Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in review

- January, 
I'm inserting links to past posts that I'm highlighting. Just click on the sections with parentheses - in green, and it will take you to a more lengthy version of my tale.
I was out on a run in the Fairhaven district of Bellingham and lost my balance and fell down (post about my fall)(pics of me after fall) - the first of the episodes with my body of the year. This has been quite the up and down year for me.
- March, my husband and I trained on the Chuckanut 50K course while the race was being held. Very exciting! (50K post).
- April had several highlights for me,
My husband and I ran the Whidbey Island half marathon. (Wild and windy day).
I started hiking with the Senior Trailblazers and met a fellow blogger (My day with the Senior Trailblazers).
- June, another bump in the road. Tore my Gastroc muscle, thought it would take a little time to recover, but had no idea it would be 6 months. I'm just now getting back to walking long distances and I thankfully I have been able to bike quite a bit. (Tweaked my calf), (Calf still sore).
- July & August, good time in Arizona
- September, a first for me. I'd never kayaked solo down a river before, but now I can say Yes, I have! (Kayaking down the Nooksack river).
- Vacations! Oregon/California, Trip to the Southwest. (The great escape), (Southwest trip part 1), (Southwest trip part 2).
- Our vegetable garden/berries & fruit trees were so great this year. I made jam, froze vegetables, made fruit leather, dried fruit and even juiced our fruit and veggies together and froze them. (Rhubarb), (Berries), (Our vegetable garden), (Our pickings), (Juice).
- November, I had my Gall Bladder out. It had been bothering me a while and my doctor finally decided enough was enough and it needed to be taken out. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. While I was recovering from the surgery it allowed my leg to get a bit more rest and it has greatly improved. Still wearing my calf sleeve to keep it extra warm while I exercise.
- December, Time for me and it would seem everyone else that I know to get a really bad cold just in time for the holidays. We all met together for Christmas anyway and had a wonderful time.
So not such a bad year as you can see, just seemed that it was full of ups and downs throughout!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Quotes that have left their mark on me.

(click to enlarge)
At one time this was my blog header, and the intent of my blog. I love to read quotes from people that have "lived life" and have a unique perspective on it. Here are just some of the many quotes that have touched me and I hope have made a difference in how I think and live my life on this earth.

My own! :
About the search for the meaning of life: it is not found by pondering endlessly about why we were born and wondering what our purpose is. It is rather found in our connection with others and this earth. Sharing joy & pain with others - loving and being kind to others, being in the great outdoors, breathing fresh air & working with the soil. It is found by taking the time to savor the feeling of happy times and looking at the beautiful world around us & being thankful that we get this opportunity to "FEEL" & "BE ALIVE".

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow." ~ Mary Anne Radmacher

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." Henry David Thoreau

"Far better it is to Dare mighty things, to win Glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

“Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.” Hafiz

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift” Steve Prefontaine

“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience” Paulo Coelho

“My philosophy on running is, I don’t dwell on it, I do it” Joan Samuelson

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies within us while we live.”
 Norman Cousins

“Ways to tame butterflies: If I’m nervous, it means I had to work hard to get there….So I try to stop and be proud of getting to live in that moment” Maria Sharapova

“Believe that you can run farther and faster. Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on  to accomplish everything you want to do. Don’t let worn out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself” John Bingham, “Tools and Rules”, Runners world

“It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living. “ Eckhart Tolle

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.” –Eduard Christoff Philippe Gèrard Renaldi in “The Princess Diaries” (2001).

“For every runner who tours the world running marathons, there are thousands who run to hear the leaves and listen to the rain, and look to the day when it is suddenly as easy as a bird in flight.”
George Sheehan

“Whatever you may be missing right now - a person, a place, a feeling, maybe you are injured and missing running - whatever it is, have peace and take heart - remember that any goodbye makes room for a hello.”  Kristin Armstrong, Author and runner

“The truly great tragedy is the destruction of our human resources by our failure to fully utilize our abilities, which means that most men and women go to their graves with their music still in them.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

“The people that love us the most are the first ones to say can't. What they don't know.....can is always a possibility. There is comfort in the safe zone, but there is freedom outside the box.” Author?

“Being willing is not enough; we must do.”  Leonardo da Vinci

“The marathon lifestyle promotes doing rather than adopting the marathon lifestyle you can confront your own lions, be your own hero, fight your own battles, challenge yourself. “
Richard Benyo - Making the Marathon Your Event

“I don't think you can become an outstanding runner unless you get a certain amount of enjoyment out of the suffering. You have to enjoy absorbing it, controlling it and—ultimately—overcoming it. “
Derek Clayton in The Masters of the Marathon

“Those who succeed say what they "want" to happen. Those who fail say what they "feel" will happen. “ Author ?

“The more you frame your long run as a stressful experience, the more negative messages you'll receive. But it's just as easy to frame it as a positively challenging journey. “ Author ?

“Cut the anchor loose: The only way to grow is to move forward, we can't do that with an anchor around our mind, heart and soul. “ from Sharon Woerz’ blog Quirkeries

“It takes faith and the courage to risk failure in order to realize one's destiny. Having had my share of failures throughout my career I know that it is well worth the risk.”
- Ryan Hall, American long distance runner and winner of the 2008 United States Olympic

“In the midst of regular life, running is the touchstone that breathes adventure into my soul. I can feel the trail under my feet, the press of the hill, the gallop of the track, the burn of my lungs, the stir of wonder and possibility. Running reminds me that there is more to me than what is readily apparent much of the time. I don't always need to see it, but oh how I need to know it's there. Like having an alter ego, or a super-cool super-hero identity. “
Kristin Armstrong, Author and runner

“Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired. When you were younger the mind could make you dance all night, and the body was never tired...You've always got to make the mind take over and keep going.”
George S. Patton

"Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death." ~ Anais Nin 1903-1977

“When I don't move my own life along, when I allow others to make choices for me, I stagnate. Inaction is still a don't gripe about the outcome.” Author ?

"Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind." ~ Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519

“The music of a marathon is a powerful strain, one of those tunes of glory. It asks us to forsake pleasures, to discipline the body, to find courage, to renew faith and to become one's own person, utterly and completely. “ George Sheehan

“People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said ~ but they will always remember how you made them feel.”  Author ?

"In Germany, they first came for the gypsies, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a gypsy. Then they came for the Bolsheviks, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Bolshevik. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics. I didn't speak up then because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak up." - Martin Niemoller, A Lutheran Pastor arrested by the Gestapo in 1937

"When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that is in itself a choice."  William James

Friday, November 4, 2011

Trip to Flag part 2 - Travel journal

On my last post I decided to just let the pictures speak for themselves, now I'll share the trip in words (and a few more pictures!) To see the pictures that go with this post click on this link -

Left our house on Oct. 11, 2011 * I found out before we left for vacation that I needed to have my Gall Bladder removed, it has been bothering me since April. I told my Dr. we needed to schedule it for after our vacation as we had been planning on going for quite some time. So with pain meds and diet instructions in hand (vegan with no nuts or beans & to drink vegan protein power with juice everyday) we took off. I only had a few flair ups where I needed to take the meds so it worked out O.K.
We headed down I-5 to I-90 over Snoqualmie pass and after entering Oregon we headed south on Hwy 395. One of my favorite areas in Oregon is the Scenic Battle Mountain Corridor. It is high elevation rolling hills with pine tree forests here and there. It is also an historic Indian battle area.

We saw wild turkeys and many deer along the way. After being on this beautiful stretch we switched to Hwy 78. We went on a really long boring stretch of road. I told my husband "I think we're in Nevada, it looks like Nevada even though we're really still in Oregon" To which he replied "No we're just in the United States. There's just no line across that puts us in another state", He had another great quote on this trip "When it gets cold it gets really cold". We saw a herd of cows on the road with 2 people on horseback with 2 herding dogs trying to keep them to the shoulder. There was a lot of cow pies on the road, quite the site. We saw their horse trailer about 4 miles down the road, they had come a long ways. On to Hwy 95 and entered Nevada. Then headed south on Hwy 278. We stopped to rest a bit and walked along a dirt road. Dick was so happy there were pinyon pine nuts all over the ground. He must have spent a 1/2 hour getting his treasures.

Next we went on the "Loneliest road" Hwy 50 then to Hwy 93. We saw a huge herd of pronghorn sheep. Next to Hwy 319 to Cedar City "Welcome to Utah: Live elevated", headed south on to Hwy 15. So far our Chevy Venture was getting 31 mpg. Yay! We drove through Zion, stopped to site see a bit and saw 7 mountain sheep. On to Hwy 89 towards Kanab then entered Arizona. We decided to go to Hwy 67 and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon since we'd never been there before. It's a long 45 miles - one way to the lodge, through high elevation prairies. Thought we'd see more animals along the way, but we only saw one coyote. The North Rim is much more rustic and not as commercialized as the South Rim, with a narrow view of the canyon. There is no paved road along the rim like there is along the South Rim. I found it very interesting to see where the Kaibab trail came up on the North Rim side, as this is where rim to rim to rim hikers/runners come up to before heading back to the South Rim.

This photo shows the kiosk situated to show where the trail is to the South Rim.
After leaving the North rim we went up and over a windy little pass that had a viewpoint for the Vermilion cliffs. Beautiful!

On to Hwy 89. After 4 days of travelling we finally arrived at Flagstaff.  Here are a few of the things we did while we were there.
- bicycled on a single track trail (my first time)
- went to Priest draw
- biked the South rim of the Grand Canyon, about 22 miles from Mather point visitor center to Hermit's rest and back.
- found a great build your own salad and soup shop "Mix Flagstaff" that allowed me to eat my specialized diet!
- stayed overnight at the South Rim in Yovapai lodge. There were Elk walking around the lodge parking lot and they bugled at night. Very cool!
- went to Sedona, I walked up a little hill called Observation Point. It's supposed to be a Vortex site.
- rented 2 double sit on top kayaks and kayak'd about 5 hours at Blue Ridge Reservoir. The rock area where we had lunch had bowl like areas in them where the indians had ground their corn.

- drove up to Mt. Humphreys to look at the Aspens that had turned a brilliant yellow.

Then we did our quick dash home in 30 hours. We drove Hwys 40, 93, 95, 50, We saw wild Burros just north of Goldfield, Nevada. Then just north of Susanville we had a deer run right out in front of us. I was so thankful we had our brakes checked and repaired before our trip. We really needed them, and I was also glad no one was driving behind us. Close call, our adrenaline rush of the day. Then on to Hwy 97 north to Biggs, Oregon. In to Washington over Snoqualmie pass and 405 and our last stretch on I-5. Home on the 26th of October after driving 3,782 miles.

* My Gall Bladder surgery was yesterday Nov. 3. They did a laparoscopy, so my recovery will be pretty quick. Yay! I'm a little sore today but not bad as you can tell I'm typing my blog post the day after. They found out that the reason my Gall Bladder had been bothering me was because it was folded in half. Probably since birth and it finally caught up with me at 57 years of age. How bizarre is that.

- calf report - still doing rehab and progressing nicely. I only had one day where it bothered me. I have a feeling it was because we did so many things day after day. It was a nice test for it I guess.

Monday, October 31, 2011

To Flagstaff & home again - 3,782 total miles driven!

Winding our way through Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah and finally Arizona.
(I'll let the pictures speak for them selves, just click on each one to enlarge)
First stop -  ZION!

 The North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Climbing at Priest Draw - Flagstaff, Arizona

Biking at the South Rim Grand Canyon

 South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Kayaking at Blue Ridge Reservoir

of course Sedona

Aspen on Mt. Humphrey's

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's all juice!

Since our garden is coming to the end of it's harvest, I decided to turn everthing to juice & freeze it!
Yep, it's all there, and yummy too!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Two kayaks down the Nooksack river

What a great day to go down the river!
I am now the proud owner of a Perception Sport Swiftwater 10.5 kayak. The Tsunami 145 is just too heavy for me, I can't even lift it off the ground by myself. It weighs 59 lbs. My husband bought a used kayak thinking it would work for him, but the cockpit just is too tight and not comfortable and is too tippy for his liking. So we went kayak shopping. There are some great end of season sales going on right now. We decided he would use the Tsunami which is sized just right for him and very stable, and the Perception for me. It only weighs 44 lbs. I can not only pick it up, but I can carry it to the van and it completely fits in the van. Now I am not dependent on his brute strength if I want to have a kayak day.
We decided it would be fun to kayak down the Nooksack river from the Meridian bridge to Ferndale. 

It was a beautiful summer day. The river on that stretch is very wide and slow with only a few areas that we needed to think about our route. Mostly because of logs in the water and shallow areas. There were a lot of fishermen on the shore and in boats, since the salmon are running. I found out that they think of kayakers as a hindrance in the way of them getting to their fishing hole. I had the mistaken belief that kayaks would be viewed as vessels to be cautious around, but no....they didn't slow down when they went by. They caused some pretty good waves with their wake. I got pretty good at just turning perpendicular to the river when I saw a boat coming, so I could take the waves head on and not tip over. I was a little nervous this morning when we left as I have never kayaked in a river before. I was so thankful that for my first time it was such a good experience.
the view from my kayak
Kayaking has been a good change of pace for me, besides how fun it is, it is a great workout for my arms.

*Calf update: It's seems to be fine just walking with no negative effects. I had been trying to add some running and hiking into my walking and bicycle workouts, but I seem to keep tweaking my calf, so I finally went to the Dr. He said I did tear my calf muscle in June and that it is healing slowly but that I should have physical therapy to see if they can't get me running/hiking again. So Wednesday I go in for my first visit to see what they can do. Mental note to self - should've gone to the Dr. in June. Crossing my fingers...........

Sunday, August 21, 2011

You're a better man than me.....

Why are some people on this earth content to go about their lives in a safe, scheduled and routine existence while others have the desire to test themselves - to go farther, faster, higher. To dream the incredible dream?
I am inspired and in awe of these people. Without them we wouldn't have gone to the moon, we'd still have polio, we'd all still be in England or overpopulating the east coast because we were too afraid to hop in a wagon train.
This weekend I followed the dream of some people as they (through the internet) ran the Leadville 100 trail run. The Leadville website had a live tracking link that gave the chip times through each aid station. Every so often during the day I clicked on it to see where they were. I followed along on a map and elevation chart I'd printed off of the website. They began this incredible journey in the Colorado mountains at 4:04 AM MDT on Saturday.
What an epic day - they soared on a dream and wings I only wish I could have. 

The attrition rate for this years Leadville 100  is incredible. Out of 790 starters only 351 finished. Over half dropped out.

When I got up today I read in the newspaper of a Kirkland, Wa. man who biked from the Bellingham waterfront to heather meadows (103 miles), summited Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan (hiked 23 miles) in one push 33 hrs. and 29 min.'s. Here's the link if you want to read more about it:

When I read about these people who are driven by dreams and goals that are epic why am I so drawn to believe I have that same spirit and ability in me? I wonder where my dreams will take me?!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Such a nice day for a hike!

Thought I'd test my leg on a short local hike, just to see how it's doing. I picked the Stimpson family nature reserve trail, because of it's length and it is a fairly up and down hike. Armed with my trekking poles and my neoprene calf sleeve. I took off - as the sign says it is a 2.8 mile loop.
(just click on the photos to enlarge them)

I know the "Trailblazers" Click here to see Djan's blog on their latest hike, are enjoying their high ridge views now on their hikes, but the forest views were like heaven to my eyes. I've sure missed walking through the forest on a hike.

In the picture below is a view of one of the "ups". The corner is at the upper left of the picture. As you can see it's not a particularly steep hill, but enough of an incline to test my calf

Yay for me, I made it around the loop in 1 1/2 hours and my calf still feels O.K..
Sure felt good to be hiking again!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Today's vegetable pickings - our own farmers market!

     Beets, rainbow carrots, green beans and still a few radishes. Our summer is finally here. It's so nice to go out in the warm sun and pick our vegetables.
     The Abbotsford, B. C. air show airplanes are practicing their air show maneuvers above our house, even though it's not till next weekend. I wish I could get a photo of them. They sure are fun to watch.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Beautiful Mt. Baker day!

Thought we'd drive up to Baker on a gloriously sunny day (how could we stay home and do yard and house work) and see how much more of the snow has melted since my Mt. Baker snow post from earlier this month. 
Click on the link to see the post and pictures from that day:

Such a nice day we decided to take the convertible - just click on the pictures to enlarge them

Compare the next 2 pictures and see the difference, same view taken 3 weeks apart.

July 10, 2011
July 30, 2011
Lunch break at the first parking lot at the end of the road

after lunch we walked the mile up to the next parking lot

Mt. Shuksan

this is what the next parking lot looks like. It's not plowed yet so they haven't opened the road to it.

someone's little friend
and of course we had to stop at Graham's for ice cream in Glacier.
Dick's pick: Chocolate chip cookie dough, my pick: Rainbow sherbert. Yum!

* A happy side note: I decided to try jogging 1 mile when we got home. I jogged most of the mile. I didn't have to walk as much as I thought I would. Hurray my calf is healing!