May 31

I’m sure all of you who spent your adolescence in the 80’s remembers this show. It was my favorite growing up and I remember how controversial it was especially being on Nickelodeon. (I tried to embed the video but my version of WordPress won’t allow it, grrrr)

My mother hated it and hated when I watched it. On many occasions, she called the show “vulgar.” Thank God, I’m not an adolescent nowadays, right? She’d have just thrown the television out the window.

Anyway, who knew the Green Slime would go on to be the trade mark of the network and superstars would aspire to have it dumped on them?

And who could forget these famous lines:

“Diiiiiiiiiih heard that!”

“Whaddya think’s in the BURGERS!”

“READY! AIM!!!”

and my favorite that I still use to this day:

“Sometimes it so easy? I’m ashamed of myself.”

May 30

Oh Dustin,

There are no words.  (Because you probably said them first! HA!)

Have a Happy Birthday today.  Thank you for everything.

LuLoo

“Auntie Tissy” (And “Uncle Howie”)

May 28

While in the office being tutored in the art of musculoskeletal systems, my mentor was explaining how to properly use a thumb splint to a patient.

“I know it’ll be a pain but you need to sleep with this on as much as possible….I mean you can sleep with anything for a couple of weeks, right?”

To which, the patient and I promptly cracked the fuck up.

Because really, who couldn’t sleep with anything for a couple of weeks, right?

May 26

I hope everyone is having a Happy Memorial Day.  Today we remember the ones we’ve lost, especially those who fought to keep us free.

I’m a patriot married to an ex-army captain, can you tell?  Anyway, thank you to those who have passed on.

I’m taking the day to also remember our annual camping trips that Howard and I used to take every Memorial Day weekend back in North Carolina.

I remember rising before anyone else and taking whatever book I was reading at the time, and crawling out to my favorite rock on Wilson’s Creek, and reading until my butt was numb.  Sometimes I would put down my book, lie back, and listen to the creek water rushing over the rock.  I’d close my eyes and breathe in the fresh air and thank God for such beauty.

Later when Howard (and whoever was with us at the time) was up, we’d cook breakfast on the camp stove, and then change into our swimsuits, and make our way to our secret swimming hole.  It was an area dammed up about 8 feet deep and the water was so crystal clear that you could see the green moss on the rocks at the creek bottom.  The trek to get there was hard, you had to climb over rocks and down a steep embankment, but you could bet that no one else was ever there.  Howard and I would jump in and swim around, the water cooling our skin, then we would swim up to the rapids and sit right where the water was beating on our backs.  It was like a fresh water jacuzzi and it felt fabulous.

Later, we’d climb back up the bank and back to our car and Howard would scout out a new fishing spot and I’d find another rock to perch on and he’d fish and I’d read.  Sometimes we’d take a long hike together until our legs were like jelly.

When we returned to camp, we would change into dry, warm clothes and roast hot dogs and hamburgers and chill out by the campfire.

It was something we did every single year.  And it’s something I miss terribly.

Being in Alaska on Memorial Day usually means cooler weather.  When we’re lucky, we might get to go camping, but there’s no swimming because the Kuskokwim River is just too cold.  It doesn’t get bearable until July. The best we can hope for is a fun ATV ride and perhaps weather that allows a calm kayaking trip.

It’s not the same, but we’re making new memories none the less.

Happy Memorial Day!

May 24

While waiting for the clouds to clear this morning so that I could get outside and enjoy the day, I perused over to YouTube and did a search for my old high school, just to see if people from my old stomping grounds ever uploaded anything familiar.

I was thrilled when I saw this link.  The Drumline preview for my old alma mater.  Sure, the kids are people I wouldn’t know, and I haven’t stepped foot in that school since I graduated many MANY moons ago, but it brought back happy memories of when I myself, was a band geek.

In fact, it was in band, that I met two of my best friends in the whole world.  Heather and I played the clarinet and Julie played the drums.  It never occurred to me that because we loved music, our lives would be permanently fused somehow.

Howard and I are finally making our annual voyage back to our adjoining hometowns this summer and I’m really hoping and praying that I will get the chance to see my two beautiful and fabulous fellow band geeks.

After all, it was because of band class that I know that Heather hates bridges that go over water and that Julie hates feet.  That Heather loves to dance as much as I do and that Julie sings at the top of her lungs to the radio just like I do as well.  Two girls that know everything there is to know about me…two girls that I’m long overdue in sitting down and having a good long visit with.  Two girls with which I pray to God I can orchestrate good timing so that we’re all in the same room at the same time.  Because I honestly cannot remember the last time that actually happened.

And to think it all began with some woodwinds and snares.

May 22

Nothing like a good kayak trip to get the creative juices flowing again.

Last night, we had to forfeit the outing because the wind blew in and the water became choppy. It’s been doing that every damn night this week and last week.

Every time I planned to go (which was every night), the wind would blow in every evening just as I was digging out the life preservers and the paddles.

This afternoon, I left work and the river was finally still and glass-like. The sun was high in the sky and the only clouds we saw were cumulus and billowy ones. Perfect kayaking conditions.

And I was furious. Because tonight was the night Dusty and I do the radio show so of COURSE the conditions were perfect. YOU WOULD KNOW THAT THE NIGHT I AM COMMITTED TO DOING SOMETHING IS WHEN THE RIVER IS PERFECT!!!! Not that I begrudge the radio show. He and I have a blast even when we piss and moan about nights that we’re tired and really don’t feel like doing it. Once we’re down there on the air having a blast, we’re glad we stuck it out.

But. The river was calling me. My body yearned to be out on that water. My lungs ached for the crisp humid air rising from it. My brand new pink kayak sat there looking particularly adorable and just ripe for her maiden voyage.

I called Dusty and asked him if he minded if I bailed tonight. He breathed a sigh of relief because he was exhausted after traveling all this week. In spite of that, I felt really bad. Kind of like I’d canceled a date. Nowadays, the radio show is the only time Dusty and I really get to visit and catch up with each other. But I also knew he could hear the desperation in my voice and given my life as of late, he knew I needed my “Prozac”.

I hung up the phone, we quickly gathered our essentials, loaded the kayaks, dropped them at the cast out point and went to leave the truck at the haul out point.

When we returned to where we cast off, there was a large truck retrieving water from the river. Our former neighbor was there and as we were getting off the 4-wheeler, she mouthed “I ran over your kayak” over the loud engine of the truck.

I mouthed an “oh FUCK!” and silently cursed at God.

Why…WHY? was he testing me? All I wanted was a simple fucking kayak trip. It’s environmentally friendly and rather than drown my sorrows in alcohol and hard drugs, I choose to kayak to relieve my stress. “God damn it…Lord…I’m at 8…you do NOT want to see me at 10.”

Luckily, we inspected the damage, and the nose was just a little misshapen and Howard was able to pop it back into shape and re-set the foam float that wedges into the front end. Within 10 minutes, we waved goodbye to our friend (who apologized profusely) and we were off.

After a few awkward moments of entering the current, getting my balance and getting re-acquainted with the water, I sat back, relaxed and began a steady rhythm of paddling.

I apologized to God as the sun beat down on our faces, the river stayed calm, and eventually there was nothing but the sound of birds, our paddles gliding through the water, and the pleasantly hum-drum conversation Howard and I were having. Howard, at one point, paddled over to me and pulled me to him and gave me a kiss.

Out there on that water, our problems were elsewhere. There was absolutely nothing we could do about it. And it felt fabulous. Our only worries were keeping the kayaks steady and balanced. It felt primal. Simple.

And I knew…really….that no matter what happened back on the shore..everything would ultimately be okay.

When we returned home, I phoned Dusty to let him know we made it back. He’d just been out looking for us.

It had just begun to rain.

God decided to give us a break. At least for today.

May 21

I am getting ready to go kayaking.  My life may have just taken a turn for the better.

That is…if I don’t flip and drown.  Thank God for life preservers and the buddy system.

I hope you all are well.  My life is still in turmoil but we’re dealing with it.  One day at a time.  Thank you for your emails and well wishes.  They mean so much. (Also, OMG, I didn’t realize so many people read my blog! Thank you!)

May 17

I’m beginning to think that whole “weekend blogging” thing isn’t such a bad idea. I’ve even been considering an indefinite hiatus for quite some time.

In fact, I’ve got a lot going on in my life right now and it’s not that I don’t want to share it with you all, I really do.

But to me, it would just seem like a bunch of whining and God knows, I do that enough in my life away from blogging.

However; please do not worry, it is nothing earth shattering. Everyone is fine, I’m not pregnant (had to throw that in), I just feel like I need to re-prioritize my life and blogging, unfortunately falls into the lower half.

Not that I don’t love all of you and not that writing isn’t a huge form of therapy for me….there are just some things I prefer to keep private. I’m trying to justify it knowing that all of you completely understand.

So, be good, be safe, and I’ll be back when either my life settles down or my muse gets restless. Who knows? It may be sooner than you think.

May 13

Dearest Blake,

Our beautiful, precious niece, what a blessing you are to so many people.  Words can’t describe the absolute joy you bring to this family.  I know being a teenager is hard work.  In fact, it may be the hardest time of your life; but the things that you get through at this age will define who you will ultimately become.

Make your choices wisely, learn from your mistakes, but don’t be too hard on yourself.  Most of all:  Love yourself.  Give yourself the credit you deserve.  Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. Take joy in the fact that you are beyond ordinary, all of your quirks and imperfections, make you more of an individual.

If you fall, don’t sweat it, because we’ll be there to catch you when you do.  Rise and keep trying.
Have a fabulous birthday, babygirl.  We can’t believe you’re 17!!

“Maybe we’re different, but we’re still the same
We all got the blood of Eden, running through our veins
I know sometimes it’s hard for you to see
You come between just who you are and who you wanna be
If you feel alone, and lost and need a friend
Remember every new beginning, is some beginning’s end
Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be
Welcome, to wherever you are
When everybody’s in, and you’re left out
And you feel your drowning, in a shadow of a doubt
Everyones a miracle in their own way
Just listen to yourself, not what other people say
When it seems you’re lost, alone and feeling down
Remember everybody’s different
Just take a look around
Be who you want to, be who you are
Everyones a hero, everyones a star
When you wanna give up, and your hearts about to break
Remember that you’re perfect, God makes no mistakes”-Jon Bon Jovi

Love and Miss you,

Uncle Howard and Aunt Christina
 

May 11

Today is Mother’s Day.  My hats off to the women who take on the hardest job in the universe.  HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, in trying to describe to people what exactly my job is; I usually get a confused look or and email that’s all: “huh?” so here’s a link to a website that gives an accurate description of my job.

We CHA’s are in that wide spectrum between nurses and physicians.  We perform in-takes, we get initial histories, we take vitals, we give injections, we do blood draws, but then the care moves into examinations and treatments as well.  We are essentially the ears and the eyes of a physician.  We work under a physician’s license and give treatments according to what the doctor orders.  Some things we can treat here in the village w/o a doctor’s direct orders once we’ve passed a preceptorship and competency in that particular area.  Our role in the community was created some 40 years ago because there are very few doctors in the rural villages in Alaska.  We became that bridge between doctor and patient.  Does that make sense?

Community Health Aide/Practitioners are only in Alaska because our state is unique in that the majority of the population lives off the road system.  The great thing is that I will take a wide variety of skills with me when we do eventually move back to “the real world.”  In fact, once I reach Practitioner level, I will bridge directly into P.A. school.  Plus, my clinical experience by then will make it very easy for me to get through it.

Anyway, here’s the link to the website and I hope that answers any questions…

I hope all of you mother’s out there have a fabulous day!  I admire the job you have taken on and I hope to join you all in the ranks someday.

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