Tuesday, February 23, 2010

We we went went to to Walla Walla...

This weekend was the season opener for University of Idaho Men's Lacrosse! Saturday morning we loaded up the car and headed west in snowflakes and sunshine. A mere 4-1/2 hours later we were pulling into Walla Walla and walking across the grassy field to the first game of Krieg's last year of lacrosse. Whoa. I said that didn't I?

The Vandals played a great game at Whitman College. Whitman may have come out a tad too comfortable as they played in the finals last year and UI is considered a small scale team. With the exception of a brief struggle in the 3rd quarter, allowing Whitman to get 4 of their 5 goals, the Vandals dominated.

It was apparent during the Fall games this team is a united front. They run, they think, they play lacrosse. They want this to be a season to remember - and I have absolutely NO DOUBT that it will.

Of course, I sound like a completely proud, very biased parent. Heck! Guilty as charged. I've seen the way Krieg has grown with lacrosse, ever since our first visit to Idaho and his first sighting of lacrosse player.

We witnessed a very distressed Whitman coaching staff, several questionable calls late in the game - just a bit extreme. Crazy penalties. Four Vandals in the penalty box and UI still stole the ball and made a run on the goal as time ran out. The Vandals beat Whitman College 15-5.

After the game we followed the caravan 2-1/2 hours back to Moscow, did some quick grocery shopping while the guys cleaned up, made dinner and watched the Olympics with some of our favorite people.

We spent the night with Erin and her roomies. My first visit this year to her new place. It's so nice to see she finally lives in a nice place - and we don't have to fret about her safety.

After breakfast out with the kids we had a pleasant uneventful 5-1/2 hour trip back to Boise - to prepare for week #2!
I-D-A-H-O... Idaho Idaho Go Go Go!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Olympic Games

Yes. I admit. I've spent a few hours recently observing the Olympic games. It would be difficult not to get caught up in the emotion and excitement at times. Go U.S.A.

There has also been a great deal more activity in our household these past weeks. Though not quite Olympians, we have discovered that we can work out four or five times a week and still watch a few of our favorite events.

Sadly I am not an Olympic caliber athlete. Despite the fact I was born in Wisconsin I do not enjoy the cold, winter sports.

While I did grow up skating away many winter hours on the frozen pond in our city park, I am certain I would not be a candidate for figure skating. I have trouble envisioning myself leaping or spinning - at least not on purpose.

The downhill skiing and snowboarding events are very exciting. The falls are frightening - thus ending my desire to participate. I have downhill skied - many times growing up in Wisconsin... and even twice here in Idaho. Any similarity to these experiences ends right there! While I was way cool shushing my way down what I considered quite a daring hill in Wisconsin, I barely survived the next slope up from the bunny hill in Idaho. I proudly waved as my sons zipped past me while they descended from their much higher starting points and continued to snow plow myself to the bottom. In my defense, gravity and I are no longer on speaking terms and falling seems much harsher in my current decade.

Friday I watched women Olympians run and throw themselves onto plastic (fiberglass) sleds and propel their bodies at a bazillion miles per hour through ice coated trenches. This was horrific! Did I mention they went head first and steered with their feet, all the while wearing Spandex for God's sake! Rest assured after watching the Skeleton event I automatically disqualified myself from the race, before even warming up, for the following reasons:

1. I would never be able to hold my head up at that angle to see where I was going (nor would I care to see). I am only assuming they also have their eyes open!

2. My size 10-1/2 feet would no doubt prevent my rocket like propelling down the ice. I would be the athlete to leave two toe trenches in the path and eventually arrive at the bottom with a 4 minute time.

Oh - And... most importantly 3. There is something SO wrong about grown women, even athletic FIT grown women, jiggling down a icy slope in SPANDEX! It's not at all flattering and I don't think changing a camera view is going to make an ounce of difference. Nope Skeleton is not for me!

Perhaps I shall try hockey. It's similar to lacrosse and soccer, both of which I'm familiar. No one would really notice if my flailing arms and legs were intentional or just lack of coordination. There is lots of padding AND a helmet to cover my head if I'm having a bad hair day. Not to mention - you get sticks - and if I'm having a really crappy day sticks would be a nice advantage! Hmmm, maybe my Olympian debut is still possible.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

To Wisconsin and back again...

With the first of our many weekend adventures under our belts, we are treading water this week, pretending to be organized, caught up and on top of our 'to do' list.

The reality is we had just barely adjusted to the Central Time Zone when we returned to our regularly scheduled programming.

Our trip to see my folks in Wisconsin was uneventfully (is that a word) full. My sister drove up from the Windy City to spend an overnight. We shared lunch with our cousin and folks, visited Dad's sister, drove to Mad-town to pick up my nephew who hopped a bus from Marquette University to join us. Lots of snow covered farm fields but a great one-on-one chance to catch up with my sister.

Our second full day started with breakfast out, seeing Diana and Kevin off for their return trip, a visit with Dad's brother and sister-in-law to share thoughts on family history and art projects. Yet another meal out and the movie "Nights at Rodanthe" in our comfy clothes at home wrapped in blankets because we weren't use to seeing single digit temperatures.

Sunday we attended church service and, yes, breakfast out. (I'm seeing a pattern here!). I was able to connect with a good friend/former classmate for a visit too. Ironically our last visit in June was interrupted when her son, and Matt's good friend, needed her to bring him a uniform item for his Guard Weekend. We visited in the car while driving the country side. This time our chat started at her kitchen island and was soon detoured when her son needed a ride to their shop in town and then out to a friend's farm where he could pick up his snowmobile. Not being strangers to "road trips" (that was a lifetime ago and shall not be discussed in front of our children), Shelly and I eagerly hopped into the car with Phil and continued our visiting behind the wheel.

Monday we got our ducks in a row, packed our belongings and had one more meal out with the folks before heading back to Milwaukee's airport and our flights to Idaho. We sat through a 3-1/2 hour layover at O'hare and 45 minutes of de-icing before finally getting airborne for Boise. Our late arrival was met by Matt, allowing us to be the very first one's to wish him a midnight birthday greeting.

The good news is I still managed to lose a half pound!

However, Tuesday's 7am work arrival came wa-a-a-ay too early!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Tomorrow at this time we will be flying to Wisconsin. I ask you - WHO goes to Wisconsin in February? Probably the parents of the young lady who flew to Alaska for New Years!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Caution - Angry Woman: If I had the chance to say it in person I would...

Today my dear friend Ethel is being interviewed by her state's equivalant of Children's Services. I am so frustrated and angry for her.

We met too many years ago - on a tennis court in Puerto Rico - and neither of us play. Her son falls neatly between our sons chronologically. I frequently added him to the collection when we went places.

I fondly remember making last minute trips with Ethel to San Juan because that was the closest place to find what we were craving. "Yo quiero Taco Bell!". Ethel accompanied me on a crazed scavenger hunt for a stuffed animal the year our 6 year old daughter announced the only gift she wanted was a reindeer for Christmas (in the Caribbean).

Even stateside we managed to get together. When her daughter was born we were chosen to be Godparents. They made trips to Wisconsin and we met in Indianapolis for a Labor Day weekend of Indy tours, Zoo visits and the Discovery Museum with all the kids. Our long distance friendship remained steadfast.

I held her hand and hugged long distance when Earl proudly bragged of his affairs. I calmed her when police were called to her home. I prayed for her during her nasty divorce. I was relieved when she finally said enough was enough - and got away from a very controlling, bitter man who if he admitted his instabilities could perhaps be a decent person on medication. I say this because I truly believe Ethel saw something in this man when she fell in love.

Today she has to defend herself. I wish I were there to remind her how much she is loved. I'm praying she feels the guidance and self confidence she needs to be strong.

I'm angry at you, Earl and your 20-something wife for putting Ethel in this position. Why did you make these allegations? Isn't enough to dangle expensive gifts in front of a 17 year old girl? Isn't enough to take her on vacations her mother cannot afford? Instead Ethel is home working two jobs to pay for a band trip or a prom dress and you make her life difficult. Have you no shame? You took your daughter away for Thanksgiving. Was it too much for Ethel's parents to hope to see her for Christmas? Instead you tell your daughter if she wants her gifts she must come with you ON Christmas day! Always the one everyone must work around. Never relenting. Must you feed on the immature comments of a teenager who only wants your love and will say or do anything for your approval. You've gone too far!

Earl, you prey on weakness. You aren't happy unless you can have complete control of everyone around you. RSB, there will come a day... be prepared. Be scared. Take care of yourself. You are not immune from his irrational behavior.

In the meantime, RSB, if you want to be someone's friend try their daughter. She's not your daughter. Be her friend. Stand back and stop interfering. It's not your place to make her plans. It's not your place to contact Ethel's family or friends. No, you don't know me well nor will we ever be good friends. PS. Your husband doesn't care for me because I encouraged Ethel to be strong against him.

Remember Earl, you also have a son. Stop using money and gifts to say you love him. Shunning him and then saying "oh I had money for you if you'd stopped to talk to me", doesn't make you a good parent. Spend some time with him. Acknowledge how hard he works - to win your approval.

These children should know unconditional love. Instead you use emotional teenage drama to cut the heart out of their mother because you refuse to let her live her life without still having control.

Please Earl, for once in your life, be a man! Despite my anger and hostility towards you I will pray you one day find it in your heart to be the person you could be if you tried.

In the meantime, Ethel, know you have my love, my thoughts and prayers.

Your friend always,

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The first results are in...

It's time to weigh in... it's possible I found my groove...
Four weeks into my personal promise.
Four weeks into our Biggest Loser participation.
Four weeks of exercising.
Four weeks of counting calories and making smart choices.
Four weeks I outlasted all of those, with New Years Resolutions,
who clogged the exercise equipment at the Y.
Four weeks I managed to stick, with my healthy life style thru work and play.
I have a fresh mind set.

Once upon a time, I use to be athletic.
Once upon a time I could play basketball - not just H-O-R-S-E.
Once upon a time I could hit a softball and run the bases.
I wouldn't be able to pinpoint the moment I quit taking care of myself.
Perhaps it was just set aside while I was taking care of my husband and family.
I wasn't a single parent but there were times...
I let every day living take priority because it was important to me.
I quite playing the games myself
and took a seat on the sidelines proudly watching my kids.
I wouldn't mind regaining some of that energy.
I remember a time when running after work was the norm.
Oh that was a LONG time ago.
I do not enjoy running any more.
But I have found some replacements that work with my varied work routine.

Who knew treadmills didn't have to be monotonous.
I have found a couple programs on the treadmill
offering cross country paths.
I walk up virtual hills, down virtual valleys and
when I have four or five minutes of level ground I even run a bit.

Scary, huh?!

All of those years joking about my 'virtual workout' and now it's a reality.
I am excited knowing when I step on the treadmill,
plug in the tunes or dial in a TV show
I can walk away nearly 600 calories!

It feels so 'freakin' good too!

I found a great online program to track my calories and exercise.
There is even an 'App' for my phone.
I now obsess over the calories of the food I ingest and
decide if it's really worth it in the end (or the backside).
It's a perfect solution for my OCD-ness.

Did you know a bowl of Fettucini Alfredo from a
popular Italian restaurant chain is 1220 calories!

Absolutely nuts... that's more than my entire days worth of calories.

My faithful diet and exercise companions,
Mike and Britnee, also frequent the Y.
Water aerobics have proven to be another effective calorie burner twice a week.
Zap away nearly 500 calories doing something I enjoy!
We brave the chilly water at the end of a work day.
Yes you CAN break a sweat in the pool!

And BONUS - we've discovered fifteen minutes in the sauna after class and
walking out into the air feeling like a York Peppermint Patty.

In return for following me to water aerobics,
I go with Brit to Yoga class.
The 'fluid' motion hasn't quite made it into my routine.
I'm usually exhaling when the instructor is calmly saying inhale.
I have to peak under my arms or between my legs to see what
position she is in because I'm not familiar with Yoga-lingo.
When the room is full I have to be careful about my placement on my mat.
I tend to be all over - Up - Back - Up...
Brings back memories of scenes from a dog park.
You might even say it gives new meaning to 'downward facing dog'.

I have to admit. It's amazing how slow, deliberate motions can feel so good.
Stimulating and relaxing.
(Ha! Not even on my BEST day!)

This morning was the big first weigh in... I lost 9lbs.
It's not as much as I'd hope to shed but I put it in perspective.
In the pantry is a ten pound sack of sugar.

Holy heck!

Yes indeed there is that much LESS Deb to carry around!