February 28, 2009

Searching for the ....oh, I can't even find the word I need

It's been hard to find the time (a desire) to blog this past week or so. From what I read on other blogs, many people are either excited with new signs of spring, or they are feeling the February blahs. For me it's the blahs. Not in the sense of feeling down or blue, just not motivated and inspired like I felt over the holidays. I guess it's par for the course this time of year. The after-the-holidays cool down so to speak, getting sick of winter-ish themes to explore with Lo, while at the same time still loving getting out and playing in the snow. The weather this past week has been glorious-cloudless blue skies and bright regenerating sunshine. Perfect for going on runs, honing our skate skiing skills, Nordic skiing, and birdwatching.

Yesturday getting a nice snowstorm with 6 inches of powder down in the valleybut only 1.5 here. We need MORE!!! It's much need for re-establishing our snow slides in the yard. Today, again with the blazing sun and 5 degrees! Oooooh, my vitamin D.
I've a bunch ideas swirling in my head but just lack the organization and focus to make them reality. So far, we've been decorating some old cans from the recycling bin to use for herb starts and we plan on trying out other eco friendly ideas for veggie and flower starts.

I'm trying to get excited about our up coming growing season, but's that's summer and I know our spring is SOOOOO far off. Lo's been interested in both birds and volcanoes lately. Oh, and then there's germs. And bacterium. And the difference between them...poor kiddo was sick with a fever for 2 days-thus the interest. So I'm digging around for info on that and dreaming up fun ideas. Or trying to. I found a list of the birds known to frequent our neck of the woods and we've been checking off the ones we're seeing around the house. We've been watching our bird friends at the feeder as well. Right now there's been a TON of Redpolls out there!
(so cute the way they fluff up in the cold)

Lo's getting used to the "real" binoculars and loves watching out our big windows. So do these guys:
I'd like to make a photo mosaic of all the birds we tally. I've spent a lot of time online looking for the perfect birdfeeders to make to compliment what we already have, as well as volcano info and activities that are on Lo's level. This morning Huz and I introduced Lo to the Dutch Oven. Fun was had by all! Well, me and Huz. Lo...not so much. Especially after last night's garlicy pizza.
I think a part of my stagnation this past week or so is that there is SO much info online and elsewhere to mull over that I get over-saturated and go into shut off mode.

(Lo discovered a fun way to lay out her clothes for the next day!)
I've been spending more personal time playing with my camera, re-visiting my old photo mags and books, and perusing the net for inspiration. PBase and PixiPort are great places to see some really spectacular work. I've also been making a lot more time for reading. I LOVE to read and after having the leisure to read (and finish!) The Red Tent(AMAZING book) on my vacation, I just can't get enough. I just finished Rabbit Run by Updike and I've now I've got The Alchemist and The Story of Lucy Gault going simultaneously. I'll blog more about books at a later time.
(We've been enjoying the game Fairy Finds-a cooperative game where kids try to help the fairies build a fairy ring with objects found in the forest before the troll can steal them away. And the litle findings are so cute! Dew drops, blue birds, acorns, and toadstools.)

I just need the time and focus to pull all of this jumble out of my head and get a coherent timeline going. When I think of this I'm re-minded of when I wake up in the morning to discover that the cats have gotten into my yarn and COMPLETELY unraveled a ball-dragged it through the house, and entertwined it through everything likie a spider web. That mess is like my brain. And I have to painstakingly(after swearing at the cat's) gather it all up and roll it into a nice tight ball again. Ahhh, life with ADD. Never a dull moment. And I have a TON to write about that.....
(The car wash with the tri-colored soap-always a favorite.)

February 20, 2009

Random Pictures Friday

February 16, 2009

Florida sucked. So vacation elsewhere.

No more obligatory trips to see in laws in Florida for me. I would rather have "vacationed" in the volcano. I'm CONVINCED my husband was adopted. No way did my sweet man come from those people. After 7 years of pleasant relations with my mother-in-law, I've now been relegated to the Hated Wives/ExWives Club. I always new it was just a matter of time until mom-in-law perceived some sort of "power" shift within the relationship-and then it was all over.
I returned to Alaska shaken, stirred and really disturbed. I've been decompressing ever since.

We spent a day in Vero Beach visiting my dad. It was horrible. Horrible because the man I knew is just about gone. He's riding the cusp of the inability to take care of himself. He's not quite there yet and there is not much I can do. Where did Raphael Raymondo go? I've gone on a maddening wild goose chase making phone calls to see what kind of aid is available to him. Thanks SO MUCH Veteran's Association-thanks for cutting loose our elders who served. Meals on Wheels. One meal a day. That's it. Anything else comes out of pocket ...and the pocket is EMPTY.
My dad was so happy to see us and finally meet his youngest grandchild. He was sweeter than he's ever been but so loopy due to bi-polar meds. It was a rough visit for all of us but I can't thank Huz enough for making it happen and my whole family for enduring through it. Lo was a little clueless but Dea was a patient trooper. The icing on the cake was when we went for a swim in my dad's community's pool. Of COURSE, the heater was broken that day. We stubbornly bit the bullet and got in. Thank GOD for the hot tub next to it. I think I shivered more on this trip than I ever have in Alaska.

The trip afforded some lovely moments, mainly having the 4 of us together for 10 days. No long work days for Huz-no school for the kids. The 2nd half of our trip brought us out of very chilly temps and into, finally, our tank tops and shorts. It sucked living in the same outfits for 4 days since we didn't bring additional cold weather clothes. We were able to do a bit of beach combing, a walk in Mayaka Park, mini golf with a dear friend, a couple runs in the AM with Huz, and ,finally, on the last day, an afternoon at the beach and a trip to the aquarium with my girls. These little tastes of outside and light and freedom only made me crave more. A sweet relative (Kory O'Carroll, you're AWESOME) came to the rescue and let us borrow her car that day, otherwise this suffocating caged wild animal would have found herself in the nearest padded room.

...The smell of the fecund ocean, the sound of her waves, her cold water engulfing my body...soothing me with her rhythms. She gave us gifts that day. 5 perfect sand dollars when I had hoped to maybe luck out and find ONE, a visit from some dolphins, and bunches of holystones! ...The blast of hot sun and light recharging me....

I had needed this SO MUCH. More than I thought until I was actually out in it with time to relax and enjoy it. I LOVE Alaska, but after an unusually cold dark summer and schizo winter, I craved warmth, sunshine and exertion. If only for a few days. Once rejuvenated, I could endure whatever else the weather gods had to offer. I was so thankful for this one day at the beach. But I'm so sad we didn't have more...

Florida sucks ass, by the way. It's a swampy, rednecky, racist, miserable state that makes me sneeze the second I touch down. Sure, there are a few beautiful beach areas to visit-IF you don't venture anywhere beyond), and if you're richer than Croesus and have a house right on the beach, things could be dandy for you in FLA. IF you just stay in your house. Otherwise it's strip malls, cement walls or Podunkville. And water that tastes like ass. I HATE Florida. Oh, and teeny tiny red ants that bite and leave you itching 2 weeks later.

Give me Mexico any day.

I'm coming back to reality now, safe in my own home. Head clearing, heart lifting.

Some of those GOOD moments:

Sunset walk with wonderful relatives on Siesta Key Beach(What FANTASTIC LIGHTING!!!)

Road trip to dad's. The beautiful but freezing pool.

Family/friends reunion on Siesta Key

The cuzs

Mini Golf

Beachcombing and wind on Lido Beach

Mayaka State Park

More windy beachcombing on Siesta Key. Lo is NEVER cold. She dunked in the water. EVERYONE knew we were from out of town.

Petting Mantas! at the Mote Marine Aquarium

Our wonderful day at Lido Beach. Post seagull attack. They didn't just beg, they effing landed on and snatched my girls's sandwiches!!! So Hitchcockian!

OOOOO. See those sunburned strips of tush along the edge of Lo's swimsuit? oooooooooooo.

Ahhhhhhh. Blessed be.......