Friday, February 26, 2010

Belly Dancing, Take Two

Belly dancing is much harder than it appears. You move your belly from your rib cage down to your hips. I finally get why they call it belly dancing.

The first instructions were to get your rib cage and lift it up as if you were going to place it on a book shelf. It is all about isolation. The next movement was to move the right hip, just the hip and nothing else. My entire body wants to shake a move along with the hip but that is not the way belly dancing works.

My fight calf is extremely sore from hiking my right hip for the duration of the class. I think I may have pulled a muscle in my left hip or pelvis region. Watch out Shakira, I am getting my shoulder shimmy down.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Dancer In Me

Rob and I had a heated conversation about our dancing styles. My preference is country and swing while his preference is salsa. When he wants me to move a certain way, he strong arms me and forces a turn or spin.

Often times, I wake from a night of dancing with a sore right arm and hurting calf muscles. Sometimes the pain is worse from dancing than it is from bike riding. Oh wait, that’s called a hang over.

Rob tries to get me to dance a certain way or get rid of my swing steps but I fight it. I move my own way with my own flair. He says we are off and that our dancing styles don’t look the same when we dance. What can I say? I have a blended style of dance from the different styles of dance that I have done over the years.

At any given time, I can get in Rob’s car and he listens to salsa music all day. It is one of the luxuries of satellite radio. Me on the other hand enjoy and listen to country music. I find myself two stepping round the office and imagine myself spinning around the circle dance floor at Midnight Rodeo. I maybe off step or off queue but in my mind, I am the best dancer in the world.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Love makes us do strange things. Love made me stay with my ex-husband for nine years. Love made me stay with my jealous ex-boyfriend for much longer than I should have.

Not to long ago, a friend P was in a fight with his wife. Only six months wed, their fights were getting more serious but this time she took off out of town. I could see the hurt in his eyes. Boy, I knew the pain. I had been there. P did what any heartbroken person would do. He went to the bar.

Robert and I shared a few drinks with P then Rob and I went off for some dancing. When we left P, he was in good hands and good friends. After dancing, it was pretty late. Ok, true confessions; it was one-thirty in the morning. Hey the good bands only play from 10:30 until 1:30.

Robert had a text message saying, “Come pick me up.” The problem was P was the too drunk to communicate with. We couldn’t understand where P was or where to go. P was talking about not wanting to live any more and we were worried.

It took us about fifty phone calls, fifty text messages, and an hour and a half to track P down until we finally found him. Once in the security of a quite car and good friends, he broke down. I don’t recall ever seeing some cry so sincerely over love. True pain was in those tears. There is no way I would ever mock him because I have been there. At one time we have all been there.

This day was a reminder to me of what we do for love. Our past relationships make us who we are today and turn us into who we can be for new relationships. It is said best in the movie Moulin Rouge: The greatest lesson we can learn is to love and be loved in return.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Week Off

Doctor’s orders, no working out for a week- and stay off the bike. No jumping around so my body can heal. Yoga is ok. My doctor must not realize that power yoga is more strenuous than riding a bike. Even wearing high heals; my body seems to shake more than my body does on a bike.

At the beginning of last week I had a biopsy taken to test for cervical cancer. It is not the possible outcome of the test that has preoccupied me but the lack of activity that the doctor ordered. No bike riding. My body does not know the concept of sitting still. It was like a death sentence.

Embarrassed by the possible symptoms that would or could occur, I kept all this to myself. Luckily, I have experienced minimal side affects.

A rider friend was the first to hear about my test. I had to explain my sudden lack of interest in not riding. I called R and cried on the phone. I reapplied my make-up three times while at work to hide my sadness. My sister was next to listen to my tears. It took me a day to work up the courage before I finally told my mother.

Against my doctor’s orders, I continued to ride but only half the normal time. I crapped so bad that I only did that once. Oaky, twice. The tests came back with nothing to be alarmed but because of my family history, the doc is cautious with me.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The American Cordillera

There is no hiding my love for bike riding. My CrossRoads “award” for completing the Desert Southwest Tour hangs proudly in my cubicle. A map of this years map is posted next to my calendar. It is to remind of why I come to work. I work to pay for bike trips and bike gadgets.

My bike sits in my kitchen. My life revolves around training rides. Even while out dancing, I make sure I drink enough water to ensure I am hydrating enough for the next days ride. And food….I eat and then keep eating. I want food all of the time.

Well, this post was not supposed to be about me.

My co-worker brought this website to my attention. Three guys rode their mountain bike 19,500 miles from Alaska to Argentina. It took them 3.5 years.

There is a name for the “sequence of mountain ranges” that starts in Alaska and runs all the way to Argentina. It is the American Cordillera. I have attached their websites if you would like to check them out.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Belly Dancing

Mom has been more exhausted than usual over the past weeks. It is expected with her liver disease but difficult to see her like that. It is a reminder that her health is poor and that one day she will end up back in the hospital. Overall, we can not and should not complain.

It has been about a year and a half since Mom has able to drive. Gladly, I chauffer her around and I think of our drive time as time that we get to spend together. Tuesday nights we go to BSF and on Thursday nights, tonight, we will start Belly Dancing.

Recently, Mom mentioned that she always wanted to learn to belly dance. Well, wouldn’t you know it? There is an adult community education class starting on Thursday nights and Mom and I are signed up. Belly dancing is nothing that has ever peaked my interest but if it helps mom accomplish something that she has yearned to do, then I want to help her do that.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


On my mother’s fifteenth birthday (we Hispanics call it a quinceanera); she wore her tiara for the first time. I believe she also wore it in her wedding.

At my wedding, I wore my mother’s tiara. All this time, I have had it packed away in my dresser. Every once in a while, I put it on while I hang around my house. It has been a while since I have un-wrapped the tissue that holds it.

The time has come when I have to pass it on.

The next time it will be worn is at my niece Alexis’s quinceanera, September 11 of this year.

The big party is a while away but my sister is already going crazy planning the event. I am sad to hear that my sister plans to re-due the stones and place lavender stones where the clear stones sit. Mom said it was okay.

I say, “Leave it alone”!

My words go to deaf ears.

Part of me wanted to, one day, wear it again. But on the other hand, I think I would need something new as to not tarnish my next, and hopefully last, wedding.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Santa Fe

This past weekend, R and I went to New Mexico for some skiing. This was the second time R went skiing and he has decided he will never ski again. Me, well… I loved it and skied my first black diamond.

Once at the top of the mountain, 12,000 feet elevation, the view is spectacular. I didn’t want to ski down. I stayed up there for as long as possible to just admire the beauty. While others were speeding past me, I would stop to look around. Quite and crisp, it was breath taking.

We flew into ABQ and drove to Santa Fe where we meet up with my friend Rich. Rich and I meet on the bike ride and he was working ski patrol. We didn’t get to visit much because he was busy working on maintaining his paramedic’s license. We caught up on the lift then we separated when he raced off to assist someone who had fallen off the lift.

The entire time we were in Santa Fe, I was trying to scope out the joint to see what places I want to go back and visit. My bike trip will start in ABQ and the first ride is to Santa Fe with a rest day. It is just around the corner.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Mom and I have been attending Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) since October. This month, we invited my sister to join. To my surprise, Angela accepted the invitation and also enrolled Kris and Alexis to join the children’s program.

Tuesday evenings, I pick up mom and then we carpool to BSF. Yesterday my car was full and it was fun to have my family talking back to me instead of Roxy just wagging her tail.

We were running a little late due to the funeral that was occurring in the back yard. Sadly, Kris’s gerbil died and she insisted in a service. Michael helped her with the digging and Kris placed a rock over the hole. When there is more time she plans to decorate the rock with his name “Georgie”.

I like my black car with the sleek black leather. I keep my car like new. After two years, it even smells new. I felt my shoulders cringe when my sister said, “Barb, I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to eat in your car.”

It was too late to say never mind, you drive. The girls where in motion with their paper and pencils. All I could say was “Don’t forget the napkins.”

The trip ended with Kris asleep on Alexis’s shoulder. No spills or stains to report but there is a lost pencil somewhere between the seat and the floor. Sweat moments like this make me cherish these Tuesday night carpool rides.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Flat Tire

Saturday, I changed out my back tire in fifteen minutes. In preparation for training, Monday evening I changed the back tire back to the training tire from the road slicks. It took about ten minutes. This morning, the tube popped. The tube was pinched in the tire.

I changed the tube out, basically changed a flat and began riding again in seven minutes. It is important to say that this is the back tire because gears are involved. Not the two minutes that is desired for, but not bad for a girl. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

Saturday’s Ride

Before the ride, I carefully changed out the back trainer tire to road slicks. It took me fifteen minutes, but I did. All by myself.

Distance: 32.35
Calories: 1560
Time: 2:59
Average Speed: 10.8
Total Ascent: 1898

Why, oh why did I let Grant pick the route? It was the hilliest route possible and a difficult ride with the bum knee. My left leg is noticeably weaker than my right. My focus was evening my pedal stroke so that the weight distribution would be even.

At the half way point, we stopped at Starbuck for some hot coco with whip cream. That is were I ate a Payday candy bar to refuel. It is quite lovely putting in miles so that I can eat whatever I want. And a guiltless burger and fries for dinner. Yummy!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Compost Box

When my neighborhood started a recycle program I was leery. Now that I started recycling , I can not stop. I want to be nice to mother earth and give her back all she gives to me.

There is a problem. My stinky garbage can. Most of the garbage is getting recycled and my scrap food is getting thrown away thus sitting in my trash can for weeks at a time.

My idea was to start a compost box. This was working oaky in the garage until I started noticing nats in my house. I left the top off the compost box because air helps aid in the decomposition of the compost.

To solve the nat problem, I move the box outside. The moist from the morning dew and air exposure was helping. I was proud of my efforts especially when I noticed that I was not able to identify any of the compost in the pile.

I went out to toss the egg shells and scrap food in the compost box when I noticed Roxy heading straight for my box. Before I finished with the breakfast dishes, Roxy was covered with dirt on her beard and paws.


It turns out that Roxy has been consuming my compost. This whole time I was so proud of myself when in actuality, Roxy has been regenerating the compost into my back yard. Now, she helps speed up the process quicker than my compost box can do.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hot Pink

There is a five year old girls hiding and living inside me. It became evident to me yesterday while I was at the gym.

The first clue was the hot pink sports tape that wrapped the back of my leg from my butt to my calf. (If you watched the summer Olympics, the women’s volleyball champs made this tape popular). I asked for black, but they were all out.

Maybe it was the pink barrette that I snapped in my hair to keep bangs out of my face. I have black, brown, and blue but the pink one, that is the one I use at the gym. The gym here at work provides us blue shirts and blue shorts. I keep the pink barrette to add some color to my work out cloths. That and my colorful cycling socks.

So, I am there in yoga sporting my pink sports tape and pink barrette. And I look at my toes. Guess what? Hot pink nail polish on my toes. I was covered in pink. Then, get this. At work, I was wearing a pink shirt and pink earrings. My only conclusion is, inside me, the sole of a school girl is lurking and expressing her with the color pink.