Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Fourth Of July Compromise

Well...we seem to have come up with a system.

The girls will go out to pee only when absolutly necessary.
I must go with them. Rescue pees in the garden. Maggie pees on the front walk.

Good thing they don't pop fireworks in the mornings...that could get messy.

And We've Got Another Drinkin' The Koolaid!

Check out my riding buddy...Celestial Tease.

They're dropping like flies...

PS the Pink Troll is a close friend of the Chicken.

PSS apparently the Chicken has gone missing again...wonder where she's off to?

Will Wonders Never Cease!

So the first big surprise this week was discovering a new need to read this post...Lurkers. Just when you think you know all three people who read your blog...

Next is a new blogger!!! So, my BFF Donna is not someone who I thought would ever blog. She stayed home sick from work and, well, the Blog bug bit. Boredom is a wonderful thing.

Check out The RonneBlog.

And just a PS...if this freakin rain doesn't stop I'm, I' won't be pretty.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Fall Down, Go Boom

Please always wear a helmet when you ride...

Last night June and I decided to go ahead with our planned ride even though it was a little rainy. We chose to ride on the Indian Creek Trail instead of the Brookside group ride. Thinking that being out of traffic would be a good idea. Probably good thinking.

We were riding conservatively, taking our time, careful. Coming around a small curve I got a bit close to the edge and hit some mud. Bike slid out from underneath me and boom, down I went. My left knee took most of the hit but as this morning has gone on I am feeling it in my wrist and shoulder.

The thing that rings loudly for me is the sound my helmet made when it hit the pavement. Very loud.

It's easy to think, 'Oh, I'm just riding on the trail. We'll go slow...". Yeah...

Wear your helmet!

Gotta ice the knee...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thursday Thirteen (haven't done one of these in a while)

13 very, very random thoughts at 5am.

1. I hate the Fourth of don't get all patriotic on me. I understand the significance and I'll eat hot dogs, drink beer and blow stuff up, same as the next person. But here in the getto they start blowing things up a good week out. I have two skittish dogs who, from the VERY FIRST pop, refuse to go all. So for me the 4th is all about begging the neighbor kid and his buddies to cease and desist for 5 minutes so I can drag the pooches out and hold them in the grass until they realize they can't go back inside until they pee. I hate the 4th of July.

2. My ability to read the radar and predict what will happen at the lake was not so accurate this morning. I cancelled practice and it now appears the rain is over...oh well.

3. It seems I have a cat that needs a bath...aren't cats supposed to take care of that themselves?

4. Does anyone care about Paris Hilton...

5. All I ate yesterday was chips and ice cream...might be why I had a tummy ache.

6. The toe I broke in Texas is numb after all that riding...I guess I need to go see the Doc.

7. I miss the Chicken.

8. I'm SOOOO glad we are not rowing at the river this summer. I can't imagine wrangling the dock in all this rain.

9. I need a haircut.

10. There is a new movie coming out on Friday...about the mouse who cooks...looks cute. I think I'll take AJ and Austin.

11. Girl's weekend is less than 2 weeks away! New beds and the shitter works.

12. It has been hard to come up with 13 random things...perhaps I am not as awake as I thought.

13. None of the kids called this morning so I guess they figured it out!

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It's The Middle Of The Freakin' Night...Or So It Seems

I tend to hope for rainy mornings in the summer. Even though I like morning practice I still like to occasionally sleep in. So it's raining. My alarm goes off at 4:40am...yes, am. I get up, check the radar, look outside, make a decision to cancel practice, post on the message board...then I feed the dogs.

The automatic coffee maker is a great thing when you stumble out of bed at 0 dark 30 and need to wake up but the smell of fresh hot coffee at 0 dark 30 when you have the opportunity to go back to sleep...well, it will derail the best laid plans.

So, I'm up.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

R & R

Okay, so June and I rode much of the way across the state of Missouri...she had to go back to work while I have slept much of the last 5 days.

I've averaged 12-14 hours a day...yawn...maybe I'll go to bed early...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I really, really love my mom.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Great Chicken Caper

So...there was this chicken. She (and we are pretty sure she's a she) lives in the Respiratory office where my sister works.

And last week she went on an adventure.

Kim's coworker Sharon helped me 'birdnap' the chicken (the chicken got the nickname Elmira and we called her Ellie for short).

Ellie and I had some fun here in KC the first few days... We went to Starbucks with Donna

Shopped for groceries

Went on a test bike ride

and even went to rowing practice.

She seemed like a nice enough chicken and so I decided to take her on vacation.

But first I had to make some plans...and make some ransom notes. You see they had noticed that the chicken was missing and, was getting kinda fun.

Note number one I planned to leave on Kim's car at work but when I got there she had parked in front of the smoking area and about 20 people where out smoking...I couldn't be seen!

I knew Kim was going to be at the hospital for a few hours so I waited, found her car in the hospital parking lot...she called me later so amused that 'someone from her office had driven all the way to the hospital'. She'd had a rough morning and needed the distraction.

I took some pictures and typed some notes. Addressed them to Kim and her coworkers and left them with Donna for mailing while June and I were riding the Katy.

I made her a nice little Chicken seat for the back of my bike, packed our stuff and off we went.

My friend June and I planned to ride the entire length of the Katy Trail in Missouri...with a chicken...and a little pink troll that was traveling with June.

We had a blast!

This is a big rock where they've marked the water height of the many floods.

We met many, many new friends.

Here we are on the last day...Mike rode from St Charles and Joined us for the last day.

The Chicken had a trip journal and she wanted everyone to sign it.

She was very popular.

She likes caves...

She's not afraid of heights...

She was so tired she took a nap in the bus on the way home.

This morning she was returned to the Respiratory Office...they were happy to see her.

And suprised that I was the birdnapper.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

257 Miles, 5 days

June and I rode across the state of Missouri! Wow.

This trip on the Katy Trail was great fun. Great people, fun riding, amazing scenery, interesting stops, challenging days.

We left Clinton, MO on Monday morning for a short 39 mile ride to Sedalia, MO. SAGs (support stops with water, power aid and bananas...lots of bananas...) every 7-12 miles. This was my favorite part of the trail. It has a very gentle incline with some fun gentle downhills, a little climbing then a little fast! Very pretty, shady and cool.

We camped in Sedalia in a little park in the rain...light rain but humid and sticky. June reminded me how to play Gin Rummy and then promptly kicked my butt...reminded me a little of playing with the Bates's the scoring that confuses me, 5 points, 10 points, 15 points, whatever. The tent stayed dry but everything felt damp and musty. Not much sleep with the excitement of the first night and a train every few hours.

Day 2 we rode from Sedalia to Columbia. Our longest day and the toughest part of the ride for me. Mile 45 came in the middle of a long sunny stretch of rough gravel. I was struggling and it wasn't until after a cliff bar and some power aid did I realize I'd run my body out of fuel. I haven't bonked like that since my competitive rowing days.

June needed some work on her bike so we lunched in Rocheport at the Trailside Cafe and had the BEST hamburgers! The bike shop next door got June's bike working and we headed out to the spur into Columbia. A nice weekend trip from KC would be to drive to Columbia, ride the MKT spur to the KATY and the west to Rocheport, some wine a nice B&B and back the next day. Beautiful views of the river as we rode along the bluffs. June had her hardest afternoon riding up into Columbia. The loose gravel made the going slow on her bike with the wider tires.
We camped again on Tuesday after eating dinner in town at a nice brewery. Made some friends and they joined us for some rummy after the riders meeting...the girls soundly defeated them but boys cheat, you know...slept like logs even though we were on the ground.
Wednesday was probably the nicest day. Cool and overcast with little wind, perfect for the 57 mile ride to Mokane. We caught the hotel shuttle and slept in beds...and decided that we really weren't all that crazy about camping.
Thursday promised to be hot and sunny as we rode to Augusta. Fueled by some of the best french toast ever we headed out. Long stretches in the sun and a two hour wait for a hamburger when all three hundred of us stopped for lunch at one of the only food stops along the way made Thursday a very long day.
After showering in 3 minutes and 52 seconds (a bet made on the bus) we caught the shuttle back to the camp in time for dinner at the local church. The riders meeting was accompanied by wine and some great music and our friend Mike joined us after riding from St Charles.
Another great night in a hotel and we rode the last stretch. It didn't take nearly long enough. You'd think after 220+ miles we'd be glad to be off the bikes but we all were a bit sad as we rode into the St Charles depot. They bussed us back to Clinton and we were home Friday evening.
ANYONE can do this ride. There were 83 year old riders and one 6 year old. It's very well supported and very fun. We will ride again next year!
I'll have more pictures up on Monday, having some trouble with my card reader...don't forget to check back.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Off To Ride

Remember, you can check our daily journal...starting Wednesday. The link is in the post below.

Back Friday.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

225 Miles In 5 Days With 300 Of My Closest Friends

Next week I will be riding the Katy Trail with a group sponsored and supported by the Missouri State Parks.

The Katy Trail is the former rail bed of the MKT (Missouri, Kansas Texas) railroad. When the railroad stopped it's operations in Northern Missouri in 1986 the rail bed was turned into a long distance hiking and biking trail that runs more than 200 miles.

The National Trails System Act, which provides that railroad corridors no longer needed for active rail service can be banked for future transportation needs and used on an interim basis for recreational trails allowed the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to acquire the right of way. A generous donation funded much of the cost and in 1991 an additional 33 miles were added in western Missouri on unused Union Pacific Railroad. week my friend June (mama to Mel and no longer a lurker) and I will unplug and ride. Mike will join us for the final leg on Friday.

They post a daily journal in case you are interested in keeping up with us...Wild On The Katy

AJ's Preschool Graduation

Here is the video again...let me know if you can see it now...posting my own video is a new task and I'm not quite sure how to do it yet!


Let's try this again

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


And here is some video of Paula. The water was pretty rough that day!

AJ's Preschool Graduation

Here is a video of AJ and the 2007 graduating class.
Notice that he is about the only one standing in line and sitting still. He's all business!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

It Turned Out Only To Be 'Two More'

Yesterday I was talking to a friend of mine from Tulsa while we stood on the shore waiting for his girls to come down in the Women's Eight. I asked him how he thought they might do..."they're going to get creamed' he replied. "Are they ready for that?" I asked.

Paula finished fourth out of four in her rep. She didn't get 'creamed' but she did finish last.

I was pretty sure where her head was. I thought I could predict how she would react.

I try to get them ready, prepare them for what is really going to happen. If they are going to get creamed I tell them. Not that they will get creamed but that everyone is fast, really fast. To not be surprised if you're behind. Keep your head in your boat, race your race. Be dignified, see the big picture. Your success is measured not on one race but on the body of work as a whole. From the very first stroke.

From where I was watching it looked like she had rowed exactly the race we'd been talking about, working on. 30 for the body, long, quick turn around at the catch. She sprinted just like she always does, with fire and great speed. She moved on the girls ahead of her...if she'd had another 200 meters...maybe.

I stood on shore silently thinking 'somebody flip, somebody flip'. Embarrassing to admit, but yes, I was wishing that someone else's kid would meet with great disaster and we'd squeak into the final.

Everyone finished clean and Paula didn't make it to the semi final.

As coaches we wait on shore, not able to gage their reactions until they land. Sometimes you'll see celebration, splashing water, hands in the air. Sometimes the heads are lowered and you see a hand wiping away what you assume are tears. You ache for them.

I just wanted to see her face. Her face would show me how much work I had to do that evening. Putting her back together if needed.

She pulled to the dock and turned around and flashed the biggest grin.

We were good.

She was good.

She was pleased with her race, knew she had done well, knew that the other girls were faster and that's okay because she was as fast as she could have been, no regrets.

So today we try to win the C Final.

Friday, June 08, 2007

One Down, Three To Go many of you know (or at least the two of you who are actually checking my blog since I've gotten too busy to post) I am in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Youth National Rowing Championships.

One of my kids...and she really is my kid, not biologically but her parents are good with sharing of my kids qualified to race by finishing second at our District Championship in May. An accomplishment in and of itself.

We left KC early yesterday morning, driving in cross winds gusting up to at least 40 miles an hour, with a 30 foot single strapped to the roof of my Isuzu. Fun, really fun. Ten hours later we arrived at Harsha Lake. Very tired.

Paula raced this morning in the heats. Now this kid has trained for the last four weeks...preparing for this experience. She's rowing beautifully...confident, long, powerful, relaxed. We have been preparing for the competition. Talking a lot about speed, realistic expectations, attitude. She knew what to expect...we thought.

Everyone is fast. I mean, REALLY FAST. Everyone. All three heats were similar, top two really quick, next 3 closely bunched. She finished 5th with the 11th fastest time. 11 out of 15. 11 of the fastest kids in the country.

When she came off the water she looked a bit stunned. Like she was not quite sure what happened. I believe she might have been thinking " you meant 'really' fast." That's what I read in her face.

She handled it very well. Processed well, didn't get emotional or freaked out. she sees the big picture and is ready for the reps.

She will race again this evening in the reps. (A repachage is a 'second chance' to advance. They took the top two from 3 heats and then will take top 3 from 2 reps to get the 12 girls who will race in the semi)

She needs to be top 3 to advance to the semi final. It will be a bit of a stretch but if there is a kid capable of racing out of her mind and advancing, it's this kid. She can turn the brain off and the motor on and just flat go.

That's what she'll need to do.

You can check results today and tomorrow at She's in the Women's Youth Single.

Monday, June 04, 2007

And Now It Is Summer

June is crazy...especially the beginning.

Posting will be unpredictable.

Happy Summer!