Feb 25

Well, I’m in Anchorage being one of those obnoxious wi-fi users with her laptop in a Starbucks drinking a way overpriced Cinnamon Dolce Latte.

But hey, it’s not like I know anyone and there is apparantly no internet at the condo I am staying in.

I also had a terrific headache that I could not shake, not even with two Aleve tablets, and my body was screaming out for caffeine. 

So there.  Is it justified enough for you?

I’m in town for an X-ray class and I’m really excited about learning how to-as Dusty says-”radiate” people.

I do miss having Howard with me though.  It sure is lonely spending all that money driving around, going to movies, and especially going to Barnes and Noble. 

The good news is: my headache is going away.  The bad news is:  It’s only a  matter of time before I spill my coffee on the keyboard.

You know what I like most about being back in the city?  My anonymity.  I love being in a town where no one knows me.  It’s liberating.  The downside would have to be the traffic.  

So, I know that’s not much of an entry but it may very well be the last one for a week or so until I get back to the village.  I just didn’t want all of you lovelies to wonder where I am because I know you all just gnash your teeth and wring your hands, when I disappear from the blogosphere for a few days at a time.

Also, I hope to at least post a guest entry for Miss Amy while she’s on vacation.  She keeps giving me guest posting privileges and I keep promising her posts but I usually fail miserably at keeping my promise.  So, keep checking her site, check out other guests posts but please do not judge me because I know I’m in the company of much better writers.

Take care loves!  Until next time!

 

Feb 20

Tonight, I was looking through old photos from our years in Alaska and came across one of our tiny but tight knit circle of friends we made when we lived on the North Slope.  We still keep in touch with Ben and Kristen and I still hear from Marissa every once in a while.  Chris has gone MIA but I’m sure he thinks about us as much as we think about him.

Aaaaaanyway.

It reminded me of a post I did back in the summer of 2005.  Right before we moved to where we live now.  It brought back some good memories and it’s funny how I can still read it and laugh as hard as I did over two years ago.

Sit back, relax, and take a small trip back in time.  I hope you find it as funny as I did. (also, could you tell I was REALLY unhappy there?)  Geez.  Thank GOD for friends.

Feb 20

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MATTESON TATE!!! (aka Tatie Bird, Tater Head)  I can’t believe you’re 12!  You’re my favorite blonde-haired, blue-eyed nephew!  I hope you have a fabulous day, sweetie.  We love you and can’t wait to see you in July!

Feb 18

Dusty’s sister, after 36 hours of labor, finally gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl.  She weighed in at 8 pounds 2 ounces.

Dusty told me last night on the phone that she could not have come at a better time.

I could not agree more.

Howard and I are so excited to have another “honorary” niece.  Manda will fly back to the village, hopefully sometime this week.  She’s exhausted.  When a pregnant woman lives in the bush, she has to fly into town a full month before the baby is born.  Manda is ready to come home.

Welcome to the world, Denali Lynn, you are absolutely perfect!

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Feb 16

In memory of Athena, who, according to her friends; loved this song and named her firstborn after the artist, I chose this song for my Saturday Song Lyrics.  Enjoy.

“You Gotta Be” performed by Des’ree

Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers, they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears
Stand up and be counted
Don’t be ashamed to cry

You gotta be
You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day

Herald what your mother said
Reading the books your father read
Try to solve the puzzles in your own sweet time
Some may have more cash than you
Others take a different view
My oh my, heh, hey

You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day

Don’t ask no questions, it goes on without you
Leaving you behind if you can’t stand the pace
The world keeps on spinning
You can’t stop it, if you try to
This time it’s danger staring you in the face

Remember
Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers, they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears
My oh my heh, hey, hey

You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day

You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day
 

Feb 16

You know the hot, lusty, angst stage of love has graduated to the comfortable, sweet, and content stage when instead of picking out a sultry, naughty piece of lingerie with which to please your husband, you see a Shiatsu Back Massager and think:

“THAT is the perfect gift for him….because he gets aches and pains in his back.”

And you know it’s totally sublime when he buys you that Foot Spa you’ve had your eye on for a while because he knows your feet really hurt after a long day.

It’s sheer nirvana when you’re sitting side by side…forgoing the hot, crazy, Valentine’s Day sex for soaking your feet and having your back massaged.

Yeah, that’s when you can practically bet that the rough patches are pretty much over and you’ve made it to that happy place you were trying to get to together, all along.

(Now go make mad monkey love after the foot soak and the massage?  And you’ve found the fairytale!)

Feb 14

The shopping trip was a lot of fun.  I arrived back this afternoon.  I got to bond with Holly and buy a cart full of groceries that didn’t break the bank.  She and I laughed a lot, and it was a nice break.  I ended up staying an extra day because she was pretty sick yesterday morning and I really didn’t have anything pressing at work.  So, I played bed nurse until she felt better and then we drove over to Dusty’s sister’s apartment to pick him up and we went to eat a late lunch.

Then we got the news.

Our village suffered another loss.

A beautiful, young, mother passed away quietly yesterday surrounded by her family.  Athena was diagnosed with a brain tumor in October.  She was pregnant with her second child.  She held on just long enough to bring her baby into the world via C-section on Tuesday night.  She was 27.

Athena grew up in my village but no longer lived here.  Her family remained here and started a thriving business.  Athena would fly in to help the family with the business and I had the privilege of interacting with her many times during her visits.  I didn’t know her well but well enough to know she was a fun person.

Her family plans to bury her here in the village.  It will be sad.  She was too young to die and it seems unfair.

She was also a very good friend to Dusty.

I think what hurts the most is seeing someone I love hurting so much.  He loved Athena very much and although we all knew what the end result would be in this tragic story, one is never quite prepared for the finality of it all.  Of course, Dusty being Dusty, he’s being stoic and trying to help the family, as always, putting everyone before himself.  I suppose it helps him cope.  He knows I’m here when he’s ready to face it.  I just hate knowing there’s nothing I can do to take the pain away.

So, on the 2nd anniversary of Richard’s death, just a little over a year since Val’s death, here we sit mourning another passing.

When someone dies in a tight knit community such as this one, everyone feels it in some way or another.  Whether you knew that person well or not.  And like it or not, people in isolated villages such as ours, always feel like family.  When someone dies, we all feel it.  We’re all affected.

On the bright side, Athena’s new daughter is doing very well, in spite of being born 2 months premature and weighing only 2lbs 7ozs.  Kalena Athena is breathing on her own, miraculously enough.  I firmly believe Athena is watching over her tiny namesake that brought light in a time of darkness.

So, keep Athena’s family in your prayers, hug your loved ones tight on this special day, and thank whatever deity you believe in for your good health, and for giving you another breath of life.

Feb 11

Last week, Dusty called me and asked me if I wanted to head to town (Anchorage) with him and another co-worker named Holly.  I really couldn’t justify the nearly 400 dollar plane ticket but he reminded me that because Holly worked part time for the airline, she could use buddy passes to get me to town for 20 bucks each way.

I took one look at my now shaggy little Schnoodle, Pepper, and accepted the invitation.  Even though his ticket will be cost me quite a bit more, I always put my “children” first.
Dusty’s sister is due to have her baby anytime now, Holly needs new furniture for her house, my dog needs to be groomed, and we all need to do some grocery shopping.

So, Pepper and I are leaving this morning and will hopefully be back on Wednesday morning.  I’m leaving Howard and Lucky and Katie to their own devices and Katie has promised me she will keep Lucky and Howard in line.  Hey, she might only weigh 8 pounds but we all know who really runs the household around here.

Ya’ll be good and maybe I’ll buy you something nice.

Feb 7

I’m OVER this cold weather thing.  It’s been -45 or lower for almost a week now.  Mother Nature?  Take a memo:  I’m DONE!

On a good note, Howard and I got brand new snow shoes and as soon as the weather warms to, oh say, around -10, we’ll try them out.  For now?  I’m content to eating lots of soup, drinking warm beverages, and snuggling under the covers in my warm, toasty, house.

I REFUSE to talk about how lucky we’ve been in *cough* running water *cough* arena.  Let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth, okay? 

The previous sentence is not a typo.  It’s called sarcasm.  Look into it, if you don’t understand it.

Lordy, this weather makes me a bitch.

The gorgeous Thai is back in town and I’ve found that he’s not only impossibly humble about himself but he has a wicked sense of humor and he shares my fondness for torturing Dusty.  He and I flew over to the nearby village yesterday to do our weekly field visit and on the flight back, he kept pointing things out to me, nudging my arm when we would hit rough air and the plane would bump and lurch and I would look worried, and he’d distract my fear with conversation and jokes.  He’s just a great guy and it’s too bad, he’s only doing a nine day relief stint.  He and I work together really well and we like each other as people.  Not to mention, he adores Howard and vice versa.

Did I mention the reason he’s only staying nine days is because he’s leaving for Haiti on Monday to do volunteer medical services?

Yeah.  Go ahead and add another ring to that halo, Thai, you beautiful, beautiful man!

Alaska 2007 393.jpg

Dusty and I are still doing our radio show on Thursday nights and we are now getting a fan base.  We have more and more listeners coming up to us and complimenting us on our show.  Especially when he and I wax on about our white trash upbringing.  For some reason, people love to hear about growing up in a single wide trailer with wheels, and our mom’s sending us to the store to buy ice cream with food stamps.  Heck, Dusty and I get a kick out of it, too.  And he and I agree that our humble beginnings made us who we are today.

Cynical assholes.

Hee!  Just kidding, Dusty.

Speaking of my god-brother, he had a dream about me earlier in the week.  I was pregnant and went on to have a little baby girl.  She was pink with dimples and looked just like Howard.  I kept asking him “isn’t she beautiful?” as he held her in his arms.

He said the funniest thing about the dream was that I kept saying:

“Don’t wake up, Dusty, because if you do, she’ll go away.”

Then he heard a beeping like a heart monitor and he woke up to his alarm clock going off.

It was a wonderful dream and I hope it’s a sign of things to come.

Speaking of babies, did I mention that my friend Kristen is pregnant?  I’m so excited for her!

I’m going to be the woman who’s always an aunt and never a mother.  I guess that’s okay.

(yeah Chrissy, keep telling yourself that)

Feb 3

January 6, 2003 we stood in the tiny airport with our luggage and animals in tow.  We’d just flown across the continent only the day before and we were now standing in the town we would call “home” for the next few months.

We looked around for anyone holding up a sign stating they were with the company we now worked for but saw no one.

Eventually, the baggage claim area cleared out and we were the only ones left.

Our worry and trepidation only grew.

Finally, a man wearing a shirt with our company’s logo walked in, shook our hands, helped us with our luggage and hustled us outside to his tiny pick up truck.

“Your dog’s gonna have to ride in the back” the man barked.

“Um, I don’t think so…it’s too cold” I retorted as I clutched my Lucky dog to my chest, appalled at the man’s suggestion.

After all, the temperature was -50 with the wind chill.

He said nothing as we all piled in.  Howard held Katie in her carrier on his lap and I held Lucky in my lap.

It was around 7:30pm.  We hadn’t had a meal since lunch time, we had no kitty litter to set up Katie’s cat box and we had no idea what was waiting for us at our apartment.

“Can we stop by the store so we can pick up a few things?” Howard asked.

“Nope, store’s closed” our host grunted.

We said nothing.  Just sat in silence until we pulled up to our apartment.

We hustled the animals inside, and retrieved our luggage.

“I’ll be by tomorrow around 10am to pick you guys up” our host said before shutting our front door and driving away.

Howard and I walked into our tiny one bedroom apartment and went in search of heat.  No one had thought to turn it on before we arrived.

Howard and I kept our thoughts to ourselves.  I myself, was gritting my teeth, with anger.

We attempted to set up Katie’s litter box and felt bad that she had no litter with which to relieve herself.  The poor girl didn’t care, she hopped into the empty box and relieved herself anyway.

Howard and I wondered what to do for dinner.  It was completely dark outside, we were disoriented, the wind was blowing, and the snow was deep.  Nevermind that we couldn’t find the phone.

We explored the kitchen and found an unopened block of Tillamook Cheddar cheese and Howard dug in his back pack and found a can of mixed nuts and a camping cup.

We settled in as best we could, the dog and cat clung to our laps, as we sat on the couch eating our dinner of cheese and nuts and passed the camping cup back and forth washing the food down with water.

We made small talk at first until one of us finally asked the big question:

“What the HELL did we get ourselves in to?”