Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Monday Night Excitement!!

It's a normal Monday night. We have agility class until 730, get home around 800. Check e-mail, read a book and off to bed by 930. That's actually kind of late for me!

So imagine my surprise when Bill wakes me up in a loud stern voice saying, "Your wood piles on fire"!! Get up NOW!!!! It's now 1030 and I was actually getting some REM sleep!! RATS!! FOILED!!

I'm still not understanding what he was saying. So I start asking questions, which makes Sal even more agitated. Your burn pile, it's on fire! HOW? I don't know, but you need to get up. Why? Cause it's HUGE and people are coming. WHAT? People are here? Yes, get up!!! So I look out the bedroom window and sure enough, there's a FIRE!! WOW!! It's huge!! Tail lights too, yep, someone is here! CRAP!!

So, now I'm totally awake! I just have on a T-shirt (sorry for the visual) and toss on my coveralls, hat, boots, gloves and out the door I run!! It was in record time....I should have been a firefighter!! All I was missing was the pole! G

Now I'm running out to the wood pile. Wait, it's NOT OUR WOOD PILE!! It's at Jesse's house! UGH!! So I holler at Bill (who's not even out of the house yet), that it's at Jesse's. It's about 1/4 of a mile from us as the "crow flies".

We watch as more and more flashing lights appear, nothing like pitch blackness to show off the red, white and blue flashers!! The fire is HUGE!!! We can't tell at first if it's the house or the barn. Fortunately, no one has lived there in over 8 months and there's not any livestock, but yikes!! The fire is impressive and it's amazing how how high it is.

I run back to the house and grab my little flip video recorder. Cars are now coming out of the wood work, circling around the gravel roads like a bunch of buzzards. That part was rather comical. Nothing like excitement in the country on a Monday night!! I'm not sure if they saw the flames or everyone in the county has a scanner? It's hard to tell.

Alan, the neighbor drives down to get a closer look. He farms Jesse's land. He returns a bit later and the fire's height as really dropped. I can only imagine how hot it was. We can tell now it's not the house! TG! So we assume it must be the barn. Alan leaves again with his hold tractor with a bucket attachment. Hum......

It's not near as impressive 15 minutes later and I return to the house to go back to bed. The following morning Bill drives over to see what burned. Turns out it wasn't the barn either. It was the corn crib that's on our side of the road. Alan when up to pull some of his implements away from the heat.

Thankfully, no one was hurt. A this time they are suspecting arson. What a waste!!!



video

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Red Neck Triathlon

A couple weeks ago Carrie and I were coming home from Wentzville, MO and made a stop in Mt. Pleasant, IA. We were to pick up a bike trainer from my sister. One of her Triathlon friend's agreed to let me use it for the winter to get in shape for the June Triathlon. Being the best sister I have, (she's the only sister than I have), she brought along some nice information on getting "fit" for your first triathlon.

This provided Carrie with some reading material for the rest of the ride home.

Triathlon - .5K Swim/15 mile bike ride/5K run

First she reviewed the work out list. For weeks 1-4- requires a time commitment of 7.25/8.5/9/5 hrs of training each week. Hum, NOT HAPPENING!!! I'll give you 2! G Luckily, it says, if you miss a work out, don't worry about it. Don't double up!!! Not to worry there! I'm pretty sure I'll be missing more than one! LOL

The best news was that Monday was an "OFF" day!!! Since we were driving home Sunday, this gave me another day to get "ready". G

Then came "most helpful" part. I'm not sure I'll be able to type this all out, but I'll try. By the way, I'm counting this post as "training time". Below is a list of all the things I'll need to bring.

It's a Triathlon Checklist!

Clothing
wetsuit, zoot shirt, speedo tank, tri brief, bike sunglasses, heart monitor, race packet info

Bike
water bottles, 2 large, 2 small. car air compressor, accurate tire gauge, 2 spare air tubes, one spare tire, helmet, bike shoes, bike tools, hand tire pump, nozzle for tire stems, chain lube and cleaner, cleaning rags, electric tape, auto inflater and co2, vaseline (don't ask), 2 sided tape.

Running
warm up shoes, race flats, quick ties, jogging pants, sweatshirt, head band, plastic tub.

Swim
goggles untinted, goggles tinted, anti-fog cleanser, swim cap, magic marker (Sharpie), towels, Aurodry.

Food and Supplies (FINALLY TO THE GOOD STUFF!!!)
Oatmeal, raisins, honey, Accelerade, Endurox, power dreams (WHAT??), Gu, Hammer Gel, cliff bars or power bars, plastic spoons, disposable bowls, Band-aids, Ibuprofen (the large bottle), or not so good!

Personal

Razors, shaving cream, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, contacts, floss, toothbrush, toothpaste, spray gel, lawn chairs, body pillow, ice chest, vitamins, rubber bands, lawn chairs, bungee cords (not for MARTHA!!), binoculars and finally and most importantly....OXYGEN!! You think I'm kidding?? It's on the list!! LOL (Apparently they think I care when I look like when I'm done!)

By the time Carrie was done reading all this, we decided I'd need to use the truck and trailer to get there!

GET REAL!!! First off, I am NOT taking any bike tools!! Let's be perfectly clear, if I get a FLAT, I am FINISHED!! As far as the food goes, Gu!! That stuff's GROSS looking!

Something that started off as fun is now getting expensive. As we discussed the situation it became more clear that I've borrow a lot of stuff so far, so ....why not make a new rule? Everything for this triathlon has to be something I either already own, is free or borrowed! PERFECT!!

So here's the list I have so far. Bike (from the flood - free), wetsuit (mine - not sure I'll use it yet), biking shorts (Dawn's), Zoot shirt (Dawn's), helmet (borrowed from a gal at work), chain lube (nope, used motor oil), Bike Trainer (borrowed), shoes (own - one pair does ALL!!!), Heart Monitor - not required, if my heart stops you'll be the second to know!

I think I'll be okay. The only thing I'll need to pay for is my swimming. That's something I can't do without. It's $3 - $3.25 each time, depending on where I go and I'm aiming for once a week. I might try to go 2 times a week as it gets closer.

Speaking of swimming, I went to the city pool last weekend and there was so much chlorine that it really burned my eyes. I didn't really notice until half way through my swim. My eyes watered all the way home and I had to take a 2 hour nap just to get them to feel better. UGH! Dawn told me that I needed to get goggles and I told her I couldn't and why. I was going to ask a gal at work if her son (he's on the swim team) had any he could lend me. Of course I kept forgetting. It was just that one time and that pool. I could tell she thought I was just being stubborn. It wasn't the money, it was the point of the thing!

Well, back to the trip. When we met in Mt. Pleasant, Dawn was going to bring me her old dehydrator to make yams for the dogs. She'd forgotten it and I told her "no big deal", I'll get it next time. Well, guess what I got in the mail today? Yep, the dehydrator, with a few extras!!

Inside the box was a TREASURE of Triathlon stuff, along with 2 birthday cards. Not nice cards, G, like you should be surprised. Since my birthday isn't until July, I guess I'm getting it early!!! LOL

First thing I notice was a pair of goggles. Yep, SPEEDO!!! Brand name, I think they are tinted, so I'm screwed if I need the untinted variety!! They were on clearance for $2.86!! Regularly $10!! My sister is a BARGAIN shopper!! They also sent me an orange swim cap, an aqua belt with a little bottle attached and a neoprene pouch!! Also included, were Daphne's pedal clips. What the heck is a pedal clip? Well, you clip and strap your shoes into it so they don't come off the pedals. I'm not sure what happens if you need to put your foot down on the ground to balance your bike. Well, I'm pretty sure I know what happens and it AIN'T PURDY!!! LOL

The last thing that was included appeared to be present for packing, but I think it actually has another use. I was mentioning that the bike seat is really hard and uncomfortable. What did she send? BATTING!! You know, fabric batting!! I guess I'm suppose to wrap it around the seat and "soften" it up a bit. G

So, I'm set! Of course any time you get new toys you want to try them out right away!!!

THANKS Dawn, Chris, Daphne and Vaughn!! You're the best!!!



Friday, February 6, 2009

My Nephew - Vaughn

I'm sure you'll hear a LOT more stories in the future about my nephew Vaughn. He is a very "colorful" guy and has the greatest sense of Humor!! He will be 8 years old in April and is in the second grade.

I received this e-mail from my sister, Dawn, earlier this week. It was rather funny, so I thought I'd share. A little background on Vaughn. He received a report card a few weeks ago with the following comments.

Strengths - Vaughn gets along well with others and has a lot of friends. He has a good sense of humor and likes to have fun.

Areas of Improvement - Vaughn needs to be sure that he's using his sense of humor at appropriate times.

So, as you and see, he's fun little guy. Although I must admit, he's NOT so LITTLE anymore!

Daphne is my 12 year old Niece. She's a great kid! She is thoughtful and NEVER does anything wrong. Not that she doesn't have a sense of humor! She loves practical jokes, but she's more aware of what's appropriate and what's not. Unlike and brother....and....possibly her Aunt. G

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E-mail from Dawn -

Remember the report card?

Ok, we were at church on Sunday. It was a moment of silence and Vaughn lets one fly. It was a low rumble that vibrated the pew. He thought he could giggle, until he got the look from me. I’m just glad there wasn’t an unbearable odor! OMG!!! I think Daphne could have died. She was sitting next to a cute older boy.

Later in the day I went to talk to him about the proper thing to do. Lord help, me I couldn’t keep a straight face. I was laughing too hard and pinching my hand - HARD - and that wasn’t making it stop. He was laughing hysterically by now. However, thank goodness the Mother in me came to life. I began to fake cry, which was easy because of the laughter it wasn’t much of a stretch. They kind of sound the same. At first he looked confused. Then after a brief moment of reflection, he became very sorry and gave me a hug and apologized. LOL!!!

Daphne came up to me later and congratulated me on my fine performance. LOL!!!

------------------------

Now, growing up Catholic, let's face it, it's hard to sit through those long masses!! I'll have to remember to tell Vaughn what my bothers and I use to do with communion. I'm guessing I was 8, so my brothers would have been 9 and 11. Dawn was only 3, so didn't get communion. Anyway, for those of you that don't know - for communion you walk up and the priest gives you a little wafer. Truth be told, they are nasty little flat rice cakes with NO FLAVOR what so ever. Anyway, this occurs toward the end of mass. So you have about 5 minutes left and then you get to leave. So, the "challenge" was to see which of us could still have the wafer when we got to the car. Now, be aware these wafers are starting to "melt" and they are not tasty. So, I guess it's not too terribly surprising that Vaughn is following in those foot steps.

GO VAUGHN!! I'm sure God has to pass a little gas now and then too. G


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The World's WORST Hotels

Lets face it, if you're reading this, you've probably stayed at one!

I've been unfortunate enough to have stayed at MANY. That's what happens when you are CHEAP!! This is also one of the reasons I've taken up camping or sleeping in the van at Agility Trials. The hotels are not only expensive, they are NASTY!!!!

Let me first clarify that a "bad hotel" can not be considered the WORST just because their continental breakfast doesn't meet your standards. My standards consist of Frosted Flakes or better yet powdered doughnuts!!

So, let me tell you a little tale about a friend of mine, Connie and our stay at a Knights Inn in Wentzville, MO. This was a few years ago. Okay, so it was Thanksgiving weekend in 2003!
I can remember it like it was YESTERDAY!!!

This was an e-mail I sent to some friends the day after we returned. As a side note, we did go back in 2004, but we did NOT stay at that hotel. G
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Well, cheap is good.....cheap divided by two is even better....however.....I suppose there are limits to what people should have to put up with??

Friday evening around 5 PM we arrive at our hotel,exterior exits are always a plus and Connie goes to check us in. With a total of $71.26 for two nights I don't suppose we should have expected much.

It was cold on Friday and although the arenas were heated, I don't think they were pre-heated before we got there, so when we were done for the day we were looking forward to a warm hotel room. Well, it was obvious they didn't pre-heat that for us either.

We entered the room and did an initial investigation. The furniture all matched (although a piece was missing according to the imprint in the carpet), the room was big and had two queen size beds.

Connie graciously took the "murder's bed" (the bed closest to the door) since she had the two attack dogs and the chain was missing off the door and the inside lock didn't work either. The bathroom was GROSS!!! More on that later....

Now for the heat.....hum, it consisted of the normal box register with the black grids (they were rather greasy looking) and the turn dial with the gold plate with hot and cold. Only one problem, the gold plate didn't have any writing on it. Okay, the letter "H" was scratched in the plate with a nail (probably rusty) so Connie turned the dial to "H" and we left for dinner.

Returned from dinner, and thankfully the room was warmer, however now there was a bit of an odor. Now, we knew why they kept it cold!! Upon further investigation the wall paper was separating in spots and there were spray splatter patterns we didn't even want to make a guess at what they were.

The bathroom...OMG!!! Connie and I are both bath people, but there was NO WAY we would put our bodies in that tub. In fact, showering was iffy. I have never seen a tub so gross!!! I took a shower.....lovely pressure, terrific hot water!!! (Probably because there were 3 other rooms being used in the whole hotel!!) Wait.....did I put the drain plug in accidentally?? Nope, you guessed it....the tub drain was plugged!! Luckily it does drain all the way out when your done (give it 10 minutes). By the time you are done the water is only mid calf! YUCK!! When you wash your hair you know how you tilt your head up?? Well, bad idea!! The light bulb and fixture in this bathroom was beyond disgusting!!! It had gold/yellow gunk in it. NASTY NASTY!! There were two towels, they looked like they were stolen from the Super 8's dumpster. I thought I would be nice and take the smaller/thinner one. You would think Connie would appreciate the gesture?? OH NO!!!! She was complaining the next day that I left her the crappy towel.....I tried to defend myself, but to no avail. Apparently her towel had a big hole in the middle of it!!! LOL

The carpet...to look at it, it wasn't so bad. But take your shoes off and your socks stuck to it. Not sticky as in gummy, more Velcro like. The dogs were NOT allowed to lie on the floor. We left our shoes on whenever possible!

As we are going to climb into our separate beds to watch TV, Connie pulls back her sheets to discover black hair in her bed. I about died laughing, she tried to blame Kruz, but NO WAY!!! It was pubic hair!!! VBG Connie was a good sport and climbed into bed anyway.....

As we are watching TV, Connie pulls out her Vicks. She's had a cold and starts applying a liberal dose to her nose. She leans over and asks if I'd like some. "No thank you, I'm fine." I said. She says, "It blocks out the smell of the room." I accepted the Vicks!!! (':

The next day at the clubs hosted Thanksgiving Dinner we had fun recapping our story to all those that would listen (and could still keep their lunch down.) They couldn't understand why we'd save $15 a night and put up with all of that. Sure, we could have stayed at the supper 8 for $50 plus tax, but they didn't have near the amount of fun stories that we did!!! So if they didn't have a good weekend running what would they have to talk about!!!! I think some of them would just a soon have nothing to talk about. BORING!!

Will we go to this trial again next year?? You bet!! Will we stay at the some hotel?? It was close, it was cheap and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!!!! Probably!!!! VBG

Tammy (I hope this water drains!!)

Connie (Tell me why I left the GG at home?)

Kruz (It's not MY HAIR!)

Nina (This spot smells like.........best if I keep it to myself.)

Tori (Can I sleep in the van?)

Toddi (I'm going to make my own spot on the carpet!! PUKE!!)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Personal SHOPPER!!

I HATE SHOPPING!! It's no secret, if I can have Mr. UPS deliver something to my door vs. having to go to a store for it, you can be sure to COLOR ME THERE! Or "HIM" here.

So over the weekend I was in Wentzville, MO for a 4 (YES FOUR!!!) day agility trial. Carrie and I were the only members of the "orange crew" there. I'm not sure two people can make up a "crew", but we did our best!

We had a great time, eating, running dogs, lots of Q Toys and DQ key chains! Pauly got his Open Jumpers Preferred title and Carrie is now in Excellent with both her "kids"....EXPERT!

Julie and Taz from Waterloo finished their MACH Saturday, which was very exciting! Luckily they only needed one point and this made easy work for Carrie who was in charge of watching the timer. At least you would have thought it would have been easy!! G Poor Carrie!!
Anyway, they did it!! GOOD JOB THEM!!! They not only got a traditional MACH Bar, but also a very nice duffel bag with the Kennel Club Name and MACH on it. Way COOL!

I got the privilege of running an 11 year old black lab, Punkin, in Preferred Excellent. She was so much fun to run! Thanks Paul for asking!! Punkin's official name is below.......(trust me, this looks impressive and it is, she's smarter than most people I know!)

MACH2 Lime Creek's Punkin Patootie VCD3 MH PAX5 MFP

video


So, now back to the personal shopper story.

On Friday one of the gate stewards had on this cute orange pull over with a 1/4 zipper. I told her I thought it was cute! Loved the color. She laughed and thanked me. The next day she comes over to Carrie and I and asks if we'd be interested in something orange!! HELLO!! So, she pulls out two orange pullovers. Carrie tries on one style and it fits, but she'd prefer one bigger. The one I tried was too small. The gal said she was going back to the outlet mall to return one anyway, and if we wanted she's pick up another a size bigger for Carrie. IT WAS AWESOME!! $10 and we both got pullovers without having to SHOP!!! You sure can't beat that! G

We're both planning on wearing them to work tomorrow! G