Tuesday, September 25, 2012

for the love of third dog, my bike

Rainy day biking wear & ps look at Boo's tired eyes
from not wearing her glasses yesterday
I just ran 66 minutes on my treadmill.  And although even 6 months ago I would have said, "yeah, why'd you quite so early?" today it was a personal marathon. My feet still hurt.  I still limp when I walk but I have a more important soul to care for. 

And in this moment of accepting my place back as a true runner I want to thank my bike who I have come to see as Third Dog, a necessary evil, a way to keep body moving while I waited for my feet to work enough to run on for really-reals, a great way to make going to the store fun (I hate the store), and in the middle of a long day a great way to get Beach to stop talking or at least not be able to hear her talking. 

Here we are at the bottom of the mountain of really-reals; I can run again.  I'm back on my feet and yet I have to admit I sort-of have fallen in love with biking...just a little bit. I haven't wrecked yet, knowing me that is when I will really be in love.    

Monday, September 24, 2012

properties of light

When we moved to the west side of SLC Beach was little not quite 3 yrs old. 
 We used our bikes (Beach in the bike trailer) to explore our new neighborhood.  Back then this vacant lot located on true 1300 South facing the Jordan river had a house on it.  House is a generous term.  Squatter's shack is was more like it.  From what I remember it was a bungalow of some sort chipping white plaster, boarded up, sagging roof, broken glass, attacked by Christian taggers, ransacked, and furnished by pee covered clothing and broken sofas.  A dream home really, right?  We would bike over and break in on a regular basis.  I remember little Beach toddling among the weeds and crumbling cement, she pointed up at the front porch to the blackened broken exposed light bulb and said, "It needs a new light."  Six years later this property still has a pull on our hearts.  Six year later Beach is still a kid who sees the world on her own terms.
Yesterday I had one of my famous "melt-ups" (its like a melt down but it does high instead of low) after a few days of stir crazy fueled by too much NPR and coffee.  "Mountains or die." I announced into the yard.  Car already packed with a picnic dinner, a box of cheap beers, & a few random jackets.  BC added dogs and a fishing pole.  We headed into the Wasatch back and beyond.  We stopped at Dan's old place to kick around in the dirt and dream about a cabin.  

You can see the slight distress on BC's face in this pic (above) it is right after the neighbor popped his head out to see who in the hell was poking around and I asked "Do you get Internet up here?"  Translation: I intend to live here. 
What does any of this have to do with anything?  It's about Beach; out front riding her bike one minute catching a snake the next and suddenly thrown into the back of an old car with a pile of dogs heading out on an adventure without warning.  And then there she is in the mountains just as ready as her mom to abandon comfort for a new crazy idea/life.  The road takes us further away and off into the early evening.  She is happy to discover we have food and water.  She wonders out loud about warm clothes and I assure her I packed some; trust & comfort come easy.
And then there she is dancing in the woods.
And slaying imaginary bad knights who would hurt her dragons.  
Somewhere bombs fall from the sky.  Somewhere people hate each other enough to kill.  Somewhere some one is all alone on their knees in the darkness.  The world she "needs a new light."  Hold on our children are coming....        

Saturday, September 22, 2012


It was a disaster waiting to happen and yet there I went rushing in, moving faster than I was thinking.  I had little to go on: a name, old milk tokens, a vague mention of a park with a commemorative marker, and directions (that looked like I had given them) to a community garden that is somehow related or not to the old Dairy.  Assignment: find and write about the Steenblik Dairy and Milk Depo, last (& only so far) known historical mention; 1932 surplus milk supply article Deseret News.
Let me back up to the community newsroom meeting where a long list of story ideas languished like orphans down the third page of the agenda.  Any of my friends could have picked half a dozen more fitting stories for me to take but form the moment I read ‘Steenblik Park, history of the Dairy Farm that used to be there’ I had a picture in my mind.  A tiny spark of recognition and here is where this all gets weird… “I think my mom used live down the street from this place.”  I said laying claim the nonstory story.  Funny statement, almost a lie, and considering I know nearly nothing about my mom’s childhood it was a big reach.

This is what I know about her family and her life in no particular order:  She lived in a little house on a big farm; she hated the chickens because they were mean.  She had a brother and a sister and I think one more sister, my mom was the oldest.  Her mother, my grandmother, was a hoarder, her sanity questionable, she died blind.  I recall she sewed us underwear which she gave us at Christmas by hiding inside her house and not answering the door but leaving the ‘gifts’ in an old car in the driveway where we left our gifts to her.  It was more a hostage exchange than a holiday but to us rich spoiled children it was an adventure.
My grandpa was an airplane mechanic (I think), he drank coffee he smoked he smelled rich and warm like a wood stove, he fought in a war he wouldn’t talk about, rumor has it he was on the beaches of Normandy.  He left my mom’s mom after the kids were grown for a waitress he had fallen in love with, even as a small Mormon child I found it romantic and reasonable to want to be loved and poured hot coffee.  She is the woman I know and call Grandma despite the fact that she is younger than my mom or maybe that is just a joke, I don’t know for sure.  My grandfather died a slow painful death from lung disease with his beloved waitress by his side.

The strongest memory I have tied to this side of the family is of riding in the back seat of my father’s Cadillac feeling the jog in the road and snow on a bridge which I have come to believe is the bridge over the Jordan River at Indian.  I know my grandfather (after leaving my mom’s mom) lived on Navajo Street and grew pumpkins.  His ashes are buried there below an oak tree (that later died too) in the front yard.  I know this because my X husband was the one who buried them and planted the tree… that house is somewhere very near to where I live today but for some reason the exact address hasn’t been nailed down. 
My mom had one dress she would wear it to school, come home wash it, and wear it the next day.  My mom’s childhood was cold filled with mud up to her knees and farm chores and bus stops and personal tragedies.  She was afraid of alligators under her bed from a movie she saw and she loved horses. 
The one sister who I am sure she had was my Aunt Jill.  We saw her and her husband, my uncle Joel twice a year.  Jill passed away from MS after a whole life time of dying, my whole life time anyway.  My mom’s brother Mike, known as Lucky, died of drugs or aids or exposure or all of the above.  My mom’s grandmother was hit by a car on Redwood Road she was dragged to death.  Yep, that is all know about her and her side of the family.  Not a lot to know about ones family.

After I agreed to write the piece on the Dairy I phoned my mom to see if she knew anything about it.  Funny, she didn’t remember it but she told me all about the Holbrooke Horse Farm and Stables near by, like I said she loved horses.  My father however knew the Dairy by name; my father is a magnificent story teller with a mind for history and detail.  He confirmed the dairy had been located adjacent to my mother’s childhood house.  No one can account for how I would have known that or how this happened…. After striking out all morning online I drove directly to the Steenblik Park.  Standing on the corner reading the street signs I realized just like the story I had stumbled on it quite by accident.  See I didn’t have the address to the park (nor had I ever had it) located in the belly of the twisty rose shaped streets of Rose Park.  I had the address to the community garden (with its questionable ties to the story) located several blocks away.  After a brief pause in the park to let Beach play we drove down to the garden plot along the river. 

If you have never been to Rose Park perhaps you should go there.  It is easily one of the most beautiful and peaceful neighborhoods I have ever seen.  As I drove around looking for something, what I’m not sure, my mind was going a million miles a minute.  I keep turning around and around looking up the streets and down them.  Staring at the river and the houses on the other side; I wanted to get over there. Everything in me wished for a bike.  I wanted to be able see and feel the place for ‘reals’.  I even thought, "oh shit we made a mistake we should have moved here!"  

At some point realizing I had forgotten my paper with my mom’s childhood address written on it, my own child bored to tears, I drove us home after looping the neighborhood one last time desperately wishing I hadn't forgotten that address trying to recall it but with no luck.
As it turns there was good reason for me to stand on 800 North and 1600 West and stare across the river.  I was staring directly into my past.  Remove a few plus decades and I would have been looking across a river at the fence line of my mother’s childhood home and property.  I would have been standing at the bottom of the street that ran past her front door.  [Adjusting for the correction of all SLC west streets moving one block west to allow for the original omission of Zero West (West Temple) her home would have sat roughly between 1800 & 1900 West on 800 North.]  800 North was the street I drove directly to, it is where Steenblik Park is located, it was the street I wanted out on, it was the street I continually tracked across until my child in the back seat let out a groan so loud I couldn’t ignore it.

I need to do more digging but I suspect I was treading across the fields of the Steenblik Dairy the whole time too, that park may actually be a remnant not just a name sake to the family (as suggested on line) who stills lives in the area.   Standing on the land I was looking for, searching for ghosts of stone that are long gone.  My mind knows almost nothing about my mother’s family and yet my blood seems to know how to find its way home.  And here I thought I was so cleaver and original to move us West…      

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pavlov's dog

There are band-aid wrappers all over my life, on my desk, in my pockets, on my dresser, and in the bottom of every trash can.  I have cortisone cream.  I have poly antibiotic.  I have baking soda.  I have acid.  I have Nexcare, Newskin, and Moleskin. 
Every morning I sit down & prepare my feet for battle; gathering defensives so I can stand.  I walk with a limp and run in agony. 

This morning I can already see myself on the treadmill running (despite the pain it makes me happy) as I begin the slow painful process of getting into running shoes.  But in another part of my mind I allow a quiet moment where I give in to the pain and do nothing.  Where I let last night’s realization define me….BC in an act of kindness took my foot in his hand.  I flinched.  He ignored my reaction, gently rubbing around the open sores.  My whole body tensed as I waited for the pain I knew was coming.  “Relax.” He whispered.  But no matter what he said or did the fear of pain smothered me.  It was so intoxicating we were able to sit in the dark as he worked my feet and talked about the past, not our past, our past with others.  “Relax” He whispered again taking my other foot in his strong hands. 

I have been battling these sores on my feet since the middle of July.  I trained on them.   Ran, mud jumped, climbed, hiked, gave up, and started running again.  And I am finally winning this fight.  But it has come at a high price I have conditioned myself to feel the pain.  I believe that any touch to my feet will hurt me and I run on them anyway.  There is something in that: a girl who knows it is going hurt and accepts it as her sentence.  I have lost ten years of commonsense and strength.  I stand on weak feet on the wrong side of a door I should have never opened…but at least I am still running.             

Sunday, September 16, 2012

yeah that

And the truth comes out in the end.  BC didn't send me off with a free pass on hard labor because I was limping.  He did it because of the totally irrational way I behave around chainsaws.
It is no help at all getting the branches out to the curb if every time a chainsaw buzzes the girl drops whatever she is holding, screams, and runs off...

almost but not quite

Me:  That was so sweet of you to sneak off and gas my car for me this morning.

BC:  Oh-oh, did you need gas?  I didn't notice. I was just grabbing rolling papers.  But that was sweet of you to think I would do that, thanks babe.

Friday, September 14, 2012

love affair

Runners, every last one of them are sick and twisted people.  I know this first hand.  This morning I couldn't even stand on my left foot without pain.  I was wondering how I was going to get a real workout in, dreading having to do yet another static standing circuit (which does nothing to help me shed this extra weight, never going to fit in my ski pants at this rate!!!) when I hobbled past the greenhouse where my treadmill lives.  Look to the treadmill, look to the new (untested) running shoes, look to the temperature inside the greenhouse, back to the treadmill, sneaked a peak around the yard to see if anyone was looking and made a break for it.  Thirty minutes of sheer bliss running in a full blown sprint, temp's hoovering in the high 90's, best fucking feeling!!! Hopped off the treadmill, closed her up, sneaked back inside drenched in sweat, light headed, feet throbbing & already plotting my return tonight, and tomorrow, and the next day...
I know it's not right but feels so good.  

what happens on the farm....

 ...should stay on the farm.
But what would be the fun in that?!
Josh getting his nails done last night after dinner :)
Beach obviously can spot a sleep-over party long before I can because she was painting nails & pulling out the games an hour before I figured out Josh (& his dog) were staying over.
This is her not winning face.
Boys, can't live without can't live without them.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

fowl, a zombie rooster

Nothing to see here... certainly not a resurrected zombie rooster walking around the place.  Nope cause if we had one of those I would have been calling BC at working saying "wtf?!?!" and he would have been all like, "Oh-really I wondered where he went" and I would have been "wtf even more?!?!?!"  and he would have said "well I killed the other 2 and they died peacefully but he sort of like..." and would've said, "got up and left?!?!" and BC would have been all, "yeah, I guess..."



I had the back of Little Red open leaning down watching Boo count newspapers for distribution when a man begging for change came over & stood inches from Boo.  He towered over her.   I didn't wait for the question I shook my head 'no' but he didn't move away.  I stopped what I was doing and told him to leave but he didn't move.  Finally I yelled at him to move along or I would flag down the police officer across the parking lot from us.  He gave me a dirty look and slowly wandered away. 
When we drove off he flipped me off so I backed up rolled down my window and ripped him a new one about approaching a woman alone with a child the way he had. 

Beach's summation: Sometimes men don't realize how dangerous women who have children can be.

Monday, September 10, 2012


On the morning of a meet being a
gymnastics mom makes me feel like this...
Pinterest hair
Pnterest Child
Real hair, real child

Saturday, September 8, 2012

they took home gold...

...so we took them to dinner :)
 Well, that's not really how it works.  On a Saturday night in Park City and you have 30 people to feed you make a reservation way ahead of time.
Congrats Rats!

serious gym stuff

Getting good pic's of the Little Giants is no easy task!!!! This is part of them enjoying the dinner break minus the annoying mom asking them to smile. 
 She isn't giving up that beef jerky for anything!
 "Just one smile PLEASE!!"
"How about an ending pose?"
Ever had something that cute look at you like this?!?! 
She is trying to eat her rice...
 And finish!
Little Giants, Good luck in your first Level 5 meet today!  Happy thoughts & best wishes to all the GTC girls!

PS If you do well we will feed you.