Posted in Festivals/Special Events, Home Town, Sporty Chance/Heart Stopping Adventures, State of Mind

Participate in a Polar Bear Plunge

I’ve been wanting to do a new year’s day polar bear plunge for a few years now. I would look for ones around the area. They all seemed a bit far away, and the ones talked about on the news that day would be too late to go to.

my first attempt in 2010
In 2010, I tried jumping into the ocean. We happened to stop at Stinston Beach in Northern California and I thought about changing into my swim suit, but there was so many signs warning about sharks that I chickened out. I did stick the lower half of my legs in the water though. Hey, it was a start!

Second attempt in 2011
December 2011, I was looking at the different options, and most seemed to be beach jumps down in southern California. Then I came across a flyer online for a polar bear plunge in a community pool not to far away. The part that made me happy was that it going to happen in the middle of the day, not the morning. I posted to see if anyone else was interested and right away I got comments that I was crazy. Although one of my friends decided to consider it and asked if I really planned on going. I had started to waver with the fact it might be raining and the water was going to be about 48 degrees. Then I told her, you know, I keep looking at these kind of things to do and then it’s becomes too late to do them and I end up regretting not doing it. Plus, it is a jump, not a swim or anything. So why the heck not do it. They said there would warm showers, hot chocolate, and soup to warm back up.

With that response to her inquiry, she decided, why the heck not too. A couple of others did say okay while we were talking about it at a new year’s eve party. And a couple of the guys said that they would jump if I joined in the group drinking car bombs. I thought, that’s easy enough and did drink up. Of course that seemed to be our downfall for the rest of the evening.

The next day, we woke up with headaches and seeing that ground was wet from a rain shower and more grey clouds in the sky. But my friend and I were still determined to do this adventure. We got on our swim suits and sweats and blankets and headed out to the pool. As soon as we got into the parking lot, we were wondering if we would be the only adults as we were seeing lots of kids walk by with towels. But there were lots of friendly smiles and encouragement from others and there were other adults in the pool area.

Two other friends from the night before showed up and we started getting ready to plunge in the water. Lots of joking and wondering this really was a good idea. The sun came out and the day felt a little warmer. We got out of our sweats and lined up along the pool sides. There were almost enough people to line up on 3 sides. We counted down and took a huge jump and deep breathes and under the water we went. It definitely was a shock and right away was trying to find the top of the water. Then swimming for the edge of the pool and hopping out. Actually it did seem after the initial cold shock that it wasn’t too bad, but I didn’t really feel like staying in too long. One dad had said that his daughter had to be told to get out of the pool last year, she stayed in so long. Most of the other people jumped in and out just as fast as us. The two guys that jumped with me were saying that swimming a lap wouldn’t be too bad, but they were just as fast, if not faster on getting back out of the pool.

Here we are all excited to be doing this polar bear plunge

3, 2, 1…JUMP!

Thanks again Aaron Craig, Erica Scoggins, and Marty Crossley Jr. for joining me

There was also a slide that was open for people to use. A few kids decided they had to slide down. Marty and I decided to brave the water again and go on the slide. It was a very slow slide down into the water but fun. The outside air was quite warm after being in the pool.

We changed and found out that there were buttons to get saying we survived. We definitely wanted proof, besides photos, that we did a polar bear plunge. The other nice thing about this event was that it was a fundraiser for a youth scholarship.

We couldn’t find any hot showers, but we changed as fast as our cold hands would let us and headed out for a celebratory hot lunch. As we left, the clouds came back with sprinkles. I was glad to have gone and even more glad that I had some crazy friends to join me. I’m already looking forward to doing this again with more people.

Are you a Polar Bear Plunge survivor? Pool, lake, river, or ocean?

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Posted in Bon Appetite, Drinks Galore, Festivals/Special Events, Home Town

I Sat Next to a Killer

Yup, you read that correctly. I sat next to a killer and had dinner with him at my table, and I am here to tell you about it.

A couple of my friends; “Penny” and “Lizzy” sent me a message asking if I’d like to join them for dinner on the Delta King. This is a docked steamboat located in Old Sacramento that has been turned into a hotel and restaurant. I quickly sent back a message saying, heck ya! I had dinner there as a kid, but couldn’t remember how it looked inside the boat and since it was the last Friday of the year, it’d be a treat.

I met up with the two friends and we headed to the bar for a pre-dinner cocktail. Loved the wooden ambiance. While we were deciding on a cocktail, the bartender was making a drink that caught our attention it was white and had chocolate in a martini glass. Lizzy and I decided to order that and we all split an order of fried calamari.

I have been getting better about asking other people to take a photo so I can make sure I am in some. What I now need to work on is asking; “Can you take a photo of us?” NOT “Can you take a photo?” Otherwise I’ll end up with more of these kind of photos

 

Then we ventured down to the restaurant and sat down. The tables were set up like they would be on a cruise ship, so the three of us were at a table with 8 other people. There was one older couple with the wife celebrating her birthday, two pairs of couples out enjoying the dinner together, and another couple. This was also a pre-fixed dinner with a salad, main entree, and a dessert. The guy from the couple was seated to my left and he leaned over to us before dinner started saying that he was going to propose to his girlfriend and would like us to video tape it. We all thought that such a sweet thing and said yes, of course.

Dinner was good, and we had entertainment provided by the Delta King staff. The host that seated us came over a few times to make sure we were enjoying ourselves and he was quite the character, always had a joke and made us crack up. During the main course (I had the pasta, and Penny and Lizzy had the beef). The guy to my left got up and got a microphone and proposed. She said yes and we all clapped for them.

But it was while we were enjoying our cheesecake desert that a cop came in to announce there was a killer in our mist and we were all suspects. He asked the guy to my left to stand up and started grilling him, the guy was darting his eyes around, and getting very anxious when he suddenly pulled a gun on the cop. His new fiance ran and got the cop’s gun. The guy had been drinking redbull all night, he said it was his favorite drink, so his hands were shaky and he ended up killing the host and his finance. It was terrible.

We all just clapped and they got up, went to the front and took a bow. Yup, I just experienced my first murder mystery dinner. Did I have you going?

It was so much fun and I highly recommend going to a dinner performance like that. Who knows, you might be sitting next to the killer.

The host
The actors
We made up names for the evening “Penny, Lizzy, & Shelly Lane”

 

Posted in Requires Travel, Sporty Chance/Heart Stopping Adventures

Go Skiing

I was lucky in that my family was able to use cabins from family friends & relatives, so we went skiing quite a bit. When I was old enough, I joined a program with a friend and we would go every Saturday for the winter season. We met way early in the morning at a parking lot, got onto a bus and went to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows (half the season at each resort). First there was the group lessons, then lunch break, after that we had our own time to go ski.

At the end of the season, they would host a family ski day. All the kids in the program got to race down a solemn course and compete in age groups for trophies. The families get to come and ski and have lunch. It was sooo much fun.

Now that I would have to pay for myself, I’ve only been able to go a few times for the last decade. Every season, I say I’ll get up to ski and then its over way too fast. One of these days…

Posted in Requires Travel, Super Duper Easy

make angels in the snow

The author also had this item listed at #1353 make a snow angel.

I know I’ve made snow angels in the snow as a kid, but writing this when I went in 2013 and got to go play in the snow like a kid again. Some friends and I went up to Lake Tahoe (area), California to go to sledding. It was a little overcast, but perfect snow weather. This was the first time I’ve gone to a sled park.

They had a couple of lifts for those that wanted to ski. But we walked over to the sled area. You then grab a big inter-tube and step onto a moving walkway (like those in airports). You line up to one of the lanes (they had them grooved out so no one would bump into each other) and slide down. Super fun and easy, since you don’t have to do to much work in walking in the snow up each time.

Snow sledding 1While there, I wanted to make a snow angel. We took a break from sledding and laid down on our tubes and chatted for a bit. I took this opportunity to walk over to an area that was packed down. Then I fell backwards into the snow and moved my arms and legs. When I got up, it didn’t really look like much of an angel, as you’ll see. But the point is, I made one since buying this book and can cross it off the list.

 

When is the last time you did something child like?

 

Posted in Gift Giving, Home Town, Random Acts of Kindness, Volunteering

Help Christmas Promise Fulfill Wishes

During Christmas time, lots of people turn out to help make sure others get to celebrate some during the holiday season. People that truly need a break from their problems and struggles and have a moment to cherish.

The Active 20-30 club of Greater Sacramento #1032 I am a member, raises money to help different charities throughout the year. One organization we had set aside money for is called Christmas Promise. 2010 was the first year I was able to sign up to help wrap gifts as well as shop for presents for a family that probably would not have a Christmas if not for this organization. What is Christmas Promise?

Here is a little bit I found that explains it very well: “Christmas Promise is an organization that sends “Santa Claus” to approximately 250 families. Each year teachers, church organizations, and social workers forward “letters to Santa” from disadvantaged children. Christmas Promise fulfills the wishes of these children by sending Santa to the home of the children on Christmas Eve.”

They have been doing this for over 70 years! On the first day of December you can go to their wall where they post these letters sent in and “adopt” a family to shop for. My Active 20-30 club was able to “adopt” and shop for about 38 people. We also volunteered one day/evening to help wrap gifts and other essentials for these families.

Even though I won’t see the family I shopped or wrapped up presents for, open their gifts, it really was touching to read these letters and see how much people did donate toward these families and to help make sure they have a reason to be able to celebrate on Christmas Day.

I would encourage you to do something similar next Christmas.

***They had to shut this down for a couple of years, but it’s being reorganized and hopefully can get up and running again next year (2018)****

Posted in Sporty Chance/Heart Stopping Adventures

Ice-Skating (take 1)

We have a couple of indoor ice rinks, and during a few months in the winter, there is a small rink outside in the downtown area of Sacramento. I have been wanting to go ice skating but just haven’t gotten my butt out to the rinks. In 2015, they added a huge ice rink over at the baseball field. It was “The Biggest Show on Snow!” the rink was large enough that they had a hockey game from 2 nearby teams.

A friend and I went and bought the full ticket that included 3 slides down their man-made hill and 1 hour of skating.

Went to the slides first. Got our tubes, got up there, and the helpers asked if we signed a waiver. At first we thought they were kidding, nope, so we had to go back down and were pointed the way to the table to sign and get a wristband saying we are aware we are taking a risk to our lives.

Back to the tube, back up the stairs, and then a quick bounce down the hill. The first time I went face toward the bottom. The second time was away and going backwards. The third time, the guy pushed me off in a way that caused me to spin in circles on the way down. It was fun!

Then onto the skating. Thought I got the correct size skates, but later saw a sign saying to go one size down from your normal size. whoops. Got on the skates and started walking to the rink. Well, tried walking, it was more like wobbling and realizing I need to work on my balance. We stepped on the ice and I was already preparing to fall down. Like many of the others there, I kept close to the wall to help with the balance. I was hoping to get out to more the middle of the ice, because I knew it probably would be smoother ice to skate on. That wasn’t gonna happen this time. I did push away a few times and skated, but then my ankles turned on me, my feet cramped up, and I started wobbling again. I fell a couple of times. One of the times a girl was close by, skating in circles. I put out my hand toward her because she was coming my way and I didn’t want her to fall on me. She took that as needing help, as she she first asked if I was okay, and then helped pull me up. That was a little humbling, but very nice of her to treat her elders so well.

I made it about halfway and I knew I wasn’t going to make it a full hour of skating time. My friend had lapped me twice already. By the time I made it back around to the entrance gate, I was done. My feet cramped and my ankles and lower calves were hurting. Not to mention the knees I fell on. I believe my friend lasted four or five go-arounds. We were done.

My friend suggested that before trying to skate again, I should work on strengthening my ankles and my balance. So, that’s my new plan. I can cross off ice skating but I really want to do a better job and get a little videoing of it. If I did video this time, it would have been perfect to send to America’s Funniest Videos.

Have you gone ice skating? indoors or outdoors? funny experience or able to do twirls and jumps like a professional?

Posted in Generic Ones, It's Artistic/Creative, Super Duper Easy

make paper snowflakes

I had to look up how to make paper snowflakes because it had been a super long time since I made any, probably for a school project. Luckily, one can just Google and get the option to watch a video of how somebody makes them, read instructions, even see some patterns of how to cut a few interesting, and of course, lots of photos of other people’s snowflakes. Have to say, there are some very detailed ones. I read a few sites and watch a video just to see how they went through the instructions. Then I got to work with paper and scissors to see what I could create.

I ended up making a few. I made a couple by cutting randomly and then I tried to copy a few designs I saw online. They didn’t come out quite like the pictures but that doesn’t really matter right? Each snowflake in nature is different, so the paper ones should be too.

It has been fun to continue to adding to the snowflakes each year at Christmas time.

Have you made paper snowflakes lately?