1st - A new month, a moose family, and a tease of snow
Steve has been gone for 37 days. While I wish I could say that
living through the last 37 days has been a piece of cake, it hasn't
been that simple. Yes, the time has passed by quickly at times,
but on most days the void in my day is quite palpable and envelops
me completely. I think the one thing I miss the most is coming
home from work and having Steve here to discuss my day with. Sharing
the mundane, laughing about the silly - some of the things I miss
Winter is on its way. Thursday morning, we woke to snow coating
the grass, the trees, and the cars. It wasn't very cold, but seeing
the white stuff was certainly a reminder of things to come. I'm
not quite sure I'm ready for winter yet. Driving on icy roads
is never fun. Approaching intersections and having the light change
to yellow is enough to get my heart racing. Being blinded by ice
fog is definitely a challenge. Last year, snow arrived (and stayed)
on October 19th.
The other day, as I drove onto post, I saw
a beautiful moose and her twins nibbling on branches in
the campground. I drove into Glass Park, as I had my camera
with me. Mama and her babies moved further into the treeline,
but I managed to snap a few photos of them before they got
too far into the trees. Just once, I'd love to see the papa
to these babies!
October 4th - Sunbeams in the Woods
The past two days have started out chilly in the morning, with
a layer of frost coating the truck windshield. This morning, I
actually had to take the scraper out and clean them off. I should
have remembered to use the autostart to warm up the truck, to
avoid the extra work.
On the way to work today, I had a very close encounter with a
moose. It would have been truck vs. moose if the brakes didn't
work as well as they did. A huge cow moose darted across four
lanes of traffic and right in front of my truck. I missed her
by only a couple of feet. Once she cleared my truck, I glanced
in my rear view mirror to make sure there wasn't any other traffic
coming. With the cap on the truck, the moose would have been blocked
from anyone coming up on my right side. Fortunately, the lane
was clear. The moose took off into an open field on the other
side of the road.
What was most amazing about the situation was the position of
the sun, and the colors the sun cast upon the world. The moose
was running in an orange cloud of warm breath. The sun lit up
the puffs of air as they pushed from her nostrils, and steam rose
off of her body with her perspiration. All of this was painted
orange in the morning light. It was a gorgeous sight! There is
no way I could have captured the moment with my camera; it happened
so quickly. But I did capture it with my mind, and I will
remember it forever.
I turned in my second assignment in photojournalism tonight.
The assignment was an 'environmental portrait' (someone doing
their job). It was great to see some of the work of the other
students in the class. Everything from a yoga instructor to a
jewelry repairman and piano tuner. The next assignment is capturing
news or events. I took a few photos of people heading into the
polling places today to vote. On Friday, I plan to attend the
Sled Dog Trade Show at Pioneer Park and get photos.
Today, I was surprised to see Steve log into Yahoo Messenger!
He's finally hooked up to it. This means we can finally webcam
with one another. I need to ship him a webcam, and it will be
a few weeks before he gets it - but in the meantime, he'll get
to see me, and that will have to do for now. I'm sure he won't
morning I took Sedona for her customary morning walk through the
woods near my house. The sun was blazing and highlighted the remaining
leaves on the trees. I just had to snap this photo of the sunbeams
streaming through the trees - providing a spot light to this small
twig and leaves.
I love that sunrise and sunset is so awesome again. We're losing
light quickly, and at 7am it's still dark outside. As much as
it makes me move a little slower in the morning, it also provides
me with some beautiful skyscapes on the way into work. The colors
as the sun rises are gorgeous. I am so thankful for the gift of
October 8th - Birthdays, Sunshine, and Ducks
It's 7:40am and the sky is still dark. It feels much earlier,
but this is something I'm going to have to get used to for the
next several months. At least we still have sunshine past 6pm.
That will all change when we head into Daylight Savings Time at
the end of the month.
Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day. The sun was shining,
the air was warmer than usual, and I was on a mission to clear
the cobwebs from my head. I usually feel this way on a Friday
- when my work week is over, and I'm officially beginning the
weekend. Yesterday was also a beautiful day because it was the
birthday of my youngest son.
Brandon is now officially 22 years old. Where did the years go?
Like most mothers, I remember the day he came into this world
like it happened yesterday. I remember moments over the years
- special moments - snapshots on the timeline of his life. It
is so sad that childhood is so fleeting. When we're in the middle
of raising children, we don't dwell on the future and those days
coming to an end. We're too busy. There are boo-boos to kiss,
and games to play, meals to prepare, homework to do, storybooks
to read, and songs to sing. And then, one day, you wake up and
your kids are grown and living their own lives.
I am so proud of both my sons. I am proud of the men they grew
into. I did the best I knew how, raising them for so many years
as a single mom. I may not have done everything by the book, but
I did make sure they knew they are loved and that I am proud of
them. So, on this day I just want to say "Happy Birthday,
Brandon! I love you with all my heart and, no matter how many
years go by, you will always be my baby."
I had a very full morning before I could get dressed and tend
to even more errands. I had quite a few photos to print out.
You may recall that I did a maternity photo shoot for a couple
a few months ago. It was my first maternity shoot and everyone
was quite pleased with the results. There was a lot of love
in the air, which made my job even easier. Here are two of
the photos I took. They ordered seven 5x7's of various poses,
as well as regular prints of the 15 shots I included in the
portfolio. Earning money for something I love to do is like
icing on the cake! They had a baby boy not long after I took
these photos. The framed prints will be displayed in his nursery,
and the small prints will go in his baby book.
After preparing the prints for the mail, I got started in packing
up some care packages for Steve. I crammed three boxes full of
goodies for him. One box has his new webcam in it, as well as
some other goodies. I sent him a case of V8 (small plastic bottles)
to keep in his room. He loves V8, but the chow hall doesn't have
it all the time. I also sent him some more coffee creamer - both
powdered and the individual serving liquid containers. He goes
through a lot of creamer, since he's a coffee fiend. He's got
a coffee pot in his room and keeps one brewing all the time, since
he has meetings in his room.
Communication with Steve is pretty good. Of course, I'd love
to talk to him several times a day - like I do when he's home
- but getting an email, or a phonecall, or being able to webcam
and IM each other every couple of days is wonderful! We're so
fortunate to have the ability to keep in touch this way. When
Brandon was over there, the only communication was writing and
relying on the Post Office to get it to them. Weeks would pass
in between correspondence. That made it so difficult. I'm glad
we've come so far in regards to technology and communication.
My main goal for the morning was to take care of the assignment
for my photojournalism class. This week's assignment was to shoot
two different news events. I got a few photos from the elections
on Tuesday, and then yesterday took some photos of the vendors
setting up for the Sled Dog Symposium.
Once I accomplished my mission, I took off driving. I enjoyed
soaking up the sunshine. I had the window down, CDs playing in
the truck, and was singing along. It was just what I needed to
lift my spirits.
Just behind Pioneer Park, is a portion of the Chena River where
the ducks like to congregate. They are there by the hundreds!
And they're not shy either. It's obvious that they are accustomed
to people. I'll bet they've been fed by more than a few people
too. As soon as I got out of the truck, they surrounded me like
little children looking for a handout. The green heads of the
mallard drakes was sparkling in the sunshine. I spent at least
20 minutes with them, snapping photos and enjoying their antics.
I drove down the Parks Highway toward Ester. I was hoping for
some beautiful views of the range from the overlooks along the
way, but there was too much haze on the horizon. Regardless, the
drive was wonderful. I enjoyed the wind in my hair, singing along
with great music, and letting my mind wander. It was very rejuvenating!
Last night, Steve got online (it was morning in Iraq) and we
got to chat via Yahoo Messenger. I used the webcam again, even
though he doesn't have one yet. He likes looking at me though
and that makes me smile. We chatted for more than an hour and
talked about retirement and where we'd like to settle down. It
seems his arthritis has really improved while he's been in the
desert. I suppose we can't rule out Arizona yet - especially if
it's going to be better for him health-wise. Of course our real
dream would be a winter home in AZ and a summer home here in AK.
Then we could have the best of both worlds and live in two of
the most gorgeous states in the country. It's nice to daydream...
October 12th - First Sticking Snow of Winter & Beautiful Sunrises
Guess what came to Fairbanks on Monday? I was actually quite
thrilled to see the white stuff because it coated the world in
a beautiful layer of cleanliness - and I didn't have to go to
work in it. As happens every year, cars ended up in ditches, fenders
got bent, and tempers flared. I don't know why people seem to
lose their minds when it snows the first time. How can they forget
from one year to the next how slippery and crazy the roads are?
There's no chance of seeing me speeding down the road. You'll
see me creeping along in the right lane, with white knuckles wrapped
around the steering wheel!
Monday night, I had the pleasure of having dinner with two absolutely
wonderful people. (Hello to Carmen and Gip *big smile*). We enjoyed
a great meal and entertaining conversation. It was fantastic meeting
them in person, after exchanging emails with each other over the
last few months. I look forward to seeing them again.
|The grand show
It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all
at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising.
Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents
and islands, each in its turn, as the
round earth rolls.
~ John Muir ~
On Tuesday morning, as I was driving to work, I noticed that
the clouds over the Alaska Range were a beautiful shade of orange-red
The morning sun was painting the sky a wonderful array of colors
and I almost went off the road as I craned my neck to keep looking
at it out the window! Riding the shuttle bus to my building, I
couldn't wait until it stopped and let us get off. I didn't care
if I was late to my desk; I was going to take a few photos.
I wasn't the only who stopped to photograph the color show. Once
I dug my camera out of my backpack, I noticed another woman standing
down the hill from me, and she was also snapping away. How can
anyone resist capturing such incredible morning beauty? I've said
it countless times before, and I'll say it again. There is nothing
like the sunrises and sunsets of winter!
Photojournalism update: I got my grades back on the two
photos I turned in for my "Environmental Portrait" (the
Red Cross shoot). I got an A on that week's assignment! I turned
in a Spot News assignment in yesterday's class. I'm not feeling
as confident about them. There wasn't very much 'news' going on
in Fairbanks last week. This week's assignment is Sports. I'm
thinking of taking in a curling game or a junior hockey game.
Steve update: Steve and I continue to have the opportunity
to communicate via Instant Messenger, email, and the occasional
phone call. He's been promising me photos every day for a week
now, and isn't coming through with them, no matter how much I
harass him. I'm kidding, of course - but I really want some photos
of him, his room, his surroundings, etc. Of course I miss him
more than anything. It has been 48 days since he left. Only 317
more to go.
I love you, Sweetheart! I miss you everyday. Stay safe. xoxoxoxoxoxox
October 16 - Photos from Steve, Playing the Mechanic, and Job Changes
I was up early this morning, so I could get to the Auto Crafts
Shop with Rachael and work on my car. We had made plans last week
to take advantage of the services available here on post. I figured
not only would it be less expensive to take my car to the auto
center to put my studded tires on - but I'd be able to get in
without a long wait. With the roads covered in ice and snow now
- there's a mad rush to get tires swapped out. In my case, my
studded tires are not mounted - which involves a little more work.
I also planned to change my oil. The auto crafts shop charges
a bay fee ($4/hour) and you get the help of a mechanic if needed.
Of course I needed to be taught how to use the lift, and all the
equipment and tools. This was my first time taking care of auto
stuff. I was a bit nervous, but had all the confidence in the
world that I could do it.
At the risk of sounding like a nut - what a thrill! The tire
machine (removes tires from the rims and puts the new tires on)
was really cool and I was able to do it after only being shown
once. :) I was very proud of myself. Then I put the car up higher
on the lift, so I could get under it and drain the oil and put
in a new oil filter. That's when I really got dirty. I had grease
under my fingernails and on my face. Why is it that when your
fingers are a greasy, dirty mess, your nose itches? Anyway...
the next time it will only take about an hour to swap my tires
out and change my oil - since I know how to use all the tools
and machines now. I can't wait to show Steve!
I missed an IM from Steve by about an hour. :( He told me he'd
call me when he gets up - which will be about 8pm tonight my time.
He also emailed me and sent me lots of photos. Here is a small
portion of his email:
...I was out rolling all day Saturday
on election day. Super quiet all day. "No Roll" was
in effect. That means no civilian traffic whatsoever. Very nice.
We spent most of the day in [unit name deleted]'s sector. We
rolled to a few polling places, just to see how the vote was
going. We weren't allow to visit or influence the vote in any
way. The pictures came from a nearby polling station in [unit
name deleted]'s sector in the morning.
The guy in the picture (photos
posted below) walked up to our vehicle. He held up
his finger and I saw a smile come to his face. He was so proud
that he had just voted, so I got out the camera and gladly took
his picture. Then he just blended into the crowd...
Here are some of the photos that Steve sent me. There are a few
of his room, some of him, and some taken while he was out patrolling
on the streets.
a photo of Steve's room. It's his bedroom, living room, kitchen,
and office. He has meetings in this room too. At least he
has some of the comforts of home (TV, fridge, microwave).
Many do not.
titled this photo, "Me and my Girl". I send him
photos to hang on his wall over his bed. I took the one of
me going to sleep so that he could look at it before he goes
to sleep. He likes that one most of all.
is a soldier in Steve's unit who is an artist. Using one of
my photos, he painted a scene on Steve's window.
the artist soldier used one of my eagle shots to create this
painting on Steve's window. Alaska scenery to cheer him up.
is one of the polling areas that Steve drove through. Lots
of men and boys hanging out.
said that even though a "No Roll" was in effect
(no vehicles on the road), this doesn't pertain to sheep.
miss seeing my husband's smile. I can't wait until his webcam
gets to him and I get to see his face while we IM back and
man was very proud of the fact that he voted in the election.
As you can see by the photo, the streets
of Iraq are garbage-strewn and sheep are everywhere. A totally
Now for the big news in my life. Well, it's big news for me.
I gave notice at my job at UAF. My last day is October 27th. I
was going to stay until December, but my boss told me that I was
only obligated to give two weeks notice. So I did.
Over the past year, I have been feeling very bored at my job.
I've felt like I have been wasting my time there.... as if every
minute I spent at my desk, was a minute lost from my life; a minute
lost from pursuing my dreams.
Before Steve deployed, we talked quite a bit about how I would
spend the time that he is away. I thought that it would be good
to go back to work - that my hours spent at my job would help
the time pass more quickly. It did, but not in a good way. It
made me feel like precious moments were forever being lost, never
to be recaptured. I wanted to pursue my photography. I wanted
to start actively marketing myself. I wanted to begin submitting
some of my work to publications. I wanted to expand into portraiture.
I wanted to have notecards printed for sale. And so many other
ideas have flitted through my mind.
I just wasn't feeling fulfilled at my job any longer. And life
is just too short. Steve supports me 100%. With him at my side,
anything is possible. With these changes in my life, I miss him
more than anything. He's my biggest cheerleader.
One more thing... HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brother MARC!!!!
October 19th - Sad, sad, news.....one of our own.
Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier
who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
From the Kansas City Star:
Soldier dies in Iraq
TONGANOXIE, Kan. - The wife of a
Kansas soldier killed in Iraq on his 22nd birthday was glad
she was able to wave goodbye and blow kisses to her husband
just last week on a Web camera.
Army Spc. Lucas A. Frantz
was killed Tuesday during a mission in Mosul, Iraq, the
Pentagon announced Wednesday.
"It was fate we were meant to
see each other one last time," his wife, Kelly Frantz,
told Kansas City television station WDAF. "I'm happy
I got to tell him I love him and he said he loved me."
Frantz, of Tonganoxie, had left for
Iraq two months ago. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion,
17th Infantry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team,
Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
Kelly, still wearing her husband's
wedding ring around her neck, said the military told her
a sniper shot him in the head.
"I've worn it by my heart the
whole time he was gone," she told the television station.
His mother, Lorrie VanDruff, said
having her son killed on his birthday made his death that
much more difficult. But the family remained solidly behind
"They're over there trying to
help us," VanDruff said.
Fellow squad member Spc. Toby Alsip
recalled his friend as a giant of a man.
"He was always helping others
fix things - anything - he could fix it," Alsip said.
And Frantz's platoon leader said
he was always willing to help.
"He would never ask you for
help, no matter what, but he was always helping others,"
1st Lt. Randy Lewis said.
Flags in Tonganoxie, where Frantz
was a high school football star, were flying at half staff.
Frantz's alma mater planned to retire Frantz's jersey number
before the Friday night football game.
I don't have any words that are adequate enough to express my
extreme sadness over this news. Please continue to pray for our
Steve and I had the opportunity to communicate via Yahoo
Messenger today. I took a few screenshots so you could see
what I see on my computer screen when we type back and forth.
I thought you'd get a kick out of getting a peek into our
online communication. I am so happy to be able to see his
face! Likewise for him. (Click for enlargements)
Please excuse the 'just woke up' look I'm sporting. :-D
This is a closeup of the sunrise
And here's the entire sky with the sunrays!
In addition to getting the chance to chat online for almost an
hour, Steve emailed me two photos he took of sunrise yesterday.
The photos are amazing! But what makes me grin from ear to ear
is the fact that he ran back to his room to get his camera so
he could share the sunrise with me. What a sweet man!
Looking at the spectacular beauty of this sunrise, makes me wonder
if the people of Iraq - despite the turmoil, violence, and sadness
- see such splendor and have their spirits lifted. How could you
We had an ice storm last night which left the roads a slick mess.
I didn't go to work today because of it. Everything was coated
in ice - even our flag. It hung stiffly on our flagpole in suspended
animation. While winter doesn't bother me in the least, I'm not
a fan of driving on ice.
Praying for you and all our troops. Sleep
well, my love.
October 24th - Snow, frost, and the company of friends
I haven't been in the mood to write much lately. Losing two soldiers
from the 172nd Stryker Brigade family, in the last week, threw
many of us into various depths of despair. My prayers go out to
the families of SPC Frantz and SPC Bartels.
Winter is definitely here. The snow is still coating the ground,
but accumulations haven't increased substantially. The roads are
a slippery mess in places, and I'm thankful for 4WD and huge all-weather
tires on the truck. During the night, frost and ice coats everything.
Imagine my surprise when I woke up a few days ago, and found our
American flag frozen in position where it had wrapped around the
pole. The *sparkles* you see in the photo at left, is the reflection
of my flash off of the ice crystals.
The shorter days are quite apparent now. Once again, the mornings
are pitch black when I get up - making it feel like it's still
the middle of the night. The moon is still high in the sky at
7am, and I'm actually happy to see it. When the clouds are thick,
the moon looks like a true October (Halloween) moon as it peeks
through. I can imagine the sound of wolves howling to complete
Regular communication with Steve continues. While I don't get
to talk to him every day, we do manage to touch base via email
or instant messenger (with webcam) every other day or so. Once
a week or so, he manages to call me by phone, which is always
a treat. I love to hear his voice, despite the occasional delays
I hosted a dinner party (nothing formal at all!) at my house
on Saturday night. In addition to Susan and Rachael, I invited
three other friends. Missi - who I've chatted with online and
by telephone - came over. It was nice to finally meet her in person.
I may have met her a long time ago when Steve was still over at
Charlie Co., but my memory's not the greatest! My friends Nina
and Nik also came over. They have little ones at home, but took
them to respite care for a few hours. Respite care is offered
free of charge to spouses of deployed soldiers. It's hard to get
a slot, but they both lucked out for the same evening. I made
five-cheese tortellini, meatballs, and cheesy garlic bread. Rachael
brought a Caesar salad and Nina brought a chocolate lava cake
(very rich and chocolatey!). Missi brought some Ben and Jerry's
ice cream, which rounded out dessert very nicely.
had a wonderful time with lively conversation, lots of laughs,
and some good old-fashioned army spouse bonding. It's nice to
have friends around who are going through what the rest of us
are going through. They totally understand complaints, sadness,
and the funny stories we share in regards to our soldiers, our
families, etc. It's nice to feel 'normal' for feeling a certain
way, or for acting a certain way. Although I know that my family
would be very supportive of me during this separation, my army
family truly knows what it's like. I'm happy to be here in Alaska,
where I can get this support and camaraderie.
This week is my last week of work. I have a lot of work ahead
of me to prepare for diving into my photography headfirst. I need
to sort through all my DVDs of my images and compile the ones
I offer for sale onto their own disks. It will be tedious work
as I have taken thousands and thousands of photos over the last
two years. I may add some more prints to the mix, and take some
away. I'm going to be ordering some matts and notecards as well.
Like I said.. lots to do! Once I get everything sorted, I'll be
updating my online gallery. I hope I can stay motivated - especially
as the days get shorter and shorter, and darker and darker. Regardless,
I'm very excited!
I took these during my
morning walk with Sedona. I love when the frost looks like this!
October 27th - More ducks, sunset over the river, and last day of
A sord of mallards
Mallard drake and ice
Hopping onto the ice
On Tuesday, after my photojournalism class, I stopped by the
river to see if the ducks were still there. It was a sunny day,
and the snow looked bright and white in the sunshine. The sun
doesn't get as high in the sky now, so the light isn't that glaring
intensity which strips the world of its colors. When it's lower
on the horizon, it casts a softer light - making everything seem
When I got to the river, there were two vehicles parked nearby.
A truck had a woman and a little boy in it. He climbed down out
of the truck and made his way to the river bank and the ducks
that were splashing there. An SUV had two women and two small
children in it. They opened the hatch and pulled out a huge bag
of bird seed. The children were bundled up in snowsuits, and I
couldn't see the little girls face because of the scarf she had
wrapped around her head. The temperature was in the 20s, but there
was a slight wind. Despite the sunshine, my hands started to cramp
with cold almost immediately. I wasn't wearing gloves, so that
I could operate my camera.
The river's edge is frozen, narrowing the waterway slightly.
Small chunks of ice float by, catching on the banks at times and
building up. The ducks stand on these ice 'shelves', or in the
shallow water next to them. It's hard to believe that their feet
don't get cold in the frigid water! I was surprised to see so
many ducks still hanging around, so I did some online research
and discovered that the ducks will stay as long as there is open
water and food. The river is still flowing, so the open water
is still available. And if people keep showing up with bags of
bird seed, food will remain abundant. I just hope people aren't
messing with the ducks' migration schedule. I stayed to watch
the ducks for almost an hour.
night, my friend Rachael and I took our furkids to the dog park.
There were about 15-20 other dogs there when we arrived. I was
a little concerned that Sedona would be a little snippy with the
other dogs, since she's older and not as tolerant of juvenile
dog behavior. But she did pretty well. She ran around like the
younger dogs did, and even put some of the big dogs in their place
when they got snippy with her. I didn't have on long underwear,
and within twenty minutes, my legs were feeling like popsicles.
We stayed about 45 minutes before I couldn't stand the cold any
longer. Next time, I'll be better prepared. One of the highlights
of the evening, was a beautiful orange sunset, reflected in the
Today was my last day at UAF. I gathered up my belongings, purged
a lot of files from my computer, and was taken to lunch by two
of my bosses. We ate at Zachs, and I had a delicious turkey and
cheddar sandwich with au jus to dip it in. It really hit the spot.
Although I met some wonderful people working at the university,
it was time for me to go. I'm still able to attend my class, so
I'll be back on campus on Tuesday afternoons until December. I
felt a great amount of relief come over me as I drove home.
Tonight, I went to Boston's for dinner with Rachael, Susan, and
Butch (Susan's father in law). I was really in the mood for a
chicken Caesar salad, and I got my craving satisfied. I don't
have anything pressing on the calendar for tomorrow, but I do
have to run by the clinic at some point soon and pick up some
test results for some blood work I had done a month ago. I also
have to print out four 8x10s of some wildlife shots I took (bears
and eagles) for some of the soldiers who work with Steve. He's
been a great marketing agent for my photography. Maybe I'll hire
him on when he retires from the army. *grin*
Steve called tonight and we talked for 20 minutes. The connection
was great. It was wonderful hearing his voice. I can't wait until
he comes home on R&R early next year. A nice big hug would
be awesome right now.
October 30th - Frozen River, and Little Redheads
I can't believe the weekend is over already. Where did the time
go? Friday I ran a lot of errands and did some shopping for Steve's
care package. He's got everything he could possibly need right
now, and has told me to stop sending stuff like creamer, and talcum
powder, etc. But still, when I'm out and about, if I see some
DVDs he might enjoy for a good price, I pick them up. The bargain
bin at Walmart, and the previously viewed stuff at Blockbuster
are great for filling up a care package. I also picked up a lightweight
velour blanket - so soft! - for his bed. While it's not cold in
Iraq yet, he did say it's getting cooler at night and he only
has his *woobie* (poncho liner) in addition to his flat sheet.
I managed to 'smoosh' enough air out of it to cram it in a flat-rate
Saturday - early afternoon - I picked up my friend Nik and her
two kids (Neena and Devon) and we went out to a late breakfast.
The plan was to go visit the ducks hanging out behind Pioneer
Park, but when we got there, there were only a few left. Those
that remain are hanging around on the ice shelf which lines the
river. Because the ice grows every day - narrowing the river -
there's no way for us to get close to the ducks without falling
through the thin ice. Very disappointing.
Since we were in the area, we decided to take a walk through
Pioneer Park, so the kids could play in the playground. It was
cold, but we were bundled up nicely. I took my camera (of course)
so that I could get some photos of Neena and Devon for their dad
(who is also in Iraq).
is a beautiful red-haired girl, who stole my heart the first time
I saw her. The sprinkle of freckles across her nose only adds
to her cuteness. While she has been known to play 'shy' with people
who she has just met, it seems she likes me. For this I am glad.
I thoroughly enjoyed taking her photo and seeing her sweet smile.
I know that she will be my subject in future months too. I admit,
I have a soft spot for little girls. Perhaps because I raised
boys and missed out on the 'sugar and spice' of a daughter. How
could anyone resist such a sweet face?
As I wrote, the river continues to grow more and more clogged
with ice. Every day, the ice moves closer and closer to
the bridge which leads to my neighborhood. I had to stop the other
day and take a photo of it. While it's nowhere near being strong
enough to support anything but the soft touch of a bird, in only
a few months, it will soon be solid and strong, and we'll assemble
on it to watch mushers run their dogs.
Although my photography 'store' isn't open for business yet,
I sold four 8x10s to one of the soldiers over in Iraq with Steve.
He wanted two photos of eagles, and two of bears. Steve is my
best marketing agent thusfar, and I am appreciative of that. It
will still take a bit of work before I'm ready to publish my online
gallery and fill print orders, but he's already throwing himself
into 'advertising' his wife. How did I get so lucky to get a man
who cheers me on so completely?