April means taking some time off, some time easy, and some time to do what I feel like doing for training. Thus far the month has included more crocheting (yes, I realize winter is almost over), some birthday celebrations with MWSC teammates Austin and Mikaela, crust skiing, saying goodbye/good luck to Amber Dodge (MWSC devo/junior coach) who is moving on to new pastures in NH, crust skiing, some photography arts and crafts, cuddling with our two adorable kitties, some gym time rebuilding muscles that seem to vaporize in winter (and REALLY sore), spring cleaning, a snowshoeing adventure, watching Seth put my new road bike together, crust skiing, and sorting out fundraising possibilities for the coming season. With MWSC undergoing massive funding transitions, the support for the Olympic Development Team is not available to the degree that I've enjoyed in the past, so I'm trying to sort out where I can come up with +/-$7,500 to cover my travel and racing fees over the next year.
Which brings me to the BIG news of the month: I've joined forces with another team (don't worry, I still ski for MWSC and will wear the Snowrose over my heart), Out There Biathlon.
Out There. So far we're still in the brainstorming phase so if you have any fundraising ideas for me, please share!
Last night, immediately after joining them, Out There created a Facebook athlete page for me and now, less than 24 hours later, it already has 169 likes!
And because I know that blogs with lots of pictures are much more interesting, here are a few of my favorites from the start of April and spring (I use this word lightly as there are still +/-2 FEET of snow outside my door here in Fort Kent).
Seth snuggling with Eva after an early morning of crust-skiing adventures.
Arts and Crafts: a wood burning I made for Seth. It's going to get hooks along the bottom under the fox's feet and become a key holder!
Our playful kittens trying to assist with my crocheting. To date they're only made a yarn-mess once. I was visiting a friend and had a partially-made hat sitting out on a coffee table. They (not sure if the culprit was one or both) took the hat under the coffee table, under the futon, through the railing on the stairs, up the stairs, around the corner and down the hall. That's where I found it after following the yarn tails from the skeins which were as I left them in a bag next to the coffee table.
I should have taken a picture.
Amber helping Julia with her new fairy wings (a moving-out gift from Amber). We, meaning myself and all ages of MWSC athletes and our coaches, had a going-away ski and pot-luck dinner for Amber. She will be missed but I'm also sure she'll enjoy her new adventures in New Hampshire.
A view from my snowshoe hike on a particularly spring-like afternoon last week.
The snowman who graced our front yard for only a few short days before Mother Nature did away with him.
More arts and crafts: I printed a few of my favorite shots from the last few months and mounted them on 8x10 canvases so I can enjoy them on our walls! This is the cheap way of getting a lot of artwork hung up without paying to have them all professionally printed!
My teammate Mikaela turned 19 this week and he family lives in Japan so Seth and I stepped in to help her celebrate! I made her a carrot cake complete with layers and cream cheese frosting.
Seth smelling a green Kit Kat sent over from Japan in Mikaela's birthday box….he doesn't look like he's too sure about the Pistachio-flavored candies!
A bog I skied through on my return route after a perfect crust-ski last week. For those who haven't been (you're missing out), crust-cruising is when the spring sun melts the surface of the snowpack and then we get a hard freeze the following night, creating a hard "crust" that you can ski on. When a good crust forms you can ski just about anywhere that the sun has shined. The terrain for crust-cruising is just endless here in Aroostook County….lots of unplowed logging roads and thousands of open fields that turn into potato and grain crops come planting season.
You have to watch out for things emerging from their winter hiding spots when you ski the fields around here….we got a lot of snow and some rather large objects are just now melting out!
Seth taking a water break during a crust-ski in Stockholm, ME last weekend. No, the short pole is not broken…that's how much snow was still under the crust!
Lydia waiting for others before chasing the boys up a big hill in Stockholm. At this point the sun was getting rather strong and starting to create a wet, sticky (and significantly slower) layer on top of the crust. We bee-lined it for the cars but still had a slow slog across some softening fields.
Kam and Cody testing out the snow-depth and enjoying a snack break.
Our crust-cruising crew!
Tomorrow I leave what's left of winter and head into the heart of mud season. I'm headed home to NH to visit with family while helping them get the stand going. I'm looking forward to fresh cut greens and dirt under my fingernails! Bring on spring!