Thursday, December 18, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Visiting Dad

I just spent most of the week with Dad at Mom & Dad's house while he was home between surgeries in Houston & going back down for radiation/chemo. When he had first gotten home, the day after he passed out and hit the wall with his head since he was dehydrated from travel & anemic from loss of blood from 3 surgeries in 2 months. He was not supposed to pass out or hit his head after having his head opened up for surgery on his sinus through his brain cavity. Not so good! He started running a temp after that & Aunt Missy took him to the ER at Deaconess, but they did not have a bed for him, so he finally got transferred to Sacred Heart where they kept him longer than he would have liked. Finally, he was back home, but needed someone with him while mom was at work for pulling things together for the year end & meeting with CPA. I came over on Monday and he was still pretty weak. It was kind of shocking to see him so weak. Uncle Jim was there and then left & Dad & I finished watching a movie he had started & I worked on my laptop. An employee came to visit him who had lost his mom to brain cancer .Then mom came home and made Dad a steak since he had really been wanting a steak since he got home. :) Mom & I had left overs from Aunt Julie's dinner the night before & it was so yummy! She is an amazing cook.

The next day, Dad was pretty owly, but he wanted to get out, so we went to coffee at the Skyway cafe at Felts Field and met up with some of his friends, we then went to a machine shop that does the truck beds for the company & chatted with the father & son who run that. The son's name is Stacy, then Dad was getting weak. He brought an ensure with him & had that & we drove home and I made him lunch & gave him his iron & vitamin C pills, then I went back to work in the living room on the laptop. Later in the afternoon, we went for a walk. He took his cane & Dinky came with us. Dinky was so excited to get out & walk with Dad. He kept running ahead & running all over. Dad was only going to walk to the cul-de-sac, but we walked all the way down to Morris & back pretty slow, then he rested awhile & I went back to working on the lap top. David & Kiana came over to visit at night.

The next day, Dad was in a better mood. After a getting some work done, we went out again and stopped by Action Auto where his friend Bob works, but Bob was out running errands so we chatted with someone else there. Then we stopped by Spokane Rock Products and Dad talked with some guys there for a bit before we went to Winkler's Trucking where Dad & I talked to Brian W for a while. We were out for quite a bit & Dad did well with his Ensure snack for energy. :) When we got home, he watched a movie & I went back to work. We went for another walk later in the day & Dad was moving much faster & we walked farther too. He was howling at Aunt Julie's dog who was barking at us from a distance by the end of our walk. Aunt Kathy & Uncle John brought over a 9 pound lasagna with fixings. Yum! We chatted with them while the dinner was cooking. I went to the gym after dinner.

In the morning the next day, Dad slept in a bit more. He started watching a movie while I worked, then Aunt Kathy W., Jennifer, Grandma & Patty came to take him to lunch at Western Concrete. He was out for quite awhile, but his energy was getting much better. When he got back, he went back to watching the movie & resting. I had to work on a report, so we didn't get to do our walk before it got dark. In the evening, I decided to head out since bad weather was coming in the next day. It was hard to say good bye to Dad & I gave him a tearful hug goodbye & he kissed my hand & asked me to go to church on Christmas for him. I said I would do that.

Here are some quotes from Dad:
"it's my $100,000 hair cut."
"You wake up in the morning & say well, I don’t feel like I’m dying today."
"Live hard & die young"

“One day you’re a walking talking fire breathing human being and the next day some one hits you with a hammer.”

"Yolanda was my charge nurse. She was a big black lady. She was real nice. They had me read and sign all the list of things I can’t do and made Linda read and sign that she read & understood everything as a witness. When they got the meat rack wheel chair to take me out and I was sitting there at the door, I said “Yolanda, come here I’ve got something to tell ya.” When she came over I said, “You know when I was 5 years old, my mother beat me 20 times a day because I wouldn’t do what mommy said and I haven’t changed much.” She laughed and before I left she gave me a hug."

"This is my daughter, Carrie, she’s here babysitting me."

Thursday, November 6, 2008


My Mom says my dad has a triple A type personality. He’s a guy who is tough to keep up with or keep down. Born the 2nd child of 7 to a ranching turned construction family, he grew up always working hard and became a raucous young man. When my grandfather started the family’s construction business, my dad started helping out when he was 16. My dad worked & paid his way through 2 years of college, but dropped out after meeting & marrying my mom. He did though pay for my Aunt to attend music college since piano & music was her passion. When my dad met my mom, he was into muscle cars & fixing them up. He was also into racing stock cars. I don’t think my mom ever thought that my dad would continue to race stock cars with a family, but my dad raced cars, getting better & better each year & harder and harder to beat, until I was 10, my brother was 8 & my sister 7. When dad was not working in the field on a job site, he was in the shop or on the phone getting crews lined up for the next day’s or week’s work. Outside of the race season, it was also the slow time of year for construction, Dad would spend lots of time with us sledding & pulling us up the sled hill behind a snowmobile. It was the time of year we got to goof off with him. Even when he was so busy with racing & work, I loved every minute of it. I loved to smell the mix of grease, dirt & sweat when he would come in for dinner. I loved going out to the shop to tell him he had a work phone call. I loved the family camping trips around the region with the stock car in tow to watch dad race & we’d all lose our voices screaming at the top of our lungs for him to win. Through the years, dad racked up many wins, series wins, trophy dash trophies, thrilling tales, late nights and heart ache from disagreements with Mom on the amount of money going into the stock car.

When I was 10, my grandfather, my dad’s dad, died in a small plane crash. He had been training another pilot on search & rescue tactics during a search & rescue effort for another downed plane. The other pilot’s plane had a major mechanical engine failure. They both perished in the Cascade Mountains in Washington State in September of 1990. My grandpa had built a private airstrip on the land my grandparents used to raise cattle on. When I was 2 he became a pilot. He had gone on to become the President of the inland northwest chapter of the Washington Pilots Association. With his death, my dad gave up any & all aspirations of racing stock cars ever again. He instead threw all of his energy into getting his pilots license. In January of 1991, my dad became a certified private pilot with Visual Flight Rating (you can only fly in weather when you can see the ground). We loaded up as a family & set off on what was to be the first of many family adventure/vacations in the Cessna Turbo Charged 210.

My dad did many things with his new found passion. He went on to become the vice president & then president of the inland northwest chapter of the Washington Pilots Association (my brother & sister & I all got to help fold, stuff & stamp newsletters to members). Dad also became a volunteer for search & rescue flights. I don’t think he ever turned down when the call came out that someone was missing or a beacon was going off. Dad also became quite the bush pilot & we spent almost every weekend in the summer time flying into a wilderness airstrip for camping & hiking in Idaho, Washington & Montana, but mostly in the Frank Church wilderness area in Idaho. Dad also became an advocate for private pilot use of wilderness airstrips to maintain the public’s ability to access nature & the wilderness areas. He also advocated for responsible use among pilots & other users of the wilderness areas. Dad volunteered annually to organize & fly a group of kids from an orphanage in our town into the wilderness to allow them to experience the beauty of the wilderness areas.

At work, my dad appreciates hard working people, but has a soft spot for people down on their luck. He is always willing to give (almost) anyone a second chance if they can show they are willing to work hard. It’s pretty common for them to employ people with criminal records, prison work release inmates, former drug addicts and alcoholics. Dad tries not to get too involved in their personal lives, but some of the people have now worked for the company for over 30 years & have become dear friends. Some of the people who needed a second chance had young kids at home or with their ex’s that needed support. Dad needed people willing to work hard.

Anyway, that is a just the tiniest bit about my dad. To fill in a few more details, the guy is 6’4” 230 (now – used to be 210), a big social butterfly, a straight talking son of a gun, the most intelligent person I know, a royal pain in the butt, a “crude dude”, a big lovable Dad and my hero from day one. He’s fearless and always has been. He’s always looking for some way to make things better, to go faster or farther without limits. He took up rebuilding old rotted out wood boats in the winter time for something to do. My parent’s now have a big Chris Craft they keep on the coast that he completely rebuilt, rewired & revarnished. He did all the electrical & engine work himself. His latest boat project involves making his own jig & steaming new ribs in the middle of the winter with a home-made stove pipe.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Benny Lava

Check out this crazy video.

Friday, August 15, 2008

It's about that time again

Ok – back to it. Been away from the blog for quite some time now; thought it would be good to keep it going. It’s Friday & sunny & hot in Seattle today. Luv it. I don’t enjoy the smog since it inflames the tissues in my lungs & gives me squeezy breathing, but I just throw my mask on & call it good.

This weekend, taking Hailee Rae shopping for flower girl dress. Should be fun. Racing on Sunday at North Shore circuit race. Been riding hills in prep for that. Legs are feeling a bit toasty after last night’s workout & tough last 12 days of training, but have 2 days to recover before the race. Feeling much stronger since July. Finally came around after being really sick/overtrained & then recovering from all of that. Can finally go hard in workouts & lay the power down without totally blowing up & having to recover. Good stuff. Track has given me a little bit of a kick too.

J Next weekend, is birthday/wedding shower/bach’lette partay/10 year high school reunion. Not sure what else could possibly be happening that day. Well, going to try to get in a good ride so I don’t go crazy.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

5 Top 5's

Top 5 Things I Miss:

1. My Family
2. The Bus
3. Any and All Social Cues
4. Hot Summer Days
5. My So Called Life

Top 5 Things Sky Loves:
1. Sleep
2. Pets
3. Food
4. Laser Light
5. Her Mama

Top 5 Suggested Phrases to Avoid at Work:
1. You're not stupid, just dump.
2. A Monkey could lead a better meeting.
3. Revenue, Schmevenue.
4. What hole of yours did that idea come out of?
5. Fucking hell.

Top 5 Things about Racing:
1. Matching Booties.
2. Winning.
3. Speed.
4. Smiling through the pain.
5. Rubbing handlebars.

Top 5 Advice:
1. Get over it.
2. Think of people being naked.
3. Spend as much $ on a wedding as it will cost.
4. Ride a bike.
5. Ride a bike more.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Coming Back

Valley of the Sun was not the best experience. When I got back the Monday after traveling, I found out I had bronchitis, which I had expected given my lack of lung capacity & incessant cough. Anyway, I was stubborn enough to go down there & met some great teammates in the Phoenix area. We stayed with Jacqui & Jeff Lockwood who have the best bike spread ever! 29 bikes in their garage, massage tables & foam rollers inside, great food all the time - it was awesome.

While we were there, the weather was not great & Jacqui kept apologizing for the weather & calling the race Valley of the Cloud. On Saturday, it was drizzling & chilly for the 20K TT (perfect for bronchitis). I managed to have a decent first 20 min of my TT, but then my lungs caught up with me. The next day I did not fare so well in 60 mile RR. It was pretty miserable. I was coughing on the bike & loosing my mind from fatigue since I was not sleeping at night due to incessant coughing. I finished the race, but they missed me in the results. I really did not care & did not start the stage the next day. I did get an earlier flight back to Seattle. Southwest airlines decided they did not like my new bike, so they broke the fork while in transit. I've been waiting for my new fork to come in to replace it & fix so I can ride the BLUE sponsor bike again.

Back in Seattle, I got some antibiotics from a Dr. & started on the healing process. I was able to ride both days last week & get away with doing some 12 min sub-threshold intervals yesterday. I have to remind myself to take it easy, but I really want to follow my plan to get back on track for Redlands. I am planning on doing the Ice Breaker TT this weekend. Hopefully, that will be a good test.

Last weekend, Erica visited from SF. It was so nice to spend time with her! She brought some sample paper for ideas of invitations she is going to make for Josh & I for the wedding. We went dress shopping on Saturday with Liz & Josh's mom, Sue. They were a terrific crowd to take dress shopping. I was a little uncomfortable at first, but we got the ball rolling & ripped through so many dresses in 1 hour narrowing it down as we went. By the end, I had my dress.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cough, Cough, Hack, Hack

I'm leaving for Phoenix tomorrow. ITB is feeling much better after following good advice from R miller to spend quality time with foam roller & alternate heat & ice to loosen things up. I have turned a corner & starting to get over my sickness, but still coughing. Probably not a great idea to travel & race, but it's all set up, I feel I must. Here I go.

New Bike, New Bling

The team bike for Team Kenda Tire - Blue NX7 with SRAM force, Thomson Masterpiece seatpost & stem, Zipp 404 wheels & Terry Saddle. :) Only 2 rides so far & already this is my little pocket rocket. And yes, I will get the steerer tube cleaned up.

Custom made white gold ring with diamond & fire diamond accents by Lezlie Jane in Seattle, WA. Already, I had to go 4.5 days without it to get it resized & my little finger felt naked. But we're good to go now. Ain't she purrr-ty?


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Biker Down

This past week, I have been injured & sick - not a good combination for me, but I know I'll get through it. At least, I've had wedding planning & spending time with Josh before he left to go to Boston for work (he left this AM) to keep my mind off of it. But being sick just kind of wrecks everything. You run out of energy so quick & when you think you're doing better & try to push it, you get knocked right down again. Sometimes I can "train through it", but not this time.

Luckily, after 3 days of straight taking it easy & lots of soup, water, tea, and emergen-C, I think I am starting to turn the corner. Now, if I can take it easy for another 48 hours, I should be golden...right before I leave for Valley of the Sun stage race in Phoenix.

I've had plenty of time to get the TT bike set up & my new Blue bike (but I still need to have the right seat post overnighted to me - oops). It's better than freaking out the night before while trying to pack & not having things set up the way I want. It's just that after I've mounted a cradle for my power tap on the TT bike, then I have to go lie down for 20 minutes before I can do anything else. Oh man...doing a stage race in 4 days should be interesting - at least it's early in the season - just a little warm up race, right?

The good thing about being sick is that it forced me to lighten up on the training which has allowed my ITB to loosen up. It got pretty tight at training camp from having saddle adjusted a little off. Totally my fault for not checking the measurements exactly. mom helped Josh & I find a location for our wedding. We are all set at CenterPlace in the Spokane Valley on September 28th. It's kind of fun checking out caterers & cakes & florists - I've been doing it online and over the phone, but it's still fun. I am kind of dreading going dress shopping. It just kind of seems like a big deal for a dress. My mom & dad are bringing my Grandma Helen's wedding dress over in a couple weeks. I really want it to fit. Then I would not have to go dress shopping! :) More importantly, it has a lot of sentimental value. It was worn by Grandma & my Aunt Suzie. I was the flower girl in Aunt Suzie's wedding, so I think it would just be a cool thing to wear the dress.

It just dawned on me a few days ago that Sept. 28th will be the 18th anniversary of my Grandpa Tom's death. Since he cannot be there in living person, I hope our wedding will be a way of honoring him. It's really hard to think that it has been so long since the night he left to coach another man on flight search & rescue & he did not come home. I guess some wounds never heal. At least, I know we will both be very thankful to be surrounded by our family & friends on that day.

Anyway - whew - all this typing has really taken it out of me...nap time.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Latest

Finally, time to post again. :) After some heavy weeks of training & work & getting ready for training camp, there was very little time the past few weeks to post - but had to make time now, since I have big news to share: Josh & I are engaged! Yah!

I left for San Diego on Saturday, Jan 26th, 2008 for the Team Kenda Tire team camp. We stayed in an awesome house with mission style decor & garden area with an extra guest house on the property. It was a great week of riding. The first day, we met up with Deanna, a former Kenda Tire rider from DC who is now living in San Diego with her husband & 2 young sons. She is so incredibly warm & friendly. She showed us an awesome route through Rancho Santa Fe, the 2nd richest 'hood in the world. After that ride, some of us went longer up the 101 HWY to Oceanside. I somehow got separated from the group at what I thought was a bathroom stop & had to find my own way home, which took a little longer than I had expected.

On Monday, we packed the bikes & drove about an hour inland to a small town to climb Palomar Mtn (about 7% for 15 miles or so). I thought I was having a crappy day on the bike since I couldn't hang onto the wheels of "non-climbers." Turns out my brakes were rubbing the whole way up - not good! Anyway, we ran into un-passable snow at 5000ft & had to descent through freezing rain. A few of us were very near hypothermia & we had to stop & warm up a few times while coming down the Mtn. Eventually, we called the team director, Paul, back at the vans to come & round us up - it wasn't worth it with all the riding we had yet to do the rest of the week.

Tuesday was an awesome 85 mile ride inland through lots of rolling hills. On our way back into town though we had some people not so happy with our presence & had lots of buzzes & a red bull flung at us. Paul followed us most of the day in the mini-van, but we all forgot to put extra bottles in, so it was a rehydrate fest when we got home. Paul treated us to Sushi this night. A few of us were brave enough to try "monkey balls" (tempera mushrooms stuffed with shrimp & salmon with rice noodles on them), but were surprised when they came to the table with wispy noodles waving in the wind - they move!

Wednesday was supposed to be an "easy" day, but it ended up being a group ride for 40 miles over rolling terrain. No one was prepared for the 3 hour ride time, so we were famished when we got home. This is the day we discovered Pannikan coffee house. Amazing coffee and baked goods. I devoured my blue berry banana nut muffin.

Thursday was another climbing day. A few of us drove out to Ramona, CA & climbed 22 miles Julian, which also had snow at 4200 ft. The climbing this day was more gradual most of the time with shorter steep sections, but we had a great tail wind going up the mountain. It was raining, hailing & sleeting on us as we climbed. Paul had extra clothes in the van behind us, so when it came time to come down, we had some warm dry stuff to put on for the way down. I had an awesome day climbing this day - redeemed myself from Monday. I got frigging cold on the way down & opted to climb in the van. By this time, many of the girls were starting to get sick & I didn't want to take any chances by getting too cold.

Friday was a total easy day. 1 hour 12 mph avg ride & a 3 hour nap - nice. Great afternoon for a little walk on the beach.

Saturday was a CRAZY group ride with the Swami's team. There were over 100 people screaming through town on arterials & backroads, flying up hills & screaming down twisty descents..It was like being in a men's race- except no rolling enclosure. Most of the other girls were not too keen on this group ride, but I figured it was safer up front & less risk of getting nipped by a passing car in the middle - so I had a blast mixing it up. I was 1 or 2 women in the whole group to make it into the lead pack at the end of the ride. Such a killer ride! I was on a total high when I got home...and tired. I took a shower & laid down for a nap.

After slipping into a deep sleep & starting to dream - I had been having vivid dreams all week - someone poked me on the arm. I flipped off my eye-mask & removed the pillow that I sleep with over my head to see...Josh standing over me. I couldn't believe it & thought I was still dreaming. I jumped up & gave him a big hug & asked him what he was doing there. He said he had missed me & came to see me & would I like to go for a walk on the beach? I couldn't figure out how he knew where we were staying & how he found it. He finally let me know that he had contacted Paul from the team & he referred him to Kristen, the team captain, who secretly helped him find me & the perfect time to come by.

We went down to the beach on a gorgeous sunny day & walked for awhile. Finally, Josh handed me a pretty ring - designed for my "active" life - & proposed. sweet. I said yes.

Josh had a hotel & dinner reservations already booked in La Jolla, so we went home & packed up. On the way back to the house I called my parents in a total daze to fill them in. They were exuberant. :)

La Jolla was wonderful. Josh's mom & cousin had helped him pick out clothes, shoes & jewelry for him to take with him for me to wear to dinner. Oh man - I couldn't believe everything that went into this proposal. He did a great job of sweeping me off my feet.
In La Jolla, we had a little snack on some rocks over looking the beach & then a nap at the hotel before getting ready for dinner. Dinner was fantastic with yummy wine & desert & COFFEE. After dinner at George's, we changed clothes & walked around town in pouring rain (CA was having crazy stormy wet weather) going into art galleries & being cute together.

Sunday we both flew home. It was so nice to be home after an amazing & fulfilling week of training & the whole proposal thing. :) Sky was freaked out when we got home. She was sooo happy to see us that she could not decide if she wanted to be inside or outside or in or out the back or front door & she meowed incessantly. That is either her way of punishing us or showing excitement. She also did her typical Sky maneuvers of drooling while being pet & sitting with her left paw raised up like a little Sky statue while drooling.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sky Video

Sky's Christmas present was a new toy - check it out.