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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hiking with guns

'Hiking with guns' is synonymous with you went hunting and while you got in a beautiful hike you did not kill anything.  Another take, I guess, could be that it means you are super bearanoid and only go hiking with guns to defend yourselves.  But today Adelia, Julie, Philip and I wanted to harvest a deer, and it ended up the former - a beautiful hike with guns.  I must admit that since I got a deer yesterday I was secretly not excited about carrying another heavy load off of the mountain - so no deer did not bum me out too much.

And it really was beautiful - absolutely spectacular.  The snow squall that caught me yesterday cleaning my deer had deposited 4 to 5 inches of new powder. The sun was out and yesterday's thunder and lightning a thing of the past.   The ocean all around in the bright sunlight.  The new snow melting in the sun made it feel like a snowstorm in april.  It felt like spring.

We followed some bear tracks that beelined for the deer carcass I shot yesterday.  But for some reason the bear did not munch on the carcass.  We saw only ravens, crows and magpies making a meal of what I left behind.

But no deer.  We only saw 3 deer total and no bucks.  We think the snow might have driven the deer down into the spruce.  Later when they are used to the cold they will move back up into the high country.  Patrick

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sun, Snow & a Filled Proxy Tag

This morning I went deer hunting alone to fill a proxy tag.  I started hiking up the mountain at dawn.  There was a hard frost and down low everything was white with frost.  By the time I got up high the sun was coming up and bathing everything in gorgeous dawn sunlight.  And there were deer everywhere.  I even passed on a spike.

I noticed that all the deer were on the move from the sunny south slopes on over the top and to the north side.  I thought it was weird that they were leaving the warm slopes for the cold north side.  And then suddenly - seemingly like someone hit the light switch - the sun went away, the wind picked up, and it got cold.  All the deer had been anticipating the weather and moving to the lee side.  And just like that - no more deer.

I batted around a bit and did not see a single deer for almost 2 hours.  I decided to try one last bowl on the North side, but basically I had given up.  And there, in the middle of the bowl, was a small buck.  Funnily enough I have shot a deer before from that same spot another time when I had also given up.

I got to the deer and it started to snow.  And then it started to thunder and lightning!  This rarely happens in Kodiak and it was very weird to be in a full on snow squall and have thunder and lightning at the same time.  By the time I quit cleaning the deer it looked like below, and it did not stop snowing until I had almost reached the car an hour and a half later.  Patrick

Friday, September 28, 2012

Termination Dust

Today on the way to work it was dark and rainy.  And then as I passed Safeway it briefly turned to SNOW.  By mid-morning we were getting actual flurries in town.  Whoo Hooooo!  Then after work the ceiling lifted and all the mountains around town had snow on their tops.  Winter is coming!  And I can't wait for my favorite time of year!  Patrick

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wonder and Awe

St. Mary's has a monthly award ceremony and yesterday was the first one. In the  past the teachers handed out awards for excellence in a academic and subject area every month. One month it would be spelling, the next math, etc..or most improved, etc. 

This year the staff changed the award away from academics to a more Christian Values based system.
Each month the award focuses on ONE certain value.

This month it was Wonder and Awe ~"The Ability to be amazed by things in life, to be awakened to the realization that we are always in gods presence." Stuey was one of 5 recipients in the school. 


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Business Relocation

Where do I start?
I've been silent from the blog for a while, and realizing I'm long over due for a post. The skies have cleared from weeks of rain, high winds and fog and I"ve made a business decision which I'm happy with. 

For a year and a half, I had hopes of moving my business, A Balanced Approach, (click here to my  business website) to a certain building in town, and was promised that the building would become vacant soon for me to occupy. This fall, I was told that it wouldn't be ready until next spring or even next fall. This news made me sad, as it had been years of waiting for it. So I decided it was time to move on. 

I am moving my business to a new rental space, where the Next Page Bookstore used to be. It is 1,800 sq feet and right next to a coffee shop/restaurant. The decision has given me great peace inside, knowing that I can make my business atmosphere the way I want it to be. 

Currently my business is on the bottom floor of a dance studio and my hours are limited because of the large pounding (dancing) noises overhead. (By the way, if you think ballet is gracefuly, try sitting underneath a dance floor during practice and your opinion will change....the thumping noises are something else!!) There are few windows and not terribly bright. However, I've been there for 4 years, and it gave me the chance to really grow with my business and for that I am forever thankful.  Now it is time to move on. 

The new space will have two rooms for fitness classes, a separate physical therapy clinic, it is bright and inviting. I"ve met with a contractor about walls which will need to go up for the clinic. Lease signing is next week.  It is a 5 minute walk from my home and a 5 minute walk from the kids school. The space is halfway between home and their school, which is another nice feature of it.

Now the real test will be....
Can I teach a spinning class and resist the french pastries and coffee next door after?


We went to a friend's 40th birthday party last night and the theme was Zombie Attack. People were encouraged to dress up either as zombies or zombie killers.There was a Michael Jackson's "Thriller" flash mob dance which was a very fun addition to the evening as well!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pretty Pictures

Last week a friend who is a graphic designer asked me for some pictures that she could use in various newsletters, annual reports etc.  I've done this before and I love it when I see my pictures in print. The last time I sent her pictures was way back in May of 2011.  So last weekend I went back through all my pictures and picked out the best scenics since that date - no vacation pictures, no people, just Kodiak scenics.  These are 6 of my favorites.  Patrick

Monday, September 17, 2012

Resurrecting The Annual Halloween Party

Patrick and I used to host an annual halloween party.  Last night we realized it had been 5 years since we hosted the last one (and so we're going to do one this year)! We started looking through photos last night and got a hoot out of looking at pictures from various parties over the years! What fun it is to dress up in costume and see what friends come up with!

Our first halloween party (2001)....good witch and bad witch.

Ella and I...

Rosemary and baby Nora!

Matt and Katie

Patrick and Katie Dog (RIP Katie dog!!)

Patrick and I...

Buck and Alexis (Paul Bunyan and  Blue Ox)

The last year we hosted....Stuey was 8 months old!

Adelia and Lydia...

Patrick and MJ....

Unknown person in white....we can't remember who this was?!

Heather, Pete and their girls

Marias and Anne O. ....

Adelia and Philip....

Marit, Hans and Becky.... (Marita was the black eyed peas!)

Sharon and Patrick....

Museum group photo one year...
Halloween 2012....Here we come!!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fall Five

It seems that every year about this time I get to feeling a little flabby - my annual 'fall 5'.  I'm usually in peak condition at the end of ski season in early summer.  And then comes August, and beer, and cookouts, and no more skiing.  I become a weekend warrior.  I  hunt for exercise on weekends, and just get by during the week walking the dogs for an hour or so in Abercrombie Park.  Hunting on the weekends and walking the dogs is not enough to keep the flab at bay - certainly not enough if you like to eat like I do. And so every year at this time I annoy Zoya with complaints about getting fat.

But the end is in sight - winter is on its way.  Winter is when I get back into shape.  Today I actually started to train on 'mother nature's stair-climber' for the upcoming ski season.  Like last year - I have started to climb the North Sister every day or so for exercise.  The photos are the view from the top when I climbed up today.  As you can see, it's already getting to be fall colors.  Patrick

Alutiiq Fishing through the Ages

Tonight at 7 PM at the Alutiiq Museum I am giving a presentation on Alutiiq fishing titled 'Alutiiq Fishing through the Ages'.  Here is the title slide and one other to whet your appetite.  I learned a lot while researching the talk, and hopefully I can pass some of this on to you.  I know one thing for sure - the Alutiiq certainly like their fish!  Patrick

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hoarding Tendencies and Our Household Daisy

Our little Stuey has hoarding tendencies. 

According to, 
Hoarding is defined as 
noun: a supply or accumulation that is hidden or carefullyguarded for preservation, future use, etc.: a vast hoard of silver.
verb (used with object)
 to accumulate for preservation, future use, etc., in ahidden or carefully guarded place: to hoard food during shortage.

 Patrick and I noticed the hoarding tendencies beginning over a  year ago. Stuey loves to save EVERYTHING. If a package comes in the mail, he wants to save the box. And the packaging that goes along with the item in the box. He puts things in his bedroom, and in his corner in the living room. The picture above is a cleaned up version. It was MUCH worse until I 'kindly' demanded that he tidy it up and downscale it. (and a sidenote....After he took away 3 small tables of stuff, he said, "see mom...I cleaned it up. Isn't it beautiful?" I had to smile to myself. Beautiful isn't quite the word to describe the corner, but in his mind it was!)
Stuey often keeps his junk tables  nicely lined up and organized.  Sometimes when he is sleeping I do a clean sweep and throw garbage away and clean it up. Stuey doesn't mind and he even thanks me for cleaning the corner up. It is like a growth in our living room, where it could take over our living room if we didn't clean it up periodically. I think Stuey gets that concept and therefore doesn't get mad at me.

On another note, we have a Girl Scout in the house! Nora is officially a Daisy. Complete with smock and a sewed on daisy. It'll be a whole new experience for both of us, as I never did girl scouts as a kid. Nora is excited  that several of her girlfriends her age who don't go to the same school as her will be in her Daisy Troop.


Deer with Adelia & Philip

Yesterday I went hunting with Philip and Adelia.  We started climbing up the mountain in the dark and got to the alpine just as the sun lit up the surrounding peaks.  It was extraordinarily windy, and we did not hold out much hope for a deer.  Deer tend to hunker down when it is windy.  But even if we did not get a deer, we knew that at least we would get in a good hike.

I think Philip was hoping we would not get a deer.  He likes to hike and as he put it, 'once you shoot a deer the good hiking is over'.  Between those two, Adelia is the hunter.  She REALLY wanted a deer, and she's the one who carries the rifle.

Anyway, we found a bowl slightly protected from the wind and there were the deer.  To his credit it was Philip who spotted the deer. I snuck down into the brush and shot the deer while Adelia waited in case a deer ran in their direction.  It was so brushy down in the bowl that we really did not hold out much hope of getting close enough to shoot.  I was thinking that Adelia had the better odds getting one of the deer running away from me as I busted into their cover.  But in the end I did get close enough to shoot this little forked horn.  He'll be good eating this winter.


Below Philip and Adelia take a breather with packs full of meat just before we left the alpine and entered the brush zone on the way home.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Time to go home

When it's time to go home I always think of that scene in 'Mary Poppins' when they are floating by the ceiling drinking tea and they can't get down to the floor until they have an unhappy thought.  Someone mentions it's time to go home and they all slowly sink down to the floor.  Going home is always sad.

Our last day on Afognak was a stormy day that just got worse and worse all day.  But we did not mind.  We were all warm and cozy in the big tent.  Matt set out a longline and later we went for a walk about Old Afognak Village.

And then, very quickly it was time to go home.  Rolan of Seahawk flew overhead and mentioned on the VHF radio that he could pick us early.  He also pointed out that he would need us to skiff up the bay to Litnik where the water was calmer for pick up.  And so all of a sudden it was a rush to pack up and go home.  Matt took everyone up the bay in the skiff while Rachel and I broke camp down.  Matt pulled the longline on his way back and by the time he got back to camp Rachel and I had all of the gear on the beach.  It was time to leave for home.

And boy was it a ROUGH ride - serious whitecaps and blown spray.  By the time we got to Anton Larsen Bay and the car we were soaked and battered. I had so much water up my sinuses it felt like I had been using a 'neti pot'.  Once home we found that Zoya had lit the banya.  It made Rachel's evening.  We were home. Patrick