Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mottos by which to live...

For years, I've had the following poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson (maybe) hanging in my office:

To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
and affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch,
or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

However, after having children and determining that things are seldom as perfect as I'd like them to be (including my behavior when dealing with them!), I think I'm going to change it out for a very wise quote I just received by e-mail:

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning."

Surely it's better to just set a lower standard than to continuously fail at perfection. :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Random musings of a 4-year-old

Yesterday the boy was in rare form - here are some of his random musings...

Yesterday morning as I left for work, the kids had the following conversation (my husband text-messaged me as I was driving down the street):
the girl: "I wish... we'll miss her all day"
the boy: "We'll miss her all day... But we won't! After nap she'll come."
the girl: "I want to watch Calliou right now!"
(It's nice they think about me so fondly... and for so long!)

They then sat down to eat breakfast. And while sitting at the table, the boy says, "Daddy, you know what I really want is some attention" (pause) "but you're not giving me any." My husband said he thinks his reply was something like, "Hold on a minute - I want to hear what Cadel Evans has to say." - You know, an exciting stage of the Tour de France was going at this time! :)

The boy apparently then wanted Daddy to take him outside so he could check the weather. He got outside and declared, "Yep! Still summer!!!" and they went back inside.

And then last night, we went for a bike ride and Fellan was telling me all about how we would ride bikes when he gets older, "When I get older, then I could ride your bike. And Daddy and I could ride with the babies on the trailer bike."
"What babies?" I asked.
"The babies we're going to get!" he replied.
"Where are we going to get these babies?" I asked.
"From the hossibal! I know they make them there!" he exasperatedly replied.

(Lately, he's been obsessed with us having more babies - he wants two girls. Twin girls, to be exact. How long do you think it will take for his disappointment to fade?...)

Of course, the evening ended with him stubbornly refusing to brush his teeth and crying himself to sleep because we then wouldn't read him his book, but I'll try to remember the good parts of the day instead. :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mark my words...

For the last 8 years, the Tour de France has been won by an American. Last year's winner is still being questioned as a doper, however it remains a big question in my mind. The french labs that do the testing seem to be as reliable as a Yugo and I don't trust anything they say. I think they're still a little peeved that they've never been able to get any dirt on Lance, they hate that Americans have been winning, and they haven't had a French winner since 1985 - Bernard Hinault.

So, this year's Tour de France has been going on now for a week and the first big mountain stage was today. Everyone seemed to have a hard time coming up with the favorites for this year because more and more riders are being accused of doping and admitting to doping, but, even before the Tour started I figured out who the winner is going to be: Christophe Moreau.

Not that I like him at all. He's been a professional rider for 11 years and has been known to be kind of a jerk for most of his career. A few years ago, he was involved in a scuffle during a race and either punched another rider or got punched, I don't remember which.

Anyway, this year, he has become a "revelation". He won the French National Championship and the Dauphine Libere this year and I figure he'll probably win the Tour - he's French, he's probably doping (because, come on - at 36, he's suddenly a "revelation"??), but the French labs won't dare to "out" him as a doper.

So, there's my pick for the Tour. (do you think I could be any more fatalistic about this?...)

P.S. My real hopes for this year? Levi Leipheimer and Cadel Evans :)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I'm a "Fire Warden"

In my office building, every floor is required to have 4 "Fire Wardens" - people who check the floor during a fire drill and keep everyone on the floor until we're told to leave.

So, in case you can't find my office, just follow the gigantic arrow...

I just about fell over laughing when I came in one day to find myself "labelled".


Well, as if taking a week and a half off to go biking wasn't enough, we also decided to take a mini-vacation last week. My company only works 4 days a week and since the 4th was on Wednesday, I decided it was just stupid for me to come in to work on Thursday. I was having hard enough time trying to get back into the "work" mentality anyway!

So, we decided to take a mini-vacation out to Fredericksburg, TX. We were only there for one full day, but we managed to go hiking at Enchanted Rock for the morning, visited a winery (of course!) in the afternoon, and ate our fair share of bratwursts and German potato salad while we were there.

Hiking in a "valley" next to Enchanted Rock:

Our feet at the highest point on Enchanted Rock (surveyor's mark):

(notice the runnin' back shoes?...)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tour de Nebraska

I'm a little behind in my posts, so I'll try to catch up in the next couple of days...

The Tour de Nebraska was really great! The route basically circled my hometown this year, so the kids stayed with grandma and grandpa and they all came to visit us a couple of times.

The first two nights of the tour, we stayed in towns with wineries! Yeah - wineries in Nebraska - whodathunk?! The first winery wasn't spectacular, but that didn't stop us from splitting a bottle of wine that afternoon. The second winery, however, was really good. We, of course, felt it necessary to split another bottle of wine that second night and we ordered a case of it! We're pretty sure this tour was designed with us in mind. (Good thing we do so much "training" every evening here so that we could keep up with all the drinking during the bike ride.)
The third night we went out for a nice meal together - and split another bottle of wine. And the fourth night, we stayed in Wilber, Nebraska, the "Czech Capitol of the USA" (they even hold a "Miss Czech USA" pageant every year!). Of course, the evening was capped off with a traditional Czech meal and a couple of huge bottles of Czech beer.
Oh yeah, besides the drinking (which, of course, was the most important part) we also did some biking! It was beautiful and fairly challenging! For the first 2.5 days, there wasn't a stretch of flat ground to be seen. And the hills were pretty steep. I had trouble walking the 2nd and 3rd nights because my legs were so sore! But I got a massage on the 3rd night and that seemed to help my legs quite a bit for the 4th and 5th days.
So, yeah, the biking was really very nice. Most people think of bicycle tours as being in the California wine country, or Vermont, or some other spetacular place, but I'd have to say that this one is probably nicer than those places. There are no people in Nebraska, you know! No people = no cars! It was great. And the roads were nice, too - you know, no cars to mess up the roads! :)
And it was just so nice to visit all these tiny little towns in Nebraska - the Rotary Clubs and church groups staffed rest stops for us and we ate every day in whatever local bar was in town. It was pretty cool.
Definitely something we'd like to do again! And we're going to try to convince other people to come with us next time... Any takers?...