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Showing posts from June, 2015

Hank the Hawk

Living in a log home, we often find ourselves bunking with critters. Over the years, we've successfully installed chicken wire to discourage squirrels and raccoons but the birds are a challenge. From woodpeckers to nesters, we can't convince birds that we are a home, not an official tree. 

This summer, after dealing with dripping bird poop on the windows and decks, we asked our log guy for advice. He installed a few spikes but our bird roommates were not deterred. So we got another roommate named Hank. 

Hank "flies" around the house every day or two to take a new position in hopes of tricking the birds. I'm not sure how spikes don't work and Hank does, but after a couple weeks, Hank's rocking it! We still have birds that are nesting in the trees, like the Steller's Jay, but the home nesters have moved on.

Soccer Fever

I mentioned last week that I went on a bit of a soccer binge. Well this weekend, I was back at it and looking forward to more soccer this week. 
Friday night, I worked late, then caught the last half of the USA vs China women's match. Go USA!
Saturday, after a mountain bike, lunch date, and more working, we watched the 1st half of Canada vs England. Instead of catching the 2nd, I headed down to watch SLC Real vs Columbus Crew SC.
Compared to last Sunday, the temperature at the start was hotter (97F) but there was some cloud cover and the sun set earlier. Garcia and Jaime scored again but Columbus also had 2 goals and we ended in a draw. It was exciting, frustrating, and addicting at the same time.
Next up is the Women's World Cup Semifinal between USA vs Germany on Tuesday evening. I'll be traveling, but hope to cheer on the US at the airport sports bar.

PCMR Mountain Bike

I got out again early for a mountain bike to beat the heat and crowds. I had a few encounters, but mainly with groundhogs, construction trucks, and very tall grass. The wildflowers are starting to pop and the single track is still in great shape. As I returned to the parking lot, it was almost at capacity and the large groups of riders were headed out. Just like last Saturday, the early wake-up was worth it.
Vail Resorts is very active at Park City Mountain and every intersection between single track and access road has a warning sign. For years, these roads have been rarely used so it's a mental shift to slow down and look both ways as you traverse the mountain. It will definitely be an interesting ski season come November.


I buy postcards on work trips and it's not as easy as you would think. Postcards are on a path toward extinction, but I'm doing my part to keep them around for future generations.

My grandmother lives in a small town in Kansas, without a computer, cell phone, or any idea of how to use the internet. In order to stay in touch, we keep it old school and write letters. I also send her a postcard from each of my work trips. She was ill earlier this year and one of my thoughts was how my mom or uncle will probably find a shoebox full of letters and postcards. She's going to be around for several more years so the postcards need to be too.

On a trip last year, one of my younger colleagues saw me filling out my grandma's postcard and asked me about it. Turns out, she collects postcards! She doesn't travel often, so I now buy two postcards on each trip and send her one. My goal with her postcard is to find the weirdest, funniest, most unique card. I can tell her about the t…

Houston, We Have Lift Off

It took 24 hours after stepping foot in the Houston airport, but today at 4p, I was in a plane and wheels were up on our way to Salt Lake City. Unlike my 24hr stay at the Dallas airport, this was not weather related. Once I knew I'd miss my connection in Dallas, I opted for a Houston airport hotel stay and a direct flight that left at noon. The plan was to get some sleep, attend a 10a meeting, then fly home with an ETA of 2p.

I didn't sleep well, so after a couple hours I headed to the gym then had a decent breakfast at the hotel. I had to go to Terminal A early to set up for the meeting and made a beeline for a quiet area with limited seating.
After the meeting, I went to the gate by way of the food court to check out my lunch options. Just as I was ordering a sandwich, I got a text that the flight was delayed 2 hours! Using yesterday's strategy, I didn't order and proceeded to the gate. It was almost an hour before take-off and there was no plane nor an explanation for…

Don't Mess with Texas

My flight from Houston to Dallas just left and I'm not on it. For the 2nd time in a month, I'm staying the night in a Texas airport hotel. At least this time, I'm going to get to bed before midnight and the locals aren't dealing with flooding. I am getting better at working the system and my strategy worked tonight.

As soon as I saw the 1st delay come across my phone, I headed to the gate so I was in line just in case another delay was coming, which has been the trend lately no matter the airline. When the 2nd text came, it was obvious I'd have no chance of making my connection in Dallas. By the time the 3rd delay came, I was working with the gate agent on an alternative. The 4th text came as I was checking into the hotel and thankful I chose to stay in Houston over Dallas. Been there, done that.

My strategy at the gate paid off as I was able to rebook on another airline and get a hotel voucher before the supervisor called and issued a mandate to get passengers to Da…

Tuesday Travel

I'm in a Tuesday travel rut. Oklahoma, California, Texas today, Washington next Tuesday, and then back to California. All this travel isn't healthy, but it does make for interesting blog content. 
Traveling on Tuesday from the SLC Airport is a reminder of the unique culture we have in Utah. Elders and Sisters typically fly out for their missions on Tuesday. I don't know all the particulars, just what I observe, but there are plenty of websites, like this one. Today, I counted 15 just on my flight to DFW. I don't hang out around teenagers, but they always look so young, nervous, and excited. There is always a line for the pay phones and plenty of emotion in their movements and conversation. 
I have mixed feelings about the whole process. I am proud of these teens for learning a new language and living away from Utah for 2yrs, they'll learn how others live and think which is always a good thing. I was busy playing basketball at their age, but on Tuesdays I usually dayd…

Soccer Binge

I don't follow soccer on a daily or weekly basis, but the last 24hrs I've been on a binge. Last night, I attended Real SLC vs Sporting KC and tonight I'm watching USA vs Colombia. In both cases, I had to drive to Sandy in 90F+ to watch, but it was worth it. 

Last night, I put on sunscreen, hat, and glasses and sweated it out until the sun went down. It was a very exciting game, with Real scoring in the 92nd minute for the win! Attending with soccer superfan Nelson is the only way to do it, he has the best seats, flag, and energy in the stadium. 

Tonight, we drove back to Sandy to Terry's ear doctor. I sat in the waiting room with my phone and buds while Terry had ear surgery, then listened on the drive home, and finally we're finishing it up on TV as the US is up 2-0! 

Terry's ok, he's been battling an ear infection and after three rounds of antibiotics and steroids, they had to go in and replace the tube. With my poor eyesight, we'll have to watch out for…

Road Closer

Taken literally, tomorrow could be interesting... is it the construction version of "The End is Near"?

Morning Mountain Bike

I slept well which helped with yesterday's status, but after an early ride and full work day, I'm sitting here still in need of a recharge. More work tomorrow, plus the Real soccer game, so I'll likely have to catch up on Monday.

As I ate breakfast, the neighborhood bucks made an appearance and slowed down enough for a photo. Sometimes they stop and look in our windows and the slightest sound or movement sends them running. Other times, I'm completely oblivious and don't see them until Terry points them out. I counted at least three this morning before I headed out.

Since Terry can't mountain bike yet, we've only been road riding. This was my first MTB of the year in the aspens and it was lovely! I was on Mid-Mountain at 7am and spent the next hour enjoying the quiet climb to Shadow Lake. I even saw a few relatives of our backyard bucks enjoying their breakfast, although I'm pretty sure they didn't get my photo. I miss riding with Terry, but I look fo…

Drop & Twirl

I know when I start dropping things, I'm tired. Not just tired and need sleep, but time to stop working, stop whatever, and just rest. To be honest, I drop things quite often but usually because I'm doing too many things and going too fast. Last weekend I dropped a jar of jam as I took it out of the frig, but it wasn't like today. 

As I wrapped up the work day, all I wanted to do was relax on the deck. I hadn't been on my bike since Sunday and knew some exercise would put my mind in a better place, so I kitted up and took off. I dropped my water bottle before the ride, I dropped my garmin after the ride, and I dropped my chain during the ride. Not really on that last one, just a bad cycling joke. 

I also twirl, it comes after dropping and once I'm finally relaxing. Tonight I caught myself as I turned on the laptop. I grab my hair and twirl away. It's a sure sign that I'm tired. In fact, I need to stop blogging so I can get back to twirling. 

Delta Encounter

This is starting to get weird. Yesterday's blog was about my repeat encounter with Diesel. I didn't walk to the office this morning and this afternoon I didn't see Diesel on my way to the BART station. It got weird when I boarded the plane, went to my exit row, and sat next to the same man that I sat next to on the flight to California Tuesday morning!

I'm going to pull out my old statistic book, because the odds of this Delta encounter plus yesterday's Diesel encounter are crazy. On the flight out, I had the exit row window (11A) and he had the aisle (11C) and nobody sat in the middle. We talked briefly before take-off and later gave the attendant a hard time about mixing up my apple juice and his cran-apple but otherwise kept to ourselves. Today, I had the exit row middle (11B) and he had window (11A). It was likely the same exact plane, so the same exact seats from Tuesday.

He was the first to recognize the repeat encounter and we both just shook our heads. I almo…

Diesel Encounter

Every work visit to San Francisco is a reminder that I'm not exactly a big city girl. I do love the ability to go anywhere by foot or mass transit, the diversity, the waterfront, and the unlimited vegan meal options. On the other hand, it's painful to see homeless sleeping on the streets and scavenging the garbage, the senior citizen begging for money to buy medication, and constant concrete and commotion.

Of all the people I encountered today, Diesel and his owner made an impact. The walk from my hotel to work is 30min, so between 7:15 and 7:45a, I was in a constant stream of commuters on Market Street. About halfway there, a woman in her 20s and her dog (not on a leash) crossed the street and we made eye contact in the middle. Diesel wasn't paying attention so she was trying to get him to stay close but he was several steps ahead of her, so I was extra cautious and remembered the encounter.

I left work after 6p and decided to walk to the waterfront to get some sun and exer…

Road Warrior

It was one of those days.

5a pst - Alarm, Meditate, Journal, Stretch
5:30a - Shower, finish packing, emails, breakfast, and attempt to confirm/change hotel reservation.
6:30a - Leave for airport
7:30a - At gate, back on phone with hotel & 3rd party reservation company (I'm nowhere to be found)
8:15a - Board flight for Oakland, exit row, window and nobody in seat next to me!
10:40a - Land, text from colleague with change in plans to meet at restaurant instead of office
10:50a - Change into dress and heels in airport bathroom before catching taxi

11:30a - Survive aggressive taxi ride into San Francisco (1st time past Oracle Arena - Game 6 tonight!)

12:30p - Finish delicious veggie burger and tabbouleh, walk to car, drive a few miles, find parking, walk to client's office with 2min to spare.
1:30p - Internet issues during live demo are painful, but I recover and don't let them see me sweat.
2:30p - Scheduled meeting end comes and goes. They are very interested in our soft…

Bodywork Learnings

Today I'm grateful for Nelson. I could say I get a 90min massage every month, but it's more than that. Think deep sports massage, a dose of mental therapy, and a learning session - aka bodywork. We are fortunate to have Nelson in our lives. He provides relief for my neck and Terry's back and although it's painful during, the improvements the next day are amazing.

I always leave a little sore, but with a relaxed mind and knowledge about subjects far and wide. Terry and I are eager to ask each other after our sessions "How's Nelson?" to get the latest story and learning. 

Last week, Terry learned about Nelson's latest meditation breakthrough which I dove into further today. Since I've started meditating, it's interesting to learn how/why others meditate. I also learned about Devas. Terry affectionately calls these learnings the woo-woo side of Nelson, but I rather enjoy it.

In many of our sessions we discuss soccer, and today's topic was Women&…

Gift Card Cycling Trip

We planned our day around using up a $200 gift card. I've been carrying around a ziploc full of gift cards forever and last year made a conscious effort to try to use them up. We made some headway but it's tougher than you think, plus new cards continue to come our way.

We'll be able to use the dining cards now that Terry's back is better and he can almost sit thru an entire meal. Some of the others we never frequent so it takes planning. We've had a $200 gift card to Zermatt Resort for at least 3 years and today it was destined to leave it's ziploc home.

We came up with the plan this morning when discussing where to ride. We would drive to Zermatt in Midway, go for a long ride around Heber Valley, return to Zermatt for lunch, a bakery stop, and the sports store.

The ride was beautiful with great views of the Timpanogos all day, plus I got several unique Mailbox Monday pics. We finished the ride, changed at the truck, and headed into the resort.

I was a little nerv…

Yard Work

As I mentioned earlier this week, I'm not a gardener. I'm also not fond of yard work, especially during allergy season, but thankfully we have help on that front. The pollen has finally started to settle, so we spent time before and after our ride in the yard. We relaxed, filled the flower boxes, washed bikes, put out new hummingbird feeders, weeded, and took photos. I know, it's not much, but that's yard work for us. We've had plenty of birds this year at the waterfall and several small groups of bucks running across the back, but the moose have been scarce. Hopefully as we spend more time outside, we'll have more opportunities for more wildlife sightings.

Tulsa Tough Homesick

I made the right decision, I made the right decision, did I make the right decision? For the past 2 years, I've experienced Tulsa Tough as an insider and it quickly became one of my favorite events of the year. Other than wearing a bikini and getting plastered on Cry Baby Hill, I've strived to cram as much into the weekend as possible. If you have the time, check out my previous blogs. If not, trust me, it's a cycling event you want to attend at least once in your life, similar to the Tour de France.
2013 Tulsa Tough - 6 Part Series 2014 Tulsa Tough - Top 50 Moments
Tonight I finished by ride early to watch the live stream of the women's race. As I watched and kept active on Twitter, the homesickness set in. It was definitely the right decision to stay home this weekend, especially with work trips on either side, but it's hard to see everything I'm missing.
If you are in Tulsa this weekend, please keep sending pictures and updates!
Good luck to friends riding the Gr…

Hoops and Helmets

"It feels so good to backpedal after sinking a free throw." Terry chuckled at my random comment tonight as we watched Lebron hit the shot during Game 4. He's used to my basketball commentary after years of attending Jazz games, March Madness, and NBA Finals but occasionally I surprise him. I made a lot of free throws and something about watching Lebron backpedal triggered great memories of high school and college ball. I rarely play these days, but when I have the chance, I take it. Watching the games, I'm not as interested in who wins but to reflect on the past. Friendships, rivalries, Montana, road trips, injuries, achievements, and countless life lessons that have made me who I am.

Tonight those thoughts led me to the realization that I was seriously committed to basketball for 14 years. From 4th grade thru college graduation, basketball was my primary focus. I played all the other sports, got top grades, and held jobs; but I was a basketball player. Actually, I…

My Favorite Flower

Home in time to relax in the backyard and check on my favorite flower. I'm not a gardener and don't really care what the flower is called, I'm just a fan of its spirit. When all the other flowers are keeping it safe, mine is reaping the benefits of a little adventure. I look at it and think about the adventures and risks I've taken, and others I want to experience. My flower had no idea what what going to happen during its journey thru the rock, but the experience to reach the destination was worth the risk. It is now enjoying a unique life and giving back in a special way, which is exactly what I want to do with my life.

Baggage Brain Fart

Other than the GPS lady that picked up a British accent for one random turn in the middle of Oklahoma, my colleagues have been laughing about my lost baggage. There is no explanation for the GPS, but there is for my baggage.
We boarded the replacement plane late yesterday afternoon and were advised that the shuttle had very little overhead space, so they pink-tagged our luggage. I handed over my brand new carry-on and didn't realize until take-off that I had forgotten to put a name tag on it. I figured I had my pink number in case of an issue and forgot about it.
I was in 1A thanks to the upgrade, with both an aisle and window. The men in 1C and 1D appeared to know each other and quickly fell asleep. I put on my headphones and got lost in a podcast and the June crossword puzzle. About halfway thru the flight, the man in 1C started sneezing and didn't stop until we landed. The flight attendants brought him tissues, 1D gave him his pillow (since tissues weren't big enough?), a…

Smile More and Stop Complaining

It's been exactly two weeks since Terry dropped me off at the airport for my trip to Texas that didn't go as planned. I'm back at the airport for a trip to Oklahoma and since I'm blogging, you can probably guess that things are not going to plan once again. When we received the news that our plane was grounded for a mechanical and we'd be waiting for a new plane, I logged into FB and saw this at the top of my feed.

I hope I don't come across as complaining in my blogs. I like to share stories of my adventures, but this post was a great reminder to keep it in check. I hope people would describe me as someone that goes with the flow and finds the positive in situations but it never hurts to practice.

So, I'm sitting at the 3rd gate (and about to board!) typing and smiling to myself. I'm thankful for the ride I got in this morning which included a new Mailbox Monday, the silly texts from my husband, the 1st class upgrade, and for the chance to meet new peopl…

Daily Four

I was listening to NPR on the way to the recycling center this morning and heard a snippet as part of a StoryCorps tribute that's worth sharing. There are four closure statements that people regret not saying to loved ones before they pass. The idea is to say these daily, rather than waiting until it is too late. Another good practice to incorporate into my daily ritual.

I Love You
Thank You
I Forgive You
Please Forgive Me

LRRH Ride Report

My 2015 Little Red Riding Hood (LRRH) is complete. The weather was perfect, the course was obstacle free and light on traffic, and the volunteers were everywhere helping with everything. Most importantly, it appears that the majority of the 3500 women cyclists had a fantastic day!
In my role as an ambassador, I made an effort to say a positive comment for every "teaching/safety" comment and I was verbal all day. One lady told me she was impressed with my loud direct voice as she was very shy and soft spoken. It's likely some women will wake up tonight with leg cramps and my voice in their head.

          "Stay Tight and Right"          "Great Work"           "On Your Left"                      "Looking Strong"           "Two Abreast"                       "Beautiful Single File"           "Earbuds Out"                        "Thanks for Communicating"           "Stop at the Stop Sign&quo…

Little Red Riding Hood 2015

Tomorrow is the Little Red Riding Hood (LRRH) women only cycling event. I can't remember how many times I've ridden it since our move to Utah, but it's an early season favorite and usually my first century ride. I'm back in a volunteer role as a course ambassador. A group of us wear special jerseys, have emergency phone numbers, and do whatever we can to keep 3500 women cyclists safe & smiling. My legs will be fine, I just hope my voice holds up!

There are 3 basic rules, but you would be surprised how many don't obey and worse, how many think they are above them.
Ride as Far to the Right as PossibleRide Two Abreast or LessDo Not Impede TrafficWe also encourage the riders by answering their questions about cycling, providing a draft, assisting with mechanicals, and getting them to the finish. Many women are venturing into new territory after Mile 50 and it can get interesting. 

Thanks to LRRH Founder Alice Telford and amazing volunteers (many of them men), women ha…