Saturday, April 18, 2015

Brew to Brew 2015 etc

Last Sunday D and I ran the Brew-to-Brew relay...well, sort of...

Due to last minute personnel changes and the looming thunderstorms, our team slimmed down to just the two of us, and we decided that a 44+ mile relay for two on a Sunday wasn't a great idea - especially with D leaving town early the next morning, so we relayed with each other for a few legs.  Other teams appeared well-prepared with cocktails, vans, uniforms, signs, boundless cheer, but we had fun anyway despite our low-key approach.  The whole Brew-to-Brew framework is low-overhead - only 2 race bibs per team (starting and finishing runners only), no t-shirts, no medals, no aid stations other than port-a-potties, which I thought a great way to demonstrate that this relay is truly all about supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Success.

We still had a great time and I enjoyed running the hilly and somewhat lonely roads of horse-country Kansas.  Afterwards we treated ourselves to Panera for lunch.

The only way to describe spring weekends in northeast Kansas these days?  Petrichor.  Fancy-fancy.  But so apt for such a rich scent!

Today is rainy (and smells delightful) again too.

Luckily there have been a few weekdays without rain, so I've started cycling my work commute.  I used to say, "I biked to work," (explaining my tardiness, overstuffed backpack, sweat, and excess of spandex) but that means "motorcycle" to most - something I have never done, and am thoroughly pleased that D got out of his system a decade or so ago (not that there's anything wrong with it!).  I'm lucky to have a short commute (12 miles) and biking is a nice break from beating up my hamstring even more.  It's painful, sure, but the worst part is the inability to get any real power on the left leg.  This nagging unstretchable heavy twinge is my steady running companion and my wish is that cycling more will help.  I'll report back!  I also enjoy the fact that I save about $1 per day every time I ride to and from work.  Yes, I invested in an expensive headlight and tail-light at Santa Fe Trails Bicycle Shop, but my improved mood at work and home and my glee at saving the environment 12 miles of petrochemicals makes me just so self-righteously happy :)

My new favorite activity this week is morel mushroom hunting!  I learned last week that mid-April means morel mushrooms start to appear in the woods of Kansouri.  Nugget and I tagged along with some coworkers (aka experienced mushroom hunters) and scoured the woods of a nearby state park.  

The bounty - obvs not mine :)
 I didn't find any myself (hence my love of the hunt vs the find), and Nugget just found ticks (which she's been stashing in her fluff) but I resolve to try again.  It's a huge subculture (we could probably just call that "culture") here - the internet is filled with mushroom cams and maps and fungi forecasts!  Morel recipes fall off the printer tray at work all day.  Oh, and the rumors of the value of these spongy fungi -- while anything priced by the ounce is probably too steep for me, it's exciting to think about foraging for a pot of brain-like squishy gold popping up under mayapples and along the rootlines of old elm trees.  Maybe I'll take a lesson from the French their cochons and train Nug as a morel-hunting sidekick?  I think I just heard her sigh...

This is the best place to stand to gather max ticks, Mommy

When it truly pours outside, I focus on my new woodworking hobby, thanks to Ana White (DIY heroine).  She said, "let's build something!" and I sure listened because she seems so cool.

After my raised garden bed success, (the radishes are looking great, tyvm, and the dill is sprouting nicely too!) I figured, oh, why not make a 6'+ long console table to squeeze into our tiny crooked home that is already overburdened with furniture, dog toys, running shoes and [now] ticks?

Eye pro and triple-flanged ear pro, yes, but plz ignore the shaky saw set-up

D heavily encourages new hobbies that distract me from my other hobby of picking nits, so with plans from Ana, a miter saw, a bunch of wood, the help of Home Depot, and lots of youtubing for "pocket holes without a jig," I'm working on this:

What, your workbench isn't an old couch, cardboard box, and a grill?
 Once the rain stops today, it's time to add the top, run a few miles to relax, then sand, and sand and sand.  I just bought a random orbit sander this morning and am excited to try it out.  I planned to sand it by hand but I can't handle amount of eye-rolling I got in response :)

The smell (and presence) of sawdust has replaced our dank basement funk and the muddy damp floor really ties the room together.  Enticing, eh?  Well, we've really improved the place, many of the 400 million spiders have left nice comment cards and said some really nice things about the table too.

There's a fairly high chance that we won't be able to get the console upstairs or through the doors.  I mean, I'm good at tetris, but honestly - no hyperbole - the table is only 2' shorter than the width of the house.  And I think it weighs about the's hoping my innocent hobby won't lead to structural damage :)

Enjoy your weekend, the joy of spring, and happy running to all.

October-planted bulbs, ingredients: rain and faith