Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Bike update

I went to the bike store yesterday for two reasons:

1-Frank got me a little bike computer that tells me how fast I'm going, how far I've gone etc.  He got me this for Christmas and I have never installed it.  Part of the gift was getting it installed at the store.  I kept telling him that part of the gift should also be that he would take it in (we don't have a bike rack so we have to get the bike into the car, which is a hassle so I didn't want to do it!)  He never took it in.  So finally my little crash is what pushed us both over the edge.  We loaded up the bike and took it in.

2- I decided to get normal pedals for my bike.  I mean, I can always go back to the clip ins later after I'm used to the bike.  This is the real reason we went to the bike store.  Getting the computer installed was just a perk.

Well, we got there and showed him the little computer and receipt and asked him to install it.  He did a little double take at the date of purchase but I pretended not to notice.  Then Frank picked out the normal pedals and brought them up.  The guy asked me why I was switching and I told him my whole story about how I do fine unless I'm in an "emergency stop" situation and then I just don't remember to do the little motion to get my foot out.  I might have mentioned that I'm too old to fall over on a bike anymore.

And....he talked me out of switching.

Here are the logical reasons for keeping the clip ins:
I haven't been riding that much since I got the bike.  I really haven't given myself a chance to learn how to use it.
According to him, if I switch to normal pedals I will never switch back. I think he might be right.
Clip in shoes/pedals are so much better for biking form and power.  And I have a bum knee that hurts if I don't use good form so the shoes help with that.


I'm going to give it another go.
I'm going to believe that my brain will figure this thing out and remember to twist my heel outward when I need to have my foot free.

Please, brain! Please!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Exercise is dangerous

I tend to get really motivated every night just before bed.
I look back over my day and think "tomorrow I will do better!".
The motivation generally lasts until about lunch time but sometimes not even that long.
Last night my motivation hour happened to coincide with the same time that I was texting a neighbor and she asked me if I wanted to go for a bike ride the next morning.
I thought "NO. I  want to lay in bed and be lazy."
But I texted "Sure!" because sometimes I am able to overcome my worst self.

So this morning we went for a bike ride.
Not a long or difficult ride, but it's a start, right?
I fell.

I came to a sudden stop and couldn't get my foot out of the pedal and fell right over.
I am way too old for this kind of crap.
I screamed as I went down, notifying my friend that something bad was happening right behind her.

A runner was behind me and was quite concerned, asking me over and over if I was ok and commenting on how good it was that I was wearing a helmet since I hit my head and the ground.
I was laying there, looking at my hand (which was scraped up and hurting) with my bike on top of me  just feeling stupid.
Somehow I had managed to release both of my feet as I fell though, so that's an improvement over the last time I fell.  Last time my foot was still attached to the bike and it twisted my knee and hip in a most painful and awkward way.

After I got home, I laid on the couch and iced my wrist.  It's hurting in earnest now.
I think it's just a bad bruise, nothing more serious than that, but it hurts to use it.

As I lay there, hubby comes in and asks what's wrong so I tell him.
He is confused and amused and sorry for me all at the same time.
He keeps going on about how he has had clip in shoes for his bike for a long time and doesn't remember having so much trouble.
He's worried that I won't ride my bike because I'll be too nervous.
He's brainstorming all kinds of ideas to help me get used to the bike.

Here is part of our conversation:

Frank: Well, this will make a good blog. Want me to take your picture of you icing your hand?
Debbie: I'm not going to blog about what an idiot I am!
F: Well, you do sometimes write those kind of blogs.
D: Good point.  Go ahead and take a picture, but I'm not using it if I look fat.
F: I'm not going to take your picture.  Don't blog about it!
D: That's why I blog! I want my grandkids to know that I was a normal person.  That I sometimes did dumb things. Wouldn't you like to know these things about your Grandma?
F: I guess so.  But...well, I'm a normal person...but I don't fall off my bike.

P.S. I looked fat. No picture. HAAA!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Is it "an apple a day..." or "an apple pie a day..."?

This week I canned a bunch of apple pie filling.

My friend gave me a whole box of gorgeous Granny Smith apples so I knew I had to do something with them.

Here is the lone apple that didn't make it into the pie filling

I've never canned apple pie filling before and it wasn't too hard...
it was a bit time consuming
and sticky
but not hard.

If you come to my house, just plan on a sticky floor because I've mopped it twice and it's still sticky.
And I greatly dislike mopping.

I learned that I hate my new apple peeler/ doesn't stick to the counter even though it says on the package that it will.

I learned that I can dirty every bowl and pan in my house in a very short period of time.

The first day I canned 7 quarts or one canner full.

I didn't start until the afternoon, after coming home from work, and the whole thing took less time that I imagined it would.
I used a water bath canner rather than my pressure canner.
I was home alone and didn't want to go to the trouble of setting up the outdoor stove which is what I usually do when I can. Instead I did it all right on my pathetic electric cooktop.

It worked out, although I had more pans than burners at one point
and there is now some of the syrup burned forever onto the stove.

The water bath canner spits and spurts water like times I had a little lake on my cooktop that I was mopping up with a towel even though the burner was very hot.

It didn't seem right, but with no one here to tell me the right way, I just had to muddle through.

You see, I am fairly new to canning, or at least I feel like I am.
I can a few things every year but I try to can with my sister rather than by myself if given the chance.
I always feel like I'm winging it.
My sister cans a lot every year and has done so for many years.
She exudes competence and skill.
When I can with her, it feels so easy.
When I can alone, I am nervous and unsure of myself.  I am paranoid that I will do something wrong and waste the food or poison my family.
When I can with my sister, we chat and work and I don't think too much.
When I can alone, I double and triple check the recipe,  I babysit the canner and watch it like a hawk the whole time, I measure and remeasure my ingredients and the headspace in my jars.
It's exhausting canning alone when you are me.

The second day I decided to just finish up and use all of the apples that I had sense dragging this thing out and those apples aren't getting any younger.
That meant that I had to use the pressure canner since it holds more jars.
Luckily Frank was home and set up the outdoor stove for me.

I ended up using my water bath canner as the pot to hold all of the apples and filling...It is a HUGE pot and it was about 3/4 full.
That's a lot of pie filling.
That pot on the left is a normal, large soup pot...just give an idea of the size of the canner I was using as a pot

Once again I didn't start until after a day of working, so I was mighty impressed with myself that I made all this pie filling rather than, say, laying on the couch and whining, which is my preferred way to spend an evening after working.
(Did you enjoy all those commas?)

Somehow when I pulled the jars out, several of them had obviously overflowed.
See the goo? It's hard to see but it's running down the side of the first jar in the picture

That's not supposed to happen.
There was sticky (delicious) goo running down the side of the jar and I was worried that they wouldn't seal.  But they sealed just fine.
It's weird looking at them now because the fruit goes all the way to the top of the jar!

There's supposed to be some space there.
It might be that I did something wrong with the pressure 
(not wrong as in "this will kill your family if you eat it" but wrong as in "a change in pressure too quickly can cause the food to overflow")
So, yeah, I either did something wrong or the apples just expanded or something.
The world may never know.

I did have a little bit leftover that didn't fit in the jars so we had it for a little dessert last night.
It tasted really delicious!

In the end, I had 18 quarts of apple pie filling in only two afternoons of work.
My friend who gave me the apples is planning to come down soon so we can make more...I think she sees me as the one who is competent in canning, which kind of makes me laugh.
But I'll just go with it.
There's no need to make her worry.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Missionary Mom

My funny cousin Emily posted a comment on my last post about Carter leaving on his mission.
I started to reply and then found myself writing a big long message...
so I decided it warranted a post of its own.

Here is her comment:
Missions are hard, and I can't imagine how hard it is for a mom to send her kids knowing that. The day we found out Isaac was a boy, I bawled and bawled thinking about him going on a mission (pregnancy hormones???). You guys raised him well and it sounds like he's going to do great! But man two years is long and it's hard on moms! I'm not making sense but what I'm trying to say is I feel sad for you but I feel so happy for you too! I hope he starts feeling better fast, that's hard to be sick.

My reply:
It's hard when they first leave on a mission for sure but overall it's just so great.  I LOVE the weekly emails!  Since none of my kids are big communicators it is just so amazing to receive a letter every single week from them.  For my older boys, it was the most they have ever communicated with me in their lives! (Besides the jabbering non-stop talking about everything and nothing and telling dumb jokes when they were little).  I hope Carter will be the same and start to open up a bit as he writes.

I'm not one of those moms who has a countdown calendar and just can't wait for them to come home.  I love to see them grow and change as the mission progresses. I'm excited to see them after two years of course, but mostly I want them (and me) to enjoy each and every day for what it brings.   I don't want them (or me) to waste a single day looking for that future, better day.

Enjoy today.

I tell this to my kids fairly often actually.  Don't wish away the school year, looking for summer!  Don't wish away fall, looking for Christmas!  Don't wish away your youth, looking for the "freedom" of adulthood!  

Every day has something to offer.

When I was a teenager, I used to look so forward to some future event that I would wish away months at a time, thinking only of that fun future thing.  What a waste.
So, as I got older I started consciously trying to accept and enjoy each day for what it brought to my life.
Part of this change in me was probably due to my brother  getting cancer and eventually start to appreciate every day when you lose someone or when someone you love is sick.

I did receive an email from Carter this morning, which was a nice surprise.
It wasn't his official day to email but they were able to spend a few minutes testing their new emails and making sure everything works right...
so I got a short email saying that everything is good so far and that he likes his companion and the other people in his group.

And so it begins.
Bring it on!
I'm a missionary mom once again, and I love it!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I shouldn't do this today

I should wait a little longer to write this post
because today has been a really emotional day for me.

Carter went into the MTC this morning at 10:45 to begin serving his mission to Fukuoka Japan.

It's exactly where I want him to be.
I'm happy.

It's also hard to have him gone.
I'm sad.

Being a missionary is hard.
I'm worried.

It's also exciting and full of blessings.
I'm excited for him.

It's already a well established fact that I have a lot of emotions going on.
I'm a deep woman, what can I say?

Carter was my last child...and I knew it.
He was by far my most cuddly, attached child.
He was "cuddly" way longer than my other kids and would hug me and sit near me and liked being around me until he was a teenager.
I loved it.

Obviously that changed somewhat as he got older.
But he was always a funny and friendly kid for the most part.
He made me laugh a lot.

Now, don't get me wrong, he has also made me crazy.
He had me so stressed out last week that I can't even tell you.
Like all of my men (kids and husband) he is not really talkative, especially when it comes to his emotions.
I figured he was probably a mixture of nervous, excited and sad to be leaving his girlfriend (and hopefully a little sad to leave us too).
But he never said any of that...
he was just sullen and silent.

So, yeah, the last few weeks were rough.

But last night he was set apart as a missionary and it was a lovely evening.
We talked about the blessing he received 
We played games as a family
We read scriptures together as we do every night
We prayed together

And I went to bed feeling calm.

Poor Carter has a bad cold so he hasn't slept well for a few nights.
He's up coughing and sneezing and dealing with a runny nose.
This morning we packed a big box of Kleenex in his suitcase and made sure he had medicine to help him through while at the MTC.
It's unfortunate to be entering this new phase of life with a head cold!
Luckily he is less wimpy about sickness than I am so he's probably doing fine.

I tried to stay busy today so that I didn't get too sad.
I cleaned Carter's room
I went through his clothes to pack up the things I think he'll want when he returns
and donated the things that didn't fit anymore.
I also went through my own clothes and got rid of a ton of stuff that I never wear.

It was a good and productive day.
I have a feeling that it will all hit me tonight as I lay in bed and think too much.

I'm really proud of Carter and this decision that he's made.
It's no small thing to donate 2 years of your life to serving the Lord and your fellowman.
He will share the Gospel, he will do community service.
He will walk a lot and ride a bike in the heat and humidity of Southern Japan
all while wearing a white shirt and tie and a little tag that says that he is a missionary for
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Maui: Day Nine

Last Day
June 10, 2016

Check out was at 11 am but we discovered that our hotel has a sister property down the road with a hospitality room that we could use.
So after we check out of our hotel, we went over there to check it out.
They had a lovely beach and chairs.
The sister property was WAY nicer than where we stayed and we were wishing we'd known that we could take advantage.
Ah well, next time.

We were pretty happy to find that we didn't have to get on the plane feeling sandy and sweaty.

We sat on the beach for awhile and then moved to the shady area under the palm trees to read and relax.

As we sat here enjoying our last day, Frank got an email saying that his flight had been changed, again.
He had to get on the phone and try to get it fixed since we had to be back by Saturday afternoon and the flight change caused them to miss a connection and they woulndn't be getting home till late Saturday evening.
It was a little bit stressful getting it worked out but they got a new flight in the end.
They had to leave at 4 though instead of 8 so we packed up, cleaned up and headed to the airport.

Frank and Carter flew from Maui to Honolulu and then direct from Honolulu to Salt Lake.

My flight didn't leave for several hours after theirs so I just read my book.
The boys landed in Honolulu and took off again before I had even boarded my first flight!

I did luck out and get a whole row to myself though once I got on my flight.
That was very nice since it was a red-eye.
(I still didn't sleep much but at least I wasn't crowded)

Here is the sunrise as we flew toward home.

Vacations are always fun but there is something nice about being home.
Ryan had the house clean for us when we arrived, but of course we started unpacking and doing laundry and soon had the whole house looking like a disaster...
and it still looks that way.

Maui: Day Eight

June 9, 2016

For Carter's birthday we gave him a adventure of his choice (within reason) in Hawaii.
Ok, to be honest, what I actually wrote in his card was "an adventure of your choice (within reason) in Alaska". So he has brought it up repeatedly that I owe him an adventure in ALASKA since that is what I wrote, even though I meant Hawaii.  
Sorry, I have Alaska on my mind a lot.

Anyway, the adventure he chose was to go zip lining and Thursday was zip lining day!

Our appointment wasn't until the afternoon so we decided to go to lunch at the Kapalua golf course restaurant.

We discovered that it was a bit out of our price range, however, when we saw lunch entrees that cost $40-$50!
Uh, no.
So we drove back to Gazebo for another helping of the "best breakfast on Maui"

And then it was time to go zipping!

We have been zip lining before, in Mexico, so we are a little bit hard to please.

Our guides were really fun.

But the zip lining in Hawaii is more expensive than it was in Mexico.

The view from the zip line was very pretty.

But they basically took us up a ravine and then we zipped back and forth across that ravine all the way down.

It was fun but not really amazing or anything.

We prefer to zip across different types of terrain rather than back and forth across the same area.

But, as I said, we are a little spoiled.

We learned a lot about Hawaii from the GyPSy app and one of the things we learned about was the state bird.
As we left to go back home from zip lining, we saw some of them!
It's not a great picture but better than nothing.

We also saw a pretty rainbow as we left.

We went to dinner at a restaurant that one of the zip guides had recommended.
The food was good, if expensive.
But the view was amazing.
The restaurant was right on the much so that the tables closest to the water got splashed by the waves numerous times!

We were seated several tables back from the edge so no danger of being splashed but I was by a window and this was my view:

Frank's view was also great, though he had a few tables between him and the water and sunset.

At one point they actually retracted the roof so that all of these tables were completely outside.
It was lovely!

It was a fun day together and a nice end to the vacation.
Our flight home was scheduled for Friday night but had to check out of the hotel at 11 am so we weren't exactly sure what we would do for the last day...

Maui: Day Seven

June 8, 2016

In the middle of the night I woke up in terrible pain.  My hip bone was aching so much...hard to describe what it was, but it was weird.  It wasn't the hip joint, it felt like the bone or something really deep.
I had noticed my hip hurting throughout the day on Tuesday but it was never really bad, just weird.  I thought maybe I was having some kind of muscle spasms from snorkeling or something.
But in the middle of the night, it became a different animal.
 The hip pain was quickly followed by vomiting, diarrhea, and then terrible chills.
But mainly, it was the pain that was doing me in.
  It was such a weird combination of symptoms that Frank felt like I should go to the ER. So we did.
I felt ridiculous for going to the ER while on vacation.

They didn't really figure out what it was and I started feeling better even as we arrived at the hospital.
Of course.
But they found that I have an elevated white blood cell count so they decided I had an infection and gave me antibiotics and pain medication.
They also did a CT scan and found a kidney stone in my left kidney just waiting to come out and kill me.
I really hate kidney stones!
So I hope this one stays put for awhile.

Our plan for the day on Wednesday was to visit the local aquarium which turned out to be a great thing considering my bad night.

We slept in and then relaxed all morning on our little balcony and just read our books.

We went to the aquarium and it turned out to be World Ocean Day so they have live music and other fun things going on.

The coolest part was the big shark tank...
I'm sure it's what everyone goes to see.

They had a show where a scuba diver goes in and feed the fish, sharks and sting rays which was fun to watch.

You can actually sign up to scuba dive for 40 minutes in this tank.
I asked Frank if he wanted that for Father's Day but he decided not to do it.
So when he gets something lame for Father's Day I will have to remind him that he declined the awesome gift I offered. haha!

We were given a free disposable camera, which was funny.
They seemed to be having trouble giving them away because who the heck even uses those anymore?
But we took one and used it off and on for the rest of the vacation.
I have yet to decide if I will pay to develop the film...
but I might, just for fun.

After we got home, we decided that it wasn't right to leave without seeing a sunset from the beach so we walked to the local beach to enjoy it.

I thought we got a family picture here but I can't seem to find one.

Our hotel was right next door to the famous golf course, kapalua.
Since my brother is a big golfer, we decided to get a picture with the sign.
It was a big sign and was difficult to get both the sign and ourselves into the shot though.

We also took a picture with the sign of the hotel to show my parents.
Since it's their timeshare that we used, we thought they would enjoy seeing how much we enjoyed it.

Thanks Mom and Dad!