Amuck at Alumapalooza

Another spectacular morning yoga class with 25 people making the effort to attend our 7:30am class. I wasn’t sure how people would respond to the earlier time slot (last year we started at 8am each day). But it seems to be working out just fine, with those who really want their yoga morning fix, making the effort to join us under the big top, breathing and stretching on the luxurious tall grass. How wonderful indeed.

However, all is not champagne and roses on this windy, schizophrenically rainy day. The weather was failing to ‘cooperate’ as requested :). Backup Derby in the rain … not the best idea, especially with the threat of an impending torrential downpour with 50mph winds. Today, the winds started out much milder than yesterday’s stormy schizophrenic weather (although the skies threatened with their similar tempestuous character). It was actually perfect kite flying weather!

This year, slaDE and I decided to register for the Backup Derby. This truly is a tough event where a driver can show off their backing skills.  Teams of one or two can sign up to participate (note: married teams are coached to be prepared for marital-disharmony potential). You can find the 2012 rules here. The other 3 years I had been completely intimidated at the thought of pairing up with my husband in a trial run of rVing communication skills that would test the most skilled of rV marriages / friendships! Somehow 3 couples (including ourselves) managed to weave our way backwards through the seemingly simple track before the skies opened up in a heavy rainfall that had us scampering to the Airstream factory’s safety and dry interior.  The Derby looked deviously easy with the supplied single-axle trailer, until you saw that the supplied truck had ‘blacked out’ rear + side windows and mirrors, and that the traffic cones were strategically placed considerably close together. Aha! This would indeed be interesting. slaDE and I were 2nd up to bat. And managed to finish in 2min 3 seconds with two penalties (we hit the cones twice ~ slaDE was driving and I was outside with a walkie talkie), giving us a final tally of 2:23 minutes. By the time the first rain hit, our score was indeed the best of the three. However, there were 6 other couples to compete in the finishing round tomorrow. Wonder if we’ll win ourselves another set of ZipDee Alumapalooza special edition chairs for this year (we won the Rivet Master contest last year, with 2 chairs as our special prize!)?

The rest of the day was awash until ‘Happy Hour’ and then things started to really liven up! I announced that we would be offering a yogaFLIGHT workshop as a Roving Happy Hour pitstop, but we needed all participants to be sober. That caused quite the funny heckling ruckus, until I stated that we would be having a wIne & cheese afterwards. We in turn received a huge hurrah! 🙂

Three couples showed up to participate in the hugely successful and playful class. Turned out that afterwards, we had a really amazing happy hour under the big top tent, dry and tucked away from the fickle weather. Food and wine kept showing up after our supply ran short. It was a wonder to witness!

Josh Rogan finished off the night with a wonderful 2 hour set of rocking great tunes. What a fabulous day :).

Married to the Wind: Making smart choices

An early morning return to Skydive Houston meant that we were ready to jump lots after a miserably cold housebound week, excited at some big way practice (as promised in SDH’s last newsletter). Unfortunately, the coldish temperatures scared the big way organizer off and we were left to our own devices for planning some fun jumps. Not having enough belly jumpers to make anything significant in number, Jason, Jim Culhane, slaDE and myself made 3 RW skydives together.

After my final jump, I was grounded (self-imposed) due to the high winds which were blowing faster beyond my comfort zone. A rough gusty landing was enough to send me scampering for safer ground, ice in hand nursing my booboo. In addition to that, three super bumpy jumps with weirdly sluggish canopy input had me choose the safer option, for me (everybody has there own comfort level. The drop zone relies on each individual skydiver to make informed smart decisions on when to jump or not).

Wind wus I may be, but past experience has taught me valuable lessons on where my comfort zone exists. As the old saying goes: “It’s better to be safely on the ground wishing you were in the air rather than in the air wishing you were safely on the ground”. Darwin’s law will weed out those who make poor choices. And I don’t want to spend another 4 years grounded, nursing another injury (as I have done before).

Winter hits Houston Texas

Houston was immobilized with an ice storm last night. Freezing rain hammered the city, but not an ounce of snow was to be seen. Seems the weather moved further north overnight and the snow sent Dallas scrambling for cover (hope they manage to clear it all up for Sunday’s Superbowl game!). However, the cold snap remained and a thin coating of ice caked every visible surface. Again, the city was shut down … few know how to drive in icy conditions and the city is not equipped with de-icing resources. I think its a smart idea to stay inside, at our friend Stacey and Don’s home, where its toasty warm, dry and safe (lucky to have had this as an alternative home for Texas’ coldest week of the season). Loving the fact that I could get my morning yoga practice in without freezing! 🙂

A good day to play with the puppies, dye hair and go shopping! Once most of the ice had melted off the roads, we shoppe — after Feisty dyed her hair platinum blond, blonde, blonder. The stores were quiet, and much was achieved in anticipation of our Belize adventure, just over a week away. I bought myself a new pair of hardcore walking shoes (which happens to be my first pair of North Face footwear — aka Gortex hiking day boots). I’m not certain yet as to whether to take them to Belize or not; we may only need beach footwear and suitable shoes for skydiving / jumping into the ocean. Also, we bought a couple of headlamps … most handy for our trip as well, but also for when we’re traveling on the road in our Airstream and are in need a handy LED flashlight that leaves us hands-free. Necessary purchases. Glad to get that out of the way. Next up, packing for the trip!

Snow days in Texas

The threat of snow forecast for tomorrow has many Houstonians scrambling today, including many of the schools. Can you believe that the schools actually released the children either at mid-day or canceled attendance for both today and tomorrow — snow days, in Texas! How crazy is that? Anticipation of bad weather sends the city reeling until warmer temperatures step above the freezing level. For example, the shopping mecca of Market Street in the Woodlands was scheduled to close at 5pm … the Lululemon store is situated there, and for us, that meant our 5:30pm yogaFLIGHT workshop was unfortunately canceled because of the city’s ‘cautiousness’ (can you say paranoia?) over the potential threat of snow for this evening. What?????? Yes, if you’re a Canadian (or someone who lives in a snowy climate), you’re probably thinking the same thing that I am :).

Arctic Blast

The temperatures for the next 4 days are predicted to be beyond comfortable with an Arctic Blast quickly moving south from Canada. Snow and ice had already wreaked havoc in Dallas this morning, and the pipe-bursting weather is predicted to hit Houston by tomorrow night. A good time for slaDE and I to head in to Houston for the week. Who wants to hang out in a trailer when we have a warm cosy space with friends (and 2 border collies + 2 feisty cats) whom we only get to hang out with one time per year?!

Maniacal Monday

The folks of SDH are hard-core Jagermeister drinkers. Personally, I can’t stand the taste of this liquor … it’s sickly sweet with overtones of liquorice. Ewwww! But the weather was foul and Maniacal Monday was planned. slaDE~ was keen to jump on board.

The rules go as such: at 1:11 pm = 1 shot of Jager; 2:22pm = 2 shots of Jager; 3:33 pm = 3 shots of Jager; 4:44 pm = 4 shots of Jager and at 5:55 pm = 5 shots of Jager. With the amount that I drink, I’d be on the floor, blitzed beyond comprehension or throwing up from the overdose of alcohol to blood content (if I had joined in).

And, believe it or not, the participants drank beer along the way, and well in to the evening (considering they were done the game before darkness had even fell!). Glad to watch from the sidelines, and be amused by the crazy antics of Team Jager and company :), especially when we’re cruising around on the golf cart!

Sun and wind, oh my!

Airstream glowA quiet but windy day at Skydive Burnaby, ending with an incredible sunset that took my breath away.

Ho, hum, humid and hot … welcome home to Ontario!

We had been quite spoiled living in Calgary. Cowtown summers are divine. Temperate, dry and perfect for skydiving (as long as the wind doesn’t pick up too dramatically). I’m definitely not used to these high winds coming off of Lake Erie … when I start flying video again for the tandem students, I may have to move somewhat outside of my comfort zone with the winds, or I’ll never get the opportunity to jump!

DZ shadows