Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunday Practice

I'm really going to like Sunday practices! The format is much more organized than last year and the coaches are doing a great job of telling us when to use what we are practicing. It is especially nice since I have Monday off now so I won't be as worried about getting sleep.

We worked our wrists last night with a TON of puck handling. Coach Cal is right, you just have to feel the puck. I was thinking about feeling the puck on my run today. I even pretended I was practicing to give my wrists some action. I'm sure it looked awesome!

Then, we broke into groups of three to practice some passing. One person was "it" and the other two took turns passing to her and then she passed back real quick-like, but accuracy was important. I remember doing this drill last year and sucking at it. I wasn't so bad this year. "It" only had to run after a couple of my passes. Much improvement from last year.

There was also a speed drill - yeah, I lost to Bird every time. She is fearless, I choke. I'm not sure how to explain this one. We did a large circle as fast as we could, whoever finished first grabbed the puck, skated it down to the goal and took a shot. The thing about doing a circle really fast is that they are really close to the boards. I know from experience that the boards hurt when you crash into them. I pushed myself a little more each time, but she was still 'da bomb! The idea is to get more comfortable going fast and going in circles, we practiced several times on each side. It's different taking a circle on your left than taking one on the right, trust me!

And then we did a little "break out" session. This was good stuff! Lots of practice doing what it is we would do during a game. We got in five lines, each line was a position (wing, defense, center). Coach would hit a puck to the net and we had to go get it, each doing what the position would do in a game. Then we got in a different line and did it again. Good stuff. Good to watch, good to practice. Good to know what to do when it happens in a game.

Games. So ... Our first home tournament is in November. My birthday weekend! Yay me, I get to turn 41 playing hockey. How stinkin cool :) Seems like I might have turned 40 on a practice day last year ... Yeah, pretty sure, practices on Friday mornings, birthday on a Friday. Sounds like a new tradition! We have another home tournament in February. I sent in my check for both of them today. Yay me!

Friday, September 23, 2011


Out for a walk yesterday I captured a few images:

I have a thing for pathways and staircases.
Where they lead ...
You will have to visit
and we will take a walk
so I can show you

I saw these poor little flowers growing in the rocks.
Then again, maybe they're strong.
Growing in the rocks.
I think it takes tough to survive like that.

Opening night for hockey season!! Looking forward to a date with my Hannah today and my Bubba tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


So it's been a few days, but our first official hockey practice was Sunday and it was really good. They're trying a new format this season and I gotta say, so far, so good. We started with a few stretches at center ice and even shared our names. It's funny, I played most of last year and really never got to know most peoples names. This year I hope to at least learn who five people are by name and face, should I run into them say at a "real" hockey game or the grocery store or even the park.

We stretched a bit and then did some laps of the rink both directions. We worked a LOT on stick handling. I love it. I need to get really comfortable with the puck this year. Coach Cal said I need to "Feel it. You know? There are things you just feel without seeing? You need to get to know the puck like that." Yeah, I know just what he's talking about, the first thing that came to me was my job, but the next thing was typing. We start out by hunting and pecking and sooner or later (most) of us are typing by feeling where the letters or the words are. So I am keeping that in mind as I learn to feel the puck.

 We also did some tight circles around cones. The idea is to pretend the cones are an opponent and skate around them with the puck like you would in a game. Then they had us take a shot into the net. It was good. Definitely a place to feel the puck as you approach the goal so you can fake out the goalie by staring at them not where you're going to shoot.

And at the end we did a superman drill. This is where the coach sets up several five-gallon buckets, supports a stick between them (think limbo) and we go under the stick arms first sliding on the ice in a superman-type fashion. I was well on my way down the ice when Coach Cal said something to me, distracted me and I nearly missed my chance to get flattened out and get under the stick. He has that knack, distracting me just as I need to do the thing I need to do. I don't know weather to tell him to knock it off or learn to play through the distraction. I probably need to learn to play through the distraction. In fact, that is most likely why he's doing it.

It's a very long weekend for me, in a good way, kind of a mini-vacation, I don't work until next Wednesday!! I am taking each of the kids to a hockey game this weekend (one kid on Friday, one kid on Saturday) since My Honey is out of town and hopefully I will get a couple runs in. I would still like to do a half-marathon before the end of the year, but my neck has been giving me some trouble so we shall see. Oh, and I can't get the time off guaranteed so that kind of throws a kink in making plans.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What Gets Me

So here I am to try and put into words this whole thing with my Grandma dying.

It's not that big of an emotional deal, really because we weren't close. She was my dad's mom and there was some estrangement just because of life circumstances; my dad, who logically would have been our contact to her, lived out of town. It was awkward to call her on my own and ask to see her, stuff like that. I guess part of me feels a little hurt because she never made the effort either. Ever. But I am sure it was as uncomfortable for her as it was for me. And she was a busy lady!

It did not appear she lacked for things to do. In her younger years she was an accomplished golfer, I guess she played in a lot of tournaments. She was also a card shark. People were afraid of her card playing prowess. It was fun to hear about card groups that these ladies had played in since they were thirty years old, that they had continued to be friends well into their seventies and eighties. I can't imagine, but I would like to think that I will have some of the same friends in fifty years.

Which is probably one of the most poignant things that happened. Maybe I should tell my whole story?

In 2006 my grandma was hospitalized for quite awhile. She recovered, moved into an independent living facility and all was well until the past year or so. She was in and out of the hospital several times, her kidneys were failing, she had been diagnosed with COPD and a few other things (congestive heart failure, diabetes). I visited her in the hospital earlier this year, and learned she would have to go onto dialysis soon as her kidneys were not working. I remember her seeming not too thrilled. It's a pretty suck-you-dry process and she's an active lady. She has places to be and people to see! My understanding is that she had been on dialysis maybe a month or so when she ended up in the hospital for the final time (and that she had been in several times since starting the dialysis). The dialysis wasn't working as it should, once they stopped it would just be a matter of days or weeks until all her systems would shut down.

She was completely alert when her kids and doctor talked to her to tell her what was up. It was kind of surreal to go into see someone who had just been told "this is it" and ... and what? Talk? Cry? What is the proper thing to do? Worse, was when her friends started dropping by. I wasn't sure who knew and who didn't. What to say when they promised to hold her a seat at the card game on Wednesday. That kind of stuff. Awkward.

A couple days later she was released from the hospital and moved into assisted living. Within the next day or so she was put on hospice. It wasn't long before her systems started shutting down. She was unconscious for about three days I think until she passed away with her kids at her side.

As I sat with them one afternoon, a friend of my grandmas came to visit. I don't think the friend knew how bad grandma really was. She and my aunt stood in the doorway talking in hushed tones. (This is the incident that gets me.) The friend, obviously in her eighties or so, listened to my aunt as she explained the situation. At that time Grandma was unconscious and didn't seem to know people were around. I saw the friend crumble. I could see her grief and sadness, and here's what I thought; "she's in her 80's, don't they expect their friends to be dying?" I know that sounds harsh, but it was kind of shocking almost to see her weep for my Grandma. And then I realized that she has probably always been a tender hearted person and it warmed me to know that those tender hearts in my life will always be tender hearts.

I'm still not quite sure what to do with everything that I thought and felt and experienced. I'm sure slowly more of it will solidify and be easier to put into words. For now tho, I wanted to tell the story of that tender hearted lady. I admire her strength of character, to keep her tender ways and be faithful to her friends.

That was the other part, she dropped by in the worst of times. It made me think about how I react to my family and friends' worst of times ... as many of you know, I shut down, I avoid and ignore. With realization comes knowledge, right? The word "compassion" has been on my brain for the past month or so. Maybe it's my 2012 word?

Saturday, September 10, 2011


This picture is me, my sisters LK, and Dani and our dad. -- The other two girls were in heels. Sometimes I just feel tall. And slouchy. And tan.

There was a memorial service today for my grandma. There's more to tell, but that's what I'm not quite in the mood to talk about yet -- my last grandma dying. It's brought up a lot of stuff, if you know what I mean. It wasn't quite as emotional as when my first grandma passed away, they were definitely different kinds of women, but it has still brought up stuff. The event was nice, it wasn't really a memorial service, just a celebration of her life. No pressure to talk in front of a group, no pastor or preacher or man/woman of the cloth, just her good friends of 5-50 years at the golf course where she spent every day. Perfect.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Holy wow


We officially kicked off our season with the little pre-season meeting and scrimmage. How much fun did I have? It should be illegal how much fun I had. Okay, maybe not illegal, but everyone should have something that they love as much as I love hockey.

I don't even know where to start. With the awesome team mates I had last night that answered my questions about where I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to do? With getting to see all those quality women? There are such neat women around I just didn't know about. It wasn't for lack of trying, I guess I just hadn't found my "tribe" until now. We've got every walk of life, every religion, every age from sixteen to late 50's, all skill levels from me to ladies who have played for decades. It's awesome.

We suited up red and white, started a play clock and went for it. Somehow our team, well the offense, just meshed. We rocked it. I was having a super great time. I was left wing and my partner, Jane, was awesome. She included me in the game. THAT'S IT! She included me in the game. I never felt like I wasn't needed or a part of the team even though I'm not the best player. It was awesome. I might even have made a goal. Yep, re-read that line. I made a goal!!!!

Here's the real story: I did shoot into the net, and it was a really good shot because I was looking where I wanted to puck to go, not at the goalie, but I noticed her help the puck in. It still counted as a goal, but I know better so I'm not all puffed up about it. Well, maybe a little. But I know the truth, it never should have gone in. But it was still fun. I thanked Erin for her help and yelled at the other goalie, Kelly, when she wasn't as generous. What a great time!

So looking forward to as many practices as I can get in this year. Can't wait!!! Next practice is the 18th. Nearly 10 days! UGH ;)

Saturday, September 03, 2011


I have this crazy idea to run a half marathon. In December. In Las Vegas. So I have set about training and eating better. I am trying to work out the beer, but it's a hard sell.

I got up early on Thursday and Friday and had nice runs in the morning at the park, today I ran after a 12 hour shift at 3 pm. Talk about a difference. I might or might not have tried to fuel up by eating a Snickers too. (Not my best moment, but at least it wasn't a 6-pack!) I am going to take tomorrow as a rest day and resume after work on Monday. I must say right now I really like the morning run best, afternoons are still a bit warmish (about 85* today, which I LOVE, unless I am ). Fall is coming though. Soon. Too soon.

School started last week so we are getting into the swing of things. Hannah is in kindergarten and Bubba is a big 4th grader this year. So far, so good. Everyone is a little tired this weekend, but I hope a few good nights rest will get us all back into it.

I took the kids out for our last camping trip the weekend before school started. We had a nice time, mostly just the three of us. My Honey stayed one night, he had to work. This trip was not without adventure either. We saw a snake. It was just a little garter snake, but still! In 40 years of living here, I can only think of ONE other time I actually saw a snake. It was just sunning itself on the bike trail one afternoon. Scared the crap out of me! So did this one, just sitting on the riverbank, staring into my eye. Actually, it definitely scared Bubba more, I was more concerned with making sure he and Hannah were okay so I hardly flinched. But still, it was looking me in the eye!

Okay so I am up-to-date? Not really. There is a lot more to tell. A TON of things have happened. I'm still sorting through some of them. Everyone is okay, I'm just chewing on some stuff. Like friendship. I watched some old women love on each other recently (old, as in 80's) and realized that I tend to fall into a "fair-weather-friend" kind of category. (Those of you that know me probably already know this, thanks for being patient with me) so I am chewing on that. Working it out. Figuring out where the balance is. I just know my tendency could be to get over-involved. Or maybe I think I do. So, later, when I have more time to think it through, I will try to remember to tell the whole story. It actually has a sad ending. I'm just not in the mood to go there right now.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Seven Hundred

Wow. 700 posts.

Here's dinner:

Shrimp and tomatoes and stuff over pasta.
Hope it's good, I'm not much of a cook.