Sunday, January 13, 2013

How Much Can One Day Suck?

Quite a bit, apparently.

Yesterday was rather entertaining, when looking back on it the next day. One of those days I almost (almost, mind you) think about moving back to the lower forty-eight.

I taught three classes yesterday, one of my heavy load days, increased by the arrangement of two practice sessions with a couple of other instructors. We have new routines being released, so we get together to practice them and get paid for the practice sessions.

The fun began right at the end of my Centergy class, a class that's a fusion of yoga, pilates, and tai chi. The last track is for resting, recovery, and generally behavior usually attributed to meditation. I was just starting the speech that brings everyone back to the present moment in a gentle fashion:

"Take a slow, deep breath. As you release it, begin waking up the body by wiggling fingers and -"


The loudest, most obnoxious noise I've ever encountered rips through the entire building.

Someone had set off the fire alarm.

I stood there with my mouth hanging open. Then I said, "Well, you're all awake, so have a good day!" Everyone cracked up.

My next class started late because the noise continued until the fire department could arrive and turn it off. It was a false alarm, reportedly set off by a bouncing basketball. Whoopsie-daisy! At least it's good to know that the alarm is so loud, it'll drive everyone out of the building, emergency or not.

And now a few words about the weather.

Most of the time, it snows here through December, January, February and March. Snow in November, October, and even September is not unheard of, and it often snows in April, and sometimes as late as May.

In other words, snow is expected, and in many ways, appreciated. Fills potholes in the road, stuff like that. Last year we got more than we needed, but it still wasn't a huge problem. I'll take too much snow over the really huge winds we get any day.

There was one year that put something ahead of my dislike for great winds: freezing rain, aka ice storms. That was the year my Yaris got stuck sideways after sliding on the ice at the top of the driveway.

This season, we've only had one decent dumping of snow. This was followed by strong winds displacing the snow and packing it down hard in some places. And then the temperature shot up for a couple of weeks, melting the tops of everything just enough to form ice.

Even that's not always too bad. The melting was minimal, and the fact that the wind displaced the snow helped keep a lot of roads pretty clear of ice.

But yesterday, the rain started. The kind of rain that is almost slush, and therefore freezes to the top of already slick areas and makes them virtually impassible with the expectation of keeping your car on the road.

I was on my way after a very long day of exercise, and the rain had been going all day. When I stopped in Walmart, I was going to park in a close spot to minimize the possibility of slipping and falling. I was driving extremely slow, and trying to give everything around me lots of room.

I STILL almost slid into a parked car as I turned into a spot. Changed my mind and parked far away from other cars. All my balance training in my classes helps me stay on my feet as it is.

When I turned off the main road to the one that goes to my subdivision, I knew that things were going to get really bad. It's mostly downhill, with an S-curve at the bottom, a place where moose like to hang out. So I stayed in second gear most of the way. When I was approaching the dreaded curve, I slowed down and put it in first gear until I was creeping along at about two or three miles per hour.

I intended to go through the middle of the curve and minimize any turning as much as possible. There were no edges where I could get better traction, only deep ditches into the properties lining the roads. It didn't matter what gear I was in, how slow I was going, or how carefully I approached the area; this curve had it in for me. My car just slid right off the road and over into the ditch sideways.

I almost thought the car was going to roll, but it didn't. I cringed at the sound of the thorny brush scraping the sides and the undercarriage. I tried driving it forward, because it looked like I could get out by the driveway a little ways ahead. But it got stuck and died a couple of times.

A nice neighbor and his teenage kids stopped and offered to give me a ride home, which was right neighborly of them. Later that night, my hubby and I managed to get the car out ourselves without towing.

The most amazing part: there doesn't seem to be any damage to the car at all.

I love my car.

So though the day was about the worst it can get in Alaska weather-wise, it still manage to end all right. And still not nearly as bad as the entirety of last year was. I've written and submitted two stories this year. I've already caught up to last year's count.

This rain is about to drive me batty, though. Spring weather in the middle of January, when we're supposed to be having sub zero temps and lots of snow. And the wind started blowing today, too.

In the arena of healthy eating, we've been gradually going over to a more primal based diet: veggies, meats, fruits, that kind of thing. Essentially, no grains or farm- and agriculture-related foods. We're not strict. We still have brown rice. We still have dairy. Paleo is even more strict from what I've heard, even down to no fruit because of the sugar. I doubt we'll ever get that far, thanks to my relentless sweet tooth.

I was kind of missing pancakes, and I found a recipe for almond pancakes on a blog called "Girl Gone Primal." Tried them out today. If you're expecting them to be anything like the traditional wheat pancakes, you'll be disappointed. They are different. Not necessarily bad, but it's hard to describe. Drier and almost crumbly if you let them sit awhile. But decent with maple syrup. I couldn't eat very much, though. They are heavier and more filling than wheat pancakes.

I plan on trying her "Oopsie Pizza" recipe next. :)

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