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"Joyful Tidings" with the Kirkland Choral Society this Weekend

Before we talk about joyful things I need to share my misery with you. 

Perhaps I'm cranky and need a little sympathy.  If you don't have any for me, just skip to the next paragraph for the happy stuff. Thanksgiving was great, a festive weekend with family and friends and I was ready to hit the gym hard Monday morning to work off the extra slices of pie I may have been eating when nobody was looking.  But nooooooo- that plan went out the window when the CRUD arrived.  And I really hope you don't know what I'm talking about but in case it happens to you, here's fair warning of what to expect.  First sign: scratchy throat with a dull headache behind the eye that progressively feels like someone implanted a hot rock in your head. Then sinus pressure that only deep sea divers with their tethers cut could comprehend. The kind that makes you want to massage your teeth.  I can't even hear the microwave when it's on! While Theraflu nurses me through this pain to some degree, I keep busy counting how many tissues my nose can saturate and enjoy the freedom and disgust of just tossing them all on the floor.  I even went to bed at 6:30pm on Sunday.  And it's ok that I haven't made it to the gym because this coughing should have my abs in prime-O bikini shape by Friday.  Sometimes I won't cough for 4 hours, and then all of a sudden the pinball machine comes alive, with some weird whirring and clanking in my chest coupled with hysterical nonsensical hacking that makes me immediately burning hot (and would be EXTREMELY embarrassing if I were to enter public domain) even though my temp is a mere 99.6.  The really bad news is that this seems to be hitting adults and is contagious by electronic contact.  Yes, germs have caught up with technology.  Multiple people I have emailed and texted in the last few days seem to have similar ailments. I hope you don't get it just by reading this blog post I typed.  Go get your flu shot or wear one of those creepy looking surgical masks or whatever you need to do.  I'm looking forward to the day I feel better, which will be indicated by a glass of wine in the evening sounding like a good idea again. 

KirklandChoralJoyfulTidings2017 KirklandChoralSociety

But now for the good news--it's the start of holiday season! 

And, lucky you, it sounds like there are still some tickets available for the usually-sold-out-by-now Kirkland Choral Society's "Joyful Tidings" performances this weekend, Dec 2nd and 3rd at Bastyr Chapel. Did you even know we had such a musical treasure from Kirkland?  Well, we do..and these folks are the real deal-- the last two years, they have booked audiences of 1,000 at their Benaroya performances with Philharmonia Northwest, collaborating to perform works such as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.  At 100 singers and  fully-auditioned, they have far outgrown their beginnings 29 years ago to emerge as a contender to rival the Seattle Symphony Chorale in the minds of many concert-goers, and are the only other choir in the Seattle area with the power and skill to perform the major choral-orchestral works, such as Bach's Mass in B Minor, as the sole choir. The Kirkland Choral Society boasts many professional musicians, some of which tour with opera companies, or are theater singers, a jazz singer, and even an 85 year old former opera tenor, Peter Pesco, who has given lessons to Mariah Carey!

Kirkland Choral Society’s well-loved holiday concert this weekend features Cantatas Two and Three from J. S. Bach’s majestic Christmas Oratorio, with full orchestra provided by their partner ensemble Philharmonia Northwest, and with guest soloists John Marzano, Tenor, and Jonathan Silvia, Bass. The program concludes with holiday favorites and surprises, including a joyful bluegrass selection by Carol Barnett.  

If I could hear right now and wasn't coughing like a maniac, I'd totally be there.  So please go and tell me how much you enjoyed it.  Your joy is my joy.  What a great way to start the holiday season. Adult tickets are $25, seniors/students are $20 and kids under 12 are free.  Questions? info@kirklandchoralsociety.org    425-442-9240. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Congratulations to Elysia Heller for winning the chilly grand prize from my last post..a free cryotherapy session at IceHouse Cryotherapy...enjoy! Others that entered received 20% off a session or package, thanks to IceHouse for having some fun with that post.

IMG_5183  IMG_5174  <- twinning to the trot IMG_5196<--winner winner turkey dinner   

Here are a few photos from the Hopelink annual Turkey Trot 5K on Sunday morning in downtown Kirkland.  We love supporting this local event! It provides emergency services and holiday assistance to low income families right here in King County (and it's never too late to donate) Participants all breathed a sigh of relief because the torrential rains held off and it was a beautiful morning.  I have three really fast show-off friends that won for their age group and took home this handsome medal.  I know, we're all jealous. Results are online  if you haven't seen your standings yet.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving with family, friends and plenty to be thankful for.  I look forward to catching up with you once I awaken from my turkey coma. j

Embrace the Cold at Icehouse Cryotherapy

 IMG_4991  <--you are not crazy. This is not a padded room. Leave your straight-jacket at home

Have you ever wanted to try cryotherapy? Hint, hint (freebie alert in this post...)

I decided to give cryotherapy a try at Icehouse Cryotherapy, mainly because I was just dying to know what all the buzz is about.  It's been hiding from me for about a year now, but now I know what I've been missing.  Many professional athletes such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James swear by it, not to mention numerous celebrities (perhaps you saw it on "Real Housewives?" don't admit if you did).  Your entire body goes into a cryo-chamber that subjects you to chilling temperatures nearing -220 degrees F for up to 3 minutes. Sounds kind of insane at first.  But the concept has been around since since the 1600's, and then a Japanese researcher introduced whole body cryotherapy in the 1970's.  It's touted to help with things like reducing muscle pain and injury recovery time, inhibiting inflammation, improving joint function and the immune system, increasing blood circulation and energy, while also improving collagen production and accelerating metabolism.   The intent is to trick your brain (which is easy to do w/MY brain) into thinking that your body is in a dangerously cold environment.  In response, your brain tries to protect your body by dropping its core temperature and stimulating regulatory functions.  The skin exposure triggers the release of anti-inflammatory molecules, endorphins, increased oxygen in the blood and the release of toxins.  Learn more about the benefits here.

IMG_5009                IMG_5007                    IMG_5013

Back to my chilly story....so, I grabbed my bestie and made us an appointment at Icehouse Cryotherapy in Totem Lake. Easy peasy, you can do it right on their website.  The location is a little bit hidden, but worth it, tucked away in the corner space that adjoins to the Eastside Tennis Center.  A super patient and kind cryo tech explained all of the do's and don'ts, mainly that you can't wear any metal (wear a sports bra, ladies) and you can let her know if you want to exit at any time.  You keep your undergarments on and they provide a robe, socks, gloves, hat and slippers.  The max time is 3 minutes in the chamber filled with liquid nitrogen, but apparently some don't make it that long.  Challenge accepted! Once in the chamber you toss your robe out and start to freeze your willies off as you watch the temperature continue to drop.  Try to relax!  I tensed up bracing myself for the cold but it's not that bad.  It's a dry cold (the polar plunge is way worse!) and for the first 2 minutes it's fab and then you start to wonder if your butt cheeks might be on the floor, cause you can't feel them anymore.  You can dance and turn in little circles. Or at least that's what I do. Three minutes- bam! done!  My skin temp was 82.5 to start and when I got out it was 43.5.  Don't worry, my heart is not so icy.  I was super glad to get back in my cozy clothes and felt totally invigorated.  Like I wanted to kick some ass (Jersey girl, I know) but I settled for conquering my day with gusto. Little pains and aches from the week's workouts were undetectable and I slept solid that night.  My mind was still telling me I'm chilly on the inside for the next few hours, but the next day felt like a normal day in the life of Janis. And we all know how exciting that is. I would definitely try this again, especially  if I was training for something or had a chronic pain from an injury. 

Some of our local professional athletes reap the benefits of the visiting the cryosauna twice a day because it's great for speeding up recovery and alleviating muscle soreness.  But for the average part-time athletes and weekend warriors like you and me, 2-3 times a week can really optimize the cumulative effects of your raised metabolic rate from the first session.    I think this would be awesome for runners.

What does this cost, you ask? First timers get to freeze for $40, and there are other packages to explore once you are hooked.  Today is your lucky day my frigid friends,  because Icehouse wants to give a FREE session to a Kirkland blog reader! Tell us why you'd like to try Cryotherapy and I'll randomly select a winner by Friday. As much as I love receiving your emails (ie, don't hit reply if you subscribe), please post your response in the 'comments' section on the blog to be considered.  Good luck!

Hours are Mon-Fri 9-1 and 3-7. Sat/Sun is 10-2. info@icehousecryotherapy.com , FB page 425-440-1970  


Around town


This sidewalk expansion project is complete at the corner of 98th Ave NE and Juanita Drive.  You can finally walk next to your friend instead of single file from Juanita Bay Park to Juanita Beach Park.  My fear of getting run over by a distracted driver has been reduced by well over 50%.  Also, Juanita Drive has some improvements of protected bicycle/pedestrian lanes on the uphill which was very much needed (lifesaver, literally). 

TurkeyTrot 001 <---If that doesn't make you want to do it, I don't know what will. My girls at the Turkey Trot circa 2008.

Hopelink's 17th Annual Turkey Trot 5K is coming up on Sunday November 19th at Marina Park at 10am. New this year- timing chips! Run, walk or trot to help support emergency services and holiday assistance to low-income families in north and east King County.  Register here.

Want to help turn downtown Kirkland into a Winter Wonderland this weekend? Say that 5 times fast.   It's this Saturday- all elves are welcome-here's the sign up genius. Speaking of elves, Santa will need some help responding to all of the children of Kirkland's letters that go into his downtown mailbox starting the end of November. Would you like to help his team of writers? Volunteering and holiday cheer at its best! 

My next post will be even colder than it's been outside lately. Negative 229 degrees to be exact. And there might even be a present involved.....