Week 41: October 19-25

19. There is nothing prettier than flowers in the fall.

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20. Me ‘n’ Yosh

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21. I took my ‘big’ camera out today.  And was proud of the results.

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22. Point and shoot special.

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23. Woke up excited about what I would take a picture of this day.  Saw three rainbows at various points in the day – didn’t have my camera once.  Turned around, and the day was gone.  Another Yoshi special!

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24. Three days in a row.  Sorry.  She was trying to nap and listen to dogs at the same time.

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25. Summer is desperately tying to hang on.  I’m not complaining.

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Week 40: October 12-18

12. It’s hard to be sad about coming back (from town, across the world, etc.) when this is there to welcome you home.  We had just returned from a short trip to town, and she was SO HAPPY we had come back.

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13. I have never been good at math, so bear with me.  Ugly x 100 = Cute? Am I right or not?  This is the neighbors dog.  She is SO ugly, she is cute.  What do you think?

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14. My pretty girl

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15. Yes, I know.  It’s Yoshi, Yoshi, Yoshi.

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16. Happy fall, Happy pumpkin, Happy everything!

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17. A dark, gloomy sort of day.

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18. A sampling of carpet.  My room is a combination of 60’s, 50’s and maybe some 40’s.  I’m not entirely convinced that is all.  We have ugly green carpet covering some even uglier linoleum.  That blue wall was an attempt at something stupid and will soon be gone.  And hopefully within the next month or so, so will the ugly floor.  Replaced with that sampling.

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How was your week?

Cajun Halibut

I love halibut.  Living in Alaska, I have pretty much grown up on seafood, and love just about all that seafood has to offer.  I know, I’m weird.  It’s ok.  But halibut still remains my absolute favorite fish.  When I visit in England, they try to sell me on having the best fish and chips around.  I don’t buy it.  In fact, I don’t like it!  Its too sticky.  Too fishy.  Too…not halibut!

The only problem I have with fish – is cooking it.  It doesn’t change colors to alert you to its being done.  I HATE raw fish, and always tend to overcook it (much to everyone’s displeasure!).  But the other night, I came up with an idea to change the way I cook halibut (in the oven) and decided to grill it instead.  I didn’t want to fry it, and I didn’t want to smother it in something.  But I wanted to flavor it.

Thus came: Cajun Halibut

1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoon chili powder
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed

The great thing about it is you can add or take away, mix and match.  I ran out of seasonings with a few more pieces of fish to go – and was able to whip up just a bit more.  It was awesome!

I cut the halibut into serving size chunks, rubbed them down generously with the spices – plopped them in a pan and let them get to work.  I didn’t have the burner on super high, and covered the pan for about 3-5 minutes before flipping them over and finishing them off.  They are done when the fish flakes easily.

That’s it!  So easy, and SO good!

Just A Yoshi Girl

As the sun pushed it way through the clouds, and the rain momentarily let up – I drug Yoshi outside to play ball.  It ended up going something to the tune of:

“Here!  Get the ball!”

Yoshi half heartily runs after the ball, and doesn’t stop to get it.  Turns around and looks at me like she has no idea why she even bothered to trot after it.

“Get the ball!”

Yoshi trots off, and I fetch instead.

While we were out there, I thought it would be fun to get some “Autumn styled” photos of her.  I persuaded her into sitting, and got her attention with a blade of grass.  Because after all these years, girl still will do ALMOST anything for a blade of grass.  Except get the ball, perhaps.

She was all about the humor today.

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Oh, Yoshi.

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You are too much.

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But we love you.

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When we got back inside, I realized one of those pictures looked vaguely familiar…

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And then I died from all the cute.

Funny thing was when I took the picture today, I wasn’t even thinking about the one I took of her as a pup.  It just looked familiar, and I had to go looking and realized: Same pup, same spot.  Just a few years in between.  What a girl.

“It was awesome.”

Three weeks in and the newness of being back has started to wear off.  Life is starting to return to a somewhat normal pace that consists of waking up, running through the day and neck breaking, maddening speeds, and returning to bed some point later that night.  I’m not complaining, I kind of enjoy the site of life as it goes speeding on past.

I have sat down multiple times convinced that I am going to write something – some amazing recap of my time away.  Some “This is how I spent my amazing summer!” yet nothing happens.  I look through the 4000+ pictures, looking for some sort of inspiration, yet find nothing.  Much like looking through last years photos, I smile…a lot.  I laugh…a bunch.  And pick out the pictures that are horribly composed, have bad lighting, and make it appear that the person on the other side of the camera had absolutely no idea WHAT they were doing.  Because the blurry, crazy, dimly lit photos – are my favorites.

They remind me of the amazing times I had away.  They make me laugh, and give me no words to explain just what was going on.  Because in the middle of all the neatly composed, wonderfully lit, professional looking photographs – sit the memories that will remain a lifetime.  Memories that will pop up at random times during my conversations with people.  Memories that I can relieve with the people I spent them with, and attempt, vainly, to share them with others.  But when it all comes down to it – the memories that I made this summer?  Are really just that.  Amazing memories, of amazing times, spent with some amazing people.

Which is why when you ask me how my trip was, I will respond by saying “Amazing.”  Because it was.  All around, simply, amazing.

I couldn’t tell you what I did, much like if I asked you what YOU did this summer, you wouldn’t have too much to say.  A few random memories, a few disconnected thoughts that make you smile, and then…fall is here.

Sure, I traveled to Portugal, Greece and Germany.  Sure.  I spent the summer with some of my favorite people.  Yes it was hard to leave.  Yes I want to go back.  Like yesterday.  Yes the weather was great.  No it didn’t ran as much there.  Yes there was lightning and thunder.  Yes it scared us.  Yes.  It was an all around amazing trip.  No I don’t have a favorite place I visited because they each are in a special place in my heart.  Yes.  It was awesome.  Yes I took lots of pictures.  But no.  I really couldn’t tell you what I did.  I will try.  But I will fail.

Because summing up five months of awesomeness?  Is harder than it sounds.  So for now just believe me when I say: Yes.  It was awesome.  And know that someday, I will share just what made it so awesome.  Once I can figure out how to put it all into words that make sense to those that weren’t there to experience it.

Week 37: September 21 – 27, Week 38: September 28 – October 4

21. Mr. Big looking all grown up

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22. Last day in England

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23. I have pictures for the next few days, but they are on my cell phone – and I can’t find the connecting cord…

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26. Miss Siren

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27. Have no idea what happened this day.

28. Or this day either, apparently.

29. I found my point and shoot camera – which resulted in the worlds lamest photo ever of Yoshi.

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30. I may have sort of missed this view.

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October.

1. My Yoshi girl

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2. Scenes missing.

3. Honey

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4. Honey two days in a row – doesn’t get sweeter than that!

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Germany

A few days before I came home, we spent five days in Germany – with no internet, and limited cell service.  We were, you could say, unplugged for about five days.  While we didn’t do that much, it is a trip that will forever be in my top 10 trips.  I forced myself to write a page of words each day to recap the day, and since I didn’t do any blogging about the trip – decided to share about it this way.

09/14

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Dropped my passport, sun shining through the clouds, green fields and trees, church bells, playing ball, sweeping with Phil, cheap airport coffee, slow moving people, TSA stealing baby food, uncle Peter chasing the kids with sweets, humor, crowded planes, buses, tiny back seats in cabs, Mickey the cat, the language, the tone, tiny windows, the way Germany looks and the inability to compare it to anywhere else.

09/15

15

Old buildings, cobblestone roads, ally ways, church buildings, bus ride, green fields, talking with Judah, memories from Aunti Di, Peter’s cooking, everything in German, stories, grocery store, walking, remembering, wishing, hoping, dreaming, realizing, so much thinking, taking pictures, the good food, the mustard, the house that Judah wants to build, older church, laughing, relaxing, watching the time fly, holding on to so much – yet realizing we must let go, and once again – dreaming.

09/16

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The view, plums, tzatziki, windmills, evening sun, the ATM, tractors, bells all hours of the day and night, the great pickle from Judah, the hug from Phil, cute little euros, German TV, rocks, getting up late, Peter’s pudding and Judah’s reaction, reading, visiting, the head massager, life, death, flowers, wine, fire house, photography, clovers, wheat, golden hour, teasing, laughing, time flying by, one week, jam, carry on luggage, mustard, Mickey, conversations, Caillou, thinking, planning…

09/17

17

Buchen, cards, bus, lunch, visiting, smell of rotten plums, car ride, visiting with Robin & family, German/English translate, coffee, how hot the park was, the park, the seesaw with everyone on it, Australia, talking about family, the ride home, more visiting, sad to leave, apple pinching, telling stories, sharing memories, late night table talks, early bed times, summer days, living, loving, hoping, praying, thinking, dreaming, wishing and planning.

09/18

18

The farm, the animals, smells, kids, corn, carrots, sheep, goats, peacocks, sharing, packing, luggage, “Too much luggage”, saying good-bye, waving, the cab ride, McDonalds, the bus, the driver, the delays, running, TSA, car seat, airlines, lines, empty plane, heading home, late night, happy to be back.

I’m Baaaaack

I’ve been home a week. Every year that I come home, there is one question that every single person I run into asks. It’s not planned (as far as I know) but it’s weird how there is always one question that everyone asks. This year? The question is “Was it hard to come back?” The answer? Yes. Yes it was hard to leave. It was hard to come back. And to answer the question of the one person who asked “Was it really? Really really hard?” Yes. It was hard. Times a few million. But it doesn’t change anything. I had to come back, I needed to come back, I am back. Welcome back, me.

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It’s officially fall here. Look:

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See? Rain. And more rain. And build a boat because we got even more rain! 10 inches in 2 days. Or something around about like that. So yea, it’s been rainy. It’s been fall. I hate fall. Mainly because it means winter is coming. And while winter itself isn’t terrible (because it means spring is coming!!!) I hate fall. Because it means winter is coming, and summer is over, and I kind of love me some summer.

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I got my drivers permit before I left. And started driving when I got back home last week. I am slowly attempting to master all those complicated things: Intersections, red lights, corners, not taking out the curb every time I leave the post office – you know, the usual?

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Today was a really…weird day. Did anyone else experience this? Everyone I called/talked to/ran into – was in a seriously good mood. In that, every vender I called to order parts from, were extremely helpful and friendly. I got my tasks done in an hour flat, when normally it takes me about an hour per problem. This meant I had time to go to town and finish some writing.

When I got to the restaurant/wifi location, I was expecting some flax about staying too long etc. But the waiter was really nice (and even let me change tables a few times so I could get the right outlet). I’m not complaining, I’m just wondering – was it just here, or was it a worldwide “Be nice!” kind of day? And can we have these days more often?

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I don’t promise to be back with interesting stories. But I’m back. At least, I’m back in Alaska.  Where it rains 10 inches in two days, where curbs jump out of nowhere, where random people are randomly nice, and the views are breathtaking – no matter how many times you see them.