“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.

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….

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?

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!

What’s Happening?

Lake Days are back, and no one is happier about that than Mae!  Summer has certainly arrived with a heat wave this past weekend.  It’s been nice to go to the lake for a short game of fetch and cool off in the very cold water!

I’ve been enjoying experimenting with the “shrubs” I purchased at the farmer’s market.  I added them to beer and oh my!  that was very tasty.  Give it a try!  But my absolute favorite new summer drink is made with Bourbon, a shrub and JAM….Sweet Caroline’s Jams and Jellies had a facebook post  awhile back that I had to follow up on:

“I don’t know what to call this drink, but it’s all about the smell of the woods in the middle of summer, and the bite of stinging nettles and thorns when picking wild blackberries. 1 shot of bourbon, 1 tablespoon of marionberry lime vanilla jam, a splash of blackberry vanilla cardamom shrub, a healthy dose of woodland bitters by Portland Bitters, and a splash of soda water.”

It is delicious!!  I was able to find Portland Bitters in Whole Foods….of course it was the WF in Portland.  But they had a good variety of Portland Bitters and other brands as well.  More experimentation will be needed.  Anyway, if you can not get your hands on the shrub, you might try a berry cider in place of the shrub and soda water. (Try the blackberry cider from Atlas!)   A nice, rich berry jam will do if you can’t get Caroline’s.  But, if you live anywhere near where their products are available it is well worth the effort to pick up the jams and shrubs.  I promise you will not be disappointed!  (see more on their facebook page for details on where to find them!)

Hope your summer has gotten off to a good start!  Do you have a favorite water spot to cool off in?  A good summer drink you’d like to share?  Would love to hear about it!

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.

Happy New Year!

View at the top of Hyak

I hope 2016 is treating you well so far!  Since my last post, we have had a huge amount of snow! At one point we had 9 feet in 7 days!  That resulted in road closures, a power outage and lots of snow clearing!  But the power came back on Christmas eve and Christmas morning the highway reopened so we were all able to be together, the best gift of all!!
I spend nearly every morning playing outside with Mae. She is loving the snow! It’s fun to have such an energetic companion! It gets my day off to a good start.

 

The morning routine
I’m not the resolution making type. Sometimes I make goofy resolutions, “Buy more shoes” or “wear more dresses”.  And often, I wish that it was a new year 40 years previous!  If I woke up and it was 1976 well, that would be awesome! The fact is, that 40 years has been an eye blink.   How do you slow it down? Sigh.   Well, make great moments happen!  My best moment so far?  A great big snowboarding turn in fresh snow ~  beautiful!    What’s your best moment of 2016?  Got one yet?    I sure hope you have lots of them!  cheers~