Thursday, October 30, 2008


A trip to Otay Ranch Mall is always fun. Here's how it goes:

Bike 3 miles up the hill to the mall
1st stop: Panera. Nab free bread samples and leave.
2nd stop: Best Buy. Play piano keyboards until I run out of songs I know.
3rd stop: Victoria's Secret. Reedem coupon for free underwear; do not purchase anything else.
4th stop: Apple store. Take funny pictures on photobooth and email them to friends.
5th stop: Walk by the smoothie stand for free samples
Bike home, hoping to hit the stoplights just right. You usually get lucky.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Welcome back!

I flew in to San diego at 10:30am Pacific time yesterday morning. During my first 24 hours here, we did 2 arduous, rest-free circuit workouts at about 45 minutes each, 90 minutes of biking (not counting my commute), and a 10-mile paddle that kicked my as$. I also was awake for a full 24 hours straight, thanks to my fabulous body clock. Throw me into the fire!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hiking is My Middle Name

Gorgeous hike with Matt and Steve this weekend

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Moles vs. Voles: Everything You Never Knew You Always Wanted to Know

Today while at my gardening job, I was raking a Gigantic Leaf Pile. I was also listening to Sugarland on my ipod. All of a sudden, I heard a piercing screeching noise that sounded like some strange bird. All that noise was comming from a tiny wiggling grey lump at my feet. I crouched down to his level and said, "Why hello, little guy! You are a strange little creature." And he really was. He looked like a tiny lump of dirt with a pink nose on the end, and he wanted desperately to continue to burrow. I can understand that! So I said goodbye and left him alone.

The remainder of my leaf-raking time I spent thinking about this poor little guy. I was quite certain he wasn't a mouse. Was he a mole? Or was he a vole? I didn't really know the difference.

A mole is a small burrowing mammal. Normally you can't see its eyes or ears (just its nose) They live underground and eat earthworms.

A vole, on the other hand is a small rodent that resembles a mouse, but smaller and stouter. They are also known as field mice. They eat seeds, bark, vegetation, and insects.

I vote for the vole as Cutest Animal Ever... although my new friend was indeed the former.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Blustery, rain turning to snow"

I woke up this morning with every intention of biking straight to my gardening job and working all morning. However, at 7am it was 46 degrees, gusting wind, and pouring rain. I don't care how hardcore I pretend that I am... 4 hours of pulling weeds in a wet, blustery flowerbed sounds miserable. Instead, I made myself some coffee and decided to clean the house while I waited for it to warm up and stop raining.

7:30: drinking coffee, newspaper read.
8:00: still raining and 46. countertops cleaned
8:30: rain slowing down. Living room vaccuumed
9:00: still drizzly... but the temperature has dropped to 45?
9:30: dishes put away, mail sorted. still 45 degrees.
10:00: 44 degrees. Wind picking up. Microwave cold coffee; check email
10:30: Sit down to update blog. 44 degrees. Much windier than earlier.

Well, it seems waiting on the weather was a gross mis-calculation. I'm going to go get a scarf and go over there before it starts to snow.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lake Placid

I went up to Lake Placid this weekend with Justin for hiking and camping. Now, let me tell you my rationale for thinking it'd be cool to camp in the Adirondaks in October. (Get it!? Cool??) Last week, I slept with my bedroom window open by mistake. When I woke up, it was 40 degrees in my room. So I figured, hey, that was cold, but it wasn't TOO cold. So sleeping outside in a tent should be no problem.

But of course, if that were the case I wouldn't have a great reason to write this blog post. It was FREEZING. We even had mummy bags that supposedly go down below twenty degrees, and it was still miserable. All night I alternated between burrowing deep into my sleeping bag (until I could no longer breathe) and coming up for air with my head protruding from the mummy part of the bag (until my nose turned into ice).

After a fitful night we went into town for breakfast and were told that it'd gotten down to twenty degrees. Woo hoo! I did secretly love it, though. Next time I'll be more prepared. Maybe invest in a better tent.

The hiking, however, was phenomenal! We went up Avalanche Pass and to Lake Colden (we think?) We weren't really sure where we were, and a pair of park rangers were making fun of a woman who'd asked them the same question, so we kept our mouths shut and just hiked. It was fun!

Marcy Dam

Justin spotted this grouse and got super excited (the Tetlows are serious bird people).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'd like to live in these pictures forever

Photos I took around my house yesterday night. I've been sick all weekend but I ventured out because the sunset was nice.

Friday, October 10, 2008

You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl

I went down to Cortland yesterday to train with the boys, and it was nothing short of a killer 24 hours. This morning was especially gorgeous: an Indian summer day with perfect blue skies. The air is so clear and crisp, with just a hint of the smell of snow. In the car we rolled the windows down, turned the country music loud, and flew past cornfields and over rolling, fiery-colored hills. We picked apples by the roadside and skipped rocks on the riverbank. If everyone could have a little piece of this sweet carefree northern October, I think the world would be a perfect place.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I'm going to be a rock star

While I was away, my little brother built an entire recording studio in our basement. (He also makes his own guitars by hand!) He bought a a pickup for his cello, so we hooked it up to his amp last night and played music. I'm headed over to the music shop tomorrow to buy some mandolin sheet music, with every intent of joining a bluegrass band when I get back to California. I figure eventually Paul and I will combine our talents and make it big time... so all of this musicianship is just feeding in to my eventual career as an esteemed musician. You heard it first.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I am home in New York for three whole, lovely weeks. It will be as much an important training block as it will be a much-needed retreat to my beloved chilly air and frosty mornings.

The leaves are beginning to change, and it gets below freezing at night; I am all wrapped up in a big fleece blanket and I can't remember ever being happier.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lawson Peak

This week we hiked Lawson Peak, which turned out to be a bit more strenuous and a LOT more incredible than last week's mountain. We were on the trail for a good 4 hours, most of which was spent climbing up rocks and through caves. The summit felt like the top of the world. I was, of course, in heaven... and you can click on the photos for proof!