Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday at last!

TGIF!  In two days we will be camping in Montana (there will still be comings and goings at our house, of course -- this place never stops, even when we're away).

Number 7 is as eager as his dad and I to get away. Even Number 8 (the dog) is eager to get away. It's not that life has been particularly difficult lately, it's just that we've been going nonstop all summer and we all want some downtime.  (Okay, number 8 doesn't really go nonstop because he is a champion nap-taker, but he missed us while we were gone for five weeks and he will enjoy having our undivided attention on vacation.)

This is my summer vacation uniform:

A straw hat so I don't have to fuss with my hair, and my very old and very comfy Park City sweatjacket. Underneath depends on the weather -- perhaps my bathing suit, perhaps a pair of jeans.  Montana temperatures can go from 45 to 90 on any given summer day.

I. Can't. Wait!

- Catherine

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Coming? or going?

We got home on Monday from our 5 weeks in Utah, and I haven't stopped running ever since. Football practice, camping preparations, guests, laundry, cooking, and on and on and on.

If you see me out and about, please let me know if I am coming or if I am going. 

I can no longer tell.

- Catherine

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A random Wednesday -- updated with a photograph!

I've kind of been missing the Random Dozen while Lid at 2nd Cup of Coffee is taking a summer break.  I don't have a dozen things to say, but here are a few:

1) the Conference Center I'm currently working in will be subject to a scheduled power outage today while the local power company gets some work done.  We are running on generator as of now (7:30 a.m.) and we've got an entire morning of sessions to get through, coffee to make, computers to run, etc.  Keeping my fingers crossed that the generator holds up and we do not meltdown before noon.

2) I couldn't play racquetball this morning because the gym next door is closed for the scheduled power outage. Apparently they don't have a generator.

3) There are only three days (including today) remaining in the conference.

4) I miss #7 and #8 so much that I can hardly stand to think about it.  So I don't.

5) It looks like we will be able to purchase the 4-acre place where our horses have been pastured for the last three years. The house there needs work and we will have to carry two mortgages for a while so that we can finish the work on our current house, but it will be worth it! We've prayed about this for three years, asking God to either firmly shut the door or make the purchase possible.  And here we are!

6) #4 is officially engaged and will be getting married next May!  I would post the pictures of her wedding dress but she has forbidden me to do so because she doesn't want her fiance (4.5-to-be) to see them.  If you'd like to see her in the dress when she tried it on, I'll be happy to email the pics to you.  Here's her engagement ring:

Well, that's a random half-dozen!!

Happy Wednesday to all!

- Catherine

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The benefits of Monkey Ball

It's Saturday and I didn't have to work at all today.  Wa-hoo!

This morning I slept until 7:45, then padded around in my PJ's, talking to my hubby, eating breakfast, checking email, etc.  I felt relaxed and good.

At 9:10 I headed for the gym for a racquetball practice. My customary routine is to hit a few shots as warm-up, realize that I'm weak and unfocused, and then settle into a 5-7 minute session of serving the ball. No returns, just serves. It's a good way to focus and to get the arm warmed up.

After serving, I backed up on the court so that I could start volleying the ball.

Did I mention that I began the day feeling relaxed? Really relaxed.  I did.

So imagine my surprise when I unconsciously became very aggressive with the ball. I didn't just hit it neat and pretty. No, I tried to smash every possible shot, over and over and over again. Complete with facial grimaces worthy of any tennis great whom you might wish to name. For an hour. Maybe more.

And I felt GREAT while I was doing it and GREAT when I got done. I could have roared like a lion as I walked out of the gym.

Guess I was more stressed from this week than I thought.

That little blue ball makes a great substitute for someone's head . . .

- Catherine

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Another haiku . . after the deadline

Submitted and done.
Shoulders relax and we smile.
Celebrate tonight!

A haiku for the deadline

Deadline looms today.
Many things still to prepare.
Celebrate tonight!

- Catherine

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

In the clutch

HUGE deadline tomorrow.

Tons of anxiety.

I need prayer!!!

Thanks, my friends,

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Further adventures in monkey ball

I've pretty well solved the problem of feeling like a monkey in a cage when I play racquetball in the glass-front court.

But I like the term "monkey ball" so I will continue to use it now and then.

There are many tough shots in racquetball.  One of the toughest for me is when the return ball hugs the side wall, leaving little room to hit it without smacking my racquet on the wall or missing completely because my close-up depth perception leaves something to be desired.

Thus I have come to think of the walls as The Side Walls of Death. Because if ever a shot is going to die on me, it's there.

When I practice by myself, I tend to keep score of these skirmishes with The Side Walls of Death.

Some days I actually get in a few points.

I dream of the day when I can say "The backhand is mighty, and the Side Walls of Death have not overcome it."

Sadly, today was not that day.

Not for the forehand, either.

Today The Side Walls of Death claimed a total and absolute shut-out victory in just under 45 minutes.

Tuesday there will be another skirmish.

And one day I intend to win this battle.

 - Catherine

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Early rising

It's 6:15 p.m. and I'm due back on duty in another 20 minutes. The conference is in full swing and the week has been very hectic.  I'm tired and a little cranky, but friends are coming to stay for the next three days, and that makes me very happy.

I've continued playing racquetball in the gym next to the conference center, but I switched my time to early morning  -- partly to accommodate my work schedule, which often includes evenings, and partly because there are no spectators at 5:30 in the a.m.

Yes, that's 5:30 a.m. folks. I roll out of bed at 5:15, sleepwalk into my workout clothes and thence to the gym, practice for 45 minutes to an hour, walk back to the condo, take a shower, put on makeup, and am facing the day by 7:15 a.m.

The little blue racquetball balls continue to torment me.  The other day I served a be-a-u-tiful serve -- so straight that the ball came right back at me off the wall.  Right to my ankle. Where it thudded against flesh and bone and then huddled on the court floor at my feet. Sobbing. 

I laughed. 

Then today I made another beautiful shot. I could see the ball coming straight back at me, very low to the ground, so I jumped -- intending to jump over it.  I misjudged the velocity or something -- because I jumped and then landed ON it.  Thankfully my other foot landed squarely on the ground and I didn't fall over.

Again, I laughed.

You practice this game long enough by yourself and you end up anthropomorphizing the equipment. 

It's a busy season at work and I am bombarded all day with requests, fires to put out, schedules to keep, meetings to attend.  These are tough days.  So it comforts me to have victory, even if it's only over a little blue ball at 5:30 in the morning.

- Catherine