Thursday, January 29, 2009

Long Hair? No Mas.

Today is the last full day of my long hair. It seems like a silly thing to blog about, but it can be a pretty big deal. Every few years I grow it out and then cut it. I'm super excited this time, because it's long enough to send to Locks of Love. Sometimes I get freaked out about cutting it...what will I look like? Will I like it...because it's not growing back (reference to Lars and the Real Girl--love that movie!)? Will I look like a total nerd when I ask my hairdresser to give me a haircut like Katie Holmes? (probably...definitely). Yet what I'm not worried about includes not missing sweeping, picking, pulling my hair off and out of everything and everyone. It gets everywhere. Ben even asked when I was finally going to cut it...granted that was because I was shrieking b/c he accidentally laid on it and I was trapped....Let the haircut commence! Pictures to follow soon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Back in the Game...Kind of

A long time ago, in a land far far away, I used to play racquetball, but has been awhile.

At the end of last quarter I found out two of my classmates played every week and they invited me to play. During the snow storm, I thought I would rekindle my skills and dad and I played a few games at the Y. I felt pretty good...not bad...but then came last week.

Last week was our first match-up...cut-throat style. Six years out of the game versus two guys who have been playing for a while? 
I mean I've never played where the ball is served at me at 9 bagillion miles an hour. And on top of that? I couldn't lift my right arm for three days. Plus, it hurt to even write my forearm was so sore. 

The next day I was recapping my trip down loserville to Ben and he reminded me of a conversation that he had with one of the guys--that he used to play very competitive tennis...professional in my book. That's when it all started to make sense. No matter where I hit that stupid blue rubber ball, he was always there for the return. Seriously, I would hit it an inch off the ground and out of nowhere he would dive and get it (okay not literally, but you get the point).

The rematch was on today...and guess what? I didn't get killed quite as much. Of course they won (and not by a few points either), but I gave them more of a run for their money. My serves were better placed, my shots stronger, and my feet quicker. It could be the secret 5 a.m. serving drills I run every morning...just kidding...

My arm and back hurts as I'm typing...but not as much as last week. Woo Hoo!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Tough Norwegian Bird

My great-grandma Olga passed away today. Although she was 91, it still came out of nowhere. I haven't seen her for many years, but in my mind her image as the tough Norwegian bird has never changed. This was a lady who still did the jumble and crossword every day, who told me once that "it wasn't too cold today" in her town of North Dakota...followed by "it was -11." Not too cold? Negative 11? And this was in her late 80's? That's right, tough Norwegian bird.

Last year before she went to bed, she reached over to shut the blinds, fell, and broke her hip. Not wanting to bother anyone, she decided to pull a blanket off the bed, and lie on the floor till 6 a.m., when it was okay to call someone. Eight hours on the floor with a broken hip? Tough bird. I told her that next time she should call me, because I would have had no problem "bothering" people late at night in North Dakota, even it was -11. 

The twins (my mom and gma) are flying out Wednesday, while I head South to hang out with grandpa. I know back there they will encounter many other tough Norwegian ladies, and probably a few Icelanders too. Ben thinks its the salted fish that keeps them feisty and kicking with their "yah sure ya betchas" and yummy Lefsa. I have a few thoughts of my own too.

What we know for sure is that our tough Norwegian bird Olga Rheaume will definitely be missed.

Yah sure ya betcha.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Three Cups of New Year

I do admit that I have not hit the pavement once and logged any miles since the beginning of the new year. Nor have I abstained from anything most people swear to stop indulging in, as can be witnessed by the pan of half-eaten fudge brownies I made last night. I did not make any new year's resolutions, just one personal goal. However, I feel that I started off the new year right, with a feeling of contentment towards what 2009 will bring, and reading one of the best book's I ever experienced, further supporting my hopefulness: Three Cups of Tea

When Ben and I were in Cinque Terra, we both read through all the books we had brought, along with each other's (my personal favorite was  A Year in Provence), so we headed to a shop that featured English books. There were only a few selections, and since demand was high and supply low, the paperbacks were all reasonably priced for around $25 USD...yikes. This was when I first say Three Cups of Tea, but Ben was more interested in another book A Fortune Teller Told Me (which by the way, is another super interesting book), so we bought that and enjoyed it in Siena. 

Remembering how interesting the book looked, I put Three Cups on reserve at the library, but since I was number 253 on only 20 copies, Margaret was kind enough to lend me her copy over Christmas. I read the forward the other night with marginal interest, but last night I sat down to put in a few chapters and by 11 p.m. read the last page. 

This book is remarkable...well, the man who it is about is remarkable: Greg Mortenson. A brief synopsis is that Mortenson having unsuccessfully climbed K2, accidentally wandered into a remote village of Pakistan on his way remote, he was the first foreign visitor to ever set foot in the town. Learning the village had no school, and due to the gratefulness for saving his life, Mortenson vowed to come back to the village and build a school. 

His struggles, dedication and accomplishments are truly extraordinary, as is the realization that one person can honestly make a difference; and in an area most Americans associate with hatred and terrorism, he is able to shed light on the problems of these stereotypes, and how by building schools instead of dropping bombs, we can truly promote peace. 

It might sound corny, or not that interesting, but I promise you, you will be blown away.

Happy New Year!