Monday, June 29, 2009

Niece and Nephew's FIRST TRI EVENT!!

A report from my Sister on what the kids were up to this weekend. I of course was at an agility trial!! Go figure! I miss birthday, holidays, weddings, (haven't missed a funeral yet)...due to dog events, but they keep me filled in on the details. You've got to love digital pictures!! I will be heading to the Fair in July to watch them show their calves at fair. I have to attend some events as these are the kids that will be picking out my nursing home!! G

Daphne (12)and Vaughn (8) completed their first triathlon on Saturday morning.
Daphne was on a team, where she was the runner and they took 2nd place.
Vaughn did all 3 events and took 1st place in boys ages 7 to 9.
It was our club's (Team BEAST) first year of hosting a youth triathlon for kids.
The trophies say "I did all 3", as do the shirts.
It was VERY FUN!!!
The kids had a great time and we ended up with 53 races.
Vaughn got a trophy and a first place towel.
He'll be keeping that out of Tammy's reach!

Vaughn and Daphne

Daphne and her teammates. This is the way to do a TRI!!!!
Good thinking!

Daphne doing the 3rd leg of the race - the RUN!!!

Vaughn doing the 1st leg, the swim!!!

The Transition from pool to bike.

The Bike is the second leg of the race.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Got Storms??

Well, Kruz says, "You can KEEP THEM!!!"

Bill says, MORE PLEASE....


Tammy says, "Just leave my Tomato plants upright!"
(I just put in 8 fence post to hold them up tonight - I need 6 more!)

In the last week we've had more of our share of rain, lightening and wind!

It's hard to say 'how much rain' we've gotten as it doesn't necessarily come down STRAIGHT!!

Bill's threatening to buy himself an 'official rain gage'. I'll find him a PAIL!!! G

Exhibit A

Note the wind blowing off the roof of the chicken coop.
Yes, it blew the door off it's hinges....again! GEEZ!

It's amazing how it can go from calm and 98 Degrees to low 70's and wind in
literally a matter of minutes. You could see it coming.'s all nice, calm and cool.

That's when you get those beautiful rainbows!!!
(Yes Meme...the Cottonwood IS still STANDING!)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Dump Truck"

Just when you thought it was safe to load up the truck to take your

CRAP to the Benton County Land Fill!!!!

We had all new windows put upstairs a few weeks ago. Those windows were BADLY needed, and I think it will really improve our LP usage this coming winter. To put windows in, you obviously need to take windows OUT!! So, those old windows were nicely stacked in each bedroom. I think there were 11 total? Let me add – 4+2+2+2+1 = yep…11. Ten of these windows are of fairly good size, I think they were 33” by 63”. There were 33 pieces of ‘old’ window parts to remove by the time you took both the storms and 2 halves of the old windows down. Needless to say, it was going to be a job carrying them down all those stairs. Bill told me right after the new windows were put in that he would "NOT" be carrying those all down at once. They would be taken out a few at a time. This translates to .... maybe before 2020….MAYBE!!!!

What’s the saying….if you want something done do it yourself? Or, is it...How much NAGGING do you really want to do to get the job done. So, Friday after I finished with the bedroom I hauled all the window parts outside. This way we could load them into the pick up and I could take them to the dump. So now the windows are nicely stacked in the front yard. Bill wasn’t terribly impressed when he arrived home Friday afternoon, but oh well, I pointed out that at least he didn't have to carry them DOWN!!! I got the hairy eye-ball. Now there's something I've never seen before!

We had a busy weekend and Sunday we finally got around to loading them. When I go to the land fill, I like to make it worth my time! So, what else can I take? It’s amazing how much ‘junk’ you can accumulate when you have the room! With one big barn, a hog house, chicken house and large pole barn it’s really EASY!! Not to mention a 5 bedroom house….6 if you count the ‘maid’s quarters’ above the kitchen. In other words, we can fill a pick up without even trying!!

Welcome to America , the land of excess!!!! UGH!

We head into the chicken house to see what we can toss. OMG!!! Can we PLEASE get rid of that big LP grill? It’s been there for almost 10 years and we haven’t used it in 5! Yep, it can go!! So we load that up first….right behind the truck window. It’s pretty Red Neckie with that Cycle Dog Food can attached, that is suppose to catch the grease. (I guess???) At least, I think that’s what it was for? A-1 Quality Item!!! A few other odds and ends and we’re ready to load the windows. So, Bill drives the truck around the other side of the yard and hands the windows to me. I load them as carefully as possible so not to break the glass. I’ll have fun doing that at the dump!!!

Windows are now loaded and the truck is pretty full. I think there’s enough room for the door and jam, so we stopped there. Of course now the truck will have to sit loaded for a week until the new door is put in. That’s okay, we don’t drive it a lot.

Um….let’s take the dogs swimming!!! Yep, that means we take the truck!! The pond we go to is close, only a couple miles away. They have a dog however, that likes to jump up on your vehicle, so the truck is what we take. The dogs ride up front, obviously, and the seats are vinyl… who cares if they get a little wet. It’s a ‘farm truck’, who cares if it smells like wet dog!! So, we’re now driving our truck filled with pink/green windows and an old grill with a tin can attached down the gravel roads of Benton County . Yep, we’re the envy of all the neighbors!!! LOL

We stick out our Chests.....WE'RE PROUD!!!! G

As we come to the 1st stop sign Bill states that the brakes are a little weird. He says, "You really have to push down far for them to work." I roll my eyes and just keep looking straight ahead. "Whatever". So we swim, pile back into our 'junk filled truck' and head back home. Again he makes the comment that the brakes are really acting strange. I told him that the brakes are FINE, they were just done a year or so ago, maybe it needs brake fluid? But since I'd just had the oil changed last week…I rather doubt it. Yep, that’s me…the mechanic! So while I’m putting dogs out in the yard, Bill is popping the hood. Guess what, the brake fluid is half gone!! (Whatever, who needs a full container of brake fluid anyway...that's just wasteful) So, when I go over to look he shows me how every time he pushes on the break that the fluid sprays under the hood. I tell him the obvious….”Then stop pushing on the brake!!” GEEZ!!

Insert Eye Roll!

We discuss our options. It seemed clear (to me) it was the brake lines and they were probably broke while we were driving through the pasture picking up branches. (Let me state here that I was NOT driving!!!) We couldn’t drive it far and we felt we should probably take it right away (while we still had 1/2 the recommended dose of brake fluid) and leave it for ‘someone’ to fix when they could. I guess the truck will have to stay filled with our CRAP!!! (Bill gives me a Dirty look....YES!!!!) UGH! Nice……So there’s car shop in Norway and I follow in Carrie as Bill drives the truck. He takes the gravel the 4 miles to town and of course two ground squirrels and one rabbit run out in front of him. He does NOT brake!! GOOD JOB HIM! He missed…rats, there went supper for the dogs! Guess they'll eat chicken!

As we get into Norway (yes, that’s the town the movie – The Final Season – was based on) there are kids running and playing catch. Luckily they did NOT run out in front of the truck. Bill took the ‘long’ way around to the shop which had the least amount of hills. (There are probably 10 streets in town BTW) We park the truck and debate on leaving the key under the mat. Wait, there’s NOT a mat! So, we take the key and risk/pray that someone will steal our stuff out of the bed.

Monday evening we got our truck back!! Two broken gas lines…and no I did NOT cut them! All our stuff is still there…(CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!!) you’ve got to love small town Iowa!!! I wonder if they inspected all our CRAP!! I’m sure they had a pretty good laugh over it.

I still surprised someone didn't take that GRILL!! that a perfectly good Bungi cord I see???


Don't touch it!

Now waiting my chance to get to the dump!!

Maybe next Monday morning???

Monday, June 22, 2009

MORE Exciting NEWS!!!!

Check out.......

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bedroom is DONE!!

Well, it's done! YIPPEE!!

It's been so wet and humid it took FOREVER to dry!

So, today I finally got everything moved back in.

Below is what you see when you enter the room. My $5 iron bed, Bill's 'free' chair that he refinished and my Grandmother's 'baby doll' from when she was little.

Moving to the right..... two new windows with new curtains (I made!) and
two of the quilts I made. My Dad made the quilt rack from old barn wood.

Yes, that IS an orange chair in the corner!! LOL
It was Bill's grandmother's, can you say 70's??? G
There's actually a nice long wall to the right of that chair.
A love seat would fit perfectly there!

Back to the left. The closet - not too exciting.

Finishing off the tour. The old antique dresser and spinning wheel.
(Yep, I know how to do that too!) The entry/exit door is to the left.

Bill just said it sounds like someone is walking upstairs.

Could we have a ghost?

I just checked and all 3 dogs are down here.

I sure hope 'it's' okay with the colors!! G

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Another Iowa Barn - Lost to Mother Nature

My sister called this morning. (They live down in south eastern Iowa) They'd had a wind storm "straight winds? Tornado?" in the middle of the night. At 330 this morning the wind woke her up. They grabbed the kids, the dog and headed downstairs, but by the time they got there, it was over.

This morning when her husband Chris went out to do chores he found their big red barn (built in the late 1800's) had been pushed a good foot off it's foundation and the East wall had given way. Sadly, it's a total loss. My niece's two 4-H steers and her heifer are fine. A little confused by the whole matter...but happy to get something to eat! Those are MY kind of cows!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 3 - Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend!


When you have two gardens and several hundred feet of fence line
bordered with Hostas and Sedum -


Today was an "outside day".
It was sunny, dry and until about noon the wind was mild.
A great day for ROUND UP!!

I started off my morning with a Swim. It is Wednesday after all and what do I do on MWF when I'm on vacation? I go to the pool! This morning, I'll be honest....I almost didn't go. I guilted myself into it knowing I'd feel bad later on in the day if I didn't go.

So, we're swimming a while and Wilma blows her whistle. We all know what that means!! Too many people, we need to swim in 'circles' around your lane. There are 4 lanes and you have to keep the blue strip on your left. Works for me...Wilma, which lane do you want me in? She sends me to lane #1 for the 'fast' people and sends Hannah over too. WAIT!!! NOT HANNAH! OMG!! Hannah is about 16, she's on the swim team and makes me work WAY too hard for her NOT to lap me! UGH!! Luckily, that only lasted about 4 laps and Wilma blew her whistle again. "Now what???" Go bad to the way we were, that was too confusing she says. TG!! Truth be told, I think she just wanted to try out her whistle.

So, Hannah moves to the middle of the pool with her friend and " boston marathon women" moves next to me. EXCELLENT! She's 37 and I can SO LAP HER!! LOL
So I make my own personal challenge that I have to lap (aka - pass) her 5 times before I can leave. That made me swim harder without having to kill myself. DONE!!!

I knew today would be an outside day as it's suppose the rain the next couple. That's fine as I have that bedroom to finish up. It's getting there!! I need more paint for the doors and the floor. Maybe Bill will get that for me tomorrow?

I weeded the gardens, spray painted the tire frame and re-taped the tire.
Sure is Purdy!

It was noon and time for a sandwich!

I needed a shower and had just grabbed a change of clothes when someone pulled into the lane. One of the siding estimate people! UGH!! It takes a while for them to do the measuring and answering their questions and what not. Finally I get back in the house a second car pulls in! Another estimate! OMG!!! I'm getting NOTHING done!

It's now 220 and I haven't even had LUNCH!! Let along a shower!!! I wanted to get to the pond today, but it's not looking promising. The dogs have a chiro appointment at Sue Ann's at 4. So, I shove my sandwich in my mouth, grab a shower, check on the ponies and grab the dogs to head for our appointment.

Class tonight and then I think I'll call it an evening!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day Two - The Accident!

It was bound to happen!!

Put one clumsy ox of a women and 3 dogs in a bedroom with open paint containers
and LOOK OUT!! It's gonna GO!!! I only wish I could blame the dogs!!!! G

It's was about 7 am and I'm painting the's getting rather stuffy in the room and there's a nice breeze coming from the East. (Yes Carrie, when I'm at home, I KNOW my directions! G) So, I hop off the ladder, obviously don't look where I'm going and kick over the metal can (yep, it was older paint - plastic cans now!) in my stocking feet. Amazingly enough, I did NOT swear!!! I think I said, "Oh No" or something to that effect. I immediately hear 12 paws running up the old wooden stair case, in response to this, I start yelling, "no no no no"....they retreat. TG! Meanwhile, Bill is down stairs and I'm upstairs scooping paint back into the can with my hands!! UGH!! The carpet was going to get trashed anyway, (it's just a 6 - 8' length about 3' wide) I just wish I'd have vacuumed it so that the paint doesn't have extra 'texture'. I covered the wet spot with some plastic until I can get the dresser off the carpet to pick it up. It makes it a bit of an obstacle course, but functional.

I have two main helpers. Kruz is the only smart one, he stays downstairs most of the time.
Mad likes to lay on the bed in the middle of the room or under the ladder.
She doesn't move either, you must move 'around' the Princess!

Seeker generally stays out of the 'smelly' paint room and in the 'blue room' next door.
That's where all the furniture from this room went.
He found a spot and is generally laying out flat.
Up until this afternoon he's been doing pretty good about keeping his tail out of the paint.
He's turned tri now, however, as he must have brushed up against a wet wall.
Looks like a trip to the pond is due!!

The painting is going pretty well. I'm not sure I like the 3 color combo in an old house, it just doesn't fit. Too modern I guess? Oh well, it's STAYING!! I will NOT repaint. G

Bill had to track down the ladder last night. Our wooden 6' ladder is missing. (I think someone stole it!! LOL) He found the 8' wooden ladder however, and it has all the foot rungs and the 6' one is missing the bottom one, so this works!
Our ceilings are either 10 or 11', I can never remember, so an 8' ladder works just fine.

The only problem is, it's missing the tray holder too! G
That makes it interesting.
I used the top step and if you're careful (yep, that's me!!) you can get away with it.

I'm pretty sure these ladders both came from dear ole Dad too.
I'm pretty sure he really does love me??????
Remember, he found me the iron bed for $5? Well, I'm thinking these he picked out of some one's garbage on amnesty day. I'm NOT making that up!!
(I wonder what nice item I can find him for Father's Day??)

A few more things you should know about this 8' ladder.
It's Total RED NECK!
Yes, that is Duct tape holding that piece of wood together.
You can't really tell from this shot, but there's a bolt that is suppose to be holding that leg at the top of the ladder. Um, guess what, if you pick the ladder up and set it down again, it's on 3 legs. You have to make sure that 4th one is back on that bolt!!
As far as stability. It's NOT there! G
Martha would NOT keep her lunch down on this baby!
But it was FREE and it's FUNCTIONAL!
A quality item!

Today's Accomplishments...and the night is still young!

* Painted the ceiling and the carpet.

* Started clicker training the ponies. They work for carrots!

* Ran to Walmart

* Lunch with Peggy

* Fabric store to get material for curtains.

* Worked both ponies.

* Painted the 3 walls.
Backed into a wet wall twice.
I wonder if Terry would hire me part time?

* Ate some strawberry cake and coffee....waiting for paint to dry....(not watching...waiting)

Tonight - need another coat of paint on 3 walls and make curtains!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day one of Vacation.....

If People thought Pigman was tough, they need to come spend a few days with me on vacation!

When people find out your going to take a vacation, they generally ask either, 'are you doing anything fun?' or 'are you going anywhere?'

I usually just reply, "not going anywhere and just doing stuff around the house." They respond, oh that will be nice and relaxing.....that's where they are WRONG!!!!!

What I'd really like to is....'define fun'...and do you want to see my LIST!! That alone would frighten most intelligent people. I won't type it here, but let's just say it's the 'impossible' list that no one could ever complete in a week. A year, maybe???

Let's tackle, 'Are you going anywhere?' Apparently they don't realize that staying at home for me is actually a TREAT!!! It seems that more weekends than not I'm getting up in the middle of the night to drive 200+ miles to an agility trial in order to wait for club members to set courses so I can run my dog for 15 seconds (Yes, Seeker's JWW run) and then crash at the hotel at 8:36 PM to get up early and do it all over again! Often times this weekend includes Friday as well...this is if I'm lucky. (and I DO mean that!!)

-Back to my list!!

Let me begin by's 10:22 PM and WAY past my normal work week bedtime. Not to worry, I will be up at the crack of dawn starting to work through more of those list items.

Today's events......

*I went swimming - pool opens at 5:45 am.

* Brought ponies inside - Farrier was coming at 8 am

* Hooked up horse trailer and pulled it out of the barn, they said it was going to rain and it needed a rinse. The weather men LIED...again!!

* David showed up at 8 and his appointment after mine canceled. That would have been fine normally, but then he dilly dallied - chattered away and I was on a MISSION!! "I can pound one of those nails in for you if you're getting tired!!" Then followed him down the road to hold one of Julie's ponies for home at 10 am! UGH!!

* Trained two ponies....

* Worked Kruz and Mad on contacts.

* Cleaned out both sides of the hog house (chicken and chicken/turkeys) I think I might have 2 Toms now?? I guess time will tell.

* Started painting the upstairs bedroom. Found some interesting tidbits. (See below)

* Ran to Menards to pick up our 'custom made' North Door and a storm door.

* Talked to the neighbor about getting a puppy. Scooter had to be put down for biting. Good news for my chickens.....bad news for Scooter.

* Did some more painting.

* Called it a day at 9:45 PM. Tomorrow I'll do it all over again.
By Friday, work will be looking pretty darn good!! G

Okay, the upstairs bedroom. Oh Dear.....

When people ask how old our house is and I tell them it was built in 1890, their first reaction is....oh, I love old houses. ME TOO!! Then they say, I bet it has really nice wood work. This is when I 'should' tell them....'I bet your WRONG!!'. It doesn't! I personally like it 'without paint', but it's not oak. The only oak the people that built this house saw was the tree outside the window. I think everyone assumes houses built during this era are big fancy houses of the 'rich and famous'. Ours was purchased through either Sears Roebuck or Montgomery Wards catalog (take your pick) as a 'kit' and sent down this way via the Mississippi. I'm pretty sure it didn't fit in a box, but I bet it came with directions.....that no man read anyway! That explains a LOT! G The wood work has designs on it, but it's either birch or poplar, not oak. That's okay I love it anyway.

So, today I painted the wood work 'again' in the bedroom. I had to close my eyes!! Trust me, it looked like I had. At one point I lost my balance on the stool and almost fell off. Luckily I put my hand in the nice wet paint and saved myself. I probably shouldn't admit that I did this TWICE!!!! VBG

OMG!! Even hands look FAT in pictures!!!!

The wood work was pepto-bismol pink, it was grass green before the pink. Now it's brown. I had to put two coats of brown on to cover the pink. I'm guessing it took two coats of pink to cover the green. When Bill got home from work he commented how he didn't like the trim that dark. I told him he could always strip it. He said he's love to, but just didn't have the time. I told him if it was really important he could make the time. I could see him calculating how often he came up stairs and how often he'd have to look at the painted wood work and saw it fall 'off' his radar.
NOT that important! G

Remember the bunny adhesive trim. Well, it pulled off some loose wallpaper.
No matter how hard I tried I could NOT get a look at that horses head. G

I think these are cactus below?
I see more horses and some cattle.

And just when you thought it couldn't get any worse.....this wall paper was the 'first' layer.

There's actually a 'gold' version of this in the 'maid's quarters' above the kitchen.

I really didn't have much choice but to peel this off as it was going to come off as I painted over it. I'm a bit concerned that it won't hold paint very well, but I'm already thinking ahead.
What do I have that I can hang there. G

Well, it's 10:46.....time for bed!!!

Tomorrow maybe I'll introduce you to our ladder!!!

Baby Birds - House Sparrows are HATCHED!

3 of the 4 eggs hatched over night. I checked them yesterday afternoon when we got home and a couple of them had started to crack. Mom wasn't around, so I picked out the 4 eggs to examine them closer. I know....momma birds HATE ME! G

This morning, mom was missing again, so I pulled back the leaves to have a peek. Three little mouths came popping up! So, I had to run and get the camera before she came back.

I wanted something for 'scope', these little guys are TINY!!
My finger didn't work too well!! LOL

The Robins left before I could get another picture of them.
I took Terry over to see them Thursday evening and they were 'bursting' out the sides of the nest. Sunday evening they were gone and the nest empty. It's amazing!! Only two weeks from the time they hatched and they are out of the nest!!

I'll keep a closer tab on these little sparrows!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Domestic ME!!

I'm on vacation next week....yes, I know....AGAIN!!! But that's okay, I have a LOT to do!!

One of the 'many' things on my 'to do' list is to redecorate one of the 3 bedrooms upstairs. I say 'redecorate' like it's been actually 'decorated' in the past? Whomever painted it last must have been on DRUGS!!! Actually, considering the whole down stairs of our house was painted - walls and ceilings - in either baby blue or baby pink when we moved in, the upstairs is down right STYLISH!!! G

After living in this house for 9.5 years, it's about time we started doing a few more 'updates' inside!! Okay, I'm not sure I can really say 'we', as Sal wants NO part of this adventure! I 'might' be able to get him to bring the paint inside from the truck tonight, but even that might be pushing my luck! He knows however, that whatever I start.....he'll somehow get involved! G

So, below is the bedroom I've chosen to 'update' first. We call it the 'yellow' room. Why? Because the walls are YELLOW!!! Yes, the ceiling is yellow too. I'm not sure why they thought it would be best to paint the ceiling the same color as the wall, but they do? Maybe it's a 1890 thing, which by the way is the year this house was built.

I might also mention here that when the people did paint, they did NOT bother to remove the wall paper underneath. Thus, you have these nice lines showing running vertical up and down your walls. Apparently when wall paper was invented (um...okay, by the Chinese in 200 BC) do you think I made that up? They didn't have the nice 'butting' edges they do today. it was OVERLAPPED!! Yep, so those lines show through as well. You might be asking yourself, is she going to remove the wall paper. Oh NAY NAY~~~ it might well be holding the house together!!! LOL

The pink and white quilt folded on the bed is one I made.
The other was from clearance at LL Bean.

The old iron bed is from an auction that my Dad Picked up. It's been about 15 years ago and my Dad, Bill and I went to an auction. I'm NOT good at auctions...when I see something I WANT IT~~ then I end up paying too much. So, this bed was there. It was spray painted 'black and gold', it had PERFECT metal box springs. I wanted it so bad!!! Of course my dad is telling me to chill and NOT to draw attention to it. So, Bill has to drag me away to look at other things. I gave my dad a piece of (not over $100) and left him to his bidding. One thing about my dad, when you give him a bid price, he 'might' or 'might not' adhere to what you want to spend. I once got a pink cherry blossom sugar server (depression glass) for $80. I only wanted to spend $40. LOL So, it was a risk!

We came back when the auctioneer was clearly past and I had myself a BED!!!
It was only $5!!!! YIPPEE!!!

The fancy border (below) is that 'modern' sticky adhesive kind. Kind of like tape, it will come off very easy!! If you want it, come and get it!!! Otherwise it will end up in a ball on the floor!
Can't wait to peel that off! You can also get a better look at the wall paper and oh..the multiple layers of PAINT!!! Who's been picking out this stuff?

The curtains came with that place too. I'll be making my own, yep, I can sew too!!
Who would have thought!! I made a pair for the bathroom when I was home on Monday.

Notice the brand new windows!!
We had all 11 of the windows replaced last week.
It was LONG over due!

The door is extremely fancy. I'm not sure what I'm doing with those yet.
Actually, I'm rather concerned that pink is going to cover very well.

I absolutely HATE painted wood work.
My stripper is getting rather old and grumpy,
so I'm not sure I can get him to 'perform' one last time.

Why would someone paint this???
Many more layers and you won't be able to tell it's decorated at all!

Here's one down stairs that Bill stripped 8 years ago.

It's not high quality wood, but this was a farm house, not a rich estate.
Things needed to be practical and functional.

I purchased the paint today and hope to get started on Monday.
I'll keep you posted on the outcome.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Red Neck Pigman 2009 - I'm still alive!!

Martha gave me this cartoon on Friday. G
I only WISH I had that many legs!!!

Today was the big day!!
I finished, I survived and I got done in time for PIZZA!!
That's the short version!

Here's the long version.

The rule to this tri was that everything must be borrowed, free or I already had it.

Tri Wet Suit - Borrowed from Candy - Team Beast
Bike & Helmet - Borrowed - Meme - Weasels in Flight
Bike shorts/Zoot shirt - Borrowed - Dawn - Team Beast
Bike Trainer - Cosmos - Team Beast
Goggles, running belt , swim cap - Gift - The Pulfords

Saturday evening started out with 'carb loading' at the Olive Garden.
I'm good at carb loading!!!

Saturday night my sister, Dawn and her husband, Chris along with their kids, Daphne and Vaughn spent the night. I love those kids...they are going to pick out my nursing home! So whatever they need...they GET!!

We got to bed around 10 and then in the middle of the night the storms came in, knocking out our electricity from 330 - 430. We were getting up at 430 anyway (yes, the race started at 730 and we were 30 minutes away. Sure sounds like 'agility' to me!!!) but I was so relieved when the coffee machine started doing it's thing!! It's Sunday and there IS a goD!!

Check in was to open at 6. We wanted to get in early so we could get a good spot in the transition area. This is where you store your bike (or in my case, Meme's bike - Suzie - Thanks Meme!!), your shoes and running belt. Your bike it hooked onto a pole in this transition area and it's advantageous to have an end spot. It was apparent when we arrived at 6 that we were LATE! G
The parking lot was 1/2 full and several of the 39+ aged women were already there.
It worked out, we got a nice spot anyway.

After we chugged about 80 ounces of water we put on our wetsuits (mine is borrowed from a "Beast Triathlon Team Member", thanks Candy!!) and headed down to the water. The game plan was to get wet and comfortable in the water. Or I could take 'fireman Dave's Advice' and swim until I freak out and then come to shore and the race will be fine. It seems that 90% of the Tri people "HATE" the swim. I guess it has something to do with not being able to breathe while someone is kicking you or swimming over top of you. Makes perfect sense to me.

We completed our warm up and then came to shore for the briefing and the "elite" start. In the mean time my coffee and 80 (plus by now) of water had needed south and was looking for an exit. I looked up longingly at the port a potties. Do I have time? I asked?? Dawn said, 'just go in your suit, I just did.' Then Dave pipes in.....'me too'. Okay, this is just a little TMI!!! I explained, first off, this ISN'T MY WET SUIT!! Second, my butt will be sitting on Suzie's seat! NOT MY BIKE!!! They decided it was okay if I headed up use the 'bathroom'.

Our 'wave' is getting closer. 3 people have quite and have been pulled into the boats so far. This will NOT be me!! I know I want to swim to the outside and away from traffic. My biggest problem is trying to avoid 'racing' someone faster than me. It's so easy to fall into sprint mode. By staying to the outside I not only avoid traffic and getting bumped or swam over, I also can't really tell how fast the people around me are going. The down side is that you end up swimming further than you'd need to. They are sending us into the water with 3 seconds in between each person. This actually seemed to be working well and preventing a lot of bunching up.

The swim wasn't nearly as bad as people had lead me to believe. I think it helped going to Burlington to swim with the 'Team Beast' group. That first time in the water was SCARY!
I feel secure in my little pool with blue lines. Meme, Michelle and Vinnie went with me to the pond on Friday to practice more open swimming. That pond has a LOT of weeds growing from the bottom, so that's a bit creepy. Bill and Seeker went with me Saturday morning in the rain and I think those trips really paid off and made me feel confident in the water. My goal in the water was 10 minutes, I came in at just under 12. I was fine with that as I didn't stay on track very well and I did have to breast stroke a bit to get my barrings. I did try to run out of the water too soon and almost fell on my face....the "S" word kind of popped out. G

Running up the hill trying to take your wetsuit off it HARD!! Huffing and puffing!!
At least on the bike you can BREATHE!!!!!

I didn't think the bike ride was too bad. There were a few hills that were MURDER!! But overall, not bad at all. I was so disappointed with my time however. Suzie and I did our best....well, okay, we did have time to take in some scenery, so maybe we weren't ALL business! G Knowing Suzie isn't a racing bike, I think we did pretty well. I hoped to complete the bike ride in 45 minutes. It took 65 minutes, so that really cost me the chance to make my personal goal.

I did almost have a wreck on the bike. It was at the dismount. You're coming down a steep hill and have to hang a left. There is marker in the transition area that you MUST be off your bike. I slipped my right foot out of the cage and planned on gracefully swinging my leg over and effortlessly jogging next to the bike up to the transition. Well, after 15.5 miles and 65 minutes on a bike, your legs turn to RUBBER!!!! OMG!!! I almost went down, but managed to keep both of use on our feet. That was CLOSE!!!!!!

The run was PAINFUL!! It had nothing to do with oxygen and everything to do with shin pain!! I had it happen at home when I tried to switch from riding to running and it's a total killer. I'm not even sure I can describe it, but I suppose it's like someone sticking needles in your shins. I would try to walk, but it hurt even worse than if I would slowly job along. I did stop briefly to see if I could get those muscles stretched out, but apparently they were out to lunch!! Scale of 1-10....totally a 9. I was almost in tears at one Dawn was telling me about people crying on the swim....I was darn near close to crying on the run!! It took a little over 2 miles for them to finally start to feel better. As I would "run" I would try to stretch them out. UGH!
Running time a very slow 36 minutes...but it was about where I thought I'd be after the other two events. Add in some transition times and I finished at 1:58:42. 13:42 off my goal.
But under 2 hours, so I was happy with that.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed. I really thought I could hit the 1:45......but I finished....I didn't choke on the swim and I actually beat a few people along the way!! G

Will I do it again??

Right now, I'm not sure. 'maybe'.

I will keep swimming. If nothing else I've found I really do enjoy that. I like the pool, the people and the challenge of going further. Not to mention the lung capacity it builds. Like I need that!

I would like to make my goal time...but finding the time to train is really tough.
Next time I'd want a racing bike and I'm not sure I'd be able to borrow another Tri suit.

Thanks to the Burlington BEAST Triathlon Club!!
For helping me out!!!!!
(I know I've missed some results!!!!)
Now I can wear my sweatshirt since I finished!!!

Dawn Pulford - 1:29:41
Shawn Mears - 1:17:59
Fireman Dave Luers 1:30:59 (Dawn beat you!!!)
Lyle Roberts (78 years old) 1:46:26 - he's been doing this for years!!! G

and my riding buddy -

Julie Volesky - 1:55:29 - You go GIRL!!!

and just to make me feel a 'little' better!!

Hey come you got beat by a 72 year old guy???

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Last Minute Thoughts.......

Well, tomorrow's the "big" day.

A few last minute thoughts.....

As Dori said in Finding Nemo.....'just keep swimming'. G

As Dawn said, "I'm not competing, I'm participating."

As Julie said, "It's faster to just keep pedaling, than to walk your bike up the hill."

As the girl at check in said to someone else, "I just want to survive."

Baby Bird - Updated

Sorry, this picture is from Thursday -
the Robins are about 4 days old. Look at all the pin feathers!!!!

I can't believe how fast they are growing!!
I'll take a look today to see how they are doing.

One apparently 'snores'. G It was sleeping
with it's mouth open. Either that or it wants
to be first in line for the 'WORM BAR'.

Here's momma...or dadda....not sure.
I do know it thought I should be somewhere ELSE!!

The 'humming bird' NOT!!


I'm still trying to determine what it is.
I believe it's a house sparrow.
At least the egg description matches.
There are four eggs, blue with black specks.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Baby Birds.......are cute!

Okay, I must admit....I'm a baby bird watcher. I know where most of the nests are around our place, whether it be in the pines, in the trees, in the down spouts or out in the barn.
I'm watching them!! Just ask the barn swallows!!!

Sometimes I wonder how birds survive at all!! Sparrows have the most misshaped haphazard nests around, babies are always falling out of them. They give other bird construction companies a bad name....if you're looking for a nest builder, leave sparrows OUT!!

Robins aren't always that much better. They put nests in the dumbest places!! I've seen them on top of fence posts, on wreaths, and this spring we had one on the down spout on the east side of our house. I couldn't bring myself to watch that one, it didn't look like ANYTHING good could come of it. Just DON'T LOOK ETHEL!

I finally found a nice sound little Robin nest in the pine trees on the West side of our house. I actually wouldn't have found it at all if I hadn't been walking by and the darn bird flew out at me and made me wet my pants. YIKES!!! That was a could weeks ago, and I've been watching the 4 little blue eggs every since. So, today.... look what I found!!!
Are they cute or what!!
It appears to be a nice secure little next inside a sturdy little pine tree.
Let's hope they survive the storms predicted for tonight.

While I was on vacation a couple weeks ago a little humming bird came to the South kitchen window. It was amazing I saw it....what's even more amazing that I was doing dishes! G
So, I hurried out and put some sugar water in the humming bird feeder and of course I haven't seen her since. Ungrateful little bird! This morning I was looking at the flowers under the wind mill and look what I found in the clematis. It's a tiny little nest and I think it might belong to a HUMMING BIRD!! At least I hope it does!! Time to make more sugar water!!!

So, I checked a little further and there's an EGG IN THERE!!!
Bill's now hollering at me to leave it ALONE!!!

One last picture and look, this tidy little nest is made up of some of the
Ponies mane and tail hairs. What good little house keepers humming birds are!
I only wish they hired out!!! G