February 27, 2011

les soeurs

walking through woods on a snowy morning

my sister ashley (eighth grade) sent me an extra credit classroom assignment back in the fall, for her history class. the task at hand was to visit a historical location near my home and take a photo of myself in front of it, holding a giant neon copy of a one dollar bill. if I returned it, she got a free homework pass. I had the whole school year.

good sister

on the oregon trail

well, internet, I take my sisterly duties seriously. also, I have a secret desire to be the coolest older sister ever. she's thirteen so I'm sort of reaching the end of an era with that one, you know? like, I think I only have maybe another eight months before she stops thinking it's cool that I borrow all her clothes when I go home.

a certain someone

I finally got around to it this past weekend, when a certain someone and I spent a couple of days cross-country skiing at mt. hood. we stopped on the way up the mountain and scott gamely hiked half a mile through the snow with me to visit laurel hill chute, considered perhaps the single hardest hill in all 2,000 miles of the oregon trail.

oregon trail marker

original wagon route

it was pretty awesome. on nearby sections of barlow road (of which laurel hill chute is a part), you can apparently still see wagon wheel ruts -- only now, after hundreds of years of erosion, those ruts are in places SIX FEET DEEP! dudes. history is awesome.

also you might remember that you had to choose between taking the barlow toll road and floating down the columbia river as the final task in oregon trail, the computer game.

my sister caitlin, recently eighteen, just got a tattoo on her shoulder. she drew it herself.

tattoo art

it is GORGEOUS. now I know who to ask if I ever need a tattoo drawn. have I mentioned she and I have never met?

my sister dayna is coming to visit me! in two weeks! exclamation point!


she's flying in from san diego for a long girls' weekend. what are we even going to do?! we don't know. we're going to eat donuts and go out for drinks and run a 5K. we are both injured and neither of us is cleared to run yet (she broke her foot recently and just got out of her walking boot; I have a torn hip flexor), but we'll shuffle along in our MATCHING TUTUS.

we don't actually have matching tutus yet but we will.

(p.s. d, there are like ZERO photos of us together. why. is. this.)

February 26, 2011

wounded hoof

my eugene marathon hopes are dashed. I have a torn hip flexor. it's been a persistent problem since last summer but has never been so bad that it's sidelined me from running. then at the end of january, for no obvious reason, I finally tweaked it badly enough to warrant a trip to the doctor. he spent a half hour with me, hearing all about the injury, checking my biomechanics, watching me run, and finally told me to take a month off of running. "at the very least," he said. "these things can take months to heal."

it was in some ways a relief, because I had already taken two weeks off of running and had basically come to the heart-breaking conclusion that I didn't have enough time to adequately train for eugene. if he'd told me I could get by with ice and caution I would have wasted those two weeks in vain. this way, at least I know it's the right thing.

I'm supposed to be biking, spinning, walking, swimming, etc, and stretching the crap out of it. I asked about riding; I was afraid I was going to have to take a long break from that too. 'does it hurt when you do it?' he asked. no, I said. 'then it's probably neither good nor bad.'

I don't belong to a gym, so many of the activities he suggested are sort of hard for me to do consistently. I'm a baby and don't want to bike in the forty degree rain. I have a week-long trial membership at 24-Hour Fitness, and I guess I'm going to trial-gym hop for a few weeks to see what happens. if I can convince my neighbors to cope with it for awhile, I'll probably also borrow a certain someone's bike trainer so I can bike at home. we'll see.

a funny thing has happened, though, as a result of the injury. just after the streak, when I was beginning my marathon training, I struggled really hard with the feeling that I wasn't a legitimate runner. I felt like I wasn't fast enough, wasn't running enough, wasn't enough of a part of the running community. it was making me crazy. I didn't know what to do about it. I was frustrated and angry and I felt a great sense of loss, even though I was running almost every day, and had just come from one hundred straight days of running! now that I'm injured, I feel legit. it's crazy. this isn't my first runners injury, nor the first one to sideline me completely. I miss running like crazy, but I also feel a certain sense of belonging. hey -- all serious runners know what it's like to be injured, and now I'm one of them! I'm part of the club!

I do miss my friday running friends, though, and I hate that I can't ever run with scott, nor go on group runs. I don't even run up the hill to the barn because it hurts.

I have a secret hope that I'll be able to slowly jog the half-marathon at eugene, and I won't lie: I mainly want to participate in the race because I spent $85, and god damnit, I want that tee shirt.

February 25, 2011

snow day

snow day

I had been jonesing for a snow day all winter. there is nothing like it: the eager early-morning peek out the window; the hopeful phone call (or email check); the giddy exhilaration of hearing "the office is closed for the day." then you shuffle out into the living room in your pjs, create an elaborate blanket nest on the couch, make sure the cats are cuddled in, and watch vapid daytime TV for a few hours. there is coffee. sometimes, there are pancakes. total. bliss.

we don't get much snow on the valley floor, though, because we're at such a low elevation and in such a mild climate. did it snow at all in portland this winter? I don't think so. scott & I spent several weekends in the snow on mt. hood, sure, and we got some when I was back in maryland, but it's not the same.

they had been calling for this BIG STORM! all week in portland, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything because the newscasters pretty much pee themselves at the very mention of snow. portlanders, likely conditioned by the same news anchors, had by wednesday totally cleaned out my local grocery store. but by mid-day on wednesday there was still no precipitation, and the forecasts were beginning to be downsized. five inches? okay, actually maybe just an inch. and not so cold. and it'll be 50 by the weekend.


so I'd pretty much resigned myself to a winter without snow days. I woke up yesterday morning, 5 AM or so, and there was the tiniest dusting. I was bitter! I was sad. I wanted the snow day magic and instead I was going to have to go to work. I resolved to show up to the office in my pajamas.

at 7:15, scott texted. "snow!" he said. I looked out the window. more snow than before, but still not much. the tree branches looked pretty but it didn't look promising. I pulled up my work email. as I was waiting for it, scott texted again. "portland schools closed!"

and then! oh, dear readers, those magic words: OFFICE CLOSED.

it was 7:15, so I followed standard snow day protocol: I gathered up my pillows, put on my comfiest around the house pants, and went out into the living room. I had a bowl of cereal! I turned on PBS. I crawled under the 5 fuzzy blankets on my couch. the cats couldn't believe their luck. then I fell asleep to sesame street and woke up again at 11.

it was magnificent.

by the time I got up again (to make second breakfast, obvs), the snow had melted. that felt kind of weird, like cheating. what was I supposed to do now? the road was dry; if I wanted, I could even go out. but ... it was a snow day. the whole magic of the snow day is that you're in, and everyone else is in, and you can't really get out. you're stuck! you have to loaf around because you don't have anything else to do, except maybe go outside and make snowballs. and you can't feel guilty about it.

so I decided to studiously avoid looking out the window, by doing the following:
cleaning all the dishes
putting all the dishes away
wearing the cat on my neck

shoulder cat
(not my most photogenic moment but look at that cat perch! so proud)

cleaning the bathtub
making curried sweet potato soup with accompanying GOAT CHEESE BISCUITS which incidentally I have been craving all day
planning out my entire garden, which took three hours, and included finding every seed to order and drawing a detailed diagram of planting
writing some blog posts (ahem)
taking pictures of cats in boxes (part of an ongoing series)

cats in boxes

then I finally ventured outside to do laundry. and it was SNOWING AGAIN! *rejoice*

I was finished with all my household-y things by early afternoon so I got to spend the remaining part of the day doing as the universe intended: eating soup and biscuits and watching really awesome, really bad TV.

[alicia also has a wonderful write-up (with photos that are way lovelier than mine) over at her blog. incidentally she's the one who turned me on to the soup.]
My worst habit is I get so tired of winter
I become a torture to those I'm with.

If you're not here, nothing grows.
I lack clarity. My words
    tangle and knot up.

How to cute bad water? Send it back to the river.
How to cure bad habits? Send me back to you.

When water gets caught in habitual whirlpools,
dig a way out through the bottom
to the ocean. There is a secret medicine
given only to those who hurt so hard
they can't hope.

The hopers would feel slighted if they knew.

Look as long as you can at the friend you love,
no matter whether that friend is moving away from you
or coming back to you.

-- rumi, "my worst habit"

yup. that about sums it up.

hi blog. I'm back.