New Love Life

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Renewing Abandoned Skills

Last week I took Jennifer to a framing shop to get one of her paintings framed for Christmas this year.
When I discovered the price to have it matted and framed was almost $400 I decided it was time to dig out my mat cutting and framing skills. I used to cut mats for my husbands art students to help bring in some extra cash. We have a bunch of frames in the basement that my father-in-law made that aren't being used. Yesterday Jennifer and I spent the better part of the day together rounding up supplies at art stores and doing a little Christmas shopping along the way. It was so strange to be in Provo Art and Framing. It was almost like I could call out for Jeff to come look at something or hear him say something about the mat board we were choosing. Jeff and I spent a lot of time together in that store and it brought back so many memories.

We than came home and I proceeded to pull out all of the mat cutting equipment and tools and showed Jennifer how to cut a mat. I had to practice a little but it came back so quickly that it was like I had Ed, my father-in-law and Jeff right there with me reminding me of all of the little necessary steps. After Jennifer went home, I finished putting the paintings together. As I was pushing the glasier points into the back of the frame to hold everything in the screw driver slipped and dug into my finger taking a chunk of skin out. OUCH! I knew it was going to happen, the wood on the smaller frame was a really hard wood and the glasier points didn't want to go in.

They look amazing.

This is a painting that Jennifer did with input from both her grandma and father before they died. It has special meaning and I'm really glad I was able to get it framed for her.



Jennifer has her father's talent but she has really worked at it this year. It is not something that just happens. I can see how much she has improved over the last few months. Amelia and Shaunie both have talent as well. I hope someday they will have the time to devote to developing their talent like Jennifer has. I'm sure Jeff and Eneyd are pleased.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Hike

What a fun evening! We all walked up to the grave site from the gate at the bottom of the hill. They are supposed to lock the gate at dusk but they leave it open much later at Christmas time. The gate was opened tonight but I don't ever dare drive in after dark as I'm afraid I'll get locked in. It is a nice little hike up the hill and it wasn't too cold this year. In the past it has just been me and the girls who have gone up later at night when all the kids are in bed. Tonight everyone came and it was a lot of fun being together.

The Andrew Sisters

The new solar lights were working beautifully on the tree.
One of the grandkids (William) commented that grandpa lives here where all the dead people live.
Max was a little frightened at first walking up the road in the dark but seemed to finally warm up to the idea. Jeffrey squealed and made happy noises the entire time. Lilly and William were happy to walk ahead playing and making shadows in the light from my bike headlight, 700 lumens. Yes, it's as bright as a car headlight.
Jarrett took the picture with his phone but they didn't turn out very good.

Amelia and I went and looked at Christmas lights after for about an hour.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Celebrating Jeff's Birthday

I used to think people who talked to loved ones and left stuff at grave sites were nuts. Guess I'm a little nutty!  After almost eight years it's still tough to be without my wonderful husband. Wish you were here!
 Thanks for the memory,  Jennifer.
Just the 4 of us: Happy Birthday Dad!

We always take a wreath or something to Jeff's grave site on his birthday. The last few years we have taken a small tree and used solar lights. We tried decorating the tree up at the cemetery the first year but it was so cold that we have the kids put the decorations on at home.

These are the Grandkids (according to William) decorating the tree
At the cemetery, Amelia didn't want to be in the pictures but I finally caught her in one.

It was a beautiful day. First year we have all been able to be together on Jeff's Birthday
I love my family!

Finally got it standing up.

Of course I went for a bike ride this afternoon. It was beautiful out, I really needed it. Everyone came over later for cake and ice cream. Jennifer and her family came for dinner and we watched the Art Film and the home video of the kids and Jeff. I'm really glad I made him give me the camera and got him on video. It isn't much but it sure is fun to see him. I can finally make it through the film without crying. The bike ride helped.
Several times before Christmas we will walk up to the cemetery after dark and see the lights glowing on our little tree. Hopefully it won't be too cold this year.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Carbon Bikes Five and Six

 This is a WSD 5.2 Madone that I ordered in March of 2005 but didn't get it until August 5, 2005. It was a great bike but was never really just right. I found out that it was too big for me when I went to "Fit" school in February of 2009. I sold this bike 2010 so I could buy all of my kids bikes.
I really kind of miss all of my old bikes but just haven't had room to keep them all.

WSD 5.2 Madone
I bought my project one in 2009 after going to "Fit" school and learning what size I actually needed.
This is a men's 52 CM and has been the most awesome bike. I have thought about selling it but I don't know if I can actually part with it.
Project One 6.9 Madone

Excess is Necessary

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fourth Bike

  I bought my new Lemond road bike and went for my first ride on it March 21, 2000. This is a Reynolds 853 steel frame, carbon fork bicycle with the world champion colors. It has been an awesome bike. I let Jennifer borrow it for a few years when I got my full carbon bike. I sold said carbon bike in 2010 and bought all my kids and spouses bikes so I could have it back. I now use it for commuting and have added some fenders which I adore. I also use it for training in bad weather.
  I bent the original bars in a crash and couldn't part with them. They now hang in my office with medals and helmets hanging from them.
  After Jeff died I turned to my bike as a way of dealing with life, managing stress and grief. My Lemond has been my trusted companion and has been through a lot with me. I can't see me ever selling it.

Ride the Rockies June 2000

RTR hotel room

Current bike with fenders
Original Lemond Handle bars
put to good use. Old helmets that are cracked or broken.
Christmas 2010 7.2 FX bikes

Lots of Riding

Sometimes I can hardly believe all of the riding I have done. But, I can't imagine my life without a bicycle. Bicycles just make me happy. Whether I'm riding or working on them I can't get enough. I road through ten of the worst years of my life with my husband's illness, hospitalization for nine weeks, amputations, kidney failure, heart failure. I don't know how I could have done it without a bicycle. Riding is where I do all my thinking, crying, etc. I can handle most anything if I get my daily ride in.

 Over the last 20 years I have ridden approximately 100,000 miles. This includes over 40 organized centuries, at least 30 century rides either alone or with a small group, competed twice in the Utah Summer Games (1997, 1999), 8 gold and 2 silver medals, completed LOTOJA 8 times, road to camp Shalom twice (1996, 1999), Ride the Rockies 5 times, queen stage of the Tour of Utah once, Saints to Sinners relay.

  In June 2011 I did an event sponsored by the state of Utah as part of their Zero Fatalities campaign. Those living in Utah may have seen the billboards and TV ads. Their focus was on car/bike safety, the campaign is called “Road Respect”  It was a lot of fun to plan and participate in and I look forward to the 2012 event. The following link shows the 2011 ride.  Ride Across Utah I have a yellow bike and wear a silver helmet.
 Our group participated in the Tour de Donut and took 2nd place. You basically ride a circuit and each time you get back to the start you eat as many donuts as you can. Each donut you eat deducts 1 minute from your time. The clock is still running while you are eating and you only have a certain amount of time to finish the race. I ate one donut after each lap. Not too much excess there.

Crit at Utah Summer Games 1999

Third bike - Finally a road bike

I bought my first road bike, a Trek 520, in the spring of 1996. I was in heaven with this bike. After completing three centuries on my Giant Iguana mountain bike, the first with knobby tires and the other two with street tires, I deserved a road bike even if it was a touring bike.

First Road Bike 1996 Trek 520 touring bike

This was spring training.

Springtime in  Provo Canyon

I used to ride even on days like this. Excess was necessary as I learned how to train. I would read everything I could get my hands on about cycling and riding.
This was the year I road to Camp Shalom. Starting at home I road up Spanish Fork canyon and up Fairview canyon. Jeff followed in the car with my gear for a week at girls camp. When I reached the dirt road I transfer to my Giant Iguana for the last bit into camp. It was quite an accomplishment. Jeff then took both bikes home but brought them back at the end of the week so I could ride home. That was the fun part.

Spanish Fork Canyon

Spanish Fork Canyon

Fairview Canyon Approximately 15 miles of 7-8% grade

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Second Bike, First Century

This picture was taken at the lunch rest stop at Utah Lake. This was my second bike, a Giant Iguana mountain bike with knobby tires. When I decided to do a century I knew I needed a better bike than the Roadmaster. I was thrilled to have the bike. I think it cost about $450. Jeff followed me in the car with the girls bored to death. They really enjoyed the rest stops and took full advantage. 
Look how little they are. I can't believe so much time has past.
What a wonderful husband I have.
Leaving the lunch rest stop.

I worked really hard training for this century which was held on May 7, 1994. It just started raining as I completed the 100 miles. I remember my emotions were really close to the surface. It was extremely rewarding to finish. I believe I raised about $150 for the American Diabeties Association.
My certificate got a little wet with the rain. But I waited to get mine so I could prove I did it! They used to give these out when you finished a century. So many people do them now that they don't bother. I have several where they had calligraphers putting your name in. Really nice but not practical any more.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I never owned a bicycle as a child. I had access to sibling's bikes but never had one of my own. I remember that I loved riding bikes. I loved climbing up the steep hills and bombing down as fast as I dared to go. It was best if you could do it without holding on.
The love affair was reawakened in me when I finally got my very first bike as an adult.
My first bike was a Shopko special, a blue Roadmaster. Jeff and I happened to be in Shopko and he said to me, "We should get bikes and ride with the kids." So we bought a couple of bikes. I was so out of shape that I could hardly ride a 1/2 block before my legs felt like jello. This was the summer of 1992, Shaunie was 5 years old at the time, Amelia was 9, and Jennifer was 13.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Excess is Necessary

Jacques Goddet, a French sports journalist and director of the Tour de France from 1936 to 1986, told riders “it's necessary to keep an inhuman side to the Tour. Excess is necessary.”
I believe if you want to succeed at anything you have to make a serious commitment, sometimes "Excess is necessary."

I have always been a little over the top when I get passionate about something. I was blessed with an over abundance of self confidence. There isn't anything I can't do if I set my mind to it and have God as a partner. What gets me into trouble is when I think I can do it all by myself.

I intend to use this space to report on my training and other excessive endeavors on my bikes and other areas of my life. My biking history will follow in the next few days.