Bay Area Hiking

As promised, here’s a post with pictures from the hikes I took in the Bay Area while waiting for my appointment time.

Just to remind you, here’s what it looked like near my neighborhood on Monday that week:


You can imagine how I luxuriated when I stepped out of the car at a park in the hills above Palo Alto on Friday and got this:

Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking

After finishing a 3.5-mile walk at the first park, I had a little extra time, so I drove up the hill a little farther. There I found another couple parks. I picked one and, at the suggestion of a helpful ranger, found a trail where I enjoyed the sweeping views. Continue Reading >>

Foggy Photography

It hasn’t rained in a long while — most atypical for Western Washington in November. But we’ve started getting seasonally appropriate fog, which does add an ethereal look to everything. I didn’t get any pictures of that, but I’m experimenting with trying to get a shot of drops illuminated with my headlight.

I don’t think the phone camera is well suited to that challenge… But I’ll keep trying.

Chilly but Beautiful

Dad and I met up for an extended ride home this evening. By “extended,” I actually mean we added 25 miles to a 20-mile commute. Perfect… and my toes even defrosted in the shower. We didn’t set any land speed records, but I find it difficult to keep up a fast pace when it’s pitch dark and the temperature hovers around freezing. We still had a nice time.

We rode south through Bellevue to Factoria, over Northup Way into Issaquah, and then around the south end of Lake Sammamish. A straight shot north took us directly home. Continue Reading >>

Pictures from the Week

Monday: It snowed. I walked to a bus. It worked OK on the way in but on the way home my bus never came, so I had to do an alternative that landed me in downtown Bothell, 2.5 miles from home without a bike. Fortunately, Ian and Benji bailed me out.
Monday Snow Day 1

Snow Day at Work

Tuesday: I rode my studded-tire bike to the bus across ice without any slipping issues at all. I’d forgotten how it feels to ride a tank.
Snow Tires on Red Bike

My work had a meeting on the 76th floor and the view was, as always, spectacular.
Tuesday No Snow Day (from the 76th floor) 2

Tuesday No Snow Day (from 76th floor)

After Tuesday I didn’t take any more pictures. Sorry. I had a busy week at work, with the run-up to my first release. I only got to bike home two days, what with the horrid weather, but on the bright side arrived home early enough on Wednesday and Friday to have dinner with my family! Still figuring things out, but doing OK.

I Love Winter Mountains

Here are my 1,000 words for the day.
Norway Chill

A few more words of explanation: I went for a ride today while it was “warm” (above freezing, barely) and light. There aren’t many hours like that this time of year around here.

I’m still slow. It’s life. I consider it a win just getting out at all these days. Too bad Strava doesn’t list “got outside” as an achievement.

I finished the ride by going up my favorite local climb, Norway Hill, and the afternoon light on the mountains was just beautiful. I stopped and took some pictures, but my brand-new, super nice Google Pixel phone with allegedly stupendous camera couldn’t really capture the vividness and beauty of the scene. The mountains looked brilliantly crisp and clear, bright and clean against the cold blue of the sky. The dark green of the trees in the foreground and the cloud ceiling moving in overhead framed the mountains as if to accentuate their gorgeousness.

I love the winter mountains here, with their glittering snowpack and the sharp blue lines, the shadows and the slanting golden light, the cleanness of the air that makes everything look close and clear. Summer in Western Washington brings its own delights, but I feel that winter rewards us for going outside by offering the most breathtaking vistas just around the next corner or over the next rise.

Merry Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas to you all!
Christmas 2016

We can’t believe it’s the end of another year!
Joe-Katie-Mare Silly

I remain most grateful for the blessing of our immediate families, living so nearby and getting to take such an active part in our lives. I also am thankful for the opportunity to continue building meaningful friendships and to keep learning and growing as a wife, parent, friend, and person. Nothing’s perfect, but I’m thankful for what we have.

AND I am grateful for the opportunity to start riding my bike again, even if it was quite painful and slow. I’m not worrying as much about the usual metrics as figuring out a plan to build back up to where I was — and hopefully surpass it!

I just felt so happy out there, and when I got home — and then got to do it again today! I rode about 7500 miles this last year, with a goal of 8,000 miles; I got close, and I think I could’ve made it, had bacteria not intervened. But hey, there’s always next year, with whatever it holds.

Picture Diary: December 9-14

December 9

Snow Day!

We made a snow man in the back yard and I pulled Benji on a home-made cardboard sled for a little bit. I also went for 90 minutes of walks before the snow went away.

December 11

Sleeping in the  Nest

Only for nap time, and only on the rare occasions nap time actually involves napping, does Benji sleep in his “nest.” He has so many snuggles, plus a half-dozen blankets including one down comforter, that it’s probably similar to his mattress.

December 14

Benji Christmas Program 1

Benji Christmas Program 1

Our Redeemer Christian School’s Christmas program. Benji loved his angel halo, even though he didn’t sing for any of the songs. He’s the one in the turquoise shirt with stripy sleeves in the front row. It was exactly like you expect preschool singing to be: adorable for parents and fun for the kids. I would probably have appreciated it more if I hadn’t spent most of the time struggling not to cough up a lung.

Aaand this is where I confess that I actually wrote this post on the 16th and then back-dated it to fill in some gaps.

A Metaphor for Something

I saw this while dropping Benji off one day, and it made made me smile. Some kind of metaphor for how the Christmas season can feel, perhaps?