Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fall Back

We gained an hour of sleep and I am posting the weekend backwards, just because I'd already started loading up photos when blogger decided not to cooperate so my intended Halloween post did not get done on Saturday. On Sunday, I had brunch with the Ballyhoo Bunco babes. Great food, great company, and lots of laughs, as well as a little bit of business.

Lori, Juliette, Erin, Lou, Michelle, Hilary, Jane and Melanie

There's Sonia in the corner--she was taking the other photo. :)

Saturday night, we were invited to a party at Steve and Goldfish's beautiful new home. Rich enjoyed making a caramel apple with all the trimmings. We had fun hanging out, eating (a constant theme, isn't it?) and visiting with folks. I decided I would make some cupcakes to bring and found directions for a fairly simple looking "bat" to put on top. I needed plain chocolate wafer cookies to cut in half for wings, round chocolate candies for the face, and some gel frosting to paint a shape onto the wings and to add eyes. No biggie, right?! Off to the store I go. All of the chocolate cookies have filling (think Oreos, etc) or are chunky or otherwise NOT right. I can't find any round chocolate candies. I find frosting, M&Ms and some chex mix that has chocolate covered mini pretzels in it. I am thinking, "okay, those little pretzels would look like wings wouldn't they?" I get home and pour out the chex mix to find about 7 mini pretzels mixed in with all the other crap. What the heck?? So that idea is out the window. I go to the other store and have no more luck. I am annoyed with my whole "project" by now. I decide to put those little pumpkin candies on top instead so head back to the store, where there are none left. I grab a bag of candy corn, stick them on top of the cupcakes and call them done. Oh yeah, I had to squeeze piano lessons in there somewhere, too. I have not mentioned piano lessons lately, have I? Let's say it's going slowly but I know more than I ever knew before. I suppose that counts as progress. :)

I can't believe this is the only photo I have of Steve in his chicken costume. There was a smoke machine going at the time, which adds to the spookiness. Yes, that was quite a costume. I looked online for "last minute costumes to make from things on hand at your house" but Rich was not impressed with any of the ideas and wouldn't go for them. I thought we could paint our eyes black and paste a big "P" on our shirts (black eyed peas, get it?) but he seemed to think I was out of my mind.

GF, the cutest little monkey around. Thanks for your hospitality!

We had a few trick or treaters before we left for the party. We set our big bowl of candy out on the porch with a note that said, "The wicked witch watching from the window wants you to take two pieces of candy and leave the rest for the next kids." We debated whether there would be any candy left and whether the bowl would be smashed when we got home. I really thought there would still be candy in it but it was emptied out, though still intact. SO we either had lots of visitors or someone didn't buy the wicked witch ruse and scored big.
Friday I took the day off, other than doing a few quick work-related tasks from home. I thought I would get a lot of housework done, which did not happen. I met my friends and former coworkers for lunch and some of them were already in the Halloween spirit. We celebrated Darcel's three year anniversary at work and Michael Jackson joined us.

Darcel and her family are all very creative. She said she wanted to go as a piece of toast one year when she was little, and her mom pulled it off, complete with a pat of butter. LOL

Char was a cute purple kitty cat.

Judi wore her Halloween shirt.

Donna and I were the only slackers with no costumes.

Darcel even had the moves down.

And Judi had her matching socks.

In other news, our cat Kali decided to present Rich with a gift the other night--a baby starfish she apparently found at low tide. She proudly laid it by his chair and circled around expectantly, waiting for him to take notice. At first we weren't sure what it was. It did not appear to be injured so Rich carried it back to the water and set it free. I am sure it had a freaky little ride in Kali's mouth before being dumped onto our living room floor--hopefully it is over the shock by now. Kali has upped the caliber of her gifts--the last one she gave Rich was a dead fly that she ceremoniously dropped in his lap.

We were watching "Mad Men" last night and loved it when Don Draper told his wife to "take a pill and go lie down." I told Rich that needs to be his standard line any time I start getting excitable. Think of all the chores and projects I could avoid.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Witchy Woman

Rich's witch pumpkin turned out really well! He has this carving thing down.
Both jack-o-lanterns are on display in the kitchen window. Come by and see us! We are hoping they last till Halloween. I told Rich he could carve a few more but he nixed that idea pretty quickly.

We've had a pretty quiet and routine week so far, which is nice after the recent flurry of activity. Tomorrow I'm going to the annual USAFV Domestic Violence Awareness luncheon, which is always interesting and informative, although it's a shame that we still need that kind of activity. Unfortunately, domestic violence is still a huge problem. I hope we can all do more to increase respect, love and peace in our households and our communities. Thanks to USAFV for all the good work they do.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fun on the Radio

Melanie and I guest DJ'ed together. We had fun even though she had to play country music. :) Just kidding, Mel. I think I want to be a DJ in my next life.

Here are the fabulous people I work with: Lauren and Anne above, and Daniel below. Of course, Pipa, the camera shy one, took her photo out of the set she passed to me. I will have to grab it off my work computer.

Below are Darrell and Dan from the hotel having a big ole time playing music and raising lots of money.

Willie, Glenn and Jeff from the hotel stopped by to visit us and hand over some cash. Thanks, guys!

There are lots more photos and a re-cap on the kucb blog: Check it out.

It was a beautiful sunny day today. Almost fooled me into thinking we were avoiding winter but I know that's not really gonna happen. Rich has been carving another pumpkin--this time, a witch. He's getting into this pumpkin carving thing! I'll put up a photo tomorrow.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fraidy Cat Jack-o-Lantern

Rich decided it was time to carve a pumpkin for Halloween. Look how great this turned out! I am highly impressed!
Our fraidy-cat Jack-o-Lantern is sitting in the kitchen window greeting the passers-by. Rich had so much fun, he just might carve another one!

Pretty cool, huh?

Well, it's been a crazy week and I have done a terrible job of documenting any of it. Today I helped with a baby shower for a friend who is having twins and I forgot the camera's memory card. You should have seen the very cute "two peas in a pod" cake! It was sort-of ironic that I was at a baby shower here while all my girls were in Dallas for a shower for Bonnie. I hated to miss it and to miss seeing all of them. But we will be on vacation in less than a month so will be happy to be with them soon!

All week we were working hard at the radio station for our annual pledge drive. We decided to do something different this year and reduce the hard-hitting pledge calls to just one day--Friday. Because we have so many talented local musicians, and live music in the studio has been the favorite part of past pledge weeks, we continued this tradition Monday through Thursday. I am always amazed at the level of talent in this small community! There are so many great singers, songwriters, and musicians that it's hard to squeeze them all in to just a few days, but we tried to showcase as many of them as we could. Friday I had to get up at 6 AM--something I haven't done in a very long time! We started out the morning with coffee and muffins at the station so our listeners could come by, chat with staff, request a song, look around, and hopefully make a pledge. We had a nice turn-out and lots of fun visiting with folks. Dan and Darrell were guest DJs from 8-10--these guys work at the hotel and every year, they get the morning kicked off with their high energy, great tunes and sense of humor. To make it even better, the hotel manager pledged to match all employee donations during the 9-10 AM hour which created a frenzy of giving. The phones were ringing off the hook and people were literally walking in the door with wads of cash in their hands! I've never seen anything like it!

Melanie and I then took over as guest DJs from 10-11. Right away, we were intimidated that there was no way we could follow Darrell and Dan! Melanie brought some songs for the country music fans and, of course, I had to have my rock and roll queued up. We jokingly referred to ourselves as "a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll," shaking our heads that we would ever have any reason to reference Donny and Marie Osmond. LOL We had a lot of fun, even if we were not quite Dan and Darrell.

At lunch time, we had pizza at the station and another crowd of people. The rest of the day included more guest DJs and representatives of community agencies stopping by to talk about their work while playing some songs they wanted to hear. All the while, I was typing away like a maniac, trying to get everyone entered onto the membership list. I am telling you, I could not catch up! What a great problem to have.

Finally, at 7 PM, we had an after-party at the Harbor View Bar and Grill with the band Bunker Battalion playing music for us. We also gave away a round trip Alaska Airlines ticket, which is a hot commodity around here!

At the end of the day, we had doubled our goal of $10,000 and were all very happy and exhausted. But a very good kind of exhausted. I will say again that I have never had a job that was this much fun!

I took my camera to work and never took one photo. We took a bunch with the office camera, though, so I will grab a couple and post them next week. I also have to load as many as possible on the KUCB blog but that probably won't happen till Monday so check back then! And KUCB would still be happy to accept any donations, even though the official fundraiser is over. :)

The snow is certainly creeping down the mountains. We had a little bit in our yard and on our deck this morning. I am not ready!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Never a Dull Moment

Another weekend gone! Saturday we spent a few hours at the Senior Center hawking our wares at the Arts and Crafts Show. We've been printing, matting and framing Rich's photos a little at a time and then, of course, the mad rush on the day of the event is just a given. It wasn't super busy but we sold quite a few photos and enjoyed chatting with everyone who stopped by.

Here's our friend Max, who got every bit of enjoyment possible out of his cupcake!

After the fair, we had a scrumptious dinner at the Chart Room. We have not gone out to eat in a long time! I had a spiced sangria which I really just wanted to chug-a-lug, it was so good. They're now having rotating specials and a "Top Chef" entree which includes three different preparations of the same item (this time it was beef, last time it was halibut). You get to try all three and then vote for your favorite--a fun little twist! Not only did we have a big dinner, but dessert as well (chocolate bread pudding for me and red velvet cake for Rich--aren't we bad?!) Anne and Jeanette came in and ended up sitting next to us so I donated the rest of my dessert to them. I was way too full.

Saturday night I could not sleep. I got out of bed and literally spent the whole night researching family on Amazing what you can find on that site. The census records are pretty comprehensive and many relatives have been easily found, though it's getting harder the further back I go. I finally went to sleep from 6:30 to 9:30 AM! Crazy. Talked with my mom later and she filled in some more gaps for me, enabling me to find my ancestors Kunigunde and Johann Brumbach on a passenger list arriving in New York from Bremen, Germany in 1878. Pretty exciting!

I should have been finishing my book club book instead of trolling old census records and draft notices and passenger rolls. Off to book club anyway, where I was not the only one who hadn't finished, so it was all good.

Tomorrow is the National Day of Writing. My friend Susan set up a gallery for those of us who want to contribute a piece on the topic of "culture, geographic location, a sense of place, and relationship between and among people and communities in the pursuit of social justice and equality." Click here if you want to join our gallery: You may also set up your own at the Gallery of Writing Although folks are encouraged to participate in the day of writing tomorrow, the galleries will be open for submission till June so you still have plenty of time!

It's a busy week at work--our radio pledge drive! Support community radio and join or renew your membership in KUCB 89.7 FM! We'll have live musicians in the studio all week, then a big ONE DAY drive on Friday, the 23rd. See KUCB's website at or blog at for more info. You can even pledge online on the website, talk about EASY!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rainbows, Earthquakes, Domestic Violence Awareness, Radio Pledge Drive, Electronic and Non-Electronic Reading Devices

We've had some big, gorgeous rainbows around town lately. This one was right outside our door the other day. It's one of the perks of the storms we've been having. I heard we also had some earthquakes in the region on Friday night, supposedly felt here in Unalaska. Can't say that I noticed! Blogger is not letting me insert links this morning but you could cut and paste this address if you are interested:

I've been up since 4:30 this morning when I received a phone call about a psychiatric emergency. At first, I was pretty disoriented but ended up being thankful that it had nothing to do with any of our family. You know how those phone calls instantly create a frightening scenario in your mind. I am not sure why I am still on the on-call list since I left my previous job in MARCH. I had to call my friend Donna, wake her up and scare HER next, so she could take over and make sure everything was okay with the situation. Thanks, Donna! Meanwhile, I could not get back to sleep. After tossing and turning for about an hour, I finally just made myself get up. I'm listening to our cool radio station (just so happens I work there but I am not biased!) which is playing Bob Dylan's "Tangled up in Blue" at the moment. One of my all time favorite Dylan songs.

This is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Last night, the City Council made a proclamation and the Chair of USAFV (Unalaskans Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence) presented a statement about the issue. USAFV staff, Board members, volunteers and supporters stood silently before the Council, masks over our faces, holding signs depicting common situations of domestic violence. Our masks represent the invisibility and anonymity of many victims, who remain "faceless" to the community at large. Because many victims are fearful to come forward, we wanted to stand for them.

Unfortunately, Alaska has one of the highest rates of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and suicide in the nation. Organizations like USAFV are working diligently to bring more awareness and education to the community as well as assisting victims with a variety of services. Look around--victims of domestic violence are your family members, your friends, your coworkers, your neighbors, your kids' friends.

Seems like it's been really busy lately and I just can't get motivated to blog. We're working on the radio pledge drive for next week--local musicians in the studio all week long, which is always a lot of fun and everyone's favorite thing. We're calling it a one day pledge drive this year, not asking for money till Friday, the 23rd, when we will have a full day of activities and promotions. See for more info and go to our website at to pledge online! You don't have to live here to support our local community radio station! You can even stream via the website if you want to check us out.

I just ordered a Kindle and am anxious to see how it works on our vacation. I usually weigh our luggage down with too many books! With no more free checked bags and outrageous prices for the second bag, I no longer have the luxury of carrying a library with me. My mom loves her Sony reader and I know a couple of people who love their Kindles. It sounds like it's a toss up between them but what sold me on the Kindle was that you can access wifi with it and download from anywhere. That will be easier for us on our many travels.

And it's Book Club this Sunday night--we are reading Red Earth and Pouring Rain, a novel by Vikran Chandra. It's a pretty thick book and I am just getting started, as usual. So far, it's intriguing. How could it not be, when it includes a poet reincarnated as a monkey who can type?

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Rich caught the full moon last night while I was out having a spooktacular time at Halloween bunco.

Last week began with a strong feeling of dread which was building toward Wednesday, when one of my death row clients was scheduled to be executed. Those of you who know me are aware that I spent a few years working on death penalty cases and continued to do so for a little while after moving to Alaska. It was difficult to manage from long distance so I stopped taking cases but have continued to stay in touch with some of my former clients. I have to admit that, although we wrote letters asking for clemency and the attorneys continued to work around the clock, I fully expected this person to be executed. I sent him several cards in the last few weeks, tried to offer some support and solace, and prepared to be notified that the execution was done. What a strange thing to anticipate. I tried to imagine what it must be like to know that death is scheduled for a certain day and a certain time. Not only that, but it will be a spectacle. I sent my last card off on Saturday, figuring that was cutting it close with weather and plane issues. I tried not to think about the process of lethal injection.

Tuesday morning I went to my email to find a note from the attorney stating simply that a stay of execution had been granted. I could not have been more shocked. And relieved. We don't have to kill people to teach them a lesson. There are other ways to seek justice or punishment, if punishment is what we are after.

The rest of the week was a breeze after that. Minor frustrations and major headaches still grate on me but I have to remind myself that they are no big deal.

Rich and I have talked about hosting "Flash! Unalaska," our weekly community news show, for years. I have hosted with other folks a few times but Rich had never given it a go. I talked him into signing up with me for Wednesday night and despite a few nerves and a few flubbed lines, we had a great time. I wanted to get a photo of the two of us on the set but completely forgot. We watched the re-run later and shot a few pictures of ourselves on TV. Pretty funny, huh?

Thursday I helped with the Candidates' Forum live broadcast (don't forget to vote on Tuesday, Unalaskans!) Friday was a gorgeous day and I considered walking to work but I was already running behind and didn't think I could take the time to do it, unfortunately. I need more sunshine and more exercise!

The annual Alaska Air sale is on--not the best prices ever for those of us living way out here or anyone who wants to come see us, but still cheaper than usual. If you are thinking of coming out for a visit, now is the time to look at getting tickets. We love having company!!

Speaking of travel, we just got our tickets for our next vacation and will be leaving here on November 20. We are thinking of going to Chicago for a few days first and then on to Dallas, Abilene, and Amarillo to see the kids, grandkids and friends before welcoming our new baby granddaughter to the world. Well, that's the plan right now, but we know that baby's plans may not agree and she gets to have the final word. :)