Saturday, September 18, 2010

For a Seven Year Old?

Number One grand child turns seven next week and her party will be when I am at the Specialty in Richland. So yesterday we celebrated early. When asked what she wants there will be two answers "Littlest Pet Shop" and "Horses." She has a gazillion LPS things, and with Plum getting more and more mobile I just didn't want to be a part of the little pieces that went through the diaper, or the "Mom, she's bugging me!" club. So I put on my thinking hat. This is a very creative story telling kid. She is very crafty, but I am not. Not going to try to purchase anything of that variety as her Mom can take care of it. So,after an "aha" moment, I headed out in search of the perfect gift. At one time a person could purchase a little word processor. They are no longer available. There is no way I am springing for a computer that likely would crash...Did you know they still make, and sell, typewriters? Yep. I got the kid a typewriter. Crazy? Perhaps, but everyone I told has done the split second hesitation followed by "what a great idea."

This kid knows my style. I wrapped up a ream of paper and attached a card to it and gave that to her. She tried to be excited. She tried to be amused. She saw right through me. She hadn't a clue what a typewriter was when she did open the big box. However, when we plugged it in and inserted a sheet of paper she was gone. She spent hours typing. We had to literally turn the thing off to get her to go to bed. She was in the middle of a story about a dog, a cat, a bird, and something else walking along loving each other and their world. Each night she goes to bed with a "good dream start." That is just a little story that has an unstated happy ending. She gets to think about the happy ending as she falls to sleep. It is a great exercise in spontaneous story telling, but I must say I am a bit tired of princesses skipping through the woods on their way to Granny's house. Last night she went to bed without a story from me or her Mom. She had her own story brewing, fresh from the typewriter. By bedtime she knew where every letter on the keyboard was, so while she still pecked at the keys with one finger, she was pretty quick. It was fun to see her so enthralled. On the way home, however, I had that moment when I said to myself "what the heck was I thinking?"

I'll put pictures out in a bit. They are still on the camera.

Oh, and yes, of course, I did indeed buy the replacement insurance...


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Things I've learned on my summer vacation

Vacation? Well, not so much!

1. I do enjoy a challenge.

2. I also do enjoy Cardigan Welsh Corgis...perhaps that goes with the first one, eh?

3. You meet the nicest people while under pressure.

4. My parents still have my back...and whisper encouragement when I need it

5. There really are not enough hours in a day, nor days in a week.

6. My kids, grandkids, and their spouses are really going to be OK.

7. Family is everything, but they are not necessarily all blood related.

8. Technology is truly my friend.

And today's aha moment?
9. You cannot stop the dog's rolling tennis ball with a running blade.

Nor a tomato.


I think we need a song of the day

"We are the Champions"-Queen

I've paid my dues -
Time after time -
I've done my sentence
But committed no crime -
And bad mistakes
I've made a few
I've had my share of sand kicked in my face -
But I've come through

We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end -
We are the champions -
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions - of the world -

I've taken my bows
And my curtain calls -
You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it
I thank you all -

But it's been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise -
I consider it a challenge before the whole human race -
And I ain't gonna lose -

We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end -
We are the champions -
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions - of the world -

yeah, I know, but that is what is in my head right now, sorry. Back to your regularly scheduled programs...for me that means bathing dogs after vacuuming, after dusting, after dinner.

Monday, September 13, 2010


It was a crazy weekend.

Friday afternoon/evening was spent helping the Mary Meyers Tri group get people ready for the race on Saturday. I got my numbers painted on as well as my bag of goodies and arranged for help getting out of the water and into my leg. However, it was Friday, so then spent an hour and a half sitting in line for the ferry. When I got home it was playtime for the doggies and bedtime for me. Yeah, that really doesn't work too well. Luckily the volunteers were force fed veggie sub sandwiches, so I did have something to eat before my obligatory "hush, it's bedtime"s.

Up bright and early Saturday as I hadn't even packed the night before. The bike needed tire pressure checked, cables lubed, chain cleaned and lubed. I needed some nerve tonic, but that was not to be. Instead I loaded my bucket of stuff and myself in the truck and headed for the ferry. This race was just mine. Not for the kids, or the grandkids. Just me. I went about getting my transition area set up. Got in to the zone, so to speak. I went down to the water's edge and arranged my volunteers and then made the snap decision to do the swim without my wetsuit. The water was in the 60s somewhere, but I honestly didn't feel it as the adreneline kicked in. All went well in the swim portion. I still had a few issues getting back to the leg, but it is a work in progress. Two wonderful volunteers waded in and became my support/crutches. The bike portion was interesting. Because of construction the route had been changed and two plus miles were added. The bike is my achilles heal. (An interesting analogy as my original injury was to my left achilles tendon!) Anyway, no son to coach, but no son to hold back, I headed out on the bike. I wore my watch this time and set a few little goals, time wise. I really wanted to be back before the awards ceremony was in full swing. I soon found myself cat and mousing with another woman. As she passed me the look of joy was a kick. "You are the first person I have ever passed" said she. Gee, I think I was happy to give her that wee bit of pleasure, but it did sting a bit. Soon enough she did ME the favor as I soon overtook her. The hills were tough, but for the most part I stayed on the bike, until the second half of the second lap. That was when I realized that somewhere along the route I had lost the cap to the suction valve that holds my leg secure. Actually I just knew that I had lost the suction, I didn't know until later why that was. If I got off the bike I had to hold my leg on as I walked. At least on the bike the pedal held it on. No more wimping out, I guess! Unfortunately with each turn of the pedal my residual limb was smacking and shearing inside the socket of my prosthesis. That is where the importance of the volunteers came in. That is also where the importance of my fellow competitors comes in. All kept me going. Just keep peddling, peddling, peddling. Transition to the run was smooth. Sunglasses and running leg on, helmet off. Number on. My leg was wasted. The long side. I did very little running. My time was going to suck. I decided that if I couldn't run then I sure as heck was going to "power" walk. Until I came upon my biker friend. She was struggling. How the heck she got in front of me is beyond me...I slowed down and we walked the last quarter mile together. She kept trying to run but it was obvious that she was spent. I suggested she wait until the last few yards and run the finish line. She took off and pitched toward the ground. After gathering her, and my nerves, I told her to just walk it and I would wait until she was over to go. She did, I did, and that was that. Medallion was placed and I went back to get out of the running blade and into my trusty everything leg. That was when I discovered the missing valve. Bummer. It was Saturday, I had to be up at the crack of dawn to go volunteer at the Kitsap Tri-Turtle-Tri. My back was already objecting to the two inch height difference in the running blade. It is just not made to walk in, and I had done more than enough during the race. No fixie until Monday. Note made: get spare parts and keep in the bike repair bag. I gimped down to the beach to watch the kids tri. There is nothing cuter than an eight year old boy, goggles on, board shorts hanging below his knees, number painted on his stick thin arm, running out of the lake and into the transition area. They were so darn cute. I wanted my little friend Gabe there. He could have taken them all. The short bike route, with a couple riding with training wheels, was followed by a sprint around the park and thru the finish line. Now THAT'S what it is all about!!

Home I went to lick my wounds. I had a huge bruise on the distal end of my tibia and a blister forming next to it. I knew that once the leg was off I would not be able to get it back on. So I took the dogs out for a quick game of fetch, cleaned up the results of two days of marrow bones, took some ibuprofen for my aching back, and head to bed for a nap.

When I got out of bed I checked to see if I could rob Mary to pay Paul. Steal the suction valve from the running blade and put it on the walking leg. No can do. sigh. Instead I dug out a leg that I was going to donate. It is several legs ago, but I just hadn't remembered to take it in. Now it will stay. It was roomy enough to stuff my swollen stump. By now my running blade had developed a weird chirp with each step, so that valve had developed a leak as well. Hmmmm. There must be something better, me thinks. At any rate, it was decided that I would be doing little the rest of the day, and after a steak dinner, nothing but 10 ounces of beef steak, really, only steak, I fell sound asleep.

Sunday I got to the park at 6:20 and put on my "Crew" shirt. It was the hardest job I have ever done, bar none. I watched the bikes. Some of the bikes on the "VIP" rack cost more than my truck! They were amazing. The athletes were pretty amazing too. Darn!! Wearing that volunteer shirt allowed me to get up close and personal with them. It also allowed me to get even closer as they left and I insisted on checking bike number against the numbers painted on their legs, which were carefully covered for warmth, by the big time athletes. "Excuse me, sir, but I need to pull your pants leg up and check your number. Oh, two layers? Perhaps it would be easier to pull them down..." It's a tough job, but we sure wouldn't want anyone walking out with someone else's bike, now would we? Sorry, I got ahead of myself. As each person left the bike area, during the race, then returned, I worked the cowbell. I took all of my frustration at not being out there on the clapper of that bell. The elite athletes were coming in at just after an hour. Total time. There was still a person in the water. It was incredible. They were fine tuned machines. We were betting on who would be first out, then first back. Super kid Dane Ballou won the race with a great time (1:11:22) that even made him happy. (Marty Krafcik and his amazing super bike finished at 1:13:09.) An amazing kid, and incredible athlete. He has trained hard and deserved the win. The next racer wasn't even close. For the next three hours racers trickled in. An aid car came and went. We checked bikes out and people went home. Finally word came down that the last person was a mile from the finish. I could not go home. She was a Tri-Babe. The tents were coming down and soon everything but the finish line was bundled up. She was coming! She had an entourage of volunteers with her. She was not going to quit. As she entered the park I began to cry. Our eyes met. She was my swim buddy. She gave me a hug and whispered to me that I inspired her. Darn!! I asked if I could walk her to the finish line. It was just around the corner. We walked arm in arm until twenty feet to the line. I stepped aside and went around. Once she was through(4:06:40) I told her to let it go. The tears. She did. Her family gathered her up. The pride was palpable. I hope she does another. I hope she trains with me next year. As far as I was concerned the most important people that day were the two that crossed the line first and last. They both will continue to carry me.

So my season is now over officially. I will continue to train and will focus on losing the weight that I gained a couple of years ago when I went out of remission. Yeah, I am backwards and gain weight. I am, however, hooked and will also spend the winter trying hard to "become one with the bike." They say hate is so very close to love, right? Perhaps I will learn to love that darn bike.

In an hour I can call for an appointment to get my leg fixed.

What a weekend!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"If I have nothing nice to say..."

AKC Code of Sportsmanship
PREFACE: The sport of purebred dog competitive events
dates prior to 1884, the year of AKC’s birth. Shared
values of those involved in the sport include principles of
sportsmanship. They are practiced in all sectors of our sport:
conformation, performance and companion. Many believe
that these principles of sportsmanship are the prime reason
why our sport has thrived for over one hundred years.
With the belief that it is useful to periodically articulate
the fundamentals of our sport, this code is presented.
• Sportsmen respect the history, traditions and integrity
of the sport of purebred dogs.
• Sportsmen commit themselves to values of fair play,
honesty, courtesy, and vigorous competition, as well as
winning and losing with grace.
• Sportsmen refuse to compromise their commitment and
obligation to the sport of purebred dogs by injecting
personal advantage or consideration into their decisions
or behavior.
• The sportsman judge judges only on the merits of the dogs
and considers no other factors.
• The sportsman judge or exhibitor accepts constructive
• The sportsman exhibitor declines to enter or exhibit under
a judge where it might reasonably appear that the judge’s
placements could be based on something other than the
merits of the dogs.
• The sportsman exhibitor refuses to compromise the
impartiality of a judge.
• The sportsman respects the AKC bylaws, rules, regulations
and policies governing the sport of purebred dogs.
• Sportsmen find that vigorous competition and civility are
not inconsistent and are able to appreciate the merit of
their competition and the effort of competitors.
• Sportsmen welcome, encourage and support newcomers to
the sport.
• Sportsmen will deal fairly with all those who trade with
• Sportsmen are willing to share honest and open
appraisals of both the strengths and weaknesses of
their breeding stock.
• Sportsmen spurn any opportunity to take personal
advantage of positions offered or bestowed upon them.
• Sportsmen always consider as paramount the
welfare of their dog.
• Sportsmen refuse to embarrass the sport, the American
Kennel Club, or themselves while taking part in the sport.

(Got it Dad)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tri again

on Saturday. This is basically a replay of the very first one that I did with my son. He will be biking for MS that day. This is a Super Sprint, so easily done by any one of you reading this. 1/4 mile swim, ten or so mile bike, and 1.5 mile run. it makes me smile when I think back to how freaked I was in June when I did this race. Now I know I can do it, so just enjoy "the ride." Wonderful people are involved in this sport. I cannot say enough about all the support I have received.

On Sunday is the Kitsap Tri-Babe Tri. This is put on by the group that I belong to and train with. I will volunteer at the bike transition area on it. I am sufficiently healed from the Danskin and this is about the same distance but with MUCH tougher terrain. I could probably do it, but would risk my health a bit too much to feel comfortable.

This was taken following the Danskin...the heat and emotions got me; that and the five blisters on the stump and one on the foot. I really didn't want to move. (Thanks, dear, for that wonderful picture. I will get you later.)

So, you wonder why the heck I want to double the number next summer? Yep, I wonder the same thing. I think it is a bit like banging your head on a brick wall; it just feels so darn good when you stop!!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Whining, snarling, panting

and begging. Yep, that would be me talking to the dogs these days. Another week or two and all should be back as it was. This house has not been so hormone laden in at least ten years.

Two triathlons this coming weekend. Volunteering on Sunday will be difficult, but I'm not so crazy as to think I can do it...