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….
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2017, The Universe, Yoga I Can Stand

Hello and Happy New Year!  It’s 2017!  Can you believe it?  When I was a kid I used to calculate how old I would be in THE FUTURE…Well, I don’t think I ever went past the year 2000.  And here I am, in 2017.  No hover car, no personal robot, no trips to Mars….But it’s close, right?  I have the mars curiosity rover on instagram and that just blows me away!!  Pictures of Mars, the red planet, on my phone?  Way cool!

Ok enough of my ramblings….here’s the photo of Mae you’ve all been waiting for, waiting in the snow for snowballs.

I have a couple of things to share with you….remember the Altras?  The shoe to end all mountain running shoes?  Well sadly, I ended up returning them after about 3 months.  They were perfect, great shoe, scrambling around the mountain, running , hiking.  they kept me comfy and dry through October, the wettest October on record in Seattle.  They were warm and great into November.  And then, one day, my feet were WET!  They were leaking at the seams and also had really broken down after only about 100 miles of use. No cushion, dead shoes.   I spoke to a rep at Altra and he confirmed that because they are new shoes/boots for them they didn’t really know what to expect.  The “neoshell” is not actually neoprene but a gortex like material.  Anyway, they went back….I couldn’t justify the $160 retail price (I paid $140 thru Road Runner Sports and they have an excellent return policy).  I got a really ugly pair of Asics that are doing the job well enough for half the price.
Ok, The Universe….so I don’t mean this in a Carl Sagan way, though I LOVE Mr. Sagan.  I am talking about all that Karmic stuff, you know, things working out in the end?  squaring up the score. settling accounts…. My daughter was complaining about how she didn’t get a discount on her rent after a friend said she referred her AND a manager called and told her she would get $300 off rent….a different manager told her NO.  Because the friend didn’t fill out the referall form correctly.  What??  As my daughter was telling me the story, the Boston Irish in me came out and I wanted to call said manager and tell her what a *#@! she is, but then….and this is pretty amazing for me….but then I thought “no, the UNIVERSE can handle this”.  You know why?  Because the Universe can dole out some really nasty shit!  What can I do?  Swear into the phone?  Use my wit and language to come up with some mean, but to the point, derogatory insults?  sure…But the Universe….the Universe takes care of revenge and getting even in a BIG way. I have seen this first hand .  I have seen some terrible things happen to people that have not been very nice to me.  Really awful, life changing things.  And that’s sad.  So, I am letting go of anger (yeah right, at least this month ok?) letting go of righting wrongs.  I’m not using my life energy on that pursuit.  I’m gonna just let Good ol’ buddy Universe do it’s stuff.  I will stand up for my rights, take matters into my own hands when it’s logical.  Ask me how this is going in a few months though!
Yoga.  So I have always tried to do yoga and have literally hated it!  Hated the often false, mumbo jumbo breathing crap (all that breathing!) and the little outfits and mats and the stupidly presented calm.  Plus, physically it kills me!  And I am no slump when it comes to athletics.   But….I have this friend.  He is a really awesome person, the 70 side of 60.  I met him in grad school more than 25 years ago and, well, he’s one of my favorite people on the planet.  He’s an antsy one.  Always on the move, he runs, works out with weights, swims and DOES YOGA.  So, if your friend, a friend whom you love and trust, tells you something is good?  That’s right,  You gotta check it out.  I managed to find YOGA I CAN STAND!!  Yoga, I will admit, I actually LOVE!  It’s Yoga With Adriene, and I am 10 days into the 30 day yoga challenge.  She’s real!!  She’s like “yo, dude, we are gonna DO YOGA”.  Well, maybe not quite like that, but the presentation fits me, fits what I look for in any fitness instruction, honest, straight forward, no nonsense guidance.  Fabulous personality,Yoga with Adriene works for me.  If you are thinking of adding yoga to your life, check out her youtube channel .  There are a lot of sessions to choose from and they are short and so do-able!
Happy 2017!  Hope the year is filled with all good things for you!  We will be out playing in the snow, enjoying this beautiful mountain day~ ciao!

 

dec63

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!

Love Match

Oh. my . GAWD!!  I just took the new Altras for a test run….it’s a perfect match!!   They are the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Mid height, neoprene/polartec trail shoe.  They look like this:

 

Briefly, I am going to be bold and say that they are the best running shoe I have ever worn, IN MY LIFE!  Ha ha ha, no, really.  I’m being serious.
I will have a full review soon.  For some reason my photos won’t upload to my server from my phone today, but I have a few from our jaunt around the mountain and if they ever show themselves in my mail folder I will share.  These shoes are awesome.  Comfort and performance perfectly melded.  Tell my husband I won’t be home later because I’ll be out romancing my Altras…..
Also, a quick nod to The Running Schlub for the inspiration for my post-run pbj!!  If you haven’t checked out Schlub’s blog you should do so!  He’s one of the most enthusiastic, motivated runners out there and I always enjoy his posts.  He’s taking on the BIG TRAIL RUNS and training for his first 50k trail race !   Need a dose of inspiration and positive vibe? He’s your guy!!

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!