Monday, September 27, 2010

I Think I'm in Love ...

... with The Pioneer Woman. For the past two years, I've heard almost every woman I have come in contact with sing the praises of Ree Drummond, a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman. To hear others talk, this chick could do no wrong. I refused to jump on the bandwagon. It's one of my quirks. I don't do bandwagons. After all, can any one person really be ALL THAT? Um ... yeah. Apparently, they can, and, apparently, she is.

I finally broke down and checked out PW's (she refers to herself as PW, so I can, too, right?) cookbook from the local library. Not only is the cookbook visually stunning, it's a fun read, AND her recipes are amazingly yummy and EASY, which in my book, is an easy score. In the past week, I have made Angel Sugar Cookies, Penne alla Betsy, and pico de gallo. And they were visually pleasing (not stunning, but pleasing) and edible. Holy Guacamole! (Haven't tried that recipe yet.) This gal has made me, ME of "I ruined the taco meat" fame, think I stand a chance in the kitchen. Did I mention that PW is also visually stunning (not pleasing, but stunning)? Oh, and she put the entire book together - photos and storyline - herself. Excuse me while I squeegee the drool from my laptop.

Sorry, Giada.You've been replaced. I have a new foodie crush.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rockin' the Pink Gear

In my last post, I shared my excitement and terror at getting back on the bike after a four-year hiatus. Silly Mari. The instant I swung my leg over the passenger seat and slid in behind Mark, I knew I was in the right place for that moment in time.  The world looks and feels so different on a motorcycle, and I needed that different view desperately.  I am so glad I didn't let fear get the best of me. I also needed a "date day" with my man.

The only snafus - and really, what's an adventure without snafus? -  were a cold start to the ride and a dead battery. Yep, another dead battery. For those of you familiar with our August escapade to Colorado, you'll remember that the battery died on the Escape during that adventure. Well, the battery died on the Triumph after we got to the Kansas Speedway. Fortuntately, Bikers for Babies is so well organized that it had a mechanic on-site who charged the battery. We were good to go, and go we did!

I was a little bummed because this year's route didn't take us by the prison. However, all along the 100-mile ride people lined the road, cheering and waving. I felt a bit like a rock star. Or a movie star.

A pre-helmet-hair shot ... not that it really mattered. UGH!
 
Mark removing the dead battery.
 
Mark taking the battery to be resuscitated.

A wheel chair accessible bike. Very cool!
 
A 100% unflattering pic of moi.
   
Some of the 7,000  or so bikes.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

No Fear or How to Rock Pink Motorcycle Gear

Personal Commandment No. 3: NO FEAR

That's me a little over four years ago, May 2006. I tooled around Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, and the surrounding mountain roads on the back of Mark's motorcycle. It was an amazing weekend! It was also the last time I felt no fear. About two weeks after this picture was taken, I found out I was pregnant with the peeps. I haven't been on the back of the motorcycle since. It was my decision. Damn that whole responsible parent thing.

That's about to change. Not the whole responsible parent thing, but the whole not riding on the back of the motorcyle thing. This Sunday, Mark and I are participating in Bikers for Babies at the Kansas Speedway. I've been once before, many years ago, and it was a blast!. One of the highlights for me was riding by the medium-security prison in Leavenworth and waving at the convicts in the prison yard. Yeah, I'm like that.

Before the peeps rocked my world, I knew no fear. Well, not no fear, but not a lot of fear. The point is, I tried stuff without considering the consequences to life, limb, or mental health. I climbed mountains. I rapelled down a tower upside down. I bought my own house in a not-so-great part of town. I explored parts of Europe alone. I drove a Segway, for goodness sakes!


The peeps changed all that. I think lots more about consequences. I guess it's because now I have more to lose. Those little ladies might drive me to drink some days, but they are my little ladies and life without them wouldn't be life. So, while I'm super duper excited about the adventure - especially because I get to don my hot pink gear and kickass Red Wing boots again - I'm also a little freaked out. Mark and I got our "should we die together" paperwork in order a couple of weekends ago - one of the prerequisites for me gearing up again. A necessary but creepy step.

What if ... What if ... What if ... What if ... A million what ifs have floated through my mind the past few days.

I asked Mark if such thoughts ever cross his mind. He said he doesn't think about stuff like that because if he did, he would never do anything. And I know he's right. So, as Audrey says, come Sunday I'll be ready to get my rock on! No fear.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Alone in a World Full of People

Something I find both fascinating and unsettling about life is that I experience stretches of time during which I feel very much alone despite the fact that I'm surrounded by people.