Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lemons + Sugar = Lemonade

By myself+2 last week and this is what happened
Heater stopped working
Spay got sick: fever, strep, pink eye, ear infection. cold
Math got sick: fever, strep throat, cold
Main water drain backed up, small flood in the basement
Snowed heavy snow, I shoveled for over 3 hours

This is what I missed
Dad’s retirement party
Achievement Days
Movie Marathon Weekend with KS
Sushi at Sakura in SLC
Skiing awesome powder at the Beav
Morning exercise pilates 
USU Echoing Traditional Ways Pow Wow
Book Club, A Wrinkle in Time
USU Hockey Tournament
Magical Moon Toys moving sale
USU Basketball game
Mum’s birthday dinner

This is also what happened last week and why last week turned out A OKAY
Ko made it home safe
The family is on the mend
Everything got fixed below budget
Mum and Dad were sad, but very supportive
Het called so I could hear the speech about my dad
I signed up for Facebook
Beat the Pit of 100 Trials
Watched the entire Durarara mini series
I caught up on Laundry
The house is disinfected
Lem brought me groceries and a huge bag of M&M’s
I stayed calm through it all

We all know the stupid saying, when life gives you lemons make lemonade. Well what if you don’t like lemons or lemonade, what if it’s just better to put the lemons on your counter and wait until they go bad then chuck them in the trash? I missed a lot last week taking care of sick children by myself, I was bummed and I wallowed in pity for a while too. Sometimes things break for no reason and there really is nothing to learn from it. Sometimes you just have to make sacrifices for the good of everyone else with very little or no reward. And sometimes just sometimes the little things really do make the big things small. Last week is one that I hope never to repeat, it had a lot of potential energy, but failed to take off after Monday. After all is said and done, the lemons are in the trash and I stayed calm. Sometimes I feel that is my greatest achievement! 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Never Mind the Goblins, Look Out for the Pink Dragons

More than five years ago I went on an epic journey, just kidding it wasn't epic, but we went to visit a super awesome friend, Eston, in Arizona. And guess what, I was cold there. I am the first to admit that I am not a happy person when I am cold, as a matter of fact I take on a new persona when I am cold, Zillion. Roar! So there I was in a supposedly warm state, freezing, and I turned to my friend Eston and asked how I am supposed to stay warm when my world seems to be freezing. In a totally long email, he sent me these words. What you are about to read is actually written by him with all of his, park ranger, outdoor enthusiast wisdom... Enjoy!

To stay warm get a complete range of gear, and you will need to remember Cotton = death 
Base Layer- if you're cold a lot, try a mid weight. Base layers fit snugly and are usually stretchy for comfort. They will pull moisture away from your body keeping you dry, warm and oh so happy! 
Fleecy mid layer- This adds insulation to trap body heat. Wool and synthetics keep you warm even when wet. 
Vests- Add additional warmth for your core, and can easily be removed/added to regulate temp. Also for those terrible cold nights, you can add a down or synthetic down sweater/jacket over your vest and under your shell. This is great for sitting around the campfire. But tends to be puffy and impractical for hiking around. 
Gortex or similar outer shell- This is to trap all your warm fuzzies in, and keep out evil cold drafts and wet nasties. About a billion of these exists, get one that is comfortable and has enough room to add your layers, but not so much that all your hot air escapes! Get one that has a hood, and I suggest pit zips as they can really help keep you from getting to hot and sweaty. 
Socks- So very important and often overlooked. I don't own anything but wool or synthetic socks. Cotton sock always, always mean cold feet, no matter how thick they are! If it is really cold I will where a thin liner sock for added wicking, and were a heavy-duty sock. 
Hat and gloves- Fleecy hats are the best, just by adding a cute and fashionable hat adds tons of extra warmth. Nice windproof gloves can make anyone a happy camper. 
Boots- Waterproof complete leather mid weight hiker has worked best for me. Merrell is my favorite, and seem to last the longest. 
Sleeping Bags and Pads- Camping is no fun if you can't sleep. I always buy at least a zero degree mummy bag, the rating is only a rough guideline for warmth. This can be synch down around your face to keep in all your heat. Down bags are super light and comfy, but $$. Synthetic is nice and warm, but bulkier, but is less $ and stays warmer than down when wet. For extra heat waves in the sack share it with someone!! Or put a hot water bottle, your favorite Nalgene, in the bottom by your toes and another between your legs next to your femoral artery. Plus, if you get thirsty ta-da yummy hot drink, beware though; choose a trusted water bottle that won't leak!! 
Rain Gear- Pants and Jacket combo, these are usually easily compactable and should always stay in your pack. They don’t add warmth but keep you dry and out of the wind. 

Be careful not to get sucked into buying top of the line super hi-tech, ultra light stuff. While great, this stuff is insanely expensive and is overkill for most peoples needs. I know you were concerned with looking bulky, so try to buy gear that has an athletic cut. I find these have trimmer cuts and longer sleeves, but don’t get too carried away staying warm and dry is your most important goal.

I think I forgot these awesome words of advice. When exactly I forgot, I forget. I know that I have been cold a lot since living in Logan and I think I need to use this wisdom when I go outside in Logan. Oh yeah the title of the post was actually Eston's subject line of the email he sent me. 

What are some things that help you keep warm? 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's a Hockey Game, FIGHT!

I think it's the smell that gets you when you first walk into the ice arena. It is a super smelly sport. Then to add to that some of the players don't wash uniforms, underwear, hair, etc. STINKY! Something that is not physically stinky but still stinks, USU hockey is a club sport so it doesn't have the funding that recognized sporting event do. The price to get in isn't bad but it has potential to get really expensive depending on how many games you attend.
On with the game, it was USU vs UofU, an in-state rivalry that was sure to be awesome. We were a half an hour late (no surprise to those who know us) but the game hadn't started so we were lucky. After finding some seats we sat down to watch the game, okay I sat down to watch the game. Spay and Math climbed all over the benches and railings, they watched the game like most children do.
I said smile, like this.

actually watching the game, kind of

new shirt says: U can't Stop Us

During the second period Ko showed up straight from work. He was wearing a very red shirt so he bought a new shirt at the game. Having kids at a sporting event is much easier with two parents instead of one. One was able to watch the game while the other kept an eye on the kids. We switched turns often, but as it happened every time USU scored a goal I was watching the kids. No worries I made it up in the end. The game was actually quite tame. Only two fights and the fans were really quiet. The cheer of choice was "Lets Go Aggies" clap clap clap. Repeated over and over and over and over and over and over. But what do you expect cheerleaders don't come to these event. Out of the two fights the one that was the best put two players for the U into the penalty box and three players from USU. I think they called it UofU power play but nobody scored during those two minutes because each team was seriously dinged with lack of players. 

breaking up the fight
After the second period and all of the "half time" activities I was thinking about going home. It was late, kids were tired, USU was winning, and it was cold, but Ko convinced me that hockey games can change in just a few seconds. Plus I had to pay to get in, $5 each, when I pay for something I usually stay to the end. I hate wasting money. We stayed, and by the time the game ended USU had scored again and UofU had caught up, they were tied 5 to 5. It's time for SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME. We settle down into our seats for a 5 minute overtime, we see the puck drop and 20 seconds later USU SCORES USU WINS! Yep I got to see that goal. It was awesome!

we won, yeah!
Some things to think about for the next hockey game. Show up early, that way we can get good seats, but our seats were good because the children were able to climb around without upsetting too many people. However benches get uncomfortable after 2+ hours. Wear layers, its cold in the arena, it has to be, you are sitting in temps equivalent to winter. I should have worn my USU sweatshirt over my coat (my coat is red and white, U colors, I took it off and put it on the floor.) I also suggest bringing gloves for everyone and possibly hats, they don't need to be ski gloves and hats, just something to cover the hands and head. Oh and bring a cushion or blanket to sit on, the benches are cold too. Finally, bring your voice, the louder the crowd the better the atmosphere. It's hockey, you can shout anything, HOT DOGS! and fit right in. 

What are some of the funniest things you have ever yelled or heard at a sporting event?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I have been Banffed!

But I am not completely satisfied, I want more! We are going back next year for sure and we are going to go to both nights.

If you want to know what the Banff Mountain Film Festival is check out their website or or their youtube channel "The Banff Centre" If you go to youtube you get to see clips of some of the movies we watched. The clip below is the opening sequence of the world tour.

I know I can describe it with one word: FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC!

I was blown away by the sheer awesomeness! The movies were fantastic, awe inspiring, and motivating. After the fourth movie I was ready to go skiing, biking, swimming, hiking, parking in a carpark, etc. I want to do it all because I have seen it all. The movies made it seem like anyone could do anything, that I can do anything, I just have to do it! Roz Savage, one of the filmmakers for Banff said, "Don't waste mental energy asking yourself if you can do something. Just do it. You'll surprise yourself."

Tell me, what are you going to 'just do'?

Thank you random stranger for taking our picture!

Check out my youtube channel for a video review.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A day wasted... mostly

A couple days ago I spent all day rearranging my living room. I am not one to rearrange without a thorough deep cleaning, hence it took all day. I got it rearranged only to put every thing back where it was. Now I have the same looking living room that has a nice shine to it. A day mostly wasted...

Has this ever happened to you? You set out to do a major project just to get absolutely nothing done? Let me know.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Frozen Meat

People staring at Elk
In my quest to find adventure in Cache Valley I visited Hardware Ranch. Don't let the name fool you, it has nothing to do with hammers or nails, it's a place where elk gather (on their own free will) to eat and hunker down for the winter. The only price they have to pay for this wonderful social experience of theirs is pierced ears (research tags) and people staring at them.
Elk, not the prettiest animal out there
The pamphlets said that it was fifteen minutes out of Logan, WRONG, it took me close to 45 minutes to get up the canyon. The road is so twisty (not for the car sick, "but mom our car is not sick") and long. You drive all the way up to the end of HWY 101 and run into Hardware Ranch. You drive up to the visitors center to buy your ticket, then drive back down to get in line. Fortunately we went on a Monday so there was not a line and we stayed in our car until the teamster got back from his previous trip. The trips last 5 minutes or so, unless there are ton of questions which there weren't since there was only us and another family on the sled. Basically you ride a horse drawn sled between the elk feed line, the teamster stops every once in a while and waits for questions or volunteers information. Then he heads back and the ride is over, get out its time for the next folks.
No matter what, camera = smile
I guess its fair to say that I wasn't disappointed in the experience because I had no expectations. I talked to some "locals" who had heard about it but haven't been or have been a long long time ago. So honestly I didn't know what to expect. I thought I had prepared for the cold, my kids were in their full snow clothes as was I sans the snow pants.  I was wrong it wasn't enough, it was so very cold and the wind chilled us to the bone! Immediately! Bring a very thick, very warm blanket if you ever choose to go. I was happy the ride didn't last too long, but at the same time felt it should have been longer, I did pay for the ride.

Small children, on the other hand, loved it. These small children keep talking about how much they loved looking at the "ugly animals," that they got to ride in a sleigh, and visit the "senior center visitors center." This is a great experience for kids, so be extra prepared so it can be fun for the grown ups.

Cold and Happy at Hardware Ranch
Its a very cold experience because it only happens in the winter, duh.  In all honesty I will not be doing this again anytime soon, it closes Feb 28. But still the drive there was long, the drive back was scary. The elk are not pretty and they smell. The cold and I do not get a long, you might say I will never be best friends with cold. However, if my boys decide they want to do it again next year, I think we will go, but I will be better prepared with a thick blanket and hand warmers everywhere! Make sure to check out my youtube page... zlachica

Finish this sentence... "I'm going to Hardware Ranch and I'm going to bring..."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

So Cold, So Uber Cold!

Funny this week, I can’t go outside. It’s not because of the terrible air quality but baby it’s cold outside.

Lucky for me I love video games. LOVE Love love them. I like all sorts but mostly games that have a story a long with it. One of my all times favorites is Kingdom Hearts series, its Final Fantasy meets Disney, sounds lame but it’s so totally awesome. My friend, Lem, her favorite is Legend of Zelda. Because we are both "gamers" we decided to switch to find out what was so great about our respective games. I totally got into the whole Legend of Zelda thing. I played four games out of the series because that is all that were available to me.  Lem on the other hand was not so enthused (didn't finish the first one)

To help Lem get into Kingdom Hearts again I compiled a list of similarities and differences of the two. I think you will be surprised at what I came up with. I hope this will help her decide that Kingdom Hearts is a truly epic game worth playing again.

Sora & Link can be friends
*Save the Princess(es)
*Save the World(s)
*Save Friends
*Pure Hearts
*Incredibly young boys
*Predestined path to heroism
*Uses magic
*Side Stories within Villages
*Somewhat annoying travel companions
*Travel companions restore health
*Fight monsters
*Fight some humans too
*Bitter Sweet Endings
*Storyline Games
*Made in Japan

Sora vs Link FIGHT!
*Playstation vs Nintendo
*Complex Controls vs Simple Controls
*Linear Story vs Recycled Story Line
*FF and Disney Characters vs Zelda Specific Characters
*Key Blade vs Sword and Shield
*Fighting Companions vs Lots of different Weapons
*Spoken Lines vs No Lines just Yells
*Sora is Sora vs Link can be any Name
*Better graphics vs Getting better graphics

What do you do when its cold outside? What are some of your favorite games?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Small Favor

To keep things anonymous on youtube please do not mention our names (specifically) in the comment section. Write generic titles for the family or you can use our nicknames (z, zlachica, ko, spay, math)

I know it sounds like I am being a little bit full of myself (that someone might actually watch my video) but still please do me this favor. My first job in life is to protect my family.


The Comic Book was Better than the Movie

I am just going all sorts of crazy now that we have internet of our own. I just published my first vlog (video blog) on Youtube.

copy and paste the link

I am doing the blog and the vlog to coincide with each other. Because where ever tourist go so do a video camera and a regular camera. In essence I am making you all watch my "slide show" after an awesome trip! You could only be so lucky!

I know I am being a narcissist right now so if you haven't signed up on youtube do it, its free. Free is good... so are good ratings and fun comments. Also I would love to know what you think because lets face it, I am totally fishing for compliments... :)

yup yup total narci

One more thing... let me know what you think would be fun to do if you came here for a vacation.