I took advantage of the fairly mild temps and beautiful morning today, and I took down the last of the outdoor Christmas decorations. It's kind of depressing in a way, because that really solidifies the fact that the holidays are behind us and we have to wait 11 more months to do it again. This past holiday was probably one of my favourites! So many more memories, family, laughter, and fun! In fact even with the insanely cold temperatures we have experienced, I would have to say I am loving the real northern type of winter we are having. Before I get to far ahead of myself in this post, I am going to rewind to where my last post left off.... at least as far as the time frame is concerned!
I decided to race the Michigan State Cyclo-Cross Championships at Addison Oaks, promoted by Tailwind Racing. It was cold and windy! The course was wide open, pretty flat, and more of a power course than technical course. I didn't have much of a race mentality and I as excited as I was to be doing another cyclo-cross event, I really wasn't pumped up and ready to "rock". That's ok though because cyclo-cross was just a bonus to an already awesome MTB season. Erin was brave enough to battle the cold and came-a-cheerin', bell in hand and a "peppermint patty" beverage! Although the spectators seemed to be few, it didn't matter, I had one of the best cheering for me! At "go" Kelly Paterson was first off the line and I tucked in right behind her. We came around at the end of lap 1, and on the very corner that we were warned about at the start of the race, I went down hard, sliding across the gravel road/trail. Not good, that leads to a straight a way, and a great opportunity for everyone to hammer and that's kinda what happened. I got up, felt like I tore my pants from the hip down, felt like my finger had been ripped off, but to my surprise I was in one piece and the cold had me comfortably numb that could carry on. So at that point I just rode, not very focused, but just had some fun (I think?). In the end I took 3rd. It's all good. Afterwards, Erin helped bandage me up with my first aid kit in the van (toilet paper and Scotch tape... ;) ...)! She also supplied me with a warm "drink" and then we hung out and cheered the elite men on.
(Last race of 2013!)
(I was off the bike for a couple of weeks and then hopped back in the saddle...... this was before the huge snow fall!)
LET THE SNOW BEGIN......... MY WINTER ADVENTURES....... :)
When the snow started falling and didn't stop, I actually got excited! I spent so much time outdoors, hiking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, making forts and snowmen, having snowball fights and taking lots of pictures.....
In the pines at the back of our property (a.k.a "Deep Dark Jungle"). The snow was heavy on the trees and the sun was peaking through just enough to make it look like the snow was glowing. It was beautiful!
The secret entrance! Snowshoe fun!
This ride was a total fail! lol..... Clearly not a fat bike! The roads were too bad so I thought I would try and power my way through the dense deep snow. This did not last long. I went back to the house and grabbed my skis!
In the summer, we scooped up a couple pairs of cross country skis, poles and boots for like $10-$15 at a garage sale! How crazy awesome is that? It's been a blast!
Trail through the front pines and my snow angels!! We have the best snow removal system! My oldest son keeps our driveway cleared...... So, bonus, our driveway is clear, but it leads to a road that many times is not!
CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY.........
For some reason, I was really excited for Christmas last year. I began my decorating early/mid November! That was so unheard of for me! In the past I usually didn't start until December! Last year, we hosted Christmas for my family (12 adults and 16 grandchildren).
Don't think I can ever top this "tree topper"!
Christmas cheer...... just getting ready for the December 24th festivities! I got this picture just before my oldest son (Nelson) made a crazy face!
With all the snow that had fallen before Christmas we weren't quite sure if we were going to pull off the "surprise" we had planned because the tractor and wagon would never of made it through the deep snow out back in the open field. However, a few days before Christmas the snow melted..... but the ground got real soft..... posing another issue.... getting stuck in mud! Luckily mother nature cooperated and the ground was hard and frozen by December 24th morning! Our plan was sure to work........
(My sisters, my parents and me, the grandchildren, the gator and tractor "decked" for the holidays!)
The "surprise"...... Jay, myself and the kids had been working in the back pines since November. We cleaned things up and made trails. I told all my sisters and their families, that adults and children must come with warm clothes on Christmas Eve. They were to ask no questions as to why! Everyone followed instructions! On the afternoon of the 24th, everyone hopped on board and we headed out for a hay ride. Nelson took care of getting us all out back to the pines! Paiten and I did some decorating and wrapped some trees like candy canes and hung bulbs from branches! We lead the group to the center of the pines where a bonfire awaited. Christmas tunes playing, hot chocolate and coffee in thermos', Bailey's, cooler full of drinks, and marshmallows to roast! We had so much fun singing, dancing, drinking, cheering, and staying toasty warm by the fire! Adults and children having an old fashion Christmas...... It was awesome.... It was pretty magical!!
I made stockings for the kids this year! I grabbed old flannel plaid shirts (being Canadian we have many.... lol...), and some old flannel plaid pj bottoms and stitched them! The kids had long skinny "new" socks for Santa to put treats in! I also got a new "two wheeled" tree ornament!
Max and me, out for a ski!
Dog, snowman, cat..... it was all possible.....
LET THE COLD, THE WIND AND SNOW DRIFTS BEGIN..........
As the temps changed and the winds got stronger, the landscape took on a whole new look! This was in our backyard!
The piles grew bigger.......
I would head to the back of the property everyday, and everyday I was in awe!
Looked like "land waves"!
Soon perhaps, I will be back in the saddle!? For now however, it's an extended off season.....