the house. Little Cassie was having a bad day, she was picking fights with the other animals and had an accident before puking 4 times throughout the night. Fortunately for me, Bill was up until 3:30 am trying to write a paper for his Venture Planning class so he took care of poor Cassie while I slept. Good baby practice ;) I guess I'll spoil him tonight since he had it so rough yesterday.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Turkey cupcakes

Thankgiving is next weekend and we will be headed over to Spokane, WA to see my parents. Bill has nixed the side trip to the Wallawa Mtns because he needs to have time for school work. I'm not too upset because two weeks later we leave for our honeymoon trip to Mexico! Then one week later we leave to see Bill's parents in Phoenix! Then its January which is 2007 which means we can start trying with the baby making! Yeah! Don't worry, I won't detail it on my blog. That would be strange.

We're taking the entire animal kingdom to my parent's small house where 3 dogs and 2 cats live. It is going to be total chaos. I'm going to hang out with my mom and sister and wait for Bill to do something horrifying. Somehow my mom thinks its cute when Bill demands food from his sprawled out position on the couch where he has been hogging the TV for the past 4 hours. It freaks me out because in our house he cooks more than I do and is very helpful and sweet to me. Apparently there is an Al Bundy lurking deep inside my seemingly modern husband. (shudder)

Here is a pic of Cassie playing in a plastic bag, she can't really have toys because Marshall eats them. We are going to be terrible parents ;) This weekend I am going to attempt to hike without throwing out my back again and we're watching the big Ohio State football game with friends. I have a large hat order for a triathlon club up in Canada so I'll be spending several hours in the sewing room. I also need to get back to drinking my Jubelale since the holidays are near! Jubel Jubel... Jubel Jubelale beer!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Volunteers at Silverman triathlon

Monica got up sometime around 4am on Sunday to head out with the rest of the race officials to the swim start. This was her second time serving as a race official and she seemed to know the rules and was excited to catch some bad guys. I was worried about her riding around on the back of a motorcycle all day because it was kind of cold and she is a little thing! Erin and I hit Starbucks and then drove out to Lake Mead to watch the first swimmers come in. The water on the lake looked pretty rough and there were already some swimmers in the medical tent so it probably wasn't going to be a fast swim.

I was hoping to see Jonas (the Swedish Speedo model from the Ladies of Slowtwitch triathlon camp) with the top swimmers but apparently he swam off course and ended up 10 minutes down on the lead guy. His team probably wouldn't have 5 minutes to spare with pro cyclist Tyler Hamilton on the lead team so it didn't look good for the Swedish Doodes early in the day. We decided not to say "hi" to Jonas that day since the prize money was probably weighing on his mind. I read on slowtwitch that Jonas displayed his flawless English with a slew of curse words once he was out of the water.

Erin and I decided to take a detour from the race and go over to Hoover Dam since it was only 6 miles away. There is something really creepy about a big dam. Hoover is pretty narrow and really steep so I felt a little dizzy being near it (don't think about it!) Our volunteer shift didn't start until 4pm so we drove back to town and got some breakfast and then took a nap. Since we didn't spend much time on the Vegas strip I asked Erin if we could just go drive down it so I would feel like I had seen it all in case I don't go there again. The throngs of people were still milling about and it was enough to remind me: nope! Vegas is not my town!

We didn't make it back to the race in time to see the first finisher's but Bill kept in cell phone contact with updates (from his computer at home). The big deal with Silverman was the first team to break 8 hours would win $100k. Apparently the lead team's runner went out too hard and blew up on the run, it was especially bitter because he had plenty of time to finish in under 8 hours but ended up missing it by 16 minutes! He's just a young guy from Kenya and we heard that he crossed the finish line in tears. I'm glad I didn't see that, it was devastating just to hear about it.

We were assigned to stand outside of the men's changing tent at T2 and direct the runners up a little hill and through an archway. Since our shift started at 4pm we were seeing people who had been racing for more than 8 hours and still had a marathon to finish. They were mostly incoherent, Erin was walking with some of them to get them on course. Kind of disturbing! By 5pm it was getting dark and the bike cut off time was fast approaching so these were the last people to get out on the course. It was pretty cold and most of the racers were in shorts and little tops, I don't know how they were going to finish. I think they were moving forward only on sheer will. Very tough people!

After volunteering we headed over to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner and drinks (and cheesecake) and then back to the hotel for more girl talk and bed. We were up again by 5am the next day to fly out so not a lot of rest but a very good time indeed. Can't wait for the next girls weekend because this one was a lot of fun!