June 28, 2011

Russian River 2011: The Fishing!

We're baaaaaaaack!  Succeeeeeeeee-eeessssss!!!!  On many levels!  What a fekkin BLAST it was!  Fish in the river....food...and a bunch of friends coming and going...I definitely could have gone a few more days in the peaceful beauty of that magical place!

There was more action on the river this year than last year...but still not the usual load of sockeye salmon coming through.  (Scary to think why that may be....)  The first day was crankin', with all of  us limiting out with 3 reds each.  Even Willa caught one!  We fished up river which is much more preferable to the CHAOS on the Confluence of the Russian and Kenai rivers.  Quiet yet teaming with life and excitement.

The way we roll on these fishing gigs is this:  Arrive at the campground after 2 pm, explore our new territory, eat, set up rigs, jump into waders and head down to fish.  When we fish, we're out there for about 3-6 hours depending on how the fish are running.  The next moring we're up at 4am for another round  before we come back to the camp for napping, eating, goofin around.  Dylan and I trade off sleeping in with Willa in the mornings so that she doesn't have to get up that early!  Then at around 4pm we all head down for the final fishing of the day.  Next day, repeat.  All this after usually staying up past 1am eating Ray's PHENOMENAL food and enjoying the company of friends!  THE PERFECT day of fishing is getting up early, limiting out within 3 hours, and having the whole rest of the day to relax and have fun.  We didn't have any of those "perfect" days this year...the next 3 days brought me some good fight action, but no fish on.  Miles came out with 4 more and Dylan, 1.  14 in total....we didn't kill 'em but with lots of fights , it wasn't too shabby an experience either.

Next up:  Food and friends and bears, OH MY!
In action

Setting up flies

Jim's first Russian River red!

Vicki working a snag

An excited Willa hanging onto Daddy and waiting for a fish

Willa's fish

Dylan's first fish of the day

 Smoochie boochins!!!!!!

June 21, 2011

It's Russian River time!!!!!!!!

Fishing rods....Check
Rain gear-aaaaaarrrrrggghhhhh........Check
KEG of IPA from the Moose's Tooth............There sure as SHIT better be one there waiting for us to pick up this morning!!!!!!

This years trip to the Russian is turning out to be quite the shindig!!!  Looks like there will actually be about 15-16 people jammed into 2 campsites!  We always invite people to come down and camp with us...but in the past most don't show, or just come for the afternoon.   This year we REALLY "advertised", gave heads up and even asked for RSVP's.  So this is gig is gonna ROCK. 
Fish, get in mah NET!!!!
We'll report back in 4 days.....

June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Any male can father a child...but only a REAL man -with dedication and deep love beyond himself, who possesses an inherent pure joy in his children- can be a Daddy...

And I'm married to the BEST.  I love you, Father-o-my kids!!!

Happy Father's Day to the Daddys of the world!!!

* And, might I add, 'taint nothin' sexier than a man who's totally into his kids!!!  ;)

June 16, 2011

9 years!!! Happy Anniversary, Hunny Bunny!

My Love,

I have fallen in love a few times over the past years since we met .... always with you.....
You captured my heart and continue to touch my soul.  The highest I've ever been on this earth is with you, in love, exploring the ridges that surround our life...

Thank you...
for finding some perfection in my imperfections,
for valuing my voice,
for never trying to silence my thoughts..ideas 
for being there to build me up-not tear me down, 
for always being game for growth, change and new adventure,
for your patience and encouragement
for openly expressing your love and affection anytime, anywhere,
and for your genuine pride in my accomplishments.

You are my wonderful husband, always my best friend, a complete circle... forever linked with mine.  I LOVE YOU.

"Love is something eternal, the aspect may change, but not the essence." - Vincent van Gogh

June 13, 2011

My daughter KICKS ASS!!!!!

Here is a texting exchange that Dylan shared with us the other night.  All I can say is that I am SO PROUD!!!!  HELL to the YES, Girlie!!!!!

Mormon Moron:  Are you friends with  Amy and Derek ?

Dylan:  Yeah, why?

MM:  They’re Jewish.

D:  Okay? And?

MM:  I hate both of them.

D:  Wow. Last I checked, a person’s religious beliefs was not grounds to hate someone.

MM:   .....Well he’s a lot shorter than me. A lot.

D:  Well he is ALSO my best friends brother, and family to me.

MM:  He’s probably only taller than you cause of his stupid bright yellow Jew-fro.

D:  He had to die it blonde for a play. So shut the hell up and mind your own business and don’t be dissing on my friends. What is it to you that he is DIFFERENT than you and your Mormon self?

MM:  Don’t use that H word…

D:  Oh my gosh, HELL is in the freaking bible!!

MM:  Well.. okay. But I still don’t like Derek.

Dylan:  Well he’s family. And last I checked, the CHRISTIAN way was different. The fact that someone doesn’t stop talking when you RUDELY tell them to shut up, that isn’t grounds for hating someone. Jesus wouldn’t do that, would he? I may not go to church, or have any need for organized religion, but I do my research, and I know that’s not what Jesus would have done. Its bumpersticker logic, sweetheart.

I can only imagine what this kids parents are like....

Anyhoo....The following are photos from a reunion/celebration of F.A.'s life(our young friend who died) that Dylan organized via FaceBook for the kids who attended the Optional Program with F.A. in elementary school.  At the end of each school year, the Optional Program would go on a field trip to Eklutna Lake.  So that's where they decided to meet up. It wasn't a huge showing being a busy summer and all, just this group of kids and 2 of their former teachers, but it was fun and very bittersweet.  And unlike the end of year field trips, there where NO rules about playing in the ever present Eklutna mud!!!

Reminiscing and remembering F.A.

I love you over the moon and past the stars, Kiddo <3 <3 <3!!!!!!!

June 11, 2011

Made it through Thursday...

Felt the need to climb a ridge and seek the elusive sun before heading out to the memorial service.  The fog bank rose above the ridge tops by the time I got up past Bear Pass-this time, I went to the right.  It's always a surreal feeling to climb close to the cloud ceiling.  The sun, eventually, peeked out here and there.  Beautiful, none the less....

What do you see?!?!

A sweet ptarmigan chick that I almost stepped on!!!

Blue skies over Anchorage

June 9, 2011


Dylan and I getting the best out of LIFE on the Turnagain bike trail

It's about 7:30 am.  I'm watching some huge banks of fog rolling down our valley right now.  But beyond that fog I can see glimpses of sun and blue sky.  I've been dreading this day, but I also feel that perhaps it's something I NEED.  A sunny day would help, so get on your way fog...  Later today we will be attending the memorial service for a young family friend who unexpectedly died 2 weeks ago.

I feel like I've been slammed with death these past few months...   My Dad died in February, then my wonderful Uncle(Dad's brother) a few weeks ago and now, the 17 year old son of friends that we've known for 10 years...We met them through another set of friends and have enjoyed watching all our children grow together.  From little ones playing Lord of the Rings in our friend's back yard to chatty teens hanging out texting and messaging...  I'm heartbroken that Dylan has had to endure yet ANOTHER death so close to the heart...her little girl crush.

It has all left me blindsided...I've found myself unexpectedly and uncharacteristically anxiety prone, down, and often, at night, pre-occupied and sleepless with thoughts of my own mortality and that of my family....  I've been experiencing some physical problems as well.

I'm determined to keep my head above water, ride out these rough waves, and find the shore again...

The sudden death of our young friend-a parent's worse nightmare, oh, my god-as tragic as it is, has brought with it a resurgence of a dire need to LIVE and live STRONG.  Just as with the death a couple years ago of our friend, Bret, I have a strong need to live life more fully, passionately  for myself and for my family. 

 Think of all those situations that come up when someone says,"Hey, wouldn't it be crazy, fun, outrageous, etc, if we did such and such?!"  And you think,"Yeah, that WOULD be wild....but...".  But you don't bother doing it?  I, actually WE, Dylan and I, -she started it- have decided this will be the Summer of saying,"What the fuck!" and GOING for it!   Well, not in those exact terms...   And we're draggin' everyone else with us.  Not that we are a mundane family at all, but we're stepping out of our stable cozy COMFORT zones and we are LIVING STRONG.  (Thank you, Lance Armstrong for the fantastic mantra "Livestrong"!!!) 

"Look at that waterfall!  I'm goin' in it!!!".  "ME TOO!!!".  
"Hey, you dare me to sit in the ice cold river?!?"  "DO IT!!!"
"Mommy, wouldn't it be crazy if we hiked up Celtic Harp, Bear Pass, AND to the bridge in ONE day?"  "Yeah!  Let's try it!!!"

Nothing dangerous, nothing too risky...just getting out of that comfort zone, going for all those little "what if we"s, and experiencing more of LIFE- with appetite and relish!

In the face of death I can either wither or face it by living the best I can...LIVE each day to the FULLEST.  Life, so fragile, can sometimes be TOO short. My friends, don't take it for granted, get out there and live it STRONG.  Turn off the screens more often, rise from the couch, get back in your body and get OUT.  DO good, BE good to each other, and EXPERIENCE and savor LIFE

Dylan dipping into the South Fork of Eagle River on our hike

Brave Willa giving it a go!

Me in Eagle Lake!  This was actually last summer, but the impetus of The Summer of "What the fuck".   Which is more like the summer of "Wet and cold!"

Imagine...we could have passed this experience up for fear of being temporarily cold and wet.....

June 7, 2011


Our FAV...skirt steak and garlic roasted potatoes
Rack of lamb...we now eat this when Willa is not around!  It was only recently that she finally realized what this was!
Fillet Mignon medallions wrapped in bacon with Gorgonzola on top...

Halibut on the grill-I make the BEST halibut burgs and grilled veggies EVER!
Grilled salmon in a spicy pineapple sauce

Chicken Enchillasagna!!!
Not every weekend is a beef/baby lamby fest.  As two former vegetarians(My max was 1 year.  Miles, a few years), we treat it like a delicacy... a treat.  We also rock the pasta, pizza, tacos and we're big fans of burgers, i.e. Garden, Black Bean Chipotle, Salmon, etc.  During the week it's mostly seafood, much of it caught by us-which is always such a rewarding feeling.

June 6, 2011

Impromptu hike past Bear Pass

Powered up Bear Pass in 20 minutes....continued to the top of the ridge to the right of the pass in another 20 minutes.  Drank water, made water, then ran/slipped back down in 30 minutes.  Glad I could fit a hike in on this sunny day - the weather is supposed to change to SHIT for the rest of the week.  A good dose of burning quads and pounding heart...vitamin D and a brisk cool wind...taking in that vast view of life and beauty-flora, fauna, and humans doing life down in those tiny houses.  My battery is CHARGED to ride out that rain if it comes!

Almost to the top

Heading back down towards Bear Pass
I've been cooking up a lot of great dinners during the work week lately...recipes that I've gleaned and tweaked from the 2 fitness mags I read,Oxygen and Muscle and Fitness HERS.   These light fresh meals leave me feeling FANTASTIC-full, satisfied and ALIVE .  They are packed with good lean protein, whole grains, fruits and veggies...in the yummiest combinations.  I've been going all out on fresh herbs and seasonings as well.  Very fun to play with and they make a drab "health conscious" meal roar with flavor.

Weekends, however...  THAT is our time for pasta, homemade pizza, and beef heavy meals, (THAT will be a whole other post!)  But I will admit, as much as I LOVE that stuff, it never leaves me feeling...VIBRANT.   More like,"Oh, my JEEZUS that was NUMMY!!!!   That shit was SO.........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz."
Last night's dinner