Why the Redwood Forest slideshow?

Judy had always loved trees, and in 2008 we spent some time among the California Redwoods. Some of the ingredients in Judy's chemo cocktail were derived from trees (not Redwoods but Yews). We always knew that Judy loved the trees, and the trees got their chance to repay her affection.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Racing season is Moving Along ...

... and so are Judy's treatment and convalescence.

Last weekend we spent two days at Flat Rock Ranch, close to Comfort in Texas' beautiful central part. For the ninth year in a row we worked the STORM Hill Country Mountain Bike Challenge, which celebrated its 10th anniversary. The weather cooperated, and it was one of those weekends that blur work and fun. But isn't that the way it is supposed to be anyhow?

Overall, it was a fabulous, well-run race, with only two injuries that required incident reports (but that did not appear to be so serious that we had to involve ambulances or helicopters). We had an unfortunate situation with a course marking that confused some riders, but all-in-all it couldn't have been much better as the weather cooperated and everybody seemed to sport a smile (especially when ice-cream man Lindal came by with yet another round of free popsicles and crunchy bars!).

After her chemo, Judy didn't feel all that great this weekend, but she still pulled her share of work. In the photos you can see her giving the countdown in the Time Trial to Kyle J. (whose mother, Kathy, sent us these three photos) as well as Eric F., the ever-smiling Junior whose brother Ian has been ripping up the open Single Speed class.

In two weeks we'll be at Double Lake, near Houston, for another round of mountain bike events.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to all of you!

Judy is playing bunny this morning with a whole basket of home-made Easter eggs that she is taking to her church. Not only do they look great, but they are yummy!

We are at home this weekend, in between two weekends of races. Judy is going to have her next chemo on Tuesday, so she's enjoying these days of not feeling crummy. Last night we had a fabulous spread of tapas, and tonight we'll carve into the ham that I am planning to slow-smoke this afternoon.

We'll update you next week how round #6 is coming along.


(PS: If you really want to see these Easter eggs in all their glory, click on the picture and get a close-up view!)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

70.3 Ironman New Orleans

This past weekend, Judy and I were for four days in New Orleans for the inaugural 70.3 Ironman New Orleans. As Head Referee I was responsible for the fairness of an event that with 3,000+ participants was the largest in Ironman history. Wow!

Everything came off fabulously at a superbly organized race in a spectacular setting. Just imagine the racers finishing right in front of Jackson Square in the French Quarter! Judy did a great job keeping the Pro women's field in check during the bike portion of the race, which is our main responsibility. I stayed with the Pro men, and our remaining six officials did a fine job keeping the so-called age-groupers fair.

It wasn't just all work. We were able to spend time in the French Quarter and on Bourbon Street, listening to a beautiful concert, eating muffalettas, begging for beads, and drinking Abita beer (I more so than Judy). It was our 20th anniversary weekend, and the Hilton (where we stayed courtesy of race director Bill Burke) had a bottle of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries waiting for us when we arrived.

Judy was beaming pretty much the whole time. At one point she told me that she hadn't felt this good in more than a year, and several times she said that she wasn't barely thinking of the cancer. Her attitude was just amazing: Hard working as always, energetic, fun-loving, and happy. What a wonderful weekend we had in the place where we had honeymooned 20 years earlier. We can't thank Bill enough for insisting that we'd work this event—he and I had talked about it last November at the 70.3 World Championships in Florida, when I told him about Judy's condition. He'd said to me, "I want you to come out and have a good time." And he was a true friend this weekend, too. Thanks Bill and Ashley, his right-hand assistant!

Even the plane ride was fun as we were upgraded to First both ways on the DFW to New Orleans portion. Our loyalty to American Airlines does have its perks.

We're back in Lubbock, and Judy had her lab work done yesterday. All systems are "go" for the sixth round of chemo next Tuesday. We're getting closer to the end of this part of the treatment.

Happy Easter to all of you!


Judy and her buddy Fats Domino in the French Quarter.

What a spectacular finish in front of Jackson Square.