Saturday, August 28, 2010

08/28/10 (post-klutz report)

Alrighty....well, it's been two days since my wipeout (you can read about it here)....since my knee (and elbow) were intimately introduced to a certain stretch of very un-forgiving pavement. I literally expected some baseball umpire to come out of the darkness and yell "safe!" Well, this case, he'd be yelling "out!" :-)

I had a little mini breakdown last night....stressing about this backpacking trip to Glacier National Park I'm supposed to leave for at 6:00 this morning.

I had a hard time hobbling around Walgreens yesterday, when I went to go get my pain med prescription the idea of backpacking, with 30 extra pounds on my back....really terrified me.

Hubby called his brother, the doc, and they talked about it. I'd been icing it...elevating it....and taking anti-inflamatories...but he wanted me to wrap it up as well.

After wrapping it, I was walking without a limp, and going up and down stairs. Crazy amazing thing....the ace bandage.

So....I'm going on the trip. I have two days in a car to rest it some more, ice it some more, and work on getting that swelling reduced even more.

Wish me luck!!!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Weekend Update: Wine Barrel Smoke-Off

A month or so ago, Mot came home from North Platte, NE....visiting his brother and family.

In the back of the Jeep was his luggage, Sam (our black lab), and an empty wine barrel.

Since then, the barrel has been converted into a device of smoking meaty goodness.

There's a winery in North Platte, that decided it would be fun to put the retired barrels to good use. They asked that interested parties take one home, and make a smoker from it. And in return, they were to come back in August to compete in a BBQ smoker contest. Only wine barrel smokers were allowed.

The idea intrigued Mot....and his barrel turned out gorgeous! We've hosted a get together or two, and used it to cook the food.

Two weekends ago, Mot loaded the Jeep back up......our luggage, our dog, the smoker, and me (sorry Sam, the front seat is mine this time!!)...and headed west.

Feather River is a gorgeous winery, on the outskirts of town. There are nothing but hills of grape vines to be seen.

We spent the whole day prepping the food, cooking the food, and then serving the food.

Each smoker was paired up with a wine from the winery. We were to give samples of the smoked goods AND the wine to go along with it.

Ours was called Redneck Revenge. A sweeter blend of three different grapes....with a note of apple and a citrus finish.

(boy, that sounds like I know what I'm talking about, doesn't it? fooled you!!!!)

Along with serving the wine, we were also given vines from the wines we were serving, and used those to smoke the meats with. Very cool idea!!!!!

So, without further ado...I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking!!!!

Bob, Mot's brother, doing a radio interview for the event!

Jeff, owner of the winery announcing the winners.

The secret judges!!

The event was a great success (if you ask me). Can't wait to do it again next year!!!!!

If you want to see more of the pics I took, check them out here.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Earlier this week, Wednesday to be exact...I get up at my usual 5:00 am. Clumsily dress into my running gear, take my normal 3 seconds to stretch, and head out the door.

There's a mailbox I walk to, just to get things loosened up a little. It's exactly one-tenth of a mile to that mailbox.

It's a Nebraska Cornhusker mailbox. The FIRST of many I pass on my morning runs.


It's foggy, and the streetlights cast an eerie light on the ground. I have barely reached the half mile point in my run, when I notice a white mini van coming down the street towards me. I rarely, if ever, come across traffic that early in the morning, so it caught my attention.

There are a few vehicles I see every once or twice a week....a large silver truck pulling a fishing boat, a 2 door blue car with a loud exhaust....but this mini van was new.

What ultimately catches my eye, is the fact that it's comes to a stop in the middle of the road...headlights in my eyes....motor still running.

I slow my run to a fast walk. I want to stop, I want to turn around and run the other direction, but for some reason I don't want them to think I'm paying attention. I want them to assume I'm just another crazy person, running themselves into exhaustion, paying more attention to putting one foot in front of the other than to what they are doing.

I'm less than half a block away now. Do I cross the road and run on the other side, do I turn at the next block and head west? Why does this one unassuming vehicle have all the hair on my arms standing at attention?

I finally make up my mind. I'm going to keep my head down, I'm going to cross the street and continue on my way, as nonchalantly as I can.

Before I can take my first step across the road, I see something fly out of the passenger side window....and the mini van leaps to life, tires squealing.

If I had tried to cross just then, they would have hit me.

I jumped into the grass along the street, trampling some poor lady's flower bed....and the van flies by.

I scan the side of the road for whatever they threw out the window. It's dark. I don't see a newspaper in a plastic trace of a smoking cigarette butt, or discarded McDonalds breakfast bag.

I see nothing.

Just then, the house I'm standing in front of explodes.

Smoke billows out a hole in the side of the house, flames lick the siding, glass showers down around me. My face feels as though I've been in the sun for hours without sunblock. I stumble backwards into the road.

Should I go to the house to see if someone needs help? I don't have a phone, I can't call for help. Surely the neighbors are awake? Lights come on at the houses next door and across the street. Dogs, after having been stunned by the sudden noise, start barking.

A white mini van comes around the corner. Oh my gawd, I'm still here. Are they going to come after me? Do they think I can identify them, or their vehicle? Why did I stick around? What do I do?

I run to a house with it's lights on. I'm pounding on the door....urgently, frantically. If they can't hear me knocking, surely they can hear my heart thudding in my chest?

No one is answering. I know they're awake!! I know they're in there!! Why won't they answer?

A car door closes behind me, I know they're coming for me.

I take off my ID bracelet, but can't throw it down yet. They'll see me do it. I have to wait until they grab me....that's when I'll throw it by the door of this house.

Why don't I hear sirens...where are the police or fire department? Only seconds have passed, but it feels like minutes. Hours.

I hear footsteps running up the sidewalk. I have nothing in my hands to use as a weapon. There are no flowerpots to throw, or rocks to wield.

I try to scream, but nothing comes out.

Who needs to run with an iPod when I have my imagination??

Everything up to the explosion actually happened. The white mini van, something being thrown out the window, the van squealing away suddenly nearly hitting me.

When I ran by the house yesterday, it was still standing, untouched. Did the passenger throw their newspaper into a bush? Was it a jealous boyfriend stalking an ex's house? Who knows??? But if I see another white mini van driving around the neighborhood at 5 in the morning, I'm going to run the other direction. :-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: So there!

I had a camera in my hand. He's a loyal blog reader...he should know that some of them will get posted. (giggle)

Love you Steve!!! So there!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weekend Update: Modale Fun Days

Last weekend, my hometown (until second grade) held it's annual Fun Day at the city park.

Last year, we were forced (twisted arms and everything!) to participate in the Bocce tournament.

We lost horribly.

This year, we had to come back and defend our title.

We did. :-)

Local elections are coming up, and some of the local politicians had a little "match" of their own.

Mom getting some shots of the action.

The park was full of stuff for people to do. Bouncy houses, horse rides, water fights, craft projects for the kids, etc.

The fire department set up a barrel on a cable. Two teams, each with a firehouse, try to move the barrel across a line on the other team's side. Tug-a-war, with a twist.

We had to halt play a number of times to remove toads from the playing field. They were everywhere!!!!!! :-)

Our team name is "renegades."

Basically because we were the only team last year of people who'd never played bocce before. We didn't know the rules, and didn't have matching league tshirts.

This year, we all had knee high socks. No one had the same sock, and we each had non-matching ones on each leg.

My second hometown (2nd grade to three years ago) sent a reporter from the paper to come cover the event. He took quite a few pics of my sister and I, in our socks, and said they were going to be in the paper.

I debated giving him a fake name when he asked....but didn't. (sigh) Everyone there knows me anyway. :-)

It was a million degrees out, with two million % humidity. Emmy was the smart one. She hung out in the shade all afternoon. :-)

Lauren was asked to fill the 4th spot on another team.

After her team beat us, horribly, she played in the finals. They lost.....but I might have some "disagreements" with it. At one point they were ahead by 7 or 8 points.

After the tournament was over, we all packed up and left.

The girls (Inny, Lauren, mom and I) were camping in mom's camper that night.

We spent the evening playing games and watching movies.

Sleeping beauty the next morning.

We made a quick breakfast, then I headed home.