Monday, January 31, 2011

Sorry Bozemanites...

The first thing I had to do after learning tomorrow was a snow day (after doing a little dance of joy) was call my Mother and taunt her with the fact that we get the day off for the "potential of severe weather."  My Mother is a teacher in a district that has not had a snow day since 1987.  Not kidding.  They only had a snow day because the wind chill was some obscene number like  -60 degrees or something.  We are looking at about -20 degrees tomorrow.

Not that I am going to complain about the unexpected day off, but I feel like we would have probably been okay without the snow day.  This morning's commute (normally 10 minutes) took me 30, and that was after spending nearly a half hour chipping ice off my windshield.  Let's just say that driving on a solid sheet of ice on the freeway makes me REALLY thankful for my 4WD Jeep and studded snow tires.  I wish I had studded shoes after I fell down on the sidewalk!  But I made it to work and I could probably do the same thing tomorrow.

However, I think why winter storms are a bigger deal here is that they happen somewhat infrequently.  It is easy to forget that there is the potential for ice and snow when you have 70 degree days in January, and people forget that driving on ice is a completely different skill and your confidence really goes away.  Even I am guilty of this, despite the fact that my first driving experience ever was in winter.  But we cannot forget that I also drove the trainer car into the ditch my first day of Driver's Ed as well.  Ooops.  There are also about 10x as many cars on the road here than in Bozeman, so there are just more people to hit or be hit by.

We get lulled into a false sense of security about winter when we go weeks and weeks without any snow to speak of.  Granted, it is sort of like waiting to be shoved off a cliff because when it snows here,  it REALLY snows.

Remember the December 2006 blizzard?  I do, because I was stranded at DIA.  Then took a four hour bus ride back to Denver.  Next, I took the only bus that got remotely near my house (if you count walking 30 blocks in a blizzard nearby) because I was not getting stranded at the Stapleton PnR.  By the time I got home a couple hours later, dragging my suitcase, not dressed appropriately and wearing clogs, walking from 14th and Quebec to 8th and Cherry, I was disoriented and hypothermic.  The last few blocks all I wanted to do was lay down in the snow and go to sleep.  That is how people die in snowstorms.    

Anyway, dear Montana friends, I wish you all the best at work and school tomorrow.  :)  I am going to sleep in, clean my house and watch the snow fall while I run inside on the treadmill.  And in a week, chances are I will be back to wearing Chacos.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

not-so-deep contemplations

I know the title of this blog is "Diary of a Contemplative", which implies that I sit at home and ponder deep thoughts.  Which sometimes I do, but some days I just would rather ponder some more trivial things.

*Warning: some of these contemplations could be construed as petty complaints.  But it's my blog, so I can complain if I want.*

1. Why are HMOs so difficult to deal with? Remember the ankle injury from last summer?  My HMO will cover indefinite amounts of physical therapy, but refuses to pay for the therapeutic orthotics for my shoes that will prevent me from getting into this situation in the first place.  So I am paying for them with my FSA, and reaping the benefits of the 50% cash discount.

2. Why is it that I cannot remember to purchase everything I meant to at the grocery store, even when I make a list?  Tonight I walked down the dairy aisle twice and still managed to forget cheese, despite the fact that I also bought butter and yogurt, which flank the cheese.  Lame.

3. Did you know that glass candle jars will explode if you try to burn down all the wax?  Which means I am now cleaning wax and glass shards off the top of my stove.

4.  Why is it that people who are overly nice often come off as just plain annoying?  I refer to it as being saccharine.  And a couple of my colleagues epitomize this.

5. Does using Twitter make me self important?  I think not.  I believe it is career development and marketing research.  And I love the creativity involved in making hashtags.

6. How do you know if you have too many shoes?  I recently determined that having 13 pairs of shoes laying around my house, not including those in the closet, means that I have too many.

7. Why is it that the smallest things can give us the greatest pleasure?  Today I discovered a huge bag of Swedish fish in the back of my pantry, and that made my day.  Seriously.

8. My life is occasionally a series of very stupid things.  Last week I accidentally yanked out my own nose stud.  Which then bounced on the kitchen floor and under the refrigerator.  So at 11pm I was moving the fridge, and when I saw what was under it-yuck-I had to boil the nose jewelry and then wait for it to cool.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Ten things I am thankful for as 2011 begins

1. The beautiful state that I get to live in, Colorado.  The picture below is the view from behind my house.

2. Family.  I am related to a pretty fun group of people.

3. Friends.  From Denver to Fort Collins and Boulder to Bozeman, my friends are the people who create community and make me laugh.

4. House for All Sinner's and Saints.  I love this church and the people in it.  This congregation is a group of people living their lives together, and I am so thankful for the friends that I have made here.

5. Simple Pleasures like good food and drink and people to share them with.

6. My Health.  Made even more poignant as I bounce back from a bout of the flu.

7. Good Books.

8. Yoga and Meditation.  Is there really a better way to step back from the rat race and gain perspective?

9. Humor.  I have a bizarre and eclectic sense of humor, but this is also another one of my favorite ways to gain perspective.

10. Strange and Unexpected Bits of Beauty.  Like this graffiti on the bike trail near my house.