June 29, 2009

The waiting is the hardest part....

After a LONG wait... and ripping 1 link per day off of our LONG countdown chain ,

we're finally down to our last link!

Dea arrives home from Europe tonight!!!!

* A post about our Russian River trip coming soon!

June 21, 2009

Merry Solstice, Happy Father's Day, and a visit with Mom-in-law

Busy, busy, busy...

(Lo's new bed frame)

Since Dea left for Europe(She's having a great time despite teen drama-that'll be another post..)we've been under construction (new heating system), went without heat/hot h20 for a few days, had the new heaters leak water all over the carpets....we've been working on Lo's new twin sized bed frame-it's going to be a cool loft(a tutorial post?!) Lo both enjoyed and endured a week of day camp-her first stint in a full day program(that'll be yet another post), I went on some much needed multi-hour hikes up onto the ridges around our valley, we just had a lovely 3 day visit with my mother-in-law and her friend Evelyn-lot's of homemade food, card playing and debating... they just left to head back to Florida.

(Movie and a nap while the adults play Hand and Foot)

And now we are headed to the Russian River once again for salmon fishing(for last year's Russian events and crafts read HERE). There are tons coming through so they upped the daily limit from 3 fish to 6!!!! I'm hoping the weather is better on the Kenai Peninsula then it has been here this past week! We'll see what's in store this year: Bears?! Combat fishing? Fun crafts to make in our spare time? Good friends and eats? Much exploring? Let's hope! I'll fill you in when we get back! Until then,


Lo and I made a little birch bark house in the garden for the Solstice Faeries to visit. We set their table with plates of sugared violets that we picked. On Solstice morning, Lo found that they had left her a sweet little flower fairy to play with! ;)

June 16, 2009

Ma-widge!!!! 7 years with my sweetheart!

Cue Kissel singing "Happy Anniversary!" (FF to 01:10)

Huz and I have been hitched 7 years today! We celebrated last Saturday since it sucks to have your anniversary during the week. Our ideal celebration was to go for a killer few hour hike, come home and shower and head out to a romantic dinner. But, alas, no childcare to be found. And since the Mom-in-law is here for a visit this weekend, we'll have to put off the hike for a few weeks. So off we went with Lo in tow to a nice little Italian place in town. Not the most romantic time but we'll make up for it at some point.

Found a nice hubby-meme to share for the occasion:

1. What is something your husband always says to you? Never a day goes by when he doesn’t say “I love you”. Oh, and there’s, ”Yeah, I know. You’re the SUPERIOR one.” (see #25 )
2. How does your husband make you laugh? With his quick and quirky sharp whit! By laughing with me so that our own laughter just intensifies each others. I love losin’ it with him to the point of laughing soundlessly, tears pouring out, grasping onto each other for dear life!
3. What was your husband like as a child? StarTrek playing, nature loving, sweet hearted, helpful and sensitive
4. What is his favorite thing to do? See #15, play his guitar, play outside, go fishin’, create, socialize with friends…June 12ths hike.
5. What does your husband do when you're not around? Sit in misery, meditating upon my return-what else?!?! See # 4
6. If your husband becomes famous, what will it be for? Teaching and motivating. Or his killer baking and pastries.
7. What is your husband really good at? Anything he does. Really! He has lots of inherent talents and whatever else he lacks in talent he makes up for with drive and determination. And he’s great at being a husband and daddy.
8. What is your husband not very good at? Cutting loose toxic people. Even when once bitten, he still wants to help the mongrel. He’s a loyal man who truly wants to find the good in people. I adore him for that but also worry for him.
9. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? From a lying down standpoint? He does.
10. Who mows the lawn? Lawn! We have no lawn. We have TUNDRA!!!! He weed-whacks, but I’m gonna take on that job so I can give our property a fanciful whimsical cut.
11. What does your husband do for a job? He is a financial advisor for New York Life. NOT his true calling in life but he busts his ass and is doing very well-shooting for the end result of NOT having to bust his ass ever again, all so that he can spend more time with his family and have time to pursue his own interests and enjoy life MORE.
12. What is your husband's favorite food? Pasta + seafood+ a yummy sauce = happy Huz. Skirt steak is right up there, too.
13. What makes you proud of your husband? Holy shit-SO much. His capacity to love deeply, loyalty, mind, whit, drive, #11, responsibility for himself-family-and the environment, open-mindedness, I could go on….. His smile lights up a room...
14. If your husband were a cartoon character, who would he be? Rikkitkkitavi
15. What do you and your husband do together? We are definitely kindred spirits-each other’s split-apart and we have many of the same passions-mainly we just love to drink up LIFE together-caring for and MOVING the bodies the Universe gave us, playing outside in the wilderness, growing things-veggies, flowers, KIDS-, making things, and topping it all off with good food, wine, friends and movies. We also have our own individual interests and do a great job giving each other the space to experience those things.
16. How are you and your husband different from each other? He is very responsible and able to run the household better than I do. My ADD and distractibility makes those qualities hard to achieve. He takes on the weight of the world but I just push it off!
17. What does your husband like most about you? “love and wonder of life, your laugh, your simple way of being, and of course, you are very beautiful!” ~blush!
18. Where is your husband's favorite place to go? Up. Into the mountains. Or out on the water in the kayaks. Huz just said,” In your arms/between your …..” DOH!
19. When was your first intimate kiss? July 2000 after our first date.
20. How many girlfriends did he have in the past? A few girlfriends, a marriage too young, a disturbed and vexed ex….. and me-his only WOMAN.
21. What is the most romantic thing he’s ever done? Honestly there’s just too many… He paid for my best friend to fly out here from NY to go shopping with me for a wedding dress!
I’m truly blessed to have a man who say’s the most beautiful things to me almost on a daily basis. It’s almost intimidating to hear the way he puts his feelings for me into words….He sometimes takes the sentiments out of my own mouth and sometimes I feel that I can’t match him without sounding like I just regurgitated his lovely words! He recently wrote:” You are my living work of art and we are very lucky to have you in our lives.”
22. What makes your husband happy? Being with his family –diving into the experience of life with full force.
23. What makes your husband sad? Other people’s sadness, watching our earth dying, how humankind treats one another, thinking back on how lonely he was in his 20’s and the choices he made.
24. Describe how you proposed. We embarked on a sea kayaking trip out in Blackstone bay. We paddled to the glaciers to watch them calve. It was drizzling and the sight of those glaciers was just awe inspiring. We floated next to each other and I reached over and handed him my grandmother's diamond ring. i implored him not to drop it and proceeded to ask him to marry me! It was the PERFECT place and moment! :)
(not my photo. Photobucket image)
25. Who is smarter? Well, now, it’s a known FACT that my intelligence placed in the SUPERIOR range when tested by a neuropsych, so…..ahem-ahem.
We are both bright in complimenting and different areas, which is great because we can cover just about any subject that way. We overlap, clarify and enhance each other.
26. Who does the dishes? WEEEEEEEEE! That’s what 13 YEAR OLDS are for!!!!!
27. Who cooks dinner? I used to be SOOO intimidated by Huz in the kitch. But….The kitchen is MINE now during the week and Huz cooks on the weekends. Usually. We both kick ass in the kitchen as long as we aren’t in there together!

28. Who drives when you are together? He does. It’s automatic-not sure why this is…..
29. Who is more stubborn? Yeah…that would be me.
30. Who kissed who first? He asked if he could kiss me after our first date. Sweet-n-sexeh!
31.Who wears the pants in the family? We both do-just different “brands” and “sizes”, yanno?!
32. What was the first thing your husband said to you? ”Hey, your co-workers came by looking for you the other day. They were worried because you haven’t been to work! ( I had skipped out of town for a few days on a whim to travel down to Colorado! What a bastion of responsibility I was! GREAT first impression!)
33. Did you have a long or short courtship/engagement? We were best buddies for 7 YEARS. We courted for a year and where engaged for 9 months.
34. Who eats more sweets? It’s a team effort.
35. What surprises you about your relationship since you’ve been together? I don’t think this directly answers this question but I am very surprised by how routine, fixed and flat other couples seem within their relationships. At soccer games, restaurants, out shopping, school functions, work functions….99% of the people we see only appear to be “together” because they are in close proximity to each other. Huz and I are NOT into gratuitous displays of affection, but we hug, hold hands, smile, laugh, touch, tease each other and most importantly LOOK into each other when talking. We are constantly surprised-and saddened- to see such a LACK of all that when observing other people. We are such a contrast, it seems. And we have vowed never to lose that. To become so mechanical and complacent within our relationship would be such a loss. I’m glad our children are witness to our love for each other and we wish this for all couples.

June 5, 2009


(No, you have NOT stumbled upon some teens myspace page....)

We sent our eldest on a plane to Europe early this morning(well, Denver, and then to Europe on Tuesday with a delegation of kids.) Finally, after 2 years of fundraising, saving almost everything she made baking, babysitting, and working in Huz's office, and painstakingly handling all the details, Dea is on her way to Greece(sigh), Italy, and France. She was nominated 2 years ago to become a student ambassador with People to People and travel abroad, learning about cultures/teaching about ours. We are so incredibly proud of her. Of her determination, her steadfastness, willpower, open mindedness, and moxy. My little girlie is growing up into a wonderful young woman. Wasn't it just yesterday that she was this smilin'est little thing, loving to be held, Oh. here I go....

I'm back. Little verklempt. Our home will have an empty nebulous space while she is gone. 24 days. The longest we've all been apart from each other. Poor Lo started fretting about this 2-3 months ago...If this is hard...holy shit! what are we gonna do when she goes to college?!?!? Ugh. I'm vacillating between excitement for her, nervousness, JEALOUSY!!!! ;), and a total funk. She deserves to have the time of her life and I know she will. I wish WE were the ones taking her-experiencing it as a family, but it's hard to tell when we could make that happen. I'm a big advocate of the "Travel when your YOUNG!" club, so I'm thankful and so glad we could make this happen for her, NOW. And we'll look forward to future family trips abroad....I'm sending the intention out to the universe..and now I'm gonna go down into the bowels of the basemennt and dig up my old travel guides....

Last weekend we held a Bon Voyage party/Summer BBQ with many friends young and old(er). It was the first kegger either Huz or I have ever thrown!

Usually it's a time for Huz to showcase his home brew, but with the cost of hops these days....fuggetabout it. Despite the fact that it was chilly and too windy for the bonfire or fire pit, everyone seemed to have a fun time. Dea invited a few friends to stay and sleepover as well. It's times like these when I pause to give thanks for the wonderful friends we have and the support they have shown in this and many other situations. ...Girlie, as imperfect as we all can be, I hope you never doubt for an instant how much you are loved... oh. here I go again...

Good buds:

2 of Dea's former teachers-cum-family friends came, too!

Could you just KILL for those lashes?!?!? Dea, M( Dea's future teacher!), and M's beautiful bambino.

Well, one simply MUST get a Fronch manicure if one is traveling in Fronce, oui?!?!?!

...We love you beyond the stars...

June 4, 2009

Now, from the bottom looking up!

We decided to fit in a nice long mommy/daughters hike up our valley yesterday to have some quality together time since Dea leaves for Europe TOMORROW(!!!). It was a hazy but bright warm day with a welcome breeze. It was Lo's longest hike yet. 8 miles out to "table rock-the table of the GODS!" A huge flat rock perfect for having your lunch, taking a siesta, playing, or all of the above. The complaints were minimal and totally expected for such a long day of it, but Lo held up like a trooper and we all had lots of fun exploring on our adventure.

Here is a photo taken from the big pond looking back at Harp mountain and it's 3 "humps" leading to the top:

And here's a photo of last week's Celtic Harp hike and the view up our valley. You can see several ponds and 2 lakes at the end:

Finally! Heading in to our goal-Table Rock

Blueberry blossoms, cinquifoil, Lichen heart, spruce needles, Labrador tea(yum!):

Heading back down the valley toward home and well deserved burgers and Mac!

June 2, 2009

Honoring the minutiae

One day last week we woke up to another warm cloudless day . Lo had the great idea of taking our yoga mats out onto the deck to "do some poses in the sunshine- OUTSIDE!". But I did her one better and suggested that we take our mats and a picnic on a hike to "do some poses in the sunshine- WAY UP ON THE SIDE OF Harp MOUNTAIN!!!!!". She was all for it. True to form, she donned her pretty pink fairy dress and powered like a tank with me up to the top of Celtic Harp-the first hump on the ridge leading to the top of Harp, and just the right amount of climb for a 5 year old...
Going for the "summit push" ;)
I've said it many times before-as it should be-that in some way I give thanks for this unbelievable place we live in everyday. Whether it's a simple Thank You out to the universe or a day of "worshiping in this church" (i.e., a few hours of loosing myself out in it and reveling in it all).
I reach for the perfect words to describe the soul expanding magnificence of this hanging valley surrounded by Chugach National Forrest. To watch our mountainous terrain continuously transform throughout the seasons is like witnessing the alchemy of gods. To go forth into it-from the bottom of the valley looking up at the monoliths around... or to traverse it's high ridges and look down upon its fecund floor... or across it for miles beyond is the experience of feeling both minuscule and infinite at the same time.

In all this vastness, one can easily forget the wonderful exquisiteness that lay at our feet-no higher than the tops of our shoes. On our hike up Celtic Harp we were excited to find that the higher we went, the more tiny surprises there were to be discovered as we looked to the ground. Dustings of soft colors rising from the rock, brush, and mountain "driftwood"-a delight to see this early on-white mountain avens, a little snow gnome with a lichen beard, rocks shaped like continents,yellow tundra rose, purple oxytrope, fuzzy arctic willow, pink alpine azaleas, and lichen. Busy woolly bear caterpillars, spiders and lavender moths. Soft winter ptarmigan feathers discarded in the spring-a reminder of the white snow that so recently blanketed these slopes.
Our journey up was contrast of macro and telephoto.

The little things

Releasing a ptarmigan feather and a wish into the wind. Prayer flag style.
The descent and view down our valley toward Knik Arm
Upon our return home we looked back at our route from the deck and saw that we were tailed by a rainstorm. It produced the most shatteringly loud thunder I think I have ever heard! Two nimrods who had decided to hike to the top of a mountain across the valley from us(the highest peek in the pic above) to watch the storm come in were zapped by lightening. I always tell my kids,"NEVER UNDERESTIMATE HOW QUICKLY THE WEATHER CAN CHANGE!!!!!". Now I can add,"and don't go seeking out inclement weather in the places it's most likely to strike with deadly force!!!! DUH!!!".
Those 2 eejits were lucky to survive...
I have so much gratitude for that stunning day and that my little one and I made it home before this hit...