Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Missionary Update

(old picture - AGAIN)

Hey how are you guys doing? All things are going good here in Valdivia. It really is getting cold down here. When it doesnt rain, it is very cold in the night. But I am actually glad because now all of my clothes have been given time to dry

HI Catmull family... i am Elder Catmull Companion and just want to say hi and thanks for the skittles J See you in the future maybe in Sates someday or here mi casa es su casa ah.. your son is a example for me every day he teachme somthing new and i will be always thanfully for preparing your son for be a missionary . I love you guys. Elder Cuadra.

Haha that was my comp, I had to switch comps to write about the interchanges that we had the last week and my comp just wanted to write to you guys. Anyways like I was saying, it is a good chance for my clothes to dry. I havent gotten the letter from you guys yet....... but I did get the package from Griffin. If it doesnt come this week it would be a good idea to try and send it again, and if you guys need to by airmail. I am not sure if it is going to cost a lot more, I hope that it doesnt.
We are seeing a lot of success here in this sector. We just had an entire family last night make a “pact” with God to live the word of wisdom to prepare themselves to be baptized. We also have a kid, who was emo, turn completely around and want to get baptized. He wants to get baptized this sat, but he will not be able to cause he is still haveing problems with smoking. He has actually gotten to the point of taking all of his piercings off. That really was a miracle. We have a lot of other families that are going great, but still no baptizm here. Soon they will come...... Also that doesnt suprise me at all that the Bishop is S B. I guess we kinda all knew it and I am excited to come home to him being bishop! Haha and I guess that he really is a true friend huh dad? Letting you have more time on Sundays and throughout the week by not giving you a calling haha.
The other day I had a good time making cookies with my comp and another missionary that is in our zone called Elder Riches. I think for the first time here in Chile I saw a package to make some chocalte chuck cookies. All it needs is egg, and water and good to go. What we didnt have was anything to mix it with. So I just used my hands to mix it up. It was kinda fun haha and I think that i am going to do that again. The cookies turned out good and we ended up giving some of them to some of the members. My companain was about to throw up cause I was mixing it all with my hands and he was all grossed out. I think that this next week we are going to do brownies and for the next time we will bring something to mix the stuff haha. I am not sure why but I didnt get a letter from mom. I hope that everything is okay. I love you guiys so much and miss you guys. Have a great week!!1 Oh and if you could please send the next two letters to griff and Josh that would be great, thanks!!

Elder Catmull

**Im getting more than worried that his debit card hasn't made it to him yet. His birthday is in two weeks - frantically getting a package out the door! I also didn't include his letters to his friends, they were too personal this time. But he does tell them about how the food right now sucks, he has gotten back down to his pre-mission weight. He's a skinny little thing!

Slang Gang Word of the Day

August 29: mascary
when a person wears a scary amount of mascara

Although Melanie thought her mascara application was flawless, her eyelashes really looked like scary spiderlegs

**See also, just about any 14 year old who is undertaking the makeup process without adult supervision.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Spiritual Sunday

In my church, we don't have paid clergy. Each member serves in different areas at different times of their lives based on callings extended by our particular ward's leadership. We believe that the callings are inspired by personal revelation directly from God. For more questions you can go here

Our ward leader is called the Bishop. Bishops generally serve about 5 years, and he is basically the ward father. He leads, directs, counsels and oversees the physical,and spiritual needs of his ward flock.

I mentioned earlier this week that we were getting a new bishopric (bishop and his two counselors) today. We knew in our hearts that Splenda was safe. But most of the time, ward members begin speculating and wondering who might be called to be the next leader.

Our BFF's the B's have been in the ward as long as us. We have been through thick and thin together. S has been serving as the first counselor for the past couple of years and we have teased and joked with him that he was going to be the next bishop. He just smiles and calls us crazy, it's been an ongoing joke.

Well, you guessed it......S got called as the new bishop. To be honest, Splenda and I felt it earlier this week. Got the vibe, had the feeling and was just waiting for it to be official.

As we got to church this morning and saw their extended family members there, I just started bawling. S being called to bishop was an answer to prayer. My Tuffy needs someone who he has a strong relationship with, can talk to, respects and sees as his friend for this very pivotal time in his life. I am beyond thankful to my Father in Heaven for his inspired choice in Bishop S.

Bishop S is the most positive, cheerful, friendly man you will ever encounter. He has a way of bringing people in, making them feel good about themselves, and leaving them with hope that they might not have had before.

It has blessing in our lives to have these BFF's right across the street for 21 years. In fact, when we both first moved in, neither of us were active in the church. Slowly our ward, loved us right back in. We took Temple Prep classes together. Not once, but twice even! Then BFF's B's got smart and took their beautiful family to be sealed. Splenda and I had to take yet another round of Temple Prep classes. I finally joked with Splenda that if we didn't get it together and go, that we would be able to start teaching the course ourselves.

BFF B's have been right by our side through too many things to even begin to list. They are some of our dearest friends. We've had the joke that neither of us can move out of the neighborhood without the other. I can't imagine not having them right across the street. Now, they've gone and done it haven't they? I'm now stuck in my crackerbox house for the next 5 years!! : )

I am thankful for my testimony of inspiration. I have a testimony of prayer and that Heavenly Father knows each one us and our individual needs. I know that he provides answers to prayers, and that we too can gain testimony of leadership changes. We don't vote for our leaders in my church, we rely on Heavenly Father to prompt and inspire the callings. I know that to be true. Bishop S will do a great job at leading, unifying and spiritually feeding us.

My challenge? To remember to call him Bishop now and not Scooter : )

BFF B's - love your guts - thanks for your examples, friendship and love. Bishop - know that you are in our prayers and we will support and sustain you in any way you need us.


JDRF Walk for the Cure 2009

This was the first Saturday all summer that I didn't have a race or competition of some sort on the calendar, and to be honest, I was torn. Something about the anticipation of a Saturday and another shot to test my metal, and yet, the idea of taking a weekend off and resting was so appealing as well.

You prolly read about this here. Ethan, my little curly headed buddy was the reason we chose to participate. Sissy spent the night Friday, we woke up Saturday and with the lure of getting to ride in the stroller, finally got her loaded in the car and we headed off to Wheeler Farm. I was warned there would be tons of people, I didn't listen very well. There were TONS of people. We ended up parking quite a ways away and hoofing it to the event.

We checked in with the Shark at the registration table, got our tickets for our t-shirts, first time walker stickers and instructions on where to go make a sign.

After taking care of those details, we wandered around a bit to check it all out. I have to say I.was.impressed. There were too many booths for me to count, all geared towards things for kids. Families were all around us in matching shirts, with signs and pictures of their loved one that was living with this horrible disease. Every person there was there for a cause, a purpose, a reason for participating.

We finally found Shark's hubby and kids and lined up at the start. The walk began and off we went. Slooooowwwwwllllly. There were so many people, that is was a mere shuffle for most of the way. Which in normal settings, would make me crazy since I like to walk at warp speed, but in this case, it was rather nice. I could listen to the chatter around me. I heard kids talking about their brother or sister or cousin that they were walking for. I could read the signs posted every few feet with the story of a child and his or her diagnosis date. There were also signs informing us about the organization and how the funds were used. There were facts about the disease and statistics that give one pause to think and be thankful if you aren't one dealing with this.

The walk was less than three miles, and about half way through, the dust was bad enough that Splenda pulled off and headed back to the grassy area. Sissy and I finished it up with Adam and the kids . Sissy loved holding the sign. We crossed the finish line and I had to laugh at a couple of young girls who were walking by me. They were tired and just didn't feel like they could go on. But once they saw the balloons marking the finish, they shouted and sprinted to the end. Ahh, the energy of youth!

The rest of the morning was spent hanging out and letting Sissy play. They had bounce houses, slides, and a rock climbing wall. Sissy was distressed at waiting in lines, and couldn't understand the concept of why she was too little to do the rock wall climb. Yes, we had a few minor melt downs, but for the most part, she loved being outside and had a good time.

We got our sack lunch, sat at a picnic table and continued to observe the going on's around us. Again, it was all about the kids. They even had a band performing, that was comprised entirely of kids. And they were good!

After more running around the park and just enjoying the atmosphere, we loaded up and headed home. I got a chance to talk to the Shark before leaving and thank her for the invite. She looked exhausted. I can't even tell you how many hours she had put into this event and she still wasn't done. I couldn't help but admire her dedication and hard work. What an awesome mother she is! (and yes, I kifed the JDRF logo and E's pic from her site, thanks Shark...)

JDRF - well done, my friends, well done indeed. See you in 2010. And to Ethan my mop headed, Bo-Sox loving, trash-talking, buddy who deals with this stupid disease - they will find a cure. I know it.

The correct way to go shopping

Fries and chocolate milk while venturing Wallyworld? - Check

Icecream cone in the kiddie driver cart at Macey's? - Check

Splenda's Amex card? Double Check

Lesson over.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Random ramblings....

I have had a headache almost non-stop since Saturday. Do you think I got some parasite from the lake that is attacking my brain? Prolly.

I have been fixated on the news for the past several weeks. In particular Glenn Beck. Let me clarify. I.AM.NOT.A.GLENN.BECK.WORSHIPPER! But this week he has had some very thought provoking questions that I would like answers to. And part of me is afraid of what the answers are going to be. Am I ready? Is my family ready for what lies ahead?

I am taking tomorrow off. Sissy needs a tender, and I'm just the Meemaw to do it! Gosh how I love that girl! It's almost a heart wrenching love if that makes any sense.

I'm kinda feeling out of sorts. I still don't think I have fully recovered from Saturday's tri. I'm back at the gym early mornings, and working hard, but I can't shake the fatigue. Normally, I'd be ready to go for a run, a ride or back to the gym in the evenings, and instead, I just want to come home and crawl in bed. Not like me. Not like me at all.

And to prove the point, I just hit enter and posted this post before I was ready too. I'm such a loser sometimes.

Do you ever stop thinking about your kids? Your grown kids who are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. The ones that, really, their life is none of your business? Do you ever stop thinking? Worrying? I really didn't sign up for this. How do I turn off the "care" gene?

We are getting a new bishopric on Sunday. And yes, Splenda is more than safe. No phone calls here. And to be honest, I stay just inappropriate enough to keep him in the pews and off the stand. Not worried about it, but a huge leadership change always brings feelings of what will things be like?

My head STILL hurts. I'm gonna go eat ice-cream and find an old Lortab lying around.

Thankful Thursday

I am so thankful that in 6 months, I will be here.
Enjoying this
And this
and these (sin alcohol of course)
And mostly doing a whole lot of this
Airline tickets? - Check
Villa booked - Check

Week 10 of 2010 - I am SO thankful!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First day of school 2009-2010

This is it. Last year of high school. I wish him well!

American Capitalism gone with a whimper??

Checked out on Snopes...unfortunately, true!

The irony of this article appearing in the English edition of Pravda (Russian State Newspaper) defies description.

Even the Russians know, but the Americans can't grasp what is happening to us....

American capitalism gone with a whimper

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American descent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather than the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their "right" to choke down a McDonalds burger or a Burger King burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our "democracy". Pride blinds the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different "branches and denominations" were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top Protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the "winning" side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the "winning" side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America .

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America 's short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more than another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Weimar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe .

These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, losses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?

These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more than a whimper to their masters.

Then came Barack Obama's command that GM's (General Motors) president step down from leadership of his company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land of "pure" free markets, the American president now has the power, the self given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will. Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions.

So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a "bold" move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantor of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK 's Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our "wise" Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.

Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper...but a "freeman" whimper.

So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democrat controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulations that would give the American Treasury department the power to set "fair" maximum salaries, evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses? Senator Barney Frank, a social pervert basking in his homosexuality (of course, amongst the modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well as that of the general West, homosexuality is not only not a looked down upon life choice, but is often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.

The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other words, divest while there is still value left. The proud American will go down into his slavery without a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.

Stanislav Mishin© 1999-2009. «PRAVDA.Ru». When reproducing our materials in whole or in part, hyperlink to PRAVDA.Ru should be made. The opinions and views of the authors do not always coincide with the point of view of PRAVDA.Ru's editors.

I found a link to this guys's blog, a Russian, who posts the same article. What captured me is the comments left by both Russians and Americans. Very interesting reading.

PS - Are you watching him this week? If not, you should be. You'll learn more than you thought you wanted to.

PSS - Thanks BFC for passing this on.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Slang Gang Word of the Day - Triple Threat

August 22: prefill
When, in cases of extreme thirst, a person using a soft-drink fountain fills the beverage container, chugs it, and then fills it again before sitting down to eat.

Person 1: Hey man, why did it take you so long to get a soda?
Person 2: I was prefilling my cup; I've been thirsty all day.

**And for the love of all that's holy - DON'T bogart the soda fountain space!

August 23: I take my leave
A polite way of saying goodbye.

John: The coffee was great Mark, my compliments.
Mark: You are being too kind. Do you want some cookies?
John: I'm sorry, but I have a meeting in a few minutes, I take my leave.

**I guess manners are making a comeback?

August 25: manther
The male version of a cougar; an older man who preys on younger women.

"Mr. Smith is such a manther, did you see his new girlfriend? She's got to be less than a quarter of his age. Awesome."

"That Smith geezer was hitting on my granddaughter at the banquet. What a hideous manther."

**Michael Douglas anyone?

Tickle Me Pink Tuesday - illustrated version......

A certain Shark just spent the weekend in NYC and brought me this:Apparently it is an Evil Eye bracelet! I heart it! Not only is it going to offer me good luck and protection, but it kinda reminds one of Skittles. Sort-n-soothe....sort-n-soothe....

Said Shark also had lunch with the fabulous Kado - who was kind enough to send home this:Feels a little sacrilegious to eat it, I might have to just enjoy the display in my Yankees room. Heart you Kado! Thanks!

And then quite simply, SHE tickles me pink. Just being her....

What a great Tuesday it is!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Missionary Update

(old pic)


Hey parents, how are you guys going!!! Things are going great here in the mission. It was great to hear from you guys and sounds like you guys had a blast in Utah Lake. That really does look fun haha being how its only rain here in Valdivia. I honestly in my entire life have never seen soo much rain! Oh, and do you guys remember the jacket that I brought here? Its blue and it is the one that dad bought a while back before I came here on the mish. Anyway, it is not doing to well. After like 10 min of being in the rain, it starts to soak though, so it looks like I am going to have to buy an umbrella. The problem is….I don’t have money cause I still haven’t recived the card yet. Of course, there still is a chance to see today if it came cause after we buy and do all of the stuff that we need to do here, we are going to check to see if the mail came. Again, if it comes, we will give you a call so that you know and you guys can activate it.
Did you guys rent the wave runners by the way? If so, how much do one of those things cost to rent for the day?? That would be really fun to do when I get back. I guess that would have been nice to use in your triathlon right mom??? Oh and just to let you guys know on a another update of the mission……I don’t know if you guys knew, but every time the gringos leave from Santiago to go home….they all stop by to go through the temple. I was always excited to be able to see it and go though, but my Chilean comp let me in on a little info. The templo is closed for new years for like 2 or 3 weeks….. So that means, when I leave the 31st that I wont be able to go through the temple :( It really kinda sucks, but what can you do?
Anyways, this week coming up is the week of transfers. We are going to stay together this next transfer with my comp here in the this sector…..WHICH MEANS…..that I am probably going to end my mission here in the sector!! No problem here I really do like it here.
Okay and the update on Karina. What happened was we were going to get her to have the baptismal interview when her mom got really mad and didn’t let her go and is not letting us come by anymore. We are still calling here every once and a while to see how she is but it looks like that we got a couple more familes that are progressing and going to church so I think that we are going to focus on them. There are about 8 people and if all goes well we should get at least 3 baptisms this next transfer. Well mom and dad that is about it. I love you guys and miss you. Thanks for the support and sending me all of the pics!! I love you guys!!!

Elder Catmull

**Bummer on the temple. What is this talk of the 31st??? We last heard the 30th. And dirtbag has not sent any new pictures...... : )

Giveaway?! Did someone mention Giveaway?!

I have heard about Shabby Apple dresses, and I wonder, would a Shappy Apple dress make a shabby gal like me look good? I WANT TO FIND OUT!

Mormon Mommy Blog's is having a GREAT giveaway!

So, Go hit their blog, check out all the cool stuff they are giving away, go ahead and win the scrapbooking box , cause I won't use it, and leave the cute dress to me!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tri-Utah Jordanelle 2009 - Chapter 5 - Lessons Learned

How is a Tri like life? Let me count the ways.....Insights from an exhausted, but inspired triathlete.

1. Encouragement - While calmly treading water and waiting for the horn to sound, all the ladies were talking to each other. At one point behind me, someone hollered out, "Good luck everyone! See you at the finish line!" Several calls of Good Luck went back her direction and then around to each other. I thought of that later in the day. I thought about the pre-existence. Did we call out "Good luck! See you at the finish!"? Did we send each other off to this big bad world with smiles, hugs, high fives, and words of encouragement? I like to think so. And if we did, what happened? Too many times we are quick to be critical and disparaging in our comments. Why didn't you? How come your aren't? You really should... You really shouldn't......Instead, of cheering each other on, oftentimes we find ourselves bashing, judging, criticizing and outright holding each other back. We gotta get out of that mode friends. We have to get back to cheering each other on and offering a whole lot more encouragement.

2. Support - In the swim portion, there were many support people. Lot's of Mr.Canoe's I call them. Just staying close by in case you needed them, but they were not allowed to help in any fashion. A swimmer had to complete the swim unaided or face a penalty or disqualification. Isn't life like that? We are here to do this journey for ourselves. No one can do it for us. However, we have lot's of resources at hand. People close by that we can call for assistance. Even if it's just to hold on for a second while I catch my breath. And then we can keep going on our personal journey's.

3. Seeing to the needs of others above our own - Splenda reported to me that in an earlier wave in the lake, a gentleman came ashore very pale, shaky and in obvious distress. Two fellow swimmers STOPPED to assist him. Remember this was a race. They gave up their precious moments in their times to make sure this man was okay. Once the EMT's reached him, they quickly hurried on. I witnessed a biker stop to help a woman with a flat. Who knows how many minutes that cost him. But I am inspired by their acts of unselfishness. They saw the bigger picture. They put themselves aside to care for the needs of another.

4. You never know what's around the corner - During the run portion, I mentioned hills. Well, one particular hill was not to be seen until you turned a corner and then there it was! No time to look ahead, see it coming and step up your game to tackle it. Isn't life like that? We just never know what is around the corner. We have to stay ready for anything. Both physically, mentally and spiritually. Some "hills" in life, we get the luxury of a glimpse or some sort of knowledge that it's coming, but others hit us blindly and hit us hard. We gotta stay on our toes and be ready.

5. A well balanced life - In a Tri, there are three portions. The swim, the bike and the run. One has to be prepared for all three. A participant HAS to train for all three. Life certainly is a balancing act. We need to keep all aspects trained and ready. Our physical selves, our mental selves and most importantly, our spiritual selves. A triathlon isn't a triathlon without all three portions. Our lives are more complete when we learn to balance our three selves.

6. Extra baggage can drag us hold us back - Okay, little TMI here, but when I started the run, I needed to poop. That just added to my already difficult situation with having jello for legs, and physically nothing left in me. Having that extra (I'm sure 2 lbs) of crap in my gut really did affect me. It's the same in our lives. If we have unrepented sins, hate, grudges, all those things will hold us back in our progression. Sure we might move forward but certainly not at a pace or gait that we are capable of. We need to unload that baggage so that we can our optimum selves.

7. Too often we are quick to judge others and ourselves unfairly - During the waiting period for the swim, Splenda and I both noticed a woman who seemed out of place. She was quite large, and instead of a wetsuit like 99% of the other participants, she was in a sports bra and swim bottoms. Though neither of us said anything to the other at the time, we both had the same thought "She seems ill prepared." Well guess what? She KILLED the swim. She did it, came out of the water as one of the first ones and seemed to be just fine. No wobbling around for her! We gotta stop the quick judgements of each other. You know, those judgements where we find others lacking?

By the same token, what about ourselves? Just as I was finishing the bike portion, I heard "on your left" so I knew I was getting passed. I glanced at the passer, and noticed that on his leg was 62 (age) and an O for Olympic distance. I.was.deflated. Not only was I getting passed, but by a 62 YEAR OLD MAN WHO JUST BIKED TWICE THE DISTANCE!!!! I came into the transition area and passed his station. I made the comment, "Wow, I can't believe I just got passed by a 62 year old dude! Man you rock, and I clearly suck!" He looked up at me, smiled and said, "Don't worry about it honey, I got DQ'd from the swim." Wha?? He didn't finish the swim? But you know what? I did. How's about we cut ourselves some slack once in awhile instead of the constant self destructive talk that we as women especially like to do?

There are lessons to be learned. Every day. All around us. We just have to look. We have to be in tune with our own personal spiritual self to learn just the lessons that we individually need. For me, I have come to realize that the adrenaline rush, the people I meet and the lessons I learn while competing in some event or another is the way I gain truth. Yes, I gain it as well with my organized religion, but I also think that life is full of opportunities to grow, gain knowledge, and become better people, if we will step and and take them.

PS -
My final stats (Sprint Division):
Total time: 2:05:27.59
Swim time: 32:04.187
T1 time: 5:01.884
Bike time: 54:24.412
T2 time: 1:54.341
Run time: 32:02.772
Roadkills: 26
26th out of 29 in my age division
172 out of 192 overall women
369 out of 401 overall participants (not counting DNF and DNS)
44 people either Did Not Finish or Did Not Show

Was it my best showing ever? Hardly. BUT, the lessons I learned today, will be with me forever, and really, that's what counts right? I can live with this.

Tri-Utah Jordanelle 2009 - Chapter 4 - What Does Splenda do all this time?

Besides being my rock, my support, my friendly face in the crowd, and my own personal photographer. He is also resourceful at people watching and then reporting to me funny situations and unusual circumstances.
He is great at cheering me on, and not pushing me when he can see I clearly am pushing myself fine, thank you very much.

But he is great at safety patrol. He managed to keep the crowd he was gathered in, safe from the likes of these bad boys:Well done today Splenda. Well done indeed.

Tri-Utah Jordanelle 2009 - Chapter 3 - I'm supposed to RUN?

I am now heading into my final stage of the tri, which is the run. Since I am only doing the sprint distance, the run is a 5k. No biggie right? My strongest event right? NOT.TODAY!

I had nothing left. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Goose Egg. I was beyond tired. Beyond exhausted. I really didn't know how I was going to do this. And if you've ever done cycle to a run transition, it takes a bit to get "your legs" anyway. Right now, I couldn't see it ever happening.

Not long into it, I had to walk. I couldn't even trot! For the next two miles I did a combination we like to call "wogging". Walking/Jogging. The nice thing was though, I was not alone. Most folks around me now, were just as spent. I managed to pick up several road kills just in the times I was jogging.

We headed back out to the highway, but this time, turned right. OH.MY.GOSH. This is the same darn hill I ran in Ragnar! Flashbacks came flying at me.....and they weren't pretty.

We stayed on the highway, and I tried to stay mentally in the game until we turned off onto trail. We weaved our way around the campground. HILLS my friends, HILLS!!!!

By now, it was getting hot, and so the water stations saved my bacon. Each time I could drink cold water, I felt a boost and could run a little harder and a little longer before I had to walk again.

I finally saw the sign that told us that there was just shortly over a mile left. I decided I was going to run the whole thing. No walking this last mile. We turned onto a boardwalk that included sharp turns. Luckily, I wasn't having any knee pain so the turns were welcome in that it kept me focused on the route.

I finally turn onto pavement and see the crowd up ahead. There's Splenda!! At my every finish line, that man is! I pick up as much as I possibly can with every ounce of energy left in my body and finally crossed that blessed finish line.

After grabbing some light nourishment, making phone calls, finding some shade and stretching, we headed back to the transition area, gathered my gear and bike, and then waited in the freaking long line for the shuttle bus back to the parking area.

The ride home was my chance to review the experience and let all the lessons sink in.......

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tri-Utah Jordanelle 2009 - Chapter 2 - The bike adventure

Once I got to the area, where I was told to mount my bike, I quickly noted a few things. One, my legs were jello. Two, there was someone behind me after all!

You can see, I am totally stressed. My body is shaking so badly, I can't even get my foot secured in the toe cage! Once I finally got going, I felt a little better and quickly got into a quick groove. I immediately picked up a couple of roadkills, and that gave me some extra punch.

I turned onto the highway, and thought I would like to finish up those shot bloks and get another drink. While maneuvering around to do this, I knocked my computer and off it went! Flying onto the road. CAAAARRRRAAAAPPPP!!!

For a nanosecond, I considered leaving it. But the smarter side took over. I pulled off, laid my bike down, and trotted back to retrieve it. Rather than lose more time trying to figure out how to get it back on, I tossed it into my saddle bag and got moving again.

This part of the highway I was familiar with. I ran it during Ragnar, but doing the opposite direction. I knew there was a HUGE hill going into the town of Francis and I wasn't sure if we were going to head up it or not. I was praying for NOT.

I managed to get a drink, pick my pace back up and garner another road kill. They turned us off right at the bottom of the hill and I said a LOUD thank you to the volunteers who pointed me that way! : )

The route then became a quiet two laned road through the countryside that I am sure was pretty if I wasn't concentrating so hard. I now decided to attempt getting the shot bloks again. I struggle with the package several times, when all of a sudden, they fly out of my hands and onto the road. CAAAAAARRRRRAAAAPPPP!!

This time? No way in Hades am I stopping for them. Nope. Don't need them that bad. I swig more water and keep pushing. I was able to make up some time, and get more road kills when the route took a sharp turn and headed up a pretty good sized hill. I quickly jumped out of the big ring and shifted to my granniest granny gear. My legs felt like cement.

Up ahead I see a gal pulled off with a flat tire. A dude has stopped to help her. I ask if all's well as I go by, but I really didn't have any intention of stopping. She had help, I knew if I stopped, I wouldn't get started again.

We pull onto a main road, and I look around. I RECOGNIZE THIS!! We did this in Ragnar. That means, the huge hill? We get to go DOWN it! I pick up as much speed as I can, and at the top, tucked in and flew! A couple more roadkills later, I hit the flat at the bottom and feel exhilarated! Just what I needed! Last mile and a half in and while I am still winded, heart rate sky high, legs complete jello, I am mentally feeling good.

I roll in, give Splenda a high five and make my way to my transition station.

I racked my bike, ditched my bike gloves, swapped my helmet for a baseball cap and headed out for the final portion, the 5k run......

Tri-Utah Jordanelle 2009 - Chapter I - I almost died.

This one has been on my calendar for months now. Looming. Like a dark cloud. On one hand I anxiously awaited and was excited. On the other, I was dreading it and worried about the unknown. I didn't sleep at all last night because I dreamt that I was late to the race and they wouldn't let me participate. In my dream I was terribly disappointed. Like a disappointment that felt painful. So I was stressed the minute I woke up.

Now, I've done a triathlon before. And admittedly, I am hooked. Just never an open water one. I trained a little bit more in the pool, secured a wet suit and prepared myself mentally for cold water.

This tri was held at Jordanelle in a small cove next to Rock Creek campground. Splenda and I got up early and headed east up the canyon. On the way up, I reviewed my goals.
1. Don't die.
2. Don't be last.
3. Finish in 2 hours or better - NOT counting transition time.
He dropped me off on the side of the highway, right next to the sign that said "No parking or drop off's". We are rebels. I rode my bike into the campground, hit the set up area, got body marked and waited to meet back up with Splenda.

I found my transition area marked with this card. I had forgotten I had even filled it out.

I racked my bike, laid out my stuff, made some small talk with the lady next to me, got my wet suit on, and then walked to the fence to talk with Splenda.

My wave to hit the water was the last one, so it gave me an opportunity to watch what was happening and get a little oriented. As my time neared, I headed down to the water, ventured in and got warmed up. It really wasn't that bad! Yes, it was cold, but once I started moving around, it felt great.

Did some swimming, treading water, etc. Felt good. Even got back out of the water, stretched my body and tried to quiet the butterflies that had steadily grown.

Finally, they announce our wave start. There aren't many of us. Females over the age of 40, all Athena's and all Relay participants. I doggy paddle to the start line (between two buoys) and calmly tread water with the other gals while they counted down. At last they sounded the horn and off we went.
Funny thing, the man you hear telling some lady to hurry up so they could go boating? Told her again during her run. She dumped her water on him as she passed. I think I love her.

I started a nice freestyle stoke, easy, not fast, calm and controlled. 5 minutes in, I am wiped. WIPED. What the crap??? I'm not even close! I also notice some others around me have stopped the crawl and are breaststroking or have flipped over on their backs and backstroking it. At least I am not alone.

I take a note from these women and for the rest of the entire time in the lake (750 meters total), I do some form of forward motion while trying to keep my head above water, being able to breathe, and keeping water out of my mouth and nose. It consisted mostly of a very modified back stroke. There were support guys in canoes all around, and I quickly noticed one by my side the entire time. He could see I was not doing well, and I was grateful that I could see him in my peripheral vision at all times.

I round buoy one and realize that I am in trouble. This is HARD. I don't know if it's the depth, the current, the cold, the waves, or a combination of all of them, but I was scared. I saw one lady hold onto a canoe and rest. I wanted to so badly, but I thought I would be given a penalty so I just kept going.

Every so often I would flip over, doggy paddle for a second to see where I was, and then roll over to my back again. Mr Canoe was right there, and had now begun to guide me. "More to your right." "More right...there you go". That saved me the precious energy it took to roll over and see where I was.

Just before I rounded buoy number three, I was pretty sure, I was done for. I really didn't think I could finish. But then once I rounded it and took a sneak peek, the distance seemed manageable, and I SO.DIDN'T.WANT.TO.QUIT! I wanted to finish this more than anything ever. I had no choice but to keep going.

By now, I have realized that I am alone. I don't see anyone else out there. I'm just surrounded by guys in canoe's guiding me. They offered so much encouragement, but at one point, I was having trouble keeping my head up and face clear and one of their oars sent a flood of water right in my mouth! I was pretty sure I was going to drown right there and then. I sputtered, coughed, and could tell now that I was completely in lung burn and would have the wheezers cough.

I FINALLY heard them say, "You're there!". I put my feet down and felt the mushy grass lake bottom with it's gnarled weeds. I flipped over, slowly stood up, looked back and begged someone to tell me that I wasn't the last one out of the water. I was assured no, but to be honest, I didn't see anyone else.

I attempted moving myself forward and I was wobbly, dizzy, and completely weak. I hobbled up the ramp and right next to me was a stretcher with EMT's. No one was on it and the thought crossed my mind, 'Did they think I was going to need it? Was that there for me, just in case?'. I looked over to Splenda to tell him how hard it was and then tried to run to my transition area. Tried - is the key word. Couldn't get my body to move!

I slogged over there, picked up my towel and started to BAWL! BAWL I tell you! Looked over at Splenda, buried my face in my towel and let it go. I'm not sure if it was the adrenaline, the exhaustion, the physical toll, I don't know, but I couldn't stop.

I let myself boob for what felt like a few minutes but in reality was only a few seconds. Then, realizing I am all alone in the transition area, the thought occurs, that I have some serious time to make up. I had set a goal for 30 minutes for the swim. It felt like an hour, so I was desperate to make up time.

I quickly stripped off the wetsuit (which I did NOT pee in BFF's TNT - thanks for loaning it), threw on my shorts and tank top, socks, shoes and gloves, helmet and unracked my bike. I grabbed a quick drink of water and gobbled a couple of shot bloks, keeping the package in my hand to finish once I got on the road and made my way out of the transition area and onto the bike route.........

Tuffy's Senior Summer Swan Song

This is it. This is Tuffy's last summer as a high school student. In three days he starts his Senior year. In a couple more weeks, he turns 18. He's hitting the big time and further proving that

We had a chance to borrow a very kind neighbor's wave runners for the day, so bright and early we headed out. Three personal watercraft, one for each of us.

It took a little work to get them unloaded and ready to go. One drifted away, so Splenda tried to get on the back of mine so I could drive him over to get it. Um, not a great idea. HE DUMPED ME!!!! Off into the harbor we go, lose my favorite 5 dollar Wallyworld flip flops and the worst of all - got wet! I had planned on keeping myself dry, my hair coiffed and my lips glossed the entire day. RUINED.

We had a great time racing, chasing boats to ride their wakes and best of all, Tuffy taught me how to spin. Now to clarify, his sole purpose in the spins is to throw himself off the wave runner. Of course, mine was to stay aboard. We both succeeded.

We ended up staying all day, having a blast and in Tuffy's case getting a wicked bad sunburn on his legs. Why don't kids listen to us?

So Senior Summer, we bid you adieu. You served us well.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Just a quick announcement......

Please don't hate me. I am so buried in work and life crap right now, that I am beyond behind in my google reader. Plus I found some more amazing women that I have added to my reader and that has doubled my size. However.... I am NOT a mark all as read kind of a gal. I am reading, I'm blurking you, I'm still here. I'm interested, I care and I want to read every last post.

Don't hate me, I'll catch up.

I'm also several personal posts behind....... I'm sure that once I actually get some time, there will be some serious blogerriah.......

Hang in there wit me - please don't be hatin. : )


Funny Bone Friday - Things I may have heard, or said, or just thought in my head

Who knew that the F-bomb could be used 6 times in one complete sentence?

"It's not about quantity, it's about QUALITY"

"I just don't feel like getting flipped off today."

"Tell you what, I'll text you on our breaks. That'll keep our umbilical cord nice and taut."

"Keep your spirituality to yourself"

"Flurries! Flurries! Flurries!"

"Bless his heart, but sometimes he's such a Nancee"

"That ding-ding dinging is making me ding-ding dingy"

"Nope, I guess those flip flops DON'T float."

Thursday, August 20, 2009