Hello, I'm glad you're here, and hope you enjoy your visit. It has been said that "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." This blog is about me, my adventures, silly moments, and keeping in touch with you. Life is exciting and so full of possibilities, so let's enjoy the journey together.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

winter arrived in a bluster!

 This storm came in with a blustering wind.  They were so nervous about it being bad that they closed the schools early, government offices closed, the University closed, even the store I work for closed early so people wouldn't have to drive around while it was blowing through.  In the end it was a bad storm, but probably not bad enough to close down the entire town.  but it made for an exciting day anyway.



 The only thing about this storm is that it blew in the day before we were leaving for Colorado for Thanksgiving.  We were kind of concerned about holiday travel.  This picture is taken through the sliding glass door to the back yard.  the snow and ice was building up the side of the window.  when you open the door it sort of just stays like that and doesn't move until you move it.

 This is the front of the house during a little break in the storm.  it just plastered everything white.











Oscar likes to play in the snow.  He went exploring as soon as he could get outside.




 By the time this storm got done snowing, we had about 12" of cold wintery snow!  We would have been able to bury Flat Stanley, but we left his head poking out.  It's hard to explain snow with pictures but it is light, fluffy, and cold.

 


The snow sticks to everything it freezes and you have to kick your shoes to get as much off as possible, if you don't it melts as soon as you go inside and then it leaves puddles all over everything.  If you step in the puddles it gets your socks wet and then your feet are cold and wet.  It's important to wear big boots to keep your feet and toes warm and dry.












 Oscar loves to play in the snow and blazes new trails.  he is actually chasing down a toy right now.
















 The snow sticks to Oscar dog really bad, it's hard to get it out of his fur.  Usually we try to brush as much off of him as we can before he shakes it EVERYWHERE leaving melted snow puddles everywhere he's been.
We didn't quite get the table into the garage.  oops!  we still need to do that later today




This is what winter looks like after the storm.  Beautiful!  It's easy to think that the sun is out and it's going to be warm, but it's just a trick that mother nature likes to play.  you soon learn that when the sun comes out it looks beautiful, but it is COLD, when these pictures were taken at approximately 11:00 am it was only 10°, thats how cold it would be if you were to sit inside your freezer.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Construction Zone and a Visitor


Let me introduce you to a visitor that arrived in the mail just after Halloween. 

This is Flat Stanley, he was smashed flat by a bulletin board.  His dad had hung the bulletin board on the wall above his bed.  It fell off the wall while he was asleep and smashed him flat as a pancake.  Being flat as a pancake has some unique privileges, as a consequence, Stanley can travel by mail.   He is visiting from Texas, and he goes to 1st grade with my niece.  We are going to use the blog to keep track of his adventures and experiences, keeping his first grade class updated on what he is up to.  So you will see him on various posts throughout the next few months.  Flat Stanley will be visiting until March.

Stanley arrived on a busy week.  We were cleaning up, repairing and fixing all kinds of stuff around the house.




The first thing we did was go out and play in the leaves.  It's getting ready for winter and all the leaves fall off the trees.  They are crunchy and it's fun to run through them.  they are light and fluffy and they blow everywhere.  







There are TONS
of leaves all over the ground.
These are all brown.







 Even Oscar dog likes to play in the leaves.  We hide his toy in the middle of the pile and he makes a big mess trying to find it.  It's really fun to play with Oscar.







These leaves are bright yellow
and dark crimson red.







These are bright orange
But the leaves turn all different colors of red, yellow, orange, green, and orange/red.  It's really pretty and when the sun shines on the trees in the morning the leaves are even more bright and colorful.
The leaves start turning colors when it gets cold,



then they fall off the trees leaving them bare. 




This post took me a little long to post, I was hoping to get a picture of frost,
but it has been raining and kind of warm & cloudy this entire week.
When it gets cold and it freezes, the grass and everything turns white with frost,
when you breathe you can see your breath in the air like big puffs of white steam.

They were doing construction on the water pipes on the street that goes to Aunt Nettie's house. 

 There was a HUGE pile of dirt in the road so you couldn't even get through, 
we had to go around the block.

It was a mess! there was barely enough room to turn down the other street.

I'm not sure if it was the road construction or something else, but on my day off I got to fixing and getting all kinds of projects done around the house.  Long over-due projects. . . first on the list were the blinds.

The blinds broke, so I couldn't get them open.  They were stuck.  a zip-tie solved our problem, almost.  they only work one way, but at least I can open them and then close them again.

This is our lawn mower.  I purchased it when we moved in to this house.  It's old and breaks down frequently.  Once again it died, right in the middle of a mow.  There was a strip going all the way around the back yard and one going through the center.  It looked pretty ridiculous.  But this is not the worst it's been.

 The genius mowed once and put stripes down through the front yard. . .

  . . . then the mower died and it looked like this for almost two weeks.
My neighbor's mowing crew asked if I needed help!!!!

By the time I got the mower back we almost needed a swather.  
 The grass was so long it was almost taller than Oscar dog.

 It almost filled two dumpsters by the time we were done, typically we fill one.

I picked the last of the strawberries for the season.  
So far strawberries are about the only thing I have been able to grow successfully.
I honestly don't know what the grocery store does to their fruits and vegetables, 
but ours taste soooo much better




I also got digging into the cupboard and found all these bags of popcorn!










I rounded up all the bags of popcorn, combined them into a single container, plus an extra bag.  That's a lot of popcorn!  My kids will probably still have popcorn to get rid of when I leave this existence.

  For a treat, I made a batch and decided to rest for a minute. Yum!
Actually I was avoiding the next project. . .


Probably the most disgusting thing to fix in a house is a clogged drain.

                                                and how do I collect so much stuff???? 

 















First I cleaned out the cupboard under the sink, which was not nearly as fun or as rewarding as my popcorn project!





There's a reason plumbers get paid to come to our houses to fix gross stuff like this. While this is not a difficult task, it's extremely GROSS!

This is one 
giant 
slimy
stinky 
hairball.

This thing has been growing for at least 2-3 years.  But the sink now drains when we brush our teeth and wash our hands.  That's a good thing.
And finally, the last project of the day.  kind of a sad day, it's time to hook the bike up to the trainer.  Winter is officially coming and my riding outside days are over for a while.

While this looks more like a mad science project, it keeps me going through the winter.

I'm already looking forward to spring!



Sunday, November 14, 2010

Remembering my first tri

I was reminiscing about my first triathlon this past year and looking at the progress I have made in the world of triathletes, and thought I would share my thoughts with you, even though there's only one picture.  I had never really considered a triathlon before, in fact I'm not sure I  fully understood what a triathlon was.  Swim, Bike, Run, all in one day in one event.  It sounded fun, not too hard, and I thought it would be great for training diversity.  A few of us at work decided to motivate ourselves into getting into shape and agreed to sign up for the Cache Valley Sprint Triathlon, it was going to be one of those "bonding" moments.  In the end I was the only one that signed up.  In my eagerness I was the first one for the entire event to sign up.  How I know this is that my bib number was #1, and they assigned bib numbers by the order in which you registered.

This is a super easy event, it takes place in an outdoor swimming pool, the bike and the run are basically flat so it looked like a no risk adventure.  Swimming for me wasn't too much of a concern being a swimmer from my high school days.  The bike was certainly not a concern, I love to ride my bike and was already planning to participate in my second LOTOJA .

The run, well that was a different story.  I'm not a runner.  However, I was determined to start.  3.1 miles (5K) how bad can it be, if all else fails I could walk that far, right?  My first attempt at running made me inoperable!  Stiff, sore, and barely able to walk, it was no different than my first post on my blog, I felt completely out of shape!  But I could still ride my bike without any problem.  My first 3 mile run took 52 minutes, ouch! I' pretty sure I can walk 3 miles in that much time.  I could barely go the distance between two telephone poles on my feet.  But undaunted I persisted.

In the future I will make sure I'm not #1, I stood out like a wilted plant!  for the swim and the bike it wasn't too bad, in fact I did quite well on the bike, placing 22nd out of 122 participants and only missed first for my age group by 28 seconds, placing 2nd, so I was pretty jazzed about that.  The problem, as I predicted, came with the run.  I wish I would have counted how many people passed me on the run, "It's #1, I'm passing you"  or "Hey #1,  you passed me earlier", and my personal favorite: "#1, don't give up now, just keep going".  I'm convinced that any other bib number would not have gotten any attention at all, .  So while I still had a good time and will plan on doing this same event in 2011, I will make sure I'm not #1!

By the time the triathlon happened, I had my 3 miles down to a slow but respectable 33:51, and overall I was 91 out of 122 participants, at least I wasn't last! what a relief.  It was true I had made progress, and therefore, know I will improve again, even more so this time.  I will conquer this quest.  I have to, I am participating in the Wasatch Back (RAGNAR Relay) in June 2011.