Red Alert

Last February before I headed off to Australia, I had my hair dyed red. Not full blown, raggedy Ann red, but red highlights. I loved my red hair. But it faded fast and within a good month, it was gone.

A few weeks ago I was looking in the mirror and noticed a handful of grey hairs. I pulled them and went about my business. Except a few days later -they had returned, and brought friends. I told myself it was where my hair had been bleached. I’m 26. I’m certainly not going grey yet.

A few days ago I made an appointment and went to put the red back in my hair. While I was there I asked if she could give me the skinny on my grey hair. She was silent for a good 30 minutes about the subject, then asked if I wanted to hear the truth.

I could have said no -but, well, I kind of already knew from that. She said I am going grey. GREY. Me. At 26. I told her I’d rather go red…and asked that she please cover it up.

Introducing, Red of 2016:

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Who knows, maybe I will just keep going red and ignore the fact that I am slowly (quickly?) getting old.  That works, right?

It’s A Dog Party

Big dogs, little dogs, blue dogs, green dogs…

It certainly has felt like a dog party out here!

A few months ago I got a phone call from someone asking if I could house / dog sit for their two dogs. I agreed. Then a few days later, a regular of mine called to see if I could dog sit during the same period of time. I told her I was house sitting -but wouldn’t mind adding her dog to the mix. Then a week later I got a call from another person asking if I could dog sit at the same time. Again, I agreed. Then a few days ago a friend asked if I could dog sit their dog for the week.

I started out with two -and over the course of the past few weeks have slowly added to bring my final number to six. Six dogs.

Knowing that Yoshi doesn’t appreciate dogs in her space -I bought a baby gate to close off a section of the office in hopes of keeping the peace. It was the best thing I ever did. Not only are dogs not rushing out to tackle customers, they are staying away from Yoshi and the peace has been kept.

Tonight I drop one dog off on the way home. Tomorrow, I drop another. Sunday I drop two. Next week I am back home in my own bed with only one dog who lives here.

It’s been a wild ride!

I felt pretty much like this:

Meet the cast of characters (all of whom were together under one roof):

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Yoshi:

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Scooter:

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Moose:

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Molly:

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Max:

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Allie:

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Fall Photography and Yoshi

Two of the things on my “To do list” this season are to walk Yoshi more and pick up my camera more often.  The two kind of go hand in hand, and have worked together rather nicely.  That combined with the unseasonably nice weather the past few weeks and I don’t have any excuse!

As a result, Yoshi and I have gone on quite a few different walks and hikes trying to soak up the last of the sun before it goes to bed for the winter.

Ward Lake:

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A few days ago I decided to be brave and try out a new trail:

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It was a beautiful trail that snaked through the woods -even Yoshi was calm and collect, something she usually isn’t on our walks.  That is, until we popped out at the end.  I was under the impression this trail looped around, but apparently it doesn’t.  We popped out in the College parking lot and had to walk down through two schools to get back to the car. It was lunch time.  There were a lot of people and cars and noises.  Yoshi thought she might die.

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She was very relieved to make it back to the car.

A few other sites from our outings:

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…and of course, back by popular demand, some more shots of the star herself.

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She cracks me up!

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Ha!

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Only in Alaska

So yesterday afternoon I was feeling a bit cooped up, it was raining and I hadn’t been outside for a walk for a few days.  I can’t remember the last time I picked up my camera (post summer blues) so I decided that I would take the dog for a walk on the beach.

It was raining, which meant I could let her off the leash and not have to worry about anyone else being there to scare her.  So off we went.

This is what I originally had planned on photographing. Maybe spending a few minutes perfecting a shot like this.

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The rain, the birds, the low tide -I had some ideas I was planning to perfect…but then something caught my eye.

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Now that in and of itself isn’t that unusual.  There are people out surfing on occasion, but this person didn’t appear to be surfing…in fact, I couldn’t be sure what they were doing.

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I watched a few more minutes…

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…and then this happened…

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I couldn’t be sure if I was seeing things, but from what I could tell this person was doing handstands…on a surfboard…in the ocean…in the rain.

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I am still not sure what, exactly, was going on -but it was sure impressive, especially considering I slipped about four times this weekend.  On solid ground.

Fuzzy Weather

It’s official -fall is here.  How do I know this?  Well just the other day I was outside and stumbled upon these little guys.  They go by a variety of names, and I am not even sure of their technical name -but we have always called them fuzzies.  We would spend our time rescuing these guys from the middle of the road where they would meet their certain death.

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To Love Without Limit

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. -1 Corinthians 13: 1-7

These verses have been poking away at me for quite some time now.

It started Monday night, after a women’s bible study on the fruits of the spirits.

It popped into my mind (not by chance, mind you) that I really don’t love a lot of people. Not in a… romantic way, but in the way that I really don’t like a lot of people. In fact, I really don’t CARE for a lot of people. I am not the most compassionate or sympathetic person. I get annoyed by stupidity all the time. Regardless of how hard I try, I struggle deeply -with loving people the way that God has commanded us to. I do not love humans. I do not love mankind. I don’t.

The thought was planted, and over the past few days I have thought -hard, over this thought of love. Of compassion. Of caring.

Then today, I read an article on how in relationships -we go after the people who are most like us. Why? Because we are looking for someone like ourselves. We want people to be just like us, and when they aren’t -we chuck them to the curb with last weeks leftovers. When someone disagrees with us we gasp in horror -how could they! I for one, am guilty of trying so hard to stuff people into the boxes I feel they should be in.

Some people are amazing in this area -they are compassionate to a fault, they love without restriction.  They see a need and fill it.  Meanwhile, I am busy carefully calculating to see if said person fits into my box the way I think they should before I make my move…most times, losing the opportunity to love without condition.

I struggle to make them FIT into my life, I want them to be who I want them to be -instead of realizing: They aren’t. They never will be. Not everyone is like me, in fact, no one is like me! And how wonderful that is. But that doesn’t stop me. It doesn’t stop me from seeing people through my clouded, dirty perspective -day after day. I see them with my molded glasses on that say they must have and act this way -or else perhaps, they cannot be a friend of mine.

Good golly how selfish I have been.

Instead of seeing people this way -I need to see them for who they are, but bigger still -I need to see them how God has made them, how God sees them…not as I see them, not as I want them.

People will never fit into my mold or my view -and so I need to stop trying, desperately to make them fit! Instead, seeing them for who God has made them, who they are -opens the world to me in a completely different way. It gives them the freedom to be who they are, to have their strengths and weaknesses -it gives me the freedom to love them for who they are, as they are -instead of constantly trying to rank them, box them up and ship them away.

I need to free myself from my ridged views -and quit assuming that I am, in fact, the mold that everyone should live up to. I need to love people the way God loves them -and me. I need to see them how He sees them, not as I see them. Because then, and ONLY then…can I truly love them, as they are. The way He loves me. The way I am.

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Good Morning!

So here’s the deal. I’ve done a fair amount of babysitting in my life -spent days watching kids, put them to bed and left them for their parents to deal with the following day. I even did a stunt where I put one kid on a bus for school -that was fun when he almost missed the bus over an episode involving a missing sweater. But I digress. A few months ago I was asked if I would mind kid sitting at night for a few nights. Feed kids dinner, get them in bed -then get them up and off to a friends house the next morning. It sounded simple enough, and I am always up for random stunts -so I agreed.

The instructions were simple enough “Wake the kids up at 7am” since they would be starting school in a few days their mom was hoping to have them adjusted to the early to bed, early to rise schedule. I agreed to this schedule and last night was my first night there. It went well enough. Kids were in bed by 9pm and I had the rest of the evening to myself. I set my alarm for 6:52 -thinking I would get up a few minutes early, hop in the shower and then wake them up.

It was all planned. It was all ready. It was going to be fine.

Except I woke to hear foot steps running down the stairs. I blinked and looked bleary eyed at the clock which read: 6:02. That is am. Six in the morning.

Now those who know me best know that waking me up early is not the thing to do. Especially without coffee. Especially before the hour of 9. But these children, bless their socks, were up with the morning sun. Or what I can assume was the morning sun. The sun was up and so were they -so they must have woken together. I laid in bed -silently, hoping they were just using the bathroom and would go back to bed like reasonable souls. But alas -I heard dishes clinking, and breakfast being made and I knew.

These kids were not going back to bed.

I forced myself from the blankets, rolled onto the floor and stared in the mirror at nest that was atop my head. My hair and I agree on mornings -they are not the bees knees. We don’t do mornings. I debated about taking a shower and calming some of the wild morning madness atop my head, but it was all very much before coffee and the clock was still reading the number 6 -so I brushed it down, threw on a sweater and stumbled into the kitchen where pancakes were being made.

Thankfully I had had enough sense to bring along a coffee maker -else I don’t know if any of us would have survived.

I don’t know if this is normal or not. I’m told by various sources that it is very much normal. That 6am isn’t that unreasonable of an hour and gauging by the traffic -others don’t think so either. Their grandparents were wide awake sitting on the porch awaiting their arrival. So I guess I am the only one that doesn’t believe in waking before the sun.

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Apparently, Miss E has been stalking my blog looking for new updated pictures of Yoshi.  I haven’t done much in the way of photography lately, but today was sunny and calling me outside -so out we went.  These were the results:

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Under the Sea

We got out underwater camera film back the other day.  I laughed…because these pictures.  They are anything but the amazing underwater pictures I was expecting.

You know the type -the ones that look amazing and completely capture the awesomeness that is under the waves.  I’ve seen them all -I know what I was looking for -and then what I got?  Well, they just made me laugh.  But also because they sort of make me happy.  The time spent snorkeling (while challenging!!!) was awesome.

I am probably dating myself but if you remember using disposable cameras (and waiting for the film to get developed) you will have a general idea on what we were up to.  But you also have to remember that we had big rubber gloves on, so navigating the camera wasn’t exactly what one would call…easy.  There were a lot of shots of the glove!

I kinda want to go back, you know?

This guy was a really cool shade of purple when you looked at him under the water -almost like a neon, glow in the dark color.  Of course the picture just shows a little purple blob.  It was a sea urchin, for those wondering.

13615226_1161818690506533_8770453448368351017_nPatrick Star!

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An attempt at a thumbs up

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Under the sea!  See?

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While the hardly counts as “Under the sea photography” -I think I am going to work on brushing up on my “on land” photography before I attempt anything….well, professional.  So this will have to do for now.

A-Snorkeling We Go

I couldn’t tell you why exactly, but the idea of snorkeling has interested me for a long time. When we went to Australia last year we originally planned to go snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. After all, that is kind of something you have to do –right? Unfortunately our plans to go to the reef didn’t work out and we didn’t end up going. Still, the idea was there.

Making a very long story short –we got an offer to go snorkeling with a local tour here in Alaska that we couldn’t pass up. When Amanda and David started planning their trip here I knew it was something that would have to go on the list to accomplish this summer. This past Saturday, we checked that idea off the list.

Snorkeling here in Alaska is probably different than snorkeling in other places –one of the main differences is that you have to wear a wetsuit. Having never worn a wetsuit before we really had no idea what to expect.

Getting in the suit was a challenge in and of itself –pulling on a full rubber suit is challenging in the best of circumstances –but I started to panic while pulling mine on –and started sweating…it was a task that was more challenging that I expected! Then we had to make our way to the van and go for a drive –sitting in a wetsuit? Not the easiest challenge!

Once in the water things started to loosen up –but then the next challenge came: snorkeling.

They offered weight belts for those who were more adventurous and Amanda’s hand immediately went up. Thankfully we talked her off that ledge and decided to try it without the first time. It was probably a good idea.

Let me start by saying that the whole experience? Was awesome.

But getting started was a bit rough. My mask leaked, and I kept swallowing water. Combine this with the fact that I am 2 inches shorter than everyone else means I can’t always reach the bottom where others can and the flippers that kept flipping me onto my stomach and it was a rough start. But once the mask was sorted and I realized you shouldn’t open your mouth under water and waves going over your snorkel pipe are not good –it was all good.

It was quiet. And amazing. Seeing everything come to life under the water. To be completely honest –I didn’t think I was going to be that blown away by what we saw, after all –I have seen all the starfish and sea like animals from my 25+ years of living here in Alaska…but seeing the water from under the water? As odd as it sounds was completely different…and amazing.

When we first took off I was thinking “I never want to do this again” and by the time we got out I was thinking “I can’t wait to do this again!” It was a lot of fun, wetsuits and all…and now? I kind of want to go back to Australia and go snorkeling in the reef. Who wants to come!

We turned in our underwater disposable camera and have to wait a week for the pictures to come back…until then, here is proof we were, well, in wetsuits!

Amanda told me to stop making this face, but I feel it sums up the whole wetsuit ordeal fairly well!

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A much better selfie

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