Thursday, January 29, 2015

Soft Skin and 70's Pants

It's hard to believe four years have gone by since we lost this lovely lady. For some reason, when I write about her, I'm always drawn to a picture of her around this age. I'm not sure why. I can't possibly actually remember her when I was this young. Maybe it's because when I look in the mirror I see a lot of what she looked like at this age. Or maybe it's because since I don't actually remember the moments from the photos they are less painful to see. Or maybe it's because I was young enough to get to go without pants while my poor sister was subjected to the worst 70's prints known to man. Or maybe it's because in these pictures she's always holding me, which is quite comforting. Even if, as is obvious in this photo, she's holding me back, there's something comforting in remembering that.

For me, one of the hardest things that has happened since she's been gone is to slowly lose memories. One day I realized I didn't remember the sound of her voice. Another day, I forgot how she smelled. I still remember how she felt though, which is maybe why I find comfort in these pictures. She always had a way of being able to hold on to me in a way that didn't smother me, a way of making sure I knew she wouldn't hold on too long or too hard. Maybe all along she was trying to teach me how to let go. Who knows? All I know is, I'm happy to have that memory of how she felt. (She had the softest skin on the planet, in case you were wondering.)

Thanks Mom, for knowing when to hold me back...and when to set me free...(and for not letting me knock over my big sister's blocks because she probably would've pummeled me).

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Muddy Bikes and Dirty Coochies

It's a good thing I like mud because this happened during the race on Saturday:
In my opinion, the picture doesn't even do the situation justice. Why, you ask? Let me give you a few reasons.
  • You can't smell me. That there mud was Minnesota River Bottoms mud, which I'm pretty sure is at least 50% poop. Once it's on your face, that's all you smell for hours. Once it's all over you, it's all anyone smells for hours. (Or days, as I later discovered.)
  • You can't see the inside of my mouth, which was caked in mud that smelled like poop, which means I'm a bit worried about having contracted Giardia. 
  • You can't see inside my shorts, which were so full of mud I felt like I was racing in a dirty diaper, which I basically was since the mud was mostly poop. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending how you look at it I guess) none of this was actually my own poop. Either way, I'm quite certain my coochie has never been that dirty before (hold your jokes, perverts) so I'm worried about contracting both Giardia and a UTI.
  • You also can't see my bike, most specifically the brakes on my bike, which with 4 miles left to go in the race became so caked in mud they quit working completely. Of course I discovered this as I attempted to make the 180 degree turn to come back to the finish. As you can imagine, that turn didn't go all that well. Neither did any of the rest of them, for that matter. Turns out, with no brakes your only chance of stopping is to Flintstone it, which is kind of amusing the first two times you have to do it. Then you realize Fred Flintstone must've had knees and ankles of steel to pull that off.  Great, Giardia, UTI and arthritis.
  • You can't tell from the photo that, for some reason, despite my fear of disease contraction, I choose to hang out with some cool people for the next 6 hours instead of going home to shower. (Don't worry, I did at least put dry clothes on, but trust me, those clothes were only clean for about 2 minutes once my dirty body [especially my coochie] touched them.) At some point during our discussion, we added the chance of ring worm and tetanus to my growing list of concerns.
  • My ponytail is not visible in the photo.  Ever biked in the mud with ponytail hanging down your back? For those of you that haven't, I can assure you that more mud ends up here than anywhere else. If you leave it on there for 6 hours, the smell will settle in for days. I discovered this the hard way when Big E returned home the next day. By then, I'd already had a shower and a bath. As we sat together talking, he decided he should shower too because he could smell his stinky feet. Shortly after, when he was fresh and clean, he gave me a big, clean, nice smelling hug. At least I thought it smelled nice. It was at this point that he informed me that it wasn't his feet that smelled like dirty feet, but it was, in fact, my head. Right about then I added lice to my list of potential diseases.....and then I took another bath and vowed not to let him smell my coochie for a few days. 
Of course, it was all worth it for fun times in the mud, even if I do smell a little. (Let's just hope I don't get Giardia because then I'll really be stinky.)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ice Cream in the Bathtub

I feel the same way about New Year's resolutions as I do about bucket list items. They should just be happening every day. That said, I saw a little something that inspired me to try to at least approach life a little differently this year. If you don't want to take the time to read that "little something," or just can't handle the 100+ f-bombs it contained, here's a little summary:

We all need to learn to let some shit go so we can care more about the shit that really matters. (You're welcome, Pop, for keeping it to two swear words instead of 100.)

I'll be the first to fess up- I let stupid crap bother me all the time. It bothers me that I let stupid crap bother me because it wastes time I could be spending being bothered by really important crap, like whether or not my light will make it through a night ride alone when it's so cold my phone could stop working at any moment.
It bothers me because it wastes time I could be exploring and meeting strangers who show me eagle's nests I didn't know were so close to home.
It bugs the crap out of me because sometimes I miss stuff like this because I'm worried about something that really doesn't matter:
It irks me because sometimes I spend time worrying what someone I barely know thinks and forget that cool people like this are the ones that matter.

(If Big E would quit fooling around long enough to sit still his picture would be here too....)

It bugs me because sometimes I worry about ridiculous crap like keeping the bathroom spotless and forget to enjoy a little treat while I warm up.

So, there you have it- as close to a New Year's resolution as I'll ever get. I'm going to give less of a crap. And more of a crap. At the same time. You get the drift. Hopefully. And if you don't, well, I don't really give a crap.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Pura Vida

My New Year's resolution should probably be to blog more, considering my lack of posts in the last two months. We shall see..

Nevertheless, 2014 ended well with a trip to Costa Rica, living the "Pura Vida" as the Ticos call it. It was a week of sun, beaches (and matching swimsuits), wildlife, awesome people and of course, lots of good fun.

I'll admit to slacking on the photo taking. I pretty much stored the phone in a drawer and turned myself off for the week, which meant I rarely had a camera. I won't complain. Tuning out for a week and living in the moment isn't such a bad thing.

So, sorry for the lack of photos of monkeys, toucans and crocodiles. They are stored in my brain. I did, however, break out my camera on the last day to capture this guy on film.
He and his 100's of buddies kept Big E entertained while I played in the surf. Yes, that's right, we spent a week with monkeys and exotic birds and we were fascinated for an entire morning by crabs on the beach...

Another highlight of our trip was, of course, the mountain biking. It's not often you get to rip around on singletrack above the beach. Thankfully, my fear of crashing and falling off a cliff didn't stop me from chasing Big E around for a few hours.

Although I didn't get to dive in the sea in the middle of the ride, we did get to end at the beach with a nice dip in the waves.

In the end, we got used to Tico time (much like Cali time), Tico distance (never believe anyone when they say it's "just 100m down the road"), and amazing fresh food (I can still taste the ceviche).

Of course, as is the case on most short trips, we finally figured out our way around right before we left. Guess that means we'll have to go back....
We even found a picture of my "other boyfriend" in the airport in Liberia,,,,