Fire and Ice

One of the advantages of living near the site of two former Winter Olympics is that world class events often take place right in our backyard. Last week we watched speed skaters on the olympic oval where the 1932 events were held. Not much has changed with ice maintenance. Between heats, staff skated with buckets of water to fill in the grooves.

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They also did something with a CO2 fire extinguisher to repair the ice, which intrigued me. Here is all you may ever need to know about Olympic ice rink maintenance. For a rapid repair, they fill in holes with room temperature water and slush and then hit it with pressurized CO2 for a quick repair.

The skaters were almost horizontal on the curves. They had special gloves to touch the ice.

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Some of the skaters were just a blur, or was that my mad photo skill.

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We are still able to take the ferry across Lake Champlain to Vermont. I go every couple of weeks to study French. The views and ride are always a delight. Last week there were ice covered cliffs with ducks swimming beneath them. Sometimes the only open water is in the ferry path.

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And the cardinals continue to enjoy our copper ash tree and sunflower seeds. No filter this time.

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When you have lemons

When you have snow…go skiing. Travel and surgery caused me to miss the past two winters. I downhill skied once 3 years ago, traveled to Australia in 2010 and was on crutches in 2011.

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Yet a beautiful mountain is only 30 minutes away. And we just had 16 inches of fresh snow. And it was midweek. I gave it a try on Wednesday and was reminded how much I enjoy it. Best of all, my ankle worked ( the one that had me on crutches last winter).

What fun, even if my style hasn’t changed in 40 years. I tried out the newfangled skis, shorter than me, had a group lesson, which turned out to be a group of only me, and relished the day. Sweet.

I returned yesterday with DH who immediately wanted to go to the top – he’s a mountain hiker after all. Even though I had been to the summit, three years ago on my one day skiing, I balked.

Some male-female dynamics automatically triggered in my brain and I resisted, initially. Perhaps I have been led astray in the past? Lets just say I had not been to an ER before I met DH and now I have been there twice; first due to broken face in a boating accident; and then due to an ankle injury, which occurred while following him up one of his high peaks. Just sayin’.

So away we went and it was lovely. I’m sold. And I didn’t visit the ER. The view of Lake Placid was stunning.

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I’ll be back today after a half day of work. After all, we have snow.

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Ain’t no spring chicken

Me or this bird. I think it was a mourning dove but it looks sort of eerie. I’ve been taking baby steps without my cast. I managed to walk for ten minutes on a treadmill at a rate of 2.0 miles an hour but I still can’t dance the tango. It’s cold without much snow so I am not really missing anything. I’ve been finishing knit and woven projects so fast, I am shipping them out before I remember to take their photo! Maybe I’ll get to see them in use.

The endless quilt is complete. I tried to make some matching shams and while they didn’t work out, figured out a technique which cut the piecing time in half at least. Always learning. It’s about ready to be put into full time use.

I finished a dresser runner for my daughter and it’s already in use. I was scared it looked like a burlap bag when I was finished with it but it won approval.

The days are rapidly getting longer and we even had a flock of Robins stop by the other day.

Lake Placid hosted World Championship bobsled and skeleton races this weekend and we got to watch the action. We were able to observe the sleds and riders fly by in a tenth of a second and then follow their progress along the two mile track on television monitors. It’s so impressive to be in the company of world class athletes. They may outperform me on the treadmill.