The girls are just vibrating with anticipation of Christmas day. My goodness, I hope they are not disappointed. They have decorated the house, picked out gifts for friends and family, helped Daddy cut down a tree, watered it everyday. Zoey has even spent time teaching Vivi to sing some carols. Here is one of my favorites, enjoy. Happy Holidays to everyone!
Monday, December 18, 2006
We had a pretty hopping weekend around here. Zoey raced in the Besh Cup Sprints on Saturday. It was her first race in her new ANR race suit. That is some team pride she is beaming out there. She did not race on Sunday as most of the week she was battling strep throat and the 1K sprint took all she had. The stadium at Kincaid was brutal. Lucky for me, Grammie is in town, so she stayed home with Vivi. I lost touch with a few toes and my face was bright pink for several hours after coming home. It's always a gas standing meters away from Cook Inlet with those fabulous inlet breezes. BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
Click on this to watch Zoey pop up the hill and try to reel in this bigger girl. Go Zoey, go!!!!
And Aunt Jane got to visit with Grammie. She even went to Christmas with the Animals at the Alaska Zoo.
This is Molly, one of the two snow leopards there. She is so smart.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Remember the month long cold snap? The one where it rarely got into the double digits? Well, that left with a bang on Friday. There were 75mph winds, we lost power and the temperature went from 5F to 35F in a day. The airport was having planes land on the north/south runway to meet the big winds head-on. The inlet, sky and mountains all matched in their greyness. Even the cars were grey with road pucky. YUCK! Nasty. As I left work that night there was fog, and it smelled like Juneau. The air was saturated with moisture. When I drove home the wind was blowing snow sideways. I tried to capture the beauty of driving home in the wind and snow. I actually love that. The snow is snaking down the road in the gorgeous, sinuous shapes that sometimes rear up and look like creatures.
Zoey is developing quite an eye for color and shape and beauty. Last week, during the full moon, I slept in a bit. The sun is rising about 10:00a and setting about 3:50p, so there are long, lingering sunrises and sunsets. Sunrises are VERY accessible to the sleepyheads here.
Zoey and Vivi got up before me. I had been busting my behind for weeks, what with Thanksgiving, the flu going through the house, colds. YIKES! Last week was the first week we were healthy and the last week before my mother came. So, I slept in. Yes, I did.
When I did get up, Zoey was bouncing on her toes, wanting me to look at my camera. I did and was very impressed! She really liked the play of the rising sun on the clouds and the changing weather. These are her shot from out of the kitchen window. Very nice, said the mom.
I admit I work in a grey warehouse. No windows, dusty, full of forklifts and noise. The greatest thing about where I work is the people I work with. My partners Erika and Brenda are very easy to work with and so smart. My crew of guys are agreeable, hardworking. One among them is also a talented chef. Last Friday he brought homemade tamales. YEA! Francisco is the best! Thanks.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Santa arrived by jet at the Kids Christmas party at work. Above is Vivi's face as she watches Santa walk down the air stairs and into the hangar. After she was able to speak again, she turned to me and said "Well, that's not something you see everyday."
Vivi spent a great deal of time writing a letter to Santa. She really worked hard on it.
No one was feeling very well. The hangar was too loud for Vivi and Zoey was running a fever (Mother of the Year did not know this until we were home). We left without getting to sit on Santa's lap. The girls did get their gifts, though. And I got to see the joy in Vivi's eyes when she saw Santa de-plane.
Our friend, Tricia, visited from Seattle over the weekend. I only got to see her for lunch on Friday. She needs to come up again. Hmmmm....or I need to go to Seattle. Yeah, that's it, I need to go to Seattle!
It was lovely seeing her and I miss her in my daily life. The girls loved getting to go out to brunch.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Wow! I made the best turkey of my life so far! There was no dry white meat, every bite was moist and tender and tasty. We had a lovely free-range, organic bird that we brined overnight. I think I am becoming a total evangelist for brining. It was fantastic. We fed twelve for Thanksgiving; Tom's father, his brother, our friend, Candi, the Burke family, Auntie Sarah and us. The kids had a blast, the adults enjoyed themselves (I think). I feel into bed bone-tired several nights in a row preparing for this big feast.
Wendesday evening we had a spectacular sunset. The tide was out so the contrast between the mudflats and the fiery water was gorgeous. Then, as Zoey and I were going to bed, the aurora borealis came out and gave us a spectacular display. We snuggled at the slider and were amazed.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
I know, I talk about my little airport park a bit. I am only there about 1/2 hour each week. It is my refuge before having to be hyper-focused on operational issues at work, before I have to answer the phone, talk on the radio, organize large loads, and interface with a bunch of folks who are looking to me for the answers. The park has given me some wonderful respite, allowed me to breathe before I head into a concrete grey warehouse.
A nice hanging lenticular at the top of Denali as viewed from the park.
Me, in uniform leaving the park.
Tucker is 17 years old, old enough to drive, almost old enough to vote. He is my wonderful earthquake kitty, having lost his mama and finding me in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. He is really showing his age. He's blind and terribly skinny. He sleeps about 23 hours a day. Tom and I worry a bit about him. Skanky has given up almost all his normal pursuits to hang with Tucker in the big chair and keep him warm during this cold snap. We sometimes wonder about Skanky, he's odd, he's not really sure how to be a cat sometimes. We love him all the more for his devotion to Mr. Tucker.
It helps to have a theatrically inclined big sister who can do stage makeup, but the show was pure Vivi. She wants to care for you and feed you no matter what you want. She is so strong. She is also excellent at giving clear, precise instructions for what she is creating and for how you should eat it.
She put on a few cooking shows this week. She likes to make soup mostly. Hmmm...delicious.
Tom took his Alaska Nordic Racing kids down the powerline last Saturday. I had the holiday off, so Vivi and I made chai for the gang. I think they all had fun. And they came in ready to eat. I guess there was some good skiing and even a little yodeling. Not enough sun, the pass was in shadow. And what gathering is complete without Ben, Ski Sith?
So, I've made tortilla soup, chicken soup with wild rice and chai. I also duct taped the sliding door that was leaking like a sieve. Brrrr...... I think tortilla soup may be the most beautiful soup, isn't the contrast between the red and green lovely? Hmmm... and delicious!
This is the chai just before it simmers. It made the house smell great.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
My little Vivi has been the best game spotter since she was able to speak! I had bundled up the girls to go vote and piano lessons. I am hustling them out the door and Vivi squeals and yells! Normally that means there is a bear out there, but this time it was a bald eagle a few feet above the car and play set, not quite to the second story of our house. We crowded outside and silently watched him cirlce in the little space right above the driveway. He was looking at us, we at him. We were awed and silent. I did get this picture before he flew over the house and down into Moosey Meadow.
That was my second baldy in two days. On Monday an eagle and I watched the same ducks at my little airport park. If you squint you might see him on the power pole.
Maybe because I am not the most fabulous photographer or because I do not have the cutting edge equipment, I cannot make you see exactly what I see. But, I try. Please, please, please click on the first image and get it bigger on your screen. It is a nice example of the Fata Morgana we had yesterday. That is one of my most favorite things about living up here. It is gorgeous.
In the other image is the same mountain, the one on the right. Enjoy the difference, I do!
Below is a nice explanation lifted from the Weather Doctor at http://www.islandnet.com/~see/weather/elements/supmrge.htm
The Fata Morgana
When the temperature inversion is not as uniform as that found under arctic mirage conditions, a mirage known as the Fata Morgana or halgerndingar (in Icelandic) may appear. In a Fata Morgana mirage, distant objects and features at the horizon appear as spikes, turrets or towers, objects with great vertical exaggeration rising from the surface.
Charles Earle Funk of Funk & Wagnell's Dictionary fame traced the origin of the name Fata Morgana to Italian poets who named what they saw rising up across the Strait of Messina after the fairy castles of Morgana. Literally, Fata Morgana means the Fairy Morgana, a reference to the English legends of King Arthur's enchanted sister Morgana, who dwelled in a crystal castle beneath the sea.
According to meteorologist William J. Humphreys, Morgana is also a Breton word for sea woman which further connects the name with the mirage. He writes of a mirage appearing as crystal palace rising from beneath the waves of the Strait of Messina and
"molding the bluffs and houses of the opposite shore into wondrous castles that, alike, tower into the sky and sink beneath the surface; nor is it strange that this poetic name should become generic, as it has, for all such multiple mirages, whenever they occur." [Physics of the Air, 1920]