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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Repositions...

Thanks to required repositions of aircraft, I may get my husband home tomorrow! He might get to fly a plane into Anchorage mid-day for it to be refurbished, and if so, will be on the last plane to Juneau tomorrow! Yay!

Although that means that I only have 1 day to prepare for the man to come home... I have laundry and dishes and other household chores that need to be done (along with some other personal chores that need to be done that I ignore out of laziness while he is gone). It's a good thing that I have tomorrow off.

I also have to fit in more time to work on my final projects for school. We reconvene for the final week on the 4th, so I need to have my assignments for the week outlined and my final projects drafted and ready to be polished. Right now, my final projects are outlined. I just have a little more research to do on some items, then I can start drafting. My new classes start on the 11th, so I'll have to devote some time the week of the 4th to prepare everything for the first week of the new classes.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

5 More Days (I hope)...

It must be the holiday season, but it feels like Aaron has been gone for 3 weeks, instead of 10 days. I am missing him a lot more than normal and I can't wait for him to come home. With any luck, he will be home late on the 1st. He would normally be home mid-day, but Alaska Airlines has cut back on their flights on the holiday. His only option out of Bethel leaves there mid-day rather than morning. Once he gets to Anchorage, he has to wait further for the late flight to Juneau. So, right now, I am praying that the stars align and he is able to make both of those flights. I will be off until the 4th, so if he doesn't make it back on the 1st, that cuts a full day that I would normally get to spend with him. I am also crossing my fingers that if he does make the late flight to Juneau, that the weather is good, as that is the flight that got me stranded in Sitka a couple of weeks ago... Who knows when he would be able to return from Sitka, as I cannot fly our plane to get him if he gets bumped from the flight...

I know, I'm dwelling on the negative, especially since the situation hasn't happened yet, but I really really miss my husband and want him to come home.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I love having honorary nephews

Thanks to the Levengood boys for crafting these beautiful decorations
for us!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Have yourself a very Merry Christmas...

If you are celebrating the holiday today, I will you a very Merry Christmas. If you are like me, with a husband out of town for the holiday, and are postponing your celebrating, then Happy Holidays at a later date.

We are postponing our celebration until the 10th, to give Aaron ample time for anticipation and to see presents under the tree for a while. I have had the joy of experiencing the tree since the first of December, and he hasn't. His family is taking bets to see if he lasts that long... Originally, I was all set to have "Christmas" on the 1st, when he returns home. But no, he wanted it later and HE picked the date of the 10th... So he will have to wait until then... mwah ha ha ha!

I have been working on my final projects for school. I hope to have them ready to be polished by the time he comes home. Tomorrow, I will be hitting the after Christmas sales to obtain wrapping paper and stocking stuffers.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Random Nonsense...

One more day work day this week. Then on to working on my final projects for school.

My new favorite toy (app) on my iPhone is called Angry Cat... It's a picture of a wet and pissed off cat that the more you touch, poke, shake it, the angrier it gets. It's pretty funny and makes hilarious sounds that get Noni all riled up. Aaron put it on his phone first. When I called him on the "house" phone in Bethel, he had me put my phone on speaker, then pissed off the cat so Noni could hear. It made me laugh a lot. She cocks her head to the side, starts growling, then goes and gets a squeaky toy and squeaks it to compete with the screaming/hissing/spitting cat noises emanating from my phone. (he he he)

I tried making carmel tonight. It was the first time I tried to use fine sugar, and I think it burned while it was cooking. I got it because it said that it dissolves faster, but I don't think it dissolved that well. I cooked it to the firm ball stage, and let it set off to the side while I made the cookies that will be office Christmas presents. After I was done with cookies, I went to cut the carmel and the texture was off. I put it in the fridge and I'm hoping it sets up better. We'll see in the morning.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday Migraines...

Bitter cold doesn't really help out a migraine. It didn't get much over 15 degrees Fahrenheit today. I stayed in at lunch today because I didn't want to have to scrape ice off my car. However, that meant that I had that much more to scrape off at the end of the day. I was blessed by another Monday Migraine today. The constant shivering and tension from the cold just made it worse. The edges of the migraine are just starting to recede now. Just in time to do some late night laundry and go to bed.

One of the benefits to a bitterly cold day is a beautiful day. The air was crisp and clear. The mountains were spectacular. From sunrise to sunset, I was amazed. I was also grateful for my warm office and clean windows to look out on the wonders. The night sky was also phenomenal. A sliver of a moon in a clear sky. A perfect night for viewing the Northern Lights, if there was more solar activity. I checked the forecast this afternoon, just in case, and it was low. In theory, we should be able to see aurora low on the horizon to the north, but I don't really feel like going out at 2:00 AM to view it.

I wish I had thought to take a picture to share the beauty with you all. Although, the camera probably wouldn't have done it justice. You'll just have to take my word for it, I guess.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Disproportionate Dog - Day 2

Today, I cut her hair down to the collar on the right side only. She
is starting to look like a patchwork puppy!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Disproportionate Doggy!

I know it's a little hard to tell in this picture, but Noni's head now looks extremely disproportionate to her body.

The other day, I remarked at how much she looked like an Ewok... Seriously... She came inside and shook and her hair stood all out and I swear she looked just like Wicket...

I started the hair cutting process with her today. Mainly because I am tired of seeing clumps of dog hair all over the house. Step1: Trim her face (seen above)... Neither of us have the patience to endure much more than a 10 minute trim session, so I'll be cutting her hair in batches... I'll be leaving several areas longer than I normally do when I trim her, but it is winter and she needs fur on her legs... She'll probably end up looking more like a Schnauzer than a Lhasa...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More trip snippets...

My nephews are just too darn cute for words... I was informed that they waited and waited and waited and we were late (my step-mother and I were late picking up the older one from school the day after I arrived... but it works for my flight too!)

My new love affair involves a ceramic flat iron... (get your minds out of the gutter!) My step-mother, sister-in-law, and I went shopping the day before I left. We got sucked in to one of those kiosks that sit in the middle of the mall to hawk their wares... They were selling flat irons and gave us each a demonstration. On my step-mother and SIL, they demonstrated how it can be used to curl hair (it works pretty well, actually). For me, they went straight. I thought my hair was pretty straight to begin with, but apparently my "natural wave" is a little more pronounced than I thought. Everyone liked their hair so much, that we got flat irons for Christmas! Thanks again, Esta!

My brother made dinner for us, both nights that we were there. It was so great to sit around the dinner table with chairs having to be pulled from other rooms, and everyone squishing together. I miss big family gatherings and it was so much fun! My nephew decided he was going to tell us where we could sit (oddly enough, I HAD to sit next to him and Aaron HAD to sit on the other side).

While the women went shopping (what can I say, it's what we do...), the men-folk went to the aviation museum (imagine that! A commercial pilot, an FAA inspector, and an aviation enthusiast with 2 small boys in tow! who'da thunk!) They all had a blast! I love the pictures of my nephews sitting in the mercury capsule!




We also got pictures taken while we were there. They are very cute, if I do say so myself. Once the prints get here, I will send them out to the people on our Christmas Card list. If you haven't gotten a card from me before, and would like to receive one, please leave me a comment. Just keep in mind, they will not go out until AFTER Christmas... I know, I know... You'll just have to deal with it...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Travel Woes!

Upon trying to return home from Anchorage last Tuesday night, we were diverted to Sitka, AK due to fog in Juneau. We arrived in Sitka after 11:00 pm and stood around for a while to get our bags and wait for a ride to the hotel. We were advised to return to the airport between 4:15 and 4:30 the next morning... awesome!

So we arrived on time and got checked in for the flight back to Juneau the next morning. Even though we were told to be there at an ungodly hour, the coffee kiosk wasn't open and Juneau was still fogged in... awesome!

They started board for the 6:00 AM flight to Juneau at 7:00 AM... and we sat there and sat there and sat there... Meanwhile, in Juneau, Aaron was sitting on our scheduled flight to Seattle-San Francisco, waiting for the fog to clear in Ketchikan. When Aaron advised me that his flight would be leaving shortly, and we were still being told to wait out of Sitka for Juneau, I got off the plane (around 10:00 or so)... I rescheduled for the flight departing Sitka for Ketchikan and Seattle that left at noon, then went and ate some breakfast (and had some blessedly good coffee). The rest of the people going to Juneau were on the plane for another hour before they let them off to eat... It made for a very long morning for my associates that I was traveling with. (and they didn't make it in to Juneau until the following morning).

By the time I boarded my flight Sitka-Ketchikan-Seattle, Aaron's flight was already in Ketchikan. By the time I got to Ketchikan, he was already in Seattle, and boarding the flight to San Francisco. I arrived in San Francisco about 4 hours later than he did, which made my really long day, even longer...

Thankfully, the trip home was much easier.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Greetings... from Anchorage!!

I am spending the night in Anchorage tonight. I am attending my very first conference, and as a vendor no less. My feet are very angry with me right now, and the anger will continue through tomorrow. I didn't have room in my luggage to bring the necessary shoes with me for the conference (2 pairs of dress shoes - 1 brown pair, 1 black pair; and comfortable sneakers). I only had room in my luggage for 1 pair of shoes, so I had to wear one pair of "heeled" dress shoes and pack the other pair... Add to that, 10 hours on my feet today, and my dogs are screaming...

Other than my foot issues, the conference has been going well. It's a short day tomorrow, so I won't be on my feel all day. I am hoping that I can get a late checkout tomorrow, otherwise, I'll have to leave everything with the bellman for the afternoon. My flight home is not until 7 tomorrow night... Then, it's on to home to leave the next morning for a little Thanksgiving/Christmas combo with my family in California. It's the only time we could do anything during the holidays with Aaron's schedule this year.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It doesn't feel like Christmas-time...

Is it just me? I can't believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone, and the gift-giving season is upon us. It doesn't feel like it to me... Maybe it's because I've been so busy... Maybe it's because Aaron's been gone... Maybe it's because we don't have the tree up yet... Maybe it's because I'll be traveling a lot this December... Maybe it's because Christmas will be lonely this year...

I'm not entirely looking forward to this Christmas season...

I don't want to feel all "Bah-Humbug", so I think I'll force myself to listen to Christmas music at work tomorrow. I'll be putting up the decorations at work tomorrow, so maybe that'll help me get in the spirit.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Day After Thanksgiving

I was invited to a friend's house for Thanksgiving dinner last night, and was asked to bring the dessert. Of course, I had to bring the family favorite, Pumple Pie. I also brought the rolls. All in all, it was a good dinner, and wasn't devoid of drama... When you have the first "married" Thanksgiving for a couple, parents in attendance, a house-guest who totaled your car the week before Thanksgiving and an uninvited guest, you have the makings for a very memorable Thanksgiving (unless you are one of the people who got completely blitzed, much to the entertainment of the others... you might not remember so much). Throw in a couple of dogs, and you have a party!

I did not participate in any Black Friday rituals... The only store worth going to here has the best deal... 50% off all socks! Woo-hoo! Lets head on down there!!! I so wish to stand in line at 4 AM just to get some socks! I wish we had a Target or a Kohls, but we don't. Walmart is a complete joke in this town. It's a Supercenter, but the same size as a regular "old" Walmart, so they stock a lot of stuff, but not as much as you would think... I tried to get some winter clothes here when I first moved back several years ago (because I was coming from Hawaii, and I left all my cold weather clothes in Utah) and couldn't find ANYTHING... It was extremely frustrating...

I did eat some left overs from dinner last night. I did not escape my friend's house without some turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy... I had some pie already (I ended up making 2) so I let them keep the other one. I had a lot of pumpkin pie filling left over from yesterday, so I googled some recipes for it... The easiest one I found was to bake it as is without a crust and eat it like a pudding... So that's what I did (it's my favorite part of the pie anyway). I just took it out of the oven, so I haven't tasted it yet. When I do, I'll tell you all about it.

Aaron comes home on Tuesday. We'll have a short Thanksgiving dinner as a couple then. We'll also put up Christmas then. I'm going to have to look up Rachael Ray's 1-Hour Thanksgiving Dinner recipe. I watched it several times this week, and now that Aaron wants me to cook him some turkey, I'll give it a try.

Bring on Christmas!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My life consists of...

My busy life has consisted of work, home, school, PWC, Facebook, Nora Roberts, Gilmore Girls, Noni, Aaron and, for the last 8 weeks, Dancing with the Stars. This is the first season that I have watched from beginning to end. I only missed one results show (the one where Louis Vitto was eliminated) because I had a big project due that night. Every other night, I've been there with the dancers.

I have to say, that this season was one of my favorites. There were a lot of creepy moments in there (Derek and Joanna got a little too comfortable, if you know what I mean) and some really beautiful moments. I was not surprised with the results at all. I predicted that, even though Kelly was really popular, she would take third. If it was left up to the judges, Mya would win (based on her technical prowess). If it was left up to the audience, Donny would take it all. Of course, Donny does have the largest fan base out of the three, so there you go. My favorite, though, was Kelly. She pleasently surprised me. She wasn't the most technical, and I thought that she did not do "Crazy Train" justice, but she grew the most. Had she gotten the Paso Doble later in the season, she probably would have done much better to "Crazy Train". These last few weeks, she has blossomed into a wonderful dancer. One that looks like she has a healthy outlook on life. She brought tears to my eyes tonight with her beautiful Viennese Waltz, and her humility at the end. I did not expect that of her. I am excited to see where she goes from here.

So, now that DWTS is over, my life will be lacking an activity on Monday and Tuesday nights. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Heroes, but I've gotten used to watching it on the weekends on Hulu. I guesst that means I'll have to focus more on my school work.

On the school front, one of my recent assignments reviewed persuasive speeches. I had to pick an historical or contemporary person known for their persuasive speeches, and was given a small list to choose from, but it wasn't restricted to that list... I have always wanted to do something someone else wasn't doing, and was hesitant to choose from the list that they gave me. The first thought was President Obama... Not gonna go there (too easy)... My second thought was Hitler... I probably would have picked him if I could speak German. Not because I idolize him or anything, just that he was a very persuasive speaker. I wonder what kind of reaction I would have gotten if I chose him. I ended up choosing President Ronald Reagan. The speech I analyzed was his address at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin in 1987 ("Tear down this wall"). I found the entire speech on YouTube and watched all 20+ minutes of it. My life started in a time where the European map was seperated by the wall, but I remember very little of it. My most vivid memory involves our text books at school, just a year after the wall came down. Our school books had not been updated yet, so our teacher had us review geography compared between a year ago and today (I think it was 5th grade). It was very interesting to revisit the time when the world was seperated, not only by a physical wall, but by fear. How easily we forget things like that, and get complacent in our own lives. It was refreshing to listen to and watch a president who spoke plainly and strongly to the people of the world. One who didn't need grand gestures to make his point. When I watch a speech by President Obama, I get the feeling that I'm watching David Copperfield. He's way more animated than President Reagan ever was, but I feel like he's distracting you with his right hand so you don't know what the left hand is doing... Is it just me?

(Oh, and in case you are wondering, this mindless rambling is what happens late at night after a heavy workload, school assignments due, and rampant emotions and you aren't tired enough to sleep...)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Chrismas Wish List...

I want some iTunes gift cards... So I can create a collection of music that I can listen to at work that does not include the works of Taylor Swift! For crying out loud, every station I've listened to today has played one of her songs... ARGHHH!!! I can't get away from it... Even the "alternative" station is playing her... I am sitting here in silence because if I have to listen to any of her songs one more time, I may just have to do something drastic...

**I'm also adding Miley Cyrus to the list of artists to boycott... Party in the USA is one of the stupidest songs I have ever heard... It's just as annoying as anything by Taylor Swift... I can live with The Climb but not anything else...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Staying focused...

I have a lot of balls in the air right now. With school and work and Aaron and Noni and family and upcoming travel, I'm starting to feel a little stressed... But jazzed too! I feel like I have something to work towards, a path to follow, if you will. I did obtain an "analog" schedule, which is helping immensely. I've been able to keep track of all the little road signs during the day, to help me down my path. Today, despite it being a Monday, was actually pretty good. I was able to get a lot done today and I feel awesome!

The only way I can tell that I'm stressed is through my body... Boy, is it telling me to slow down a little... or get an adjustment... I can't quite tell at the moment. I tend to keep all my stress in my neck and shoulders... I've been doing the stretching exercises to alleviate the tension in my neck all day today, but it's not working that well... Which is what leads me to think I need an adjustment... But, if I go to the chiro, my insurance won't pay (I've reached my max limit for the year on chiro visits), so it won't be cheap... It will also require multiple visits to correct all my issues (pelvis is out, which stresses my knees, which knocks me out of whack in my upper back...) I think it will have to wait until after the first of the year... Ibuprofen will have to do me for a while...

Maybe it would help if I got a therapeutic massage... Does anyone know someone in Juneau who would do it for cookies? I can bake a real mean cookie!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tales of recycling...


I'm don't recycle for the sake of being green... I recycle because we have a land fill (when we shouldn't) and they make it relatively easy to recycle. Other places that I have lived have been way too difficult to recycle in... Way too much prep time in my mind... (like cutting the labels off your bottles... not gonna happen) My motto is: If it CAN be recycled, and it's EASY to recycle, why not recycle?

Anyway, here in Juneau, I just go to the dump. They have a couple of buildings to house the recylables, one of the buildings is for household items. I load up the car and spend 10-20 minutes there splitting it all up. There is a bin outside for glass, one for tin (soup cans and such). Then, inside, there are the areas for aluminum, plastic (2 kinds) and paper and cardboard.

It's centrally located in Lemon Creek, which means it's a short drive for me... If I'm heading that direction during the day, I'll usually take recycling with me and make a brief stop.

Tomorrow is recycling day... I gathered up the recyclables between my office and my home and the car is loaded (mostly with cardboard)... They also take shopping bags, which I still seem to accumulate even though I have many of those other kinds of bags that you can re-use... You know the ones... Not quite cloth, but not quite plastic... I'm not quite sure what they are... I use the regular plastic shopping bags in my wastebaskets that are all over the house (also for poo baggies when I'm out of the biodegradable kind), but I don't think I need a drawer, a shelf, and several of those bags full of other bags... I have a dispenser for the plastic bags, so I think that'll hold me for a while.


I'll need to make a second trip at some point, for the additional stuff in the house. I recently purchased some bins specifically designed for recycling... They are bigger than I thought... When they fill up, I'll take them down... Or empty the contents into a garbage bag to sit in my garage until the next trip... As for now, they are fine to sit in my broom closet.

Does anyone know what the colors are supposed to be for? I figure that blue is for aluminium (as seen in the picture), but we are using that one for glass... Any thoughts?

Monday, November 9, 2009

So...

How is everything going for everyone else? I'm thinking about keeping an "analog" schedule to MAYBE try to help me plan my day... I don't know what else to do. I have Google Calendar, and use that for work (when I remember to bring it up)... I also have Google Calendar sync'd to my outlook at work (but it doesn't sync ALL my calendars... ugh...) and to my iPhone... It is a great interface for reminding me of stuff, when I remember to use it... It's hard to see my entire day on my phone, so I very rarely check it... I spent the entire time during DWTS tonight plugging the due dates to my school assignments into it... It might just be easier to go back to my written schedule book... That way, I can see EVERYTHING I need to do for the day, and not just my work stuff...

So I have a Franklin Covey binder, that I haven't used since 2006... So it definitely needs new inserts, IF I decide to use it again... I'm not really sure that it will fit into my life right now... It's kind of cumbersome, for me... Maybe I'll see if I can find my old (personalized) Day Planner... Hmmm...

I have a little pocketbook one that was given to me by a vendor, but I think it's too small...

Either way, I'm going to have to spend some money figuring out how to mesh my work, school, condo association and personal lives together...

I get a headache just thinking about it...

Ugh...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The dreaded flu...

I went home early on Wednesday, because I didn't feel well... Very lethargic, headach, joint/muscle pain... Absolutely NO energy...

Which led to Thursday in bed in the same state. Friday, energy-wise was a little better, but I woke up with a fever, so I stayed home again.

(and before you ask, no, it wasn't H1N1... I had nothing respiratory with this flu... Just overwhelming fatigue and body aches and slight fever... Not even bad enough for the doctor to squeeze me in... They just said rest and fluids and if it gets worse, go to the ER...)

Today, I was feeling quite a bit better, so I decided to - *gasp* - take a shower and venture outside to get some fresh air... Aaron took this to mean that I was better, so he talked me into going to the hanger for a good part of the day... Don't worry, I bundled up, and stayed bundled up the whole time I was there...

The fatigue came back about an hour into the Girl's Night In chat on PWC. Aaron wanted to go to a movie (we mis-communicated on that one... I thought he meant the goat movie with George Clooney...He meant "Amelia", which isn't showing here yet...). So one temper tantrum later, we are back home. I'm glad we didn't go out. Now I can go lay down and get some more rest.

I have an assignment due tomorrow, so I have to get up at some point and finish it (I started it earlier in the week, thank goodness). Hopefully, I have enough energy to get a jump start on next week's assignments too!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

New Widget

You'll notice an audio player in the upper right hand corner of my blog, displaying an album Circle of Twins. This is music composed by my brother. Give a listen and tell me what you think. I'll pass the comments along. Personally, I love his music, the way it draws you in and excites you. As per his directions, you may need to turn the bass up on your speakers for the full effect.

First Snowfall of the Year!

This almost looks like rain, but these are really big snowflakes. It
hasn't accumulated yet, but it sure looks pretty when you are inside,
looking out!

Monday, October 26, 2009

My brain hurts...

Hi, my name is Jen.... (Hi, Jen!) It's been 1 day since I had a Diet Coke...

I made the conscious decision to (yet again) give up Diet Coke (this after drinking NOTHING BUT Diet Coke all weekend... Yup, that person who just emptied a 12 pk in 2 days, yeah, that was me)... So far, Advil (and copious amounts of water) has been enough to stave off the dreaded "detox" headache... At least, it was until I decided to fill my head with syllabi and reading assignments and calendar organization...

I could say that it is all my instructor's fault (for one of my classes), as the syllabus for that class was not available yesterday as it should have been (it wasn't attached to the message, and didn't get corrected until today), and as such, I wasn't able to know, in full detail, what my assignment is this week, and when it is due... Well, lucky me! I have an assignment due TOMORROW that requires a lot of reading and actual thought into preparing for it... Crap...

Yeah, I could blame it on my instructor, but it's probably more likely that the Diet Coke monster that lives in my head to at fault.

So, I'm giving up for the night... I have to have the assignment done and to my instructor by 11:00 PM tomorrow, so I'll have a few hours after I get home from work to formulate my responses. I'm so glad that the other class' assignment isn't due until Wednesday, and I already have that one done (or pretty close to being done...) I did that one yesterday while I was waiting for the other information to be made available...

I don't know what I was thinking that this would be easy... What a day to give up Diet Coke...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Allergies Suck...

So, I had planned this weekend to do a thorough clean on my house, so that I can focus solely on my school work with minimal distractions until Aaron comes home on the first (and he can attend to the house chores). So I started clearing everything out of my bedroom (you have to start somewhere, right?).

First, my husband is disgusting... I keep threatening to make him clean up "his side of the bed" but he always finds some way to get out of cleaning... Like coming up with an activity we can do together (keeping me away from my own chores in the process) or going to fly with a student... (sigh)... Needless to say, that when we finally "finish" that room with furniture and paint, etc, we may need to replace the carpet.

Add in the dog, and my carpets were pretty stinky. I have some carpet powder that is designed to help lift pet hair and odors from the carpet, so I decided to use that to get rid of the weird smell... It worked fantastically! However, at about 10PM last night, I remembered why I stopped using it. I've been in full blown allergy attack mode since then... I didn't get much sleep, my face feel numb from blowing my nose so much, and I still have a lot of chores to do today. However, once in allergy attack mode, ANY smell (good or bad) will set me off... I can't drink coffee, I can't do laundry, I can't clean my shower, I can't wash my hair... unless I want to sneeze...

Mr. Man needs to come home so he can clean and I can take some allergy meds and check out for the day...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy Birthday!

♫ Happy Birthday to Me, ♫


♫ Happy Birthday to Quinn, ♫


♫ Happy Birthday to Damon, ♫


♫ Happy Birthday to us! ♫

(and Happy Birthday to anyone else who shares this day)

Monday, October 19, 2009

I must be insane...

...or a glutton for punishment...

In addition to my full time job, my duties with the Pilot Wives Club, and my enrollment in school to finish my bachelors' degree, I have also agreed to serve on the Board of my Condo Association again. I've been on the board for the last year, but it hasn't taken that much of my time... However, I've been "selected" to be the treasurer... I say "selected" because no one else is willing to do it. I'm not wanting to, but I'm willing to if no one else does...

So, I'm hoping that something doesn't fall through the cracks with all my new-found responsibilities... That would suck... I guess I'm just going to have to see how much time being the treasurer of our board takes, as well as how much time I need to devote to my classes. I'm not sure when I assume the duties of the treasurer, but I know I start my classes in one week.

I think I'm going to have to adopt a zen attitude for a while... and just breathe...

Zoom...

I've been working away this morning and just happened to look at my clock.. I have a half hour before Lunch... This morning has gone by too fast... I have so much left to do this morning, that I will not be getting to. Oh well...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Yay Me!

I have been accepted to college to finish my degree! Hoorah!

I start my online courses on the 26th! SWEET!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gone Again...

Took the man to the airport again this morning for the rest of the month. I very much dislike early mornings... After I took him to the airport, I went back home for a "nap" until I ACTUALLY had to get up for work... During my nap, I was having a very strange dream... Not sure of the details at the moment, just that it was strange, and that I would recognize that each time I woke up to the snooze alarm, and then go right back into the same dream... Weird... I must have some unresolved issues or something...

This week was spent celebrating my birthday, which isn't until next Friday. We went out to dinner on Tuesday, and I got my birthday card from Aaron yesterday. I also know of one gift that is on it's way now, so I'm counting it in my "birthday week", even though it's not here right now.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cryptic...

I don't want to jinx it, but I am in the process of doing something that will add to my current stress/work load, but it will be good, in the long run... Hopefully, it will all culminate in me starting this new thing the week after my birthday, which is a little over a week and a half away... If all goes well with it, I'll post what it actually is... until then, I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping for the best...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Am I getting old...

...or is society getting worse?

I find it EXTREMELY difficult to listen to anything on the radio anymore... The lyrics for a lot of new songs are suggestive and vulgar and insulting to a lot of people (or maybe just me)... What ever happened to telling a story without swearing through the song? And I tell you, I am far from being a prude (or at least think I am). I don't think that anyone should be listening to what is played on the radio... It used to be that if you wanted a song with bad/suggestive lyrics, you had to go buy the CD with the black disclaimer sticker on it... If I have to hear that "I wanna take a ride on your disco stick" song one more time, I think I MAY just blow up my radio...

This doesn't take into account the other trash that is being played... Songs like Miley Cyrus' new song, where she looks like a tramp in the video... I cannot stand that song... I want to rip my ears off when it comes on the radio... Other songs like ANYTHING from Taylor Swift, can be left off the radio as well...

Another part of my radio rant is about what they play and when... It seems like EVERY station out there (in the same genre) plays the exact same songs in the exact same order, but at "slightly" different times... Case in point, I can be listening to our local "mix" station, and can hear that stupid song by Mariah Carey (you know the one..."why you so obsessed with me?..." at least 3 times a day... It seems it is on every morning as soon as I get in my car to go to work, when I get in my car to go to lunch and when I get in my car to go home... I find it hard to believe that in this day and age where everyone is a "clear channel radio" etc, that the local DJ's are playing anything by choice anymore... I'm sure that some big-wig at clear channel is picking canned playlists to be played by the local stations... I say this because I can listen to practically any other radio station online, and hear the same songs in the same order. I listen to one station via iTunes at my desk, and I can go upstairs to my boss's office, and the same song will play on her radio about an hour after I last heard it, and then I can go to the admin's office and hear the same song about an hour after that... We all listen to different radio stations via different methods... This shouldn't be happening...

The only way to avoid any of this is to listen to something with no lyrics... Solo Piano usually does it for me when I've gotten fed up with the other crap... It takes almost two weeks of non-stop listening to solo piano to determine that I've listened to the same song repeatedly...

The only other station I turn to when I'm tired of the crap on the radio now is to listen to a 90's alternative station... They still repeat songs at a pretty regular interval, but at least it's music that I like... Which is where my original question comes in... Have I just reached the age where I cannot assimilate the new cultural items into my psyche? Have I become the adult that thinks that all music that isn't what I was listening to when I "was your age" is not "music?" Probably...

I've also become tired with crap on TV... The dramas are OK, but the comedies are stupid, at best... It's gotten so that we watch the Science Channel (or the like), just to get some substance to our TV watching... At least, that way, I learn something new (like how to extract water from Elephant dung - sorry I know that now, because, ewwwww! but if I ever get stranded in Africa, I have one additional source of water), and don't just lose a half hour of my life (yeah, thanks "Cougartown"). But, even then, you take your chances... Everyone is going with reality TV now, where they have to bleep out every other word... What ever happened to the polite times where the worst you would hear is "shoot" or "darn"? I think I'm going to blame my bad language (cleaned up on here, because my relatives read my blog, and it's embarrassing to know your grandma just read you swearing on the internet) on the fact that society is screwed up, and if you don't swear like a sailor, then something is wrong with you...

I think I may have to just turn off my TV and radio for a while and just read a book or something... People in society are starting to piss me off...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The joy of the weekend...

...is easily shattered...

It's amazing how everyday stresses will pile on and pile on until you start a screaming match with your loved ones break...

So far, the only way to salvage this weekend, was to watch "Lonesome Dove" on DVD. Which is an excellent series, btw...

Aside from the peace that was brought on while we watched the struggles going on on-screen, I am worn out from all the other things that have gone on...

Tomorrow doesn't look like it is going to be that much better... I imagine that this week is going to be hell... It's the first full week of a new month, the first full week of a new quarter and our annual member & board meeting this week... It's a good thing that Aaron is coming with me to Anchorage for the later half of the week, or I wouldn't get to see him at all this trip, for all the extra time I need to put in to work to see that it all gets done, and gets done right...

I wish I had time to breathe... I guess that was this evening with "Lonesome Dove"...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Going Pink

With the introduction of the new site, the Pilot Wives Club will also be more involved in community service projects, on a national as well as local level.

For October, we are Going Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness.

As many of you may know, the incidence of breast cancer in women in the United States has increased to 1 in 8, or about 13% [source: breastcancer.org]. You may have been touched by this disease personally, or through a family member or close friend. We have several ideas to offer you, as ways we can help to fight this disease.

One of the things we are doing is to participate in Lee National Denim Day, on October 2. Join our team and wear denim on this day. Donate $5.00 or more, and get your friends involved. We have a goal to donate at least $500 for this cause, and it would be great if we could meet/exceed it. You can join our team or make a donation here.

Another thing you can do is to combine together with other pilot wives in your area to participate in the various walks/races across the country. As of the time of this writing, there is already one planned for the Phoenix area! Go Phoenix Wives!

We will also be selling certain items on the site, the proceeds of which will be donated to cancer research. If you are interested in purchasing any items, please check out our site store at www.pilotwivesclub.com. We expect that area of the site to be operational in a week or so, so if it's not there, either wait a few days or contact me and I can send you pictures of what we are offering so far.

As wives of pilots, we have the unique situation of being many things to many people. In most cases, we are the one constant for someone. We are the ones who keep our husbands grounded. We are the stability in our children's lives. We all know how important early detection is to beating breast cancer. This is why I encourage every one of you to get a mammogram, if you haven’t already done so.

Thanks!

Jen (Tripacerchick)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Keeping up appearances...

So, you will have noticed that there's something different about my blog... I was tired of the "blah-ness" of my website (yes, I just made up a word there... deal with it), so I decided to do something about it while I am working on the new design.

The picture at the top was taken by my husband while we were on vacation this summer. We were at Tacoma Narrows airport, getting ready to fly to McMinnville for the next couple of days... I believe that the words going through my mind as he took this picture were "Just take the *&#@$^ picture already and get your butt in the plane!" I think my facial expression conveys that message, LOL... It was starting to get hot and I don't do heat very well.

The background is rather boring... I couldn't find a background to go with the picture on The Cutest Blog on the Block, so I decided to go without for now. Don't worry... I will have a new background up (hopefully) by the end of October. With the changes for the PWC and an upcoming meeting for work that requires travel, I'll be a little busy for the time being.

On a personal level, I tried curling my hair last night... I'm sure my husband won't like it when he comes home and I am sleeping in curlers, but what are you going to do. I'll probably try it again tonight, and go to work like that tomorrow, and get some opinions other than myself through the mirror. I just don't trust my own judgment when it comes to my appearance. I tend to just ignore it, rather than do something that could make me look like a fool. But, with everything that I have to do for work, and the fact that I am a grown woman (as much as my mind still thinks I'm 18), so I should take better care of myself and at least look the part. Do you think I could "challenge" Stacy and Clinton to come to Juneau and help me find something appropriate for a board meeting with only what is available here? Probably not, but it's a nice thought.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Oh so boring... but then again...

So I started designing a new background/layout for my blog, but then stopped... I spent WAY too much time on it last weekend. I'll revisit it at some point in time. I've been working on a way to do my personal logo as a background, but I haven't been able to get it to cooperate. I guess I'll have to break down and buy Photoshop... Until then, enjoy the "oh so boring" background and layout you see now...

In other news, the new Pilot Wives Club website goes live today at 8 central (5 o'clock, Alaska Time). Yay! Many thanks to Summer for all her hard work in bringing it from planning to fruition. We'll be on the site tonight to answer questions and give prizes! It is an exciting time for the PWC! We will have a public site, so people can see what we are about, do a little shopping and have fun. If you want to be a member, it is free. You will then have access to our main (private) site where we have our discussions and such.

If you get a chance, come on over to the Pilot Wives Club! Also check out our page on Facebook!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The joys of food poisening...

Ok, there really are no joys to food poisening. I had made some
meatloaf while Aaron was home, and ended up with a lot extra, so I
decided to freeze the extra to eat later.

Last night was the night for meatloaf. I paired it with some mashed
potatoes.

Well, it wasn't the best idea. I figured I was in for some indigestion
from the onions (which immediately started to give me problems) but I
was not prepared for the rest of it.

I was up every hour and a half last night and had a pretty severe
migraine on top of it. It is almost impossible to take medicine for a
migraine when you are throwing up pretty regularly.

I finally got some ibuprofen to stay down, which took the edge off the
migraine, but I wasn't able to go to work until 2:00 this afternoon.

Dinner tonight was some chicken broth with some plain rolls dipped in
it. Yummy!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sleep Deprived...

I am an insomniac... I usually can't go to sleep until around 2 am, no matter what time I REALLY go to bed... It is frustrating, especially when I have to get up to go to work the next day...

Well, this weekend, I was working on some personal projects (some for this blog, some for PWC) and was up later than usual on Friday night, then last night, I was up until around 8 am (that's this morning...)

Time just travels faster when you are working on a project, and it was 3:45 am before I knew it... Ugh...

I decided that if I had any option of getting some sleep before work on Monday, it would be best to stay up as late as I could and then go to bed early...

Well, that didn't happen... I fell asleep around 8, and woke up around 2 pm...

It is now, 11:00 pm, and as soon as I get done with this post, I'm going to bed... Here's to hoping that I fall asleep immediately and wake up rested...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday Metallica...

Thanks to Nicole for finding this and bringing it to my attention... It is so HILARIOUS!!! I couldn't stop laughing... I love the guy who is doing the "drums"... His intensity is so funny!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Another month down...

As much as I love my husband, and love having him home, I can't help but feel relief as he leaves for another shift. He's gone 15 days at a time, every month... It was no picnic when this particular "shift" started about a year ago (as prior to this, he worked locally and was home every night), but now I'm used to it... So used to it, that I begin to crave the independence and self-reliance that is forced upon me in his absence...

There is no one to ask "What do you want for dinner?"... If I want a bowl of cereal, or cheese and crackers, there isn't anyone there to say, "But what's REALLY for dinner?"...

There is no one to have to ask what his plans are, or argue about what to watch on TV... No one to yell at to pick up after himself or rinse out the sink after he's used it... No one to tell me to move over in the bed after I've gotten comfortable and dozed off...

This shift is particularly bitter-sweet... I have seen my husband more in the last month and a half, that I am SOOOO ready for him to go back to work... We had our long vacation, where I had his presence from July 21st to August 24th... Then he came back home after a short shift, on September 1... Thankfully, he left this morning to go back to Bethel... But I am used to him being home, so I'll miss him more this month than usual...

Noni will have to re-adjust as well... She's so used to having people at home... With family coming to visit, and Aaron being home as often as he has been... She didn't want me to leave the house without her this morning... Poor little girl... It always takes her longer to adjust to Aaron being gone than me...

I think we both enjoy the "breaks" we get from each other, every month... He gets to go be a "bachelor" and be gross, living with other men in the pilot house, not having anyone nagging at him to do something (and I'm a champion nagging wife, if I do say so myself)... He actually enjoys himself for about the first week or so... Then he starts to miss home... Oddly, I've been on that same schedule of reveling in my solitude, and then missing him the last 5 days or so...

Absence really does make the heart grow fonder :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Boring Saturday...

I spent most (ok, all) of my day either sleeping, or playing on my computer... You know, farming does take a lot out of you... And if farming on FB wasn't strenuous enough, I had to spend a few (ok, 4) hours playing 1701 A.D. on my computer.. Aaron got me the game while we were in Hawaii, and I enjoy it... So far, I don't play it with the pirates, or the other (computer) people in the game that you have to compete with for land, trade routes, etc... I just go with my communities. I figure that, until I can figure out the best way to sustain my own communities, I shouldn't take the time or the money to train for and go to war... Every time I do, I bankrupt myself...

Tomorrow is not panning out to be as "relaxed"... We have an old friend coming to visit, and my house is a mess... We will spend the day tomorrow with the motto "Divide and Conquer"... Hopefully we can get the house to the point where I won't be embarrassed...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Easy Deep Fried Halibut Recipe

So, Aaron was paid for flight instructing with halibut yesterday... Fresh off the boat yesterday... Yummy! Although, by the time I knew about the halibut, I was 1 hour into a meat loaf, so I wasn't about to stop cooking that to trade up...

So today was halibut day! Yay!

In the past, I have not had any good luck making halibut... Any time I tried to fry it, the breading would fall off, it wouldn't cook right, etc... I pretty much just gave up...

Since then, I have been very successful in making Sesame Chicken. The breading for it is also the marinade, and couldn't be simpler... I vowed to try it on halibut the next chance I got... Who knew it would be years later until I would be able to try it...

I decided to use the "fried fish" recipe in the same book my Sesame Chicken recipe came out of. It was easier, and I figured I'd try it first, and if I didn't like it, then I'd resort back to the sesame chicken breading...

Take 1 egg white, 2 tsp soy sauce and 1 Tbsp corn starch and mix thoroughly to combine, slightly frothy (I also added a splash of white wine to add a little flavor, and to help the marinade...) Cut the fish into 2"x 3" pieces. Add to the egg/soy sauce mix and gently stir to coat the fish. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes. While it's marinating, heat some oil (it calls for 4 cups...) to 375. When done marinating, stir gently again (I found the marinade separated a bit in the fridge) and fry the fish until golden brown. I served it with rice. Fries would be OK too - for Fish & Chips... The soy sauce doesn't make this an overly asian-type recipe... It was mild enough to be served with whatever you wanted it to go with. The recipe says that after frying, you can braise the fish in a tasty sauce... Let your imaginations fly!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Blah....

I've been so on edge lately... It seems that everything is pissing me off... To go with my rant about the lack of customer service in this world, we can add stupid, inconsiderate drivers to that list... We got our first "highway on/off ramp" here in Juneau last year... It seems that people don't know what to do when a car needs to merge into traffic, unless they think they need to speed up to race the car that's trying to merge, all the while flipping them off, etc... In that case, they're doing it right... Nice, huh?

I also had some irritation at work today involving our "local" office supply company... I can go online to order, but about half of the time, they replace the item that I really want with one they usually keep on hand (one crappy brand, by the way). Usually, I don't care, because it is generally cheaper... However, the last time I just "let" them substitute one item for another, they did not give me the equivalent... Long story short - they substituted "small" binder clips for "mini" binder clips... Not a big thing really, except to my boss, who won't use anything but the mini ones... Then I had to go through the hassle of exchanging them for the correct size... (sigh)... I didn't want to have to go through that again. I wanted paper clips this time, and they did substitute again... I prefer the smooth ones to the "non-slip" ones, and the substituted item didn't say one way or the other which it was... So I decided to call the customer service desk here to have them clarify before I finalized the order... I got the freaking run-around ON A FREAKING RECORDING for a LOCAL COMPANY!!!! Boy, was I steamed... It was during office hours, so it wasn't like they were closed or anything... It kept telling me to enter the first 3 letters of the name of the person I was trying to reach (at this point, the store manager) and it said that person didn't exist and my ONLY option was to leave a message in the general mailbox... No "hit zero for the operator"... Nothing but irritation!!! Just add this to my list of areas where customer service is lacking... Talking to a stupid machine that won't let you do anything when you need a person... Oh, and if you are wondering, I call this number all the time, and this is the first time I got a recording... So I guess it's "new". I may just go down there at my lunch time to give them a piece of my mind tomorrow...

On another note, I usually like to change the look of my blog every few months or so, especially to change with the seasons... I hadn't changed it all summer, due to the schedule I was keeping, between work and vacation... It is now fall - no, really, it is! The trees are turning orange :) - so I wanted to change back to what I did last fall... I am having trouble getting my background to show up properly, and I can't find the picture that I used last year for my header, so you'll just have to bear with me while I'm in transition... I'm trying to decide if I want to try to mess with the "old" one, or if I want to change to a new, fall inspired, background/header... So, until then, it will be "blah"...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Customer service... or the lack thereof...

I have noticed, over time, that customer service in this country is lacking in pretty much all fields. Or, at least, that's how it is here...

I have noticed that the "cashiers" don't even say hello or look you in the eye anymore at the local convenience store...

I have noticed that the waitress doesn't come to check on you very much anymore, and tends to forget things, like your drink order...

I have noticed that when I have to call someone to take care of something for me (computer related, cell phone related, etc) that I get either some uppity teenager, who is there because she can't work anywhere else and is going to give you attitude about it, or some person who you can't understand because they don't speak clear english... I'm all for people immigrating (legally, of course) to this country and everything, but these people should not be answering the phones for anyone until they have a good grasp of the english language to the point that other people can understand them (this means you too, ebonics speakers...)

My first several jobs were all customer service related, and it wasn't that long ago that I worked for them. Places like WalMart, where I learned that customer service was above all else (it's not anymore, BTW... just look at your local WalMart), or doing phone customer service for companies like AT&T or eBay... Seriously... Are we as consumers not valued by these companies enough to earn good customer service? I guess not...

And to the waiter or waitress that gives me crappy service... Your tip is a direct reflection of the job you perform. I do not give out the "suggested" tips that are now pre-printed on the receipt for my benefit... If you do well, I tip well (as much as 50% in some instances)... If you suck, then you get a nickel... Why a nickel? Because that shows you that I didn't forget to give you a tip... I actually put thought into the service you provided me and I gave you your tip accordingly... It has been a while since I've given more than 10-15% of a tip... Which is abnormal for me...

This rant is being fueled by my frustration with our waitress tonight, who only checked on us after she gave us our dinner when I said "excuse me, but I never received my Diet Coke."... It's not like it was busy... I can excuse that... There were 2 tables occupied by the time we got our dinner...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Recouperating... ok, not really...

When I work on the weekends, I take the stance of "I'll go in when I want"... I'm not scheduled to be there, and the bosses aren't ACTUALLY telling me that I HAVE to work, so they don't get to dictate when I'm there... If they said, "Jen, we need to you work on Saturday, at 8:00" that would be a different matter altogether.

I'm usually the one who says I have to work on Saturday/Sunday... I know that I won't be able to finish everything during the week, and I feel like I can get a lot more done on the weekends (you know, because there are no distractions, nor additions to my work load). I usually set aside all the "non-priority" tasks to Saturday, and try not to work more than 4 hours at a time on the weekends.

However, this doesn't usually happen...

Like, this weekend...

The biggest downside to taking a 3-week vacation is the sheer amount of work you see on your desk when you return. I am not exaggerating when I say that the stack of work on my desk was over a foot tall... Combined with the other "usual" tasks that I have to do, it was approx. 2 feet tall...

I returned to work 2 weeks ago, but hadn't even attempted to tackle "the stack" until this weekend. Why? Because I couldn't put in the extra hours (1-2) per day that I normally put in during that 2 week period.

So now, after working 6 hours yesterday, "the stack" has been tamed... I, however, am working again today to meet a deadline this week. This time, though, I am working from home. I decided that if I worked another 6 hours at the office today, I would be too tired to do anything when I got home (you know, necessary things like laundry, dishes, etc...). So I brought home everything I need to finish my project and will work on it in between loading/unloading the washer/dryer, dishwasher, scrubbing the toilet, etc...

Good luck to me... I forsee a nice long soak in my tub at the end of this day... So much for Sunday being the day of rest... ;)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Goodbye to Grandma D


I just got back from taking Grandma D to the airport for her flight back home. We had such a lovely time with her here in our home. We were able to do a lot of things that most tourists aren't able to do. Some of the bigger, more "touristy" things, were weren't able to do (whale watching tour, Tracy Arm tour, White Pass/Yukon RR, Taku Lodge, etc), and they are on the list for next time.

We tried to do the Taku Lodge thing on Tuesday. We had our flight booked and took the time to go downtown to catch our flight, only to have our flight canceled due to weather... Bummer... We were expecting a nice seaplane flight to the remote lodge, then an excellent salmon dinner (Aaron and I have done this before and it was WONDERFUL). Instead, we did one of the local salmon bakes here in town. It wasn't as good as the lodge would have been, but still tasty...

Here is a list of things we did/places we went with Grandma D: (Some of these may be out of order)
1) "Out the Road" - Drive to "Auke Rec" while we waited to pick up Noni
2) Dinner at "The Hanger on the Wharf" - just the 3 of us
3) Dinner at "The Twisted Fish" - dinner the night Aaron's parents arrived :)
4) Dinner at "The Zephyr" - Aaron's birthday dinner
5) Gelato at "Juneau Gelato"
6) Juneau Ice Field tour on our way to Skagway, where we shopped and ate lunch
7) Mt. Roberts Tram, with lunch at the top
8) Mendenhall Glacier, twice :)
9) Helicopter Tour & Dog Sled Ride (this one was just Grandma D & Aaron's Dad)
10) LOTS of shopping downtown!
11) "Out the Road" - Drive to Echo Cove, at the end of the road, north of Juneau
12) Dinner at "El Sombrero"
13) Flight to Hoonah
14) Saw humpback whales feeding off the shore
15) Dinner at "The Island Pub" on Douglas Island
16) "Out the Road" - Drive to the end of the road on both sides of Douglas Island
17) Dinner at "T.K. McGuires"
18) Dinner at the restaurant at the Breakwater Hotel (It has a name, but I don't remember what it is... It used to just be "The Breakwater", back when it was a nice, semi-fancy restaurant... Now it's turning into some stupid kind of bar/restaurant/pub type place...)
19) "Out the Road" - Drive to the end of the road, south of Juneau, to Thane
20) Dinner at "The Thane Ore House"
21) Dinner at "Donna's"
22) Beautiful Sunset viewing on North Douglas - This was last night :)
- and I'm probably missing quite a few things...

The weather has been gloomy at best, ever since Grandma D got here... It's been typical Juneau weather of mostly cloudy-overcast, with rain... Yesterday started out much the same way... After our flight got canceled on Tuesday, I expected it to be just as nasty yesterday. We were pleasantly surprised. By the time I got off of work, it had stopped raining. By the time we left the house to take her last box to the post office, we could see patches of blue sky. By the time we left the barbershop, it was clear! We took a nice, pleasant drive to the glacier, so she could see it on a nice day. Then we went to dinner, and had really good pot roast at the "local" restaurant here in the Valley. I say "local" because it is mainly for the locals. The tourists don't usually venture down here... After dinner, we took a drive out to North Douglas, where we stopped at the boat launch and walked out over the floating dock to get some beautiful pictures of the sunset. It was even clear enough last night to see stars!

Thanks go out to the Alaska Airlines staff here in Juneau. The ticket agent was wonderful, in assisting Grandma D to have her bag checked all the way to ABQ. She has a pass for her connecting flight from SEA to DFW to ABQ and we weren't sure that they would check her bag all the way since she doesn't have a ticket for her continuing flights. They also made sure that there is someone to assist her in SEA with a wheelchair, and gave me a pass so I could accompany her through security to her gate. They are awesome at accommodating you when you need assistance.

I said goodbye to her as they were wheeling her out to the plane, she got to be boarded first! I hope she had as much fun here as we did having her here. She's only been gone a half hour or so, and I already miss her. I can't wait to spend time with her again!

I hear an airplane overhead! That should be her on her way home. Have a great flight!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I love scheduling...

Aaron's schedule at work has been flipped... Meaning that he is now working the 2nd half of the month... Which is both good and bad...

Good because that means he will be home on the 1st... Yay!

Bad because that means that he will miss my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, our Anniversary, etc... All of those are at the end of the month...

There goes our holiday plans... We are going to have to celebrate early or late... But that is not uncommon in this industry...

Arghhhh!!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Life is crazy...

I had decided shortly after starting my blog that I would be "incognito", giving initials for the people I talked about on my blog (friends, family, etc...) where A=My husband. Well, I have re-evaluated that and will clue you all into us. I will not be changing my previous posts, so you'll just have to "figure it out". I won't be using other people's names without their permission.

Aaron (my husband, for those of you following along) is going back to work tomorrow. He was supposed to be off until the end of the month, allowing him to be home (or at least with me) for 40 days. About a week and a half into our vacation, he got an email from work advising him that they needed him back a week early. Whatever...

His grandmother is still here, and will be until Thursday. So, I've worked my schedule a bit to allow me to spend at least the afternoons with her. Tomorrow, we plan on going to the Alaska State Museum here in Juneau. We also have some last minute shopping to do downtown. I think we'll have fun with each other.

I'll probably be doing all my after vacation "catch up" on blogs and the PWC site after grandma goes back to ABQ. So I hope you all haven't felt abandoned, I've just been really busy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to normal... sort of...

Today is the first day back to work for me. A is still on "vacation" and his grandma is still with us. We have been having so much fun showing her all over the place. Yesterday, we went to Hoonah and she got a "back country" tour from a friend of ours. Luckily, we didn't see any bears, but we did get to see some humpback whales feeding just off shore and then a stream full of salmon. She didn't expect to see any of that. Not sure what the dynamic duo have planned for today without me, but I'm sure it will be fun...

Now, on to the massive amount of work on my desk, as well as delegating between our accountant and our auditors... Oh joy ;)

Monday, August 10, 2009

We are now home...

It was brought to my attention that I didn't post that we are now home... Oops...

Well, we are. We made it back on Friday afternoon. We picked up Noni (who was very happy to see us...) and then went to dinner. Saturday, we picked up A's parents and have been going ever since.

Yesterday, was A's birthday. We made it very special for him. I'm so glad his family was here for it.

Today, we are flying to Skagway, via the Juneau Ice Field. I'll take some pictures and post them when we get back. In fact, I better get going so we can get on the plane :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Salt Lake City

We successfully picked up Grandma D in Salt Lake City. We are leaving
this morning for Bellingham, on our way home.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sunrise in Walsenburg

We are leaving this morning for Salt Lake City. What a wonderful sight
on the way to the plane.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The "Full On" Vacation Post

I am sitting at my aunt's computer, able to blog comfortably (and accurately, for that matter), so I am taking the opportunity to do so. There will be no pictures, as I am not going to hook up my phone to do so, so you'll just have to imagine it :)

We have been having a wonderful time on vacation. Our first stop was Bellingham Washington, where we hooked up with an old friend of A's from back when he was flight training in Texas. He took us to Semiahmoo Resort for dinner and breakfast the next day. Well worth a second trip on our own if/when we can afford to fly down again. I would love to stay at the resort.

When we left Bellingham, we stopped in Tacoma for lunch, to meet a friend from Hawaii. I love it when we can land and eat at an airport on the airfield. The restaurant that we stopped at is owned by a retired admiral in the navy. The food was pretty good. We also could see the Tacoma Narrows bridge on the approach and departure. I tried to take some pictures in flight, but they didn't come out well on my phone. I hope I took some better ones with the real camera.

Arrival in McMinnville Oregon was interesting. We were told by the ramp guy that it was 104 degrees... Oh joy... We secured a crew car for the night (an old "black & white" police car... how cool is that?) and headed off to the hotel for some much needed air conditioning... We ate at the Golden Valley Brewery, which was very good. The waitress that we had was excellent in suggesting beer or wine to go with our meals.

The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum is awesome. That was one post that I blogged about a lot from my phone. I won't repeat myself. I will just say that we were so exhausted from looking at everything there, in conjunction with the heat, that we got back to the hotel and didn't even have the energy to order dinner to be delivered... Well worth the trip.

My family reunion was so much fun. We had activities planned practically every minute. When we had free time, I hung out with my brother and his family or I napped... I was very tired most days. In fact, the day we went to Cedar Breaks, I got ill on the mountain. A collaboration of altitude sickness (elev. 9,800+), heat, and not eating for hours (breakfast was at 8:00 am, lunch was after 1:00 pm) and I was out for the count. My father, step-mother, and a few of my cousins decided we were "done" and headed back to our dorms earlier than everyone else. They were all having fun playing football and singing in a meadow behind the picnic area.

I really enjoyed spending time with with my various nephews and cousins. A and I were "dorm parents" in charge of the older boys (age 11-18). We had to prepare the meals for them (other than dinner) and keep them in line. We were told by one of my cousins that we were "cool" dorm parents. We had a blast, and only had to tell them to be quiet so the "old people" could go to bed a couple of times. ;)

Unfortunately, we had to leave Cedar City earlier than originally planned, due to the weather forcast for the afternoon. I'm sad that we missed it. Maybe next time we will be able to stay for the whole thing.

We made it to Walsenburg around lunch time. Our long awaited and much anticipated BBQ was made and smelled wonderful. We ate our fill, then took naps. There is no place on earth better to take a nap than your grandma's. :) Today, we got up when we wanted, had some breakfast, and generally enjoyed the quiet. Dinner today was pot roast with all the fixin's. After dinner, we went for a drive. We took my uncle over to see the plane (and so A could make sure it is still ok after thunderstorms moved through the area yesterday). On our way there, we picked up some cantelope and watermelon from a road side stand. THAT IS THE BEST CANTELOPE I HAVE EVER EATEN!!!!! They are sending some home with us. I expect that the cantelope won't even make it to SLC...

We will be leaving for Salt Lake on Tuesday, so I will return to phone blogging then. We should be home by Friday.

What a GREAT vacation so far!!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Departing Cedar City

We had so much fun with the family in Cedar City. It's too bad the we
have to leave early and miss today's activities. When they are calling
for thunderstorms in the afternoon when you originally intended to
depart, you gotta get while the gettin's good. Now on to Walsenburg
and really good BBQ. :)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Cedar Breaks

We spent the day at Cedar Breaks, outside of Cedar City, UT. A fun
filled day of hiking and beautiful vistas.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Evergreen Aviation Museum

This isn't a very good picture, but this is where we spent the day. We
got there around 9:30 or 10:00 am. Due to the expected temps today, we
were advised to do the aviation museum first and then the space
museum, as the building for the space museum is air-conditioned and
the other one is not.

The "Spruce Goose" is amazing. A got some good pictures of it, but due
to it's size, none are a full picture of the plane. They also have
some of the miniatures that were used to film The Aviator.

They have so many exhibits in this building, that it took several
hours to see them all. We went and had lunch in the building for the
space museum, then went to the IMAX theater (the middle building) and
watch a really cool 3-D movie about the Apollo space program.

Then it was back to the space museum to see what they had there. You
can tell that it is not complete, but it is still really impressive.
They designed the space building to house one of the space shuttles,
when they are retired in the next few years. We plan to come back for
that.

You can see a 747 in the picture as well. It just arrived and was
transported to the museum on Wednesday. They have plans to put it on
top of one of their newest buildings and turn it into a water park.
The model of the new building shows water tubes running from the doors
through to the building below. Should be worth a return visit as well.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lunch at Tacoma Narrows

After a wonderful morning, we got in touch with an old friend from
Hawaii who lives at Gig Harbor. We met him for lunch at this
restaurant on the field of Tacoma Narrows airport. Pretty good French
Dip.

Dawn if Day 2

The only good thing about bring up at 5:30 AM while you are on
vacation is the beautiful sun rise. This one is particularly nice, as
the light is diffused through a haze layer and the remnants of a
pretty impressive thunderstorm that was building over the mountains
yesterday. I'm not sure if the iPhone does it justice.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Overnight in Bellingham

As seen from the beach near our friend's house north of Bellingham.
Perfect end to the perfect flight.

Day 1 - Departing Juneau

You couldn't ask for a better morning to start a cross-country flight.
The weather looks good all the way down the coast. We will be in
Bellingham tonight!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Well into final preparations...

2 more work days left until vacation... I can't wait...

Until then, with A's help, we are well on our way to being ready. I (finally) cleaned out my office/spare bedroom for A's grandma. All we have to do is set up her bed and put away the stuff she's already sent ahead of herself.

A's been working on getting the car clean (again, finally). It looks like it has been professionally detailed. There is no point in taking it to a car wash, as it is forecast to be constantly raining every day until we leave on Sunday...

He's also been loading our entire music collection (and then some) into his MP3 player. At last count, we have almost 2 days of constant music without songs repeating... I think we will be OK...

Up next is the final clean on the house, then packing up the plane to leave.

Our plans have changed so much since we started planning this trip. As of right now, we are leaving Juneau for Bellingham, WA on Sunday, where we will meet up with the former owner of our airplane. Then, on Monday, we will proceed down to McMinnville, OR. Tuesday will be devoted to the museum where the Hercules resides (for the uninitiated, that is the "Spruce Goose"). Wednesday, we will fly to Cedar City for my family reunion. I am really looking forward to seeing everyone again. This branch of the family holds a reunion every 3 years, and the last one we were only able to participate for one day. Saturday, we'll head out to Walsenburg, CO to see my grandma, aunt and uncle (and eat some FABULOUS BBQ that my uncle makes... we may need to re-do weight & balance after that stop). Then, it's on to SLC to pick up A's grandma to head north again.

Everyone pray for clear skies and tail winds as we make our trip. As we can, I'll blog about where we are and what we are doing. Thank goodness for iPhone's and their functionality.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Movie Review - Labor Pains

I know that I shouldn't expect too much from the movies on ABC Family.
They are usually stupid and campy at best, but have a cute story line
at heart. However, the movie Labor Pains is the exception to this.

I saw the previews for this movie and thought it was a stupid premise
for a movie. There also wasn't anything else on TV tonight, so I
decided to give it the benefit of the doubt.

First, I will say that the only person that they could get to play the
lead in that piece of crap was Lindsey Lohan, probably because anyone
with any real talent wouldn't do it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but she
plays the same character in EVERY thing she does.

The story line is moronic at best. Who in their right mind thought
that making light of someone committing fraud (pretending to be
pregnant) just to keep their job would be good entertainment?

And then, of course, they have to show the "heroine" falling on her
face to gain retribution. There's nothing like showing to the youth of
America that if you pretend to be something you are not (in the most
disgusting and disrespectful way you can IMO) that everything will be
aces for you!

The best part of this show was her little sister, who was the constant
voice of reasoning. She was someone with some actual moral fiber, who
told her sister, everytime she had a scene with her, that she was
insane and a liar and a cheat. Too bad our "heroine" didn't listen.
But we aren't teaching our kids about good morals anymore anyway. We
are obviously teaching them that they should go to whatever means they
need to to get what they want in life. Because it's not about being
responsible anymore, it's about who you can screw to get to the top.

I remember reading news stories and seeing news programs on TV about
people who pretend to be pregnant to get money from adoptive parents
who pay for the "pregnant" woman's expenses. Completely disgusting.
Not only does this woman commit fraud, but she breaks the hearts of
people who have very few options if they want a family. How can they
think that this is appropriate entertainment? Probably because the
woman in this movie was not screwing prospective parents, but
deceiving the company she works for, manipulating them for a promotion
and a raise. Not to mention the theft of store property so she can
pull it off. I don't care who you are, it is still disgusting.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A klutz... Awake and asleep...

I woke up this morning with my left pinky REALLY sore, at the knuckle where it joins the hand... I must have slept on it funny...

This is not the first time I've done something to my self in my sleep. I sprained my ankle once while I was asleep... I remember waking up that day and trying to walk, and not being able to... We had to get crutches for me to use for a few days...

As for my pinky, I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon, so I'll have it checked out then... Hopefully I didn't do anything TOO bad to it... It doesn't feel broken, but you never know with these kinds of injuries. I have dealt with claims where someone hurt their hand, thought it would get better, only to find out months later that it was (and in some cases still is) fractured... We'll see...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Afraid of bees, part 2...

As I've posted before, Noni is seriously afraid of bees... To the point of running and hiding... Unless she can't run and hide somewhere, then I get a dog with a full blown panic attack...

What happened, you ask? Well, I'll tell you...

Noni came with me to work today, and she came with me to run errands. One of my errands was to go to the bank to make a deposit. Usually, I go through the drive thru and they give me a dog biscuit (because they can see the wonderful, cute, happy dog through the window). Today, I couldn't do that, so I parked and went inside. Before I did this, I cracked the windows in the car, because it was rather warm when I went to the bank...

Several minutes later, I find Noni's face practically pressed up against the glass of the back window opposite of the driver's side window... Initially, I thought "Hey, my dog saw me through the windows and is excited to see me!" Not so much... Although she was happy to see me (her protector), it wasn't because she missed me... Apparently, I had parked near a flowering bush, full of bees, and one got in the car... Poor baby... She didn't have that much space to try to get away from it... She wanted to jump in my lap, but the bee was hovering around the driver's side window... I got the car started, and rolled the window down further to "assist" the bee in departing my vehicle...

Noni was so anxious at this point, that she took the cookie that I got for her from the teller, then spat it out on the seat... Normally, I roll down the back windows when it is warm, so she can get more air, but I didn't dare do that, for fear that she would jump out the windows... When we got back into the office, she couldn't get out of the car fast enough... She sat under my desk for several minutes, shaking... Poor baby... I know from watching Cesar Milan, that you are not supposed to coddle them when they are in that state, because it reinforces the bad behavior, so I just let her get over it.

Getting her back in the car to come home was another matter... I had to tell her several times to get in (I usually only have to say it once, maybe twice if she's distracted)... I almost had to physically put her in the car, but she jumped in on her own...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A visitor in my yard...

In all the years that I have lived in Alaska, I have never seen a bear... I've seen porcupine's that have been mistaken as bears (from a distance), but not a bear... Until today...

Imagine my surprise when Noni starts growling loudly and incessantly... She wouldn't stop even when I told her to be quiet... From my vantage point on the couch, I saw something with black fur and took it for a dog that someone was walking off leash... But Noni doesn't usually growl like that when there's a dog outside... So I got off the couch to see what the deal was and saw something black go behind the car... I just caught the butt end and it just looked like a fat black dog with a docked tail... I figured that Noni was just being crazy... But I sat there and waited for the "dog" to move out from behind the car, and this is what I saw...

OK, that's not really what I saw... I only saw a cub, but it looked just like this one... By the time I realized it was a cub and got to my camera, it had moved from the dumpster (which is bear proof, by the way) to the woods behind it... I could still see it, but the camera couldn't... I wasn't about to go outside to try to get a better picture either... Where there's a cub, there's usually a momma...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

To some people, the 4th of July means nothing more than a three day
weekend, barbecues, and a rockin' fireworks show. But the 4th
celebrates the day we, as a nation, declared our independence.

So, today while you enjoy your fried chicken, or watch a great fire
works show, remember those who fought to give us our freedom. Remember
what this day is really about.

Friday, July 3, 2009

My list of things to do this weekend...

Clean & organize the office (it's a mess since we re-arranged it to make room for a twin sized bed)

Clean bedroom (throw away the crap/garbage that the husband insists upon collecting on his side of the bed and then "forgetting" to clean it before he goes to work... argh...)

Mop bathroom floor

Clean window and screen in the bathroom

Vacuum hallway and stairs

Re-organize the linen closet...

Sort recycling

Go shopping for some "summer" clothes (we'll be in Southern Utah for a good chunk of our upcoming vacation... Quite a difference in climate from what we are used to... I don't even own any shorts...)

Laundry

OK, maybe this is my "today" list... Thank goodness for 3 day weekends... Don't worry... I'll make an official 4th of July post to honor our country...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The things you learn on the internet...

No, not that... Get your mind out of the gutter...

We have spotted evidence of mice inside the house... Occasionally, I will see one... We have been going round and round about getting a cat. We used to have 2 cats, and never saw a live mouse. In the several years that we had cats, we only ever saw 2 mice... Anyway, the reason we don't have cats anymore is mainly because I am allergic to them. Ironically, I'm the one who wants the cat to deal with the mouse... A doesn't want to deal with an allergic wife...

So I've been researching alternative methods to deterring the mice. I really don't want to kill them... I just want them to stay out of my house...

I know that mothballs are a good deterrent, but they stink to high heaven and I don't want that smell in my house...

I know I could get a sonic device to deter the mice, but some people think they aren't very effective...

I saw a natural solution that will make my house smell somewhat nice and deter the mice... I need to make "peppermint balls"... Basically put a few drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls and scatter them throughout the house. I'm not sure how well it will work, but I'm open to suggestions, as I don't want to have to call an exterminator...

I will be trying this method this week... As I go through the house to decontaminate it, I will scatter the peppermint balls in all the places where I have found evidence of the mice. I'll check them again before I leave on vacation... Hopefully, no more mice, and I'll have a refreshing scent of peppermint in my house when I return from vacation...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

What a day to fly...

A finally took me for a flight in the Apache today. It has been several months since I've flown in the plane. After all the upgrades we have done, the plane is much more comfortable. Before we did the interior, we had a hard time keeping the cabin warm. Well, there is no problem now. We had to turn the heater off, it got so warm.

While in Skagway, we had lunch and ice-cream and walked around the town. It was raining when we left Juneau, but was a beautiful day in Skagway. With A leaving on Tuesday, and me being really busy with work tomorrow, I soaked up as much time as I could with him.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tired of being busy...

I know, you are all probably getting tired of reading blog posts about how busy I am... I'm getting tired of writing them. But, we are getting closer to being done with renewals at work, so my life should return to normal soon...

I've been neglecting my online duties lately... When A is gone, I tend to work a lot of hours... So much so, that when I get home, I crash... I usually don't check my computer until the weekend... This past weekend, I didn't check it at all... When A is home, I tend to spend as much time as I can with him before he leaves again (as any good pilot wife will do, if able)...

On another note... Noni is banned from the office for a while... She has the "Lhasa Apso" tendency to show her teeth and snap at someone when you physically try to get her to do something (ie: grabbing her collar to pull her out of a room)... She did this trick with my boss... She didn't actually bite her, but she came really close to it... So she is cooling off a bit and hanging with her daddy during the days right now. I think I'm going to have to attach a leash to my desk to get her to stay there until she learns how to be good in the office and do what someone other than me tells her to...

I'm so ready for my life to get back to normal...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Counting down the days...

Vacation is just around the corner. We haven't taken this long of a vacation, uh, never? A is taking an entire month off from work (mostly just because we would not be able to get back to Alaska in time for his shift that month). I am taking 3 weeks off from work. It should be glorious... But I imagine it will be all intense and busy as hell...

We are running into a time crunch... A will be home for 8 days this month, then he won't be back until 3 days before vacation. That means that he has to get the airplane in the air this rotation home... And, of course, the airport finally decided to pave in front of the new hangers... However, this is what it currently looks like...
Not exactly conducive to getting the plane out of the hanger... So, of course, he is stressing...

I, on the other hand, have the lovely task of getting my house ready for company... We have lived here over a year, but we haven't "settled in" yet. I think it is because in the last 8 years, we have not stayed in one location longer that a year and a half, and I'm so used to everything still being packed... So I am going through boxes and hanging up stuff and throwing out garbage... It's great fun... Especially when you are restricted from your doctor because of a recent back injury that causes you not to be able to breath or sleep at night... But that's besides the point... On the plus side, I'm getting stuff cleaned up so it looks like we actually live here.

We will have 2 full days in Washington, where we will have the airplane go through it's annual inspection before we continue to Utah. My lovely husband will be dealing with that, while I rest up at the hotel. I wonder if they have a spa...

Then it's on to visit family... First, one side for 4 days, then another side for 3... Then we'll meet up with yet another side on our way back home, where we will meet even more when we get home... It should be great fun! I'll post as we go along so y'all can keep up with us...

That is, if everything goes as planned and I haven't dropped from exhaustion first, or gone completely insane...