Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

Taken by Steve R - our local biking photographer
Saturday's activities left me on the couch for most of Sunday.  Went for a ride around the lake with some women I met while riding the TdeFW.  We plan on making it as regular a ride as possible.  After our ride, I came home and did some yard work for a couple of hours.  I needed to be cleaned up and at the wedding reception venue at 4pm.

So at 1pm, I decided that I needed a new dress to wear!  I never do that, but I ran over to TJMXX and picked up a cute dress for not much $$$.  The shopping trip, did, however, make me almost late for to the reception site.  I rolled in exactly on time, but everyone else was late.  Let's just say there was drama, lots of it.  Other than me, this is the last of my work acquaintances to be re-married.  We all unpaired about the same time.  Two of the newly formed couples were at the reception on Saturday and from looks of things, I may well be the luckiest of all.  Of course, a date might be nice.  Or not.

I got up Sunday morning at 8:30!!! Too late for a ride, but I did get out and do some more yardwork.  When the temp hit 100, I came indoors - I napped and tried to get interested in the Olympics (I think I must have adult onset AHD, as I am so easily distracted - well, not distracted, it's more of I can't seem to get "hooked" into much of anything - nothing holds my interest and I just wander off), but mostly I just slept on and off for most of the day.

This week is supposed to be ghastly hot, so I'm up early to get back to the gym.  I'm going to try to ride on Wednesday evening and Talia and I have another rally on Saturday, but I think it will be mostly gym time this week until the weather gets a bit cooler.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Be careful what you wish for.


Friday, July 27, 2012

P is for Pensive

Friends, both near and far, are going through the most difficult of times.  Today, might heart is with them all.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What Happens Next?: The Home Edition

There's a part of me that is asking just that question, "What happens next?".  What is the lesson in this for me?  I say that not in a woe-is-me fashion, but in  a rather bemused one.  Because last night found me cycling with this woman's husband.  And tonight, she is supposed to join the group for another spin.

How this transpired:  One of the women I met while doing the TdeFW, Donna,  FB'd me to ask if I wanted to go for a ride last night.  I responded yes and I happened to notice her job info.  I thought to myself - "What are the odds?".  Turns out, they were pretty good.  When the Ex-Agent's husband walked through the door and was introduced, I wasn't even that surprised.  I did respond that we had met before -that I was friends with MerryNewlywed and Her New Betrothed.  Whether he knows/knew enough about his wife's business to recognize the name and the connection, who knows?  I did not mention it.

I mean, I was pretty pissed and disappointed at the time.  I don't recall saying anything mean or hateful to her, but it was pretty damned obvious that I was seething.  But as it turned out?  BEST.THING.EVER.  My current home is much better suited to me, in a better neighborhood, is a better house and cost me less money.  I don't believe that I owe her an apology, but I am at a bit of a loss as to how to deal with this latest wrinkle?

What Happens Next?

I don't have a clue how this will unfold.  I will do my best to be gracious in this awkward situation, but I will have to rely upon in-the-moment-grace, as I don't see a clear path right now. 

ETA:  All will have to wait as I have been pressed into service to stand in for my boss at a dinner tonight. 

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Watch with amusement.


Friday, July 20, 2012

What Happens Next: The Epilogue

I wasn't going to say anymore about this, but with Lee's spot-on (IMHO) comment on WHN:2, I decided to write a little more.  Given that I am trying to give up" knowing what's best for other people" or pretty quickly attributing values or intent to people (either good or bad)",  I don't know if this is healthy or not, but here goes.  **

Within two minutes of meeting Roy, the red flags were flying.  So I suspect his dislike of me was mutual just as quickly.  We had a difference of opinion over Valerie's proposed business venture.  She was lamenting how hard it was to complete her business plan that she needed to secure financing to open a new business venture.  "All these numbers".  His response?  "You don't need a business plan.  You are putting up your house - you can borrow the money without doing all that."

My response was "well, maybe you don't need it to borrow the money, but it can certainly help serve as a roadmap to help you determine what you need to do to be successful - what milestones you need to hit".

He went on to defend his position and did some "suit wearing MBA" bashing".  (Hi, I'm Roxie, MBA, Class of '92).

Valerie was far more pleased with his response than mine because she didn't want to do the business plan.  And my thought, unsaid, was "It's pretty easy for him to sit here and tell you what you want to hear.  It's not his house being put up on a flyer".  I do realize that a large part of my reaction to this is me projecting MY fears on her, so I kept quiet because it's not my house, either.

And as for the "texting while under the influence" thing?  Drunk is no longer an acceptable excuse for anything with me - being drunk and obnoxious is just being drunk and obnoxious. That is a hard stop these days.  I have lost all tolerance for such.

So yea, I believe Roy made the grand gesture, not for my benefit, but for someone else's.  I haven't exactly figured out if it's Kendra's or Valerie's.  Who it is is none of my business, but I haven't said a word about receiving the flowers to either of them.  To be honest, honest, honest - I am not even sure that he sent them.  The wording on the card sounded very Kendra-like, so I'm thinking she might have done the heavy-lifting on this one.  Roy didn't know my last name or where I worked, so getting the flowers to me required some collusion from one of the two of them.

**Actually, I think my gut instinct is pretty well on. In the past, it became a problem when I ignored or made excuses for what my gut was telling me.  With Our Boy Roy, my needle was buried.  

I do believe what Lee said about "when people show you who they are, believe them".  So I am going with that.  Where I do believe that my progress, healthier self-esteem, is showing is in my decision to let these people (namely Kendra and Valerie) be who they are.  They are people I used to know, who I now enjoy spending time with on occasion.  Doesn't mean that either one of them has to fall into BFF category.  They are companions, not hostages.  Every triad will eventually become a couplet and a single.  I'm the odd woman out here, and that's completely okay.  It is what it is.  I don't need to try to make my relationship with Valerie or Kendra or anyone something that it is not.  That, for me, is progress.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  When people show you who they are, believe them.  (because it bears repeating).


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Anatomy of a Failed Ride

Last night's ride was an absolute beating.  I had the beginnings of a heat-related incident, mostly due to my own failures/and or stupidity.  I had stopped sweating and my core temperature felt like it was rising.  I was feeling some nausea.

Here's a list of contributing factors -

1.  Started off in a hydration deficit.  Due to some epic meetings during my work day, I was unable to hydrate in even my normal, albeit less-than-optimal fashion.

2.  Didn't take my Camelbak.  I felt like the ride was too short to pack it.  Instead, I relied on one water bottle that is not very well insulated.  Frugality fail.  *

3.  Wore my usual kit when I should have transitioned into lighter-weight stuff.  I wore the one jersey that I own (probably medium weight) because of the pockets because I wasn't going to wear the Camelbak.  Here's where my frugality almost bit me on the ass.  **

4.  The ride started at 6pm.  It was 100 degrees. 

5.  No parts of the ride were in the shade.

6.  I had a flat which took a while to change (I had to rely upon the kindness of other riders - I had all the necessary supplies, but none of the skill).  Tube change took a while.  ***

7.  Failure to listen to my gut which was telling me to turn around after getting the flat fixed.

8.  Wicked, hot cross-winds on both parts of the out-and-back.

9.  Failed to get adequate sleep/restoration the night before.  I've been riding for several days, consecutively.

10.  Didn't really have a strategy in place to deal with such an issue.  Felt like I had no choice but to keep going. 

* Am going to the lbs and buying an insulated water bottle TODAY.

**  Am going to the lbs and buying a sleeveless, lightest possible weight biking jersey  TODAY.

***Saturday night I'm going back out to stay with Talia and Noah.  Noah will be conducting tire changing seminars for me and Talia.  Neither of us feel like we could have done this in the field. 

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  The heat can kill you.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What Happens Next? : Part II

Dear Roxie,

I hope you will accept my sincerest of apologies.  I acted like an idiot.  I sincerely regret my stupidity.  I am sure you are a great girl or you wouldn't have two such good people as friends.  I also hope that you are one of those who believes that everyone deserves a second chance.



Monday, July 16, 2012

Eat A Lot Of Peaches

This weekend was fully made of awesome (well, actually peaches and pickle juice).  Talia and her husband pulled out all the stops to treat The Family Stone to some fine hospitality.  No one does haute country cuisine quite like Talia - she does a cornbread version of panzanella that will make you want to HURT someone it is so good.  There were so many highlights to our visit to Parker county, I can't even recount them all.  Fine food, fine friends  - with four of my favorite people in the entire world, all together in one wad.

Talia and Noah really live a lifestyle depicted in the Prine song.  Their small home out in the wilds of Parker county was hand-built by Noah (with a little help from Bick with the roof trusses) about 13 years ago.  He does most of the design and landscaping work and Talia has picked out the yard art.  They are both fabulous at up-cycling things.  It is a place with both energy and restorative qualities - it really is amazing - and my city-loving daughter and her city-slicker husband were ready to move right in.

The next morning, The Family Stone did breakfast - granola, berries, Greek Yogurt, and juice.  Noah made us all coffee in his vintage pot.  I'd never even seen anything like it, but it makes some fine, fine coffee.  Normally, he roasts his own beans, but conceded to Slater's coffee preferences. 

Then it was off the the rally.  Oh My Gee - was it fabulous.  First of all, no wind.  Let me say it again - NO WIND!  The ride was well supported, beautiful, just the right amount of challenging and everyone seemed to having a marvelous time.  I met up again with the darling Angela Pea  and her youngest boy and met the girl Pods - a beautiful family.  Angela and I rode together a bit and chatted and our groups stayed pretty close together the whole trip - I think we were all at the Elvis (final) rest stop at the same time.  And it was at this stop that I discovered my LOVE for cold pickle juice!  Who would have ever guessed?  When one is hot and tired and sweaty, cold pickle juice will perk you right up!  Or perhaps it was the Elvis (impersonator) sighting - anyway, it was a great, great ride.  Oh, and we saw what I believe to be a Cobra car club roll through while we were at stop one!  Very, very cool.  We finished up the rally, to be met by Noah at the car with peach ice cream (the signature dish of this whole shindig).  He handed us each a bowl of the (frozen) nectar of the gods and we went in search of some shade.  Awesome ending to a great ride.

We went back to Utopia to get cleaned up, and then The Family Stone headed back into town to take in the festival.  We've been blessed with unseasonably nice weather - I've been out there when it was an absolute beating from the heat - but it was nice and a bit of a breeze had developed by that time.  Pebbles secured her desired peach cobbler, we walked around a bit and were on our way.  As fine a few hours as I've ever spent.  I am so fortunate.

Got up Sunday and rode a solo 30+ miles and came home and did some yard work and puttered around the house.  We were blessed with our second rain in the last week and I am so grateful for that.

I'll be leaving the house in about an hour to ride another leg of the TdeFW this morning.  I am also grateful for a work situation that is flexible enough to allow me to do this.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Eat A Lot of Peaches.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Dueling Banjos

Here's the rest of the story. 

I said "Well, gee thanks, Roy" and left it at that.  My coffee arrived and I drank it and continued the conversation with all of the table.   Kendra, of course, knew what had happened and she said something to him - it wasn't direct enough for me to remember.

When the waiter returned to check on us, I asked for a quarter of the ticket and got out my credit card.   I explained that I had to get home to pack for tonight (and seriously, I had set an alarm on MY phone prior to  my arrival  to tell Cinderella that she needed to leave the ball) so this only cut my evening short by about 15 minutes anyway.  When the waiter returned with the check, Roy intercepted it.  I then took out a twenty and slipped it beside my plate.  Roy grabbed the twenty and stuffed it in my purse - and he said something about "making me mad and that he was paying for dinner".  I said, "Thank you, Roy, that is very kind of you". I said my goodbyes to all, even giving Roy a nice-to-meet you and left.  

My initial response of Gee thanks was out of my mouth before I knew it, and probably with some sarcasm.  One banjo in my head was screaming that it wanted to go all Julia Sugarbaker on his Ray Don Ass, but I didn't.  Another banjo wanted to flee immediately as somehow I allowed his comment to make me feel shame.  The third banjo said that what he said was his karma and how I responded was mine.  So overall, I was okay with how I handled it at the time.

The dueling banjos in my head were really trying to get worked up over this - but I couldn't really must enough desire for drama to get that fire started.  Yes, I was stung, but I just came home mowed the lawn and packed my bags for Peaster and looked forward to the great weekend I was getting ready to embark upon.  And I always ask myself the question "Would I want to be them?"  In this case, no - I'd much rather have my weekend to look forward to than his/theirs.  And my third banjo kept telling me that what other people think of me is none of my business and why in the world would I let someone I'd just met opinion of me give me one minutes pause.  Taking the personal out of it - I really was amazed that that kind of behavior exists in anyone over 15 years old and it says a lot more about him than it does me.

I did get a couple of texts from Kendra and Valerie - to which I responded a couple of hours later that Roy just calls em as he sees em and left it at that.  In a perfect world, his actions wouldn't have even pinged me, so I've got some more work in being able to immediately and completely shrug off situations like this.

So that's the rest of the story.

We Interrupt The Internet

to say:

Go tell this amazing woman how awesome she is!

Friday, July 13, 2012

What Happens Next?

Roxie, Valerie and Kendra, three old friends, meet for dinner at a local  bar and grill for what has become a frequent Thursday night happening.   Kendra brings along a buddy of hers, a man named Roy.

Roxie is the last one to arrive and orders a drink - the other three having already been served and all order appetizers to serve as a shared tapas meal.  The four of them are talking and eating - Valerie and Roy having discovered some mutual friends in common and Roxie and Kendra are talking about Kendra's pending move.  All, except Roxie, have their smart phones on the table, with several of them using them at various times during the meal.

As others are ordering more drinks, Roxie orders a decaf coffee.  Roxie and Kendra go back to talking and Kendra and Roxie are looking at pictures on Kendra's  smart phone when a text pops up:

Roy:  Roxie is a stiff.

What happens next?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"It's Just Like Riding A Bike"

Thunderheads In The Distance
Whoever said "It's Just Like Riding A Bike" is a bald-faced liar.  Forgive me, Lance, it has been nine days since my last bike ride.  And I felt like crap on that bike last night.  Legs were like lead, belly felt like it was propped up on the handlebars.  Felt like I had sludge oozing through my veins.  There was nothing light and freeing about last night's ride.  And even worse than how I felt physically, was how I felt on the bike - it was like it was the first time on Inez.  Damndest thing.  It just felt awkward.  Guess this means I need more riding!  But that comfort and agility hasn't come back from vacation.

I have come away from this trip believing that I have a higher sensitivity to glutens (and possibly too much dairy)  than I'd realized - at least that's what Dr. Google tells me.   I'd been eating really clean for about a month and even through the first few days of vacation.  About Friday afternoon, I chose to eat the junk that I'd avoided and by Saturday (the return trip) I was wheels off.  I immediately cleaned up my act upon return in the wee hours of Sunday morning and I'm sitting here on Thursday morning - still feeling most of the symptoms of gluten sensitivity.  Dr. Google hasn't been able to tell me how long this will last.

I am, however, proud of myself, as I had to make a work-birthday-party cake run last night to get what I discovered pre-gluten free to be the best chocolate cake in the history of the free world - Grandma's sheet cake at Central Market.  I've had that Kryptonite sitting on the counter since last night and as of this writing, it's still intact.  AND I purposely scheduled the actual birthday party when, "oh, my goodness, I have a meeting and won't be able to attend, but here's my card" instead.  If that plan gets foiled, then I bought myself some extra special coffee that I'll take to work and brew myself a small pot of decadent coffee (with cream) and have that for dessert.

The above picture I shot in the grocery store parking lot - looking east - there was an impressive row of thunderheads (I couldn't get a shot of the best ones) off to the east.

So that's the story, Morning Glories.  I'm having dinner with my old work girlfriends - this is developing into a  Thursday night thing.  And let's all say a prayer for my terminally ill friend in FLA - her husband drank himself to near death about six weeks ago, went to the hospital and rehab for six weeks - got home last Sunday and by Tuesday night was drinking hard again.  As of last night, he was still at it.  Pray for those who still suffer.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Know your poison.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pedal Power

Pedal/Petal Power
We had a wonderful summer rainstorm last night and I'm taking credit for it, as I'd already watered my yard and flowers AND washed my car.  Still, it was a small price to pay.  I can't wait for sunlight to see how much everything has perked up!

Tonight, Talia is coming into town and we are riding with (well, not with, as she's injured) The Honorable's peleton - if the weather cooperates - Talia has been thwarted by the threat of or actual bad weather on a couple of Wednesdays.

This will be my first time back on the bike in over a week.  I last rode the third leg of the TdFW  Monday week and lost a battle with a guard shack gate arm.  The results weren't pretty - but I'm pretty well healed up now.

Talia has been burning up the road since her bike fitting with the local fitting guru. She says it's a-mazing, the difference it has made.  Given those changes and the fact I've been off the bike and still suffering from both my carb-fest the last day of the trip and my normal travel-gut, this might be a struggle for me.  I didn't get enough exercise while I was gone and so one day we were out and about and Mom was winded, so I plopped her down in a park and headed over to do some serious climbing up the side of a steep cliffish thing.  The stairs were natural and uneven and I spent about 30 minutes going up and down and my calf muscles have been screaming at me ever since.  I'm only now able to walk without wincing.  So it will be good to be back on Inez - as I've got another payride coming up on Saturday.  

Talia and her husband have invited us out to spend the night and have dinner with them and then head into town for the ride.  I am looking forward to it.  I've got a city-slicker story about Slater that prompted this whole deal - so I'll try to remember to tell that.  

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Use your power.


Monday, July 9, 2012

The Bluest Skies You've Ever Seen

There were so many things that worked out beautifully on this trip.

1.  We made it to the airport for our 5:30 am flight without a glitch.

2.  We arrived in Houston in time for our connecting flight.

3.  We gambled and won - getting bumped for a $500 per person travel voucher and a very nice brunch at Pappasito's.  We waited for four hours, yes, but Mom got to fly first class (her first time ever) into Seattle.

4.  Figured out the new (and improved) rental car system/site at SeaTac.  Negotiated a decent upgrade.

5.  Stayed in a new-to-us accommodations and they were wonderful.

6.  The weather was picture perfect every single day - highs in the mid to upper 70s - with sunshine.

7.  A Fourth of July parade that was nearly two hours long (no bagpipes, but plenty of logging trucks!)

8.  A walk through Christianson's Nursery   - one of my favorite places on earth, followed by an afternoon in  La Conner, as beautiful a seaside town as one could ever imagine.
La Conner souvenir  

9.  Pan-fried, local,  Blau Pacific oysters for several meals and fresh-picked raspberries at many others (and between meals!).

10.  Plenty of laughs.

Many things for which to be grateful.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Count the blessings.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Learning Life Lessons

One of my favorite places
This post isn't the travelog of the trip.  This post is an entry for me to process the recent events and to see where I've missed the mark and where there is opportunity for improvement.

One of the most difficult parts of life for me is sitting with uncomfortable feelings.  Yep, just sitting.  Not saying or doing anything, either overtly or covertly, to manipulate situations more to my liking and comfort.  I had opportunities to practice just sitting in the stew on this trip.  It wasn't like things were bad, they weren't, but I was aware of so many of my tendencies, of my past behaviors in response to others.  I didn't act (out) upon them (much ;-)), but instead I was just aware of what was happening around me and how much I wanted other people to change so that I would feel better.

I am still struggling for balance in my familial relationships - to be able to be with them and love them where they are  - without trying to change them.  Attempting to change other people, even for their "own good" just doesn't work.  It doesn't work with an alcoholic, it doesn't work with a drug addict, and it doesn't work for any kind of addiction/disease model.  Everyone's journey is just their own and I have no business trying to make it mine. I do feel so badly that my sister is doing so much of the heavy lifting (literally and figuratively), but she's an adult and is making her own choices.  Watching that dance is really the most painful for me, but I can only save myself.  

This trip had me on the horns of a dilemma and  I don't really know how to proceed.  It will certainly take some more thoughtful meditation to determine what the best course of action to be.  At its' very basic level, our family function primarily manifests itself in debilitating lack of self-esteem.  In order to maintain the "balance", each person is required to prop up, support, deny, enhance, do whatever it takes to ensure the emperor doesn't ever find out that he is buck-ass nekkid.  So for me, it comes down to this 1.  I can't do that anymore.  I just can't.  and 2.  I don't know what to do instead of.  By withholding, I'm perceived as being critical, but I absolutely can't go along with the old behaviors.  People change at the rate of pain and if I'm always buffering the outcomes, nothing changes.

My first objective on this trip was to be of service, but to do so in a way that did not lead to any resentments.  That was the best I could do.  I tried to set my boundaries and equally important, to respect others right to set their own.  And I don't feel any resentments, just more sadness.  I don't know if the pathology itself is actually getting worse, or I just see it much more clearly and certainly feel some level of shame and embarrassment in knowing how I must have looked when I was playing the energy-sucking vampire in full-out "all about me" mode.  I got to see what some of my worst character traits look like when in full bloom and I can certainly see the roots of my social/friendship difficulties originate.  How much of this is actual pathology or just learned behavior, I don't know?  But I am happy to say that I am working hard to change this way of relating - and it's even coming a little bit easier.  So for that, I am grateful.

Healthwise, I made good choices until Friday, when I went off the rails and stayed that way for a full 24 hours.  I seem to always struggle at the end of travels - especially on the return home day.  And yesterday proved to be a trying day, with lots of time spent in airports.  I finally got home at 5:30 am this morning.

This wasn't a vacation trip for me, it was fully designed as service work, in order to help better manage my expectations.  And that proved to be a good strategy.  I don't know if they are getting worse or if I'm getting better, but the distance between where we are is growing and that is not comfortable for me.

       Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.  

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July One

Not actually from S-W
Come the wee hours of Tuesday morning, I'll be leaving for the airport to go home to WA for a few  days.  The highlight of the trip will be this - my hometown 4th of July celebration.  If I'm really lucky, the pipe and drum band from Victoria, BC will make the trek down to play.  If I'm doubly lucky, it will be Scotland The Brave - which always makes me cry!  And as it turns out, when watching YouTube videos to select which one to link, bagpipes make Barkley cry, too - but not in that good way.  I suspect bagpipes are an acquired taste - I think there is some tones (perhaps the "flats"?) in music that I find especially appealing and if I knew more about it, I'm sure there is a name for it - but I hear it in bagpipes and I hear it in the voices in old-timey bluegrass harmonies.  Whatever it is, it resonates with me.  And wakes the dog up from his nap!

Speaking of the dog, we are doing better.  We've grown accustomed to each other's routine - I've not been quite as "enabling" as he is used to, but with Slater working from home, the dog really doesn't have to have much of a schedule, but around here, I run a pretty tight ship in order to get done the stuff that needs doing.

Tonight is my last night with The Beast, his folks come back to civilization on Monday to pick him up.  Then I will be whipping and spurring to get things cleaned up enough before I leave the house at 3 am on Tuesday morning to start a long day of travel with my mom and sister.  Our first day promises to be a long one, starting here, landing in Seattle for mac and cheese at Beecher's for lunch and a stroll through the market and ending with a street dance in my old hometown.  I've not been to the street dance since I was in middle school, but if I can stay awake, that's where I'll be on Tuesday evening.

I suspect this is Mar sin leat for a week.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Harmonize.