Monday, April 18, 2011

coming home

is always an adventure with a squirrely aussie.....big ups to whoever guesses what it was she shreded while we were at a friend's birthday bbq.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

the one where we become alaskan

tlc, discovery, all the hippie adventure channels...they've all told you: Alaskan fly little planes--EVERYWHERE. this weekend, a friend offered Adam and i the opportunity to tag along with him in his plane while he ran an errand to the Kenai Peninsula. lately, adam's been on a kick about wanting an F-18 and accompanying aircraft carrier, so i was hoping that by agreeing to go a side effect would be adam would want a cessna instead of the more expensive faster version.

We met Al on a beautiful afternoon yesterday, got a how the plane works briefing, and loaded up the picnic dinner. The picture is us above Anchorage. We flew out toward the south and headed for the heart of the Kenai Peninsula. Al's family has a cabin on Kenai Lake, which is where we headed.
I have this image in my head of family cabins which was excatly where we went. Rustic, built in the 40s, added on to over successive generations, filled with old family photos and smelling of love. Oh, and a whole fleet of old vehicles doesn't hurt either!  We flew into the peninsula over Resurrection Pass, a trail Adam hiked several years ago. Adam flew us across the water and up the pass, taking a few turns to make me nervous :) it is hard to begin to even describe the wild beauty that was around us. the flight was spectacular, Al was an amazing host and tour guide, and i can't imagine anything cooler to spend the day doing. This is why Alaskan's fly, because it feels like soaring through heaven in God's country.
Kenai Lake

Resurrection Pass

Picnic on Kenai Lake in front of the cabin.

Harding Ice Field: the largest in North America

As you can imagine, the photos don't do any of this justice. Flying over the ice field was incredible--like being on the top of the world. i am so grateful for the kindness of new friends, the beauty of nature here, and sunny days.

Friday, April 15, 2011

notre dame

this is a belated post. clearly. since you all know i am in alaska, not france. due to reasons that made no sense, my flight out of seattle on the way to israel was an hour delayed. this meant that i JUST managed to miss the only air france flight to tel aviv for 8 hrs. the conversation in my head went a lot like: well, hello paris. i didn't intend to see you without adam, but now that i have to what should i do? oh, ask my facebook friends, good call. i'm beginning to feel like i see continental Europe on layovers. I saw Rome like this, too. this time i was more unhappy about not having the film camera. my digital point and shoot didn't give me the color quality or focus depth i please forgive the lameness of these photos.

first a short gripe: the new terminal (2E) at DeGaulle. i suddenly understand how tom hanks could live there for years. there's no bloody way out. seriously, i walked like two miles before finally realizing that the little itty bitty unmarked door was the only, repeat ONLY exit. if there was a fire and terminal 2E was burning to the ground, everyone would die because there are no marked exits. end rant.

it is about an hour train ride to notre dame. i had made a "see notre dame without your spouse" buddy who was also headed to tel aviv and he and i ventured into paris. we picked notre dame because it is not particularly romantic...seeing as how all things parisian are meant to be seen with the one you love...not the one you just met on the plane.

One of the features i had forgotten about from pictures is a statue outside of the cathedral. it is on the right as you approach and looks to be to be a ghost king and a servant, and a horse. I kinda figure this is where the inspiration for the ghost kings in the Lord of the Rings came from---seeing as how they look just alike:

So, there are lots of stained glass, interesting architecture and a statue of Joan of Arc inside. I'm going to forgo all those pics in favor of these two from the outside and one final one from the park.  i love stained glass, mind you. we had two in our home growing up made by an artist friend. but like i said above the colors didn't come out properly. besides, the carving is just so intricate AND, more importantly, who can resist a gargoyle. i'm always amazed at the detail of the work, the effort and time it must have taken to complete. while i found the inside to be a bit of a money making scandal (please pay two Euro every ten feet to light candles before different saints), the artistry is really an amazing thing to behold.

Now, for our finale. Please note that in French parks, dogs are not allowed to walk themselves.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

thursday=suprise package day


Today, a box arrived from the lovely Brooke (and Justin and Jasper). It had among it a new squeeky toy from Jasper to Neah, a dope hand blown glass gavel for me (see pic below) and some dessert creation goodies from our C&B registry. Brooke and Emily were the people who had a main hand in hiring me at Children's--for which i am endlessly grateful. Brooke is also a cooking goddess, theme party thrower, and Auntie to the ever so cute Avery.

Brooke and Justin have this dope Etsy site, where they showcase all their awesome creations. You should really check it out, especially if you are into awesome glasswear. Seriously, how dope is my gavel!! Justin once made me a set of made to order wine glasses for a Christmas giveaway--huge hit. Anyways, i'm beyond stoked, but I think Neah is the happiest of the lotbecause of the new squeeker--which she won't let me get in the vicinity of.

Thank you!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Graduation day.

first a couple of more serious things. please say some prayers for my friend Tali's son, Jack. He's an adorable 3.5 year old who is very sick with leukemia and his counts are worsening. Tali and her husband are very devout Christians with a strong faith in God and prayer. as a firm believer in prayer myself, any additional positive thoughts or wishes i'm sure would be appreciated.

also, i want to give thanks for a moment that the nice man from downstairs is okay after having fallen through some ice at the dog park. he and his wife are the ones who let Neah out for us when we are out of town for too long during the day. i am grateful that there was someone nearby and that they were able to act quickly. The temperature has been rising well above freezing and clearly even the solid looking ice is not so much anymore.

graduation was not mine or adam's. the dog finally graduated from puppy class. mind you, we aren't sure what the requirements to graduate are, but we suspect them to be showing up and not being totally neurotic. Here she is in her graduation cap:
puppy class has been an adventure. we (and i'm using "we" generously since i ditched neah and adam for a couple weeks in there) started with four dogs in the class and at the end it was just these two:
Ranger and Neah. Ranger was an abandoned sled dog. Unfortunately for Ranger, his owners feed him too much and he's looking "plump". Neah likes to pounce on his head.

the ones that didn't finish were:
1. some kind of schnauzer mix named Bo, who made a lot of barking noise, but was doing better. he was hampered by embarrassed parents who didn't work with him at home

2. an overly anxious german shep named max whose family was somehow more anxious than he was. I think 120lbs of dog was just too much for them.

So, now we have our monday nights back and one slightly better mannered puppy who barks anytime a door bell rings, including on the tv. but she is beyond cute--see, here's my proof.
we take her on nightly walks to a park nearby--where she gets to run/bound free, unless/until a person on a bike comes by. she's decided that the fact that they are in/on a moving vehicle is a personal affront to her, or she wants to herd them, i can't tell which. this also covers cars. hopefully, we can get that sorted out soon.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


**first a side note: anchorage (which had melted like 80% of its snow when i landed last night) welcomed me back this morning with this:

i have not been a nice person for the last few months. the bar and job hunting have been challenging. the trip allowed me some time to face up to all of that and to decide i need to remember to be a better version of myself. to that end, i'm lucky to have a husband who loves me despite my best efforts to drive him crazy.  i wrote this a year ago for him, but it still stands.

for so long, i wrote in search of you
but, i looked in all the wrong places,
dug through the ruins of my nightmares--
the relics of my misplaced idols--
the faded photographs of echoes long gone.
so deep in my confusion
i almost lost my best love.
and you, with your time less patience,
unsung heroism and humble strength
never lost your faith in me.
you raised me up
from my manic playground,
held me tight while i shook
and trembled, pushed and tested
until i learned a new meaning
for unconditional.
until i relinquished the chains of my self bondage
and learned to truly love,
to believe that the magic of that word could be mine.
you are the greatest gift of my life,
the greatest partner for my soul.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

yellow wildflower season

it is yellow wildflower season in Israel and this is a rare post with a couple of mar pics in it.
we went hiking south of jerusalem-at bet guvrin. about a decade and a bit ago, i went there on a weekend bus tour. the only problem was, being all of my late teens, i was definitely NOT paying attention to where i was. this meant that the last 12 years were spent trying to remember where on earth this one particular park was. bet guvrin has these crazy caves. i had wanted to bring adam here, but in my mind it was farther into the negev desert and i couldn't locate it.

there are a variety of trails and routes. school children ran amok over the site along with busloads of tourists. the parental units opted for the long route. clearly none of us thought this through because we all got various sunburns and levels of crankiness at the end of the 5 mile snackless sojourn. the lone building is a church.

the israel parks authority is denoted by a baby ibex (see left)
and, because we tansiks must always take at least one lizard picture a hiking trip, here's my buddy the chameleon, who clearly knew it was yellow wildflower season.