organization & musings


Sunrise at Baldface Lodge

Flipping through Hemispheres magazine, I came across an article entitled, “Wish You Weren’t Here” about how healthy couples vacation separately. The luck! My decision to go on an expensive, solo trip validated by a few paragraphs in a travel mag.

It was officially O.K. for me to leave my family and work for a week-long vacation and love every moment.

I had been anticipating this trip long before boarding the plane. The excursion had been booked more than a year in advance, a crew of eight skiers and boarders solidified with our first payment to a backcountry outfit near the cute little town of Nelson, B.C. I was nervous and exited for some backcountry riding in deep powder accessed only by SnoCat, with the hope of carving fresh tracks on every run.

When I look back, my 20s were filled with newness and self-imposed challenges. As I age, new experiences happen less often. And I miss that feeling of not knowing what to expect. This trip would be a venture into unknown territory. Here are a few things I did for the first time:

1. Ride in a helicopter. Two, actually—one up, one down. I wish there had been more.

2. Learn how to use an avalanche beacon. Pretty basic stuff, but important!

3. Snowboard via SnoCat. No lifts, no crowds. Just a burly SnoCat depositing us at the top of a mountain and picking smiling skiiers and boarders up at the bottom. All day long.

4. Stay in a lodge with 35 other guests, all male. This can be a little stinky, but overall pretty great.

I also came to understand that pursuing one’s passion is important and vital to human happiness. Well, for me it is.

I love snowboarding. It’s pure bliss, floating on the smooth sparkly surface of fresh snow. Loving something doesn’t mean being the best at it. It means experiencing joy when partaking in said favorite activity. I’m totally not the best snowboarder out there *obviously*. Some of the best moments on the mountain were watching other people challenge themselves and try something they weren’t sure they could do. It’s fun. And we all need more fun.

The best part about really loving something is being completely in the moment with it. My mind is a wanderer. All day I think about client deadlines, grocery lists, appointments. I consider the next project. Seldom do I experience something fully and lose myself in the task. It happens with my job sometimes. Going down the rabbit hole of graphic design and coming out hours later with a tangible product to look at can be very satisfying. (Thank goodness for calendar apps with alerts!) Exercise is that way, too—staying focused on the right now. But snowboarding… that’s the one.

The people I admire the most all have something in their lives that they really love to do for themselves. My friends are photographers, fly fishers, horse riders and poets. They are dedicated to and rewarded by their crafts. This is not to say that these folks are not also devoted spouses, parents or workers. Having a passion is not the same as being selfish. Taking time for yourself to do something you enjoy routes happiness back to others. It’s healthy and good. Whatever your passion—be it running, wrenching on cars or thrifting—it doesn’t matter. Embrace it. Do it.

Winter is winding down. There are no more snowboard trips planned this season, solo or otherwise. If it continues to snow in the northeast I may be able to squeak in one more day at the mountain. But I’ll probably have to wait ’til next year to ride the fluffy stuff.

Until then, I’ll be daydreaming about surfing down a white mountain.
And helicopter rides.

Here are some images of my trip. Photos by Nick Diamond (and me).

Beacon training at Baldface Lodge

Baldface Lodge SnoCat

Me in bliss

Me and my snowboard

Snow falling lightly

Me snowboarding at Baldface

Taking a photo of the memorial cross with prayer flags at Baldface

The helicopter to Baldface Lodge

Silhouette and sunset at Baldface Lodge

deer antler jewelry organizer

I’ve come across some beautiful and inspiring painted deer antlers at flea markets and on etsy. Most of the antlers I see are sold as tabletop art. Being a utilitarian girl, and also generally averse to clutter, I look for innovative uses for everyday (and not-so-everyday) objects. It occurred to me a mounted deer antler, {READ MORE}

babying the big girls

While one of my children has never been seriously injured, the other one has been to the emergency room many times. We could talk about the iniquity of it all, but life is just like that: unfair. Our latest visit to the ER was for a nasty radius fracture—the result of a poorly-executed backbend walkover. {READ MORE}

Shoe Organization How-To

It’s been about a year since I wrote about organizing my shoes. With the recent closet cleanout, and my teeny weeny footwear obsession, the shoes in my closet have changed. Time to reshoot my shoes and organize the boxes for easy identification. At the risk of repeating previous topics, I’m including a how-to for shooting {READ MORE}


Until recently, having my picture taken is not something that happens often. I am usually the one behind the camera. I have albums of photos of my family and friends, and I am in almost none of the images. But the iPhone has opened up a new world: the self portrait. The first time it {READ MORE}

biking, biking everywhere

I’ve been seeing these new installations all over queens: CityRacks! When I first arrived in New York, I lamented the lack of bike racks. Why are there no bike racks? I asked myself when I dropped my daughter via bike-plus-trail-a-bike at the Queens Museum of Art camp in the middle of Flushing Meadow Park. (You would {READ MORE}

hoarding and purging

I hate it when I buy clothes that I don’t wear, or even let food go bad before eating it. I dislike wasting. And yet, I love surrounding myself with objects that make my my eyes smile. I enjoy acquiring treasures. In many ways the blogging culture that has erupted encourages consumerism. It’s like everyone {READ MORE}

Caps, people

hen I started writing this blog, I took it on faith that I would continue to have something to write about. At least once a week (okay, almost once a week). There is some debate in the blogosphere (and on Alt) about the difference between curating and creating content. And the value of each. A lot {READ MORE}

montana state of mind

new york city and montana are both extreme lifestyles—in polar opposite. to me, montana is: big sky sunsets, river rocks, easy friends, killing wasps, long, long days, floating the river, meandering the antique mall, huckleberries, skipping stones, bathing suits, mountain bike climbs (and descents!), and dirty kids.      back in nyc, after a month in {READ MORE}

travel: fantasy vs. reality

we all have ideas about how we want to live our lives. but actualizing the picture of the kind of life we want can be… challenging. sometimes the vision of how we hope to be in the world and the reality of our lives don’t come together neatly. okay, they almost never come together neatly. i {READ MORE}