Monday, August 24, 2009


A couple of nights ago, we took a hike up the front side of Bunker Hill just to get out of the house and into the fresh air for a little while. It had been a somewhat dreary day but the sun came out in the evening so we thought we'd take advantage of the opportunity. The flowers were fading and there were no berries to speak of. It seems like there's a little bit of a chill all of a sudden. Could it be that our short summer is already coming to an end? Saturday we stopped in at the Second Blessings sale at the Methodist Church and I found four sweaters--I am already thinking about winter, as much as I want to avoid that thought. It was foggy, rainy and cold today; I commented to Rich that the family did not get to have the true Unalaska experience during their visit!

On Saturday I had my first piano lesson. It was a little bit intimidating, but mostly I felt happy to be sitting there at the piano, trying to make my brain and my fingers work together. I learned some fundamentals and squeaked out a beginner's version of "Mary Had a Little Lamb," slowly and awkwardly, but quite pleased with myself. I'll be taking lessons on Thursday nights and Saturdays, although my teacher will be gone for two weeks in September so I will have some practice time on my own while she is gone. Given my terrible history of being excited about something and then losing interest or motivation, I am hoping I will keep with it. :)

Our kitchen table is overrun with fruit from the organic produce box, which arrived today--early--and we still had stuff left from last week. We are eating lots and lots of fruit (okay, I admit that some of it has been in a sugary syrup with angel's food cake and whipped cream...see why we need to go hiking?) and still have more than we can finish off. I am thinking we need to make some jam or at least put some of it up in the freezer for winter. And Rich has been doing a fabulous job of creating dinner from the variety of veggies out of the box. Nice!

Looking at my list of books on the sidebar of the blog, I am realizing that I will probably not be successful in reading 100 this year. It's August and I have only finished 26! I knew it was a lofty goal but I thought I would do better than that. Tonight I finished Whatever it Takes--Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America, which returns to the question about why we don't value all of our children and families equally. Can a quality education help lift people out of poverty? What does it take to change a community and a society? And how many of us really care what happens?

A late 'happy anniversary' to Susan and Corey, a late 'happy birthday' to Miles, happy retirement to Kathi, and happy first day of school to Aidan. Off to bed for me.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bye, bye, Kathi, Alana and Eli!

We had a pretty quiet last day. I had to go to work for awhile and everyone took it easy. We checked bags and got boarding passes and went out to dinner. Then back to the airport to say goodbye.

Rich and I drove up the hill to watch the plane take off.

There goes Pen Air, off to Anchorage. Goodbye and safe travels!

We love having visitors and showing off our island home. Who's coming to see us next?!

Monday, August 17, 2009

What a great time we are having!

Eli and Alana on Mt. Ballyhoo

There was a sailboat out in the bay this week.

We enjoyed the Heart of the Aleutians Festival and introduced lots of our friends.

Waiting for an early morning boat ride

The wreck of the Northwestern

We saw lots of beautiful sights out on the boat, including a close-up look at this waterfall, several whales in the distance, a sea otter, puffins, eagles and ducks.

Thanks, Dan, for taking us out!

The Filipino-American Association held a traditional flower parade called Santa Cruzan. All of the girls and guys looked so nice in their finery!

Kristine, Sarah, Jeff and I had the very difficult task of judging several categories in the parade. We thought everyone deserved a prize and could hardly choose!

Aren't they gorgeous?

We have taken several drives around town. Here we are looking down on the valley.

We happened upon two cute little foxes.

Look at this one peeking out at us!

Lunch at the Margaret Bay Cafe at the hotel where the vegetarians enjoyed veggie croissant sandwiches.

This is all that was left of Eli's lunch. :)

Today we hiked up Bunker Hill. The weather has largely cooperated all week. It's a little chillier than the San Antonians are accustomed to, but we Unalaskans have been very happy.

Eli snapping a photo of his sister Alana

Checking out the bunker

What a place!

We drove back out to Summer Bay again today, tried to find the horses but had no luck. We then drove all the way up over the pass.
We've visited the Museum of the Aleutians and shopped at Alaska Ship Supply. We've stopped by my office a couple of times but I haven't managed to do much work. :) Eli hung out at the Community Center for a little while this evening and then walked back to the our house on the other side. Rich has been cooking fabulous vegetarian dishes and finished off tonight with bananas foster--yum, yum! Kathi, Alana and Eli leave tomorrow evening at 8, though we have been teasing them that the weather is due for a change and perhaps they will get stranded! We have really enjoyed their visit and are so glad they were able to come!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tundra Golf, Blooming Flowers, and Visitors Arrive

Last weekend, I worked at the annual Tundra Golf Classic, which is an Unalaska tradition and always a lot of fun.  We had some fog and some cool temps but the sun came out on Saturday afternoon and at least we did not have rain and high winds!    I have a ton of photos from the two days but will be posting most of them on the KUCB blog so check that one in the next few days.

Melanie, Sonia, Erin and Alena, aka "The Screaming Banshees" get ready to rumble.

Rich was working all weekend but showed up with a sandwich and iced tea for me.  What a nice husband.

Even the Burger King came out to play golf.

Anne with her team, "Attack of the Sea Kittens." 

Aleutian style golfing....
Our Wyoming wild flowers are finally blooming in their pots.   I didn't think anything was going to happen but they are suddenly all shooting up and going crazy!

That's my sister, niece and nephew's plane coming in for a landing on Wednesday night.   They left Austin on Tuesday, spent the night in Seattle, got to Anchorage on Wednesday and were only delayed a little bit getting to Unalaska.   We'd had no planes for a couple of days due to weather so were really excited that they had no issues.  They even got to have the little adventure of stopping in King Salmon for fuel.  

Welcome, Eli, Kathi and Alana!  They didn't arrive till after 9 PM so we checked them into the hotel, Rich made them all some fabulous veggie sandwiches (they are all vegetarians) and then we took a little drive around the island before it got too late.  It was the warmest, sunniest and prettiest day I've seen all summer. Kathi claims that they sent the sun ahead of them from San Antonio.  We are grateful!

Yesterday we met for breakfast, ran a few errands and then took them out to hike Ugadaga since it was another gorgeous day.  Two sunny days in a row?!!   This is our favorite hike so we didn't want to miss a chance to go.

They were all duly impressed with the scenery and we even took off our hoodies, we got so warm!

Rich and Kathi along the trail.

Enjoying the sunshine and the view.

Hiking back from the Pacific Ocean.

After a quick rest, we went out for Mexican food and then took a drive to Summer Bay, Humpy Cove and Morris Cove.  Really hoped to see the wild horses but they were not in the vicinity.  We saw some salmon and a few eagles.  On the way back, we spotted a seal and two sea otters in the water.  

We are having a more lazy day today,  stopped by my office and went out to Alaska Ship Supply to do a little shopping, drove along the spit and came back to the hotel where our visitors are currently napping.  I think jet lag and yesterday's hiking wore them out!   Rich is working so he is not having a lazy day!  It's Friday night deck bbq at the hotel tonight so we will be enjoying some more good food and visiting with friends later.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Tuesday night we drove over to the other side and hiked up a mountain behind the Russian Orthodox Cemetery.   Someone will have to tell me the name of the trail--I'm not sure what it is called.

It was getting cloudy by then and the wind had picked up quite a bit.

The trail was pretty steep (for us, anyway!), muddy and slippery in places.   I could definitely tell that my muscles were getting a little bit of a workout. 

Looking back toward town.

I love all of the houses dotting the hills.

We hiked a good way up but not all the way to the top.   What a view even from this vantage point, though!

Coming down was not so easy on the steep incline.  Luckily, neither of us took a tumble!

When we got back an hour later, the eagle was still sitting in the cemetery.  Or maybe it was another one who chose the same spot.   :)

Despite our best intentions, we haven't been out since Tuesday.   I thought about walking to work again yesterday but had a lunch engagement and knew I wouldn't have time to walk both ways in the AM without wasting a lot of work time.   We tarried quite awhile at lunch so then I was feeling guilty and needed to get to the office.  And the weather has not been all that fabulous the last two days.  Those are my excuses and I am sticking to them.