July 29, 2013

Yesterday was a SCORCHER!

A "Scorcher" here in Alaska counts as the high 80's-and we're talking heat from solar radiation, not necessarily the true temperature which was probably, like, 73.  But for an Alaskan to RUN in those temps when we're used to training in overcast summers in the low 60's....holy SHIT was that a brutal 6.5 mile run Miles and I did.  Doesn't help that I've only run twice in the last month and a half since spraining my ankle....
We ran from the house to the bridge and back...with my obligatory yet very welcome dip in the 40-ish degree waters of the glacier fed South Fork river.  Despite a shower at home, we never really cooled off.  We cleared objects away from the house to prep for the staining/painting that's planned, Miles weed wacked, we got our gear ready for the Salmonstock road trip this Thursday, and at 0'beer:30 we had a beer -me, bikini top clad-on the deck where the temps rose to 95 against the house, sweat dripping down my legs, so we headed back inside like a couple of total pussies.  I can't wait until we expand the deck out from the house where it would have been 10 degrees cooler, as well as have room for our table and umbrella.  Assuming, of course, that we'll have more summers like this one!

Hot, hazy, tuff 6.5 mile run on the South Fork trail with my hunny.  Posing kickin' it in the river for about 3 seconds before body starts to not function right!

Whew! Almost 71 degrees in the shade and 95.5 sitting on the deck

July 28, 2013

No dormancy here.

35 days so far this summer where our temperatures have reached over 70+ degrees!  Looking back at the last 3 dismal summers, that number never exceeded 9.  We are definitely taking MUCH pleasure in it!  I think this has been the fullest summer I've experienced since living in Alaska.  I've realized a part of me has reawakened with the warmth...there is such a lightness of being juxtaposed with strength of body...and a sense of FREEDOM that has accompanied the warm wind blowing through my car windows as we roll down the highway, and in the comforting breeze I feel as I walk past a wide open window.  Wide open....that's how I feel.  That heart center huge and glowing like our sun. This summer has allowed us to shed our bulky hoodies, fleece socks and sweats for light tanks, bikini tops(Miles, too, lol!!!), shorts and bare feet.  Free to strip nakey with my hunny in the living room with no kids around!  It's been freeing and magnificent.   But a bit of a disturbing shock to realize just how laden down I've felt with these past few cold and dampened years.  And as wonderful as it has been...there is an insidious apprehension-especially in light of all the unusual weather in other parts of the country-that this is just.not.right.  I don't like that.  It makes me want to buy property in Colorado, start hunting and learning how to can, buy guns and solar panels, go off the grid and wait for the shit to hit the fan....

I'm constantly trying to outrun that dark little cloud as I delight in the sun.  Just trying to Be Here Now.  Because I have MISSED it so....

Our friends had a housewarming party yesterday.  Sangria, sundresses, salmon on the barbie and sun.  It was wonderful!

July 26, 2013

MERDA! Questo solo in! AVIANO!!!!!

Got a call from Dylan tonight!  She's already found out where she is stationed after tech school!  ITALY!!!!  Aviano AFB!  HOLY SHIT!!!!!  She mentioned last week when I was SO BUMMED that I couldn't make it to her graduation from Basic(there was a last minute possibility for me to go and it fell through) that she didn't want us to come to her tech school graduation like we had originally planned, but wanted us to come and visit her where ever she was going to be stationed.  It would be more fun and a respite from duty for her.  So ITALY it is!!!!  Aviano!  Nestled in the gorgeous pre-alps!!!!  Holy SHIT, I say!!!!!  Here we come!!!!!

July 16, 2013

Art lesson

My first formal private art lesson consisted of a charcoal pencil, a white coffee mug, an encouraging old lady, and a few of her entertaining biblical tails.  We all like stories, right?!
I did my best to help Willa with her first true sketching instruction.  Kind of an oxymoron because I can't draw true-to-life for shit.  But she digs my work.  Despite some bursts of frustration on her part, I think we enjoyed sitting together and sketching our mugs.  I had to stop her at one point when she was ready to throw her pencil across the room to explain that, "One of the true joys in creating art....is the CREATING!  The process from blank white page, to those first sketchy lines, to an actual identifiable object, to a finished product.  If you can't savor, enjoy, and learn from the journey, why bother?  The end result is that much sweeter when you appreciate the work along the way."  I think it sunk in.  She seemed more at peace and accepting of her difficulties "getting it right".  And she was quite happy with her finished mug after going back and continuing to improve it throughout the afternoon.  She may get easily frustrated...or even scared depending on the situation...but this kid STICKS with what she's set out to accomplish.

Today's story: La Traviata.....from my father's collection....in the background.

July 15, 2013

The WORKend.

I was SO stoked that it was Friday.  Sunshine....with all the windows open, tunes blasting, heading down the highway to home.  It was a busy and productive week and the weekend was feeling all the more sweeter for it!  But alas, reality.  We've been out playing all summer, our weekends out of town with more to come....and many tasks left undone at home.  So this was the weekend to buckle down, suck it up, and git her done.  Mainly painting and installing the baseboard all around the house and smoking salmon bellies.  But we did have friends over Saturday night for homemade pizza, and Willa got to hike back to the lakes with our other friends on Sunday  while Miles and I plugged away on baseboard and chores.  It felt nice to relax outside later and roast brats and smore's on the fire pit.  I really can't complain.  The weather was downright HOT, I got to wear my bikini top, and we crossed a lot of crap off our to-do list.....I gotta admit, that feels pretty damn good.
Looking forward to getting back out of town and dip netting this weekend!

Baaaaaaaase Booooooooaaaaardsssssss

Salmon bellies.  OMG.

Pizza slinger!

As my friend, Mike, says,"Northern Latitude Attitude!"

Warm highway wind in Alaska?  I'll take it.

July 14, 2013

Mind blown!

We got a letter from Dylan today....she's actually sent us lots!  We were told not to expect much in the way of letter writing and calls but we've received a bunch of wonderful letter's.  Some expressing some intense personal emotions, some offering us the words we were really needing to hear, and some filled with funny, interesting, and exciting Basic Training going-ons(especially now that she is nearing the end!)....and all filled with love.  She included her military photos for us in today's letter which was a treat.  And very SURREAL.  Here she is!

My first thoughts were that she looks ADORABLE and proud....and WHERE is my BABY?!?!?  She's here in an AirForce uniform?!??!  About to turn 18 and head to tech school?!?    It really is hitting home that this isn't just some vacation or month long trip to Europe for her....  She will never be returning to live in our home as a child.  There is such a deep sadness there.  And I actually feel SICK that I can't be there for her graduation from Basic and 18th birthday next Thursday.  We'll be there for her graduation from Tech school in a few months....but her getting through Basic Training will probably be one of THE most intense, emotional and gratifying things she'll ever do.  I so terribly wish we could be there in person to hold her tight at the end of it and to tell her how proud we are of her.  I'm thankful that her best friend Katie will be heading down to spend graduation with her.  They'll take off and do some fun things together....be GIRLS again.

I'm one sad and proud mama today....

July 12, 2013

Well.... it IS summer!!!

And we have been having an OUTSTANDING one!  Both the weather AND the activity.  Despite my sprained ankle keeping me from running and hiking, we've spent a good deal of time since out of town and we've still managed to do fun new things at home.  Something Wonderful Every Day-I've been making it happen and I can honestly say this has been one of the most beautiful, peaceful, and productive summers I've experienced in Alaska!
I mean, HOLY SHIT.
Getting it all on this blog, however, has not been easy.  It's hard to find time to go through and edit photos, make blog posts....not enough time in the day and I'm not very willing to give up time for it.  Mornings would be good, but often I'm so groggy I just want to surf and read until my brain wakes up....and then before I know it, I have to get ready to go into town. 
But I WILL continue to endeavor to get this summer documented!

Here's today's Something Wonderful.  I never get tired of these buggers!  You glance out the window or open a door and, Oh!  The moose are back!

These two have been hanging around for a couple days...

And here's their beds in the back yard!

July 1, 2013

Swing Shift

On days when I'm not able to set up play dates with friends, and since our built in "babysister" is in the Air Force, Willa comes with me to work.  She enjoys hanging around the therapy room with me, getting the occasional chair massage, exercising, chatting with my co-workers and watching a video in the kid's area when I have a client in for an hour massage.  I like that she still enjoys coming to work with mommy. :)
Today after work, since it was yet another warm lovely day, we'd thought we'd head to Westchester
Lagoon and check out that groovy playground that we'd been eyeing for awhile.  Not only is the equipment here versatile, fun and different then the standard, it's also pretty damned COOL looking!  Like pieces of modern art!  Something you might find from Alexander Calder....or Matisse!