Saturday, January 31, 2009

An education in isolation

Inside the aircraft. A Coast Guard C130

Me and Audry on the C130
Wow, so this week I've really had two huge wake-up calls with regard to just how isolated we really are here in good 'ol Kodiak. The first one came this past Tuesday when I had to fly in a C130 airplane over to Anchorage to get my hearing tested. See, normal people DRIVE to such things, but not here. Normal people would say, " hearing test is at 1:45. I guess I'll leave the house around 1:30. Husband (or whoever), I'll be back around there anything you want me to get at Costco while I'm out?". Yes, that's what normal people would say. Not here.

Here, you get up at 0500 and meet in the hanger at 0600. You wait around for an hour and then board the plane. You freak out because you realize a military aircraft is taking you to a hearing test. Then you get off the military aircraft because there's a mechanical problem. You wait around for two hours and get (really) annoyed because you realize the two hours of waiting around has seriously jeopardized your chances of going to Costco, Target and Red Robin before your hearing test. You finally reboard the military aircraft and insert the complimentary ear plugs so that the noise of the military aircraft does not compromise the integrity of the hearing test that you're going to Anchorage for.


By the way, if you do ever have to go on a C130 to a doctor's appointment (or for any other reason) there are two things you should know. C130's are loud. C130's are cold. Just FYI.

I was so fortunate to have my friend Audrey with me. She is such a good friend and said she'd fly Space A with me for moral support (i.e. the opportunity to go to Costco, Target and Red Robin for lunch). Because of the delay, however, we were only able to afford the time to go to Fred Meyer and Burger King for Whoppers with cheese. It was still a success, though, because we both got new jeans and Whoppers with cheese. :) It can also be considered a successful mission because I was told that I need a hearing aid. 5 years ago I would be crying at that thought, but now, at the ripe old age of almost 33, I have let go of the vanity and am fine with it. I think I've finally said "Huh?" and "What?" a few too many times.

So, after a long day, we finally returned to Kodiak at 1900 (7:00 p.m. for you civillians) and I was happily at home, trying not to think about the fact that my 30 minute hearing test had just taken me 13 hours to accomplish.

Education in Isolation: Take 2

Yesterday morning, I get an email from Jake at work. It's title is: "FW: ASH ALERT", and the message from Jake was, "I don't know what this means, but here you go.". I scroll down and read that Mt. Redoubt is getting ready to blow her top, and we should be preparing for some ash fallout. WHAT??? Have you ever heard of Mt. Redoubt? I never had until yesterday. Apparently it's a volcano that is about 350 miles to our north east and an eruption is imminent. You read correctly. A VOLCANIC ERUPTION IS IMMINENT. Are you kidding me? I guess this thing blew in 1989 and spewed a layer of volcanic ash over darn near the entire state, and it mucked things up pretty good for several months. Air travel was limited. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? They're handing out fliers at the entrance gate about what to do when the ash starts falling here in Kodiak. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

My husband is getting ready to go underway again in the near future. I want out. NOW. We don't get paid enough for me to put up with this crap. I've put up with a lot over the past 10 years. I draw the line at immminent volcanic eruptions. DO YOU HEAR ME, COAST GUARD??? I DRAW THE LINE AT VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS!!! Good Lord, help me.

So, to draw this post to a conclusion, I'd like to just say,

I'm DONE, AK. I am done. Thank you. Now I'm going to go to Walmart and get some emergency supplies.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Faith Olive's quilt!

Faith Olive's quilt is finally getting to the point where it looks like an actual quilt! Audrey came over last night and helped me layer and baste it with TONS of safety pins. In a day or so I'm going to start quilting it with my sewing machine. I'm nervous about that, but I'm sure it will be fine. As Jake so eloquently pointed out to me, "She's 9 months old. She's probably going to barf on it.". HA HA!! So true. But that's okay. She can do that, as long as Margaret promises to wash it on the gentle cycle. :)
Here are some close-ups of my favorite fabrics.

Joanna and Nate like this "Hawaii" one.

The olives! :)
My personal favorite.
I love you, Faith Olive! :)

A Tale of Two Birthdays

So, to begin this post, I would like to first remind you of this post from one year ago. Remember Joanna's 5th birthday party? I remember that blizzard like it was yesterday. It threatened to ruin the party, but we prevailed! It was a birthday party blizzard for the ages. Well, fast forward to yesterday and I am pleased to report that not only was there no blizzard...we had the exact opposite! There was sunshine! There was swimming! There were croc-clad feet! I even actually wore CUTE shoes that were not boots - rain or snow!! In January, people. Let's pause and let that absorb into our souls for a moment.
... ... ...

It's been an amazing January in terms of weather, and I could not be happier about it. I am hoping that February and March continue with this trend. I am such an Alaska party pooper, but I'm fine with that. :)
Anyway, back to the birthday. Our weekend started out on Saturday with dinner out with 3 of Joanna's little friends from school. We got gussied up in our finest and made the journey into town to a restaurant called Henry's. We had tons of fun, and the girls (and Nate!) dined on corn dogs, french fries, ice cream and root beer. I had to laugh when the waitress brought out the 5 bottles of Henry's (naturally) root beer and all 5 pairs of eyes lit up as she set one in front of each of them. One of Joanna's friends said "Oh, WOW! I don't think my parents will let me drink THAT!" I assured her that it was parent approved. :)
Unfortunately, when Jake went to take a picture of the fun, the camera battery went dead, so I got NO PICTURES of dinner! I was (am) bummed.
So, on Sunday morning we got up and opened presents. Then I frosted the cupcakes. Around 2:00 we headed over to the pool and had a GREAT time swimming with her classmates for an hour! It was a very fun, simple party! We came home and Audrey came over to help me pin and baste Faith Olive's quilt, but I'll make a seperate post about that.
All in all, it was a very fun weekend and I told Joanna yesterday morning that she makes my world a better place. :) Happy birthday, sweet girl!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

20 Random Things

Okay, I'll copy Christie. :)

1. I don't choose things like Christmas trees, Halloween pumpkins or paint/fabric colors. They choose me.
2. I gave both of my children my maiden name (Camagna) as one of their middle names.
3. My house is always pretty neat and tidy, but my car is always (and always has been!) a complete mess.
4. I think feet are gross.
5. The cotton that comes in medicine bottles totally creeps me out. I won't touch it. Regular cotton balls, however, I'm fine with.
6. I am nearly deaf in my left ear.
7. I remember the exact moment I first saw my husband and knew instantly I had met someone who would make an impact on my life.
8. I hated avocados until I was 30.
9. I am picky about movies. I will not watch just any 'ol thing. It has to have some particular interest to me in order for me to want to watch it.
10. I've read every single Nancy Drew mystery (the old ones, not the new ones). Multiple times.
11. I hate shaving my legs.
12. I wash my hair every 2-3 days. It takes my hair a day to recover from being shampooed.
13. I suck at thumb wrestling.
14. I love fruit/meat combinations with food like pineapple/ham pizza, turkey/cranberry sauce and bacon/strawberry jelly sandwiches.
15. I sort all of my laundry according to color and wash with correct water temperature.
16. I have no self control when it comes to Twinkies, Crunch 'n Munch, Thin Mint Girlscout cookies and Cool Whip. That is why I do not buy them.
17. My hair gets "tired" of my shampoo and conditioner if I use it for too long.
18. I was in 4-H as a kid and did things like sewing and canning. I never owned a farm animal.
19. 80's sci-fi movies creep me out.
20. Jake and I watch two episodes of "Family Guy" pretty much every night before bed.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Busy Monday

This is what I did yesterday.

6:00 a.m. - Woke up
Got kids ready for school.
Nate fussed. Fun, fun.
7:20 - Went outside to start and shovel out the car.
Came inside and got the kids bundled up.
Nate continued to fuss.
7:40 - Left for school.
It was dark.
Had the upstairs neighbor and Myriam with me.
Nate was still fussing.
Dropped kids off.
8:00 - Home
8:20 - Left again to pick up our neighbor girl who also is in Nate's class.
Dropped them off at school.
8:40 - Went to the Exchange and bought 50 lb. bucket of Ice Melt.
8:45 - Started shoveling and de-icing both parking spots.
It was still dark.
9:30 - Done.
Went inside to rest. Wrote some notes to a couple of Joanna's friends inviting them to her birthday dinner.
Freshened up a bit.
9:45 - Left for Joanna's school.
10:00 - 11:15 - Helped out in Joanna's classroom. :)
11:20 - Home
Made some phone calls.
11:40 - Nate home.
12:00-1:00 - Had Ian over.
Did some laundry.
Cleaned the kitchen.
Ate lunch and fed kids.
1:15 - Nate down for nap.
1:20 - Laundry
1:30 - Started the spaghetti sauce for dinner.
1:45 - Relaxed.
2:00 - Jake home.
Joanna home.
2:15 - Left for Safeway for some items I needed for dinner. This took a LONG time because of the super icy roads.
4:00 - Home from Safeway.
4:30 - Started dinner. I made our dinner plus enough to take to a neighbor who is pregnant and not feeling well.
5:15 - Took dinner to neighbor.
5:30 - Our dinner time.
6:00 - Jake helped me with dishes.
6:30 - Jake helped Joanna with her homework while I filled out 23 birthday invitations for Joanna's class.
7:00 - Played a board game with the fam...Sorry Sliders, it's fun!
8:00 - Kids in bed.
8:30 - Some Peppermint Bark Haagen Daas...mmmm.
9:00 - Zzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, January 11, 2009


So, here are the valances I made for my windows. Do you see what I meant when I said they make that wall look even whiter? I am definitely going to take down Ansel Adams and find another, more colorful picture to put in between the two windows, but what would really make me happy is to paint the wall. I know this is crazy. I know this is a stupid idea. It's military housing. I'll have to paint it back when we move in 1.5 years. It's HUGE wall with lots of areas to tape off. I realize this. I am fully aware of all the reasons painting this wall is a very stupid idea. I still want it painted, though. I told Jake that when they go underway again, to please email me once a day and tell me what a stupid, lame idea it is to paint that wall. Thank you very much. Now, this one in the dining room looks better, and it's because of my green wall. The wall that brightens my life every time I look at it. The wall that makes my world a better place just because of it's very existance. Thank you, green wall. Thank you very much for all that you do to make my world a better place.
Anyway, so that's what I've been up to the past few days. Now on to the turning-20 quilt that Audrey is going to help me make! :)

One more from sledding the other day

I didn't know if you could handle two snow-face ones of Nate in one post the other day, but in retrospect I should have posted this one too. He makes the FUNNIEST faces sometimes!

Christmas part 2

Here are some pictures I snapped of the kids opening presents on Christmas morning. Better late than never, right??

The King Crab we had on Christmas Eve. Pictures never seem to do it justice.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sledding on "Killer Hill"

So, last night it snowed. After our dentist appointments, the kids were begging to play in it, so we suited up and ventured out with our neighbors to this place called "Killer Hill". I had heard of it before, but it's pretty infamous for bigger kids riding BMX bikes for thrills, so I've avoided it until today. It was 12:30 and we figured all the big kids were still in school, so we headed out. It's just a short walk from our house.

Well, "Killer Hill" did indeed turn out to be pretty killer, man. Jen went to the top (which was no small feat!) and helped the kids climb up, while I stayed at the bottom and took pictures as the kids came flying down...and boy did they fly. I haven't laughed so hard in a while. My pick for best run of the day was when Shane and Joanna had paired up to go down together. They each had one foot on and were just about to sit down and get ready to go when the sled started sliding...they each had a split second to decide whether to abort mission or just go for it. Well, they both hopped on and because they didn't have time to aim the sled, it went all crazy and they went FLYING roller coaster style down all these crazy curves and was HILLARIOUS! When they finally came to a stop, Joanna jumped up and yelled "THAT WAS AWESOME!!!". Maybe you had to be there, but I'm laughing just thinking about it. Anyway, here are some pictures of our first sledding adventure of the season...I can only hope there are a lot more to come. :)
Nate shredding down "Killer Hill"
Joanna immediately after her "AWESOME" run
The cutest neighbors I know
Don't Joanna's feet look HUGE in this picture?
Oh, Nate. Do you want to go home? Okay, well then brush off and get back into the game, man.
See? Sledding is fun (except when you get snow in your face, I guess)!

I've been neglectful again.

I've been busy, but not so busy that I haven't had time to post. I don't know why, but I feel pressure to always put pictures on here, which takes time, which I don't always have, and so then I end up not posting at all. Lame. So, I'm going to try to post more, even if I don't always have time to put up pictures to go with it. So there.

Last night we had some snow. I have mixed feelings about it. I have to admit that I wasn't sad about having none. To me, each day that there was none meant one less day into the future that we had some. Does that make any sense? On the other hand, it is nice to have some for the kids to play in. It's been so cold that the kids haven't had a chance to play outside hardly at all, which is bad. So, anyway, we got some. Not the "blizzard" that they freaked out about yesterday afternoon, but enough for a good snowball fight and a snowman.

This morning I have to take the kids to the dentist. Our dentist is more like a friend of mine, and that is just so Kodiak. Her daughter was also in "Annie" with Joanna, and I got to know her on a personal level during the many long rehearsals. I just hope that Nate will let her actually let her look in his mouth this time around.

There's not too much going on around here, really. Just the normal day-to-day stuff that keeps us all busy. I discovered a fabric store here in town that I just LOVE. She has the most wonderful, inspiring fabrics! I got some fabric last week and have been working on some valances for my windows in my dining/living room. I finished the one for the big window in the living room and Jake hung it for me. I like it, but it made the wall behind it look even whiter. Now I feel like painting the wall. Ugh. I think I'll just try to find a new picture to hang instead before I do that, though. I have to draw the line somewhere. It's military housing, not my forever house in Poulsbo/Port Orchard/Gig Harbor, right???

Well, I have to get going. The morning calls. :)