Monday, December 29, 2008

Fun with dogs

While they are no substitute for kids, and please forgive me if I ever compare my dogs to your kids... They are fun... And they are definitely taking up a large chunk of our time and offering boundless entertainment value.

I'm very proud to say that while this one isn't my favorite, because I didn't pick him out... He was inherited from grandma this fall, he's turning out to be a doll. He is now staying seated when we ask him to sit. He stays pretty close at hand when we go to the dog park. It's now only a rare occasion that he growls at dogs that are bigger than him. AND.... We took him to Petsmart last night and weighed him. He's lost 3 pounds since we acquired him last fall!!! Of course nobody noticed during the holidays because we've let his fur grow out. Grandma never walked him but she did do a good job of keeping him groomed. I think he's cuter with bushy fur, and so do all the little kids in the neighborhood. He's been a great little dog. He sleeps a lot and gets excited to go for walks, and as far as we can tell, he stays out of trouble.

Now there is another little gem that I can't help but adore. He was right there at my feet to greet me with all matter of "Good Mornings!!!!!" as I stretched and lazily got out of bed on this winter vacation morning. He really is a cute little guy... With boundless energy...
Unfortunately, he seems to think that we left him a scavenger hunt of Christmas presents around the house the last week and a half. Apparently it has been his sole duty to discover each and every one. Let's begin the list of food treasures he has discovered...

* Flipped the trash can twice... And left remainders all over the kitchen and living room floor. I thought it was pretty funny. My husband did not. (Can you guess who came home first?)

* Managed to get in a well sealed large cardboard box filled with several boxes of cereal mailed from my parents who are retired from Kellogg's. (Luckily, all the mess was contained in the box because he couldn't manage to pull anything from the 2 inch hole he chewed into the large box.)
* The BEST one... Coming home from a day of shopping with in-laws in tow, only to discover eight large brown globs all over kitchen and living room floors... I was convinced some body's stomach had exploded and we would need new carpet immediately. As we began to clean up, I accidentally took a whiff of the brown stuff... It was brown... But it wasn't the brown stuff that I thought it was... It was sheer chocolate... Suddenly it wasn't as gross to clean up... But my husband went into a panic as he searched the internet and discovered how poisonous an entire 14 oz. box of fully gift wrapped chocolate truffles can be. I was convinced that the dog had self-pumped his stomach and would be fine. We called the vet and he concurred. The dog barfed four more times that night...

* Yesterday, the smart little guy finally figured out how to open the cabinet that we store our dog food in. Yep, we have no clue how much dog food he actually ate. But he did manage to eat every last dog treat in the cupboard. Needless to say, he had to go without dinner last night.

They are an adventure by the minute! At least he's only eating food that he finds. I've heard of dogs eating a lot worse things (like furniture, shoes and carpet!) We are blessed with almost 60 degree weather today. Looks like it's time to take Zeus on a run with me. Okay, okay... A run for me... A fast walk for him. Happy new year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The year end review

Happy Holidays to any and all that might possibly be checking in on me!

It was a good year in our house. I sent the obnoxious letter with our photo card this year. It was funny. We didn't really do any triathlons this year, so I assumed I would skip the letter. Then I thought about it some more, and we had a fantastic year! So do you write the letter or not?

When you don't have kids, is it really applicable to send a letter with your Christmas card? I love getting the family letter from the Stucky family back in Michigan every year. They always have some good stories and I love hearing about them. I'm sure my grandma likes to get the letter. My husband wanted to send the letter to everybody. I wasn't so sure. I like getting letters from people. But does everybody else??? Do you sound like you're bragging in those letters?

Well, I sent the letter to most people. If it was a good friend that already knew everything, I skipped the letter. It was basically a condensed blog posting put in one letter anyway. Moab 3X. Italy. Wow. Dogs. :) Oh, and American Gladiators because that was kind of fun and Greg's alligator wrestling. Yep, a good year for us. Greg says we have good stories, so people will enjoy reading about us. I hope that's the way it comes off.

Now what's up for 2009? One of the phys. ed. teachers I work with is proposing a fitness challenge for any and all teachers at our school that our interested. He wanted to keep it a 10 week bodyfat challenge. I was all over it. Several teachers were more into losing pounds, so now he's made two challenges. It's been great because I haven't had any guilt while eating the mounds of chocolate in the teachers lounge this past week. Like half the United States population, I start my diet January 1.

So what to expect from the new year? Well, Greg wants to join me on the body fat challenge. We're going to attempt to follow Bill Phillips Body for Life diet where you eat six small meals a day. I'm debating about a spring half marathon. I'm also toying with the idea of signing up for the 5430 tri series: a sprint in June, Oly tri in July, and long course in August. I've never done the whole series in one year. It would be a great goal. We'll see!

Hopefully your holidays are grand!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

tis the holiday season

Halloween fun...
Mr. T and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

And we decided to celebrate Christmas the week before Halloween... Gotta love the annual Denver Veloswap. It was determined that we would spend my volleyball coaching money on a new mountain bike for him. But once he purchased it I was very sad. Now my mountain bike was seriously out of date and it would only put me at a further disadvantage when it came to keeping up with him... What a great husband I have....

His Christmas present

My Christmas present
Merry Christmas to us! The deal is that we aren't allowed to buy each other presents this year, but we absolutely have to go for a ride Christmas morning... Rain, sleet, or snow...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fall Break 08 --yes, Moab again...

Can't complain here. I spent Spring Break and Fall Break 08' in Moab this year... And a White Rim trip thrown in the middle. Not a bad year...

So... Last weekend... We opened with a simple little tyrolean traverse...
We moved on to a repel down the aptly name "Midieval Chamber."Greg was able to get pictures of me heading in. I got him coming down.
This was all a slow dramatic build up to our simul repel over Morning Glory Arch. Here's a picture of the arch. Yeah... It's at least a 100 feet up!

Now here's a picture of Greg coming down one side and myself the other. Our ropes were tied into one another at the top and we were counter balancing each other as we repelled down... Now that's what I call fun!!!!!!!!

I realize that some people spend good money on marriage building retreats through their church... If ever you're in for a marriage building retreat outside of the church, I highly recommend Desert Highlights Canyoneering in Moab, Utah. I had a ton of fun with my friends Deanne and Linda, as well as friends of friends... But it was also one more occasion that I realized I married an amazing man who couldn't be more perfect for me. Thanks for a great weekend honey!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Why husbands are good

Well, my husband is great, but I (will continue to) digress...

He informed me the other day that he signed up to volunteer for this...So he can see this guy in first place again...
With a possibility of seeing this guy...

And of course I found every reason in the world why we can't go to California mid February where he has already signed up to volunteer because "It just sounded cool."

He's right. Sometimes I need to not think every last detail out about every last thing. (I wouldn't be a good school teacher though if I didn't think and/or plan about how every minute of class will go or could go wrong.) Of course if I take two days off in February, that detracts from all my good teachered-ness... Right?
I found round trip tickets for $185, taxes included. Hmmmm....

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Flat tires, ugh

I train for an Ironman and only had two flats the entire year... Apparently I had some good luck...

Story 1:
Last weekend, I'm on the road bike about 2 miles from home. Pshhhhhhhhh... I brake as fast as I can, start pulling out all the repair supplies... Flip over the bike (back tire, of course...) and I notice a razor blade on the ground. My entire tire was slit. Putting a new tube in would be useless. I walked the 2 miles home. Argh. Who the heck throws razor blades in the street?????

Story 2:
This weekend, I'm so happily out with a couple of ladies I work with. I'm absolutely loving my rides with them because our rides are more about gabbing and laughing than they are about riding. Plus they get me on my mountain bike and challenge me where riding with the boys would just frustrate me.

One of the girls has to turn around because she has plans for the afternoon. I'm wondering if Deanne and I are rude, because we want to keep riding... Maybe I should have listened to my gut and turned around with her...

I ended up getting three flats after that!!!! Can you believe that??? One flat in the front. But I have goo in my tire, so I was able to get it to self heal. Back tire has no goo. Luckily I have a tube and a CO2 pump so I fix that dreaded back tire while a 5-6 yr. old brownie troop strolls by on a hike... And the leaders decide to take a break about 10 feet from us so all the kids come over for the flat tire show... I tell Deanne we have to head back because we're on trails and there are no roads nearby for her to pick me up if my front tire goes again. We turn around... HER tire goes flat!!! She didn't bring any supplies and I only had the one set. She was all for walking with me for the 8 miles back, so I'm obliged to walk with her for the next six. And while I'm walking, my back tire punctures again!!!

Stupid goat heads! At least it was a nice six mile walk with a good friend. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Newest member of the family

This is Zeus!!!

He is a border collie/rat terrier mix. He is one of the cutest dogs you'll ever meet! And he's mine!

It took many weekends and several visits to the local animal shelters to find the right little guy, but we finally found him. We've had him for 2 weeks and he has yet to pee in the house! He's a fairly quick learner. He comes to his name most of the time and he's starting to get "Sit" and "Stay." He's a lucky little dog right now because he gets two walks a day! (No, we're not spoiling him or anything!) Hopefully he's happy with his new home. We sure do like him!

Yeah for Niki!

Greg did a local sprint last weekend on Saturday. Greg did well for not being in the best shape ever, so I think he was happy with it.
Niki did her first tri on Saturday. On a personal note, this one was harder to watch. It was all women, and boy would I have liked to be out there on the course. Not to take anything away from Niki. It was her first tri. She trained for it. And she kicked butt! Great job Sis!!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Dear blog...

Oh dear bloggest of mine,

How are you today? Yes, I see that I haven't connected with you in well over a month. There were so many posts that I meant to send your way. Isn't that the way it always goes? I was going to put together that last posting before school started. I wanted to gather my thoughts and post the highlights of my summer.

While I didn't race this summer, I could talk about my volunteer experience. Being a swim buddy at the Tri for the Cure was a frightful, yet rewarding experience. I've also had the chance to live vicariously through other friends doing their first ever tri's!

Then school started... And I would have loved to vent on the 30 - 32 kids I have in EVERY class this year... Well, that was in addition to my class that had 47 kids in it. I'm happy to report that class is now at 30. It made for a rough start to the school year.

And then volleyball started on day 2 of school. That means I get to work with some wonderful girls in a sport that I love... But I have to pack up to head to practice everyday right at the final bell. That means I need to go in on Sundays to get myself caught up on all the work I would normally do after school. But my girls ARE improving! And both of my teams won their games tonight!!!! I'm so proud of those girls.

And then there's the whole 'still not pregnant' thing. I could write three loooong posts on everything I've been putting my body through, but it's just not worth the breath. Nothing has changed in the long run.

And doggies!!!! I've now made a couple of trips to the local animal shelters. When I spot that perfect little doggie, he's gonna be mine. It's a big commitment, so I'm just waiting til I find the right one.

Oh dearest blog, I think of you often. Unfortunately I'm not entirely sure when I'll actually have time to pen you another note. I have 7 more weeks of coaching volleyball... Hopefully I'll have lots of fun and excitement to write about when my schedule eases up. Until then, try to live every day as if it were your last wonderful day! Cheers!

Your friend,

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Great Italian Adventure 2008

It all started as a way for me to avoid watching my husband sign up for another Ironman. I knew in my heart of hearts that the jealousy would eat me alive. I wanted something to take my mind off the lack of racing I would be doing this summer and the fertility treatments that we've now started. Yes, we have the money, but the economy is taking a sharp downturn and the bills from the fertility treatments haven't yet started. (Nor did we know at the time of planning that we would return to discover that my husband's job will soon to be outsourced to India. Not the best news to come home to!) Nonetheless, if we're really serious about these fertility treatments, and a family really is in our future... This is the time to take a trip like this. And George W. just mailed us a check that he wanted us to spend... Albeit, not necessarily overseas, but it certainly helped.

We talked to several friends, and it was decided. Can you really put a price on travel and great memories??? We're back now and I think it was worth every penny. I teach art and I got to see Michaelangelo's "Pieta," "David," and the "Sistine Chapel." I saw the Raphael rooms at the Vatican as well as Raphael's burial. We went to a Leonardo DaVinci museum in Florence and saw countless sculptures by Bernini in Rome. I almost have to pinch myself from the disbelief that I just returned from all of those beautiful things.

All of the time I spent researching our trip prior to leaving paid out ten-fold. While not extravagant, our lodgings were all very nice for our budget. I discovered there would be a 24 hour train strike and completely revamped our trip prior to leaving.... An American couple that we ran into a couple of times in Rome didn't fare as well. They bought tickets and had them in hand but ended up surprised when they showed up one day to a closed train station. We had a glorious time. It was definitely one of those times when you're sad halfway through the trip because it's already half-over.
We had our fill of pizza. We also struggled through a dinner where we were only able to order a delicious appetizer but we couldn't seem to get past it with our waitress. We cut our losses and finished the meal at a gelato stand instead. And then of course we probably didn't eat as much gelato as we should have... (that may be one of my ONLY regrets)

When friends ask me how Italy was, I just have smile and sigh. It really was wonderful. Every town we visited was so different from the next. And I can't help but think there were so many other wonderful towns that we never visited.

It's nice to see other parts of the world. It makes me appreciate all that we have in the United States. At times it makes me embarassed, too. That's what travel does. It enlightens and humbles you.

Here's one of the few reasons I couldn't wait to get back to the United States. Our public bathrooms are in abundance... And we have a seat. It was rare (when I could find a public restroom) to have a toilet seat. Apparently women are taught early on to squat. This one came as a surprise to me. hee hee. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!