Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Oh, slim and slimy

Oh, grim and gloomy,
So grim and gloomy
Are the caves beneath the sea.
Oh, rare but roomy
And bare and boomy,
Those salt sea caverns be.

Oh, slim and slimy
Or grey and grimy
Are the animals of the sea.
Salt and oozy
And safe snoozy
The caves where those animals be.

Hark to the shuffling
Huge and snuffling,
Ravenous, cavernous, great sea-beasts!
But fair and fabulous
Gay and fabulous are their feasts.

Ah, but the queen of the sea,
The querulous, perilous sea!
How the curls of her tresses
The pearls on her dresses,
Sway and swirl in the waves,
How cozy and dozy,
How sweet ring-a-rosy
Her bower in the deep-sea-caves!

Oh, rare but roomy
And bare and boomy
Those caverns under the sea,
And grave and grandiose,
Save and sandiose
The dens of her denizens be.

-Grim and Gloomy
by James Reeves
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water
food coloring if desired

Oooze and snooze and flooze and plooze. Slimy, grimy, and very messy!!!!

Blueberry Pie

Aunt Teri lent us a favorite book of hers. We read it over and over.
We'd never tried a blueberry pie, so we thought we'd see what the elf loved so much.

We discovered the secret.
Then we read the book again.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Dream

I woke up panicked and felt with my toes for the warm steady figure of my husband. Nothing was there. Though disoriented from such a quick wake up, I padded down the stairs. No cartoon watchers. I looked outside. No early morning yard workers. I padded down to the basement and found my sweetheart giving Ladybug her morning snuggle. I motioned for him to come with me and led him by the hand back up for my morning snuggle.

"What was it honey? Was it a dream? Tell me about it."

"Well, I forgot. We forgot. We forgot that we were married. We got lost in the room-mate living of comfortable friends and moved on. At the last minute I found a vague memory that we were must have been married to have had these little girls and we must have loved one another very much. I went to revive that memory with you, but you had already moved on."

The panic of that dream provided the determination to truly put into action "The Love Dare" by Kendrick (as seen on the amazing movie Fireproof). I will not allow our relationship to get lost in the discipline, the yard work, the church service, and the hundreds of other tasks of making a living.

I cannot fully implement each quality, each habit in a day, so I will do one a week. I will read each chapter every morning for a week before moving on. Today's habit is "Love is patient."

Here is my favorite quote for this week's challenge, "Patience understands that everyone fails. When a mistake is made, it chooses to give them more time than they deserve to correct it."

Friday, March 27, 2009

Beyond Glaze

I had two friends over for lunch. I had to try these cute little things. Not only are they the cutest doughnuts I have ever seen they were the best. The raspberry Mango and German Chocolate were my favorites today. Then the Key Lime and the Cherry Chocolate. Strawberry Cheesecake and Chocolate Peanut Butter were at the end but still better than any I had ever tasted. I was in doughnut heaven. Can't you just see one of these little beauties on each little desert plate at a ladies luncheon? It is too cute!!! Besides, I wouldn't have to make anything!!! Between the three of us, we pretty much finished the whole box. Beyond Glaze is a delightful shop full of creativity and freshness. I hope it thrives so I can go there again and again and try all the other flavors.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

This Time is Precious

Little Mother is in California visiting her grandparents for two weeks. It is an exciting and heady experience for a little one to have her grandparents to herself, to travel and see the world. Her calls are full of excitement and the joy of feeling loved. In the meantime, it frees my mornings up for 2 weeks, (1 1/2 of which are left). Not that I haven't loved educating her- we have really bonded and I love being the one to waken her excitement on Egypt, Rome, and Igneous Rocks. But in the last year my home has fallen to a sad ruin I never thought possible.

To head off my natural desire to use the free time to sit, read, and dream, I listed a few projects to accomplish during my short hiatus from teacher. I've not made much progress yet, but today I wasn't scheduled to volunteer anywhere, I had no plans to visit anyone, and no company. Today is the DAY!!!

I made a list with Sunshine of the fun things she wanted to do with me and the things I wanted to accomplish today. We planned to alternate fun with work all day. But, once again life happened.

The day was half over and we had not accomplished many things on my list. Together we set the timer and worked on the craft room. The timer went off. AAAA! I've made such little progress. "Mom. It's time to play blocks. We are each going to build our own house this time."
"Honey, why don't we bring your blocks in here and you can build and I'll keep working."
"Mom, you promised. It's time to be together."
I sighed inwardly and whined to myself, "But this time is so precious! I get so very little of it."

A voice in my head immediately echoed. "Yes. This time is so precious. And you do get so little of it."
Block temples and the "house of Joseph Smith and his barn" were created with great cooperation. After switching laundry loads and mopping up all the spilled dog food in the laundry room it was on to a castle favorite, peanut butter clay.

My sweetheart often asks, "What did you do today?" Friends and family call and ask, "What is new?" I have no answers for either question. What do I do all day? How can I quantify a 4 year old's pleasure and pride, a 7 year old's discoveries, or a 10 year old's creativity?

I look at my craft room once again. After 30 minutes of hard work and a garbage can full of discards, it looks no better. But I can shut the door again, pretend the evil lurking in the basement doesn't exist.

As I prepared dinner, Sunshine said, "This was my favorite day ever. I didn't have school so I got to spend the whole day with Mom." What is a clean craft room to that I ask you? After all, this time is precious and I have very little. One day, she'll be at school, no longer seduced by peanut butter clay and I will open the craft room ... and my mess will be there ... waiting patiently.

For those of you without peanut butter clay... try ours.

Peanut Butter Clay
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 c. powdered milk
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Mix peanut butter, powdered milk and honey. Add powdered sugar until it is no longer sticky. I set out bowls of small foods to add to the sculptures such as: raisins, nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, mini-marshmallows, Rice Krispies, cheerios, etc.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Midlife Review

Matt and I graduation walk
There are few history majors or minors in most universities. So it was that many individuals shared a majority of your classes. One young man was notable for his brown nosing of the teachers and his positive friendly attitude. We sat next to each other for many classes and study groups and became good friends. During one such group, he mentioned going home to his tiny home town for the holiday. Not only had I heard of it, my husband had lived there as a boy. We discovered their close friendship in kindergarten that lasted until my husband's father died when he was 7 and the family moved away. Small world. Matt and his wife Gail took me as a project that summer since Briz was away in Alaska. Countless dinners were shared, blessings given, debates held. They even moved me into another apartment. Later as couples we became close, even sharing our little pug Ming.

Briz, Matt and Ming

Today, I remember this long friendship which has lasted 17 years on my part and 35 for my husband. I remember the countless acts of service over the years on our behalf, help with the sprinkler system when Briz was again gone, pianos moved, conferences and books shared. I remember them because tonight I witnessed a new group of people introduced to his goodwill and people orientation.

We drove up to the red brick house, decorated with black balloons and entered without knocking. The world would end if Gail did not have the table covered with treats, and though we were early, there were already many people sampling the goodies prior to our arrival. A 50ish woman had made the cake, young families with small children stood in line waiting for Gail to dish their ice cream cones, fellow city council members strolled in and joked with Matt about falling asleep or flatulence in council meeting. A shy and backward 16 year old sat on Matt's lap for a minute and he showed no obvious discomfort. My children ran in screaming, "uncle Matt!" College aged young women arrived, one in creative black funeral attire, followed by a cohort of men in dark suits, which I discovered were the stake presidency, taking a break from their meetings. What a strange cacophony of guests we were. I listened to snippets of conversation and gathered the expected information about each of their relationships to Matt. I heard of lives changed through his influence, countless acts of service and love. I witnessed how he has continued to reach out wherever he is placed in life. We left early though I longed to stay to see who else would pop in.

Today I take away from the "funeral" experience a desire to reach out to others unlike me quicker, more fully, and more often. I marvel at his gift to relate to anyone and to radiate love and caring for each person large or small that crosses his path. He is 40 today. I doubt the midlife crisis has a handle on him. His years have been too well spent.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dinner Rush Hour Rescue

Why does everyone call at dinnertime? Why does each child need me to look and help and answer? Not that I mind, but dinner time is poor timing. Ladybug wants to go camping. Not wanting to disappoint, I put her to work to make our camping dream (detailed on the dinner blog) come true despite the snowy weather. Yes, there is snow outside again. Yes, we are tired of it. But what to do with my littlest? Colorforms to the rescue. Making dinner while listening to Sunshine hum Beethoven, Mozart, and Grieg, is calming and a perfect background to chop and stir.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Freedom to Experiment

Four excited ten year-olds bump and clump into my house after school, rosy cheeked and dripping with wet snow. No longer shy or fearful of me, they find me, offer a quick hug and get to work on their gratitude journals. Today, they work in twosomes to read and follow directions. I stand asside for backup, because I really want to see how they do on their own.

"This didn't work. What did we do wrong? I think we have too much ice. It is too heavy for the ice on the string to hold. Let's do it again."

After attempting to stir 1 tablespoon of water into 4 plus tablespoons of sugar for over 12 minutes, they ask, "What does dissolve mean? Oh. This is still crystalline. It has not dissolved
yet. Why is this so hard? Oh yeah. The instructions do say 3 tablespoons of water."

I watch as the wrong ingredients go in the pan, in the wrong measurements. Oh, I want so bad to say something. I can't resist. "Check the recipe one more time. What do you do first?" Cocoa spills all over the floor and counter top. The nuts are so fun to chop, that they all want a turn, chopping them into fine nut dust.

My girls display their experiments with pride and with no less pleasure, describe their errors and what they learned from them.

"I now know that "boil" doesn't start right as I put the ingredients in."

"Our experiment took so long because we were not reading the directions carefully."

They are mostly gone now, except for Ladybug. I slowly clean a cyclonic mess. Often, like today, I forget they are coming over and come up with an activity at the moment. This could definitely be done better, but the most meaningful gift I give them is FREEDOM. Freedom to experiment with new things. Freedom in my home and my cupboards, freedom to make mistakes and messes, and freedom to b
e themselves.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Irish Inspiration Tea

Saturday, I attended an Irish Inspiration Birthday tea for my oldest friend, Amy. It was not a party, it was an event, produced for the best of reasons, to offer the attendees a gift, a meaningful and lovely afternoon.
As I arrived, a few chosen friends were bustling around helping with final preparations for the tea. The beautiful hostess, Amy, still took the time to greet each guest warmly during the bustle. Three large tables were set in three different rooms to seat over 26 women.
At each place setting was the guests initial with a label, describing the way that person had inspired Amy. She graciously thanked each guest for being the inspiration in her life. After an Irish jig performed by her daughter, we sat at our assigned seats while SHE served each of us each individual course. After, we each shared something that inspired us. Some shared stories, others individuals, and others shared items... books etc. Each of her friends that I met were salt of the earth women that I would choose myself for a companion. I left with a full stomach and a mind...full of possibilities, inspiration and joy that there are such wonderful women out there.

A good day

Friday was a good day. Sunshine returned from Ella's in all her Fancy Nancy finery. What a fun idea for a little girl birthday party! I noted that the party was complete with parfaits- see the chocolaty mouth and parfait glass. True to Nancy form, she picked up rocks, did yard work, and went to Walmart in character. Fancy Nancy is the castle's most favorite storybook.

Briz came home early and we stood side by side, cleaning the winter debris out of the flower beds. A dear friend popped her head in the yard and we talked in the sunshine.
"I am so in the mood for a BBQ!" I said.
"Me too. Let's do it. I have chicken."
"I have salad and potatoes."
"O.K. Let's meet in one half hour."
We sat on the deck watched the sun set behind majestic mountains, listened to children playing happily, and talked of things, past and present. Darkness fell and still we talked. A space heater oscillated and warmed our legs. Reluctantly and past the kids bedtime, we walked home with our empty trays, so happy for friends straight out of Crossing to Safety.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Intellegence Quotient

I seasoned the flank steak and left it to sit while I made the chimichurri sauce. I heard happy squeals and immediately looked out the kitchen window to monitor my little women. Ladybug had designed a zip line from tree to tree and was whooping as she flew down to meet her sister who was holding the line taut.

Test and educational scores land my little one squarely in the special needs category. But daily she demonstrates her brilliance. I am constantly clearing the yard of debris left out from amazing building projects, dog training runs, or animal traps.

I am fascinated with children in the autistic spectrum. They are able to access areas of the brain that we ignore. They say Ladybug sees computer and TV images in 3D. Imagine the possibilities each of us carries in our own brains. I hope our culture advances to a level where we can appreciate and utilize the gifts of those like my little Ladybug. Until then, I look to projects like these, not the scores from those who don't know her, to measure her intelligence quotient.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I have been very very naughty. I am positive that one of the steps in addiction recovery is to acknowledge your slip ups.

So, hi! my name is Midodi. My stimulant of choice is baked goods, particularly bread. I have been bread free for 4 minutes.

Yes, I fell off the wagon. Writing about crusty, sweet, chewy bread made my knees week and after a baking session with Sunshine, 2 slices are now in my stomach. One and one half loaves have been consumed. Heaven help me if the last half is still available when I leave the library.

Bread Renaissance

We have been having a bread renaissance, a bread revival, a celebration of crusty warm grains fresh from the oven. In the past month I have cooked boules, olive bread, oatmeal bread, baguettes, Challah, french bread, soda bread, shaped bread.... you get the picture. Every night with dinner we've sampled another one of my creations. As a breadophile, I have been in heaven, till my blood sugar recently crashed. I have to go off carbs for awhile to re regulate and regain my energy. But like any self respecting addict, I think about my addiction constantly while drying out.

Since I cannot make it today, I am going to write about my favorite everyday bread, the castle's serf bread. It is perfect for sandwiches, for homemade chokecherry jelly, for toast.

I went on a search for the perfect every day bread and learned a lot of things like what ingredients make the bread soft, chewy, or light. After sampling dozens of recipes, I found one that was almost perfect at Blue Yonder. I tweaked it a bit for my taste with gluten and the steam method, and found my perfection. Shortening makes it really soft, but is unhealthy. At Wild Oats, and in the health food section of my grocery store I found a shortening product that has 0 trans fats and is non-hydrogenated. Butter flavored would be even better, but I don't have any on shelf currently. Pictures of the steam method are posted on the dinner blog for Soda Bread. I hope someone out there in cyberspace makes this amazing bread and enjoys it for me while I am unable.

The Castle's Serf Bread

2 T warm water
1 1/2 t yeast
1/2 t sugar
1 1/2 cups bread flour
2 c whole wheat flour
3 t vital wheat gluten
1/4 c health food store shortening
1/4 c honey
1 c warm water
1 t salt

In a small cup combine water with yeast and sugar. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, in a large bowl pour yeast mixture, water, flours, shortening, honey and salt. Using an electric mixer or food processor, blend until all ingredients are incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.

Mix (knead) for 5 minutes. The dough should no longer be sticky, but smooth and elastic. If you push your fingers in, the hole should refill itself quickly.

Remove the dough and place in a clean bowl that has been greased lightly with oil. Turn dough over in bowl. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Punch down to eliminate bubbles. Spray or grease 9x4 or 5 inch loaf pan. Shape dough into a loaf and place in pan. Let rise in warm spot till doubled in size. I usually let it rise for 30-40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a broiler pan on the lowest shelf. When oven is preheated, pour 1 cup of water in the lower pan when you put the bread in. Bake for 30 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped lightly on top.

This recipe makes only 1 loaf so you'd better double or triple it so some is ready in the freezer.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Family Treasure Hunt

The Leprechauns left a treasure for my girls and my parents this morning. The spring thaw made their feet awfully muddy, and their prints led us right to the spots they had hidden their treasures. This evening, my girls went on quite a hunt to find another sort of treasure detailed on my dinner celebration blog. We found the treasure of a rare evening with grandparents, silliness, and imagination.

My mother and I spent the day on a different sort of treasure hunt. We visited with Aunt Moey, Uncle Bob, and Uncle Cliff. Driving home, I felt the day as well spent as any I've spent in the last year.
My Nana asked that my mom would take care of her sister, Aunt Moey after she died. With several states separating them, I wanted to step in as a substitute for my mother. One visit turned to many. My notion of caring for Moey and Bob quickly changed to thorough enjoyment of our visits where with my sweetheart we discussed common loves such as books, fossils, rocks, anthropology and of course, family history. My world increased as I gained two more people to love and think about.

Tonight, I unexpectedly cuddle up in her love, crocheted over hours by this dear great aunt.
"I thought of you the whole time I was making it. You don't have to take it if you don't want. It's just a dumb little thing."

How can hours, days, and months of love be a little thing - something to discard? I am not loved by so many that my heart does not swell at the physical reminder I received today. She LOVES me!!!
My visits to Uncle Cliff are a bit more recent. A year ago, my mother called. "I think I found my great uncle Cliff, my grandmother's last remaining brother!" Will you call, see if it's him, and see what he knows about his mother?"

Ah! A quest to find a missing link... someone we thought long dead. Though excited, I was subdued to call someone who didn't even know I existed.

The door opened, and a familiar tall well built man I had never before seen, invited me in. I met his daughter, Elaine, and within seconds knew I had found family. Yes, we are distant relatives. He is my great great uncle. I'm not sure what that makes Elaine, but I don't think of all that. I just knew my family circle had grown that much wider.

The visits began with stories about my direct line, but I became so fascinated with these dear people, I wanted to know about them... what their stories were, what moves them. I am still in the process of finding out and that is fun.

My visits to them have been a hunt. And I have found treasure. The treasure of family. Not only them, but others I have come to know through their stories and pictures. I feel surrounded by great and great great grandparents I never knew. It's a little odd, but since my visits have begun, I feel less alone... I feel encircled by family.

Gift of Friendship

In the cool of Sunday evening, Charlynn and I walked through the city, catching up and providing each other "brain clearing" therapy.

"My brain is so full of odds and ends... I'm really not sure where to begin." I said.

Her advice was, "Go have a few more minutes... meditate, pray, find peace. Then you will know which of your many mind cluttering things-to-do is most important. "

Her service did not end with her great advice. On Monday, little one in tow, she arrived at my house, looked at my deer-in-the-headlights look and began to supervise a declutter and reorganization of my office. Often, we get so overwhelmed by our own stuff we can't see beyond it. Two hours later, my face hurt from smiling so hard. With less clutter in my home, my brain had a little more room to think.

I like candles and hand cream as much as the next girl, but they can not compare to the gift of the two hours that translated to hope that Char gave to me.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Runaway

Ladybug disappeared for some time. Finally she appeared with 2 cases.
"I'm all packed and ready to go."
"Where are you going honey?"
"I'm running away."
"Oh. Where are you running away to?"
"The front yard and the back yard and around the house."
"Good. I just need to know where you are when you run away."
"Yeah, that's because you love me. Can I pack some of my favorite nuts?"
"Sure honey. Here are some olives too."
Once packed and fed, my rebel walked out the door and down the steps with her cases, a soft drink and a furry companion to keep her company. She ran into Sunshine and her friend Em and recruited them to join her. Ten minutes later they were settled on the front lawn, happily dining on the hoard. Oh for a carefree runaway once a day. I think I'll try it.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Invisible Woman

Why are nips and tucks so attractive to us middle aged women? Why are we looking for the special cream that will wipe away our wrinkles? For that matter, why are so many of us blogging to the world at large? Why try to get our thoughts out in cyberspace? Is it voyeurism as my friend Melody thinks? Is it a hope that someone out there will hear us, that they might comment and recognize our existence. Or are we writing to convince ourselves that we still exist, that we are here?

I think many of us feel invisible. Others walk by without seeing us. We have disappeared into the anonymity of the wife, the mom, the butter getter, the milk pourer, the laundry washer. Heads that used to turn, business people that used to listen, young people that used to admire, stop noticing a fully and completely "mom." Sometimes even and especially those we love and serve, treat us as the pair of hands, the apron, the clock, the pillow, and the nameless chauffeur. We have become invisible.
We feel that they fail to see our beauty, our service, our love. The question is, do they fail to see us or do we really wonder if we have any value?

To anyone who has ever wondered about the previous, experience with me, The Invisible Woman by Nicole Johnson. Read this hour long book or click on this link to watch a few minute condensed version on U-Tube. How could this woman have been in my head? I shed a tear as I recognize that she too has felt invisible...I shed a tear for all those who fail to see, as I sometimes do, the beauty of their soul and their work.

Ponder Mother Tereasa with me... how she was invisible for decades, and then when she became visible to the world in general, used her visibility to help others see the poor, the diseased and the overlooked. Even more thought provoking, I ponder God. Do we often treat him as though he is the magical man behind the curtain ready to offer us our desires and then forget he is there? Do I fail to see him in our everyday life? Does he demand my recognition, my praise for his countless and glorious works in my behalf?

After much thought, invisibility is not what we think. "Invisibility is love's most beautiful costume." So, watch or read... and I will remain invisible and not expect a comment.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Addicted to the race

I have become addicted to racing. I am on the waiting list for an upcoming marathon. When I run with Megan, we chat and the minutes and miles fly by and I am amazed at my accomplishment. But alone, I agonize over every minute... it is sheer torture. Why is it so much harder than the spinning class that burns 100 more calories per hour?

Briz and I woke up early Saturday morning to torture ourselves together. Since I
had not attended a spinning class in over 4 months, I knew I was in for a rough morning. Endurance Day! Ugh. The hardest class they offer.

The spinning room blasts eardrum popping music and is dark, with two enormous screens in front. Sometimes we bike in some scenic place, but usually we are in a biking race like the Tour de France. Today we were racing in Italy. I matched my cadence to the rider in yellow, I examined his shoulder set, the bend of his back, and his grip and I match them. I lean when we turn, I imagine that the overhead fans are the mountain air swooshing past me as I ride my amazing ride. We have turned up the tension on our bikes so our legs burn, but still, I must match my racer's cadence. It is hard going up this mountain and keeping my form. To my right, a group of fans starts yipping and hollering and twirling their shirts as I pass. They don't know me, I am probably not even from their country, but they scream me on. One fellow gets right next to me and jogs next to me for a second and yells, "Go, Go, Go!" I forget the burn, forget the ache in my wrists and I respond. I feel that grin spread over my face, the one I can wear in the dark when I know that I am unstoppable, that even though I am exhausted the other bikes will eat my dust. I grimly pedal onward full of power, pushed by crowd of well wishers.

Suddenly, my heart catches. I see life, my life, how very easily I am influenced by others. I wonder for a moment how much I would like my spin class if the fans on the screen yelled, "Crappy form! Give it up. You are the worst rider in this whole race! Stop hunching your shoulders, your stomach muscles are not holding your back!" In the midst of doing something very hard, there is no doubt that my cadence would slow, my energy would ebb and I would think... "You're right. I am doing it all wrong. I really am the worst."

My vision changes. I see my daughters, my friends, my husband. They are not biking, they are running the race of life. They each have spots that are hard to race, form that is imperfect, and a spot where their strength weakens. Where am I? What am I doing? Am I at the sidelines screaming, "You can do it! Go, Go, Go!" Do I give them a second wind, power, hope? Or am I criticizing their form, their weakness in the mountain pass, or their place in the race?

The rock song switches, the fans hum, I drink. On the screens, the winner recieves a trophy and gets a kiss on each cheek from two girls in skimpy clothing. I've got it! A tear trickles down my cheek. I wipe it away. Briz probably doesn't notice. It looks like sweat. A coach! My role for others, is to be an inspiring coach, shouting encouragement from the sidelines as they run their own race. My criticisms will not help their form or their race. How clear it is in this dark sweaty room.

We take advantage of a day of sunshine and ride our bikes by the river. The trail beckons and we go on and on. We stop and refresh our feet in the ice cold water.
Finally we turn homeward. The wind rises, blowing so hard I barely stay seated. Little Mother's front tire is flat. She rides as far as she can, then pushes the bike on. Sunshine is on her plasma bike. She has kept up with us the whole way by pushing with her feet. I cannot ride so slow, so I circle back and forth. I ride ahead, and rest on a bench. Little Mother trudges by. I wait and wait. The wind whips my hair and knocks over my bike. Where is my Sunshine? Down the path, I see a small forlorn figure standing next to a bike, pulling it along with small sobs. My mind shoots to my bike race in Italy. I bike back to find my brave trooper. "You are amazing! We are almost there! I am right here with you!" Without another word or whimper, Sunshine sat down on her bike and vroom, vroom, sped off down the trail till she reached the car. Can others become addicted to racing too?