Monday, April 30, 2012


So I figured out that I needed a day planner of some form. I managed to forget a ton of things I wouldn't usually ever forget - the house payment, the monthly budget, etc. I was a bit depressed by the fact that, it is nearly May and all day planners for 2012 are probably nonexistent........texted my boss and asked if she happened to have one lying around and I was in luck! I got my hands on it today and it is quite attractive and small enough that I could carry it around often. Tonight I realized that I scheduled two things to overlap next week. I normally would not have done something that dumb, but it's obvious I'm not thinking clearly right now. *sigh* So I immediately grabbed the planner and started writing in it. So hopefully I can make use of it and form a good habit to keep track of things!

I went aurora hunting the other night and before I came home, I was desperately in need of a bathroom break. I was parked along the side of the road, in the dark, in a grassy area. I contemplated several times going the Alaskan way and going outside (not the first time...can't grow up here and not have that experience!), but I resisted :P I was telling C about it later...

Me: "I almost peed outside. So I was almost an Alaskan."
C: "So if you aren't Alaskan, then what are you?"
Me: "...Canadian."
C: 'Oh, they don't pee in Canada?"

I hope that wasn't too awkward or idiotic, but I laughed pretty hard.

Yesterday, I said goodbye to my coworker who is moving. It was super short and not very sweet - literally a hug and "Bye!" and she was on her way. It was a bit sad for its brevity, but I realized how nice it was to not be tearing up and feeling sorry for myself! Later that day, we said goodbye to one of C's brothers. It evolved into a nice family evening and we ended up staying until 11:30pm. We had both ridden our bikes to work that day and so rode to the in laws' after work and just stayed. I ended up playing board games and chatting with my mother in law while C had a great conversation with a brother. Needless to say, when it became 11:30, we needed to get home so we could go to bed. We tossed around several ideas, but in the end, we decided to ride home in the dark. There was still a little bit of daylight above the trees, but not much. We did fine, riding under street lights until we got to our street. That was a bit spooky and I was concerned about moose, but it was uneventful. I don't plan on doing that again, but it was an adventure for sure!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Surf on Fire - February 23

Lovely sunset light on the waves!

I love the lines in this one!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Muddy Reflections

Sunset on my birthday was lovely! What a treat!

Can't it Slow Down for a Minute?!

It's amazing how life suddenly starts going without any chance of slowing down in sight. For the past month, I have been in a daze of work and life, struggling to stay afloat, really. I was sick for 2 weeks, and it hung on for another week for the most part. I was healthy for a week, and then a week ago Friday, I woke up in the middle of the night with a stomach bug of some kind (I'm thinking food poisoning) effectively forcing me to slow down. I had plans for that day to be going from 9am to 11pm with no breaks in between, and I missed out on everything I had lined up for the day.
I recovered by late afternoon and felt much better by bedtime. I worked Saturday and felt even better as the day went on. Can't really miss more than a day of work when sick pay is nonexistent :)
 My silly pinwheel that turns when the heater is blowing. Puts a smile on my face :P

Last week, we had a family dinner at my in laws' house. My husband's brother was in town for a month and the sibling out of town flew into town for less than 24 hours and we had a nice family dinner with all seven children under one roof for the first time in years.

 When I was sick last week, before I realized that something was wrong with myself, I had two panic attacks, one worse than the other. Looking up the symptoms for a true panic attack, I don't think I was having a diagnosable one, but I was sure stressed out. I thought maybe I had stressed myself into being sick from work responsibilities, but some of my symptoms of the bug were a bit hard to fake :) So anyway, I basically wound myself up pretty good and stayed high strung for several days.

One Lord Sunday - March 18, 2012, Homer High School Gym

Tuesday, I was pretty unbearable to live with, I think. As a child, I would stress over something, and then cry it out and it would all be fine. I was a sensitive one and cried pretty frequently. Growing older, I still cried easily, but not as often. It was when we got married, that C started to pick up on a pattern to it all. If I became more needy for attention, whiny, and downright obnoxious, I probably needed a good cry. Probably hormonal, but it was usually not at a set time every month. But generally every month at some point, something will set me off and I will cry for a while, and then everything will be right again. That was Tuesday. I was being obnoxious, starting to drive C crazy, I think, and we both acknowledged that I probably needed some release. Finally, before bedtime, I finally had a cathartic weeping session that went on for an hour, and got all of my stress released from work, life, housework, etc. I felt much better, and C and I both noticed an impressive change in my mood and attitude the next day. Pretty crazy, really. Since then, I have been much less stressed and generally happier (though I am usually a happy person).

Monday evening, I was waiting for the northern lights to appear, blazing in the sky. They never materialized for me. I went out before 11pm, despite there being some daylight still! It was a rather dark evening and the parking lot I chose to camp out in was a bit too crowded and creepy for my tastes, and also included a motorhome!! NO! I ended up going for a drive to search for a less lighted location to watch for the lights, but they never materialized for me (and did not for anyone else in the state either, but the Lower 48 got an excellent show!) and I headed home around 12:30. *sigh*

Wednesday, we drove out to my hometown to change our snow tires with my dad. We bought milkshakes at my favorite restaurant there and enjoyed them in the beautiful sunshine (54 degrees at one point!). C's car ended up causing us a bit of grief. Last fall, one of the studs connecting the tire to the car broke off. Dad bought a new one to replace it with. But all the remaining studs on that section of the car were ornery as well, and 3 more of 5 ended up breaking off! After doing some calling around, I ended up going back to town on a parts buying mission, and then turned around to go back. But it was a beautiful day for a drive. I even ended up turning the A/C on, and I loved sipping on my shake as I journeyed.

The car was put back together without another problem, and C went home. I stayed for a memorial service for a woman I knew growing  up. Had a nice potluck dinner and then conversation and observing of locals from my hometown. It was a nice service and it made me want to hug my loved ones.

Beautiful dog in town :)

I felt a bit silly, while working on the tires. I watched a guy fly down the road on a 4wheeler and thought about how normal that is for my hometown, but in my new town, 4wheeler's aren't supposed to be driven down the streets in town. A silly difference, but it reminded me of the good times I had exploring the area and living the good life in a tiny Alaskan town - playing in puddles, bike riding through town, etc.
Last night, after work, 2 of my coworkers and I went up to my boss's house for dinner. She's still laid up with her broken leg, so we went to her. My coworker of 6 years is moving this weekend, and I worked with her one last time today and then we had a farewell little party for her. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and I will really miss her. Sad to see friends move on, but she is going on a grand adventure and I am excited for her.
So, all this to say, I haven't had much time to think about blogging. I finally got my house clean after 4 weeks on Tuesday! I keep thinking of things I want to talk about, but I never have a chance to sit down and write it hopefully I can again soon!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Today's Happenings

Whew! I'm glad today is over :) I had a doozy of a day at work, and I'm glad it's over. Retail is simple concept in theory, but it is always more complicated in reality. I hate to leave the new employees alone, because inevitably, they will be asked some random question that's never been asked before, or just something outrageous will happen. But anyway, I'm glad I am done with today, since it was one of those days that just made me want to quit :)

In other news, we officially started riding our bikes to work this week. C has ridden the 4 days out of 5 so far, and I started Saturday morning. It felt good to be biking again, but boy can it be a work out sometimes! This morning's ride for me was twice as long because I was fighting a really strong wind the entire way! I'm looking forward to saving money on gas this summer :) Last summer, I was pleased to note that C didn't buy gas from June sometime until September sometime, because he rode to work nearly every day. I skipped gas one month, but I was also running to the beach and other places for photo ops, so that explains that. But it all helps :)

I'm finally over my cold, I think. It took me well over a week this time to kick the worst of it, but some of it hung on for the last 2 weeks. I think it's FINALLY gone. Happy to send it on its way!

We had beautiful sunshine most of this week, and it really helped get rid of a ton of snow. Feeling more and more like spring here everyday!

Snow Amount on Ohlson Mountain

A friend and I took a drive up East Hill Road a month ago and decided to go see how Ohlson Mountain was doing.

It was a lovely day and the Spit looked nice!

We quickly discovered that the Hill had a TON of snow.

Twists and turns in the road :)

Look at all those tracks on the hill!

Our entertainment on the way back down the hill was to see how buried the street signs were in snow!

Pretty crazy! I am happy to report that it is melting steadily now, or at least it is down here in town!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Beach Walk - February 17

Beautiful days were rare this winter, but when I could, I took advantage of them!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Anniversary Getaway Photos

As promised, here are some more nature oriented photos of our stay last week. Right after we got to our room, I was looking out the window when I saw this in the Bay. It went under several times, but I am pretty sure it is a sea lion. I've never seen one in the wild before, so I'd love some confirmation :)

It was huge!! I don't know how to convey just how big it was, but I took these photos from our room, which is quite a ways from the beach.

We were blessed with gorgeous blue skies!

End of the Spit :)

I love patterns in the sand by the waves!

This was the first time I had seen the memorial bench dedicated to Jean Keene "The Eagle Lady". Two articles in the local papers give more details :)

Detail on the plaque on the front.

At dinner, C made some comments about wanting a photo of the water glass because he could see the reflection of the mountains in the water....he tried, and I tried, and nothing turned out like we wanted....but I like this one anyway :P

It was a beautiful day for sailing on the Bay!

The moon that afternoon.

Sea otter from our balcony

Taken at 10:30 pm from our balcony :) The moon was so bright that night! I was attempting to take some star photos, but the moon was too bright on the side of the sky we were facing, so I settled for a moon shot!

It was a lovely time!

4th Anniversary Getaway: Land's End Resort

Tiny bedroom

Tuesday night, C and I took off on a "staycation" for our 4th wedding anniversary. I had originally wanted to run up to Anchorage for 4 days, but C couldn't get the day off, and after my boss's injury, it's just as well. Since our anniversary fell on our weekend, we decided to keep it simple and stay close to home.

Looking to the door from the far wall

I have always wanted to stay at Land's End at the end of the Spit, and so we planned on it :) They run a Getaway Special every winter and that is what we booked: a room, dinner, continental breakfast, glasses of wine with dinner, as well as a couple other services that we didn't utilize.

The balcony!

I initially booked the cheapest room I could get - one overlooking the parking lot! WOO! Justification was that a view was around $40 more, we see the view every day, and it would likely be raining/snowing/foggy and we wouldn't be able to see anything anyway. I stuck to my decision, even though I had little wishes of dealing with it and paying more.

Back of the hotel, on the beach

We left Tuesday afternoon for our adventure on a gorgeous, sunny afternoon, effectively wiping out my visions of cloudy skies. We arrived, and the front desk girl ended up upgrading our room for free, for a reason that I didn't catch!!!!!

Chilly beach walk!

We headed up the narrow stairs and to our room with a view!

I....was less than impressed with the room, to be honest. It was tiny, but all the space was used well, so that was fine. But the decor and paint and such just seemed so out of date, like it had not been updated since the 90s. I really didn't care, but I was surprised at how such an "elegant" resort had such unelegant quarters.

Looking at photos online of the better rooms makes me think they are nice looking, so who knows. The bathroom was very tiny and the lighting was terrible in there.

The wing with our room on it

But we had a balcony! And a view! We headed downstairs and outside for a beach walk in the sunshine. It was a bit chilly and windy, but the sunshine was welcome and good company made it nice.

We came back inside after a bit and went downstairs for dinner in the restaurant. We have both eaten there countless times before, but usually for Local's Night (for cheaper fare).

With dinner included in our room rate, I was happy to not inwardly wince at the prices. C decided on a "petite tender steak" - "bacon wrapped steak with a port demi glaze". I chose chicken gnocchi - "grilled chicken with potato pasta, spinach and mushrooms in a blue cheese cream sauce with spiced pecans".

C's steak, potatoes and veggies

We were less enthused about the wine included...we both hate the taste of alcohol. We both were curious to try something new though, so we asked the waiter for some recommendations. I chose an Alaskan Chardonnay from the local Bear Creek Winery and C got a glass of Marietta Old Vine.

My chicken gnocchi

The food was excellent. C's steak was incredibly tender (like a steak is meant to be!) and the mashed potatoes it came with were just divine. They were both of our favorite parts of the meal! My gnocchi was wonderful as well. The wine....was ok. We didn't drink nearly enough of it (so I'm glad we weren't paying for it outright!) I'm sure it was wonderful to others, but I just can't stand that alcoholic flavor :( It was definitely more bearable with food though!

C at the top of the stairs, overlooking the Bay

We ended dinner stuffed to the max and went back up to our room. We watched our yearly dose of TV (we don't have TV at home) and decided it was bed time after a while. I spent a few minutes taking some night photos from the balcony. I was still in the midst of my awful cold and I ended up coughing so much that I kept both of us up for a long while :( We finally fell asleep, but it wasn't too restful (I hate that about being away from home!)

Us on the balcony outside the room

The next morning, we got up at 8 for the continental breakfast downstairs. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was located in the restaurant, and was a decent spread. When we arrived, there was a group of young men there, laughing a bit loudly, but they were the only others in the entire restaurant, and they quickly departed.

The empty restaurant for breakfast

Muffins, bagels, waffles, instant oatmeal, biscuits and gravy, and scrambled eggs were the main foods available (maybe more?) and so we were satisfied. We ate leisurely, with a few more people wandering in as the morning went on, and then we went back upstairs to get ready to check out.

One side of the continental breakfast

All in all, we had a nice stay. I don't know that we will ever stay there again (on our money at least) but it was a nice experience and I'm glad I can recommend it to others. The food was probably the best part :P

Other side of the breakfast

I will say how happy I was with a view room....I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would...though I really should have known it would be important to me since I was constantly gazing outside for wildlife, and watching the sunset and such.

Land's End

It was great to get away and celebrate our relationship, and I'm glad we did it! I'll post another post hopefully tomorrow of more nature photos I took on our getaway, and not just photos of the hotel!