Thursday, March 29, 2007

On the road again

We're heading east, a 7 hour drive from western Oregon to eastern Washington, in a cargo van. Sound like fun? Yeah! We're stopping off in Kennewick, WA to see QRGirl and then to Spokane to deliver furniture to my sister Boo Boo. Yes, we still call her Boo Boo. It's also Boo Boo's birthday weekend so I'm sure her new brother-in-law will treat her like a princess. Bill and Boo Boo have a love/hate relationship that I am not always comfortable with... I think it's because they are both the youngest. I'm working on some graphics to embroider on sweatshirts and I pieced together this tattoo look. As long as Bill doesn't hate it I think this would make a cute "logo" for a sweatshirt. Alright then, I'll try to blog on Saturday otherwise it will be Sunday.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Get it together woman!

Yikes! We're headed east this weekend to take our old furniture to my sister in Spokane, WA so I will miss the hours I need to get ready for the Beaver Freezer on 4/7. The week after the Freezer I am heading down to California for the Slowtwitch Triathlon Training Camp for a reunion with the girls from last year. It looks like several new girls will be there this year too. I am getting sweatshirts for the crew AND I will be adding sweatshirts to my web store (available for custom embroidery) and plan to sell them at the local triathlons I attend this year. We chose a brand that Bill and I both like and they are reasonably priced so I am happy with our decision to add sweatshirts to the inventory (I will try to add to web store next week).

We are going to try to hook up with QRGirl (from tri camp and the trip to Vegas) on Friday when we drive through her town in Washington State. Bill hasn't met her yet and we should have Marshall with us so he can give her extra kisses. The dog will give the kisses, not Bill. Ahem.

Hey! I figured out something I can eat for dessert that doesn't have a ton of sugar in it. Banana nut bran muffins! Yummy! I made some last night, 12 muffins had only 1/2 cup of brown sugar. The recipe has cinnamon and whole wheat flour and bran so it is very healthy and filling. I even put some flax seed in there so I should be the healthiest person on the planet right now. I had been going to bed hungry lately because I couldn't find anything to eat after dinner so I imagine I will be making many variations on the bran muffin. I'm living the life here! weeeee haw! I am still down 5 pounds since quitting sugar so we'll see what the scale says with the bran in my gut. I might weight 180 now. ;)

Monday, March 26, 2007

New look and a sale!

I had to shake off that winter look and get something more spring like on my web site. I wish I had more time to spend with web design but I have to be reasonable and not go overboard. Really I need more photos but that requires me to put on make up and do my hair in something other than a pony tail. Not today! It's raining. Love the women of Oregon, why do your hair when it's going to rain on it anyway? Exactly! Sign me up for that women's group.

Enough rambling! Thanks for reading and putting up with my frequent need to change things.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Nice and conflicted

The rain didn't come as expected so we spent the day with the door open and worked in the back yard. I was tempted to get on my bike today but it was a little windy... I still haven't decided how I feel about getting back on a bike. Once I'm pregnant I'm not riding so I can't decide if I should get back into it now that the weather is nice. A lot of things are like that right now, it adds to the pressure so I am trying to be laid back about it. I went to the book store today for low sugar recipes, unfortunately a lot of them use fake sugar which I don't want to get into either so, today I wasn't feeling optimistic about this sugar free thing. Bill is going to have to help me, I actually threatened to eat a doughnut today. I'll do it! (no I won't)

Last weekend the people behind us were outside with their toddler in their back yard and I heard them calling our cat. "Cassie!" the toddler yelled. What the? That cat is all about getting attention. Who knows what she does when we aren't paying attention to her. Here she is helping with pruning:

Little man after a morning walk and swim in the river:

The yard is starting to come together again after the winter. There are some tulips coming in and other things I don't know the name of (yet) are coming up. I'm still learning! This year I knew it was time to trim the roses because they trimmed them at the rose garden in our local park. I should probably get a gardening book. Anyway, looking at our yard makes me want to marry Bill again right next to that trellis.

Allergies anyone?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dogs dogs dogs

Marshall seems to think that dog sitting Milo is totally awesome, as you can see in this pic. We took the dogs out this morning before the rain came (it still hasn't) and they had no problem exercising eachother. Of course that let Bill off the hook another day from running with the dog and since he's planning to run a 50k in May... don't get me started on that. For some reason he thinks it's cute to do an endurance race without training for it.

At the store today I was incredibly tempted to bust open a can of pink frosting and stick my hand in it, it looked so yummy I think I drooled. The urge to reach for it was intense. I weighed myself before swim class on Friday and I was 5 pounds lighter than last week. That doesn't happen too often to me so I am drinking a lot of water and will weigh again next week. Losing a bunch of weight would not be helpful for me in trying to get PG! I have lost my appetite a bit but I've been eating nuts as a snack so I thought that was keeping me going. I tell ya, I can't win here.

I need to get ready to sell items at the first triathlon of the season, the Beaver Freezer sprint triathlon here at OSU in 2 weeks. It's a great event and I typically do well enough with sales to justify getting up at 5am on a Saturday. Today I purchased supplies to make race belts--I sold out last year. Let's hope this year is another sell out, web sales have been slow this week and I have a trip to California for the girl's triathlon camp to get ready for $. I am thinking about sweat shirts for a new product to offer for customization but I don't know about investing in it right now!?! Decisions! I am working on a spring look for, should be released by Monday if all goes well.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Uh-oh! Who is this guy?

There's one doggy too many in this photo! And it's a puppy! What did I do? And where's Bill?

Ok ok, we're just dog sitting the hippie's new puppy. This dog has to be one of the luckiest dogs on the planet, he was a stray out running the streets when he ran by the most dog friendly house in town. They took him in (and to the vet) and now he lives the life of a king, until he showed up at our house. Marshall dog was chasing puppy Milo all over the house last night causing a major ruckus. I let Milo sleep on the bed with me last night and the little cat kept jumping on the bed teasing him, I really didn't get much sleep at all.

We are having a great spring, the daffodils and tulips are blooming but the rain is coming back for the weekend and Bill is on spring break so I don't know what we'll do this weekend now that we have a new puppy to tow around. Bill was out having a beer last night with his MBA buddies, I think that's about as much spring break he'll get. He has to do our taxes (new house+newly married+home based business=tax nightmare) and we are probably going to drive to Spokane to deliver our old furniture to my sister. Sounds like fun for Bill! Taxes and in-laws wooo ho!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Stay away from powders

I think I've got a handle on this sugar thing now. Baked goods, beverages, and anything made from a powder is full of sugar. Here are some examples I looked up on the USDA web site:

-1 can Coke 39g sugar or 8 teaspoons of sugar
-1 cup of orange juice 20g or 4 teaspoons
-1 grande white chocolate mocha 55g or 11 tsp

The biggest thing to avoid is anything made from a powder, jello has 86g of sugar or 6 tablespoons! Apple cider 80g, hot cocoa 72g, etc.

Quitting daily chocolate and dessert every night has been hard. I made a strawberry rhubarb crumble using honey and rolled oats earlier this week and that has been keeping me going.

I think I am really starting to enjoy the benefits of cutting back and I am feeling better (hopefully not all in my mind). No more sugar crashes, I have more energy now throughout the day. I found an herbal tea with licorice root in it and whenever I get a craving I sip that and all is well again. Still loving that lemon flavored water. mmmm! I did cheat yesterday and had a small piece of carrot cake at a party but I took off the frosting on top. It was so good. Don't think about that now!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

She might love dogs more than me

Our friend Carrie Tasman is a local artist who we really enjoy and all of the animal and art lovers out there, you should check out her web site:

Carrie's art is colorful and inspired by animals, nature, and home. She is one of the rare artists whose work I look at and feel joy! She does a lot of commissions of people's animals and someday...! I would love to commission her to do our funny farm.

She is also selling cards of some her art, go check it out, they are really reasonably priced:
CTasman's Gallery at Zazzle

Alright, I better stop thinking about art until Bill is done with school which isn't that far away now that it's almost spring break! Oh Carrie... have you sold that ocean piece you did of Australia yet!?!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Big foot and the teeth baring incident

Bill was able to attend Monday's swim workout for the first time this term because his regular class time was changed for finals. It was a good thing he could attend because the coach is breaking up the swim meet over 3 days and yesterday was 200 free and 200 breast stroke. I told Bill he should swim in the same heat as one of the collegiate swimmer girls that had recently joined our class so he could be pushed to race hard. I pointed out one of the girls he hadn't met yet and as we're standing there talking about her I'm thinking, wow, she has a great body, she must be 5'9" and she's got those great swimmer's shoulders... meanwhile Bill says, "Man! Look at those feet! They're huge! No wonder she can swim fast, she's got flippers for feet." I tried to hide my amusement but it was pretty funny that I'm the one thinking the girl looks great and Bill is freaking out about her big feet.

So the next time I catch Bill looking at a woman I'm going to say "Yikes! Check out her feet, they're hideous!"

Last week a friend stayed over at our house while her husband was out of town and their kitchen was being redone. She gave us their old kitchen cabinets and Bill installed them in our garage for extra storage. I enjoyed having her company at the house because Bill is driving me crazy with March Madness, constantly updating me on basketball scores (I don't care) and telling me the back story on the teams (I DON'T CARE) and then yelling and getting all red faced when the team in his bracket loses (grrrrrrr). I was in the kitchen making dinner while Bill yelled at the TV and our friend tried to read when I asked Bill to help with with something and he turned his body toward me and GLARED AT ME from the couch. I looked up from the sink to see the death stare and I literally bared my teeth at him and scowled (like our dog would do). He continued to glare and I continued to scowl until I realized what we were doing and that someone else was witnessing it.

Now this type of nonverbal communication might seem odd to the outsider but you have to remember that we live with a funny farm. It makes perfect sense to us to behave like animals, we are outnumbered by them and must assimilate. It won't be long before I join Marshall in the doggy scrum at the park and start chewing rawhides in the evening. Hey, there's probably no sugar in rawhide!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sugar free and losing my mind

(photo of clematis blooming on our deck) Alright, I knew this would be hard. My brain turned to mush for a few weeks and I got headaches when I went off coffee but the thing about quitting sugar is that I used to eat it ALL THE TIME. Cereal in the morning (sugar), granola bar for a snack (sugar), Coke or Gatorade post swim (SUGAR), Nutella with pretzels snack (sugar), Chocolate whenever I want (sugar), and then dessert every night (sugar). After about three days without sugar I started getting headaches so I tried to eat 1/2 cup of ice cream and it was like I was eating pure sugar and the taste was terrible so I took 2 pain relievers and went to bed.

We went grocery shopping on Sunday for sugar free foods and I think I was going through withdrawals in the cereal aisle. We left with fruit and vegetables and whole wheat bread. The only sugar free drinks I have figured out are water and tea so yesterday I drank water with lemon all day long and pretended it was Totally Awesome. Ohhhh this cold water is so gooood with LEMON in it!

(photo of disc golf with dogs at our local park) Our weekend was pretty good except my sugar rages. Friday night we hosted a BBQ after work in our summer-like weather (upper 60s) for about 12 people and really enjoyed seeing everyone kicking back in the backyard. Saturday I went for a hike with my buddy K while Bill ran 10 miles on the trails (50k trail run is coming up too fast for him). Then in the afternoon we went to the park and played disc golf with the hippies. Sunday we bought some perennials to dress up the deck and then I wandered over to the park and hooked up with friends (more disc golf) while Bill crammed for finals this week.

Finals week is also swim meet time and this term we are racing 200s in every stroke. Or, they are racing 200s, I get to warm up and then go swim in the kiddie pool. Coach wouldn't let me race due to my special injuries. It's fine, it's fine. I need to maintain moderate exercise and I don't know if I could handle 200 fly without the promise of a Coke afterward. I'm going to go cry now.

Friday, March 16, 2007


I neglected my blog this week and all I have to say for myself was that I was busy and a little moody so I elected to keep my big trap shut. Probably wise. No big worries, I was assisting with an office move this week that left me fatigued. At the same time I was dealing with our now 0-4 record for trying to get pregnant.

The following is Too Much Information (TMI) so stop reading if you don't want to know....

I have been charting my basal body temperature (you see a temp spike after you ovulate so charting is very revealing) and the good news is that I am seeing a more regular cycle, last year I was not (by a long shot) having regular cycles but decreasing exercise, gaining weight, and quitting coffee has helped quite a bit! So I will officially pat myself on the back for making those difficult changes and getting results (pat).

The bad news is that my cycle is still just slightly askew (my lutuel phase is a little short for those who know about these things) so I am upping the ante and cutting way back on sugar and eating more whole foods per a recommended fertility diet. Quitting coffee was painful but I think quitting sugar will be WAY worse! One book I'm reading said you can have a sugary snack after a full meal and a full glass of water so I will induldge on small snacks a few times a week. The goal is to eat lots of little meals to maintain insulin levels. My sister is diabetic so I will think of her when I feel weak.

My plan is to try this for a few months and then if I'm not pregnant I will storm the Dr's office and demand tests. They wanted me to wait a year but they can stick that recommendation in their...

Regarding my emotions, my attitude is not at all bad, but it is an emotional roller coaster every month to try and then not succeed. I told Bill that I am used to throwing myself into things and getting results so this will be a challenge for me to grow my patience. It is also hard to hear the "we got pregnant the first time we tried!" stories. There are couples who try for years and go through so much and the randomness of nature can be cruel.

I do find that I am getting a new perspective on life by going through this process. I am less interested in people that I perceive to have unhealthy attitudes and I am more protective of myself in general. I used to be an open person and tended to seek out seek people who challenged me, but I am closing ranks now and find I am enjoying the company of people who are supportive and thoughtful. I think it's a natural instinct and I find it fascinating.

Have a great weekend! We have some nice weather and spring is here so I will try to post some photos and a crazy story tomorrow.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Retro race report: Tribabes vs. Grumpy Old Men Triathlon 2005

I took most of 2005 off from racing triathlons so I could get back on track from the bulging disc and other injuries incurred racing the Ironman. I kept myself in decent shape but eventually I couldn't handle not racing anymore so I coerced some friends into putting on our own triathlon at a local pool.

We rented out a high school pool for an hour and picked a 12 mile bike course and a 3.2 mile run. The BS started immediately because we decided to set a handicap and everyone was required to submit their estimated finish time. We were trying to make it a sprint finish so the pressure was on to be accurate with your estimated time. Old Griz and I had a grudge match going back to the Beaver Freezer sprint triathlon where I beat him by 30 seconds. This was his chance for revenge but I wasn't going down easy.

The pool is small and WAY TOO WARM for hard swimming. Of course old Griz loved it but I thought I was going to puke when I finished the 500 yard swim. Griz beat me by at least a minute so it was up to me to catch him. He's a strong biker so I knew it could come down to the run. Out on the bike, I recalled the suffering I had been missing from racing.

The run was a slightly hilly affair and I took it out as hard as I could but the lack of racing was not helping. The only way to get into triathlon racing shape is to race and I wasn't in shape for it. I didn't see Griz until the finish line. The old man had prevailed. Oh the agony! I am waiting for him to get soft so I can challenge him to a triathlon again. Revenge will be mine! Next time I will need to let more air out of Griz's tires.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


We returned the Olympus and got a Sony Cybershot, I think the photo quality is much better. Bill and I are decompressing from his busy week and I need to get back outside, but for now, here are my pretty kitties enjoying the lovely spring weather (highs in the 70s today!)

Who planted this flower?

I'll nap on this chair if no one else wants to

El Diablo Strikes!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Ruff on digital cameras

Mornings are tough for the dog, he has to get up out of bed to eat his dog food before the little cat gets to it. The best days are when someone sleeps in and lets Marshall dog in bed with them (and it wasn't me who let this one happen!). Anyway, this photo is blurry and I haven't been impressed with the quality of photos from the new Olympus Stylus 710 we just bought. We chose this camera for it's "all weather" case but we aren't getting good results from it. A friend said the ultra small cameras don't create as good of quality of pics so we're taking this one back and will likely try another Sony. This was my 3rd digital camera in 4 years but I use them every day and for my business so I have to have one.

Tonight I will be attending part of Bill's presentation of business plan and get to see him give a "45 second elevator pitch" in front of the entire MBA class and their families. No pressure. I think he will be relieved when the next 24 hours are done.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I made a bun warmer for my BFF from high school Liisa who just moved to Vermont and was freezing her a** off (not any more!) I also sent her 8 hats made from different Polartec fabrics since she said it's 4 degrees F there. I can't even imagine what that feels like. Cold!

Speaking of surviving cold weather, I ordered Navy Seals BUDS Class 234, a documentary about SEALS training. I notice there are some similairities with Ironman training, there is a place in some people's minds that crosses over and they are able to accept pain and learn to enjoy it. Bill's brother told him about another show called Man vs. Wild where this crazy dude puts himself in insane situations and gets himself out.

Bill loves this stuff so I'm starting to get worried that he's going to put us in a survival situation just to see if we are mentally tough. (I'm not! Bill likes to joke when we are in the back country that there is a Starbuck's just around the big rock up ahead). Seriously, if I don't blog on a Monday, please send out the rescue team!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Free shipping on all bipedal cats

Sunday was a great day here in the Willamette Valley, the temps were soaring into the mid 50s and it wasn't raining! Let's go crazy! Bill went out for a bike ride with his triathlon buddies in the morning and then it was back to school for him. He's getting ready for the big business plan competition this week where he presents the biofuel plan to a group of venture capitalists (no pressure!). I had the day to myself so I decided to make it exciting and bought new loppers for pruning (woo hoo!)

I was a little fatigued from skiing on Sat so I decided 5 hours of overhead pruning and a mandatory 3.5 mile dog walk at the park would make it all better. It was fun seeing all of the locals at the park, some kids were learning to ride bikes, dogs were running wild, and hippies were chilling on the disc golf course drinking home brew out of jars. PEACE!

Baby cat Cassie thinks that pruning is play time and all the noise I make taking down limbs is just a ploy to get her to attack me. Isn't that precious! I almost pruned her tail! She spent the afternoon showing the dog how to walk on two legs, she's got talent let me tell ya. Would anyone out there like to adopt her? No cost to you and shipping is free!

You can call me Hal

The sun came out this weekend so the good people of Oregon went into summer mode, even though we're only 4 days into March. We were torn between staying in the valley with the sun or heading up to the mountains to cross country ski. We decided to head up since the snow could be gone before we know it (it's summer, right?) Bill was not able to purchase skate skis locally so we used our gift certificate to buy new winter jackets for 1/2 price.

My favorite thing about skiing at this location (Ray Benson snow park) is that Marshall dog can come with us and enjoy the snow too. We didn't make it up to the mountains until 3:30 (oops!) so we skied hard in the heavy snow and made it back to the car a few hours later just as the sun set. As we drove back down to the valley, the moon rose and gave us a full show. Gorgeous!

It was nice to have Bill's somewhat undivided attention for a day, I even got a new nickname out of the deal: HAL (hair, arms and legs). This is what it looks like when Hal skis women's super G:

Oops! Hal got off course and crashed. Poor Hal, if only her legs were an inch shorter she might not be so clumsy. It's ok, I'm clumsy and I know it so I'm really only a danger to myself. If you click on the photo it will zoom in and you can see the brilliant look on my face. Enough about me, I better get back to posting photos of kitty cats.

Friday, March 02, 2007

She wore a pickle necklace

Last week a study came out that pregnant women should eat fish for the health of their babies despite mercury exposure and now this week we have results of a fertility study that found "women who ate two or more portions of low-fat dairy foods a day increased their risk of ovulation-related infertility by 85%." Here is the article:

Ice Cream and Whole-Fat Milk Smooth the Way to Conception
BOSTON, Feb. 28 -- Eating rich ice cream and drinking whole-fat milk, and using heavy cream for coffee, may help reward women shooting for pregnancy, researchers here reported.

Next week there could be a study showing that women who hang a pickle around their necks and sprinkle crumbled up Saltines around their beds increase fertility by 58%. Sounds great! I am living the life, I get ice cream for breakfast, fish for lunch and can end my day by standing on my head for 20 minutes while eating an egg salad sandwich.

Do you think I should take my pickle necklace off for swim class today?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Squawking hen

I am doing something sporting with my husband this weekend, period. I didn't get married so I could hang out with a flock of hens day-in-and-day-out so he's just going to have to make time for me, end of story.

Not that I don't appreciate my chickadees!

Bill and I need to take a trip to the mountains for skiing or to go hiking at the coast, it's his choice, but he's going with me. I'll drive while he reads, whatever it takes, I just need to get back to the way things used to be, if only for a day.

The local triathlon schedule is starting to come out (starts in April and lasts through Sept. here) and I have to decide which events I want to take my road show to. Neither Bill nor I will be racing early this year, but I think he'll be back by the end of the season. I would like to expand my products (hats, bags, race belts, and towels) so if you have any ideas please share with me!