Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Hero

This is too cute for words, but N came to my rescue many times as I lay dying in the throes of illness, and I have to give him credit, he took action at a time when I would have been freaked out and unsure what to do. We were finishing our game in Rutland at a freezing cold ice rink and I was sick as a dog, only to come out into frigid conditions outside and then into an ice cold car. Feeling sick as I was compounded by the cold sent me into uncontrollable shivers in the car, and as I tried to warm up, N sprung into action, getting the heat going, directing the vents toward me, and covering me up to help keep me warm. I thanked him and things improved as the car warmed up, and once we were on the road I was fine.

Once we got home, however, we came into an ice cold house. Once again I was cold, and once again, N sprung into action, grabbing firewood and kindling and rolling the paper to help me get the fire going. Once it started, I laid down next to the stove and he brought me a pillow to rest my head. Now I realize that this might be a normal response by any thoughtful person, but somehow it's extra special when it's your own kid, don't you think?

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Team111Productions for the pic.

Skis For Me

Now that I'm on the hunt for skis for A (and N, for that matter), I have my eyes wide open wherever I go, looking for that bargain pair that is in good shape and more importantly, looks cool. We're talking teens and pre-teens here. Either way, I realize that to get her a decent pair of skis, I may have to spend a little more money than I intended, which is reasonable. Skis are so expensive these days, but we don't need high tech/high performance gear. It really just has to work properly and look cool, and not in that order.

For now I've got time, so I've been visiting the Listen Center pretty regularly and am struck by the quantity of skis they get. Ski equipment is a crazy thing because it's expensive but people seem to unload their skis for next to nothing, or even donate them. I would say about 90% of the skis at Listen are complete junk and not even worth your time, with about 9% being of decent quality and useable. Every now and then, you can find a gem hidden in the pile. I've found decent snowboards this way.

I was over there the other day and found a nice pair of skis that might have passed the A test for coolness for $10. They had clean edges (no rust) and no divots on the bottom, and looked in good shape. Plus, unlike a lot of their skis, they looked like they'd been made in the 21st century, maybe even around 2010. Of course I bought them. You don't have time to ponder purchasing decisions at the Listen Center, because at those prices, anything half-way decent will be gone within the hour, so I had to act impulsively.

Well, I got them home only to realize that they were a bit too big for her. This was a definite bummer, but then I decided that I could use them. I like my current pair of skis but they are old junkers. They are old but not ancient, meaning that they are shaped and not straight-edged. I see people out there with straight edge skis, which is totally old school, so at least I'm a bit more evolved than that. I bought a pair of newer skis at a yard sale for, you guessed it, $10 and was excited to have fancier/newer skis, but somehow I didn't like the feel of them. I'm not well-versed in how different types of skis perform and I realize there is a lot of thought and technology that goes into them, but it's all Greek to me. For whatever it's worth, I did feel a difference riding these newer skis, and decided that I didn't like them.

Now I've got a new pair and I'm sort of excited to try them out. If I end up not liking these, I think my days of buying skis are over, at least for myself. I may have to turn to ski swaps and end season sales to get A's skis.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Inka for the pic.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cold February

R just told me that this year is the first in recorded history where the temperatures during the month of February never broke 32 degrees. Apparently we've reached that temp, but have never surpassed it. I believe it, it's been brutally frigid, more so than I can remember, and the cold days are unrelenting. It won't be long before polar bears start migrating down here. It doesn't help that we've all been so sick, but thankfully we have plenty of wood and we've received boatloads of snow. Then again, the snow is a double edged sword, because we love to ski and play in it, but it sure makes for extra work around the house. You just can't please everyone, can you?

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Marlis1 for the pic.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Putting on the Miles

The past two weekends have been a marathon and a real test of parental stamina and mettle. Last weekend we had hockey for three consecutive days in Manchester, which is about 1.5 hours away in good weather and we had blizzard conditions all three days, and then this weekend we drove back and forth to Rutland. A was off the first weekend but was in Highgate this weekend, so R took her up there. You can't commute to Highgate, it's about 2.5 hours, so they got a hotel, but N and drove back and forth for most of the days. What a bear of a drive.

We decided to commute to save some dough and because the games were not horribly early, making driving in reasonable. N's games started Friday, and as I mentioned, the weather was brutal, snowing Friday and all day Saturday. The road conditions were precarious, and we had places to be. Sunday was the only day I think it didn't snow, though the roads were still squirrelly. This past weekend we made a couple of trip to Rutland, which about and hour away, and we stayed one night, but it's still a bit of a trek, and again, the one night we had to drive home, it snowed about 6 inches. We literally crawled through the Killington Pass. Sunday was actually nice, though cold. What's with all the cold weather?

Oh well, we made it through. Mom and A came home and it's nice to have everyone together again. Plus, there's light at the end of the tunnel, hockey is winding down and I think at some point the weather may warm up. At least that's how it's been in the past.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Tony Wasserman for the pic.

Brutal Weekend

We sure had a brutal weekend this past weekend, and it may take weeks for me to recover. The State Tournament has started and the kids were in two different places at the same time, it's just that the two different places were in opposite corners of the state. A had to head up to Highgate which is about 5 miles south of the Canadian border, while N was down in Rutland. Talk about inconvenient, it doesn't get any worse than that. We had to divide and conquer, with R going with A, and myself going with N. It was yet another weekend of driving all over, but you do what you have to do, right?

To aggravate things, we are all sick, some of us more than others. N got it first early last week, and there was some concern that he would even play but he rebounded quickly and by Friday he was good to go. Then A got sick and she actually missed the opening of the tournament on Friday because she had a fever, so mom took her up on Saturday for the next game. Then came me, who got sick on Friday as well, and then it seemed to spiral into this pretty serious flu-like condition. I don't know what it is, but I still have it, and it sure is a bummer. To compound the suffering, I get these massive chills and have to spend hours in these freezing cold ice rinks, only to emerge into this arctic vortex that we seem to be immersed in. It's been pretty miserable, and on at least one night we got this massive snowstorm that made driving home through the Killington Pass precarious, where we averaged about 35 mph. Then we came home to cold house where we had to get the fire going before we could warm up, then wake up early the next day and do it all over again.

We actually spent the first night in Rutland at a B&B, which mom found for us and it worked out nicely (she didn't want us staying in a roach motel). We had a 7:00AM game, which is a brutal time slot, and figured staying nearby would give us a couple hours extra of sleep.The place was actually nice, and they were very accommodating and let us hang out after check out because we had a long gap between games, which is very helpful. The other families stayed in some of the nearby budget hotels and they all complained that they were not only dumps, but the proprietors were very unfriendly. I think mom was looking out for us.

On Sunday we had a morning game, and then one in the afternoon so people had to kill several hours. I asked our friend MH, who lives (sort of) nearby, if she was going home, and if so, if N could go with and her son, who is N's buddy. That was her plan so they took off and I just hung out and killed time. We then had an afternoon game, which for the record was amazing because we won and advanced to the championship, and by evening it was time to go home.

Now we're back in the swing of things, sort of tired of hockey and in need of a rest. I'm still sick, I skipped practice last night, though I'm feeling a little better today so I think I'll have to report for duty. When will this all end?

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Marcelo Ruiz for the pic.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Final Ski Day in NH

We had our last homeschool ski day at Mt. Sunapee, and I have to say, what a great experience that was. Not only was it a bargain, but we got to try a new and hill and connect with some of our homeschool brethren. Also, I was able to get a lot of free skiing in by being a chaperone, and the kids learn to snowboard. How cool is that? Actually being a chaperone is not the most thrilling job, and a lot of times I ended up accompanying some of the younger kids on the easier hills, but that's fine because they're nice kids and it's good for them to have the experience. Also, A&N are good enough to where they can head off on their own, they don't need me anymore (boo-hoo!). Plus, there are bunch of other kids out there.

I am sad to see it all end, though it did complicate our lives considerably having skiing all day in NH and then to hockey in the afternoon/evening, not to mention having lunch and dinner prepared. It's a constant juggling act, though I would do it again in a heartbeat. From here on in we'll focus on skiing locally, I just have to find the deals.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to efilpera for the pic.

Party Weekend

A couple of weekends back we had, like pretty much all of our weekends, a wild and crazy time. This weekend in particular, however, was extra fun because it was the night of the Tiki Torch Trek, which is a great event that everyone loves. With all the snow that we've received, the conditions were perfect, and we were all looking forward to it.

As usual I assumed more responsibility than I should have by not only agreeing to bake cookies and cornbread for the event, while also making a quinoa salad for N's team party, which was taking place after his game. Talk about crazy. This is how the day unfolded. I woke up early Saturday morning and baked the cookie bars and cornbread (hurt myself by waiting until the zero hour), while also making the salad. I wanted to drop the baked goods off at the event site that AM but it was too early and nobody was there, so I had to come up with an alternate plan, so instead N and I headed off to the game while R&A slept in and prepared to go to their comic workshop.

N's game was fine, they won, and I arranged for N to go to the party with GG while TM took the quinoa salad. I then headed off into the big city to do poster boy work. I finished in a timely manner and headed over to the party, which was beginning to wind down. The kids were off having a good time while the parents sat around and talked about the sort of things parents talk about, mostly hockey as you might expect. It's a beautiful house, and so nice of them to host.

At some point it was time to head out, so I rounded up N and we went back home, but not before I engorged myself on all the leftovers. I really chowed down, which worked out beautifully because they ran out of food at the Tiki Torch. We had some time so N and I dropped the baked goods at the Tiki Torch site and then took advantage of some much needed down time. About an hour later, R and A returned home and we set about getting ready for the Trek. The kids' buddies stopped by and A&N took off to hang out with them, which is really cool because they can just take off and have fun, allowing tired old mom and dad to take their time.

The crowds at the Tiki Torch were enormous, and it was a big success. Good for them, I'm glad it worked out, even though I missed out on the food. As I mentioned, the conditions couldn't have been better, though the kids ditched their skis to frolic in the snow with their friends. A got to reconnect with AH, her long lost buddy, and that was nice, while N hung out with the babes. There were 4-5 lovely young ladies that he hung out with, and they had a blast. By the end of the night he looked like Frosty the Snowman because he was literally covered in ice and snow.

By about 9:00, it was time to go home. I will say this, I was not only exhausted, but at some point I was bored out of my mind. I didn't know anybody, they were all new faces, and with the kids off and running with friends and R doing a lengthy night ski, I was all by my lonesome. It reminded me of being at a party in college, except back then I would keep drinking to ease the boredom. Sure, I saw some friends, but they were with family and did their thing. I sat by the fire and waited for R to show up, which she did, and then it was fine. Maybe I was just tired after a long day, which always affects my disposition. It was, after all a great night with stellar conditions.

As the event wound down, we all walked along the trials to our house, which was really nice. You really have to love living here, it's such a cool and magical place. We got home, the kids jumped straight into bed because, you guessed it, they had hockey games the next day. Everyone had fun, even if I was a little bored at times, and we slept like rocks. That is, of course, until the next day, when we were off and running again.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Shannon Cayze for the pic.