Nov 27

Turns out, my internet problem was quickly fixed by a phone call and the change of an IP address and I was good to go.

Stupid Technology.

We are, however; packing and will be packing up the computer tomorrow or the next day and moving into our little cabin.

A real log cabin.  It’s much smaller than the house we live in now but it’s cozy, cute, and just fine for us and our critters.  There’s a basement with a washer and dryer, two bedrooms and one bathroom.  The kitchen is bigger, the living room is smaller, but the rent is cheap and what with having to pay a mortgage on house we don’t even live in yet, cheap rent is definitely a good thing.

So, this is my final post for a while.  The internet guy is supposed to fly out sometime this week to do installs all over the village, hopefully, he’ll get to me.  Otherwise?  Who knows how long it will be?

Be good!  Until then!

Nov 26

ETS here. I got an e-mail from our Chrissy today explaining the internet situation:

…I’m out of commission probably until after we’re moved to
our other house here? First, my internet went out and then we’re like
“hey, we’re moving anyway and they have to fly out here to install us so
why not just go ahead and pack up the computer and they can fix it all
when they come out?”

I figured she could do the ’splaining just as well as I could….

Just a little longer and she’ll be back up and running, folks!

Nov 22

I hope all of you enjoy this day, however, wherever, and with whomever you’re spending it.

I’m baking a coconut cake right now and in a couple of hours, we’ll head over to Susie and Todd’s like we did last year and help cook, drink mimosas and later beer and wine, and sit down to eat around 5:00pm.

There will be twelve of us all total including some new friends who don’t have anywhere else to spend the day.  It should be a fun time, I plan to eat so much, that the Tryptophan (sp?) will put me in a deep sleep until tomorrow.

Wow guys.  Howard and I have so much to be grateful for, this year especially.  We are about to begin new careers, we’re in the process of moving to another house in the village, we have a lot going on.  But these are good things, positive things.  It was amazing how things just came together for us.

First, the coordinator position at our UAF campus came open and Howard applied, interviewed, and was offered the job.

Then our friend Joanie announced she was moving to another house, thus vacating her current one, leaving it open for us.

Then the Community Health Aide position opened up here.  I applied, interviewed and was offered that position.

Then my dear Dusty offered his old but dependable barely driven Bronco to us for transportation until we can fly a vehicle out here to the village.

Then our friends here offered up their hands to help us move.

It’s humbling when you have so much good fortune happen at one time.  Howard and I try to always be aware of just how lucky we are.  So many people struggle just to have the basic necessities of living day to day.  We are so fortunate.

So, I  hope all of you remember to stop and count your blessings today, be grateful to have the air in your lungs, your health, your family, your friends and have a VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Nov 20

your future boss says:

“Oh just wait until you have to do your first anal extraction”

and you reply with:

“Dude, compared to what I go through on a daily basis at my current job?  That sounds wonderful.”

Touche’.

Nov 19

Well my darlings…here’s the news (and yes, there actually is news):

As of December 7, I will no longer be working at my current job.

I will no longer be married to my work.

When a freezer goes on the blink, it will no longer be my responsibility.  When the alarm goes off at 3AM, I will no longer have to jump out of bed.  On my day off, I won’t actually have to still come in to work to check the freezer and chill temperatures twice a day minimum.  When the heat goes on the blink, I won’t have to spend the night on the store floor rotating space heaters insuring the pipes don’t freeze.  When I want to go camping?  I can just go if it’s my day off.  I won’t have to call my boss and let him know that I will not be in the immediate vicinity of the store.  I will no longer have to worry about re-filling that damn ATM machine, or working on said ATM machine if it goes down.  When a plane arrives late, I won’t have to worry about going to the store late at night to receive our freight.  I won’t have to explain to another ignorant customer why our prices are the way they are.  I will no longer live in a house owned by the company thus giving them even more control over my life.  When I go on vacation?  I will not have to carry a cell phone with me at all times.

More importantly?  I won’t have to censor myself on my own website due to fear of consequences were my current boss to ever come across my site.

In fact?  My new boss reads my blog and sanctions the fact that I write about my life on the internet.

Of course, I will use common sense, but I will no longer have to shroud myself in secrecy.  If I want to post a damn picture of myself,  I will be able to.

Most importantly, I will be doing what I love in a place I love.

And I’m pretty damn excited about it.

Nov 18

I’m not sure what’s going on with my html editor but for some reason, whenever I post it here, it never shows up.  Last Sunday, I posted a hilarious picture from the Cheezburger site and no one could see it.  So, here’s the link to it…but somehow it’s not as effective.  It’s still funny though.

I have worked seven days straight since returning to the village last Friday, so I took yesterday off and it was glorious.

Sadly, even though it’s Sunday, I still have tons of work to do and I’ll be working today too.  With Howard being so limited with his knee, and the fact that we were in town for four days, we’re really behind.  Today, we’re going to try and get caught up.  At least we’re closed.

So, you guys have a happy Sunday and take a nap for me, okay?

Nov 17

This song is for Colton David.

For everytime he smiles and calls my name…”Aunthie Thithie!” (Auntie Chrissy), everytime he prays for “Howard’s owie” and when he takes my hand and to lead me somewhere to show me something he either wants or just wants to ask about.  For a two year old, he’s a wise old soul.  His beginning in this world was rocky but this summer, Dusty’s brother in law gained full custody of him and now he is surrounded by an “adopted family” who loves him like their own.

 

Colton, may you always hold tight to the innocence and wonderment of childhood just as you do now.  This is for you, little buddy.

 

“Return To Pooh Corner” Written and Performed by Kenny Loggins

Christopher Robin and I walked along
Under branches lit up by the moon
Posing our questions to Owl and Eeyore
As our days disappeared all too soon
But I’ve wandered much further today than I should
And I can’t seem to find my way back to the Wood
So help me if you can
I’ve got to get back
To the House at Pooh Corner by one
You’d be surprised
There’s so much to be done
Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh
Winnie the Pooh doesn’t know what to do
Got a honey jar stuck on his nose
He came to me asking help and advice
And from here no one knows where he goes
So I sent him to ask of the Owl if he’s there
How to loosen a jar from the nose of a bear
It’s hard to explain how a few precious things
Seem to follow throughout all our lives
After all’s said and done I was watching my son
Sleeping there with my bear by his side
So I tucked him in, I kissed him and as I was going
I swear that old bear whispered “Boy, welcome home”
Believe me if you can
I’ve finally come back
To the House at Pooh Corner by one
What do you know
There’s so much to be done
Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of Christopher Robin
Back to the ways of Christopher Robin
Back to the days of Pooh
Nov 14

Last night about a half hour before closing time, the phone rang and of course I answered it.

“CHRISTINA (Last name withheld)”

“PAM CARTER?…HOW THE HELL ARE YOU??”

I have two friends named Pamela.  Both are former co-workers.  They are of close proximity in age and both are voracious readers like me.

Except that my other friend Pam emails me and calls me only on weekends and usually more often.

Not that I hold that against my Pam Carter.  Pam and I have this habit of calling each other by our first and last names.  Well, let me clarify:  Pam has this habit of calling me by my first and last name and I picked up the habit from her.  I also only practice the habit with her.  Weird.

Anyway, Pam is the type of friend I may not hear from for a year and then…boom…out of the blue, there she is, there we are…catching up and waxing poetic on old times.

Pam and I worked together before we moved to Alaska.  Pam’s a hilarious woman who can spin a yarn with the best of the bullshitters.  She could sell a pile of dogshit simply by saying that she herself “has a pile of dogshit at home, and simply loves it, it’s wonderful!”  Pam always took our ribbing with a smile and an easygoing attitude when we called her on her bullshit.  “Hey, I made the sale didn’t I?”  Who were we to argue?  How could you not just adore her?

Pam also had an 18 year old cat named Slinky.  Pam and her husband never had children.  Slinky was by all accounts, Pamela’s child.  My friend Melissa and I would have conversations about how horrible it was going to be when Slinky passed.  We knew the day was coming.

When Pamela called in to work and told all of us that her cat had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and would need to be put down in a matter of days, Melissa, who was also our boss, completely sympathized and in fact, we all prayed for Slinky and for Pamela.  She gave Pamela all the time off she needed in order to prepare for Slinky’s departure and the grieving thereafter.  We all waited.

A couple of days later, I got a call at home, from a sobbing Pamela.  “Oh Chris, what am I going to do with Slinky once she’s gone?  We live in a condominium and they aren’t going to let me bury a cat and I can’t bear the thought of her being cremated.”

Howard and I lived in a big house out in the country.  Our property backed to up a patch of woods, thick with Evergreens and Oak Trees, the ground soft with moss and fallen leaves, a perfect place to bury Slinky.

I offered up my place before Pamela could even ask.

She released a sigh of relief and told me when the time came, she’d call me and we’d make arrangements to bury Slinky.   At the office, we kept a working vigil, going through our routines, killing the hours with thoughts of how things were going with Pam.  At home, Howard worked diligently on a “secret project” in the garage with his table saw.  He was really into wood working during that time, so I thought nothing of it.

Finally, Pamela called with the news that Slinky had passed on.  We were all sympathetic.  I remember feeling humbled and grateful that I worked for and with such compassionate people.  I mean, let’s face it;  most bosses and companies really don’t have any sympathy for a deceased pet.

The next day, Pamela, her husband, and Slinky arrived at our house.  Before doing anything Pamela revealed a six pack of Heineken and we all drank and made a toast to Slinky, a very good cat.  We sat and talked and allowed the beers to warm our tummies and relax us and then Pamela signaled that it was time.

Howard disappeared into the garage and came walking out with a wooden box.  A beautiful wooden box, just big enough for a small animal.  He’d painted it dark brown and even fashioned a hand carved cross to the lid.  He’d lined it with a blanket so carefully and tenderly.  Pamela teared up and gave him a hug.  I was so proud of him at that moment.  He knew Pam wouldn’t want Slinky buried in the cold earth without some sort of “comfort”.   No one had to tell him.  I guess it’s the sort of thing animal lovers just know.

We walked to the edge of the yard, where Howard had already dug the hole, he and David, Pamela’s husband, transferred Slinky wrapped in her favorite blanket to the tiny casket.  Pamela put a few pictures with her, came over to my waiting arms that wrapped around her, and Howard and David buried her cat.  David said a few words, Pamela cried quietly, then we came back to the house to finish our beers.

The next day, all of us at the office were immediately on the phone to animal shelters, veterinary clinics, humane societies, trying to find Pamela another cat.  She just went about her work and let us do it for her.

Her only stipulation was that she “DID NOT WANT A MALE CAT OR A YELLOW TABBY AND DEFINITELY NOT A TUXEDO CAT.”

Slinky was a Tuxedo cat, it was too creepy so soon for Pam.  I have no idea what she had against male yellow tabbies.  It was just a personal preference according to her.

There was a vet clinic just down the road from our office.  They had a tiny kitten available for adoption.  She asked me to go with her to check it out.

Upon walking in the door, there sat a tiny, MALE, YELLOW TABBY.  He was curled up in slumber and Pam almost left but I urged her to stay, to give the little guy a chance.  His name was Micah.  The vet tech scooped him up and he woke up, all bright eyed and positively adorable, and he was placed in Pamela’s two hands.

I don’t know what came over Pam but if there really is such an idea as “love at first sight”, this was surely proof.  She immediately teared up, and began kissing his tiny face and belly, and he welcomed it like Pamela had always been his “mama”.  I knew then that the fact that he was male and a yellow tabby had become a moot point.  We filled out an evaluation form, I swore on my life that Pam would indeed be a fit pet owner, and in less than an hour, we returned from our lunch break with a bag full of goodies, a pet carrier, and Micah.

That was over five years ago.  Micah is still happy as the day she brought him home and Pam Carter never lets me forget how much it meant to her that we gave Slinky a nice burial plot, that Howard built her a casket with his own two hands, and that I encouraged her to give Micah a chance.

When she calls me out of the blue and says”Chris, you know I love you and Howard so much for everything you did for me and Slinky and Micah.”

I always reply that it’s because we love her so much that we did what we did.

It will probably be another six months or a year before I hear from Pam Carter again.  I will always ask her about all of my former co-workers, she will always want me to catch her up on my latest shenanigans, I will always tell her to tell all of my former co-workers that I love and miss them all, then we’ll have a long conversation about the books we’ve recently read, and of course we will speak fondly of Slinky and Micah.

Sometimes the best friendships are the ones where six months is akin to no time at all.  Where we can all pick up where we left off like time stopped and just waited for us to start the clock again.

And where I can happily reminisce and celebrate a girl and her cats.

Nov 12

I should have added a “NOT PREGNANT!” to the end of that post because I know that 99 percent of you guys thought that, didn’t you?

Seriously though, how sweet that you all are excited to hear what’s happening in our lives. You all rock my socks. I’ve always said I have the best family and friends in the world and ya’ll just keep proving me right.

Now for the news:

There is no news. I know! I know! I got you all worked up for nothing. Well, I’ve always been a big believer in NOT counting your chickens before they hatch and you know what? I did. Like an idiot. And of course, it came back to make me look like an ass.

“Damn fool kids’ll never learn.”

You know? Our lives are always changing though…and you just never know when a change is going to come along. I will promise you all this though: I will NEVER EVER tease you like that again. If something happens, I’ll tell you after the fact.

Right now, my life is good, brilliant even. I am amazingly blessed.

The only thing changing in my life is my belly because I’m hungry. I wonder if Howard heated up those leftovers from dinner last night?

Also, my friend Julie has impeccable timing…she called right when I needed to hear a friend’s voice today and who better than my Julie?

“I so love you for calling me right this second” I said to her. So thank you Julie! I love you!

Nov 12

Holy shit, I’m not looking forward to work this week. Between Howard’s knee and part of my staff being gone on business, I’m the lone wolf along with my trusty bookkeeper all week. Hello, 12 hour workdays!

While in town last week, Howard and I were able to watch a couple of movies at the theatre (a novel idea when you live in the bush). “Into the Wild” was way better than we thought it would be and it followed the book except for a few things they added to the movie to add the element of romance, I suppose. You know? I just want to say that I don’t know why people get all worked up over Christopher McCandless. I mean, yeah, he gave up his material possessions and walked into the wilderness and ultimately succumbed to the elements due to proper planning. I think all in all, he was a good kid, searching for something more in his life. Every person does it in their own way. Stop being so damn offended that he did it in such an extreme way. I’ll bet if he lived, he’d be hailed as a hero. I’ll say this. He was brave to do what he did and ultimately, he did make peace with himself and stated that just before his death. My hats off to him.

We also saw “Dan in Real Life”. Steve Carell is my favorite actor right now mainly because he lends a “realness” to his characters be it a half-witted co-anchor, a 40-year old Virgin, or a widower struggling to raise his three daughters without losing his mind while spewing advice on how to live a life he wishes he had. Howard enjoyed it but says it was definitely a “chick flick” but he and I both swooned over the beautiful Juliette Binoche. My God, I want her skin, and her hair for that matter. She’s just breathtaking. I think if I had a girl crush, she’d be it. I cried at the end of both movies. Are you surprised?

Howard and I are embarking on yet another chapter in our lives. Another chapter that, frustratingly enough for you, I can’t reveal the details of, just yet. But soon guys. I promise.

Oh, and the insomnia is back with a vengeance and I think it’s due to said upcoming chapter. Are you all nice and curious yet?

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