Author Archives: tracye1

About tracye1

Tracy. Catholic mama of 4 beautiful Redheads! Married to my high school sweetie since 1994. As most women I know, I am a multi-tasker. I find myself to be: Type-B(ish); married to a solid Type-A (some of it rubs off.....). I'm a Procrastinator and a Planner. I am an Introvert who occasionally displays Extrovert tendencies. I love taking pictures and sometimes I get some good ones! I enjoy blogging and hope that some of my experiences and our family's trials can shed a witness to the hope we have to rise above any situation because of the graces we are granted in Jesus Christ! Read on, enjoy the trek, life is a journey, one day at a time. Comment, follow and tell your friends....thanks for stopping by!

Wintering…..ish

The winter here has been, let’s say…underwhelming. Now. Perhaps this is a bit premature, but meh. One big snowstorm and lots of RAIN. Rain melts snow. Also makes mud. Really gross. And not winter weather, more spring like. Anyway, plenty of winter left, so we will see what the next couple of months bring. It WAS flurrying this morning and the forecast shows lots of cold the next 10 days, so there is hope yet!

I worked a LOT in December and January is bringing more free time to visit with friends and play, which is nice after December.

The Hubs has been skiing as much as possible with the crapola weather and we were in the White Mountains for a few days to ski (him) and shop/chill (me) with friends and it was so beautifully WINTER! We had snow the first night which made for some beautiful scenery; it’s truly breathtaking in every definition of the word.

I have a little over a month more up here and then head home for my next contract. This not only satisfies my state residency for traveling but gives me time with my kids, family and friends. I’ll still travel back up a few times to spend time with the Hubs who will remain in New England with Bandit. The time apart will be harder for him but since I’ve started traveling for work, it’s fascinating how quickly 13 weeks goes by. A metaphor for life………so we will make the best of it and enjoy it!

Lake Sunapee from the ski lift (phot cred: Hubs)
A bluebird day for skiing at Cranmore—Hubs doing his thing
The White Mountains clothed in winter glory
Snow guns in full force at Loon—-when Mother Nature refuses to cooperate, the snow makers do their best to keep the mountains running
Sunset on the Kancamagus Highway—worthy of a stop every time!

What a year!

Welcome 2023. Bizarre isn’t it? 20 freaking 23!! dang. I’m old. and yet, what a gift to celebrate the advent of every new year.

But man. It has been a year. Lots of change. It’s been scary and awesome and chaotic and peaceful and sad and happy and uncertain and crystal clear clarity. All the things. All the feels.

I re-read my posts for the year and it’s hard to believe that a year ago I started on this travel journey, leaving my comfy career and stepping off into the unknown. And yet, here we are. A year later. doing the dang thing!

Who knows what lies ahead for 2023, one thing we know for certain: change. There will be change. Good and bad, horrible and wonderful, dark and light, scary and awesome, chaos and peace, sad and happy and uncertain and crystal clear clarity.

My wish is that we embrace it all. Take the risks and do the things. We don’t grow without pain, without change or without taking the step.

Peace and joy in 20 freaking 23!!

Winter. Arrived. Skiing. Commence.

With snow covering the ground for the last few weeks, a Nor’Easter come and gone and last night a Bomb Cyclone winter storm striking a large portion of the US and leaving our area with temps in the 50’s yesterday and rainy/windy, essentially washing away most of the snow, followed by an hour of snow and then temps plummeting to a brisk 4degrees F. Our area was pretty lucky. Too bad the rain wasn’t snow!!! Wild. For sure. Winter is crazy like that. I now get to experience a completely different side of winter than I am used to.

As we watched the weather and saw what was coming, it was time to break in the skis while we still had snow on the mountain!

It’s been 23 years since I’ve skied. I was a cautious and slow skier, just happy to be on the slopes taking in the beauty. So, it’s been a minute since I’ve done this and I was fully expecting a learning curve as I brushed off the rust.

Let’s go!!! Look at her, so full of hope!

I didn’t expect the curve to start with just putting on my boots! GoodNESS!!!! Part of the problem is when I’m in fully gear, I feel like the stay puff marshmallow woman and navigating the extra layers AND snapping my boots on….oof. Humble pie. It was a lot easier when I tried these on this fall in shorts, tank top and socks. Anywho…..

Eventually I donned my boots and skis (also a comedy of errors) and skated/skied somehow made my way to the bunny slopes to re-learn the basics and prayed that muscle memory would kick in.

This is the point where I might as well have just been starting from scratch because my muscle memory appeared to be on permanent vacation and it was beginning to look like a long and painful day ahead.

I’m being generous. It was looking like a loooong winter ahead.

Poor Hubs.

Fortunately, at some point, my muscle memory showed up and remembered what to do. I sent Hubs off to do a few runs so that I could just practice, practice, practice before actually getting on the quad and committing to a run.

Things were looking up!

Once Hubs returned, I felt ready.

One of my favorite things about skiing is riding the ski lift—so peaceful, and a great opportunity to look around and enjoy the beauty of the mountain.

Of course, I had to actually get ON the lift first AND exit before a ski run could commence. Happy to report, this went smoothly.

PHEW!

For the most part I did well. It was the only green run open, therefore also the most populous run. Anyway…..ever slow and cautious, I was so happy and enjoying every second. And then I hit the last turn. A little narrow spot, slightly icy, and it took me a lot longer than I would have liked to get through it, but I did.

And so, we did it again!

And the second time down, it took me even longer to get through the turn—even came out of my skis. I was able to get them back on (after a few choice words) and finished the run. I demoted myself back to the bunnies for remedial turn work and sent Hubs off to ski some more.

Win-win.

The bunny hills are my speed. My form is fabulous. I’m able to scoot around newbie boarders and practice my stops with ease. So I finished my day there and we were both pretty happy.

On the bunny hill(s). Oh, happy place!

The next day was a bluebird day and the mountain was calling. My calves had happily stopped screaming at me and so off we went, Day 2.

We opted for a blue trail that was very wide and much less populated giving me a good opportunity to not feel rushed and take my time and not feel so stressed about the narrow turn on the green run.

The Quad ride was gorgeous.

The beginning of the run was great. Swoosh. Skis down, turn, skis down, turn, skis down, turn. Stop. chat. Repeat.

The we hit the last stretch of the hill.

Sigh.

Let’s just shorten this up and say, that I caught a little more speed that I liked, fell a few times, had to put the skis on many times, and came away mentally bruised following a fight with my brain on my abilities and let fear take over.

When fear shows up and takes up residence in your head, that sucks.

And so, in the time that it took for me to squeak past fear and get down the hill, I saw at least one skier do the run twice. And that’s pretty accurate. And funny.

Sigh.

but I finished it. And I headed back to the bunnies for more practice.

This was my blue run, the last section. Look at that wide open space.

Sadly, one of my falls tweaked my knee (although I didn’t feel anything happen) and I ended up putting the skis away for the day and people watched from the lodge while Hubs skied—with my full blessing.

(Mom, it will be fine.) Ice, Alleve, elevate, brace. I’ll just keep that up until I can get on the bike and start some strengthening exercises.

All in all, it was still amazing. I’ll definitely do it again when my knee is stronger. Until then, I’ll absolutely enjoy watching from the sidelines.

Y’all stay warm!

Peace

Nor’easter

Currently we are in the end hours of our very first “Nor’easter”. Over the past 24 hours we received over a foot of snow, honestly prob closer to 2 feet (and it is predicted to continue to snow until this evening)— it’s been pretty wild.

Kind of like living in a snow globe. Quite surreal!

The driving has been interesting. Giving myself extra time to get to work. Driving slow. Giving myself internal pep talks, “that’s good, slow and easy, no sudden stops, let’s pull over and give this jackrabbit the chance to pass, okay, you’re doing it, good job”.

It’s also a little freaky/fun when the high beams are on while snowing, it is legit like being in Star Wars, hyper speed! But no Chewy.

Yesterday, I did a mini-vlog on the ‘gram of my drive to work (minus the driving, because I was 10 and 2, white knuckling and praying the Rosary while driving. But before and after videos, so basically the same thing.

this morning I had to be at work at 6am, so I started the process of leaving at 5 (it’s a 15-20 min drive). This gave me time to warm up the car and dig out the massive tree limb, and baby limbs out of the driveway before I left. The digging was made with eyes UP, watching all the trees as they took turns dropping heavy snow and additional limbs around the yard and praying the tree above was done dropping bombs. The stuff you never knew to be concerned about while living in sunny FLA.

I made it to work with 10 minutes to spare.

Looks like more snow today, but not as bad as yesterday.

Hopefully we’ll have power back before I get home. It went off right as I was leaving. Fortunately, I had my coffee already! Priorities!!

A few things I’ve learned thus far for wintering in NH:

  • When parking, leave windshield wipers up so they don’t freeze to the windshield
  • Bring your ice brush/scraper into work so that you can scrape off before opening the door to get into the car
  • Get a bigger brush/scraper
  • Start scraping from the roof down so you don’t keep scraping the same windshield over and over and over. Ask me how I figured that out.
  • Start watching the weather for snow forecast
  • Wear snow boots into work and be like Mr. Rogers and leave your work shoes at work
  • Make sure to have hat and gloves in backpack for car shoveling post-shift
  • Use that Florida tag to your advantage and go slow
  • Take videos of your dog having zoomies in the chest high snow. Sure fire way to cheer up on a blah day, which I hear come later in the winter.
  • Relax a little and enjoy it. It really is quite beautiful! And bright! (We stood on the back porch last night with the lights out and just listened to the snow, watched the moon glow on the snow. Very peaceful. And cold.)

Peace!

Peace among the chaos

Early morning views from our porch.

Mostly finished with unpacking.

Currently on the to-do list:

  • Paint downstairs
  • Touch up paint upstairs
  • Figure out where to store seasonal and miscellaneous stuff
  • Install Closet rods in Hub’s closet
  • Decorate for Christmas

Of course, in the mix of house stuff, I need to finish up our Christmas shopping and get ready for our girls to come! YAY! It’s all good stuff tho. And in the morning, we get this beautiful view with coffee. How can one possibly complain when we have that?

Peace.