Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Whales, whales, whales everywhere this past week!  I was really wishing we had a boat. Some of our friends have posted some amazing close-ups because they were actually out on the water.

These whales came pretty close to shore so Rich was able to get a few photos.  It was so cool to see them!

You can see how close the whales were!  These guys were so excited and it was funny hearing them whooping and hollering. They were also calling people on the phone, shouting excitedly about the sights they were seeing. (Out of towners, I think!)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Out in the Sunshine

We've had some beautiful days--sunny and warm, into the 70s, which is a heat wave for us!  Yesterday's blog photos were taken after we drove out to Summer Bay and Morris Cove a few days ago. These are from a walk past the dam in Pyramid Valley.   We love the unique Aleutian Cotton, above.  They look like a cotton puff and are silky soft to the touch.

 So many layers--water and rocks, flowers, green tundra and mountains

I was so happy to be out in the sun!  You will notice that even though I have on a long sleeved shirt, my hoodie is discarded on the ground and I am not wearing a hat.  :)

 Waterfall and fireweed

 Bog orchids
 A bee on monkshood

Green hills

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back Home

We flew in on July 18 so we've been back for awhile but I am finally catching up!  Here's our approach.

 Home, sweet home!
 Although there's still snow on the mountains, it's nice and green and the flowers are coming out.

 Shell is here this summer, getting ready to move to the Arctic. That's the Tor Viking.

 White and purple lupine

USAFV (Unalaskans Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence) had a bonfire and we released these cool lanterns with wishes for peace and hope in the world.

 And the Greenpeace boat Esperanza was here for a few days
while the Coast Guard kept watch.  Greenpeace has an injunction against it and cannot get close to any of the Shell boats or equipment. 

Last weekend we held the annual Tundra Golf Classic, a fundraiser for my job.  It's always a lot of crazy fun playing golf in the Aleutian tundra. We don't have a real golf course here so we lay out some astro-turf "holes" and people have a blast.  Unfortunately the weather was not the best this year. We usually work out of a big tent but with high winds expected, we couldn't take a chance on losing or ruining the tent. So we hauled all of our equipment in a 15 passenger van and used it as our office.  A little disorganized but at least we stayed warm.  Here's Melanie volunteering,  handing out golf balls and clubs in the rain.  We have some hard core golfers and still had 16 teams show up despite the weather.

We had high winds, driving rain, and moments of calm and clear skies.  But it was chilly enough for a hat.  :)  Below is a little glimpse of Aleutian style golf.  There are lots more photos on KUCB's Facebook page if you want to take a look. 
And our tomatoes are still going strong!  We have red tomatoes, ripening tomatoes, green tomatoes, little tomatoes and just-beginning tomatoes.  I'm so proud of them!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Goodbye Dallas Family!

 Elle and Miles at the splashpad
 Sarah and her friend Candace (and baby Finn)
 Beck having lunch
 Miles and Beck
 Beck, Miles and Elle
 Miles and Elle
 Miles, Elle and Charlie
 On the back porch at home
 Elle and Sarah
 Gigi and her sweeties
 Elle, Sarah, Miles and Beck

Even though we'd been in Texas for a month, it always seems like vacation flies by and too soon it's time to leave!  I always hate to say goodbye and it seems like the kids grow and change so much between visits.  I miss them a lot but am happy we manage to visit fairly often.  We had a wonderful time in Amarillo, Abilene and Dallas and SO much fun with everyone!  We love you all and can't wait till next time!

Gymnastics and Happy Birthday, Sarah!

We met Sarah's friend Candace and her kids at open gym one day.  Elle and her best friend Miles had a great time playing on the equipment.  Elle has taught herself how to do cartwheels and got a little bit of extra coaching from one of the staff members at the gym.  We think she'd love taking a gymnastics class!

 Beck also had a lot of fun running around and climbing on everything.

 I got to hold Candace's baby Finn for a little bit.

 Beck's enjoying himself!

Sarah's birthday is in July so we got a babysitter and went out for an early celebration at Chef Dean Fearing's restaurant.  Fancy, schmancy, and delicioso.

 Rich and me at dinner. 
 The birthday girl!
 A couple of our desserts--yummy!

Happy, happy birthday to my lovely firstborn!  xoxox