Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Things going on besides cleaning my stupid house--

Hey people.  Winter-- BAM!  Welcome to Minnesota.  It was 70 degrees early last week, and Saturday our area supposedly got about 12" of snow.  But the woods are beautiful any time of year-- see???

Friday I got in what may be my last ride on dirt for a while.  I took Penny over to the trail solo (Pam is in recovery mode).  I put on my big-girl panties and rode the spiral stairs all by myself. 

I've been too scared to ride this feature until late this season, and have ridden it every single time since the *maiden voyage* following Sam's back wheel about a month and a half ago.  (I actually said out-loud that first time, "Don't be scared Penny!" just before going down.  Me = dork.)  It's been a white-knuckler for me every time for sure. 

This last time, all by myself, I was worried I'd balk and it would become a mental block, but I didn't.  (Yes, sometimes being me is like having a skittish horse living inside you & you aren't totally sure what it's going to do next.)  While my actual line wasn't any different this last time-- someone watching wouldn't be able to tell the difference between this trip down the stairs and others, it FELT a lot more in control, less terrifying.  ~Progress!~

I was SO glad I snuck in that last ride.  This time of year I can go kind of bonkers.  The trail isn't set-up, (packed/groomed etc) for winter riding yet.  They want you to stay off for now so it doesn't get all rutted/stomped-up and wrecked.  There's not enough snow to x-ski yet.  I like running on the trail, but even footprints mess-it-up.  I decided I needed to find my own trail over there that isn't dependent on trail conditions-- off the bike trail.  Between the access road, a couple ATV work trails, deer trails, and power line easements I've worked out a nice little loop I've been working on packing down with my snow boots.  (The pic above is on part of it.  Climbing over trees is good exercise anyway.  :)  )

Here's a pic from the cool chick file--- Kathleen on her second try at mountain biking.  She didn't want to wear a helmet, but I made her, and I think this pic proves they DO NOT make you look dorky.  She looks pretty cool if you ask me.  On this ride, her second try, and about her third or fourth lap of the beginner loop, she rode down a little rocky hill she'd been getting off and walking down. 

I rode down and stopped, expecting to have to wait for her, and when I looked back there she was, riding it out with her eyes bugging half out of her head.  But she did it!  Another pal Maery was really bummed she didn't get over there before the snow, but she's hot to give it a try now too.  Next year I'm going to try a couple things to get these and other chicks more tribed-up.  It's pretty clear I'll have to CREATE a pier group since I haven't found anyone besides Pam and one or two other gals to play with.  ~scheming~

Speaking of piers, gave another gal a little welding lesson today.  People ask me all the time if I'll teach them how to weld and I always say no, because I'm not an instructor, and usually, they just think it would be a novel thing to try out, and it's a waste of my time.  It's not like they're going to run out and build a shop and buy welding equipment etc.   

When this gal asked at my open house last summer I gave my usual answer, but she said-- "Oh, I already have a welder-- I just don't know how to use it yet."  Okay-- game on.  Today she brought her stuff over and we tried to get her dialed in.  It was all experimental for me though, because her welder is way different than mine (flux-core).  Lots more spatter etc by it's nature.  We messed around with the settings and worked on her form, getting in close enough, speed, technique etc and made some progress.  Enough so she could take it home and practice at least. 

I remember when I was first learning all the noise and sparks and heat were very distracting and seemed to = ~immanent danger~!  I gave her some safety tips, but really it just takes a lot of practice until you are used to it and no longer phased by all the *fireworks.*  She's got some really cute ideas for making things out of old silverware.  Now that she tried my welder she wants an actual MiG of course.  ~Sorry Nancy's husband.~  :D

Lastly-- Good bye tiny trees-- See ya next year!

I finished my last dozen today and THANK GOD because I'm so sick of making them I could barf-- and my hand is really shot now.  This type of work comes with a few hazards.  The ones I struggle most with seem to be air quality and joint issues in my hands.  I'm doing PT on my trigger hand, which is helping, but it really needs some time off now-- reduced hours.  I kind of fried it.

Now I'll be going into a phase of working on commissions, and projects I just feel like making without a firm deadline.  Hopefully it will allow me to recover a bit before having to hit it hard again for my next show in April.


irishk said...

Ah yes,'cool chic,' that is I. Tis a heavy burden, but I am totally up for it:-) That little rock hill I went down has gotten a little longer and steeper each time I have told the story ~ sooo glad you didn't have an opportunity to photograph that moment! I was saying more than, "You can do it Penny." It was more like, "Holy crap!" Which is quite a bit for me, since I spell f-a-r-t. I know, I know, I just can't help it. It really is a beautiful refuge to have for our enjoyment. Thanks for introducing me to the spot and to all the fun that happens there. You are a treasure, never forget it. Kathleen

Welding Equipment said...

I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.

strugglingwriter said...

Nice work "Teach"!

Glad you got one last ride on the dirt.

Seems to me you are making the world more awesome with the cool things you are getting others to do. Nice.

pseudosu said...

Ha! It's funny how that happens. Remember the bridge hill i showed you (the scene of my most gnarly crash so far)? I've described it as *SUPER* long and steep and scary. When we were there yesterday I was thinking, "Wow- it doesn't even look like that much of a hill now..." Things flatten out as you get used to them. :)

Thanks. That is one of my goals actually. To inspire people to *plug in*. :)

Maery Rose said...

I agree that this cold but no snow time of year is tough. I am really hating the frozen rain thing today. Can't wait to join you and Kathleen next year on the bike trail so plot away. I'm thinking I may be more of a scared chicken though than a cool chick.