The chief enemy of creativity... is "good" sense. ~Pablo Picasso

Puzzle complete, Xterra Triathlon - not so much

Ok, so I finally finished the puzzle.

And I may have become a little obsessed :)

I tried putting time restrictions on myself. 
Ann, you can only do it while you're eating your cereal in the morning. Well then I'd milk my cereal... pun intended. 
So then I made myself a deal about the number of pieces I could put in before I had to walk away. 
Well some days 10 pieces would take me 10 minutes or less and others it would take an hour... 

(And Lord knows if I got 10 pieces in 10 minutes I'd always bargain with myself for a few more since I was clearly on my A game that morning)

I'd set out to do something around the house and inevitably my feet carried me back to the puzzle table to just finish that "one section"...

Well... I tried my hand at an XTERRA triathlon on Sunday and the mountain bike course basically ate me alive. 
I did just get my mountain bike about a month ago, and I've only ridden it a few times, and I got the call last monday asking if I wanted to do the race 6 days later...

I was in way over my head and crashed trying to be "courageous", not sure if that's the right word... or if I was just sick of walking my bike over every part I thought looked a little too "technical" or "terrifying". 

Later, I learned that it might be one of the most technical/difficult mountain bike courses... 
This is what I found out... after...

"IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) gives the trails at Curt Gowdy an 'Epic' rating.  After riding them today I realize that by 'Epic' they mean 'Apocalyptic'.  Jonny rates them 'Crazy Technical'.

"Time for some input on Xterra Curt Gowdy bike course.
OK...I agree that it's not mountain biking unless there's blood, but . . .  I rode the course last week and all I can say, prepare for carnage. There's "IMBA advanced" and there's "Xterra advanced" and that is one major difficult, technical and long course. Beginners are gonna freak."

Well... I am a beginner, it did draw blood, but I like to think I didn't "freak"... Although I wish I would have had a GoPro if only so that I could share with you my running commentary... ha

Not surprising... I took a spill and banged up my shin and my knee pretty badly so it needed a good icing yesterday. 

Unfortunately... I didn't finish. After hobbling through a few more miles after my wreck, to reach civilization, I knew my knee wasn't going to fare well on the run, and that was if I could make it through the rest of the bike course...

Well, you can imagine that I was very willing to ice as long as needed, and maybe longer, because it justified just sitting down doing my puzzle. Something I was determined to finish, especially because of the events the day before. However, I am a little torn because I've been perusing the thrift stores in search of the next puzzle and I haven't really found anything I love... I hope I don't feel too empty without another one to work on... yet :)

And so here it is.

But after all that work I'm not exactly motivated to tear it all a part and move on. 
How long do you enjoy a puzzle after you've finished it?

too many choices...

I spent an hour at Target the other day...

This is what I came home with. 

I can't believe how many choices there are... and new brands even!
I thought for sure I'd sidle up to the Pantene section and find some intensive restorative type conditioner... which my hair needs, and they're selection was almost non-existent. When I stopped buying things last year I could have sworn they were the ones with all the selection in that category, but I couldn't find anything...

Then I went to the lotion section and of course my main requirement is smell. Well the one I love the most Aveeno with the purple accents is $8 for a medium sized bottle!
So I settled for the next best smell at a reasonable price.
I got that whole St. Ives one for $4. 
I didn't run out of lotion during my year and after the sticker shock of my trip I'm ready to suck it up even more. Maybe I should have taken a few more trips to the stores just to make myself feel better! ha

I gotta tell you, buying new things isn't exactly what I thought it was going to be...
The grass is always greener.

On the other hand...  I did get my Victoria's Secret Swimsuit! and it's pretty awesome

Rainbows and Striped Socks

“Ann, the world isn’t all rainbows and striped socks...”
I furrowed my brow. Of course the world isn’t all rainbows and striped socks. 
I’ve suffered through tax season, and caucus raucous, been delayed at airports for days and gotten teary phone calls from parents diagnosed with cancer. 
I traded in my SUV for a hybrid when gas hit $5 a gallon and been glued to the TV as the severity and consequences of natural disasters and corporate scandals rocked the world. 
Just recently I read in dismay, the treatment of POW’s in Japan during WWII, especially one Louis Zamperini.
But I’ve also been the recipient of a much needed refund check, at the right time. The appreciation that someone else is willing to run for public office, because I’m sure not. 
A few of those delayed flights resulted in meeting some of my closest friends and one influential Southwest employee who was able to bring Lorna Doones back...  The “cancer card”, well just ask my dad who is now acutely aware and actively embracing “eating healthy” - a realization only the diagnosis of cancer could provide him. 
That hybrid not only saved me money in gas, but fit so much better in those tiny little Southern California parking spaces. Those natural disasters and corporate scandals helped put in check my annoyance with a little “May gray” and a few reminders as I entered the working world... about making a “good” living - as in quality not quantity. 
And Louis Zamperini??? I can’t tell you how many conversations just the mention of his name or the book about him, Unbroken, has facilitated. 
And I can promise you that today isn’t anything like liberation from a POW camp, or the checkup ensuring the cancer hasn’t returned...
Today is the day. The year is up. The imaginary locks at Target, and online shopping carts have been removed. It’s kind of like Black Friday... or should I say Neon Friday in my case... but maybe you should know something about Black Friday. My mother goes to bed early and sets an alarm... I furrow my brow and squint my eyes as she calls me from inside the chaos ridden stores. 
I will be purchasing conditioner, lotion, mascara and out of pure symbolism... a new pair of neon socks... But that’s because this weekend marks the beginning of a “job” where for a few hours in the early Sunday morning hours - my world really is all rainbows and striped socks, and always "something new"...

Swarms of colored jerseys supporting various causes cheer at the top of their lungs. Parents and children stand side by side and pat each other on the back, people dressed as crayons, super hero’s, Gumby, Elvis, Mickey and Minnie... And couples who have found running and training has helped them with “empty nest” syndrome, and groups of friends who have made t-shirts and trained together and can’t wait to cross this off their bucket lists. A rainbow of runners starts my day and the last finisher and the dedicated supporters stay until the end as we reach that pot of gold at the finish line... it never get's "old"... does that mean it's "new"?
The Rock n Roll Marathon was born in San Diego 15 years ago. The idea of music and running took off and now with almost 30 events this year they’ve so graciously allowed me and my striped socks and high fiving, dancing ways to join in the fun. As I sit here writing this I can promise you I still have too many clothes. I’ve given away multiple pairs of shoes and jackets and various other pieces but I still have too much. And I didn’t even get through all the awful lotions because sometimes I would just forgo lotion all together... I hated the smells that badly. This year was a great way to re-form an “old” habit. But now that I’ve gotten this far, it seems silly to jump back on the bandwagon, completely. 
I’ll actually be sewing on my flight to San Diego. I’ve taken two pairs of old Umbro shorts, cut them apart and will be making a skirt for the Rock n Roll race this weekend. I suppose I could have stopped by a store to see what I could buy, but what’s the fun in explaining that when people start asking :)
I’m having too much fun “creating” and “building” and of course the storytelling of the adventures... and conversations that take place during the adventure. Thanks to my ADHD brain, my mind is always running away from me so I’m sure I’ll have plenty more “projects”. 
This summer I’ll be embarking on not one but two week long bike trips... and I’m not even that big of a biker. Yesterday I fell off my bike at the top of a mountain thanks to my jello legs... As I sat there, pulling myself together it dawned on me... maybe I should try no swearing for a year... especially during biking weeks :) 
My goal this year is to try and keep an eye out for the rainbow even when the clouds are  thick, and pull up those striped socks and make my own if I have to. 

I guess maybe starting today... it will be a year of seeing something "new" everyday.