Words to live by...

"A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others." ~Author Unknown

"A good wife is her husband's biggest fan -- no matter how crazy he is." ~Me

"May God give you.. For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer." ~ Irish Blessing

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Taxes, Snow Caves, and Knitting... oh my!

Luckily I haven't been eaten by the Tiger since Thursday, so this should be a more upbeat post...

Thursday we had dinner with my brother and his wife at their apartment downtown. Despite my pessimistic attitude going into the evening, we had a great time. They made a tasty beef stew with a couple delicious bottles of wine -- just what I needed. We had some good conversation about the "good old days" of the first Nintendo, Echo the Dolphin, The Oregon Trail, college parties, and embarassing drunken moments. Jim and I have always been pretty good friends considering we're siblings and 4 years apart but unfortunately life has taken us on busy roads lately and we haven't had a chance to hang out. It was a fun night and I hope we do it again soon.

This weekend has been a much needed break in our world that usually revolves around bikes. Chris spent the whole weekend with me -- we took a fun trip to the yarn store in Boulder followed by a delicious brunch at Lucille's and then a quick jaunt to the mall to get some clothes for my cousin's wedding in two weeks. We watched a few movies (I realized I've watched 4 Steve Martin movies in the past 7 days), did a little trainer riding, got to bed early, and slept in both days. Today we were more productive around the house... laundry, bills, cleaning, and taxes. YAY TAXES! Last year the ***** government stole my hard earned savings (aka "the baby fund") to pay for taxes but we caught a break and are getting a refund this year that will pay the baby fund back plus some. We are adults, we do taxes... we are still a bit immature, seeing as we cheered or booed the whole way through the process. Luckily this year we came out on top!

One of the highlights of the weekend was watching Turbo discover the snow cave out front. As Chris shoveled away the snow from our 6th snow storm in 6 weeks, I took Turbo out for a little play time. I think he caught the smell of his daddy and burrowed through the new snow to find the snow cave that Chris built a few weeks back. He wasn't scared and jumped right in, excited to find his own little oasis in the yard. I've decided that if Chris ever has to hide out in a snowcave on an expedition, I'm sending Turbo along with the search party. He had a pretty good sniffer for once. Here are the pictures:

Another exciting part of the weekend was my abundance of new knitting projects! I'm currently working on a baby hat for a cousin's new baby due this month -- it's cute and coming along but a true knitter needs more than one project! I got some double pointed needles to start a hat for myself using some delicious Manos yarn that I bought a while back. It'll be striped pink and gray but I'm wondering if I did it right seeing as I highly doubt this will fit on my head when it's done. I've stalled for a few days while I can get some knitting advice from a fellow teacher.

I also started a scarf for a kid that I had in my class last year. He's in the "emotionally disturbed" classroom but one of the cutest kids I've ever met. He asked for a scarf from the aid that works with him (after reading "The Mitten Tree"), so I've started one out of "bwoo" his favorite color. It'll be an anonymous gift but I'm sure he'll be excited about it. I've knitted this much so far today:

I also got some super cute baby pink yarn for a hat for a friend's baby that is due this month, but I have to finish my other one so I can use the needles...

Well, that's it for now. I hope you all have weeks where you are the Tiger and not his lunch.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Some days you're the tiger...

Some days the tiger eats you for lunch.

Just call me tiger meat. Today was just one of those days. One of those days that I just could not control my bad mood. All started out good. Actually, I was in a great mood when I got up. Was in a great mood on the way to work despite a huge accident near the highway entrance that slowed me up considerably. The first couple of hours of school were good. Then something inside me snapped and I've been in a terrible mood ever since. Can't pinpoint why. Haven't been able to make it better. We are off to have dinner with my brother and his wife in Denver -- while I'm not at all in the mood, I'm sure it'll be fun and nice to see them (seeing as we haven't really gotten together to hang out since they got engaged, oh, about two years ago). Maybe it will snap me out of my mood. It better, otherwise Chris might volunteer to leave town again in the very near future just to escape the tiger's wrath... muahahahaha.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Deep Thoughts Or Just Bored... HMMM?

I must preface this blog by saying that Chris is out of town for the 3rd of the past 4 days and won't be home for another two. I'm a little bored. A little nostalgic. A little sleepy.

Interesting thought provoking comment on Dave C's blog (http://bedrockandparadox.blogspot.com): "Yesterday with each encounter the obligatory questions and looks: what gear, tires, brakes? Are they like dogs, and rapidly evolve to look like their masters? Yesterday seemed to bear that out."

Here's what I'm thinking... he's right. I never thought about the interesting characteristics that Chris and his bikes all have in common. Physically and metaphorically, it's a little creepy to see the similarities. No wonder Chris and his bikes get along so well.

*Take the Monocog for example. It's skinny and lightweight (two different things by the way). It's unique and takes the right kind of person to understand its intriguing characteristics. It's simple but loved for its simplicity by those that understand it. It was cheap to buy, cheap to mantain, but expensive to upgrade. It rides through anything, appropriate for its intended purpose or not. It's loved so much that it's allowed to live in the house even if it does make a mess of the clean kitchen floor. It takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'.

* The Fuel has one specific purpose: kick butt when things are too difficult for the simple life of the Monocog. The Fuel is contrary to it's counter-part, the Monocog, but it serves its purpose and is a life saver when it is dug out of the basement. It survives obstacles that nothing should be able to overcome. Parts, both internal and external, crack and break but they are replaced with some TLC.

* The orange road bike. What can I say? It has a tendency to look a bit ghetto and out of place among the fancy shmancy road bikes in their matching outfits and prissy attitudes in road races. The greatest thing about the orange bike, it shows those prissy bikes what's up and generally kicks most of their butts. Ghetto shmetto, it's what drives the bike, not what color or age it is.

* The Pugsley. Well, hmmm. Doesn't look like Chris. Fat tires, heavy bike. Nothing about Chris is fat or heavy. Hmmm? I'll have to think on that one.
(Chris: I am purposely leaving out the Time Trial bike -- for some reason I've yet to come up with, it doesn't count)

Physically, the bikes share some characteristics with Chris. In a deep, insightful way, the bikes represent Chris to the tee. Weird. What about my bikes? Do they represent or look like me? I think so. To an extent at least. Luckily I only have two bikes to analyze...

* The Blue Fuel. Pretty and girly looking but can still kick some butt when it wants to. Often underestimated. Quiet but packs quite a punch.

* The Black road bike. Sleek, lightweight, a little lazy but when taken out it goes a long way. Shifts gears nicely and without complaint.

What a cool concept. I've been told by friends that Turbo is the perfect dog for Chris and I -- he's blonde, cute, athletic, intelligent... (their words, not mine). I never thought about the bikes being the same way.
Thanks to Dave C for some entertainment in a horribly borring night.

P.S: I don't mind being lonely but absolutely hate being alone. Interesting paradox.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Good Morning Nobody

**EDIT: I had written a nice long blog about how much I hate being alone and then Chris just called and said they cancelled their ride today but didn't explain why. He's informed me that nobody is hurt and they didn't get arrested, but the weather wasn't what stopped them, so I hope things are ok. I get the feeling that the ride didn't even get started, but I'm not sure. He sounds really disappointed and doesn't know whether he'll be coming home today or staying and riding a little tomorrow (which makes me think at least the bikes didn't get stollen overnight or something). Poor guy. As much as I bitch about him leaving and doing this stuff, when he doesn't get to do it it bums me out too. I love him and want him to be happy. Poor Christopher. :( Maybe going one or both of the next two weekends isn't such a bad idea. I want to make him feel better and I'm afraid my post would've only made him feel worse. Instead, here are some nice pictures from the last time Chris made his adventure through White Rim...

Here's a cute picture of Turbo:

Smile my Chris. The elusiveness of these rides are what make them epic. You'll be back. You'll conquer. I'm scared for you right now but thanks for telling me things are fine and not to worry. Come home and I'll give you a hug and dog and I will take care of you.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Me Quiz

A friend of mine made one of these and I definetely learned a few things about her that I didn't otherwise know. If you are bored, try it out. Then make one so I can learn a few random things about you. Ahh, the stpuid things you do while it's 2 degrees outside and the husband is out riding his bike.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Me? Distracted? Never!

I've sat down to write this blog for, oh, say, 4 days. I have so many funny new stories from my little monsters that I've been meaning to write down before I forget. Today I got home and have been determined to start the blog finally... then I got distracted. Again. I was looking for a good quote from "Everything I Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten" when I stumbled across the author's website. Robert Fulghum is now one of my new favorite people. He writes some hillarious but very insightful and intelligent stuff. Sounds like the kind of guy I'd like to sit and have coffee with. Read through the journal entries... there's some good stuff (I especially liked the flaming broom story).

Anyway, let's see if I can get in a few of the funny kid stories. Some days I can't believe I actually get paid to have such a great time. 5-7 year olds are a unique breed of human beings. Put 22 of them in the same room after two and a half weeks of being trapped in their houses by snow and the hillarious moments start rolling in...

#1: My kids walk in from winter break and the first thing they say is "GUESS WHAAAAAAT!!!!!! It SNOWED!!!" Really? It snowed? I hadn't noticed the 54 inches in my front yard...

#2: I have a kid in my class who is a bit of a trouble maker. He is sweet, in his own precious way, but he likes to teach the other kids bad words, touch their butts, inform the other kids about how one of the Broncos got shot, etc. He comes in Tuesday morning just sobbing. I tried to stop him on the way in the door but finally had to basically clothes-line the kid to get him to pay any attention to me. I asked him what was wrong and if he was ok. After a good solid 3 minutes of his sobbing, he gets out "I lost my backpack!" I look back, spin him around in front of the mirror so he could see what was on his back and say "this one?" He looks on his back and goes "Oh! Awesome!" and went about life like nothing had happened. Kindergarteners.

#3: We were talking about opposites in class. I was shocked at how great the kids were at generating the opposite of a word. We did it for a few minutes and I ran out of ideas. "Hmmm...What's the opposite of... hmmmmm..." One kid shouts out "BRONCOS!" So I let out a little laugh and said "well, what's the opposite of the Broncos?" A few kids said "Uhh, the Buffaloes?" When one kid shouts out "NO! The Raiders!" Hahaha. I gave him a big high five for that one. That's what I would've come up with! That kid is awesome.

#4: I've been ridiculously sick for the past 10 days. Sicker than I remember being in a very long time. I'm starting to get better, but I still have coughing attacks that last a few minutes. Yesterday I was telling the kids about what they were going to be doing during writing. Then the cough attack hit. My eyes were watering, face was red, the whole shabang. A few of my little ones were so worried they were near tears. Poor guys. Anyway, after 5 minutes of the death cough, I started back up telling them what they were going to do for writing. Again, started coughing. I laughed and said that my throat clearly didn't want them to do the activity. I made my throat talk and say "Nooo, don't make them do the paper!" -- they laughed and then one kid yelled out "Don't listen to it! Don't listen to your throat!" Haha. If we all had that kind of passion for learning...

Man they are cute. As much as they can drive me to the end of all the patience you can imagine one human being ever possessing, they crack me up.

The little monsters light up each day with their goofy outlook on the world. I've started to think that 5 year olds would make the greatest world leaders. Life is simple through their eyes. I read the story of Ruby Bridges and Martin Luther King today -- despite incredible prejudice happening today against them and their families (and it can bring you to tears with what they pick up on -- "why did someone yell at me from a car telling me to go get a burrito?" -- people are morons)... anyway, despite what they go through, their little faces went so sad hearing the stories about segregation. The MLK book included that someone shot and killed him. To which I got the response "how could that happen? How could someone kill such a nice man? He didn't do anything wrong."

In teaching I get to see that all humans start out good. They start out hopeful, innocent, bright-eyed, sweet, and caring. I hate to think about what they go through before they become jaded adults. Fulghum is right, everything you need to know, you learn in kindergarten. If we could just use those skills as adults, the world would be a much better place. Hmmmm...

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Well, Christmas and New Years have come and gone too quickly. I can't believe it's already 2007! I feel like it was yesterday that the world was spazzing out about turning 2000.

Looking back on '06 brings many good memories. I climbed my first mountains, "raced" my first mountain bike race, completed a metric century on the road bike in Buena Vista (and what a buena vista it was!), learned to knit, finished off my first year of teaching with a bang and took on a big challenge to start off my second year, went to California for the first time, got both of my brothers married off without a hitch, lots of bike riding and home redecorating, bought a new car, and learned to be a support crew for hubby in Park City (by myself might I add -- I take all of the credit for the 3rd place finish), Leadville, and in Moab (with wonderful friends and family thank goodness -- picture me trying that alone -- haha). I've learned to let Chris do his hobbies that most people see as crazy. I've learned to drop him off at a trailhead and hope and pray that he comes back a few days later. I've learned to sleep by myself in the warm bed while he sleeps in the yard in -5 degree weather. I've realized I am a much more patient, forgiving, understanding, and capable person than I ever gave myself credit for.

Looking forward to 2007? You bet! If all goes as planned, '07 will be a huge year for me. I've realized my abilities and talents and this year I am going to do my best to challenge myself to accomplish things that I've always wanted to do. I am semi-committed to give time trials on the road bike a whirl. We'll see how training and trying out aero-bars feels. I like the idea of a 20something minute race although getting over the fear of going fast is going to be my biggest challenge. I am also semi-committed to thinking about registering for the winter park mountain bike series. I need to get out and push myself on the mountain bike... once I am convinced that I'll get something other than last place in my age group, I will think about committing. I'm excited about conquering a few more of those mountains that I look at out the window everyday. Chris and I are hoping to expand the family this year and find out whether or not a guy who rides on an SLR for 6000+ miles can really have babies successfully ;) Should be a big year. Even if things don't work out as planned, I'm sure there will be memories galore in the coming 12 months. Good or bad, we'll get through them with grace and plenty of pictures!

Thanks to Michelle for taking what I consider to be the picture of the year. This is the face of pride, relief, success, exhaustion, and adrenaline all rolled into one:

Here's to happiness, hope, and warm feet in '07!