Monday, October 31, 2011


From the parks

To the flora, fauna

And the orchards

It is as beautiful here in Fall as it is in Spring

Friday, October 21, 2011


Sunday's scrimmage was great. I was so not the worst player. I have so improved since last year. This was the first time we have played with the newbies and they were pretty fun to watch and help. Yeah, I helped! It was also fun to watch and see how far I've come. I've come a long way! I couldn't tell you if we won or lost, but we had fun doing it. I even played defense which was a kick in the pants. I'm not sure what the job is exactly, but my partner in crime was a lot of fun. Even when her daughter scored one one her!

Today's practice was great. We worked out the kinks on our backwards skating. Do you have any idea how sore your calves and ankles get skating backwards? VERY. Coach Cal tells me I've improved which was nice to hear. We were all screaming after 20 minutes of it! Then we worked on some tight turns and then we played a game. The gist of the game was to try and complete a pass to a team mate between two cones -or- to try and keep them from completing the pass. It was fast! I suppose we were supposed to be practicing our tight turns and looking up and passing, which we were without even trying. Good session today.

Later, in the locker room, one of the intermediate players said I've improved. (!!) Yay me! I was excited to hear that from one of the better players.

It's been a pretty good week, I got some house stuff taken care of, finally got laundry caught up (that'll last about a day) and I finished a really good book on leadership. "EntreLeadership" by Dave Ramsey. I'm going through it a second time it was that good to me. Just basic stuff really. Treat others the way you want to be treated, if you're a business owner work hard to run a cash-based business and work compensation for a job well done into your business plan. Not that I have any plans to run a business or even to be a supervisor, but we all lead in different ways, right? Who knows, maybe there is someone I work with who looks up to me (ha!) and what kind of an example do I set? Not to mention, being a parent. Talk about the ultimate leadership. So it applies to everyone -- if they want it to.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

What a mess

Thank goodness for mild weather, we did our carving outside. Brilliant!

We had an extra kid overnight so when I bought pumpkins this morning I bought him one too. "You bought one for ME too? Wow, thanks!" He's the kind of kid I like to have around because he strokes my ego just right, he appreciates little things like a three dollar pumpkin.

The kids had fun getting all gooey, designing just the right face and then carving them. The boys did most of their own work while Hannah and I worked together. I'm not ready for her to handle a sharp-bladed object yet.

I got out for a run this morning. I was kind of bummed though. I actually tried to count quarter mile markers ... Well, that awesome run I thought was nearly four miles? Ummmm, barely three. Dammit. I had all but given up on the half-marathon idea, but I got encouraged so I put a bug in a co-worker's ear about trying (another) shift trade. We shall see what comes of this one. I haven't had the best of luck with shift trades which was part of my total despair the other day. But, after a good run today and with a little luck maybe we can make it happen.

Hockey tonite. We are scrimmaging. I'm a touch nervous, but excited too! It should be fun!

Friday, October 14, 2011


Stoo-pen-dus practice this morning. Small group of die-hards! Again, I was the least-best, but it's good to play with women (and high schoolers) of excellence, it moves me up a notch in my game.

We did fast drills all morning. Stuff that left me sore!!! My favorite drill today -- well they were all great-- but our last drill of the morning, a chase drill, was my favorite. We played a wing position on the boards, ran a puck up to the net with someone hot on our tail. Fast, fast, fast! Note to self: maybe practice some sprint running. I was never good at a fifty-yard-dash, and essentially that is what we were doing, on skates. Running the puck toward the net, taking a shot, stopping and then chasing the next person while they ran the puck to the net. Whew!  Totally useful in a game. Totally killed my calves and shoulders. Shoulders? Yeah. I was swinging my stick in front of me, both hands grasping it (so picture me holding it across my body) as I chased and it really worked my shoulders, but it also gave me some speed, swinging your arms will always speed you up.

We also did some drills involving position-play. We were in a wing, center, defense or "chase" position practicing chaos to get control of the puck and looking up to find our teammates for a pass. It was good. I'm not good, but the drill was very good.

AND, I got an email about some sessions that will be available before our tournament next month so we can get some warm up time on the ice. Extra skating?! Count me in (after I check the family schedule of course).

It's my long weekend, no work for four days. Looking forward to winterizing a few things, getting the yard cleaned up and relaxing. Lets start with a hockey game tonite. OKAY!

A note to you guys:  I call them "chase drill" or "position play" because its what I want to call it, not what the coach called it, it's just my way of describing it. So any hockey know-it-all who wants to correct me, fine. But I'm still gonna call them what I want. Definitely don't go play some hockey and say "well that girl on her blog said its called a chase drill." 
(I don't know, just felt the need to put that out there.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Fairly certain this is a heron

Another image from the walk I took today out at the confluence wildlife preserve area.

I thought I would take another stab at documenting hockey practices last week. I was pretty discouraged when I deleted everything earlier. Mighta said a few cuss words.

Friday morning we had about a dozen women. One of the things we worked on was a zig-zag drill. We skated zig-zagging up the ice. Without a puck and then with one. We did some tight turn drills (round the cones as close as you can, practicing our cross overs -- oh, they need so much work, both cross overs and my calves) and then we did a one-on-one drill. The idea is to get a feel for someone skating you down, following close or side-by-side or cutting you off or, when all else fails, running you into the boards. The thing I hated about this drill is that the opposition gets in your physical space. I have about a four-foot personal space bubble. Unless I know you well - stay the hell out of it. And even if I know you well ... sometimes 18 inches is too close. So here we are skating with someone within 18 inches or closer, remember we're on the ice too. And it hurts when we fall.

Anyway, we set up the drill, one of us was running the puck up the ice, the other person was trying to get in our space, not to get the puck, but so we get a feel for being chased and for chasing. They feel so different. I don't mind getting into someones space, but I don't like them getting into mine. Neither did my first partner. She skated up to me and says "I hate this!" Me too!! It's a really good drill, turns out we could use that zig-zag skill too. If we had thought of it :) I know the coach has a plan, we just don't follow too good! Sorry Coach!

Sunday night we were all pretty trashed. Some of us had worked all day (me) some of us had drank to excess the night before (the rest of them!) so it was pretty low energy. We did a passing drill that was pretty fun, we got into a circle of four and passed as we skated around clock wise and then counter clock wise. It will be  a much better drill when everyone is at 80% instead of 40%. We played a short scrimmage at the end which makes me excited for our tournament next month! On my birthday weekend! :)

Finally, I wanted to say about that heron. There were two of them on this little pond. They were having their breakfast. I stood and watched them and photographed them for awhile. I was struck by their focus. I keep coming back to that word recently. Their only goal was to eat, and that is what they were working on. They took a few steps, stopped, grabbed their munchie ate it up and then moved on. I don't find I focus on one thing ever. Even now I have dinner cooking (burning, maybe?) as I keep an eye on the kids in the front yard swinging hard plastic guns around as I type. I might have been focused only on the birds for a short while today, I might have been focused solely on shopping later,  but I'm sure I had other things running through my brain. I don't know, it just struck me as I watched the birds that they were focused.


I'm trying to get motivated to do anything.
I got a little discouraged about running because some things fell apart at work and I can't get the time off guaranteed for the half marathon in Las Vegas.
I am a little discouraged about photography because my eyesight is failing. Duh, maybe I should wear my glasses when I go take photos?
I am a little discouraged about being in my forties because I have a little extra around the middle, my eyesight is failing, I can't seem to get enough sleep, or awake time or anything. Every time I work out I hurt for DAYS afterward and all that turns me pretty cranky.
I am a little discouraged at work because ... well some things just suck.

So, what's good?

Well, the weather makes the lighting beautiful.
We have tickets to a hockey game on Friday night.
Hockey is good.

(And then I type a whole bunch of stuff and then I somehow rubbed the mouse pad on my laptop and deleted it all.)

The end.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011


The highlight of my past week was a wine tour.

Friends of ours are members with Stemilt Creek Winery and invited us along to an open house on Saturday. The winery has two tasting rooms locally, one in downtown Wenatchee and one in Leavenworth. I was curious where the open house was going to be since the downtown location is pretty small and its Oktoberfest in Leavenworth so traffic and crowds of people would be a nightmare. Turns out it was at the owners house. What a beautiful property. Located south of town near an itty-bitty village called Malaga (as if Wenatchee is a huge city ....) their house is on a hill (Stemilt Hill) and looks over most of the entire valley. If it weren't for a small hill in the way you could see from Rock Island Dam to Rocky Reach Dam, it was a beautiful view.

The name Stemilt is pretty well known. The open house was at one of the owners' house so I was a little nervous about what to wear and what it would be like. Would it be a bunch of stuffy people or ...? I had a bit of a clothing crisis and after my third costume change I felt sort of ready.

We arrived at their house and were greeted by the owner Kyle. He's a big bear of a man, full of a kindness and a positive energy that is contagious. He greeted us at the door, in overalls (you know, blue denim overalls, like a farmer would wear? So much for my clothing crisis,) he welcomed us to his house, introduced himself, asked our names, shook our hands and then asked if he could give us all a hug. Seriously, this millionaire guy, in denim overalls, shaking my hand, asking if he could hug me. It was great! He told us there was a tour leaving in about 15 minutes, get signed up and he'd see us then.

What the heck, we signed up. And we are so glad we did!!! He and his right-hand man, Javier, took us around in two 15-passenger vans to see the grounds. We visited their cherry and apple orchards on the way to the vineyard. Javier was full of information about the acreage (17,000 - yes, thousand) the types of fruit they grow (several varieties of cherries and apples, pears and blueberries [which I did not know] and grapes) and their newest experiment, composting. That's quite an operation.

Once at the vineyard, we all got out and listened to Kyle talk about his grapes. The man is as passionate about his grapes as he probably is about his grand kids. He told us what they look for in color, the juice of the grape, how the seeds should look and taste like grape nuts, how they water them, why he chose the location he did for the vineyard and how they mark the rows each year so they know which ones need which kind of compost (the stuff they are making). It was amazing. We were able to sample some grapes fresh off the vine to taste, see and feel what he was talking about. Amazing.

We loaded back up, switched drivers and Kyle drove us to where they press and ferment the grapes. We all got out at the plant and listened to him tell us about the process of wine making, how the wines were named, and a little bit of the history of Stemilt. I'm local and I learned SO much from him. Even My Honey enjoyed listening to him. Our friends were into his spiel too. We loaded back up for the final trek back up the hill to his house where we ate a bit, wandered a bit and then headed home. We were on the tour for two hours! So worth it.

The thing that struck me about Kyle was his passion. He loves his farms. He loves farming and he loves to share what he knows with whomever will listen. He wasn't a boring teacher either, his zest for life is so real, his honesty about everything, the company's integrity, the stories about is family, how he came to be, so refreshing. He could be a snobby millionaire, but he's not, he's a guy that wears overalls to a wine tasting event and doesn't worry about what people will think. He is who he is. It's kind of like what I said about my Grandma's friend, he also has an inner strength of character, a confidence that he's alright, just as he is.

Everyone has something to teach us, don't they?
We just have to be open to it for the time we are allowed in their presence.
I'm thankful I had two hours in his presence.


Now, about hockey. I practiced on Friday morning and on Sunday night. Both practices were great. I am learning way more about what to do in a game this year than I did last year. The coaches are working a lot on drills, and then we have a few minutes at the end to scrimmage to practice what we've just been taught.

I'm really glad I don't work early on Monday mornings this year, it makes the Sunday night practices less stressful afterward for me. Getting home around 7:30, showering and trying to wind down so I could get to bed and get up at 2am was really hard. This year I don't have that stress. Unfortunately, I won't be able to make every Friday morning practice. I'm golden through October, but I will miss a most of them in November and December. Oh well, I am very thankful for what I can do!

I know there were some things that were really good about practice, but I was so stoked about that wine tour it pretty much occupied my brain until now. Maybe since I have it out now, the hockey stuff will come back?

Until then, I'm off for a massage and the rest of my last day off.