Saturday, June 26, 2010

Question: What’s a menopausal woman’s dream sport?

Answer: Bicycling!

Sometimes I want to crawl into the refrigerator.  Quite often I want to crawl out of my clothes.  If I could, I’d mount a fan permanently (or at least until this ordeal is over) about 6 inches from my face.  I am perpetually hot… and no longer er… hot

I wasn’t sure I’d like bicycling, but I knew that if I was to train at all for the upcoming Danskin triathlon, I’d have to get my butt on a bike and start pedaling.  After shopping with Peter for a bike two weekends ago and relenting to his instance that I really should get a fairly good bike, I’ve been riding three times and I’m actually quite surprised to say that…

…I love bicycling!  Why?  Because cool air blows right onto my face – and there’s nothing THIS menopausal woman likes more!

(Here’s a secret for you: if you’re sitting in a business meeting and a woman nonchalantly uses the papers in front of her to fan her face – and the world is not sweltering in a heat wave -- she is most decidedly menopausal!)

So today I rode the Sammamish River Trail again, but this time I headed northward from Woodinville …

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…toward Bothell.

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These geese and ducks just hung out along the trail…


…completely unfazed when people rode by!


You know those gorgeous houseboats in Sleepless in Seattle?  Well, these are nearby Bothell’s version.  (They’re trailers, not houseboats.)


The trail parallels the freeway for a bit…


…and goes right under a major interchange.  It’s amazing, the beauty and recreation you can find near Seattle freeways!  Remember my post about kayaking the Seattle Arboretum?IMG_5039

I rode to where the Sammamish River Trail meets the Burke-Gilman Trail in Bothell, then turned around and headed back to Woodinville… but wasn’t ready to stop riding yet, so I headed south towards Redmond.

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Mt. Rainier was out again in all its glory!  I will never get over this mountain’s majesty and beauty!  IMG_5053

As I was taking pictures a woman rode by and then stopped, saying, “I really should do that too.”  We started chatting and she offered to take a picture of me with the Mountain behind me…


…which I told her I’d only accept because I have a blog and it might make a good part of the story.


We continued to chat came to realize that we have a few mutual friends!  She knows of The Gottman Institute and John’s research and we enjoyed chatting about that for a while.  After talking for about 20 minutes we decided that it’d be fun if she joined Elisabeth and me on our Green Lake walks -- and that she might want to do the Danskin too! 


Yes, Seattle is definitely the friendliest city I’ve ever lived in!


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Friday, June 25, 2010

Today’s national weather map… and our tiny little sliver of green


Look very carefully.  You might even have to zoom in. 

(Sorry, I’m limping along on an old Dell while my laptop is in the shop so I can’t even highlight the area I’m referring to, as I normally would.  Sigh.)

See that skinny strip of green along the West Coast that widen to include Western Washington?

Although we’ve had some glorious weather lately (and we finally this week hit 75 degrees for the first time this year!) the weather in the Pacific Northwest has been noticeably cooler than in the rest of the nation.  I love the comfortable, pleasant temperatures we have in Seattle during the summer and I even welcome the mist that often greets us early on summer mornings. 

Personally, I’ll take this over blistering heat any day! 

So do you envy us Pacific Northwesterners or do you pity us?

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Seattle Danskin Triathlon, seven weeks out: fear, doubt, and determination

Last August, as I stood at the finish line of the Seattle Danskin Triathlon awaiting my sister-in-law’s appearance, my healing ankle still in an air boot, I silently promised myself that in one year’s time, I’d be crossing the same finish line. 

In November I made that promise public when I signed up for this years event.  Then I signed up for a (less than inspiring) 6-week stint with a personal trainer and I later embarked upon at-least-once-weekly walks around Green Lake with Elisabeth.

Then, a month ago, I got sick and everything stopped abruptly.  It was a few weeks before I could sufficiently huff and puff again (because I am not, after all, your svelte and fit traithlete; my goal for the race is simply to finish sometime on the same day that I begin), and now I’m just… well – terrified.

I’m terrified at the commitment I’ve made, but know that I have no choice but to follow through with it.  I’d disappoint too many people (and certainly myself) if I gave up now.  So I trudge ahead, completely insecure about my training, my abilities, and even, at moments, my commitment.

This morning I awoke at 4:30, realizing that the race – or rather, the event, as I prefer to call it -- is 7 short weeks away and I am nowhere near ready.  I panicked, packed up my gym bag, and headed to the gym, where I rode 5 miles on the stationary bike and then swam a half mile… which was surprisingly easy once I hit a smooth, relaxed cadence.

Then I headed home to work all day and at 5:30 PM on this gloriously warm, clear, beautiful day, Tom (who caught my bad cold, or he would have gone with me) drove me to the Sammamish River Trail in Woodinville and off I headed southward on my new bike. 

Of course I had to stop a few times to snap some photos!


Yes, that’s Mt Rainier in the distance.

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Yes, that’s Redhook Brewery.  (I would have loved a beer right about then!)

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Seven miles and less than an hour later, we met at the REI in Redmond, where I bought some essential biking gear (like pants with butt pads!) and a tire pump.

(Speaking of the tire pump, Peter, aka Mr. REI Bike Fix-It Guy, insisted that I learn to change a flat tire on my new bike, so he gave me a private in-the-kitchen flat-tire-repair workshop this evening.  The guy should really become a teacher!  He is GOOD!)

So I’m still scared of this upcoming triathlon because I have never done anything like this, ever.  Even in high school I was only athletic enough to be a cheerleader, but never athletic enough to actually compete in real sports.  This, at the age of 53 and at nowhere close to “great shape” is as close as I’ve ever come to participating in a real “athletic event” and I swear, it’s the only time in my life I’ll ever be referred to as an “athlete.”  (Because that’s what they call all participants!)

Yes, I know it’s only a half mile of swimming (in a cold, choppy lake) and an “easy” 12 mile bike ride, followed by a relatively short 3 mile run/walk.  But for some of us, that’s enough to keep us up at night, wondering if we can really, truly DO IT.

We can.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

How you’ll know that it’s time to take a blogging break

If you get a new roof and you begin to craft a post in your head about the 10,000 ways you’d much rather spend $10,000 and complain that the old adage of “food on the table, clothes on your back and a roof over your head” has one really expensive AND really boring component… but you never actually write or post your thoughts…

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…it might be time to take a blogging break.

If your son returns from his semester abroad program in the Czech Republic and offers to help make a traditional and authentic Czech meal for Father’s Day… and you plum forget to take any pictures until the meal is already cooked and ready to be eaten…



(Bread dumplings!)

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…it might be time to take a blogging break.

If you’ve stopped thinking constantly, “I should blog this… I want to blog this… I can’t wait to begin writing…”

…it might be time to take a blogging break.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rachel Maddow for President!

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

(I am so proud to share an alma mater with this woman... I just wish I has one iota of her intelligence. Yes, I am in awe!)

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Psssssst! Ya wanna buy a car?

Craigslist ad

Cuz we have one to sell.  You can find out more about it here.

Every time I have something to sell, I’m reminded of ol’ Lefty, the best salesman around:

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Seven jeans should be ashamed of this!


What proportion of “mankind” can afford $110 jeans

Seriously?  “ALL MANKIND”?  I don’t think so!  Seven Jeans Company, when’s the last time you gave any thought to, say, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, or Rwanda?

This is bad marketing at its worst, in my opinion.  It’s pompous, snotty, holier-than-thou, completely out-of-touch, and – well, a blatant, bold-faced, insulting lie.

(And really, who even uses the term “mankind” anymore?!)

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sunday, June 06, 2010

All fired up at PaintAway

As a surprise for her birthday, I brought Elisabeth to PaintAway to create a ceramic masterpiece. 

She chose to paint a big mug…

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…while I chose to make a “match-up” teapot for Tom for our upcoming anniversary.


It was a quiet afternoon at PaintAway, so we had the place all to ourselves.




When we were finished, we left our “masterpieces” at PaintAway to be fired.


(We also left a godawful mess.)


Fast forward a week or so and… voila!

IMG_4854 IMG_4859IMG_4857If you and a friend -- or a family friend or friend in the family-- have an hour (or two, or three) to spare and want to do something fun, artistic, and with both a lasting memory and a lasting memento, I highly recommend ceramic painting!

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