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K is for Kayak

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I spotted my first kayak of the season today. It’s a more telling sign of spring to me than crocuses. We’ve been avid kayakers for quite a few years. We rented one year and bought a couple at a tent sale the following year. We try to go most weekends, mostly local flat water. There are plenty of local tributaries to choose from.

We go mostly for the exercise, quiet and wildlife. We regularly see turtles, ducks and blue heron. On occasion there are mink and foxes.

Can’t wait till its warm enough to get back out there.

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G is for GOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLSSSS!

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Gotta have ’em.

Unfortunately, I’m not terribly good at reaching them. My initial enthusiasm soon gives way to …meh…

Although I seem to be doing pretty well at this blog challenge, maybe in part because of my interest in reinvigorating this blog that I have allowed to go fallow.

Maybe because daily posting has made it part of a routine — a habit (seriously, I’m typing this on the kitchen counter while I make dinner).

I have recently stumbled across a couple of resources that talk about creating habits or systems that you put in place and work at daily, rather than these big ass goals that are waaaayyyy out there and obviously not something I need to worry about today. After all, I’ve got shows to binge watch and the internet isn’t going to read itself.

The first resource I want to mention is Gretchen Rubin’s book, Better than Before. She talks a lot here about forming positive habits.

The second is this blog by James Clear, Forget About Setting Goals. Focus on this Instead.

So, this is the direction I’ve been taking lately.

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F is for Fashion

I’m not a particularly fashiony person, but I seem to have developed a bit of a style. In the winter, it normally involves leggings or skinny jeans, boots, cardigan and some sort of tank or tee.

Like this or this from Pinterest.

I like to think that I would be fully prepared in the event I need to do yoga at the drop of a hat.

The summer is tougher. Especially because I don’t like open-toed shoes. I did discover maxi skirts last year which I like.

There are some interesting schools of thought lately, such as trimming down to a capsule wardrobe or employing the Project 333 system.

I’ve even seen some articles about wearing the same thing every day. Here and here too.

Something to think about.

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E is for Everest

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know my obsession with all things Everest. And now the 2015 Everest season is upon us. Everest season? What’s that, you ask? Well, because of the extreme altitude and weather conditions, there is a very tight window in which in can be summitted with any degree of success — usually mid-end of May.

Any earlier and it’s too cold and windy, any later and the mountain is just too unstable. The chances of avalanche increases as do the odds that the Khumbu Icefall will shift. The Khumbu Icefall is the glacier where sixteen people died last year in the deadliest season ever recorded.

Several guide teams have elected not to mount an expedition this year, among them Peak Freaks, who have been guiding Everest Expeditions for more than two decades.But the Nepal Ministry of Tourism reports that 287 individuals have received Everest climbing permits for 2015 so not all guide companies are displaying this level of caution. And a new route has been established through the Icefall for the 2015 season.

Facts about Mount Everest:

  • Elevation: 29,035 (8850m)-found to be 6′ higher in 1999
  • Name in Nepal: Sagarmatha (means: goddess of the sky)
  • In Tibet: Chomolungma: (means: mother goddess of the universe)
  • First successful ascent: May 29, 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary, NZ and Tenzing Norgay, NP, via the South Col Route
  • First Solo Ascent: Aug. 20, 1980, Reinhold Messner, IT, via the NE Ridge to North Face
  • First Ascent by an American: May 1, 1963, James Whittaker, via the South-Col
  • First Ascent without oxygen: May 8, 1978- Reinhold Messner, IT, and Peter Habeler, AUT, via the South-East Ridge
  • Fastest Ascent from South: Babu Chhiri Sherpa 34, NP-16 hours and 56 minutes (5-21-2000)
  • Youngest person: Temba Tsheri (NP) 15 on May, 22, 2001
  • Oldest Person: Sherman Bull May, 25, 2001 -64 yrs
  • First Legally Blind Person: Erik Weihenmeyer May, 25, 2001
  • Best and Worst Years on Everest: 1993, 129 summitted and eight died (a ratio of 16:1); in 1996, 98 summitted and 15 died (a ratio of 6½:1)
  • Highest cause of death: Avalanches-about a (2:1) ratio over falls
  • Most dangerous area on mountain: Khumbu Ice Fall-19 deaths
  • First ski descent: Davo Karnicar (Slovenia) 10-7-2000
  • Corpses remaining on Everest: about 120
  • Fastest descent: In 1988, Jean-Marc Boivin of France descended from the top in just 11 minutes, paragliding.
  • Largest number to reach the top in one day: 40, on May 10, 1993

If your Everest curiosity has been “peaked” (heh- yes I know it’s piqued) here’s some more information.

Here is a National Geographic quiz to test your Everest knowledge.

Additional Everest Resources.

I may use some other letters to update on this year’s season. Because it’s my blog and I can do that

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D is for Downtime

Saturday with no major obligations means a little time relax. Today that meant…

…a little reading…

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…watching a little rugby (sporting many layers and drinking a venti latte)

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…some quality Spenser time…

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…dinner = Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Chicken Burger, Wegman’s 7 grain salad and a Southern Tier IPA.

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All together not a bad day. Tucked a little decluttering and a few errands into the day.I didn’t make it to the gym, but my Fitbit seems pretty pleased with me.

Hope everyone has a great Easter. I’m already planning Monday’s post :)

D

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C is for Creativity

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Creativity intimidates people. They treat it like some mystical, esoteric elixir bestowed upon us grudgingly  by some penurious muse — the purview of artists and writers alone.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Creativity is everywhere and within reach of everyone.

  • A dad who finds a way to coax a reluctant child to sleep.
  • A woman on a tight budget who creates tasty meals from her pantry.
  • An entrepreneur who identifies an under served market.
  • An six-year-old who amuses himself with a couple of sticks
  • And of course, writers like you and I.

Here are a couple of interesting notes about creation and criticism from Martha Beck and fear and creativity from Karen Thompson Walker and a Psychology Today article on Albert Einstein.

Pay attention over the next couple of days. Try to identify at least three creative things you do. Any time you use non-linear thinking to solve a problem or reach a goal. Share what you learn in comments if you like.

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B is for Barking

Which this little guy….

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..does plenty of.

I have employed various strategies to reduce his barking, such as yelling, “Stop barking!” or “Hey, stop barking!” or “Enough barking!” Surprisingly, none of these strategies has worked. Once, in frustration, I smacked him on the nose. He smacked me back (Not kidding). He climbed up on me and smacked me on the chest with his paw.

Today was the first warm day we’ve had this year, and with the nice weather comes increased activity in the neighborhood – lawnmowers, motorcycles, kids on bikes…each of which our intrepid watch dog alerted me to, without fail.

When I was home for lunch, his barking was particularly frantic and incessant – and without a UPS truck in site. I looked out the window and saw a small dog wandering around unattended. Maybe a Shih Tzu, I’m not sure.

I watched for a minute to see if an owner was nearby, and when I saw no one, I grabbed Spenser’s leash (Cue “OMG we’re going for a walk barking and spinning), a treat and my phone and set off after the little dog.

He was about four or five houses away, sniffing around some shrubbery, and when I had closed the gap a bit, I began calling him , “Hey Buddy! Hey little dog!” He bounded right up to me, tail wagging, and lay down for me to pet him. I put a treat on the ground, clipped Spenser’s leash to his collar and looked at his tag. Both a phone number and address were listed. He had traveled just a couple of blocks.

I stood, punched the number into the phone and turned to walk back to my house. What did I see about 50 feet away? Another little dog. Same breed, a little smaller, different markings. They had to be a pair. I wondered if my luck would hold out and that he would also respond to “Hey little dog.” He brightened at spotting his missing companion and loped right over. I checked his tag – yep, same address. I just ran the same leash through his collar and we walked back to my house with the two stumbling over each other. Sharing a leash was less than ideal, but hey.

I left a message with my address, saying that I would bring the dogs to the address on their tags if I could get them into my car.  I opened the door to my back seat. The dogs looked in the car, looked at me, but seemed at a loss. I picked them up and put them the car with their cooperation and ran into my house to grab my keys. Spenser disapproved of my decision to leave them in car. He had made tea and set out some biscuits.

They settled in nicely while I was gone and seemed to be enjoying their adventure. They were well-cared for, recently groomed and at a healthy weight — clearly beloved pets.

As I drove the two blocks to return them to their home, I spotted an elderly gentleman driving very slowly with his windows down. I pulled up alongside and asked if he was looking for dogs and when he said yes, I told him they were in the car and that I would take them to the house.

He was overjoyed to get his companions back. He lived alone and said they were all he had. They had slipped out the door on him and were just too quick.

So Spenser is a hero. He likes to say that he’s the rescue dog who rescues dogs. #dogception

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