August 25, 2006

Our little planet

Day One

After eight hours on the plane with a screaming toddler and no water, my luggage broken, I had received my “intermediate” size rental car, which turned out to be a giant SUV. Not really giant, since there are much bigger ones out there, but HUGE for me. But maybe in Alaska it is OK to drive around in a truck burning the very fossil fuels they extract from up here. Tucked in at the hotel, suffering major jet lag, I could barely sleep from excitement. I was here, in Alaska!

In the morning I explored Anchorage, including a couple hours at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, to be inspired by photos and paintings of the Alaska I was about to witness. It was a great little museum, but I was itching to get on the road.

In pouring rain and fog, I headed south, on a four hour drive to Homer and the spit. My friend works at the very end of the spit, at the very tip of the western most point in the United States. As I crested the final rise and turned towards Homer, the clouds broke and the sun shined down on the bay and jagged mountains, filled with glaciers. It only lasted a moment before the clouds filled back in and the misty rain began again.

Homer will be my home base for the next five days. It is a cute, eccentric little town. Last night we went to the only movie theater in town, where they show two movies a week. Everynight at 6pm they show one and at 9pm they show the next. We went to the 6pm showing of “An Inconvenient Truth”, the Al Gore documentary about global warming. It seemed surreal to be in such a beautiful part of the world, surrounded by the glaciers that he referenced. I thought I had a pretty good grasp of global warming, but the movie really touched me. We are in for a bad ride and it is going to happen much more quickly than I ever thought.

Armed with beautiful artistic inspiration and reminded of the fleeting moments of a world in flux, I’m ready to take it all in.

August 21, 2006

First rose

First rose

When I took over care of my newly purchased gardens, the rose bushes along the driveway were in sad shape. The attack was two-fold, giant masses of creeping vines and bugs, bugs, bugs. After a trip to my local organic garden shop for bug spray and advice on cutting things back, I spent an afternoon weeding and trimming. Then I waited.

Soon red buds popped out followed by fresh new stalks. My rose bushes are making a go of it. This week the first bush blossomed. They smell so sweet and look so hopeful, sticking up into the air. I’m taking it as a sign of good things to come.

On a note of good things, back in Madison this past weekend was wedding madness of the small lakeside variety. Best wishes to Claire Ann and Brad . Congratulations to Alyssa and Tom. Two couples who married for all the right reasons. I’m awaiting photos and stories.

Wednesday I will begin creating more photos and stories of my own, as I fly off to Alaska for a week with my brave girlfriend, who decided to relocate to the far north this past spring. I’m looking forward to amazing scenery and cool temperatures. I’m also expecting internet access, which means stories and photos from the road.

August 6, 2006

Not our shack


One day this week, I was quietly working in our home office while SB did some insulation work in the crawl space. The next moment, our bathroom sink had been pulled out and was lying in the hallway, while the bathroom vanity rested in the living room.

He had found a huge hole in the floor and wall of our bathroom, going straight into the crawlspace, which is basically outside. *sigh* Yet more evidence that makes us happy that the previous owners didn’t try to “fix” and “remodel” more. Within a couple days he had it patched up, making our bathroom feel much less like a basement, surprisingly, and the sink and vanity were back in place.

Then it was time for yet another trip to the home building store to buy supplies for yet more projects. We did not consider our house a “fixer-upper” like so many of the other houses we looked at. I shudder to think what life would be like in one of those houses.

Weekend research

Pressing questions on a Saturday night:

What is linen made from?
The amazing flax plant, not cotton as I had originally thought. Flax is awesome. It makes clothing, flooring and a dietary supplement. Why aren’t we all talking about the wonders of flax?

What are the genetic determinants of eye color?
It’s no longer assumed to be fully genetic based and neither is it a dominant/recessive deal. Oh, how science has changed in the past 12 years, since my highschool genetics class.

Who is Malcolm Gladwell?
He’s the guy who wrote “The Tipping Point”, a book on my radar for future reading.

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