Thursday, March 31, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
(Today's photo assignment: Photograph something in motion.)
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
On the other hand, Bella still has no interest in her bike. She plays on the swingset or draws on the driveway. Tonight she followed Daisy dog around the yard.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
|I had a little help corner marshalling.|
There were eleven women in the race--all local so I knew what to expect from them. We got the whistle and were off. Forest Park is a pretty simple four corner course with only one "real" corner. The rest are more sweeping turns. Between turns three and four there is a false flat that starts to wear on you later in the race, and the sprint always starts early for the race, right out of turn four (about 330 meters).
The attacks started early, within the first two laps. The theme of the race was attack, reel it in, then knit. The attacks primarily came from Chris, Carrie, and Emily, although Teresa and Cindi. I also launched one about 12 minutes into the race. I wasn't planning on it sticking, but I felt good and wanted to see if I could shake anyone off of our field. I stayed away about 3/4 of a lap, Carrie and Emily chased me down. I sat on with them until the rest of the field caught on. The first prime came a couple of laps later. I decided to go for it when we hit turn four. Carrie passed me at the line to take it. When I saw her wheel to wheel with me, I sat up. That's a bad habit I don't need to have. The second prime came late in the race and I got pinched in the corner and was not in good position.
With two laps to go, the pace picked up quite a bit. Cindi was on the front with one lap to go, and I was sitting second wheel. She kept amping up the pace. We turned the corner, the field fanned out, and the sprint was on. I did what I could, but simply could not go that hard that long. Carrie won the race. Teresa took fourth, I was sixth.
Physically I felt good throughout the race. There was only one point that my legs were screaming at me. Chris attacked, we caught her and Emily immediately countered. I talked myself through it knowing that once we caught Emily it would slow down a bit and it did.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
|Cutting up the beef and pork before grinding time.|
|Bella decides she wants to help Klucker mix the sausage.|
|Stuffing the casings.|
|Even Big Klucker worked this year. This is a rarely seen sight.|
|Yes Uncle Jeffrey needs to be report to DFS.|
Friday, March 18, 2011
Bella was a binky baby. She had that thing in her mouth all the time. We put multiple binkies in her crib so if she lost one in the night, she could immediately find another. I had back up binkies stashed so we would never be without. When she was about two and a half, we began to try to break the habit. I started by poking little holes in the tip of the nipple. It didn't phase her. I cut the end off them. She pulled it out, looked at it, and kept sucking. Finally, I did what all well-educated, child-centered parents do when trying to break their children of a bad habit, I lied and bribed her. "The Easter Bunny won't leave you anything in your basket if he sees you still have a binky." The material girl side of the diva took over and she plunked every binky she could find in the trash. End of story? Not quite.
Immediately her right index finger went to her mouth and we've been fighting that habit ever since. She's got little scars built up on the bottom of her finger from her teeth. In the winter her hands get dried and chapped from being wet. She actually stopped for a few months, but when Boo went to kindergarten and she was alone at pre-school it started again. The good news is she only sucks it when she has her woobie in her hands, the bad news is that it's like prying a nut from a squirrel to get woobiy away from her. My newest plan is to outlaw woobies anywhere in the house except for bedrooms. That will at least cut down the opportunity. I don't know where I'll go from there. With Boo, we taped a glove to his pajamas to stop the thumb sucking and he left it alone. I can see Bella gnawing at the glove to remove it.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
With all that going on in his little head, and his body continually growing and developing, he struggles some days to know who he is and what he should be doing. It's in those moments he quickly reverts to being a little boy. He'll crawl up in my lap and want a snuggle. He'll try to get me to sleep in his bed. He'll grab my hand to show me something that excites him. I drink in those moments. Snuggling him tonight, holding his hand while we watch cartoons, are priceless pieces of his childhood. I dread the soon-to-come day when he discovers that Mommy is not cool and I'm only out to ruin his life. I don't look forward to the time when a 16 year old cheerleader becomes the most important woman in his life. So I hold on to him when I can. I take advantage of his cuddling nature and savor his hugs.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I don't know when this tree lost her leaves and branches. I'm not sure when she was cut down to a stump, but she sits in our side yard, a good place for the kids to rest while we're working in the garden. And a good reminder of love.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
|The green is beginning to appear.|
Paying this close of attention to the weather is a relatively new thing to me. This winter is only the second one where I've pushed the temps and weather to venture outside for my bike rides at least once a week. It's made me very cognizant of what's happening.
Monday, March 14, 2011
|The on ramp to the Poplar Street bridge. I was sitting still when I took the photo.|
|One of the many wrecks I saw on my lovely commute.|
|The view from my office. So much for the "dusting" they predicted.|
Saturday, March 12, 2011
I think I first interacted with a computer in junior high. We had an Apple lab; they weren't Macs just quite yet. And we learned to "program". That meant I could write code well enough to make pictures appear on the green and black screen. In high school I learned how to add motion and sound to those pictures. It was in college that I got a little more advanced--I learned how to word process. I spent a lot of time with the boys of Sigma Phi Delta. I would guess almost every guy in the house had a computer, a mix of Macs and PCs. I learned to work on both platforms based on who was around and had a free machine. The guys always told me not be afraid to break it because there was nothing I could do that they couldn't fix. I took that attitude with me as technology advanced. I've never been afraid to play around and see what happens.
I think I've passed that spirit on to my kids, or maybe they've come by it naturally because technology has been since a part of their lives since birth. Nightly it's a race to see who gets to the iPad first. Whomever doesn't get the iPad goes for my phone. Mind you it doesn't matter that Boo has my old desktop set up downstairs . . . it's not as cool as the iPad. It's seemingly intuitive for them and try and try until they figure it out. I like that. I value their sense of exploration and lack of concern for making a mistake. I think we lose that as we grow older.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
1. A garage
2. Mature trees
3. A big kitchen
It's funny to me how my priorities changed. When I was a teenager and in my early 20's, I wanted a house with a big front porch. That's it, nothing else. I wanted to be able to sit on the porch after dinner and watch the sunset. While I would still love to do that, I began to realize the little things that I needed. The garage was a biggie. After living in the City and scraping my windshield and digging my car out and sitting on towels because my seat was too hot, I covet a garage. It was something that would make my life so much easier, and it has. And thankfully I have not turned into my father in this regard, we can actually park two cars in our garage.
Having trees around the house was my next requirements. Today's photo is from our back patio. While my backyard isn't very big; there's no room for a pool, I have the best view. We have a creek at the bottom and the hillside is covered in trees. I think I love it so much because it reminds me of the view from the back of the house where I grew up. It was as if we came home when we found this house. I love the view most in the summer when it's covered in lush leaves. The fall is beautiful as well.
My final requirement was to have a big kitchen. That one's easy enough to explain. Think about anytime you have people over, where does everyone wind up? In the kitchen. And with my love of baking and Klucker's love of cooking, it was something we readily agreed upon.
Monday, March 7, 2011
For now I wait. In another four or five weeks, I'll get my plants. I'll start preparing the ground. And I'll wait like a kid for Santa for the blossoms, then the small green globes, and finally the first hint of red.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
One of my favorite Bella stories involving chocolate happened two Christmas' ago. In an attempt to get the kids excited about Christmas and to understand when it was coming, I got them Advent calendar from Trader Joe's. After a few days, Boo could have cared less. He'd look at the shape of the chocolate and give it to his sister. (He's picky like me.) Bella would gladly accept and wolf down both pieces. Christmas was still a few weeks away when we had our neighborhood party. Uncle Jeffrey was kind enough to babysit that evening. It was about 11 when we came home. The kids were snuggled down for the night and as we stood in the kitchen I noticed the Advent calendars were up on top of the kitchen cabinets. At bedtime, after Uncle Jeffrey had tucked Bella in and moved to Boo's room, Miss Bella snuck downstairs. She climbed up on the kitchen stool (she was two at the time) and proceeded to open day after day after day on the calendars, gorging on the chocolate inside. I think she got about ten pieces down by the time Uncle Jeffrey caught her.
|Cindi & I getting ready to ride. Love Cindi in a Big Shark kit!!!|
|The view from the bridge on the Trace.|
Saturday morning got there far too quickly and it ushered in the rain. It did not look good for the planned 80 miles on the Trace. As the skies continued to open, more and more folks backed out of the ride. There were about 12 of us who started out towards Percy Warner Park. Within three blocks, two turned back and my feet were starting to schoosh on the downstroke. By the end of four miles, I could no longer see through my glasses. I rode about 35 minutes out before crying uncle and heading back. The only problem was I didn't quite remember how we had gotten there. Relatively quickly I found the road to the hotel and decided to take it straight back. There was heavy traffic, but at least I knew where I was. I warmed up in a hot shower before we headed out to lunch and a mani/pedi. My thought was that if I couldn't ride, I might as well do something productive. Next up was a core/stretching class by Amy that I muddled through with my weakling modifications.
And then came Saturday night. Dinner at Bosco's was first. Good food, great company, bad innuendos sums it up pretty well. And then we went to Cadillac Ranch. Amy was bound and determined that someone needed to ride the mechanical bull. While I am happy to say I stayed much longer than eight seconds, I must sadly tell you there is no photographic evidence. Although the photos below do display the talents of some of my teammates who took the challenge as well. In hind sight, it probably would have been a good move to go home after that, but when has that ever stopped me. Coyote Ugly was next . . . and it got ugly. That's all I can say because what happens at team camp, stays at team camp. Naw, it wasn't that bad…nothing anyone who knows me wouldn't expect, but again, protecting the innocent. I will just say that after all the years of warning students about the dangers of horse play, I had to go and prove it myself. Black eye, bloody (possibly broken) nose, and eight of us piling into the cab rounded it all out.
Sunday morning came even quicker than Saturday morning and my face hurt more than I can tell you. It hurt to put my glasses on when we went to ride. I would guess about 25 of us went to ride. Most of the group split off and met some guys from Grand Fondo bikes. Seven of us rode West End/Harding out to the trace and did a few miles out there. It was chilly, damp, and windy, but it felt good to spin. It wasn't my best quality ride, but we managed to get 47 done.
|Tom's look regarding Cody's story should tell it all.|
|Cindi conquering the bull.|
|Our bull riding cheering section.|
After a shower and lunch, Cindi and I headed home. The ride home was much the same as the ride there . . . non-stop talking and stories. In spite of the lack of mileage, it was a great weekend.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I then started thinking about what I consider art. There are the traditional genres, drawing, painting, sculpting, but then I started thinking about food. To me a great cook is an artist. But it's more than simple presentation, so how do you capture flavor in a photograph. I also thought about some of the gifted speakers I've heard. It is an art to be able to deliver a message with a flair that holds your audience's attention. Then I thought about my father-in-law, and the art of sales. I swear that man could sell sand to a nomad in the Saraha. It all goes back to perspective...which seems to be an overarching theme with me as of late as I train to maintain a positive perspective on what's going on in my life.
In the end, I chose a photo of one of my favorite types of art, writing. I bet that shocked you! One of the most beautiful feelings I get is settling down with a book that envelops me to the degree that I'm sad when it's over.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
So, the cool thing, to me, about this shot is how small the actual area is. This is a photo of the side of my desk blotter. The entire grid is only about 5" by 15" and I think I probably captured less than an inch of it on this shot. It's all about perspective I guess. That takes me back to repeating patterns of human behavior. I guess those all are about perspective as well. Sometimes it's so easy to sit back and identify patterns of behavior in others, but so much more difficult to identify them in yourself. I have to frequently remind myself to not be a bull in a china shop, to sit back and let things happen instead of constantly trying to be forcing forward motion. Patience is a virtue I must try to develop . . . I just want it now.