Oct 14

If you’re lounging around watching the “boobtube” today, check out the Travel Channel’s “Into Alaska with Jeff Corwin”.  There is a marathon on all day.

It’s really exciting to see someone really explore Alaska.  So many times, I’ve watched tv bits and shows on this state and they only show the places that are overrun with tourists.  In fact, all of those shows look like they’re spewing out the same loop of film.  To me and to many of my fellow Alaskans, that’s not the true Alaska.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still tourist of my state, having lived here only 5 years and having only seen a handful of places, I’m thankful that people want to come here and that there are places that cater to the industry.

Alaska is a big damn place.  Over 500,000 square miles and the population is roughly 1 person per square mile.  We’re the largest state with the longest coastline in the United states with the smallest population, and yet lots of people don’t realize that.  If you took the eastern most point of the Southeast islands and the Western most point of Attu, Alaska reaches from Savannah, Georgia to San Diego, California.  It’s hard to believe when you watch the weather channel and we’re reduced to a small little blip on the lower bottom of the screen.

That’s the kind of information that you never hear about.  Hell, I had to actually move here to find out all the facts.

I’m happy to see Jeff explore some interior villages, places off of the road system, places that haven’t succumbed to the tourist trap.

One of the destinations of his travels within this state is Katmai National Park.  Now yes, Katmai is prone to thousands of tourists each year but it’s a lot harder to get to than other places.  You can only fly or take a boat there.

It was the first leisure trip we ever took after we moved to Alaska because we lived in King Salmon which is the gateway to the park, and we had some friends who worked for the airlines who got us some incredible deals.  It was the first time I’d ever flown in a floatplane.  The flight was roughly about an hour and even before we touched down into Brooks lake, we saw huge grizzley bears on the beach.

We were immediately taken into a building and given a 30 minute bear orientation.  It was made very clear to us, that these bears WERE NOT TAME.  Yes, humans and bears were able to somewhat co-exist side by side here but they were very much wild animals and we were to respect that.  We weren’t allowed to carry food and could only eat in the designated areas, if we saw a bear, we were to get out of its way, and when we were hiking the trails, we were encouraged to make as much noise as possible to keep them at bay.  Obviously, friends of ours are all about the noise, so that was never a problem.

Even as we stood outside chatting and getting ready to make our way to the famous Brooks river, I turned to my right and saw a huge grizzley making its way up the trail.  Someone yelled “BEAR ON THE TRAIL!” and we all made our way back inside the orientation building, watching the bear saunter by and disappear into the woods beyond the trail.

My heart raced with a mixture of fear and excitement.  We clapped, sang, laughed, and yelled our way up the trail to Brooks Falls.  Brooks Falls is where you can view from a platform, bears catching salmon from the falls.   At this point, we were encouraged to take photos, but to remain very quiet, so as not to disturb a natural wonder unfolding before our eyes.

We had lunch at the lodge, hiked a few more trails and eventually had to make our way back to the beach to catch our plane, but we noticed a crowd of people standing on the bridge that crosses a river before it opens to the lake.  A park ranger told us that two bears were napping on the trail.  When this happens, no one yells at the bears to get away, no one shoos them off.  Again, they want as little human contact as possible so as no to upset their natural way of life.  What happens is a lot of waiting.  We had to wait until mama bear and her cub woke up and were safely off the trail before we could move forward.  We saw our floatplane land at the other side of the lake and obviously we weren’t there.  Soon though, we saw the plane float to our side of the bridge, the pilot signal to us,  and we were able to take the back way and board.  Our friends were catching another plane after us and after we all re-convened back in King Salmon for dinner that night, they told us that it was a full hour before mama and baby woke up and got off the trail.  That was September of 2003.

The very next month, Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend Amy Hugenard were killed in that very same park…because they didn’t adhere to the rules of the wilderness.  It reminded me of how very big and wild Alaska really is.

Another movie is out this month called “Into the Wild”.  It’s a true story and another reminder of this great wilderness called Alaska.  If you don’t respect it, adhere to its rules, and are unprepared,  you’re likely to meet the same fate.  Be it starvation, a bear attack, hypothermia, whatever.

Upon moving here five years ago, it was love at first sight.  The great majesty swept my heart away.  The clean air, the neverending wilderness, the land greatly untouched by man’s greedy hand, appealed to something within me.

The thrill of a challenge unhinged me and I was hooked.  I knew I’d found my forever home.

Oct 14

lolcats - Brokbak Kitteh  wishes he cud kwit u.

Is that not adorable? I loved “Brokeback Mountain” and I’m proud to say that my husband did too! That’s right, he isn’t one of those guys who becomes uncomfortable around two people of the same sex falling in love. My opinion (and his) is this: if you feel comfortable with your own sexuality, you’ll not be threatened or feel uncomfortable around people who don’t share your same orientation. And I hate people that think if they’re around gay people of the same sex, they’ll be “hit on”. Let me tell all of you narrow-minded people something right now: “DON’T FLATTER YOURSELF!”

Does every member of the opposite sex you encounter, hit on you? No? Well then why in the world would it be any different with homosexuals. I’m tired of seeing them made out to be perverts or sickos. I’ve been around plenty of of them and you know what? They’re no different than anyone else I’ve ever met. Except maybe more open-minded.

Okay, I’m off my soapbox. Seeing that picture at I Can Has Cheezburger? got my brain working overtime.

Happy Sunday!

Oct 13

“It’s Good To Be In Love” by Frou Frou

I don’t know where to start
Say I’m tired or throw a party
These cucumber eyes are lying the more that i smile about
And all of my clothes feel like somebody’s old
I don’t like it

It’s good to be in love
It really does suit you
Just like everything
I’m happy you’re in love
‘Cause every color goes where you do

I’m adoring you
It’s all good
You’re so beautiful
I’m black and blue all over
You’re breaking my flow
How could you know what I’m saying about it
When all of my clothes feel like somebody’s old
I don’t like it

It’s good to be in love
It really does suit you
Just like everything
I’m happy you’re in love
‘Cause every color goes where you do

I feel so powerless
I’ve got to stop it somehow
Oh come on what can i do?
Why’s it happening
How’s it happening without me
Why’s it happening
How’s it happening that he feels it without me

It’s good to be in love
It really does suit you
Just like everything
I’m happy you’re in love
‘Cause every color goes where you do

Oct 12

Not really.  In fact, today has felt like the antithesis of a hangover.

First of all, it’s Friday.  Thank the LORD.  We got our steaks to *gasp* go and ate them at home.  I drank three a glass of wine and we insulated our windows and started preparing our house for winter.

Winter.  This early.  Even for Alaska, it’s just crazy.

Our river already has ice flowing and my thermometer read 7 degrees fahrenheit this morning.  We plugged in our truck for the first time of many tonight.

On the good side, our good friends called me to wish me a belated “happy birthday” and it wound up being like a three hour conversation with all four of us on a speaker phone.  You know it’s a good friendship when you can just pick a conversation right back up where you left off a year ago.

Last night, Dusty was mostly kind, of course he made jokes about my age but mostly, it was really sweet.  Girlfriend Boyfriend even played Josh Groban.  Oh yes, and he played his (Josh’s not Dusty’s) signature song too.  It was campy and hokey and we both laughed over it, but it meant a lot to me.

Then of course, he began torturing me about a supposed ghost that haunts the radio station.  That included lots of laughs from him, lots of screams and curse words from me, and my never allowing him to leave me alone in the studio.

There was also this whole headphone mishap that simultaneously sent us flying backwards, throwing off our headphones, and laughing until we nearly pissed ourselves.  This all happened On Air and Howard and a few other listeners said it was hilarious.  Of course the mishap was all Dusty’s fault.   (Could have been that damn ghost)

It was one of those location things, I guess you just had to be there.

Last but not least, I ended my birthday by rushing Howard to the clinic because for no apparant reason, he broke out in hives.  I’m talking bad, ugly, welty, swollen, creeping me the fuck out, oh my god he is going to die, and ewwww please don’t touch anything hives.

Thank God both a shot and two capsules of Benadryl fixed him but good.  Freaky.  He woke up this morning and his skin looked totally fine again.  It scared the shit out of me though and I’m not sure what scared him more; the hives or my reaction to his having them.

Oh well.  All’s well that ends well.

Oct 11

So far today has really, honestly, been a great day.

Of course, it started out with Howard giving me a big hug and kiss and wishing me a happy one.  It only got better from there.

The morning DJ at the radio station played Buffy Sainte-Marie for me and wished me a happy birthday, but unfortunately, Howard took me out for a late breakfast and I didn’t get to hear it.  Later, Howard called and told her to play a Buffy Sainte-Marie song for me, and though she reminded him that she’d already done that, she did it again anyway.

I might add that the radio station manager actually sang “happy birthday” to me on the air as well, which made my cheeks burn hot and my grin grow from ear to ear.

On our community message board, Dusty left a cute little note, that was followed by many others by other community members, my mom called me and later my memaw did the same thing.

My bookkeeper offered to close for both of us tonight because Howard wanted to cook dinner for me before I left to do the weekly radio show.

Which brings me to my next point:  I know that little shit Dusty has something up his sleeve because he kept pumping me for questions surrounding my birth and threatened “a roast” tonight.

Hmph.  We’ll just see about that.

All in all, the stress is still there in my life, but like Howard’s card said “Let’s forget all the bullshit today and enjoy it….everything is going to be okay.”

It is, it was, and it will be.

Thank you everyone for your well wishes.  So far, being one year older rocks!

Oct 9

Last week, while I was wincing through another set of horrible cramps (yes I am.  still.), I sat in the living room, all dressed and ready to go to work.

I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t move.  All I could do was breath methodically through the pain.

Howard reached over and held my hand, allowing me to squeeze it, until the Aleve kicked in.

Finally, about a half hour later, the pain was gone and my body was exhausted.  My eyes grew heavy and I whined about needing another hour of sleep to make up for the one I lost.  (because the pain woke me up!)

Howard looked at me, stood up, pulled me up, and said “come on, I’ll set the clock, we’re already for work and we have two hours until we open….let’s get some sleep.”

He led me to the bedroom where we traded our clothes for pj’s, crawled into bed together, I snuggled against his warm, soft back, spooning him (it’s my favorite way to sleep), and was out before I knew it.

It was the best sleep I’d had in a long time.

Oct 7

Pepper on Daddy's lap...and on my blue horseblanket! Lucky on the ugly loveseat and my horseblanket! Katie...on my blue horseblanket!

Happy Birthday ETS! The sleeping/sleepy animals, Howard, and I wish you a wonderful day, sweetie! (Also, I’d like my horseblanket back, babies!) You rock and deserve this vacation you’re about to take. We’ll miss you, be safe, and we can’t wait to hear all about it when you get back!

Oct 7

rock.jpg A few days ago, my friend Amy named me as her top “Rockin’ Girl Blogger.”

Which is awesome because I’ve never received any sort of award of that nature before and because I really like Amy. Now, it is my turn to name five Rockin’ Girl Bloggers, which is hard to narrow down because there are so many of you but here goes:

Amy: Of Bad Groove. I’m not naming her simply because she named me but Amy really does rock. She has become an awesome friend since she and I “met” through ETS a couple of years ago. Amy might say that she aspires to write like me, but truth is? I’ve been trying to emulate her talent for a while now!

Jen: Of Robbins in Colorado. Jen is definitely a BFF and her blog has really taken off too. I’ve seen her hone her talents in just a few months. Jen and I met in college, oh the stories we can tell.

ETS: Of Echoes of A Dream, she’s how I met Amy. ETS and I have known each other for a few years now, and have been known to have phone “venting” sessions. She loves my critters and has a birthday coming up! I love reading her poetic prose…especially when the subject of “sporking” comes up.

Maria: Of An Extraordinary Woman in a Mediocre Life. She and I bond over shoes and similar experiences and affectionately call each other “our fellow Crayzee”. Maria once tried to cut her own hair on holiday and the post she wrote about it had me doubled over. She really is extraordinary.

Amanda: Of The Wink. Amanda left a comment on one of my “neurotic” posts and I’ve been a loyal reader of her blog ever since. The pictures of her adorable girls are reason enough to lurk around over there and she doesn’t judge me for my language and has been known to use some colorful language herself. Girlfriend can write really well too.

So that’s my five, though I have lots of other girl bloggers who rock my world, go check them out and tell them how much they rock.

Oct 6

I had this really witty, funny post all formed in my head this morning but my internet was down this morning.

Why in the world, I didn’t just type it up in Word and then paste it here whenever my internet did come back up is beyond me.  Too easy, I suppose. 

But there is more important news:

We had our first snow on Thursday night.  It started coming down right before our radio broadcast.  I got giddy about it because I love me some snow.

Then of course, we panicked, because we’d planned to take a leisurely boat ride this weekend up to the hunting camp Howard set up, and thought we’d make an afternoon of it by roasting hot dogs, drinking hot chocolate and breaking down the camp before the snow came.

But the snow came a little early.  So, we bundled up in our winter gear, shoveled the snow out of the boat and made a run for it yesterday afternoon.  I’m so glad we did because the weight of the snow had already nearly collapsed our practically brand new tent.  We didn’t get to drink hot chocolate or roast hot dogs but the ride was nice, albeit, very cold.

Our friend Eric wanted to go along and I was all for an extra set of hands and it was his first boat ride since he moved here in August.  He loved it and really was a big help.

Here are a few pictures of our first snow.  As of this morning, it was still coming down pretty good.  I’d say we have a good 2 to 3 inches on the ground.  Time to pull the boat out of the water, return the kayaks to Dusty’s house and warm up the snowmachine;  I think it’s going to be a long winter.

Alaska 2007 676.jpg  Our snow covered boat  Alaska 2007 679.jpg  Eric, looking all too happy to help break camp.

Oct 5

-Where when the new person from the lower 48 shows up all wide-eyed and bewildered is appreciative when you invite them to dinner the first time you meet.

-Where  you can leave your keys in your car and know that when you come back to your car, both will still be there.

-Where when you fear you might go hungry, you’ll always have a full freezer because everyone will give you their last dollar or item out of their cupboard if they have to.

-Where people you don’t even know will ring the bell at the bar and buy everyone a round..on a routine basis.

-Where you’ll meet friends who will be there for you forever, no matter where you end up.

-Where those friends will sing songs like “Oh Chrissy, You’re So Fine, You’re So Fine, You Blow My Mind, Hey Chrissy!” when they know you don’t feel so good, just to make you smile.  They may also do this in unison with other friends which is even more awesome.

-Where when you’re sick, everyone in town will know it, which only means that everyone will be asking you how you are…if there’s anything they can do.

-Where people will do work for you and expect nothing in return.

-Where when you leave the cafe, store, or bar,  you can be guaranteed at least one hug.  This may vary depending on which of these places you are, but you’ll always at least get one.

-Where everybody really does know your name.

-Where you know that in your heart, you’ll never find any place better no matter where you go in life.

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