so it's August!
Lots of things have happened, let's go with a list
-For Memorial Day we had a bunch of people over from church. I smoked a bunch of meat: 2 briskets and 4 pork shoulders. It was a hit, and we hope to do it again sometime.
-My parents were here over Memorial Day, too. It was great to have them here and share our children with them.
-Hilary broke her finger. Badly. It still isn't working right. Pro tip: Watch where you are going when you run.
-Mom came back to help us (two days after leaving after Memorial Day). Thanks, Mom!
-Hazel came from MN to help us. Thanks, Hazel!
-Hazel didn't leave. Thanks, Hazel! (She decided she liked SoCal, and stayed)
-Heidi came from TX to visit. Woohoo, Heidi!
-I bought a new bike. It's fancy and all carbon-fiber, with Ultegra components.
So it is now May. Time sure does fly these days. Eleanor Grace (Ella most the time) is almost 5 months old now, which is incredible. I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention, because she's getting toddler-ish already. She is a sweet girl, and sleeps very well for me and her momma. We are integrating nicely with the church here, or else everyone is too polite to point out my boorish ways. We decided to host a Memorial Day picnic at the end of the month, and the RSVPs are streaming in. It isn't going to be as big a production as Jimmy's Memorial Day Extravaganza in MN, but I hope to honor it with a token feast of charred animal flesh from my smoker. I'll do a brisket and some pork shoulder, and whatever else I can find on sale.
We also had a work day on the church building last weekend. It was actually only the classroom building, which had been neglected for several decades (30 was the number being tossed about). We dragged everything out of the entire building, cleaned and swept, etc.. At one point I was taking down a bulletin board and pulled it away from the wall only to discover termites eating at the particleboard. It was amazing. We tossed that old board and got some poison to teach those termites a lesson. We also had a lot of painting to do since the walls were a horrid yellow-gray color. While cleaning out some cupboards, I found a songbook I didn't recognize, titled "Christian Hymns, Number Two". It's a good old book, and I know quite a few of the songs in it. Now I have every book I've sung out of and am enlarging my collection to include some I haven't.
I am trying to keep my exercise up and shed a few pounds, but it doesn't seem to be working. I guess my gut is getting stubborn. I rode up the coast quite a ways this weekend (from Rancho Peñasquitos to Leucadia-a neighborhood of Encinitas-for those wanting to check out a map). That was 40 miles round trip, and I kept getting distracted by the sea. It is a glorious sight, one that almost took my life until I learned to pay attention to the road. The coastal towns were also quaint, and I can imagine spending some time down there.
Hilary has just announced that she is going to bed, so I had better sign off also.
Wow, I realized that i haven't yet posted this year and thought I should rectify it. Work isn't going so well, as the current budget cutting spree in Congress, the Pentagon and White House are taking a toll on local jobs. I'm not saying we don't need to cut back, but could you do it to the other guys, please? Anyway, as usual I can't talk about it (especially on a blog).
It has been a particularly rainy "winter" here in "sunny" San Diego. The locals are blaming me and my coworkers (the MN transplants) for the colder than usual and wetter than usual winter. I call it winter, but it is really only winter because people stop going outside and wear festive heavy clothing for a little while. The weather here still puts a smile on my face with the warm sunshine frequently warming my face. Because of the nice weather, I have been able to ride all through winter, whereas in Minnesota my riding season would start in April if I was lucky, and May if not. But here I have been able to keep a pace of about 80 miles a month even with having a new little one to care for! 80 miles is a pittance, but I"m glad for it to keep the winter pudge at bay. Starting this week I have begun to commute to work by bike. The weather is cooperating a little more (although it rained me out on Monday and Tuesday), and Hilary can cope with the little extra time away that a bike commute requires.
70 miles, longest was 33 miles (was was almost double my previous best for climbing at 1500 vertical feet)
91 miles, longest was 17
My Nana also died in February. It was sad, but also good. She was suffering and the dementia was taking its toll on her and the family. She was a strong Christian lady and will be missed dearly. Another positive side effect was that I got to see a large portion of my family while in Bowling Green. That was good considering we were stuck in SoCal for the holidays due to Hilary being due around that time.
Speaking of due, Eleanor is an amazing little(-ish) girl. She's over 15 lbs and only 2 months old. She has started laughing and chuckling at us, and grins that big gummy grin. It is amazing. She is doing well.
From Eleanor Grace
So, lots of stuff happened this year. At the end of 2010 I was notified of the closing of my workplace which started 2011 off with a lot of uncertainty. With God's guidance we made it through, though. After lots of prayer and deliberation we moved to California and had our baby, Eleanor. In between all that, I did lots of job searches across the country, we traveled a little (Texas, Ohio, California, and South Dakota), and I exercised a lot.
Speaking of exercise, here are my totals. December was pretty sparse with Ella being born, but I did get some time in on the bike.
2011 Grand Totals:
16.21 mph average
129 rides (not including commutes under 3 miles)