Sunday, December 5, 2010


Its been a couple weeks now and Rosie is home. She's a great puppy, or little dog, or whatever she is. I believed she was perfect until she broke out of her enclosure and trashed the house. She even climbed onto the dining room table to fetch and shred the library books I had borrowed on "how to train your puppy". Nice. The whole event somewhat spoiled her innocence. Now, she KNOWS that chewing on my stuff is just as much fun as chewing the toys I give her.   This part of the story may qualify as TMI, but Rosie also ate all of the colored pencils except red and orange, and the entire box of special oily bright crayons. I can't recall what they are called. When a puppy eats a full palette of oily crayons, one has to wonder what will come out. I was looking for rainbow poop, but my pal at Duck Creek Coffee Company insisted that when colors mix, you get brown (she should know, she's an artist).  The answer is: you get brown with red streaks, brown with orange flecks, brown with yellow chunks.  The Blue, Indigo, Violet and White colors went unaccounted for. In other words, brown.

In other news, Gabi turned 16 this week, I've been under the weather for 3 weeks and believe I have lost nearly all of my conditioning, and Minnesota has a great snow base.  Next weekend, my training partners and I will venture away to find some white stuff and remember why it is we have covered so many miles on foot and wheels in the last 7 months.  Wahoo! 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Something Wonderful Is About To Happen!

The last year and a half for me, and probably longer actually, has been a time of change. At times, it has been extremely difficult emotionally and I have battled depression on a regular basis.  The optimistic folks in my life excitedly refer to this stage as a Transformation, like it is some great happy thing.  However, it often doesn't feel like that at all, and I am grateful on many days simply to be physically healthy and financially solvent and capable of reaching out for support if I need it, which I usually do.
Anyway, the point in sharing this is that at times I use guided meditations as a way of dealing with my "transformation".  My friend Kara shared with me that Bellaruth Naperstack (nice name, eh?) has these audio meditations which help the subconcious mind to help you put yourself in a place to heal, emotionally and physically.  When life feels the bleakest, I can listen to one of these meditations which I hope then will somehow spur my brain to figure out how to be joyful again.
There is one audio for "Grief".  It lasts about half an hour, and I would agree that it has helped me, more than once.  Like everyone else who resorts to listening to this meditation, I feel very dark and depressed when I do.  So you can imagine how annoying it is, after Bellaruth has coached me through deep, cleansing breaths, when she says "You imagine that something wonderful is about to happen!".   My peaceful breathing is always immediately interrupted as I think (or sometimes shout) "I AM TOO FREAKING DEPRESSED TO IMAGINE THAT SOMETHING WONDERFUL CAN HAPPEN!!!".  

However, it has been at least a month since I have listened to Bellaruth tell me that, and today, I can imagine that something wonderful is going to happen.   This wonderful something is a puppy named Rosie who is waiting for me to pick her up from Wausau on Friday.  Wahooooo!  A PUPPY!   A puppy!!  A PuPpY!!!

I can not imagine one thing more wonderful than a puppy. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Coffee and Climbing

It is the morning of November 11, 2010 and this is Veteran's day. As a result, I get a Thursday off from teaching school and a beautiful fall day to do with what I please. As I drink my coffee this morning, I am thinking of coffee. My free-lance writing gig offers up article titles to write about based on webcrawler searches.  I read over choices (30,000) and claim titles I want. Today, I have two to write.  One is "Calories in Brewed Coffee", and the other is "Calories in Alterra Coffee".  This is funny to me. First, I could write a one-word article for each that says "Zero."  But that doesn't fit the format guidelines, so I need to dress up my article about the lack of calories in coffee and find a way to make it educational and not too much BS in 300 words.  Alterra coffee is the brand I drink daily at Duck Creek Coffee Company and the coffee I used to sell at CESpresso.  Its roasted right here in Wisconsin. I am eager to get paid to extol just how good Alterra's calorie-free coffee is to everyone who googles that particular query.  As a side, I can't duplicate the articles, so I essentially have to put into 600 words that there are no calories in anybody's coffee.
Climbing will also be a theme today and Saturday.  As we did last Veteran's day, my training pal and I will attempt to rollerski up the tallest hill in Brown County.  It is the Park Road hill in Denmark, one which adjoins property where I once lived. Last year, we couldn't make it without stopping a whole bunch of times. I am hoping to see some progress here.
Saturday, the goal will be to bound up Rib Mountain, the tallest hill in Wisconsin.  I suspect it may be a walk/bound combo, but either way, a great challenge.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Poling Improvement Needed!

I love cross country skiing. I usually refer to it as Nordic skiing, but people aren't always sure what that is. Anyway, I have vowed that living here in Green Bay is the farthest south I shall ever live because I love snow and live to ski.  I spend a lot of time thinking about skiing better, and a lot of time trying to do so. For roughly 12 years, I have focused on the ski technique called skating, which as you might guess uses a skating motion.  Its fast and fun but requires decent technique to excel. I'd like to excel.  I am fortunate to be training with some folks who have helped me identify that I'm not too hot at poling, which is the bad news, but I'd like to think I can improve it and really get a whole lot better.
Today I roller skied and had it videotaped to help me see my faults. I went to buy new ferrules (these are the tips....mine were dull and add to my problems) and Mark sat me down to watch myself hill bounding earlier in the week. We talked about my poor.....poling. 
I'm giving myself a week to do some dramatic improvement. Both in roller skiing and in hill bounding. 
If you see me out and about with poles, you will know why.
Here is the link of today's roller ski clip. 
How I rollerski now. Ug.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A New Beginning or Passing Fancy?

With a newly rejuvenated interest in writing and a paying free-lance writing gig, I took it seriously when my friend Amy suggested I begin a blog.  She even implied I could make money doing so. Well, I don't know about that part, but I do know that I might enjoy putting thoughts on the web, sharing my excitement over cool new websites, posting my articles, and more.  So before I begin an evening of the paid writing, let me extend my welcome to anyone who opts to read my blog and give you two cool things to check out.
Create cool bumper stickers! Only $3! (BuildASign.Com)

Nutrition For Kids Who Play Soccer  (My latest article on LIVESTRONG.COM)