|Dano-Norwegian skijaegere engaging the swedes, presumably during the Napoleonic-era judging by the uniforms.|
Hello, hello! Still alive and kicking here in the Grand Duchy of Stollen, but hobby activity has been restricted of late due to the start of the spring semester and the fact that we have been skiing as much as possible during late afternoons and weekends since January 1st.
Notably, we enjoyed a long skiing getaway over last weekend about 2.5 hours north, where it is much colder and snowier. We visited two different groomed ski areas across three days while renting a charming small chalet through VRBO. Besides her "classic" (diagonal stride) skies, the Grand Duchess also tried out a new set of "skate" skis that she received for Christmas. Hard work, but she eventually got the hang of it thanks to her speed skating experience. The techniques are not dissimilar.
The entire weekend went so amazingly well, and The Young Master skied so strongly even down more technical and complicated hills, that we have booked another rental for mid-February. We will visit a new Nordic ski center outside of Grayling, Michigan and revisit one of the two we enjoyed last weekend outside of Frederic just across the highway. The latter has state of the art snow making facilities, although that is not necessary right now, plus one of the largest fleets of professional grooming equipment in the Upper Midwest.
If only I could get The Grand Duchess to move further north, I'd be packed in a jiffy. No kidding!
The wonderfully relaxed, zen-like feeling that begins while skiing the trails and blossoms fully in the evenings following a hot shower, satisfying meal, and coffee plus a later optional glass or two of wine (liquid "lubrication" is not really necessary apres ski), by the fireside is difficult to put into words. If more people felt so at ease more often, conflicts of all sorts would cease to be an issue. I, for one, need more of those post-skiing endorphins.
Back on Earth meanwhile there are the ongoing Blogger problems, which have become increasingly frustrating of late. The darn app most recently is not letting me log in directly through Blogger, complaining that it does not recognize my device. Adding insult to injury, it then sends a temporary password and log-in information to an email address that has not been active (and no longer exists) for a dozen years or more. More maddening, I cannot seem to figure out HOW to change the defunct email setting.
The only way I can get into my blogs right now is to use my laptop, usually reserved for work stuff, which has none of my photos or other hobby related stuff on it. Or I log in through Google, which I am doing right now, although that does not grant me full access to my blog control panels etc. It is frustrating enough that I am strongly considering moving over to a website I build myself through an app like Wix, which I have used before, but I have neither the time, nor inclination to move 15+ years of blog-related material over to a new site. Grrrr.
The only solution, for today, is to return to the painting table and continue brushwork on The Young Master's version of Prussia's 3rd Garrison Regiment. With another mug of coffee, of course, and some wine by the fire with The Grand Duchess this evening following our son's bedtime. And maybe a few rounds of Yatzee with some more wine. Because wine seems to help just about everything you know.
|The Grand Duchess and some weird old guy we picked up along the way while skiing last Monday, January17th.|
|The Young Master and yours truly doing "Dead Bugs" before descending a wonderfully steep and winding hill at Forbush Corners Nordic Ski Center outside of Frederic, Michigan.|
|The trail network at Forbush Corners. We covered most of it over two days. Tailor-made for Nordic skiing. A beautiful and special place designed by the late David Forbush and maintained by a non-profit organization with a capital campaign underway to raise funds that will enable expansion of the trail system shown into the lower right quadrant of the map.|