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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Feeling better about Palin

A few days have past and the shock over the Palin nomination is subsiding. Many conversations with friends reveal a wide variety of sentiments --she has little experience ad she is leaving Alaska midterm of her governorship. Also, her Pro-life view is a strong one and word is that she wants to overturn Roe Vs Wade. That is a big concern for me, as I am Pro Choice, and McCain is pro choice. How will her stance on abortion affect McCains run for presidency?
That said, it is good to know where she stands. Nothing is worse than having a candidate who is wishy-washy on where she stands. Although I don't agree with her on her stances on many issues, at least she stands up for something! That is refreshing in itself. Nothing is worse than a candidate who is changing their stance on an issue weekly.

People say, "she doesn't have the know how to deal with foreign policies, should she have to step in as president".... I believe that she would have advisors to help her if the time came and she is going to be doing a LOT of learning and reading from here on out on foreign politics. I am really looking forward to the VP debate on October 2nd.

I'm at the point where I'm just glad that another old, white male wasn't nominated. I know that probably sounds horrible to say---but its my gut feeling. I think thats why presidential election after election have been boring until now. There is hope for a change in direction of our country. It IS refreshing to see someone in a different age bracket and gender in this position. I don't necessarily think she is qualified at this time to run our country if something happened to McCain. That said, she is smart, hard working and willing to stand up for what she believes in. And that could go a long way. People say, "Could she stand up to Putin?" Who knows.

I must admit, I love hearing about Palin on the news. "...the governor from Alaska, Sarah Palin..." Alaskan politics have been fascinating the past few months and now national politics are keeping everyone on the edge of their seat!

Zoya

Saturday, August 30, 2008

5 years ago today...




Patrick and I celebrate a special day today-our 5th wedding anniversary. He is out somewhere remote goat hunting, so unfortunately we can't be together today, but we promised eachother to celebrate with a dinner or hike when he gets back.

I met Patrick 9 years ago--in some ways it seems like yesterday and in some ways it seems like so long ago. Cliche sounding, I know. He truly is my best friend and every day is an adventure with him. He is always full of new ideas, thoughts, adventures and is the best husband ever. We've had our moments of exhausting times-especially when the kids were babies, but we got through those years intact. Phew! The qualities I appreciate most about Patrick are his sense of humor, his loyalty and dedication to his work and family. I"m constantly learning new things about Patrick and learning new things about the world. He is in perpetual motion and his enthusiasm for learning new things and exploring is contagious.

We got married here on Kodiak-many people flew in to celebrate the day with us and our local friends and it was truly one of the best days of my life. My memories of our wedding day are full of excitement about wearing my wedding dress, saying our vows, hearing my sister sing at our ceremony, spending the night before out at Pasagshak with my bridal party--walking on the beach at Pasagshak on the morning of my wedding day, leaving the reception in Patrick's old truck which was covered in shaving cream...so many fun memories of an incredible day.

I am glad for Patrick that he is goat hunting on our anniversary--hunting is one of his favorite recreational/subsistence activities. And I love the yummy goat sausage and goat burgers which we'll enjoy this winter (hopefully--provided he gets a goat!!).

Zoya

Photos: Patrick and I at a post wedding reception in Boston Sept. 2003
Patrick, myself and (Patrick's) family during the pre-wedding photos.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Palin Announcement

When I came into the kitchen this morning, Patrick said, "Guess what? McCain picked Sarah Palin as his running mate."
I replied, "You're kidding, Patrick. Right. You're kidding."

I knew that Palin had been mentioned as a possible running mate some time ago, but had forgotten about this for some time. Recently I have been discouraged by Alaskan Politics. In our most recent statewide election, Sarah Palin came out against the clean water initiative, which would keep future mines from being built near salmon rich, Bristol Bay. Sarah Palin is for ariel wolf hunting and she wants to open up ANWR. She is anti-enviroment---has the interests of oil and mining companies close to her heart. She got the divorced relative of her husband fired for personal reasons. She currently under investigation on that one. Interesting that MCCain would pick a VP mate who is under a current investigation.

I know that McCain is trying to win the female vote-so his choice is a good one in that regard. Men in Alaska voted for her because she is attractive....people nationwide will probably feel the same way. In some ways having her in national office would get her out of ruining the state environment so horribly....however as VP she will have an even stronger pull to open ANWR, go for mining, etc...Fortunately McCain is against ANWR.

Sarah Palin had a baby last May that we have heard nothing about--no pictures or stories about her family life anymore. It will be interesting to see how the media treats this situation.

Its going to be interesting to see how this unfolds.

Zoya

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Afognak Village





Today I spent the day at Afognak Village with Mike and Rob, archaeologists from the BIA. We flew up to Afognak on a Beaver float plane and waded into shore in our Xtra Tuff boots. Such a beautiful place!

Afognak Village was abandoned after the 1964 earthquake. The place was hit by multiple tidal waves and sank 6 feet into the ocean. Much of the coastline eroded away and the water-table was inundated by salt water. The village was abondonned and everybody moved to Port Lions - so named because the Lions Club helped with its relocation.

The top photo depicts a house that was carried by the tidal wave and deposited far from its foundation along the seashore (in the distance) to the edge of a shallow pond far inland. The dead spruce trees were all killed by the salt water inundation after the 1964 earthquake/subsidence event. The other three photos depict the scenery of the village today - second from top is the beach in front of "Aleut Town" looking south; third from top is of the swamp behind the village, and the bottom photo is another view of the beach in front of 'Aleut Town' (the East end of Afognak Village). Patrick

Monday, August 25, 2008

Litterbugs



Is there a worse character flaw than being a litterbug? Seriously, I’ve met racists with redeeming qualities, but have never respected or liked a litterbug. And I do not mean to belittle the seriousness of racism, but I do see racism as more of a fear of others as opposed to the litterbug attitude that shows a complete disregard for everyone but themself. Ask yourself, what do you think when you casually see someone throw litter on the ground with no intention of ever picking it up? I think lazy, selfish, slob and want nothing more to do with them. They obviously lack respect for other people and beauty. They are too lazy to deal with their own trash, and either do not even think about it, or expect others to clean up after them. I’ve noticed that as a character flaw, littering is generally just the tip of the iceberg, and is indicative of a mountain of other heinous character flaws (think greediness, sloth and other major deadly sins).

I’m writing about litterbugs because this past weekend a litterbug marred the beauty of a hunting trip I went on with Mike P and Preston V. While hiking up into the high country to camp the night prior to hunting we found that someone had discovered our ‘secret trail’. They had used a machete to clear it out and had blazed the trail with trash. I really do not mind that someone discovered our trail – more power to people that hike to hunt. But the trash bothered me. They had used ‘Mountain Dew’ cans and plastic bottled water containers to mark the trail every couple of hundred yards – putting the bottles and cans onto to tree/bush limbs at about head height. Eventually they ran out of these and started to simply tie plastic shopping bags to bushes. We also found part of their goat hunting tag (saw goat hair on the bushes from their trip down too), candy wrappers, pop-tart wrappers, and toilet paper all festooned along the trail. They left a trail of trash that we had to pick up and carry out for them. What’s amazing is that they felt a need to blaze the trail with trash after they had hacked out a tunnel an elephant could have followed home through the underbrush.

Now you may ask what’s the big deal about some trash in the backcountry. How were we inconvenienced other having to look at someone else’s trash and carry it out? No one was hurt right? And this is where you would be wrong. This type of litterbug hurts me as a hunter because the non-hunting public will lump us all together as slob hunters and might eventually restrict our hunting access. Worse still, most of the Kodiak Road system is private land and who wants litterbugs trespassing on their land? We are lucky they let us recreate on their land at all, and it would be perfectly reasonable for a private landowner to restrict access to their land if people are trashing it. I don’t litter or trash private or public lands, but I’d lose out because others do.

I tell you what – I will not mind if Nora and Stu ever do the ‘party-hearty’ at White Sands Beach thing, but if they leave their trash behind there will be Hell to pay from me. Patrick

Photos: No Place For Trash – Mike and Preston hiking out of the Blueberry Bowl. Bottom – our view at dawn when we started to glass for deer.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Pork Rib in Patrick's Stomach

Tonight we had grilled ribs--of which we all enjoyed. Nora got down off her stool and began walking around the house which indicates to us that she is done with her dinner.

So as Patrick was cleaning up her spot, he ate her last pork rib, so it wouldn't go to waste. A few minutes passed and Nora went back to her place setting to eat her final rib. She started screaming when she saw that it was gone.

I said, "Nora, guess what?! Daddy ate the rib and it is in his stomach! Do you want to talk to it?"
She got a big smile on her face, stopped crying and said, "Yeah!"
We laughed as Nora went and put her ear to Patrick's stomach and Patrick proceeded to have the rib talk to her.
The rib said, "Hi, Nora. You walked away from your plate, so your daddy ate me."

Nora got such a kick out of it. Nice to be able to distract her with something completely random and silly at a moment where I sensed it could be a few minutes of crying. The rib and Nora had a few more conversations about life before Nora went to bed this evening.

Zoya

Friday, August 22, 2008

Thank you for your kindness, Audra.







Today was a sad one in our family-it was Audra's last formal day of being a nanny/mommy helper. Audra started working for us 2 years ago-right after Nora turned one. She was home schooled-a junior in high school-and was referred to us by Robert and Steve-who put in our wood flooring. Audra was an immediate hit with our family. She was excited, flexible, fun, and so caring with Nora. She watched Nora while I went to work at the clinic-often I would drop Nora off at her house and Audra would watch her there.

The past two years are full of so many wonderful Audra moments. Often I would drop a fussy, inconsolable baby Nora off with her and worry at the clinic that perhaps Audra was having a hard time. I would pick Nora up at the end of the day and I remember vividly Audra saying, "Oh, Nora was great! We played lots on the floor. She did great!" -- this always put me at ease. If there was some way to console Nora, Audra knew how to do it.

She is mature beyond her years-very caring, empathetic, helpful and intuitive. I went to school with her older sister, Tessa--Tessa was in my high school class. Their whole family is full of wonderful, intelligent, caring people.

This morning Audra brought us flowers as a last day gift. I was somewhat speechless and said, "wait a minute-we're supposed to get you flowers." As tears rolled down my face, I said, "Audra, thank you so much for all you've done for our family. You're an amazing person." She smiled and said, "Zoya, you're a great employer. And you've got wonderful kids."

Today at work I cried (for the first time in recent history) while working with a patient--I was talking about how it was Audra's last day of work and how much Audra meant to our family. I found myself suddenly choked up and before I knew it tears were flowing down my cheeks-again! I was caught up in more emotion than I imagined. (In the 9 years I've been a physical therapist, this was one of the rare times this has ever happened-I believe!) Having someone care for your children and be SO GOOD to them is the best gift ever. Audra is so patient, understanding and hard working. She is working at Fly By Coffee and is excited about future travels. I'm so excited for her and for the journeys that lay ahead of her.

Thank you for your kindness, Audra.

Rising Sun


It's getting to be fall again - at our house the sun is again rising up out of the ocean. It only does this in the spring and fall. At other times it rises up over the land (Spruce Cape in the Winter and Miller Point in the Summer). It's our celestial clock that tells us the season. During the summer I also use it to tell the time - it always passes over a certain post in the yard at exactly 6:30 AM. The height it rises above the post varies with the date, and in winter it does not rise above the sea at all - so no using the post for a clock during winter. Anyway - soon there will be frost in the air! My favorite season will soon be here - Winter is on its way! Patrick

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dating Villages



When dating archaeological sites archaeologists usually radiocarbon date one of the houses in the village and assume all the other houses are the same age. Generally, archaeologists think of sites vertically rather than horizontally - they are used to digging down in one part of the site and finding older and older material as they get deeper into the site. They assume that people always chose to live in the same spot, and do not consider how a site varies horizontally.

We just got back the radiocarbon dates for our Karluk/O'Malley Lakes survey last May, and the dates confirmed that one of the big villages we found was actually 3 medium sized villages. While mapping the village we noted house style and construction details, and how lush the vegetation is on various parts of the site. Test pits help us with construction details (mostly whether or not a house had roof sods) and allow us to gather charcoal for our radiocarbon analysis. Sometimes we find 'neighborhoods' composed of houses built the same way and with similar style. The degree of vegetation lushness gives us an idea of how long ago that part of the site was occupied and/or how intensely it was used. Younger sites tend to have more lush vegetation, and the more you live in one spot, the more lush the vegetation. Last May we used this sort of analysis and decided that the biggest village we found was actually 3 villages. We even found a spot where one of the younger houses was built on top of an older house.

The radiocarbon dates not only confirm what we suspected but they also tell us how old the various neighborhoods are. At one end of the site a neighborhood of small, single-room houses, with lots of storage pits, roof sods over the main room and relatively little site vegetation was occupied at around 1000 AD. At the other end of the site people lived in a neighborhood, dated to around 1650 AD, of huge multiroom houses strung out in a line along the lakeshore - today these houses are surrounded by lush vegetation. In between the two neighborhoods we found another composed of small multiroom house associated with little site vegetation that lacked roof sods and generally had cold trap tunnels to the siderooms. This neighborhood dated to around 1400 AD.

Nearby we found another village that dates to around 1250 AD - so it looks like there was a large Alutiiq village near the head of Karluk Lake from about 900 to 1700 AD and that they moved their village every 200 years or so. For some reason they chose not to build their village in the same spot every time. Isn't radiocarbon analysis great!

Photos: Top - map of main village showing the various neighborhoods and their date of occupation. Bottom - Chase and Rose digging a test pit. If you look carefully you can see the roof sods they found over the floor of this house in the test pit wall profile. Patrick

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nora's Cake

video
Practice makes perfect-Nora had an easier time blowing out the candles last night!

More Nora Blowout Bash







Nora blew her candles out on the first try last night! Practice makes perfect! Video to come.

Her birthday couldn't have gone smoother. The kids played well together. The dinner of fresh deer roast, roasted potatoes and big garden salad filled everyones tummies up. And the cake/ice cream were enjoyed by kids and adults alike. (I enjoyed a bit too much of the cake leftovers and needed a TUMS at 10:30 pm....)

Mike and Roxann brought over ballons which are always a hit with the little ones. It was sometimes tricky trying to get them to keep the balloons inside!

Zoya

Photos:
Nora after blowing out her candles.
Nora and I opening her presents.
Stuey doing coffee table maneuvers for Roxann, Katie, Cecilia and Sawyer.
Mark.
Stuey admiring Stella.

Nora's Blowout Bash







Last night we had a evening birthday get together. The weather in the morning was rainy, but by afternoon it turned into a sunny, quite nice evening. Sunshine, slight breeze. Just warm enough that the partygoers could enjoy the outdoors for a few minutes! The kids got into throwing bottles over the fence (see photo of Natalie), as well as running around the perimeter of the house. It was nice to have adults on all aspects of the house to keep eyes on all the kids!!

Zoya


Photos:

Stuey, Gavin and Nora checking out the fence.
Nora showing Natalie how its done....
Katie and Natalie perfecting their bottle throwing techniques.
Me, Nora and Stuey on the yard.
Ben, Alexis, Katie and Sawyer in front of the house.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Happy Birthday To Nora!



Well, we survived the Terrible Twos with Nora. Since Nora was born, I would talk to other moms about the "terrible twos" and some moms would say, "Oh, they're actually not that bad." Other moms would say they were bad. For us, they were bad. And I"m glad they are a thing of the past. Nora is 3 now and showing signs of being able to hold it together better. Not as many time outs...signs of improvement.

Zoya

Photos: Nora, Maya and Shannon (daycare provider) at Shannon's place yesterday for a combo celebration for Nora and Maya.
Me cutting Nora's hair over the weekend. Had to have her suck on a lollipop to get her to sit long enough!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nora & Maya are 3

video
This year Nora's birthday has been a several day celebration. Her friend, Maya, celebrates her birthday one day before Nora. Today we did a joint birthday celebration at daycare-Katie made birthday cupcakes for the girls. Maya and Nora thoroughly enjoyed themelves. Tomorrow the birthday festivities continue with a "Happy 3" birthday dinner for Nora.

Zoya

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mark's Deer






Mark got back from the archaeology dig on Woody Island on Friday - he had been working 12 days for two weeks. On Saturday he washed and dried all of the artifacts from the dig - a man on a mission. But Saturday night Mike Pfeffer and I convinced him he needed a break and took him up the mountain to find a deer.

Heading up the mountain it did not look good. Rain in the forecast and it started to lightly rain as we started our hike. But up top it stayed clear, and we woke up this morning to a nice day. Deer everywhere but all does and fawns. I think we saw 40 does and fawns. Finally we spotted a buck and Mark got him with a perfect shot - home by 2 PM.

Photos: Top - a panoramic of me carrying a load of meat and glassing for more deer. We really wanted another one for Mike Pfeffer. Second photo is of Mark and me with his deer. Third photo is of Mark packing out the meat - head and all (ADF&G has a program where they test deer for chronic wasting disease and they need deer heads to test). Fourth photo is of Mike packing meat near the bottom of the trail. Finally the last photo is of us in our inflatable canoe heading back to the car. Patrick

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rainy Days





SUMMER?????
It never seems to stop raining in Kodiak. When May began, I had visions of lots of summer days for the kids to play outside but it hasn't happened as nearly as often as I would've liked. The good news with the onset of fall is that the sun is actually setting for a few minutes, and darkness allows me to sleep better.

SUBWAY!
Today I had a fantastic outing with Nora. She and I went to Subway for lunch, then to see Patrick and the library. At Subway we sat there for at least 25 minutes-she had a little box of raisins, big container of milk and a sandwich she had a hard time gripping her hands around. She was fascinated by the comings and goings of everyone and waved enthusiastically to people as they walked by the outside of the store. I had a moment of "ahhhh..." where parenting was how I imagined. A lunch date with my daughter where she was excited and it was fun being out with her. The raisins were a big treat for her-for some reason I never have those around the house...the container that the milk was in a was a novelty to her. And she soaked in every moment of lunch hour at Subway restaurant!

SUPPER.
Tonight Patrick and I used a gift certificate for The Chart Room restaurant that we needed to use up (thank you J&K!!!) and went for a walk before dinner on Near Island. The evening was a misty one-but perfect for a walk, nonetheless. Midweek dates are the best and luckily Megan was able to come over on very last minute notice to watch the kids for us.

Photos:
Nora atop Patrick's shoulders at the museum this morning.
Me on Near Island.
Stuey and Nora playing with grass one sunny summer day---a week ago or so.

Zoya

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Kids & Taco Bell Progress




KID PLANS
Today I checked out a day care option for Nora to start going to in a month. Plans for her to start preschool are NOT happening, as she isn't potty trained. Fortunately, my friend Roxann gave me a lead on a great lady who watches a small group of kids in her house. Stuey, Nora and I stopped by for a visit and Stuey didn't want to leave. He jumped right in playing with the blocks. Nora was a little more tenative, but by the end I had to convince her that we had to go.

On the car ride home, I asked her if she wanted to go back and she did her sign for 'more' (fist against cheek-i know...don't ask why?). That was a good sign. I had a secure feeling for my little Nora as we were there. The kids were having such a good time playing together.

Sarah (the day care provider) said she takes the kids on outings to the refuge center in her car. I love the image of little Nora going on field trips with her new friends. My instincts told me that this is a very good fit for Nora and I. Sarah is more than happy to help with Nora's potty training and there is a big outdoor fenced in area which I imagine the kids enjoy quite a bit on nice days.

TACO BELL
Workers are getting trained inside Taco Bell--when I drive by I see people milling around in Taco Bell hats cleaning the tables and doing tasks behind the registers. The anticipation and enthusiasm builds. Will I be one of the first 100 customers inside? Its going to be packed. I heard there is another restaurant, an Italian one, going in where Pizza Hut used to be. Rumor is that it is going to be called Angelos. 2 restaurants opening in 2 months. This is too much excitement for Kodiak!

VASELINE CASTING
There is a big Vaseline national campaign getting ready to film in Kodiak in the next few weeks. I was at a birthday party this evening and 10 or so of the casting people, producers, filmers were at the party. I felt transplanted to NYC--seeing their trendy fashions and chicness to them. I asked one of the gals if people could still apply to be in the filming, she said yes and told me to go to the office to go through their application process. So I'll do that tomorrow. Kind of exciting to see people from NYC excited about Kodiak, eating fresh halibut, etc...

PHOTOS:
Stuey outside.
Nora, Patrick and Gregg while processing the deer meat in our kitchen last night.

Zoya

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wildlife



Here is the wildlife that Zoya was talking about in the blog post below. In the top photo seagulls (black-legged kittiwakes?) are nesting on the cliffs. Up at the top of the cliffs the puffins dig their nests (burrows actually) into the dirt and old volcanic ash. They'd come out of their holes and dive bomb us as they flew away. Puffins are not good fliers and it seems to take a while for them to get going - sort of like an old fighter plane dropping off the front of a WWII era aircraft carrier. But puffins are much more humorous. Zoya was convinced some seabird was going to poop on her hat.

The sea lions were scary - so huge. I wondered if I was that quintessential hubby who gets himself mauled while feeding a bear at Yellowstone Park while his wife takes a picture. Only in this case I was in the back of the boat. The sea lions just snored and huffed, and one stood up and made a pose as we left. No maulings today. Patrick

Kayaking with my Hubby





This afternoon Patrick and I had the true pleasure of a kayak date. We launched our kayak in the St. Paul Harbor (where it is kept and used by Orcas Unlimited during the summer). Off we went through the harbor, cruising alongside the big boats and admiring all the various sights and sounds in the harbor. We paddled around Near Island, pulled up on a small beach for lunch, enjoyed the sunshine and then continued on our way. The trip home provided opportunity for going alongside the seagull and puffin rookeries. Puffins were diving off the cliffs above, right over our head. So fun! They are such funny little birds.

As we neared town, we passed an old dock with two BIG sea lions on it. They were sleeping-we could hear them snore. They were beasts. Patrick paddled as we got a bit closer for a photo. They sort of opened their eye at us as they slept. Sea Lions around here have a semi-dangerous reputation with pulling fast ones in the harbor and scaring people afloat in small boats and kayaks. Seeing a couple of Lions out of the water gave me an appreciation for what enormous creatures they are! Wow.

What a fun time with Patrick! Outdoor adventure dates are the best.

Zoya

Photos:

The bottom photo is Patrick in front of the 'fogbow'. This was a new term for me. A rainbow in the fog. So cool.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Dawn Patrol






Yup, another deer hunting post - two weeks in a row (and counting). Who's missing ski season?

On Friday, after work, I hiked up into the mountains with Gregg to fill a proxy tag. I do a lot of hunting for elders - they give me their deer tags and I give them packaged meat in return. Great example of symbiosis - I like to hunt and they like to eat meat. And I get the added satisfaction of their appreciation. It really is quite rewarding to help fill other people's larder. Nothing quite like a smile of thanks!

Anyhow, Gregg and I climbed up the mountain and glassed for deer in the evening and then camped out for the night. The mosquitoes were awful! Got up at 4:30AM and had a deer down before the sun came up. We were home by 11:00 AM - that has to be the quickest deer hunt on record.

Photos: Top - Gregg glassing for deer, spectacular views! Second photo is of Gregg relaxing in our tarp shelter. The raised walls let the sun (and mosquitoes) in. Third photo is of me and the deer we harvested. Fourth photo is of the awesome sunrise. Finally, the last photo is of me hiking home with a pack full of meat.
Patrick

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Dog Days


Dog Days of summer - hot (or hot for Kodiak anyhow) evenings out on the lawn with the dogs chewing on deer bones and the kids rolling in clover. I have been putting off mowing the lawn until all the clover has gone to seed - I want more clover on my lawn.

Zoya thinks this photo of Roxy and Jake should be my 'facebook' profile photo. I actually think a really cute one of Stu would be better. But never fear - I'll never be on 'Facebook' or 'My Space'. After I checked out Zoya's page and looked in on all her friends, I decided that 'Facebook' is sort of a blog but for people with short attention spans. There really is no writing, and much of it seemed very superficial. What's with this giving a friend a 'poke' or writing a comment 'on their wall'? I think I'll stick with the blog - I love going back into the archives and watching AND READING how Zoya and I have progressed with our lives over the past 2 years. Patrick

Monday, August 04, 2008

Can't sleep


Its 11:45 PM and I can't sleep. Nice time to sit back and have a chance to write on the blog. The rest of the house sleeps away. I like how the end of summer brings more darkness-I know many people would hate me for saying that. I can't help but find myself welcoming fall and winter more and more the longer I'm married to Patrick. His enthusiasm for winter is contagious!

I had an incredible day today-busy at work. I truly love my job. On Sunday nights I'm excited at the prospect of going to work on Monday. Dorky sounding, but true. I'm working at both physical therapy clinics in town which has been fun. 6-8 hours a week at each clinic and its been fun to meet new people and work in a new space for a while. Every day is something new.

The past few weeks have been rough ones at our house. Only now am I coming out of an exhausted, semi-sleep deprived haze. Nora went through a period where she was a bit afraid of the dark and was refusing to go to sleep and then waking up in the middle of the night. Finally, I discovered this (after some probing) and a night light helped the problem.
Anyone in our lives the past few weeks can verify how difficult the screaming kids have been. The past 3 or so days have been much better-thank heavens. I had a very enjoyable weekend with the kids-went to the beach with them, lots of playing, laughing. Good times were had. Made me realize how the weeks since I returned from Seattle were a readjustment time.
Seems like kids are a lesson in constant readjustment. Once you get something semi figured out, they change and grow. Then you have something new to figure out. Go figure.

Patrick and I continue to try to maintain a sense of humor and a sense of patience through the challenging times. Amy M, who is staying with us, has witnessed our difficulties first hand and has been supportive and helpful.
Tonight she and I watched the movie "Lars and the real girl"---so good. I cried. The human spirit amazes me. If you've seen the movie, you know what I mean. It was just the type of movie I have been craving to see. Something different.

The night is dark. I love it. August and September are my favorite months in Kodiak. Crisp air is only a month away-the hillsides will be changing colors and snow will soon follow.

Zoya