Friday, October 1, 2010

Be Careful What You Pray For!!

What a week and where do I begin??? I decided that it was pretty pertinent that I take a long bike ride today(we are talking 60-75 miles) since Tour de Roundo(100 mile ride) is next Saturday (Oct. 9) and I haven't been able to ride for almost 2 weeks due to my usual tire issues. For all you that know me well, I have a horrible habit of blowing tubes. And the funny thing is, until today, I have never been on my bike when the tire blew. As a matter of fact, when April and I rode together two weeks ago, she blew a tire that loudly went "PHPHPHPHPHHTTTTTT"! (actually I thought she farted real loud) and I graciously asked her, "So what is it like to be on the bike when the tire actually blows?" To help you better understand my bad luck, until today, my last two flat tires in the past two weeks(ooops, I meant three) occurred when my bike was either in the trunk of my car or just sitting in my garage! Back tire blew after a long 50 mile ride and and I was driving home with it in the back. Fixed that tire when I got home and noticed quite a bit of wear and tear on my front tire so I took it off my bike, put it in my car to transport to Main street Bicycle and that one blew in the back seat. Then, when my bike was propped up in the garage upside down with the tire forks up in the air (feeling very exposed, I am sure--hehehehe), my back tire goes flat,--again --all on its own( these tires have a mind of their own, I am telling you!!!!). Tried pumping it up but it wouldn't hold air. Changed it and it had a hole about an inch from the stem that was about 3/10 of an inch in diameter. So I changed that tire and he is doing fine right now (Should I go outside and check him???? No!) Anyway, when I started out on my bike ride this morning with April, I had two new tubes and one new tire (new tire on the front--keep that in mind!!) So it started out as a great morning, April and I riding down these beautiful Summerville roads and in beautifual weather! Couldn't ask for much more except a greasy cheeseburger and large fry! Around mile 35, while on Central Aveneue, I hear "Thump, thump, thump". I thought, "That sounds like Sheila's thump thump thump when we had to change her tire in front of Legacy Farms" (except I bet that is the only one of her two flat tires she has ever had to change. Hmmf!) So I pulled over and filled my front flat tube with my CO2 cartridge and it held the air! I was like whoa! Another first! Any other time, the air just flowed right out (like at Paris Island, right Scott?) Well I had to call April because she was riding hard and fast and did not realized I had stopped so I met her at the CVS on the corner of Central and realized most of the air had leaked out(obvious signs of a slow leak??). So I pulled out my second air cartridge and thought, "Ha! This will do it! If I can atleast get to the blinking light at Jedburg Road, I can walk home from there. So I filled her up, hopped on the bike, and as soon as I started pumping my little short, fat legs, I heard the thump, thump, thump!! So guess what!! This bike ride turned into a freakin' brick!! I ran/walked the last three miles home. Now April rode on to her house because I told her to and she offered to come and get me in her car, but I refused. And before anyone starts yelling at me, I know all of you would have dropped what you were doing to come and pick me up. I know that Tina, Sheila, and Kristin would have taken their lunch hours to do that for me, wouldn't ya'll have? But I was only three miles from home!! Well as I began my long journey of three miles home on scary Old Orangeburg Road, I began to get really angry. I kept having all these trucks with empty beds ride by, you know the big bubba trucks, the work trucks, the logging trucks, and the cement trucks, the many, many minivans, the Sports Medic transport van, and no one offered me a ride. I might have taken some stranger up on a ride offer. After all, I did have my can of mace that Bill makes me ride with. I'm not scared as long as I have my mace!!! But I mean, you know, we see cyclers on Orangeburg Road all the time but they are on their bike, not walking it like a dog. Oh and let me explain why I didn't try to change my tire. (Another story here but you will get the shortened version! Last night I had to go to Nason Mdical center to extract the very large splinter that I did not realize I had in my finger from the Mudrun. My fourth finger, third section was definitely infected but I had thought I had gotten the whole splinter out last Saturday. Well, Dr. Nason(nice looking man that he is!) sliced it open and pushed out this splinter that was as wide in diameter as an unsharpened pencil lead and 1/4 to 1/2 inch long!! Cost me $230.00 bucks! So not only did I use up my two air cartridges already, there is no way I could change a tire with that little blue tool and have to push and shove it with my right hand like this. (Maybe next week I can handle it when the next tire blows!) So back to the passing cars. Yep everything passed me including 3-4 people that I knew. Now maybe they didn't recognize me (I will give them the benefit of the doubt here). But again, how many bikers do you see with helmet on, Agility Racing shirt on, big bright pink bandaged finger, walking their bike down Old Orangeburg? Wouldn't I have turned your head for a second look??? I am sure my gut and butt were jiggling! But there is a good chance if I see these 3-4 people on the side of the road with a blown tire, whether it be on their car, bike, or shoe, I'm not stopping. No I will stop and say, "I don't mind stopping to help you even though you couldn't stop and help me the other day........") (just kidding). I 'd stop and not say anything unlike my husband who would stop and say a lot. So anyway, as I got to the four way stop at Butternut and Old Orangeburg the spirit spoke to me. He said, Alice, you dummy, you asked for this! Don't you remember! After blowing a tire in Paris Island, you prayed to Heavenly Father to help you learn all you need to know about the mechanics of your bike and how to change those skinny little tires (I like the tires on my car better and I wish those were even bigger but my husband is too cheap to buy me the ones I want--their like $400 a piece and hum when you ride....) And then I realized that is why I have had so many flats. Heavenly father is giving me practice!!!!! And being safe about because I haven't been on my bike when any of them blew! (For those of you that don't know, I am a very careful person and I have a lot of fears that I am overcoming everyday like riding bikes,and doing mudruns and stuff like that. (You should have seen me when I learned to swim! God bless Jessica!--she taught me how!) So that is what is going on! I figured it out. Because, you know, I have become a pretty good tire changer since March. By this time, I had reached the blinking light and I started giggling and counting my blessings. I am such a lucky person. If a flat tire is all I have to complain about, then so be it. I have no injuries to complain about. My feet feel good, my joints feel great. I don't have back problems. I breathe well. Just have a few mechanical issues! SO by now I am back in my neighborhood and this big cement truck pulls up and stops next to me. The guy looks out the window and says, "Girl! You are hot!" And I thought, "How am I supposed to take this? I AM hot after this little workout this morning". And then he continues on," Girl, you are smokin'! I saw you walking way down Old Orangeburg. You must be walking fast!" My first thought was,"A*&^*^!! Why didn't you offer me a ride then!!??" My second thought was to grab my mace and just start spraying. But i just giggled and said,"Yeah. I'm smokin'!" On a mechanical note, I am not sure why those tires keep going flat, but I have more practice than anyone else that rides with me when it come to those skinny tubes!! The holes have appeared in various places or no holes at all can be found. I have let other people change the tire in case it is the mechanic's issue (that would be me!) But I am done with it! I am taking my bike up to Main Street bike. For $15 dollars a wheel, they will change the tube, check the rim, and everything else and that includes the price of the new tube. Not bad. If I don't do this, I will spend that amount or more in tubes before the month of October is over. I mean, I pretty much already own stock in Kenda (the tube company) already! And then I am going to get me some closet time and spend a few minutes talking to Heavenly Father after I put my kids and Bill to sleep. I think it is time that I ask for a little mercy and let him know that I have a little more confidence in my tire changing abilities and to thank him for all these wonderful opportunities of flat tubes that he has given me. All you peeps that are riding with me next Saturday at the Tour De Roundo--I want you to make sure you have an extra air cartridge and an extra tube in the back pocket of your jersey just for me. And add an extra hour to your estimated finish time for tire changing purposes, just in case!!! Thanks for letting me vent!!! Did anyone read this whole thing????

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Tribute to Reagan

Hello World! Yes, I know it has been almost a year since I have posted on my blog! It has been a busy year and there hasn't been any quiet time for me to sit down and work on it. So I am going to try and do some catching up in the next few days and give a run down of the past year in the next few posts. School is out for Reagan and I figure that gives me 1.5-2 hours less time in the car driving, picking up and dropping off. And then I will try to keep up with my blog! This is my tribute to my middle child Reagan who is the sweetest child on Earth! She "graduated from Pre-K4" yesterday and it is just hard to believe that she will be going to kindergarten next year. I am not looking forward to getting her out of bed at 6:00 am as she sleeps like a rock!

Here are a few pics of my sweet girl during her K4 year at Bethany:

This is Reagan and Bill at Daddy's Day back during the winter months. (Can't remember if it was January or February!).......
And here she is at Fire Safety Day.........
Halloween.......(she was supposed to be a green dragon but since it was 90 degrees outside that day we chose to wear something cooler (temperature wise and attitude wise--Go Cocks!!)........
Thanksgiving--Reagan was an Indian named Running Dog...........

At Christmas time........... (she is so cute, I had to put two pics here)......

Just a random day at school with her favorite shirt.........And then her 5th birthday in May.......

I love you, Rea-Rea!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

2nd Mission Acomplished!

On June 27, 2009, I complete my first triathlon in Greenville, SC and I am very proud of myself. I started, very slowly, training back in January. I had to learn to run and learn to swim. We (Jessica and I) trained 5-6 days a week (Kristin joined us a few weeks later after we twisted her arm off) and it turned out to be quite fun training. This tri was a sprint meaning the distances were shorter than other types of triathlons such as internationals and ironmans. My swim was a 300 m swim in a pool, a 9 mile bike ride, and then a 5k ( 3mile) run. Going into this triathlon, I was very nervous about the swim since I had just learned to swim a few months ago. There was no need to worry! I ended up passing the girl in front of me and had to doggy paddle a few times to avoid running into the big bald guy in front of me. ( I couldn't pass him! I was too scared!)

I was looking forward to the bike ride part of the race until I got to Greenville and realized how big their hills are. We have no hills here in the Lowcountry and I have not trained on any hills. Needless to say, I did not sleep much that night because I was really not sure if I would make it through the bike part of this race.(I had forgotten about the swimming at this point). But I hopped on my bike (had a good adrenaline rush since I did not drown in the pool!) and told myself to "Do it!" As you can see in this first picture below, there was a small hill just to get out the parking lot. As I continued on the track, life became quite fun! I approached my first downhill and had my bike going about 33 miles per hour! WoooooHooooooo!! and then I had to go back uphill. By the time I got to the top of the next hill, I was only going about 5 miles per hour and then the whole process started over with the next hill. I was elated when I finished these nine miles of hills!!
This is me coming in on my beautiful red bike, "Hot Tamale". She is my best friend.
The 5K run was great. It was almost totally flat and I ran the whole way. Here I am crossing the finish line!!!!!!

This is a picture of my tri buddies, Kristin, Jessica, and me after the race as we glisten with sweat.

And here we are with my fan club, Jordan and Reagan.
Here is the calf shot. The numbers represent our ages at the end of the year and the letters represent our category.
And Logan was so excited through the whole thing, she fell asleep with a chocolate chip cookie in her hand. Needless to say, she did not see me cross the finish line.
And here I am with my two older babies, Jordan and Reagan!We went back to the hotel and showered quickly before a big lunch at Chili's. We ended that meal with one of those delicious desserts that they have--that chocolate chip paradise pie one! MMMMMGGGGooooooddddddd!!! While we were driving home, it became really quiet in the back of the car. I was still pumped up from the tri so I just couldn't understand why everyone else was so quiet so I turned around and this is what I saw:

I could say they were snoring and had boogers hanging out of their noses, but then I would be lying. Jessica and Reagan were zonked out!!

What a great adventure this tri was and there will be many more to come! Everyone needs to watch out for the three of us next year--We are Team JKA( Jessica, Kristin, & Alice or Just Kickin' A$$!--take your pick!)

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Today we went to the hair stylist and literally chopped off Jordan and Reagan's hair. We knew Reagan's hair was plenty long enough to give to Locks of Love and luckily so was Jordan's. (This is the 2nd time Jordan has given her her hair to Locks of Love.) So here are the pictures from the big event.

Jordan -- Before the cut:

Reagan -- Before the cut:

Jordan --During the cut:
Finished Product!
And then Reagan -- During the cut:
Side view of the finished product:
The Hardy girls with their new looks!

Logan's 1st Trip to the Beach

Logan definitely fits into the Hardy family--she loves the beach! She loved watching everyone do their thing and just giggled when the seagulls swooped down to eat her Cheerios that she was throwing on the ground.
She enjoyed making sand castles like her sisters!

She even tried swimming with the help of Daddy!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Hardy's 1st Camping Trip

Yes, you read that title right! We, the Hardys, went camping. Thanks to the Orchard family, who are all seasoned campers, we spent Memorial Day weekend at Santee and we had a blast! Below is the picture of the Hardy tent that I purchased at Costco all by myself--picked it out and all! Notice that it was large enough to hold two queen-size mattresses and a playyard. Needless to say, we all slept pretty comfortably that weekend.

Here are my three girls one morning after they rolled out of their tent and were waiting for breakfast to be cooked. It was perfect weather--not too cold and not too hot!

This is Chef Orchard, aka Mr. Scott, cooking one of our many meals over the open fire in a dutch oven. We cooked peach cobbler and cinnamon rolls that ended up being some of the best cobbler and rolls ever devoured by humans! For proof, just look at the picture of my husband, Bill. He never lets a crumb of goodness get by him! Notice he has another plate sitting by the one he is eating off of. What a G.D.--garbage disposal, that is!
And Chef Orchard is back at it again. This time, he prepared bacon and sausage in the cast iron skillet over an open fire. Notice the anticipation on everyone's face--they can't wait to sink their teeth into the meat!
We did not get to do a whole lot of swimming in the lake. It was very high and what was supposed to be a sandy beach was actually the sandy bottom. The water was also still a little bit cold but it didn't stop the little boogers from getting what was supposed to be just their feet wet to getting the whole body wet.
And here is a picture of the two little princesses relaxing at the campsite. I am not sure what was up with the left arms hanging out of the car seats but the little ones had a good time, too.
Bill attempted to do a little fish but he caught nothing. He tried for several hours but to no avail. Maybe next time, Bill. However, I can not recall him ever having much luck fishing?????
We also went on a future nature trails which was one of my favorite, and Logan's too, parts of the whole trip. As you can see, she had the best ride on the trail--daddy's shoulders.
And if he didn't walk fast enough or in the right direction, she just pulled his hair.

We also met some new friends while camping. Meet the "cool" white spider that was hanging out on the fire pit. I am sure she got word ahead of time that we were coming and that great food was going to be cooked on this pit this weekend.
And here is our other buddy--not quite sure what he was! He was way too big to be a lizard and did not quite look like a skink. He had a couple of brothers and sisters that we kept running into also. This little fella lived in a big log next to our campsite and was a little bashful. He ran everytime we tried to talk to him!

We had a great time camping and can not wait for our next trip in the fall or spring (when we get the chance)when the weather is just right for it again. We give a big Thanks to the Orchards for this great initiation camping trip!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Must Take After Their Mother.......

I walked into the back room the other day and this is what I found:

Logan and Reagan sharing a lollipop. At this very early stage in Logan's life, you can not bring a lollipop within ten feet of her unless you plan on sharing!

It seems that the Tootie Roll Pops seem to be the group favorite here in our house and it doesn't help that Grandmomma brings a bag for each kid every time she comes over. But, hey, atleast the kids are as smart as me--they know something good when they see it!!