March, 2014…repost

I was digging around in the blog here for an Irish Soda Bread recipe that I couldn’t locate in my recipe booklet and was able to find it HERE.  I also found another  post from March 2014 that I really liked and am re-posting.  I noticed that I certainly posted a lot more back then, and the content was varied but more about being outside, running, the mountains and less about Mae!  She has taken over my life!  The other thing I like about this particular post is the terrific shot of my husband up on the ridge (taken by his friend J. Leeper).

First, Mae this week…it’s been very gloomy, but we are getting out on the hill!

Read on for a look back at March, 2014….

AS I WALK THROUGH, THIS WICKED WORLD….

I have been listening to Elvis Costello today.  Actually JUST one song.  And I have to say that there’s nothing funny about peace, love and understanding.  Yet, they can all be quite elusive. The tiny frustrations of every day life that build up, world events that are terrible and confusing , distance between you and your loved ones, both  physical and emotional, everything seems to work against us finding peace, love and understanding.   I like to think that maybe they are easier to find in the mountains.  Carving turns in deep powder under a blue sky is peace.  It’s the FLOW that Mihaly Csikzentmihaly speaks about in his book.  Running down a mountain trail through the springtime mud, jumping over puddles and laughing like a ten year old…feels like love!  To be in the mountains, seems to bring an understanding of our place in the world, seems to put everything in perspective.  If nothing else, it sure makes for some fabulous days, light in the darkness of insanity?   Image

 

Mountain Life, A Snow Day

You would think, living in the mountains with an average annual snowfall of over 400 inches of snow, that we would get a lot of “snow days”, stuck at home, roads closed, no place to go.  Actually, it’s fairly rare! But yesterday we had freezing rain in the forecast so I, mentally checked out, spent the day in the house doing laundry, binged watched some Nicholas Cage movies on Netflix (don’t judge me man), baked brownies, played with Mae.

Unfortunately, today is a REAL “snow day”.  The freezing rain, which came down like a sand, accumulated to about 8 inches or more, and I-90 is closed in both directions for today AND tonight.   Slides and debris have covered parts of the highway and conditions are too dangerous for crews to be out clearing. Trees are across the road and more are falling. It’s going to be a long time before they get the highway cleaned up and open!  Locals are saying it’s the worst ice storm they can remember in over 40 years of pass living.
What to do?? Well, Netflix is out right?  I mean how many bad movies can you stand?  (A lot actually).  I’m not making any more brownies, cakes or pie.  Maybe I will make an apple crisp though.  I’ve already done yoga and a weight work out….I’ve been out walking Mae twice .  I think we should venture up the mountain, do a little skinning, take a few turns.
What does Mae think?  She might have the right idea….

Tuesday Afternoon Fun

You know lately, all I want to do is wander around in the mountains with my dog.  Is that so wrong?   Here are a few shots from our Tuesday afternoon at the “lake”….

Someone pulled the plug….

 

It’s okay, there’s still MUD!

 

There’s not much of summer left.  How are you spending your final days of the season?  Heading back to school?  Sending off the kids?  Sneaking in some last vacation days?  I hope it’s all great!

Mae’s Day

Will ya look at this lucky dog?  Will ya look at this gorgeous weather?!  Today we are celebrating Mae’s first birthday.  She’s 1!  And she’s out doing her favorite thing, running around on the mountain!

 

 

 

We’ve been blessed by absolutely perfect weather this week and still have enough snow on the mountain to skin up with our split boards. It’s been great.  Mae is learning to just run ahead of us, which is terrific, because her herding instinct, trying to keep us together, doesn’t make for very good snowboarding.
I think this is a great way to spend a birthday, don’t you?

Green Grass

One of the things I truly love about where I live is that I can be on snow, xc skiing, snowboarding or just running around , maybe sitting on a snowbank….

….and then with a 30 minute drive?  I can be in a completely different place, usually 10-20 degrees warmer and the grass is green!  By February the Seattle area has flowering trees and shrubs in bloom, everything is green, though a bit soggy, and it really feels like spring!  But with the snow pack we have this winter, we will be enjoying “winter” sports well into May.  Not a bad deal really.

 

It was actually a bit warm for her at 50 degrees!  Used to the snow and cold weather.

Back Track

First, let’s get the photos of Mae out of the way….I realize I should possibly change the name of this blog to Mountain Mae instead of Me.  But if you own a dog, especially a young dog, you know that they completely take over your life!

the “I hear a Subaru” face

 

 

close up

 

Snowshoe trail , so perfect for Mae~

Ok, now that that is done…let’s back track a bit.

Remember the book list?  There were a couple I wanted to mention.  The most memorable book I read last year was “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara.  Huge book, over 700 pages, and the Amazon description made it sound like a nice little romp through the lives of a group of college friends.  It was so much more!  And I won’t spoil anything for you but I will say the reason it stayed with me and was so memorable is that the story was not what I expected at all.  The other reason was that the writing was VERY good , and in places (little places) even reminded me of Whitman.  However, there were a couple of flaws in the book that really made it  tumble off the GREAT list. One is the fact that you had to read about 500 pages to find out what had happened in the main character’s life.  By then did I care??? No.   I pretty much skipped through that part of the book.  The other thing was that in places it started to feel like a script for Law & Order, SVU.

A nice surprise was James Robertson’s , “The Testament of Gideon Mack”.  Very enjoyable, fun read about a man, a man of the cloth, who meets the devil!
Biggest disappointment?  Donna Tartt’s , “The Goldfinch”.  I had heard and read so much about this book and it is a good story, I’ll give it that.  But I don’t know….again, very lengthy and in places I felt it was just d r a g g i n g.   It wasn’t completely satisfying for me. Was it for you?
The most unusual way to find a recommendation? Well it was word of mouth but I can’t follow the dots on this one.  Too much music, too much beer perhaps.  I was out one night to see a band and met a professor of biology who was sitting next to me .  We got talking about beer, as he ran a beer club at the college.  Somehow he ended up recommending The Unbearable Lightness of Being….Remember that movie?  Well, it was dreamy right and  it certainly made me have a little crush on Daniel Day-Lewis…. it  was 1988, of course I had a crush on him.  But I had never read the book and of course the book is TOTALLY DIFFERENT.   Author Milan Kundera said later that he would NEVER allow a film from one of his works. I can’t say that I blame him.
Running.  I will be honest I haven’t had a real run since October!  I felt great then but in early November I got hit by some nasty virus that had me out for 3 weeks and then bad weather bollowed by our current snowpack have made actual running a bit problematic.  That’s where snowshoes, xc skis and snowboards come in handy!
Coffee.  Yup, still drinking it.  In moderation mstly.  I think I have found a balance with the bean.
Not much else to report here.  I got a splitboard for Christmas and hope to get out and use it soon.  A splitboard is a snowboard that essentially has been cut in half!  You can then wear it like skis with “skins” on the bottom to make it sticky and walk up the mountain. When you get to the top you  put it back together to ride down!
“skinning” up

Happy trails!  Hope the new year has brought good fortune and good times!

Monday Things, Rain and Chickens

Yes, I know it’s Tuesday.  I’m a bit behind.  Maybe it will cycle around and I’ll be ahead?

We’ve been getting some rain in the mountains and it’s a good thing.  If we go too long without rain in The Northwest we all get a bit anxious. It’s refreshing and relaxing.  Good coffee drinking weather.
(image from Garden Of Words)

Have you noticed that it’s becoming more popular to keep chickens?  We have always known a few friends who have had chickens, usually in rural areas. But chickens are showing up in urban settings, the suburbs and yes, even in the mountains.  A neighbor up the road has a pretty nice coop set up, complete with metal roof for snow that matches and is attached to his home.  I ran into another neighbor yesterday who told me they have chickens “in the bathtub”.  Their coop is decidedly more basic, $20 worth of materials attached to the porch gives the chickens shelter and keeps them close.  There are a lot of options for your chicken home.  I saw This Place on a recent trip through Ballard.  While I don’t think I could keep chickens myself I certainly admire those who are taking it on, especially in the mountains where there’s an extra challenge to it.

Have you noticed chickens in your neighborhood?  Do you have chickens?  I do like the thought of fresh eggs….Happy Spring!