Weekend of Nothingness

Happy Monday!  Well……it’s not that happy.  I had a terrible sleep last night, nightmare and then couldn’t fall back asleep.  And I really needed some good sleep because Saturday night I slept like crap also.  Gr.  I’m a champion sleeper so when it goes sideways, I haven’t got a clue how to deal.  But…I will “act as if” it is a Happy Monday and see if I can bring this day back from the brink.

Friday night Ray went for dinner with his mom and I stayed home and had Fridge Scrapings for dinner.  I sautéed a can of oysters, added an egg and scrambled it into the oysters and then dumped the last cup of zucchini soup in the pan until it was all heated through.  Had it with some leftover cut veggies.  I don’t often have to do Fridge Scrapings but when I do, I can get creative! It was actually really delicious and creamy and comforting.  That said, I’m not running out to make it again, LOL!


Zuke soup w/ a can of oysters and an egg scrambled into it. Oddly satisfying.

Zuke soup w/ a can of oysters and an egg scrambled into it. Oddly satisfying.


Saturday morning I had my follow up bike training (finally!) with my new bike (now named “Captain Jack” instead of “Jezebel”).  I did alright with the training; uturns and tight circles and uturns up and down a steep hill.  It was pretty good and I feel a lot more confident riding. But when it was over and I was riding home I felt really awful…..like my head was all fogged up and I felt sick and achy and exhausted.  I think it was probably a result of a lot of mental and physical effort and a big adrenaline hangover.  It’s hard work manipulating 950# around at slow speeds in technical maneuvers!  When I got home Ray took me for lunch and then I went for a nap….which is totally abnormal for me these days but sorely needed right then!  The rest of Saturday I spent in my pajamas watching PVR and baking banana bread while Ray went riding with his son.

Speaking of banana bread, I tried Civilized Caveman’s banana bread because I’d heard awesome things about it.  It’s…….a bit wet…….and not very banana-y.  As it’s getting older it’s getting better….but I’ll stick with my recipe that I love.  Anyway….when the loaf didn’t come out of the pan all the way (didn’t let it cool long enough), I scraped up the bits, threw some raspberries on top and then a drizzle of coconut milk.  THAT was amazing!


Now THIS was delicious!

Now THIS was delicious!


I think we watched a movie Saturday night and then went to bed at 10.  Sunday morning I tried to sleep in but Gracie had other plans and sat on my head, pawed at my face and swatted me in the ass until I got up.  I stayed in pajamas and did my weekly food prep while Ray and his daughter took the dogs for a walk.  While I was cooking chicken bewbs, slicing veggies and baking yams, I also undertook to stuff a pork loin with Apple Walnut Cranberry stuffing…………..so easy, so delicious and rather impressive looking!


Here's the trussed up meat package.  Regular sized pork loin STUFFED with apples, walnuts and cranberries!

Here’s the trussed up meat package. Regular sized pork loin STUFFED with apples, walnuts and cranberries!



Held together awesome and tasted amazing!

Held together awesome and tasted amazing!


And now…..here we are on Monday morning.  The hubby is working a bunch of overtime this week so I’ll have some alone time.  It’s also the first official week of my Night Run training. I did a route on Friday with Gracie but it was too warm for her and she was suffering halfway through so it became a walk home.  To be honest I was suffering a little more than I thought I would also!  Today I’ll take her for a walk after work, get a snack and then go for the prescribed session.

It’s 12 days until I get 9 whole days off and I cannot wait!


July 28, 2014: Wake The *&##@ Up!

We had a beautiful weekend here, unfortunately I was feeling kind of crappy all weekend.  When I was laying on the bench outside yesterday afternoon and Ray’s son came over and asked why I wasn’t feeling good, I said “sometimes women feel like shit once a month, it’s best to just leave us alone” and he didn’t get it, LOL!  He’s single.

Friday night I jarred all the bone broth (15L, thanks very much!), went to Costco, Liquor Store, Grocery Store and then came home and made potato salad and packed up picnic ingredients for Saturday morning.  I wasn’t feeling too awful on Saturday morning so I got up at 5:30am and took Gracie for a 4.4km walk (2.75 miles) and then went home, finished putting together the picnic, showered and we headed out on a day ride.  My first ride out of the area with Jezebel (who is now actually nameless since Ray buffed her name off the fender last night).  We were both really, REALLY looking forward to it, the weather was gorgeous and we were more than ready to get our cruise on.  We got about 90 minutes from home and stopped for gas and we should have just called it a day and gone home.  I’d gotten hit with a wicked headache and cramps and instead of listening to my inner self beg to go home and go to bed, I sucked it up, took an Advil and we pushed on….for another 3 hours.  When we were at our turnaround spot for lunch I realized what  huge mistake I’d made.  Now I was easily 5 hours from home in the heat with a borderline migraine and killer cramps…and no way to get back home but to ride.  Not cool.  Along our route there are 7 tunnels and every time we went into one, going from light to dark and back to light was like a hot poker in my brain.  Nice, right?

With around 2 hours left to go before we got home, all of a sudden I heard a voice in my head say, “Wake the Fuck Up! Sit up Straight, Pay Attention And Look Where You Want To Go!”.  If you don’t happen to ride a motorcycle you may not know…but it’s something you can’t really be lazy with.  It’s not like driving a car and zoning out or relaxing back in the seat.  Not at all.  It’s push, pull, lean, look, assessing each corner, your speed, your gear, the road condition, the oncoming traffic (especially around a left hand corner, you’d be shocked how many people cross the centre line).  It’s watching for rocks, wildlife, the person in front of you and the one behind you.  The only thing protecting you from disaster is your own skill and the clothes you’re wearing.  I’m not trying to be alarmist, not at all….but zoning out and not engaging in the process is a recipe for disaster. So anyway, once I sat up straight and took charge, things improved a lot. I still felt like shit and still just wanted to be at home…but I felt more in control and my riding performance definitely showed that.

Since I was all alone on my bike with nothing but my thoughts to keep me company I thought about how that relates to the rest of life.  Wake the Fuck Up, Sit Up Straight, Pay Attention and Look Where You Want To Go.  Engage with what you’re doing, give the right inputs so you get the right results.  Don’t just coast along, hoping.  Don’t look at the pavement right in front of you; at 100km/h (or the speed of life, whichever), what is 10 feet ahead is already happening and there is nothing you can do to change it.  Look AHEAD, as far up the road as you can, plan for what you can see, anticipate what you cannot.  There is no point in making panicky, last second alterations to your path because it’s ultimately a wasted effort. Better off, less energy and less potential for disaster if you can look way ahead, see what’s coming and have plenty of time to plan for it.  And so it goes in life, too, right?

Anyway….my bike-musings aside, after we got home on Saturday I was basically done.  DONE.  I went to bed at 8:30 after having a bbq hamburger patty, some broth and another Advil.  Slept until 9:30 on Sunday and called off a visit with my sister. As I texted to her, I loved the idea of having her come over and hang out but I really just wanted to be left alone.  Really, really alone.  Not ideal visiting situation.  Fortunately, she completely understood!  After a long coffee on Sunday morning we went out and picked up the new suspension for my bike to lower it and then came home and I did some cooking and otherwise sitting about while Ray worked on it.  Around 7:30 I was feeling a bit better so we went for a quick ride to ice cream and so I could test out the changes he’d made.  I love it!  The kit lowered it by almost 2 full inches which is fantastic and hopefully makes it a bit more manageable for me.  I’m no tiny woman but I’m not a 6’6” man either and having the bike lowered is only going to make it nicer for me.

This week the weather is supposed to be beautiful so my early am dog walk/jogs are still holding strong (another 4.5km this am) and in the evenings we’ll be tidying up the house and getting ready to spend a long weekend away…travelling on our bikes.  It’s just for three days but we’re very looking forward to it!

July 16, 2014: Pride & Gelato

This whole “new bike, high expectations, frustration inducing” few days that I’ve had are, of course, teaching me a lesson about myself and about life.

Yesterday at work my boss told me of a top notch ice cream store about a 45 minute ride away.  After some consideration and deciding that nothing changes if you don’t make changes, I studied the map, memorized the directions and then told Ray that I wanted to lead a ride to a “mystery location”.  Normally I would never ride in the lead.  I’ve done it approximately a half dozen times in 6 years.  I always preferred riding at the back and taking my cues and confidence from him.  I also basically get lost in a parking lot so leading a ride to somewhere completely new is even more foreign.  Last night though, I put my confidence out on the line and went way out of my comfort zone.

And it turned out?  Pretty frigging awesome.  I didn’t tell him where we were going because I felt like it would be easier for me to “need” to lead if only I knew our destination (also, I like surprises so I thought I would give him one).  On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best riding I have ever done and 1 being “I’m done, abandon bike”, the ride out to the ice cream last night was a solid 6.  Not super great….but not horrible and I’m happy with that.  My stopping has improved immensley since Monday and now I’m achieving a smooth, controlled landing 90% of the time.  My accelerating from a stop still sort of sucks, I haven’t quite figured out the clutch/brake/throttle combo yet but it’s better than it was.  Blah blah blah…if you’re not a rider, you probably don’t care about that crap.  My point is, improvement!

For the ride back home I asked Ray to lead as I was a bit turned around and besides, behind him is normally where I’m most comfortable so I wanted to give that a whirl too.  If the ride out was a 6, the ride back was a 3.  Wha?!  Never, in my wildest imagination, would I have believed I would have more confidence beign in charge of myself and leading myself around.  Never.  Around halfway home, Ray took off ahead faster than I wanted to go which made us “independent riders” rather than riding as a pair (closer together and staggered).  Once again, higher skill level, higher confidence, better ride.  He told me when we got home that he’d noticed it wasn’t going as well as the ride out there so he spread us out to give me space to do my own thing. 

So…I learned a few things last night.  First, all my efforts at gaining my own space, time, independence has worked in ways I never predicted.  I will not, for one second, say that I was oppressed…..but I did, over time and circumstance, stop working on the things that are important to making me a strong, healthy woman.  Second, had I not just spent 5 figures on this new bike, I would have quit on Monday.  And Tuesday.  And a little bit on Wednesday morning.  I expect perfection right out of the gate and if I don’t have it, my first reaction is to assume that I am broken, useless or bad at whatever it is.  Instead, if I could learn to expect wobbles and a bumpy start and just keep pushing on, I would distress myself a lot less!  I’ll keep practicing and paying attention and I’ll get better.  Ray’s comment Tuesday was that Jezebel is talking to me, I just don’t understand what she’s saying yet.  Last night I figured out a bit of her language.  It makes me wonder how many other things I have quit in defeat because I wasn’t perfect at it right off the bat.

Finally, I learned last night to never make anyone else responsible for making you feel good, accomplished or proud.  I was very, VERY proud of myself last night.  I rode my brand new bike the furthest I’ve gone with her, I led the ride which I have rarely done and I took us to somewhere totally new which I have never done.  That is all HUGE for me.  Unfortunately, for a little while, I was feeling let down because I was really expecting (hoping) that Ray would be super impressed and proud of me.  And………..he wasn’t really.  I don’t think he really sees it as an accomplishment, just as something he figures I should be able to do.  It was very disappointing (and possibly led to the less-fantastic ride home) and took the shine off.  Along the way home I “turned the corner” and decided that my pride in myself is enough.  I am enough!  However………I did have a calm word with Ray before I went to bed; along the lines of “Honey, sometimes I need you to tell me that you’re proud of me.”.  He was basically shocked and couldn’t understand why I didn’t just know that he was impressed and proud of me because he always is, “duh.”.  It’s an ongoing communication issue that flares up from time to time. (remember how I told you my blog is totally honest and unfiltered these days? This would be one of those instances………..relationships are hard, we can be on different playing fields sometimes and we don’t always make our spouses feel very good………it’s life……..and even though I was screaming “You’re quite the confidence killer!” in my head on the way home, I pulled myself together and went at the issue much more gently………whether it worked or not?  Who knows.)

So to summarize. Bike = much better, Shanny = more confident, relationships are hard, ice cream is where it’s at!


Sun Baked

I spent the entire blissfully sunny weekend outside.  Every second of it.  I went inside to pee and to sleep, that’s about it. 

Saturday morning I walked my muppet for 5k first thing in the morning before it got too hot out.  I, stupidly, wore a hoodie and nearly died of heat exhaustion about half way.  Sweating out the toxins, I guess!  Ray was out at a meeting so when I got home I continued working on my front flower bed.  Here it is, about 2/3 complete.  I weeded and hand turned the entire thing and then hand churned in some compost.  From where I’m standing taking this picture, there’s about another 8 feet of garden behind me that still needs to be done.  Yipes!  And ps., landscaping is brutally hard work! 


The garden is going to be a combo veggie garden and perennial flower garden, I just have to get over to the nursery and pick up my plants, maybe this week!

Right around 2pm I called it quits, went inside and showered and then made cocktails!  Fresh mango puree into the bottom of a tall glass, a shot of vodka, then perrier, a splash of coconut water for sweetness and some frozen mango cubes instead of ice.  Delicious!


While sitting in the warm shade and sipping drinks we decided that it would be nice to have company come and share that with us so we invited Ray’s daughter and husband over for dinner.  I threw together rib eye steaks, a green salad with pine nuts, strawberries and goat cheese and some baked yams and asparagus.  It was so easy and delicious!  They brought their puppy over and the dogs played in the front yard until they were soaked in slobber and sweat.  Good times!

 Yard Party

Saturday night I drank way more than I normally do and today I still don’t feel awesome.  I didn’t get drunk, barely even a buzz but the quantity exceeded my norm so my body is in a bit of a revolt.  Lesson learned….pour one big glass of wine and sip slowly! 

Sunday morning we got up bright and early, covered up the front room windows with cardboard and headed out on our motorcycles.  I wasn’t really looking forward to it, all of last year when riding I had high anxiety and really didn’t enjoy myself at all.  But….happily, I guess I turned a corner because it was like last year never happened.  I’m certainly not as fast in the corners as I was a couple years ago but I had no panic, no anxiety and was able to keep up at the speed limit or just above.  And?  I had a blast!  It feels like I just deleted last year from my memory and am picking back up where I was before my car accident.  So much so that I rode my bike to work today and really enjoyed the ride in!  I’m not going to get too cocky though, I need lots of seat-time so I’ll be riding to and from work as much as I possibly can over the next little while!

Ray is cultivating a cold right now, a week before he leaves to go up north fishing in the bush for a week!  I’m staying as far away from him as I can get.  I’m in my zone right now and I do NOT need a cold to derail me.  Plus, he can sleep with the 80 pound furnace that is our dog, I’m going to sleep in the cool, fresh spare room.  Alone!  (Ray was awake coughing most of the night and must’ve been feeling bad for himself because he invited Grace into bed to cuddle with at 2am…..and then she decided to lay cross-wise between us and I woke up at 4am hanging off the side of the bed!)

Happy very sunny Monday.  Wherever you are, I wish you the extraordinary weather that we’re experiencing right now!

UPDATE:  regarding the car accident saga, on Friday when driving home from work I noticed this “sign” on a lamp post about 50 feet ahead of where the accident happened.  Driving by you cannot even tell that there is text on the page and with nowhere to pull over (it’s a freeway interchange) a person would have to find somewhere to park and then walk back to read the sign.  Who’s going to do that when they don’t even know what the sign says?! Unfortunately the insurance company is being a douche bag and if the “witness” gives a sworn statement then they don’t investigate any further, they just believe what they say….because according to the woman I talked to on the phone this morning, “no one has ever lied in the sworn statement before.”.  FFS.



Oopsie, got a little busy at work and haven’t been able to post!  I’ve had a few posts rolling around in my head but I honestly just don’t have time to flesh them out so I’m going to give them to you point form!


  • PRESSURE:  We rode our motorcycles the other day for the first time this season. Last season I only rode 1000km.  So that means in 18 months, I only rode 1000km.  That equates to less than 15km/week…or 2km/day.  The reason I explain this is because while in years previous, I rode tens of thousands of kilometers each season, I haven’t lately and that means that I’m pretty much back to being green at something I was never experienced with to begin with.  So, off we went on our ride on Tuesday night and I thought I did alright, a little slow and cautious but didn’t crash, didn’t freak myself out.  And at one of the last traffic lights before home, Ray said to me “Man alive, you sure need a lot of work!”.  I was completely deflated….and then infuriated!  How dare he knock me down when I’m doing my best at something that is important to us!?  Bugger.


  • MONTH OF MAY:  I really like and get value from partitioning off a month and setting out specifics for what I would like to achieve that month.  I’ve declared May as “Lean on May”.  I have a whole post written about my goals and actions for May…..but I’m not posting them.  I realize that sharing goals and plans can help them become more achievable….but I’m my own island sometimes so I’ve got the post saved and at the end of May I’ll post what I wanted to do and how I did.  The overall idea is to lose some fat and gain some muscle.  J


  • I found out yesterday that the guy who changed lanes into the side of my car waited almost 3 weeks to report his portion of the claim and in that time managed to turn up a “witness” who will say who-the-hell-knows-what.  The GUY that hit me also miraculously turned into a WOMAN when the report was made to the insurance company.  I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m going to get screwed here.  In related news, today is the one year anniversary of my first car accident which partially totaled me and completely totaled my car. 


  • I’m hard at work this morning……..setting up a play-date for my dog.  It’s supposed to be gorgeous tomorrow and Ray has a meeting at 9am so I thought a cruise around the park might be nice and instead of just me taking her, she could run around with her friends!  I’m also hard at work wistfully staring out the window and planning what I’m going to do after work.  The sun comes out and the list of things I want to do to enjoy it is LONG! My list for tonight includes mowing the lawns, weeding the flower bed, dinner and then a later evening dog walk.  Ray’s working until 10 tonight and I’ve only had an hour and a half of sleep between midnight and now so the more I can keep busy, the better off I’ll be!


  • Tomorrow after Ray’s meeting we have a plan to go and enjoy the gorgeous weather and get a little riding time in.  I’ll be specifically outlining that any sort of unsupportive comments or pressure will be met with my tail lights as I take myself home and get out the For Sale sign!  I’m not sure if I’m kidding or not.   My bike is gorgeous and I want to love riding it again but the only way that’s going to happen is if I can take my time and work myself through to confidence in my riding again. 


Good! Friday

Happy Good Friday!  Ours was very, very good!

It started out with my first trip back to the gym since last week when I was sick.  I burned up both my legs and my arms in a quick and dirty weights workout followed by a very short jog.  I worked as hard as I could in as short a time as possible because…..

……happy exercise endorphins are like free and natural anti-anxiety medication.  I was going to get to ride my motorcycle for the first time since last year.

After a hearty breakfast and cup of coffee we went down to the insurance place to temp our bikes for the day and discovered that I owed the toll-bridge people $3.50 that was overdue…..so no insurance until it’s paid.  And…..it’s a long weekend here in BC which means that even if I make the payment (if I knew my account number or the bill number which I don’t), it would not get posted until next week.  Which means no insurance permit for my bike.  Turns out I really DID want to ride my own bike because I was pretty disappointed by the turn of events.

So…we temped Ray’s bike and set out to celebrate spring!

I figure, on a bonus day (stat holiday from work), you should fill your day doing things that you wouldn’t normally have time to do if you had to be at work.  So….we did!  The things we did today:

  • take a lovely, sunny and warm motorcycle ride
  • have a fresh lunch on a sunny patio
  • pet baby piggies, a baby donkey, a baby cow and attempt to pet a turkey
  • eat delicious locally made coffee-toffee ice cream
  • visit a local winery and buy three bottles of gorgeous reds
  • sit on our driveway with a glass of Honest John Rose (welcome back, friend!)

See?  All things that we don’t normally have time to do given the fact that we are the working kind!

Now, I have a salad to make for our brunch at my sister’s tomorrow, nails to paint and an outfit to iron.  Along with ribeye steak dinner to make and the option for another glass of wine.

It was a Good Friday!

This is the only picture I took today....bad blogger!  Happy cow!

This is the only picture I took today….bad blogger! Happy cow!


Thing #1 ~ as thrilled as I am for the winner of Biggest L*ser, and I am, she’s managed a huge feat in a short time and she should be impressed with herself, I think it is highly inappropriate for her to be dispensing health, fitness, wellness or nutrition advice on her Twitter account.  I know that a lot of us do the same thing on our blogs and when we get asked questions in person or on social media.  I just think…..I would rather get my nutrition and fitness advice from someone who actually went through it legitimately and with real life and real troubles and in real time.  How can you preach that “if I can do it anyone can do it” when you didn’t really DO it the way the rest of the world would have to.  It just bugs me. 

Thing #2 ~ I feel like I need to determine how many carbs I’m eating.  I don’t know why I want to know this, it’s just been bugging me lately.  I haven’t weighed myself nor do I plan to so it’s not like knowing this would help me plan different meals.  In fact even knowing it I’m not so sure I would change how I eat/cook.  I just want to know.  I will try to find out this weekend, any tips on a good “counting” app?

Thing #3 ~ I need to go shopping.  The weather is starting to improve and I am almost positive that none of my summer capris and work pants from last year will fit this year.  Because…..I have muscular, monster thighs.  They are lean and I can actually see where each muscle starts and stops….but that doesn’t make them fit into pants any better.  I’m thinking it’s going to be a skirt year.  Also, I need a haircut.

Thing #4 ~ Easter is coming and I have this feeling like if I don’t give myself just one more dark Lindt bunny I’m going to feel totally ripped off and deprived.  I’ve only had one small bunny this year and I feel like there may be room in my life for one more.

Thing #5 (and #6) ~ I have found and made two very kickass recipes in the last couple of weeks!  There are SO many recipes online that are paleo, primal or grain free friendly….and honestly……well……lots of them can’t really be considered “recipes” (cooked meat and a veggie side dish isn’t a recipe) and the rest of them are either kind of bland/dull or so insanely complicated/intense that I would never even contemplate them.  The two that I found recently though?  BIG HITS!  They are both now in the regular rotation.  They are both so good that instead of choosing one for lunch over the other….I brought them both!

Up first was a winner from Juli at PaleOMG (as if she would produce anything BUT a winner!).  Artichoke Lemon Pesto Chicken Pasta


Absolutely delicious, fairly simple to make (I made the pesto portion the day before and then roasted the spaghetti squash that morning so the prep at mealtime was quite short).  My recommendation on this one is to use as much basil as you can lay your hands on!

The other recipe was a delicious sausage and sweet potato stew


I made a couple personal revisions while making this one; one was the use of a combo of chicken and veggie broth instead of water for the liquid..since I had open containers of both that needed using.  Also I added a teeny bit of cayenne and a dump of paprika…to counterbalance the overly sweet flavor of the honey-garlic sausages from Coscto.  The recipe was so good, hearty and wholesome!  It makes quite a bit….and it’s all gone now.  😉

And now a couple of questions about recipe etiquette.

  • If you find a recipe online, do you repost it on your blog?  If you do, do you link back to wherever it is that you found it?
  • If you find a recipe online and modify it, do you now consider it “yours” and post as an original creation?

And on a totally different note, what is your definition of healthy? 

I’ll answer my own questions.  First, if you’re going to post a recipe, LINK BACK to whomever you got it from, preferably the original source.  I also think, even though you’re linking back, that copying and pasting the entire recipe is not OK.  Oftentimes when people post an original recipe on their blog they write the ingredients and method with a big dose of their own personality.  Anything outside of copying the just the ingredients and basic method is plagiarism!  You can and should borrow someone’s recipe, that’s what they are there for.  You should NOT steal their personality in the process.

Second, I think most people make minor revisions to a recipe.  Providing that you maintained the bulk of the integrity of the recipe, the originating poster should be linked to.  Even as I did above with the stew, adding some paprika and subbing broth for water, the basic recipe that she came up with is still hers.  I still made what she created.  Pretending that I ‘created’ anything just because of a couple minor subs that I made would be ludicrous and incredibly misleading.

As far as the term “Healthy”, I hear comments and see commercials and advertisements all the time touting things as “healthy”.  As far as I’m concerned, much of the time I think that companies using that word are using it as a buzzword to increase sales and push people towards what they are selling.  For me, “healthy” refers to anything that is either not processed at all (meat, veg, fruit) or is minimally processed (eg, olive oil, butter).  If it doesn’t require an ingredient list and either grows or roams out in the world, it’s good in my book!  “Healthy” is not a buzzword, it’s something we should all strive toward….and no package of cookies is going to get you there!

Happy Easter to all!  Tomorrow is supposed to be BEAUTIFUL so Ray’s decided that we’re going to insure both motorcycles for the day and go riding.  I’m nervous and excited all at the same time.  Two summers ago I put 30,000km (18,750 miles) on my bike….last year 1,050km (635 miles) so I’m pretty sure I’ll be back to “beginner” starting out this season.  I’ll agree to this motorcycling thing…..as long as it takes me past a chocolate bunny store!  Not “healthy” but definitely required!

Personal Paint Job

This weekend was both relaxing and completely consumed with stuff at the same time.  Saturday morning the alarm (yes, the fricking alarm on a Saturday) went off at 6am and we got up and started getting ready to go on a motorcycle ride to a lake/resort town about 2 hours away where we would play some pitch n’ putt and then have lunch and ride back.  Fortunately the weather turned out to be absolutely gorgeous.  Unfortunately I’m a bit sick so the morning didn’t start out with a bang for me.  Since it was also an event I actually had no interest in, I wasn’t overly thrilled for the day.  But on the positive side, Ray was an absolute prince the entire time, it fully reminded me of when we first got together, attentive and affectionate.  It really turned my whole attitude about the day around! 

This was our first real ride of the season (which, yes, I realize is almost over, late start, I guess!) and since my CB is busted and I haven’t had enough seat-time this year, I couldn’t listen to music, I had a lot of time with nothing but the wind in my ears.  If you’ve never ridden you may not understand, but there is a different kind of thinking that you do on a bike.  It’s more scattered but with more clarity. Must be all the oxygen being forced into your lungs!  I had tonnes of time to think about all sorts of things, completely uninterrupted.

Part of it was a bit of reminiscing about the way things used to be, back when Ray and I first got together.  We used to spend all of our time on bikes, riding and chatting and hanging out together.  Granted, it was just weekend time because once Sunday afternoon rolled around I would get in my car and go back to my apartment alone which sucked to high heaven and got incrementally worse on my heart each weekend.  I realized that I miss the “free” time that we used to have, no errands, no bills, no date planner with too much stuff packed into it.  But while I do miss that more unencumbered time, I wouldn’t trade what we have now for the world. Absolutely not.  I wouldn’t trade being able to go to bed and wake up with each other every day and the complete confidence and comfort of a solid, loving relationship.  We had so much fun on our bikes but what that time together did was bring us to where we are together, in love and living a regular life.  We’ve both agreed to make a way bigger effort to ride more next year because it’s something that we love and something that nourishes our relationship in a way that nothing else does.  

I also spent a lot of time thinking about who I want to be this fall and winter.  You may think that’s a fairly short period of time to “be” someone, but I don’t think so.  I think we’re always fundamentally the same as we’ve always been and any change that comes does so very slowly over time.  However there are aspects of ourselves that we can create and recreate at any time.  Two aspects of myself that I’m going to reshape over the fall and winter are who I am as an athletic, fit woman and who I am as my hubby’s partner.  Fundamentally who I am isn’t up for change (although that could come as a byproduct) but I am going to put a coat of paint on these two aspects of myself for a few months. 

My “fit, athletic woman” paint job actually starts this week, that was planned out last week.  I cannot work out on Monday’s (something that I just can’t pull off and am better to understand and work around than try to change) so this week will be Tuesday and Thursday at the gym in the morning, next week I’ll move up to three days for a couple of weeks and then possibly add a fourth cardio day later on.  I’ve decided that every four weeks I’ll take a full week off.  I’ve done this all long enough now that I know at about week three and a half of getting up at 4am, I’m starting to get burned out and need a break so this time I’ll plan that in!  Why am I getting a paint job for this?  Because I really enjoy who I am when working out consistently is a bigger part of who I am and there is no reason that I shouldn’t cultivate that.

The second part of the renovation is who I am as Ray’s partner.  As I said, who I actually AM isn’t going to change because that sort of change takes much longer than a few winter months.  But nothing ever changes is if you never make any effort.  Now, I realize you should never make changes for other people so saying “who I am as Ray’s partner” may be a bit of a misnomer.  What I actually mean is that there are parts of me that I don’t like, parts of my behavior or reactions that do not make me feel good and they are in the context of my relationship.  So, over the course of the next few months I am going to try harder to relax and let the little shit go.  I’m going to breathe first and talk second and I’m going to make sure that my feelings about things are made known, either in advance or as a calm conversation after something has happened.  This should hopefully replace some snarky conversations I’ve instigated as well as a bad habit I have of not thinking through what I want to express and then doing it over and over until the whole thing is just a huge mess.  I’m not really great at expressing my feelings very well but I’m going to work on getting my point across better, one time and calmly.  I realize that relationships take work on the part of both people however I can only change my own behavior and since there are parts of me that I don’t even appreciate, I figure it can’t hurt to work on that myself.  Plus, since most people generally “go with the flow”, if I’m making quiet, positive change and that becomes the flow then theoretically Ray would be picked up in the current and swept along.

As I said, all the random wisps of thoughts that I’ve been having were all pulled together on Saturday on a gorgeous, sunshiny ride.  Their catalyst was a sign that I saw first thing that morning:

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

Does anyone else ever recreate aspects of themselves from time to time?  Are there things that bother you about you?  Anything you ever try to change?