Monday, June 26, 2017

Ski Season Round Up

Winter Park at the very top
This blog is a bit in coming - it's been sitting in draft status for a while, but better late than never!

Did I tell you I got new skis last summer? After the debacle that was the end of last ski season, I purchased skis, bindings, and boots at Sports Authorities going-out-of business sale, and got a ridiculously good deal on all the gear I needed not to look like an idiot this season. And, bonus, the skis were K-2s, albeit not the same K-2's I demoed (but good enough!), along with Salomon bindings and boots.
 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

I'm consumed these days with work and training for the Pike's Peak Marathon. I mean, I do other things, but the two monoliths on the calendar seem to be work and training.

Since March 11, I've been trekking up the Incline twice a week. I go before work or after work, or get up early on the weekend and make the slog - whatever works best for the schedule that week. I'm not fast - as evidenced by the guy who recently wrote an article in the paper claiming to have completed the Incline in the snow while HIGH in about the time it takes me to drag myself up those steps. Humbling, that is. Also slightly annoying, but I digress.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Weekends with the Boys

"Our boys" come to spend weekends at our house on a fairly regular basis.

I believe I have alluded to this in previous posts, but I don't know that I've ever explained. During the summer of 2015, we started volunteering with the Air Force Academy as "cadet sponsors" (ok, so we are most commonly called "sponsor parents" but that whole "parents" thing sticks in my throat and I can't quite get it out... so let's stick with "sponsors.") We had been aware of this program, but hadn't engaged in it until we received a call from Coach Z, with whom Eric coached football back when we lived in Indiana (among other associations). His quarterback was graduating and had been accepted to the Academy, and would we be interested in being his sponsor? The Academy matches cadets with community members since most of them are from out-of-state and have limited support systems here in Colorado. Oh, and the Academy is really hard - educationally, physically, and mentally.

Anyway, we said yes. Unfortunately, we said yes while living in the house in the woods during a summer that Eric travelled a lot, so our first opportunity to pick up said cadet was one in which Eric was out of town. And we also agreed to pick up some girls for the weekend, one of which we knew from our old church back in Indiana, and the other was her friend. So, poor, exhausted cadet got his first meeting of his sponsors being one sponsor low. Also, I picked him up late because the girls were stuck on the Incline, and I ended up leaving them there... and I picked up Logan stinking like I climbed the Incline, then dragged him around the city going back down to get the girls, up to the house on the other end of the county, then returning the girls to their camp even farther away before dropping him off back up at the Academy. Had I been Logan, I would have asked for someone else.

Fortunately, he didn't. And, after a couple of meet-ups, things worked themselves out so that Eric was along and I was slightly less smelly, although I still stink on a fairly regular basis.

Not too long after the "regular" school year started, Logan asked if we would consider also hosting his roommate, Joseph, who didn't have sponsors. Why not, we said?

So we got Joseph.

And its been good. They are really nice boys, and we enjoy spending time with them. We didn't get to see them too much that first semester, because they were pretty constantly busy with lots of mandated things they had to do. But we got to see them more after that first semester... well, when they are awake. Like most college students, they sleep. A lot. 

They are also really funny, and they have a really strong connection to each other, which is a lot of fun. And they are helpful, which let me tell you, came in handy when we moved one million times. They even took the lead in moving a refrigerator that we borrowed from the caretakers because one house didn't have one... a refrigerator we promptly turned around and moved back out, not because the boys did a bad job but because that caretaking contract was cut out from under us and we moved out of that house 24 hours later.

Since we moved into our permanent home, it's certainly been easier to have them over. They have their own rooms, and don't have to worry about making sure their rooms are in perfect shape before we go anywhere. And, as second year students, they have more flexibility to spend the weekends with us, and they've become "our boys."

We took them hiking this fall, and, when they weren't sleeping in the car (seriously, so much sleep! The Academy works them hard!), I think they got to see a little more of the state.

Super Bowl weekend, they asked to bring over another cadet. Another nice boy, and although we haven't seen him since, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if we ended up with another cadet... but I'm not sure he would want to consistently sleep on an air mattress.

Two weekends ago, they had their girlfriends fly in for the weekend...

And because I am totally not ready to be a cadet sponsor grandparent, and because we've met both sets of the boys' parents, they darn sure slept in separate rooms, which I don't think they had an issue with. Also, our house, our rules.

Looking forward to whatever's next with these guys.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Go Big or Go Home

I registered for the Pike's Peak Marathon today, because apparently I am crazy. You can't register for the Marathon unless you have a qualifying marathon time or you've run the Ascent in the last three years. Did I mention this is my first marathon, so I used last year's Ascent to qualify?

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Be my Valentine, Stinky

As you likely know, I find Valentine's Day to be an overpriced, capitalistic, commercial monstrosity that sets unrealistic expectations about love, sex, and romance, and is a made-up way to guilt people into spending money. So, basically, I'm Debbie Downer for Valentine's.

However, this year, I feel a little justified, as Valentine's may have jumped the shark.

Friday, February 3, 2017

What THIS Woman Thinks

I'm a regular reader of Slate. One of their columns is XX Factor, "What Women Really Think." It focuses on women's issues and is generally pretty progressive. However, this morning's (Feb 3) column has me seethingly mad, and is perhaps the most anti-feminist argument I have ever seen in this column. I believe it's because it's about Melania Trump, and the writer disagrees vehemently with the Trump Presidency. But that doesn't make what she says ok. If a liberal First Lady was making the same choices, I don't think she would have written this column, and that's is not only not fair, it is hypocritical and undermines women's equality.

So I wrote a response.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

De-Southwesting, Session 3

Before (photo courtesy of the realtor who sold us the house)
So, I get these ideas in my head...

In our never-ending quest to rid the house of the vestiges of its former southwestern glory, we spent the last couple weeks remodeling the half bath on the main floor. I was heading to Guatemala for a week for work, and Eric planned to replace the disgusting, decomposing tile in the half bath. The half bath also houses the laundry room behind a set of bi-fold doors, which meant moving the washer and dryer out into the living room for several days, hence why Eric wanted to this while I was gone. My OCD can't handle washers and dryers in the living room.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Do Better

I'm writing this for me. I don't expect to change anyone's opinion, and this is solely my opinion. My family, my work, I don't know if they agree or don't agree with me.

I read the draft of the executive order suspending visas on Thursday. The executive order was signed on Friday. Today, I read the final copy, from the White House's website, then re-read it to make sure I understood.

I've listened to the commentary.

I've checked my heart, my beliefs, and my learning.

I cannot support this.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Race Report: Polar Prowl

Confession: I was feeling aspirational when I registered for this race. A bunch of people from Eric's work were going to be in town for annual staff training and wanted to do it. I figured a half marathon early in January would keep me motivated through the Christmas season and I would start my running season early.

Yea, that was totally a great idea until I blew that pesky recurring disk in my back hauling stupid garbage cans up that ridiculous driveway of ours, resulting in weekly visits to my amazing chiropractor and physical therapist, but NOT resulting in quick recovery.  And unfortunately, one of the things that exacerbates an already bulged disk is... running. Suck.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

"Good," not "Fun"

View from the first hotel
I am currently on my way back from a six-day trip from Guatemala. When I leave for work trips, people often tell me “oh, have fun!” This happens to Eric too – more frequently, in fact, as he travels more than I do. When we get back, one of the most common questions we hear is, “Oh, did you have fun?”

To be totally honest, I’m exhausted and emotionally spent from this trip, so much so, that if someone asked me right now if I had “fun” on this trip, I would likely cry. Fun is for vacation. This is something else.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Scoop on the Poop(er)

Over Christmas, Eric bought us a new toilet. Actually, he bought us two toilets.

And because I apparently am both old, and have no life, I am so excited about this thing!

Ok, here's the deal. When we moved in to this house, we moved in with Bruno's original toilets. They didn't work well. We tried switching out the guts of the toilet for new guts, with mediocre results. Now, when I saw "mediocre results," I mean that the toilets continued to back up on random occasions, with, or without large cargos they were carrying. Just cause.

That gets annoying after a while, not to mention that keeping plungers next to all the toilets is not exactly the bathroom aesthetic we're going for.