Friday, December 31, 2010

Introduction to Snowboarding

Sunday, Jan. 9, 9:30 a.m. – close
$55 includes lift ticket , snowboard, boot and helmet rental and a free group lesson. We will meet at church and carpool to Trollhaugen Ski and Snowboard area and we will snowboard: just try it! If you are an experienced snowboarder, you are welcome to join us and get the group rate and encourage the rest of us beginners! Michelle Houle will inspire us to shred!
Sign up by Sunday! ok??!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy New Year!

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. ” —Edith Lovejoy Pierce
There is still room for you on the Dogsled trip, Jan 20-23!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Pants

February 13 and beyond……
Join this "Couch to 5K" program, we will walk, jog, trot, run and gradually transform ourselves from couch potatoes to runners. Our goal is to run a 5K race at the end of just two months. We'll start the program together February 13th and end with the "Cemstone Run for Others" 5K on April 16, 2011. Contact Michelle Houle for encouragement at
Click here to register for the trainng and/or the 5K
"To see a wren in a bush, call it "wren," and go on walking is to have (self-importantly) seen nothing. To see a bird and stop, watch, feel, forget yourself for a moment, be in the bushy shadows, maybe then feel "wren"-- that is to have joined in a larger moment with the world." -- Gary Snyder, Language Goes Two Ways, 1995.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sharpen Your Senses

...from Yoga Journal

When we spend time in the wilderness, it can be tempting to focus our awareness on "doing" something: taking pictures; getting a certain amount of physical exercise; traveling from point A to point B; naming all the species of birds we encounter. While nature photography is a lovely craft, and we need to exercise for good health, and understanding what lives in our environment is a valid part of deepening our relationship with the land, these activities can separate us from a more intimate experience of the natural world. It is all too easy to forget to actually experience with all our senses that which we are busily capturing and identifying.

The natural world invites us out of our world of fixed concepts and into a closer proximity with reality—what Buddhist teachings call "nonconceptual awareness." Experiencing the natural world with nonconceptual awareness means that, rather than seeing a small black bird and thinking, "That's a starling, a nonnative bird introduced from England several centuries ago," we stop and see each particular bird's incandescent blue-black velvet feathers, piercing amber eyes, and delicate, wiry feet. Instead of encountering the world through a filter of ideas, memories, and labels, we connect deeply with the unfiltered and vital pulse of life in that moment.

If we're not mindful, intellectual knowledge can easily cloud our direct experience. When we're guided through life solely by our intellect, by our ideas of what we know, we're robbed of a sense of discovery. A nonconceptual awareness allows us to approach each moment as fresh and new. A depth of wisdom can arise from such immediacy, and lead to greater wonder about the mysteriousness of life; we may realize just how little we can ever know

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Unscheduled Events

from Spirituality and Health Magazine

We feel so good when we make plans and put our lives in order – it may even look as though we’re actually going to get everything done on time! But often life has other plans for us. For example, as many of you know, I had every intention of being in shape to participate in a triathlon in "August 2011". I was well into a good workout routine when I took a fall and dislocated my hip. After a month, I’ve just barely begun to be able to work out for a couple of minutes at a time, and now, with all the snow and ice, I feel a bit uneasy even going outside my front door.

The church I attend presented their children's Christmas program on Sunday; they’ve been practicing for weeks, and though I’d been really looking forward to it, I ended up in the ranks of those who couldn’t get there due to the blizzard - the snow plows hadn’t made it to our neck of the woods because the main roads needed so much attention.

Instead of getting upset, I decided I could take advantage of the situation by staying at home and making progress on a complicated computer class I’m taking – then the power went out at least ten times. Each time, the modem and router had to reset themselves and I had to figure out how to get back into the program. I had once told our minister that anyone who thinks that working on a computer isn’t a spiritual practice hasn’t had to do it very much! Part way through the day, however, I decided that I wouldn’t let myself get terribly frustrated or angry, but would enjoy the many breaks as an opportunity to cook, check on the weather, or read. I refused to give up my joy, and specifically chose to practice patience.

Our lives seldom follow the schedule we lay out, and this gives us the chance to understand ourselves better and to see exactly how our spiritual practices are carrying over into life’s unscheduled, and sometimes unwanted, events. Here’s a great suggestion from the book Impermanence: Embracing Change (Snow Lion Publications, 2008): “No matter what you are doing. . . the most important thing is what your attitude is towards what you are doing. So whatever you do, offer that to the universe so that becomes the universe.”

The lights just went off again! It’s nighttime and totally dark…but we’ve got flashlights! What an adventure! Whatever your weather, whatever your situation, whatever unscheduled events take place today that stretch your spiritual muscles, have some fun watching your reactions and adjustments!

I send you blessings.

Rev. Linda L Wilson, BS, MA, D.Div, is an ordained minister and holistic health practitioner. She is an inspirational speaker, seminar and workshop leader, and writer who enjoys performing weddings and ceremonies of union.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us."

- Snowshoe for a Cause

- Snowshoe for a Cause

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pearls Lend Panache to Powder Days and Training Trips | The Vertical Woman: The Magazine for the Woman Alpinist

From Vertical Woman Magazine

Lately, in the backcountry, I’ve been wearing pearls. Every day.

They’re a slender string of freshwater, cultured pearls given out as part of a goodie bag at the Salt Lake City Lupus Walk. You heard that right: the Lupus Walk gave out free pearl necklaces. Real pearls.

Confused? I, too, thought it was a little ridiculous, and in equal jest began to wear them constantly. This was in May, right before the start of my 2009 Outward Bound season.

I forgot to take them off before a training trip, and found myself trudging through snow, ice axe in hand… and pearls swinging from my neck. That evening I sat in my snow shelter cooking curried quinoa over a whisperlite, pearls peeking out of my down jacket. The juxtaposition was remarkable.

I felt that I had finally found my particular place as a woman in this world. It was reconciliation between my sparkly dresses and my Gore-Tex, my time spent in dance clubs and in crampons.

This first trip in those pearls was so entertaining to me that I had to make it into a consistent statement. I have since spent over 150 days in the field wearing my pearls. I wear them when I instruct as well as on my personal climbing and skiing trips.

I call them my “send hard” pearls, and treat them with as much care as I treat my skis (That is to say, I use them hard). One night this summer they broke in my mega-mid and shiny pearls danced in the folds of my sleeping bag. Terrified, I spent hours picking out each pearl by headlamp and threading them back on the line. I tied a bowline on the clasp and haven’t had any problems since.

Julie Weis and friend with pearls and peaks

Pearls and Peaks: Julie Weis and a friend in the North Cascades

Julie Weis is a skier and climber who has instructed for the Outward Bound School in Mazama, Wasington since 2008. In her years as an instructor, Julie has found the way to keep it classy in the backcountry. This story is about a small necklace that reminds her of her femininity and grace, even when she hasn’t showered in two weeks. Julie currently lives in Seattle and spends her time exploring the Cascades.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Would you be afraid? A surprising answer. Well, surprising and refreshing to me.

This woman has been biking solo for 18 months and finds being a woman is very helpful. Here’s part of her response when asked, “Is it safe to be packing estrogen?”

“It’s the estrogen you see; a masterful diva of devotion, distraction and 24 hour road side assistance on a bicycle tour of foreign lands. The estrogen extravaganza, a festival of aid in which the men of the world bolt forward unsolicited with thoughtful assistance and not usually needed helpful action…Being a woman is the most useful of the safety plans and survival tools that I pack daily in my panniers/bicycle bag as I cycle around the world. A tool that so quickly melts all language barriers that at times I wonder why there is such an exaggerated stereotype of women travelling solo as unsafe especially if they are travelling independently by bicycle.”

Read here whole story at the link.