Combining three of our favorite things: Biking, football, and great beer. We biked 9.5 miles from our driveway to Sadlacks Heros (before they shut their doors in December), had a couple of beers and watched football, then walked next door to Schoolkids Records, spent $60 in CDs, then biked back home. What a gorgeous day! What a gorgeous week. The highlight of this week? My newly active self (after neck surgery in January) is now at the weight I was in 1995 (this picture was taken last week at the Hopscotch Music Festival 2013):
I'm not going to post anything deep and meaningful about the Moral Monday protests that have
taken place in our state over that past months because I can't add anything more profound than those words already written by others, but I was looking through the photos Poseidon snapped at some of the Moral Monday rallies, and I liked this picture of me looking out at the crowd under a dark sky. Fortunately, the rain held off, and we grew in number. And because I can't end on a serious note, ever...my jeans are baggy!
Should Poseidon be worried that I'm carrying on an emotional affair? An emotional affair with the sun?
Two weekends ago was my first trip to the beach this year. The very second my toes touched the sand, I felt every muscle in my body relax. I opened the lounge chair and spread out my beach towel. I sank down into that chair, pulled my hair out of my face, and sighed until there was no breath left in me. I felt the sun on my skin, and I said quietly, "Hello Sun. I've missed you, buddy."
It is hard to describe (and believe me, I have tried) my love of the sun and all things warm. I don't like the cold. I mean, I don't mind snow and watching it fall, but I don't like cold temperatures. The cold penetrates my bones, and it hurts, in a strange way. Cold messes with my psyche, which is fragile enough as is.
Our beach trip was a short trip, but I spent enough alone time with Sun to make me a happy girl. I don't bother hiding my emotional affair with Sun from Poseidon. I even shared with him a picture of Sun and I, a picture I drew two days after our return from the beach. Poseidon is ok with this affair. OK with it, as long as I use protection.
You know, when you want to wear that awesome little dress for the first time in the spring, but Mother Nature isn't cooperating...but for some reason, your parents let you wear it anyway? I was only 3 in this picture, but I have a vivid recollection of this day. It was cold, and I was cranky.
Nada has changed. Ask Poseidon, I've been cranky for the past 2 weeks because of the weather and I think he is ready to make me sleep in the crawlspace under the house.
I'm whining, yet again. Next Monday, high of 72ish. Tuesday? High of 48ish. Mother Nature, to quote one of my good friends, Mar, "Go home. You're drunk."
Last Wednesday was the first day of spring. Why am I still wearing my parka? INSIDE?Dear Mother Nature, perhaps you and Sun are quarreling? Maybe some old wound has reopened? I understand. These things happen. But you see Mother Nature, our azaleas started blooming because it's, well, the end of MARCH. Now they are confused and trying to "unbloom" but they can't. Those azaleas are in weather limbo hell at the moment and have no clue what to do. Oh, and neither do we.
I'm begging you Mother Nature, put down that wine and go make nice with Sun.
I'm not going to bore anyone with the "What I did for Christmas" spiel. Most everyone who reads my blog knows that Poseidon and I spent Christmas in Alaska visiting our dear friends N. & T, and I won't recap everything, as a matter-of-fact, it would be difficult to write about this amazing trip, so I won't. But, I am going to upload one of my favorite pictures from the trip.
Me and a bear (and Poseidon ready to dial 911 if necessary):
"Sunglasses. N says we will definitely need sun glasses." Poseidon told me this before I left the house this morning. This is in regards to our Christmas trip to Alaska. Poseidon spoke with our friend N on Sunday evening, the friend we are going to visit in Anchorage next month, and he rattled off a few things we will want to bring.
Being the sun bunny that I am, this sunglasses bit made me feel less anxious about our trip, like it won't be pitch dark, 24/7. Don't get me wrong, I'm super-excited about going to Alaska! This will be my first trip to "The Last Frontier." God, that nickname scares me. Actually most of Alaska's nicknames give me the shakes: "Seaward's Ice Box" and "Land of the Midnight Sun." "Seward's Ice Box" has me contemplating a visit to the Alaska Airlines website to check their cancellation policy, because, you know, we already bought the tickets.
In all seriousness, we are trying to prep for the trip. I bought a new down coat from Eddie Bauer. E.B. had a huge sale event, and I participated. I walked out with a $220 down coat for $135.00. In North Carolina, we typically don't need a down coat suited for -20 temps, but we do have Eddie Bauer stores, so, they've got to move merchandise to either tourists visiting from the north, or North Carolinians traveling to Alaska.
We are going to be doing some cross country skiing, and I can't wait for that. I need new boots (boots that don't have a heel), so I have a month to get some. Poseidon insists his hiking boots will be fine, but I have doubts. If he cries like a baby when his short hiking boots fill with snow, I'll fill his jacket with snow.
"Seward's Ice Box." I can't get that out of my head. Please Alaska, don't kill us.
Ever take a vacation you thought you might not make it back from?
As a kid, I was in love with my bike. Feeling that it might be possible to achieve flight if I pedaled fast enough, was a true addiction. I gladly endured scrapes and bruises, and a very memorable, painful sprained wrist (I think my wrist was actually broken, but my parents didn't take me to the doctor so I wrapped it in an ACE bandage for a couple of weeks, thinking I would die from the pain anyway, but obviously didn't, and my wrist is only slightly out of place). I once got my shoe laces caught in my bike chain, resulting in a crying fit and my father having to cut the laces from my bike in order to 'detach' me from the bike. I also ran into a large boulder once. I'm still picturing me flying over the handlebars like I'd been shot from a cannon. Luckily, I sustained only mild injuries: Scrapes and a bruised ego. Those were some great times. A girl and her bike!
In my teenage years, I biked less and less, and by the time I reached 18, I didn't bike at all. I believe my parents sold the rusty bones of our bicycles in a yard sale...cheap.
At the age of 25, I bought a new bike. Even though 5+ years had passed since my last ride, I went to a bike shop and purchased a brand spanking new bike. This act of foolishness was me trying to keep my then boyfriend from breaking up with me. He biked and I didn't, and he wanted to break up because we didn't have much in common. I thought he might not break up with me if I biked with him. Fortunately, for me, the bike did not save that doomed relationship (how stupid we are in our 20s), and a year or so later, as I was preparing to move to Philadelphia for a new job, I sold the new-barely-used bike to my brother...cheap.
Two years ago, at the age of 41, I bought a new bike so that Poseidon and I could start riding together (haha, I'm not repeating a foolish mistake again, don't worry). For many reasons (insert excuses here: weather, doing some home remodeling projects, putting our house on the market, etc.), we were unable to ride much last year, but this year, we've found our groove, and I am once again an addict. It took an outing or two, but the feeling I got as a child, flying through space on my bike, is back!
I ride like an adult now, with my helmet and bike gloves, my new awesome bike bell, and a cell phone in case Poseidon and I accidentally pedal into the lake, but the giddiness is still there. Injury-free so far (knocking on my faux wood desk), though I was nearly mowed down by a cycling dude yesterday. Note to male cyclers out there: Gold bike shorts are not a good choice if you are going to be sweating--OK, they aren't a good choice, period.
Because we rode yesterday, and because of my experience with trying new sports in my 40s, I know that at this time tomorrow, my legs are going to lead a most impressive mutinous revolution against the rest of my body, but I won't mind. I'm just a girl with her bike again, and as the saying goes, "Good health is the slowest way to die."
Is it rude to use a bicycle bell when biking on busy trails?
When Poseidon and I bike the trails in our city, I usually say, "Coming up on your left" or "Coming up on your right (for those dolts who don't know the basic etiquette of keeping to the right)" to alert walkers, runners, moms/dads with strollers, other bikers, etc., that I'm behind them. I always feel like I'm being rude, especially because I'm saying it in a louder voice than normal--so they can actually hear me--but I want to alert folks so they don't step out in front of me, causing either one of us injury, death, or worse, general annoyance.
I was told by a friend who used to live in Japan that the Japanese consider ringing a bike bell to be rude. They tend not to say anything either, they just speed by, which seems awfully dangerous to me. Personally, I would rather be presumed a bad-mannered meanie than risk plowing someone over.
So, the Pylones bike bell in orchid. I ordered it a few weeks ago. Will I actually use the bike bell though, that is the question? The dinging sound it makes is lovely, and seems promisingly less offensive than my voice.
Honestly, I'm usually too anxious and concerned about hooking someone with the handlebars of my bike, dragging them around the lake until they fall off in a swarm of angry geese only to have their eyes pecked out, to be concerned that they think me an abrasive boor. Ding-ding.