Summit

I am in worse shape than I thought I was. I am cold, I am tired, and I am sore as fuck. Excuse the foul language but I have to wonder what the hell I was thinking. I feel as if I had a temporary lapse in my sanity! I met Gary, Rafi, and Lori at the trail head at 0400. I was the only one in this group that had climbed Saint Helen before she blew her top. The others had all climbed her last summer. The others were ages  28,  32, and 40. I manged to hold my own but my thighs and rear end were burning all the way up and on the way down it was a crazy crazy ride as we voted to do some Glissading on the way down. More on that later. 

We stared the  2-3 mile uphill climb in the dark.  It was chilly but no wind or snow was falling.   After the 2-3 mile climb there was a break in the woods and we were out of the treeline. Now it was windy!   From there, it’s rough and rugged steep  2000- 2,500 vertical foot climb over several miles of snow , rocks, boulders.  It was impossible to avoid being on all fours in some spots . It was slick and icy. The final stretch was a steep 1,000-foot climb on icy snow. My thighs and ass were burning in pain. 

Once at the top we had some lunch, I twirled in the sunlight and the boys danced and Lori  laughed at us all while snapping photos.  With the tiny amount of power I had left on my phone I  got a few photos. I think the  cold drained my battery much faster than normal?  As I stood and took in the beauty of the Cornices  (over hanging snow) at the crater rim I blew a kiss and asked the universe to deliver it to someone special. That would have been around  0930.

As I mentioned earlier we voted to slide back down the mountain, I would love to see drone footage of this part of the trip. The technical word for sliding down a mountain is Glissading. When I was a younger and much more adventurous girl I did a lot of Glissading . Imagine for a moment that you are seated on the top of a mountain  covered in deep and heavy snow. You  sit down directly on the icy snow and give yourself a push off. Using your pick ax and your feet to maintain control as you slide down a mountain at some crazy speeds. Did I mention my ass is sore! We managed to  make it 2-3  miles down without having to stand up!  Did I mention I think I lost my mind temporarily? This was better on my knees and it brought  back some fun memories but I am cold tired and sore .

The round trip climb was just between about 12 miles.  

The elevation gain was 5699 ft. The highest point was 8364 feet. It only took us 5.5 hours to get to the top and we got down  much faster  I was back to my car by 1330 .  sat there for  20 minutes warming up and then I  dictated this post using google and I am going to try to get home in time to solve a mystery at an escape room this evening.  Wish me luck!

I had a double successful day!

Cheese balls & Kleenex

I had left my duty station at  Walter Reed Army Medical Center in DC and was now stationed at Fort Lewis Washington. I remember feeling lucky as Fort Lewis was fairly close to Puyallup, Washington which was were I had called home most my life.

I can’t remember if Peter and I had just gotten married or if we were about to be married. What I do remember is that I wanted to take him to meet my great grandmother Mabel Palmer. I called the nursing home and made plans to visit. I was excited to see her as I had not been back home in a while. While on the phone with my grandmother I asked her if there was anything I could bring her, she requested a box of Kleenex ,some cheese balls and some yarn for her to crochet coverings on wooden hangers.

I was so excited to introduce Peter to my grandmother they shared a love for music. As a child when I would visit my grandmother I would lay on the floor and listen to her play Piano. Peter also loves to play Piano. When we first met he tried to drag me out to places with pianos so that he could play. I knew the two would instantly bond.

I had not seen my grandmother since she had moved into a nursing home. On the way to visit we stopped and picked up a box of Kleenex, some cheese balls and a few skeins of yarn.

When we arrived I instantly gave grandma the cheese balls and the Kleenex and introduced her to Peter. She thought he was very handsome. We were in her room chatting for a 15 or 20  minutes enjoying the cheese balls when a staff member came in and said, excuse me miss, that is not your Grandmother… Your grandmother is over there.  

Oh my goodness, I just stood there not sure of what to do. I could not ask this lady to give me back the cheese balls and Kleenex as I had handed them to her and she was so pleased that we had come to visit.

Peter still teases me about taking him to meet my grandmother and then introducing him to someone else instead. I think he tells this story better than I do. I had forgot the yarn in the car so I was able to give my grandmother something. It has been 30 years since this happened and I can’t seem to remember if my grandmother was annoyed that I gave away her cheese balls and Kleenex. I still have a some of the hangers she made for me with the yarn I gave her. I also have so many fond memories of spending summers with her.

barking dogs…. a confession

I was working at the assisted living facility in Lakeway, Texas as a medication aide. My job consisted of getting to work at  0500 and making my rounds giving residents medications. Many residents needed medications multiple times a day. By the time I  finished the morning rounds it was time to start with the afternoon medications. This was a job where I needed to be well rested , alert as giving the wrong medication at the incorrect time , wrong dose or with a conflicting drug could be dangerous or fatal. I had to be on my A game!

I was used to going to bed early so that I could get a good night sleep . Things had been going pretty well until some new people moved across the street and down a house.  Their backyard was just kitty corner from my bedroom window.

I generally went to  bed around 2200  and at 2300 I was  awakened by a bark bark bark bark. It sounded like a herd of dogs outside my window. I got up , got dressed and I went down the street to find the barking dogs. I rang the bell of the new neighbors house and  told them that they needed to bring they dogs inside as they were barking continuously and that I needed to be up early. The dog owners told me that their bedroom faces the other way so they cannot hear them bark. I asked them nicely to please bring the dogs inside but they refused. So every night for 3 weeks when the dogs woke me up I would get up, get dressed and go ring the doorbell to ask the dog owners to please bring the dogs inside. By the end of the three weeks I was tired and  sleep deprived. I was using ear plugs but the noise echoed from the dogs backyard into my window. So i decided to get up one last time. I walked to their house . But this time instead of ringing the bell I just stood there outside the gate. The dogs stopped barking. I started to go back home but then they started barking again. So I walked over and opened the gate to the back yard. I noticed a 50 lb bag of dog food on the ground with a circle cut out of the center  for the dogs to eat out of and a huge tub for water that was empty. I looked around the backyard and then I looked at the doggies and I don’t know what came over me but I said, “Go now , be free! ” I walked home leaving the gate wide open.

The next day a friend called me and told me she found a  lovely dog without a collar. She had wanted a dog! A few days later another friend called me and said she had also found a dog and if she didn’t see any signs up she would be happy to keep it. So both dogs ended up with good new owners and I got to sleep!

And now for the confession! Both my friends put up signs that they found the dogs and every morning on my way to work I would take them down.

I never did see any lost dogs signs so I figure those dog owners really should not have had dogs!

The photo of the dogs in this blog are not the dogs I set free.

Snow day and close encounters

We got our first winter snow this morning. I did a quick walk around the yard to take a few photos and I had just finished making my snow Angel. Then I saw a young boy in our backyard. Apparently his dog came over to visit Piper. I was able to get dressed before he got to our backdoor. This is the 3rd time in 14 years that anyone has come around to our backdoor.
I admit that I have been a member of the naked snow angel club since I was a small child. Maybe I should hang a sign that says this is a clothes optional property.

Six inches of snow
It is too cold for angels to fly!

Next

February is a new month and the beginning of a new chapter of my life. In trying to figure out what I should do next I asked myself this question. “If you were told tomorrow that you only had two years left to live what would you want to do in the time you have left? ” Asking the question is the easy part. Being honest in the answers is the tough part.

I have always wanted to give a recital. I had to leave the Cello in Austin and decided that the move to Washington was a time for change so I never gave a recital but I started a company and after a few years decided to focus on art. I had a gallery for a few years. I created when it felt right. Hiking and gardening have been favorite ways to spend my time.

“What would I want to do with my time if I knew I just had two years left? ” Would I spend 18 months trying to figure it out? Would I take off on a cross country road trip by car, or bike or on foot? Would I want to learn something new?

I have a few people I would want to spend time with. I want to sit at there kitchen table and share a cup of coffee with them. I want to talk to there children and learn about there culture. I want to smile and laugh . I want to share myself and love. I want to chat with strangers , I want to enjoy the time I have alone and the time I have with others

February 2019 I am taking a journey , I am traveling deep into myself to explore the unknown and to try to decide what I would really do if I had just two years to live.

a walk in the garden

As I walk around my garden I find little things that make me smile. Sometimes it is a blooming flower, a fancy spiderweb ,a bug or a bird, a squirrel or a fallen branch that looks like a mystical creature. Today on my walk this little metal dragonfly caught my attention.

Today’s Quote

“Instinct is the nose of the mind.”
– Delphine Gay de Girardin

About Delphine Gay de Girardin

French writer Delphine Gay de Girardin was equally well known for her patriotic poetry and for the brilliant literary gatherings at her home. She was born in France on January 24, 1804; her mother was the well-known author Sophie Gay. Delphine called herself the “Muse of the Nation” for her poetry about France. Under the pseudonym Vicomte Charles de Launay, she wrote a gossip column with comedic sketches of Parisian life. She died on June 29, 1855.

A memory and a quote

While I was cleaning up the kitchen today I was thinking about childhood memories and wondering what a typical person thinks about when they remember their childhood? 

A memory came to mind, I was in 5th  grade excited that the campfire  girls meeting was going to be at my house. My mom  loved to bake and I was excited to see what type of  after school  snack she had dreamed up. On arriving home I found my mom , sitting in the corner  covered in  blood, crying,  wrists slit and  blood on the  walls as if she was painting with her own  blood. She had  smeared her blood all over the  living room wall. I  had my little sisters  and the campfire girls  go outside and  play while I cleaned the walls and sent for help. I had to have my  mom  admitted into  Puget  Sound Mental hospital and my great Grandmother  Mable  came to stay with us for a few weeks. 

So many things I have  kept to myself over the years and  little  by little I  share  the things that have molded me into the  person I am today. 

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”– Marie Curie

About Marie Curie

star gazing 24 x 24

Marie Curie, the pioneering Polish-born French chemist, was the first person to win Nobel Prizes in two different fields. She was born in Warsaw on November 7, 1867. No Polish school would admit a woman, so she worked as a governess, sending her sister through medical school in France. Her sister, in turn, sent her to the Sorbonne, where she met her husband, Pierre Curie. Together they studied radiology, discovering two new chemical elements and inventing the term “radioactivity.” She died on July 4, 1934.

star gazing

CQ

Yesterdays post about my time in the army triggered another Military Memory where I got in trouble for doing what I thought was the right thing to do. I was working the night shift at the welcome center at Fort Lewis which is where all new soldiers went to in processed. A family of 5 came in, Both parents were active duty. They were sure they would be able to wanted to get paid but sadly the pay checks were still going to the bank IN Germany, (which they had closed out.) We have to wait until the funds are sent back before we can issue payments. They had less than $20 on them . I ordered the family a pizza , paid for a cab to a local motel 6 and covered the room for a week. I was told I was not allowed to spend my money this way and was given weekly CQ duty for 3 months! For those that have not served in the military CQ duty is 24 hour duty doing pretty much nothing or doing stupid useless shit! This is a photo of people pulling CQ duty! Thankfully I got to transfer to out processing shortly after this experience.

Demoted

Cynthia Freese

In the late 80’s I was working in the military finance office in Washington DC. We had a shut down and people were calling me all day long to ask when they would receive pay. I politely gave them a very special number to call and told them to ask for George. Yes, I got demoted and fined for giving out the private number to the white house but I have no regrets.

Freese pancakes

Ingredients

3  eggs
3/4  cups milk
3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

1/2  cup butter, melted
juice of 1/2  a lemon
confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. beat the eggs and milk until they are well blended. Add flour and salt, stirring the batter until it is slightly lumpy.

Set 10″ pie plate in the oven to melt the butter. When the butter is very hot, pour in the batter and bake for about twenty minutes or until the pancake is brown and puffed. Sprinkle with lemon juice and confectioners sugar and cut into wedges.

Serve immediately as it will deflate quickly.

Serves 4