Friday, November 29, 2013

Gobble, Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours.  Last year, Taz and I were lined up on the streets of Manhattan, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  This year, we're tucked in to our house making pancakes for friends.

Of the many blessings in my life this year, I am especially grateful for Taz's healthy eyes.  In October, his retinas detached and had double eye surgery that was followed by a cough-induced hemorrage five days after surgery.  There is some scar tissue forming which may have to be removed, but for now, his vision is about 75% back to what it was and we continue to hope for the best.  Taz's positive attitude throughout this ordeal has been inspiring to me.  

I'm also overwhelmingly grateful for our relationship and the caring, sweet, generous, kind, loving, thoughtful and fun man that Taz is.  His love knocks my socks off nearly every single day.  My life is also blessed with our "son" Zip and our "daughter" Angel, our four-legged kids who warm our hearts with their unconditional affection.

I'm also grateful for my time in New York City and the many friendships and relationships that grew their in spontaneous and organic ways.  I'm equally grateful for my tried and true friends for their friendship over the years and for their constant support and encouragement and for my family in Alberta, where I know I always have a home to return to.  

I'm also thankful for my health and my personal inner growth.  There are issues from my youth that continue to have a hold on me even all these years later as an adult, but I've been making strides in these areas and plan to continue to do so.  Perhaps this is a common part of the process of maturing. 

I'm excited and blessed to have the opportunity to write for a living and my foray in to the life of a freelance writer has been a great surprise and blessing in my life this year.  

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.  I hope that this past year is one that has filled your heart with gratitude as well.

There's much to contemplate, moving forward...


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gobble Gobbler

Welcome to the family Max Frederic!  My newest nephew was born today in Edmonton, Alberta, to my sister Anne, her husband Mark and their kids Jack and Elle... Another turkey joins the coop!

Happy Hanukkah!

Turns out, I lit the candles incorrectly.  Sorry about that; I'm still learning.


In honor of my beautiful Jewish friends living in New York City, I lit a Menorah this morning...

Thanksgiving Day: The Views from Here & There

Happy Thanksgiving.  Last year on this day, Taz and I enjoyed the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in person, a few hundred feet from the parade, with thousands of other onlookers.  Having watched this parade on tv for years, it was really fun to soak it all in, in person.

This year, we are treating our friends to a pancake breakfast in our home.  What a vastly different view!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pre-Thanksgiving, One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, Taz and I were in Manhattan, watching balloons being blown up for tomorrow's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

This was the view then...

And here in Alaska, this was our view today...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ah, the Magical and Mystical Alaskan Mermaid

While walking Homer's rocky shores this past summer, my friend Gail Baker (Gail Baker Art Maker), was inspired to create this leather wall sculpture.

She's looking for a home.  
Right now, she's hanging out on Etsy!

I love Gail's creativity!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Local Issues - Hunting the Brown Bear Population on the Kenai Peninsula

Testimony for USF&WS public meeting on Kenai Refuge brown bear hunting closure.

Kenai River Center   Soldotna, Alaska
November 25, 2013

We strongly support the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) emergency closure of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge to the hunting of brown bears.  We also commend Refuge staff for their commitment to the sound science-based research which led to this action, and their adherence to modern and generally acceptable principles of wildlife management.

We believe it is the mission and mandate of federal land managers to manage wildlife in their jurisdictions at sustainable levels.  This closure confirms that the FWS is meeting these responsibilities.

Furthermore we feel the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Alaska Board of Game have set harvest levels for Kenai brown bears that are scientifically unjustifiable,  biologically unsustainable, and that will lead to Kenai brown bears becoming a population at risk once again.

We would prefer to have the brown bear population of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge managed at densities and numbers similar to that of other coastal populations of brown bears.

We believe that the adoption of a management strategy which incorporates this goal will lead to a population of bears that will benefit the Kenai Peninsula ecosystem, can be enjoyed by wildlife viewers, harvested by hunters, and provide reassurance to citizens who simply want to know we are collectively managing for sustainable bear populations.

Read more on this issue here:

Party Elves

Last night, Taz and I attended a fundraiser for the Kachemak Heritage Land Trust.  We decided to go as elves, to get ourselves in to the holiday spirit, and we ended up winning a prize for the "best costume".  I love having a partner who isn't embarrassed to be silly, but who in fact encourages it!  

I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet, but we're decorating the house and our tree this weekend, so for us, it's not to early to say HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

You're Worth Saving...

My friend Jenny included this horoscope in my birthday card this year. I just found it again and have tacked it to the wall in my writing room.  It's very powerful and I'm grateful for the timely reminder...


The current chapter of your life story may not be quite as epic as I think it is, so my advice may sound melodramatic.  Still, what I'm going to tell you is something we all need to hear from time to time.  It comes from writer Charles Bukowski:

"Nobody can save you but yourself. You will be put again and again into nearly impossible situations.  They will attempt again and again through subterfuge, guise and force to make you submit, quit and/or die quietly inside.  But don't, don't, don't.  It's a war not easily won, but if anything is worth winning, then this is it.  Nobody can save you but yourself, and you're worth saving."

Zip and I contemplate the Universe...

Beach Visitors

We never know what we'll see when we take a drive out to one of our favorite beaches on the Spit.

Today, we are treated to a sea otter basking in the sun on the rocky shoreline, an eagle pair huddled on a log and a small flock of curious crows that land on our car hood and peck and poke their way across our cracked windshield.

The otter and eagles were shot from a distance, as we didn't want to get too close to bother them.  And on a morning that was only 8 degrees with a wind, we weren't on the beach for long.  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Musings by Charlie Brown

As the holidays approach, my thoughts begin to dance around what I've accomplished this past year, as well as what challenges I've had.

The following is a quote by Charlie Brown that makes me smile and feel not quite so alone in my internal dialogue...

Sometimes, I lie awake at night and ask, "Where do I go wrong?" Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night."

Sunday, November 17, 2013

7 Hours, 22 Minutes

This is how many hours of daylight we currently have and those numbers are quickly decreasing!!

No snow in Homer yet, but it's on its way!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hatcher Pass - A Winter Wonderland

Hatcher Pass is one of my favorite wilderness areas in the entire state of Alaska. The pristine natural beauty is easily accessed and provides endless opportunities for remote exploration.  Outdoor enthusiast's find this area a vast playground for hiking, downhill skiing, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, mountain climbing, mountain biking, white water kayaking, rock climbing, berry picking, paragliding, back country camping and recreational gold mining.  

Hatcher Pass is a mountain pass with a summit of 3886 ft./1148 m that winds through the southwest portion of the Talkeetna Mountains.  The Independence Mine State Historical Park is 271 acres that allows a walk back in time, with well-preserved mine buildings, including an underground mine tour and a Museum featuring detailed information on the history of gold mining.
Today, Taz, Zip and I ski in to Independence Mine as the sun rises.  At 9am, the temperature is about 5 degrees, and pale pinks and blues waft over the mountain peeks.  There are just a few other cars in the parking lot and skiiers on the trails.  By early afternoon, the sun is high in they azure blue sky and the temperatures soar to 20 degrees, bringing in hundreds of others who flock to the area and join us on the trails, skiing, showshoeing and snowboarding, on and off trail, surrounded by the surreal beauty of Hatcher Pass.