Thursday, January 29, 2009

A lazy, windy day

I’m feeling lazy today. I finally broke down and went grocery shopping (when we run out of the essentials – juice, coffee, and dog cookies – it’s time to go to the store). I meant to fill the truck up, but I could only find 1 gas station remotely close to the store that had diesel. This is the land of 5th wheels and motorhomes. How can there be no diesel? I know of places on the other side of town (a whopping 5 minutes away, but did I mention that I was feeling lazy? Besides, we’ve still got a quarter tank of gas. Which, with the truck, should get us about 5 miles. In truth, it’s a little better than that on gas, but nothing like the Saturn, which has a 12 gallon gas tank, and seems to run forever. It’s just a good thing we don’t drive very far, or very often.), but none on the main north-south freeway from the bridge crossing to California up to Lake Havasu City. And given that gas is WAY cheaper here than in California, I just don’t understand the lack of diesel pumps.

Yes, I spent a better part of the drive home pondering the paucity of gas stations with diesel pumps. Did I mention that my iPod was being funky, and so it was contemplating the fueling options between Parker and Parker Dam, or listening to Hank Williams (senior). And I just wasn’t up for Hank today.

I was going to go for a jog today, after the grocery thing, but by the time I got back home a wicked north wind kicked up. Wicked enough that my baseball hat won’t stay on my head. And that’s pretty much my barometer of when it is Too Windy To Jog. Because at the speed I go, I’ll get blown backward on the way out… And Fiona is still on the Injured Reserve list; she’s not supposed to do anything more strenuous than ‘very short walks’ for another 3 days. Yes, she’s going stir-crazy. I actually resorted to giving her a little valium yesterday to keep her from bouncing off the walls. She seems to be a little better today… And since I don’t have the excuse of needing to exercise the dog, I’m going to take the day off. Hopefully we’ll be able to get out and ride tomorrow (it’s not supposed to be as windy. I think.).

In case you care, here’s today’s forecast: Sunny and breezy. Highs 71 to 76. North wind 10 to 20 mph. Gusts to 30 mph in the afternoon. I think we’ve hit the gusty part of the day. Being in a fancy-schmancy motorhome, our main awning is automated; we’ve got an anemometer on the top of the coach, and when the winds hit a certain speed, the awning automatically comes in, so it doesn’t get ripped off. We usually pull the awning in before the automatic system does, but it’s still sort of handy.. Tomorrow looks better: Sunny. Highs 72 to 77. North wind 10 to 15 mph. That wind shouldn’t be too bad. Especially if we get out early.

Anyhoo, I think I’m going to sit on the couch with the doggies and watch Boston Legal episodes (I bought myself the first 4 seasons on DVD as my Christmas present to myself).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Iacta alea est

Yes, the die is cast. And the Mastercard charged, but I don't know the Latin for that...

I bit the bullet and bought the kayaks (and PFDs and paddles and spray skirts and paddle leashes) tonight. I wasn't REALLY sure that I wanted to spend the money, because while I'm perfectly happy repeatedly spending $50-75 on Amazon, or on discounted clothes, once I hit the 4 digit mark I get a little nervous. But, it was sort of a now-or-never; if I wait too long, the river will be full of drunk spring breakers on jet skis and we won't get much use out of them. And, if I wait too long, I'll hesitate myself into inaction.

So. The kayaks are on their way (or they will be tomorrow). Bright yellow for Gary, and red for me (we got different colors so once we set them up, we'll be able to tell whose is whose).

I'm actually QUITE excited. I haven't been in a kayak in 20 years, and that was all whitewater stuff, so it should be very interesting (read: amazing at how clueless I'll be). But I'm looking at this like biking - it can be a great workout with great scenery, or it can be a very casual cruise with great scenery. Can't lose, either way!

And in other news, Fiona is now officially spayed (yes, I paid attention to Bob Barker for 1,000 years). And is quite sleepy. She's still a little dopey from the anesthesia, so she's in a diaper for the night in case of accidents, and sleeping like a log. She's got a quiet week ahead of her, I think.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Of Fiona and Things


Fiona, with her head poking out the bedroom window of the motorhome. Of course she’s supervised, but she loves hanging her head out the bedroom window to watch the world and catch the breezes. In truth, I don’t know if she does this in the car or not, as I really haven’t taken her in the car other than for vet visits and to go to the groomer; we pretty much only drive if we are going to our starting point for a bike ride, or if I’m going to the store (and I’m not going to leave her in the car while I go shopping, or spend unmentionable amounts of time at the Pharmacy of Death ™).

And speaking of Fi (and when are we not?) our little girl is no longer a little girl. Well, she’s not been a little girl for a while…. 45+ lbs is not exactly little… But she’s 6 months old, and goes in tomorrow to get spayed. It’s amazing that she’s 6 months old already… It seems like only yesterday she was just a little pup at the Solo Nationals.


She’s still going to get taller, and fill out quite a bit more, but she’s really starting to look like a dog, and less like a puppy. Of course, she still acts like a goofy puppy, so there’s no mistaking her for a more distinguished dog…. Right now she’s tall enough that when she stands up, TaiChi can walk right under her. Fiona definitely gets her legs from her mother (the poodle).

Today was yet another gorgeous day; mid-70s and not a cloud in the sky. Because we have been riding steadily, we had planned on taking a day off, and I had planned on spending part of the day reading in the sun.

But alas, no. We had a little dog accident that required me to wash all the sheets and blankets on the bed. In all fairness, it had to be done soon anyway, and this was a good impetus to do so. Still, my dreams of basking in the sun didn’t happen. Oh well. Lots more days like this ahead.

And I’ve finally made the kayak choice. I’m going with a package, because, frankly, we don’t need super-high tech stuff. I’m actually getting slightly better boats than I had first planned on.

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Mostly because these have better seats that have more adjustments – and I’m worried that if Gary has a seat that he can’t adjust until he’s comfortable, he won’t go out much. And with his back, more adjustment is better. So, I’m spending a little more than I had planned on, but I think it will be well worth it. Especially since we’ll be able to use these on the reservoirs in Utah, and in the lakes in Idaho (as well as anywhere else we might go). They are flat-water boats – we’re not tackling rapids in these things – but there should be plenty of places for us to use them, and it will be good fun to get out on the water.

Hopefully I’ll be able to order them tomorrow, and within a week or two, we’ll be hitting the river! (And yes, there is enough room in the cockpit that Fiona could come along, but she doesn’t seem to be so excited about water, and I’m not sure how much she’ll ‘rock the boat’, so to speak!)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Another day, another 20 miles.

Another fantastic ride today. Moreso because I really wasn’t in the mood to go on a ride. I didn’t sleep well last night (our 50lb puppy is convinced that she is a pillow puppy, and ends up kicking me (and Gary) in the head, taking over all of my pillow, and generally making it really difficult to sleep; oh, and our 17 year old miniature poodle has to go out about every 5-6 hours, so, if I go to be about 10:30…. Yeah… I’m always up at least once during the night, and lately I’ve been having a hard time falling back to sleep once I take them out – because of course the puppy wants to go out, when the old lady does…), it was overcast, and I was still tired.

But, when Gary asked me if we were going for a ride, the only possible answer was yes. So, off we went. And the first 5 miles sucked. We had a wicked headwind, and we were both struggling. However, at about 7 miles, it all seemed to get better, and we agreed to ride 10 and then turn around. The road we ride on is uphill on the way out, with a headwind, making it downhill with a tailwind on the way back, so we figured that coming back wouldn’t be too bad. And it wasn’t. While we were going 10-12 mph out, we were going 20 most of the way in, and up to 34mph in spots. (Which is kinda fast on a bicycle…)

We didn’t get any rain (well, we got sprinkled on a little bit, but that doesn’t really count, and given that it was in the mid 70s, it felt pretty good), but we were keeping an eye on the mountains; there are some ‘Flood Area’ sections on the road, and we are in the land of flash floods. However, there wasn’t any significant rain in the mountains (you can tell by the clouds), and so we didn’t have to worry about that (the flood areas aren’t that wide, but it would still suck to hear a flood coming…).

So, another 20 miles; looks like we’ll get 70+ in for the week, which isn’t a lot, but we’ll work our way up to 150+/ a week in not too long.

And it seems like the combination of diet and exercise is starting to work. The numbers on the scale are still somewhat frightening, but they are going to right direction, and, more importantly, clothes are starting to fit better, and the mirror is kinder to me. So I’m feeling pretty good about all of that. And I’m really enjoying the riding. Especially rides where I expect to struggle the whole time, and finish feeling good.

I think I’ve also nailed down the kayaks that we are going to get. I just have to figure out the finances (it’s the end of the month, so I’m not sure I can swing them quite yet, but I’m getting close). And I’m very excited about it; I’d really like to get out on the river.

And as a total aside, Fiona is going nuts in the motorhome with her squeaky ball; she’s running around, dropping it, pouncing on it, grabbing it, making it squeak, and doing the whole thing all over again. She amuses herself quite well. Although this is also a hint that she’d REALLY like to go outside and play…. Unfortunately, the sun has already set, so she’ll have to be content to play inside…

Monday, January 19, 2009

If you're in southern Arizona, watch out - I'm on the road!

Heh. I am a truck drivin’ woman again. Larry took the Saturn Vue back to Park City, leaving us with the Corvette and the Ford F-350. And here in The Land of Many 5th Wheels, I have no issues with Truck Envy. Because a crew cab, full-sized bed F-350 is pretty much on the top of the heap. There is some philosophical debate about whether a dualie is Better; they look cooler, but they have some issues. Regardless, we are Up There. Particularly since we’ve had the truck souped-up, and can crank up the HP to the point of blowing black smoke out the exhaust if I so desire. Anyhoo, if I was driving around in a F-150 (or equivalent), I’d feel a little under-endowed. As it is, I have complete confidence in the size of my truck.

That last part didn’t come out right. But I have too much to do tonight to try to re-phrase that.

However, having a Big Truck means that I have to actually DRIVE a Big Truck. Let’s just say that it took me a few miles to feel that I could actually manage to stay in my lane without having to check the little towing mirrors on the bottom of the side mirrors. And, hey, I didn’t kill myself, or anyone else. Nor did I get pulled over for reckless driving, so it’s all good.

Because I guess I actually have to make sure I can drive the truck before I can even think about learning to tow anything with it. Let me re-phrase that; I’d prefer to have complete command of the truck before I learn to tow stuff.

So yeah. I’m a truck driving chick again. And I’ve even got a CD of Hank Williams Jr., Johnny Cash, and other country greats in the CD player. Yep. I’m going native!

And in other excitement, 20 miles on the bike today. We’ve got this great road on an Indian Reservation that has very little traffic on it, has a very slight uphill grade on the way out (and a headwind), making for a slight downhill and tailwind on the way back. The road supposedly goes out 13 miles, but we’ve only been out 10 – we’ll keep riding it until we hit the end. But, it is such an empty road that I’ve actually started bringing along my iPod (well, the Shuffle), and listening to music (one ear bud in – the other left out so I can hear the odd car). I’ve always ridden around traffic before, so this is the first time I’ve been able to do this, and it does enhance the experience.

Of course, the 70 degree weather and clear blue skies also enhances the experience. Gods, it feels good to be back on a road bike, and laying down some miles.

Oh, and I might have figured out a way to swing the kayaks. We’ll see. But I’d be very happy if I could add some paddling to the whole thing.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Life is good

Mmm… I made the tastiest turkey burgers EVER for dinner. Kinda Greek-y, and REALLY tasty.

I’ve given up on beef for hamburgers and have been using turkey. I’ve also added more fish to our diet, and tons of veggies. And I’ve actually discovered that cauliflower can be eaten WITHOUT cheese. No. Really. It can be. I’m not so sure about broccoli. I think broccoli still requires cheese for it to be edible. But cauliflower is quite tasty. And squash. Good stuff. Anyhoo, I’m quite pleased with the general changes I’m making in our diet.

And while I’m not super excited about my weight (okay, I’ve been doing the weight watchers thing for what? A week and a half? I could really pass on the whole weighing myself thing – because that part is a little depressing – other than that at least the numbers seem to be going to right direction – but they’re still numbers that I’d really rather not see at all), I’m already starting to fit better into clothes that I wasn’t fitting so well into before. Definitely the diet thing is helping, as is the cycling 70 miles a week – and that number will bump up to about 100 or so in time.

I’ve also started back to jogging with the puppy. I’d really like to be able to ride 20-30 miles, and then take the dog on a 2 mile jog. And then, I’d actually like to add a paddle along with that.

See, we’re 400 yards from the Colorado River. And I’m just dying to get a kayak and get out and paddle around. True, I haven’t been in a kayak in 15 years, but this is flat water. And the water is just calling to me. Especially on the days when it is just glassy.

So, I’ve been investigating recreational kayaks. The only way we can get them back to Park City is in the back of the truck (Oh, did I mention that our buddy Larry brought down the truck and the trailer with the Corvette in it? He took the Saturn Vue back to Park City – too bad, as I was really getting into the manual transmission thing – and we’ve got the truck as our vehicle. The Corvette will stay trailered except for races.) Which limits us on length, so I’ve been looking at 10’ introductory kayaks. L.L. Bean has a good deal on a nice looking kayak package that would suit our needs nicely. I think I can get everything we need for about $1100. And I’d really like to get out on the river. Gary’s been buying guitars, so I’m not sure I want to spend $1100 right now, but it is really tempting. Especially with the upper body/core workout it would give us – a great contrast to the cycling and the jogging.

And it is especially tempting since the weather has been in the 70s, and although there will be some cooler days, we are pretty much out of ‘winter’ here.

We’ll see.

BUT…. I’m feeling good; I’m really enjoying the cycling, now that I’ve got a better water-bottle-carrying system, I like the jogging with the puppy more (and she’s getting better, so that makes it a little easier, too), and I’m feeling good about how we are eating. And all of this is cool. And exactly what I was hoping for when we moved down here.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Another Great Ride


I was going to gush about what a great ride we had today, and how much I love cycling, and how happy I am that we are in a part of the country where it is 70 degrees during the day, and high 40s at night.


A large cup of vegetable juice met a violent farewell in the bedroom, and there was a flurry of towels, the use of the Bissel, a changing of the sheets on the bed, and another load of laundry to do. And the dinner dishes are still waiting to be washed. So, all you get is a photoshopped picture of the two of us (the road we were on today is VERY devoid of cars - which makes it a great riding road - but also no one around to get a picture of us together, so we just 'created' one!).

Toodles. I'm off to wash dishes.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pharmacy of Death, Part 271

Yes, we all know that I should actually listen to my father’s advice. But where would be the fun in that, eh? However, this time, I might actually pay attention.

This all gets back to The Pharmacy of Death ™. And yes, Dad, I really should check out mail-order pharmacies. (Alas, no Costco or Walmart around here. I’m beginning to see why many of the old fogeys drive the 130 miles south to Mexico to go pick up their prescriptions. I’m not quite ready to do that yet, though…. A bit of a trek for me, and I can’t see Gary going with me, nor can I see him being too thrilled about me going alone. So, that option is out.)

Anyhoo. One of our doctors in Utah called a new prescription in for Gary, to the Pharmacy of Death ™. He did this on Monday. And confirmed via email that he had done this (because he’s a tad anal – which, in a doctor, is a good thing). Knowing that PoD would not have the prescription ready on Monday, I waited until Tuesday. That would be yesterday, for those of you without a score card. I called in at 11am, figuring that that would give the incompetent morons over-worked employees a chance to actually get the prescription filled.

Me: “Hi, I’m calling about a prescription that was phone in for my husband. Last name is spelled….”

IM (incompetent moron) #1: Silence. Then: “Has he had any prescriptions filled here before?”

Me: “Yes. Several.” About 173, to be exact. “Maybe you didn’t spell the name right. Last name is spelled…”

IM1: “Oh. Here it is. I’ve got a refill that was filled on Sunday. It’s ready to be picked up.”

Me: “No. He has another prescription that his doctor called in yesterday. Has that one been filled yet?”

IM1: “Let me check.” Minutes go by.

IM1: “Ma’am? We’ve got it here. It will be ready by about 5 or 6 pm.”

Me: Keep in mind that this is 11am. “5 or 6pm? It was called in yesterday afternoon. How can it take that long to fill a prescription?” I tried really hard not to get irate, but really. More than 24 hours to fill a prescription? My pharmacy at home would have the thing done in 10 minutes.

IM1: Puts me on hold without another word.

IM2: “Hello. Can I help you?”

Me: Heavy sigh. “I’m trying to find out how long it will take to get a prescription filled for my husband. Last name is spelled…..”

IM2: “We have a prescription here for him that has already been filled. It was filled on Sunday.”

Me: “No. His doctor phoned this one in yesterday.”

IM2: “Let me check.” Minutes pass.

IM2: “I’m sorry. I have looked through all the prescriptions, and we have nothing here for him.”

Me: Becoming a bit more irate now. “Wait a minute. The last person I spoke to told me that she had the prescription, but that it wasn’t going to be filled until this evening. Now you’re telling me you don’t have it at all?”

IM2: “No. I looked through the computer and all the piles of prescriptions called in and there is nothing.”

Me: “Fine. Someone is lying to me; either the person I just spoke to, or you. I KNOW the prescription has been called in. I just need to pick it up this afternoon.”

IM2: Hangs up phone.

Me: about an hour later, after I have somewhat calmed down, because I REALLY HATE IT when people hang up on because they don’t want to talk to me anymore. “Hi, can I speak to a supervisor?”

IM3: “Maybe I can help you.”

Me: “Nope. I need to speak to a supervisor.”

Supervisor: After similar conversations above. “Your prescription will be ready in about an hour.”

Me: “Great. Thanks!”

Knowing that there is no way in hell they will have the prescription ready in an hour, I decide to give them 2 and a half hours. The vet (who makes house calls!) was going to be by the motorhome around 4:30 or so, so I figured I’d have plenty of time to go pick up the prescription and go grocery shopping (and get home) before the vet arrived. I went to the pharmacy, first. And get in the ‘prescription pick-up’ line; about 12 people long, and like the post-office, they’ve got one person working the front desk.

Finally I get up to the counter and am told that they’ve got one prescription for me. The prescription that was called in on Sunday. I tell her that I had called two and half hours ago, and was told it would be ready in an hour. She stares blankly at me, and then tells me that I need to talk to the people at ‘prescription drop-off’ and I can pick up both prescriptions when they are ready. Like a dumbass, I agree, and don’t pick up the one prescription the woman has in her hands.

I stand in line at the ‘prescription drop-off counter’ for about 20 minutes, and finally talk to someone who has the phoned in prescription paper in her hand. Yes. In her hand. It hasn’t been entered into the computer yet. She’s very nice about it all, and enters it into the computer while I am standing there. She assures me that it will be about 20 minutes.

I nod, and go to wander the store. Because if, god forbid, you actually LEAVE the store, you have consigned your prescription to walking the banks of the River Styx for all eternity. About 20 minutes later, I get back in the now-15-person-long line to pick up prescriptions. And wait. And get a panicked call from Gary that I won’t be back in time for the vet, as it is now 3:45, and it takes about 20 minutes to get home.

And I finally get back to the front of the line. And to the same lady that I saw before. Now, the prescription that had been called in by the doctor is ready. Cool. But the prescription that has been at the pharmacy for a couple of days? The one that I should have picked up at my first visit to the counter for the day? Nowhere to be seen. And the helpful counter clerk? “I don’t know where it is. I only have one thing here.” Not that she actually went to the shelf to possibly find the other prescription, or anything. She had the one prescription in her hand, and that’s all I was getting.

Luckily it was the prescription that I really wanted to pick up; the other one wasn’t an emergency. But c’mon! You can’t find the thing that you had in your hands 45 minutes earlier? I mean, this is almost comic.


However, in a complete turnaround today. I got the prescription the lady couldn’t find yesterday (the same counter clerk, BTW – I think she saw me coming, and saw the look of fire in my eyes), as well as a prescription that I had called in for a refill a mere 2 hours before (and didn’t actually expect to pick up until Friday). So, go figure. And the pharmacy is having a ‘case lot’ sale on wine. I wonder why.

All of that aside, yesterday was 70 degrees. Today was 75. Clear blue skies, palm trees, and warm. We went on a road bike ride today, and I have to say, I could very well get used to this snowbird lifestyle. I really like palm trees. And sun. And it’s beautiful. I’ll bring the camera tomorrow.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Yet another picture of Fiona


Yep. More pictures of Fiona... This was taken on our jog yesterday, during a water break. That's the Colorado River behind us....And palm trees. I love palm trees. And 70 degree days. And this no-snow winter thing.
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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Because it really is ALL ABOUT FIONA

Here's a video I slapped together (okay, it took me forever, for a variety of reasons, not limited to the fact that I'm not video-savvy, I get frustrated easily, and I really expected to only spend about 30 minutes on this project - which, of course, added to the frustration...) of Fiona out chasing the community squeaky ball.

The cool thing is that she's not on a leash (she's got a short training line on) for any of this. And yep, our little girl is becoming a dog. Neither her poodle mother nor her golden retriever father were particularly big, but I think we've got Dogzilla on our hands. Her. Feet. Just. Don't. Stop. Growing!

Friday, January 9, 2009

More from the 'You Cannot Be Serious' Files

When I was at The Pharmacy From Hell ™ for TWO FREAKIN’ HOURS today *ahem, I saw this:

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By drliz

Maybe it’s just me, but ‘Alzheimers for Dummies’ seems a little insensitive.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I won't talk about food all the time, I promise!

I promise to not turn this into a ‘diet diary’ because frankly, I generally find them boring (i.e. : today I ate blah, blah, blah; I exercised blah, blah, blah, and I feel blah, blah, blah), unless you are dieting, or know the person and are just interested in what’s important to them, they are really not very interesting.

Hush. No comments from the peanut gallery about being interesting!

That said, today was a Weight Watchers focused day. Sort of. I spent a better part of yesterday searching through recipes to find stuff new and interesting, and feasible. (I love the motorhome, and while I’ve got a great Weber grill, a gas range and a small toaster over, I have no regular oven. So I’m a bit limited in what I can cook.) After discovering that you can basically eat vegetables until your eyes turn green (or orange), I made a list of every single possible vegetable that I can coax Gary to eat, figured out some menus, and made a shopping list.

Last night was a rough night; Gary didn’t sleep well (meaning: not at all; he’s got some big business stuff going on and was a little stressed); the dogs were up every 3 hours, and when I did get into bed, Fiona (lovable puppy that she is, is about 40 lbs – possibly more – and about 35 of those pounds are big gangly poodle legs) decided that she is STILL a pillow dog, and spent the night alternately kicking me and Gary, stepping on us, and (at various points) sleeping using my head as a pillow.

Yeah, so after the LAST trip outside of the night (at 5:53am), I went to bed, and slept until 10am. (Gary, who didn’t fall asleep until 5am, slept until 1pm…)

Did I mention that it was a rough night?

With a 4pm conference call, we decided that this would be a great day to recover from the riding/jogging. Besides, Gary had tons of business stuff to do, and I wanted to get to the store. I found most everything on my list, and am feeling optimistic.

And full. Tonight was turkey burgers (on whole wheat buns with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles) with broccoli and cauliflower with a wee bit of low fat cheese on the veggies. (I didn’t bother to tell Gary that the cheese was low fat, and he didn’t notice it. What he doesn’t know won’t make him fat!) and that was PLENTY of food. I’m sure I’ll get the munchies tonight before bed, but I’m all prepared with popcorn (and ‘points’ left to eat it, I might add).

Yesterday we scoped out some of the longer potential bicycle rides in the area, and I think that once Gary’s business starts to ease off a bit, we’ll be able to get out for more than an hour (which has been our usual thing). When we ride regularly, we can put in 20 miles on the mountain bikes, or 30-50 on the road bikes. There isn’t a lot of road bike riding here that is close (there are some 25 mile loops about 20 minutes away, and some longer loops about a half hour away), but plenty of mountain bike riding about 10 minutes away. So…. I’m really looking forward to getting some longer rides in.

As part of the recon trip, we crossed over Parker Dam (the thing that holds back Lake Havasu). Frankly, it doesn’t look like a very big dam, given the size of the lake that it holds back, but what do I know? I’ll get some pictures the next time we are there. Needless to say, you can’t stop on the dam, and they don’t allow pedestrians on it, but there are a few ‘view’ sites where I should be able to get some good pictures. I’ll also take my camera along on the next trip because we also came across wild burros. We had Fiona with us in the car, and when she noticed the burros, she started to bark. And then promptly shut up; I think she decided that they were maybe bigger ‘dogs’ than what she was expecting. But since there are wild burros all over the California side of the river, I’ll get pictures the next time we are out.

And now, kids, it’s time for me to wash dishes and take out the trash.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Corrections from the Editor

After several emails, I guess I should make a couple of clarifications about that last post.

    1. I’m not complaining about my life. Quite the opposite, in fact (although now I’m feeling a little depressed about my lack of communication skills…*grin). I’m LOVING life, and I actually enjoy the fact that my days aren’t jammed packed with SuperExcitingSuperImportantThings; I’d be exhausted in about 3 hours. I actually LIKE the simplicity of things. And I LOVE the fact that I’ve got the time to revel in simple things.

    So, don’t misunderstand the last post. I like not having a SuperBusySuperExciting life. I really like simple and uncomplicated. Heck. I like not having a job.

    2. Which brings me to point number two about that post. When I say that I ‘forcibly entered domestic engineering’, I meant that after 18 years of continuous employment at the University of Utah, they decided they no longer had a need for my services. I did not mean to imply that a dustpan and broom were surgically attached to my limbs. The University kicked me to the curb (a long story for another time), and after an unsuccessful job search, my loving husband convinced me that it was better for all parties involved (the two of us) if I were to stay at home and help him with his business. Given that this meant that I didn’t actually have to work 8-5, commute, attend staff meetings, or any of those other odious things related to employment, I was thrilled. As my family will tell you, I was really trained to be a princess. The work thing never really fit well into my world view…

    And yes, I realize how lucky I am to not have to work. And I’m trying to appreciate every minute of it!

And in other excitement, after my cousin lamented being stuck in a cooking rut on Facebook, I decided to join Weight Watchers. No, that’s really not a non sequitur statement, as much as it sounds like it. Both the spouse and I need to drop a few pounds, and my sister-in-law (Gary’s sister) had mentioned a few months ago about how she was thrilled with the variety of recipes that she got through Weight Watchers. Since they are doing their typical New Year’s ‘deals’ on joining, I figured, “what the hell?” Worst case scenario, I lose a couple of bucks; best scenario, I get some assistance in helping us lose weight. The only thing that sort of irked me was that you had to be over the normal BMI for your height to join. If they are really promoting healthy eating for life, it really shouldn’t matter if you are within the normal range. I kind of cheated, however. I don’t have a scale here, and haven’t been on a scale for several months, at what time I was well within the normal BMI range. So, I lied. Sue me. I’m trying to do the healthy eating for life thing.

Anyhoo, I am now a member of Weight Watchers. And, I confess, while their ‘points’ system seems like it could be a little annoying (I’m not getting OCD about it, although it is an interesting exercise), the recipes have definitely been a plus. Sure, some of the stuff is pretty boring (broiled fish, veggies, rice), but some of the other stuff is pretty good, and, more importantly, totally different from the same-old-same-old stuff we’ve been eating. Tomorrow? Turkey burgers. The night after that? Either fish sandwiches or chicken parmesan…. None of which I have cooked in, oh, never… So this is a good thing. And if nothing else, I’ll be thinking a little more about our diet.

Which, combined with the fact that we are cycling every day, and I’ve been jogging with Fiona almost every day should see us back to our ‘smaller selves’ without too much pain and suffering (well, the jogging is pain and suffering, but in a good way... oh, and on that note? My surgery knee (ACL replacement, May 2004) is GREAT. No issues whatsoever. *knocks on wood*).

And on that note, I’m going to munch on some popcorn and retire with the husband and the doggies. ‘Night.

Monday, January 5, 2009

What is this 'life' thing that I keep hearing people talk about having?

I have no life. Let’s face it. I’m feeling quite satisfied with my day today, and what exactly did I accomplish?

    1. 10 mile bike ride (after getting Gary’s clothes out for him while he was on a business call).

    2. 2 mile jog with the puppy.

    3. Securing the spot for the trailer with the Corvette (which will be arriving here some time later in the month)

    4. Getting 3 boxes from UPS (this required me to open the door when the guy who works at the RV park came by; in all fairness, I also gave him a case of Dr. Pepper, because the guy comes to our motorhome so often that I feel guilty)

    5. Changing the litter in the cat box (with a full washing of the cat box, I might add…. Yep, I’m grasping at straws here…)

    6. Making 4 cups of tea for the husband while he was on various sundry business calls.

    7. Washing 1 load of laundry (but I haven’t folded the stuff in the dryer yet).

And I’ll make dinner here in a few minutes (which also means that I have to wash the dishes *whew).

Yep, that’s one full, exciting day, eh? Yeah, not so much. But ever since forcibly entering domestic engineering , I have fairly boring days. Except for when they’re not. Actually, now that I think about it, I think my life is a bit like being a spy: 99% boring activities, 1% death-defying activities. Except my death-defying moments have less to do with getting shot at (usually), and more to do with going faster than the freeway speed limit on skis, and trying to drive large horse-power cars in the direction that I’d like them to go (I have this tendency to spin the Corvette… which, other than putting flat spots on the tires, is actually quite entertaining…. More on that later.) Since I’m trying to avoid the 65 mph+ thing on skis this year, the only upcoming excitement will be car racing.

Of which there should be some by the end of the month. And I’ll be back in the Corvette, proving that sideways IS a direction.

And knowing that those moments are out there waiting for me makes perfectly happy with the boring stuff.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

I do not like bugs. I have never liked bugs. In Saudi Arabia we had cockroaches and ants and all sorts of leggy-creepy things. Hated ‘em. I don’t like things with too many legs, wings, and are just creepy. Hell, I don’t even like lady bugs. I REALLY don’t like anything that can land on me (peregrine falcons aside), fly at me, crawl over me, or do any other buggy things that bugs do. I hate bugs.

I don’t even like butterflies. Because they are just bugs with wings. Multi-colored wings, sure, but they are still bugs with wings. Many years ago I went with my brother and his family to a ‘butterfly house’ that was a big hot house, and all these different butterfly species hung out on plants, flew around, and well, landed on you. This was supposed to be some really ‘neat, interactive experience’. Interactive, sure. Neat? My ass. Bugs with big wings landing on you. Ugh. The kids thought it was cool. Me? I couldn’t get out of there fast enough and into my nearest chemical decontamination shower.


The husband has really tried to convince me that spiders are good things. We’ve come to a compromise; I won’t whack them dead with a shoe, and I won’t remove spider webs, but when it comes to spiders In. My. Vicinity? He must remove them, and all other bugs in my vicinity.

Generally it works pretty well.

But today? I took Fiona on the (becoming) usual 2 mile jog. We had a few debates as to who was really in control (I finally won, but it took a while….), but it was all fairly uneventful. Gary and I had gone on a 9 mile bike ride just before the jog, so we were a bit more on the walk-jog side of things rather than just the jog side. Anyhoo…. We are about 3/4ths of the way down the closed road when I see this Big. Hairy. Spider. In. The. Middle. Of. The. Road.

I leapt about 16 feet sideways in one step, taking my faithful hound with me, while eyeing the Thing from a distance. Yep. It was a spider. A Big. Hairy. Spider. A Tarantula. A Tarantula?!? Eesh. A Tarantula. In. The. Wild.

Ugh. Not just a bug, but a Big. Hairy. Bug.

In hindsight, once I got my wits about me and remembered that tarantulas were very unlikely to jump up on me and start crawling all over me, I actually wished that I had brought my phone with me so I could have taken a picture of it. But still. A Tarantula?!?

EEEEESH.. I really don’t like spiders. And I REALLY, REALLY don’t like BIG HAIRY CREEPY-LOOKING SPIDERS.

So now I’ve got to keep my eyes open for the rock cliffs falling down on me
Image Hosted by
By drliz (For the record, the tarantula was about 10 yards past the bush on the left side of the road...)

But I’ve got to watch out for tarantulas, as well.

Image Hosted by
By drliz

And I thought it was tough enough, just getting myself up the road and back with dog and body intact…

Thursday, January 1, 2009

HELLO, 2009!

I am so glad that year is done with. I guess there were a couple of good things that happened this year, like getting Fiona, and well, getting Fiona. Okay, the Solo Nationals was good, but partially because we had just gotten Fiona. And I got to race the National Championship car in D Prepared. But other than that… The rest of the year was pretty much sucked. And what didn’t majorly suck was pretty meh.

I could list the trials and tribulations of 2008, but I frankly, I don’t want to relive them, so that’s all I’m going to say about that.

So, goodbye 2008, so long, and not so much on the fish, thanks.

Which means that I’m really looking forward to 2009. Not that there are a lot of specific things that I am looking forward to, but there are a lot of things that I am pretty certain I can avoid. Oh, like having a SWAT team show up in the driveway, fr’instance.

And if a SWAT team does show up in the driveway, I know what to do. Without getting myself or anyone else shot, I might add.

So 2009, bring it on!!!

erm, I mean that in a nice gentle sort of way; I’m not looking to pick a fight with this year… I say live and let live, eh?

I’ll try that again.

Hi 2009, I’m Liz. Let’s be friends.

Happy New Year, y’all!