Monday, January 26, 2015

Blue Skies over Ice and Snow

Blue Skies for Blue Monday

taken at Wintergreen Resort, Virginia this weekend

winterscape, wintergreen virginia, virginia, blue ridge mountains
Founders Overlook at Wintergreen

View of Eagle Swoop from Founders Overlook

I particularly like the ice on the trees and the clouds.

Ice is so treacherous and yet so pretty.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

It actually happened! Megan McJames guest coached the Wintergreen Race Team!

Last weekend, Megan McJames (World Cup Skier, Two Time Olympian, Currently working to earn a slot in World Cup Championships in Vail next month) came to Wintergreen Virginia. Totally crazy.

Over the summer we got see Megan a bit at Mt. Hood. She was guest coaching at a few camps, I believe she worked with the Ligety Weibrecht camp and with Keely's camp this summer. She came to dinner and to talk about possibly sponsorships another night and rode the chair lift with my kids here and there. At some point over the summer we were talking specifically about her story, about making ski racing happen on her own and how much I am struck by her ability to focus on the positive when faced with challenges. And so we talked about surrounding oneself with people who believe in you, and people who will support you (emotionally, financially, however) and how that applies to professional sports, but also entrepreneurship and the arts and really any field, because they all hold challenges. And so I kind of threw out there that that is an important message for not just my kids, but any kids. And maybe she'd want to come visit our team? And then sort of left it to stew. In the fall I got an email that the race schedule would allow Megan two weekends in January if I still wanted to have her out- so I threw that over to the head race coach, Robert Sandy, at Wintergreen. He took a look at the SARA schedule and came back with the best weekend and so we got it going.
When I spoke to the Wintergreen Boosters and explained that it wasn't just a visit but a fundraiser for Megan they got right to work. Luckily several members on the Board have experience in fundraising and putting together events and so they took and between the coaches and boosters a weekend schedule emerged. We kept Megan really busy! She guest coached in the morning, ran Nastar and did some meet and greet in the afternoon... and evening events as well. She did great. The kids were excited, the parents were excited, there was a kind of buzz on the mountain that we don't usually have... and Chris Shephard set up a long Slalom course on Saturday on Big Acorn and a long G.S. course on Sunday on Wild Turkey and the kids got to watch Megan run them both. It is a totally different experience watching that in real life instead of on t.v. The kids were blown away. I had parents telling me they were blown away. It was really cool. And then the kids ran the course for practice. Many thanks to Wintergreen Resort for supporting this event and letting us take up the mountain like that. It was wonderful.

Megan McJames, Olympian, World Cup, ski race, GS, Giant Slalom
greeting Megan at the Richmond airport

DataXstream, Megan McJames, Coppermine, Wintergreen Resort, Virginia
Tim (sporting his DataXstream shirt) and Megan
at the Coppermine at Wintergreen Resort for dinner Friday

megan mcjames, wintergreen, wintergreen race team, SARA, alpine ski, gs
Megan warmed up with the team each morning
olympian, world cup skier, signature, helmets, Wintergreen Resort, McJames
Megan signing helmets before practice

olympian, world cup, sk, gs, McJames, Wintergreen Resort, Virginia
signing more helmets!

Wintergreen Race Team, development team, Megan McJames, Olympian, Virginia
guest coaching the development team
in the stubbies

riding up the chair lift with some of our Development Team kids
(when have you ridden the lift with a two-time Olympian?)

Coach Helen ready to run the stubbies
These are just a few of the photos I was able to capture on my phone. Luckily we have ski dad Richard Wyly taking photos and uploading them to SmugMug, they are much better than mine. Please visit his album: Megan McJames Gallery

A local news crew came out and did an interview: WSET TV

I am proud to say that it was a really fun weekend for everybody, I think even Megan had fun! Thank you to DataXstream for flying her out here and being one of her sponsors. Thank you to the Boosters for getting behind the event. We raised just over $5,000 which is being matched by DataXstream. Not too bad for our little mountain!

for more about Megan please visit her site: Megan McJames or follow her facebook page and let her know you are rooting for her!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Mulhare Interior Design

Mary Mulhare of Mulhare Interior Design is my mother. She is lucky to have a friend helping her with her website: Mulhare Interior Design and it looks great! but for whatever reason I cannot "pin" any of her photos to pinterest from her website. As I believe in the power of traffic and the power of pinterest, I downloaded some photos from her website to share here... so I can pin them. Sneaky, I know.

But she is too talented not to share.

Some rooms designed by my amazing mother:

kitchen design by Mary Mulhare, Mulhare Interior Design

I love this kitchen! I love the backsplash and that little division there for visual interest 
and the arch that frames the stove and incidentally the tea pot. 
Of course I love tea pots!
And that fabulous shelf above the stove...
and are those lighted cabinets? So cool.

study design by Mary Mulhare, Mulhare Interior Design
How rich is this room? 
So many layers of wonderful materials. 
And decked out for the Christmas too!

She has a Facebook page here:

with more photos of both the website and the Facebook page. Thanks for checking her work out.

Holiday Pictures

Just a few...

my husband and his grandmother
she's a good looking bird for 94 yrs old!

the chaos of children and presents!
and then we threw everyone in the car and drove to the Mountains for Christmas. We were there Dec 22 to Jan 4th! The mountain house has really come along and I need to share some pictures, this batch is just Christmas-y but I'll get another batch to share soon. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate- warm and rainy. We wanted ski weather! But it was lovely anyway.

Our happy little tree; covered in the beaded ornaments the kids made last year and some ornaments picked up at various ski hills... and some race medals!

The stockings! My favorite decorations. The first ones to be put out in my home, packed up and redisplayed at the mountain house. Tim and the kids had wrapped the fir garland and lights the previous weekend. So festive! I loved it.

Despite being too warm and rainy, we had a Very Merry Christmas. We hope you did too.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A time to Dance

que Tchaikovsky, it is Nutcracker Season!

The girls have been dancing since October to prepare for Nutcracker. Our studio, The Virginia Regional Ballet, has offered a Nutcracker Performance every Christmas Season for over 30 years. I love that that my girls have the opportunity to be part of this tradition and that our studio tries so hard to allow them to be little girls at the same time. We have been rehearsing since October but only one day a week for about two hours (and they aren't rehearsing for the entire 2 hours. While a commitment to me this does not seem like an excessive amount of rehearsal for a professional show.) This has allowed my younger daughter Bitsy (currently 8 years old) time to dance and time to watch the older girls. Last Sunday at rehearsal she was sitting with the girls on pointe and trying on their shoes. They are very sweet and just let her be their little mascot. Bitsy will dance in the role of a Little Ginger this year. She was a Ginger last year too. This is her second year performing in the Nutcracker.

Bitsy and the Little Gingers

Last Friday night the Little Gingers danced in a preview performance at the New Town Art Gallery.

MLyons (now 9 yrs old) danced as a Little Ginger for the last two years. This year she is in the party scene as a "Little Party Boy."

M in the blue hat at tech rehearsal

She is supposed to be a trouble maker but she is much too polite. I found myself laughing at that this evening at Tech Rehearsal. Her "party parents" as they are called keep encouraging her to pretend to be naughty but she really doesn't know how. Tomorrow MLyons and the cast from the first act will perform a matinee to be attend by local school children. We have a school show on Thursday and Friday morning as well and then two shows Saturday and a matinee on Sunday. The Little Gingers won't be in the school shows so they get a little break until Saturday. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

October 4th, Thalia earned her BH

(because I have at least one blog land friend who likes to see my dog on occasion)

Thalia and I trained on our own all summer, in and around the kids and their "stuff" and had about 4 weeks to get our act together for our dog trial. Crazy. And we were almost ready... and then Friday October 3rd was not a good day and ended in a rare tiff with my husband that left me in a sour mood for several days. The dog couldn't figure out what was wrong but she didn't want to be anywhere near me, hard when she is supposed to be glued to my side staring at my face. So... our entry into the world of Schutzhund Trials was not spectacular, but we passed.

Oh and the paper work. I mailed off paperwork in May knowing that I would be gone all summer. It wasn't received. So in September applications were being emailed back and forth to Germany somewhat madly and I still owe our Trail Secretary a Drink and probably 1/2 of my club for helping me pull all that together... but it got done in time and again... we passed.


And Jose despite being in the trail himself provided some photos. And maybe his daughter helped? I don't remember.

walking the routine

It was a warm day, but not too hot. Thalia's tongue hung out like that the whole time. I actually had people ask me if she felt okay, but I really think she was stressed because of me.

this is us training 2 or 3 weeks prior to the trial. She is nice and tight to my leg and looking up so pretty and paying attention. The difference is slight but you can see she is more "into" it than when we were trialing. What I don't have pictures of in the trial is when she started to lag behind me, the club didn't post those :) 

sitting lopsided

You heel 10 to 15 paces and tell the dog to sit and walk away, Thalia sat a little crooked but it was good enough to pass. For our IPO 1 she'll need to straighten up though.

an album with pictures of all the dogs in the trail can be seen here if you are interested

This bit I am proud of. Thalia is naturally defensive. She doesn't like to be approached, she'd rather you stopped a foot away and let her come to you. For her to sit and have people she doesn't know walk around her, and to down and let people walk around her was an accomplishment. We worked hard on that.

lots of feet very close to us, and more walking around
she did great!

In all it was a good experience. One of the dogs was trialing for her IPO 1and another for his IPO2 watching them was also good experience. I had naively thought Thalia and I would be ready for IPO1 in the spring but I think we will work a bit and try to be ready next fall.

I train with the Tidewater Schutzhund Club
Facebook page:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Back at Wintergreen, and there was Snow!

Now that we have a place in the mountains we find every excuse to head up there. Thanksgiving was no exception and to make it more fun, a good number of our ski buddies were there too. And then much to the relief of some northern states, the snow moved in our direction. Have you seen the pictures of Buffalo NY last month? Can you even imagine? Yikes! But we in the Blue Ridge Mountains were gifted almost a foot of snow. Yay for us! And it was so pretty.

blue ridge mountains, snow, thanksgiving, wintergreen resort, virginia
Devil's Knob Loop before the Snow Plow

our house, behind snow covered trees. love it!

Wintergreen Resort, Wintergreen Virginia, snow, Thanksgiving 2014, pretty snow
and one more pretty winter scene

the sun came out and so did the kids

burton jacket, spyder ski pants
this year she got on the ski lifts all by herself!

they named him Olaf

The ski slopes opened on Friday and Tim took all 6 of the kids out skiing. Bitsy was feeling vertically challenged last year and struggled a little with the ski lifts but this year she got on them all by herself, even Big Acorn (which is faster.) Little Hawk is going to be hard to keep up with soon, he loves to ski at only 5 years old. The Wintergreen Ski Team had practice on Saturday and the 5 oldest kids reported in. And so Ski Season begins. I got to ski on Saturday. On Friday my mother and I went consignment shopping in the area. I bought trivets, we needed some, and a lovely german shepherd dog shaped door stopper that I saw last spring and regretted not purchasing, offered by Envy Antiques. But it was still there patiently waiting and this time I didn't pass it up. They have a Bavarian Deer Sculpture that I've got my eye on, but it costs as much as skis and so I'm saving pennies with fingers crossed. We also discovered a wonderful bookshop and cafe in Waynesboro Virginia called Stone Soup. Good food, nice people, cozy setting, we will go again.

I haven't blogged in a bit, but Outdoor Wednesday continues so I'm linking up with them