Pole Pedal Paddle 2011 (and a little announcement)

21 05 2011

For most people, preparing for a multi-sport relay race would include some physical training.  For us, it’s more about arranging kegs, buying food, setting up wall tents, collecting fuel for the bonfire, heating up the barbeque, turning our driveway into a twenty-car parking lot, and generally preparing for the pre and post party.
This year, race day began cool and wet.
But racers donned their gear and prepared to face the challenges of the day.  Jason didn’t feel that my tshirt and jeans lived up to PPP expectations; I felt that my giant belly made up for lack of day-glo.  I have to admit, though, the teams were lookin’ good.
It wasn’t quite as wet out of the river as in it, but it seemed like it might get close as we waited to start the canoe leg of the race.  Eventually, the rain stopped long enough to snap a few pics.  This was the Cinnamon Bear’s first PPP!  Cheers!
After downhill skiing, cross country skiing, biking, running, and kayaking, teams sent their sprinters across the finish line.
And to my (immense) surprise, Team Stench Goose Flight took third in our age group.  Baby’s first PPP is a win!  This was Jazmine’s first race as well – she snowboarded and sprinted – and Colin biked in spite of the stomach flu.  Dustin and Shawn must have run and cross country skied like champs, because we were already in the lead when my mom and I began the paddling section of the race.
Whether you win or lose, a fish taco is in order after a long night and a long day… with a long night left to go…  Despite the rain, we followed PPP tradition and headed out for margaritas and wraps for a snack before hitting the bbq back home.
And to top off the afternoon…
Chuck helped us with a little announcement we’ve been waiting for.  He ripped open an envelope from the radiology clinic…

Dog’s Life

22 03 2011

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You really can’t complain if you’re Charlie…

From the Road

18 06 2010

Day 1 of my summer vacation ended with the commencement of my first trip of the summer.  Jason’s crew is training in the college town in which he lived until last September.  His parents live nearby.  While I had big plans to sleep late, lay on the couch and read, and finish up a variety of domestic maintenance tasks, Jason lured me west with talk of a river float.  The river didn’t cooperate, but I headed over the mountain anyway.  Because I do like floating rivers, but I’m rather fond of Jason, too.

The drive from high desert to mountain pass to valley wasn’t nearly as dramatic as usual, since this year’s record-breaking rainfall has damaged the desert’s arid reputation.  And the rain continued all along my drive.  It didn’t make for great driving conditions, but you have to just drink up all that green.

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Summer Vacation: Day 1

17 06 2010

My first day of summer vacation was not exactly photo-inspiring.  It was a cold, drizzly day that didn’t feel like summer at all.  It did, however, feel like vacation.  I have been looking forward to the commencement of my first real summer vacation for nearly three years now, all through two summers of grad school.  It would have been nice to start it off with 80 degree, sunny weather, but I’ll take sleeping in until 9 in any weather.

I made it out to the new house/construction site by 11, and walked the property in a break between showers.

The flowers spoke of sunshine, even if the clouds told a different story.

I went back to my mom’s house to recover from my excursion to the paint store and the new house.  After a hearty meal and some quiet reading time, I eventually managed to leave the house again, this time to walk Charlie.  Naturally, we ended up in a heavy shower.  Charlie cared not one bit.

The sunglasses are pure optimism; the hood, required.  I wore my jeans and hoodie in deference to the weather, but determinedly wore my Chaco sandals – we leave for Costa Rica in just a couple of weeks, and need to be sandal-ready by then.  Obviously, I could use a pedicure, too.

That’s what walking in the mud gets you.

The highlight of my wanderings was this brilliant flower:

It was just growing along the curbside, and was so brilliant it hurt to look at it.  Notice the raindrops all around.  The sky was the same color as the sidewalk, so we were just surrounded by gray.  Then here is this little red flower, just humming with vibrancy.  Amazing.

Anyway, my to-do list included writing thank you notes for my bridal shower gifts, emailing several people who emailed me weeks ago, cleaning up my wedding invite list, starting a decent summer fitness routine, finishing a book that’s overdue at the library, and catching up on several years of inadequate sleep.

Didn’t get any of that done, but at least I took care of the most important chore of my life:

Can’t wait for Day 2.

Spring, Actually

5 06 2010

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It was spring for a morning, and Charlie made the most of it.  As my mom and I sipped iced tea, Charlie curled up beneath some bushes and tried to relax during a much-needed break from the rain.  The sunshine didn’t last, so I’m glad I was able to capture the moment.

I’m afraid I committed some camera abuse, as this slide show represents less than half of the photos I took…

Ode to a Late Spring

26 05 2010

“Meanwhile, it is raining.”

– Jose Saramago, The Stone Raft

The Worst Pet Owner in the World

25 05 2010

Yes, the title refers to me.  Charlie spent part of the weekend running around our 3 acres, but he hasn’t had a proper walk in days.  So today I took him for a walk.  With his day-old stitched neck.  In the rain.  He was wearing a pinch collar.  In my defense, the pinch collar was the only leash option that didn’t come anywhere near his stitches, I put his water-resistant safety vest on him, and he didn’t seem to mind the adventure at all.

In the end, I think I suffered the most.  While trying to keep anything from touching his stitched neck, I clipped the leash to his collar.  To the pinch collar.  To his vest.  I readjusted the vest 20 times in an attempt to get it to protect the stitches from the rain.  I took off the collar.  I unclipped the vest.  I walked with my arm straight above his head to keep the clip on the leash from touching his neck.

Charlie, meanwhile, went about his business of sniffing and peeing.  He probably enjoyed his walk more than usual, since I didn’t dare yank on his leash to drag him away from the smells.

Finally, when it began raining harder, I took a “short cut” home.  This last leg of the trip involved a frantic scramble through bushes that kept coming within one centimeter of Charlie’s wound.

So, we made it.  Cleaned up the blood, dried his fur, fed him dinner, and took note of the lesson I really hope I learned today.

Charlie, sporting a Stoneworks t-shirt to protect the stitches

Yet another effort to protect his wound from his scratching

Among the efforts to protect his stitches that were not documented in this post are the wife-beater tank top and the blaze orange safety vest.  None have been successful at anything but humiliating the poor dog.

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