Thursday, July 30, 2009

...just the girls

This weekend four of us--two sisters and two sisters-in-law--will be getting together. We're going to wander through antique stores, art galleries, fruit stands, and maybe even a winery or two. We're going to eat good food, catch up on life's happenings, and celebrate each other. Life is good. :-)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

...quinoa

My sister Arlene has turned me on to a little-known food (at least in podunk-ville). It's called quinoa. I had her pick some up for me in the bulk foods at Winco, but it's probably available at the local health food store as well. I looked online for some recipes but they were all too involved so I did my own thing. Here's the end result that I've been enjoying the last couple of days--quinoa, black beans, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and garlic. I put a little lime juice and Tapatio chile on it for zing. Yum.

...more STP photos, as promised

Day 1--waiting for our wave to depart the University of Washington in Seattle

Leaving Seattle--Xavier in red and blue. His first bike ride over 25 miles. Maybe 50 miles total seat time before the ride. Oh to be young!


Lunch break--day 1 Instead of standing in long lines for a PBJ we opted to go to a diner so we could sit down, drink lots of ice water, and use their facilities. Not the kind of place I would normally go to--too many anti-immigrant and "speak English by gawd" types of posters around the place, but the food was good and service was quick.
Water break, day 1
This unicyclist made it the entire 200 miles. Abs of steel?

These guys rode the whole way on fat-tired bikes. One of them had a case of Fat Tire beer strapped to the back, so I think they were part of a promotional scheme. This bike path is where I fell last year. I was hypervigilant around the posts!

Halfway point--Centralia, Washington. Another 7 miles to go before we get to our motel in Chehalis. A loooong 7 miles.


Day 2--Leaving the motel in Chehalis. A dreary, cool morning. Four of us advertised for Scott's Cycle, but we never took our jackets off all day, so it was all for naught.


Wating for the downpour to ease up...
Coming into Portland. A man leaned out his apartment window and hollered down, "I thought cyclists waited for no one?" We all shared a laugh. But, I have to admit, there were too many rude and inconsiderate cyclists on this ride--they give the rest of us a bad name.
We did it! (Ivan the fast beat us all in, which is why he's already in street clothes. Xavier looks a little tuckered out!)
Ahhh...chocolate milk...now let me get out of these wet shoes and clothes!

Friday, July 24, 2009

...test one, two

A happy dog on her way to the mountains....

(Just doing a test to see if I can figure out the expanding photo feature that so many others have on their blogs!)
Yup! It worked! Thanks, LN

...a train named Joe

Normally, I would not be happy about being awakened in the early morning hours by a headache, but today it turned out to be a good thing. I got up and took something, then made a big pot of strong coffee (always good for iced coffee later!). Instead of going back to bed I sat down at the computer and continued messing with my photos (not as cumbersome as a box of pictures, but still tedious). And it turns out that the timing was right to chat with Nate in Alaska--he's working 6 hours on, 6 off, around the clock, and just happened to be puttering on the computer at the same time. So good to catch up with him. Then the ol' dog woke up and wanted out (it was early when I got up) and as I stepped outside with her I realized what a beautiful morning it was. So back upstairs to say goodbye for now to Nate and to get my biking clothes on. I was out the door a little after 6:00. Ahhh...the first road bike ride since STP--it felt so good. (I took my Mt bike camping, rode it on the Boise greenbelt, and took a meandering ride to downtown Burns, but it just isn't the same as riding my road bike.) I was enjoying the fresh air and quiet (well except for the creaking left pedal--a visit to the LBS is in order) when I approached the RR tracks. Just then a train whistle blew--wooWOO! I was instantly transported back in time--and this line popped into my head: Here is a train, his name is Joe. Listen, hear his whistle blow? Here is the shiny, silvery track that carries Joe to town and back. That's from a book Nate loved to have read to him over and over again when he was a very small boy. One thought led to another and soon lines from favorite books were running through my head: Way up north in the land of ice and snow stands a cozy little house. Beside the front door stands a neat little sign--S. Claus--says the sign, because that is who lives there--Santa Claus. (Nate "read" this book at the age of 3.)
And Katie's favorites--Woe betide ye Molly Whuppie, if ye e'er come back again! And Brown Bear Brown Bear, what do you see? (I bought this one for her 4th birthday and loved to hear her read it.)
So I'm glad a headache woke me up. See what I would have missed if I'd gone back to bed?

Things I did happen to avoid on the ride:
--two dogs who thought chasing me would be a fun start to their day
--goat heads (puncture vines are creeping onto the roadway)
--irrigation spray (it can't be just plain ol' water the way the insects hover over the puddles)
--farm trucks in a hurry (it's harvest time)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

...home

Yes, I am home again. I left soon after the STP, so it feels like I've been away forever! (My petunias certainly would agree.) I've been downloading and organizing photos most of the day and am tired of sitting at the computer so this will be short. Here are a couple of videos from my ramblings:

Jadyn and her Gamma in Boise
video


Two of my nieces Bea and Tate in Burns
video

I am tired of doing this: It's good to be home.

Monday, July 13, 2009

...STP '09

Sunny and hot on Saturday, rain, hail, thunder, lightning, and a head wind on Sunday...but no spills, no flats (for me), and a fun, fun time. Stay tuned for more pictures...Rick, Gonzo, Xavier, Kathie, Scott, Cathy, Dave, Ivan, and Sue

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

...baiku...or is it a cheer?



STP are you
ready for me? 'Cause I am
ready for you! Rah!!


(Boom shakalaka)


The Seattle to Portland ride is this weekend, and a carload of us are going. It's going to be a lot of fun. Riding with 10,000 people is such a kick. If it's anything like last year there will be people and bikes of all shapes and sizes. The weather on Saturday is supposed to be hot and sunny, and Sunday's forecast is for much cooler temperatures and clouds. That sounds pretty good--I just hope it doesn't rain on us.
I have promised my body and bike that we'll stay upright this year--no running into posts like last year! (Finishing with an eggplant arm and bent handlebars was no fun.)

Friday, July 3, 2009

...fun in the sun

My friend Kathryn and I have a tradition--every summer we make a play date to go to the water park. We wear ourselves out climbing up to the slides, play in the water and talk, talk, talk.

This was the view from our towels--lots of kiddos of all ages having fun in the sun!


(As we were leaving my friend Jacque texted: "Want to meet for dinner?" So I got to catch up with two good friends on the same day. What a gift!)

...a little taste of heaven


(My neighbor Maria brought these back from the Willamette Valley--these are not your ordinary grocery store strawberries! Yum.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

...insomnia

Fun facts:

--a train (or two or three) comes through town between 2:30 and 3:00 a.m.
--the engineer of said train blows the whistle the entire way through town
--cat fights always sound like they're happening right outside the window at 3:30 a.m. (maybe they are)
--an old dog who groans and snores must sleep right next to my bed, ignoring the comfy dog bed in the other room
--the sounds of heavy machinery at work wasn't imagined--the parking lot of the new grocery store a few blocks away is now paved