Friday, May 22, 2009

The ADA Tour de Cure

In years past our family has participated in the Tour de Cure. This is a fund raising event/ride for the American Diabetes Association. It is a fantastically supported ride that raises thousands of dollars for the Research and Cure of Diabetes.

We have family and friends with Diabetes and feel like this is one small way that we can help while at the same time getting out on our bikes with the family.

The Seattle Tour de Cure was last Saturday May 16 and because of prior commitments we were unable to participate. But the route was ready and we got to ride part of it last Friday.
If we are able to participate next year, you'll be the first to find out because we'll be hitting you up for some donations!
In the mean time keep your eyes peeled for bikes on the road and see what you can do about being one of them!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Whole Wheat Bread

I love home made bread. I love the smell of it baking. I love to eat it warm. I love to eat it as toast with home made jam the next day. I love to see it sitting on my counter cooling. I love home made bread.

Today I'm going to share a recipe with you for Whole Wheat Bread. The best whole wheat bread EVER!

First of all: The Ingredients.
What? The white flour didn't make the photo. You'll still need it.

Freshly ground whole wheat flour
. If you don't have a grinder, use a friends, if you don't have a friend with a grinder... Go ahead and use the stuff from the store, it tends to be very fine but will still work. (or get to know a Mormon neighbor, they often have one they will let you use and probably 100's of pounds of wheat they will share, too.)

Brown Sugar. Light or dark... whatever you have in the pantry.

Yeast. I use Red Star Active Dry. The recipe doesn't specify but I've always used active dry.

Warm Water. To dissolve the yeast in.

Sugar. What? You don't put sugar in everything you make?

Salt. Once I thought I could health it up by omitting the salt. Don't do it. Resist the temptation. Flavor was lost. If you need to make it healthier, use applesauce instead of shortening.

Milk. Whole, non fat, 2 %, canned, whatever you have in the fridge.

Shortening. Apple sauce can be used to omit fat. Sometimes I just don't want to deal with the hassle of shortening so I just unwrap a cube of butter. It sure is yummy that way.

Water. This is separate from the first bunch. So if you have to; get if from a different sink.

White Flour. Sorry it didn't make it into the family photo.... you'll still need it.

You should have 10 ingredients because you do not want to combine the water.

1. In a bowl larger than you think you need dissolve 2 Tbsp. yeast (the big T means the bigger spoon) in 1/2 cup warm water. Stir these together gently and add 2 Tbsp sugar (there's that big T again. Actually there are no little t's in this recipe so just leave it in the drawer.) Set aside and watch it grow.

2. Combine in a separate large mixing bowl 4 cups whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 Tbsp. salt.

3. Heat 1 1/2 cups water, 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup shortening in microwave to lukewarm.

4. Gradually add liquids and yeast mixture to dry ingredients (flour mixture).

5. Beat at low speed until moistened, then at medium speed for two minutes.

6. Stir in enough white flour to make soft dough. About 2 - 2 1/2 cups. Don't add it all at once. Add a cup, mix, add a cup, mix and you're going to have to just trust yourself about what a soft dough is. If you have a dough hook let it knead for 10 minutes.

7. Now is the fun part. Dump the dough onto a lightly (or not so lightly) floured surface and knead away. Kneading bread dough is not difficult but you'll want to avoid getting your fingers very involved. So, using the heal of your hand push the dough into the counter. Roll it back toward you and push again. Rolling and pushing, hitting and pounding. You really want to get those glutens working and work the yeast throughout the bread. It works well if you are angry or frustrated because you can really beat up on your dough and it's actually good for it.Work it baby. (I wonder how many calories you burn doing this?)

8. Place in a greased bowl and grease all sides of dough. (I just spray the bowl and the dough) Cover.
9. Let rise. About 30-60 minutes. It should double in size.
Watch it grow... I only removed the lid to take a picture. You should keep it covered so it doesn't get a hard crust on top.
10. Divide in two pieces and form into loaves.
11. Place in greased (again... spray) loaf pans and again let rise double. (about 30 minutes)
12. Bake 35-40 minutes in a preheated oven 350 degrees Farenheit.
13. Let rest on cooling rack for about 5 minutes then gently remove from pans and replace onto cooling rack until cool. (After the 5 minute resting period, it's okay to slice into a loaf, smother with butter and savor the goodness of your own healthy and delicious creation.)
Sooo scrumptious!

Whole Wheat Bread

4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups water
2 - 2 1/2 cups white flour

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water with 2 T. sugar. Combine whole wheat flour, brown sugar, and salt. Heat water, milk and shortening to lukewarm. Gradually add liquids and yeast mixture.
Beat at low speed until moistened, then at medium speed for two minutes. Stir in enough white flour to make soft dough. Knead 10 minutes. Put into greased bowl and grease all sides of dough. Cover and let rise until doubles (about 30 - 60 minutes). Divide in two pieces and form into loaves. Put in greased loaf pans and let rise double (about 40 mins) Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bike Jerseys ROCK!

I've decided that Bike Jerseys need to be promoted in new ways.
Because they have 3 pockets in the back.
They are made of super comfy fabric.
And they're cute.

Let's just say a jersey is
The Cyclist's Bat Utility Belt

When I'm on the bike I keep an extra gel in one, pepper spray
in another, (for those scary stray dogs)
a cell phone in the other, (and usually a camera).

Just think, if you had one for yard work and another for housecleaning
how efficient you could be.
When doing housework you could have the ipod in one,
the feather duster in another
and the toilet brush in the other.

And yard work? Water bottle in one, spade in another,
and phone in the other.

I tell you these shirts are AWESOME!
Where would you like to wear one?
And, what would you put in the pockets?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Teenagers in the Spring

Do you ever wonder what it's like to have five teenagers all at the same time?

What happens after school in a house that full of teenage hormones?

Here's a good example of what I found when I wandered
around a very quiet house Monday afternoon:



Thing One

New Kid

Okay, so Cycle Guy's not technically a teenager, but he gets up really early in
the morning so he deserves an after school nap too!~
Cycle Guy

Fashionista isn't a teenager yet... She still has some energy.
Look at her go!
What does your house look and sound like at 4 in the afternoon?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Serious Training and Unscheduled Rest Stops

Cycle Guy had the day off on Friday so we wanted to go for a bike ride, but Thing One had his smart teeth (Get it? Wisdom Teeth? Smart Teeth? The Bean came up with that one.) out on Thursday so he was home on Friday asking for butterscotch pudding and watching "The Office" reruns. We decided we could still go but not to make it a full day trip. We settled on the short (30 mile) version of one of our favorites. A Lake Stevens/Granite Falls loop that is almost entirely quiet country and forest roads. Beautiful!

I often carry a camera in my jersey pocket, but Friday I realized that it's time I got serious about the training thing so the pocket remained empty.

Here's the way a ride goes when I don't bring the camera in my jersey pocket. I set my watch timer to go off every five minutes. I start out in front with Cycle Guy following in my draft. When the alarm rings, I move to the back and CG leads.
His new bike is really fast and sometimes I have to kick myself to keep up. But he's a pretty good friend so he keeps track of me and rarely gets very far ahead. Except on hills where you ride your own ride and meet at the top. That's when I stand up and leave him in my dust. (click here for a refresher on bicycle lingo.)

Remembering the importance of hydration, I was sure to bring my favorite water bottle along. But that brings with it the need for rest stops. Usually we watch for constructions sites or soccer fields, all good places for a porta potty. But like I said, this is a VERY rural route and, well, porta potties are hard to come by.
After seeing nothing for like 100 miles I ran behind a lonely building for a quick "health break", then I was ready for some more H2O.
The day was amazingly nice. We've been waiting for weather like this. Jerseys and shorts were all we needed. No jackets, no layers, I didn't even need my toe warmers!
CG even decided to pull out all the stops and 'look' like the true cyclist that he is. Notice? No camo baggies over the spandex!

Things learned: It's important to take your turn in a pace line. If you are the owner of the stopwatch it's probably best to be honest about when the alarm rings, your partner probably has a pretty good sense about how long 5 minutes lasts and letting more than one rotation go by while you're in the draft makes you a wheel sucker. Also, Action Wipes will get chain grease off your leg.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tradition and the Knowland Park Zoo in Oakland California

Family Traditions... some of them are planned and carefully calculated. Like birthday cakes, family vacations and Christmas Eve. Others happen all on their own and come to be 'expected' by members of the family. Like spaghetti with no utensils on Halloween. (What were we thinking?)

A tradition at our house that just ...happened involves The Knowland Park Zoo in Oakland California. We've never been to The Knowland Park Zoo in Oakland California... physically. But every one of us has been to the Primate Village of The Knowland Park Zoo in Oakland California in our imagination a million times.

And I can tell you why...

Sunday is a special day. Dad is home and takes a part in getting ready for church that day. When the girls were little they liked to have Dad brush their hair while it was wet because while he brushed he told stories. Okay, he told one story but although the story always ended the same, the characters often changed because the victim girl getting her hair brushed got to choose the main character of her story.

To get the full effect of the story it would be best for you to run take a shower and wash your hair first.

Go ahead... I'll wait.

Now that you're back and all squeaky clean, have someone you love brush your wet hair while they tell you the story of:

A Visit to the Primate Village at The Knowland Park Zoo in Oakland California
As told by The Cycle Guy Dad

When Olga was in Kindergarten her teacher took their class on a field trip to The Knowland Park Zoo in Oakland California. (here we often hear about the long bus ride going all the way from NW Washington to Oakland California). Their class like all classes zoomed over to the flamingos because they were new at the Zoo (sometimes it's the hippos or maybe even the Tapirs). While admiring the pink beauties they heard some commotion coming from the Primate Village and decided to follow the noise. (There is ALWAYS a commotion in the Primate Village)

When they got there, they saw a gorilla going mad and banging on his chest. He picked up a piece of day old poop and flung it through the air. (I regret to inform you that the consistency and age of said 'poop' varies between tellings). It flew in slow motion flipping and turning and broke into pieces. They watched in stunned silence as one piece hit her friend McKenzie in the chest and the other hit Olga smack dab on the top of the head.

But don't worry, their teacher always carried baby wipes and cleaned them right up.

And they all lived happily ever after.

This, my dear friends, is a true although somewhat embellished rendition of an experience that actually happened to Cycle Guy when he was in Kindergarten in California sometime in 1970. The victim of the landing projectile was a grown woman and we're quite sure she did eventually live happily ever after.

Could it possibly have been the same day that a goat from the petting zoo ate the name tag off of little cycle guys coat and he worried all day that he would get lost?

What kinds of family traditions do you have that didn't come about with any careful planning?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thing One and New Kid and ...The Prom

Saturday night was The Senior Prom. Thing One and The New Kid took a couple of beautiful girls and had a wonderful time.Before the Prom they all met at the park by our house for pictures. Check out this amazing group of friends. They really have some great friends and love spending time together. Playing Risk, Ultimate Frisbee, eating, dancing, playing tennis, whatever it is they love doing it together.
Before the Prom the boys asked me if I would make them vests to match their dates dresses. A little scared, I don't sew much, I said yes.These are the corsages I made for the girls. I wanted to add a little blue to Thing 1's dates flowers since that was her main color. I used some Forget me nots from the garden.The pink I got from an Azalea in the garden.

They had lots of fun and even though I'm still learning, it was even fun to make the vests and flowers for their big night.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What I learned from My Mom

This being Mother's Day, I've been thinking about my Mom. I am #4 of 6 children and just in case you're wondering... the fourth child is the best one. It's true.

My Mom was the original Kool Aid Mom. We lived in an amazing neighborhood in Idaho when I was young and with 6 kids in 10 years there were always inumerable kids at our house and My Mom was good at it.

Today I've been thinking about what I learned from her.
  • Confidence: When I was little Mom said I could do anything... I believed her.
  • Faith: Her faith is unquestionable. I never doubted her testimony or love for Jesus Christ.
  • Fashion: I may not be as good at it as she is, but she always looks beautiful and takes good care of herself. I used to love it when she went on business trips with Dad because she came home with new clothes for herself. I loved when she took me shopping for new clothes. She is good at finding the right shoes and accessories for any outfit and loves having the sales people help us find stuff.
  • Dedication: When she sets her mind on something, you better believe she'll follow through. She is queen of Wii Fit. I think she may be almost up to 300 hours and a loss of about 30 pounds.
  • Gardening: Her flower gardens are a thing of beauty and elegance. Even the butterflies and hummingbirds can't stay away. She taught me to appreciate the beauty of nature.
  • Self Respect: Every morning before breakfast, she was up and dressed. She fixed her hair and put on lipstick. I remember friends being embarrassed to be seen with their mother first thing in the morning... I didn't get that, my mom always looked nice.
  • Good Nutrition: Mom made us breakfast everyday. While she made it, we read scriptures with Dad and then the whole family ate breakfast together.
  • Skin Care: I loved sitting on the chair in my parents room and visiting with my mom as she got ready for bed. Her face cream sat on her night stand and the smell of Oil of Olay still takes me there.
  • Love of Music: Mom loves music and often had music playing in our home. The Four Lads and Guy and Ralna hold special memories for me.
  • Pizza.
  • Leadership: She always held positions of leadership in church and taught me by example that serving in the church is a blessing in itself.
  • Humility: I think she still doesn't realize what an amazing person she is. My parents always loved me even when I did dumb stuff.
  • Every One needs to be included. I hate the thought of anybody ever being left out, and I try to do anything I can to keep it from happening.
  • Compassion
  • Fairness: This is really hard as a parent. Somehow she was able to make us believe things could be even. Christmas. Yup, everybody always got the same number of presents and you better believe even if I have to separate a pair of socks and wrap them separately I will so that each kid gets the same number of presents.
  • Belief in myself: I still believe that I can accomplish anything I set my mind on. If my self worth is a little inflated. I blame Mom.
Thanks Mom for believing in me, for believing in yourself and for teaching me to believe in the Savior, His love and the reality of His atonement. I love you.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Broad Stripes and Bright Stars

When I was about 16 years old I got to participate in the retiring of an American Flag. If you have never seen this done, you may be surprised at the procedure. Click here to read specific directions on how this is to be done.

I was part of a group of young women ages 12-18 at a Church Girls Camp. Four of us each took a corner of the flag and held it ceremoniously over the camp fire. As it began to burn, we were to toss our corner into the flames. I didn't want to let go, it seemed so sacred and important.

The flag of the United States of America is an icon of peace to me. We may not live in perfection, wealth and constant comfort. But we live in a place where we can have an opinion about whatever we want to have an opinion on and we can voice that opinion. We can choose where our children go to school, how we dress and where we want to earn a living.

But most importantly, we can choose how we worship, what we worship and where we worship. America is built on principles of Faith and Trust in that God who created us. But, if a person chooses to not believe in God, to believe in something or someone else; in the USA, he has that privilege.

I love Old Glory, the flag of the United States of America. I love America.

We often sang this song at Lincoln Elementary School.
(Rexburg Idaho, 1970's)

This Land is Your Land
Woody Guthrie

This land is your land, This land is my land

From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood forest to the Gulf Stream Waters
This land was made for you and me.
As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me
I roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me
When the sun came shining then I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
A voice was chanting as the fog was lifting
This land was made for you and me

Thursday, May 7, 2009

These are a few (two) of my Favorite Things

When the dog
chases me down causing me to crash on my bike 
and break my shoulder  
When the bee 
flies into my helmet causing me to go insane  
When I'm feeling
anxious to get out on my bike but it just won't stop raining  
I simply put on my red white and blue, star covered shoes  
Remember my favorite things... 
and then I
feel like a million dollars and I'm ready to conquer the world  
Don't feel soooo bad.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

21 Years and Still Happy

When I was in college I met a guy named Mike. We became good friends and spent a lot of time together. When he came home with me for Thanksgiving, my Mom fell in love with him.

She had chosen her son in law but ...remember in The Lion King when Zazu tells Nala and Simba that they are betrothed and they say, " Oooh gross he's my friend." Well, I was beyond the cooty thing but what if all of the sudden I started crushing on Mike? What would happen to our friendship? That was my worry. For months.

But ...when I came back to school after Christmas, the first person I wanted to see was Mike. So I called his apartment. Lance said he was at Becky's.



If I was jealous of Becky... could that mean that I. Liked. Mike?


I started showing more interest. You know. Not friend interest.

He responded quite encouragingly.

About a year later he gave me a diamond.

Six months after that on May 7, 1988 I married my best friend.

I had big hair. He had a mullet.

I still wish big hair was in style. He wishes he had a mullet.

Since then we've gone to 2 Universities, and lived in 8 different residences in 5 different cities in 3 different states.

We have four kids, a dog, a mortgage, 2 cars, a yard, 8 bikes, and 21 years of marital bliss.

I think I'm a pretty lucky girl!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Distance Traveled, Lessons Learned

Thing 1, Cycle Guy and I are training to ride in the STP this July. Not the race car oil you might expect... this is an 204 mile organized bike ride from Seattle Washington to Portland Oregon. We plan to ride it in 2 days at 102 miles per day. In order to prepare and train for a ride of this magnitude (and trust me, it is magnitudinal!) much time must be spent in the saddle. We ride trainers at home frequently but there is nothing to compare to the lessons learned by actually riding a good distance to understand what needs to be worked on in order to be ready come July.Here are some things I already knew:
1. You MUST spend time in the saddle. (The sit bones really CAN get used to sitting on that tiny surface for multiple hours at a time.)

2. Doing squats and lunges makes your legs stronger for the uphill climbs as well as more speed on the straightaways.

3. Hydration is key.

4. Nutrition is another key.

5. CG's new bike is really fast.Things I learned on Friday:
1. You MUST spend time in the saddle. If you don't your sit bones hurt.

2. Doing squats and lunges makes your legs stronger for the uphill climbs as well as more speed on the straightaways. If you don't your legs hurt.

3. Hydration is key. That hydration contest was AWESOME. I felt energetic all day!

4. Nutrition is another key. Eating energy food every hour or so keeps you from getting weak and negative. I just couldn't stop smiling all day long!

5. CG's new bike is really fast. Wow, even when I put the camera away every now and then I had a hard time keeping up.Well, for those of you who didn't read Mike's blog yesterday, we rode 70 miles. The sun was out in all it's glory, the tulips were beautiful, we had some strong winds in our faces at times but luckily sometimes they were at our backs! All in all it was a glorious day!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

More Cycling Love

Last Friday one of my dreams came true...So much better than Singin' in the Rain...
Riding through the Tulips!I fell in love with something else while we were out.
Edison, Washington.This little town spoke to my heart. It took me back in time and I wanted to be Lisa Douglas Moving from the city with my husband Oliver to make our home in
Green Acres. The pictures were taken as I rode through town.
The guys... they just didn't want to stop every time I wanted to take a picture
so I'm getting pretty good at the guess aim and shoot.Can it get any better than this? Use your imagination the Breadfarm. Look at this house...Really, you need to see the sign in front of the house. I'm not a drinker but don't you think it might be a little precarious to have the
State Liquor store in your house?
I was slow girl on this trip because I had to take pictures.
Training Ride? Yes.
Touring Ride? Absolutely.
Take it all in, or better yet, come see it with me. Just be sure to bring your bike.
I'll buy the ice cream.
Can I get a "Yum"?
Guess how far we rode?
It was far enough to truly deserve these huge ice cream cones!
Nope. You'll have to wait til tomorrow, but I'd like to hear some guesses.