Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Le Tour

Le Tour started today. They started with a time trial. Our Tour de Fort started with a day in the mountains.

Guy was bent on riding up Rist Canyon. Rist is “The Ride” in the Fort Collins area. I wasn’t feeling quite so spunky. But then, I rarely do. So we finally got our bikes together and got ready to ride. The clouds were building and I was almost hoping for rain as we rode out. I was dragging even going over Bingham Hill. This did not bode well for Rist.

The Rist Canyon ride is over 12 miles for a 2200-3000 ft altitude gain depending on who you believe. Near the top, it’s rumored to be a 12% grade. Regardless, it’s a puker of a ride. I say that only because of what I was doing on the way up. Guy, on the other hand, was riding up and looping back to see how I was doing.

It’s a lovely ride. Penstemon and Indian blankets flank the road. The grass is green from the recent rains and the pine beetle hasn’t affected the trees. Birches are 1 ½ feet in diameter. There isn’t much of a shoulder but there were almost more bikes than cars. We had purposely opted not to ride around the Res since there would be lots of traffic there on July 4. We guessed correctly.

Riding up, we came upon a few riders heading up the canyon. None of them sounded especially jazzed about riding to the top once they were into the climb. Perhaps that is the tone that breathlessness gives to everyone’s voice. I was pleased that I didn’t get passed by anyone (except Guy looping around) except while we were stopped to take a call on the pager. No doubt that rider would have passed me in motion but I am sticking to my story anyway.

About 2/3 of the way up, there is a huge meadow where things level out. It was a nice break and a chance to gawk at houses we wouldn’t mind having if we ever hit the lotto. Then the climbing started again. The clouds were looking particularly ominous and I couldn’t help but think if it started raining I might have an excuse to turn around. I was already contemplating doing so because I was pretty sure I had been out of pager range for longer than was appropriate. But I did not turn around and it did not start raining… until I reached the top.
When we hit the top, Guy and I stopped briefly. It was beginning to sprinkle but we had earned a quick look at the view. By the time we got to the second turn (less than 200 yards) it was really starting to rain. And as we descended, so did the raindrops. My saddle has an indentation so the girly bits don’t get sore or numb. It became a puddle of cold rainwater that was flowing over my backside. With each pedal stroke a river of cold rainwater followed the calf of my straightening leg down into my shoe, a tiny cold blast on each stroke.

I am normally a chicken on a steep downhill, giving a new meaning to the term “screaming downhill.” This long downhill on wet pavement had the distinct chance of becoming treacherous if not lethal. Nonetheless, we picked up speed, even around the curves. I’m pretty sure we exceeded the 35 mph speed limit more than once. When I did look at my bike computer I remember seeing 33 mph several times. No doubt I wasn’t necessarily checking it during the fastest bits. The ride down took just over ¼ the time it took to ride up. Rain continued to pour on us as we made our way through the towns of Bellevue and La Porte. I learned quickly not to get too close to Guy’s back wheel lest I become a human mud flap. Not that it mattered since I was riding for all I was worth to get to a hot shower anyway.

More later….

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Month of Sundays

Sunday is fast becoming my favorite day of the week. It is the one morning I can sleep in as long as I don't feel to pressured to get in a run or ride early. It is a day of having people hanging about working in their yards or watching the kids play in the street. It's a day of partly ignoring the to-do list and partly working through it. Sometimes procrastination can be productive in spite of itself.

I woke up this morning to the insistent whine of the pager letting me know someone else wasn't having such a restful morning. My packet sitting on the dining table called me to do what I "should" be doing. I paid attention to the pager and ignored the packet. Guy was already out in the garage making sawdust and noise. I'm sure much more productive things were going on out there but if I acknowledge them I won't have any excuses to make him do dishes.

I opened the fridge and took out the last of the farm fresh milk we were trying this week. I brewed up a nice latte to start my day. I thought I'd drink it while washing spinach and then go for my bike ride. I know, washing spinach doesn't seem like a typical Sunday task. It is now. We bought a share in a local organic farm and are getting bags of yummy veggies. Trouble is we are often too busy to eat them all. This week's veggies were picked up on Tuesday - two kinds of radishes, 3 heads of lettuce (green, red, and butter), 1 bunch garlic leaves, 1 bunch chives, 1 bunch garlic chives, 1 bunch cilantro, 1 bunch parsley, 3 lbs of spinach. The hadn't been touched. Last week's veggies weren't all gone either though they had been cleaned and stored in paper towels in the crisper drawer.

I have learned that the produce does best if left in a breathable cloth bag without washing the dirt off, even if it is damp to begin with. Once washed, it needs to be eaten quickly. This week we are trying those "green bags" as seen on TV at the suggestion of a friend. The lettuce and the best of the spinach is divided into a large bag of salad for each of us and some was given to the neighbor for a dinner she is attending tonight. The less-nice spinach has been tucked neatly with zucchini, yellow squash and red sauce between lasagna noodles and layers of mozzerella. A bit of it got tossed into potato kale soup which will be sprinkled with grated gruyere. All of the bell peppers have been stewed into Ropa Viejo with a rump roast for Guy to eat for lunches. And leftover forbidden and brown rice was tossed in with an ailing sweet potato that was sauteed in curry powder and then doused with broth. A few shrimp found their way into that dish and it will provide lunches for me.

Now that I don't have any more cooking to do for the day and have used up all of the veggies, the packet is calling once again. I avoided it a little longer on a bike ride but I'm getting in better shape and the ride gives me less of a reprieve from the reading. I know, a nice shower... that'll be much more enjoyable than reading... and then, I must.

I think, if I could have a month of Sundays it would be a beautiful thing.

Ropa Viejo

To make this dish, I thinly sliced a medium onion and put it in the bottom of the crock. I put in 2 bell peppers, any color, sliced and one package of green chiles (this was ½ package of dynamite chiles) and sprinkled about 2 Tablespoons of cumin on top. I took a beef rump roast (the cut doesn’t really matter) and cut it into 4 large pieces just so it would fit. I poured 2 cans of diced tomatoes on top and cooked it on high for 4 hours. Guy turned it down onto low for about another 2 hours and it was done.

Potato Kale Soup with Gruyere

I took a recipe from a friend and modified it slightly to use the abundance of fresh greens in my refrigerator. I did not have 6 cups of kale but did have some braising greens in addition to a smaller amount of kale. I also had some spinach wilting in the crisper drawer so I added it also. The spinach definitely overpowers the kale so I’d suggest using one or the other. It was quite tasty but with just one or the other would be better. Remember to chop the kale and other greens. It is difficult to eat this if you don’t.


* 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
* 1 bunch garlic leaves, chopped
* 1 bunch chives, chopped
* 2 quarts chicken broth
* 4 cups coarsely chopped Yukon gold potato (about 1 1/2 pounds)
* 1 sprig rosemary, minced
* 6 cups chopped fresh kale (about 3/4 pound)
* 4 springs thyme leaves
* 9 tablespoons (about 2 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
* Fresh chives
* Salt and pepper to taste


Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic leaves and chives; cook until fragrant and tender, stirring frequently.Stir in broth, potato, fresh ground pepper, and herbs; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until potato is tender. Partially mash potatoes with a potato masher.

Stir in kale and basil. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until kale is tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with cheese and chives.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


You are still missing
The space that holds your name echoes
With your absence
When a memory hangs suspended
On a moment

A photo
Hanging suspended
In a café
Reminds me of Petite Teton
Your little running joke
I smile
But a tear drops to the bottom
Of the well

A Buddhist description of the Grand Canyon
Evokes images
Of Palo Duro
Nature’s artwork
Etched indelibly
By your hands and blood

You always talked of the magic of the Canyon
Stories of worn rock
Where the grandmothers ground corn
tales of the presence
of Shaliko
footsteps heard from those unseen
the Roadrunner visiting not by chance

In hindsight
I see that you are both magician and magic
Weaving a tapestry of love and mystery
Mingled with earth and sweat
Creating myth
Now you exist as both
Myth and magic
No longer tangible
But omnipresent in this place
And my thoughts

We were careless with each other
Not out of neglect
But out of comfort
as is the way with those we love the most
Accepting our histories
Excepting a few details
Forgetting faults
Finding the best things to build our friendship on
Having the time of our lives
But never having enough time

Larger than life
Until life could no longer contain you
Your experience showed in
But the wild child
And rascal moonshiner in you never grew up
Mischief always gave itself away
In your smile

What is it about death
That I can’t touch you any more
But you can still touch me
When I least expect it

It seems as though everyone I know is working harder and having less to show for it. I wonder if we should just stop. If we get no where by working, couldn't we be just as successful by working less and playing more?

Today is a gorgeous day.
In this office, I can't get away with "calling in well." There is no way to play hookey when you work with a bunch of doctors. But I can stare out the window and dream. And after work, I can lace up my shoes sweat out the small stuff.

Are we done yet?
Mom, can I go outside and play?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Last week was hell week. Coming off of a wonderful weekend with my Brother and the kids I was tired but glad to have some joy under my belt.

On call 2 of the 3 days in the office and the whole weekend
one "day off" was spent in an all day meeting in Denver
1800 pages of "stuff" to read, none of it uplifting
dealing with taxes
Saturday night in the urgent care

I was short on sleep, patience, and hadn't cooked anything to eat for the week so I had nothing yummy to soothe my soul.

So the question is, what can I do to make this week better?

1. I slept about 11 hours last night so I'll go into the next week rested.
2. Made a huge pot of fried rice with shrimp to munch for the week
3. making a pot of mushroom barley soup so I have a variety of yums
4. No reading! bought a book of short fiction to read instead
5. Hired a book keeper and will have her do the rest of the tax stuff
6. Scheduled a massage for my day off
7. Starting the week with a date with Guy at New Belgium Brewery
8. Already got in a good swim
9. Starting the week with a clean house and clean laundry
11. Only on call one day this week! YAY

Monday, March 9, 2009


Today I started with a good swim. Working on increasing power in my stroke. I did a time trial. 11 min 20 seconds for 500 meters. No Michael Phelps but better than before!

***** My intention was to spin but a very rude person took the bike I had ******
***** "claimed" by putting my shoes on it. I know, get over it. ******

I got to work and, not only did I have my wonderful Paula, I also had the extern to help us while we were on call. She's bright, enjoyable, personable, and professional.

I had 2 new patients today and have another tomorrow. The business is growing gradually. A few patients a day. A handful of "keepers" and a handful of those who will come in randomly when they absolutely have to.

***** Nevermind the patient who I really like that I had to "fire" because of *****
***** issues. Nevermind the frustration of getting charts for med refills of *****
***** patients not seen since 2005. Nevermind the issues of the "practice" and *****
***** dealing with the financial issues of a business that is not a profitable *****
***** business to be in. *****

I came home to the man I love. To the ingredients for green chile enchiladas ready to be thrown into a casserole and heated through.

***** I'm smelling this wonderful smell filling my house and it's not done yet *****


I know I shouldn't complain. Sometimes ya gotta rant. Now that that's out of my system!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


This has been a good weekend in spite of the fact that Guy has been up sking and I have been home. My to-do list had about a million and one things on it, give or take 3/4 of a million or so. I know, for a fact, that I crossed at least 2 things off my list.

So, the basement trim and doors are painted and the doors hung. The laundry is done. I made a huge crock pot of Ropa Viejo for Guy to eat this week. And I made myself something vaguely resembling Shawarma but made with fish and veggies. It's pretty good for a complete bastardization of a really yummy dish.

Today I was talking to my Mom. She just signed up for her first Tri. I'm so thrilled to hear her so excited by the challenge. I had plans for a good workout but I also had a long to-do list. I wasn't about to skip the workout after talking to Mom!

So I test rode a Specialized Ruby Elite road bike. It's suh-weet! I have a few other bikes to test ride... but I think I'm gonna be really happy to have a bike that fits my shortness.

I went to the Arapahoe Natural Area on the east side of town. Early in the morning it would almost be in the shadow of the evil, even if it is green, Walmart but for the Interstate in between. Being on the east side, it's flat... loops of dirt winding around wide spots in a branch of the Cache La Poudre River that they actually call "lakes." There are signs with the fishing size limits for the anglers who apparently hang out there.

There were no anglers today. A few folks lounging in a rowboat. One guy doing laps around the largest of the "lakes" in a kayak. A 4-pack of ladies on horses having a great time in the river. And me. Well, and a bunch of Canadian Geese who have no intention of heading back north as it warms up. The mountains poked their snowy tops toward the blue and overcast skies. An abandoned farm between me and the mountains gave it a picturesque, rural look though the sounds of the I blared behind me. One piece of farm equipment sat parked on a peninsula into Big Bass Lake with a beautiful pattern carved into the soil where something will soon begin growing.

My loops gave way to the pool. Two straight lanes with 4 people moving back and forth. A liquid treadmill but slightly less boring. 30 minutes was all I could stomach before coming home to my "duties" and my Shawarm-ish. Now, back to work.