Thursday, December 27, 2012

Our Summer on the Water

I thought it would be fun to share our summers worth of adventures on water, so here goes.

Our first trip of the year was in May out of Whittier. Our sole intent for this trip was to get out and get some fresh shrimp and to have a some fun after a long winter of snow.  Unfortunately winter had not ended in Prince William Sound and the snow caught up to us each night.

Rowing to shore thru the slush, time for a bit of running around to relieve the energy a little boy can gather from a day or two confined to a boat.

Brodie and a big shrimp in the snow storm one evening.

Shrimping was good and we got a few pounds of fresh ones to enjoy.  Here is a shot of the biggest of one of the pulls.

The shrimp bandit.  On our way back in we stopped across the bay from the Whittier harbor to clean the days shrimp.  I kept getting the feeling that something was watching me and when I turned around I finally spotted this guy sitting on the roof.  When I went inside the cabin to get the camera it helped itself to a shrimp out of the pile I was cleaning.

A few minutes later it came back and landed on the roof again, I set a shrimp off to the side of the boat and went back to cleaning and sure enough down it came to get its second shrimp of the day. 
 This went on for a hour or so and I think I fed that guy about 5 good size shrimp.  Half of them went back to the trees somewhere on the cliffs and the rest it ate on top of the raft on the roof of the boat.  Kind of neat to watch it toss the shrimp in the air and catch it to reposition it for flight.

The next trip out was in June, again out of Whittier but this time I wanted to go look for a Black Bear and try and get some more shrimp. 

We left Whittier and realize we forgot to get some ice for the cooler so we detoured up Blackstone Bay and had to go all the way to the back to find some ice.  While we were back there we took the time to get a few photos.

After finding some ice we headed West for some new unexplored (by us at least) country.  We ended up spending the night in small cove off of the Unawik Inlet.  Here I am sneaking off to go look for a bear. I did end up seeing one bear that night and I learned that I need a motor on that raft.  Another group of hunters spotted the bear as well and they had a motor.

The next day we pulled the shrimp pots and found this strange little fish along with a few shrimp.

July rolled around and we decided to make another trip out to Prince William Sound in search of a Ling Cod for Brodie and more shrimp for all of us. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and we did not get far enough South to find ling cod, we did however make it to the Perry Island Oyster farm to get a couple dozen oysters and we did find some shrimp.

Brodie tried his first raw oyster..... and like everything else he loved it and wanted more.

When I asked Jack if he wanted to try a raw oyster, this is the look I got back.

Sasha got a new life vest, it has a good handle on it to use the next time she decides she wants to swim. It does not seem to bother her.

The weather got kind of nasty, as a matter of fact we basically had to run and hide for the night. On the way from Knight Island to Culross Passage (our hiding spot) we spotted this hazard to navigation. It does not look very large in the photo but we got a bit closer and it was much bigger than our 28 ft boat.

August rolled around and we decided it was time to find some Silvers.   The first stop was a quick overnight in Seward on our way to Homer. 

We got a few silvers the first day out and the boys hammed it up for a photo.

After Seward it was off to Homer for some fun. We decided to go out and try and find a Ling Cod (planned on running out past the Barren Islands) but the weather got bad so we stopped by flat Island for some Halibut fishing. Neither of the boys had caught a halibut on there own so we decided there was no time like the present.

Later in the Month and still searching for more Silver Salmon we took a chance on a rumor of some possible silvers out in Prince William Sound.  

Brodie was in command and headed to the fishing spot.

Jack was manning the water cannon to keep the sea gulls at bay

Sometimes they just had to hang on to each other, not sure if this is just a brotherly hug or the beginning of a wrestling match, either way its a good photo.

Unfortunately we did not find any Silvers, but we do know where to get Oysters to go with our shrimp. If you look real close you can see the oysters soaking in milk at the top, on the half shell in the middle, along with shrimp grilled on the BBQ and a few shrimp that were going to go into the pasta after being cooked.

After dinner it was time to take the dog and one of the boys to the beach for a run.

Sunset in Three Fingers Cove that night

The next morning it was time to go home.  We had been hearing a "notice to mariners" all weekend about a partially submerged boat so we went to take a look.

Not a pretty sight, but obviously the boat was heavily damaged and from the looks of it had been opened up to prevent it from floating again... it did not work.

That was the last trip of the summer, The Stor Fisk is now in storage waiting for spring.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wow, is that Possible?

So, the other day John calls the school to let them know we would be picking up Jack early. The very nice woman working in the office at the time quietly said to John "Just to let you know, Brodie is in the principal's office".
We have NO idea what is going on. He is not a going to a principal's office kind of kid. And I know that whatever has happened is going to be very traumatic for him.
Fortunately, I had his parent teacher conference that day at 3:45.

I show up after school at 3:30 and Brodie is in the hall waiting for me. There is also a Dad speaking with his teacher and another little boy standing in the hall looking very unhappy.
I am starting to put things together.

So I sit down with Brodie on the bench outside his classroom. Brodie, I heard you were in the principal's office today, want to tell me what happened?

"Oh he says,looking down at his feet,  I peed on my head".
Remaining calm, but very perplexed, I say, Brodie honey that's just not possible.
"Oh, yes it is, now looking at his crotch. My little weenie just went up and pee pee got on my head.

Brodie, where were you when you peed on your head?
"In the bathroom" he says.

This is a huge relief to me. Because I thought for sure this was an outdoor recess incident.

The very tall Dad is now walking out of the classroom and taking his son with him. The boy does not look happy and is still staring intently at the floor as they walk away.

In I go to the classroom. This is going to be good!

So, I get the whole scoop.

Brodie was going pee in the bathroom. The staring at the floor boy, came up and smacked him in the rear. A startled Brodie jumped in some way and whoops, urine went flying and landed on his head. This is never a good thing.

As it turns out. Brodie was too embarrassed to tell the principal what happened and the rear smacking boy was not going to fess up. In the office they went. Both in tears. Brodie from embarrassment and rear smacker from knowing he messed up.

It took 30 minutes of tears before Brodie finally "came clean" and told what happened in the bathroom.

So, if anyone ever needs to know. Yes, it is possible to pee on your head.

On this day, fact trumped fiction.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Women can have it all, but....

Awhile back a family member posted and linked on Facebook an article written by a woman who among other high profile jobs was an assistant to Secretary of State Clinton. This woman was perplexed that she was not able to have it all. 
She wound up quitting her "dream job" so that she could be closer to her 14 year old. A teenager that was having some troubles with school and had troubles in the past.
She wrote that when her two children were younger, her other dream job kept her away from home. BUT, she came home for weekends, had great quality time with her children and they went on fabulous vacations.
Hmmm, and now her child is having problems. I am surprised it took fourteen years.
This woman is a highly educated, articulate person that can't figure out why she can't have it all? But she can.

Here it is.
Quality time is a farce. An antiquated term thought up by women in the 70's hopped up on Xanax and white wine, wanting a reason to get away from the burdens of raising a family 24/7. Work wasn't a monetary necessity for most. It was an escape. Quality time with the kiddos was to make everything seem okay.

Quality time took on a fiercer meaning in the 80's. The keep up with the Joneses, BMW, MacMansion era of American suburban history, was just beginning. Mommy and Daddy must work 50 hours a week each, so they can keep up the lease payments on the 320i. Big hair, German cars and big payments.
The Ivy League dream job worker, didn't have to grab the golden ring. She chose too, and her family suffered for her decisions. Now she needs to buck up and take responsibility for her actions and the profound ramifications it has had on her children. Instead, she blames her problems on the current economy and the societal structure of the United States. Really?

 Children need their mothers. They need time, not forced upon them for 48 hours a week. But hanging out, doing nothing, just knowing Mom is there, time.

It is blatantly staring her in the face and she blames society! Well here it is, easy peasy. 

Working mothers can have it all. But their families cannot.

I was told poopoo when I made a little comment on the family member's Facebook page.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Broken Dreams.....

Gays, Lesbians, Transgender individuals. All are members of the human race, just like you or I. Some are Christians, some are not, just like you or I. These two statements are simple facts. So why is it so difficult for some members of society to live and let live? I don't care who marries whom. Why should they?
Is the sexuality of a neighbor anyone's concern? No, I don't believe it is.

This topic has come up quite frequently in the last few months. A hotbed topic on Facebook and news outlets. Why now? Do we care more or less about equal rights for every individual now, than we did in 1963? Why 1963? The year Martin Luther King Jr gave his I Have a Dream speech.

Do we need another moving speech to lead us out of the hatred being shown for members of our communities? Why haven't we evolved beyond hatred and bigotry?

A friend posted the below in response to Sarah Palin's picture in a Chik-Fil-A and was personally attacked and mocked by strangers on her FB page this weekend. Why?
Below is her exact post.

"Sarah and Sarah only. As an Alaskan woman that has supported you thru thick & think, I am so disappointed to see this blatant middle finger to a portion of society. I figured you were smart enough to steer away from this sort controversy. Your stand on being a christian should over ride the political aspect of your statement and just be nice to other human beings. Common sense of just saying "if you don't have anything nice to say, you should just say nothing at all". I am happily married, I'm not lesbian, but I have many friends and some family members that are gay and I care for them no matter what. This fear of the unknown is getting out of hand, straight people have not cornered the market on having strong loving relationships, trust me I take the phone calls everyday from the dysfunctional families doing horrible things to each other, especially with kids right in the middle. Energy needs to be focused on helping people function no matter what color, religion or sexual preference. Sad Sad Sad......"

Nothing in the above should have caused anyone to call someone a cry baby hypocrite or comment on someone's personal assets. 

There is confusion with many thinking this is a Republican vs Democrat situation, the right wing verses the Left wing and who is going to win. Or those thinking this is about religion, stating they are Christians and if you believe in LGBT marriages you can't be a Christian. 


 It does not matter the color of our skin, our religion, our race, political beliefs or whom we decide to marry. This issue is about equal rights for all people. 
And I use the term "our" not because I am a lesbian, I am not. I am human. I believe we are created equal and remain equal throughout our lives. 

 "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." Martin Luther King Jr. August 28,1963

Forty Nine years and we still can't get it right?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

72 hours..........

Last Friday we packed up Stor Fisk, grabbed the dog and the boys for a two night three day fun filled Prince William Sound adventure, cue Gilligan's Island theme song. I wanted more shrimp and John was literally loaded for black bear and this was the last weekend to shoot one. 

This is just a short list of what I heard over the course of 72 hours on a 28 foot boat in the marine wilds of Alaska.

Look out or it's farts will chase you. 

If you don't stop I'll pick my nose.

Mommy he bit my finger.
He bit mine too.

I am the chairman of this here board.
Get over here, it's time for a board meeting.

Where's the ear protection? His snoring is keeping me awake.

I'll have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich please. But without the peanut butter. 

Don't worry. Whatever that bad stuff was, I pooped it all out. 

It was an accident. 

He kicked me in the chest. 

Fine then, I am sorry.

He's threatening me with his sock.

He hid my socks.

I need some new pants and underwear. 
I really got pee on them. Lots of it. 

Look out, I am the egg checker. 
Any females?


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Blackhawks Rock!

 A great big thank you goes out to the Alaska Air National Guard and Captain Hernning and his crew for bringing their totally awesome Blackhawk to Jack and Brodie's elementary school! They landed this big bird right in the middle of the soccer field.
 Oh course, Jack was perplexed to see a helicopter at school. The kids were in awe and so excited to see it there.
 Jack is asking Capt.Hernning why we can hear helicopters before we can see them. Then as they walked to the rear of the helicopter Jack looked up at the tail and said "oh that's the elevator" looking up higher he then said to Capt. Hernning "and there is the rudder". I later heard the captain telling his flight crew "that kid over there pointed out the elevator and the rudder"!
                                                                   Climb aboard!

 The crew kept the Blackhawk at the school all day for everyone to see and climb on. After school was over they fired it up and took off. But not before they did several low level fly bys over the school.
                                                                Loud, fast and low!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Just sayin.

Local or type of place I am shopping in should not dictate how good or bad the service is. But it often does.
I try to avoid tire shops, fast food joints and any grocery store on the weekend.

Some the worst service I have ever had the displeasure of were in fact places where I should have received the best service or at least the most caring, this is the doctor and dentist offices. Those offices, that I no longer go to. They no longer have the pleasure of treating me poorly by their long waits and then charging me exorbitant fees for their mediocre services. So long suckers.

I always expect courteous service at Nordstrom. The Anchorage store has been failing miserably on all counts of service for several years now. Almost to the point of hilarity.
When purchasing my mother in law a fairly expensive hand painted vase I asked the clerk to please wrap it up. "Oh, really, okay, I'll be back in a few minutes". Maybe she is new and not up to date on the fact I should of been offered wrapping right from the get go.
So after about 15 minutes of perusing the fine jewelry department, a nice looking but rather rushed young man asked me my name, confirmed it was me and handed me the standard large silver Nordie bag. Not even looking, I took the bag and out the door I went.
Arriving home I opened the bag to attach the card. What the HELL! It looked like a drunk raccoon had tried but failed to wrap the simple rectangular box. It was poofy on one end and all around crinkled and wrinkled with an enormous amount of tape. It was hilarious. Too funny to even re-wrap.
It was delivered to my husband's mother, story in hand. But in the end, we all agreed that the service had come to an all time Nordstrom low.

This brings me to my Salvation Army experience yesterday, another all time low, but in a much different way. I do not expect exemplary service from this store. I expect cheap craft things that my boys can play with, color stamp and destroy at a few bucks or less. Summer is coming and I need fun thrills at affordable prices.

I walked up to the oddly placed counter, put down my four boxes of pen and ink stampy things and waited while the woman rang them up. I looked behind me and was relieved I hadn't meandered around the books. There were now six people in line behind me. All holding various articles of clothing and housewares. Whew, I got lucky.
Back to counter ringing woman. "Do you have a military discount" she asks? A common question in this military laden community. No, I am not military, I say.
Then she drops the S bomb. " SENIOR DISCOUNT?" Are you fucking kidding me lady? Senior discount? Really, you stupid, ill sighted cow?
I say nothing. I am calm, cool, my steely composure hiding the fact I want to spring across the cheap glass counter top, ripping her eyeballs out and tossing the useless orbs across the crappy clothes filled store.
I refrain. I pay. I know karma will get her. And if karma doesn't fulfill her destiny. I suggest she never cross my path on a cool, dark trail, deep in the woods.
Just sayin.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easy come, easy go.....

Big surprise. My car broke down, again. This time it seems to be a bit more serious. Going down the road at 8:30 am taking the boys to school and losing all the gauges and dash lights at the same time the cargo light starts randomly flashing seems kind of important.

Back home, bail out, fire up the big ugly green truck. On the road again. Kids at school.

Back home, start my car.
Then I put it on the charger. It started, joy!
Gauges work, check.
Lights work, no freaky random flashing, check.
Loud heinous noise emanating from the engine compartment, check.
End result.

Going up.

Going away...........

Thursday, January 26, 2012

World's Ugliest Birthday Cake.

Brodie, the baby of the family is turning six. My gorgeous boy that started off life with a full head of fluffy white angel hair and a personality to match.
He has turned into a Star Wars loving, snowmachine riding, snowboarding daredevil. He prefers to sleep at night with his "fuzzy". A fleece blanket that has been around for the last 6.5 years. A gift from my Mom, prior to his birth. Even the most hardened of children can cling to their simple pleasures.

So, the child wants a Yoda cake for his birthday. Honey I say, Mommy isn't sure she can make a Yoda cake, but I will try. How could I deny my gorgeous boy this simple request? Hells bells, what was I thinking?

Online research will help and lots of cake. Screw up, start over. Screw up more, make more cake. I know this routine.

Five boxes of cake are made and chilling in the freezer. Homemade strawberry whipping cream is holding the rounds together. The glue of cake. All should be well.
Until the cakes come out of the freezer and I now have to carve Yoda's face out of a 10 inch tall stack of unstable cakes. What the hell. I am not a carver. My artistic ability goes as far as trying to neatly sign my name to a check.
I am officially hosed and the party is 10 hours away. My husband is the support group. Staying away if cursing is heard, but at the ready if something is needed from the pantry downstairs. Good thing we took marriage vows or I am sure he'd be long gone, years ago.

Bizarre looking cake carved. Rice Krispy treat ears covered in yoda green fondant and stuck with wooden chinese take out chopsticks. Kind of like Area 51 parts laying on the table, that no one should really see.

It's now midnight. The kitchen is trashed with pink cake(Brodie wanted it to look like blood), every bowl and both Kitchenaids are out and covered in splattered frosting. I am going to bed.

Tomorrow is my baby's birthday and by golly it's going to be fun. Ugliest cake on the planet be damned.

A big thank you to Emily for making the spun sugar for Yoda's fuzzy head. Only my Yoda is so disturbing, he now looks like Swamp Thing George Washington risen from the Potomac.

Happy Birthday Brodie

Love, Mom

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Deadliest Catch. Fair or Farce?

Breezing past the Pain in the Ass fiascoes, or the I am too dumb to make money in the real world praise the lord Gold Rush people.

My problem lies in the crabbers. There is a boat on Deadliest Catch, a VERY popular boat. This boat for many years and many years ago(same 0wner) was known through out the entire Bering Sea crabber fleet as a SCAB. A picket line crosser.

People outside of the Bering Sea fisheries world probably don't realize that just a few years ago this fishery was controlled by a catch based on predicted bio mass. A free for all until the mass was caught.

But, canneries(the buyers of the crab) would often times low ball the price of crab, before the opening. The majority of boats would sit in the harbors, as designated negotiators would meet with cannery CEO's and hammer out an equitable price for the crabbers. This would make the biomass catch fair and equitable to everyone, catching, buying and selling wholesale.

Unfortunately, a few crabbers. One of which is VERY popular on Deadliest Catch, did not abide by the crabber strikes. They did not care that all crabbers should receive a fair price for their king crab. THEY broke the picket line. THEY did not care about their fellow fisherman and fairness to all.

When they crossed the imaginary picket line and began dropping crab pots on the grounds, they took away from every other crab captain, crew member, deck boss and engineer. There was no code of crabber respect. They got the higher price. They took away from the quota. They got more, while their fellow crabbers worked harder and received less.

Why? Not all crabbers or crab boats owners have respect for their fellow crabbers. Especially, in Homer.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pizza Parlor Storm

With the in-laws ready to head back to sunny Arizona we decided to go out for a casual pizza dinner the other night. I warned them, but not myself, that with two weeks in Maui under their belt and one day back to school, their sweet grandchildren may not fare so well. Boy howdy!

With our seven year old having been diagnosed about two years ago with Aspberger's, we are more understanding of his quirks and sometime outbursts. With a year of occupational therapy and two years of counseling, he is doing kind of better. I still am not equipped mentally for some of the things he does. His meltdown on this particular occasion was hotter than the mozzarella on the pie.

Simple questions from the very nice server "what can I get you to drink"? Was the start of a thirty minute tirade. He was overcome with the decision of choosing one drink. This resorted in hitting the table, tossing silverware, throwing himself under the table, throwing himself onto the bench seat, occasional yelling and basically being miserable. We all remained calm during the pizza parlor tirade,thankful we were in the back room, in a corner booth.
We couldn't order for him. That lesson was learned last summer over lemonade in a burger joint. It will never, ever be what he wants.

I took his littler brother to the restroom. When I returned, I was picking up more of Jack's silverware and his snowboots. These were all about five feet from our table. I didn't even ask how they got there, I already knew.

Unfortunately the family across the room knew nothing of Jacks's brainwaves. They glared the entire time. Scowling, wanting to shoot daggers at the distraught little boy or his Mother. Thinking he was a brat. I calmly went up to them, leaned down and whispered "he has Aspberger's". They all smiled and nodded! What the hell is smiling and nodding? Assholes, I said under my breath as I walked away.

The food came. Spaghetti for him, his favorite and a hawaiian to share with his brother. He refused to eat, said take it away. He couldn't possibly eat it without a drink.

So, we all started eating and he continued to whine, but the yelling and tossing of tableware was over.

Then, his epiphany hit. "A root beer, where is the lady, I want a root beer". Oh good heavens don't let them be out of root beer and please nice lady server person, don't ask him if he's sure. Please just get the kid his root beer. We can't take it anymore. She came, nodded and one minute later the perfect soda had arrived.
He sipped. That was it. Then he sat and ate an entire plate of spaghetti, garlic bread and pizza. The perfect pizza parlor storm was over, as fast as it had begun.

My head is now crammed into another book on Aspberger's. Not what it is, but how in the hell do we help a young child get through life's most simple of tasks.

I am also thinking kids have too many options. When I was a kid, Coke, Sprite or water? No,f'n lemonade, chocolate milk, Vita water, coke, sprite, root beer, orange, apple juice, cranberry. Hell. It makes my head spin and my son's seemingly detaches from his neck and flies around a room.