Sunday, February 23, 2014

This is what February looks like

I am still slowly working my way through vacation photos and may eventually get the rest of the trip documented but thought I would take a little break and catch up with the latest from Unalaska. We have had a relatively mild winter but have had a couple of good snowstorms, too.  We live on a hill and have a bunch of wooden steps leading up to our house.  Usually the guys from housing keep them cleared off but I'm sure they were super busy on this particular day.  It's a little concerning to try to make my way downstairs without being able to see exactly where the stairs are.  Lead with one foot, step down in snow up to my knees until I find something solid, steady myself, repeat.  I posted this photo on Facebook and someone suggested that I get a sled. :)  Thankfully I made it down without any mishaps.
We often have eagles sitting outside our door. I am glad I am not an eagle and get to stay inside my warm house.
Meanwhile, back in Texas, this little cutie turned 6 and lost her first tooth soon after!  Happy late birthday to our Elle, a sweet, smart, funny girl with a tender heart and a happy disposition. We love her so much!

ESL/GED classes have begun again so I am teaching on TTh nights once more.  I have a smaller class this time, and mostly new students.  I have to admit that I was quite bummed out to realize that many of my favorite students are working night shift this session so they will be attending the morning class.  I really do miss them but I love my returnees and am enjoying getting to know my new students. 

I had no idea that such a website existed but one of my cousins posted something on Facebook about and I have become somewhat addicted to it.  School teachers from all over the country post items they need for their classrooms or projects they would like to have funded, and individuals or groups make donations to help them achieve their goals. First off, I think it is a crying shame that school teachers have to pretty much beg the public to help them buy sometimes the most basic of needs like books, art supplies, music supplies, PE equipment and so on.  The state of public education in some locales is just appalling. Most of the schools are classified as high or moderate poverty schools.  I know that teachers, for years, have purchased supplies out of their own pockets so I am glad there's a way for them to get some assistance. On the other hand, I am ashamed that some school districts have so little money that they cannot buy enough books for the whole classroom, paintbrushes for an art class, or fans to keep a room cooled off enough so that the students can concentrate.  If you have a few extra bucks, check out the site and see if there's a classroom project that resonates with you.  You can sort by "lowest cost" to see which projects only need a small amount of money to be completed.

Finally, a bit of fun. The organization Protect My Public Media had a Valentine's Day campaign for communities to show their love for their public station.  Our station went all out, getting over 60 photos of locals showing their reasons for loving public media.  Here's mine, above, "I love my public media because I can go downstairs and plug in any song I want!"
 Of course, I had to get the cats into it. Kali "loves to rock with the Stray  Cats, Cat Power, Cat Stevens, Pussy  Cat Dolls, Def Leppard and Atomic Kittens!"
And Ajax simply said that "Cat Scratch Fever" is his fave. One of my friends reminded me that "Cat Scratch Fever" is sung by that crazy right-winger Ted Nugent so I am a little sorry I didn't think of a better song! 
Rich was more philosophical and gave a shout out to Nikola Tesla, who reportedly REALLY invented radio and was ripped off by Thomas Edison and Guglielmo Marconi.  (Hey, Suzasippi, he is wearing the apron you sent him from South Africa!)

KUCB did such a good job that we got a shout-out on Protect My Public Media's blog.  If you click on the link at the very bottom of their blog, it will take you to our full album on FB and you can see lots of great folks from our little island town.  

What's happening in your corner of the world?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Family and Friends: Nothing Sweeter

 Elle and Emery coloring at the cabin

 Gigi's required matching pajama photos
 It was not easy to get all six together! Luke did not want to sit down and Aidan only agreed to wear the pjs for the photo, reluctantly.  He's getting too old for these shenanigans.

 But they are all pretty darned cute, wouldn't you say?
 The girls liked their fairy wings

 Out to dinner at Perini Ranch with family and some of my best friends in the world
 Karen and Randy
 Diana and Jim
 Susan and Corey
 David, Bonnie and Luke (what did we do before ipads to keep kids occupied at restaurants?)
 Sarah, Miles and Beck
 Elle and Ally
 Susan, Sherri, Rich, me Susan, Corey, Karen, Randy, Diana and Jim
 Oldest and youngest grandkids Aidan and Luke
 The sweet girls Emery, Ally and Elle

Abilene State Park

The three girls wanted to ride with Gigi and Grandpa on our outing to Abilene State Park. It was so much fun listening to them chatting in the back seat.
 We had an ongoing discussion about what constitutes a "park."  They thought a park should have playground equipment.  We explained that sometimes a park means being out in nature.  They thought we were crazy.
 "Where are the slides?  Where are the swings?"
 First, some lunch
 Then off on a trail to see what we could see

 David got a workout!
 Skipping rocks--I believe Uncle Miles was the winner in this event
 Sarah and Bonnie
 Somebody's worn out
Girl cousins are so much fun!

Holidays 2013

Yes, way behind, way behind. I know!

Before heading off on vacation, my friend Melanie and I did our traditional Christmas shows on KUCB radio.  We've been doing this for a few years now and always have a blast playing lots of holiday tunes and taking requests.  It's especially fun when some of our family and friends live stream from elsewhere and we can give them a little shout out and send a dedication.  This year we had the additional "fun" of some local pranksters calling us and requesting "Sympathy for the Devil" over and over.  I kept saying "We're playing holiday tunes! It doesn't really fit with our theme!" And various people continued to call with the same request.  Finally after our last show was over, we queued up the darned song for them. Yes, we know who the culprit was (and he was good at getting lots of people to call and go along with it!) but I will not embarrass him by calling him out in public. :)

On Christmas Eve, Rich and I flew from here to Anchorage, over night to Seattle, slept a bit at SEA TAC airport and then flew on to DFW on Christmas Day.  The girls and their families were spending Christmas with their dad so we had a very quiet day at a hotel in Dallas, then rented a car and drove on to Abilene on the 26th.  Because of everyone's schedules, we only managed to have three nights with all the family together but we packed in as much fun as possible!

We rented three little cottages in Buffalo Gap, down the road from Abilene.  It was wonderful to see all the kids and grandkids again!  It was a beautiful day so we walked down to the Buffalo Gap Historic Village, where I attempted to get a photo of all six grandkids together.  :)

Aidan-10, Ally-6, Elle-5, Beck-3, Luke-18 mos. and Emery-4.

 Cousins Elle and Ally always love getting together
 Playing on the old playground equipment
 Dr. Pepper--good for when you are hungry, thirsty OR tired!
Bonnie with Luke, Emery, Elle and Ally. They loved this cat, who wanted nothing to do with them and managed to scratch Luke's cheek.

 Sarah and Beck
 Aidan and Rich checking out some artifacts
 Jumping is such fun!
And so is playing tag with Uncle David!
 David and Miles evaluating the old building
This thing could kill ya--but the kids loved it!
Susan is interested in an old dental office, since she used to work as a dental assistant.

 Back at the cottage
My three beautiful girls--Bonnie, Sarah and Susan