November 28, 2008

goodnow mountain

We chose Goodnow Mountain for our "black friday" hike. This is the second year my friend Sherilee, Reagan and I have hiked as opposed to shopping. My father, of course, joined us this year. Turns out hiking a snowy cold mountain in upstate NY is safer than shopping at Walmart. This solidifies my new goal of trying to avoid being a gluttenous consumer. Anyhow, Goodnow Mountain is located in Newcomb, New York, which is often referred to as the "heart" of the Adirondacks. It is home to the Santanoni Preserve and the Upper Works Trailhead. Goodnow Mountain is less than a mile from the Visitor Interpretive Center on route 28N. The trailhead is well marked and parking is available for about 20 cars. The elevation is just under 3,000 feet and the change in elevation in the 2 mile one way hike is 1,000 feet. The elevation change is very gradual with a couple moderately steep sections. We chose to "bareboot it" even though from the start to halfway up there was a 3-4 inch snow covering. As we got to the mid to upper section there was about 4-5 inches of snow but it had been packed down by a group of 12 hikers a day earlier. Reagan did put on her snowshoes at about the halfway point. More to amuse herself than anything else. It was a little slick in spots, which makes me really think about getting stable-icers if not crampons...someday. I also chose to only wear my fleece pants with my new 180's underneath. The only problem with this was a little snow did get in my boots. I am definitely buying gaters in the next day or so (online most likely and not at any store remotely resembling Walmart), just for the purpose of days that are too warm for snowpants. Then of course I will have the gaiters for next hiking season. Goodnow Mountain has a firetower and is on the Firetower Challenge list. Right now the focus is on climbing the mountains on the 46r list but we are not going to attempt to be winter 46r (ever) so the winter months are good for fitting in some of the smaller mountains that we feel comfortable snowshoeing. If we eventually finish the firetower challenge...great. Goodnow was my 4th fire tower climb. It was not a sunny day North of Lake George and the view from the top was limited to the mountains closest to us to the east. The fire tower offers 360 degree views and on a clear day the Santanoni range is visible as is Colden and Marcy. We already discuss climbing this one again in the spring as we would like to see the view and bring the non high peak baggers with us (mom, jane, allison). We started the hike at 10:45am and with a 15 minute lunch break on the steps of the firetower, we were back at the car at 2:30pm. There are benches all along the trail for rest stops too...I know this because Reagan sat on each and everyone of them. Just as I am questioning why I drag her with me...she states that she would like to climb Buck Mountain again because she likes that mountain. She also announced while nawing on a slim jim that her main reason for hiking is the food. Someday she will hike for the beautiful sky, mountains, fresh air and much needed connection to nature to offset the craziness of life. I am lucky to have spent the day this way.

November 27, 2008

the traditional cranberry-orange relish

Every Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving for at least the past 10 years, my sister and I have gotten together to make the Cranberry-Orange Relish that is the tradition of my father's family. Since my sister is now blogging too, she had asked how similar our posts would be when we blog about our together times. Well, I am writing this only 12 hours after the event and she has already beaten me to the post! Works for me. Here is the rest of the story....
I would like to add that my father's mother died when he was 18, so carrying on the tradition is that much more meaningful as we use this to incorporate her into our lives. Also, my father's father died on Thanksgiving day (which falls on his birthday most years) so Thanksgiving is a very appropriate day to remember them both. "A big hello up there to you both".

November 25, 2008

how to eat thanksgiving dinner with a body builder

One person I am totally thankful for this year...
My awesome friend, Sherilee. Has it really been 18 years since we first met in Marian Hall as college freshman?

I am anxiously awaiting Sherilee's annual Thanksgiving visit. It hasn't been a long time since I've seen her. She was here for our Labor Day Picnic. Thanksgiving is different though. She has not missed spending the day with us in at least 6 consecutive years and many more if you count all the years put together. In the past she has brought various nephews with her and most years she has had a special friend with her. The first Thanksgiving after my grandfather died, she came just for the day...all the way from New York City, 10 hours round trip in a snow storm for a 3 hour dinner appearance. This year she is arriving Tuesday night and staying until Saturday. For her, this is an extended stay. I hope she knows how special this tradition is for all of us. As you can see she is a body builder. These photos come from Muscle and Fitness magazine and Fitness magazine. Sherilee is a personal trainer. She is in the process of getting licensed as a hair and makeup artist. My second "sister" also works a full time job as the office manager/human resource coordinator at a six billion dollar corporation in the city. She has done several fitness and figure competitions which require strict adherence to a high protein, no carb diet. She is usually the easiest house guest, as she travels with ALL of her food and rarely deviates from her food plan. Thanksgiving is one of the few times we actually get to see her EAT. We will be attempting to offset the extra calories consumed by hiking somewhere on Friday...She has been along for 2 of the high peaks hikes and we like to joke that she is our very own Fresh Air child. Sheri may live the glamorous city life...but she is the most down to earth, fun loving, beautiful person inside and out and I am so fortunate that our paths were meant to cross.

November 23, 2008

oh boy..

I heard Boy George on a reunion weekend radio station while driving to the store with my son. Eighth grade was a big MTV year for me and my friends (the show was brand new and they showed lots of culture club) Culture Club was belting out one of their popular tunes with my eighth grader in the car. Naturally, to show him how ridiculous I can actually act, I started singing along to "I'll Tumble 4 ya"...I told him he had to sing the chorus if he wanted to get a snack at the store...He tries pleading ignorance...but luckily for him they sing the chorus about 14 times during the song. Humoring me in the biggest way he manages one "I'll tumble 4 ya" before quitting. Yeah, Greg is way too cool for this. He does want food, but even chips and dip are not worth this humiliation. He turns the channel before I am totally finished with my flashback.

Ill be your baby
Ill be your score (I used to think he said I'll be your girl)
Ill run the gun for you
And so much more
Chorus:Ill tumble 4 ya
Ill tumble 4 ya
Ill tumble 4 ya
Ill tumble 4 you

On Greg's station is Akon's song Dangerous: "Girl, I just want it right now, don't want to do no talkin" and suddenly, Boy George, unbelievably becomes harmless. Though I still am not sure what running the gun and tumbling for someone actually definitely sounds more innocent. Apparently musicians used to use abstract code words...these hip/hop rappers make sure they get right to the point.

November 20, 2008

too cute~ ps 22 chorus

These kids are from the Public School 22 in Brooklyn. They have their own blog.
I came across this video at Superhero Journal. She labeled it pure magic in music. I have to agree. There is something about elementary chorus singing that chokes me up everytime! The Coldplay song they are singing has a catchy tune..but it is more about the look on their faces as they sing that is adorable. I still have a smile on my face...the chorus "coach" should be proud as this is no doubt going to have a huge impact on the success those kids will have in their school careers.

November 18, 2008

my other most favorite show

All this blogging stuff definitely makes me feel a little bit hip...after all, when i started college the computer "main frame" took up a whole room in the basement of the computer lab. I did not email a single person during four years of college. We received accounts the first week, but not understanding what the heck this "email" stuff was...I never even activated the account. Granted, setting up your own blog is pretty easy, but nonetheless I am pretty impressed with my technical abilities. Remember I still don't have a cell phone. Now, just as I am feeling hip....enter into the picture Cody Linley. Best known for his part on Hannah Montana, he is the youngest (18 years old) contestant to participate in Dancing With the Stars. Which is my favorite show right after Law and Order SVU. Being pretty taken with my own son right about now as he is maturing and growing into a super awesome big guy (he just measured 5'7" at 13), Cody stole my heart right away.

I was talking to my sister on our ride to work (we carpool) and inadvertently called him a little pumpkin. He's cute, happy, emotional and sweet. But, tonight he got kicked off the show ~ sooner or later they all have to go. Hip went right out the window when my sister nefariously said...hmm, you know you are getting old when you call an 18 year old a little pumpkin.

Before you make fun of me for watching Dancing with the have to understand that it is a girls night gathering on my street, lots of goodies to eat and drink and most of the time I catch myself staring at the TV with a big old smile on my face. Feel good programming after a wicked day of felons works for me. Next week is the finals and Lance Bass will be strutting his stuff...check it out.

November 16, 2008

does everyone know bobby flay?

Before I start, let me back up. I am just beginning to be interested in cooking. I mean, actually cooking. Hence, the photo to the left of a cannister of smoked paprika that I picked up today. When I figured out that I could take time in the kitchen and create something tasty, I realized that my spices are sorely lacking and I am in the process of building up my collection. I attribute this new found interest in cooking to the fact that my kids are now pretty self sufficient and able to entertain themselves while I cook. See, I graduated from college, got married 4 months later and had my son exactly one year later. I guess that is why I never really practiced any type of fancy stuff in the kitchen. Plus, when you are cooking for kids and a non-adventurous-when-it-comes-to-food husband, you tend to be disenchanted with jazzing up dinner when all your family wants is plain. I on the other hand have suffered over the past 13 years. I love seafood, every kind of vegetable and fancy cheeses, sundried tomatos and lots of other totally kid unfriendly food. Well, here is the part where hiking leads to hiking, cooking for myself is also about creating a space for my own tastes! Quoting renee, "cooking is like meditation only you get to eat it". I find myself looking for recipes on sites where you input an ingredient and it comes up with recipe ideas for you. That is what a busy cooking mom needs, someone or something to take the thinking out of it. I can handle it from there. Especially with my finetune playlist blaring from the computer. Very relaxing. I don't think I am ready for a throwdown yet...which leads me to the other part of this post. Last week, my co-worker asked me if I watched the last episode of Bobby Flay? Who is Bobby Flay, I ask innocently. Appearing horrified, he learns that I really do not know who the heck this guy is. I know Rocco Despirito, does that count? So I get a crash course in Throwdown with Bobby Flay because he makes his mac and cheese similar to that of my co-worker. I tevo it, watch it and am now in the know of this foodnetwork icon. Then, I go out to dinner with the girls, and my friend Jennifer starts talking about a friend who has challenged her to a throwdown. Geez, now I realize I am really behind the times, but impressively, I can stick with her in the conversation. Ahhh, conversation...the bistro tallulah may never be the same. If there are any waitresses reading out there...when someone tells you they are allergic to alcohol, don't ask..just go with it. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time...Proof that you don't need to drink to have a fun girls night!

November 15, 2008

at least watch the first five minutes

Check out the movie What Would Jesus Buy. You'll be able to watch the whole thing by clicking the link, but you'll get the picture after the first five minutes. As a response to my last post, my friend at (i am alive) introduced me to this movie. I only had to watch the two minute trailer to know that this movie pretty much speaks the language of my mother, who for the past 7 years has been seriously concerned about the amount of "stuff" her grandchildren have accumulated. As a result we have all cut back on material items given at Christmas. The movie was created by the same guy who did Supersize Me. There is a line in the movie where the character says "everything on main street USA is manufactured in China". I dare you to try to find toys for your kids that are not. Last year, my mother refused to buy anything that came from china and encouraged us to do the same. It takes a lot longer to find meaningful gifts for kids and I love my mother for the effort she puts forth to find the special gifts she gives all of us. She is also the force behind us getting to some sort of church service at the holiday, further reminding us what the season is about. Mostly, I am thankful for her positive, thoughtful and grounded approach to grandparenting. (I think she's going to like getting her own blog "air time" too)

November 14, 2008

good commercial

I like the song and the message, but i am still going to honor buy nothing day
I have almost always worked the day after thanksgiving, but this year I'll be doing the same as last~hiking with my best girlfriend. I can't think of a better tradition and it beats getting up at 5am to brave the crowds. Spending money on people doesn't come close to the reward of spending time. I will do my part contributing to consumerism by purchasing toys for our adopt a family

My kids will get a few things, but they have come to understand through delivering to the needy families the past few years, that they have pretty much all they need. Everyday.

november day?

After eating some goodies with my family last weekend in celebration of my birthday, we took advantage of the warmish weather and raked my grandmother's yard. We dragged the leaves to the garden and mixed them into the dirt with the tractor discs (quicker composting but mostly so they would not blow into the neighbor's yard). the remaining corn stalks were cut down and the garden is now ready to be turned over in the spring. my mother remarked that by doing the leaves now our Easter raking day will be easier. With all this late warm weather we've been having, the forsythia bush has forced new blossoms and the apple tree appears to have lost all of its leaves but not the apples. (If I hadnt been out half the night this would have been an awesome day to hike)

November 9, 2008

my new pieces of equipment

I found out last year snowshoeing into the flowed lands that water easily freezes in the nalgene bottles, so I am happy to have this cozy holder for at least one of my bottles. The ad for it also says that it will keep soup warm.
this little gadget should come in handy to get a shot of my father and I together at the summits when (rarely) there aren't any other climbers around. I am also excited to use it when photographing moving water with a slow shutter speed to get the blurred effect. the gorilla pod wraps around trees or flexes to sit level on unlevel surfaces, such as rocks.

November 8, 2008

happy birthday to me

2 things i am thankful for today:
  • a young woman on my caseload who received thanksgiving help last year, provided a meal this year to a needy family because she wanted to give back.
  • that i love my job so much that i would volunteer to work overtime on my birthday
"be the change you want to see in the world"

~Mahatma Gandhi

November 5, 2008

a big dose of diversity

So, I was indeed the sole voter in my family of republicans to vote for Barack Obama. My daughter accompanied me into the booth, as she has done since her first election day at the age of 6 months. She was excited and I was a bit tearful as we pulled the lever together. The historical moment almost too inconceivable. I worried that my grandfather would be disappointed in me, my reasons for voting for Obama having been questioned by many....but finally, it has occurred to me...he would never be disappointed in me, ever. He was that loving and supportive. Regarding the election, he would expect me to do what I thought was right and not let anyone try to influence me otherwise, even if he didn't agree with me. Most importantly, my grandfather would get the biggest kick out of his littlest grandchildren talking about politics, wanting to beep at the people holding a rally in the park for Obama, campaigning to fourth grade friends and waking at 6:10 on the day after election day to learn the results of not only the presidential race, but also the senate race. He would say it was "just great". Strangely, election day triggers me to miss him terribly. They say we live on in our children and grandchildren... well, it might not be for the "right" party, but his love of politics and this country is alive and well in all of us. I am however, avoiding my grandmother...I think she may choke me out the next time I see her. Yeah, she's a whole other post.

in the words of tim russert

"what a country"

November 3, 2008

gettin closer to the driver's seat

thanks jen for helping me find the perfect election day post!

~exercise your right to vote today~

*women and black people had to wait a long time for that right

November 2, 2008

i hunted today and i vote

This post stems from my receipt of a flyer last week asking for support for Sandy Treadwell, but like all political advertising was more of an attack on Kirsten Gillibrand. the point of the flyer was that Gillibrand, like Obama, supports tougher bans on guns and ammunition and therefore i should not vote for her. funding for the flyer came from the NRA . now this caused me to research what the national rifle association has to say about the upcoming election. flashing in my mind is the bumper sticker commonly seen on pick up trucks, "I belong to the NRA and I Vote". So, basically, what the NRA is saying is Obama is going to be the toughest anti-gun president yet. They point out, as if it is a negative quality that he will stiffen the rules regarding licensing, concealed carrying and waiting periods not only to purchase handguns, but most other weapons too. In my opinion, none of the stricter guidelines will drastically affect legitimate hunters and after all, the hunters I know don't use 9mm glocks to shoot game to feed their families. Hunters can get the job done without having armor piercing ammunition and if they plan ahead for the season, I bet if they had to abide by a waiting period to purchase a rifle, that too would work. If law enforcement officers were the only one's with access to handguns and only hunters used rifles, we could continue to rely on laws that were passed before the year 1800. However, back then, kids were taking time off from school to hunt...not bringing semi-automatic weapons to school to kill their classmates. In the 1800's there weren't drug dealers with bigger arsenals of weapons than the police....society has changed folks.

That said, in a desperate attempt to get out in the woods today for a "hike", I participated in my first "hunting drive". It was pretty much like slowly bushwhacking through the woods, having to pay close attention to where the other drivers are and not getting ahead of the "sweep" of the woods you are trying to make to "kick up" some deer. Sadly, I am admitting that I was actually kinda into it. Except it was more fun if I thought of it as searching for bad guys rather than a poor deer. I also liked learning how to do it from my son, who was carrying a .20 gauge shotgun. I don't have a hunting license but I guess I should carry a gun while I still can. After Tuesday we might have a President who'll make me (and all the bad guys) wait.
P.S. ironically, the NRA called our house tonight wanting my husband to buy a membership. do they know somehow that I was sniffing around their website last night? Anyway, the two wannabe activists in our house shouted out "go Obama" making the woman chuckle a bit on the other end of the phone as my husband tried to graciously get off the phone with her before we further embarrassed him.

knee deep in nutcracker

My daughter is dancing with Tim McGuire this year and will be performing two dances in his presentation of The Nutcracker at Glens Falls High School. There are two shows, December 20th and 21st. Tickets are going on sale to the general public Wednesday, November 5th. I am very excited for her to be taught by Tim. He is a real professional and he runs a tight ship~ exactly the level of discipline and technical difficulty I was hoping for. This is going to be exciting and we're just getting into full swing with rehearsals and costume fitting....