Friday, October 31, 2008

Old habits die hard

In this article by the New York Times, it seems that with this decrease in gas prices is leading to an increase in auto use. Surprise, surprise.... It could also be coupled with the looming winter months. Save the money and find ways to use the personal automobile less. Carpool, bike, public transit, walk, combine trips.... be creative!

As Gas Prices Go Down, Driving Goes Up

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Have you sent in your ballot yet??

The clock is ticking.... My how time flies, it is almost election day!

There is just change in the air.

Big news for Bill who just turned 60 years young on Sunday! Happy late birthday!

The weather in the Northwest has been incredible the past week. The days have been crisp and clear. The days have been blue bird, the leaves are as golden as possible. It hasn't rained in days so the leaves are still light and fluffy, blowing around in the breeze. I feel like I am in a great big oil painting, swooshing around in the tree litter. I was rolling around on my bike yesterday, I would travel under trees, a gust of wind would come up and leaves would be swirling all around me. Incredible! The perfect time of year! The clouds have rolled in today and I feel the we are in for a change.

Change is good.

I have been really trying to become more rounded and reach out. I often spend too much time on my own, leaving my love ones out of my life. I am changing. I had Grandma and Audra over for dinner on Tuesday. Audra is just a peach. She is taking water color lessons from Jody Bergsma, what an experience at such a young age! She has been working on a Christmas card for some time now. Well, she finally finished it and has them printed. I bought some from her, now I have our Christmas cads, how special is that!

CHECK OUT THE BLOG!!!! Art With Heart

A step towards changing myself...

With the change of seassons, I need new hobbies. THere just is not enough day light. After having Audra over, I was inspired to get my art back out. I figure if I have to look at it everyday, soon I will just pick it up and the next thing I will know, I am back to drawing.

Changing my hobbies...

Over the last two days I have managed to get back on my road bike and commute. It feels so good to be self sufficient in my transportation. I got pretty spoiled for those couple of weeks. I started to dress up for work, sleep in a bit longer, shop after work..... So, in these colder months, I will cut back on the biking and drive a bit more. I would really love to carpool or take the bus instead of driving. Driving the van 20 + miles a day does not sit well with me.

Changing habits.....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"live as happy as you can"

Check him out.

I was on my way home yesterday, listening to NPR in the car and found my new favorite up and coming artist. The program, Latino USA, came on and featured Beto Villares. His interview and music blew me away. I didn't want the program to be over. I looked him up online as soon as I got home. Powerful yet simple words.

Check it out!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Two Weeks Today

Well, it has been two weeks since we rode Comfortable Numb and I injured my knee. No biggie, just like they said, it would take about two weeks for the swelling to go down. Right on, it has been about two weeks and the swelling has reduced greatly. I am getting around great and I am so fortunate that it was not any worse of an injury. I have healed fast. I have put my bike on the trainer and been able to spin my legs out, keeping some range of motion in my knee. Now I feel that I can push a bit harder with little pain or discomfort. I think that I am going to limit my activities to this for another week. I don't feel comfortable in coming down om my left leg, I just don't think that the strength is in my knee yet. The only time that my knee bothers me is when I get up from a chair. There is some strain in my knee with this sort of pressure. I feel that this is a sign to stay off my mountain bike. There is no way I could climb, or bail off if I needed. Baby steps.

As for the rest of the family, we drove to Whistler yesterday and John pick up a new (used) bike. It needs some work, but I think John found a great deal. With a little work he is going to have a sweet ride. My turn next... I am daydreaming about having my own setup. I can't wait for next summer! Yeah!
A sweet bike if I must say so myself:

Whistler was beautiful! I wish we could live up there! All the leaves were in fall effect, the air was crisp and the mountains had a fresh dusting of snow.

Friday, October 24, 2008

With just one glance....

I often learn so much from Natasha. One of my favorite things about here is the way she looks at me. It is one of her many ways to communicate with me. She can look at me and melt my heart, tell me she has to go outside, or that she is so damn excited to see me.

It seems as if our eyes are the key hole to our soul. Eyes can express how we truly feel without say a single word.

I am trying to allow my eyes to release the tension and other silly arbitrary feelings and beam with compassion and love. I feel that those rose colored glasses have been replaced by something very different, I want to look through heart shape rose colored glasses.

Here is a great little blog that got me thinking:
Cheri Block Sabraw - Notes from Around the Block: The Importance of Eye Contact or Brown- Eyed Girl

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I DID IT.... I DID IT .... I DID IT!

I Voted.... I voted!!! I voted!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rose Colored Glasses

I have had one of those great mornings. I woke up feeling clear and calm. The clarity and coolness has dissipated as my caffeine consumption increases, nevertheless, I woke up on the right side of the bed and to make things even better it is an incredible day outside!

Sometimes it hits me, for no good or explainable reason. Trying to explain what “it” is could warrant a Noble Prize. If I knew what “it” was it would be the one thing I would share with the world.

What I am getting to is that I am so happy with the life I have chosen. I love the people around me, my location, my career path, my potential, and my hobbies. I am grateful for my health and my abilities.

I had the conversation this morning about finding and following your bliss. There is no need to settle on something, find what you love and do it. Find a job that will fit your needs and allow for a healthy lifestyle. Find a job that is your passion or find a job that allows you to enjoy your passion in your free time.
**I completely understand that this is idealistic, but one must dream and set standards high.

The bottom line: beauty surrounds us all, just put your rose colored glasses on and look for it!
Have a great day!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

yummmy in the tummy

I have picked up this nasty habit from my office mate. I will often hear a sigh or mmmmm..... from him now and again and it is not from the stress of the job. It is the pleasure he gets from perusing the Internet for tasty recipes, pictures and blogs about good cooking. I have been getting sucked into it.

My favorite food site:

A great one for true TexMex and southern culture/love:

ohhhhhh yummmm.....

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Getting to know my MCL

In my fun and games on the trail Sunday, I took a spill (one of many to be honest). Upon impact with the ground, I sprained my knee. I now know more specifically that I strained my MCL. Basically, my knee looks like a grapefruit, it is incredibly stiff and I haven't left my seat in my office for three days (besides moving to the couch) in the evenings. It should heal in two weeks with a speedy recovery. I feel pretty fortunate that it wasn't a tear or a break. I am also incredibly glad that it happened at the end of the trail so I could ride the better part of it and it was relatively easy for us to gimp out.
I have been talking about taking some time off for some time now, well here is my opportunity. My body is getting some proper rest like it or not.
A big hug and love goes to John for being so patient getting off the trail, and for all the support these last couple of days. From cooking me dinner to helping me get around to icing more than I want to. What a great catch!

Well, with the research I have done, I should have gotten on a stationary bike with ZERO resistance a couple of days ago to prevent loss of motion. I have been resting all week, icing and electro therapy. i feel that it is healing and closer to resuming normal activity. Today I had a successful visit with a new chiropractor who did a very through examination of my knee. It was a pleasure and welcome relieve to have someone really concerned and take time out of their day to willing perform a second opinion. I learned that since this is the second major time this has happened it is likely to continue to happen. Each time the ligament gets weaker. At least it is not major tear and just a strain at the time being. There is a secondary ( I don't know how else to describe it) side effect. There seems to be pain in my knee, like bone rubbing bone. This is common in knee injuries, it is the next thing to research. This is going to be the pain that holds me back.


Stationary Bike: Zero Resistance

HEEL SLIDE - Sit on a firm surface with your legs straight out in front of you. Slowly slide the heel of your injured leg toward your buttocks by pulling your knee to your chest as you slide. Return to the starting position. Repeat 20 times.

SITTING HIP ABDUCTION ISOMETRICS - Sit with your kneees bent 90 degrees, a pillow placed between your knees, and your feet flat on the floor. Squeeze the pillow for 5 seconds and then relax. Repeat 20 times

STRAIGHT LEG RAISE - Sit on the floor with your injured leg straight and your other leg bent, with your foot flat on the floor. Move the toes of your injured leg toward you as far as you can, while pressing the back of your knee down and tightening the muscles on the top of your thigh. Raise your leg 6-8 inches off the floor and hold for 5 seconds. Slowly lower it back to the floor. Repeat 20 times. PRONE KNEE FLEXION - Lie on your stomach with a towel rolled up underneath your injured thigh, just above your knee. Slowly bend your knee and try to touch your buttock with your heel. Return to the starting position. You can challenge yourself by wearing ankle weights. Repeat 20 times.HIP ADDUCTION, SIDELYING - Lie on your injured side. Keep your injured leg straight. Bend your uninjured leg and place your foot in front of your injured leg. Raise your injured leg as far as you can and hold it there for 5 seconds. Keep your hips still while you are lifting your leg. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then slowly lower your leg. Repeat 20 times.WALL SQUAT - Stand with your back, shoulders, and head against a wall and look straight ahead. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your feet one foot away from the wall, a shoulder's width apart. Keeping your head against the wall, slowly squat until you are almost in a sitting position. Your thighs will not yet be parellel to the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Slowly slide back up. Repeat 20 times.

A. RESISTED DORSIFLEXION - sitting with your leg out straight and your foot near a door, wrap the tubing around the ball of your foot. Anchor the other end of the tubing to the door by tying a knot in the tubing, slipping it between the door and the frame, and closing the door. Pull your toes toward your face. Return slowly to the starting position. Repeat 10 times, and do 3 sets of 10.
B. RESISTED PLANTAR FLEXION - sitting with your leg outstretched, loop the middle section of the tubing around the ball of your foot. Hold the ends of the tubing in both hands. Gently press the ball of your foot down, and point your toes, stretching the THERA-BAND. Return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times, and do 3 sets of 10
C. RESISTED INVERSION - Sit with your legs straight out and cross your uninjured leg over your injured ankle. Wrap the tubing around the ball of your injured foot and then loop it around your uninjured foot so that the THERA-BAND is anchored at one end. Hold the other end of the THERA-BAND in your hand. Turn your injured foot inward and upward. This will stretch the tubing. Return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times, and do 3 sets of 10.
D. RESISTED EVERSION - Sit with both legs stretched out in front of you, with your feet about a shoulder's width apart. Tie a loop in one end of the THERA-BAND. Put your injured foot through the loop so that the tubing goes around the arch of that foot and wraps around the outside of the uninjured foot. Hold on to the other end of the tubing with your hand to provide tension. Turn your injured foot up and out. Make sure you keep your uninjured foot still so that it will allow the tubing to stretch as you move your injured foot. Return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times, and do 3 sets of 10

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bike news!

Today has been an exciting time in the world of bike commuting news!

I can't help but get all warm and fuzzy to see bike news headlines in numerous places. Alternative modes of transportation are gaining momentum and are proving to be a viable and efficient way to travel. Looking at countries in Europe, it has taken Americans a bit longer to catch on, needless to say we are in the right direction.
Portland, Chicago, Olympia are all on the map for innovative bike planning. I would like to see Bellingham make that list and then Whatcom County. One must dream big.
Today The Bellingham Hearld covered a story on biking in the Northwest winters.
Portland State University proves that bike lanes work.
From north of the border...
"I'm not saying everyone has to ride a bike, but it's important to provide people with the infrastructure to make that choice."
-- Premier Gordon Campbell of British Columbia, Canada, on announcing the province's "Bike BC" initiativeBike BC is a three year, $31 million program. It will add and improve biking infrastructure to encourage bicycling as a viable option to being in a moving cage.
On the lighter side....

Bike for sale What kind of bike? I don't know, I'm not a bike scientist. What I am though is a manly guy looking to sell his bike. This bike is made out of metal and kick ass spokes. The back reflector was taken off, but if you think that deters me from riding at night, you're way wrong. I practiced ninja training in Japan's mount Fuji for 5 years and the first rule they teach about ninja biking is that back reflectors let the enemy know where you are. Not having a rear reflector is like saying "FUCK YOU CAR, JUST TRY AND FIND ME". The bike says Giant on the side because it's referring to my junk, but rest assured even if you have tiny junk that Giant advertisement is going to remain right where it is. I bought this bike for 300 dollars from a retired mercenary that fought in both World War 1 and World War 2 and had his right arm bitten off by a shark in the Phillipines while stationed there as a shark handler. When he sold it to me I had to arm wrestle him for the honor to buy it. I broke his arm in 7 places when I did. He was so impressed with me he offered me to be his son but I thought that was sissy shit so I said no way. The bike has some rusted screws, but that just shows how much of a bad ass you are. Everyone knows rusted screws on a bike means that you probably drove it underwater and that's bad ass in itself. Those screws can be replaced with shiny new ones, but if you're going to go to that trouble why not just punch yourself in the balls since you're probably a dickless lizard who doesn't like to look intimidating. The bike is for men because the seat is flat or some shit and not shaped like a dildo. If you like flat seated bikes you're going to love this thing because it doesn't try to penetrate your ass or anything. I've topped out at 75 miles per hour on this uphill but if you're just a regular man you'll probably top it out at 10 miles per hour. This thing is listed as a street bike which is man-code for bike tank.The bike has 7 speeds in total: Gear 1 - Sissy Gear Gear 2 - Less Sissy Gear Gear 3 - Least Sissy Gear Gear 4 - Boy Gear Gear 5 - Pre-teen Boy Gear Gear 6 - Manly GearGear 7 - Big Muscles Gear I only like gear 6 and 7 to be honest. Additionally, this tool of all immense men comes with a gigantic lock to keep it secure. The lock is the size of a bull's testicles and tells people you don't fuck around with locking up your bike tank. It tells would-be-thieves "Hey asshole, touch this bike and I'll appear from the bushes ready to club you with a two-by-four". Bike is for 150 OBO (and don't give me no panzy prices)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Comfortably Numb in Whistler

Sunday John and I blasted to Whistler BC, and rode Comfortably Numb. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky with perfect temperatures. The head trail is a little over 7 miles from the Whistler main parking lot which provides a good warm up for the main event (you will need to warm up... the trail is beefy!!). The trail is about 17 miles long and climbs 1500 feet. The trail is all single track and very technical. Most of the time we were rolling through the beautiful Forrest over loamy ground. It looked beautiful and provided me with a soft landing when I flew off my bike numerous times, but it was like riding through mud. Roots, rocks, steepness, views, cute signs saying that you were half way done, and ladder bridges, you name it, the trail had it. This trail has it all and is a blast. It takes longer than one would imagine because there are not many sustained descents and there numerous times that it is necessary to get off and push.
The icing on the cake was meeting Dale and Jen at the brewery in Whistler. They had taken a long weekend in Whistler and Dale was able to ride the lifts he last weekend of operation for the year.

"It is the best trail you have never ridden" John

"The longest and most physically challenging singletrack ride in the Whistler valley. Envisioned, designed and built by Chris Markle (a Whistler trailbuilding legend), Comfortably Numb is a must-do ride for technically advanced cyclists. Long climbs, challenging rock faces, elevated bridges and spectacular views combine for a continually thrilling experience. The trail meanders in and out of old growth primeval Coastal Western Hemlock ecosystems and granite rock gardens, finally plunging into the valley bottom at Lost Lake Park. By itself, the trail is worth the trip. Combined with whole Whistler scene - incredible trail experiences for every rider - it's the perfect icing on the best cake to feed your riding appetite. "

courtesy of IMBA

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Good Life

Some simple words to to remind us (ME!) that life is really wonderful

Cultivate a grateful heart. Gratitude is the one thing that most people who feel a low sense of self-worth lack. If you can look outside your own world, and see how good you really have it, you will feel much more like your life is a worthwhile thing. If you don't have a terminal illness, have had something to eat today, have a bed to sleep in tonight... materially speaking you have it better than 70% of all the people in the whole world. If you're reading this on your own computer, you're better off than about 90% of everyone.
Know when enough is enough. Mr. Pannu, pah-lease Take the advice of Mary Poppins. She says, "Enough is as good as a feast." Think about that for a moment. You can only eat so much, no matter how good the food is, or how much there is. It doesn't matter if your meal is served in a fancy restaurant at $1000 a plate, or in your own kitchen at $2.79 a plate. When you're full, you're full, and if you try to eat more, you will very likely get sick. When you have enough, it's exactly the same as having sat down to a tremendous feast and eaten your fill. Mary Poppins is right. Well, she is practically perfect in every way, after all.

Learn to value deeper virtues. The media seems to be overflowing with images of the young, rich, and beautiful, and unless you fit that mold, you feel less worthy of good things in your life. But those things are so fleeting - youth and beauty fade with years, and in a short while, those celebutantes won't be so pretty (or at least it won't be cheap for them to be so pretty). Fortunes can be lost. But love is eternal. Honor lasts. Truth abides. Beauty comes in all forms: a butterfly is beautiful. So is a waterfall, and the ocean, and the sky on a starry night. Learn to appreciate natural beauty, good character, honesty, your family.

Be nice. Believe it or not, this can be the first step to feeling your own power. Feeling a little ... ordinary... can make you feel like it isn't worthwhile to care about the feelings of others. You don't realize just how much power you have. Your lousy mood is contagious. It casts a pall over everyone you encounter, from your family to your friends to your co-workers. Instead of being abrupt and surly, try giving each person a smile. Take a moment to make eye contact. People enjoy talking about themselves or those closest to them. So give them an opportunity to do so. Try to remember names, and ask about their loved ones. You don't know what's happening in their lives - you might be the one and only person to treat them like a human being today. You may not realize how just one kind word, even from a stranger, can refresh someone's spirit. Try it and see. It may be very nice to be important. But it's much more important to be nice.
Realize that being part of your family is important.You may not have family, in this case you must cherish the relationships with friends. If you have children, a spouse, siblings, parents who depend on you, everything you do for them is a good deed, a mitzvah,[1] as they say. When you help your mom find her milk, which she put in the cupboard instead of the fridge, even if she doesn't remember it 10 minutes later, you're doing something so valuable and important for her. Let your life with your family and friends rejuvenate you with the feeling that you are with people who love you no matter what.

Be humble. Of course if you go around bragging about how amazing you are, people are going to try to knock you down. Plus, people who talk themselves up to others are usually covering up an internal feeling of inadequacy. Just look at celebs - no sooner are they hot than the rumors start and the sniping begins. It's called "Schadenfreude"[2] - getting shallow satisfaction from the misfortune of those seemingly more fortunate than you. No matter how much you want to feel important, it won't help you unless you can appreciate it when it happens for the right reasons. By exercising humility, and refraining from all the brag and swagger, you free people to praise you when it's appropriate instead of hogging attention when it isn't.

Help others. There is nothing that will make you feel like you are valued, needed, and essential like volunteering to help and serve others who are less fortunate than you. This really goes along with the "humility" thing well - stepping up to help the elderly, coach at an after school children's center, feed the homeless, help build a home for someone (Habitat for Humanity), collect toys for orphanages at Christmas time - these things allow you to be of service to others, and nothing will make you feel better. Give a gift in secret. Tell no one of your deed. Let the satisfaction of helping another stay within your heart by holding on to your little secret. The first time a little child brings you a hand-drawn card and throws his or her arms around you to thank you for helping their family, it's practically guaranteed you'll feel tears of joy flow from your eyes and a big lump in your throat. And that's when you know your life is not just "good enough" - it's awesome.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Numbers and money

I can't commenting on the current state of economic floundry. To comment on it would assusme that I understood what was going on. I don't. I can't comprehend the amounts of money being tossed around.

There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers. - Richard Feynman

Aspirations and Adventures...

I have been dreaming lately...

"Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living," Miriam Beard

I first time read this quote it resonated deep in my memories of all my travels. In my last big adventure with John, traveling across North America, taking it in with our sidekick Natasha, a change happened deep with in me. I found that this change that occurs when traveling didn't happen on the trip but later, in reflection. I realized a change when I look back on the trip, flipping through the memories, the familiarities and longing for the people and places we became familiar with. It is the fondness and day dreams that I have almost daily of that time in our lives when I know a change has happened deep inside me. I brought all kinds of creature comforts along on the trip, familiar objects that I thought would bring me solstice. We got sick of tripping over, moving, sleeping next to, and living with this "stuff." These things that I thought I needed and later found to be extraneous were given to people, shipped backed home, or trashed. I didn't need these objects, clothes, belongings. The things I needed to have with me at the time were so simple: relationships and myself. Now I can say the hardest part of traveling is bringing yourself along. When I was forced to deal with myself daily, no distractions, routines, or obligations watering down my existence. Honestly, I broke down, there were times when I could not deal with the reality and honesty. This is was a time of growing, healing, and maturing (or so I would like to believe). There were the other times, when life was so simple and so pure that I could hardly contain myself. These moments of true bliss are when we know we are alive. The reason that we want to pursue life and continue to dream. Each experience shapes and prepares us for the future.
When I came back to this quote a day later its meaning had changed for me. I now define my travels in a different way. My travels at this time are not ones that cross the continent but ones that explore the local area in which we live. The travels in the Chuckanuts, Galbraith, and places that are in a days distance from our house. These travels can be just as grand, just on a different scale.
As long as we are open to new experiences, thoughts and places, our travels are endless and limitless.


This morning was the first morning that there was frost on the ground!
It was clear, crisp, and cold!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Everything in moderation....

Sometimes I forget that it is possible to get too much of a good thing....

Today, I ended up at the doctors office with a bit of a reaction to brewer's yeast. The story goes... I picked some brewer's yeast up at the store a week ago, thinking it would be a good supplement to my diet since I have been tending to eat less meat. I usually have it on some hot cereal in the mornings. I have been noticing some skin irritation in the past week, but I thought it was due to the change in seasons... Well, this morning a had a couple heaping tablespoons on my cereal, over the next hour, my skin started to get tight, burn and turn red (like a sun burn). I was noticing that it was spreading down my neck, across my arms, legs.... Yikes! A co-worker drove me to the nearest walk-in clinic and after checking in, sitting in the waiting room, ( NOTE! do not go to the walk-in clinic if you have anything that is worse than a sore throat! You will probably keel over in the waiting room and they will not even notice!) the doctor saw me, said I was okay and told me to experiment with reactions to brewer's yeast at home with the supervision of my husband. Sound medical advice!

Lesson learned!

Friday, October 03, 2008


I whipped up some super yummy cookies last night.
Here is the recipe...

1.5 cup sugar
2 eggs
.75 cup of butter
splash of vanilla

1.75 cup flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2.5 cups vanilla cranberry granola
1 cup oatmeal

375 for 13 minutes
My super secret ingredients....
listening to Pink Floyd and drinking a couple bloody mary's....

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Skills...Bike Skills

Bless John's heart... I have got to say about his patience and kindness...
So, I have fell in love with mountain biking. I have a whole new appreciation for it. I love it. Tonight John took the time to ride with me and really drive home some pointers for me on my bike. He rode behind me and at one point came up and just told me matter of fact that I need to learn to ride a bike... "skills". The great thing was he took the time to teach me. I have learned a lot since I have started a little over a year ago. Lately I have hit a wall, platue, what ever one may call it. I am starting to ride a bit harder than previous but my "skills" on a bike just aren't there. We all know what this means.... I have been taking some diggers. Basically, my bike rides me. It rides me into the nettles, blackberries, stumps, roots, and wholes. Tonight I was reminded to get my ass off the seat and get my weight behind it as well. Yeap, simple mud whole, roll right into it at a good clip, with my weight too far forward... over the handle bars I go. Nothing I can't shake off. For the rest of the ride, I put my seat way down so far that it was uncomfortable to sit on, this got me out of the saddle and moving around. Sometimes it feels really awkward to move around on my bike and sometimes I connect and it is so much fun. I am determined to learn. I think each ride I improve and with each new person I ride with will provide insight. I have fell for biking....

It was a short ride because I really wanted to watch the vice president debate that was on tonight. So, I missed the crew from work that were downtown in fear that we would miss too much of the final hour, in exchange we cruised down to one of our favorite watering wholes, Coconut Kenny's for dinner and to watch the debate. It was well worth it I must say. I feel that it was productive and well worth the time.