Tag Archives: photography

Life on the Wild Side

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared an update about the goings-on where I work.  For those who are new to my blog and are not aware, I work at a wildlife rescue and rehab center where we take care of orphaned and injured wildlife, with the hopes of ultimately releasing the animals back into the wild.

It has been a crazy year.  We are close to hitting 2000 admits already, and we still have 2 more months to go.  Of course, a thousand of those admits were squirrels in September… okay, kidding. I’m just kidding!  We only had a couple hundred squirrels come to us this year, not a thousand.  (I tried to keep a running count on squirrel admits last year during squirrel apocalypse, otherwise known as September, and eventually had to give up as I started to lose track).  September is just a really bad month for squirrels.

Me with a baby squirrel

There are some physical changes happening at the center.  We have been working with a new nonprofit who rescues marine mammals. They needed a site to build pools for rehabilitation, so we’re in the midst of clearing land on the center’s property to make room for the pools in the hopes that their rescue will take off.  Living near the Puget Sound, we are in desperate need of marine mammal rescues.  Too many seals are left to die on the beach.

And of course, I still get my share of assholes who call (sorry… there is no other way to describe them).  Just yesterday I was yelled at by a man who couldn’t get a hummingbird out of his garage.  I informed him I wasn’t a government agency nor associated with the police (who, rightly so, couldn’t help him), so there was no reason for him to yell at me.  I suggested he go buy a net if all other efforts of directing the hummingbird outside failed.  He said, “Why the f—- would I go buy a f—ing net when I’m never going to use the f—ing thing again!  I’ll just let the bird die right here in my garage!”  See… asshole.  He was trying to emotionally manipulate me, which I do not tolerate.  Long story short, 20 minutes later he did manage to get the hummingbird out of his garage without having to buy a net.  For the animals, my friends… I do it for the animals.

Me with an injured red-tailed hawk

We have our holiday merchandise in and I plan to do another giveaway this year. The patient of the year (hence, the holiday ornament) is an adorable little porcupine who had to stay with us last year over winter when he was separated from his mother after a dog attack.  Stay tuned right here for details coming soon.

“If you talk to the animals, they will talk to you, and you will know each other.

If you do not talk to them, you will not know them.  And what you do not know, you will fear.

What one fears, one destroys.” — Chief Dan George

Lucky Number 13

Actually, I’m not fond of this number at all.

At The Last Supper, there were 13 people around the table… the 13th supposedly being Judas who betrayed Christ.

On Friday the 13th, in October 1307, Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar, then tortured and murdered them (they protected Christian pilgrims during the Crusades).

In a tarot card deck, XIII is the card of Death.

The Apollo 13 lunar mission was a “successful failure” (successful because no one died).

However….

That isn’t really the point of my post.

My point then??  Glad you asked!!

My baby boy just turned 13!!  I am now officially the mother of a teenager (may the Good Lord have mercy on my soul)!

Happy Birthday AJ!!

 

1st Birthday

9th Birthday

13 candles nearly set off the smoke detectors.

13th Birthday

Wow. Growing up. #GoHawks

I’m still not fond of the number 13… but I think I can live with it for a year.

Whistler, BC

Whistler, fondly nicknamed Bear Country, is one of the largest ski resorts in North America, located about 75 miles (125 km) north of Vancouver, British Columbia.  It hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics and is home to Ironman Canada.

While skiing and snowboarding are its main attractions, there is also a myriad of things to do during the summer:

  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Ziplining
  • Bungee jumping
  • Bear watching
  • Peak 2 Peak Gondola
  • Golf
  • Canoeing, kayaking, SUP
  • Cross country biking and road cycling
  • Rock climbing
  • Glacier Tours
  • 4×4 Jeep Tours

The Valley Trail runs all throughout Whistler and surrounding areas.  On the below map, the yellow indicates the trail system.  The orange circle indicates the area I covered on my run while we were there.  We covered a larger area with the bikes.  Alta Lake is where the swim for the Ironman takes place.

The day after my long run, we had plans to go up the mountain, go hiking, and ride the gondola, but we didn’t account for the thousands of people that were there.  The lines were crazy long, so we were unable to do that.  There was also a mountain biking/BMX event going on and lifts were extremely busy. Whistler has dedicated parks/trails for mountain bikes which is a big draw in the summer.  I wish I had taken a picture of the event as it was quite fun to watch.

A million and one people in the village.

The day we were to go up the mountain, we decided to rent bikes instead and go for a nice long ride.  If you read my previous post, you saw the elevation profile, so lots of hills, which were actually quite fun on a bike (what goes up, must come down…and fast!).  Me being the old lady I am, poodled along quite nicely behind James and AJ, eventually catching up to them when they would stop to wait for me.  Hey, if I wouldn’t have taken my time, I wouldn’t have been able to see that sweet little black bear crossing the trail in front of me… for which I couldn’t grab my phone quick enough to get a picture (but then again… I’m thinking it’s not very safe to take a selfie with a bear).  Okay, honestly, it scared the ever-loving hell out of me and I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

The following day was dedicated to me and AJ going for a horseback ride.  Once again, the old lady (me) reared up the back.  My horse was named Sam, extremely tall, and took his time on climbing the hills (sound like anyone you know?).  I don’t know how the stable owner managed to match us up so perfectly.  Even on a horse, AJ was saying, “Mom, you’re so slow.”  I get my money’s worth, what can I say.

See the white horse way up there? Yep, that’s my son’s, and that’s how far behind Sam and I were. Sam and I had an understanding… I wouldn’t make him go faster and he wouldn’t turn around and nip at me.

Anyway, a great and exhausting little holiday.  If you’re close enough and ever looking for an outdoorsy type of vacation, I would highly recommend this place.  There are activities for everyone to enjoy and the weather is gorgeous. I’m sure we’ll be back… time and time again (especially given that it’s only about 4-1/2 hours away from us).

Week 7 of 16 Recap — August 14 through August 19

This weekend in Whistler, BC, has been so cram-packed with activity I hardly remember last week even existed.  And yet, it did… so, I’ma gonna write about it.

Monday:  Nada.  I do not remember for the life of me why I didn’t do any training of any type, but I didn’t.

Tuesday:  4 miles, with hill training.

Wednesday:  Zero, zip, nothing.  We were leaving the next day to go to Whistler… laundry, packing, and prepping the house for vacation were my main goals.

Thursday: 2 miles, intervals, really crunched for time.  I missed Wednesday, so I had to get up early and do some interval training on Thursday morning on the treadmill, go to work, and then after I got home we headed off for our lovely 4-day weekend.

Friday:  16 miles.  I wrote a post about this run so no surprise here.  However… come to find out, I earned the title of BAMF.  The following picture is what my first 5 miles looked like:

It is also what my last 5 miles looked like (I did the above particular 5-mile loop twice).  The 6 miles in between were a separate loop in and around Whistler Village and a golf course or two, which looked something like this:

And yet:

Saturday:  7.5-mile walk and 2-hour bike ride.  Yes, it’s true.  The day after my first 16-mile run.  I don’t even know what to say about this.  Oh wait, yes I do!  Active recovery and time on my already-sore feet!  Or… don’t ever come to Whistler if you want to relax; it’s not that kind of holiday.  I’ll count today as a full-on cross training day with the walking and the cycling.

Sunday:  1.5-mile bike ride, 1.5 mile walk, and afternoon horseback riding with my son.  Today my quads are shredded after hills, cycling, and horsing around.  My a$$ doesn’t feel all that great either.  I’m taking a rest day Monday as we’re headed back home to some semblance of normalcy.  I am looking forward to taking a nap sometime this coming week.  And my own bed. And my cats.  And did I mention a nap?

It’s been a great getaway, and I’ve totally enjoyed myself.  I was happy to get the long run out of the way first thing so as to have the time freed up to do some other really fun things, even if I did do them in slow motion.  I’ll write more on Whistler later, but for now, I’m done.  My pillow is calling me.

Weekly Total:  22 miles/35.4 km

Total Plan Mileage So Far:  153 miles/246.2 km

While the total mileage for the way I count my week doesn’t look that significant, my running days actually look like this:  Sun:  7; Tues:  4; Thurs:  2; Friday:  16.  We’ll see what I can accomplish this coming week… after a nap, of course.

  • 21 days until Seattle Craft Classic Half Marathon.
  • 33 days until North County Wine Run Half Marathon.
  • 63 days until Marine Corps Marathon.
  • 105 days until Rock ‘N’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon. 
  • 126 days until Christmas.

Best cookies ever!!

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you have a great week!

Yes. I did.

I finally ran further than 13.1 miles.

Friday I ran through the hilly trails of Whistler, BC, and eeked out 16 miles.

A big thank you to Chocolate Runs Judy for sending me an encouraging text.  It was greatly appreciated!  And, of course, a big thank you to 50 in 50 Marathon Quest for talking me down off a ledge around mile 9 to 10, which is where I normally have an emotional breakdown and want to say f**k it all.

I won’t lie… when I was done, I was not elated like I thought I would be, nor did I feel accomplished like I thought I would.  Just tired.  And mentally fried.

Afterwards, of course, my thinking immediately goes to, “but I will still have 10 more miles to go for the marathon…”

Hence, the reason we train… to get stronger.  Next week, I’ll be nearing the 20-mile mark.  It may be 18, it may be 20… I don’t know.  And nope… I won’t even think about it until it happens.

In the meantime, I have a beautiful little town to explore.  Today on the agenda is horseback riding and hiking/gondola flying on the mountain… it’s going to be such a great day.  And surprisingly, yes… I can still move!  My quads are a bit sore from the hills, as are my Achilles, but other than that… bring it on!

 

 

Week 6 of 16 Recap — August 7 through August 13

Ohhh, I’m so late with this.  I thought about foregoing this past week’s update, but I’m keeping track for myself, for future reference… you know, 1st marathon vs 5th marathon kind of thing… hahaha, yeah right.  In brief, this inadvertently became a step-back week for me.  I was tired and needed some rest, so I cut the mileage down.

Monday:  Nada.

Tuesday:  3 miles PLUS swimming!  Yeah baby, you read that right.  A morning and evening workout.  It has been years since I swam laps… amazing workout for the heart and lungs.  It’ll be interesting to see if my upper body gets some tone from it; however, I know for a fact I got a helluva workout.  This is a competition pool, so it’s kept cooler than others, and I was hot when I got out; it probably took me an hour to cool down completely.  Hence, bloody good workout.

Wednesday:  4 miles.

Thursday: Cross train with more swimming.  I’m starting to appreciate my Garmin Vivoactive a bit more… it measures the distance I swim.  New stats to analyze.  Fun stuff for this numbers geek.

Friday:  3 miles.

I’m thinking these poor leaves died from thirst, NOT signs of an early fall.

Saturday:  Rest day.  Nailed it.

Sunday:  7 miles.  Back to Green Lake in Seattle we went.  It was misty/sprinkly/rainy while we were going round and round, but oh how I welcomed feeling the rain on my face.  It had been 55 days of no rain, and we desperately needed it.

The 7 miles was so far my longest run in my new Hoka’s.  Can’t begin to tell you how much I just adore those shoes.  I love them so much that I ordered another pair so I can run in them for both my long and short runs.  You fly, I tell ya, just fly!

Weekly Total:  17 miles/27.4 km

Total Plan Mileage So Far:  131 miles/210.8 km

  • 25 days until Seattle Craft Classic Half Marathon.
  • 37 days until North County Wine Run Half Marathon.
  • 67 days until Marine Corps Marathon.
  • 109 days until Rock ‘N’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon. Do you see that?  Texas!!  I’ll soon get a big color block on my 50-state map!
  • 131 days until Christmas.

Coming Up

We are headed to Whistler, BC, this weekend for a nice little getaway before school starts up again for AJ.  We have all sorts of fun stuff planned… hiking, bear watching, swimming, biking, horseback riding for me and AJ, gondola flying… but first thing’s first… a 17-mile run when I wake up there on Friday morning.  Nope, I’m not even going to think about it…

Have a great rest of the week!

Week 5 of 16 Recap — July 31 through August 6

British Columbia is on fire right now… literally… and the smoke has made its way down to Seattle and across Washington state.  God bless all those firefighters and everyone affected. The fires have made air quality very poor here, so training this past week had to be done indoors.  Sunday the wind picked up and started to move some of it out, so we managed a nice long run outdoors.

Monday:  3 miles.

A picture of Meeps… because treadmills are borrring.

Tuesday:  4 miles.  The boys finally came home from their trip to Idaho.  So endeth my girl time.

Wednesday:  Cross train.  (yeah, right… the boys just got home)

Thursday: 4 miles.  Is anyone catching that my mileage is a bit lower than it should be?  I hate the treadmill.  Not a good excuse, but the truth nonetheless.

Friday:  3 miles.  By now I was so sick of the treadmill, I really didn’t care.  Okay… bad attitude. Whatever.

I know of a lady who runs 14 miles on the treadmill every other day… no more, no less… every, other, day.  Never outside.  Treadmill only.  It blows my mind.

Saturday:  Rest day.

Sunday:  12 miles.  This was a great day out.  James and I headed south to Green Lake in Seattle to run laps around the lake.  It was fabulous.

It’s about a 3-mile loop, tons of people, and mostly flat.  Lots and lots of normal potties… a runner’s dream (actually, this runner’s dream).

I love my geese.

Weekly Total:  26 miles/41.84 km

Total Plan Mileage So Far:  114 miles/183.5 km

Bonus Notes!

The lake we were running around, Green Lake, just so happens to be within walking distance to Road Runner Sports, a fabulous store that specializes in running shoes.  My Brooks Glycerin 14’s are kind of past their sell-by date, having carried me through practically every race in 2016 (well, 8 of the 9 races), not to mention I ran my last half-marathon in June in them… so, yeah, well past their sell-by date.

My Brooks Glycerin… the 2nd pair I’ve retired since I started blogging.

Anyway, after we were finished with our runs, we made our way over to the shoe store, and guess what?!  Yes!!  New shoes!!  I have stepped outside my comfort zone of Brooks (tried and true) to the Hoka One One Clifton!  I tried them out on the treadmill at Road Runner and it was like running on air!  I’m absolutely thrilled and can’t wait to hit the trail in them.  Thank you, Donna, for helping me to realize it was time!

Hoka One One Cliftons

76 more days until Marine Corps, may the Good Lord have mercy on my soul.

Have a great week ya’all!