It’s Throwback Thursday… or Truth Be Told? Either way, it’s a beautiful day. Crisp, but the sky is a clear and cheerful robin’s egg instead of the bottom of a bucket of grey mopwater that we’ve been staring up into for days.  The birds are out, and I’ve been up since 7:30.  But not this far up!  This is me, on Fine Nine, a 5.9 route in Southern Indiana.




These are from a trip I took years ago with some friends I used to climb with.  When they moved away, I lost my ride to the rock gym, and my climbing buddies.  I have been thinking about getting back on the wall for awhile. Traditional gyms aren’t so much my thing… Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to yoga class tonight ( especially after two days on my knees gluing paper to my bedroom floor… kneepads once again paid for themselves, but my back, not so happy with me) and the treadmill and pool will be welcome friends this winter, but otherwise I prefer to combine workouts with play, and to flex my brain while flexing my muscles! My legs are strong (thanks, bike) but building my upper body and core are my winter project (OK, one of many projects…). So, time to stop dreaming and start doing, or doing more than just planks and pushups. I just signed up for a two hour class at BKB Chicago (a new Brooklyn Boulders gym) that’s opening in the west loop… And if it kicks my ass, my gym is on the way home… Heloooo, hot tub!  It’s been long enough since I’ve been on a rope that the two hour intro/refresher course will be just the thing, this Sunday at noon if any of y’all want to join me! It’s only $50 if you sign up by the end of today: www.bkbchicago.com


Went on a great ride last weekend organized by Slow Roll Chicago in partnership with CAPS and the 11th district CPD. Slow Roll started in Detroit, as a rolling peace march for safer streets, an end to violence in our communities, and as an effort to inspire more diversity in the cycling culture. And a diverse ride it was! Young, old, black, white, urban and suburban bikers, and even a dog! We rode from the Harrison police station to the lake and Northerly Island, winding our way through neighborhood streets, eight miles there and six back.  I skipped the pizza party after (have been eating so much pizza lately, it could be a food group) and made a long-overdue trip to Pete’s and bought ALL THE VEGETABLES.  And coffee.



Massing up at the Harrison Station… ready to roll!


At the lake, Adler Planetarium to the north.image


Our sag wagon/escort/photographer, taking a group shot.


In other news, noms!



Made up a bunch of veggie spring rolls for healthy quick snacks.  Cucumber, cilantro, red jalapeno slivers, bean sprouts, rice noodles, spinach, and homemade gingery spicy peanut sauce… yes please!  Can’t outrun (or ride, or climb…) your fork! If the healthy choice is easy, it’s easier to make when you’ve been working on a house all day and you’re HANGRY.

And that house is shaping up:


Walls are clean and bright… I’m standing where the bed will go, with a giant closet to the left, and room by the window for my desk and a comfy chair, with a rug in the center of the room to stretch out on.  image

The floor is as clean as it’s going to get, and the bigger gaps are patched with water putty…


Now the fun part begins… paper mache! I’m using the paper bag floor technique to cover the splintery, gluey, uneven mess that is the original softwood floor with irregularly torn piece of builder’s paper. After it’s stained and covered in a couple coats of poly, it should be clean, durable and look something like leather. And won’t give me splinters or the creeps to walk on in stocking feet. Finally, a clean space, with room for sun salutations, and plenty of south-facing sun to salute! The end of this particular project is in sight, which will really be just another step towards new beginnings and a new home.  After spending the past 5-6 years in various cluttered dark caves, this room is a dream, and I hope to keep it somewhat spare.  That stained glass sends dancing patterns across the wall as the day goes by… rainbows from the beveled diamonds, and splotches of red and orange.

It will look something like this, perhaps (and a more thorough explanation of the process).  Mine won’t be this smooth, as they’re going over uneven plank flooring, not a concrete or plywood subfloor, but it will be a million times better than what I’ve got, and for the price of some poly, a couple rolls of paper, stain, and a gallon of wood glue (you can use regular Elmer’s, which is cheaper, but they don’t sell that at the Home Despot).  I’ve got to sand a couple rough patches, then get gluing, so it will hopefully be dry enough to stain this weekend when it’s going to be warmer and I can open the windows to air it out a bit!  Stain stinks.  But the results will be worth it!


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