Snow Wonderings

13 01 2017

This has been one hell of a winter. It’s 9am on a Friday, and instead of greeting my students at my classroom door, I’m sipping cup-o-joe number two in my jammies. Again. Simba is snoring loudly in front of the stove and my car hasn’t moved in 3 days.

We’re buried in snow, yall. Like, a LOT of snow. Feet of snow. And the temperatures aren’t warming up, and the forecasted rain never came.

Hello extended break! School has been canceled almost every day this week. We made the attempt on Tuesday, but they had to delay three hours. That’s a lot.  Nine days off this winter so far. My poor kids are going to be in school through July at this rate…winter wonderland Hood River OR 2017

So I’ve been in a weird place. I haven’t had this much down time in so long I forgot what to do with it. Fear not, it didn’t take long – I dug back into my pre-grad school hobbies and have been pulling all sorts of things out of the closet. I’ve been knitting, writing, cooking, talking to my mom, and takingthe longest tromps through the snow with Simba. I dug out a new knitting pattern and hit YouTube to figure out double-pointed needles. I started making a photo book of trip photos and ordered a super cute fleece jacket for Simba. I sat on my bed staring at my DSLR camera, trying to decide if I should try again at non-Instagram shooting. It hasn’t happened just yet….but I did charge the battery….

***

It’s the tromps through the snow with Simba that have been the best. I run around in my base layers all day, so when it’s time to tromp, I can throw on my outer layers and off we go! (Ok, 20 minutes later when I finally get ready, off we go…)

Down the driveway, skidding out in the street, stumbling through the piles left from plows and shovels, slipping on hidden ice. Simba spins out on the ice like a cartoon and I clunk along in my huge boots and 15 layers of clothes like the little kid in A Christmas Story.  We head down the hill and turn west. The main street has been for-real plowed, but the sidewalk is buried. The first couple days, we broke trail, wading through knee-deep fluff, Simba following behind so he didn’t have to swim. By now, the path has been packed down by boots and skis and snowshoes and paws.

Sometimes we turn uphill a couple blocks over, up to the trail that winds past the pastures and orchards. Other times we turn downhill, plummeting down the trails through the blackberry thickets towards the big fancy neighborhoods at the bottom. Simba runs back and forth, sticking his whole head in the snow, floundering every time he falls off the path. It’s exhausting and exciting and tons of fun.snowday Hood River OR

The snow is so so quiet. Even in the daytime, we rarely run into anyone else. The frozen world is still and muffled, blurred around the edges and shiny. Night is my favorite. The snow is magical in the glow of streetlights; the sky doesn’t quite get dark and the houses all look warm and inviting.

I wonder as we wander. My mind weaves stories about the people in the glowing windows. My imagination plays with tales of the winter birds twittering around the bare trees. My heart wonders about the folks that don’t have glowing windows or 15 layers. Simba ponders if he can get his leg high enough to pee on that tree.

For some reason, the snow wonderings also make me nostalgic. And make me miss my momma. I talked to Hope for a long time on the phone a few days ago, and yesterday Ijumped online and bought a ticket to go visit. My Texas family balks at the negative temps and piles of frozen precipitation, but I can tolerate 95 degrees in April for 6 days with my folks. I daydream about me and my momma in the houses I pass, wishing she lived closer and could come hang out.

Then we end up back at our own house, with it’s own glowing windows and J waiting inside with steaming mugs of hot cocoa. I emailed the plane ticket to mom so she can block out the week on the calendar, and I curl up on the couch with my JBoo. I might ache for the family I left in Texas, but this snowy wonderland is my home now.

And I love it.

 

 

winter layers Hood River OR

 

 

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In with the new, Out with the old

1 01 2013

Well, dear friends, we have survived another year. Some of us may not feel so good about it this morning, but you and I have lived to see the dawning of 2013. Cheers to us! (Please stop yelling.)

For what it’s worth, I have to say this year is looking pretty good. It’s currently 11am in my part of the globe, I’m propped up on a pile of purple pillows, my coffee level is just low enough in the cup that the froggy at the bottom can be seen smiling up at me, and as soon as I get off my laptop and wiggle into my snow pants, I’ll be off to explore the cross-country ski trails at the base of Mt. Adams. No work, no worries, no obligations for an entire Tuesday. I’d say… so far so good!

In the spirit of the last week or so of no posts due to some stress-induced writer’s block, I’ve decided to give yall a reflective New Year’s post rather than wait to post about my ski misadventures. I typically prefer to regale my audience with the ridiculous tales of things that happen only to me in this wild ride we call life. To those currently unaware, I reside in my own universe the majority of the time, and there, this is my wildly famous and extremely popular adventure blog which the human race just can’t get enough of.

So, now that we all know the extent of my delusions, let’s look back over the last 12 months. That’s quite a long time, if you ask me, so this post won’t be too lengthy as I won’t be able to remember much spanning that vast expanse of time.

Ready, set, go:

  • I started my first knitting project – new hobby!
  • I successfully snowboarded on 2 or 3 different occassions without breaking any bones (I told you my memory was bad)
  • I planted my very first garden and reaped the glorious benefits of growing my own food
  • I witnessed the nuptials of 3 amazing couples, 2 with the honor of bridesmaid
  • I also survived 3 bachelorette parties (but just barely)
  • My blog turned 2, I turned 28, J and I celebrated 2 years, and my employer and I celebrated 3 years (though my CEO can’t remember if I still work for him)
  • I completed my first 3-day back-packing trip, pushing my limits and almost throwing myself off a mountain
  • I said a sad farewell to my apple orchard and moved south to the Columbia Gorge
  • The world was supposed to end (again) and we survived anyway
  • Best of all: J and I spent 4 whole weeks exploring the southern half of Peru and I discovered that I would, in fact, like to quit my job and travel constantly (interested sponsors/sugar-daddy’s please email me immediately)

Whew! I’ve been so busy! And I can’t even remember all the other things that surely must have happened! I suppose we could just go back through past posts and see, but none of us actually care enough for that kind of effort, now do we. Perfect, moving on –

Time for another year! Planning things out in advance is not my strong point; I’m better and deciding I want to do something and doing it right then. And I don’t like the idea of New Year’s Resolutions…so cliche. I’m not the type to commit myself to things I plan to change, habits I plan to break, pounds I plan to lose. But for the sake of being an adult (and to have something else to write about), I’m going to set some goals for 2013. We all need something to strive for, right? Then, next New Year’s Day, I can just let you know if I completed them or was an utter failure. What fun!

Here’s some goals off the top of my head:

  • Complete the knitting project started last year, and maybe start a second one
  • Learn to successfully connect my turns on my snowboard (I might have to hit the mountain more than 3 times this year)
  • Either plant a new garden or join the CSA (I might not be able to plant here) and learn to can
  • Continue to blog for another year, see the last birthday of my 20s, and keep J around for another year (he’s such a great snow shoveler)
  • Take a solo back-packing trip…and live to tell about it
  • Focus more on my writing and maybe even do something about it
  • Plan another trip to keep my travel spirit alive

That’s all I got. Too many goals become overwhelming and intimidating, making them less likely to be completed. This causes massive issues for me as I have two personality traits that wage war in these kinds of situations: my desperate need to cross things off the list and my inner procrastinator. Not a good combo….

So I’ll try my best. For now, I really need to get out and play in the snow – my skis await!!

Happy New Year, yall, cheers to a great year!!

cross country skiing mt adams

I can hear the trails calling my name!!





Nerd Alert!!

2 07 2011

I know the whole hipster trend tries to make “nerdy” cool, but we’ve all met the true nerds.  They might hide in plain sight, right in front of us, but they’re there.  The dude that spends every Thursday night working on his recreation of the seven wonders of the world…with legos.  The girl who can recite the periodic table by memory…forwards and backwards.  Anyone who freaks about about anything related to science — most of us would agree these traits would classify a person as a nerd, right?

Ridiculous.  People like this have a passion for something, and they go for it, whatever “it” may be.  We all have an inner nerd, and people, it is time to set them free!  Everyone has at least one passion – or should! – and we should all embrace the things we love and the way they shape our lives.  I feel like too many repress their excitement when others are around because they fear the judgement of others.

We all should strive to break through our self-conscious barrier and nerd-out whenever possible.  A friend of mine in college could tell you anything you ever wanted to know about pretty much every country artist out there – every cd they had, their whole life story, tour information – he had a passion for country music and he immersed himself in it.  Best of all, he didn’t hold back.  A song would come on and he would drop facts and tidbits to share his knowledge and show his love and appreciation for the music.

I nerd out on all sorts of things: books, photography, geology, botany, jig-saw puzzles – and I’m not afraid to say it!  Some of us tend to supress our inner nerds when we think those around us probably aren’t interested, or won’t like us as much when they discover how excited we get when we spot a certain bird in a tree, or a hot new designer bag in the shop window, or a galaxy in the night sky not often visable.  But its these unique things about us that make us special, and make us interesting.  The knowledge you soak up about something because you’re interested in it makes for great conversation.  Talking about these things might get someone else interested, since they didn’t know about it before.  Or it might just be a great conversation starter.  But showing excitement for the latest feature available from an app you designed just shows that you do something, and love it, and aren’t a boring lump who sits and stares at a wall all day.

Now I do admit, there is a fine line between being interesting and being overwhelming.  Pay attention to your audience.  If they obviously are not picking up what you’re laying down (catch my drift, home-skillet?) then move on, next topic.  Its easy to go overboard when you know a lot about something, but others will get bored if you ramble on and on and ON about the latest method of basket weaving or the intricacies of the awesome new rift you can play on your guitar.  But that’s with anything.  That pertains more to conversation skills.  But I digress….

So I challenge you today – what makes your inner nerd jump for joy?  And do you let your true nerd come out and play whenever possible?  You may have new passions – or at the very least interesting hobbies – that you haven’t even discovered!  Join the party! Be a nerd today!








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