Fredagsvandring

Den här veckan har varit en helt vanlig vecka men med strålande sol och kyla, blå himmel och fågelkvitter. Så är det faktiskt här ganska ofta men vissa veckor är ju bara extra fina. Jag har haft turen att kunna vara ute varje dag, och till och med i skogen varje dag. Det kanske är det som gör att det känns extra bra. Hur lyxigt är inte det? Det är inte så att jag hasat runt i gympapupporna och skubbat på skogsstigar hela dagarna men någon timme här och där, lite då och då. Och så fick jag en riktigt lång fredagsvandring som bonus. Mjuka skogsstigar, krispig luft och gula löv som frasar när man går på dem. Sol på kinderna och röd, droppig näsa. Trött kropp. Det finns inget finare än när solen glimmar mellan träden, letar sig fram och skjuter strålar i ränder långt in i en mörk skog. När man pratar om livskvalité så tror jag att det ligger väldigt högt upp på listan för mig.

Igår var en sådan dag som man minns. Jag drog iväg på en bergsvandring lite mer än en timme hemifrån med några kompisar. Det var en ny trail för oss alla. Tanken var att vi skulle gå några timmar uppför och hamna vid en alpin sjö och sedan gå tillbaka. Och det gjorde vi. Vi såg Rainier skina i solen på långt håll. Känslan att veta att jag varit på toppen är ganska skön faktiskt. Vi knallade på, delade upp oss lite för att vi gick olika fort. Men speciellt med dagen var att vi var mer eller mindre ensamma i skogen. Solen sken, luften var riktigt kall och här och var klev vi över is på stigarna. Vi passerade ljudliga vattenfall där vi balanserade över stock och sten, smög genom ödsliga skogar. Vi vandrade över stora stenpartier där vi klättrade över stenblock, vi gick uppför i flera timmar innan vi sedan började gå nerför igen. Och så kom vi fram till en kall sjö där vi gick några kilometer längs kanten och stannade sedan på en sten i solen och åt lite. Och inget hände. Vi satt tysta och tittade ut över det vackra, tomma. Inte en själ. Hur ofta är det så att det är helt tomt, tyst och solen skiner hela vägen in i hjärtat? Och så gick vi tillbaka över stock och sten i flera timmar genom skogen, uppför och sedan nerför. Det är fint med vänner man kan hasa runt i naturen med och dela tysta stunder.

När man pratar om att ladda batterierna så tror jag att min sladd kopplades in där och då. Hikingbrallorna på, ryggsäcken på ryggen, en banan och en nötcrème, svartvinbärssaft i termosen och 6 timmar vandring i benen.

Den härliga julen är här

Det lider mot jul… Det närmar sig och som vanligt är alla i hemmet 100% förberedda, i tanken. Det är enligt tradition. I tanken har vi kokat knäck, bakat mandelformar, syltat och lagt in sill men i verkligheten är det enbart saffransbullar i frysen och köpepepparkakor i skafferiet. And that’s it. Men skinkan är beställd! Här är det snöfritt och i Sverige är det regeringsfritt. Fritt från det mesta. Vi njöt några dagar när det låg frost på gräset och himlen var klarblå. Jag tog mig ett par dagar i skogen och njöt av den krispiga luften och gnistrande frost. Till fot och på cykel. Nu har det öst ner ett par dagar och gräsmattan är lerig igen. Doris sticker ut nosen och kommer snabbt in igen och undrar varför små hundar inte har inomhusfaciliteter. Det börjar också dra ihop sig mot finals och diverse prov. Bilarna och bussen går varma till teshoppar, pubar, bibliotek och diverse universitet. Och vissa väntar på antagningsbesked från andra länder. Den eliga bilen blev i dagarna utbytt till ny modell och färg och kan nu resa oändligt långt på en liten laddning. Det underlättar. Utveckling på batterifronten. Och så läste jag idag att svenskarna reser med flyg tre gånger mer än resten av världens befolkning. Men jösses så löjligt. Charter hit och charter dit. Alla har ju rätt till en Thailandsresa 😉 och har hört talas om svenskarnas rätt till att ta över Thailand. Jag trodde amerikanerna skulle vara värst som vanligt men icke. Här har man ju svårt att ta sig till andra sidan landet utan att flyga och många har ju familjen spridd.

Oavsett hur seg och okokt knäcken är så har hösten rasslat iväg. Apropå flyg… Tre längre resor, Florida, Sverige och Island de senaste 5 veckorna har gjort att tiden rusat och sömnen trasslat en aning. Härligt sällskapligt har det dock varit och nu väntar en hyfsat lugn jul med alla barn hemma, kanske för sista gången. Idag var det dags för att kämpa lite med granen. För 10 år sedan åkte vi bort på julen och beslutade oss för att skaffa en plastgran. Detta polyestermonster hänger fortfarande i och varje år lovar jag och svär att nästa år är det dags för en färsking igen. Tror ni inte att jag släpade in granskrället idag igen. Än så långe är den inte helt med på noterna för att vi lamporna strejkar en aning. Men jag är helt övertygad att den kommer att lysa ett år till.

På tävlingsfronten är det öken och pensionerat. Jag trodde att det skulle vara lugna gatan och ybertoppen att slippa pressen från heldagspass, packlistor och sömnlöshet men icke. Det är mer plus på vågen, men hyfsad form och fy sjutton är det så här livet ska vara nu. Och det gillar jag inte. Uppenbarligen så presterar vissa bättre under kraftig press, med kalla fötter och blöta kläder i skogen. Och helst ska jag ha gått bort mig lite också eller tappat papperskartan. Ge mig en molntäckt glaciär på något udda ställe att vandra på så kommer det nog kännas bättre. Träningen har legat och morrat på medelåldersnivå de senaste månaderna men för ett par veckor sedan tog jag tag i eländet och fick lite mer fart igen. Löppulsen ligger på gubbfartsnivå och orken är kass men det blir nog bra framåt våren. Allt fler frågar om det är dags att ta upp golfen igen men jag väntar nog ett decennium till innan det är dags. För korta kjolar i syntet och vita skor är ju inte riktigt min grej.

Om ni känner att ni vill ha några vettiga tips från coachen så läs vidare…

Kontinuitet! Det är lätt att slå på stort och köra järnet. Men, nej. Det funkar oftast inte så bra. Hellre kontinuerlig träning och rutiner. Och om det funkar så lägg till mer.

Glöm inte att lyfta lite tungt då och då. Muskler är ballt och hyfsat bra mot benskörhet.

Endorfiner är underskattade! Skog är schysst.

 

October

My irregular and sporadic blog postings are now a bad habit. It’s not happening very often but I am sure that one day I will be up to speed again and then this website will be up and running as an everyday thing again. Until then…

It’s October on this side of the world and it really shows. Colorful leaves and a constant drizzle, and every now and then blue sky and gorgeous mountains far away. The first snow fell a few days ago up in the mountains and it’s really chilly in the morning before the sun wakes up. We are currently waiting for the big storm that will probably hit us tonight and go on until Sunday. We should be stocking up on emergency supplies and food but the adventurer in family (moi) have a plan to wing it. Well, I made sure that my car is filled up and that my good headlamp is completely charged. According to different news sites we should have a survival kit ready with medical supplies, passports, a crank radio, games and activities for children, surgical masks and lots and lots of extra stuff. Well, I do think I have most of the stuff we need including different color duct tape, whistle, 11 bikes and emergency blankets. Food is a different thing; it says that we might need a two-week supply. I am extremely unplanned and usually I swing by the store every day just because I feel like chicken and not beef, or I need a “3a grädde”, a bunch of parsley or some coffee beans. Oh well, we have a lot of rabbits in the neighborhood so hopefully we will survive. Fingers crossed that we will have electricity all weekend and that the bridge stays open for school on Sunday.

The Nobel prize in literature was announced at 13.00 Swedish time. It’s a big thing in Sweden. The TV studios are filled with knowledgeable people that have planned this perfect day. They have figured out and read a bunch of different candidates. They have their favorites. And then they hear the name Bob Dylan. Anticlimactic. I am not sure how I feel or think. In a way I think it was a great decision, a modern way to think where music and literature (and politics) binds together and the status of poetry is uplifted, new poetic expressions. But in another way… duh…really. The music industry is huge and the book industry is fighting, literature is getting more and more abbreviated and the written word is often read on a flickering screen. Books are not something people buy anymore, we download and then when we are finished, we delete. And yes, I understand this a prize given for poetry and beautiful writing but mostly for its political undertones. The literature (and peace) prize often goes to someone that has a quiet voice in the world and needs attention in the wider perspective. Dylan’s voice is well known, spread around the world and loud. And frankly, quite boring but that is my opinion. Since the prize often gives a political statement I will assume this is a way for the Nobel committee to draw attention to the political and social aspects that is happening in USA and the rest of the world right now. Did it work? Not sure. Will the money help a quiet voice that need to spread to the rest of the world? Don’t think so. But, I might be wrong. The answer is blowing in the wind.   

And that leads me naturally to the craziest election in history. Trump v. Hillary. The lack of human decency is horrifying. We follow the news every day and it’s a hunt for new scoops and headlines. The politics has a second place in this election, first place is how much crap Trump can make up every day. The rest of the world think this is a big, fat joke and a large part of the country is considering voting for Trump. I feel ashamed. And very scared.         

What else is new? School is in full swing. Three kids, three different schools, three directions every morning. It was going great until one sprained an ankle and was unable to drive herself 6.30 in the morning. But we survived that too and she is now both walking (a bit wobbly and interesting) and driving again. 

19 years ago tomorrow I became a mom for the first time. In a way it feels like yesterday. That little cutie is now full time student at UW and working part time, coaching and keeping up with life in an extraordinary way. I am so proud to be her mom. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHANNA!  

 

Wearing pants and watching movies

It feels like I’ve done this before, written a post-surgery post. New body part this time but same body. I am around, at home, waiting for stuff to fall into place, literally. The days I spent at the hospital were a blast. I had a bunch of nurses and a handful of doctors poking, squeezing, cutting and feeding me. Life passed fast for three, four days, always someone by my side. And at the same time the minutes passed so slow. I got really excited when I saw the menu the first day but unfortunately eating was not the first priority. The two doctors came in every day and told me surgery was a success, two thumbs up. 30 something shining staples in a beautiful row on my tummy. Awesome. I came in fresh and mobile and crawled out a vegetable. I can tell you, I didn’t feel or look that fresh. Surgery is not at all like in the movies, you don’t wake up fresh, smiling and ready to sit up. You wake up with a sore throat, unable to speak, unable to move and with a button in your hand to press to keep the morphine coming.  

The first thing I wanted was black coffee and they all thought it was kind of odd. I had my room close to the kitchen so I smelled the coffee for almost 24 hours before I could ask for a cup. I stood up on my own two legs without passing out and walked a few yards a few hours later. Big success. All motivated by the coffee maker 15 yards away.

I learned the shifts the nurses worked and I also had to work on how to hold on to my tummy when I laughed. They were all great. After constantly setting off the alarm on the heart monitor the first 12 hours, they realized that I wasn’t actually dying, I was just very, very calm.

I felt scared in a weird way when I knew the night nurse started her shift. She was really nice but I had no chance getting a say in what was about to happen. She came in every hour and turned me from side to side, even if that meant waking me up or turning me away from the tv.

And then I went home. It felt great to take a shower and sleep. And then I tried to cut out the medicine and get back to normal. It didn’t work that great so I am back down. Yesterday I accomplished two things, I got dressed and I watched a whole movie without falling asleep. I’ve tried about 10 times the past few days and I must say yesterday was a success. And who knows what today will bring. I put on real pants this morning.

Summer ’16

Long time since last…A whole summer passed. The grass is dry and light brown, the apples are ripe and blackberries are falling off leaving a bluish trace on the ground. Kids are around, working a little, sleeping, hanging out. We have been out and about every now and then, some hiking, swimming, packed lunch and coffee thermos, lazy summer days. I developed a little Molly Moon obsession over the summer and if you want to make me happy bring me a pint of Earl Grey ice cream with some sprinkles. We drove over to one of our favorite spots in Washington, on the Olympic peninsula. Said hi to a couple of mountain goats, deer and squirrels. Picked some blueberries and lavender, hiked around, ate good food and felt the wind in our hair riding the ferry. Seattle is beautiful this time of year; summers here are great. It’s bittersweet, staying home is great but we are so missing our other home.

I go by the name Joan at home after a day at Alki. I bought a cup of coffee at Sbux and the barista asked for my name. Charlotte obviously sounds like Joan.

 

I had a few races to look forward to this summer but I missed the first and will miss the next too. Let’s just say it’s not my season but I have a feeling 2017 will be a great year in many ways. I had the opportunity to join a team for a Ragnar Relay here in Washington in July. Kind of a last minute decision that turned out really well. I met some really nice people and ran my fastest miles in a long time. Well fastest in years actually and it was fun while it lasted. A weekend of no sleep, running in the dark and lots of fun. But I really miss adventure racing and I have to admit that I hope something big will happen sooner than later. My feet look way too pretty and I have no new scars on my body so it must be time for something grande. I had the opportunity to meet up with friends and hike up to Base Camp Muir on Mt Rainier a few weeks ago. A hike to 10000ft, gorgeous wildflowers, meadows, snow, ice and sunshine. The mountain was cracking and rumbling. A fantastic experience, absolutely gorgeous and wild. It was a speedy walk up and an even faster glissading down. I can’t wait to do it again and maybe all the way up next time.

 

School is almost here… we have missed you… not at all. I have started the process of signing papers. No joke. Concussion tests, medical history, medication in school, vaccinations (date for the last Tdap? Who knows when you have 3 kids) It’s easier to slip in something illegal than an EpiPen to a high school. We had the first incident in a long time a few weeks ago, so we kind of know it’s still well needed. Three kids, three different schools. I haven’t figured out how we all will get around in three cars and who’s going to bike or take the bus.

Are we tired of the Olympics yet? No, not at all. But the mix in Seahawks pre-season and Mariners day long games kind of gets me. Let me just finish Rio first before all the other stuff continues. And volleyball try outs starts next week…have mercy.

Joan

 

June

7 loads of laundry and lawn moving, that is what this month’s last day consisted of. June, a month of craziness. It started out with a big graduation. Johanna got her cap and gown, we saw her on the big screen at Key Arena and all her cords of excellence shone in the camera flashes. A very proud moment for her and us. And I have to brag a little bit, top 10%, with honors. We had family visiting for the first two weeks of the month that were also the last days of school for the kids. Off to Bend, OR for a climbing competition for a few days. Stuffy nose, fever and all over achy but had a really nice time with Caroline. It’s a long drive for a few days but well worth it. We stayed at a nice place and ate really good food. The food trucks in Bend are worth a visit.

Back home, unpacked the puffy coat and packed shorts and volleyball gear and off to Orlando, FL. Jo’s last tournament as a volleyball player. Brjann coaching and the rest of us as supporters and team chauffeur/chaperone. Over 2200 teams from around the country and the world playing. 98 degrees and asphalt melting. It’s just too much. And we didn’t get to see any alligators this time. The supporter crew ran between games and Universal Studios, cheering on the team and riding rollercoasters in heat. We opted for the water rides and walked around in wet clothes most of the time. The new Harry Potter area was actually amazing if you are a fan and we spent endless time there. Still a stuffy nose, fever and achy. After little bit over a week at the number one retirement state, two flew to Anaheim, CA for another tournament and the rest of us had another day of heat and midnight burgers and then we flew the team home to Seattle, WA. We got a bit teary and sentimental when we got home, two kids and I. It’s a really great group of kids. It felt good breathing crisp air, the skyline is beautiful and the mountains look inviting. And here we are.

The kids that are back home are sleeping and climbing, enjoying the first few days without school and sleeping in their own beds. Three family members at home, three cars, we all have our freedom back. I am still trying to cure my cold after three weeks, catching up, cleaning my mailbox after a month of other commitments, making phone calls, doing some yardwork and baking. The tomato plants barely survived, grapes are growing and the grass is thriving. Its race time in two weeks and I have trouble breathing. I am running one mile at the time, literally. I run one mile in the slowest pace possible. How do you get your breath back after a cold?

What else? Nothing mucho.

And I forgot to post this. Another week passed and the cold is almost gone, the tomatoes are thriving and blackberries are getting darker and juicier. We are eagerly waiting for nicer weather and for getting into the summer feeling. We haven’t really seen the sun in days and we are heating up around the grill at night pretending its summer.

 

Nothing new

Just realized that it must have been over a month since my last update. That’s a long time. So, what happened since last time. A new Whole Life Challenge is going on again. And please remind me why I sign up for stuff like this. No fun, I’m not happy about it. I overusing nut butter, regular nuts and fruit. Overeating as it’s best. I’ve tried to take care of my ever screwed up foot, the fourth time draining a swollen tumor. Life at its best. That resulted meeting an orthopedist for my other knee that is now injected with a bunch of shots and I now hop around on crutches. All fun stuff, all good in the hood. This whole thing will be over after the weekend and life goes on. A never ending story. Limal had no clue how right he was.

More news since last time. I broke my laptop, that is probably why I haven’t posted an update in forever. It was my fault, I drenched it in fluid. I had a sad interaction at the store, begging for help. I tried really hard, opened it up completely, dried it with air in a can. It didn’t work out. At all. Brjann set me up with one of the old Surfaces at home. I am not amused. Don’t get me wrong here, it’s a great machine but it’s not enough. I’m not happy, my fingers complain, my eyes are not happy, it’s not enough. Talk about eyes, I had my eyes checked a while ago. I’m off the hook, only reading glasses… still in the zone people. I am still 25, but pushing 35. I also broke my Band and I just stopped what I was doing, in chock. So that meant that my steps didn’t count that day. No, just kidding. But I did break it again, it just torn. I’ve stopped obsessing about my sleep pattern (even if I find it extremely interesting), my steps are pretty much the same every week. More interesting now is the cardio minutes. Keep your heart rate up peeps.

Tournament weekend at UW. It’s camping weekend for a lot of people. I’m happy it’s not camping weekend for us. I’m pretty much done with that. I wouldn’t mind a 24 hour wander up the mountains but my no 1 company is resting for a while. I can’t wait for his return. A long car ride, a soggy sandwich, nuts and raisins, a few bars, water, sleeping bag, poles that I seem to loose and wool socks. And maybe new plans for 2017. I’m looking forward to it.

We are wrapping up school for this semester. Jo has a few days left before graduation. Caroline is choosing classes for BC next year and Sof is panicking over being left behind at high school by her two older sisters. I am thinking and planning that maybe we need to buy a fourth car, or maybe I should bike every day. Or maybe just get a bigger pack and run. Oh, I got a new car a few weeks ago, not a hybrid this time. But black, for course. It’s difficult, I keep losing it when I park. It’s small. I will not fit a blown up pack raft in this one. The mother ship is long gone.

Elections are getting closer here. Shocking! All of it. I’m not pleased. I have an argument with the news anchors every morning. The country is messed up. Big time. The guy should be a pet mortician or something that didn’t involve people and world politics. But vote like you feel it’s right. It’s all in the hair and spray tan peeps. Irresistible.