Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dirt Cookies?

Here's a terrible story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080129/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/haiti_eating_dirt

I read this article in the news today about how the people in Haiti are so poor they can't afford food, so they eat dirt. They form mud into cookies and eat them sometimes for 3 meals a day. WHaaat??? How horrible is that? I felt awful when I read this today, because I'd spent the morning bothering a co-worker to bring in donuts for breakfast before going out and buying a $3.00 cup of coffee after lunch. Three dollars for a cup of coffee is a silly luxury that I don't think that much about...how much food could that buy for a whole family for a day?

I feel sick to think that there are people out there so poor that they eat dirt cookies for dinner. I feel the need to look up a place to donate money to help out these people. A few I found so far are www.helphaitinow.org and www.hopeforhaiti.com - I'll have to do more research to find the one that reaches the people most in need.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Adventures in Snowshoeing

This weekend Joe and I rented snowshoes from a great little outdoors shop in Portland called Next Adventure. For only $10 a day we got to go on a great hike up to Mirror Lake on Mount Hood. Here's a picture of me hiking around the mountain.

The snow was really coming down up there and we spent a little too long taking pictures and playing around in the snow, so we didn't get out of the woods until well after dark. It's a good thing boy-scout Joe is always prepared and had a flashlight with him. It was wet and tiring, but a lot of fun. Check out Joe's page for more great pictures that he's been stitching together.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Adventures in skiing

Today marks my 30th birthday. Joe helped me feel old this weekend by taking me skiing up on Mt. Hood. I've only been skiing 2 times before we'd moved out here and I think the last time I went was about 7 years ago, so needless to say I'm kind of a novice when it comes to the sport. But, I'm always up for playing in the snow so it sounded fun to me. We decided to be lazy and sleep in, so we headed up to the Ski Bowl for some night skiing around 3 pm on Saturday night.

The traffic was horrible and the snow was really coming down on us. It made driving really slow. We also had a bit of a scare when we got out to chain up the tires (a must-have car accessory in the Oregon winters!) and Joe realized that he had locked the keys in the car. Ooops. Luckily he remembered that he keeps a spare in case of an emergency such as this and saved ourselves hours of sitting in the snow waiting for a locksmith to come along. We chained up and soon were on our way.

There was no parking so we had to go up to another area and take a shuttle to the actual ski area. We got there around 4 and I got a good 2 hours in on the bunny slope before we decided to eat at the lodge there.
After eating, I'd decided that I rocked the bunny slope way too hard to go back on it and wanted to try out the big boy slopes. It was a beautiful ride up the mountain on the chair lift in the heavy snow...but getting off the lift was a bit of a challenge. Also...skiing on anything other than the bunny slope proved to be a challenge. I couldn't believe how horrible I was on the actual mountain slopes, even the easiest ones. I fell over and over and over again. I finally made it to the bottom and took a good long break before attempting it again. Second time up...more of the same. Fell after getting off the lift, this time only to be run over by a snowboarder. (My lower back is paying for that this morning.) Lots of falls down the steeper parts. But definitely better the second time down. Joe, who's been skiing since he was a kid, did much better and didn't even have muscle pain this morning. I hurt all over like an old lady.

We skied until almost 10pm....we missed the last shuttle and had to hike a mile back up the mountain to the car only to find it buried already. The roads were also pretty icy, and we had to keep the chains on for the most part of the ride back down the mountain. Didn't get home until almost 1am, and fell into bed, exhausted.

It was a mixture of fun and frustration, but I guess the good has outweighed the bad because we're definitely planning another trip out there before the end of the winter.