Tag Archives: raw challenge

December 2023

December began and was frequently filled with many holiday gatherings. Friends, neighbors, family, framily, it seemed like every spare space had a gathering to it.

Part of those gatherings were in Ohio. I went to help my sister prepare and have a baby shower for my nephew and his wife who were expecting their first offspring. Also on the agenda, was a retirement party for my sister in law. Unfortunately, my sister in law and brother were sick and so that party was cancelled. I had a great time visiting several friends and spending more time with my sis since we avoided the farm this time due to whatever crud they were dealing with. We even had a last minute visit over in Pennsylvania with my Aunt and cousin. Luckily they knew the owners of the cafe we ate in, as otherwise we might have been kicked out for the level of laughter we generated in our getting caught up on each others lives.

I arrived back home in Colorado and my nephew Ian followed me out the next day so that we could all go ski/snow boarding together. Galen, Devin, Ian, Molly and I met up at Arapahoe Basin once again and had a super fun day playing on the slopes. This was the first time I had skied with both of my boys in decades, so it was really nice to be up there all together.

Not just settling for skiing, there were hikes, walks and parties every night as everyone wanted to spend some time with Ian.

I finished off December with a low key Christmas, some beautiful snowy hikes in the woods below us and a meet up with my friends.

Fun fact: In the last photo are the two reasons that this blog was ever started in the first place. Anita – to my right = was Wilma in the earliest blogs. She is my friend who had moved to Australia and was doing a mud obstacle race. Jane – to my left – was the team captain of our obstacle team. Lucky for me, Anita moved back to Evergreen, and Jane was here visiting over the holidays. It was another good night of fun.

2023 was an intimate year with so many extra special times for connection, reflection, joy and heartache. But then, that is life, isn’t it.



Last Minute things to do and first flight

04/28/15all my bags packed

I awoke this morning and  said a little prayer that I would be guided to remember what was needed throughout the day.

The bags are packed, but all of a sudden I start thinking of the little things that should probably be checked, done, or calls made before I go.

There are the checks that need to be mailed – I know, no one mails a check these days, but that rent check for the kid in Ohio still has to go out.

Not wanting to leave anything in the fridge at work that would be left to grow for two weeks, I heated up the ham and bean soup that I still had in there.  That is when the celestial guidance kicked in and reminded me that maybe that wasn’t the wise choice to have on the same day that I would be spending 18 hours in an enclosed space.

I might have made a page in a 4-H manual though.  I gave it to my boss to eat.  I should be leaving before that makes it through his system.

4-h air quality booklet

I set Beth’s guest blog to post the night of 04/29 since I will still be on the plane.  I won’t be able to put the link on my Facebook page, so a couple of you might need to do that so it gets distributed.

Someone please check on Karen P.  as her comments in the blog yesterday suggests she might have had a stroke or needs someone to guide her through her channeling of Sven and Olga, or it’s just a cry for help.  We’ll have a Mom’s night when I get back to really make fun of that one.

Wilma phoned me this morning warning me for the nth time to not bring any food into the country with me.  What’s a bag of jerky? Fine, Fine, I will leave any uneaten snacks or portions thereof on the plane.  It’s not like it won’t be cleaned and still be in the country for Pete’s sake.      

I’ve made it to my gate in plenty of time. Barney and Bam Bam drove me here and came in for one more meal together.  It was adequate–nothing to blog about.

Say prayers and keep good thoughts for pleasant plane rides.

Wilma, see you soon!

Okay. Adding a bit from the first flight: just because I can.


 The flight to San Francisco gets off quickly.  I love the feel of the jet engines as they roar into full power and you feel the G forces as if to leave the last remnants of where your leaving behind and forces you to feel the propelled momentum of the destination your suddenly hurling towards. 

I don’t think that I have flown westward in almost eighteen years. We went to San Diego over Barney’s 40th birthday.  Of course I completely forgot it was his birthday until we returned – but that is just a chapter in a whole book of stories where I mess up a birthday.  We’ll save those for another time.

I am totally engrossed in the landscape below me – window seat- as the plains give way to the mountains with still fresh snow.  We get to the Divide and the setting sun is lighting the majestic peaks that are so rugged and glorious right there that I nearly get teary eyed at the shear beauty of them.

I try to figure out the landscape as we fly over mountain ranges and bodies of water and can guess a few times where it is that I’m viewing but am never quite sure.

I have resolved that I am to stay awake on this flight so that my body is more willing to succumb to  sleeping on the long leg to Sydney.  I start the audio book that the library sent to me just before I left.

My seat is just behind the wing and so the drone of the engines is loud.  With the volume turned up and clouds gathering beneath us obscuring my view, I decide to close my eyes so that I may concentrate on just the words of the narrator.

Soon I become aware that there is another voice outside of the deep rich baritone of my reader.  I open my eyes to see the stewardess stopped just a row away with the snack cart.

I straighten up and realize that I have a huge kink in my neck and perchance I  might have missed a few minutes of story.  A quick check of the time and Dang it if an hour hasn’t gone by!

We chase the setting sun all the way to the west coast


Love Betty

Words from Wilma


stepping upSo after some encouragement/indirect pressure from Betty, I am submitting a post. I am not a writer by nature, I tend to get a bit wordy, let’s hope this isn’t one of those times.

The Raw Challenge – wow, it’s almost here, and Betty along with it. I am looking forward to many laughs with Betty, a bit apprehensive about the obstacle course. I initially heard about the course from Jane (you’ve heard about her from Betty), and casually considered joining her team. She assured me that I would be fine with it – guess we’ll see on Saturday. So I signed up, and dropped a status update on FB. Betty became involved, initial to support long distance, then upgraded to full participation in Sydney. Too cool, right? What a pal – now there’s no way I can back out.

But I wouldn’t back out anyway. After all, what’s the worse that could happen? Yes, serious injury is possible, but I’m planning on surviving with maybe a few bumps and bruises. After all, I have a rowing class early Sunday morning.

I think Betty has put a great deal more thought into the challenge, looking at the obstacles, calculating her chances on each one, considering the consequences. I’m more of a don’t think about it too much, just do it kind of gal. That often gets me into a bit of trouble, but it also allows me to have experiences that may have passed me by, if I thought about them.So – Raw Challenge – I will have experienced that by the end of the weekend, as well as fencing, squash and learning to row, plus many others over the past years. I will keep my eyes and ears open, hoping to find another new challenge as I move forward, and I’ll just do it.

Cheers, Betty, wishing you safe and enjoyable travels, I’ll see you at the airport on Thursday – let the laughing begin!


Packing for the changing Seasons


Heading out for the Sunday walk today only served to remind me that I am leaving the season transitioning between winter and summer to go to the one transitioning between summer and winter.

Today started with rain and turned into big and beautiful snow flakes.

New snow

new snow 2







It will be 70 degrees by midweek.

I’m thinking that Sydney won’t be quite as volatile or have the same temperature fluctuation that we have here at elevation, but it is still a changing season and as such makes me wonder how hot or cold to pack for.  From the 10 day forecast it looks to be uppers in the 70’s and lowers in the 50’s and kinda rainy lately.

Currently the Raw Challenge race on Saturday has a 90 percent chance of rain.  Expecting to be coated in mud anyway, so I’ll just consider it a shower between obstacles.

Who knows, on those tall wall climbs, maybe we can feign a middle age girls mud wrestling fight, roll to the other side and pop up like we made it over and onto the next obstacle.

Holy cow.  Being use to googling images for sections of my blog, I made the mistake of checking out the photos that came up for women’s mud wrestling.  Yikes, some things can’t be unseen.

Back to checking the packing lists and bags.  Tomorrow is my last night at home for a while. I did manage to get two audio books on my Iphone. Thanks BA and N of the recommendations.

Oh, and I suppose I could do the squats, planks and hang on the pull up bar for a bit.

Love Betty








Mary wrote some very kind words about me on a post the other day.  Some of it is very true. I did introduce myself to her the when our children were in kindergarten.   My thought was to get to know a mom more my age since most of the others standing out there were probably in kindergarten when I graduated from high school.  Purely a strategic move that has paid off in spades.

It was in first grade that the boys started Cub Scouts and we went to the “join” meeting and were put into a group of six or seven and told to find a den leader.  It was Mary who stepped up.  The curious thing about our den is that it was the mom’s that brought their boys to scout meetings and events as our husbands couldn’t/didn’t/or whatever. We did have one dad that put up with our gaggle for the entire time and he was a great trooper.

While Mary conducted the meetings with our young lads, the rest of us were getting to know one another in the back of the room.  Mary soon let us know that if we wanted a social time that we should all perhaps get together at a different venue that wasn’t disruptive to the meetings – and that she could join in.

Thus the Mom’s Group was formed.  To this day, we still have the same core group that all started as Cub Scout Moms – with a few additions along the way. We owe Mary for starting our wonderful group.

We started meeting at restaurants for a night out but that didn’t always work out the best. We’ve been asked to leave establishments due to the excessive laughter as we share stories that are personal, embarrassing and when you tell them to your most loved friends, it is realized just how absurd and gut busting funny they are.

pick you up after laughing

Mary got her alter ego name not from replying to my blogs, but from a day skiing in which she rented skis that had the name Mary written on them.  All day long when she would do something daffy, I would say that must be Mary coming out.  It is just one of those things that stuck with us.

Mary is also one of those friends that has a built-in decoder devise that gives her the powers to understand what I am meaning even when it doesn’t correspond to what I am saying.  I can say I’m thinking of a person/band/movie/etc. and with little or incoherent information she can know who or what I am talking about.  On the times that I am so disjointed in my information that she can’t figure out what I am saying or texting, she doesn’t even pause to hound me or give me a ‘what for’, she just moves on and knows we will figure it out eventually.

I am truly blessed for the friends that I have.  Some have been there sharing their lives with me for decades and some are newer, but all are valued.

once in a lifetime friends

Half of any experience is in the sharing of it at the time or later with those who will understand and enjoy the stories.  Thanks to all for sharing this adventure with me through this new medium.

Love Betty



Looking for a good Listen


not as plannedAfter posting Mary’s guest post last night I had full intention of posting my response to it today.  After a not so good day, I have opted to give it another day so that I approach it with a better mood and mindset.  The generosity of her post deserves a reply set from the same attitude.

Instead I am taking my thoughts from the days events to thinking of transporting my mind while the rest of me is transporting on a 15 hour flight.  I’m looking into what audio books are available to download from our library that I can just put my headphones on and close my eyes and listen away the hours.



I’m sure there will be movies on the plane, but I was reminded recently that a really great narrative read aloud is a wonderful thing and I’m out to find a few to download.

If you have any suggestions please pass them along.

Love betty


Doing the Math


raw challenge days remaining


Nine days to the challenge!

I slept horribly last night and so when it was time to get up and I had just gotten back to sleep, there was no chance of me getting up and working out this morning.

awake in someone else's dream

I had to drive Barney from the auto repair back to his office at lunch, so no time to walk or do extra exercises then.  Okay, if I hadn’t gone to the plant nursery across from Barney’s office to make my list of tomatoes and flowers that I want him to pickup for me I might have had some time, but it hadn’t been the best of days at work and something about planning the gardens seems to set the world right.

I left work almost on time – sometimes getting out the door takes and hour or so by the time I get the day’s loose ends all caught up.  On the way home I resolved myself to the thought that today is the day I see if I can actually run a 5K.  I talk to myself and say that it is a good day to try.

The closer I get to home, the more dark the skies become and it is starting to rain a bit.  I’m still resolved to try until I get almost home and realize that hey, there are 20 or so obstacles on this 5k course.  I don’t have to run 3 miles, I just might have to jog in between the obstacles!

Suddenly since it is raining (sure it’s only sprinkling, but it’s all perception), it is way easier to think about calculating the distance I might need to run between obstacles than how far I can run all at once.

BamBam is home and wants something to eat before he goes to youth group so I send him out with the dogs instead of me and make him something to chow on before he leaves.

My friend Trixie came over and had dinner with us and it was then that I remembered that I was wanting to figure out the distance between the obstacles.  Turns out I only need to run about 264 yards between each obstacle if evenly spaced.  I can do that.  I’m not giving up on training and all, but lets be realistic.

I’m thinking I will take a Dramamine tonight to see if it makes me drowsy and how I sleep as it has been recommended for the flight. Not having taken it before, I want to test it before being stuck on a plane and finding out it has an opposite effect or make me sing Broadway tunes in my sleep or something.

Wilma sent me a photo of gumboots – wellies I think they call them down under.  I hope that was a joke.

Love Betty


Thinking of someone to find out they have been thinking of you


Today I called an old friend from back home that I have been thinking of this week.  As happens many times with us, she was also thinking of me this week.  It was good that I called.

I guess I haven’t spoken to her in longer than I had thought as there was much to catch up on.

I didn’t meet her until I was in high school.  She was a city girl who had been living with her Dad and siblings in the city but got a little too ornery and was banished to live in the country with her Mom who had married our widowed neighbor.  Neighbor on our street was about a 1/4 mile away.

She joined the country crew of her new family that had two boys and a girl, but she was older than the others – and wilder – so she wasn’t much for hanging out with her new found family.  Instead she opted to come to the farm quite often and hang with me mostly. (we can all admit to a crush she had on my brother though)

The thing about hanging out on the farm is that if there is something that needed to be done and you were there, you were expected to help out.

She was a trooper and a little intimidated by my Dad so she would attempt anything we asked of her. Problem was, she didn’t have the vocabulary of farm knowledge to know what we were talking about sometimes.

I remember telling her to go up in the haymow and throw down 4 slices of hay for the calves.  After a few minutes of seeing no hay coming down, I climbed the ladder to see her standing in front of a bale of hay just looking at it.  I’m sure I asked what she was waiting on to which she replied “I don’t know how to slice hay!”   Of course in instances such as that, she received only laughter in response to her lack of knowledge.  It still makes me giggle just thinking of it.


At any age, we didn’t attract alot of friends who wanted to spend time at the farm – that ‘you have to work if your here’ thing kinda puts a damper on people coming over too much.  She definitely spent the most time at the farm with our family of anyone I can remember.

As we were catching up on my drive home, the conversation came around to my current adventure.  I let her know there was a blog involved and said when I got home I would send a link.  I told her that my Raw Challenge friend and I were Wilma and Betty and she was somewhere between surprised and not.  Turns out as  she informed me that she and her sister are Wilma and Betty in their alter egos. She is also the Betty character.

I sent the link and the site views started clicking away showing that she was indeed going through the pages.  I messaged her that it wasn’t recommended to read all the posts in one sitting as it hasn’t been tested and could cause mental damage!  Read on she did anyway.  She loved the one about the Robin’s Return and Mom as she had heard that one while her time at the farm.

The actual messages were:

“I love it! All of them. I like the memories of your mom…and when you reflect on your past and bring that into your present.
 It’s really good.
 It makes me miss you..”
What a great statement to hear.  It affirms that my personal tone is actually coming through and still recognizable to someone from my youth.
I haven't changed

KB, It was great to catch up with you and  since you have read the blogs, you know that I write about what is on my mind at the time of the post and tonight you’re it.  Lets plan on you coming out this summer.

Wilma, keep sending me what I need to pack.  My co-worker checked the weather and it looks like rain is in the  forecast for a while still.  No problem.  What is a mud challenge without the mud?

To my guest Bloggers who have already sent in your submissions, I will definitely post them sometime soon in between some of my own.  Thank you and keep them coming if you feel obliged.

Love Betty




The Guest Blogs


step  up to the plate

I have to say that I am thrilled about the number of you whom have expressed a desire to possibly write a guest blog for me.  I just might take a month off!

Oh, probably not, but it would be nice to have some extra blogs in the Betty email that can be drawn upon. Those times after a long and drudgerous day when there are no words coming from my head or fingertips. (Wiktionary has drudgerous in there, so quit thinking I’m making up my own words – even if I looked it up to make sure that I wasn’t the one making it up)

I do not have a date that I know I will need your guest blog as I cannot see the future and do not know when life will throw a curve ball.  If you send them to the betty@thelaughyouknow.com, I will post them in the general order that they come in – but on the as needed basis. I could end up keeping it in my back pocket for a while, so if you send one be patient and I will be sure to email you the day it goes up so you will not miss it.

I’m looking for stories to share and you may choose your own format as long as the content doesn’t get me booted from my own site!

comfort zone

I have a trip planned a month from this one, so you needn’t worry that you can only write one and it will be used in the next two weeks or not at all.  I will continue until we are all tired of sharing stories.

There might even be a grander trip on the horizon so you can write a several part story if needed to keep you from writing War and Peace all in one post.

go for it


Thank you for the help.

Wilma, you actually get to choose when your guest blog goes up if you write one.

I guess for the rest of you, if you have one for a particular day that you would really like the blog to post, I can consider those as well.

Love Betty

Starting the Lists and Who Will Fill In?



I awoke this morning and all of a sudden realized I have been talking about this trip for a month and a half and I have no idea what I am packing.  Somewhere in my mind it was the job of getting there that needed tackled and not what I will need to take with me.

travel light

Some friends came over for some coffee/tea and we had some breakfast and they started the list for the plane ride with me.

Have I said that the main leg of the plane journey is 15hr. 15 min. long?  That is alot of time to read, think, solve puzzles, listen to music and hopefully sleep.

And who knows, maybe a story or two comes out of it.

Speaking of stories, I may need a guest blogger or two to fill in for a day or so.  Who among you will take up the torch and jot something down to be posted in my stead?  It need not be long, or about anything in particular.  Maybe you have a story of a trip that could be shared.

No worries that you would have to figure out how to get it onto the blog. You can just email betty@thelaughyouknow.com and I will copy and paste it to a page. (are you properly impressed that I set up my own email to go with my persona? I’m learning all kinds of things these days – oh, I tested it and it works too!)

I’m still hoping Wilma will add a post in one of these days, but so far her frequent comments is all that she has been comfortable with posting.  And Wilma, that is okay and your comments are appreciated.

guest blogger

Give it some thought and if you think about it more than once or it tugs at your heart or mind, just do it.  I did and so can you. Some of you are well more qualified than I am anyway.

I’m off to figure out where some of my travel supplies are and what I need to pick up this week.

travel without fear

Love Betty