Thursday, September 29, 2011

Make it official

I need to get this out on the internet. People need to read it, then hold me accountable for what I say.

Despite what my husband says, I am going to remodel my kitchen. Soon. I am going to set aside my LMS and flower money to pay for a new floor and a new countertop. I will save my pennies for a new dishwasher, new stove, and new refrigerator. I will follow my plan of moving the pantry and thereby creating a new linen closet too.

I will also purchase an new attic vent fan, then "hire" my dad to install the fan. He comes cheap, I just have to bake for him.

Perhaps this means I won't be able to go to Greenville or Colorado in 2012. That makes me very sad, but those events are for just a few days, I have to look at my crappy kitchen every day.

You all heard me say it. Now, let's go price flooring!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend recap

I still have about 6 hours of sleep to catch up on, I'm starting to fade, but I figured I'd better get this done before I forget any fun details.

  On Saturday, I spent the day at the USGP Planet Bike Cup cyclocross race. The weather was fair, sun and clouds, a few sprinkles. I was in such a rush to get out the door, I forgot my cowbell! I arrived early so I could check out the expo area. There were food samples, things to buy, and bike eye candy. I got a free bowl of oatmeal courtesy of Bob's Red Mill (no maple syrup to put on it though) and I was encouraged to "train with grain." I purchased a wonderful special edition Stanley insulated coffee mug that fits in my bike's water bottle cage. Then I was "on duty" as a course crossing guard for most of the afternoon, including both the women's and men's pro races, so I wasn't able to watch the fun parts of the course. I did have a nice front row spot, so I did cheer my favorites. As soon as the awards were presented, I motored home where Karl was packing up to go to his race, Twelve Hours of Pitch Black Singletrack. Due to an unfortunates series of events, Karl would be racing the 6 hour solo category, and I would be the support.

After a quick dinner and change of clothes (I added a couple of layers), I hopped back in to the already-packed  car and followed Karl to the bustling metropolis of Rockdale, WI, population 214. We set up our headquarters, Karl got to racing, and I got to knitting (I had to keep my fingers warm somehow!). The reschedule of the race kind of weeded out the fun crowd, so it was all serious racers and Karl. Check point VictorBravoCharlie was still set up in the woods, and Karl happily took a bacon hand up ("It was really good bacon! Peppered and cooked over a campfire!" he said), a Twinkie, and a PBR. The "crowd" went wild because apparently he was the only one to take anything. A near miss with a deer and a bunny, but Karl got 5 laps in 6 hours - good enough for 2nd place! And I won a raffle prize! The few photos can be seen here.

We packed up, headed home, and crawled in to bed a 2:45 am. I had hoped to sleep really late, but the cat had other plans. He woke me up at 7 am. Karl was awake too, so we went out for breakfast. I did lounge around for a little while before I had to work my 2nd shift at the cyclocross race.

The weather was not as agreeable on Sunday. It ranged from sun and clouds to thunder and lightning and hail! Needless to say, it was muddy and I was wet. I really need to invest in better rainwear. It didn't hamper the crowds though. Quite a few people enjoying the true breakfast (or lunch) of champions - beer and oatmeal! My shift finished just before the men's pro race, so I slid down (literally) to a good spot at the bottom of the hill. I got a spot right on the barriers. And wouldn't you know, I had the "emergency back-up cowbell" but I had forgotten my camera! The mud along there was a good 4 inches deep, and riders were having a heck of a time running up the hill. They were concentrating on their footing and kept missing the dollar hand-ups! After the third lap, you could barely recognize them.

It's common in cyclocross to have pressure washers available for the riders to blast the mud off their bikes. But never before have I witnessed the riders pressure washing each other! You really have to trust someone to do that for you!

As soon as the mens race finished, I hopped in the car and headed straight to rehearsal with Ladies Must Swing. I warned everyone that I was running on 4 hours of sleep, and that I probably had mud in my hair. My fingers seemed to be working at a different speed than my brain, so I made a lot of mistakes. Those sharp accidentals started looking a lot like natural accidentals, so I took some pre-emptive Ibuprofen, got through it, and finally headed home, where Katrina greeted me, and we both went straight to bed.

I was happy to see the rain this morning, because I knew I didn't have to bike to Katrina's school and ride along with her PE class from 9-10. That's been pushed back to Thursday, and hopefully, it will be dry.

And now, I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Gonna be a long one

 Well, it looks like this weekend is going to be a long haul with multiple scheduled events.

Saturday -
  A while back I volunteered to work at a bike race as a course crossing guard. I'm looking forward to it because 1) I'm a bike geek, and love to watch racing, 2) there will be pro racers there, and 3) it's fun. So, my Saturday shift is 1:30pm - 5pm. Somewhere in there I have to find time to stalk meet the pro racers, maybe get some photos (if Karl comes along)
  Because of the rain we had over Labor Day weekend, Karl's overnight mountain bike race was this weekend. His teammate already had another race on his calendar, so Karl is going solo this time. All that paper-mache for nothing! Since he's riding alone, I definitely have to go along to help out, so it's straight from the cyclocross race to Pitch Black Singletrack. I'm thankful that he downgraded to the 6 hour race (instead of the 12 hour), so at least we'll get SOME sleep.

Sunday -
  Shift #2 at the cyclocross race 1pm - 4pm, grab a bite to eat somewhere, then off to LMS rehearsal from 6pm - 8pm. I hope I'm not too stinky - we rehearse in a small room.

Through all of this, Karl is responsible for taking Katrina to a Star Wars thing at the library, then getting her to my parent's house as well as picking her up on sunday.

But of course, no sleeping in on Monday - I have to get Katrina up for school, then ride to the school where I'll be biking in the neighborhood with her PE class. Only then, can I come home and nap!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Woosh! (that's the sound of time flying by)

Wow, has it really been 10 days since my last post? Time has flown by.

Two major news events - one I'm not sure I should mention, since the recipient of "the gift" occasionally reads my blog, and I don't want her to know what it is. But suffice to say, it was heartbreaking to discover the error, but I've moved on. The other is that I finally have some Ladies Must Swing video to share! Call it a media blitz, because I've already posted it on FB and Twitter, but I am pretty proud of the work we do. This video was taken during a private party - a 95th birthday! The birthday boy hired us, and he was adorable! Karl was the videographer, and he apologized for not being more still, but he said he couldn't help but dance along!
The first tune is one of my favorites - Big Noise From Winnetka, the second is a classic.

I have a new obsession. It's still knitting, but instead of socks, it's teeny-tiny bunnies. Like less-than-one-inch tiny. I'm waiting for the pattern book to come with more patterns (hot dogs, armadillos, gnomes, etc) so right now it's just bunnies. They're nice to work on at work, because they only take about half an hour from start to finish, and they're not complicated. I still have quite a bit of christmas knitting to do, so can't get too involved. Bunnies will be good one the chirstmas rush starts at work.

It looks to be a relaxing day today - Katrina has a friend coming over later to watch a movie, we're going to the farm to pick up some beef, I'll do some knitting, maybe bake some bread.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

the score

So now the score is tied, but I am still winning.
Raccoons - 2  (two raccoons trapped & released)
Possums - 2  (two possums trapped and released)
Becky - 4  (four less critters to eat my tomatoes)

But I think my Mom wants her trap back, as last night some raccoons were on the deck looking at her through the window. I think she forgot that she lives in the middle of the woods, because this surprised her! She thinks she's going to trap all the coons in Jefferson county.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

OK after all

Well, despite the Saturday rain and race cancellation, the weekend turned out to be eventful anyway. Early Sunday morning, I woke up to "There's something in the trap!" and indeed there was. Mrs. Rita Raccoon, mother of Rodney. So, we took her for a little ride in the Vue.

We took her about 10 miles from home, hopefully she won't find her way back.
I think she'll be happy there - there's a lake. She'll make coon-friends. She seemed excited.
After a celebratory stop at the Bakery (we were going right by!), we relaxed for a while, enjoying the quiet (Katrina was still at Grandma's house). We got some groceries, went for a bike ride, and after I picked up Katrina, had a fabulous rack of baby back ribs with home-made Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce. YUM!

Yesterday, we ventured just south of our little town to the Rock River Thresheree - a fair of sorts, celebrating antique farm equipment and methods. I bought some cornmeal and buckwheat flour, both ground using steam power. There was a tractor parade. I'm pretty sure I was born about 50 years too late, and that I'm a farm girl at heart.

The huge steam tractors are my favorite, even if they are a little scary
Mom and dad met us there, they drove the Model A and displayed it in the car show. We had a fun day, even if we were covered in soot by the end of the day.

So it's back to the routine today. It's warmed up enough so I can put on some shorts and go for a run. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wet, wet, wet

Mother Nature, you've foiled the plans once again. After all the hard work and planning, the race has been postponed due to rain. The trails were pretty nasty already this morning, with no sunshine to dry them out. There is a tentative date set, but it runs up against a cyclocross race where I've already volunteered to help as course crossing guard. I'm not giving up my front row seat at a USGP race! Whatever.

So, now we're left with no kid, a crock-pot full of vegetable soup (yum!), and a chilly, rainy evening. Hmmm... Whatever shall we do?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

And now, I present to you...

The raccoon balloon in it's native habitat

I think I missed my calling. My favorite part? The feet.