Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sundays in My City

Unknown Mami
The Northeast has been hammered by wind and rain and snow this winter. This past week, while most of the Northeast had been getting snow, we had lots of rain, high winds and astronomically high tides. This does not bode well for the shore line.

In this picture, the water is usually about 5 feet below the parking lot edge at high tide. This day, the water was overflowing into the parking lot and covered the jetty.

You can see some of the beach erosion here. The tide is about 5 feet further up than usual.

Here's another look at the flooded jetty. To the left of the posts is where you can drive out on, to the right of the posts should be rocks that lead down to the beach. Typically a 2-6 foot drop.

This is a town landing that has taken a beating this winter. Yes, that is the asphalt of the parking lot. Where you see water, once was beach.

Here is a side shot of the devastation of the parking area.

You might think this is a puddle due to rain water. Nope, that is saltwater that has flooded a street.

This is not suppose to be a house that you get to by boat. Just sayin'.

This is the beach that we usually go to in the summer. We better bring some tall chairs this year, so we don't get wet at high tide!

That's all from Cape Cod this week! Happy Sunday!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ski Racing Part 2

So I found a box with some pictures and "stuff" in it that had to do with my skiing past. I don't have a scanner (HP don't you want me to review a scanner for you? please?) so I actually took pictures of pictures.

Now Melisa asked me if I won a gold medal. Although every ski racer dreams about being in the Olympics, it is not something too many succeed at. My brother skied in the Junior Olympics and I skied in the Bay State Games, which were like the Massachusetts Olympics. Actually my dad and I skied in the Bay State Games and both came home with medals!

(Please excuse the hair. I have no explanation for why I though perms were cool. Blech!)

Normally, we got engraved plates and bowls in place of medals. I am not sure why, but I still have a bunch of them.
Instead of a team helmet, we had team hats because protecting your brain at speeds of 25mph wasn't important in the 70/80's. Evidently I though it was a good idea to put pins all over my hat, too. Nothing says brain puncture like falling with pins in your hat.

Here is a picture from a sunny college race. These were 2 of my teammates. Look at how long our skis were. Now they are much shorter!
Here is my brother in a slalom race.

Here is a picture of me training slalom.
Here is a picture of me in a giant slalom race. Once again, what is up with the hair???

Here is a picture of my brother in a downhill. Yeah, very cool!

Now that you have gotten a feel for ski racing, the stories will come next.....

Friday, February 26, 2010

Frag'n Friday!

Thanks again to Mrs. 4444's for sponsoring the one day of the week you can spew all the random thoughts in your head in one post!

Half-Past Kissin' Time

*A bit of advice: Don't look in the bathroom mirror at your face with your reading glasses on.

*I walked over to my other house to get the mail today and to look for a few specific items that I needed to photograph. It's only a 1/2 mile away so I walked the dog over. Part way there, I looked at what I was wearing, blue pants, black jacket, multicolored scarf, lt. blue hat, purple backpack and since I couldn't find a leash, I was walking Gretel with one of the girls' belts. Hopefully, nobody I know saw me.

*New England weather. Today it has rained, snowed and the sun has been out. And it has been changing every 5 minutes.

*K had a sty on her eye lid this week that was so large, the eye Dr wanted to drain it. Yeah, gross. She did give us a good idea on how to keep a hot compress on it. Boil an egg, then wrap it in a cloth. It stays warm for about 15 minutes!

*So many great stories in the Olympics this week! How about the Canadian girl that came in 3rd yesterday in the ice-skating and her mom died 4 days ago! I am really not thrilled with NBC's coverage of the Olympics. The least they should do is show the Americans: all of them, not just the well known ones. The only skiers that have been shown on tv are the ones who won medals. What about the others?

*B went to an 80's party at the Community Center tonight. So, my sister and I got carried away with her. What can we say? We are 80's girls. She was rocking the blue eye shadow and pink feathers in her teased hair! Hopefully her friends dressed the par,t too!
*Yes, as promised, a photo of me racing. It was a proof from a professional photographer, so excuse the D across it. Gives you an idea anyway and shows off my skin tight GS suit. All I could fit under that thing were spandex bottoms and a tshirt on top. One time, it was so cold out that the zipper froze to my neck by the time I made it down the course. Good times, good times!

Happy Weekend!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

How I Became a Ski Racer...(part1)

That's right, how I became a ski racer. Not a snow bunny or a lodge rat, but a ski racer. FYI, snow bunnies dress to impress on the slopes, but may not be able to ski and lodge rats enjoy sitting in the lodge all day.....

Evidently my parents put me on skis at age 2. My mom once skied, but hooked my dad into marrying her and decided the lodge and a juicy book was more fun than freezing her ass off on the slopes. In my town, our elementary schools had Thursday afternoons off. In the winter, they would bus us to the local mountain( Nashoba Valley) for an afternoon of ski lessons. They would blast Barry Manilow from the speakers all over the mountain and we would have peanut butter crackers for snack. (Funny the stuff you remember). At one point, my friend Kerry asked me if I wanted to join the racing team at the mountain: the Nashoba Rovers. I was all over that! I trained and raced and raced and trained. Before that I had been strictly a NASTAR ski racer and would try and earn pins for my hat at different mountains. My dad and I would do it for fun.

When I got to 8th grade, I reached a point where I was getting too good for the local competition. (Sorry, I am not trying to brag). I wound up going to Mount Hood in Oregon that summer for 2 weeks to ski on a glacier! OK, that camp is a whole'nother post. Skiing on the top of a mountain when it was raining at the base lodge and there was lots of green grass, was AMAZING!

That winter was the first winter I skied against racers in NH. Eventually, with my younger brother and sister, I joined the Waterville Valley Black and Blue Trail Smashers (WVBBTS). I would go to school all week in Mass and on Friday afternoons, we would head to NH to our rented condo, train or race Sat and Sunday, and come home Sun night. This would happen every weekend from Thanksgiving to the end of March. To say I had no social life during HS would be completely accurate. Actually, I had many friends at Waterville Valley, but we would all be in bed by 9, so we didn't get into too much trouble. I dragged my brother and sister into the racing scene, my brother willingly, my sister not so much. She raced and all, but just didn't love it as much as Tommy and I did. She did like the social aspect more.

It is an unbelievable feeling being in the starting gate at the top of a race course. You're nervous, excited, and have an intense need to pee. Our dad wanted to understand what we were going through before, during and after a race, so he took up racing as well. He raced in a "master's league". He would be out on the mountain training with us, in the wax room tuning skis and sitting around talking about the advantages of one wax over another or who's fall of the day was the most momentous. Yes, through all the years of this, my mom's job was to support us, make us lunch and warm up our frostbitten feet when we came in at the end of the day.

I went to a Division 1 skiing college and skied all 4 years. Our season started with dryland training the second week of September and ended in March. During the snow season, we would ski Mon, Tues, Wed afternoons, drive to a carnival (ski race at another college) on Thursday, race Fri and Sat, and have the day off on Sunday. It definitely made the winter fly by in snowy Maine. It was a huge commitment, but I wouldn't have changed a thing.

My favorite event was slalom (that is the tight, turny gates). The funny thing is, is that I started racing with bamboo gates. You would try to get as close to the gates as possible (as in the fastest way down a hill is a straight line) and if you hit a bamboo gate, it would hurt! But you wanted to get close and your coaches would ENCOURAGE you to hit them with your arms. Hmm, can you say bruises? Finally, rapid gates were invented which is what you see in the Olympics now. You can hit the gate and it bends, but pops back up. It allows the racer to practically go through the gate. These make for a much faster run (and less bruises!). Also, when I raced (crap I sound old), we never had to use a helmet unless we were skiing a downhill. Now everyone wears a helmet!

One of my coaches (he was such a hard ass, but looking back, it is what made him a good coach), would make you run a slalom course and for every gate you didn't hit, you had to do 10 pushups on the snow next the the course. My arms had never been so buff (or bruised!).

I'll try and throw in a few pictures tomorrow. I don't think I actually have too many of me racing. I have found a few, so I will add them in as proof for my Friday Fragments.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sundays in My City

Unknown Mami

Yesterday my mom, B and her friend A and I went to....
Ptown is the tip of Cape Cod. If you look at Cape Cod as an arm, Ptown is the hand, Chatham is the elbow and Falmouth is the armpit. (Sorry Falmouth). We went to Race Point Beach first.

As you can tell, it was a little windy and chilly, but beautiful nonetheless. We finally found the base of the Pilgrim Monument (trust me, we drove around and around). In the summer season you can climb to the top. We had to be satisfied with a picture from the bottom.
Provincetown's streets are very narrow. In the summertime, this street is hopping with people.

This is a buoy, lobster pot bench.

B and A having a whale of a time!

The fishing industry is very big in Ptown. The boats are mostly draggers and trawlers. I liked how this one was called Blue Skies, because it was a very blue sky day!

This is a warehouse on a dock that has pictures of women who have been important to the fishing industry.

B took a picture of me, sitting on the newest bench in town.

There you have it: a winter's tour of Ptown. I promise to come back in the summer and show you the difference!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Frag'n Friday!

Mommy's Idea
What is wrong with me, that I cannot get my Friday Fragments out on Friday??? I think about it all week and Friday comes and whoosh it's Saturday. I think Mrs. 4444s is pretty forgiving, so hopefully she won't throw me out of the party.

*I realized that I never gave you my run down on the different ski competitions in the Olympics. Thankfully, due to weather, many of them were postponed, so I am not too late. The downhill has already happened. This is one event that I never raced, however, my brother and my dad have. Basically you point your skis downhill and go. FAST. It is the least turny of the races. SuperG is coming up today for the women. I never raced this either. It is slightly more turny than Downhill. Giant Slalom, my sister's fave, is big turns. For all these events, you have to go through a course that alternates red and blue gates. You cannot pick your own way down the hill. My favorite is Slalom, where the turns are really tight. I like turny, what can I say. I will do another post on me and skiing next week. I have to have my sister scan some pictures of me skiing.

*Julia Mancuso ROCKS the tiara! I am sure that she is Melisa with One S's favorite Olympic athlete.

*In Maine last week, I took K and B and Beck's girls tubing. Normally, one would think, Maine in February=snow, lots of snow. Nope. It is eerily weird how Washington DC has more snow than Maine. Just look at the mud on the track!

Frozen mud, didn't stop them from having fun, though!!

*The snow Gods blessed Maine with 3 inches of snow later that day. So the 4 girls and 1 neighbor were outside from 8-10pm having a snowball fight (complete with armor). We had to drag them inside!

They stocked snowballs in boxes.

I think this is a particularly good advertisement for Long Hammer beer.

*The next door neighbor hung up his laundry early the next morning. Hey, it was going to be in the 40's. I love taking pictures of hanging laundry, but don't like wearing clothes that have been hung on a line. Weird, right?
*Time to make the pancakes before the troops take my computer away.
Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bates or Bust!

Today, I took my girls to Bates for the first time. I cannot believe that it was the first time I took them there. We are staying with my roommate from Bates and her family for a few days. Beck had to go check on her nordic ski team and the girls and I needed lunch. B had heard me talking about the "cereal wall" since I had gone up to Bates in May with Lisa Genova. So, it was natural for us to hit the commons area for lunch.

I have never seen my girls so excited about food. This was like Disney World to them. (Cheaper, too) They could not believe that you could get what you wanted, eat it and then GO BACK FOR MORE! Plus, Bates has done an amazing job with their new cafeteria. There are all sorts of ethnic areas of food, ice-cream, the cereal wall, toast, bagels, fruit, a gluten free section, a vegan section, pizza, salad bar and my favorite, the pastry/dessert area.

The girls were in awe.

Just look at B in front of the cereal wall.

She had cereal, then ice cream, then she went back for roast beef and hash browns. Yeah, not kidding.

K was giddy and started with cereal, then burnt 4 pieces of toast until she got the 5th one right, then moved on to ice cream and swore that the Sierra Mist was the best that she ever had. They even said that they wished they lived closer so they could eat there a few times a week. The conveyer belt that they put their dirty dishes on was the cherry on top.

We only had time to check out the swimming pool for B and the track for K and the hockey rink that is new since I had gone there. We did get to pose by "ski team rock" for a photo. (The ski team used to meet at this rock every day for practice before the bobcat statue became a fixture.)

Yup, future Batesies. At $50,000 a year, someone is going to need to hit the lottery BIG time! Or maybe I could start grooming them for scholarships now. Either way, I won't have to worry about them starving if they go here!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Have a Heart...

Unknown Mami
My Sundays in My City has a heart theme in honor of Valentine's Day. Thank you Unknown Mami for sponsoring this!

Our downtown area tried to drag tourists here (in the middle of winter when things are pretty quiet) so they made a big hoopla over Valentine's Day.

My girls and I hit the beach for their annual Valentine's Day photo. I have taken a picture of them around Valentine's Day every year since they were little. I included some old pictures of them in this post.

This heart is made with mermaid toenails. Yup, that's what everyone calls them because they are shiny and beautiful. (Like toenails are shiny and beautiful?)

I tried to make the girls in the shape of a heart, but it turned into a giggling fest. K made a broken heart. Bummer, right?

This is a mussel shell that I found exactly like this on the beach!

And here are my Valentine's.

Have a great day!