between here and there


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Powder Days

It has been one of those days that folks who live in snow country live for. An overnight and early morning snow on Saturday. OMG!! A powder day on the weekend ! Not too cold. Beautiful, still. From my place the snow had gathered 6-8″ deep. Maybe even 10 gauging from the top of my boot.

It was still snowing at 9 am when I left my place for a hot yoga class. Floated right out if the driveway and road because nothing had been plowed yet . My first attempt at some concentrated exercise after wrecking my back in an exercise class. It was my lower spine, the doc said. The sacrum, actually . The cure? Acupuncture. I had never had acupuncture before. But here it was. Time to get over fear of needles. It’s all about energy and breathing he said. I thought, sounds like yoga….I can do this. No problem. Needles followed by thirty minutes of relaxing and prana type breathing . A week of sessions and holding off from hiking or other exercise and the excruciating pain I had been experiencing for 2 months is gone! Yay! Ok. So back to today and yoga. I took it easy. No crazy twisting. Very measured. And hot! Dripping with sweat as one does in those classes. A quick meal afterwards and home to enjoy the snow.

I live at the end of one of the canyons in Bozeman at the edge of one of the largest parking areas and trail heads. I had heard that the route up another road to the local ski mountain had been bumper to bumper, but that did not prepare me for the cars at the road around my house. Wow!! And then I saw it. A cute little red Jetta with Bozeman plates. Parked right in front of my driveway. Seriously? And then a few other choice words were floating around in my head. Couldn’t they see my tracks out from a few hours earlier??
I wanted to get up my driveway and there was just enough space for me to shimmy my SUV between two cars . But the road plow had left a mountain of snow at my driveway edge that would require some momentum to get over . Not a delicate move, nor a shimmy. The only thing to do was dig out the snow so I could get past the little red Jetta . Retrieving my snow shovel I went to work on the mound. Yes . I made it up the driveway . And if you happen to see a cute little red Jetta with Bozeman plates driving past you that has a sweet little mound of snow on top of it. Just know it was parked in front of my driveway. As far as overworking my back?? Nah, it was a powder day. That stuff was light as a feather!

Hope everybody had a great Saturday doing whatever life presented them with.

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winter breath

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This morning it is perfectly still outside. Looking out my living room window into the trees and mountains rising up beyond the sun is shining on the distant ridge. The world is so still out there it truly looks like a post card. Snow covering the ground, layered on the branches of trees. And that beautiful sunshine creeping up the canyon. It is also twenty-three below zero outside. No surprise no one is at the trailhead across the road. I’m waiting, not only for the severe cold to leave, but for the sickness that invaded my body two weeks ago to leave. Most of the time when I am sick it is some sort of sinus, running nose thing. I usually push through these viruses and ailments regardless of the winter season. I still hike and ski despite a little head cold. But this time was different, and if I could plan, I would plan to never be sick like this again. It has really cramped my style, shut me down. I thought I had it beat. But then I needed to travel to Fargo North Dakota to recruit. It wasn’t Fargo that did me in, I think it was the stress from traveling, combined with the cold. But there it was, seven below zero in Fargo and my lungs just couldn’t take the stress any more. Despite a complete minimization of social time on my trip I continued to get worse. Head felt like it was going to explode, sick to my stomach, and lungs that were coughing up knarly sounds, only light breaths. When I finally made it home to Bozeman I visited my favorite Urgent Care clinic, because, like most of us today, I don’t have a primary care physician….I did not have pneumonia, they said. Simply a sinus and lung infection. A round of antibiotics and I should feel better. On the second night of my antibiotics I was floating across the floor on unsteady feet. That feeling when you are so sick you are out of your body. Not a happy making experience. But now, on day five, my feet are on the ground. My lungs are almost working normal again. But not normal enough to go outside and hike or ski. And this is why I am sitting here writing. Being so sick we cannot behave in our normal behavior is having days of a life taken away. I look outside at the beautiful snow, I look through the fly-fishing magazine in my lap. I look at the rivers and creeks and rising mountains on the pages and am reminded of what I love to do in life. I love being outside. I love feeling the world. I’m looking at the page open, and the little wooden skiff someone sailed up stream in, and dreaming….I would love to do this; that little boat and me. I wonder how long it would take to learn how to move a boat like that along a river’s shore. I sit back in my chair. I look at the snow outside. The slice of bright white sunlight that is now cutting along the blue, snow covered canyon floor in front of my house.  I practice taking a few deep breaths, I test my lungs. Not quite ready yet. Not full breaths yet. I practice pranayama, the deep breath of life. Connecting with the life force. Deeper and deeper each day. Waiting for the temperatures to rise outside, feeling today and making ready for tomorrow.


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Moving Forward

winter from my house

winter from my house

It’s winter here in Montana. Drama in the sky. Snow falls and everyone moves into action, building a fire or digging out their skis.

For me, I have a break from teaching Remote Studio. I’m settling into Bozeman. Really , a new hometown for me after leaving Livingston and moving between Jackson Hole and Louisiana last year.

For 2013, after a 2 month disconnection by blog.com, I am back to posting. If you follow me, you will also notice the categories of the blog have expanded to include my paintings and other work.

Stay tuned …..