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24 July 2007


Whew, long time no post. Things have been so wonderful and busy that I haven’t even thought about taking a second to “document” my memories. With Charlie’s recent cross county cycling blog, I was inspired to pick it up once again.

So the big news: Wilson bought me a house! Okay, so he didn’t buy it for me exactly as a present or anything, but here we are living together on Beech Ave in Hampden! Now I need my pink lawn flamingos and maybe some more pool toys for the backyard blue vinyl tub. While he’s away this week in Vancouver for work (and cursing me for his dental emergencies) I overnighted some hip Orla Kiely wallpaper for the kitchen and master bedroom. It should be more like one giant strip of sticker than traditional wallpaper making it easier to put up and hopefully take down (keeping my toes crossed). The red mod stems are for the kitchen above the chair rail, and the stylized hydrangea flowers are for the bedroom. My favorite flower and hopefully masculine enough that Wilson won’t balk at my design choices. Let’s not mention the upcoming credit card bill with fall’s grad classes and house purchases. I could buy a bike at the end of the year with all the REI points I’m getting. Ouch, that’s sad.

So Wilson is in Vancouver with some terrible gross tooth abscess. Luckily he found a hottie dentist out there and is feeling better. Poor Ian had to drag him to the emergency room after his face swelled up. I was worried sick and felt so guilty about recommending my dentist in the first place for the procedure that caused this fiasco that I barely left the house for a day and spaced out miserably.

Jamie and Meagan came over last night for a girl’s night. Went for a short run together and then I spent an hour making a DELISH dinner. Chinese spiced coconut chicken breast and rosemary salted sweet potatoes in the oven. The “no pudge fudge” brownies and the two bottles of wine topped off the night. I can’t remember the last time I was such a silly girl with the girls. I should make Wilson leave more often!

Oh, and now we have a biting, old, english bull dog, BoBo living with us. I'll post pictures as he's too cute and fat to believe.

16 October 2006

Ouch... that trail was painful.

Yet another biking tragedy this past weekend. Wilson thinks I am trying to kill him and has come back bleeding from almost every trail we ride! I feel terrible, but intent on finding the perfect trail for us. Took him to Merryman's Loop in Loch Raven Sat. afternoon. We got to the trailhead and realized we left the front tires sitting in the parking garage in Mt Vernon. So after another hour in the car and two safely found front tires later... we hopped on our bikes and took off with added energy. Only two minutes into the loop (starting on the left trail) the hill became impossible for us to pedal up. Between the GIANT log crossings and extreme hill gradient, there was no way my ass was riding to the top. So we picked our bikes up and hiked the short beginning section. The next five minutes of riding was a cyclocross challenge for us, hopping of our bikes and lifting them over huge log crossings, then trying to get started again for more uphill riding. My thighs were burning and this was only the beginning! The trail then narrows into a two foot wide track that tips down to the right with a steep, dangerous fall off the edge. The fall leaves didn't help matters. After the first hellish section things got better as we took off on a fire road and headed for more singletrack by the resevior. Other than the sticker bushes and occasional wash-out, the trail was excellent and beautiful in the cool fall weather. Then we hit a torrential rocky uphill section and, who knows where we ended up, having taken a wrong turn somewhere - ending up on a hikers trail. We asked a nice old lady the quickest way out and booked up a hill to some roads in timonium. We found our way back to old bosley and then our car by road. The whole adventure took well over two hours and was far above my ability most of the time. My front brakes need to be adjusted and Wilson's gears are bent. Whoops. Maybe we'll stick to our loved Seminary loop for a bit longer. This weekend we'll try out Avalon area or, if on the eastern shore, the Kent Island bike path for an easy trip. I was so busy fighting the trail, I forgot to take a single picture!

Other silly pictures coming soon.

04 October 2006

NCR: crash and burn

This new knitting book is HYSTERICAL! I can't stop giggling.

Wilson and I have been riding a lot and decided to venture away from Loch Raven and take a longer trip on the NCR last Sunday afternoon. Once I finally was pushed out of bed and had my fill of lunch at Wegman's we drove to the Monkton parking area and rode for 1 hour north at a decently thigh-cramping speed. On the way back cruising nicely with the slight downhill grade, I was distracted day dreaming about how I would certainly fall over biking if I had a baby attached to a bike seat carrier like some of the dads that day did. Next thing I know Wilson is waiting for me to catch up by practicing wheelies (yes, he's 30, not 12) and the sad attempt left him skidding on the gravel path. It was hard enough not to run over his face, let alone move his bike out of the way and get him to stand still before the next family came passing through. Two hours later leaving Patient First with a clean but knarled arm, I get the blame for getting him to buy a bike in the first place. What was I thinking?! Clearly the NCR is more dangerous than his solo aid climbing! haha. So it's been fun trying not to hit his arm accidentaly. I even cooked dinner Monday night (an interesting monte-cristo sandwhich with pears! mmm) for the poor feverish and bloody boyfriend.

18 September 2006

Gunks... w/o the camping

What an exhausting weekend! Made it back safe and happy (with lots of new bruises) after a weekend of climbing in the Gunks. The first day of climbing was very wet having just rained the night before. Every hold was a pocket of water threatening to throw you off the rock. Wilson was a brave leader despite the condition and put up a 5.5 and a 5.6 that day. Found out the rope we have is actually 70 meters, not 60 like previously thought. This turned out to be a lifesaver on the first climb where a 60 meter rope would have left us 25 feet short of the ground on the rappel down. The second day was incredibly humid and cloudy making many routes still too wet to climb. We found our first climb for the day, set up and Wilson was bouldering up to put in the first piece of gear. Out of the corner of my eye, 200 feet down the wall I saw a myriad of colors flying by me, and then a terrible loud THUD. Quickly there was shouting and we knew someone had taken a ground fall. Wilson quickly downclimbed and I unhooked my belay and ran over to see if I could help. The climber was an older guy climbing WITHOUT a helmet and three of his gear placements had popped out on an easy 5.5 route. He was bleeding from his head, but alert and moving around well enough when I got there. There was an emergency room P.A. in the crowd who checked him out quickly while someone called the ranger for a litter and ambulance. I helped his partner pack up the gear and settle the man down who was insistent on walking around (he was more concerned about his bruised ego than his head). The rangers arrived quickly and Wilson and I went back to climbing. They littered him to the carriage trail (only 40 feet away) and had a truck drive him to an ambulance waiting at the trailhead. Climbing afterwards, Wilson was a little shaken, but confident in his own knowledge, taking extra precaution to place solid gear and often. We had a great climb reflecting on the event at the top of the pitch. Wilson then led a hard 5.8R with minimal gear placement but these small horizontal cracks perfect for size 00cams -- yes, 00 is as small as it sounds. Climbing slowly and precisely he made it to the top of the pitch and dragged me up the same path (less delicately at the beginning). There were only small little rock crystals, barely big enough to put your fingertips, on this 90 degree slab wall. After that success we chatted with another group at the same belay station and somehow Wilson convinced me to lead the final climb. We choose the 5.5 next to us and Wilson talked me through the beginning gear placements and my jittery nerves. I made it easily enough with two rests and set up a top anchor station to belay him up. Wilson critiqued my gear placement and making fun of my ridiculous use of a tricam at one point (will never make the same mistake again!). He thought the small crack climb was much harder than listed and wants me to start leading harder climbs. Not bad for my second trad lead ever! Overall the trip was mentally and physically exhausting, with great successes and lessons learned from other climbers mistakes.

"If by protected you mean that it's 10-15 feet above that alien, then yes, yes it is protected." Greg Kneser.

"When men climb on a great mountain together, the rope between them is more than a mere physical aid to the ascent; it is a symbol of the spirit of the enterprise. It is a symbol of men banded together in a common effort of will and strength against their own true enemies: inertia, cowardice, greed, ignorance and all weaknesses of the spirit." Psalms 61:2.

The bed and breakfast we stayed at was adorable. The lady covering for the absent owners on the first day was more friendly than the owners! Not sure if I like the lack of privacy from B&B's, but the nummy food and pretty rooms make up for it. We had a balcony that backed up to a waterfall! Highly recommend: Captain Schoonmakers! Had a TERRIFIC 5 star dinner at the French CornerScrumptiousus goat cheese app and lemon tart dessert (I managed to dig out all the strawberries). Thchampagnene cocktail was too dry for my taste and the annoying gay NY City crowd was too much to handle at times. The best part was spending such a wonderful evening with Wilson. I'm afraid our tastes in food are FAR too expensive for our meager budget.

16 August 2006

So I have been off the needles for a while, but who is that beautiful girl wearing the prettiest shrug ever seen?! Oh, that's sissy and the bday knitted present for her. Looks so good on her that I'll have to knit another one in the brown Rowan ribbon yarn for myself! Looks like I should have blocked the cables... hmm do I ever block anything?

Still working on the green monster of a sweater I started last year. Pathetic I know, but only the collar, and two sleeves to go. The back of it just looks horribly uneven. It will end up being an "inside" only sweater, unless it comes together better than it looks now. The short cabled scarf from One Skein is looking fancy! Just not sure who to give it too. Grandad? Wilson? Myself?! Because it's a short scarf, I'm in need of a clasp to overlap the ends around the neck. In the book they used a wooden short knitting needle, but a hair stick may look nice. Perhaps a button with a fun slogan on it. Oh yes, also quickly knitting up a pretty pink scarf that will be warm, soft, and full of little fuzzies that tickle your nose. Working a simple 2x2 rib with a mohair and handspun yarn from the sheep and whool festival.
SPEAKING OF SHEEP AND WHOOL FESTIVAL!.... All the pretty yarn and alpacas! Not to mention the lamb sausages and lamb burgers. Mmmm. The best part was seeing a woman spin angora straight from the rabbit! Wilson and I left tired, smelly, and itchy with a bag of yarn to show for it. There's my furry buddy to the right. Wilson and I brought home a pamphlet on owning an alpaca farm. Maybe one day. Just need to become wealthy with time on my hands first ;o)

Missing climbing. Haven't been anywhere in two months because of the gross hot weather. Last place was the New River Gorge with Wilson over a Memorial Day weekend. There was a lot of ET climbers down there (no big surprise) but that made it even more fun! Brought my bike with me, but I was so tired from climbing that it was never taken off the rack. The climbing was good with Wilson leading some nice 5.8's on trad. There was one 10b in Kaymoore that I lead except for the finished bolt. The last bit was so scary for me that I cowered off of it and had Wilson finish with beta from the group next to us. Stayed at Rodger's with my now moldy tent. How much does a rainfly cost? Can I even buy just the rainfly? So much for taking care of expensive gear. The picture is of Wilson leading a 5.8 under the bridge area. Solid crack climbing, with the shortest possible approach. And awww... look at the cute couple all dirty from climbing.

10 April 2006

Small update

This girl is a MAJOR slacker. Given the amount of time I spend messing around at work, you would think this blog would be updated more often. Things have been slow paced and relaxing lately. Wilson is in a new apartment on Charles St. and when we are not being kept awake by the downstairs gay bar's pounding bass at night, we have been unpacking/cleaning/organizing. I have also been an obsessive knitter lately and progressed nicely on the Salina sweater. Bought a skein of sock yarn in some wild colors to attempt my first pair when I find the nerve (and a pattern I understand). This weekend will be spent at Wilson's family home on the eastern shore for Easter: a chance to meet his sister and relax by the water. Also bought a new digi camera so be prepared for some photo entries soon! Back to work for now...

15 March 2006

Update from Jess

Boy am I jealous! Chris and Jess are traveling South America from one climbing destination to the next. Here is their site. I am super inspired to climb all the sudden!