jo skates

Skating in the key of life

Well, blow me down!


Skating has been really awesome on the days that I’ve been able to get there. For those of you outside of the state, Minnesota has had its snowiest February ever, with 31.7 inches so far. And the month’s not over yet.


My husband took this picture in a school parking lot.

Oh well, at least it’s February and not like April 14 of last year. So far the snow this year has yielded several kinds of cookies, gluten-free apple muffins, banana bread, chocolate pound cake, and the latest, a Japanese-style cheesecake (my second try at making one, here’s the recipe I used).


Fluffy Japanese cheesecake

When not whipping egg whites into soft snowy (argh, not more snow!) peaks, and covering my kitchen counter with powdered sugar, I have been trying to keep up with skating.

I am happy with my new skates, which are now fully functional. So functional, in fact, that I can’t use them as an excuse when Ari says “bend your ankle.” But I confess that much of what I’ve been working on these past couple of weeks feels like physical therapy on ice. Here’s the list (everything is about posture):

  • weight on correct part of blade (especially when skating backwards, when I tend to be too far forward on the blade)
  • bend ankles, not knees (this will help keep the weight there)
  • “skating hip flat and forward”
  • use hip muscles (gluteus medias) on skating side to keep from dropping free side
  • use feet on inside edges

The other day at my lesson I was lamenting the fact that I tend to try to barrel through things rather than to figure out what is really going on. Laurie came up with a really great quote, something about “there’s more in the toolkit than just a hammer.” I laughed and told her I wanted to quote her on that, only by the time I went to write the quote down, it was gone–except for the hammer part. Darn!

So I went online looking for similar quotes, and only found “If your only tool is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.” Good quote, but not quite the same.

Anyway, I am trying to expand my range of skating skills, not my list of pithy quotations. (Though Laurie also had a good one about digging around in the weeds, ’cause that’s where all the tasty stuff is. . .okay, it’s a metaphor!)

Okay, time for an inspiring and totally kid-friendly video: from the thoroughly enjoyable Zootopia. My favorite parts (aside from the lyrics about falling and getting back up again) are the sloths and the back-up singers. I hope that on the ice I move like the latter, not the former!


Author: Joskates

Don't see me on the ice? I may be in the classroom or at the theater, or hanging out with my family and friends.

4 thoughts on “Well, blow me down!

  1. Beautiful cheesecake, Jo! I’m glad the new skates are working out! Now if anything goes awry, just blame it on “user error.” That’s what I do anyway, and it makes for a good laugh. I liked your hammer quote and feel like you need a t-shirt to commemorate it or something. “It’s HAMMER TIME!” (with MC Hammer in the background)


  2. I love the T-shirt idea, Eva!!! I want a second one with skates on it and the caption “user error!” So funny!


  3. I also suffer from approaching problems rather directly and with a lack of subtlety. Hammer time indeed. I do try to work on this. We’re skaters, we know how to keep working away bit by bit on problems, right? As far as your photos, you have me beaten squarely on the snowdrift front. We’ve had some really good snowdrifts and icicles this winter, Minnesota quality even, but not this-winter Minnesota quality. Your cheesecake looks good too. with a little snowy powdered sugar on top even, yum.


  4. Thanks, Mary! I think the saving grace is that I’ve accumulated so many hammers that one has to work! I heard about the snow out in the Pacific Northwest, sounds a bit scary for your area. Your spring is coming soon, though (so jealous!)


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