Sunday, February 21, 2010

Things I Realized While Snowshoeing

I've gone snowshoeing once or twice before, about a decade ago. I remembered it being hard. Even so, when a friend recently mentioned he was selling his snowshoes, I jumped at the chance to try them out. Lately, my home has been that good ole winter wonderland, and it is driving me nuts that I can't run. Here's what I discovered from my new obsession.

10. Snowshoeing not only really rocks as a running substitute for winter exercise, it really rocks as exercise, period. The snowshoes I'm using are great, although the paint does chip off of them when I (gasp) bash them against freaking boulders hidden under the snow.

9. My lower back really, really aches after even just two hours of dedicated snowshoeing. I was told that this normal because we tend to lean forward while flinging our suddenly extra-large feet forward and break trail. Sigh...anti-inflammatories and yoga are my great friends at the moment.

8. If snowshoeing with a dog, said critter will likely step upon the back of my snowshoes on occasion, causing me to wonder why I'm such a wimp all of a sudden and can hardly lift my feet. Smart dogs, you see, will quickly learn to follow in the tracks of the snowshoes rather than continue to fall deep in when their feet sink right through.

7. Deciding to go off-trail is exhausting. I mean, really. Who knew breaking through all that extra-deep snow would make me light-headed?

6. My dog enjoys Luna bars as much as I do. Especially, it seems, the Lemon Zest. Who knew?

5. It is utterly, totally, amazingly freaking gorgeous in the “backcountry” (yeah, it's not really all that far back there, but it sure seems so when I'm slogging through drifts). See this pic for verification:

4. When a friend tells you there have been mountain lion tracks recently found where you will be snowshoeing (read: slow, awkward going, very vulnerable to being eaten by a creature much faster than you), every time your dog pauses to sniff the wind with great attention, you get a little freaked out.

3. Bringing along a strong friend who will go in front of you, thereby breaking trail for you, is the optimal experience.

2. Wearing layers in wintertime is are places in which to stash said layers when one begins to peel out of them, sweating and gasping for air.

aaand...drumroll please...the #1 thing I realized (for the millionth time) while snowshoeing yesterday:

1. The road less taken...runs right by my home. I really, truly live in paradise. All this, and I was only about three miles from town. Not too shabby, eh?


Saturday, February 06, 2010

snowy silent morning

What a spectacular morning. For no good reason whatsoever (well, mind control from Pippin, apparently, who shuffled into the bedroom and stared at me until I got up to let him out), I was awake at 5:30 this morning. I don't mind getting up early, if I've gotten a good night's sleep. That's not necessarily the case today, sigh. But here I am, tapping away at the keyboard.

But the main thing I wanted to say was that at 5:30am, when I let Pippin out into the freshly snowed-upon world, it was utterly, utterly silent. I mean, nothing, not a breath of wind, no far-off cars, not even Harry the neighboring rooster was yet crowing (thank god).

It felt so comforting, like being in a protective cocoon. Held, nurtured, safely embraced by the shelter of winter in my home. And that's something I really need right now.

Good morning. I hope this finds everyone peaceful, safe, and content in your own homes, wherever they may be.


Friday, February 05, 2010

the only chance we get

"Life is too short to be living somebody else's dream." (I rather wish this quote wasn't from Hugh Hefner but oh well--apparently, it is.)

This quote jumped out at me on Twitter today. As I age, every second and every day, it does strike me that life is indeed short. Shorter than most of us want it to be. My neighbor and good friend, who in a former life was a nurse, once told me that people in the hospital who had "do not resuscitate" orders, living wills, all that stuff to "prepare" for death, were often the ones who most desperately hung onto life with their raw & bloody fingernails at the very end, unwilling to let go despite clearly seeing the approaching finis to this go-round. Look, I believe in life after life, the soul, the spirit, what-have-you. I have no earthly idea what happens after we kick it, but I do happen to believe that you and I are more than mere lumps of cellular clay molded only to tramp about this planet for a finite time and then blow away in the wind as only so much dust when all is said and done.

However, that being said, I also am a big fan of living life as if this is the only big chance we get. I mean, what do I know? And why the hell not enjoy every damn second? (Well, as many seconds as I can. There's only so much love to go around, and gynecological appointments, root canals, and waxing just do not qualify to receive much of it.)

I recently, as mysteriously alluded to in the previous post, went through one of those earth-shaking life lesson thingies, the kind we wish like crazy just didn't have to happen. I came out of it pretty quickly for a variety of reasons (been through worse before, didn't put up with it too long, actively look at such things as growing edges, etc. etc.), and I've been feeling pretty darn content of late. In fact, I got downright thrilled about my life yesterday. I have so much to anticipate! I'm very excited about a new project, which might be a tad daunting but is also super cool. And overall, I'm okay...and some of the other players in the recent drama madness aren't. And that just made me feel peachy. (Possibly a bit smug too, but whatev--a girl's gotta get her kicks somewhere. Ha.)

Anyway. Dreams. My dreams. I've got a bunch. Some of them have been realized in my life, some are ongoing, some are newly minting as I write. One of my current big dreams is to make more of presence for myself online, connect with as many of the truly fascinating people in this world as I can, actively get out and explore this world (recently going to HAWAII set that dream afire for sure!), and make money writing about what I love.

Quick insert: a few Hawaii pics. I was on the Big Island most of the time. Went horseback riding and skydiving while I was there. WOW to both! (Especially skydiving...leaping out of a plane at 14,000 feet is intense in many, many ways indeed. Ha ha ha.)

me showing off my white limbs & overall sassiness on my first day there

me with Chamois, riding on an 11,000-acre cattle ranch in the Kohala district:

Oahu's North Shore. Yeah. Total wow.

And...skydiving above the North Shore. Mm-hmm! Yee-haw!

Okay, back to reality, and to this post's intent. Sigh....

I've neglected this blog quite a bit (obviously!). It's been such a personal blog, I never had a firm direction for it, and quite honestly, there are soooo many other things I love to do, get interested in, get distracted by, have responsibilities toward, that I just don't put in enough effort. By my calculation, at least. And, I will soon have a blog with one of my other gigs (shh...more on that later!), so I'm rather waiting to see how that one might set up.

But I also just checked out Nomadic Matt's blog and bought his ebook, How To Make Money With Your Travel Blog. Pretty good stuff so far. I'll let you know when I finish it. Anyway, that's also set me on fire. I've gotten into the making-money-with-your-blog thing before (ProBlogger is a great source of info)...bought the the websites...dreamed big. But right now in my life, it's feeling pretty exciting to me, really clear and doable. Know what I mean? (Did I just totally mangle that sentence. Hmm. Perhaps it's not clear at all.)

I also just watched Julie & Julia the other night, that great movie about blogger Julie Powell (just read on her blog that her dog just heart goes out to her. Losing pets is one of the worst things out there, and anyone who has and loves animals will get that.) and cooking legend Julia Child. Of course I was inspired! I could totally do something like that. (Well, no, I am no going to tackle a cookbook...but you get the idea. Or rather, it got me.)

So...I'm excited. Have ideas. Will execute said ideas. In some form. In some better, more specific shape, lol. And will keep you posted.

Anyway. This is rambling post. Which is okay, today. But if anyone has any suggestions for me...about anything, right now, ha...I'll take 'em under consideration. Looking for direction...inspiration...ideas.

Onward. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

the lessons are tumbling upon me

Oi...I am once again way behind! In posting on here, on working on my deadlines, in all sorts of things.

Well, let me tell you, if I told you about all the madness I recently experienced, you might cast a less disapproving eye upon me. Lessons, lessons everywhere!

I went to Hawaii. I went skydiving. I went horseback riding. I stood slack-jawed at pristine white sand beaches lapped by turquoise waters. Saw honu, green sea turtles, bobbing and flipping through the waves mere feet from me. (Also saw the beach where Lost is filmed, but as I never watch that show it wasn't all that exciting to me.) Met people full of grace, lacking grace, open, closed, fearful, exuberant, and all shades of being human.

It's been an interesting last few months, I must admit. But now I am back home in the red rocks, which are coated in winter's white chill. Heck, I've almost gotten stuck in my own driveway a few times, and I have a 4wd truck. Kinda made me want to go back to Hawaii...but honestly, despite all the craziness going on here (which shall remain private...for now), this is my home, and I am thrilled to be back in it.