Saturday, February 26, 2011

Beautiful Day

Even though today ended up being a work day for me, it was such a beautiful day here in Salt Lake City. We've had two weekends in a row of epic snow conditions on the mountain. Although I have not been able to ski at the resort (snif, tear, tear), it's still amazing here in the valley. I woke to 6 inches of snow this morning at our house (not too comparable to the 36" on the mountain, but i seriously won't go there.)

We had an event today at Tracy Aviary. It was fun and successful and really rewarding.
I brought my camera to work because I was planning to take pictures at the event. I stopped on my way to the work to grab a few beautiful pictures of one of my favorite places: Liberty Park, where Tracy Aviary is located. Remember, I've told you about this place before? It's where I like to take my runs. It's incredibly beautiful and holds so much local history. As well as 400 incredibly cute and exciting birds!

Welcome to weekend mornings with Hannah. I should bring you along more often. Hope you enjoy!

 Liberty Park

Tracy Aviary

It's hard to see but these 2 Black-neck Swans are nesting. They were super pissed about me walking next to them. The male is going nuts.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The anatomy and physiology of AT

This month's Ski Magazine had an article entitled, "The AT Boom" by Joe Cutts.

I realized that perhaps many of you have never heard of AT (or Alpine Touring) skiing.
I thought to educate you. 

Quickly, hereis the anatomy of an AT setup:


now, AT bindings are different than regular alpine bindings and telemark bindings. The AT bindings are a mixture of the two, actually. Your boot stays clicked in at all times (unlike the Telemark binding, where the heal raises with each step and only the toe is in the binding). It is an awesome way to travel on the mountain because when you want to hike, you just unclick the BINDING from the ski (the boot stays in completely) and you can lift your heel and hike and when you're ready to charge down, you just click the binding back onto the ski and you're stuck in and can charge really hard with great control.
There are a few really key features on an AT boot. One, is obviously its compatibility with the AT binding, but it also has the ability to rotate forward in the walking mode. This makes hiking up mountains much easier, when the boot can pivot with you. Then you are able to synch it up nice and tight and stable for your ride down the mountain - nothing flimsy. 
if you're going to bother hiking in the back country then you might as well have a ski that can ride through powder. Something fat. These would be my personal choice. Keep the skinnies on the resort for cutting in the crud.
The yellow piece is called a "skin". Skins secure to the front and back of your skis (you measure them to fit exactly) and they are super duper sticky on the bottom. These enable your skis to move forward but not backward because it has a gazillion tiny little fibers pointing backward. They are amazing. You hike with them on and then take them off on your way down.

Doons and I usually venture into the untouched land once a week. So if I tell you that we had a blast skiing, don't always picture us tearing up the groomers at the resort - we are only there half of the time. AT skiing is SO FUN and is not for the faint of heart. We will hike for hours for one nice long run down the mountain in fresh-untracked snow. I'm still learning to navigate through the trees (and have the bruises to prove it) and unfortunately I'm not much of a powder whore yet. This is the best way to get to parts of the mountain where no one has skied. It's so fun and beautiful to be alone in the wild snow country. Of course, we bring water (eating snow just doesn't do it for me) and you have to be very careful to check avalanche conditions and travel carefully if you're skiing outside of the resorts. 

As always, we are very careful. But we mostly have a lot of fun. And when we're in the backcountry, Duvick gets to ski with us. He LOVES to ski - he has such long legs and a strong chest, he's the best snow dog ever. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weekend Crafting

I'm starting to looooove weekends a little more than all the other days. I can't understand how our society only allows weekends to last for 2 days. Seriously, I'm perplexed by the standard of our work/actual living ratio in our society. I understand that our work is valuable - especially mine - I love my job. I'm just not sure this is how my life should be lived. Especially for the next....40ish years.... but that's another blog for another time...

I wanted to share with you my brilliant spur-of-the-moment sewing project from the weekend. I'm so proud of this thing.

A few years ago, my sweet husband gave me a coffee press for Christmas.
It was an especially sweet gift because Landon knows that I love coffee and he doesn't drink a lick of it. What a thoughtful gift!

It brews two cups (read jumbo-regular-size) of the best coffee ever. Only, by the time I get around to my second cup it's usually cold. See, I only use my french press on weekends, because I have time to enjoy a slow brew. During the week, my machine brews 3 cups in 2 minutes and I pour it all into a thermos and take it to work.

So this weekend I tossed together (literally took me 30 minutes!) a coffee cozy. It was fun and easy to put together the pattern - the thing's a rectangle, after all. (Does this fabric look familiar?) While I was at the fabric store getting some items for my REAL weekend craft (will share that later), I picked up some insul-brite. THIS IS THE KEY INGREDIENT to anything that needs to be insulated.

Quick steps:
1. Measure the width and hight of your press and transfer that to two pieces of fabric that should be rectangles.
2. Sew the fabric with pretty sides together leaving one side open.
3. cut a piece of insul-brite to fit the fabric
4. Turn the fabric right-side out
5. insert insul-brite and finish the opened seam
6. Run a quick seam around the edge of the rectangle to make sure the insul-brite is secure inside of your pretty rectangle. Finished!

Easy, right!?

I just put some rope and buttons on there for an easy closure, but you could use velcro or even sew the two ends together and slip your press inside of it, so there is no opening at all.

I love how it turned out. And even better, my coffe was steaming-hot to the last drop!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chef boy r D-oons

Wow. The hubs has been the greatest support to me while I've been breakin' back into the 9-5.

I haven't cooked anything since before Christmas.

It's really an encouragement to me.

He's great.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

This quote was in the sermon at our church a few weeks ago. I can't stop thinking about it.
Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness, nourishment of mind by His truth, purifying of imagination by His beauty, opening of the heart to His love, and submission of will to His purpose. All this gathered up in adoration is the greatest of all expressions of which we are capable.

-Archbishop William Temple
as quoted by Ravi Zaccharias in his book, 
"Can Man Live Without God"


Throughout my adulthood, I get into a pattern of running regularly for a few months and then i take a break for 6 months and start from square one again. After we moved to Sugar House, I ran semi-regularly. Two miles up the road, we have a park with a tree-bark running path (how awesome is that?) that stretches in a 1.4 mile circle. It's easy on the joints, and completely road-traffic free. Liberty Park is absolutely beautiful with towering cottonwoods that Brigham Young, leader of the original Mormon pioneers, planted himself. I really love running there. 

Once the cold weather blew in and I started working at Tracy Aviary, I really wasn't in the mood to spend time at the park running in circles any more. Plus, skiing season had begun.

It just so happens that upon 8 acres of this beautiful park resides Tracy Aviary. It dawned on me last week that if I brought my running apparel and shoes to work, that it would be very difficult to make excuses not to run after my work day, especially now that the sun sets 45 minutes later these days.

So last week I started bringing my running clothes to work. And I LOVE it! I love going for a run at the end of the day. The first few days I could hardly get around the full 1.4 miles, but yesterday I took Duvick to the park and he and I managed to get in a little over 3 miles.

I love the feeling of getting into a long comfortable stride. I love to keep track of my splits and heart rate and push myself to go faster and faster. I think I could really get into running if I could just stick with it for awhile. I hate even writing this - it shows what kind of discipline I lack that I have never been a very competent runner out of high school.

But I used to run far and fast and I used to love it. In high school I used to compete and do pretty well for my high school's cross country and track teams. I loved running so much. I liked the feeling of pushing my body beyond its limits. I loved the stress-release; whenever I'd get in a fight with one of my family members, I would lace up my shoes and leave the house for a hour, returning with an improved state-of-mind. I loved being in the elements, outside. There are several great reasons to love running. Right now, it would seriously help my endurance and strength when it comes to backcountry skiing.

So it's only been a few days and this week, we are expecting an arctic blast to come through town, giving us days between 5-25 degrees F. But I'm going to try to be out there in the frigid cold, pushing myself to go a little farther.