January 30, 2009

Face masks...check. Goggles...check. Extra food and water...check. My boyfriends, Ben and Jerry...check. Netflix...check.....

"What time does the volcano erupt?" ~Tourist on Mt Etna in 2000.

So, let's see...after 2 weeks at subzero, then a week of slipping about at a melty 45 degrees+, we're escaping, PiƱa Colada Song style to warmer, sunnier climes. Sunday night. After the Superbowl.
'Tis a tricky time of year to travel! Here in Alaska you run the risk of foul weather-ice, snow, freezing rain, and the possible mechanical problems that go along with it. Oh, and let's not forget the EFF-ING VOLCANO THAT'S ABOUT TO ERUPT AND THE ENSUING ASH CLOUD THAT COULD CANCEL FLIGHTS OR EVEN KNOCK DOWN THE SORRY-ASS PLANE THAT MIGHT BE FLYING OVERHEAD AT THE WRONG TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!


Our trip could be cancelled, we could crash, or we could be prevented from returning when we need to. Very fun this life riding the cusp of Alaska extremes! And to top if off-I'm sick. Huz had the fever and cold last weekend. Now it seems I'm gearing up for it, too. And I bought my pretty dress for the Diner/Auction tonight and, and, well.....WWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

For that volcanist deep within you:

Scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory raised the alert status Sunday to the orange "watch" level, the second-highest, based on seismic activity detected January 23. The most current report from the AVO:
"2009-01-30 07:57:51Seismicity at Redoubt is varying in intensity but is still well above background. We have seen higher amplitude seismicity for the past several hours but appears to be subsiding a bit at this time. The Aviation Color Code remains at ORANGE and the Volcano Alert Level remains at WATCH. No eruption has occurred at this time."

Mt. Redoubt last erupted in 1989 and lasted until April '90. The largest ash fall amount measured was 5 millimeters. The ash fall was widespread-recorded as far away as Fairbanks, along the Richardson Highway, and the Yukon Territory border. There were several millimeters of ash on the Kenai Peninsula and trace amounts of ash in Anchorage and more distant locations.

Volcanic ash is nasty stuff consisting of tiny jagged pieces of rock and glass. It's hard, abrasive, mildly corrosive, conducts electricity when wet, and does not dissolve in water but gets incredibly heavy. It's recommended that you sweep ash fall off of your roof before it can get rained on! It'll scratch up your windshield if it gunks up under it! Ash is spread over broad areas by wind so we could potentially be affected here in the Anchorage area. When Huz left his office in the Conoco Phillips building downtown last night they were handing out masks to everyone at the doors. FUN times!
Here's an interesting volcano preparedness read.


*Mount Redoubt photo glommed from Goggle Image Search

January 28, 2009

Another new lens! I'm besotted!

A Canon 6o mm 1:2.8! Serious macro and great portraits! Here's a few preliminary pics:

Canyonlands? Nope. It's just part of this awesome castle!

January 23, 2009

The winner!

So, no one voted for it, but it's my fave. Well, sort of. The Plum wins the poll so far, but Doofy here forgot to actually check the price before adding it to the list of potentials. $368-ish? Little too 'spensive! Ooops! Never mind that one!

And as I said in the comments, The Sapphire was probably #1 but way too risky a style for me to order without trying it on first! I worried that it would not be as... forgiving.. of my Shar Pei's Ass tummy as the others. So adios, lovely Sapphire. I hardly new ye.

As far as the cool Graphic, I'm not really"up" for going sans bra. I realized I would have to invent a new use for duct tape to form some semblance of a bra that would fit this funky design. No groovy graphic for me.

In the end, I was basically sweating over The Slate and The Green. I really like them both but I know that my torso looks better in a bodice or straps that angle in toward the neck instead of out toward the shoulders. And the Green fits that bill. I like the femininity of it was well. But, I was digging the uniqueness of The Slate...
Oh, enough of this. Time was ticking and I had to order by 12:00 in order to get the thing on Monday. The Green it IS! Yay!

Froo-froo FINISHED. Until next Friday.


And thanks for your input!!!

January 22, 2009

HEY ALL!!!! It's froo-froo time again! Please VOTE!

'Tis time for the
New York Life 2009 KICK-OFF DINNER and AUCTION!!!

It's the one time each year I get to go all froo-froo and sexy-like. One day of playing dress-up! Then, halfway through the night I'm chucking my high heals under the table, wishing I could rip my hose and "fancy"(read:SUPER UNCOMFORTABLE) bra off of my body, and getting all raccoon eyed because I touched them, forgetting I have mascara on. Such a classy gal!

As usual, I've waited till the last minute and all the prom kiddies have scoured Anchorage free of all it's decent gowns. I'm forced to just pick and order through Nordys. So. Here are some gowns that I pretty much dig. Waddaya think? I really don't want to wear black-EVERYONE wears black. Last year I wore a gorgeous wine colored gown and stood out-something I usually don't like to do, but I dug it that time cuz I was a rebel. And all that black was just ridiculous. This year I was hoping for an emerald or deep purple dress. But, alas, none to be found.

Come on cyber friends and lurkers(now's the time to come out of the etheric) and cast a vote and/or a comment! Get out your magnifying glass and have a look-see at the wee froo-froos below and vote on the side bar which one you think I should wear! (If it helps in the visualization process, I'm 5'7 and a size 8 and will wear my hair down. If it cooperates.)
BEHOLD! Oh, and HURRY UP! I've got to order by FRIDAY!!! Alterations, you know...
Thanks so much!
*UPDATE-Also, keep in mind the boogieability! I must be able to cut a rug in the thing. And, I think I'm NOT digging the red at all now. I hate red. Think Nancy Regan. I wanted this to dress to be wine and over night it did NOT miraculously turn into wine. So scratch it.


kickoff - by runninL8 on (if you want to see the bigger pics)

January 20, 2009



The dawning of new hope: President Barak Obama

Flashback, November 4th:

Forever emblazoned in my mind:

Standing with my husband in the middle of Times Square in my bare feet (blisters. Par for the course for me in New York City) engulfed in the throngs of humanity.
All waiting and watching at the bottom of towering monoliths baring the images of two men, a cacophony of numbers-maddening!- advertisements incandescencia, and RED, WHITE and BLUE.

30 minutes later, back at the hotel room, expecting the election to go on a few more hours. I was entering the bathroom when they called it. Shocked, I jumped back on the bed with the Huz. We watched Jessie Jackson cry, a zaftig lady with a glorious face bursting with emotion jumping up and down, and hordes of people -arms and banners and hands fisted in triumph, raised in the air. After about 10 minutes of stunned silence I let it all out. With the tears: The fear, the agonizing, the clenched solar plexus, the disgust and disappointment in our Governor-in our President-in our Government, the waiting and waiting, the rallies, the powerful and ingenious signs, the blogging/ers- spreading the words, images and videos. The wonderful camaraderie shared and friends made...And the blossoming of hope and anticipation. Pride. Faith in the people. A restoration of STRENGTH.

In one hour HE'S IN.

You have a hard long road ahead, Mr. President. I wish you Godspeed and "the courage to change the things you can".


*Camile Conte! I hope you're havin' the time of your life down in DC!!!!! xoxo

January 17, 2009


What utterly nasty-ass weather. Ick.
And Bleh.

Our poor snowman!!! We just built him Thursday afternoon and this is what he looked like on yesterday's brave 1/2 hour excursion outside to slip around on our asses play. I shudder to think of what he looks like today... I thought it might be a good idea to go out and get some fun out of this ugly bummer weather. Not sure if you can tell from the pics, but there were actually little rivulets running down our driveway of ice. Everything was dirty and melty and dripping including Lo and I after sliding down the driveway a few times sans sled.

A luge. Just plain blech. There's NO WAY we're getting the cars up the driveway until we pay to have it graveled or spring comes and melts it all. In fact, no one in the neighborhood was able to get in or out of their driveways, let alone up our street to the main road off the mountain. Abandoned vehicles all around the street. Creepy. Let's move on to a better more cool and clear time. Say, Tuesday and the few days leading up to it. (Here is Nanook of the North, freezing)

Tuesday, Dea played hookie from school and while Gramma spent some one on one time with Lo, we (Dea, Huz and I)drove down to Alyeska Resort for some downhill skiing. The rain started on the drive in and it was spitting at the base of the mountain but up higher we still had snow. Wet and heavy snow. Ungroomed. But, to our surprise, we all did quite well skiing and had a great time!

Earlier in the week, Gramma and I came to school with Lo and spent the day in her class.
Gramma really enjoyed seeing what a day in Waldorf is like and Lo loved having her there. Most of Gramma's visit was filled with playing outside, snow shoeing, shopping and eating out, and just relaxing inside.

Dea's best friend, K who lives next door, gave us her Mouse Trap game-I hadn't played that in YEARS! We had a fun time playing that and Blockus by the fire one evening.

This Jabba the Hut lookin' thing is a King Cake-eaten at Mardi Gras. The kind folks at Cafe Croissant gave it to us after making one too many.
Yeah, I know, that was random...

January 16, 2009

Batten down the hatches!!!!

OK? So, within a 2 day period, we went from an unusual 2 weeks of -15 temps to +40ish with crazy 100 MPH wind and rain. It was pretty trippy waking up in the middle of the night to see the trees outside blowing sideways. Today is the 3rd SNOW DAY in a row -unprecedented for this part of Alaska!!! ONE snow day a school year is rare. But 3 in a row?!?!?! With Dea playing hookie on Tuesday to go skiing with us at Alyeska and an in service coming up on Monday, she'll have had another week long vacation!
Wind warning issued for Turnagain Arm, HillsideThe National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for Turnagain Arm and Anchorage's Upper Hillside starting Friday morning. The warning is in effect from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, with southeast 50 mph with gusts 75 to 100 mph, the Weather Service said. Gusts of 50 mph are expected in east Anchorage through the afternoon, and very heavy winds are expected on the Hillside and Turnagain Arm through much of the evening.

Gramma D got to experience the full gamut of our weather on her trip and she took off safely for New Jersey yesterday morning. We've been laying fairly low this whole time. On Wednesday we lazed around with Gramma. We ventured out late afternoon to hit the mall and then check her into her hotel room downtown. She figured she would stay closer to the airport that night in case the weather worsened. She had an early flight the next morning and didn't want to drag us out of bed. Huz met up with us at the hotel and we all went out for a nice dinner at Cafe Croissant.

Afterward we goofed around in Gramma's hotel room, turning off all the lights and taking "blind" pictures. Gee, have you noticed Lo's tongue? Ya know when your Grandmother always said ,"Your face is going to freeze that way!!!" when you made faces? 'Tis true.

Dig the reflection over her head!
We said a sad goodbye and braved the roads for home.

Yesterday was spent baking, playing outside in the wind and swiftly melting snow, making a snowman, and making upcycled Shrinky Dinks.

Have a plethora of #6 plastic containers hanging around?! Cut them up, decorate with colored sharpies, and throw in the oven for 2-3 minutes at 350. A fun and creative way to utilize all that plastic.

I screwed up and actually used some #1 plastic that turned white in the oven but didn't really shrink-it just curled a lot. Stay away from the #1. We made the usual and I also I attempted to make a couple rings as well as some beads by cutting tapered pieces,

coloring them, and once they were hot, using a pot holder to wrap the plastic around the nose of jewelry pliers. It took some experimentation, but they turned out very pretty .

Would have been better, I'm sure, if I hadn't used #1! Some other fun things to do with your plastic HERE. You can incorporate your shrinky dinks into this cool mosaic idea.

Today we'll finally be taking down our Holiday decorations(!). We kept them up so that Gramma D could see them-but I'm ready to have my house back! I'd really like to watch this YouTube vid and learn how to use the drop spindle that Santa brought us. We'll go outside and try to make some ice slides as well as check to see if our snowman is still in one piece! And I think a nice cuddle on the couch with a movie is in order! I suppose we should come up with a back-up plan in case we lose power.... I always feel a (disturbing) sense of peace and relief when the power goes off. There are times when I just wish we could flip a switch to cut the power from the house for awhile. It's amazing how quiet it gets!

January 11, 2009

Toes and truffles

I can honestly say not a day goes by that I don't take pause and thank the universe for blessing me with such a wonderful family. Even when I'm crabbing about teens leaving junk on the floor or 4 year olds who aren't "using their words". I love my sweet handsome hunny and my 2 kiddos beyond measure. And as much as the past has been heart crushing at times for my Dea and for Huz and I, I am so thankful that fate played out the way it did and that God has given me the gift of her and the honor of being her mother. 2 years ago yesterday I adopted Dea.


Adoption day '07 at the courthouse and the celebration with friends afterward.

For our anniversary, we try to do a little something special to mark the day. This year I thought it would be fun to indulge in Chocolate and pedicures. After her flute choir rehearsal, we ventured over to the much worshipped chocolate lounge that you may have read about here before, Modern Dwellers. Chocolate Heaven (or Hell, depending on your point of view!). They have a vast array of truffles and someone there really gets off on mixing some unorthodox flavors! I had been planning on getting the Tokyo Tango: Ginger and wasabi ganache with nori and ginger on top since our last visit. Dea got the pretty Raspberry with the purple iridescent powder on top. *We also got a couple cups of the coveted drinking chocolate. I got my usual Mayan Spicy and Dea got the Dark Silk. To Die From. After getting our stuff to go and chatting with our good friend who happened to walk in, we took off to get our toesies pampered. Here are the before shots: PU!

A work of art! Lookit those things!!!!And this kid's got some big ass big toes!
And the afters!

Ahh, relief...easy on the eyes now.

Our drinking chocolates were earth shattering as usual. As you can see, I thouroughly enjoyed mine.
I had considered riping the cup open to lick it clean, but decided that some restraint and decorum was appropriate modeling for my teen(who can belch longer and louder than me at times). Sadly BOTH of our truffles sucked. They must have been old or something because even though chocolate and wasabi together are a weird thing, the raspberry still should have been yummy. Good thing we were still floating on the ecstasy of the drinks and our foot massages to care too much.

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Pedicures never last long enough, and we donned our groovy pedi sandals, braved to sub zero temps through the parking lot and headed home to Grandma who had been hanging with Lo and Huz all afternoon. We came home to our awesome new kitchen faucet!!! I know, I know, too exciting to handle. Later in the evening we all celebrated the day together with a fantastic dinner at Villa Nova. It was really nice to have my mom along on this special day.

And Dea, girlie, I love you beyond the sky, beyond the stars and Thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis MUCH!

*Raspberry Grove Photo by ModernDwellers