Saturday, May 31, 2008

Burstin' with Blog-worthy News

I have been so busy that there has not been anytime to blog and things have been happening!

So, since Monday, Corey has come home from his long weekend paddling trip, I've rowed, run, raced, and got a fleece! Yes, a sheep fleece, but more on that later. 

Thursday was the Corporate Challenge race and it was a beautiful day for a run/walk for the 11,000 plus registered participants. Jim and I have done this race for a good number of years and lately I have become disillusioned by this race because of the cost and the hassle of getting home after the race. I even told some people that this would probably be my last Corporate Challenge race. Jim likes to get there early, so this year I decided to ride my bike to RIT for the race. It was a great 11 mile ride and I got there about 5:30 PM, which was perfect for a 7 PM start. I was going to walk with some of the people from my school district so I lined up behind the Non-Competitive banner and arrived at the actual starting line, some 7 minutes later, after the gun had gone off. I was in this mass of humanity and I knew I needed to move faster, so I worked my way to the grassy edge of the road and started a slow run. I figured I'd run until I got too tired and then I would walk. Well, I was in better shape than I thought because I ran the 3.5 mile course and felt great. All that biking and rowing I've been doing in the past month has paid off. Jim had a good race, especially considering that he has been injured and hasn't raced in a long time. We each ate some supper at our respective corporate tents and then left for home before it got dark, something that we've never done before. We were home by 8:30 with time to relax, get a shower and turn in at a reasonable hour. I had a good enough experience that I just might do it again next year! 

One of the highlights from Corey's paddling weekend was after a night of sleeping under the stars on a hilltop, waking to the sound of cows breathing in his ear! See the photo!
Last night Jim and I went to Bob and Karen's house for a party of some Odyssey parents. We had a ball. There were 5 couples that we used to see all the time at school functions. The neat part was that we had a lot of laughs and good conversation and very little of it centered on our kids! We learned a new card game that we will have to play when we have a crowd at camp. Bring your dollar bills! Here is a photo of the group.
This morning I rowed in the Pittsford Regatta and even though our boat took 8th out of 9 boats we were pleased with our row. The weather forecast for today was rather
discouraging but after some early morning rain, we had dry weather for the 3 hours I was at the canal. Racing is such hard work and we rarely practice rowing that hard on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings so race days are challenging. In the photo below I am in the pink hat, rowing in the "stroke" position, which means I set the pace for the other 
rowers. We were going at about 30 strokes a minute, which is pretty good for a boat full of "mature" rowers!

And even more exciting than a regatta is the fact that I got a sheep fleece today, for free! Last fall at a drop spindle workshop at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival, I sat next to a woman who raised and trained sheep dogs. She told me that she had a small herd of sheep that she used for training her dogs and when these sheep are sheared each spring, she gives the fleeces away. She told me to contact her in the spring to see what might be available. So we e-mailed back and forth a few times and this afternoon Jim and I drove to Palmyra to her house where we picked up a bag full of fleece. She gave us a tour of her small farm area and her one sheep dog gave us a demo of his herding skills. With gentle commands from Terri, the dog drove those sheep from one fenced area to another and into and out of the barn. Jim asked a million questions (I think he really wants to be a sheep farmer!) and we learned a lot. One of the sheep in the photo below is the former owner of the fleece that now sits in a bag in my garage. It is much too smelly to bring into the house! I have done some research about the cleaning process and will start that in the near future. Stay tuned!
Tonight we are off to the RPO and I would really rather stay home, but will probably enjoy it once we get there.

Tomorrow our Colorado/Iowa friends, John and Ann, are passing through town and will spend the night. We are looking forward to their visit. 

Time to go put on my "theater" clothes.

Hope all is well.

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