Friday, January 13, 2012

Ho Hum, Humdrum kind of day

The snow turned into rain this morning. So much for hiking today. So, it's a good day for housekeeping. What I really want to do, though, is hide in my room and read a book under the bedclothes. It's cold, wet, dreary and my mood has decided to match. Apparently, it's also making my cats moods match, they are beating each other senseless. I peeked into the window on the second floor apartment and all three of her cats were happily curled together. I came upstairs to my place and there's a curtain down in the living room, my older cat is hissing and snarling in the kitchen and the younger one is running from end to end of our little apartment yowling. I'm gonna let you all guess who knocked the curtains down and I bet you won't need all three guesses.

I made Avocado Turkey Bacon pasta from Pretty good, I didn't have the lime to put in it, but even without it this stuff was a nice change of pace. I'm getting sick of the same old, same old. The great thing about growing up is that our tastes change. No more living on macaroni and organge powder or salt laden Ramen Noodles. I barely eat Chinese food or Domino's pizza anymore. I still like to get an egg roll and some teriyaki once in a while, or a bowl of wonton soup, but after searching carton upon carton of sloppy, sticky, oily, fatty and just disgusting meals from take out restaraunts- I work in a forensic and civil psychiatric center they can't have anything they can use to do harm- you get to a point where you don't want to see it anymore let alone taste. THANK GOD! I like to make a healthy veggie and protein stirfry. My favorite is pork or shrimp with snow peas, mushrooms, carrots and edamame. I'm not supposed to have soy anymore so I keep the edamame to a minimum.

I have hypothyroidism. I get a lot of conflicting information about what I can and can not eat. One thing has stayed true on each pamphlet, website and medical professional. NO SOY. Which sucks. I'm lactose intolerant after having damaged my body when I was 18- I had gallstones. And I drink soy milk, which my room mates thank me for! And now I can't. I can't have high fiber or anything with calcium for 4 hours after I take my meds, which pretty much rules out oatmeal, cereal, pancakes, french of any sort really. I eat a lot of eggs. I used to love eggs. Now, not so much. I wasn't surprised when they told me I had high cholesterol, I've had that since I was 18, but then they put me on meds for it and told me I can't have grapefruit. I was an inch away from screaming. I am probably one of the only people in the world who loves grapefruit. I bet everyone else told they can't have it anymore just shrug and say "pffft", not me. So, foods are limited. On top of the fact that no matter what, my metabolism sucks, I'm tired all the time and sore a lot. It makes for a miserable day.

It's a need to keep the joy in food and a desire to make the right choices that has lead me to surfing through the web each day to find something edible and appropriate and not on the verboten list. I found Gazing In through her other site Trail Cooking. I've been planning a trip on the 1oo Mile Wilderness section of the Appalachian Trail and I loved her recipes. It's easier to make the right decisions when it comes to foods. I know what I can't have, I know enough about nutrition to know what I shouldn't have, and I tend to like a salad for supper most days. I would love to get to a point where I had more motivation and less exhaustion and pain. And cold feet. I hate the cold feet. I'm wearing a pair of Rocky band thick hiking socks under a pair of heavy fleece Acorn mucklucks and my feet are still ice. I sleep in these booties all the time.

All I've managed to do is the dishes and make a meal. I think I hear my book and bed calling me. It's really a good time to just take a nap and maybe get up with a better attitude and a bit more energy because my bedroom is a sty!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


We got nailed with snow. It was awesome. I love snow. I love hiking in snow. I got my snow shoes out months ago and I have been waiting, waiting, waiting...and waiting...for winter to actually begin. I went shopping, thinking I would have plenty of time to get out there and hit a trail. Unfortunately, I worked the overnight shift last night on little to no sleep so I was slogging through the day. Bugger.

I did break down and buy a skiing face mask. I wanted something to put over my face that wouldn't fog my glasses. Given my lack of funds- 11 years of college gets expensive- I had to hit Walmart. I paid $10, so I won't judge the piece too hard. It isn't perfect. But it will work in a pinch. I also got a midget ninja mask- I got a fleece snood in black. It will match my uniform which will be nice. I have to buy pieces that can work not only hiking but on my job site, which means an awful lot of black stuff. I buy pink undies to make me feel girlie =0)

Not being able to go hiking because the wind was whipping the snow into my face and I was just exhausted, and I really was too tired even for the gym I kind of used it all as an excuse to misbehave. I'm doing everything in my power to stop drinking so much soda, eat so much white bread, pasta and rice, and to just veer away from sugar. I'm on my 3rd Pepsi, I ate almost a whole Boule bread, and I had an ice cream sandwich at work and a chocolate filled croissant....yeah, but I ate a salad...really balanced it all out. Oh well, start again tomorrow. And tomorrow, Kennebec Highlands/Sanders Hill trail...I hope. It's supposed to get icy tonight. I may just hit the Viles Arboretum instead.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mt. Phillip- Rome, Maine.

It blows my mind that it's January 10th and here in Maine, we have a dusting of snow and a smattering of ice on the trails. I hoofed it up Mt.Phillip, which is one of my favorite hikes. I like the intensity on the way up and the views. It's what I would call a moderate hike. It's steep and the trail isn't very wide in places, but there's no car sized rocks or walking along a ridge. It's my kind of wonderful. There's a great view out over the lakes, I've watched lightening arc over Augusta from that vanatage point. I sit up there and eat a lunch and just bask in the sun. Even today, the lower level of the mountain was cold but by the time I got to the top I was sweating from the exertion. I took my coat off, my mittens off and my hat off, and sat on that top and couldn't believe that I wasn't freezing, I was actually warm. The ice is just starting to cover the lakes, which is so odd, last year those lakes were solid and already covered in smelt shacks. If someone tells you that global climate change is a lie, bitch slap 'em for me. My Maine is not supposed to be warm in January, my Maine is supposed to be below 0 and I should not have been on top of those rocks without 20 feet of snow, and sure as hell not in a sweatshirt! But, I am adapting to this weird weather. I ate a protein bar and drank my water. I would have stayed there all day.

Unfortunately, I had to work at midnight so I headed on home so I could nap. There were a few flakes in the air, which was nice. However, tomorrow is supposed to be a big storm and I am looking forward to some snow! I put the kayaks up for the year and pulled out the snow shoes back in November and we had 50 degree weather and no snow pretty much since then. I could have gone kayaking all this time!

Tried out my new splash suit in my shower, after both of the room mates were in bed...there are some things you don't do with witnesses. It's dryer than a wet suit, wetter than a dry suit, but crap about the cold. I will need to layer under that bad boy. I won't stay dry if I overturn, but it will keep my clothes dry until then. Of course, if we don't get any snow, or at least rain, racing season will be harder. It's a delicate balance, too much water and every other boat overturns not enough and no one can get through the rocks.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Mountain- Belgrade, Maine.

So, first hike of the season. I wanted something light. I worked a 16 hour shift and got home at 8 a.m. So, after only 3 hours of sleep...can someone tell me where to by kitty tranq's and a blow gun? I hoofed it out to Belgrade. I love the trails there. They are quick, generally no more than 3 miles round trip. Just enough of a challenge to make me work for it, but not so much so that I am huffing and puffing my way through the most excrutiating march of death of my life- I call that place Old Speck. I packed a lunch, a blanket and extra provisions. I tend to believe in bringing a lot more than I need on these trips. I am a clutz and have a realistic fear of falling and breaking something, or god forbid getting lost and having to camp for a night on the trail. Granted, Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance does a lovely job marking the trails, I can't be trusted not to take a wrong turn once in a while.

Because I was limited for time- I got out there at 1pm which gave me about 4 hours of trail time, I was exhausted which will make me trip more, and it was getting overcast- little did I know, I chose "The Mountain" trail. It's about 1.5 miles. You start out on a gravel road with 2 loop trails off to the sides. I usually hit both loops. One trail- the Great Pond Loop- is pretty much exclusively under trees with little view, even with the loss of the leaves, there isn't much view. You can make out Great Pond just barely in certain spots. Now, the Long Pond Loop, has nice views, an interesting trail that takes you over slabs of granite, and as of yesterday some unfortunate areas of ice. I took a wee bit of a skid and am eternally grateful I remembered my pole so I can haul my arse up when I tumble...which can be a lot. I sat down just next to the "Caution Steep Drop" sign and enjoyed some lunch, but not too long. The overcast skies meant snow which I love to hike in, but the extremely cold blast of wind I was getting nailed with made me stash my lunch and run for the end of the hands were red! Unfortunately, the only pictures I got yesterday were on my cell phone. It wasn't until I was at the trail that I realized I had forgotten to charge my camera- yup, way to go. But I REMEMBERED my head lamp...dork.

I've done this trail in Winter- Umm...January used to be winter...- and I have done it in the Summer, and I think it would not be prudent to snow shoe the trail because it really isn't very wide. I bet it would be beautiful to hike in Fall and Spring.

They are planning on doing some late night hike on one of the trails there in Belgrade. As much as I want to go, unfortunately, I am working on each of the nights they have them scheduled...bugger. Hopefully, they will do some next month.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

It's a Whole NEW Year

Look, I have to admit...I'm kind of dull. My everyday life is. I work for a mental hospital and if it weren't illeagal I would happily tell you stories about what I see everyday. But, I can't. However, I live in Maine. For those of you not versed in American Geography or History; Geographically, I live in New England, the place where the sun first rises in America and that spot just up above New Hampshire on the map- (not Canada) and Historically, I live in one of the first places to be colonized in America. And I live in the only state to EVER legally declare war on another country- look it up The Aroostook County War. We declared war on Britain/Canada. We are the last stop on the Appalachian Trail...or first or the turning point, depending on whether you are a NOBO, a SOBO, or a Flip Flopper. The first part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, unless you really want to canoe upstream in which class...we could be the last part- it's your arms. Maine is the way life should be. And I stay here for a good reason.

So, rather than bore you with my ramblings, which there are many, or annoy you with my whining- quite a lot of that here too...or just try too hard to be funny, how about I share my passions with you. I love my state, and I love everything my state has to offer. I hike, I kayak, I snow shoe and I camp, camp camp campity campcampcamp. I'm planning hard to hike the 100 mile wilderness, and canoe the Allagash river, and on top of that I have my kayak races in the spring to get ready for. It's a new year, let's see if I can live it better than any year before this.