Sunday, December 30, 2007

Skiing Soon

Well, Christmas was fun, got what I wanted, a new ski jacket. Actually, I knew about this gift beforehand, so it wasn't a surprise. (I picked it out and tried it on at the ski shop.) But I didn't wear it until Christmas day, so it did seem like a real present. I love it. It is black, with pin stripes on part of it, and looks good, and I've never had a black ski jacket. The one I've been wearing I still like a lot. It's sort of a gray blue, with purplish accents, and so warm.... That is a requirement. I hate being cold. I once had a ski jacket, a red one, that I talked myself into buying because I liked how it fit, but it was not warm. It was actually a shell, with no insulation of its own. For several years I froze wearing that jacket, convinced that if I just put enough sweaters on underneath it, it would be as warm as an insulated jacket. But it wasn't. I think I developed a lot of new blood vessels wearing it though, a result of my body searching for ways to keep me from shivering. I have noticed that when I'm biking now, I wear a lot less clothing than everybody else in the cool weather, and I stay warm. Of course, that could also be because I ski and many of my bicycling friends don't.

So, now I have this great new warm ski jacket to wear when we go up north to ski soon. I'll be ski racing again this winter, amateur stuff, as will my husband and my daughter. Angie is incredibly fast. She has been able to beat me racing since she was ten years old. She started skiing at three, and was really good then. I remember taking her out to our local ski area and lifting her onto the chairlift, holding her so she wouldn't fall, and then helping her off and skiing to the top of a moderately moguled hill. (A mogul is a small to large bump in the snow made by skiers skiing back and forth, pushing the snow into little piles, and also digging ruts around the piles.) By the end of a snowy day some slopes are covered with them. Many skiers find them intimidating because it takes a bit of finesse and experience to ski them well.

Anyway, I remember the two of us waiting at the top of that slope, Angie so tiny and babylike in her tiny skis and cute little ski hat, a number of adults and teenagers standing there with us, hesitating to ski down this heavily moguled slope. Then I gave the signal and my little Angie took off, skiing smoothly around each mogul, all taller than she was, and hearing a collective gasp from the onlookers.... She is and has always been an accomplished skier.

So, we will all be racing again this winter, and it will be fun. I am not as fast as I once was, but I still enjoy it. Shooting across the finish line, hoping my time will at least be competitive, is still a thrill. My daughter's fiance, new to ski racing, will be giving it a try this winter. He skis pretty well, and is athletic, plays hockey, a goalie, and mountain bikes in the summer. He's looking forward to it. It will be fun watching him, giving him tips etc. He also got a new ski jacket for Christmas, a Spyder. It is cool, and I just remembered, black also. Come to think of it, Angie's jacket she bought last season is also black. Guess all of us will match, except my husband, who has a wild looking blue and orange and yellow one. I never have trouble spotting him on the slopes.

Well, got to go. Hope you're enjoying the holidays and happy new year!

Visit my website to read a FREE EXCERPT of my mystery romantic-suspense novel, Her Last Letter.

Books are available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and can be ordered through most bookstores.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Shop 'til you drop...

Christmas is just around the corner, and of course I'm not finished shopping yet. I have done some of my shopping, and actually I am ahead of schedule considering my usual habits. I usually wait until a week before Christmas to begin, when the panic really starts to set in. I then wander aimlessly around the mall for several days in a row, hoping the perfect choices for gifts will magically appear. They don't. I then drop hints to loved ones to tell me what they want now, or suffer the consequences. They are not surprised. They've seen this before.

Unlike most women, someone forgot to give me the shopping gene. I am like a few men I know in that respect. I wish I could give cash sometimes, or gift cards, but that is so very impersonal. I wouldn't like it, so I can't possibly do it. But if my loved ones aren't going to like what I buy, and must either take it back or not use it, what is the point in buying it? I am happiest when the ordeal is over, and the gifts are under the tree, and I've managed to somehow come up with a few nice surprises. The joy is seeing the looks on their faces.

I did enjoy the mall though this year. I took a day just to look at the lights and the decorations, and sit and enjoy a coffee and biscotti at Starbucks while all the shoppers rushed by. Somehow this relaxed approach helped clear my head, and I actually found some nice presents this way; I think because I didn't go there to shop, just to look around.

But I'm not done, though I am close. And I still have seven days, a lot of time. Like I said, most years I wouldn't even get started until now. I think I feel relieved already.

Hope you enjoy the holidays!

Visit my website to read a FREE EXCERPT of my mystery romantic-suspense novel, Her Last Letter.

Books are available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and can be ordered through most bookstores.

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