Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter! Happy Spring! Happy Ostara! was a fantastic trip to Ohio. It was so full and so fun! I have so much to share, but first I had to work, get Vivi healthy after throwing up on me about 3 hours outside of Anchorage, help put on a biathlon race, do the whole Easter rhumba, complete with fabulous feast. Above is my friend and confidant, Sarah, with her squeeze, Brian. Pretty sweet, huh?

I made twice-cooked mashed potatoes. These are a favorite of the kiddos. The adults do not seem to mind them either. I also made a really good brown sugar and mustard glazed ham and a green bean casserole. It was all really tasty. Nothing too exotic, but all yummy.

Tomorrow I should be able to sit down and share my trip. In the mean time, enjoy the spring.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Off to the Northwest Territories

This last week has been so very busy! On top of the usual stuff like work and school, there were several training sessions with two national team coaches from the US Biathlon Association. And then there were all the preparations for Arctic Winter Games...

I had to get Zoey ready for a week away, a week full of competition, sportsmanship, camaraderie, and new experiences. There was the laundry to do, the packing, the thinking through the week, the planning for the cold. Gee, it takes soooo much room to pack for cold weather trips!

That would be enough, right? Well, I happen to live with the head coach for the nordic ski team, heading to the same games. Now, I did not have to do the work he did, I did not have to field nineteen million calls, do all the last minute details. I did not have to pack the gross ton of gear it takes to run a ski team; wax benches, forms, wax boxes, wax irons, waxes, brushes, and more! I just had to live with all this going on.

Yesterday was spent mostly getting Zoey ready to go to the airport, standing around in the airport, going home and getting Tom ready to go to the airport, driving again to the airport. Yikes! Nope, they were on different flights. Sigh....

All of this is worth it for that smile, that look, that anticipation, trepidation and openess I see in this one photo of Zoey. Bless, you my baby, I hope it lives up to your expectations. And now it is me and Vivi. She misses her sissy and her pappa. I hope Ohio takes her mind off things.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


We have had a few days of the Chinook winds blowing through. It is bringing a big, warm front from Hawaii, up through the Gulf of Alaska. It blew steady in the 50 mph range through the night. The morning was rather calm. We had at least fifty redpolls at the feeders. They were frenzied. I think they were loading up for tonight as it is again blowing about 50 mph.

We also had three boreal chickadees at the suet. One was quite territorial, bossing everyone around. The four regular black-caps held back most of the time the bossy boreal was there.

Tomorrow I will be out running Zoey between class and a workshop with coaches from the national biathlon team. She is so excited. I hope they give her good advice to take away with her.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Storm after Storm

Coastal Alaska has been having a pretty harsh winter. They have been getting storm after storm with loads of snow accumulation. When not getting hit with a storm, they have been having some pretty cold temperatures. My friend, Steve, in Yakutat says that locals have been feeding the resident eagles because they are having a tough time. This has made some statewide news outlets, such as APRN. This is an interesting little article from the radio.

Freezer burned moose meat seems to be a favorite. How many eagles do you count?

The Alaska Raptor Center has been having an unusually busy winter, as has Bird Treatment and Learning Center. These eagles are not getting the press that the fish slimed eagles of Kodiak have, but may have worse odds. If you feel like helping out, I am sure these worthy avian centers won't turn you away.

Thanks for passing along the gorgeous photos and interesting information, Steve.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Welcome March, Welcome Change


Slayer of the winter, art thou here again?
O welcome, thou that's bring'st the summer nigh!
The bitter wind makes not thy victory vain,
Nor will we mock thee for thy faint blue sky.
Welcome, O March! whose kindly days and dry
Make April ready for the throstle's song,
Thou first redresser of the winter's wrong!

Yea, welcome March! and though I die ere June,
Yet for the hope of life I give thee praise,
Striving to swell the burden of the tune
That even now I hear thy brown birds raise,
Unmindful of the past or coming days;
Who sing: 'Oh joy! a new year is begun:
What happiness to look upon the sun!'

Ah, what begetteth all this storm of bliss
But death himself, who crying solemnly,
E'en from the heart of sweet Forgetfulness,
Bids us 'Rejoice, lest pleasureless ye die,
Within a little time must ye go by.
Stretch forth your open hands, and while ye live
Take all the gifts that Death and Life may give.'

William Morris

by Emily Dickinson

Dear March, come in!
How glad I am!
I looked for you before.
Put down your hat-
You must have walked-
How out of breath you are!
Dear March, how are you?
And the rest?
Did you leave Nature well?
Oh, March, come right upstairs with me,
I have so much to tell.