the hyphens that define my life

Bi-cycle! Bi-cycle! Bi-cycle! September 19, 2013

I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

~Queen, Bicycle Race

My super stealth new bike is AWESOME!

Maybe it isn’t so stealth or super or new, but I do have a bike to peddle around town.  Last weekend, we bought this vintage three speed, wicker basket included, through Craigslist and managed to meet a cool couple in the process.  We dropped the bike at the bike shop for a tune up and new tubes and picked it up this morning, shiny and new to me.

I am giddy.  I want a mountain bike (a basic model like the one my husband sold at our “we’re moving” garage sale) to take on the awesome trails around Spokane, and/or I want a road bike, to compete in at least one more sprint triathlon and to ride the Centennial Trail through Washington and Idaho.  For now, my Sears Robuck, 70’s model, brown 3-speed with boss orange and yellow stripes will take me where I need to go.

My first ride was at lunch today.  I went at midday mainly because it was 45 degrees (F) at 6 AM when I could have gone instead.  No thanks chilly weather, I’ll wait until the day warms.  I set out for the library branch that is nine-tenths of a mile from our house.  From there, I headed to the grocery store and picked up a couple of things I needed for dinner.  Within 31 minutes, I rode 3.6 miles roundtrip and burned 257 calories (thank you Endomondo App). AND I managed to run two errands while getting some exercise.  That’s efficient multi-tasking right there my friends.

I would love to tell you that my ride was smooth and the bike is flawless.  No.  Like me, the bike is aging quickly.  I only found two of the three gears and though I was shifting, the gears changed when they were good and ready.  No worries, I understand.  My spiffy new basket was great empty and performed well with four library books.  However, when I added a bag of groceries it started squeaking like a mouse.  Eek, eek, eek, eek, eek, the entire mile and a half home.

Spokane roads are rough and rugged.  Locals will tell you that all the state money goes to Seattle so our roads get little to no attention.  Local legend also claims that studded tires that people use all winter tear up the roads.  I don’t know about funding, but studded tires are not the issue.  Freeze and thaw yourself time after time and you’d buckle eventually too.   The roads in a car feel bumpy.  On a bike, let me just inform you that I stood up a good portion of my ride.  The bike does sport a very comfy fat ass seat for which I am thankful.

My boys told me that it looked like a Mary Poppins bike.  Wrong, Mary Poppins had a carpet bag. My friend asked me “Where’s Toto?” I can only assume she was calling me old spinster Miss Gulch.  Hmph!  I love my bicycle and really don’t care if I look like Mary Poppins or Miss Gulch or Kermit the Frog or even worse.  My boys won’t laugh when I can outride them on their bmx bikes. My gears will kick in eventually.

Bicycling around my local neighborhood has me super excited, if you haven’t noticed.  I can’t wait for my next ride.



Craigslist Christmas July 19, 2013

Christmas in July has always been a odd theme to me.  Crafters hawk their holiday creations at craft fairs all over the nation, ramping up, only six months until Christmas!  I’ve only been to one massive Christmas Craft Fair, in Oceanside, CA with my mom on the grounds of Mission San Luis Rey, it may or may not have been in July.  There were plenty of holiday doo-dads and trinkets and yard ornaments to purchase though it wasn’t my scene.

Earlier this evening, the boys were gallivanting around the neighborhood and Vince was futzing around in the garage prepping for his weekend projects. I was tasked with finding a new restaurant for us to try.  I spent about 10 minutes reading Yelp reviews before deciding on Manito Tap House which is around the corner and down the street from our house. Then,  I was easily distracted by my favorite new addiction, seeing what has been newly posted on Craigslist.

There is awesome stuff on Craigslist that makes you blurry eyed confused over want and need. Daily.  You can read your trash mags about celebrities.  I have  a blast seeing the crazy stuff people post combined with their hilarious “buzz words” chosen to make their crap better than the next.  My favorite post today was a Seashell Collection.  In order for me to post and sell a seashell collection, I would have sea fans, coral, conches and a mass of other collected shells that I would never want to sell because the stories behind collecting each shell would be too precious to let go.  I had to see this incredible seashell collection.  I was excited, this was going to be AMAZING!  Then I saw the photo:

Are you laughing?  Every laughing acronym fits here…LOL, ROTFL, LMAO, you get the idea.

Wait.  There’s more.  How much should someone ask to pay for this precious collection?  Priceless, I know, but no.  “Various sea shells, message me if you are interested in any/all. These will be cheap.”  I would maybe pay $1 for these shells, and not for the shells.  I want to meet who is selling these shells, there has to be more to the story.  In addition to the collection photo, close up photos of each shell is also posted.  This takes a ridiculous amount of time.  I’m fascinated.  Fear keeps me from texting which is probably a good thing.

So it is July and though it isn’t Christmas, I had the best idea.  Wouldn’t a Craigslist Christmas be the bomb?  Craigslist should offer Craigslist bucks and gift cards.  I had a lot of time on my hands waiting for the four boys to finish their nonsense.  I decided to make a Craigslist Christmas Wish List.  Before I tell you what is on my Craigslist Christmas list, I have to tell you that the Spokane/Coeur D’Alene Craigslist is beyond words awesome.  There is way better stuff on here that I’ve seen in Orange County California, I’ll tell you that right now.  You be the judge.

Here’s my list:

1.  Appaloosa Pony, this little filly is so dang cute!  Must have.  $3500.  I’m worth it.

2. Icelandic Sheep.  You have all been replaced.  This is my new best friend.

3.  Alpaca, of course. He has a bunny rabbit nose and you can’t see his eyes, you have no idea what he’s thinking.

4.  Patio Tiki Bar

Why does anyone own this in the Inland Northwest?  Remember, two seasons, July and Winter.  Mele Kalikimaka necessity.

5.  A rooster!  I have a childhood rooster horror story I’ll share with you another day. This guy could help me make peace with my past.  Plus he looks pretty bad ass.

That’s as far as I got before Buzz Kill Vince came in and spoiled all my fun.  I didn’t even get past Farm and Garden section. (I’m not sure why the sea shells were in the farm and garden section which further adds to the intrigue of this posting).

Vince noticed I was on Craigslist and told me that the gardener quit and we needed to buy a lawn mower.  AGH!  First, the gardener was nothing more than a lawn mower.  He didn’t edge, blow, weedwack, rake or anything other than mow.  Ridiculous.  AND he charged an outrageous fee.  Vince and I had already decided to can him as soon as we caught up with our other projects, or it snowed, whichever came first.  The fact that he quit makes me give him more credit than I thought he deserved.

Back to Craigslist.

We found a mower, connected with the guy, and on our way to dinner, bought the mower.  My Christmas in July wishes are for naught.  I wanted awesome I got a lawn mower instead. Bonus, the boys and I get to mow the lawn tomorrow.  Woo.   Their roles are already set – Trace is mowing, Niko is raking, Andre is blowing and I’m bossing.  Should be great.

With the lawn mower adventure added to our pre-dinner agenda, we didn’t go to the Manito Tap House another part of my great plans shattered.  We ended up at the Steam Plant Brewery and Stacks restaurant (at 8 PM!!).  The Huckleberry Ale that I had and Vince’s Double Stack Stout were delicious!  We decided that we wouldn’t return for the food but we would definitely come back for the beer.

Craigslist Christmas is a great idea.  Try it.

Editor’s Note:

If you are the owner of the seashell collection, appaloosa, icelandic sheep, alpaca, tiki bar or rooster, AND happen to be reading this blog post, please know that I think you are terrific and I would love to buy the items you have posted.  Alas, I have enough animals, I drink enough but not enough for a tiki bar, and, we left the ocean for the mountains so I have no use for a seashell collection.  Good luck to each of you with your sales!