Friday, December 31, 2010

Learning as I go

Everything I need to know about life I am learning in hockey.

Practice this morning was great. I got a little encouragement from Coach Cal and some words of hope from other team members. It seemed that this morning was mostly the experienced players so I pushed myself a little. Oh, and Coach Cal HAS noticed that I don't push myself and was hollering at me about today: "PUSH YOURSELF RAINEY, HARDER!! PUSH IT!! THERE YOU GO!!" gee. thanks. It was good tho. Can't say I've ever been yelled at like that before! Oh maybe once or twice in an aerobics class, but she was yelling at everyone, not calling ME out! So what am I learning? Practice is helping. I have improved. I can stop!

We worked on a lot of zig-zag drills today to get our speed up and our balance better and cutting in and out of other players to feel more secure. And then we did some of them backwards. Oh backwards how much you mess up my brain! And cross overs, you know when you're going around a corner, or turning on an opponent? You have to be good at cross overs. Everyone has a strong side so they make sure to do drills on both sides. Dang coaches. What am I learning? You gotta work out the kinks on the "weak side" too. Uncomfortable is good.

I took Bubba to my last practice, he just needed out and My Honey had hurt his back so it was better to take one of the kids. After I asked him what he thought and he said it was pretty cool. I have been toying with the idea of getting them into skating as a once a week physical activity (swimming won't work out this quarter) so I asked him if he was interested, explained that skating lessons would be like that, a workshop where you learn a new skill. He enthusiastically answered YES! This morning I took Miss I so My Honey could go to work on time, since Bubba is getting more comfortable staying home alone now. She liked it too and is interested in lessons! Yay :) Thursday ice skating lessons. I am looking forward to seeing their progress and maybe even getting one or both into hockey in the spring.

Ah yes, my 2011 intention. I am using both words. Love and Balance.
I am interested in their connection. How they will play out.

How about an update on my 2010 word Courage?
I would have to say I feel like I ended this year a lot more courageous in many aspects. From communication with My Honey to playing Hockey. From choosing not to spend a lot of time with people who suck me dry to saying "yes, I am playing in the tournament in February." YIKES! I said "yes!"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


"I, for one, am not much company for anyone without my artistic soul feeling up to par." Madeline Bea

I attempted to get busy with the camera this month and take some photos for a self-imposed daily challenge. My girl DW (who is a much more dedicated photographer than I am!!) chose words for the days of this month and set to taking pictures every day.

I found myself, as I said earlier, rushing to get the picture done so I don't think its all quality work and if you look at the photos this month, especially the past week or so, you can (well I can) see a difference. Its not a bad thing, just a thing. But I do find myself not feeling quite like myself so the quote at the top of the page seemed appropriate. I also find if I am not feeding the physical activity part of myself I am not much company either, and since its been nearly two weeks since I played hockey, I'm feeling a little sub-par.

TWO WEEKS! And I have to wean myself down to one practice a week because I work at 3am starting Monday morning so not getting home from practice until 7:30 or 8 is a bad idea. But, I just read that practice this week isn't until 7:30 am instead of 6, so I probably can't go to that. Getting home at 9 is too late, My Honey has to work. Am I sounding whiny yet? Because that's how I am feeling. I guess I could go use my YMCA membership. I could go take a walk. The kids are at grandmas (for the night!). It's still light out.

Have I mentioned life with a cat yet? Shes pretty cute. Her name ended up being Mister Pickles. (Thanks LK!) as I type she is sitting across one arm. I kind of like it. I have not had a cat in 12 years. She is so good. Hasn't cried at all, sleeps really good and used the liter box right from the start. Lets hope "Lola" is the same way when we get her next week!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wind down

Good lord I hate the post-holiday melt down, I mean LET down. No, I mean melt down. Its near, I feel it. All that emotion that I've kept bottled up. The stress, made much less-so by my sisters who helped me pull off the family dinner here (thanks girls, Shell - you rock my social planning world, LK - you rock my cooking world!)

The anticipation - will it all work out? Did we get enough for the kids? Do they have the SAME NUMBER of presents (I tried to pre-load this by telling Bubba that he may not get as many presents as Miss I because his stuff is more expensive these days). Will they behave? Will we make it everywhere? In once piece? With smiles on our faces? Am I forgetting anything? AnyONE?

The clean up. I'm not really OCD, but maybe a little. I like clean living spaces. Well, more like un-cluttered. I'm the one with the trash bag picking up wrapping paper and bows and tape and ribbons. Not only that, but we decorated all around the house and it all has to come down. Soon. I am committed to waiting until next weekend, I'm off for four days.

The food. Translation: my jeans don't fit. You know how this ends: with a "healthier eating plan" for the new year.

The New Year. My word for 2011 is evolving. It's somewhere between Love and Balance. Both of which give me hives. I get all itchy thinking about either one for very long. Susannah has a post somewhere about choosing a word or intention for the year somewhere on her blog (I'll be dammed if I can find it today!) and a couple of great worksheets. Check her out. Unfortunately, I can't get my printer and my new laptop to work together on a regular basis (ha! sounds like my real job too!) but what's to stop me from just filling in the blanks?

I know, where are the pictures? So far this month I have missed currency, share, sweet, crash, bar, and pure ... is that all? We chose words for the whole month, so I have a week left. I really enjoy the time behind the lens, but I have found myself rushing to get the word of the day done, so they don't feel like quality pictures.

Friday, December 24, 2010


This photo was taken last month while Bubba and I were on a walk. The neighbors at the end of the block have several bird feeders in their yard, which the birds appreciate!

Dinner last night was, in my humble opinion, a tremendous success! We had french onion and beef with barley soups, dee-lish-us bread, fruits, vegies, cream-cheese-ham-roll-thingys, shrimp, meatballs, lots of food. PLUS, two delicious desserts! We could have fed another dozen people! Many thanks to everyone for making it so much fun and so yummy!

Today is a chillin day, we're going to take the kids sledding then me and mine are gonna do nothing. LK and hers are headed home. Later tonite we are going to have our family Christmas, then head to My Honey's parents house for our traditional Christmas Eve fondue dinner. Can't stay out too late tho, I work at 3am.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Good food, good wine, good family party.

Merry Christmas


This is the new cat.
Fluffy, or Fuzzy, or Fuzz Ball, or Angel or something.

It appears she is tranquil, but really I think she was just trying to shut all the chaos out.

The first night was perfect. She and the dog get along really well, she slept in the bathroom without meowing at all(!) and she seems to like us.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


DW's picture gave me an idea:

This was the baby Jesus in a manger at the Preschool Christmas program.
He is the King, right?

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Yesterday's word was frolic:

That's Bubba in his outdoor wear, frolicking in the new "duck blind" he created while it was snowing yesterday. We lost a tree under the weight of the snow last week and this is what he did with the branches. We had to cut the bugger down because part of it blocked the driveway. I hate to loose the bird habitat, but I really didn't like that tree anyway!

Today's word is bar. I have some ideas ...

We got it all done yesterday; ice skating, Christmas shopping, and kittenS. Yep, we got two. One little-little and one 7 month old. I figured if the kids got sick of the little-little, I would still have one I am interested in so they would both be getting taken care of. Not really, but sort of. The 7 month old is very cute, white with grey and other color splotches and BLUE eyes. She makes me think of a oyster shell for some reason, so that may be her name, Oyster, (not Shell, I can't name a cat the same as my sister). The other one looks like a cat. Striped, grey and white. She is very cute and I wouldn't be surprised if her name ended up being something like Baby. It will be up to the kids tho.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Today's word is frolic. I plan to get a picture of ice skating frolicking later.

Our date was great. We continued to talk kitty, went out to Thai, created out Christmas menu, figured out who we needed to shop for, visited some friends who just got back from Argentina a month ago and tried a new yummy drink; chocolate covered strawberries and cream. It is delightful! Very sweet and just right for dessert. (It's a strawberry cream tequila, Rose something, and double chocolate vodka served over ice. DEE-LISH! You could even add soda water to give it some fizz if you wanted to. It reminded me of an iced "steamer" type drink you would get at a latte stand... what are those called? You know, ...!! ITALIAN SODA !! That's it! Sheesh, been trying to come up with that for over 12 hours!)

Our dinner menu is going to be .....
Beef barley soup, fancy breads from Great Harvest Bakery, a cheese and cracker dish for people to nibble and a vegie tray. Drinks will be juice or milk for the kids, wine and beer for the adults plus our new fancy dessert drink with or for dessert. I may see if LK will make an apple pie or two for dessert. Not very fancy, not really that original, but it should cover all the bases from finicky-lighter-eating kids to hungry adults. And we will be able to put out some of it ahead of time to nibble on since our last guests won't get here until after six. There will be 16 of us! I am pretty excited, but I woke up thinking about bowls, spoons and stuff like that. I'd rather not use paper and plastic, so we shall see.

I am also really excited to use my Christmas table cloth and napkins, they are very cool with poinsettias on them, but they don't match ANY of my dishes. Oh the drama of a matchy-matchy table!

Friday, December 17, 2010


Ahhh, the word of the day:


No, that's not the word for the day; it's "perspective". No, I have not taken a picture yet, but I just got an idea...

Meow refers to The Christmas Dilemma:
One feline or two?
Kittens or cats?
Do we take into consideration my son's ideal cat: "black with two white feet and yellow eyes"?
What about the more mature (1-2 year old) tabby and her 9 month old light-color calico-looking daughter? They already know each other and have lived together, but have outgrown "kittyness."
Who knew there were upwards of fifty cats out there for adoption between the Humane Society and The Crazy Cat Lady?
Where do we put the litter box?
Will they sleep with the kids like they want?
What do they really want in a cat? Do they want something playful or just to pet?

Lucky me, right now this is my biggest problem in life.

OOOHHH! And guess what else? I get to host Christmas dinner for my side of the family in my house!! I am actually really excited! Mostly because LK will be here to help me :) Oh, what? I forgot to tell you that part? :)

It's been a good couple days off so far, a couple of my girls came over yesterday and we made cookies, today at lunch My Honey and I got to go look at kitties. Tonite we have a date! And tomorrow there is a family skating party with the hockey girls and their families. We haven't told the kids yet, they will be VERY excited! Then My Honey and I are going to do our Christmas shopping. All in one day! All done!

For the hockey fan(s)
Today's practice was good. There were only eight of us so it was a great workout. The drills are becoming more familiar, my skating feels better, but stopping is still not there.

It's supposed to be cool looking. Both feet are supposed to "shoosh" together at the same time bringing you to a stop. SUPPOSED to. I look more like a flailing 2 year old. I can't seem to get my feet together. I can't seem to get stopped. Cal, one of the coaches, told me I need to get my hips into it (have I ever mentioned I don't belly dance because I'm not that in touch with my hips?) and, he says, I have to "pop" at some point to get both of my feet to work together ... uuuuhhh, right. I will keep practicing.

We played a 4 on 4 scrimmage again today. I wasn't that great. Well, actually, I don't know. And to be perfectly honest, I am afraid to ask. What would I do if they told me I wasn't good? Or if they told me I wasn't getting any better? Or that I am screwing up practice for the other players because I suck? Yeah, I am afraid to ask. Cal is encouraging, he keeps telling me this or that is better, but...

One of the things we did today was a speed drill where we pushed the net down the ice and back with a partner as fast as we could. Poor J got stuck with me, so she says "when we get to the end you stand still and I will push the net around you." Good plan J. While on our way to the other end of the ice she is yelling at me "THE FASTER YOU MOVE YOUR LEGS, THE FASTER YOU ARE GONNA GO!!" That might give you an idea of how bad I am. No offense taken, I know she means well and maybe that's what I need, someone to yell at me to pick it up a bit. To push me a little harder, because I certainly don't push myself!

So I am working up the courage to ask someone how I am really doing and what small thing (don't give me too much!) can I do for the next few practices.

And finally ... IT'S CHRISTMAS BREAK!!
Two weeks off from school!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Oh, the joy of homework.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Taken with my "cheap" camera at work, we don't have any packages under the tree yet.
Plan is to go power shopping on Saturday, get it all done in one day!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Catch up

Word of the day Sweet

Word of the day Satsuma

I have missed a few days. It was a busy weekend with family parties, company and work.

The first picture is of Bubba's birthday cake. Yesterday was his 9th birthday so he chose Dairy Queen and ice cream cake for his family dinner.

The second is of little cuties oranges or satsumas or tangerines or mandarins, whatever they are. I have something to say about oranges, but I will save it for a day when I have more than 10 minutes. And I have a story to tell about Bubba's 9th birthday but it also takes more than a few lines.

I missed a day: Share. I am still working on it.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Of course I had an idea in my head for the word "family" but it didn't pan out. I thought about making a slide show of family photos ... Yeah. Nope.

My other first thought was to get a picture of an animal family or my family. Neither of those worked out either.

Finally I got off my lazy bum today and went for a walk intending to find my dang "family" picture. I ended up at the park near Porters Pond. Holy cow, the water was sooooo low! It felt like I could walk into the middle of the river. Anyway, back to family! (Which is exactly what happened at the park!)

There is a memorial near the parking area that has been financed by several ... you guessed it FAMILIES. So I thought I would get a picture of the bricks on my way out. Then I ventured a little further into the park. Lo and behold I found a lot of things. I found a picture for one of the days I missed: Spacious. That is exactly what the park was with the water so low!

All in all a good day. Great hockey practice, lovely coffee date with my girl DW, a semi-random act of kindness for some folks at the Y, cleaned the house (yes, I am having company this weekend), short walk and some photography. Yeah, good day!

You want hockey?

I am up early mostly because Miss I kicked her covers off and for some reason that becomes MY problem! I am up early secondly because we have practice at 6 and I couldn't get back to sleep.

Practice. What does it entail? Well, first of all, on Friday it means getting up early. Once I get out of the house and down to the rink then I have to get suited up. What does that mean? Pretty much covering every joint with some kind of pad - putting on my "fat suit", if you will.

It all starts with the shorts. There are these great spandex shorts called breezers that go on first (yes, the order makes a difference). The have two 2"x2" squares of Velcro on each leg (one on front, one on back) that our socks attach to.

After the breezers you can either start in on the shin guards or go for the socks, I have become partial to guards first, the socks are a little easier to pull up then. The socks are really more like way over sized leg warmers, they go over the shin guards. The shin guards actually protect your shin and knee, they Velcro around your calf so you still have pretty good mobility, but you aren't going to bust a kneecap or get a bruise on your shin from a puck, skate or stick.

So you strap on your shin guards, pull up your socks, Velcro them to your thighs and then take a breather. It's a lot of work adding all that. Next I usually put on my skates. Hockey skates are the bomb! They are hard plastic all the way around. No flimsy leather like the ones you rent when you go ice skating. Oh no, these ones have to protect your feet from sticks and pucks and others' skates too. They take some muscle to get on. The locker rooms are usually a tad cool, so by now your hands are a tad cold and you re trying to get your feet into these hard plastic molds, then pull the laces tight. Last week I had cuts on my thumb and index fingers, lacing my skates was horrible!

OOPS! (and this has happened) I should have put on my pants first! This is where keeping an eye on what others are doing has paid off. We wear these huge-ass shorts full of padding. Ladies, if you are worried about how large your ass looks, hockey isn't for you! These shorts add about 18 sizes to an already sensitive to criticism back side, but the padding is worth it. The shorts have pads on the front, back and sides. I have sustained some sore spots from falling, but no major bruises thanks to these shorts. They are worth it! So these should go on before the skates or else you might tear them.

Now the fun begins. I have the most trouble with the upper body pads. First there is a chest and shoulder protector. I think the problem might be its a size too big. It Velcros around your chest and the shoulder pads are held in place by the jersey. Getting the jersey on has to be the biggest challenge. It seems to get caught in the back where you cant see or reach to make it right. Again the locker room becomes a source of help!

Once your chest and shoulder pads are on and the jersey is in place you are nearly done. I learned a couple practices ago to put on my elbow pads after the jersey otherwise you're just fooling around with the Velcro all night. The elbow pads Velcro above and below the elbow and boy are they a necessary evil!

After that you are nearly ready to hit the ice. Gloves and helmet are all that is missing. Gloves are the very last thing to get put on, usually left then right, the right hand carries the water bottle to the team box, the left holds the stick ALL. THE. TIME.

And the helmet. First things first with the helmet. If you sweat, you want to wear a bandanna to keep it from dripping in your eyes, it also helps hold your hair back. I've played a couple times without and it sucked! I have never wore something so tight fitting on my head! This thing isn't going anywhere, not that I would want it to, but its quite the brain container. Hard, black plastic with a face shield (mine resembles a grate) and a chin strap. There is padding inside, but its hard too. I really need to invest in my own helmet, the one I am borrowing starts to hurt my head about 30 minutes into practice.

Pretty much getting the gear on is a warm up. It takes about 15 minutes. But its worth it! Another time I will tell you about the ice, how it isn't soft, or smooth!

Thursday, December 09, 2010


I don't particularly care for this picture, but it was easy. Yeah, I too the easy way out. All I had to do was edit it and post it.

It came from my trip to Oregon in October. The first evening I took a walk to a nearby rest stop/park thingy at sunset. I passed this little statue/memorial on the side of the road. It made me wonder who set it up and why. I figured it was a memorial of some sort. One interesting thing was the rocks that had been collected in her arms. I don't know the significance. The white and red striped candy cane-thing makes me think it had been there awhile and I guess that makes it okay to post during December :)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


Today's word is twinkle.

My son's eyes always have a twinkle in them, so do Miss I's but she spends Wednesday nights with grandma so no picture of her eyes. And its not the same kind of twinkle, I will save them for the word mischievous or sassy or something like that.

I am so glad it is my Friday. I was pretty much done with work today, I don't know why, but I was. I am off the next two days, hope to get the house cleaned up a bit and a hockey practice in early Friday morning and then it's going to be a busy weekend. Work 12 hours, company on Saturday, family Christmas party Saturday night, work 12 hours, family birthday party for Bubba Sunday and then a few more (short) days of work. I am looking forward to it, but its going to be tiring!

We had a great practice on Sunday. There were only 8 of us (as compared to 15 or so the past month) so toward the end we played a 4 on 4 scrimmage the width of the rink (instead of the length). I have no idea if I am playing "right" but it sure is fun! I don't know the difference between offense and defense, but I know which goal I am shooting into and who my team mates are. I have no idea what a right wing or a left wing is (was that facing OUR goal or the other team's goal) but I can sure out-cuss them! I am pretty sure, and not so proud, of the fact that I was the pottiest mouth out there! I didn't mean to and it's not like it's a goal, but I sure was cussing!

It takes a TON of concentration! A friend of one of the coaches described it really well saying something like "it requires all of my concentration, I can't think about ANYTHING ELSE" that's totally it! There isn't anything I have ever done that was as mentally and physically challenging at the same time as hockey. Not that I have a huge repertoire of things I've done, but still. I think as it comes more naturally (HA!!) it might be less like that, but for now its very invigorating, challenging and tiring all at the same time. I get home sweaty, hungry, amped, tired and sore!

I love it!

There are a couple tournaments coming up that I am thinking of playing in. One at home and one away ....

Monday, December 06, 2010


This has been one of my favorite Christmas-ornaments-turned-sayings for years.
I am pretty sure this was a gift I received as a birthday present from a co-worker at least 15 years ago. I have always loved the hope the saying holds. It also started an infatuation with snowmen as a Christmas collectible.

I LOVE getting Christmas stuff for my birthday!

Did I mention I decorated yesterday??!!

Sunday, December 05, 2010


It was decorate day at my house today. We put up the tree and put out all my Christmas collectibles. It is always a fun and frustrating event. I love getting out all the stuff, I hate the mess. I love remembering where my stuff came from, I hate that I have not taken really good care of some things and they are getting "old". I love having so much crap to put out, I hate not having enough surfaces to put things on. So Christmas and I have a love-hate relationship.

The tree turned out ... nice? I tried not to stress out about the kids hanging everything in the same place, down low. I am trying not to stress out that The Kings are on a low table where little hands might not be able to resist them and that the mantle looks a little naked. But I am glad we did it. I was a bit of a scrooge last year and the kids are still having fun with the decorations. They each have a tree in their rooms (another thing I am trying not to worry about) and keep running around with "presents".

Behold, the picture is not of my house, it's all the cinnamon ornaments the kids decorated a few weeks ago.

Saturday, December 04, 2010


Well, I totally missed a picture for "currency" yesterday. I was a little sick. Looks like DW picked up the slack for me, she posted three pictures! Way to go. I'll take the stocking or a hundred :)

Today is a different story. It was Bubba's kid-birthday-party-day! He and I started to talk about it awhile ago, he suggested that snow shoeing might be fun. I tucked it away in my brain and pulled it out on .... Monday. Turns out you can't rent kids snow shoes anywhere (I found this out on ... Thursday.) Plan B was to go sledding which worked out really well. There is a hill just down the road at one of the schools, the boys and Miss I had a great time! Truth be told, so did I when I got a chance to ride a sled alone. My Honey took a ride down too, but he has a bum ankle and didn't get to sled as much as he would have liked.

So we sledded, ate pizza, drank hot cocoa, opened presents and had cake. The end. Bubba kept saying he was having a really good time and so did the other boys. The picture is off all our stuff piled inside the door after we came back, with some fun added!

Tonite My Honey and I are headed to the hockey game "GO WILD" and tomorrow will be a get the laundry finished and the house cleaned up before I go back to that early 3am shift again. UGH.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


Today's word is peace.
I spent the day running around and have plans for tonite (My Honey and I are going to see Rodney Carrington) so .... This is what I found in my back yard, which was quite peaceful this evening. Not quite what I had gone after today, but neither was IT from yesterday. (That happened to come from an EXIT sign if you were wondering.)

** This seemed appropriated for The Sunday Creative, too. **

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


See more here

** Coincidentally, it's World Aids Day **