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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

WTF - God Winks

It is such a special place when one of  your loved ones gives you a little "God wink" when they have passed on.

It is those subtle reminders that you are loved, that you are thought of, that you are still waiting until it's your time to give those "god winks."

Most of the one's from my parents are funny. A "How sweet it is," from some random person that has you smile. Or when you say, "how sweet it is" when you get that random parking space right in front at the ski resort.

I've had rings fall out of my jewelry box, my Dad's rings. I've laughed when the hotel my Mom and I stayed at in Myrtle Beach shows up as a sponsored add, begging me to book a weekend! I remember telling Mom, "We're just walking in here to use the bathroom, act like you own the place!"

She fell into the door walking in, fell out of the door walking out but we still had a spot to pee.

Then I'm dusting things and a vase falls over with a bunch of Irish money in it. My memory is clear. My Mom at the grocery store trying to buy a bottle of Irish whiskey. (Go figure - you can do this in West Virginia Slainte!) When presented with the total, she pulled out a big purse of coins and dumped them all over the counter. My sweet husband died a thousand deaths as the line formed behind her while she asked, "Now what is this one? And what is it worth?"

She finally paid for the whiskey (we needed some by then) and asked for a bag to put it in. "Oh Lord," the lady said, "That's another 10 pence."  They both sighed as my mother dumped the bag of coins on the counter yet again. My sweet hubby walked out of the grocery store.

So these little reminders are joyful, they are still here, they still see us. I got up this morning and asked Amazon Alex to play music. For some strange reason she (because she is now part of the family and actually argues with me) decided to play a big band playlist. Well that's different. I thought then the first song was Glenn Miller and In The Mood.

Best memory every of Father/Daughter dances and the song that will never end. Each year either me or one of my girlfriends would have to dance with my dad to this song. Just when you thought it was done, it would start all over again. Such great memories. Oh and by the way for all you political correctofobes, they actually served pitches of beer at the Daddy/Daughter dance and my dad COULD DANCE!

I'm at Goodwill and nestled in the albums left behind is several of the Mario Lanza collection. We drove to the Army Navy game and the only tape available in the car was Mario Lanza! We ended up at a bar my father left over 30 years ago. He walks in and says, "Damn, I left this bar 30 years ago and Sullivan was sitting there at the end. I come back 30 years and there he is in the same seat. I guess alcohol is a preservative!"

Two songs later as we get ready for school, the song So Rare comes on from Jimmy Dorsey. This is my father in law's song, the one he always talked about. It didn't matter (did it) that it was a stripper song from the long ago Baltimore Block/ Blaze Starr days? The highlight of a city that created those stories that still roam around. Burley Q is an amazing book about these days, the movie is amazing.

Every time the Melang family would get together, we'd always play this song. Every time my immediate family would get together we'd play In The Mood, Mario Lanza or just for fun Mother Macrae. (I'll never forget my father looking at me and saying, "I've never sung this song sober?" at my Great Aunt's Funeral)

So look around daily and I'll bet your see those God Winks, those little reminders that they are OK and don't fret about them. Just raise a toast and sing that song and figure out the one's your going to wink with when you're in heaven singing the old tunes.

What are your little God Winks? You know they are there!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

WTF - That Perfect Ski Day

Many consider themselves “snow chasers” spending the winter season in search of the “perfect snow day.” Living in the High Country of North Carolina, I can guarantee that every day here is a perfect ski day.

There are still many that live in our great state that doesn’t realize you can ski in North Carolina, that there are seven ski resorts in the state. That’s not including the tubing resort of Hawksnest that was once a ski resort.

So what constitutes the perfect ski day? Any day on the snow!

You can’t wait for the perfect ski day, you get out there and ski. I have friends that tell me, “I only ski out West.” My answer to them is, “Oh yeah, how many days did you ski this year?”

“4,” they reply.

“I skied 118,” I state. Are the days perfect? Yes! Because I am out on the snow!

“But you can’t ski out West,” they counter.

“Really? I skied another 10 in Utah and Colorado, and guess what, I kept up with the locals just fine. In fact, there were a few days that I was better. You know why? Because my perfect Southern Ski Days sometimes include powder, snow, granular snow, ice, mud, dirt, grass, rocks, and I made it through every single day. A 65-year ski patroller once told me that if you can ski in the South, then you can ski anywhere. I believe that statement!”

But some days can be better than others, truthfully. In Randy Johnson’s new book Southern Snow, he puts together those days that us snow chasers love, the best-kept secret of the Southern Skiing. A storm rolls through the High Country, which starts with rain. Everyone else sees rain, but we watch closely at the temperature after the storm moves through the High Country. If there is a drop in temperature, then the storm will likely end with snow. So while it’s raining, we’re waving and tuning and hit the slopes while everyone else stays home and complains. The perfect ski day!

My perfect day is as close to the first chair as possible. We have an ongoing battle for first chair amongst my friends. The rush to the lift resembles a Who Concert! First thing in the morning means you get the best snow. Freshly groomed, untouched and super fast. We find that weekends are great from 9-11 or so when it gets a little crowded. We then retire to our favorite Mountain Momma’s slope-side house to watch the “flying squirrels” dive down the mountain. What’s a flying squirrel? Usually, someone from Florida, on rental skis, with their jacket unzipped, flying straight down the slope. The unzipped jacket makes them look like a flying squirrel! Most of the crashes at the bottom are harmless but fun to watch!

So get out your board, or your planks, and plan a trip to some Southern Snow. Pad in those perfect days, and include that trip out west, get the best of both worlds!

A side note to those visiting, how to get your perfect snow day. Plan ahead!

If you are driving, rent your equipment ahead of time. There are local ski/board shops that rent equipment, along with several along the way. If you are renting at the resort, arrive early!!  AND I MEAN EARLY!

Ticket windows open at 830am for 9 am lift start. Get to the resort at 8 am and save yourself waiting forever like the people that get here at 9 am. If you are renting equipment, you have to have a lift ticket before rentals. Put one person in the rental line and one person in the lift line. 

How do adults have fun on the snow with little children? All-day Ski/Board School. Snow School is one of the best deals of the High Country. For one set price, you get all-day lessons 830a-400p lunch, helmet, slope pass, instruction, skills assessment, and rentals included. Children are in age-appropriate groups and spent time on the snow in small doses along with playing with friends in the Snow School. Snow School makes the first experience FUN! 

Beech Mountain Resort :

SnowCamp 3-6 years $135/weekday and $150/Weekend
SnowTraxx 6-14 years $100/weekend and $120/Weekends
Burton Learn to Ride 6-18 years $135/weekdays $150/weekends

Or course there is Snowflakes Childcare in the village.

The best part of these packages is the children let out at 4 pm. They can then show you their skills from 4-430p on the slopes!

They do sell these packages online, but they sell out very quickly. 

Monday, January 20, 2020

WTF - Cold vs. Cute

There's a light dusting of snow on the ground here on Beech Mountain. I'm sitting in front of the fire dressed for warmth.

We have a saying in the Melang house, "There's no such thing as being cold, just inappropriate clothing."

On Beech, we have a culture ware when it comes to the tourists visiting our mountain for the winter. There is a definite difference between being warm and being cute.

Being warm means you don't worry about hat head because you'd rather wear a hat.

The tight underlayer could show your "I've had two children" belly but it doesn't matter when that wind whips you don't feel it.

Your pants do make your ass look big because there's long underwear underneath them and a few pairs of snow socks.

No one can recognize you because everything is covered. I like to call this with my husband, the slow tease of taking it all off when we are home for the night. Usually, he's asleep by the time I get down to my long underwear.

Being Cute:

Walking through the resort in high heels. Sounds easy right? No, there's ice and snow on the ground plus all the gravel you pick your way through. 

Short shirts - have you ever had the wind whip up the skirt on a cold winter night? Especially if you are one of those free the asset types? 

Tank tops - tank tops are the perfect underlayer but when that's all you got, I'm thinking you're planning on showing off those puppies barking all night long.

I watched a poor woman tourist (from Florida) walking behind her boyfriend/Husband in that short skirt with the thigh-high boots that included a high heel. She had her hair perfectly done, makeup on and a short little tiger print puffy vest with a tight shirt and camisole.

What I actually saw was a poor woman who'd upper thighs were bright red from the cold. Her perfect hair was covered in snowflakes and when she tried to fix it in the restaurant it plastered to her head like a drowned rat. The short puffy vest didn't have pockets so her hands were between her bright red thighs for warmth. One spiked heel of her boot had scratches all over it from the gravel. BUT....her makeup was still perfect.

Just remember that on Beech Mountain we prefer warmth over cute, we prefer logic over hormones, we prefer moisture wicking over clinging. Come to our parties dressed for warmth and you'll have better luck with the guys as they don't see you as some crazy lady out in a short skirt is 12 degrees with a wind chill of 4 degrees.

Or do what all the locals do - a combination of warmth and cute. Walk up to the concert looking like the StayPuff Marshmallow Man in your down puffy onesie with snow boots and a hood that covers your beautiful hair but doesn't flatten it like a hat. Get inside and ditch the onesie to show off the shirt and top, change out of your moon boots to your spiked heels and dance the night away.

What's your preference?

Cute or Warm?

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

WTF - Town Council

Who in any earthly idea decided to run for town council? Me, that is! What was I thinking? I announced my run in July and I can't even tell you the number of text messages, phone calls, and emails. But since I love this town I'm doing this and getting ready for my "Meet the Candidates" meeting tomorrow night.

I thought I'd throw a few things out there for you. If I become a Council member, I promise you this:

I'm not changing who I am, you'll still see my same Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Feed. I'm not sharing my Snapchat because I share that one with my boys.

If you see me and run, give me some space. I may have just finished a yoga class and need just a few more minutes of zen.

I thought I'd share some of my favorite politics quotes! Here ya go"

And the most important lesson of all?

Wish me luck on tomorrow's night Meet the Candidates, may I do my community proud!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

WTF - Laundry List

My college freshman called and said he missed me and wanted to come home for a night. I understood the translation, "I have a boatload of laundry to do."

He came home proudly telling me he even was washing his sheets! (He's been in the dorm three, three weeks - Ewwww)

The next day when I go to take a shower, I wonder where all my towels went? Ah, yes he washed his sheets but left me the dirty towels and grabbed some clean ones.

With one still at home, I figured we had to go down my laundry list:

If you don't want it ruined, empty your pockets. Especially Lip Balm that melts in the dryer and you can't get the stains out of your clothes. If it does get ruined there is no complaining to the management. You snuck those pants into my hamper.

But you can leave money in your pockets. I love freshly laundered money.

Clothes around the hamper do not get washed, clothes in the hamper do.

If you tried it on and didn't want to wear it, it's still clean. Don't throw it on the floor for the dog to pee on.

You can reuse a towel if hung up properly. Don't shove it in a big ball on the towel rack. Remember this isn't a hotel. We can use towels more than once. And the argument that it touched your private parts isn't working. They were clean when it touched them.

If it goes into the wash inside out, it gets folded inside out. You can guess what's on that T-shirt.

Keep your socks together. I got overwhelmed by single socks to the point I just took a trash bag of single socks and gave it to Goodwill, let them deal with it.

You can wear your Jeans more than once. We don't work on a farm. Your father puts his jeans in the freezer to clean them. I'm guilty of washing mine.

Finally, you can use a computer, definitely use an iPhone. I'm sure you can figure out the washer and dryer.

Who used up all my laundry detergent?

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

WTF - How Strong Is Your Back?

I know children can be pains in the neck, but they are also pain in the back from bending over picking up all the different items on the floor. When my son was little, I always lost burp towels to the floor, dropped pacifiers. Of course his being the first child, everything carefully sanitized before dropped to the floor again. He laughed in his high chair, throwing food and watching the dog get to it before I could pick it up. The dog ate well.

We moved from the baby things to cussing every time I stepped on a Lego. I picked up Legos, Transformers, puzzle pieces, books, and the wayward piece of food the dog missed. We also spent a lot of time on the floor, playing games, reading those books, chasing each other. Once he was in bed, I spent the next hour picking up and putting away from the floor except for that Lego at 2 a.m.

When the toys started moving out of the house, the floor became covered in video games.  LeapFrog and math games came first, moving to the Nintendo DS and all the little game cards lost around the house. I'm still finding Nintendo cards to this day. They replaced these with Wii controllers until they moved on to the Xbox. I picked these up from the floor after chasing all the dead batteries rolling around the floor to disappear underneath the couch.

As the video games increased, so did the bowls and cups. I used to say going downstairs in my house is like going into Target. You say you're just taking a look and come back upstairs with a dish set, all your spoons, four towels, and a case of cups.

Then we move to the clothes on the floor. As Moms, we start picking them up, trying to stem the tide until frustration makes us close the door with a sigh. When they start borrowing some of yours or your hubby's clothes, it's time to put on your gas mask and look for them in their room. Murphy's Law most are way underneath the bed with the moldy food.

Then life comes at you fast.

You find their learners permit on the floor, put it on their dresser.
The driver's license then is on the floorboard of the car.
The college applications sit on the floor until you make them fill them out.
The welcome brochure from the school of choice sits on the couch.
Finding the cap and gown under the bed and picking it up and hanging it in the closet.
Picking up boxes of stuff and moving them out to the car.
Bending over placing the fan, so it faces the dorm room bed.

All this working out over 18 years, I think helped me bend over to pick up my heart from the floor as I closed that dorm room door.

How secure is your back?

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

WTF - Polar Coaster?

As most of you know, the High Country of North Carolina has two main seasons - summer and ski season. Residents have an old wives tale that every morning fog is August means a winter snow event. Many will say that is hogwash, but there are quite a few of us that take this seriously. Those the most seriously are involved with snow sports.

Sitting here on this cold foggy morning, I couldn't help but rejoice. There are still a few days left in August, but my count right now is at 15! My little jar sits on the window sill with white and black beans in it. The white beans are very foggy mornings, which mean a more significant snow event. The black beans are just your average snow. My first year collecting beans, my husband threw them into the pot of cooking beans.

On top of that, Farmer's Almanac is predicting a cold and snowy winter for Western North Carolina, a polar coaster. The polar coaster means temperature swings of highs and lows that will resemble The Fury of Carowinds. 

The polar coaster will help Beech Mountain Resort during the cold swings, but all the new upgrades to snowmaking will give it all the help it needs after milder temperatures. Upgrading water lines means more territory open at the beginning of the season to supplementing current coverage after a string of warm temperatures. Last year we had 22 inches in one storm, it was all gone in two weeks! Here's where you can get your Farmer's Almanac https://www.farmersalmanac.com

Look also to the Wooly Worm Festival of Banner Elk for winter's forecast. A Wooly Worm or Wooly Bear is a black and brown caterpillar. During the Wooly Worm Festival, Wooly Worms race it out in heats all day Saturday, the winning caterpillar collecting 500 dollars and providing the winter forecast.  There are 13 segments on a Wooly Worm for13 weeks,  the brown segments mean warmer, the black more severe weather. For me, the perfect caterpillar would be all black!  Here is last year's winner named Montgomery County's Best. "black, black, black, flick, dark brown, dark brown, dark brown, dark brown, dark brown, dark brown, flick, flick, flick. Black: below average, snow/ Dark Brown: below average/ Light Brown: above-average/ Flick: black and brown, below average, frost or light snow. The average temperature is 27 degrees F." For more information on the festival visit http://www.woollyworm.com

So if you are collecting beans, let me know your tally. As the weather turns colder, be on the lookout for Wooly Worms and let them race. Last year even with strings of warm temperatures, I still skied 118 days. This year my goal is 121, one-third of the year. Time to get those skis out and start prepping for winter, only 11 weeks to go!