Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fabulous Fourty

Well, looks like I made it. I was a wee bit uncertain last evening when I ended up running through the woods during a thunderstorm, but it all worked out just fine. It was only as I was approaching the granite and white pine (i.e. tall lightning rod) encrusted peak of the ridge that I questioned my safety, but I passed safely and had a riot on the run back down. Through the heavily overgrown snowmobile path that I never take, I got soaked. It was all very amusing since it was nice and warm out. Unfortunately the boys were not home to witness my return. But return I did and rolled right into my fourth decade.

Today I am starting things out right with good company (Kevin and Alex), good coffee, good sentiments from various and sundry dear people in my life, and a few good projects. Will post photos of the new gate entry to our picket kingdom, and the new bird feeding station. The yard is really coming together nicely and it has been a gorgeous day for puttering. Took the hound out to the Hartley woods after taking Alex to preschool, the leaves are beautiful and the sky is a crackin' blue. Nice breeze out too. I am exactly half way through my vacation and an extremely happy camper. Next a fair share of our relatives will be arriving for the weekends big event, our 10th Anniversary and Alex's Baptism. But tonight my buddy Samantha is taking me out for dinner and a movie. Looks like 40 wont be so bad after all.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Why I Love This Town

I arrived at Bangin' in the Brush early and nervous. A 10km race through the woods north of town, it is a fundraiser for the Korkki Nordic ski trail. The "Bangin'" part is no joke, as this is an old fashioned trail through thick woods, best skied on with a good foot of snow for a base. In the fall it is rough and tumble. I have never raced it before but have been aware of it for years. They always have great T-shirts. That's all I had to go on, but figured if I seriously wanted to run a real race every season, and not just talk about it, then this was it. I was pretty sure my friend Anett, who is a crack outdoor athlete, would be there. I also figured I could be in trouble since I could never keep up with her, and have never raced more than five km. But then again, what the hell, it would be my last race in my 30's so might as well go out in style. Or a flaming, spectacular mess.

So, there I was at 10 am, alone in the woods. A few others waiting for the start, all strangers. And then, halleluja, Anett arrived. And then Stacey from book club. And then Ellen from the women's running group. And then Sara!! Who has pulled me through my two previous races. And then Julie from work. And then Lisa from Peace Church. And then Judith from book club who just deliverd my son's godfather's baby. And then two Dr's who sub on my unit. And then my pal Beckett's husband. And Rocket, who I've known since 1989. This town may have 90,000 residents, but I guess the outdoor nuts are pretty incestuous. I can't belive I've never run this race before! Well, okay, I really could not have run 10km without being near death before training this last year. In all there were over 100 of us running this race, 10 tough kilometers through brush, mud, and ankle busting hillocks. It was the perfect cool but sunny morning. Trees starting to color orange, gold, and red. I did not take off like a bat out of hell and blow up in the first mile (see past running posts), I took it slow and steady. Me and Sara, once again. Talking, laughing, and dragging each other up a few nasty hills. Over all it was beautiful. I guess I can survive 10 km. We did not set any land speed records, but we finished. And I even procured a loaf of bread at the prize drawings. Didn't exactly win it, but since I jumped on it after a fumble, I got it. And the two numbers on either side of mine won pairs of skis, maybe it will be my turn next year. I guess I will have to go back.

Today is a day later and I am rather sore, but not too bad. I am happy to have completed a trail 10km on short notice. Good to know I can do that now even if I slacked off a bit on the training this month. I guess that regular 30 minutes, 3 times a week really has paid off. Now maybe I will have to start working on speed, then there will be more beer left when I make it to the finish. Yeah, there's plenty of work to be done in these upcoming 40's. And plenty of crazy Duluthians to do it with.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

September 18???

How in the heck did it get to be September 18? This is my absolutely favorite month of the year and it has flown by. Not as fast as Granddad, working for FEMA in Texas, but pretty close. At least by my reckoning. So where did it go? Well, a small chunk went to my Uncle Earl's funeral in East Troy, Wisconsin. It was very good to see all my cousins, and their kids, and my Aunt Sandy, just a sad circumstance. I have not seen much of them since going off to college so it was very good to catch up. As I get older it seems to me that people don't often change a whole lot over their lives, they just tend to get more responsible. The same core person you knew when you were 10 is still there, they just are less likely to sit on you or tickle you until you scream. And they may or may not be at peace with the life they have lived so far. Most are and that is good too. Where else did the month go? Well, another chunk got rained out, that would be earlier this week. And early on I guess it was the "back to school" or rather "on to preschool" mind frame.

So, here we are, September 18 and barely an outdoor adventure to show for it. I have been on a few runs and a few walks. Got Alex out on his bicycle by the Lake yesterday. The leaves are turning for real now and some gorgeous shows are out there. Red, oragne, gold and yellows. The apples are looking very tasty on our tree. I saw a flock of Pelicans the other day at the playground, flying like geese but much slower. That was very cool. I also saw a bald eagle, and a sharp shinned hawk, and an osprey over Superior Street today. I can only imagine what they saw up on Hawk Ridge. Our chipmunks are going crazy building condos under our front steps, and the bunnies and squirrels are looking awfully fat these days. Plus there is a never ending stream of little brown birds flying through our yard, dodging the hawks. And birds keep flying into Kevin's shop looking to find a nice haven. For some reason he does not want them building nests in his fabric. Go figure.

Things have smoothed out a preschool and we had our big IEP meeting today. We did not even get yelled at for changing our minds, and the school folks seemed to think we had a good point putting Alex at Congdon Creek. He will be getting extra services and the school district will provide an aide that our boy will share with another little guy with extra challenges. They don't figure he will need much help...hurray!! Things are settling in nicely, I better go enjoy September while I can!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Better and Worse

Well, all the things I was whining about have gotten better. Back to a more centered and even place, happy and mellow. Except for the fact that a family member has died. My Uncle Earl, my mother's sister's husband, passed away yesterday. It has been sobering. He had been ill with cancer, but we all like to think the people we know will beat the odds. And we forget that we will all Not beat the odds at some point. Mortality is tricky. Dwell on death too much and you start to die yourself, forget about it completely and meaning slips out the window. Kevin, Alex, and I are going down to Southern Wisconsin for the funeral, if I can get off work. But that is another story. My Uncle Earl was a great big man who liked everyone to enjoy themselves. He and my Aunt Sandy had three boys and a rough and tumble house. All I know about Football and Eucher(a trump card game) I learned from them. It will be good to see the family, Uncle Earl will be missed.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Kicking my ***

This transition time is kicking my ass. There, I said it. I have been in a rotten, terrible mood for days now and can't seem to shake it. It is my week off, the weather has turned to perfect early fall, our new schedule is set, and I am a crab. I hate my mess, I hate all the things I have put off, I hate my clothes, and I hate my garden. They all need upgrading or burning. Oh well, I guess it can't all be roses.

I'm going for a run.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Another BIG Day

Alex started at pre-school today. Regular pre-school. Filled with quirky, normal, half-crazy children. We are thrilled. Alex took it in stride. He swung at any kid getting in his space, but the teachers took that in their stride. The principal is excellent. I think Alex will love it within a week. So far no official word from the school district, but we did hear from his old teacher the other day. We are going to have a meeting in a week or so. The school bus showed up this morning. That was kind of hard (we did inform the school we were not coming) because it had been our routine for the last two years. His best little friend was sitting right up front on the little bus and I wonder if he even knew he was at Alex's house. He's not visited here and he used to get on after Alex, but someone might have told him. I hope he didn't know. I feel a little bit bad for not sticking with the district and advocating for the changes we need from within, but I really did not want him to start kindergarten this year. So I would have felt bad bailing from the Autism program next spring and insisting he do kindergarten over. All things considered I'll take my guilt hits now. I am nervous that it will all turn out terrible, but that is just average nerves. I really do have a good feeling about the whole plan, and feel we are on the right path.

Another note, we found an excellent OT today. We started OT to just help get a handle on physical things for Alex. Our guy, Doug, diagnosed a few things right off the bat. He said Alex probably has a very hard time moving food around with this tongue and knowing where the food is, so he likes to stuff his mouth with familiar textures that grind up easy(bread and crackers) or eat smooth things. This is part of "motor planning" and we are going to start working on this from different angles. He also suspected that Alex can't lie on his stomach and put his hands out like superman, and dang if he wasn't right. We are going to work on that too. Should help with strength and balance to get that on line. Plus he had a riot on the zip line and stretchy hammocks and trapeze. I love our clinic. One other weird thing, Alex cannot step on big squishy blocks. They are too wobbly for him and freak him out. He gave up immediately. Oh. are we going to have fun building obstacles in the basement.

So, that's it. The boy is crashed already, and it is time to veg out to a fluffy movie!