Monday, August 31, 2009

Pictures from our hike up to Baker Lake

Ethan and I went camping this weekend with Justin and Kim (Brian and Erin came up on Saturday). We headed out noonish Saturday to Baker Lake, and had a really nice hike up, with some beautiful views.

An update from Mom

I think she was having issues with the Czech keyboard.......

Hi Alyca,
Yep, got another one. Today.
It is not gold tho, but bronZe has a nice shine to it!

I am racing on the senior woman,s grand master,s.
Tomorrow, we are not racing, so we will check out the City It is so beautiFul here! The weather has been perfect!
Let eveRyone knoW I am Doing great!

Gotta hit the sack

Také care,

Final tally:

Silver with the Grandmasters women in the 2000m; Bronze with the Grandmaster women in the 1000m; Bronze with the Grandmasters women in the 200m; Silver with the Senior women in the 200m; Bronze with the Senior women in the 500m. So, you could really say she rocked it. A medal at every distance she competed in!

Today (Monday), they took a train into Budapest. They are staying there for 3 nights, doing all the Rick Steves recommended activities--their number one focus is to go to a public bath. Don't worry--they wear clothes in the public baths....

After Budapest, it is another train ride into Zagreb, Croatia; then a flight down to Dubrovnik where they meet up with another paddler and do a 3 day sea kayaking adventure. Mom got a housing for her camera that is waterproof, and promises to bring back lots of pictures!!


Friday, August 28, 2009

For those of you who are following along....

A few links to make things easier.

Here is a blog by Wasabi (Mom's club in Portland). They are blogging some of the races. Mom is not involved, but they do talk about the boats swamping the first day and how some of the races are going. Mom is on (I believe) the Grandmasters women (over age 50), and maybe the grandmasters mixed team. Pretty sure about the GM women, since we saw the picture of her in the medal lineup, and the Senior women did not get a medal.

Here is a link to a website where a photographer is taking pictures of the races.

He updates it daily (so far), and there are LOTS of pictures to look through. I have looked through them ALL so far, and there is just the one with Mom in it. I will let you know if I find more......To look through the pictures, just click on one to make it bigger. Once it is up, click on the top right of the picture ( on the > symbol) to go to the next picture

Here is the link to race results--they are posted live within a few minutes of the race completing.

The top of the page has some navy blue buttons to get results for day 1, day 2, etc.

Are we all caught up??? Keep sending good luck vibes to Mom--there are a lot more medals out there to win, and I know she is using her medals to make a curtain for her window. She needs a couple more to finish it!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mom wins a silver medal!!!

Mom is in Prague, and today was the first big day of racing.

I believe Mom is on the Grand Dragon women's team....because there is a picture on the link above of Mom at a medals ceremony, and reporting on the official site that the US Grand Dragons women won a silver medal in the 2000 meter race.

(It is Picture will recognize her by her cane.....)

In Australia in 2007, mom won a bronze medal in the 500meters with the Grand Dragons mixed this is a GREAT start to her meet!!

Paddle hard, Mom!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

After 36 hours of swearing, taking things apart, consulting the internet, dragging out our behemoth of a ladder and sleeping in alternate locations, we have finally silenced the chirping of the fire alarm in our bedroom.

We were mystified when the beeping continued despite changing the battery, vacuuming out any dust or bugs inside, resetting the system and giving it dirty looks.

We drug the ladder out of the garage and got up into the attic above out bedroom--on the internet, there were stories of people having beeping fire alarms they didn't know existed in their attics. I figured we MUST have one up there.

We were even MORE mystified when the beeping continued after we removed the unit from the ceiling (ours are hard-wired into the house, and have a battery backup). The beeping continued out of the empty hole. How the hell is that possible?? The beeping would not stop even when we tripped the circuit breaker. I figured they were mislabelled.

We nearly divorced.

I went to the manufacturer's website for tips, and followed ALL of them.

Except the tip where they say that the beeping could be coming from another source. What idiot has a cell phone with a fire alarm beep and doesn't recognize it, I thought. How stupid ARE some people??

Apparently, we are those idiots. The beeping was from our carbon monoxide detector, whose battery was running low. It is plugged into a socket at the foot of our bed, and in our teeny master bedroom, the sound bounced off the walls and we only THOUGHT it was coming from the hole in the ceiling where the smoke detector goes.

The beeping began at 5:20am on Saturday. I know this, because Ethan was just closing the garage door to go into work for some overtime when it started. I figured I needed a new battery, but 5:20am is not the time for me to be coordinated and stand on a chair, so I went downstairs and slept on the couch.

The rest of Saturday was pretty busy--Ethan spend 5+ hours using our new powerwasher on the deck (which looks fabulous now, by the way...), and I was busy with some other cleaning projects around the house. We tried changing the battery, etc in the afternoon, to no avail. Then we headed out to Justin and Kim's for the Seahawks game, and got home around midnight. At this point, we were tired and tried turning off the power to the alarm system, planning to deal with it in the morning. WHen this failed, I slept on the couch upstairs, and Ethan slept on the couch downstairs ( I totally got the better deal--the upstairs couch is COMFY!). Then, around 4am, one of the actual smoke detectors got sick of the beeping coming from the bedroom, and IT started chirping. Every minute. Both of them. I moved into our spare bedroom, closed the door and slept a few hours on the air mattress in there. Not comfortable.
After a few hours of this, I moved to the newly vacated couch downstairs for some sleep. Eventually, I got up and used a hand carved cane we got on our honeymoon to push the reset button on the smoke detector while standing on a chair(it is up on the vaulted ceiling in our living room and VERY hard to reach), and shut it up. Several hours later, after much hair pulling, we got the other alarm silenced.

I am still hearing beeping in my head.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I have often felt a sort of kinship, a feeling of understanding and connection with lesbian and gay couples. The discrimination, the anger, the rudeness, the stares. I think I have a teeny bit of an understanding as to how that feels, and what it is like to be in a loving relationship that is not respected by the outside world.

In case you couldn't tell from our numerous pictures posted on my blog, Ethan and I are in an interracial relationship. Shocking, I know.

In the early days of our relationship, back when we first met in college, I thought nothing of the differences in skin color. Ethan was very sweet, oh-so-kind, intelligent and sensitive, and gorgeous to boot. What more was I looking for?? Having been raised in the boonies with almost no people with ethnicities other than my own, I had never formulated an opinion on who I would or wouldn't date.

After a few weeks, I remember talking on the phone to Davinie and mentioning his race. Not a big deal, just thought I should throw it out there. She was cool, didn't seem to think much of it, either.

Most of my family was pretty cool about things--they ALL are now. Some had concerns. Was I now becoming a part of the 'black community'? Would my kids be accepted in 'white society'?? I think it was mostly naivety and concern for me and my happiness. I am pretty confident now in the acceptance by my family of my relationship. If that makes any sense whatsoever.

Ethan and I have been together, somewhat off and on (bus mostly on) since 1995. That is fourteen years this fall. Now that my family has really gotten to know him, they love him and accept him and our relationship.

Okay, the back story. Got it???

Here in the Pacific NW, we are relatively sheltered. This area is known for tolerance and acceptance. I get funny looks sometimes when Ethan and I are out and about holding hands or presenting ourselves as a definite 'couple', but for the most part, people really don't care if we are interracially together.

Leaving this safety bubble is another thing. We have had obscenities screamed at us, rude gestures, serious anger directed our way. Why??? We were walking down a street, holding hands on vacation. This has happened in Las Vegas, it has happened in Reno, we had some issues in Miami.....

Anyway. I compare this to a homosexual couple. Screamed at for holding hands or kissing. Having people try to talk you out of your relationship. I could no more stop loving Ethan than I could cut my own leg off. He is my soulmate. We don't get to choose the skin color or eye color or shoe size or height of the one we fall in love with--you fall in love with someone's soul, and take the physical package that comes attached. I feel the same way about same-sex couples. Do you honestly think that this is a CHOICE?? That they CHOOSE to make their life more difficult by being in a same-sex relationship?? That they ENJOY being stared at and getting evil looks?? Really?? You think they do this for fun?? Doesn't sound like much fun to me. No one would choose the additional stressors that come with being gay/lesbian. This is who they are. This is how they are. Everyone is different. Everyone is born with their own uniqueness. Some differences are accepted, and some are not. I try my best to accept everyone as they are. I do not always succeed, but I do try. I think the world would be a much better place if we all at least TRIED.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009