Gutbusting on the Edge

Due to familial commitments, I’ve (sadly and with much moaning) had to revoke my intentions to run the marathon in Victoria with Loreth this fall. The timing just won’t work now and so the hunt is on for a new race.

So far, I’ve found two that have caught my eye.

The Edge to Edge Marathon takes place in June each year and runs from Tofino to Ucluelet in the Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island. Some gorgeous pictures of running on the beach and through the park here.

And then there’s the Gutbuster.

Enough said?

Gutbusters are run on the Island four times a year and though they’re not marathons, they are trail runs which would provide a whole new experience. I’m thinking my gut could use a little busting. I’d have to train way differently for this type of race, though, so this one I’ll have to pondering.

If you see or know of anything in your area, let me know?

Skunk Relocation 101

512_12091. Eat supper and through window spy “skunklet” rooting in deep hole dug by Tala, aka Diggy Dog.

2. Determine Diggy Dog’s location of guarding (in this case – 10 feet away and so enamored with a cob of corn she hasn’t even noticed said intruder).

3. Snort in contempt at Diggy Dog’s protective abilities and inform DH his dog is useless.

4. Go outside, camera in hand to take pictures of skunk for blog.

5. Find skunk. Or rather, don’t find skunk and give Diggy Dog a chance at redemption by coaxing her away from corn cob.

6. Beat back Tala, white wolf of protective fury, so that little skunk is no longer vibrating due to the extreme vocal outburst of said dog. Apologize to DH for dissing his dog.

7. Call out children from supper table to witness the tiny and trembling black and white bundle of cuteness.

8. Have great and lengthy discussion regarding whether skunks of this age can spray.

9. Decide they cannot.

10. Take many pictures.

11. Send children back inside to finish eating supper.

12. Stare at skunk. Notice his cute feet and beady eyes. Poor little thing has lost his mama.

13. Decide something MUST be done before Rio, Mighty Mouse Hunter and shaker to death of all small living things gets out of house and attacks baby. This on a scale of 1-10 would be a minus 8000.

14. Ignore DH who has decided boat maintenance is more important than relocating baby skunk. He can (and will) be punished later.

15. Return to abode and empty out bucket of slushy Margarita mix (to inexperienced skunk relocators – do not drink before attempting relocation – imbibing in tequila beforehand is for professionals only)

16. Wash bucket. After all, nobody likes a sticky skunk.

17. Take bucket and lid back to baby skunk location—deep in the bush by the birdfeeder where the mosquitoes are plentiful and huge.

18. Get bitten many times by said mozzies.

19. Chase skunk through underbrush, still believing with naivety that babies don’t yet spray.

20. Corner baby skunk and quickly, but gently place bucket over him. Slide lid under baby skunk’s feet and slooooooowly tip bucket.

21. Notice that baby skunks of this age DO spray. So much. So, so very much.

22. Say prayer of thanks and gratitude that it was not a direct hit.

23. Proudly march over to DH’s shop and tell him of your heroic endeavors. Ignore him when he tells you that you STINK. It’s just his way of expressing love.

24. Have DH carry bucket through fields to far away stand of trees, so he can stink too.

25. Release skunk.

26. Take many pictures.

27. Blog about it the next day, promising readers you’ll post pics just as soon as Blogger lets you.

512_1213

Double Entendre

Eight Words with two Meanings:

1. THINGY (thing-ee) n.
Female…… Any part under a car’s hood.
Male….. The strap fastener on a woman’s bra.

2. VULNERABLE (vul-ne-ra-bel) adj.
Female…. Fully opening up one’s self emotionally to another.
Male…. Playing football without a cup.

3. COMMUNICATION (ko-myoo-ni-kay-shon) n.
Female… The open sharing of thoughts and feelings with one’s partner.
Male… Leaving a note before taking off on a fishing trip with the boys.

4. COMMITMENT (ko-mit-ment) n.
Female…. A desire to get married and raise a family.
Male…… Trying not to hit on other women while
out with this one.

5. ENTERTAINMENT (en-ter-tayn-ment) n.
Female…. A good movie, concert, play or book.
Male…… Anything that can be done while drinking beer.

6. FLATULENCE (flach-u-lens) n.
Female…. An embarrassing byproduct of indigestion.
Male…… A source of entertainment, self-expression, male bonding.

7. MAKING LOVE (may-king luv) n.
Female…… The greatest expression of intimacy a couple can achieve.
Male.. Call it whatever you want, just as long as we do it.

8. REMOTE CONTROL (ri-moht kon-trohl) n.
Female…. A device for changing from one TV channel to another.
Male… A device for scanning through all 375 channels every 5 minutes.

Running for my Life

So I was out for my long walk on Monday and I was looking for 17 kilometers and all of it was along the highway because it’s so nice and flat and suitable for race walking. It was going to be good. I could tell.

Going with the highway pretty much guarantees “no bears” so I was feeling pretty cocky even with the vehicles roaring past. They’re only inches from me it seems, but it’s something I’ve gotten used to. At the very least, they give me fodder for morbid thoughts such as “what happens to the body upon impact with a fast moving vehicle?”…”wonder how far it would fly?”…”what bones would be broken?”…”how long would a body lie in a grassy ditch before being discovered?”, etc. etc.

For those of you who have just shuddered and thought “Mon Dieu! She’s insane!”, please be assured that thoughts like mine are quite normal when one creates suspense fiction on a regular basis. The best of the worst is always fair game for a plot and so the little twist that makes a good plot great is a wonderful thing. Believe me, my thought processes are relatively fine and I’m okay. Toni and Loreth do it, too.

Honest.

Okay. So where was I? Ah yes. The highway.

So. Busy highway. Race Walking. La la la la. Minding my own business. Hit my 8.5 km mark, do my turn around and now the wind that was to my front is coming at me from behind. And bringing with it?

Blackflies.

You know? Little black things? Couple of stripes? Soft bodies? Innocuous looking?

There weren’t too many. Just enough to annoy me and make me pull my arms out of their swing every once in awhile to swat.

Gradually though, their numbers increased and now I’m race walking and flailing with consistency. (This is where I ask myself — what did the people in the vehicles think was happening? — I’m sure I looked like I was having some sort of epileptic fit — maybe *that’s* why they didn’t stop?).

SO. Flailing. And now I’m getting worried because I was bit by these things a couple of times last week and had googled for information and discovered that a swarm of black flies can kill a person in less than 2 hours with repeated bites.

KILL.

Yeah. That’s right. Literally, they suck you dry (and there’s that suspense mind coming into play again — good plot twist turned great! NOT!).

I pick up my pace, hoping for a wind change, but I know it’s not coming, because I’m heading into low ground (translation: swampy and black fly paradise). I get there and now more flies have descended and they’ve seemingly sent out word to their cohorts in crime ’cause wouldn’t you know it? Here come the hornets!

Did you know that a hornet likes to repeatedly sting? And that it HURTS? And that anaphylactic shock can set in at anytime in anyone?

This is me now flailing, swatting and running. Screw my knee, I’m thinking, I’m done being dinner. I dig out my cell phone, but it only has one bar of reception. One hand swats, the other holds the cell phone out to the side, up in the air, back to the side, trying in desperation for a good signal.

It doesn’t work. I’m stuck at one bar.

I’ll have to gamble that I can get through and that DH has not gone outside to work in his shop and will answer the phone at home.

I get him. Blab that he needs to come get me. I need help.

He says, “What?” a couple of times like he can’t hear what I’m saying and then my phone cuts out.

At least he knows I’m in trouble. I think.

Still swatting. Still running. My knee is killing me, but I’ve decided that at least it’s that and not the bugs. 10 minutes later our van peels over the top of a hill and DH screeches to a halt in front of me for a dramatic rescue.

My love! My hero! My savior!

I throw myself into the vehicle, panting and sweating and still swatting.

“What’s with you?” he asks. “I couldn’t hear you and you were all garbled. I thought you were being attacked by a bear.” He’s looking at me like I should at least be gushing blood for all his trouble.

I show him my bites, explain the 2 hour time limit to death and he quirks an eyebrow with a modicum of interest. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

“If you say so.”

“I do.”

“Okay.” He gives me this odd little smile that says, “Freak” (but in the nicest possible way ;) and drives me home.

Ah, but isn’t love grand?