Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pet Parenting

It is no secret that our pets are part of our family. Since my oldest son is (temporarily) living at home with his wife and fur-babies, Sgt Dad and I are enjoying the extra furry family members. I am reminded why we got pets in the first place and the pleasure of a large dog to walk and cuddle.

I suspect that Sgt Dad and I will find that once everyone moves back out, we'll want a large dog of our own to fill the quiet. 

Here's a picture, ok two, of our grandpuppies.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Why I Quit Facebook

About a week ago, I deactivated my Facebook account. It was a decision I had been pondering for a few weeks. I had grown tired of it. Tired of scrolling past LOLCats, political rants, whiny posts, pleas to make purchases, and narcissistic cries for attention. All this just to get to the few actual status updates from the minuscule number of friends who still use Fb as it was in its infancy.
Surprisingly, I've found that I'm happier without the frustration. Am I missing some information I'd like to know? Probably. But I'm sure if something big happens to someone close, I'll get a phone call or text. Realistically, I'll probably end up reactivating the account but won't become a daily user again. Here are a few reasons why:

1.  I have found that I have created several accounts by linking through Fb, without the Fb account, my linked account doesn't exist.
2. Family and friends share photos via Fb- it's easy for them.
3. It's an easy way to coordinate with several people and to get a message out to the masses.

Just be forewarned, I may reopen my account, just don't expect me to sift through the mass of junk to catch your update. If it's important to you and I'm important to you - call me and update me yourself. Better yet- let's meet up for coffee.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

It's that time of year again- the craziness of trying to find that perfect gift that expresses love for the person who will receive it.
This year, I've tried to let go of trying to find the perfect gift and remember that gifting is simply a show of affection. It is the thought that counts after all. 
I wish I could buy a gift for every person who has touched my life this year. There are so many people who have loved me, taught me, supported me and I could never repay that with a gift.
Gifts mean something to me. I don't re-gift and I usually keep every gift given to me. They are a tangible reminder that someone cares for me. I have mugs, pins, magnets, and key chains, all permanently attached to a special person in my memory. Each time I use these items, I am reminded of someone in my life, past or present, who has been important to me.
This Christmas, I remember all the wonderful people who have blessed me.

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Last week was finals week at UAA. Like the rest of my fellow collegians, I was trying to cram studying and paper writing into every spare second of the day. The Cuddy cafeteria, normally buzzing with chatter, was as quiet as a library with young co-eds grouped at various tables, huddled over textbooks and laptops trying to get all the last minute studying done before exams. One particular set of students caught my eye. This group had not only the ubiquitous and seemingly prerequisite cup of coffee but also an entire case of Red Bull as a study aid. Curiosity aroused, I looked more closely around the room and nearly every student was two-fisting liquid energy, most with a cup of coffee chased with some kind of energy drink. Had I been a real journalist, I would have interviewed them all to ask more about their study habits. Do energy drinks really help? Don't they get jittery? Do they crash? Can they remember what they learn "high" on caffeine? Can they sleep when they need to? How many energy drinks are required to get through finals week? How much coffee?
As for me, I get by on coffee, lots of coffee. To be even more specific, I get by on Venti, Breve, Sugar-free Hazelnut, 3-Splenda Lattes.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Well-Lived Life

Mark Twain said, “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. “ Millie Tapscott has lived a life full of smiles and her beautiful, wrinkled face is evidence of that. When I met Millie at Anchorage Pioneer Home this week, there was hardly a moment when her mouth was not turned up in a smile. Millie was clearly a popular resident. Our conversation was frequently interrupted by other residents stopping by to say, “Hi.”

Millie sat in her chair, dressed casually in denim slacks and sweatshirt. She kept her hands, gnarled with age, in her lap as she absent-mindedly fidgeted with a wrinkle. Millie didn’t tell me much about her own accomplishments; she only wanted to talk about her husband, Jim, who died in 2005 after nearly 60 years of marriage. Millie is quite proud of the art work he created which is displayed in the lobby of Key Bank in downtown Anchorage. She told of their travels around the world. When I asked her if she still travelled, she smiled and said, “Not much, it isn’t fun without Jim.”

Millie told me how she came to be in Alaska; she worked for Betchel Price Callahan Construction Co on the Al-Can highway project. She never moved from Alaska after that. She came to Anchorage from Fairbanks and started the first beauty salon on Fort Richardson. Millie met Jim in 1946 and they were married that same year. It was quite clear that Millie and Jim were a team.

Several Anchorage Daily News articles mention Millie and Jim by name. The couple was crowned King and Queen Regents for the 1995 Fur Rendezvous and the following year were King and Queen of Wasilla’s Iditarod Days Festival. Clearly, the couple was involved and respected in the community.

As my time with Millie was drawing to a close, the dining server stopped at our table to ask Millie if she wanted the tuna or chili for dinner. Millie wrinkled her nose to that and asked for something else. The server said, “That’s all I have.” Undaunted, Millie said, “How about cottage cheese? You have that don’t you?” At this point the server acquiesced. Millie turned to me smiling, “I knew it.”

Millie is a pioneering woman. How brave she must have been to take that job working on the Al-Can project and to live in Anchorage at a time when there were only two paved roads. She survived the 1964 earthquake. She was actually driving at the time! She raised her daughter, Lynn, and had a successful career of her own and teamed up with her husband on many projects. Now, in the twilight of her life, she reflects happily on her many years with Jim, always with a smile on her face.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


So, I see I last published in June of 2010. My but that's a long time ago! I've been so busy with school, travel and family that I haven't taken the time to write.
This semester I've been taking a journalism course on writing and reporting news. I have written so much, 10s of thousands of words! I find that writing news isn't so hard but determining what is newsworthy is a challenge. Finding sources, being so very careful with facts, chasing leads, all these things make journalism a tough career choice.
I never intended to become a news journalist but I like studying the field. Learning the writing techniques, then reading them used in the paper is a bit like finding an easter egg. I have such admiration for journalists who hit their beat and find great stories. I don't know how they do it.
As for me, I was thinking about what caused me to begin blogging in the first place. I was a form of multitasking. You see, I was preparing for this huge, cross-country move to Alaska and everyone wanted updates. Instead of writing multiple email to people, I started a blog. This way, everyone who wanted could read about my journey. I discovered that I liked blogging and for a time, I kept it up. Then, well, I got busy and quit using it as a sounding board.
Now, as my semester is ending and I am completing my first degree, I stand on the precipice of change. Perhaps it is time I got back to blogging. All who know me know that I am never short of things to say!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I'm having a good week!

First, Tater decided that he could come to NY with us after all this summer. That's four of us going now. We are trying to get Braveheart to make the trip too but it may not be possible due to restrictions of block leave.

Second, Braveheart called to ask for suggestions for a date for him and his sweetie. It's really great that he'll call and ask me about things like that. It makes me happy :-)

Last, but certainly not least, Sgt. Dad washed and waxed my Jeep, inside and out! Alaskans know just how dirty our vehicles get over winter. It was a big job! It was one of the sweetest things he's done for me in a very long time. I wonder if he knows just how much that meant to me? Probably, because I told him so!

I hope this trend of good news continues.....