Sunday, November 16, 2008

Step Five

Preamble | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 4.5 | Original | 5
The reason we started it all.

The color, according to Behr: Wilmington Tan
The color REALLY: Baby Diaper Brown

- ob

Original Kitchen

Preamble | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 4.5 | Original | 5

Original pine cabinets had been refaced in a dark panel, then had been whitewashed (including the hinges) in the early 2000s.

An electrical wire ran along the OUTSIDE of the wall, around the bottom of the pantry, and up to the countertop. Peeling laminate floor squares were a camouflaging vomit color....

Cabinets to the left. Nothing but a range and fridge on the right.

I moved in during October of '02. The doorway to the left of the range has been closed-off during the remodel -- well gain about 3' more counter and cabinet space.

Shelves from Target between the fridge and range gave me a bit of storage. The bulk of the big things (mixing bowls, crock pot, baking pans) were all stored in the basement.

This was my attempt at making it livable until it was feasible to remodel. Paint and rugs can do wonders! The Sweetie moved in about a year and a half ago -- once we decided to stay, it was time for this to go!


Step Four-Point-Five

Preamble | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 4.5 | Original | 5

The side door used to enter onto a landing, then into the kitchen. We closed off that doorway to gain some more counter and cabinet space there. The doorway was changed to enter into the living room.


Same Corner, no Sofa

New Doorway--the arch matches other doorways in the 1948 house

- OB we weren't quite ready to give up the whole main floor during construction!

Step Four

Preamble | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 4.5 | Original | 5
Sliding door off the dining room.

- The only thing getting exercise is my pocketbook Bag

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Just South of Town

Murphy Hanrehan...the hills are alive....

- OB I love this town

Tuesday, October 28, 2008



messin' wit




- THE not December yet BAG

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Cyclist in Me doesn't WANT a New Kitchen

The cyclist in me instead sees a great mudroom, bicycle wash, ski bench, bike stand...a great spot to come in and drop everything, an easy-access door for smooth ins and outs....

Heck, we've set up a kitchen in the basement: microwave, toaster oven, rice cooker, hot pot, toaster, espresso maker, and mini-fridge. All downstairs close to the sink and laundry. What more do we need?

- OB I mean, really

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Some Stories are True

I heard a rumour that you have a bike and sometimes ride it ;)

Fat Lad

- Bagger was in Cable, WI, last weekend and was it sa-wheet!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Step Three

Preamble | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 4.5 | Original | 5
New egress window last week.




Next up for the weekend: kitchen demolition...down to the studs. The redo begins on Monday.

Riding? We'll fit it in somewhere, but it'll be close to home.

- The it's always something Bag

Friday, October 17, 2008

What of It?


Been gone that's all.

With nobody. Nobody you know. Friends. Just people.


We, like, just rode.

Rode a bunch of stuff...knockin' around.

Yeah, bruised elbows...couple on the knees and hip.

So what of it? There aren't scratches on the bike. It's fine. It's not like the derailleur hanger is bent or anything.

You're always all "where you been?" " who you been with?"

Just been gone that's all!

- OB "feelin' like a teenager again" doesn't seem to mean what it used to mean!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Final Piece

I've had several "I'm done!" moments during this past year and a half of school. I counted the end of each May, July and December as an I'M DONE moment, even if for the semester. Last December I finished all my formal coursework and I did a big I'M DONE!

Except not really. The worst may have been over, but for state licensure I still had some 60-odd hours to spend in a high school library...tough to do when I'm working full time at a school somewhere else. So, I may have gotten back to some semblance of my old life last winter, but a chunk of my summer was spent inside the local high school. When I finished at the end of July, I ran from the place, elated that I'M DONE!

Except I wasn't. I still had a reflection paper to write...bugger that. It was one of those things that I considered so simple that I'd get it done anytime.

Except I didn't...because I'M DONE?.... I spent last Sunday banging away on the keyboard writing up four pages of reflection. Yesterday morning, I took the state content test. I walked away at 10:10.

Free at last. I'M DONE! I think.

It's time to ride.

- OB

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Change of Season

we rode north trying to outrun autumn
with the warm wind behind us
up Wirth Parkway through the slanted September sun
hoping this time southern breezes would follow us
through the park
past the trails that hold fall mountain biking
and the smell of autumn colors
around the hill that's exhilarating on skis
north up Victory Parkway
coasting, spinning, until we reached the memorial
where we rested
and listened to the breeze
to the flags rippling
to the realization that breezes shift
and started for home

- The Old fall isn't so bad Bag

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Race

The only place to be conservative is on the trails....


- ob

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Step Two

Preamble | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 4.5 | Original | 5
The foundation stucco was dropping off in chunks this summer...another home project taken on by the prior owner people need to know when they're outta their league. There were spots where the cinder block itself had 1-2" holes -- the stucco had taken chunks of block with it when it pulled away.

- O$B I was tired of hosta anyway

Sunday, August 24, 2008

And So It Begins

Preamble | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 4.5 | Original | 5

Basement Window Before

Basement Window After

- TOB so far, so good

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

1165 Square Feet...

Preamble | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 4.5 | Original | 5

...packed with two adults, a border collie, two felines, computers, furniture, files, music, guest bed, dressers, books, bicycles, skis, camping stuff, yard equipment, a Costco membership, and all the requisite stuff of people who dabble in everything from sports to music to art....

OK, so that 1165 doesn't include the garage or the unfinished basement, but you get what I mean. It's small.

It was one of those "your house or my house or a new house?" decisions that two people have to make when they meet after having a few years under their belts. His place had more breathing room and more land, but was on the outskirts beyond some geographical hurdles. My place sported a location that fits a cycling and walking lifestyle, but it has space and layout issues.

We decided to hang out here while deciding where we really wanted to live. Initially, it was temporary, but once we started looking at other places we started reexamining our 1165 finished square feet.

What we have here is pretty OK. We've got an over-sized garage, which is a rarity in this part of town. We have an unfinished basement for bicycle and ski work and for hosing off a muddy dog when it's cold outside. We have a small yard that's a blank slate waiting for a patio and a fire pit.

From the beginning the 1165 has been enough space to live within, but it's configured in an odd way and storage is tight. So, now we're looking at how we can re-jigger spaces. Trading an attic closet for a bathroom...closing off a kitchen doorway to gain more counter space...adding an egress to the basement for a guest room. They're all great ideas, but each is one dominoe falling toward the next. Grandma's china is in that attic closet. Granddad's tool bench would be better used in the basement.

So, we reshuffle furniture and pare down our stuff. It's causing us to really examine what we need and how our perceptions and memories color those decisions.

- The feelin' Old and squished Bag

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Do You Lean Left or Right?

Sometimes there is no middle ground...


Wednesday, July 30, 2008


It's amazing how quickly this meme has traveled. Fatty whelped it a mere week ago and already it's made its way to the East Coast, Seattle and Alaska, and now it's hovering somewhere over the midwest. He'd grown tired of the tagging games that ask non-relevant questions of bicycle bloggers, so he started his own bicycle-related meme.

This one is ever so much more relevant to my life.

But, if BSNY sees fit to answer it, then I suppose I'll take to the keyboard as well, pushed to the overhang by Tim by the way Tim, which child DO you love the most?? , Snakebite and Vito.

If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?
It would be the one bicycle that gets me there -- wherever THERE may be -- with a few good friends and a few good beers and a few good burgers afterward.

Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you’re not working toward getting it, why not?

Given my criteria above, I guess I've got about a dozen of them. But a cyclist's existence revolves around the constant perusal of materials and geometries and frame techniques. The dream changes as all these aspects change.

So, basically I'm working toward my dream bike in the same vein as is my friend who is into everything automobile but who drives a used Caravan because it's cheap and hauls a lot...not that I'm cheap...but I can haul....I look at quite a bit of bling, but am pretty content with what I've got.

If you had to choose one — and only one — bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
All this woods-and-knobbies hoo-ha is a barrel of fun, but after growing up on the prairie looking across the expanse imagining everything that's out there and beyond, I've got to be able to see off into the distance. Trees are beautiful and all, but they're so in your face. My favorite route would be on the road.

Believe it or not, I might choose my commute -- it's got trails, busy streets, quiet roads, hills, a funky coffee shop, Frosties, shopping, misty morning lakes, and even a vista overlooking a park-reserve. AND, home is at the other end.

What kind of sick person would force another person to ride one and only one bike ride for the rest of her / his life?
Yeah well, not everyone gets it.

Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrowminded?
I ride both, and which I prefer depends upon where THERE is (see #1).

Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent.
Yup. Parking lot test ride. As long as there's garage space there will be room for one...when my back goes or when I lose my sense of balance: a recumbent trike!

Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss?
Hmmm, which would be more fun...can't floss....

Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why?
No decision there -- ice cream goes. Cholesterol, sugar, carbs, fat, chocolaty goodness, a cool bit of heaven on a hot riding day, stirred up with a bit of malt powder...bleck, hate the stuff.

What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not? Also, answer it.
Why is TOB such a babe? Born that way. Can't help it.

You’re riding your bike in the wilderness (if you’re a roadie, you’re on a road, but otherwise the surroundings are quite wilderness-like) and you see a bear. The bear sees you. What do you do?
Considering the bear is far enough away to be a dot on the horizon, and the mile-wide river between us provides no hope of crossing, I think to myself you know, it's too bad I'll never get to see one of those things close up and I turn for home.

Now, tag three biking bloggers. List them below.
Brother Yam
Fat Lad - who owes me

- OB so I cheated on the numbers a bit....

Friday, July 25, 2008


These days, we're like June...bustin' out all over.

We got skis: skate skis, cross country skis, crud skis, downhill skis, ski poles, ski waxing bench, ski wax. We've got yer bicycles: road rides, track bikes, vintage bikes, travel bikes, mountain bikes, commuter rigs, bike stand, bicycle tools, bicycle wheels, bike grease, leftover bicycle parts....

When yer overseeing herds of these things, they overtake the place. Certain things you got to do keep them happy and content. Each one needs a stall of its own. Space for exercise. Spots to spread out. A place to git fixed when fixin' is needed.

We looked for a new homestead, we did. But damn. One that's close to the city with a good-sized barn was just tough to find. And what're people thinkin' finishing-off their basements FER CRIS'SAKE? Do they scrape their ski wax right off into the berber? Drip lube right onto the maple flooring? Spray the winter muck off the drivetrain right into the marble bathtub?

That's just sellin' yer saddle, if you ask me.

Priorities, pardner. Keep 'em straight.

- O durned right B

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cantwell, AK

Signs of the Times?

- ob

Saturday, July 19, 2008

89 S. 10th, Mpls

Go to Hell

...and if you do go, get whatever the day's special is...or opt for the Mahnomin Porridge, Rosti Potatoes and Toasted Sausage Bread.
Share the bread.
The rest is all yours.
You won't need any more.

- The Old I like it when the day starts with the right attitude Bag

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Step-Dog

brown eyes
intent on me
ears droop
when I leave the house
without him

nobody around
but the cats
he'd herd them
but the one spits
and the other can't see him

in the meantime
he listens for the garage door
always patient
in his impatience
when you throw it I'll go get it

- tob because I'm the step-mom

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Snot Rocket, Epilogue

Just When you Think...
PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3

I'd been fighting a cold for a couple weeks, but was finally feeling normal again and was back on the commuting trail -- off to a day of training on a chilly May morning. It felt great to be riding.

The familiar exercise-induced nasal drain began and I didn't think much of having at-it. I hawked one out of the left nostril. It sailed off onto the limestone trail. Didn't think twice about the right one.

But I should've.
Thought twice, that is.

As I began the exhalation through my right nostril, the rumble came from the interior. Given that I’m not as proficient with this side, I was a bit concerned, but once things started to dislodge it wasn't like I could stop. I took in another quick breath and blew again.

It blorped its way outta my sinus into the nasal passage. Damn, I thought this cold was overwith!

Quick breath. Blow!

It bubbled toward the right nostril opening...








After all these years, I know what I expect to see after blowing a snot rocket. It's that quick flash in my peripheral vision that assures me I haven't sailed one off to a place it ought not go. And I didn't see this one.

Often a bad flier ends up staying right on the nose. Quick wipe of my nose with my gloved hand. The glove came up clean.

I looked at my leg. It was clean.

Did it land on my bicep? Nope, clean.

Tricep, forearm, wrist, hand? Clean.

Armpit? Waist? Jacket front? Clean!

Back of my calf?!

Shoulder? Foot? Top tube? Hip?




Where the hell did it go, these things don't just disappear!

Oh God, please let there not be anyone behind me...

It had to be somewhere. It came out big and bad and I knew it hadn't found its way to the ground. I stopped and put both feet down. I felt around my neck and headband. I looked behind me. I was NOT about to walk into a building of strangers with something dangling from somewhere, even if the plan was to head straight to the restroom.

At this point I needed all my tactile facilities -- I took off my gloves and went to unbuckle my helmet....

...found it....

I peeled it from under my chin like goopy rubber cement. Yep, the volume looks about right. I slapped it off onto the grass next to the trail where it belonged.

- T sometimes O it's just not B glamorous

Sunday, July 13, 2008

This Is


for Chris

who saw

and said this

- The not so Old Bag and don't be forgettin' it

Friday, July 11, 2008

I Need a Vacation

from my vacation
Hatcher Pass
Willow, AK side

9:00 AM


It’s a beautiful place, and I haven’t experienced enough of it yet. I hate to be home already, yet I need to refuel. I’ve never been so exhausted while on vacation.

It’s surreal, the daylight in Alaska. Everyone said to manage time there not by visual clues but by the clock. Eat at supper time, not when dusk hits. Get up at 6:00, not at sunrise. Go to bed by the clock, not by the dark.

Because dark doesn’t happen this time of year in Alaska.

I tried, I really did, but I just couldn’t get the hang of it. I even wore a watch for the first time in years so I could more easily keep myself on track. Didn't work. The Logic of the Clock was lost on me.

Sunrise is around 3:45 AM.

5 PM in Alaska is mid-afternoon coffee and dessert time, according to my eyes and brain.

9 PM AK looks like 5:00. 5:00 = early supper, to me.

The picture to the right? MIDNIGHT, for God's sake!

Between the constant daylight and my body still fighting Central Daylight Time I was a zombie after two weeks...and if you've never been a zombie movie fan, they don't have especially good verbal or navigation skills. Putting together a string of thoughts was especially tough. Walking in a relatively straight line, not as difficult. Turning corners? Laborious.

We got off the plane back in Minneapolis last Saturday night at 9:30. By the time we were dropped off at the house, the street was dark and porch lights had popped-on.

I'm home.

- OB