Of Baby Food & Tramp Stamps

This past weekend I rode my bike 47 miles during a heat advisory.

I’d advise you don’t do that. (See what I did there?)

During our mid-trip break I duck-walked with my padded bum into Starbucks to buy water to refill my bottles and find a snack that was palatable. I had a bag of Powerbar Energy Bites with me, but I needed something more….and I discovered they sold organic baby food. Ok fine, it doesn’t say it is baby food, but what would your guess be?

And like any sane 28 year old, I bought myself one and ate the whole thing on the spot. It tasted fine and I could have easily eaten it while riding. The best part is they have lots of flavor combos for all your picky toddlers cyclists out there.

After finally finding something that I can eat while riding (last week’s ride burned 2700 calories so nutrition and hydration and pretty important) I’m ordering a case of each. And hope fervently that I’m home when the boxes arrive so B doesn’t open two boxes of baby food without some sort of explanation.

And speaking of crazy things that defy explanation, while I think I’m going to go ahead and order a Tulane cycling jersey….

…..I’m pretty sure it is in my best interest to skip the Tulane cycling shorts. Fleur de lis tramp stamp ahoy!


Sail Fast. Sail Safe.

This past weekend was the 103rd Chicago to Mackinac race. Steeped in tradition the Mack is the longest freshwater sailing event in the world at 333 miles. Next weekend the Port Huron to Mackinac race will kick off and many of the sailors will sail the events back to back. Both races have an Old Goats club, for those who have sailed the course 25 times. If you complete it 50 times you become an Old Ram.  This weekend my husband completed his 8th Chicago to Mackinac race. Next weekend he will earn his 10th Port Huron to Mack. Fifteen years until he becomes an Old Goat.

* * *

He has sailed for as long as I’ve known him and many years before. It is his passion, a kid who grew up in Detroit near Lake St. Clair, with an eye for the weather patterns and a love for the sport. He served as the captain of his college sailing team and continued to find time during law school and now as a lawyer to get out on the water whenever he can.  We can’t ever live too far West in the city,  he needs to be able to check in with the lake front from time to time, to read how she is rolling and blowing.

She is angry tonight Daisy. Lets take the car and go up Lake Shore Drive to see how far the waves are crashing over. 

We drive, peering out the windows. He’ll point out color variations on the surface, explaining the current and the weather. I miss him when he sails, but I’d never ask him to stop. We all have something that makes us tick, and for him, it is the feeling of being on the water. I’m proud of how hard he works, how he saves his vacation time and figures out a way to get out there and compete while still doing everything else in his life.

When he leaves to sail I hug him tight. I can’t tuck a good luck note or a trinket in his pocket, it could add extra weight to the boat. He wears his wedding ring zipped inside his bag, tied with a ribbon to keep it safe. I tell him the same thing every time, without fail:

I love you. Sail fast. Sail safe. 

* * * 

This past weekend B and the rest of the crew sailed the trip of a lifetime. Sail fast they did, I can only imagine how seamlessly the crew worked, throwing up sails and taking them down hour after hour. Reading the winds and the waves. They finished in epic time, most likely winning for their class. At night it can be hard to gauge where other boats are on the course, but we could all feel it in our bones, could see the other call in times from the bridge. Winners in their class. A boat with distinction among the 355 on the course, edging out their counterparts.

It was a monumental moment, with a crew that has around 100 Chicago to Mackinac races among them all, and the pride and joy was palpable. Over the phone, sad I couldn’t be there in person, I told him to stay on the island until the awards presentation and to enjoy the limelight for a weekend. After all, next weekend their slates are clean before the head up again, from another angle, with new wind and fresh legs. But for now it was time to congratulate each other, to watch the other classes, to buy drinks for friends and retell the stories from the water.

As I called my Mom with news, late in the evening, and she asked how it looked for everyone else.

The weather looks awful Mom. To be honest, while I’m so proud, I’m so thankful my husband isn’t on the water any more. 

* * *

We woke up this morning to the news that a boat had capsized in the storm. Six of the 8 crew members were accounted for but two were missing. It didn’t take long for the worst kind of report to come back from the Coast Guard. Divers retrieved the bodies of two sailors after their boat over turned in hellacious winds (some reports are saying 84+ knots), and the tragedy has hit the entire community like a swift blow to the gut. My little family’s sudden excitement is dampened. The sweet victory tastes more sour, the flags are at half mast and the Island itself is more quiet than normal.

* * *

The emotion in his voice is raw and that of his friends. They sound so proud and yet so sad at the same time. From one end of the spectrum to the other all of our thoughts run together, circular. They want to celebrate but it seems unkind and dishonorable to the two who will not cross onto the dock again. Their win muffled by news of a much larger scale, the kind of news that will make some people decide a hobby isn’t worth it. My mind goes back to the week before, as B packed new safety gear, explaining what it did. I had shaken my head and told him I didn’t want to think about those things.  And as much as I can’t wait to hear what the awards ceremony was like and see the pennant, I’m anxiously awaiting seeing B’s tired face, red from the sun, his gear smelling like sunscreen, in my door. To see his safety gear, carefully cared for, and always ready to go. To tell him I love him, to help get him ready for next weekend. So I can hug him again and repeat those words.

I love you. Sail fast. Sail safe…..


Green Eyed Monster

This past weekend my friend JenBShaw was in town so we could attend the Brand & Bloggers Summit in Chicago. It was a fantastic conference and I was thrilled to have Jen visiting so we could do typical blogger kind of things. Mainly sitting on our computers while drinking tasty beverages and chatting from across the room. (What? No one said bloggers are the most socially typical people when in groups.)

While Jen was over some of her friends and their baby stopped by to say hello and catch up. Their baby was very cute and of course there was typical attention paid to her – cheek pinching, toe grabbing and keeping an eye on her to make sure she didn’t take a wobbly header into the coffee table. The usual.

And Rhett Butler? Was not impressed. Sure he was happy to be manhandled by said baby, with “pats” and ear tugs and tail pulls, but when the attention was on her and not him he decided it was time to rectify the situation. Namely by digging deep into his toy basket, gleefully pulling out something he hasn’t played with in months and tossing it up in the air with a joyous leap and then looking around to see if people were paying attention to him. Oh they are? Excellent, he gave it another go, perhaps tossing said toy with a little more gusto and enthusiasm, followed by an energetic prance around the room with much shimmying and jazz tails. When people tired of watching his antics he decided to up the ante, hopping into people’s laps and gazing adoringly into his eyes. He got a few belly rubs and I figured the worst was over.

And then I dared hold to the baby.

If dogs could type (no thumbs, alas) his text to me would have read something like: “Are you kidding me? I quit. Take me to a house where they love me right now.

All I’m saying is, I think we have a diva on our hands. A 22 pound diva, covered in fur and unable to share the spotlight with anyone but himself.

I have no idea who he gets it from.


Come Sail Away

My husband, as I have mentioned before, sails boats. In his spare time. In his real time he is a lawyer, but you know, when he isn’t busy lawyering he is busy sailing. In his spare-spare time he helps me fix my bike. He is sweet like that.

Anyway, one of the perks? Summer sailing.

Except last night it was oddly chilly & damp. My jaunty vest became silly and I began wishing I’d opted for a less jaunty and more practical fleece lined jacket.

That said, we had an amazing time. The view of Chicago from Lake Michigan is one of a kind.

We only almost lost someone off the side three times, which I’ll take as a smashing success.

We also had one large wave incident that caused our tatziki dip and salsa to somehow…slop together….so I opted to toss them out. My palate just isn’t ready for salsziki. I doubt yours is either.

Sailing on Lake Michigan. I recommend it for all.

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