Sunday, May 31, 2009

CSI of Benton County!!

Friday evening after mowing and packing for the Ames Agility trial I thought I should get some last minute training in with Seeker. We headed to the 'jww' yard as he hadn't completed that course yet. Bill came out with us and Seeker was running and as he approached a jump I heard Bill say, 'What the heck!' I'm pretty sure that's what he said? I might have been a bit stronger.
Since neither Seeker or I had made a mistake, I knew something wasn't going well.

I looked at Bill and he's pointing South. Luckily, he was using his finger and arm, so I looked in the correct direction. Truth be told, I do know my N/S/W/E....but ONLY when I'm home! G

He's pointing at the building. 'So????' 'Window' .... 'What the F!' , okay, so that was me. Sorry!
Yep...there was a BIG hole in the window. No, wait, two holes! I knew right away what must have happened, but I didn't want to 'show' my cards too soon. Can you figure it out??




A little background might help. 10 days prior we had the neighbor spray out pasture for weeds. The ponies couldn't go back to eating in the pasture until it rained. Of course, lucky ponies...it didn't rain for 9 days. Friday was the first day they were allowed back into the pasture and apparently in their delight they got a bit frisky and one of them bucked their feet right through the window! I immediately checked their hind feet, NOT A SCRATCH!! I tried to tell Bill that it could NOT be my ponies as they were just fine and if it was one of mine that they would need a vet visit.

We're pretty sure it was the colored pony, as Adam would prefer NOT to use up THAT much energy! Naughty pony!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Open Swim - Word of the day....SURVIVAL!

Remember how I said that the swim would be the 'easiest' part of the Tri for me.
Um, I'm now recanting that. Is that legal? CRAP!!!!

Yesterday I drove to my sister's in SE Iowa to practice swimming in 'open' water.
Boy, was I ever enlightened!! What looks like a 'breeze' from land, is NOT once you hit the water!

It's not the swim and I'm not even sure it's the murky water. I think it's the strangling sensation that your wetsuit provides right at the base of your neck. It's like having a hoodie on too tight, leaning forward and trying to breath underwater. NOT GOOD!!!
Especially right after gulping in a quart of water!

Now, I'm use to swallowing water. The pool is down 1/2" when I'm done doing my laps. I'm pretty sure they need to fill it back up after I leave. Swallowing water in the pool isn't a big deal for me. I can spit it out and keep my routine 3 stroke breathing pattern. In fact, even if I miss a breath due to inhaling water, I can make it through the next 3 strokes to finally get air. That's the POOL!!! Open water is a whole another story!!!!

First off, you don't have the little blue lines to follow. You have to look up on occasion to locate the marker you're to swim to. In this case a large yellow buoy ball. I did manage to get 'totally' off course once and I heard my sister yelling my name. Luckily, she wasn't looking for a rescue, just telling me that the ball was over HERE!!! BH!

It started out well, but as I approached the ball for the first time I took in a mouth full of water and then the wet suit is pulling on your neck and I had to stop to pop up. To say it was a bit scary is an UNDERSTATEMENT! Dawn loosened it at the base of my neck the best she could, but it's obviously something you have to get use to. The sensation is similar to putting your thumb into that divot below your Adams apple. Just apply a little pressure and there you have it! YUCK!!!

I tired it without me suit and it was better, but the water was pretty cold at 70 degrees. Then one of the gals let me try her Tri-wet suit and it was better. Still the same sensation,
but not as bad. I think the neck in hers is a bit lower. Makes me wonder why wet suits
don't come in a "V" neck!

The nice thing about the wet suits is they make you very bouyant. So I suppose if you do drown you'll float to the surface a little faster. With that black cap on....it could take a while! I hope those folks on the boat take their jobs SERIOUSLY! My life insurance is paid up. I guess that's the most important thing!!

I learned a LOT!!

1 - Don't start out so fast!! This is NOT a sprint. Slow and steady.

2 - Watch where you're going! I need to do this at the pool. Instead of breathing every 3rd stroke, I need to do 3 strokes, breathe, 2 strokes and look forward to find my marker. (Which will be the clock) It throws everything off! Luckily I have 5 more pool sessions to work on it.

3 - Don't swim along the rope. That's where the masses will be. Stay out of the groups as that's where you'll get pushed under. Better to stay to the outside and swim further than to stop and get pulled under.

4 - Survival!! One of the guys swimming was feelig a bit sorry for me, 'I think'. He said on his first Tri that he did every stroke known to man just to stay afloat and moving. The 'crawl or freestyle' is the fastest, but you can always switch to the breast stroke, flip over and do the back stroke, frog or at last resort...the DOG PADDLE!!! G

This will give you a little bit of an idea of what it looks like.



There will be a LOT more people!
900 entered and you are entering the water every 3 seconds. They say this is better as you aren't all piling up in a group with 50 at a time. I'm not really sure......just want to survive!

Just to make things a 'little' more interesting, this park is still open to the public, so for the bike ride and run you are dodging not only John Q, but also possibly runners when you're biking. I'm pretty sure all the bikers will be done by the time I get around to running.

Dawn informed me that this is also the same weekend as 'free fishing' Iowa. So you do not need a license to fish, thus there's a LOT more traffic. GREAT!! She said that one year she was on the run and this truck pulling a boat was trying to get through all the biker traffic. He was barely moving and she ended up just running past him. Me....I would have 'hitched' a ride!

I'm realizing that my goal is way too aggressive.....at this point,
I'll be happy to finish!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Just like DIRTY HARRY!!!!

Okay, well....maybe not!

I was in Burlington today, practicing the 'open' swim part of my triathlon
(more on that in a different blog!!)

After the swim, and more importantly after 'lunch', my brother-in-law, Chris thought it would be a GREAT idea if I tried out his Ruger Blackhawk 44 Magnum.

Just in case you WANT ONE!

http://shopruger.com/Firearms/FAProdView?model=860&return=Y

Just like DIRTY HARRY'S!!!

MAKE MY DAY!!!!!

Of course, this would have been the PERFECT time for me to mention that 'NONE' of my
'friends' would think putting a gun of any size in my hand would be a good idea.
Of course I didn't say a thing.......this gun, howver, would have put them OVER the top!

This is one BIG gun!!
WOW, it's HEAVY!
It was SHINY TOO!!!

Above is Chris explaining to my where my fingers should go and when.
That's very important!!
You don't want to put your finger near the trigger that the wrong time!

Chris only loaded one bullet into the chamber at a time, he kept the spares in 'Barney Fife' fashion, well, kind of. In his front pants pocket. Hopefully in separate pockets!

I forgot until just now about Dick's story of loose ammo in his truck bouncing off each
other and going off inside the cab. Hum....hopefully Chris is reading this!! G

So, here it goes.

We're to aim at an orange juice jug, it been filled with water and is sitting on a couple of logs. Behind this is a large piece of cardboard. Behind that, a dirt embankment.
My first shot was a bit high and I missed the jug, but hit the cardboard!!
Yippee!

Do you notice the head gear!! Trust me, you want it!!
That thing is LOUD!!
It also gives you a nice kick!

Dawn said, "See, she can hit the side of a barn".

Chris went over to see where it hit and figured if I was aiming at his chest that I would have hit him in the knee. It appeared to me I would have hit him a bit higher than that....but since I wanted another try I was smart enough NOT to say anything! G Later he would tell me that normally they don't have a piece of cardboard out there, but he wanted me to hit something!

So, on my second try.....BULLS EYE!! I hit the jug!

Evidence is below!

This, we later decided is a new and improved recycle method called 'pre-shredding'.



Dawn's up next!! Chris has only one bullet left, so the pressure is ON!!!


BULLS EYE!! Not only is she spot on, she blows the jug right off the target area!!
It was AWESOME!!

Too bad Meme wasn't there to shoot the jug as it happened.
Water must have been flying everywhere!

See below how far it flew off the stand.

This give me a reason to start drinking Orange Juice!



Ever feel RIPPED OFF?????

Have you ever lived with something for 4-5 years and then
became aware that it's NOT what you thought?

I have been 'unknowingly' living a lie for a number of years and
unfortunately I have involved all my friends.

I guess an apology is in order, or in the very least an explanation!


Other parties involved....the ducks. Yes, our 10 innocent little ducks. Left to right we have Portman, a Rouen female, Big Bird, a Pekin female, then 3 Indian Runners, far in the back a harlequin female, next to her is 'Festus' , a Khaki Campbell (so named as she has a limp from being tramped by the 60 other Khaki's we were raising at the time) Don't know who Festus from Gun Smoke is? I don't want to hear it! Watch TV Land!! Fulton is the handsome Rouen drake with the green head. Portman and Fulton are ALWAYS together! Than another Runner with a tuff on her head, we call her Kramerette, and a white harlequin, daughter of the other harley and she's called Uno. She was the only egg that hatched.

Now that you know the cast of characters involved. I'll tell you the lie.
Do you see the brown and white runners with the little tuffs on their heads. Kramerettes is the most obvious, but the two on the left have smaller tuffs too.


Well, I was reading my current book (see book list), which is called 'Enslaved By Ducks'. The go through several ducks due to raccoon attacks. The author really likes the looks of the Indian Runners, his wife...not so much. So, as ALL you women out there know..... he would NEVER get a Runner!! So, then he notices a 'runner' type duck with a tuff on top of it's head. He's told, 'that's a Bali Duck. WAIT!!! What!! I re-read and then waited patiently while Bill finished up on the computer!! No, I did NOT push him off the chair!! I did want to!

So, I used my trusty Google and here's what I found......

http://www.domestic-waterfowl.co.uk/bali.htm

(Insert Picture HERE) - Sorry...Copy Rights listed on the site.

Look FAMILIAR??

Okay, so I'm sure they are NOT pure Bali....but not only was I sold "Runner" ducklings at the price of $1! I'm getting white eggs vs. the possible green to blue that the Bali's lay!

Oh well, they are rather cute!



Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bill's Tomato Plant........

Last weekend we were in WI for a couple private agility lessons with Seeker.

While watching Television there was a commercial for a "Topsy Turvey", it was a plastic bag in which you planted a tomato plant in the bottom and it grows downward. The first time it came on, Bill pointed it out. The second time he said, "Look at THIS".....the third time he was trying to sell it to me!! It was $19.95 and if you ordered right then you got a second one FREE....plus a perfect tomato slicer! $19.95 plus shipping and handling. WHAT A DEAL!

They have web site, he wanted me to check it out since we had Klinger with us. I told him he could do it on 'his' time! G I don't think he ever did.

So, while on vacation this week I thought I'd give it a try with something we already have at home. Terry and Barb gave us a come "jet star" tomatoes that I had put into pots. So, I took a milk jug, painted it Bill's favorite color, 'blue'. I took one of the tomato plants and carefully put it through the top. We'll see if it works...but I sure don't know why it won't and it was FREE!!!!

The Red Neck Topsy Turvey!

Stay TUNED!!!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day two of Wind on the MOUNTAIN!!

Gee, people wonder why I hate wind!! UGH!!!

I'm not even sure where to begin!

First off, it breaks things.

Yes, BREAKS THINGS!!

Doors, agility equipment, chairs, plants!!

Yes, Plants!!

I just put in my tomato plants yesterday morning. I waited two days knowing it would be windy. But, come on!!! Enough already!! So, yesterday I put up bed sheets around the garden to shelter the taller plants from the brutal 20-35 mph winds that were expected yesterday and today. It's actually working very well, although I'm pretty sure the neighbors are trying to figure out what the heck I'm up to. That's okay, it won't be the first time. G

We went to the Seed Exchange in Decorah, IA last weekend, on way to Eau Claire, WI. I picked out several varieties of heirloom tomatoes to try. German Pink, Brandywine, Gold Medal, Green Zebra and Purple Russian, etc. I figured we'd try several this year and then decide which we liked best for next year. So, needless to say, I'm a bit bitter about the WIND!!!
It's trying to KILL my tomatoes!

This morning, I readjusted the sheets and here's a picture I took a few minutes ago. The sheets are holding, but have a couple holes now from the posts. Plants look pretty good, a little wind whipped, but then again, so do I!!

No $64 tomatoes here!!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Grilling OUT!!

It's that time of year again! YIPPEE!!! Time for Chicken, Brats, Burgers, Deer Legs and Steaks on the GRILL!! ( I have grill story, but Bill said I couldn't blog it).....yep, censorship has hit the blog network! Sorry!!!!

Did you catch the deer leg part? Well, they are delicious if you're a dog that is.
A cat too and even chickens enjoy a deer leg on occasion.
Crazy, who would have thought?

Here's Seeker this evening enjoying the front leg of a deer shot last Fall.
I would tell you that Bill shot it, but you ALL know that's a LIE!

Most of the muscle meat has been removed as he doesn't need THAT much.
Seeker thought this was a GREAT IDEA, until he had to work so hard to eat it.



There is a technique required for removing the muscle from bone.

There's the 'face sideways on the ground' method.
He tried this one a LOT, so it must have worked pretty well.


There's the 'try to eat it all at once' method. Um....DIDN'T WORK!!!

Some caution should be used or you could end up losing an eye with this next method!!
Yikes, that does NOT look safe!
He only tried this once, apparently it didn't work real well.

The 'taffy stretching' method seemed popular as well.


It's rather fun to watch the dogs really use their feet and front teeth to strip that meat off the bone. He's using all his toes and his dew claw to hold this bad boy down. (Actually, it was a Doe)


BURP!!
I can't believe I ate the whole thing.


Actually, he didn't. When he was finished I have him bring me his left leg parts for a fish cookie. What better dessert item than fish following a meal of deer leg!

Try it next time YOU go out to eat!

This little clip is from yesterday when Kruz had his leg. It was sitting on the porch waiting for him and one of the cats, Cher and this chicken "Bill calls her the Tammyette" chicken as she's NEVER where she's suppose to be. Whatever that means???

Anyway, Cher was eating on one end and this chicken was eating on the other. Of course by the time I got the 'flip', Cher was full and just the chicken remained. Too FUNNY!

After I gave it to Kruz, she stayed around and couldn't quite figure out whether she should continue to try to eat off it or not. She didn't. Apparently chickens 'can' be smart.
video


Saturday, May 16, 2009

1st Floor Woes - at the hotel

We're staying at at hotel in Eau Claire, WI for Seeker to get a couple lessons. Okay, Tammy too.
We've stayed at this hotel each time we've come up here, this is the 2nd time. It's a nice hotel, it's not too expensive, they have a little coffee maker in the room and GREAT POWDERED SUGAR DONUTS!!! It's almost 6 am and I'm about ready to roust Bill out of bed to head down for the 'feeding frenzy'!! Right now he's buried under three dogs, so it could be 'tricky'.

Oh, back to the hotel. I know people LOVE first floor rooms! I do too when it comes to hauling my junk up there stairs! It does burn calories however, so I can have a second donut! Bill doesn't appreciate second floor as if he's with me, he usually carries and I potty dogs. So, this weekend we have a first floor room.

The door side of a first floor room is if you have a LOUD person above you. UGH!! Do they NOT think about the people below them? Obviously, the answer is NO!! Last night about 9 we got people above us. Actually, I'm pretty sure it was just one person and they were practicing their NAZI marching drills. STOMP STOMP STOMP from one side of the room to the other. What the heck could they possibly be doing up there? It's not like they are huge rooms and you couldn't be THAT forget full! Luckily, after about 30 minutes it quited down. We later figured...it was because they LEFT!

So, at 11:20, guess who's BACK!!! Yep, we 'were' sleeping!! Not any more! I HATE THAT!!!

So, this morning when I got up at 4:30 am, I thought to myself.....hum.....someone probably needs a wake up call. Now, I've thought about this in the past, but haven't ever followed through with it. I was going to just dial the number above us, but I wanted to be sure I had the correct room. We're in 140 and so I would assume they are in 240. GOOD THING I CHECKED!! Nope, 246!! So, back to our room I went and picked up the phone......."246", it rang 3 times and I get a weak "hello"....HA!! HOW'S IT FEEL!! I didn't say that of course, although I would have liked to. I just disconnected....CHICKEN!! I did feel better however.

Bill asked what the heck I was doing and I told him. Funny thing is, he thought the same thing, but was too lazy to get up and check. He said he would probably have just dialed the 240 number. POOR people in 240!!!!!

It's gonna be a great day!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mike the Windmill Whisper



Meet Mike - The Windmill Whisper.



Oh,Wait....here he is!!


Mike came over to solve one of our Wind Mill woes. It was squeaky!! Last Thursday night at class several people mentioned how loud the windmill was. I guess since I live there, I didn't really notice. Once it was pointed out however, I had to agree. I set the brake so it would no longer spin, but that just 'masked' the problem. Carrie said she'd ask her wonderful spouse who sets signs for a living to come out if the winds were low. So, Thursday night ....here comes MIKE!

Now, our windmill is not the little garden variety and it's not the huge industrial turbines you see in many parts of the state. It's probably considered moderate in height, but TALL to me. The tower is 58' and with an 8' wheel on top. Making it a total of approximately 63'. Um...NO THANKS!!!!

He's going UP!!!


Let me tell you, this was quite distracting as you're trying to conduct class out front. I kept wanting to see what Mike was doing....then again,
I didn't want to look!

Still going up!!


At the TOP!!!





Yep, it's really HIM up there!!!!



He went up TWICE!!!!

Oh thank goodness, he's coming DOWN!!!!

He made it safely to the bottom!!!


THANKS MIKE!!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Look What I found!!

I was mowing lawn this afternoon and look what I literally 'ran over'!!

I couldn't believe it when I made my second pass!

I was mowing at 1.5" height and he had a nice little hole dug into the grass.

Good thing it was fairly deep as he's on BIG toad!!!

At first I was afraid I'd swashed him...but as soon as I walked up he jumped out of his divot!



Notice the grass clippings sticking to his little face!!

Isn't he CUTE!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

MeMe's Bike has a NAME!!

Today I completed the "Ride from Hell Route" once more. Actually, I added some mileage, just to see if I could. The route was from one small town 'Atkins' to a smaller town 'Newhall'.
Toward the end of this ride I came up with a name for Meme's Bike.

"Hail Yin" - I was going to name her "Hell - N", but since my 98 year old Grandmother's name is Helen, I figured she wouldn't approve. The bike has a last name too, it's Back. So, Hail Yin Back, which is pretty much where she's taking me!

I'm getting smarter!! Or so I'd thought! I would complete the 'harder' part of the route first. Beginning in Atkins and heading West to Newhall. I needed a new 'starting' point. So I loaded up the bike (something kind of wrong about 'driving' a bike somewhere to ride it) and headed to 'town'. I found a newer walking trial near a gas station that has some 'dirt' parking, so this looked as good a spot as any to leave the van.

I check the time, and head off. Oh yes, this is MUCH better without all that blasted wind!! Four way stop, I know I 'should' stop, I know I'm 'suppose' to stop, but I keep going. Hey, who's pedaling here?

Meme's bike has 24 speeds, yep, count them! 24!!! WOW!! I think I only have 4, stationary, slow, med and fast. So, part of this venture is to become more familiar with the gears and what's comfortable from a pedaling stand point. I like to pedal in comfort. You know those people that 'hill climb' (stand up on their bikes up hill to get to the top faster?), that will NOT be me!! I'll just drop down a dozen gears and get there in when I get there.

There are 3 rings on the bike and the are controlled by the left gear shift on the handle bar. The largest ring is the 'hardest' to pedal the the smallest ring is the 'easiest' (this also does NOT get you very far very fast). My preference is to hang out in the 'middle' ring, gears 9-16. 13 probably being my favorite. Yes, I now know more about bike gears then I ever really wanted to!!! Next trip I'll need to shift into the upper gears down hill to get more speed. Next time.....

So, I'm pedaling away and 'kind of' enjoying myself. I notice the country side, not new the amount of traffic! So it's nice. I'm getting a little thirsty, so I brought along the little aqua belt my sister gave me for running. It has my keys and a big 6 ounces of water! Use it sparingly! Doesn't it figure when I cleaned all my plastics out several weeks ago that a BUNCH of water bottles went into the trash! Wait....maybe they are still in the recycle bins in the chicken coop....I'll have to go check.

I'm come across a big farm house that I didn't notice the last time, it has a LOT of windows! We're getting new windows upstairs, so of course I counted the East and South sides on the way by and made a mental note to catch the East side on the way back. 15, for those of you that are interested. I didn't check out the North side.

I rode past Julie's house, she's on the Eastern edge of Newhall, up past the park and ran two more stop signs. I decided to take the black top out of Newhall as far as it would go, which was another mile or so. Turned around and ........ CARP!!! WIND!! You have so GOT to be kidding me!! I did everything right!! Expect ask the weather stopper! UGH!!! The only good news it that it was about a 1/3 of what it was.

The ride back wasn't nearly as easy as I remembered on Saturday. I suppose it was because we had a strong tail wind. I could see the Atkins water tower in the distance and the gas station sign came into view (the walking trial was right next door). My ride was coming to an end!

As I entered Atkins, I came upon this sign. It made me laugh.
I think this must be the number of streets ahead. I was at the 4th exit. G


Bike ride over!! Legs are RUBBER!! Overall I felt pretty good. Of course I had to drive the route to see how far the ride was. It totaled 12.8 miles in about one hour. UGH!! The bike ride in the race is 15.5 and I was hoping to do that in one hour. Guess I'll need to pick it up a notch.

I decided to check out the racing results from last year to see what times people were putting in for the bike ride. Boy, was that a mistake!! I found one time of 62 minutes, um, okay. Um, it belonged to a 71 year old women!! OMG!!! LOL! That's okay, her swim took 18 minutes and I'm thinking I can do it in 10. G I'll be out of the water and on the bike before she gets out of the water....of course, she can always lap me in the bike ride.

Julie asked the other day if I wanted to drive out to Palo to see what the bike ride route looked like. NO!!!! I told her I wanted it to be a surprise! In fact, I think I'll close my eyes as Bill drives there as I would really rather NOT know. I just keep telling myself that I'm lucky this race is in Iowa, because everyone knows that Iowa is FLAT!!!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Bike ride from H.E.Double Tooth PICK!!!!

YES!! HELL!!!!

OMG!!! How do I get talked into such NON-SENSE!

Julie called yesterday when it was so BEAUTIFUL outside to see if I'd like to take the bikes out for a ride 'tomorrow'. Saturday. SURE!!! I explained to her that Meme was letting me borrow her bike and this would be an awesome test! FANTASTIC!!! I was READY.

Bill got home and told me, you know, it's suppose to get windy tonight and all day tomorrow.
Of course, with him being the 'weather spotter' expert, I ignored him. GOOD JOB ME!!!

I got up this morning, loaded the bike and off to Julie's I went. Boy, is it windy! I thought to myself. Hum, maybe Julie won't want to go? Oh no, that would have made TOO MUCH SENSE! She's all ready!! She uses her bike pump to pump up our tires and we're OUTTA there!!

Well, first we need to decide which route to take. She said we can either take the 'short' route, 8 miles, or the long route, 15 miles. I 'strategically' asked, which has less traffic? Julie said that the longer one has lighter traffic, 'probably', but the shorter one has a lot of bike traffic. Her reasoning here was that the drivers of the engine powered vehicles 'aka - the SMART PEOPLE', were used to watching for the 'Stupid bikers', aka "US". Thank Goodness! Okay, the SHORT route it was!! Score one for ME!

It's about 8 am and we're heading East from Newhall, to Atkins on a small county highway. I'm in the leading, pedaling and playing with the gears. Wow, THIS IS FUN!!! "How fast are we going?", I holler to Julie in back of me. "2o MPH.", she hollers back!! "Great job!! We're moving right along." She continues, "It looks like a side ways wind, so we won't have to ride into it on the way back!" Followed by "CAR"! She has these cool little mirrors on her bike handles. I on the other hand have a 'voice activated' rear view mirror....I call her "Julie". G She getting a LOT of practice, as she's now hollering it on a regular basis. Finally she states that there must be a soccer game in Atkins and every child under the age of 18 must be playing. GEEZ!!!!

Now, all this car traffic might not bother most people, but I'm on a borrowed bike. It's my first time riding it and I don't even know how the gears work yet! YIKES!! Now we have a semi coming the other way, the best news is that he's NOT going our way!! Good news, as he passes us he blocks the wind (NICE GUY!). Bad news, as he's by us the wind about pushes us the road. CRAP!! Screams of laughter .... Followed by Car, Car, Car....well, you get the idea.

We've plowed through the first 4.5 miles in about 10 minutes and we're ready to turn around. As we turn, the wind hits me straight in the chest and about knocks me over!!! OMG!!! 'JULIE!!! We're going to ride into the wind!!! You LIED TO ME!' She's now ahead of me and laughing. 'What will you do if it's windy the day of the race?', she asks. "I'm NOT GOING!! I'll swim, but I'll slash my own tires if I have too!!" I reply. (Sorry Meme, I'll buy you a new tire!)

To say riding into this 20+ MPH wind was UNPLEASANT is an understatement. The only good thing about heading West was we lost the traffic. Apparently the 50 cars that past us going East carried loving parents that stayed to watch the games, TG!! Now, Meme's bike is lovely! It's a little hybrid type, a cross between a road racer and cross country. It has slightly wider tires, which is really nice for those times you end up in the shoulder. The down side is you also sit more upright and you have a LOT of wind resistance. I might as well have been an 8' wide piece of plywood on top of this bike! OMG!! The only plus side to this is there was NOT a wrinkle on my face, they were all behind my ears!

Julie is ahead of me pedaling away, hunkered down on her little racing bike....did I mention it's ORANGE!!!! I was getting increasingly bitter by the minute. She was pulling away from me and my energy was starting to waver. Actually, I don't think it was strength as much as it was the mental knowledge of how far away I was. I couldn't see over the hill, but I could read the mile marker, which said "31st Street". I also knew that Julie's house was almost on 27th Street, so a little mental calculation told me I had over 3 miles left to go into the wind!!! God I wish I'd flunked MATH and I really wish I had a cell phone!! I could have called a CAB!!!! So, I just kept pedaling (what choice did I have?), and thinking to myself how incredibly 'screwed' I am for this race!! I also thought about John's comedy skit (I think of that a lot!!). Ravioli's and a Nap!

I kept pedaling, knowing that I'm not getting home until I get done, so just GO!!! Suddenly, there's a break in the wind. It's let up!!! What's that smell? HOGS?? I didn't notice it going the other way, but we went by much faster! I look up to the tree tops, my way of checking for wind. It looks windy still, then BLAST!!! I'm past the farm and the wind has kicked in FULL FORCE!! Dang, the farm was on the North side blocking my wind!! How rude of them NOT to follow me the rest of the way back. UGH!!!!

I obviously did finally make it back. Julie said she was about to jump in the truck and come looking for me, but she saw me top the hill. Gee, thanks Julie! Luckily, she's 14 years younger than me, so I can always blame it on my age!! LOL So I get off the bike and grab a bottle of water, which I'd forgotten to take with me. Not that I would have had a chance to drink it! As I'm drinking Julie says, "What I usually do now is run up to the top of the hill and back." I must have had a funny look on my face, because she says, "Um, we don't have to." I tell her, "That's okay, if that's what she usually does, we should do it." JL!!!!!! So, we did. Actually, we just ran up to the top of the hill and walked back. I think she was feeling sorry for me.

I 'think' I'm glad I went. I know I'm glad I have 4 more weeks to get ready.
I can't even imagine just going to this darn thing without any practice ahead of time.

The only thing I'd do differently is start in Atkins and ride into Newhall, then back. I think the ride to Newhall was mostly uphill or shallow inclines, it was tough. I don't think it was 100% wind. I'm sure the tail wind helped with the East ride, but I don't think that was everything.

Bottom line, I survived, Meme's bike survived.
I'll try it again Monday, maybe I get the pedals swamped out for cages by then?
That sure couldn't hurt.

10 am Monday morning....BE THERE!


Turkey's BIG day OUT!

People say turkeys are stupid. My turkeys, are little EINSTEINS!!
(I say 'mine' because Bill wants NOTHING to do with them)
They are curious and actually quite friendly little birds.
This is suppose to distract you from thinking they look DELICIOUS!

I suppose some would argue that being curious is going to get you hurt or worse.
I could agree with that I guess. They do like to see what's going on!
Nosy little birds!

Yesterday was a PERFECT day weather wise. It was sunny, warm and very low wind. I thought it would be nice to let the little chicks and turkeys out for awhile. This of course implies that the birds would WANT to come out! Having spent the 1st - 3+ weeks of their lives in a safe small confined space and then all of a sudden being expose to a very large somewhat green space could be intimidating. Especially if your the size of a sparrow. So, when I dropped the door down I expected the same old story I've always gotten from the ducks and chicks. NO WAY!

(Insert a tidbit here - if you're buying 'range' chickens and it says they have access to grassy areas - this might mean the door is down, but NO ONE is going OUT THERE!!)

From past experience, if I put the feeder half in and out of the door way I could generally encourage the chicks to give the outdoors a try. At least a few would got out on the door, but NEVER into the grass until after a few days of exposure. The ducks, FORGET IT! They would NOT go outside until you'd 'herd' them out and then of course they were in such a panic to get out that they would have NO idea how to get back in. So, you'd have to 'herd' them back.

To my surprise, I put the water and feeder over near the door and it wasn't 5 minutes and one of the little turkeys was poking it's head outside, 'what's up'? CUTE! I left them alone and came back a little while later and 4 turkeys and 2 chicks were out. I guess, 'chicken see, chicken do'.
Then I was amazed again as they turkeys went inside the drop down door, ahead of the chicks and came back out again. Hum, I got the chicks because the turkeys were suppose to be too stupid to figure out where things were on their own. Marketing ploy?? Me Thinks!

So, below are the little birds outside. Can you tell the difference? I'm a bit concerned the the chicks are actually a bit larger than the turkeys. The chickens should grow up to be in the 5 lb range, turkeys in the 18+ range. I wish I still had the box!

I wonder if I got those extremely rare 'pocket turkeys'? G
Pygmy Turkeys? Or worse Tea Cup Turkeys?

I suppose time will tell.......


Friday, May 8, 2009

New RIDE!!!!!

Okay, so it's Meme's!! She's letting me borrow it to ride outside so I don't have to disconnect 'Wild Bill' from the trainer every time I want to ride outside. I'm not really how sure how hard it would be to disconnect, I've never done it. G

She has a FANCY RIDE!!! It has 24 speeds!!! I'm just planning on going ONE!!! F.A.S.T., as least downhill with a strong tail wind. It features a 'wide seat', perfect for those beyond middle aged butts! Two water bottle holders, yet to be tested and wide upright handle bars. These are MUCH easier on your arms than the ram horn ones. (I think I know what it must feel like to ride a rocket motorcycle) I'm sure I'll have a lot more wind resistance. WHO CARES!!!!!



I'll have to find a special place to keep it. Probably in the new building covered in a sheet. Once I dress it up with my "Goofy" horn and some orange handle bar streamer I'll be ALL SET!! Okay, a little air might be required in the tires.

My find Monique from work said she's like to ride her bike to work a few times. I told her we should start in May.....we'll see if we ever get it done. I'm only working 3 days next week and I'm off the following week.

It's been a BIG DAY!!!

I also got some 'new' shampoo. The swimming pool has been hard on my hair, it's rather crusty when it drys from all the chlorine. Last week I finally resorted to wearing a cap (Which is fine the first 1200 yards. Then it begins to feel like the top of your head is being squeezed off. I can only imagine how stupid I look! I'm in denial however, and just avoid ALL MIRRORS!!

Oh, back to the shampoo. Having always had 'darker' hair, I have ZERO experience with the purchasing of chlorine removing shampoo. I don't even want to guess what my natural hair color is right now. I never had to worry about 'green' hair, mine just turned red. I guess red is more acceptable than green. So, I'm looking for the shampoo and I can't find ANYTHING!!!! Finally an ORANGE bottle caught my eye!! Imagine that!!


So, it's for kids. It's a 2 in 1 shampoo! Swim and Sport! Refreshingly Clean, removes chlorine.
It has a detangler and it's Tear Free!! I'm probably going to need this AFTER the race...wait...maybe during??? I love the name! Flippin' Citrus Squirt! Cost $1.88

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mind Games....that "mental" thing....

Training continues for the Triathlon.....but not at the pace it should be. I just find myself NOT making the time. Truth be known, there are days I don't have time, but if it's important enough....you can always find it. Time is just an EXCUSE!!! With a month to go, I really need to get serious or I'll be hauled away on the MEAT WAGON!! I suppose as long as I get to eat...I'll be cool with that!

I'm doing pretty well at the swimming practice. Probably because I feel that this is where the biggest risk to my "life" is. Swimming in a black swim cap (for those 40 yrs and above), if I got under the only thing that's going to save me is my neon white skin. Luckily I have PLENTY of that still ivory white and safe from the summer sun.....for now. I'm going minimum twice a week and would like to start 3 times a week. Those are the only lap swims at the little pool. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The swim is 547 yards (11 laps) and I'm able to do 30 without stopping in about 30 minutes. I just need to get out into the "open" water in a lake or pond as people tell me it's a LOT different. I'm sure it is, no blues lines keeping you in your lane and others swimming over you. It's mental, just swim your plan!

The run I'm not concerned about. I really do NOT like to run "outside". Okay...I'm not so sure I like running at all to be quite honest. Running outside is that mental thing again, when I look up to the stop sign 1.75 miles from our house, it seems so far away!! I know Seeker LOVES to run with me (although I'm probably not fast enough for him), I just don't want to commit myself to running all the way up there and then being stuck and knowing I have to run back. That sounds pretty lame I know, but on the treadmill I have a CHOICE!! I can CHOOSE to stop any time I want to!! My sofa is just yards away! I'm not worried about the run, I can do it. I might not be fast, but I'll get there, eventually.

Now I've run 2 - 5Ks and one 8K. They were okay and I got through them by NOT looking ahead. You think I'm kidding? NO WAY!! I watch the ground or my feet and keep thinking about Rudolph and Kirby, you know the song, "Put one foot in front of the other". Yes, it gets me through! Pretty scary huh!

The Bike. Okay, this is truly my nightmare!! I'm totally freaked out. 15.5 freaking miles on a bike and NO DRAFTING!!! I'm not totally sure what "drafting" is, but it's suppose to give you an advantage and right now I need ALL the help I can get. If you can't draft, I wonder if a tow line is out of the question. 30 minutes on the bike is torture for me and I'm in the bedroom on a level surface listening to some nice calming Rob Zombie. On there in the park there are HILLS!!! 3 Large ones I'm told, one at the very end.

It's the bike that's going to make or break my goal. I have 45 minutes to complete the bike ride in order to have any hope of coming in under 1 hr 45 minutes for the whole thing. Dawn was saying, the swim can cost you the "win" (WHO CARES), but a poor bike and cost you everything. I hope she was speaking 'figuratively' here. Let's face it, if I am only managing 30 minutes on the bike right now, how can I possibly do 45 outside where there's wind! Unless I'm using a bike with a motor, it's time to get serious!

Bottom line it's going to be mental, just like most other things we do. You either "suck it up or blow it out". So, it's time to start SUCKING!!! G