Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The End of August

We had a lovely evening drive down to Girdwood. We were going to have Tom and Zoey get a good rollerski work out while Vivi and I rode the sticked together bike.

Our progress was stopped just beyond Bird Point. First we saw a white-winged scoter.

Then a white dot. Do you see it??

How about from this angle?

Do you see the spout?

We had a close brush and a wonderful view of a momma beluga whale and baby. There was a whole pod, but they were spread out about a mile. These two lulled around in front of us and around us for quite a while. We even had a large harbor seal there.

We spent about an hour watching this family from the shore and lost our light (and warmth) for a good ride and roller ski. We ended up at Chair 5 in Girdwood for a burger and a few beers. This is the mural in one stall of the ladies room. The artist is Nikki Navarette. I've never had such stall art.


Any guesses why I took this photo?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Berry Time

The last few mornings I have been crazed. It has been lovely and cool and still. I have rolled out of bed, put on my shoes and headed for the berried all around my house. On Saturday morning Vivi joined me.

One of the first things we noticed was several piles of fresh bear poop. Lovely. At least they are leaving the garbage alone.

As you may recall, almost all the plants around my home are dwarved or miniature. The blueberries are no exception.

I felt like I was in a fairy land, with dew drenched spider webs.

And many, many mushrooms.

While I was at work yesterday evening Zoey took some of the berries and made pie. Her first pie. She did a great job, it was delicious.

I Luv Sushi

For my birthday Tom and the girls took me to a favorite sushi bar, I Luv Sushi. YUMMY!

We sat at the bar, which Zoey and Vivi had never done. They thoroughly charmed the two chefs. They were handing little unexpected treats over the bar all evening.
Vivi even got a quail's egg, which she brought home.

I ordered a Burning Sea Roll. Ohhh....heaven!

Then it was home for a cake the girls had baked and decorated. Thanks everyone for a very fine birthday.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Few Days in Cincinnati

The girls and I drove back to Ohio from South Carolina with my mom. We went up highway 77 through West Virginia. I love that drive, it is so lovely. We only had two days in Cincy, so we jam-packed them full of experiences.

A must for any trip to the Queen City is a trip to their fantastic zoo. The girls are in heaven there. They got their faces painted, we all rode the train, we cooled off in the misting station. Vivi had her heart set on seeing the giraffes, but their habitat is being re-done, so they were not there. She did enjoy the manatees, or nanatees as she called them.

I think we wore Vivi out.

Another must-have from southwestern Ohio is Cincinnati chili. YUMMMY! I make a reasonable facsimile of it, but nothing is better than the real thing at a Skyline Restaurant. My niece, Maggie, and my sister, Liz, joined us for dinner at the Skyline up the road from Mom's place. It was heaven.

Vivi and Maggie bonded nicely.

And Liz and Maggie are joined at the hip. Okay, there may have been some wine involved on the part of the adults.

The next day was our visit with Susan and her lovely blondie girls. What a blast that was. Vivi, Zoey, Lorelei, and Isabelle got on wonderfully. They played and played. We dragged them from the playground for more Skyline. YUMMMY!

After the chili, Susan treated us to a private educational tour of RAPTOR. What a great facility. I loved the setting, right near (maybe even in) Winton Woods, on Mill Creek.

Susan is a gifted educator. She clearly adores her job. I am envious and RAPTOR is lucky. My only complaint is that our visit was way too short. Sigh....

Back at Mom's condo we went for a swim, ate some salad, and then fed the blue winged teals. Mom had a nest right next to her entry way, in the rosemary. They hatched just before she left for vacation. She got see them as little bitty things, but missed the middle.

There were load of the teals in the pond, with even a large bass. It was a relaxing end to a big vacation.

My mother's home is lovely, I so enjoy being there. This sunset was fantastic.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Check Out the Cutie

Check out this cutie! Isn't he a doll? His name is Evan and he is having brain surgery today. Let's think positive thoughts for him and his folks. You can check on his progress through his momma's site. And a thank you to Laurie for the picture of this little man.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's My Birthday!

Thanks, Mom, for making it all possible. This is as much your day as mine, and I love you for it, Mom.

I am not sure where in Cincinnati the first photo was taken. The second was taken at the Martings Department Store in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

As you astute visitors may have figured out, I have been out of town. It was my first true summer vacation with kids and husband in ten years. Last year's trip to Cordova was a blast but only four days long. I got back way, way late Thursday night. I walked through Friday like a zombie, then back to work on Saturday. I have unpacked both girls but not myself. I have not even begun to digest all the experiences and photos that go with our vacation. Look forward to some posts with interesting birds from South Carolina.

I have some serious chores to do on my days off. The most important being to come up with and submit a learning plan for this year for Zoey. YIKES!!!!! Wish me luck. Once I get that out of the way, I will be able to tell you all about the Rembrandt exhibit we went to in Portland, Oregon, the Columbia Gorge, swimming in Phoenix and settling down for some serious beach time in Pawley's Island.

There was also the drive to Cincinnati, that involved me getting to eat Skyline Chili twice and meet the incomparable Susan and her super-smart and lovely daughters.

And just so you know, the first thing I noticed in the morning when I woke to find myself back in Anchorage is that the shadows are longer, the quality of the light is moving to fall and the fireweed is spent. Sigh.....