Thursday, February 25, 2010

"I ran out of vases."

Last ngiht I was exhausted. I was going to go to bed before the olympics coverage was over for the night but while I had the tv on mute, they showed the women warming up on the ice. Well, I thought they were warming up...they were just practicing. So I stayed up until midnight thinking that they were coming on any minute. I think the figure skating is on tonight. Oh well...I'll have to catch them online another day since tonight Adam and I are celebrating our anniversary by going out to eat, then bowling. Adam hadn't come home by the time I crawled into bed. (He didn't get home until after 4 this morning...poor guy.)

This morning, I snoozed my alarm once and fell back asleep. Then Adam came upstairs and woke me up by tickling my face with a rose. While he had placed a vase of roses next to the alarm clock so I would see them, I was too bleary eyed both times I went over to the alarm and didn't notice them. He pointed them out to me before I went downstairs. They smelled good but since it was dark in the room, I didn't get to see them. I came back up with the camera after Adam had fallen asleep and snapped a picture so I could see them. The pink rose in front of the clock is the one he woke me up with. I guess I should have put it in the water. Whoops. I was too tired to think about that. He told me the vase was my old shell vase. He said "I ran out of vases" but it sounded to me like he said they ran out of vases.

Then, I walked down the stairs. Our bedroom has blackout curtains so Adam can sleep during the day but downstairs it was pretty light and I could see everything. On the table was 5 boquets of flowers. I think they were originally 4 boquets but Adam ran out of vases (now I uderstood that he said "I") so he had to improvise with a couple of Stanley thermoses which have small openings. So pretty!

Then, I walked into the bathroom to continue getting ready. On the counter was one more boquet! Wow, I haven't gotten that many flowers in all my life prior to this added together!

I don't know if Tucker would have eaten them or not but I didn't want to take any chances so he and Jasmine were left outside this morning.

It was really cold this the 20's. I walked outside and felt a little guilty about leaving the dogs outside even though they never seem to care what the temps are as long as it's dry which it is today. I almost slipped into my car but there was another dozen roses threaded through my steering wheel. So I ran upstairs and grabbed the scissors and a jar so I could get them in some water when I got to work. No picture of those roses since I was already running late. They're a little worse for wear since they were sitting in the freezing weather for a while but they're now in water on my desk at my office.

I think someone loves me. :o)

On an aside...did you know roses float? Adam also placed a rose with about 2 inches of stem on my purse. I'm guessing it was because it was too short to stay in the vase and he didn't really know what to do with it. It was already wilting from lack of water...probably hadn't gotten any water in the bag either since the end was completely dry. I filled a cup up with water and placed it on the water so it could drink some. It just floated in there. It would be really pretty to have some floating in a bowl on a table.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

9th anniversary

Today is our 9th anniversary. Adam had to work today so we didn't get to spend it together but tomorrow is his day off so we'll get to celebrate it then. Here's some pics of us through the years...we really haven't changed much yet.

When I was out for my original trip to Georgia, one of the things we did was go ice skating.

My favorite wedding picture...really it was during the break between the wedding and the reception.

Taken in 2003 on a trip to D.C. when Aaron and Katie got married.

I can't remember when this trip was but it was in the first half of our marriage. It was taken on a day trip to Southern Georgia...a place called Providence Canyon.

This was taken during the last General Conference during the 2 hour break.

Happy Anniversary, Adam. I love you!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Olympics dreams

Citius, Altius ,Fortius...that's the official Olympic slogan. It means Faster, Higher, Stronger (in Latin). It's everything that the Olympic pushing themselves beyond their limits to achieve more...more than their best, more than people thought was possible...athletes laying everything on the line to achieve their highest goals.

As a child, I remember being really excited that the olympics were on again. For two weeks, you would find me planted in front of the tv as much as possible. The athletes could do amazing things that I didn't know were even possible. And it almost didn't matter what the sport was, I was enthralled by the superhuman abilities. To this day, there are very few sports I won't watch during the olympics but there are a few I don't care about watching at all. I can't tell you most of the names of the athletes I watched or what country won what medals in any events but the feeling I got while watching them has always been with me. They always tell the stories of the underdogs and their rise to the top. These inspiring stories taught me to dream big because it is possible!

We had lots of pairs of roller skates growing up so we were out often skating. When I felt like I could have some privacy for a little while (long enough to practice some) I would dress up in my bathing suit, my tourqoise skirt and tights, with a scarf tied around my waist. I doubt it looked much like a real ice skating costume but it made me very happy to be wearing it. Then I would run downstairs to the basement and put on a pair of roller skates. I would do my routines down there in secrecy. I was so sure I was going to be a great figure skater someday if I could just get on the ice. Evetually, I finally got to go ice skating. I loved it every bit as much as I thought I would. When I 16, I took a beginner's class with a friend of mine from Australlia. The beginner's class was all 4-6 year olds, except us and we mastered the moves much more quickly than them so we had a lot of practice time and it was a little boring. But after I got married, I worked at a rink and I used a pair of rental skates every day. One day, Don (the owner), got in a shipment of new rental skates. I asked him how much they were and if I could buy a pair with his bulk discount. He made a call and next thing I know, I had a pair of very nice skates on the way. It was Christmas gift from him. He wanted me to have a good pair of skates because he wanted to teach me some moves. I hadn't asked him to teach me anything...only to do them so I could watch. After I got the skates, everyday, during the slow times he would go out with me and teach me something new or try to fix what I was doing wrong. That was the funnest job I have EVER had. I never became great at it but I was proud of what I was able to learn to do in my short time with him.

These pics were taken as Don was melting the ice (it was a portable rink) so it was very sloshy and I fell in the puddles many times but I had fun. This was the last time I saw Don.

Landing from either a toe loop or a salcow.

Preparing to spin.

In the middle of a spin.

I had another olympic dream. When I was 19 I started biking. I rode every waking moment...well, as much as I could anyway. I decided to try my hand at racing after a year or so. I participated in the Eureka Road Race in Eureka, Utah. My parents drove me out to the race. It was a 40 mile race. The first part of the race, I was out in the lead (which I found out later was a bad move). I felt amazing! after sometime, we came to this giant uphill (I was already lagging way in the back) and the sag car was behind me. I pushed so hard that I was SOOOO sure that the people in the car were going to see me throw up but that didn't happen. There was no way I was going to stop, not with a car following me. So I peadled on. I caught up to the youngest of the racers (13). At that point, Mom and Dad were in the car behind me acting as the sag vehicle. I was so tired and ready to stop but I didn't want them to see me stop so I kept on...and kept on and kept on. At the sprint line, the 13 year old took off at a sprint. I tried but it turns out, I was already going all out and no more speed could be had out of my tired legs. I crossed the finish lines after 2 hours. So I averaged 20 MPH for 2 hours making it the fastest ride of my life. It was exhausting, tiring, painful, gruleing and exhilirating. I couldn't wait to get better so I could do it again.

Later in the season, I met with a coach and spoke to him about my hope to someday make it to a Category one and maybe the Olympics. We rode together and he told me what he liked about what he saw and what needed work and that he felt that I had it in me to make it to a category 1...he didn't really mention the olympics but let's face it, I was already 20 and people are already ready for the olympics by then, or at least well on their way. So we started working together. At my next (and last) race, I was 1 of 3 woman racers in my category. This was a criterium race which means it goes in a circle over and over. It went around the outside loop of UVCC (or whatever it is now). The first couple of loops, I stayed in there with everyone else (all categories were out there together but not competeing against each other). Then, I started to fall behind. I kept my speed up as much as possible. I started to get a terrible stomach cramp but caught up to the older brother of the 13 year old I biked with in my first race. He gave me a Goo packet. It was horrible but was amazing for the stomach cramp. It went away almost instantly. One more lap around the college and I felt like I was going to explode. I made it to the top of the hill where my coach and all the spectators were. I pulled over next to the coach and told him that I had to quit. He told me "I won't coach anyone who quits." He told me I could do it. I could go slower, but don't quit. So I used my inhailer and got back out there. I put everything I had into it and each time I came back across where the crowd was, they were all clapping and yelling my name and it gave me the strength to go on. It was such a great feeling to have all those people pulling for me. In the end, I finished 2nd in my category. That was the last race of the season that year. And then I met Adam and moved out to Georgia where I pretty much quit biking.

Picture taken on my touring bike (not my racing bike) as I took off for a ride here in Georgia many years ago.

You can still find me planted in front of the tv for the two weeks of the Olympics every two years. Obviously, at 30 years old, I will never be in the olympics but I'll probably always have that big dream in the back of my mind...the one that makes me push myself to achieve more than I thought I could... Citius, Altius, Fortius!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day, Adam

Dear Adam,

A million times I could hear those words
And, still, I would marvel that they were meant for me.
A million times I could say those words
And know that each time, they'll have a new, stronger meaning.
A million times I could look into your eys
And, always, I'll find new worlds and depths to explore.
A million times I could hold your hand
And, still, each time we let go, my hand would miss yours.
A million times I could kiss your lips
And each time would bring my soul a new happiness and joy.

A million times I could hold you in my arms
And, always, I would know that that's exactly where I want to be.
A million times I could see you standing by my side
And each time I know that Heaven rejoices that we found each other.
A million times I could love you
And, forever, I would know that this is always right.
A million times I could miss you
And in all the workd there could not be such pain.
And million times I could hear these words
And, still, I would marvel that they were meant for me.

I love you.

I wrote that poem to you 9 years ago and I mean it just as much now as I did then. I am so grateful that you are my husband. You constantly teach me to be a better person. You take such good care of me, especially when I'm sick. And your selfless example is always there. I am always amazed at how often you go out of your way to help others when it may not benefit you at all. I don't say it nearly enough but you are a wonderful husband and I am a lucky lady. I'm sorry for my shortcomings as a wife....I will try to overcome them...just be patient. I love you forever.

Your wife,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

More deocrating

Staying home from work yesterday (and again today) allowed me to do a little decorating in the time I wasn't feeling like I would fall asleep at any moment but never did. I am actually feeling ok...just so tired from not getting the sleep I need. I had a spurt yesterday where I wasn't feeling too tired and was able to get up off the couch. So I went over to Barry and Lanette's. They have some frames they got from a friend who's framing shop went out of business. She said I could have some if I wanted any. I took a couple. I played around with different combinations and ended up wih a very large one and an oval one. The oval one is Lanette's favorite (and mine too) but I told her that if she ever wanted it back, she could have it back right away. I don't plan on putting anything in it so it will be really easy to get it back to her if she does want it back.

In the unpacking I found a box of shower curtains, valances, table toppers and a runner. I haven't gotten rid of any of them because I love them all even though I have no use for shower curtains in this house or any we've lived in since our furst house. So I figured that if I like them so much, then they should be out. But where to put them all?

Well, we return to the frames. I knew I wanted them on the cabinets and was toying with the idea of leaving them both blank frames. But an idea came to me. I decided that a crocheted tablecloth that I loved and used for a few years would go perfect in the large frame. It's a square tablecloth and my table is round so I was never really happy with how it worked with my table. I hot glued the tablecloth to the large frame. I was going to staple it but decided gluing would be easier. The oval frame, like I said, is being used empty and I really like how it turned out. It hardly took any time at all to boot...which was good because my energy level was/is extremally low.

closer up view of the frames and table cloth

The runner and two table toppers (draped over the two sides of the entertainment center are now sitting on top of the unit and some hydrengas are lying on top of that. I think I want a basket for the hydrengas to go into. I'll have to wait and see what baskets I still have when I come across that box. We'll see. I think I got rid of most of them.

Then, the last place I used the table toppers was on the small bookcase in the living room. It holds some books of course, but also holds a statue of the SLC Temple and a frame I got for Christmas. (I still need to get a picture in the frame.) The toppers need to be ironed since they were folded up for four years but that would take too much energy right now. The one on the bottom is actually for the night stand I made in middle school but since that's in the basment until the remodeling is done, I decided to go ahead and use it here so I wouldn't have to go dig it out later. So there you have it...the little bits of work I was able to accomplish in my tiredness.

And writing this post has wiped me out again so I am off to bed to hopefully sleep some more.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Above the kitchen cabinets

My kitchen has some decorations now. I've been colecting decorative stuff even though I wasn't using any of it the past 3 1/2 years. Since I've been collecting it, packing it and never seeing it again (until now) I'm pretty surprised by how well the things seem to go together. Everything was thrift or garage sale finds or on super clearance. The frame and picture was $80 at Joann's but I got it on clearance for $10. I didn't think I'd actually use it with the picture that came in it but I kind of like it with this stuff even if it is pink. I can't think of anything else that I will unpack that I'll want to add to this so I think it's done...

What do you think? Does it need something? Is there too much already?

I kind of feel like something tall needs to be added on this side...I don't know what though. I currently don't have anything I would want to use.

Those cob webs are on the outside...I can't reach them so you'll have to ignore them.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy birthtmonth Jasmine and Jack

We got Jasmine in April 2003. She was 2 months old. She had a lion's mane and was so docile but a pretty thing, almost as big as Bear full grown already. Poor Jasmine, really got gnawed on by Bear while he learned what his limits with her were. Over the years, I have really appreciated her calm attitude, especially in comparison with Bear and Jack. If she wants atenntion, she just wags her tail and looks at you with a happy look on her face. She doesn't like a lot of attention so when she wants it, I want to give it to her for as long as she'll let me. She can only take a couple of minutes worth before she'll get up and walk away. She's a great biking partner and I have enjoyed getting to know her abilities and smarts in a way I didn't know them before. This year she'll be 7 and she shows no signs of slowing down yet.

I got Jack in February of 2004. We don't know his exact age but when I foung him, the vet said he estimated him to be 1 year old and they're pretty good at getting the age from their teeth so I say he was born in February too. Though Jack has been hard to deal with sometimes, he has brought a lot of laughs into our home. He can be intense about certain the moment you finish eating and set your fork down on your plate, you had better share something or he'll start whining right away. Or, when he wants attention, he'll stand in front of you and bark, and bark, and bark until he gets the attention...but you have to work for it. You can't just reach out and pet him...he'll back away. He wants to be held. So you have to get up, pick him up and bring him to the couch where he likes to lay in the crook of my arm upside down and be loved on for a while. He loves to shake hands now. He's still pretty lazy but runs a good bit when we're out with the other dogs. Jack will also be 7.

Jack and Jasmine have been good play mates. Tug of war is the game of choice since Jack won't play with toys, really. But they also like to play fight and both Jack and Jasmine are pretty good about quitting when the other one wants to...unlike Tucker.

Happy birthmonth, guys!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Working with poly rope & making bikejor lines

I've been looking for a better alternative to the leashes I've been using for bikejoring. I found my alternative in hollow braid polyproplene rope. I found out how to do a simple loop splice and then I ran with it.

All you need is hollow rope and a fid (the black thing in the above pic). Lehigh company supplies one with each bag of rope.

Simply thread the end of the rope into the fid. You need to have at least 6 extra inches of rope for the the splice. Put the end of the rope into the fid and thread it through the rope and pull out the other side.

Then, thread the fid through your loop (which has been pulled down to the size you want it to be).

By the spot where you originally threaded the fid through the rope, put the fid down the center of the hollow rope.

Feed the fid & rope through the center of the hollow rope until all the extra rope had been pulled through. Snake the fid out and you've done a loop.

So, with this new piece of information, I built myself a bikejor line for two dogs. I still have to buy the bungee to insert but other than that, it's done. I got all the parts at Lowe's for $18. (That's the rope, 2 steel rings & 2 swiveling hooks.) I made sure each piece was rated for more weight than my dogs are. The various parts are rated for 170 - 300 lbs working load.

I'm not sure how long it is but it's longer than what we've been using so I'm happy about that. I've been nervous about running into the backside of one of the dogs.

This is my favorite splice of the whole line. I had to add a second line to allow for two dogs. I did my own splice that seems to be as strong as the other. I think it looks the most professional of all the splices.

Signs of growing old

Bear is 8 years old now. We got him in December of 2001 when he was 2 months old. He was the cutest puppy I have ever seen. Look at that CUTE face!!! His legs were short compared to his round body and he kind of had to waddle the first couple of weeks we had him. It didn't slow him down though! He was always a spitfire. He has always been full of mischeviousness and he does have a cute personality....unfortunately, it comes with a side of meanness when he feels it needs it.
Our first pic of Bear. Back then, he could fit on Adam's shoulder. I remember crying to Adam a couple weeks after getting him that I couldn't live for 15 years with that monster. He had already developed a mean streak that neither of us could control. He was super destructive and his little, sharp teeth made contact quite often.

Bear's first was a lot of work running to everyone and playing with wrapping paper, bows and ribbon. He spent the day at Barry and Lanette's with their dogs.

He could always sleep anywhere and in places that seem very uncomfortable to me. Shortly after this picture, Bear came down with kennel cough. He was miserable and couldn't breath so he just laid there day after day, coughing. It was so sad. It was then that I feel into his trap. He had me wrapped around his paw.

He got better and was back to his old ways. He has figured out that there's a treat in the jar and he was trying to figure out how to open the jar so he could help himself. The color on his face, ears and paws was growing out into his current color. I was sad to see it go. I really liked the coloring of his puppyhood. His ears are still a bit gray so he retained just a little of it just for me. ;o)

Any chance Bear has to get muddy, he takes it. I let him out one day and came out later to find him like this! He was so happy! (This is no ordinary mud, mind you...this is Georgia red clay that stains instantly. Can you say orange carpet??)He still likes to get muddy on occassion. In fact, I've had to give him a bath every few days recently since there was a puddle in the backyard. I finally dug a drainage ditch for it this weekend so it was drying out...but it's raining again so we'll see.

I've grown accustomed to living with long as he's not biting me or one of the other dogs, I can deal with his moods pretty effectively. He has settled down some as he's grown older. He still doesn't like kids but can stand to be in the same room with them if they give him plenty of space. He still hates dogs and tries to chase them all down so he might show them who the alpha dog truly is. He hates getting his fur trimmed but no longer feels the need to bite my hand off when I take the pile of fur away from him, then eat as much as he can before I collect it again. (A behavior I never understood.) He has basically resigned himself to the fact that Tucker is here to stay and that he is no longer the sole owner of the rawhides and tennis balls. He still loves to run as much as I can manage to let him.

This is Bear after a bike ride in Wanship and his fill of snow...he was a happy boy!

But things are starting to change. He very rarely wants to play with his basketball these days (though some of that has to do with the awful yard). He doesn't really like spending a whole lot of time outside either. He almost always heads up to bed when I leave for work rather than jumping to go outside. He can only chase the tennis balls I toss for a few minutes before he has to lay down to rest. But the saddest change of all came just a few weeks after I decided Bear would break the world record for fastest bike ride with a dog. His rear legs started shaking when he really exerts himself. He is fine with my running speed but when we got out on the bike and he reaches 15-16 MPH, by the time we make it up to the top of the subdivision, his legs are shaking so badly. We rest until they stop and we finish our ride. I don't know if he realizes that they're shaking because he ran hard. He doesn't seem to care...he just keeps running fast.

Through all the ways he has hurt me, or Adam, or the other dogs, or the bad attitude he's shown to family and visitors I really do love him and I am very sad to have been reminded that his time is's still sometime off, I'm sure. But it's never an easy thing to be reminded of how short the time I will have with him (and my other dogs) is. I just hope that the shake remains a minor thing and that Bear will be able to run long intop his life and do the one thing that makes him happy.

Bear believes he can conquer, he's contemplating the best way to pull me and my bike up that hill on one of our last rides in Wanship.

I've decided against trying to break the record with Bear. It's just too much for him. But we do go out for rides still...I just have to make sure he doesn't go as fast as he'd like to and that he rests more often.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bikejoring this weekend

I took the dogs out this weekend. These guys went out for about 4 miles, Bear went out for 3 1/2 miles (too long) and Jack went for a shortish walk. I took them to a future park. I was hoping that there would be a trail already. It turns out that there was a short trail that led to a current park. They had two of these cows with different designs.

Tucker was scared to death of Chatamoochee (that's the cow's name) it took a couple minutes for him to get this close and, as you can see, he refused to put his back to her lest she should do a sneak attack! I decided not to check out the other cow.
I love all the little churches around here. They're so cute and they make you feel like you're in a small town. This one is in historic downtown Suwanee.

Suwanee Creek Greenway...the same trail we were on last weekend. No dogs to chase this time though.

Water break on the boardwalk above the beaver pond. The pond is mostly dry right now...soggy but no deep water.

Tucker was tuckered! Notice the ball between his elbow and his face. He slept like a baby all the way home. Jasmine didn't sleep much. She was enjoying the wind in her face from the open windows.

Dog treats

Of my dogs, Jasmine and Jack are more picky. Jack has to be petted before he'll eat milk bones. Jasmine will but only after realizing nothing better is coming her way. I used to make treats for them a lot and both Jasmine and Jack have always scarfed them down immediately (of course Bear does that with every treat he's given). Tucker isn't too picky, he just doesn't like sweet stuff, especially if it's chocolatey which he doesn't have to worry about since he never gets any since it makes him sick. I made up some cornbread bater and halved a squash to bake at the same time. While I was waiting for the oven to heat up, I threw together a batch of dog treats that baked at the same time. The dogs all liked them though the smell was a little weird...maybe too much garlic. But the dogs think they're just fine the way they are.

Honey Oat Dog Treats

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1 Place first 5 ingredients in medium mixing bowl.blend with a whisk.

2 Add honey, water and eggs.

3 Mix.dough will be sticky --

4 Sprinkle half of the cornmeal over a sheet of waxed dough on waxed paper and pat it out to 1/4" thickness.

5 As you pat, sprinkle more cornmeal over the dough.and on your hands to make it easier --

6 cut with 2 1/2" cookie cutter or cut into rectangles.

7 Place on sprayed cookie sheet --

8 Bake at 325* for 30 minutes.40 minutes for a little harder treat.

I used sugar instead of honey since honey is more expensive and I just patted them straight into the pan on a layer of cornmeal. I didn't bother to cut them into any shapes. I just cut them into pieces after they had cooled then put them in an airtight container.
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