March 1st - Staying in where it's warm!
The lows at night have been frigid. During the day,
it doesn't get much better - but anytime it warms up to -20F or
warmer, we consider it a blessing. We managed to get a few inches
of snow a few days ago, so the overnight lows weren't as bad as
they had been. (It has to warm up in order to snow) The new snow
brought a brightness to the world and covered up the small animal
tracks in our yard. But with snow comes overcast skies, and that
dreariness was not welcome.
Yesterday, I pulled on my many layers of clothes and made it out
the door by 9:30am. I had plans to meet a few gal pals for a late
breakfast. We chose The Cookie Jar, as their food has never been
a disappointment. Unfortunately Rachael couldn't make it, as she
has had to drive James around from appointment to appointment as
they prepare to clear Fort Wainwright. Because he's still trying
to pass the kidney stone, he's on heavy duty pain meds - which keep
him from driving. I know Rachael could have used some downtime,
as she has been very stressed out lately. Why does moving always
have to be so difficult?! I picked up Shawna and her children, and
we met Dawn as scheduled. It was nice to enjoy a delicious breakfast
and warm company on such a cold day.
After breakfast, I stopped at the Ice Park to purchase my season
pass. This is my fourth year attending the Ice Festival! When you
buy a season pass, you get a commemorative pin. This year's theme
is "The Greatest Show on Ice" with a circus atmosphere
and clowns and animal sculptures in the kiddie park. It was too
cold to wander through the park, and I wasn't dressed for it. I
plan to go back sometime this weekend - when I am dressed
This year, the Ice Park has a special memorial tribute to Susan
Butcher - world famous Alaskan dog musher and four time winner of
the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Susan passed away on August 5, 2006
after an eight-month battle with leukemia. She was only 51 years
old. Sculptors from six countries (China, USA, Mongolia, Russia,
Japan and France) carved the tribute entitled "Susan Butcher's
Great Race 1954 - 2006". You can view the live webcam focused
on the sculpture by CLICKING
HERE. At night it is lit up in colorful lights.
The month of March is a busy one here in Fairbanks. In addition
to the month-long Ice Art Championships, the Native Arts Festival
is taking place for three days, beginning tonight. This weekend
the Junior North American Championships will also take place. Mushers
ages 3 - 16 will compete. I missed it last year, but in 2005 I attended
and took some photos of adorable little mushers and their sleds.
(You can view those photos in my March 2005 journal) My only worry
at this point is that it will be too cold for these junior mushers
to race. The temperature cut off is -15F.
On March 10th and 11th, Chatanika Days will be going on. If you've
been reading my journal, you remember that Chatanika Days is best
known for its outhouse races and human bowling competitions amongst
other fun events. From the 17th - 19th, the Annual GCI Open North
American Championship Sled Dog Race is taking place. This is a fun
event which starts and ends in downtown Fairbanks. Yes, March is
a great month for the dogs and their mushers!
The winter blues have definitely been taking their toll on
me. I just had to do something to bring some color into my world.
I am so tired of seeing nothing but black and white around me. About
a week ago, I sowed some wheat grass seeds in a container and they
sprouted into beautiful 5" shoots already. Wheat grass is fine
for Airborne to snack on, and she helps herself to the pretty grass
from time to time.
While doing a quick run through WalMart, I came upon an 'herb garden
in a kit'. Everything I needed to grow marjoram, parsley, thyme,
and basil was included - even the potting soil. The container is
a pretty ceramic pot with openings in the side so herbs can grow
there as well. I followed the directions and put it in my kitchen
window. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll see some pretty
placing the pot of herbs and the container of grass in my windowsill,
I decided to take a few photographs of my kitchen window (and other
things) to share with you.
On the far left of the window is a ceramic rooster that Steve wanted
from his Grandma Farrell's house after she passed away in 1998.
Steve wasn't interested in any of her furniture, or china, or jewelry.
All he wanted was that rooster and a few paintings/etchings that
she had in her house. He explained to me later that the rooster
was something he always remembered seeing when he'd visit with his
grandma, and it had a lot of sentimental value to him. Mr. Rooster
gets to enjoy the morning sunlight on the windowsill now.
Next to the rooster, is the herb garden I just planted. I can't
wait to see something growing (*fingers crossed*). Not only will
it bring some greenery to my kitchen, but we'll be able to use the
herbs when cooking too. Next comes Airborne's wheat grass. You can
see how bushy it's gotten in only a week. It's great to have a splash
of green in the house! To the far right is a tiny teapot (functioning)
in the shape of a chair with a cat sleeping on it. I've never used
it as a teapot; merely keeping it as a display piece. I got that
teapot from my mother, who picked it up at a flea market a long,
long, time ago. She said it reminded her of me and she just had
to buy it. I'm sure it was an inexpensive find, but it is priceless
Hanging above, in the window, is the stained glass piece I made
back in early 2005. I took an introductory class with a friend so
that we could get the permit card to use the workshop and tools.
After making that piece, I had grand ideas of creating stained glass
pieces using my photographs as templates, but that never happened.
I'm glad I chose the color red as my main color. When the sun comes
up in the morning, it shines right through that piece and paints
bands of red on the kitchen floors.
another area in my home that makes me feel good inside. It's the
antique table I have in my dining room. I bought this table in Cameron,
NC back in 1999. If you live in the southeast (more specifically
NC), you've probably heard of Cameron and the twice a year antique
street festival they hold there. It's a marvelous event with hundreds
of vendors and some of the most amazing (and not so amazing) old
stuff imaginable! I used to go to Cameron with my friend Barbara
(who was also the owner/broker of the real estate company I worked
at). We'd go by truck because you just never knew what you were
going to come home with.
When I saw this table set - there are three pieces; two end tables
go with it - I knew I had to find a way to fit it into my home.
I loved the tiered top of it, and the curved legs. The end tables
have the same curved legs, but a one-level top. I'm totally surprised
that the movers didn't bust it to smithereens when they moved us
from NC to FL and then onward to AK!
table has always held family and friend's photos on it. I am a sucker
for picture frames. They don't have to be expensive frames either.
Some are dollar store finds and some are pricier gifts from friends
and family. I'm an eclectic decorator and my many types of frames
is an indication of that. The newest addition to that table is the
silver frame to the far right. It holds a photo of me and Rachael
in it. That photo was taken on the day her husband came home from
Iraq. I printed out a copy for her and placed it in a frame which
I gave to her at Christmas. The tiny turtle in front of the frame
was given to me by Rachael when she came home from her cruise to
Mexico. Rachael loves turtles and wanted me to have something to
remember her by. How could I ever forget her?!
I end this entry, I wanted to post some photos of photos (haha)
that I have hanging in my dining room. I started printing smaller
panoramic photos in addition to my larger prints. The smaller photos
are 8x20, while the larger panoramas are 10x30.
On the left are the smaller prints. The top one is a pano of the
Ninilchik Russian Orthodox Church with Mt. Iliamna and Mt. Redoubt
in the background. Beneath that one is a pano I took when Diane
was in AK visiting last July. We came upon a beautiful crystal clear
lake with a gorgeous reflection of the mountain in it. There was
a tent on the bank and we both remarked on what a beautiful camping
spot it was. The bottom pano is of the duck marsh in Valdez. I took
that photo the weekend that Mom passed away. I was in Valdez when
I got the call she was gone.
panoramas to the right are 10x30. The top one is of Northwestern
Glacier, taken last year. This year, there is a lot more snow missing
from the face. In fact, Diane and I saw an awesome glacier calving
while on our Kenai Fjords wildlife cruise. The second pano is a
close up of Mt. McKinley (Denali). The bottom pano is of Skilak
Lake outside of Cooper Landing.
On the opposite wall I have a photograph of fireweed wildflowers
growing along Mineral Creek Trail in Valdez, and another photograph
of Denali taken from a scenic overlook in the park.
I look forward to filling my entire house with beautiful photographs
of Alaska. They make me feel even more at home and help to warm
the chill of winter.
December to March,
there are for many of us three gardens -
the garden outdoors, the garden of pots and bowls in the house,
and the garden of the mind's eye.
~Katherine S. White ~
March 4th - Birds on the Deck, Junior Sled Dog Championship
other day, rather than fill the bird feeder up with sunflower seeds,
I took a cup of them and tossed them out on the back deck. I figured
that this way Airborne could get a better view of our feathered
friends who were coming to dine in our backyard.
The chickadees didn't notice the seeds right away, but after a
day or two someone must have put the word out, because they were
coming in pairs and groups to the back deck. Airborne lay on the
floor in front of the sliding glass doors, head down low, watching
them flit around outside. Steve and I call it our version of "Cat
TV". It was fun to watch her chattering at the birds!
In addition to the chickadees that have been frequenting the yard,
we had a new species of bird come to visit. A few redpolls discovered
the 'free eats' at our house and joined the chickadees in feasting.
Here are some photos I took of the birds enjoying the sunflower
seeds. Some of the photos are a little grainy. I had to adjust the
levels in order to show the detail of the feathers (the birds were
in the shadows at times) and this impacted the integrity of the
Yesterday, Steve took me into town to watch the Junior North
American Championship Races. The races started on Friday. There
was a race every morning for three days. Yesterday was the only
day we could find the time to go by and watch for a little while.
They hold the races at Mushers Headquarters, and set up a shorter
loop for the littlest mushers to run.
The mushers have to be between the ages of 3-16, but after talking
to a proud papa whose son was racing, I learned that you can get
an exception to the 3 year old requirement, if you can prove your
child can hang onto a moving sled. His daughter, Dakota (age 19
months) was already training to mush and is expected to run next
year. I look forward to seeing her race!
The mushers don't race unless it's -15F or warmer. Although scheduled
to go off at 11am, it didn't reach -15F until a little after noon
so there was a delay. The sun was shining, which made the day perfect.
I took a lot of photos of the young mushers and their dogs. There
was much excitement in the air, and everyone cheered on these junior
mushers as they left the starting line and ran the lap around the
We never got a chance to go to the Native Arts Festival, and I'm
disappointed. I wanted to look for a fur trappers hat while I was
there, and also a beautiful soft sculpture of a blanket toss (trimmed
in fur) that I saw last year. I'd like to buy it for the house,
now that we're settled.
Steve's going to see if he can get a pass the weekend of the 17th.
If so, we're thinking about going to Anchorage and Homer for a long
weekend. It would be good to get away for a few days, and to see
some of the sights (as well as shop and eat in different restaurants)
of Anchorage. I hear there are many eagles to see in Homer - another
reason I'd like to take a trip. We won't know anything for sure
until he puts in his leave pass next week. We're keeping our fingers
crossed that it will be approved, and that the weather will cooperate.
March 7th - Triple Fun: Birds, Ice Art, and the Northern Lights!
The past few days have been busy for me. The weather
has warmed up enough for snow to fall, which is a great thing. Don't
get me wrong - it's still below zero out there, but at least it's
warmer than -20F. And when the sun shines, you can almost
forget that you're getting frostbite on your nose.
Airborne and I have enjoyed watching the birds on the back deck.
The chickadees are a lot harder to capture with my camera because
they fly in for seeds, and fly off quickly. The redpolls, on the
other hand, like to sit a spell and gorge themselves. I saw one
male redpoll (no photo unfortunately) - identified by his pinkish/red
breast plumage - and several females. I was able to get a few clear
photographs of them while they were visiting. In one photo below,
you can see the lovely red crown clearly.
A bird does
not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has
The night before last, I could not sleep. I lay in bed tossing
and turning, until finally I just gave up and decided to go downstairs
and watch television. There's not much on in the middle of the night,
but I managed to keep myself entertained.
Every 30 minutes or so, I'd get up and take a look out the back
sliding glass doors - hoping that the Northern Lights would make
an appearance. They had been sighted by several of my friends about
a week ago and I really hoped I'd be lucky.
At 2:45am, I was rewarded with the faint green glow of light dancing
overhead. In true photographer form, I didn't waste time to put
on street clothes. I threw my bathrobe over my nightgown, and then
put on my heavy fleece coat. I slipped my bare feet in to my snowboots,
grabbed a pair of thin gloves, and mounted my camera on my tripod.
as to not have any ambient light in my photographs, I turned off
every light on the lower level (to include the television and the
nightlight on the stove). I opened the sliding glass door to my
deck, which protested by sticking to the track and getting hung
up on the snow which had built up against the door. Standing on
the back deck, I looked a sight with my bathrobe hanging out of
my coat, and my bare legs showing above my boots. But I was determined
to get some photos! *grin*
It's difficult to adjust settings and focus on a camera when it's
dark. I tried different things and shot a lot of frames. Of them,
I managed to get the five photos shown here. The show didn't last
very long, and the moon cast quite a bit of ambient light on the
sky (which is why some of the photos look brighter). Regardless
of whether or not I got photos, it was a thrill to be entertained
during a night of insomnia!
Yesterday, I had to run a lot of errands, and I made it a
point to put the Ice Park on my list of places to visit. The sun
was shining, and it was -10F. I made sure to put on my long underwear
before I left the house, and packed an extra fleece layer for under
The sunshine was indeed pleasant, but it also made it a bit challenging
to photograph some of the sculptures. I managed to wander for about
an hour, before I no longer could feel my toes and my eyelashes
got frozen together from the breath coming out above the scarf I
had wrapped around my face. I'll be going back, as I bought a season
pass again this year.
They've already judged the single block sculptures, and I managed
to see/photograph some of them. I missed an entire row of ice art
though, and will need to go back and get photos of the other winners.
The multi-block sculptures aren't all up yet, and are supposed to
be judged this weekend. I'm sure they'll be up then. I'll probably
go back to the park later this week and see how much progress they've
made on the multi-blocks. Of course, I plan to go at night to get
photos of the sculptures lit up with the beautiful colored lights.
Through this arch there are slides
and mazes and even Glo-Putt!
The detail in this mantis is
Look at the eyes!
A mermaid protected by sharks
This is a lion with a thorn in
Here's a close up of the mice
I love the curves and grace of
Another view - just as stunning!
Look at the detail of the chimes!
A fitting tribute to an incredible
woman. This sculpture spans a good 30 feet and was carved by
sculptors from six different countries in honor of Susan Butcher.
took a few photos around the house today. All in the living room/kitchen.
The light was nice coming through the windows (and the place was
clean)! I like my house more and more as we settle in and get comfortable.
It really feels like home and is just perfect for Steve and I. I
love all the windows and how they're situated in a way that lets
the sun shine in as it makes it's way across the sky. That's so
important in the winter, when light is limited. I wonder how I'll
feel in the summer, when the sun never goes down? I have blackout
curtains in the bedroom, so sleeping shouldn't be a problem. I don't
mind a sunny living room and kitchen. In fact, I know I'm going
to enjoy the sunny kitchen most of all; the house we lived in on
Wainwright had such a dark and gloomy kitchen - even in the summer.
As you can see in the photo at left, we have tiny lights on top
of the cabinets in the kitchen. They are perfect at night when we're
watching TV and just want a little ambient light in the kitchen.
Living room (notice the army
'woobie' on the back of the loveseat - it's warm!)
Steve bought these trivets when
he was passing through Anchorage on his way home to during R&R
Steve and I picked these trivets
up in Arizona and NM while traveling
My herb garden is sprouting!
Now, if I can only remember what I planted on this side...
Living room looking towards back
of house and sliding glass doors.
I love boxes - all kinds of boxes.
This is a small portion of my collection. I have a lot more
still packed away.
This is one of my favorite boxes.
It has a glass top to display a picture in it.
My antique trunk (another box!)
in the 'bear corner'.
tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling
a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes
it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last
one which makes the heart run over."
-- Samuel Johnson--
We had the Trujillo's over for dinner tonight. It
was nice to spend time with Rachael and James. I made a lasagna
(it turned out yummy!), and we watched American Idol together. It's
hard to believe that next Tuesday morning, I'll be saying goodbye
to her. She has been such a great friend to me over the last three
years, and I hate that she's moving so far away. The miles won't
impact the depth of our friendship, but I know it will be tough
not to see her all the time. I know I'm going to be sad when she
And that's another reason why Steve and I decided to go away next
weekend. (His pass was approved!) We're going to Anchorage, and
then onward to Homer. The weather up here has been so cold (in Anchorage
too), and we're keeping our fingers crossed that next weekend brings
warmer weather and clear roads. I don't want to drive 8 hours with
my foot on the invisible brake, and my knuckles white in fear. Me,
a back seat driver? NAH! Hahaha!
March 11th - New Birds, Outhouse Races, Pregnant Moose, and Sad Farewells
A few days ago, I was up early and sitting on the
love seat watching some TV. I had my sliding glass door blinds open
to let in whatever morning light there was. I noticed that the seeds
I had tossed out there a few days before were nearly gone, so I
threw another cupful on top of the newly fallen snow.
little while later, I sensed movement out of the corner of my eye.
I turned toward the glass door and was amazed by the sight of a
glorious red bird and another of the same type, but more drab in
color. This pair was the size of a very large robin, and dwarfed
the few redpolls standing next to them eating.
I scrambled for my camera and hastily snapped a few frames before
they saw my movement and flew off to the tree branches. I have never
seen that species of bird before, in all my years of living here,
and spent a good 30 minutes online doing research. (Thank goodness
for the Internet!) What I had on my back deck were a pair of Pine
Grosbeaks. The male, as usual, was dressed in the beautiful scarlet
plumage, while the female wore less noticeable colors. Against the
white snow, he looked magnificent!
can see in the photo at left, how much larger the grosbeaks are
when compared to the redpolls. I haven't seen the male since then,
but I have had three more females come back to the seeds over the
past few days. The chickadees also join in on the feast, and it's
quite the sight to see all these birds partaking of my offering.
What a boost for the winter doldrums! I look forward to spring,
and gardening. I intend to place several birdhouses in the yard
and a few more feeders. I'd like for my feathered friends to continue
coming back to my house.
This weekend, Chatanika was holding the annual "Chatanika
Days" events. The main event is the outhouse races. I didn't
go last year and was looking forward to attending this year. When
we woke up yesterday, it was nearly zero (which is fabulous!) and
the skies were blue and the sun was shining. I knew it was going
to warm up even more, so I expected a marvelous afternoon of fun
Well, it was a good 20 degrees colder in Chatanika, and the wind
was howling. The wind chill was absolutely awful! Steve and I were
wearing many layers and still, any exposed piece of flesh felt like
it was on fire from the cold. We barely survived the races and a
little bit of human bowling before deciding to head back to the
truck (and the nice heated seats). My fingers were cramped, and
I used up three batteries in less than 40 minutes because of the
I did get some photos of the different outhouses, the lodge, and
leaving Chatanika, we drove up to the F.E. Company Camp to take
a few photos. This camp was built in 1923-1925 to support the hundreds
of Chatanika dredge workers. The camp now has a restaurant, bar,
rustic hotel and three multi-room cabins.
We came upon the abandoned and broken down cabin at left, while
driving up to the camp. I don't know what the story is behind it,
but I like old structures - even if they are broken down.
From that vantage point on the hill, we had a sweeping view of
the tailings that stretch out for long distances in every direction.
These rock and gravel mounds are from the huge dredges that mined
the area for gold in the earlier part of the last century.
the way home, just as we were nearing the turn off to our street,
I spotted a moose in someone's back yard. Steve stopped the truck
so that I could take a few photos. He whistled to her (like he does
when he's calling the dog) and she turned towards us. It was quite
apparent that she's pregnant, as her belly is hanging low.
Moose give birth in May and June, so I estimate she's about 4.5
months pregnant. (They are pregnant for about 230 days - or roughly
7.5 months). I would love to see some little babies again this year;
maybe she'll stay in our area.
Later last evening, Steve and I joined Rachael and James at
Lavelle's Bistro in the Marriott. They're staying there until they
leave Alaska on Tuesday. Lavelle's is a bit on the pricey side,
but they have a marvelous wine list. I wasn't in an experimental
mood, and Steve had to be the designated driver, so we didn't overdo
it too much with the liquor. Our meal was very good, and great conversation
made it even better.
I picked up a few things at Barnes and Noble as a 'going away'
gift for them. I was able to find a book called "Compass
American Guides: American Southwest" and also picked up
a laminated map of the southwest. The map has El Paso (Fort Bliss)
on it, which is where they will be living for the next three years,
as well as all interesting places due west of El Paso - in AZ, NM,
UT, CO, and NV. I hope that they will get good use out of it, as
they explore the areas around their new home. While in B&N,
I also picked up a book for Shawna entitled "Georgia
Off the Beaten Path". She and her family are moving to
Columbus (Fort Benning). Steve and I enjoyed our stay at Fort Benning,
and took the time to explore the surrounding area. I hope that Shawna
and her family will too - particularly the gorgeous historic areas
Tomorrow we are all meeting at Food Factory for a 'farewell lunch'.
I'm looking forward to spending time with Rachael, Shawna, Abby,
Dawn and a new friend Mel - although I know the occasion is a sad
one. It's hard to believe that Rachael is leaving here in less than
Steve and I are planning to go to the ice park on Tuesday evening
to see the sculptures all lit up. I hope the weather is a bit warmer
so we don't have to wear so many layers of gloves. It's hard to
take photos that bundled up!
Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
your heart is true; you're a pal and a confidant
not ashamed to say
I hope it always will stay this way
My hat is off, won't you stand up and take a bow
if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see, the biggest gift would be for me
and the card attached would say,
Thank you for being a friend
you for being a friend
Thank you for being a friend
Thank you for being a friend
it's a car you lack
I'd surely buy you a cadillac
Whatever you need, anytime of the day or night
not ashamed to say
I hope it always will stay this way
My hat is off, won't you stand up and take a bow
when we both get older
With walking canes and hair of gray
Have no fear, even though it's hardly here
I will stand real close and say,
Thank you for being a friend
when we die, and float away
I'll see you there, and once again
Thank you for being a friend.
It is now Monday, the 12th and I never got around to posting this
entry that was started yesterday. I just got home from lunch with
some friends, and saying goodbye to Rachael. It was hard, but at
least I didn't lose it and bawl my eyes out. Believe me, I've done
enough crying over the last week or so, and I'm sure I'll do it
a few more times over the next couple of weeks as the realization
hits me that she's not just a few miles away anymore.
Rachael lived two doors down from me, when we lived on Fort Wainwright.
Despite the fact that she lived so close, I didn't meet her until
almost a year after Steve and I moved here. Her husband was in a
different unit than Steve, and they moved up here in September -
just as winter was arriving. In the winter, we all tend to be hermits.
But when we did finally meet, and started to get to know each other,
we hit it off right away. Even before the guys deployed, we started
walking, or running errands together, or going out for coffee. And
then, when they did leave, we became a wonderful support system
for one another.
I'll never be able to go to Starbucks and grab a peppermint latte
or a pumpkin spice latte without remembering
all the money we
spent there the laughs we had while sipping our coffee. And
running errands will never be the same either. We had such fun taking
care of the mundane things such as going to the post office, or
running by the bank. And I'm going to miss lunches at The Diner
and our traditional grilled cheese sandwiches and curly fries.
When our husbands were deployed, we took many road trips together.
We drove down to Denali Park several times to look for moose or
bears. We drove the Denali Highway once and we're lucky we made
it back alive when I broke the brake line on Steve's truck while
in the middle of the wilderness. We took our pups with us even though
Steve forbid me to have the dog in the truck. I remember how much
we laughed when we took pictures of our three furkids laying across
the back seat, and then joked about how we really needed to wash
the truck good so we wouldn't get caught!
In the middle of the night, we'd meet out in the backyard in our
pjs and boots so we could take photos of the northern lights. Once,
we drove up to the top of Birch Hill to take photos and then got
scared because it was so dark up there.
So many good times. So many memories. How blessed I am to have
had her along on this portion of my journey through life.
We are all travelers in the wilderness of this
world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson
March 14th - Photos from the Farewell Lunch
I wanted to share these few photos that were taken
at our Farewell Lunch on Monday. The lighting wasn't the best, so
these aren't the greatest quality, but at least I'll be able to
look at them and remember the last time I saw Rachael and Shawna.
As you can see by the first photo, our bunch took up three tables
in the back of the restaurant. (Can you pick out the 8-year-old
boy in the photo? *laugh* What is it with boys and making faces
when a photo is being snapped?) I just met Melissa, Dawn, and Abby
through my online spouse group, as well as through Yahoo 360. Melissa
has two girls (pictured), Abby has two sons (she didn't bring them
to lunch), Dawn has a daughter and a son (her son is the comedian
in the group), and Shawna's two kids were there (Collin has his
back to the camera).
In that second photo of Courtney and I, neither of us looks very
happy. I'm really going to miss this little girl. I met her soon
after she was born, and watched her grow into this beautiful 3-year-old
beauty. Being with Courtney fulfilled all those middle-aged needs
I have of wanting to spend time with a little one. She was also
my favorite little model, and loved posing for the camera. I found
out from Shawna, that Courtney named her newest doll "Susan".
Shawna is young enough to be my daughter, but age didn't matter.
I think in some ways I was like a mother figure to her, but in other
ways I know I was her friend. I liked when she came to me for advice,
or to 'unload' her problems. I was able to give her input from 20
years of experience dealing with life, motherhood, and relationship
issues. I knew how stressful it was for Shawna to play "single
mom" while her husband was deployed, and even when he was at
work. Our lunches out gave her a break, and my car lulled the kids
to sleep. We sometimes just drove around aimlessly. She was happy
to be out of the house. I'm going to miss those drives.
I wish both Rachael and Shawna much happiness in their new homes.
I also look forward to getting to know Abby, Dawn and Melissa a
Steve and I are leaving bright and early tomorrow for Anchorage.
The weather here has been unseasonably cold. We're breaking all
kinds of records. Not only is it cold in the Interior, but it's
also cold in Anchorage and Homer. What I thought might be an escape
from the frigid arctic air, isn't to be. The long underwear and
heavy parkas will be going with us after all.
I don't know if I'll have internet access while we're away, or
whether I'll have time to update this journal. I hope to have plenty
of eagle photos to share with you all when we get home early next
May love and laughter
light your days
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours.
March 21st - Weekend getaways are good, frozen septic systems are
Steve and I had a terrific
time in Anchorage and Homer. (Thursday, March 15 - Monday, March
19) We had such a marvelous time, that we decided we'd like to make
the trip to Homer to see the eagles an annual thing. It would coincide
perfectly with our anniversary (April 5th), so we'll just call it
an anniversary getaway.
I'm making this entry on a separate page
because there are so many photos I want to share, and they would
take forever to load on the main page of my journal. I hope this
makes things move a little faster!
March 28th - Enjoying the Squirrels
I haven't posted because there hasn't been much
going on. To be honest, I've been feeling quite lazy lately. Since
we got home from Homer, I've been in hermit mode. In fact, I didn't
even leave the house until this past Sunday. Steve seemed to be
happy to be in hermit mode too. It's been so cold in the morning
(STILL!) and that doesn't give either us any motivation to get dressed
and go out. Fortunately, it's warming up in the afternoon, and the
sun has been coming out.
On Sunday, we met our friends Gip and Carmen at Pikes for the champagne
brunch. The food was good - as always - and the company was great
(as always!). As we were finishing up our meal, we talked about
seeing "Wild Hogs" at the theater. If we hurried, we could
make the 12:30 show. And so we did.
March 31st - Driving the Elliott Highway
Yesterday, Steve and I decided to take advantage
of the sunshine and predicted 30F weather. We ran a few morning
errands and then took a drive up the Elliott Highway to the fork
where the Dalton Highway (also known as the Haul Road) splits off
and heads to Deadhorse.
GO TO APRIL
©2007 Susan L Stevenson