Tuesday, December 23, 2008

AK meets SC





This morning I woke up to 2 inches of fluffy powder, had a nice run in the fresh falling snow. Yesterday after 11 days of sunshine I hiked up to the top of Gaven with my friend Shari and played in the snow all day. When I returned from the hike after a nice dose of caroling with some friends I headed to Swan lake to ice skate for my 5th day out on the ice. In an hour I am about to get on a plane and fly south to South Carolina, and even though according to my dad it has been "the coldest fall on record in 123 years, getting down to 30 at night" I think the transition is going to be a bit of a culture shock. Goodbye beautiful snow capped mountains and fresh falling snow, hello flatness... Next year I am going to have to rope them all here!

Monsters




"Ms. Bradford, Ms. Bradford can we play monsters at recess?" - Lenny and Nelly

Meet Nelly and Lenny (above) polar opposites, best friends, name inverses, and always found together cracking each other up. This year my work world involves hanging out with these two all day everyday. I swim with Lenny (boy) each morning and then we head to Keet to hang out and work together, unless he fires me, which he does regularly when he thinks he can do the work alone. Nelly runs circles around Lenny but somehow their friendship endures. Lenny loves Star Wars, Sponge Bob, and kittys, Nelly loves horses and puppies. They both love laughing and tag. Last Friday Lenny wrote a story...

"If I could give anyone any gift the Christmas I would give Nelly a stuffed animal rabbit. I like rabbits. I think that Nelly likes rabbits. I think that Nelly would like a stuffed animal rabbit. I would give Nelly a stuffed animal rabbit."




Sunday, December 21, 2008

WIND



above are pictures from a trip up Starrigaven on a windy but beautiful day that it was just too nice to stay inside...

Below is
the 12 days of Christmas Sitka Style...

1 headlamp shining
2 snow tires biking
3 sightings of northern lights
4 falls on the ice
5 days of ice skating
6 surfers catching waves
7 sledders sliding
8 snowmen smiling
9 snowboarders on Verstovia
10 shooting stars
11 cups of coco
12 sunny days

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Life at Work

Here are two funny interactions I had with some kids today:

"Ms. Bradford? Have you ever tried to close your nose and mouth and blow air out of your eyeballs?" Reilly just tried and his eyes turned bright red"

a few moments later another girl looks up at me and says this:

"My eyes are blue. Me and my grandpa are the only people in my entire family with blue eyes, well and my cat. Me, my grandpa, and my cat are the only poeple in my entire family that have blue eyes."

Wonder what would happen if the cat tried to blow air out of his eyeballs? Would his eyes still be blue?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cousins



So my mom is the oldest of 5, she was the first of the 5 to start having babies, and I am the oldest in my immediate family, positioning myself as the oldest cousin on my mother's side. It is quite the responsibility checking up on the little ones, sending birthday greetings, doing the periodic phone call to hear the latest and greatest. However, just now I realized how recently I have failed in my oldest cousin responsibilities. I just went to send a quick e-mail to one of my professors and noticed that I had been tagged in a photo on Facebook, got distracted reading birthday messages from October that had been written on my wall and saw my cousin Delia (above 11) had written ME a birthday message! She had sent me a birthday message via Facebook. Wow, talk about role reversal. I was the one that was supposed to send the birthday greetings. What? And who was that girl in the photo? She was old, a FRESHMAN in HIGH SCHOOL. I have to say that I am in total and complete shock of this news. I guess the last time I saw Delia was Christmas 2005, and I have talked to her multiple times and get photos all the time in my e-mail but somehow these pictures on her Facebook page made me realize just how much a breach of communicate had taken place.

Thank goodness they are driving down from the cheese state to visit us again this Christmas. It has been way too long. Here are some picture from the last time they made the trip to SC. Other cousins featured are Emmett, here he was 13, and Cecil was 9. I can't wait to see them all grown up. (16, 14, 12). Wow that e-mail check ended up being a real distraction. 21 days until Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mallory's Visit



Mallory, my BEST friend, from Boise, left YESTERDAY which was a TERRIBLE idea, however her coming was by far the best decision of all time. The adventures were infinite. It is always so fun to show this place off to people, all I have to do is kick up my feet and let this place work its magic. Except that I don't think I am really a kick my foot upper. Here are some pictures of some adventures that we chanced upon during the week she was here. The rainbow group above were just a few of the people to show up for the first annual Barnoff Blizzard Bonaza. A majority of this day was spent building giant snowballs and watching them roll off mountains, also known as avalanche making. We also built ramps out of the leftover snowball pieces to create the snowboard park. The pic on top is after a nice bike ride out to Beaver Lake! This place might have been created for her, and since it was created for me and we are practically the same person, I guess Sitka is about to have a new resident! The Sitka Vortex, taking one visitor at a time.

Friday, November 21, 2008

lumberjack for a day





Last night when I walked into the house after dance practice I hit play on the answering machine (yes, I have an answering machine) I know this sounds funny because most places in our country these days do not have landlines or answering machines, but here in Sitka landlines still are the norm. So I walk in, hit the answering machine, and heard one of the most Alaskan messages ever from my roommate Rachel's boyfriend Pete:

"Hey Bradford I was told that you were going to chop some wood tomorrow, I would love to come help, give me a call whenever you get in, Matt and I will be up late because we are going to be butchering a dead mammal."

So today when Buck and I woke up we ate some flapjacks for our big day as a lumberjacks. TJ brought the chain saw and Ben, Buck, and I helped out with the hauling and splitting. Splitting wood is absolutely addictive! It was amazingly fun, plus we have enough wood to keep all of Sitka warm all winter. I also worked muscles that I don't think I have used since the last time I chopped wood about 8 years ago... we will see if I am still as enthusiastic in the morning!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Visitor!

Want to test a friendship, move somewhere 4 time zones away only accessible by plane or boat! You realize quickly how strong friendship bonds are!

In a few days (woooo hoooooo!!) my friend Mallory will be HERE in SITKA. She will be bringing all of her Mallory fun, and I can't wait to introduce her to the Alaskan life. Now if I can only coerce her into moving here! That is my goal, and if it doesn't work I am thinking of stealing her identification cards so she can't leave!


I have been trying to get things ready for having her here, so far all I have accomplished is let everyone in town know that she is coming. I was hoping at some point to get all my school work accomplished, clean my room and bathroom, but who knows if any of that will happen, I guess this is another way to test a friendship!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Meet the Parents



So there was a scare for awhile, I might have to stay in Alaska for the holidays, heaven forbid. However, that just recently changed. Mom, dad, joseph, harry, and fuzzy, break out the champagne (okay red wine, not really into champagne) and rest easy, I'll be home soon.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

This same time last year

video

One of my favorite things to do in all of the world is to think back to exactly what I was doing at the same time the year before. It is always fun to think about what it was you were up to and then compare it to what you are up to now. Last year when I did this activity my life was drasticly different. I would compare my AK existence to my NC life. This year the main difference is what mountain I am on and who I am with. This video that is on this blog ranks up there in the list of all time most beautiful hikes. My buddy Matt Hunter and I hiked up to the top of Bear Mnt. in fresh gorgeous fluffy snow. When we got to the top (it took us 5 hours) we basically stayed up just long enough to shoot this video, we were pretty sketched out up top, thinking that potentially we were sitting on a cornus! Needless to say this hike was one of my favorite last year moments.

Friday, November 7, 2008

i'll attempt...

to post a blob. Recently my blobing life has been put on hold. This past week I was just holding my breath for the elections (my third presidential election!) and now that they have finally come and gone the grad school world has taken back over. On the subject of grad school today I completed one of the most daunting tasks of my life: entertaining and teaching 40 staff at my school on various reading strategies, and now in an hour, without even debriefing I am suppose to go to the Whalefest grind. In reality all I want to do is sit and drink hot tea, cook a nice veggie dinner, read my book, and be as low profile as possible, but since there is only 1 grind a month and I LOVE them I know this is not an option. I'll rest tomorrow, oh woops maybe not. Tomorrow I have another race (the Whalefest 10-K) and then a contra dance tomorrow night, not to mention endless numbers of craft projects, yes for Christmas which in the craft world is already nearly here. Then if I can find a spare minute I need to do some homework. I often wonder if weekends are for resting or for squeezing in as much fun as possible in a window of time about the size of my thumb nail? So I better go back and jump into my crazy world...

Speaking of crazy world here is Brea and I dressed as Truffula trees!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Lorax

http://www.scottsdalecc.edu/green/images/lorax_1_.jpg

For nearly 40 years a pulp mill was located in Sitka. It wasn't until 1993 that it closed. Now I can't image that this community was ever involved in the logging industry. The environmental grassroots organizations seem to pop up everyday. Right now in our town we have The Sitka Conservation Society, Sustainable Sitka, The Sitka Global Warming Group, and several others that meet regularly and do remarkable things for our community. Sitka was just recently named the first bike friendly community in the state and this past fall we started a community market where Sitka grown and harvests items are sold.

This past week SCS, Sitka Conservation Society brought a the largest national environmental film festival in the country to our town. It was held at the new auditorium at the high school and well received, I was not surprised to appear and see a packed house, including the balcony. One film that hit home was entitled The Price of a Cup of Coffee. It talked about the paper industry and what a huge polluter it is and how recycling should be the last step we take in our conservation efforts. It made me one really want contact the people that send me my various junk mail and have them quit. It also served as another gentle reminder to really think about my consumption, second hand or not at all is how it should be.

This halloween my friends are all dressing up as various characters from The Lorax, I plan on being one of the Truffula trees. " Plant a Truffula tree, treat it with care, give it clean water, feed it fresh air. " - Dr. Seuss

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Sky is Blue

When I guide during the summers with bike and hike one of the lines that we always shared with the tourist was this: In Flordia they have a name for their windstorms, hurricanes, here we just call them fall.

Well this past week we have been experiencing fall at it's finest, recess duty has been a delight, the kids have been blown around all over, splashing in puddles not even bothering trying to stay dry. The wind and the rain have waged war on one another and both have been winning, until today.

Things seemed to be at a lull when I headed out the door for my run, I even decided to wear cotton, 100%, and white, risky, but with blue patches of sky overhead I thought I would at least have an hour or so before the rain returned. As I hopped onto the trail beside my house I bumped into a friend who was off to climb Harber mountain, so I had a change of plans and decided to join in the fun.

The trail in many places was unrecognizable due to fallen trees and awash from all of the rain. As I headed up admiring the trail, lost in thought about this amazing place that I call my backyard I suddenly saw this brillant color ahead, it was this bright blue color. What was going on? Did someone have a giant tarp and they were setting up camp? Had a new water tower been built since last week when I was on the trail? Suddenly it hit me, it was the sky, the sky was blue! Wow, I'd been so stuck in fall that I didn't even recognize the sky. So no it isn't winter yet around here, I do live in a rain forest, and no I didn't make it back to my house dry. By the time I got to the ridge the trail was covered in frozen hail balls, and I was being hit in the face with big fluffy snow flakes. Ah, Sitka Love!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

alaska day

Today was Alaska Day. If you don't know what that means then it is obvious you don't live in Sitka. To Sitkans it is the most anticipated day of the year, (this is not a joke). Alaska Day means early release from the schools and NO ONE works. It is the town's holiday and if Alaska Day happens to fall on Saturday or Sunday, which was the case this year, then you just don't work the Friday before, sorry to all you out there that were working yesterday.

All week long various events take place. A parade is held at 1:00 and it is a requirement that a. you attend the parade or b. you participate in the parade. Needless to say the parade lasts A LONG TIME since half the town, nearly 4,000 people, participate. After the parade the town climbs to the top of castle hill to watch a reenactment of the sale of Alaska to the United States. People dress up in period clothing and a speaker walks you through the events of the transfer. Last year Sarah Palin attended the event and gave a speech, this year she decided she would rather be on Saturday night live. After the reenactment the town goes in various directions, a large majority go to the bars to follow the bagpipers, (BIG DEAL THESE BAGPIPERS, from how I understand it an anonymous donor flies them in each year he/she loves them so much) to eat black code tips, to eat pie at the Lutheran Church, or to the various fundraisers and special events. October 18th, just an ordinary day, unless you're a Sitkan. What'd you do on AK Day?

Monday, October 13, 2008

boo

Yay for FALL welcoming WINTER with a beautiful day for a pumpkin carving!
The Sitka 1st Annual Gourd Gala was a raving success despite the lack of its ASHEVILLE FOUNDING FATHERS!


The Jack-0-Lantern superlatives:

Prettiest Smile: AMBER
Biggest Mouth: LEAH
Best Eyes: MEGAN
Best Butt: TJ
Class Clown: BEN
Most Likely to Succeed: BREA
Teacher's Pet: EMILY
Most Athletic: LISA
Best All- Around: ANDREW



Thursday, October 9, 2008

birthday



So what a day...

SUNSHINE, SUNSHINE, SUNSHINE... an amazing hike on Sitka's mother mountain, and if that wasn't enough... an AXE! Thank you to everyone's phone calls, letters, e-mails, my delicious homemade dinner, singing, gifts... one word: overwhelming! Getting older isn't so bad, I hope to be around to do it again next year!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

welcome winter

Well it is official, yesterday was fall, and today winter came. Yesterday the mountains looked like they had been sprinkled with power sugar and today they were wearing their full length winter jackets. Today Edgecombe, our resident volcano, went back to the way I first laid eyes on it, white, very snowboardable, fully visible, and sparkling in the sun. I was hoping to squeeze in one more fall hike on Thursday, but I don't think that will be the case. Back to gaters, snowshoes, and soon snowboards I go!

Monday, October 6, 2008

newest post

So with Cross Country Season over, awesome job 3rd in the state girls, I find myself at a loss with what to do next. I mean there are a lot of things I could be doing, but why would I do that? Instead these are my current favorite things:

1. making lists
2. watching people chop onions
3. seeing cool dogs, envying the people who own them, and then discussing ad nauseam the perfect dog combinations
4. walking outside and never knowing what I am going to get
5. fall color everywhere and daily seeing new mountains with fresh powder
6. daydreaming about my future adventures
7. listening to other people play music
8. getting mauled by crazy children on the playground

I'd write more but I am beginning to feel insecure this blob doesn't come attached with a photo, it is scary just writing and not having a picture to hide behind, we will see if it happens again.



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sitka High Cross Country



"One, two, three SUN" we all shouted today as our cheer after practice! The Sitka world was a happy world today. Working in the schools the smiles were a virus. That virus however has been on the Sitka Cross Country team all season despite the rain and extremely tough workouts. For the past 9 weeks we have been running and training together. This weekend hopefully all their hard work will pay off when the team heads to Ketchikan for the region championship! One thing is for sure... they are ready! If they place in the top 2 they will be on there way to Anchorage for the state meet, and I don't doubt them for a second!

Who knew when I started running pre-season with them earlier this summer the team was going to become my virus! It has taken me right back to my high school CC years, the adrenaline, competitiveness, blood, sweat, and tears! It is addictive! They are an awesome team and I've been honored to be a part of their season! Yay Sitka High School Cross Country!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Klondike - Sitkan Twisted Style

Team Sitkan Twisted doing the wave! Shari quit picking your nose!

There is not much more in the world that I like more than running and summer camp! And well the Klondike run combined them both. It was like summer camp because you are with your friends for an extended period of time in close proximity staying up way too late eating food that makes your stomach hurt...

And it was like running on crack! We ran 112 miles for crying out loud!

Here is the story:

The adventure started early Thursday afternoon. We arrived at the ferry terminal a little after noon to head to Skagway, a city also located in Southeast AK with a population of about 1,000. After arriving in Skagway around noon the following day (yes the ferry system isn't very fast and we actually had to overnight on Emily's college buddies boat in Juneau Thursday night) we checked out the town. Well that was over about a minute later and we needed lunch, a campers favorite was served PB and J with a little bit of smoked salmon just because we are in Alaska and salmon is what we do here. After lunch we decided dinner might be nice so we carb loaded and came up for our plan of attack. We were about to begin a 112 mile race into White Horse the largest city and capital of the Canadian Yukon Territory. Well the race actually didn't start until 10 pm at night so we still had about 5 hours to kill since we ate dinner at 5 pm, so we laughed, decorated our vehicles, sang, played some music, shadow danced in the street because THE SUN WAS SHINING until the start.

Here is where the excitement began. Shari, not Sherry, our CAPTAIN oh CAPTAIN who I miss organizing my life, (can I hire you? - will pay in cookies) started us off. Then I ran the second leg, and Katie the third. We finished our legs around 1:30 in the morning. We were finished but there still were 7 legs to go. It was time for Polly, Emily, and Ben to get their run on while we headed to bed.

Polly is a story in herself. Who was Polly was the running joke of the weekend up to that point. She lives here in Sitka but no one on our team hand met her until the race. She was going to fly in and meet us in Skagway the day of the race. However there were some complications. Due to bad weather she was rerouted to Anchorage to get to Juneau, making what would have been a 27 minute flight an all day ordeal. The plan was she hopefully would make it to Juneau in time to catch the slow ferry to Skagway at 4 pm which would get her to Skagway, hopefully if nothing went wrong, (and everything goes wrong here in Southeast) at 11 pm 1 1/2 hours before she was suppose to run. Somehow we were suppose to find her at the start of leg 4, her leg, not knowing what she looked like. Would she make it was the question. The answer: Barely. When we radioed in to Emily and Ben a mile and half from the start of leg 4 she wasn't there. When we arrived 2 minutes later she was. She had 5 minutes to go to the bathroom, put on her number and begin her 13.1 mile leg. Way to keep us on our toes!

Finally Shari, Katie, Lucas, (our alternate and Katie's boyfriend) and I set up camp and went to sleep. 6 hours later, after Emily, Ben, and Polly finished their legs they came back to our camp and woke us up so we could go and cheer for the rest of the team. Emily, Ben, and Polly ran 43 miles between the three of them. Emily experienced Aurora Borealis on her run, Ben the sunrise. They also experienced no sleep! Thanks for taking one for the team guys!

So now Shari, myself, Katie, Lucas, Polly, Emily, and Ben were all in the Sitkan Twisted mobile off to cheer on our friends. By the time we caught up it was about 10 am and Brea had already run her leg. We caught our Sitkan Twisted teammates at the tail end of Allison's leg, who "is the sexiest woman in the world." Right Shari? Then Gregory was off and the cheerfest began. Gregory was definitely the most supported teammate. We drove and jumped out of our vehicles on the mile every mile while he ran! Pictured above is Sitka Twisted Cheering for Gregory (minus Gregory and Katherine, Allison's mom and the team mom, and Katie). And finally Arlo brought us home into White Horse 112 miles later. He was rocking his knife and had the hot sun beating down on his back. We finished in about 16 hours! Go team!

The drive was beautiful, the sun was high, and the fall colors were everywhere! As Emily put it "She just wanted roll around in the colors." A bike trip along the same trail might be necessary. Emily? Ben? Heang? Mal? Are there any biking friends out there?

Summer camp is good but this trip took the Carrot Cake (Ben that was for you)! See you there again Klondike 2009, Team Sitkan Twisted hopefully will remain intact!



Sunday, August 31, 2008

An Ode to My Grandparents


So while checking my e-mail I was told by my not so genteel, but pretty dang cute grandparents, "your blob needs refreshing," so I thought that that is exactly what I would do, refresh my blob.  Thank you Rudd for introducing me to another useless yet endearing term.  Above  is an old picture of me and my gradparents (Nancy and Rudd) from the archives, ahhh hum... yes that is a hint!  Below is a poem.  Just a head's up, I am NOT a poet, and what you are about to read will be fairly telling of just that.  What you do for those you love!

An Ode to My Grandparents:

To my Grandparents
whom I wish everyone could meet
they are a delight
truly a treat
They know how to live
enjoy the outdoors
play with the bees
sit in the sun all day long
eating fresh veggies
from their backyard
sharing their laughter 
with all that they meet

Goofer and siller they older they get
they count the smokers 
and talk about planes
sharing their stories
and their quick wit
they know so much
they'll make you combust
And they never forget
to shout their angst
reading the newspaper 
they throw their arms
cursing about Bush
And other alarms 

Though I do have one complaint!
Are they scared of the north
can they not read a map
do they have no umbrella 
afraid of the rain
I've been here a year ...

how can the fun in my life continue 
without a visit from them?
 
What I'd give 
to be like them 
at even twice their age
But they are two 
whom I could never repeat

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Epic Paddle



Gumdrop Island
Full Moon and Emily and I before we were leaving the night after our camp!
The seals after they had slide off the rocks (not quick enough to get them on the rocks)

            The otters before they saw us!

So when I wokeup yesterday morning I knew it was going to be an adventure day.  The sun was up, the full moon was on its way and nether Emily or I had to work the following day (rarity).   So when Emily got back from her bike and hike up Mnt. Edgecombe we were off!   I called John and Barb my boss to arranged for kayaks and we set sail  as the sun was began to set.  We paddled somewhere between 10-13 miles past Battery Island, the Parker Group (my typical trip), past the Chai Chis to Gumdrop Island following the sunset and hoping to find a place to pitch our tent.  

In vain we hoped from island to island only finding rocky cliffs.  We tried to find a camping site as we watched the sun sink on the horizon, the only option was to do an about face and head south back towards town.   We continued on in the moonlight landing on our first and original island camping option.  Though although small and covered with the "scarest bugs ever" according to Emily, it ended up being exactly what we needed, and the tent was bug free, with small exceptions, and extremely soft place to camp (better than any bed).  And it the perfect night to sleep out under the stars.  After strange dreams we awoke the next morning to rain.  I thought we were doomed for a dull creatureless paddle back to town.

Ha... that ended up being understatement of the century!  The creatureless paddle ended up being the most epic paddle of our lives (up to this point anyway).  No whales were sighted in the the paddle so this leaves us a glint hope that future paddles can be as impressive because what we saw on our return home will never be forgotten.  

A rookery of about 15 seals were on rocks sliding down on their bellies, and a raft of at least 150  male otters were playing and wrestling.  At one point Emily and I were 10 feet away from the raft undetected.  When they did see us finally about half of the little otter heads just turned and stared and the other otters took off to safer waters.  They sent the alpha male otters to stare us down and give us mean looks while all the other otters hung back.  The otter congregate in una sex groups called rafts.  

According to Wikipedia (I did some reading post trip) typically the males hang out in rafts anywhere between 10-100 otters, but rafts have been spotted of up to 2,000 otters!  The females outnumber the males 5 to 1.  They are polygynous creatures (sad) and the mating takes place in the water.  Often times while mating the males will bite the females on the nose leaving scares and many times keeping their heads submerged.  Yikes!  

After that otter raft nothing seemed as impressive.  A pair of porpoises swam with us back and a seal lion lay asleep unaware of our presence, other momma otters appeared with there young, but we were fairly unphased, our minds were still with the hundreds of little otters that let us paddle with them and that rookery of seals sitting on the rocks soaking up the fresh air.  

These pictures are compliments of Emily, I hope they help you feel like you were among the adventure.  

Friday, August 15, 2008

08'- 09' Sitka JVC

     Josef, Eileen, Andrew paddling
       group shot, after Andrew's handstands
sunset we saw from island
   cool moon picture, Zim Emily's friend took, this happened post paddle

Each year here in Sitka a new team of Jesuit Volunteers http://www.jesuitvolunteers.org/default.cfm/PID=1.25 come to Sitka.  I have the pleasure of living with two former JVs, Emily and Megan.  The JVs come to live and serve in different communities across the US.  This is an organization I had never heard of until my move here to Sitka, but it is a wonderful blessing to our community here.  This year we have just recently welcomed the 2008/2009 JVs to town.  I had the privilege of getting to take 3 of them out after work this past week on a quick 3 hour paddle.  We went to the Parker group and hung out with the otters and laughed quite a bit.  2 of the JVs were unable to attend after I had to cancel the night we were suppose to go out, due to 3 foot scary swells.  
Located above from left to right are Eileen, Andrew, and Josef.  Eileen has traveled the world over and might have liked seeing the otters even more than me!  She was telling me on the paddle how much Sitka reminded her of when she lived in Norway!  She has also lived in Cairo, Egypt, actually she was born there.  Andrew, has an unusual habit of doing handstands on beautiful places. We had the pleasure of observing this strange behavior on a rock quarry on the island where we beached.  It was very impressive!  I thought he was going to take off and start walking around.  Josef with an F is apparently is a talented woodworker and has actually built two kayaks himself.  Teach me teach me!  I think we are going to have do a talent swap!  I have a lot to learn from these guys!  I felt like I was out with super talents.   I didn't know what sort of treat I would be in for when I volunteered to take these guys out but I am so glad we went and were chocolate coffee milkshake powered!  Thanks to former JV Caitlin for that hot milkshake flavor tip!  These JVs they know it all!  

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Do I live here?



So I just got back from my weekly Tuesday night dinner.  Actually I use the term weekly here pretty lightly because I am not known for my regularity in attendance, but I know it is there, and it is always a wonderful evening when I do appear.  

And while I was talking this evening one of the conversations that I chanced upon was one with a becoming more and more dear friend Brea.  Brea is an Americacore volunteer and so much more.  She is a great thinker and aware citizen, and I am glad to share this planet with her.  Everytime I converse with her I walk away with something that a. makes me laugh b. makes me think or c. both!

Tonight she shared with me she was checking out my blog links so Heang, Melanie, Betty beware, actually Betty she commented on yours, so keep up the good work!  And I told her the hardest part was keeping up with mine was the photos (surprise surprise).  Well low and behold when I walked in this evening in my e-mail inbox was a picture from Brea that I think I will share.  Brea actually sent the picture before the conversation had even taken place.  It is a picture of a Sitka sunset.

This sunset took place on Friday night at Arlo's house.  Arlo is a fellow Sitka musician and is my banjo twin.  We have the exact same banjo except that his banjo has a name.  Its name is Mercy.  I will share the story when I learn it.  It is such a great name, thinking on all the mercies we are given in this life.  I think that I will have to work hard to come up with a name as good for mine.  

Speaking of names, Aurora Rebecca was brought into this world as a gift to Candice and Sam Carter last night.  A hairy healthy baby, 8p 10 oz.  A picture of her will have to follow in subsequent posts.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Post Work Adventures

"So what I am going to do afterwork today?" was my thought coming home from work Wednesday afternoon.  Then I checked my voicemail:

 "Emily would you come down to the emergency room, Megan's in the hospital, the ER, she was in a bad bike wreck, I need to leave for my interview soon and she would love to have you with her"  -Emily's message on my cell

So Megan officially gave her roommates a heart attack this week. She was on her bike on Sawmill Creek dodging tourists, trying to get to work, when this crazy photographer, despite her yells, jumped out in front of her and she went flying.  The good news is, it could have been worse. The bad news, she has a broken elbow, nasty road rash, and will be in recovery for 8 weeks!  Yikes!  

Well that is not the typical way I spend my afternoons, and hopefully I will never have to spend an afternoon like that again. Generally my evening involve being outside in the great outdoors.  These are a few of the post work adventures my friends in I got into this week:

The first two are of a kayaking adventure out to the Parker group heading north out of town towards the Chai Chis.  This my favorite paddling spot.  You are guaranteed sea otters plus it's beauty is unreal!  The second is my favorite summer hike, Mnt. Verstovia!  It too, like everything here, is gorgeous.  This hike was a sunset hike.  We also brought up instruments so we could enjoy some tunes!  






















Monday, August 4, 2008

Meet the Roommates!



So as a lover of writing, daily journaler, and person who loves to share life's adventures, I have NO IDEA why I am just now getting around to starting this blog.  Now that it has begun I really am having to HOLD MYSELF BACK from rehashing my entire past year here in Sitka.  But I'll try to practice self-constraint, huge weakness of mine.  Instead I will move ahead to everyday life.  

Often times people's well-being is caught up in their home life (and their job too, but I'll save that for another post).  As far back as I can remember minus freshman and sophomore years in college, I have been blessed with great living situations.  (Oh, except for the Spring Park House, eew, how did I live with those girls?) And this year has been no exception.  

Let me welcome you to the roommates, also known as Team Charteris: (from left to right bypassing me)

Rachel:  An amazing friend with an amazing smile.  She is the downstairs roommate that often times occupies one of our couches with a book in tote.  She is the most laid back calm personality I have ever lived with and she comes from arguably the most incredible family in Sitka.  Her dad makes home visits when we are sick and her mom brings over hot soup.  Her brother, Matt, is also a great hiking buddy of mine!  

Megan:  Megan is more personality than you would ever find in one person.  She is full on all the time, and she rarely ever sits down even to sleep.  She is the most giving and generous person I have ever known, and she continues to encourage me to live a life of selfishlessness.  I don't know where she came from, but I am glad to keep her around.

Emily:  We are known around town as "The Emilys" and we are often times found together.  We both have nearly all the same interests: running, hiking, biking, backpacking, snowboarding, cooking, reading, attempting but failing meserably at gardening, and our same save the world desires.  Emily loves to laugh and brings just that every where she goes.  

So there are the roommates.  We are resealing the deal on our lease for next year in a few days!  So it looks like team Charteris (our street name) will remain intact!    

Friday, August 1, 2008

August 1st


August 2nd a year ago I was on a plane heading back to the only home I had ever known, the sunny south, about move out of my beautiful Asheville home, leave my incredibly wonderful roommates, dear friends and family, sell my car, and put my beloved road bike in my parents shed.  I was embarking adventure that was going to end my life as I knew it.   

A year later I am so happy I did just that.  Saying those goodbyes meant saying new hellos.  Reflecting on my life here in Sitka I see that each day has been a treasure, and I hope to begin to share this treasure of my new home (but same me) with all who would like to see this life undeserved!   

(And to you Asheville folks out there make sure you look at the picture closely... Do you see what I see?)