Sunday, September 30, 2007

a weekend outdoors

Aside from lots of crafting, Honey & I also took Doodles on some good dog walks. I'm trying to remind myself that it's important to stay active, even if it's just taking Doodles out, but the weather has been so miserable it's hard to summons the motivation to do so. Juneau is known for rain ~ lots & lots of rain ~ and we really get dumped on this time of year. This weekend was perfect weather for getting out, though.

These are some photos of the Mendenhall Glacier, as taken from the West Glacier Trail. Honey is a glacier guide on the weekends during the summer, and has spent thousands of hours up there over the past 7 years. It really is the most amazing place to be. If you ever take a trip to Alaska & have the opportunity to take a helicopter glacirt tour, I highly recommend it. It ain't cheap, but so worth it. Imagine miles & miles of ice as far as the eye can see. Photos from the ground can't even beigin to do it justice, you'll just have to take my word for it. Or maybe someday I'll post photos that I've taken while on the glacier. Even then, nothing can compare to seeing it for yourself.

Mt. McGinnis, which soon will be covered with snow. And then, as Honey says, it's all over. Winter is here.

Was Doodles tired after his romp at the glacier? I think so! That dog finds the silliest places to rest his head.

Today we walked along the Mendenhall wetlands; another great viewing spot of the glacier. Honey & I live at the base of the mountain on the right; Thunder Mountain which will soon also be covered in snow.

Baffling how & why there is a railway car out there. We have no trains, nor have we ever had any trains. We don't even have a ROAD into Juneau, let alone trains! Just fascinating!

You should have seen how many tries it took Doodles to get up that log. Needless to say, he doesn't have the greatest balance. He must get that from me.

So this is Juneau in the fall. More grey than shades of orange & red, but we take what we can get!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

twinkle lights

You know that line in You've Got Mail, where Kathleen Kelly's shop is having trouble after the big-bad Fox Books opens up? Business is down, but it's approaching the holidays, so Kathleen announces that all will be fine, but "in the meantime, I'm putting up more twinkle lights." As if twinkle lights were the answer to everything. I so wish it were true.

Today, not unlike most days lately, I'm in a funk. Today, however, it's not pregnancy related. I'm not frustrated with not feeling normal, not frustrated with my husband, and most importantly, I feel loved by my family & friends.

Today, like most days, I am frustrated with work. The only word that comes to mind when I think of how I feel about being here is miserable. It's unfortunate, because the company itself is pretty cool, I work with some really great people who have been nothing but wonderful to me, and I do love accounting.

What's to hate, you ask? I don't want to go into detail because it won't serve any purpose except to frustrate me more, but lets just say I feel there are many similarities between my work environment & Heather's previous job & what she had written about her boss. It's reached the point where I don't even care if I get fired for anything I might say or do. Except that I'm pregnant & need my salary & my health insurance, so I guess I do care on some level.

Do you have any idea how much it SUCKS to feel stuck in your current situation, to loath going to work, to feel that your opinions means absolutely nothing to your boss, to be made to feel as if your work is worthless, to put up with the pit of anxiety in your belly? I'm sure some of you do, but reading your blogs makes me so envious of all of you who are pursuing your dreams & passions.

There are some fine points to my job. I get to bring my dog Porter (aka Doodles) to work, my schedule is fairly flexible if need be, and my co-workers Mary & James have been really amazing friends to me. In the 3-plus years that I've been here, there have been 4 babies born, 3 of whom came back to work with their mamas. I know I'm lucky that I have that option when it's my turn, but trust me when I tell you, it's not worth sacrificing my happiness. I hate to think what my anxiety is doing to my little baby. He/she (we haven't come up with a clever nickname yet) certainly doesn't deserve a mama who is unhappy.

I have begun to take steps to alleviate this particular stress in my life, so please, think good thoughts for me. I know you are all where you are because you worked very hard to get there, and I know I can get there, too. In the meantime, I'm listening (still) to my Sleepless in Seattle soundrack, because it has the ability to calm me down so I can at least focus on what I need to get done. I really don't know what it is about that particular music, or the movie itself, but it's kind of magical, don't you think?

Tomorrow is our first OB appointment ~ I finally get to hear the heartbeat!

Friday, September 21, 2007

not quite sure

I don't ever know about these quizzes, and this one certainly did not pinpoint who I am. I can be impulsive, but I can also be very practical. I am definitely impatient. But a captivating singing voice? I don't think so. Plus, and I'm sorry Jerusalem, but I don't believe I've seen a single Jane Austin movie, so I can't say as whether Marianne is me or not. It also goes without saying, then, that I've also never read a single Jane Austin novel. Maybe I ought to put that on my list of things to do.

I am Marianne Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

:: M A R I A N N E ::

You are Marianne Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are impulsive, romantic, impatient, and perhaps a little to vocal in your honesty. You enjoy romantic poetry and novels, and play the pianoforte beautifully. To boot, your singing voice is captivating. You feel deeply, and love passionately.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

fall transitions

I love fall. Almost as much as I crave the sun after a long winter, I also crave crisp days, leaves changing colors (as much as they can around here in the land of evergreens), pumpkin-spice candles, lazy Sundays watching movies, and cooking. Honey actually does most of the cooking in our household, but last night I was craving scalloped potatoes. And since we bought a 10 pound bag of potatoes at Wal-Mart for $2.00 ($2.00!!) this weekend, scalloped potatoes were definitely in order. I do love them, but it takes sooo long to cook, which is why I don't make them very often. My co-workers Mary & James both pre-cook their potatoes, and duh, why had I never thought of that?

Fall & Winter are also the time of year for baking. I have already made a batch of party mix, a family tradition every Christmas-time. I usually get a hankering for them about now, so will usually make a double-batch now, and one again in December. Mom wrote a post recently about traditions, and party mix is one of my favorites. If you are interested in the best recipe ever, here it is:

16 cups cereal (rice chex, corn chex, wheat chex, Cherios, & pretzels)
2 cups nuts
1 cup butter or margarine (I have always used Nucoa brand margarine, because that's what my mom always used)
1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp garlic powder

(I think that's right; it's from memory.)

In a large roasting pan, melt the butter & mix in Worcestershire Sauce, salt & garlic. Mix well before adding your cereal, pretzels & nuts. Stir until everything is coated. Or not so well if you want some clumps ;)

Bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 15.
It is a must to taste-test at each stirring interval. And don't ask me why, but my favorite beverage with party mix is orange juice. It's just my tradition.

Always make a double batch because it never lasts long, especially when you share with your loved ones. On a side note, Bucky (my brother) & I love the "clumps", the bits of cereal that don't fully separate. They just have extra flavor. Well, we never told Honey about the "clumps" because we're mean & selfish that way, and when he finally found out about them, he for-shamed us for keeping it a secret so long! Ooops. Who said marriage is all about sharing.

During Christmas, I always make several varieties of cookies as well. Sugar cookies are by far my favorite. Mom, avert your eyes now, but I bought a pre-packaged bag of sugar cookie dough yesterday. I know, I was horrified that I did it, but Michelle made some a couple weeks back, and they were so good! It was a total impulse buy, and I never, ever buy pre-packaged stuff like that. Well, except for cakes & brownies, but NEVER cookies! What is my world coming to? I just wanted cookies, and I wanted them now!

My taste in music also slows down a bit in the fall. I've been listening to the Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack for days now, and I never grow tired of it. This time of year, I'm all about Louis Armstrong, Harry Connick Jr., Frank Sinatra or any one of those fine fellas, Ella Fitzgerald & Billie Holiday, of course my Williams Sonoma The Last Time I Saw Paris cd, any of my Pottery Barn Dinner & Cocktail cd's ~ really, anything that is slow, romantic, and evokes that hard-to-describe feeling that music is so good at doing. The other night Bucky & Michelle were over for dinner & we listened to Simon & Garfunkle circa "Mrs. Robinson", and that was just perfect for how I was feeling that evening. What is it about "The Sound of Silence", anyway? It just does something to me.

Oh, gosh, I really should be getting back to work. I get so tired by mid-afternoon it's hard to concentrate, and it just gets worse as the week goes on. Come winter when it's dark by 3:00 pm, it's going to be especially brutal. Although, don't they say you get a crazy burst on energy in your second trimester? At least that's something to look forward to, besides hemorrhoids & flatulence!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

a little glimpse

I don't much have the energy to write about everything I want to write about, so here's some photos instead. And PS, is anyone else's blogger behaving oddly? Links show up as code, as do photos. Weird.

Harvest banner from Miss Jerusalem

Lovely sign made by Miss Jeanetta. My Aunt Georgia framed the tiny quilt for me. She's really good at giving me family items that she knows I'll love.

View from my comfy chair tonight.

Brought out my favorite fall candles, a wedding gift from Michelle & her family.

Riley-Cat & Mendy staying warm. This was actually the first time I've seen them both laying on the cable box. Mendy is named after the Mendenhall Glacier, where Honey is a guide on the weekends.

And there you have it. Some of my favorite things.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


No, that's not Southern for "tired"!

Not that I'm complaining about it being sunny, because really I'm not, but my office is stifling. It's one of those perfectly sunny pre-fall days (quite the opposite of what Miss Jeru is experiencing) where it's not too hot & not too breezy, and I'm forced to keep my damn window closed. Why, you ask? Because my office building is getting its roof tarred, and the fumes are noxious. (is that a word?) I tell you, this is every pregnant woman's dream. My boss did say that if the smell got too bad, that I should leave. Hmmm, I think I'm feeling a little whoozy....

I had a wonderful lunch at El Sombrero with my friend & former co-worker, Shon. She's scheduled for a c-section next Thursday, and she looks so good. Pregnancy certainly agrees with her. This is her second baby, and since Scotty was an emergency c-section, this baby had to be a c-section also. I never knew that in Juneau, once a c-section, always a c-section because we don't have the medical staffing to handle potential complications of a vaginal birth after having a c-section. I am learning so much.

As of today, morning sickness has officially kicked in. Yesterday I felt positively green up until about 2:00, but this morning I woke up feeling considerably better. Until I was finishing getting dressed, and uttered Oh no! The 2 Italian plums I had eaten made their way back up, and I've felt pretty good since then. Maybe that's the worse it'll be. I can hear ya'll saying ~ Honey, you're fooling yourself!, but really, maybe I'm just that lucky.

But the plums, I love. They remind me of my grandparent's house in Oak Grove, Oregon, where they had trees of them & I would eat them until I gave myself a belly ache. If we came to visit when the plums were out of season and had already fallen from the trees, I would be so disappointed. I probably even ate them right off the ground. I miss my grandparents, but I do believe they're watching over us all & would be so thrilled to know that both my brother & I are having a baby & that we are happy in life.

Tonight we're having turkey dinner at my mom & Mike's, and then we're off to the African Children's Choir. Busy day for Tracy!

Monday, September 10, 2007

African Children's Choir

Tomorrow night, Honey & I are going to see the African Children's Choir perform. They had a piece about them on NPR this morning, and I knew this was something I had to see. I have always been quite emotional, about lots of things really, but when I hear music that is so pure & beautiful, it makes me cry. I just can't help it. I've even been known to cry when the marching band plays in our 4th of July parade. Of course, I hide my face from Honey because he just doesn't understand such things. I love him dearly, but emotional, he's not.

These beautiful children, who have lost their parents from illness & war, are traveling the world to spread joy to others, and we are lucky enough to have them perform in our little town.

Friday, September 7, 2007

say it isn't so!

Since my family knows, and my closest friends know, and my boss knows, I may as well tell the whole wide world: Honey & I are having a baby!

I'm only about 5 weeks, so we should be having a May Baby. Hopefully I will survive this fabulous stage of raging hormones, and hopefully Honey doesn't leave me for a less crazy & weepy wife.