Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Last week I was able to experience a bucket list item... A lunar eclipse; the 'blood moon' lunar eclipse on April 15th. I watched from the warmth of my hot tub, while drinking a glass of wine... What an incredible experience! Of course being the photo ho I am I eventually felt the need to leave the comfort on my hot tub and round up my camera, tripod ans telephoto lens to try to get some sort of picture.

I have been wanting to see an eclipse since I missed a big one in 1989. My son Matt, AKA my 'moon baby' was born, 5 weeks early, that night. I always blamed the moon for his early arrival, that is until my daughter was born 5.5 weeks early sans lunar event and I realized I must just have a microwave womb. But I love the moon and am jazzed about having had eclipse baby. Am super jazzed to have finally seen and taken a few pictures of an eclipse last night....

I wish my photo were a little better, a little crisper. Even with a tripod it was hard to get a good shot with a 5-10 second exposure and a long lens. I should have read up a little on how to get a good picture... But all in all, not too bad for a last minute idea at nearly 1:30 in the morning, dripping wet in my hot tub robe.. yes, I'm crazy like that. And for anyone who is curious.. this was my moon baby's eclipse...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

End of the season blows...

Behind in my blogging again... now we are here at the end of the ski season, Sunday was likely my last ski day *sniff*. But it was a great day. Crazy weather day, blue skies one run, a blizzard the next, snow blowing like crazy. Hard to believe I needed to put on my face gaiter mid April. Face gaiter and freshies, what a great way to spend my last day. And just to end the season right, the skies cleared for my last run, so my I was treated to a blue bird run down to my car.
And then there was giggle for the day. Getting on the Crest lift I notice that a guy in front of me had a sticker on his ski.. a picture of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile that said "I saw it!". I had seen it too, lhe previous Sunday here at Brighton. The guy was still standing in front of the lift when I skied off, so I tapped him on the shoulder and asked him if he'd gotten the sticker from the Wienermobile at Brighton last week, which he did. I told him how the Wienermobile had given me lots of laughs last weekend, because when my girlfriend was late to meet us Saturday night she sent me a text with a picture of the Wienermobile saying she was late because she was stuck behind a big wiener. Being a bunch of old single gals of course that spurned a bunch of silly big wiener jokes, so I laughed and laughed when I found the Wienermobile at Brighton on Sunday.

I asked him if he had eaten a hot dog form the Weinermobile, but he told me they didn't have hot dogs, but were giving out all sorts of swag like the stickers, and he was into it because he had fond memories of the Wienermobile from his childhood in the '60s. He then said to me "Can I ask you a question?" I said "sure" and he rummaged in his pocket and pulled out an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile whistle and then asked me "Do you want blow my wienie?" Well now there was an offer I couldn't refuse!!!! So I blew his wienie and we had a great laugh before we both skied off. I giggled about it all day... It was the first time ever blew a guy's wiener while I was skiing.....

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2014... and so it begins... finally back on the slopes!

2013 was perhaps the worst year of my life. February 2nd I had the unthinkable (or some may say inevitable) happen... I blew my knee while skiing. Found myself in a tight spot, got back on my skis, botched a turn, hit a bump and felt that 'POP'. Goodbye ACL and MCL. I managed to ski down, and just because it was such a nice day, slowly skied 5 more runs as I knew it would be my last fun for a while. My 2013 was consumed with ACL reconstruction surgery, neurotic googling anything and everything about surgery and rehab, 6 weeks mostly stuck at home, 2 months wearing a full length leg brace, physical therapy, rehab, rehab, rehab. Lots of depression,frustration and a messed up head, messed up about everything except keeping my focus on my goal for the year... to ski again this season. Even if I'm only cruising greenies, I planned to ski.

My new ACL is stable, and I got clearance to ski at my final doctors visit on December 18th. Not that my knee is perfect, it still has lingering issues, likely from other knee trauma and the microfracture procedure he did to fix up some damaged cartilage. Between the holiday 'busy's', and a December storm hiatus that left the slopes icy, I still had yet to hit the slopes. The 'head game' aspect of getting back to skiing would be hard enough, I wanted my first day out to be on soft snow, on a sunny day, so I had all good things in my favor. When storms last week refreshed the the snow pack I told work that the next blue sky day I'd be playing hooky for my first apres surgery ski day.

Sunday I waxed my skis in anticipation, and gathered my gear. Monday was cloudy, but Tuesday was the day!!! I drove to Brighton, reminding myself not to have high expectations and singing my song for the day:

Hi ho, hi ho

It's off to ski I go

My knee's in brace

It isn't a race

Hi ho, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho!

I parked, put on my boots, which always feel weird the first day of season, and walked to the slopes. I find my bad knee doesn't really like walking in ski boots. That's slightly disheartening. I decide to make a pit stop and as I walk into the building I realize that my heart is pounding. The nerves have clearly hit. Deep breaths, stay calm, I tell myself. Back out on the snow I hike up the hill to the spot where I can easily ski to the Crest lift. I lay down skis and step my right boot into the bindings. Click. That "click" feels incredibly, amazingly good. It just feels 'right'. Click again with my left and I am ready to go. The short glide down to the lift goes fine and then I am on the chair, heading up the hill. I hear squirrels chattering and the the boom of a few avalanche charges. Sweet noises to my ears. The cold feels good on my face and sparkle of the snow makes me smile. I am a little anxious as I approach the top but getting off the lift goes fine. Making some wide slow turns I take the easy way down. My knee seems stable and painful part isn't giving me much trouble. Four more easy runs and I head to Snake Creek.

On Pioneer I find orange and black striped bamboo poles marking the bad spots that always surface during poor snow years... I have to pick my way around them nervous knee and all. I take a couple of runs anyway, figuring my mind game needs to work on tight places, then I decide to head to Great Western.

Turns out the cruising is great on Western. Even the death cat section is pretty nice. I finally get in my groove with zippy short turns and, well, speed! Things are feeling good, then, on my 12th run of the the last stretch towards the lift... (was I getting cocky?) I catch an edge...and I bobble... and tumble, and the ski on my bad knee leg pops off, and I find myself pirouetting on my back down the slope, all the time thinking (praying?) "Don't wreck the knee" and holding my bad leg up above the snow. Then I stopped. I laid on my back and looked at the blue ski, and thought - "Shit. Did I just wreck my knee?" Then then I looked at my ski 50 feet up the hill and thought, "It doesn't hurt, but, shit, did I just wreck my knee?" I took a deep breath, then I stood up, side stepped up the hill, and put on my ski and skied to the lift. I felt a little wobbly, and nervous, and, at the same time both glad and grateful... glad my binding released, glad my knee seemed OK, glad I got that first ski wreck out of the way. Grateful to be out there, living life the way I like to. I skied a few more runs, though I reined it in a little, figured I should stop before I was too tired and the light got flat. I don't think moguls or crud will be in my near future and I may have to heed my doctors advice to take it easy, but even so, all felt right in the world.

I am back!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fall in Utah...

Fall in Utah... a trip up Diamond Fork Canyon for a soak in Fifth Water Hot Springs..... One of 3 trips we took there this fall...

Monday, August 05, 2013

On the trail again...

Lake Catherine
Happy dance for me! I finally tool my first post surgery hike... Hiked up the Brighton lakes, Mary, Martha and Catherine... 2 miles up to Lake Catherine, a 1200 foot elevation gain, an honest to goodness trail with rocks and roots and obstacles.. By local and my hiking buddies standards, an easy-ish hike... but a small milestone for me. Not sure I'm ready for epic adventures, as my knee certainly isn't quite "right" yet, but it sure felt good to be out there.. I had good company too, Matt's girlfriend Alicia came along with me.
Lake Martha
Lake Mary

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Adventures in Rehab... The Salty West

Last weekends adventure... headed out west to salt flats with a friend and her 16 year old son who wanted to take pictures for some some video game graphics. First stop, the tree sculpture along I-80... It's an odd landmark out in the middle of nowhere in barren west desert. I've driven by it many times but never stopped to get a good look before. There is no turn off and I don't think you are supposed to stop but am glad we did. Whizzing by at 70 miles an hour I've never really appreciated the detail of all the mosaics up on the balls Metaphor: The Tree of Utah

Next stop the Bonneville Salt Flats, am expanse of salt crust that is famous for being the place the land speed records are set... though not this time of year as the flats were mostly under water. I guess that is why 'Speed Week' happens in the fall!

I also got a reminder on why I need to work on my photography... all the "whiteness" messed with my exposure... I really need learn to use the manual features of my camera better... and actually used them.

Since we were way out west anyhow, we headed in to Wendover to check out the the Historic Wendover Airfield, a World War II era bomber base. We got there to late to visit the museum, but did climb around inside the old aircraft and walked around all the old ramshackle buildings.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Castles on the hill...

I'm a single gal. Been that way for quite some time. A few years ago my next door neighbor Mabel lost her her boyfriend of 20+ years, and since we found ourselves to be the two single chicks on the street we started doing a weekly girls night out. Dinner, cocktails, other adventures. Mabel is 86, and last fall, after having a few heart issues, moved out of the neighborhood and into a retirement home, a tough thing for a vibrant, active woman. We have continued our girls night, and after dinner often take a ride, which Mabel really enjoys since she doesn't get out as much as she'd like.

This weeks Tuesday night adventure took us south for dinner, and decided to explore the south mountain area a bit... Being from the north end of town the south mountain area is all unknown territory for us. There is huge LDS temple that looms high on the mountainside in the south east corner of the valley, and thinking the gardens there may be nice we headed up there. Turns out there was not much to see at the temple, but as things work here in Salt Lake the higher up the hill you climb the bigger, fancier and more affluent the housing becomes so we decided to do a little real estate tour and see how the other half live. As we drove up to the highest point in the neighborhood, a street that ran up hill behind the temple, we were quite surprised to find a whole street of castles.

Yes, castles. Brand new,(many still for sale), modern day castles. Whoda thunk? A neighborhood full of castles. Brand new medieval Utah. Stone exteriors, turrets, spires. Honestly, I was surprised that nobody had a draw bridge. I wonder if they joust at their block parties? I've seen the occasional castle around town but never a whole street of them. Which got me thinking.... I'm single, and since becoming single have made a lot of single girlfriends. Lets face it, single gals are always on a quest to meet Prince Charming. As quests seem to go, they seem to be long journeys full of strange adventures and pitfalls and only a few lucky ones have success at ferreting out and enrapturing that prince. But now I realize the problem. We must be looking in all the wrong places... clubs, pubs, online dating sites... all in hopes that Prince Charming may find us. Clearly we should be looking in the places where Prince Charming must be... the castle kingdoms of Salt Lake.