Some of you readers from those nice hot parts of the country where you actually have air conditioning in the house will think we are nuts. We probably are. At least one of us probably is.
Here in the northwest, MOST of us, don't have air conditioning. I mean seriously, we need it like two weeks a year. Okay, last year it was 100 degrees for a week and I thought I was going to die, but usually we get some high 90's that last three days and then it's back to 70's, maybe 80. Open the windows and you're good.
However, we live in a house with no surrounding trees for shade and are direct east-west facing. My son's east facing room bakes in the morning. We hung a shade outside his window - he's good. Our second story south and west facing room, however, is smoldering hot at 9pm.
But my husband has a "scientific process" (his words) for dealing with it. As soon as the sun is up, windows and blinds get shut, so as not to let in the hot air. As soon as the sun goes down, the windows get opened, the window fan goes on full blast and the cool night air lowers the temps in the bedroom dramatically. Okay, fine - all good.
But it goes a step further. All windows that are realistic to get left open at night are left open. The goal? To get the house as cold as possible in the morning. The theory? That it will heat up less during the day. The result? I freeze my ass off every morning. Nothing like shaving the goose bumps on your legs in the shower, eh?
It was 62 degrees in my house this morning. (I'm one of those that thinks 75 is comfortable. No, I don't set my winter temps at 75, but I would if it wasn't such an energy waster. Just sayin'.) My husband was so proud of that 62 degrees. Me? I put on slippers and a sweatshirt. In July. Late July.
Ah, the joys of summer. I won't complain. I love summer. Even if I have to freeze for a few hours in the mornings.
Just when I didn't think I had anything to blog about today, my teenage son barges through the front door and starts yapping about a stupid video game he was just playing with his buddy. He knows I can't stand it when he does that, so I didn't feel bad about telling him I wasn't interested. Besides, I was watching a really important cooking show.
But he wouldn't stop.
And this is what I had to say to make him shut up, "I had this tampon and the applicator . . ."
I know it wasn't my finest parenting moment but, hey, it worked.
My husband races a Super Stock car in his (ahem) spare time. So, Saturday night we loaded up the family and drove over an hour to the desert town of Perris, California to a huge circle dirt track. It's kinda in the middle of nowhere. And did I mention it was in the 80's after the sun went down? But it was a "dry" heat, the breeze was blowing, and that's what wives do, right? We support our husbands' outrageously expensive and dangerous hobbies with moral support and cheers.
The first thing I did when I got there was buy myself a $7 beer, then accidentally knock over my mother-in-law's $7 plastic cup of wine. Ooops. Since I had to make a trip to the snack bar to replace her wine, I thought I might as well buy myself a half-pound monster hot dog, which I regretted later that night and the next morning.
Finally, we were settled in to our grandstand seats. I put my earplugs in and leaned back, only to notice that 50 percent of the people seated in front of me were A.) wearing their pants way too low and B.) not wearing any underwear. It was like a butt crack train wreck. I couldn't stop looking.
Thank God the races started to distract me. The funny thing about a dirt track is that the track is really made of dirt. And sure, they spray it down with a water truck now and then, but by 10pm the dirt starts to fly when those guys Tokyo drift around the corners. Picture me, the doting wife, stomach filled with a half pound of hot dog meat, dirt in my eye, surrounded by butt cracks.
Why is packing so difficult? It's only a long weekend. It's only my son's baseball tournament.
My husband will grab four shirts, a couple pairs of shorts, some socks and underwear and a sweatshirt and he's good to go for the weekend.
Me? I debate, I think, I procrastinate. I try to predict weather, social situations, maximum sun exposure or weather protection, and put together outfits for each situation. I start with too much, pare down to what I think I need, then second guess myself and throw in extra.
And don't even get me started on the toiletries. The lotions and potions I can't live without. My own hairdryer because the hotel dryers aren't strong enough to dry my extra think hair in any reasonable amount of time.
And shoes? Sigh.
Hopefully we can get it all in the car. Wish me luck.
Lela, here. Thank you, Ally, for keeping the blog rolling. My computer has been in the shop for 2 weeks and I threw my back out doing curb jumps (don't ask). I have been on the couch watching the New Jersey Housewives and eating Ben and Jerry's Phish Food for a loooong time. Showers and house cleaning have been put on the very back burner. Sorry, husband.
But here is the good news: My teenage son has returned from a week at Boy Scout Camp, where he only took ONE shower. Apparently the showers at Camp Wolf Burro were "not good". Further investigation revealed that although they were clean, the water pressure was lame. Whatever. Besides that, he was momentarily mistaken for a girl (by a special-needs camper), completed a 5-mile run that was "hell", and was practically starved from the small portions of chow served. But on a high note, he got to shoot a shotgun! All was not lost.
I am glad he returned safe and sound but here are some things that rocked in his one week absence:
1. No lingering smell of Axe Body Spray. 2. Hardly any laundry. 3. The house stayed neat and clean.
Yeah, my husband and I tried to plan some romance while the kid was away, but he got called out to work almost every night and remember, I threw my back out and could hardly walk, let alone get frisky with anyone.
So, the computer is fixed, my back is on the mend, and the ice cream cartons have been licked clean.
Friday I posted about my planned 10K race. My first one ever.
Saturday, I completed the race. My colleague that I ran with totally fibbed about how fast (or slow) he runs. He runs faster than me. Sometime when my ankle band timing chip was carving a chunk of skin out of my achilles tendon and I had to stop to adjust it, he completely left me in the dust.
But first, let me tell you about our start. I barely made it to the start after unsuccessfully looking for a bathroom for a nervous pee. So we started in the very back of the crowd. (It was a small community run, NOT a HUGE crowd, but still, there were 60+ people.) The start went off and we started moving forward. But WAIT? My running partner turned around and started running back the other way! What the heck? What was he doing? I don't know. He dropped something or some such nonsense. Are you kidding me? We're already last and YOU ARE GOING THE WRONG WAY!
Finally, we were both headed the right direction.
Two weeks ago, I did my first 5.5 mile training run and felt amazing! I felt like I could run for another hour! I thought I would have that same energy. I did not. Not even close.
The race was 6.2 miles. For the first 4 miles, I pretty much thought someone was holding me back. At that point I finally ate one of my fueling gels that I had put in my waistband because I wanted to try them to start getting used to them for longer runs. It helped. I finally found some energy.
The lady in front of me, who had refused to let me pass her (speeding up, moving over when I got close) finally got to see my butt as I left her behind going uphill. And the gal in front of her got to see my butt as I passed her on the second hill. Yes, I said UPHILL. Turns out I'm a decent hill climber.
As I entered the parking lot of the school where the finish line was, I put on speed. I could smell the finish. Unfortunately the finish was all the way (the long way) around the school AND a lap around the track. After using what energy I had left across the parking lot, I somehow managed to lug what I was sure were my concrete encrusted feet around the track and across the finish line.
The finish line clock was reading 1:05:30. WHAT? My clock was reading 58:30. What, what, what was happening? Although I had told everyone I didn't have a time goal, that I just wanted to finish, I secretly wanted to run in under an hour. Mostly cause I know other people that do. I'm a little competitive that way. Turns out they had started the clock when the 5K runners had started - 7 minutes BEFORE the 10K runners (me). Phew!
My official time? 58:36. Under one hour. So yes, I was okay with that. Future training will include speed work, but that was good first effort.
Turns out I won third place for my gender/age division. I just checked the official results and there actually WERE more than 3 women IN my age division. WooHoo! Okay, there were only 6, but 3rd out of 6 at least puts me in the middle of the pack. Nonetheless, the medal is cool.
PS - that pre-race nervous pee I had to take? After running an hour, drinking 28 ounces of fluid PLUS a cup of coffee and letting another 90 minutes go by, I finally got to go. Ahem. And I thought I had a weak bladder.
I'm doing something I've never done before on Saturday.
I'm going to run a 10K race.
That's 6.2 miles if you need help with the conversion like I do. (Why are we the only country that doesn't use the metric system again? Ugh, I digress.)
I've never run more than a 5K race before. I've done 5.5 miles in my training runs the last two weekends. So I guess I'm ready.
My coworker is running with me. He ran a marathon for the first time last month. But he hasn't been doing a whole lot of running since and I think I run a little faster than him. So it will be interesting to see how we run together. He's already told me I could leave him behind if I get a burst of energy (hope he's not holding his breath for that to happen!!!). My husband is going to come cheer us on, so at least we'll have a fan.
I'm not sure what I'm thinking. I always swore I'd never run long distances. I thought I just preferred the 3 mile fitness runs. But working with so many runners... it got contagious. So here I am. Never say never.
Wish me luck!! Assuming the next few months go well, I'll be running the LA Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon in October. That's 13.1 miles. Another first.
Though it feels as if we've only just ended the school year, we received the "Early Bird" special offer from the high school in the mail today.
We can get my son's ASB card for $30
Or we can get my son's yearbook for $75
OR we can get the ASB card AND the yearbook for the low, low price of $90.
What a deal!
I hate to date myself, but I think my high school ASB card was $10 or $15, and my yearbook was SUPER expensive at $30 or $35. Granted, only the seniors got color pictures when I was in high school, and my son's whole yearbook is in color. But still.
Seriously, once high school started, my checkbook became a revolving door. Money in one side and straight out the other side.
How much was your high school yearbook? Do you still have it? Do you know where it IS?
Travis at I Like To Fish started Memoir Monday. I've tried it out, and kinda like it... so here's another moment from the past. Check out Travis' blog, if you haven't...
We used to camp. I liked roughing it. No need for piped water at the campsite, we can haul it in. A camp pad was good enough to sleep on. Showers unnecessary.
Then we graduated to campsites with piped water. And the tent big enough to stand up in. And the queen size blow up mattress. Oh and showers would be great, thanks.
A few years ago we had a camping trip planned with my cousin and her family. At this beautiful (but cold) lake at the edge of the rain forest. We set up camp, had a great first night, some good camp breakfast the next morning.
And then came the clouds. And the rain. We scrambled, securing a tarp over the picnic table and settled in to wait for the rain shower to pass. And we waited. And we waited some more. What the heck? I was reminded by my loving husband that we were at the edge of the rain forest. Why did that sound so much more glamorous when we planned the trip?
We figured we might as well make lunch, so we fired up the camp stove and made grilled sandwiches. And we might as well have a margarita while we waited. And maybe another.
Finally it cleared. The sun came out. We picked our tent up and moved it out of the puddle it was sitting in. We hung things to dry. Oh, this was so much fun! (Well, maybe that was just the margarita that made it fun) And then we went swimming. The freezing cold lake didn't seem so cold anymore! (Wait, was that the margaritas again?)
It was somewhere around this time that my enthusiasm for camping started dwindling. Besides the dirt, the rain, the bugs, the cleaning, the cooking, the filthy clothes and the campfire smoke permeating everything, it was a lot of work.
And then some friends bought a cabin on Puget Sound. Sleeping inside, a real bathroom with toilet and running water, gourmet meals prepared in a real kitchen. And a great little fire pit outside so we can still enjoy the s'mores and toasted marshmallows.
Mmmm, K. I admit it. I could still be talked into an occasional camping trip here or there. But I won't be camping at the edge of a rain forest any time soon. And in between, we'll appreciate every invitation to the cabin.
There was another earthquake in California. (Where I am headed in a month - please don't order up any of those shakers while I'm down there, K?)
There are heat waves and storms.
But folks, in Seattle, summer has finally arrived. After months and months of my complaining and grumbling and fighting to not be depressed by the gray and rain - SUMMER IS FINALLY HERE!
And the weather service actually felt the need to issue a "Special Weather Statement" because temps were supposed to hit 90 degrees. Would that be warning of the crowds rejoicing in the street over the golden orb in the sky, I wonder? Too, too funny.
I am loving every single second. Every drop of sweat. Every fan I have to turn on. Every tank top I get to wear. LOVE IT. I am one happy girl.
It is a joke, but true, that summer starts in Seattle July 5th. And while we have over 300 days a year that I could do without, there is no place more beautiful than Seattle (or the Pacific Northwest) in summer.
My teenage son is a Boy Scout, on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout and we are so proud of him. Last week we signed him up for some courses down at the Newport Beach (California) sea base to earn some hard-to-get merit badges. His morning classes were Citizenship of the Nation, followed by Canoeing.
After a peaceful, scenic drive down Pacific Coast Highway, I pulled into the sea base to drop off my son. He didn't get out of the car.
"Oh crap," he said. "I forgot my swimsuit."
"Do you have to get in the water today?"
"Uh, yeah, I think we have to tip the canoe over today and get back in."
"Well," I said, with irritation creeping into my voice, "You will just have to wear the shorts your are wearing."
"Mom, don't you usually come back down here?"
"No. What are you trying to say?"
"Mom, can you bring my swimsuit back down here?"
This is when being a mother sucks the life out of you. The kid is 13 and knows the freakin' Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared. All he had to remember to bring was a swimsuit and a towel. He forgot both! On the other hand, it was only 15 minutes away and not that big of a deal for me to do it.
"Look," I said, "I do not want to do this. What will you do for me?"
Blank stare from the kid. Then, "Swiffer?" Meaning he picked the easiest, fastest chore possible of our household. Lame.
"How about you wash my car for me?" I suggested.
"Uh, no," he said, then GOT OUT OF THE CAR!
I drove off hoping he got a huge, monkey butt rash from the sand and salt water clinging to his boxers and cotton cargo shorts, as his canoe capsized into the Pacific Ocean.
I went out to dinner with some girlfriends. There are four of us. We try to do it once every month or two.
We tend to go out for Mexican at one of three decent restaurants around us. I usually have two margaritas over the course of the evening. Never had a problem.
I arrived first and ordered a margarita, while I sat at the table waiting for the other girls. They arrived, ordered their drinks, we got to talking and all was well. Second round came with our food and the evening continued. And then it was time to go. But I was feeling funky. More buzzed that was normal for the amount of time that had passed. And nauseous. In fact I had a hard time eating very much dinner (though I managed to eat a few thousand calories of chips before that). And my thinking wasn't very clear.
At home I ran in the house and announced to my husband that I was going to be sick. The dizziness had increased ten-fold, I couldn't have walked a straight line or formed a full sentence. I became violently ill, throwing up repeatedly between writhing on the bathroom floor groaning, and hanging my head in the bowl crying.
I did form one cohesive thought: Thank God I had just cleaned the toilet.
Anywho, at some point, while watching my distress, my husband asked if he should call 911. I actually considered it, trying to reason out if there was anything the hospital could do to make it stop. I figured I was already throwing it up, so I'd just have to ride it out.
Oh and I had another thought: I was going to be pissed if this messed up my long run on Friday. Like this was something I needed to worry about. *eyeroll*
I finally made it to the bed, where I threw up again into the garbage can, and then shakily fell asleep. Until 2am, when I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. And I laid there trying to figure out what had happened to me. I didn't drink excessively, or more than I had in the past with no such reaction. Could it have been bad food? But that wouldn't explain the buzz/mental piece. Could it have been bad alcohol? Does alcohol go bad? Was there a different kind of alcohol in there that I didn't read in the description? And worst case, was I drugged when I came and initially sat by myself?
The next day was rough. I was hungry but couldn't put food in my stomach. I was still dizzy. And exhausted.
This was no fun, friends. And I have no desire for Mexican Food or Margaritas anytime in my near future. If ever.
PS - I almost got sick just uploading that margarita picture...
My best friend and I have always said we are the normal ones - it's everyone else with the problems! At least it makes us feel better, even if it might not be true.
I'm the forty-something mother of a teenage boy and a black lab mix, married and living in the Pacific Northwest where I grew up.
Hubs and I lived on Maui when we met and we often dream of moving back some day.
In the meantime, I write about life. A little of this, a little of that. I love humor and probably complain too much. But that's just because the world around me isn't 'normal', like me!