Sunday, August 29, 2010


My latest fun project is participating in Postcrossing ( Sign up, send out five postcards to people randomly selected from around the world, and start receiving random postcards from others. So far, I've sent cards to individuals in Russia, Taiwan, Japan, Portugal, China and San Antonio, Texas (each time one of your cards is received and logged in, you get to send another one out, so I've sent six now). My first card came from Dublin, Ireland, and last week I was surprised to see one in our mailbox from Sichuan, China. Very cool! It's free, other than the cost of a card and a stamp. Some participants also indicate that they would like to do "direct swaps," which means you contact each other outside the random assignments you get from the project. I've been enjoying emails from two lovely women, one in New Zealand and one in Japan. I've sent Alaska postcards to both of them and am waiting for theirs to hit my mailbox. When I was a kid, I always liked having pen pals or writing letters to friends left behind when we'd move from one AF base to another so it kinda feels like that again. I do love mail!


Rich was off the other day and climbed the hill behind our house to pick some salmonberries for making jam. Although he searched for the most ripe berries, they were either this color or going bad.

This year he's going to make salmonberry-pomegranate jam. Sounds good, huh?
No, I didn't help--I was at work. But I am happy to hold the plate. You know it must be pretty warm if I am in my bare feet. And a hoodie....whatever...!

Is this a hint that I am not practicing piano enough? Or just a cool "still life" ?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Full Days of August

The fire alarm went off at work the other day, which gave us a good excuse to sit outside in the sunshine while waiting for someone to come fix it. This busy bee didn't notice us at all.

It's been super busy since I last posted. Last weekend I worked part of the day at the Heart of the Aleutians Festival, a big community event with food, crafts, games for the kids, and great music by our many local talents. Rich came over to meet me for lunch and we browsed the food and craft booths...of course we had to bring home several purchases. Click here if you want to see lots of photos of small town life at its best. This is my friend Tammy arriving at the fest with her kids.

We're continuing to get things done around the house. I love these simple leaning shelves! We bought one when we first moved in and liked it so much that we ordered another one. Not the best pic with all the shadows, but that just shows you that we have lots of windows and sun shining in! I also ordered some macrame hanging plant holders and Rich has been busy drilling holes to hang the hooks for them. Does macrame remind you of the 60s and 70s? I guess it is making a comeback!

Thursday night, we stopped in at a going away party for one of the hotel staff, then on to a slideshow and discussion at the Museum. Monica, one of our young (just finished college) friends and her boyfriend Logan spent part of the summer in Tanzania putting in a rain collection water system in the village of Saadani. I'm very proud of them! Here's a video Monica made--check it out.

Unalaska's annual Women's Conference was held Saturday at the hotel, where Rich also had a very early morning preparing a lovely breakfast and scrumptious lunch for us. Topics included everything from identity theft to addictions to hormones to a panel discussion on the various cultures found in our town. We had demonstrations of (and the opportunity to participate in) activities such as Zumba and yoga and kickboxing. And I came home with lots of great door prizes. :) It's always an interesting conference and fun to get together with other women. Proceeds from the conference help pay for a mobile mammogram unit and staff to travel out here to provide services to the community, a worthwhile cause.

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's Friday and I'm glad.

Yesterday I was hanging around the parking lot at the Methodist Church, waiting for my piano lesson to begin, so thought I would take a few photos of the wildflowers in bloom.

We usually go on quite a few hikes and take lots of flower pictures in the summer, but haven't managed to get out much this year. Maybe there's still a little time left. I hear people are already picking blueberries, too, so we'd better get out there and find a good spot!

It's been another busy week, though I can't recount much of importance. Just the usual work and doing things around the house.

School's about to start; our grandson Aidan will be in first grade and is excited about going to a new school. He went to meet his teacher last night. Here's hoping he will have a great school year! He's also playing football...oh, my goodness, it's probably a good thing I am not there or I would be worrying constantly that he was going to get hurt or dehydrated or something!
Happy Anniversary to Susan and Corey...they will be married 6 years tomorrow. Hope you have a wonderful day! And happy birthday to our son in law Miles yesterday...hope this is the best year yet!
For Sarah's baby bump update, click here. Can't wait for little Beck to arrive!
For Emery's medical update, click here. We're grateful she is doing amazingly well.
And for lots more Tundra Golf photos, click here.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

And Another Week Flies By

I can't keep up! Too much going on, as always. Last Tuesday night, I finally made it back to the knitting club. Wow, I think there were 12 people there, including a guy. Andrea and Terri helped me get started on a little hat. Well, I had already started on it but I was doing it wrong. :) That meant tearing out my stitches and beginning again. Luckily, I hadn't done much. Wednesday night, we had a girls' night out at Andrea's. She made baked salmon with homemade pesto on top. It was delicious...I had to come home and tell Rich about it. We started a fire in her firepit outside and made s'mores (even though the graham crackers were old and had a weird taste so we ditched them and just had chocolate and marshmallows).

Thursday night I think Rich and I were both at home with nothing extra going on for a change. All week I'd been working on the final preparations for the annual Tundra Golf Classic, which is one of our fundraisers at my job. It was all coming together very smoothly till Friday when it seemed like there were a dozen little problems. Eventually, everything was resolved and Friday night some of our Board members, volunteers and staff had to set up the big tent, pick up a portapotty and get the course ready. It was cold, windy and raining while we were putting up the tent. I was really worried that the whole weekend would be miserable (and I had to be at the event all day both days).

My coworkers Anne and Alexandra helped out Friday night. Saturday I had to get up early and head out to the course to set up for registration and get everything ready for the day.

Rich and some of his coworkers decided to have a team this year, calling themselves the "Salmon Poachers." At first I was a little shocked and said, "oh, you can't call yourselves that!" Rich laughed and reminded me, "We're COOKS." Here are Lisa, Rich, Kayla and Glenn.

The first day was chilly and windy but the sun kept peeking out and it didn't rain so I was counting my blessings. We had a lot of fun but it was a very long day with 26 teams playing in the tundra of Pyramid Valley. The last team didn't come in till almost 10 PM! Boy, was I happy to get home and get warm.

My friend Judi's sons Jacob and Steve are here visiting and took time out to volunteer.

Alexandra and Paul

We woke up to rain, fog and blowing wind today. It was COLD. I was surprised at how many hard core tundra golfers came out and played anyway,

including the Salmon Poachers with Vinnie subbing in for Lisa, who volunteered to work at the "Closest to the Pin" contest (in the rain....we have some dedicated volunteers!)
It was a great event for our TV and radio station and I always have a lot of fun interacting with all the people who come out. I have about 80 photos that I am going to post on the KUCB blog tomorrow so check that one out!
I got home about 7 tonight, Rich made tacos and I've been editing and resizing photos the rest of the night. Right back to work tomorrow!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer Flowers Make Me Happy

I love the flowers growing in boxes in the front yard. They take awhile to bloom and they don't last long, but they're so pretty while they're here!

My friend Tammy has a greenhouse full of flowers and plants...I want one! We have enough room in our yard. In fact, there used to be a greenhouse on the property when my friend Andrea's family lived here. I understand it's a little spendy to build something like that, what with shipping in lumber, etc. Maybe we can find some scrap around town, you think?

Friday night we went to the deck BBQ with friends and rushed out before 7 to attend a magic show, which ended up being sold out so we couldn't get in! Should have headed over there earlier.

We decided to have a "Lazy Day of Fun" on Saturday. Rich has been working a lot of hours and although he offered to get pictures hung on walls and finish some more of our decorating, I thought he should have a real day off. Well, he did go in to work for a few hours on his Saturday off, which is typical. Once he got home, we went to the store to stock up on snacks and movies.

He did make us some breakfast tacos but that was the end of the cooking for the day. We had sandwiches for lunch, then we were really naughty and munched on candy and popcorn while watching "Crazy Heart" and "A Serious Man." We gave "Crazy Heart" four thumbs up and thought Jeff Bridges did an amazing job. I don't really like country music but I even enjoyed the songs. We like movies with some resolution, redemption or this one qualified. "A Serious Man" was less satisfying...the usual Coen Brothers quirkiness with some really funny and poignant parts but I wanted something a little more definite at the end.

After two movies, we needed a nap. Later, we ordered pizza while watching "The Road." I thought the book was excellent and I'd heard the movie was pretty true to the book. It was a heavy story but I thought the film was well done and ultimately uplifting. So we enjoyed our movie day--can't remember the last time we have watched three in a row (or even one!) and not conked out. Well, we did have that nap!

Sunday Rich worked and I took some clothes and bed linens to the Methodist Church for their Second Blessings sale which will happen next weekend. We were invited to dinner with friends Sunday night and completely enjoyed our visit with them.

I just heard that we had 3 minutes and 45 seconds less sunlight today. I am sad to see the long days slowly disappear. It was cold and rainy today. I am sorta dreading the winter, I have to admit.

But for now we can enjoy the green hills and the blooming flowers. This is our lovely new front yard!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Just Another Little Adventure

My alternate title was "Annoying." But I am working on the positive spin. When my girls were young and something didn't go the way we'd planned, I would often say, "It's just another one of life's little adventures." We still laugh about some of those, like the time both headlights went out and we got stuck in the mud outside Lubbock, Texas after a Christmas shopping trip. Everything that could go wrong, did. Just another little adventure.

My current adventure #1: Our two year old iMac is crashed and we can't seem to revive it. I got up one morning and it locked up while I was entering my password. No problem, right? Restarted it and suddenly an icon I'd never seen began flashing on the screen. Looks like a folder with a question mark in it. Nothing else showed up on the screen. So I tried rebooting, turned everything off, unplugged everything, waited, did all of this several times and nothing seemed to help. I won't bore you with the whole big story but lets just say that I've had advice from many people, none of which has helped (though we thank you for your advice) and I am dreading the whole sitting-on-the-phone-with-remote-tech-support because there's no one here who's a real Apple guru. I've been using a very old laptop at home, but it's super slow, there's no more antivirus stuff loaded up on it, and it's almost not worth the effort. Plus it would not even let me get onto Blogger. On the other hand, I am getting other things done so maybe it's good for me to have to withdraw from cyberspace a little bit.

Adventure #2: Our email provider, TelAlaska, did some upgrading last week. We had to call in advance and obtain new passwords. I called and got one for me and one for Rich. I logged on after the upgrade and realized my email account is now assigned to Richard Bye. I called to talk with tech support and the guy assured me he would change the name to Jane Bye. I asked him to check and make sure our names hadn't been switched with each other and he said both accounts had Rich's name on them. In fact, while we were on the phone, he said it was all fixed. It's not. If you receive an email from Richard Bye, it could be from Rich and it could be from me. I was told to call back again and I just haven't felt like dealing with it. I know it's small, but it's *annoying,* I mean an adventure.

Adventure #3: And this is the biggest adventure of all. While I was using our very slow laptop, I decided to check our Alaska Air Visa and pay the bill. We use that sucker for everything because we get air miles and you know how precious air miles are out here. So we run it up and then pay it off every month. Guess what? Someone has spent $418.99 at a camera and electronics store. Unalaska has no camera and electronics store and we haven't been back off the island since Hawaii. I called Rich and left him a message asking about it, thinking maybe he ordered something online for his camera, but it's odd he never mentioned it. Nope, it wasn't him. Oh, crap! I called Bank of America and the very nice customer service guy said yes, someone charged it online or by phone on July 29th but that's all the info he had. After thanking me for being SUCH a good customer (read: you use our credit card A LOT!), he advised that we needed to close the account and get a new one.

Okay, the 29th was the same day the computer went down. Coincidence?

So here I sit, waiting to have the proper name assigned to my email account, waiting to see if my computer is ever going to get fixed or if it's done, and waiting for my new credit card to arrive so I can do some shopping. My new best friend at Bank of America did say he'd expedite it since I am such a good customer.