“Whan that Aprile…”

With all apologies to Geoffrey, the April showers are leaving me a bit bummed out.  Pilgrimage?  The only place I want to go to is a warm beach, a sun bathed stretch of sand. That, my friends, is where I long to go on pilgrimage.  But anyway, lit references aside, how has YOUR April been?  Ours has been gray with a few sunny days sprinkled in just to keep our chins up.

Sunny days that make it all worth it

Mae had a birthday at the beginning of the month.  She’s 2!  That seems like a milestone because when I got her, the rancher who gave her to me said that she would really settle down and be a much easier dog by the time she’s 2.  Let’s all laugh at THAT!  Sure, she’s a bit easier and she’s really filled out and is a SUPER athlete.  But Mae, my beautiful Mae, will never be an easy dog.  She is a damned cute girl though hey?

Birthday girl
Have a lovely spring!  Entertain, experience, accomplish, be deliberate, ENJOY.
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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

 

Get Away

Last week we had a little get-away to Pacific City Oregon. We have been there several times and Cape Kiwanda is one of our favorite spots.  The weather was fabulous!  So many people around and honestly, just as good as some July visits!   It was so good to be by the ocean, walk and run on the beach, see daffodils! We also saw seals in the water, a free range chicken farm (seriously) and a …..LAMB!!!  Is that the ultimate sign of spring or what?

The past few Valentine’s Days we have indulged in our craft beer love at local breweries.  Since this was close to that holiday we stopped at Heathen Brewing’s Feral pub house in Vancouver WA.  Great beer, friendly service and good bites to eat.  We walked out with a growler of a Mojito Sour Ale….yes, Mojito. SO tasty…  Their tap list is impressive and I will happily visit again as there is something for everyone no matter what your taste tends to. They also have bottles available to go and we grabbed a couple “Graveyard of the Pacific” bombers.  Certainly one of the better beers I’ve had this year and tops my list for Imperial Red Ale .  But the label art?  Damn!  That’s fine!!  This is a collaboration with North Jetty Brewing, located in the Long Beach WA area.  When I get to Long Beach, where am I going to go?  yup.

Mae, beach lover
Cape Kiwanda, OR

We also took a drive through Tillamook OR for a second visit to DeGarde Brewing.  DeGarde is an amazing place. Aged beers….  They pretty much blow me away every time I get my hands on them.   Sitting in the sun, drinking DeGarde.  That’s a great day!
Of course we also were in Pelican Brewery which is always a great stop for food and fabulous beer!  It was, all around, a lovely vacation.

February, Season Extender

I haven’t posted much lately.  I have no idea why.  NO motivation to do so, honestly. Stuck in a snowdrift perhaps…

We’ve had a few breaks in the ice storms, freezing temps and mega snowfall (normal pass weather finally!) and have been out and about around the neighborhood.  Though last week we had over 3 feet of snow in about 4 days, another highway closure, and a small dose of cabin fever. Mae and I have been enjoying our outings.  It’s so pretty!! And it will extend the snowboard/ski season!  Hooray!

I finished the ’30 day Yoga Challenge with Adriene’…it did take me 43 days, but I did it and am now completely sold on yoga.  What about you??

Two songs on my mp3 player, on repeat:

I am a Rock  Give it a listen….”I have my books, and my poetry to protect me”
I never noticed what a dark song it really is.  But I LOVE it.

And the Jerry Douglas, Mumford & Sons cover of The Boxer .  It’s simply fabulous.

And your February??  How is it?  Possibly no one is enjoying it as much as Mae.

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….

October

October was a busy month!  We bought a new car.  My husband’s ’04 WRX had over 370,000 miles on it and had to be put out to pasture.  It was on it’s second engine, but everything else was worn out!  Within the next year, he will reach the point of having logged a million miles in Subarus!  LOVE them!

our new Subaru Crosstrek

I also went to Las Vegas for a weekend with my daughter to celebrate her 21st birthday.  She turned 21 back in September.  We have been through a lot together, especially over the last decade.  She is a type 1 diabetic; life is not always easy.  It’s a very challenging disease to live with 24/7.  So, we thought it was a great occasion to get a little over the top and celebrate her birthday!

We have both tired of telling this story, but….so we got tickets to see Billy Idol.  She has always been a fan since she was a kid.  No idea why….she also bought a Meet and Greet ticket!    Let’s just say that didn’t go as planned.  Some nit wit (this is the G rated version) a couple of people ahead of my daughter (who was about 6th in line out of 100) decided to try to KISS BILLY!!  That ended with him freaking out, swearing and storming off, cancelling the M&G and threatening to cancel the show!  Some people just can’t follow the rules!!  After a lot of waiting and chaos over a couple of hours, we arrived at our table.  The offending fan was eventually taken away by security.  The concert was GREAT.  Excellent venue, super staff and a great show.  It wasn’t exactly the experience she had dreamed of, but not many of us get to see a rock star freak out from five feet away!  Now that is a memory!!
October has been rainy…very rainy.  I thought I was being premature complaining about it until I read that this October has been the RAINIEST on record in the Seattle area. (about 10 inches)  We tend to get a bit more rain here in the mountains, so no wonder it’s been getting to me!!!  Every day is wet and dark.  Every day is wet and dark.  Did you hear me?  Every day is WET and DARK!!  Gotta think snow….there is some up high.  Hopefully, November will be white!
Mae and I wish you all a very happy month ahead.  Hope your days are dry and bright!

Mountain Mae

I know you’ve been missing Mae.  Come on, of course you have!  She, as usual, has been having quite the life…running, hiking, swimming.   But last month she was stung by hornets three different times!  NOT fun.  The last time, we had been out hiking on the mountain and about half an hour after we got home I looked at her and her entire face was swelling!  Luckily a benadryl tablet brought it under control.  But she hid in the closet for the next hour!

The bee-sting lip look?

I’ve been a bit more careful about avoiding places bees might be, but it’s not easy out in the woods.

Today she had her first Mountain Bike training ride, and she did great! Actually, this is the second try.  Last summer we took her out but she didn’t get over jumping at the bikes and I wiped out pretty good.  This time I went fast enough that she had to really run to keep up and while she was trying to herd me for the first mile or so, she finally figured out that she could just run ahead or along side and it was a blast!  At last , a way to tire her out that doesn’t wear me out first!
Does she look tired?