Can you believe that 2012 is almost over?! The year went by so quickly! Too quickly in my opinion. But all in all, it was a good year. I did quite a bit this year, both here in Alaska and elsewhere. It seems 2012 was a year of travel for us/me. I also had great fun visiting with family and friends throughout the year.
I put together this collage of 12 photos - one for each month - that I felt were representative of 2012. What an awesome year it was! I look forward to 2013 and more travel and adventure.
We are having temps in the mid 20s today. I love the warmth, and for the first time in months, Raven was able to go out without booties on. We usually have these warm spells a time or two during the winter, and they are a welcome respite.
The sky has been beautiful lately, with orange sunrises and sunsets and occasional blue skies. Much nicer than the ice fog we had only a week or so ago. When the sun comes over the horizon in the morning, it often paints the treetops with an orange glow.
This was taken from the end of my driveway:
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas (if you celebrate). Steve had to work both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The place where he works never closes down. It operates 24/7. Some years he’s been lucky and has had many of the holidays off, and other years he’s had to work them all. This year, he had to work Christmas, but he’s off this week and will be home to bring in the New Year with me.
I was feeling a little blue on Christmas Eve, especially after calling my sons and daughter-in-love. Becky was busy in the kitchen making cookies for all their friends in the complex. She was also making dog biscuits for my granddog Perseus’s playmates. I wished I could be with them rather than home alone. I posted something in FB about being alone, and my friend Linda posted that she was feeling a little blue and asked me if I wanted company. Of course I welcomed her to stop by and have lunch with me.
Raven was so happy to see someone new. She kept jumping up on Linda (I’m trying to break her of that) and the more I apologized, the more Linda told me it was OK. Linda later told me she missed having a four-legged furkid and welcomed the love. So when Raven climbed up into her lap, she thought that was just perfect.
Speaking of dogs and Christmas, I just had to share this really pretty, and practical, wreath my friend Kathee gifted me with. Those are dog biscuits tucked into the ribbon. They’re not glued, so you can remove them one at a time and feed them to your favorite canine. I think it looks awesome on our red door.
On Christmas Day, I was invited to have dinner with my friend Julie and her family. I was so thankful for the invitation, and looked forward to seeing Julie, her husband Adam, her daughter, son-in-law, and grandson, and her two sons.
She cooked up a smorgasbord of food: ham and many side dishes, salad, desserts, appetizers, etc. I went hungry and left exploding out of my pants.
Santa brought her youngest son Brayden (age 4) lots of games, and we all enjoyed challenging the game Perfection by putting the shapes into the openings before the timer expired and they all exploded out. No one beat it while I was there. Maybe with practice!
Julie’s daughter Lexus had her hands full with baby Emrich, who had a tummy ache and was quite fussy when he wasn’t sleeping. Poor baby had diaper rash too, which didn’t help. I remembered back to my days with infants and felt bad for her. I hope he was feeling better by the time they went to bed, or I’m sure it was a long night for them. From the photos I saw the next day, he was feeling much better and was all smiles.
I took a bunch of photos at Julie’s house and decided to convert them all to B&W. Here are some of the highlights of the night:
The full moon has been absolutely beautiful the last few days. Seeing Jupiter in the sky is also a thrill, especially being able to capture it with my camera. I wish I had a telescope though. It would be neat to see really close up. I love the night sky. I look at the moon and the planets and I can’t help but think about how beautiful and vast our universe is.
I took a short detour on the way to Julie’s to photograph the moon over the golf course on Fort Wainwright. I didn’t have my zoom lens, so I didn’t take any close ups that night. But I loved the blue early evening light and the frosted spruce trees. These were taken hand-held. I really should have used a tripod.
DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS - BIRTHDAY GATHERING
The day after Christmas, I was invited to a birthday gathering at my friend Kathee’s friend’s home high above Fairbanks. It was also a “chick party”, which means no men allowed. I had a lot of fun. As the moon rose in the sky, a bonfire was lit and then later fireworks were launched. What fun!
The FULL COLD MOON; or the FULL LONG NIGHTS MOON
During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.
It has been months since we’ve seen moose. I have been missing them immensely! Over Thanksgiving, a few friends saw moose in the woods along a few of the highways, and over Christmas - again - they were spotted at various places around town. I kept my fingers crossed that I’d be lucky enough to see one.
Yesterday, I was sitting on the loveseat working on photos, and I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. When I glanced up, my breath caught in my throat. I calmly said to Steve, “Get a hold of Raven”. I didn’t want her to see them and bark and scare them away before I got my camera ready!
After snapping a few photos, we let Raven see what was in the yard. Of course she went a little crazy - barking and jumping around. But then she calmed down and stood with her front paws up on the windowsill to watch them. At one point she did pick up her squirrel toy and shake it vigorously while making growly noises, but that’s as aggressive as she got.
We enjoyed their visit, as brief as it was, and I do hope they’ll come back and visit again soon. This was a mama cow and her young bull calf. I hope they find some good things to eat out there.
MY NEW YEARS WISH FOR YOU
Wishing you and your family a year filled with much happiness, good health, joy, love, and adventure! I saw the quotation below and it resonated with me. Perhaps it will incite you to also make mistakes in the upcoming year!
The next time I write here it will be 2013. Hopefully I’ll be sharing fireworks photos with you all. Be safe and have fun!