Friday, January 29, 2010

Simple Joys



Now this is what I call a party. A little taste of play dough and a little sip of glue, does it get any better than this? This kid is still at the age that he eats any and everything he can get hold of, including play dough and glue ;)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Senior Guapo!



Isn't it hard to believe this fine looking young'un is 54 today? I agree he is certainly guapo and very happy to be one year older and wiser!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Swimming and Patience

Apparently here in Costa Rica they don't observe lane lines in the pool anymore than they observe lane lines on the road. O.k. maybe they do observe them, they just choose not to act on them. As in they just cross right over the little suckers and swim right in front of you! It is so difficult to get into a swimming zone when you keep running into people. At least I don't have to drive here, I just sit on the bus or in the taxi and watch the driver cuss people out when they ignore the lane line :)

For the first time today I saw a lady yell at a couple of kids. Usually they are just ignored, but these kids really pushed it. In that they were trying to piss her off I believe. I'm just glad she yelled at them so I did not have to do it in English and they would just stare at me and say "no entiendo".

All that aside it was a beautiful day for a swim and the water has actually warmed up a bit. Must have something to do with the fact that it has been really hot for the past few days.

And (drum roll please) baby has finished all her school books! I mean we are truly excited, as well as scrambling for something to keep her going here. She loves doing "schoolwork" every day and I am trying to keep up with her. I am sure getting slow in my old age. Speaking of old age.

So Rick and I were walking down the sidewalk in San Jaun, just minding our own business as usual. We were on our nightly adventure to snag some ice-cream at the Eskimo store on the beach. Anyhoo so here we are going along and a old hippie comes up along side us. He was like old as in sixtyish, long gray ponytail and the works. He has a kid with him that looks half gringo half nica and he's about nine or ten. Well the guy had had a few too many and was yelling at the kid to get out of the street. The kid of course is just ignoring his old man.

The old man gets next to Rick and I and starts complaining about kids this and that. We are both just staring at him and suddenly he looks me right in the face and says, "I guess you're past all that though." Wham, why not just slug me in the nose! I wanted to yell at him that as a matter of fact I am on my period at the minute and I have a six year old at home, and NO I AM NOT PAST ALL THAT! In fact I am working very hard to not be past all that ever!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Be it ever so humble there's no place like home! We are always very happy after a leave to return to kith and kin, and of course our own house. Always a little anxious about whether all is well, especially when we leave the 21 yr. old here alone. I swear you would think he was a 21 month old, in fact that would probably be better. Looks like we will have to hire a babysitter next time :)

I never thought when we moved to Costa Rica three and a half years ago that I would ever feel so at home here. I have the same feeling I used to get when we returned home to Flagstaff from the Valley. We would feel so good to get out of the oppressive heat and get into the clean cool air of Flagstaff. Now we are in the same boat. In San Rafael where we live it is about ten degrees cooler than the beach. It feels literally like "a breath of fresh air" when we return to our mountain home.

Not to mention cooking our own healthy foods and the hot instead of cold shower! Early this morning as we were driving through Nicaragua back to the border on the bus, I spotted an old lady taking a cold shower outside her house! She lived in a shack and was dumping a tub of cold water over her head! They are actually used to that here and think we are the crazy ones because we like hot showers.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Christus Climb

We did not bring the camera so I can´t show the cool hill we hiked up to see the Christus statue here in San Jaun. It was a fun hike, and we could rationalize that was our going to church for the day, since there is not one here. We thought about attending mass, but were not really dressed for that after doing the hike. The statue is beautiful though and built on the peninsula overlooking the whole bay. The bummer was they wanted a dollar each to go into the gate and actually ¨be¨there. Since we don´t usually hike around Nica with money on us we settled for seeing it and hiking around to see all the mansions up there. When we were climbing hubby kept saying ¨where do these people get all this money?¨ Once we got up there we saw that most of the places were for sale, guess they didn´t have the money after all. Manana is off to home, glad to go, and thankful for the break! Pura Vida!

Friday, January 22, 2010

San Jaun Del Sur

Well here we are again, 90 days later hanging at the beach, shooting the bull with Jerry over at Jerry´s pizza shop. Yeah it is a rough life I gotta admit it. On the bus coming over here I had a real show stopper thought. You know one of those ahah moments. What if I have had all the ¨joy¨in my life? Like what if the wonderful moments I have had in my life were it and I was too busy and serious to catch them? That whole thought really helped me get grounded and think some really happy thoughts. Like feeling bent out of shape because I have to leave for four days and hang at the beach. What the heck? By the way we have made some really cool discoveries while being here that we were unable to make when we had the girls with us.Cool!

One of these was a room for fifteen bucks a night for the two of us. We have been paying fifty! Also a bus over here for one dollar instead of twenty five. Heck yeah! Then we have found lots of little grocers or supers that have sprung up making food much more affordable now. And the weather has been the best. Usually we come during the rainy season and it is hot and humid. Now about eighty and cool breeze, beautiful. My heart goes out to my Flagstaff friends buried under five feet of snow. But you know what? I had tons of joyful moments buried up to my eyeballs in snow too!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Beautiful Teenagers



Isn't she beautiful? I don't think I am being partial, but she really is growing into a beautiful young woman. That is if I don't lock her in her room first ;)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shaving Legs, Bras, and Roller Skating



Poor little fellow didn't even skate and he got worn out!



As you can see she is taking this very seriously!



If one goes we both go!



Today was the day to go to Sabana Parque and check out the new outdoor roller rink. Since the girlies got skates for Christmas we have been practising to get them ready to go to the rink and show their stuff. We all got up early, packed a lunch and headed out, before it got too hot. I have to say, sorry to all those of you buried in snow, that it was very hot out today.

On the bus going downtown to meet the family baby kept complaining about a scratch on her leg. I asked her to let me see it. She kind of got shy about letting me check out her leg. That can only mean one thing and I was right, she shaved her legs in the shower this morning! She is six years old for crying out loud! I just stayed really calm and asked her why in the heck she did that. She said because her brother and sister kept calling her a hairy monster. I have to admit she has lots of hair, look at her head for goodness sakes. But I explained to her that she could not start shaving regularly until she is 10. She said ok.

Now my granddaughter is into wearing her little "bra". She is only 5, but will not leave home unless she has her "bra" on! What is the world coming to when a five year old wears a bra and her six year old aunt shaves her legs?

Just as a post note you can bet the big brother and sister got a tongue lashing!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Awesome Noodles

Yeah I finally found the Thai Curry Paste that I have been searching for. I found it at Auto Mercado, and it wasn't even too expensive. Only one thousand colones, or less than two dollars. Good deal for anything here. Since I finally found it I could make these awesome noodles. I used spinach fettuccini and it was really good.

1 lb. green beans chopped into 2-3"
12 oz. boned skinned chicken (I used thighs, but you can use breasts)
8-9 oz. fettuccini
1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk
1 TBLS. Thai red curry paste
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp rice vinegar
Fresh basil or cilantro leaves for a garnish

Bring a big pot of water to boil and throw in the fettucini and chopped green beans.
Cook 3-5 minutes covered until done. Pour into colander, rinse and drain.
Rinse pan and put back on heat. Stir in 1/4 C. coconut milk, and curry paste. Add chicken, stir until done about 5 minutes. Mix in remaining coconut milk, 1/4 cup water, sugar, vinegar.
Add noodles and green beans to pan and mix until the noodles are hot about 3-5 minutes.
Pour into bowls and sprinkle with fresh leaves.

Even my teenager liked this and she does not like curry!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Things People Throw out of Car Windows



She is such a sweet puppy, why would anyone do that? Last night the neighbor rang our door bell and showed us the poor pitiful puppy someone had just driven by and tossed out the window. Did we know anyone that would want her? We took her in just because she was so sweet and mellow. We set up a little box outside in the backyard and put a couple of blankets in it. She laid down and we did not hear another peep from her all night.

All day she has eaten puppy food well and even went for a walk. She is content to stay in the backyard and even when the door is open will not come in the house. Now I have to find a way to get rid of our old guy, the two year old mutt that was sold to us as a Chiuahuah. Which he aint! He also is not house broken yet, just area of the house broken. He loves me so much though and always sits on my lap in the evening when I finally get a chance to sit down.

Maybe one more dog won't hurt?

Note the crown :)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY SON JESSE!
It is hard to believe that 24 years ago I was having my third baby! It is also hard to believe looking outside and swimming and running in the warm sun that he was born during a blizzard! In fact I was supposed to drive 45 minutes to the doc and have him. Well I pushed the time a little too close and hubby ended up delivering baby boy in the front room. Our kind friends came and brought a cord clamp and a few necessities to get us by. The problem was my uterine apnea which necessitated a visit to the doc to get some blood in me and a couple of stitches. Not too bad for an first time do it yourself. Hubby was just amazed how slippery the little fellow was and hard to hold onto, (I promise Jesse if you ever read this we did not drop you on your head :)
He has grown up to be one of the coolest men I know. A great artist you can check out here www.ill-ustrations.com As you can see home schooling did not do him too much harm! Also 12 years of playing the violin did not hurt him in the creativity area either. I'm just darn glad he is our son and that we get to talk to him and even see him once in a while!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Great Article on History of Haiti

No, Mister! You Cannot Share My Pain!

John Maxwell
Jamaica Observer
January 17, 2010

If you shared my pain you would not continue to make me suffer, to torture me, to deny me my dignity and my rights, especially my rights to self-determination and self-expression.

Six years ago you sent your Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to perform an action illegal under the laws of your country, my country and of the international community of nations.

It was an act so outrageous, so bestially vile and wicked that your journalists and news agencies, your diplomats and politicians to this day cannot bring themselves to truthfully describe or own up to the crime that was committed when US Ambassador James Foley, a career diplomat, arrived at the house of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide with a bunch of CIA thugs and US Marines to kidnap the president of Haiti and his wife.

The Aristides were stowed aboard a CIA plane normally used for ‘renditions’ of suspected terrorists to the worldwide US gulag of dungeons and torture chambers.

The plane, on which the Aristides are listed as “cargo”, flew to Antigua – an hour away – and remained on the ground in Antigua while Colin Powell’s State Department and the CIA tried to blackmail and bribe various African countries to accept (”give asylum to”) the kidnapped president and his wife.

The Central African Republic – one of George W Bush’s ‘Dark Corners of the World’ – agreed for an undisclosed sum, to give the Aristides temporary asylum.

Before any credible plot can be designed and paid for – for the disappearance of the Aristides – they are rescued by friends, flown to temporary asylum in Jamaica where the Government cravenly yielded to the blackmail of Condoleezza Rice to deny them the permanent asylum to which they were entitled and which most Jamaicans had hoped for.

Meanwhile, in Haiti, the US Marines protected an undisciplined ragbag of rapists and murderers to allow them entry to the capital. The Marines chased the medical students out of the new Medical School established by Aristide with Cuban help and teachers. The Marines bivouac in the school, going out on nightly raids, trailed by fleets of ambulances with body bags, hunting down Fanmi Lavalas activists described as ‘chimeres’ – terrorists.

The real terrorists, led by two convicted murderers, Chamblain and Philippe, assisted the Marines in the eradication of ‘chimeres’ until the Marines were replaced by foreign troops, paid by the United Nations, who took up the hunt on behalf of the civilised world – France, Canada, the US and Brazil.

The terrorists and the remains of the Duvalier tontons and the CIA-bred FRAPF declared open season on the remnants of Aristide’s programmes to build democracy. They burnt down the new museum of Haitian culture, destroyed the children’s television station and generally laid waste to anything and everything which could remind Haitians of their glorious history.

Haitians don’t know that without their help Latin America might still be part of the Spanish Empire and Simon Bolivar a brief historical footnote.

Imagine, Niggers Speaking French!

About 90 years ago when Professor Woodrow Wilson was president of the USA, his secretary of state was a fundamentalist lawyer named William Jennings Bryan who had three times run unsuccessfully for president.

The Americans had decided to invade Haiti to collect debts owed by Haiti to Citibank.

General Smedley Butler, the only American soldier to have twice won the Congressional Medal of Honour, described his role in the US Army:

“I helped make Mexico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half-a-dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long.

General Butler said: “I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. … My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical in the military service.” Butler compared himself unfavourably to Al Capone. He said his official racketeering made Capone look like an amateur.

Secretary Bryan was dumbfounded by the Haitians. “Imagine,” he said, “Niggers speaking French!”

Smedley Butler and Bryan were involved in Haiti because of something that happened nearly a hundred years before. The French slave-masters, expelled from Haiti and defeated again when they tried to re-enslave the Haitians, connived with the Americans to starve them into submission by a trade embargo. With no sale for Haitian sugar, the country was weak and run-down when a French fleet arrived bearing a demand for reparations. Having bought their freedom in blood, the Haitians were to purchase it again in gold.

The French demanded, essentially, that the Haitians pay France an amount equivalent to 90 per cent of the entire Haitian budget for the foreseeable future. When this commitment proved too arduous to honour, the City Bank offered the Haitians a ‘debt exchange”, paying off the French in exchange for a lower-interest, longer-term debt. The terms may have seemed better but were just as usurious and it was not paid off until 1947.

Because of the debt the Americans invaded Haiti, seized the Treasury, exiled the president, their Jim Crow policies were used to divide the society, to harass the poor and finally provoked a second struggle for freedom which was one of the most brutal episodes in colonial history.

Long before Franco bombed Guernica, exciting the horror and revulsion of civilised people, the Americans perfected their dive-bombing techniques against unarmed Haitian peasants, many of whom had never seen aircraft before.

The Americans set up a Haitian Army in the image of their Jim Crow Marines, and it was these people, the alien and alienated √Člite who, with some conscripted blacks like the Duvaliers, have ruled Haiti for most of the last century.


When I flew over Haiti for the first time in 1959 en route from New York to San Juan, Puerto Rico, I saw for the first time the border between the green Dominican Republic and brown Haiti.

First-world journalists interpret the absence of trees on the Haitian side to the predations of the poor, disregarding the fact that Western religion and American capitalism were mainly responsible.

Why is it that nowhere else in the Caribbean is there similar deforestation?

Haiti’s Dessalines constitution offered sanctuary to every escaped slave of any colour. All such people of whatever colour were deemed ‘black’ and entitled to citizenship. Only officially certified ‘blacks’ could own land in Haiti.

The American occupation, anticipating Hayek, Freedman and Greenspan, decided that such a rule was a hindrance to development. The assistant secretary of the US Navy, one Franklin D Roosevelt, was given the job of writing a new, modern constitution for Haiti.

This constitution meant foreigners could own land. Within a very short time the lumberjacks were busy, felling old growth Mahogany and Caribbean Pine for carved doors for the rich and mahogany speedboats, boardroom tables seating 40, etc. The devastated land was put to produce rubber, sisal for ropes and all sorts of pie in the sky plantations.

When President Paul Magloire came to Jamaica 50 years ago Haitians were still speaking of an Artibonite dam for electricity and irrigation. But the ravages of the recent past were too much to recover.

As Marguerite Laurent (EziliDanto) writes: Don’t expect to learn how a people with a Vodun culture that reveres nature and especially the Mapou (oak-like or ceiba pendantra/bombax) trees, and other such big trees as the abode of living entities and therefore as sacred things, were forced to watch the Catholic Church, during Rejete – the violent anti-Vodun crusade – gather whole communities at gunpoint into public squares, and forced them to watch their agents burn Haitian trees in order to teach Haitians their Vodun Gods were not in nature, that the trees were the “houses of Satan”.

In partnership with the US, the mulatto President Elie Lescot (1941-45) summarily expelled peasants from more than 100,000 hectares of land, razing their homes and destroying more than a million fruit trees in the vain effort to cultivate rubber on a large plantation scale. Also, under the pretext of the Rejete campaign, thousands of acres of peasant lands were cleared of sacred trees so that the US could take their lands for agribusiness.

After the Flood

Norman Manley used to say “River Come Down” when his party seemed likely to prevail. The Kreyol word Lavalas conveys the same meaning.

Since the Haitian people’s decisive rejection of the Duvalier dictatorships in the early 90s, their spark and leader has been Jean-Bertrand Aristide whose bona fides may be assessed from the fact that the CIA and conservative Americans have been trying to discredit him almost from the word go.

As he put it in one of his books, his intention has been to build a paradise on the garbage heap bequeathed to Haiti by the US and the Elite.

The bill of particulars is too long to go into here, but the destruction of the new museum of Culture, the breaking up of the medical school, the destruction of the children’s television station gives you the flavour. But the essence is captured in the brutal attempt to obliterate the spirit of Haitian community; the attempt to destroy Lavalas by murdering its men and raping its women, the American-directed subversion of a real police force, the attacks on education and the obliteration of the community self-help systems which meant that when Hurricane Jeanne and all the other weather systems since have struck Haiti, many more have died than in any other country similarly stricken. In an earthquake, totally unpredictable, every bad factor is multiplied.

The American blocking of international aid means that there is no modern water supply anywhere, no town planning, no safe roads, none of the ordinary infrastructure of any other Caribbean state. There are no building standards, no emergency shelters, no parks.

So, when I write about mothers unwittingly walking on dead babies in the mud, when I write about people so poor they must eat patties made of clay and shortening, when I write about people with their faces ‘chopped off’ or about any of eight million horror stories from the crime scene that is Haiti, please don’t tell me you share their pain or mine.

Tell me, where is Lovinsky Pierre Antoine and ten thousand like him?

If you share my pain and their pain, why don’t you stop causing it? Why don’t you stop the torture?

If you want to understand me, look at the woman in the picture (above), and the children half-buried with her. You cannot hear their screams because they know there is no point in screaming. It will do no more good than voting.

What is she thinking: perhaps it is something like this – No, mister! You cannot share my pain!

Some time, perhaps after the camera is gone, people will return to dig us out with their bare hands. But not you.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Crown

Some children have security blankets. Some have pacifiers. Others have a favorite stuffed animal. Baby never took too much to anything particular. She has a blanket she really likes, but she can live without it. She has a few stuffed animals that she is partial to. Since Christmas she has finally come up with her "security item".
It is a crown!
I think we should be worried, very worried. She wears her crown 24 and 7. She wears it to bed, sometimes she forgets to take it off before her shower, and I do make her take it off when she goes to church.
Like I said I think we should be worried, very worried!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Racism is Ugly


Being a blue eyed, white, European American, you would think I would not ever have to worry about racism. The unfortunate truth is that because we have a mixed race family we experience racism very frequently. Also unfortunately I find that the more ignorant the people the more racism seems to abound.

When we lived in the U.S. being P.C. was actually not a bad thing. At least people treated our daughter and son-in-law as equal human beings. Living in a second world country they do not believe in being P.C. to any extent. Many of them in fact are down right rude. We are used to the title of Cheena for my daughter, and Negro for my son-in-law, but it goes past that.

My son-in-law speaks perfect English. He has had many interviews with call centers based on his resume. Once they see him they decide that they are only hiring "Native Speakers" after all! How frustrating for him. One day he went to look at a house that was for rent in their neighborhood. They had spoken on the phone and made an appointment. When he showed up on the porch with the two kids she told him she had already rented it out. A couple days later when he walked by they had posted a sign,"for rent, but not to foriegners". Can you imagine someone posting a sign like that in the States?

It is very sad to see that all these people will miss out on getting to know a really cool guy, just because he is not from Costa Rica. I think we are all a little guilty of making blanket judgments, but I sure hope I don't do it!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Prayers for Haiti

My thoughts and prayers go out to the country of Haiti. May God bless and comfort them at this time. It was almost exactly one year ago since the earthquake here in Costa Rica.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Complacent vs. Content

I have always prided myself on being "content" with my life. When I had six young children and was home schooling, and not taking care of myself, I considered myself content. When I was doing massage over twenty hours a week with 13 people living in our small house, I considered myself content. When I got married at 17 and people said I had no idea what I was doing once again I considered myself content.

Well as they say, hind sight is 20/20, and boy are they right. I made the mistake of reading old journals and really taking a hard look at my life thus far. I have made a very sad mistake. I have been "complacent" not "content".

Definitions:
Complacent- pleased especially with oneself or one's merits, advantages, situation, etc., without awareness of some potential danger or defect; self-satisfied
Content- satisfied with what one is or has: not wanting more or anything else.

What better time to change things up than the "year of the tiger"? It will be a year of lots of commotion and movement. Time for me to get out of complacent mode and wake up. Maybe I have too much time on my hands, but I like to think it is a gift for the last half of my life!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Half Marathon

I can't believe I committed to a half marathon. Not just any half marathon, but the Leadville heavy half marathon. It actually climbs to 13,000 ft. altitude. I am going to be sucking air big time, if I even survive it. I am doing it for my brother. We will be doing it on his 50th birthday, so I relented. So far two brothers and we are still trying to talk the third brother into doing it with us. Is that the sign of one sick family that we celebrate birthdays by hurting ourselves?

There was one hitch in the whole thing. I told my brother that 15 months after we did this run he had to join me in Cozumel for the Ironman on my 50th. His excuse that he sinks just does not hold water, no pun intended. I told him he could just come and watch and eat. He was fine with it as long as he does not have to watch me puke! He did agree to bring the defribulater and we are going to talk my Dr. bro into bringing the oxygen, I should be fine.

Actually I am more worried about the half marathon than the ironman. The whole not breathing thing has me really worried. I am thinking spending the month before the run in Flagstaff might not be such a bad idea. Two of my brothers live at altitude, the other and I are about sea level. I am planning on running up in the mountain here once the volcano settles down. I can probably get to about seven thousand feet running up the mountain. Wow sounds fun.

I have decided to include some track work for this run. Not to increase my speed, though that would be nice, but to teach me how to suck air more efficiently. I am not real good at that since I usually keep my heart rate really low when I work out. In fact my coach brother has reminded me that I need to get my heart rate up while I work out, since it is going to go sky high at that altitude. Man I hope I survive without any altitude sickness!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Lice


When we adopted baby from China we had to check her for scabies and lice. She was clean of both and we were very relieved. Unfortunately a couple of months ago we were not so lucky. The kids here pass lice around pretty regularly, as I suppose anywhere, and now we are fighting a losing battle. I do threaten to shave her head off if she does not let me check her, for hours on end I might add.

The problem right now is she is passing them back and forth with her niece, so we are having to fight two houses and two sets of clothes as well as two heads. One with a ton of luxurious hair and another with wavy brown hair. Both equally hard to get rid of the little nits in.

Today I went on the almighty google search to try and find out what we were doing wrong with the pesky critters. There was site where they sell the shampoo, conditioner, comb and get this, for $70.00 per hour they will come to your home and pick the nits on your kid! That was a scream for me. I can't imagine someone paying somebody else that money to pick nits.

Now it is just part of our home school regime. We finish the school work, check the hair for nits and then we are done. Our school room is outside, so it has plenty of light and I am actually able to see out there. We will keep working on it and hopefully not have to clip babies beautiful locks.

By the way of news, did you know that lice are actually an epidemic in England?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Grandkids and schooling



Today I received in the mail a irreplaceable gift. A picture book of my Costa Rica grandkids. Even though I see them often I highly value hard copy, old fashioned pictures. My daughter did it online and we received it today in the mail. It is soooo cool! My favorite gift yet for sure.

Another gift I received today was that my 6 year old finally got it! I mean it finally clicked and she started putting the sounds together to read words, yahoooo! I am really excited and maybe tomorrow she will forget, but just for today I will enjoy the feeling of success that at least thinking she got it is giving me!

I have taught all six of my other children to read and would never let anyone else enjoy the great sense of joy that we both discover together when we accomplish this goal. There are days, like the past post that I really believe it is never going to click. And then one day they just get this little sparkle in their eye and wallah, they get it. That was our reading day today and I am so excited to get moving with her now. I have a feeling she is really going to take off now that she is reading. Harvard or Yale here we come!!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Return to Triathlons and all that involves...

I don't make decisions lightly. In fact it usually takes me awhile to make them, but it is dang near impossible to deter me once I have made one. Kind of like moving the furniture around, it never happens in my house.

16 years ago I was sure I mean I was positive that I was done having kids. I had almost died during child birth and the doc said "don't try this again". O.k. I can take a hint, so we called it quits. Fast forward nine years and guess what? We weren't done after all. I was talking to a friend who had four kids and had adopted a little Korean girl. I said "anyone can do that?" For some reason I thought you had to not be able to have kids or something to adopt any. That was the first statement that got my wee brain going. Six years later, man am I glad we did not call it quits.

71/2 years ago I was sure I mean I was positive that I was done doing triathlons. I had just finished an ironman that ended up getting cut off. I was burnt out and mad as heck about all the time spent training with no result. Forward seven and a half years and guess what? I was not done after all. Actually I did say that when I got up there to the big 50 I would do another ironman. Since I turned 48 in Nov. I guess it is time to start training. The thing that got my wee brain working this time? We were at the beach chillin with our student and I saw some really sweet bikes on cars. Yup you guessed you can run but you can't hide. In the next town over was a triathlon on the next day. And the next day? Well of all things it was my birthday. That was a sign to me, it was meant to happen.

The really cool thing this time around is all the online tools available to triathletes these days. I mean you can get work outs and all kinds of great hints as well as shopping tips online. It is kind of funny because I am starting in the same place as I was last time. No bike. A minor detail that will work itself out, always does. In the meantime I will go to spin class a couple of times a week and keep swimming and running. Have Panama City marathon coming up in August so that will be some good training.

Do I have any expectations this time around? Heck no, just have fun!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Schoolin'

We started school yesterday. You know the first day is always the best, and then it quickly declines from there. Yesterday both girls were excited to dive in and learn to read and finish up some books. But alas today the reality of how much work it was going to take sunk in and my girlies wilted. I mean like melt down. Baby has a photographic memory which is great unless you are trying to teach her to read phonetically. So she will look at a word and spend about 15 minutes trying to see if she has had it before, guessing and finally she will sound it out. At that point she is done with that word and I have to get some new ones.

The part that really drives me to distraction is the guessing part. For example the word "live". We discuss the l sound and the short i and the v. Now we try to put them all together. We get like, love, and every other l word in the school room. Then she finally really looks at the word and tries to sound it out. Of course it does not help to have your teenage sister glaring at you across the room, just because you are getting on her nerves!

So now I am wondering how in the heck did I teach 6 other kids to read? I do have to admit some were easier than others, but we did it and I'm sure we can do it one more time. She does have a deadline to learn to read in English before school starts in Feb. I told her if she does not know how to read she can't go to school until she learns how. Don't know if I will last that long.

Then of course is the teenager wanting to just leave and go for a run, eat lunch, anything but stay there and get that darn math book done! O.k. mom just breath and know that they are not going anywhere and there is no hurry for them to learn these thing.

On a fun note I did my first swim today and got in a good 800 before I felt like my arms were going to fall off. It felt great and I think sure enough the time was about the same as when I quit swimming eight years ago, how sad ha?

Monday, January 4, 2010

First Swim Jitters



Part of the reason I have not been swimming is because the downtown pool is freakin freezing. I mean to tell you it is freezing. So I have been fretting and worrying about getting my butt into that freezing pool.

Then I got to thinking about my years of swimming with the masters in Flagstaff. Getting up at five a.m. every morning, scraping the ice off the car windows, in my pj's no less, and dragging to the pool 15 miles away. I pretty much slept through the workout, which was a good thing, but man was I tired all day.

Now I will head down around eightish, on the bus, swim my own workout, and be home in time to home school the girlies. Not sure what I will do once massage classes start, but maybe do the afternoons. The only hard part once again, is the unheated pool.

The good news is that by Friday the pool will be warming up. Yup they fill it on Sunday and by the end of the week it starts warming up, but it is dirty also. I think I prefer dirty and a little warmer. As you can see by the picture though it is beautiful and I am sure thankful to be so close to it.

You know the saddest part is that I will probably be the exact same speed I was eight years ago. When I swam everyday I was the same speed as when I only swam once a week. In other words after six weeks of swimming with the masters I was no faster. It was easier, but no faster. Of course unfortunately the same can be said about running club. I went for about four years and never got any faster. My only goal at running club was to keep up with my friend, the one that was 62 years old!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ironman Bug

It has taken me 8 years but I think I am ready to dive in again. When I was 40 I did an ironman, or tried. Some poor guy drowned on the swim, so we ended up doing about 80% of an ironman. At any rate after that I decided I was done. Now that I am looking real close to 50 I am ready for round two.

Today I actually found the perfect one. It is Cozumel Mexico. Close and a good time of the year. The only problem is it will be a few days before my 50 birthday so I will be in the younguns age group. Not that it makes any difference. I just want to finish a dang Ironman.

So next week it is off to the pool I go. I only have about one year and 10 months to get ready for this baby!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010



If this picture is any indication it will surely be an interesting year in 2010! Between poor Bekah being wiped out from working 10 hrs. and big brother tying on a few too many, and hubby trying to fit into the picture, we are just dying of anticipation for the next year.

The firework show was amazing from the deck, and we enjoyed very much the home made pizza. Watching the New Years day parade right now on T.V. I really was loving the parade of lights here and now it is kind of not so great. Oh well it is all relative.