We've been having exciting weather--high winds pretty much all weekend. Not just high winds, hurricane force winds, up to 115 mph. It's sort of lame to say because it's been repeated so much, but I still like the comment (said with pride, of course) "down south, they'd give that a name, but here we just call it Saturday." :) There was some damage done but no one was hurt, thankfully. I didn't even want to leave the house but I am newly appointed to the board of USAFV (Unalaskans Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence) and our annual Soup Off fundraiser was being held on Saturday night. I kept reading comments on Facebook about people getting knocked around by the wind and some saying "don't go outside" and "don't drive." We have a bunch of steps that we have to climb to get up to our house or down to the parking lot and I was kinda worried that I might get blown over. Rich was working but took pity on me, came to get me and dropped me off across town at the high school.
The fundraiser was good--we had a nice turnout despite the howling winds, though more than one person came in drenched and several noted that their soup entries sloshed out of their pots between the parking lot and the gym. Rich came over after he got off, we enjoyed lots of tasty soups, watched contestants get their awards, and stayed for the fundraising auction.
We've been planning our vacation and I am very excited about leaving on Saturday. We tried to priceline a room in San Francisco but can't seem to get one for the bargain price(s) we are proposing. Guess we will have to go up a bit more. Also looking for rental cars, another hassle. :) It will all come together in the next few days, though, I am sure! Now I am onto my next dilemma, which is my usual one: what clothes to take. I really want to pare down and mix & match and layer and not bring a stack of things I never actually wear. I always think "but I might need that." And, of course, I am not sure what the weather will be like. I wish I could be more like those folks who throw two outfits in a backpack and still feel like they've overdone it.
Since we've been to San Francisco a few times already, we've decided we are going to concentrate our activities by visiting different areas of the city that we haven't seen before. So we've been reading up on various neighborhoods, making notes of restaurants and shops and things to see and do. We plan to get in lots of walking (unless, as I whined to Rich, "it's too cold or rainy"--yes, I can be a little wimpy).
Changing the subject: I've met the nicest people on Postcrossing.com. I've mentioned before that I've struck up an ongoing correspondence with a few of them. One day last week Rich called to say that I had a box in the mail at the hotel. I hadn't ordered anything and couldn't think of what it could be but Raelyn, a postcrossing friend from New Zealand, had sent a whole box of sweet presents for Emery after learning about her story. What a very nice thing to do for a perfect stranger. I think we just have to look around to realize that most people have kind hearts and only want the best for each other. Well, that's what I choose to believe, anyway. Thanks, Raelyn!
One of my other fairly regular correspondents lives in Nara, Japan. I looked it up on the map and it doesn't seem like an area that's been affected by the horrors there; at least I hope not. I sent Noriko an email but I have no idea if communication is even getting through. I hope she and her loved ones are all okay. It certainly seems like the world is spinning out of control right now with the effects of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor disasters in Japan along with the fighting in Libya and other countries. I could get into a big political dissertation right now but I don't have the emotional energy for it. I suppose my thoughts can be summed up like this:
I don't want us to get into another war.
I thought we didn't have any money and the country was going broke.
If we can't pay teachers and government workers, why are we going to get into another overseas adventure?
We still have to do our taxes before we leave. We started them weeks ago but were still waiting for some documents from our investment accounts before we could wrap it up. Those arrived awhile back and we can't seem to get motivated to resume the process. We've made a pact that we will finish tomorrow. That's postponed from our agreement that we would do it tonight.
I've been a big insomniac again lately. Last night I was up till 4 AM reading. Then I slept really late this morning so now, of course, I am not tired. Ugh. It's a vicious cycle. I wish we didn't need sleep. :)
On the other hand, I am really happy about this: My houseplants are thriving. I love seeing them every day, nice and green and getting bigger all the time. Those of you who know my history with plants will be amazed and astonished. I have been accused of having a "brown thumb" and never, ever, ever had success growing plants in the house or flowers outside. It's funny how thrilled and excited I am about this. I have a daily ritual now, checking each of them like they're my little children. Is this one too dry? Does that one need to be pruned a little bit? Would the other one prefer being turned in a different direction? (Do I have too much time on my hands?)
Well, friends, have a good Tuesday and if I don't post before we leave, I'll catch up with you from California!