Thursday, March 31, 2011


How to describe hockey? Maybe it sums up my word of the year for 2010 “courage.”

Why did I play? For the challenge of it. Physical challenge. I needed a physical challenge and I got one. I was challenged to go outside my comfort zone mentally, physically and even emotionally. Mentally I learned something new, a new language, a new game. Physically I had to learn to skate. To start something new I had never done. Emotionally I had that one rough practice, I had to learn to deal with that one woman. We’re not best friends, but I worked through it. She is no longer a threat.

I also learned that I can do it alone. When I trained for the triathlons I always enlisted others to help me, to workout with me, I had a swim partner, a run partner and a ride partner the very first time around over 10 years ago. I had one person who would do any of those workouts with me if our schedules worked out the second and third times around. In hockey it was all about me. Testing myself and not competing against anyone else. I didn’t worry about impressing anyone. I didn’t worry about someone beating me. It was just me against me. I liked it that way. It was hard to say, but I was glad that it was just me. That no one else was able to do it with me. It was totally my thing.

I have never considered myself competitive at all. But I sure do compare myself to others I know a lot. Is there a difference? Not really. So it was nice to have this thing where I had no one to compare myself to. I didn’t know anyone so I didn’t really say “oh, she is doing so much better than me” because I didn’t have any frame of reference. All I had was my first practice, my second practice and so on. I didn’t have “she did that and I didn’t get it” or vice versa. I didn’t have pressure to be as good as anyone because it took me awhile to figure out who the novices were I was so wrapped up in myself. Staying upright, learning cross overs, learning backwards, forwards, puck handling, STOPPING!

Our last scrimmage on Sunday was pretty good. We rotated drop-in style which is to say we just waited our turn instead of changing out three at a time, in a line with the same people. It was hard for me, I didn’t want to take too much time on the ice, but I sure the heck wanted some ice time too. I had a couple good runs up the ice WITH THE PUCK and some great steals (well, I thought so) and some good blocking and intimidating. :) hee hee hee.

I already miss looking forward to the workout, the girls and my hockey-playing-me. I turned in my borrowed stick and soon will return the borrowed pads. It’s bittersweet. I can’t believe how much I loved it. I am surprised that the end has been so emotional for me. Not like I’ve sat and cried for hours over it, but I have been a regular grouch this week and it could only be because I’ve lost something meaningful. Good thing is I can have some ice time during stick and puck as soon as I get my own stick and I think I will put the kids in a learn to play class so I can maybe “help” Coach T, who just happens to be the instructor.

What is “my-hockey-playing-me”? I guess it is the focused me. The me that can learn something new at 40 years old. The athletic me I had no idea existed. The team sports player me. This part of me that has been in there all this time that I had no idea was there, that I still can’t name exactly. I found something that meets me where I am spirit, mind and body. It touches all three places of me. Not like I am on the ice praying, but it quiets that part of me. It challenges me physically and mentally. It is just plain old good for me.

Puppy Love

I'm starting to like this little thing even though we don't have her yet.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Been sitting on a couple things this week.
My last hockey practice. Maybe I just don't want to cry about it?
A post I read that really got me thinking.
Which do you want to hear about first? Oh, I know one of you is screaming "hockey" right now, but I think I'm gonna save it. If I write about it, it's true that it's over for now.

The post is by an author I read years ago, when I first got into reading blogs. Her Seasons post made me wonder about the word bloom. My comment "...As for being in winter, or spring or full bloom? I’m not going to ignore the question, but I am going to sit with it for a few. My first thought is I have never been in full bloom, but, on second thought, maybe I have, to a degree."

Later, I looked up the word bloom. It means something so different than I thought. I thought it was a place you arrived. Not a process, not "a state or time of being". I asked myself "have I ever been in full bloom?" I sat down and wrote a list of times where I have been in bloom, according to the definition I found. Here's my list:

When I went to Haiti in high school
When I trained for and did the triathlons
When I play hockey
When I run
When me and My Honey work on the budget
When I am a mom
When I am a wife

That list is fluid, none of those are things I have "arrived" at or am the best at, and I NEVER WILL BE. And I'm getting okay with that. Like a flower, I am sporadic, I open a little at a time, sometimes I wilt, but I always come back. Stronger, or wiser or both.

As for hockey. It's bringing tears to my eyes thinking about it. I guess I'm not quite ready to write about it yet. It didn't end badly. It just ended. I guess I'm grieving it a little.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Last Friday

Boo hoo. It was the last Friday morning practice today so I took some visitors with me. My Dad and His Wife (and my youngest sister) were here to visit my ailing grandma (she's actually okay-ish, now) so I invited them along since they missed the tournament due to Hannah being sick. His Wife loved it! She said she was impressed.

We started with "butterfly drills" where we skate up the center of the ice then fan out around the end, one goes left, one goes right-left-right, like a butterfly wing. While skating up center ice there is usually some kind of thing to do between the blue lines, lunges (yes! on skates) stretch our arms, twirl our sticks to get our wrists warmed up or hold the stick above our head and twist to get our sides limbered up. After that we worked on puck handling. It was a good session. I like how the coaches are remembering to tell us when we would use a drill in a game situation.

It was weird playing with them there, but it was good.

Last night my sister colored my hair. She did a good job and then this morning she and her mom added highlights. They did a great job. It is quite a bit darker and the highlights are subtle. I like it, and it was MUCH, MUCH less than going to the salon!

Oh yeah, and this:
"... when a lot of things start going wrong all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born - and this something needs for you to be distracted so that it can be born as perfectly as possible."

Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies
I am nearly finished with that book. Love.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fallin' Down

For some unknown reason I spent a lot of time falling down last night. (Huh, that's how tired I am, that was just this morning .... ) Supposedly if you are falling down, you're working hard. I think I was just plumb tired out. I sure hope I'm not getting sick or something ...

I might have played a little too hard last week, and worked, and was a mom and a wife. Maybe. I was up (way) past my bed time on Sunday night and Monday night, I worked my regular shifts except Wednesday when I cut out of work early and took a nap (!) in the middle of the day. I even went to bed fairly early on Wednesday and Thursday nights too, even though I didn't have to work the next day. And I did not want to get out of bed for hockey this morning, but I did it anyway. I wanted to, I just didn't feel like it - ya know?

Practice was good. Coach T and Cal were there and we worked on stick-handling. Good drills through the cones, around the circles and then .... we worked on "under handling" the opposite of "over handling." I'll do my best to explain.

Over handling is the technique you see most skaters using. Stick in front, puck in front. Under handling is basically stick and puck behind you. It's a pretty slick move to get away from a defender or to pass on the fly to someone behind-ish you. It will be a really useful skill. Another thing to put on a list of things to practice during S & P. I wasn't so good at it, but it was my first time trying it. We practiced it in and out of the cones on or forehand and backhand which is of course much harder.

I am thinking maybe I will look into getting some in-line skates. Then the dog could run, and I will be able to keep my legs in hockey-shape. Wonder how long it will take to do the loop (13 miles) on in-line skates? I wonder how long it will take to get in shape to do that?

The one in orange is a girl and maybe ours, there is a second girl in pink but she must be under the pile somewhere.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Got Pummeled




and a few well chosen cuss words are all I remember from last night!
("a few" who am I kidding? I cussed A LOT!)

Coach T's Learn to Play class was full of guys; they play harder than our girls and they don't say "sorry" or check to see if you're okay. It was a good experience to get thrown around a bit. I am SORE today, especially my neck. I kept catching one of the guys' helmets on my helmet. Ouch. But, that means I was in his space, getting close, right where I need to be!

We played a 6-on-6 scrimmage with the clock running, 3-17 minute periods, no relief. That means we skated HARD for the whole time, our 6 were our team, there was no substitute, we switched positions, I got to try some defense for awhile (fun!) but we didn't get any long breaks. Brutal! But good!  I liked it, I like how I feel today, sore, a little encouraged (I was not the worst player out there, or the worst skater) but I realize I still have SO FAR to go. So. Far.  I am ready to do the work.

There was one other Banshee player there, we were on the same team during the tournament a few weeks ago, (jello-shot girl) so that was good and she asked if I am going to play Women's League ...Oohh really? Women's League? Let me look into that! I could use the practice and drop-in hockey is good practice. You never know who you're playing with or what position.

The weather is finally changing a little, there is still snow in the mountains, but its warming up down here. I went outside for a walk yesterday and hope to do that a few times a week with a run thrown in for good measure. A triathlon isn't quite out of the question. There is one nearby in late June and another not far away in August. The August one is called "Whiskey Dick" -- I just want the t-shirt! Plus I need to get going so I can keep up with the demands of the new dog. She is due this week which means we will have a new puppy in a mere 8 weeks! Yikes and Yay!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Got whooped!

Holy cow! I had a stinking TEENAGER on my team yesterday for our scrimmage and she ran me! I got my aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaass whooped. WHOOPED, I say! But in a good way.

I played wing, because I can do it without screwing too much up, and she was center. The centers work hard and the wings are there to help and protect and be open for a pass from them. This gal ... SHES FAST. Fast-fast. Whooped-my-ass-fast, did I mention that already? It was so good to be challenged that way tho. To keep up (and I nearly did) to be there, ready, hearing encouragement from the net (goalie) that I was in the right place, now I just need to work on receiving the puck and getting it IN THE NET. I had a couple good opportunities yesterday and I failed. Well, not so much failed as I don't have the skill for it. Another thing to work on. Add it to my list for S &P.

I must have done alright, I heard people yelling at me to keep with her, so I was doing the right thing, but I heard her yell at me to "defend the puck" only she said it more like "WOULD YOU DEFEND THE PUCK ...ugh!" sort of. But I'm alright with it. I'm in the right place, just need to work my stick which is no great surprise. OH! and the lady that I was so upset by a few weeks ago? She was yelling at me too, only in a good way. We were both playing wing, so we switched out (and she needed to switch a lot!! hee hee hee) but she was coaching me really well what to do and when I was off-sides. She even said "I'm only trying to help, you know that, right?" kind of apologetically, which I totally appreciated, but more than that, I knew she was helping and I needed it and I was alright with it.

Which reminds me of a story from work. I have this Sgt.with whom I had a major deal 4 or 5 years ago. So bad I sent a complaint to his Sheriff. Years have gone by, I have had to relive the conversation one time and it has never come up between us, at all. I have mentioned it to a few people here and there, but nothing intended to get back to him, except the letter to the Sheriff. In the past couple years we have found ourselves with common interests, kids, coffee and hockey to be specific.

Last week I saw an instant message from him and my first thought was "oh no, what did I forget?" so before I read it I was double checking everything. Not seeing any problems I went ahead and read the message which was just to update me on someone going home sick and someone else coming in. Oh. Oops. So I told him what I first thought, his reply? "I thought we were over that awhile ago." HA! We're over that. It was funny. And then the bully on the ice was trying to help me. I told my sister maybe its time for me to stop having these pre-conceived notions, judging people, putting them in boxes. Maybe.

Tonight I get to do another scrimmage. It should be fun with the learn to play hockey peeps. I would say kids, but I think its the adult class. I'm excited. And I get some free ice time - bonus :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Creativity Boot Camp II

OOOOOh, I enjoyed this last year, I wonder what she has in store this year?


Saturday, March 12, 2011


Coach T sent me a text asking if I would come to her "learn to play hockey" class for a scrimmage on Monday night. Me? Are you sure you texted the right person? Yep, you. Huh. I'm sure it is because I won't kick the butt of her students, either that or she thinks I could learn something!! hahahah! Either way I am going!

I have not taken much time behind the lens lately. I really don't think there is much to photograph this time of the year when it is just gray and dismal out. Blah. But the sun was catching the pussy willows really cool today, so I tried. And Bubba helped me edit them.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

75% there

Hannah is making a good recovery. Doctor says since the fever has been gone she is okay to go back to school (!!! yay !!!) tomorrow but she needs to be careful when she is playing with the kids. She is still tired and pale, but improving every day. I am glad to see bits and pieces of her personality return. Even the talkativeness (sort of).

Things are bustling around the house too. We are getting ready for a new dog. You'd think we were bringing home a new baby based on all the stuff we are doing! I guess it is kind of like a new baby isn't it? She gets a new kennel in her own corner of the yard which required two trees to be cut down. My Honey took care of those over the weekend and I went out and cut the branches off the limbs today so that they can be chipped. It was good, hard work. The kind I like. Physical labor. Something you can see the results of when you are done. Something that makes you want a cold beer at 2 in the afternoon. Not only do you want it, you deserve it! We also lost a small tree in the front during the winter, so it gives us some room to change it up a bit out there. It will be interesting to see what we end up with. I think we would both like to have less grass out front so this is an opportunity to do that.

We actually had snow flurries twice this week and it appears some kind of weather something is blowing in right now. Hopefully its not snow. I kind of like this fifty-degree-and-sunshine-stuff.

Hockey is nearing it's end. We have practices scheduled through the end of this month and that's it. Practice on Sunday was good. It was a 90 minute session with 20 minutes of warm up, 50 minutes of working on backwards skating and shooting and then a 20 minute scrimmage.

The backwards skating was good, I need to practice. I was not shifting my weight to the correct side to get the most out of my c-cut. Then Coach T had us practice backwards cross overs. Oh the challenge! She did such a great job of putting stuff together on a whim based on what we wanted. I was totally impressed. I am still sorting through my hockey stuff. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


It's been so tough having a sick kid.

My Hannah is our lively one. She is talkative, imaginative and always on the go. For the past 20 days she has done nothing, and I mean NOTHING, but lie on the couch under her "stanky blanky." She has begged to get out so we have let her go to Grandmas a few times, but it exhausts her. She gets there and passes out. Oh, and all the visits to the Dr. office.

Mono is a bitch. But it's nothing. I mean it's symptoms are nothing. Fever. Tired. Achy. But it goes on and on and on. And on. And it is shrinking my already little girl. She has lost five pounds, and a TON of muscle tone. I can feel how her thighs have shrunken. They aren't getting any exercise. Oh, and that's another thing. She can't do any contact sports, or things that could injure her belly, like ride a bike, just in case she crashes or ice skate for several more weeks because it could rupture her spleen. Nice. Spring is going to be awesome.

I feel helpless. All I can do is get her what she wants to eat, fresh water (with ice) and "flap my blankie." She likes her blankie un-wrinkled (that's my girl). Her friends at pre-school made a "get well" banner and one of the girls I work with sent her a card in the mail.

Speaking of mail, I got an awesome, handmade card in the snail mail from my sister today. Thanks LK.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


It's kind of like theTriathlon. It's taking me awhile to process the whole hockey tournament. The spirit-mind-body part. I am wore out in all three areas. My legs feel like lead bricks. My spirit is weary, but that could be because of the sick kid, and mentally I just can't put my thoughts together clearly yet. I do need to say one thing tho .... I LANDED IN THE PENALTY BOX!

I cannot believe I keep forgetting to tell everyone! We had 90 seconds left in the third (last) period of our last game and the score was 0-1. We got called for having too many players on the ice which resulted in a two minute penalty. Coach T asked me if I would sit out. Sure! No problem! I'm the best choice, least likely to score a goal and for all I know it was my fault. So I sat out our penalty. Took one for the team. And I didn't mind a bit. One day someone may be sitting it out for me because she is the least likely to score in the last 90 seconds of a game!