Mar 7, 2009

Thursday and Friday

Family Thursday
For the past 3 to 4 weeks we have been waiting for snow.
A snow storm to be precise.
Each week when we head to the ski area
we hope for a fresh layer of silky crystals for our skis to dance over.
This week the weather looked promising.
Low clouds wrapped themselves around our mountains
and didn't let go for days.
Thursday morning we loaded up the truck

Precipitation at last! - our guesses
B - 5"
Princess - 3"
Prince - 74" (but with his hands shows 2')
Soft Rock Mama - 7.5"
Snow was the hot topic of conversation.
Until the stop for fresh warm doughnuts.
Then, which frosting was the best, took over.
We can be easily distracted.

The mountains surprised us.
They held 11" of perfect powder.
Which meant Prince was up to his knees.
He didn't seem to mind.

Neither did she.
Both kids are catching the untracked powder bug.
That makes us parents proud
and very happy.

Last year, this would never have happened.
Now our girl is ripping through the terrain park
going off jumps and sliding down rails.
This mama is proud, proud, proud!
Daddy too.
Check this out

Coming off the rail slide

Carving it up on her way down to...

...the next jump.

B looks on with pride.

All the way up, every time, the boy talks about jumping from the chair.
When it would be best -
How it would be best -
The amount of snow needed.
We explain that it will NEVER be a
good time or good place to jump from the lift.
He still tries to convince us that if there was enough fresh snow,
as in 20 feet or more,
he could do it. And we wouldn't need to worry,
he would be safe and not get hurt.
Lord help us.
{Notice the impromptu retaining device. Smart man that B.}

We took a detour through the trees.

Looking up

Untouched lines.

My boy and my man

Fixing gloves

For a few runs Prince needed one of my poles
(it made things awkward for me, I felt lop sided. As if, all the sudden I didn't have a clue what to do with my left hand. Should it just hang there, pretend to hold and imaginary pole, flop around, pick my nose.
So I requested it back.)
Our day was perfect. We all skied together all day long, not even minding that we were not skiing the other side of the mountain.
B and I were hatching a plan.
It was all started by this.
A text from my sister in-law -----
Sister In Law: Hey soft rock are you going skiing on friday? and do u have an available ticket?? Jon-zen :-)
Soft Rock Mama: Yep & yep! It is dumping up here this morn. They have got 4 more inches since 7am! Call u later
SIL: Sweet!
[A couple of hours pass, B and I come up with a brilliant plan - texts start flying]
SRM: we are kid free 2morrow! Any chance both u & my brother can ski? It is going to be sick
SIL: I do know hed give his left nut in order to go-we'll see what he can wrangle-yippee!
[side note - said seester and brother have 5 kiddos to pawn off, I mean arrange care for]
SRM: I spit beer out my nose, all over myself. Funny girl. Chat later.
SIL: Gales keepin kidlets! (and by no means does she want scotts nut-so he's in the clear) lets talk am meeting.
SRM: Freaking fantastic - lets meet 7:30
SIL: Yes indeed!
SRM: Filled the growler! We have at least 2 new inches here at the house. Ski area must be getting pounded. C u in the morn.
SIL: Sweet-ass buckets-o-pow with barley juice flowin-yes! C u in the am-luv to my sista!
That led us to...
Adult Friday

and 6 new inches
Clouds hung low all day.
Skiing off the top with limited visibility made you
very aware of trees and your speed.

Snow piled up on the trees
The winds never came!

The sun came out for about 4 minutes
providing great light for a few pictures

This one is my favorite

We skied hard all day long.
We all thought it was by far our best day of the season.
J, my SIL, thought it was her best day of skiing EVER!
We ended the day with pitchers of beer around the fire.
Swapping stories with other smiling skiers.
The lodge was buzzing with tales of freshies,
smiles were worn by all.

We headed home to our kids
With a quick stop on the way for sunsets and

He just barely escaped.
- Small arms around my neck, with strength to choke. Sticky fingers that he swears taste like chocolate and an invitation to sample them.
- A day of powder skiing with B. And my brother and sil.
- Grandparents help on short notice
- Sleeping in while kids play together in the living room. PBS cartoons.
- Egg in a baskets that quickly satisfy starving boys.
- Our family.

Mar 3, 2009

Etiquette and Muscles

Last night I schooled myself in proper netiquette. And found out I'm failing on almost every subject.
I had wondered what was the proper way to respond to comments, do I respond on their blog, via email, in my comment box, telepathically, handwritten notes with flowers and warm cookies? I wasn't sure.
But now I know.
Please forgive my poor blog etiquette.
I'm still learning.

Speaking of learning - Yesterday afternoon we loaded the family up in the truck and headed to the big town. Kids and B wanted to ice skate. I had errands that needed tending to. I asked B load up my (actually his) bike and thought I would ride to all my stops.
I discovered a winter without bike riding means my legs were screaming a mere 6 minutes into my ride. My lesson learned, muscles used for skiing are NOT the same muscles used in bike riding. Crap.

Thankfully we have several weeks left to play on these before bike season is upon us. Aren't these flakes HUGE?

The way the crystals were layered was amazing.

I have never seen anything like it.

Mar 1, 2009

Saturday Adventures

Saturday morning was sunny and the sky was the brightest of blues.
After spending the last two days on the ski slope
with the family and 11" of fresh light, crystal filled powder
a change of pace was in order.
B and the Princess stayed at home.
Work needed to be done at the shop.
Movies had to be watched.
Bonds must always be strengthened.
Today was their day together.
That left the Prince and I.
We headed out to our neighbouring town
98 miles away.
I promised adventures and cheese burgers.
Take a look at how we spent our Saturday...
We headed down the highway - the mountains are our destination. But not these mountains

The Prince was busy snapping pictures from his back seat as we drove. I have shown you this peak before. It always empresses, even at 65mph through a very dirty tinted window.

We made it to the hanging valley that is beautifully untouched

Every where you look you are surrounded by mountains, valley fields, and snow.

We arrived at our destination.
An annual event that brings out people and horses from communities all around.
Last year it was -20 degrees. Today it was a balmy 18 degrees.

Are you getting a sense of what is coming? Look at what is leaning against the fence. (That is my teacher in the purple and green...hint hint)

Corral sections and skis.
Perfection, nearly.
Are you ready to see how they go together?
If you ever get the chance, you should try and take in some of this action.
It is fun, fast and very entertaining.
And, according to many
a great reason for drinking bud-light
at 10:30 in the morning.

You should here the sound of the horses hooves of the road, it is wonderful.
Yes sir-ree, it is just one of the roads in town shut down so gates and jumps can be placed on the 900 foot long course.

With a lead rope attached to the horn of a saddle, the cowboy encouraging his animal beneath him to gallop at full speed they are off and flying down the course.
This guy is sporting a grayish beard,
so it is not "just the young and stupid" as a fur clad, perfume laden, obviously from out of state lady,
stupidly said -
standing not far from me.
I wanted her to go back to her place wherever that was.
And take her friends with her.
She was very annoying.

Prince played on piled snow and frozen straw bales.
We both wished I had remembered his sunglasses.

Mo getting ready for the record run. She won last year and holds the fastest time record.
She is a rad woman.

I couldn't get enough of the cowboy/horse/skier mix.
Love it.

Fastening the helmet
Bringing in the speed factor

They are off...

Nearly all the folks went to one of the two places to get lunch. Those ladies ran for an hour straight. Burgers and beers were the popular choice. This made Prince very happy. One of his favorites is a cheese burger with tomatoes. That is what he ate, in about 37 seconds. He wanted to get back and watch more. I need a bit more time to chew and taste my burger. And drink my beer.

This is main street.
What? your streets have cars and not horses?
Oh, and they have stop lights?
Well, not here.
We have horses more than cars, and people crossing dictates if and when a car would need to stop. If you look hard above the woman on the right, on a pole we have a speaker that in the summer plays country music.
All the time.
That is one of my first memories of being in this place as young kid,
the country music over the speaker on main street.
the smell of the leather in the saddle shop.
I digress.

Back to this.

I love the rope flying around in this shot.
Go, Mo, go!

and this one too.

Prince ran and played in between races.

I wish this happened more than once a year.
But ranches need tending and cows are getting ready to birth their young.
Water is still freezing within hours of last chopping an access hole.
Feeding takes hours.
If new snow has fallen in great amounts or wind has blown the snow into substance greatly resembling concrete. Cattle trails need to be plowed to water and food sources.
Life in the country is demanding that way.
Little time for play. But when they do, they do it right.

Tonight after horses are curried, fed and watered, a community dance will be held. And the pot-luck, I can't forget the pot-luck.
Beef will be well represented.
As will potatoes, rolls, and ice-burg lettuce.
Deserts will be in sheet pans or jell-o molds.
Coffee will be thick and strong.
Real cream and real sugar will be offered.
Laughs and handshakes will be shared.
Good times.

Prince and I voted this cowboy 'Best Chaps'.
Sheep skin chaps that nearly matched his horse.
They weren't giving style points,
but I did. He won.

These are not your stall and pen horses.
These are daily working ranch and farm horses.
They wanted to win, you could see it in their eyes
and hear it in the echo of their hooves.
Pure raw power and beauty.

Trucks, horses, campers, snow and wall-tents.
A perfect way to end our day.
We headed home.
Faces pink from hours of high elevation sun, minus sun block.
Smiles on our faces and conversation that freely flowed between mama and son.
We had one more quick stop.
One more brief adventure.
I wanted to see the place we retreat when summer heat lays itself on thick.
To the lake.
To appreciate the contrast of seasons.
To pee.
It was worth the detour. Beautiful.

Home and the other half of our family were waiting.
We headed towards them.
- One on one time with my children
- Adventures and showing and experiencing new things with the kids.
- Frozen lakes at days end. Summer memories of the lake
- A clean bathroom. For a young boy who is getting better at aiming or paying attention. I'm not sure which. I'll take either, preferably both.
- Lazy Sundays