Monday, December 31, 2012

Facebook Fads: “I Don’t Do New Years Resolutions”

New Years 2011
My personal New Year's Resolutions are at the bottom of this post.

One thing I abhor about Facebook is how similar a bounty of the posts are. Without being within a couple miles of Seattle, I will always know if there’s a Seahawks game or if it’s snowing. Everyone will be posting. "It's snowing!" Oh really?

Recently everyone voiced their opinions on gun laws (although barely anyone _did_ anything about it).
I saw six pictures of the Seattle sunrise this morning (although I did enjoy those).

And what comes with New Years? Resolutions.
‘cept 95% of the posts are about how people don’t do resolutions.
And they all think they’re the exception.

Usually the post goes something like this:
I’m not doing resolutions this year because why start a resolution just because it’s the New Year? We should do this throughout the year.

To that I want to ask, “Do you?”

During the year, do you take time to step back from your life, look at it, and say, “I don’t like this, this, and this and I am going to empower myself to change it by doing this.”

Now, if they were doing this, if they were making changes, I would salute them firmly - but I don’t think they are. And while they're minds are on changes, now, why not change? The bandwagon of self-improvement isn't one to neces

This is just another cop-out from trying to commit to something (whoa - that’s a harsh cognitive distortion, I know, but I’m keeping it here).

Some people say they don’t even bother writing them down or doing resolutions because they know they’ll never keep them. Well, folks, that’s your problem. “...because they know they’ll never keep them.” If you start out with that thought anywhere in your head, it’s bound to come true. Knowing, before you start, that you’ll fail guarantees failure.

One friend of mine wrote out her resolutions, that I’ve seen.
One friend.
Thank you Kaci.

And you know what? It inspired me! It made me think, “Golly! That’s a good idea. That is something I could and should change in my life.” It was encouraging for me to see what she had decided to change in 2013.

It told me more about her. It was revealing (not too revealing) and personal and refreshing.

Instead of brushing resolutions aside, wouldn’t it be more effective to spend a bit of extra time on your resolutions, thinking about ways to actually make them happen. Game plans. Accountability partners. A list of ideas to pursue.

For me and my resolutions, some will be taken care of early in the year. I have to think of resolutions that I can take with me on the go as I head to Europe. A few of these were inspired by Kaci. Oh! And I just saw Krist put hers up. Once again, inspiring and encouraging.

Here are my New Year's Resolutions & Goals 2013:

1) Cancel out processed crazy-sugars. I’ve done it before for months at a time and, oh how it made me feel better. I have a problem with addiction to sugar - as in, if I go a day without it, I get a headache. I need to deal with this, again, and take it out. No “moderation.” That doesn’t work. No sugar starting now (well, actually I started December 30). No white flour either, that’s just as bad. And cookie dough can no longer be the exception, regardless of how special the circumstances are. In cutting out sugar, I will feel better emotionally, mentally, and physically.

2) Get rid of crap. Donate it. Use it. Distribute it. Recycle it. Throw it out. Get rid of it. Next month, when I go home, I will get rid of at least 111 items.

3) Become semi-fluent in conversational Russian or Ukrainian(aspiring for equal fluency to what I can do in German/Swiss-German).

4) Visit/travel-durch 10 countries.

5) Travel from West Coast to East Coast of the United States (Alaska to New York) and from Eastern to Western Europe (Russia to Scotland) all via train or hitchhiking.

6) Read 12 classics - any 12 classics. Even if they’re all Francis Hodgeson Burnett. G.K. Chesterton counts. One a month is doable. However, if I am working on Resolution #3 in full force, that can replace a classic book for a month in order to maintain full immersion.

7) James 4:8.

I love reading what the resolutions of my friends are and there are mine above.

Year 2012 In Post-Form Review

Here are some of my favourite posts from this year. Most are listed more so for photograph than word content.

January: Raw Goat Milk, Earth Worms, and Classical Corea & 7 Years Worth of Photographs of January 28th

FebruaryOn ADHD and Being Weird & Sleeping Around :: [numbers, photo compilation, listings]

MarchSeattle Weekend: Raclette, Blues, Contra, Portage Bay Cafe, Beery House, Third Place Books

April: Oats in AlaskaFirst Quilt - Ιθάκη & Home Sweet Trailer

May: The Mountain GoatsJoined the Band Wagon

June: This Is My June UpdateTwo to One to Twelve

July: On the 212th Day of the Year & When I'm Not Blogging I'm Writing a Letter

August: Blueberries with Sarah & Hey. We're In Alaska

September: Pie Walk

October: A Letter About My Grandma & Tattoo #1 :: Bear & Everything Seems Closer With a Bike

November: And They Pay Me to Do This & iammägi & Ka-Chunk :: Ka-Chunk

December: Nine Months: Haines in Winter & Christmas Eve Night & Day

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy Third Birthday Ma'Blog

Seattle with Tucker Cholvin on December 20, 2009.
Back on December 30, 2009, I started up this blog called, "Run Away Mägi May," just a month after getting back from being an au pair in Switzerland.

It was blog number six, for me, over seven years of blogging.

Here's the spiel I wrote up on Day One:

The title of my blog is Run Away Maggie May.

Looking back, I realize that perhaps this was a huge error because I don't believe I am running away from anything. I am always running somewhere. Not with the purpose of escaping soething, but merely onwards to...

"... the core of man's spirit comes from man's experiences..."

Don't know that that's true, but the basic idea behind that is one I enjoy thinking upon.


And that still seems to hold true.

Since then, I've written around 608 posts, 473 of which I published (135 are still drafts). That averages to one post published every 2.3 days for three years.

I've received 442 beautiful comments. I always appreciate those.

I've also received over 29,000 page views.

On RAMM, I've documented everything from my experiences at L'Abri and in Alaska to SPD meltdowns (and overloads) to hitchhiking to blues dancing.

And, I thought I'd share with you something I think is amusing - how folks find my blog. One of the great things about Blogger is that it tells you your traffic sources and what search keywords people used to get to your blog. They even tell you how many views are due to that one phrase. For example, nine people have come to my blog via the search "Macklemore armpit."

Yes.

Over nine people have been intrigued about Macklemore's armpit. Good thing I had an experience that could enlighten them all.

Here are some of the others:
interesting streets, macklmore armpit, interesting streeets, barefoot meth girl, contra dance vancouer or seattle, man vest tweed leather vest, runaway maggie may, adhd using weird words, hot girl from insanity workout, swedish hospital flash mob, that's nuts menaing, waffles always split apart, "cars cove", haines, Alaska, 2003 peter pan did peter love wendy, adhd weird, and stupid flowers for me, in peter pan tinkerbell loves peter and peter loves someone else, left home an forgot stove on burning down kitchen down, Maggie Hubert, peter pan quote about love what is love. even the sound of it disgusts me, tarnished spoons, portage bay cafe images, flash mob umbrellas, love? i've never heard about it, accordion beery house, best place to hitchhike vancouver to whistler, canadian l'abri, dolomites beery house, how to fix a runaway chain on bike, kantonsschule obwalden, joelle of seattle, i can't grow a beard, hitchhiking whistler, corea worm, between your legs shirt, "contra dance", splotchiness on face, bowen island bc l'abri, maggie hubert blog, bear up climbed up, blues dance, goats and sail boats, got hired then fired, live in a tent, pretty people.com, put some fun between your legs shirt, homemade bread mead,  blues dancing, blues dance, bear nose clipart, portland blues dance, amys ice cream flavor, common grounds coffee house portland, crutches boot, remember who you are lion king, hubert general delivery haines, korean high tea

Overwhelming, eh?
Here are some of my favourites (and the posts they correspond to):

goats and sail boats
hot girl from insanity workout
macklemore armpit
waffles always split apart
corea worm
barefoot meth girl

and

i can't grow a beard

Can't say that there's much 'mazing 'bout dis blog. But it's mah life in words. This is what I enjoy to do. This is how I connect with folks and let 'em see how my brain operates.

Robots made on December 29, 2009 when nannying the neighbour girls.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hats, Amy Grant, and Solitude


If you hate my face, I want to warn you ahead of time not to read this because my face is in this post a lot and I'm making a lot of stupid faces that are reminiscent of 3rd grade and you might get sick and die and I'm not a fan of premature death. This is post is full of the fluffy stuff where I feel the need to document my hats. As I put up the pictures I thought, "Goodness, that's attractive..." sarcastically. But then I thought of what "attractive" means and I decided I'm not aiming for attractiveness right now. Perhaps I'm even hoping that in posting this, all the men that have expressed that they are attracted to me this month (four total) will go, "Golly, after that picture, definitely not attracted to her." Let me know if it works!

Dark winters in Alaska mean no obligations to go out and be with people and do things. You are allowed to go home and be in your cozy basement and...

Oh! If the world could have as much fun as I have when I’m by myself. Dude. That is a lame way to start a post - ever so pretentious! The world not have as much fun as I? Maybe it is? Probably it is! I know it is! But in my meager-lil-mind I seem to sometime think that others don't do by themselves what I do. But, actually, I think a lot of folks are leaping around in their vintage nightgowns to Amy Grant and nothing I do is all too out of the ordinary... Ha! Ordinary. I can tell this post is already going to be a train wreck if ever there was one. Well, onwards - proceed, exclamation marks and all!

It was nights like last night that made me think, “Goodness --- I definitely don’t want to be in a relationship any time soon.” As it is, I barely have enough time to hang out with me. And the time I have with me is rather precious to me - especially on days when I get off work at 7 PM. I like to be in bed by 9:30 PM so somewhere in there I have to walk home, eat dinner, maybe be social, study Russian, and get into bed.

I know that might sound self-centered - but, I guess it is in a sense. Self-centered as I center myself in solitude and recalibrate. Take of the masks and shake.

The family I live with is off on a short journey and I found myself with a big empty house. I began with singing - oh how I sang. It wasn’t always pretty singing. I sang as loud as possible, yelping in all different keys and in the voices of a multitude of characters that certainly weren’t me. I gurgled and sputtered out every tune that came to mind without hesitation.

What colour is my hair?
I threw on my nightgown (yes, I have a nightgown - my footie pajamas were wet) and ran around the house. I discovered the family’s tape collection, right next to the games and movies, and, within the drawers were the Amy Grant Christmas album! I grabbed it and blasted it in my basement room.

Each song was so familiar. I danced and twisted and, yes, I even shouted. I leaped and flayed and fist pumped. I fist pumped into my head, in fact, and it changed colours and I woke up with a sore forehead.

I grabbed my cello and turned on August Rush for a jam. I let him do his thing and I played along with the guitar.

Noooo sir, this was not arranged. I slinked over to my box of clothes for this stage in life and noticed a colour-trend .

Of course I sipped tea - chamomile and orange in hopes of calming down.

And then I realized that you all didn’t know what my hats looked like so I took a picture of every hat I could find. So, dear world, here is me with all of my hats. As you can tell, my skin is turning yellow again due to carrot consumption.

This is the hat I like to wear when it rains.
Ok... so the hat on the top right is actually the swimsuit bottoms of my grandmother who recently died. Love her.
Amy Grant does WEIRD things to your FACE! Don't listen to her ever or you'll get your FACE like this and it will STICK for forever!

Goodness... aren't you glad you weren't there with me last night? You would have had your hands full and I probably would've became dapper-pals with your calves.

And at the end of this night, what am I left with?
A sore forehead and hat hair...
At least I slept well that night.

Reflecting on Music



Music.

You know how they say, "It moves me."

That cliche speaks truth.
Oh. How it moves.
[wiggle.wiggle.wiggle]

Today I found a beautiful peace and found myself in this weird space where my breathing was changed, taken away, in a sense.

Tears streamed down my face as I rocked and pulsed with the rhythms of the cello in the song. My head is filled with this strange prickly, swelling feeling that I don’t even know how to put into words. Like someone is filling my brain... I really don’t know how to describe it. But I can’t think of anything else that makes me feel this way. Sometimes I breath like you breath when you’re crying.

I freely sobbed, moved by the symphony’s sound, Ellen rocking at my side. Music moves Ellen just as it does me. The guaranteed way to make Ellen laugh is to sing her one of her favourite songs. I delight in working with her because of the joy she has found in music. I feel blessed to be able to sing to someone and make them smile with my voice or my cello.

She gets it.

I await the day I'll be back with my cello, in Seattle. I had thought I would be leaping around between Vancouer and Portland but now I just want to settle in Seattle for the month and pursue my cello as much as possible along with Russian and dance - both pertaining to the ear and response to sounds.

Music grabs my entire being. It twists my brain into this unknown realm of unadulterated joy. It takes my emotions and throws them about without my permission. I cry. I laugh. I shake. I rock. My wrists clap, drawing in near to my chest. My toes curl.

I never really had lessons as a child in cello (I think I had them for two months) so everything I know, I learned through the public school system. I am grateful for everything they taught me. For not a single dollar (‘cept the cello), I was given the gift of being able to express myself in song.

Because of my dad, I can play be ear. When I hear a note, I feel it and know exactly where it goes on the cello. When I hear that song, I already know how my fingers will move before I push them down on the string. That’s how, with the Christmas eve service, I can go and sit down and not know each song until it starts yet play along with it.

In this time in Seattle, I want to get lessons. I want to learn how to create that tone and craft every part of it. I want to relearn all I’ve been taught and put it into practice.  I want to get better so that everything that’s in me that wants to come out can without hindrance.

As it is now, I’ll still practice. I got in an hour yesterday with my cello. Hopefully I’ll find on in Ukraine, even if I have to buy it.

I love it.

Preparing for Departure


We've been through this before.

I come to these places without expectations or any idea of what is to come.

Then, I fall in love.

Fall in love with the place. I fall in love with the community. I fall in love with the rhythms that drive my days forward. I fall in love with the mountains that are always there.

I fell in love with Sachseln, Giswil, Arzier, Bowen Island... and now Haines.

I remember Haines just being a possibility, something to muse upon. I didn't actually think I'd end up there, even after I'd spent four hours in the car with Andrew and Tyler.

I remember, before I left Haines, talking to Dad.

"And the good thing about Haines is if I don't like it, I can always just hop the ferry and I'll be home in three days."
"Margaret, you love every place you live."

He had a point. Will I ever be dissatisfied with where I am?

Haines - you have taken me up in your arms and spun me 'round. You've given me mountains and love and a community that smiles at me when I walk down the street and welcomes me into their homes at all hours.

Haines - you threw my world upside down and taught me lessons I don't care to repeat. After 15 years of education, I know how to learn a lesson and hold onto it. That's one reason why I blog. It's kind of like taking notes on life to read back on so I don't forget.

Haines - you gave me my first "adult job" with a paycheck and everything. I had my first boss. My first clients. And, oh how it changed me. I thrived in having a purpose to each day.

Haines - you have placed me within the grasp of loving families who have taken me in and accepted me.

Haines - you have sheltered me in closets, libraries, basements, mobile homes, countless-couches, and the bedroom of my friend's boss's son.

Haines - what was meant to be one to two months has turned into nine.

And the strangest thing is your name sounds kind of like the brand of underwear.

Haines, America!

I'm going to bountifully missed you. I keep trying to recalculate how I can stay near to you a bit longer. I think I'd stay significantly longer if I didn't have my ticket to Moscow.

Once again, I'm leaving.
Halt.
That's what's going to happen to my Haines life.

And things are going to change and turn around. There's nothing of this life I can take with me. Nothing I can hold onto. It's all going to slip out and I'm going to let it.

I want to go out and love the world and connect with it. Life is amazing as I realize my dreams are within my grasp. Right now, any idea I can formulate, I feel is possible.

I'll go wherever He tells me to go.

And I'm going to start out this journey just the two of us, me and Him. I've had multiple offers for travel mates and folks ask me if I'm really going on my own. Yes. I prefer to travel on my own. I find pleasure in my own company. I can't fear being alone. I don't.

I'm running away again.

Friday, December 28, 2012

c u t


I’ve got this defense mechanism that’s awful. I cut people off prematurely in fear of them doing the same to me.

Back in 1997 I met someone who became one of my closest friends. We spent a bounty of time together (extensive) and then he did something in 2009 called getting-a-girlfriend and  cut me off 100% for a year.

And it hurt.
A lot.

Yes, that story can get a bit more complicated, but it conditioned me in this way:
If I have a close guy friend and he gets himself a ladyfriend then I’m going to find myself without that friend.

And then I get frustrated.

Because, in the end, they’re not the ones that get hurt. They go from having me to having her, they're never alone, and I’m the one who’s left alone with my hands up in the air asking, “What did I do wrong?"

This has affected me and my relationships with men extensively. Not relationships - friendships. When a guy gets close enough, I see what’s going to happen. I know I’m the one who is going to get cut off and so I’m infamous for cutting them off before they can cut me off. I realize how much it will hurt me when they stop calling so I decide to be the one who stops calling.

I tried to do it with Mr. K but he talked me out of it.
It was part of the reason I stopped living with Mr. A (although that’s 19 pages more complicated).
I just did it with Mr. N.
I've had to warn other men of my tendencies...

Yes. I would say this could classify me as a mean person to go and cut friends off like that.

Yet, when I look at my motives and actions and what’s happened to me in the past, I have to admit I don’t feel bad in justifying it by my motives. I’m not really keen on getting hurt or pushed aside. Even worse is when they come back to your friend at the end of their relationship. No. I take that back. It’s not worse at all. I don’t think I’ve ever not been there at the end of it all. Even thought I don’t see him often, I still consider the first lad who cut me off to be one of my closest friends. And, this summer I got to let him know how much his actions have screwed me up.

See, unless I am in a relationship with that man, I’m just an emotional placeholder until he finds “her.” That’s where I saw myself with this current friend. We were talking back and forth, but I knew he was actively searching for an actual “girlfriend" - a position I couldn't ever fill.

“Warn me when you’re about to disappear or cut me off,” I texted him, or something like that.
“I’ll try,” he said.

And I freaked out. This means it was going to happen. So I articulated that to protect myself, I should probably cut him off.

I know it’s ridiculous, but I think I do it because it makes me feel like I have some power in a hopeless situation. I think in these situations, I feel like I’ll always be the odd one out. I’ll be the one left without a friend (which is really all I want - nothing more) and they’ll be set. Once again, this is me being honest (not logical - and not proud of my motives) as I explain that I think that my internal hope is that by me doing the inevitable, what they were going to do to me, maybe they can feel part of the same pain I do.

I’m not going to wait until you drop me.
It’s like not even ducking when someone is going to punch you.

I can think of one experience in which of my closest male friends was in a relationship with a female and our friendship didn’t change at all. She let us spend lots of time together. But, the thing is, she was crazy. I considered her to be, in many senses, a very abusive girlfriend so I can’t even consider what happened there “the norm” because she wasn’t.

Kurt explained to me that, when a guy is in a relationship, it just isn’t appropriate for him to spend one on one time with another female time. And I didn’t get it at first but now I really do. I get frustrated by it, but I do understand. And that’s why I keep running. I'm not supposed to be good friends with a man with a girlfriend.

“..but we don’t even know if she likes me.” That was what Mr. A said when I saw what was happening and that I was going to be dropped soon. He was asking me to stick around because he didn’t even know if he had the next girl secured. He didn’t want me to go anywhere if he didn’t have the next friend-who-is-a-girl figure lined up. I ran. I didn’t want wait to see how it worked out in a way that would always be to his benefit.

His “I’ll try [to warn you before it happens.]” let me know it was going to happen. I didn’t want to wait. I ran.

And, honestly, I’ll probably continue to run because I have yet to see a circumstance where it has healthily existed otherwise (‘cept with my poly-friends who rock).

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Change In Address

Annnd --- cut!

Halt!

I'm moving soon. I'm leaving Haines.
 I would recommend the last day of sending mail to me in Haines would be January 1st - I plan to depart on the 14th.

Then, I can get mail in Seattle up through March 9th or so, although I won't be there the entire time.

Then, for two months I'll be in transition before I have an address in Ukraine.

To get my Seattle address, leave a comment with your email address in disguise (myemailfirstpart at domain dot com) and I'll reply back and then email your comment.

Pardon to those I've been regularly corresponding with.

Haines School Lunch


I went to the Haines School today around lunch time and got to see what was on their plate.

Holy moly‭!
It looked like food I would eat myself.

On their plate was wild Alaskan salmon that some local caught,‭ ‬brown rice,‭ ‬roasted squash,‭ ‬and frozen berries for dessert.

So,‭ ‬I got a plate.
And,‭ ‬it was delicious.
And, it was beautiful.

Remarkable.‭ ‬Well done,‭ ‬Haines School.‭ ‬Well done feeding your students real food and not the processed crap they were shoving done our throats in Seattle.

Hooray.
Hoorah‭!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Nine Months: Haines in the Winter



Yes.‭ ‬I do believe I’ve fallen head-over-heels-smitten-in-love with the town of Haines.

Welcome to Month Nine.


The days are as short as ever‭ (‬two days till solstice‭!) ‬and I am relishing the darkness.‭ ‬The sun’s absence drives us indoors in clusters.‭ ‬We find our daily purposes in small gatherings and every afternoon has the potential to feel like an extended evening.

Welcome to Winter in Haines.

I love it.

And I’m going to be so bold as to say I like Haines in winter much more than Haines in summer.

I’m just currently trying to figure out whether I like Haines in winter more because of what the season is and the feel or because of nature of my own personal summer and the disorienting feeling of it that left me bouncing between sentiments and emotions of deep friendships and that one went awry that left me declaring myself‭ “‬unlovable‭” ‬and‭ “‬used.‭”

Let’s just say I like the winter because it’s winter‭ ‬--‭ ‬because I think I do.


I never thought I would be one to flourish in the snow.‭ ‬Or,‭ ‬perhaps not flourish,‭ ‬but find comfort in the rhythms it has encouraged in my life.

I have taken advantage of the snow and darkness,‭ ‬as an introvert,‭ ‬to spend bit of extra time in my bedroom.‭ ‬As noted before,‭ ‬I’m very much so satisfied spending large quantities of time by myself in my bedroom.‭ ‬I don’t require constant companions or believe that I need to surround myself by friends all the time to have the affirmation that I’m not alone in this darkness.

Lately,‭ ‬Russian has been my focus.‭ ‬Russian culture.‭ ‬Russian language‭ (‬help me‭!)‬.‭ ‬Russian history.‭ ‬I work on all three in my attempt to not show up at the Moscow airport an ignorant,‭ ‬clueless American.‭ ‬A few hours a day usually suffices.‭ ‬I take notes.‭ ‬I talk to myself out-loud.‭ ‬I reread the notes any chance I get.

Also,‭ ‬Haines,‭ ‬I think,‭ ‬becomes even more of a community in the winter.‭ ‬In the summer,‭ ‬it’s filled with temporary residents‭ (‬not that I’m not temporary‭) ‬who bail when the snow comes.‭ ‬I think a sort of bonding happens to those who stick out the snow.‭ ‬Now I feel like I’m living among Alaskans.

Haines in the winter is beautiful.‭ ‬Dare I say much more beyond that‭? ‬It’s darn adorable!

I have a bit more of a month left in Haines and I’d be as dandy as ever to stay.‭ ‬If I hadn’t bought my plane ticket to Moscow,‭ ‬I have a feeling I’d be here until April‭ ‬--‭ ‬but I can’t stay there past then.‭ ‬I will not be here when the guides come back.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Haines Christmas Festivities: Christmas Eve Night & Day

Dani's crafted tree.
When Dani told me that everyone had left for Juneau, I felt a bit perplexed.

"Then... who will be with you Christmas night and who will jump on you in the morning to tell you, 'It's Christmas! It's Christmas?'"

No one is not an exceptable answer.

After a morning of lefse, an evening with the H's and M's, and then the church's candelight service, I started to pack up for the night. Normally I sleep at the new H family. Tonight, I'd head back to the home above the Quikshop.

It was just me and Dani at first, at the Quikshop, and she made me up a luxurious bed that I could snuggle in that night. That's right - my first night there where I wasn't in my closet. She also constructed a spifderunderful tree out of Christmas lights and packing tape on the wall for the gifts to go under. Dude! She made it!


I had a native American man and an eagle on a blanket that night. But, yo, she got a call from a mate needing a place to crash for the night. Oh man. Needing a place to sleep on Christmas? She graciously welcomed her (soon to be her and him) there.

Only thing is, I like to sleep and hadn't brought my sleeping gear (ear plugs and head phones). Ah! But life is good and Daniel had a fan. I discovered a new ever-so-swell sleeping pal - the Fan! He worked awesome and I slept and slept...

Until 6:32 AM.

"It's Christmas!"

And we were up. Dustin and Daisy were watching Fox & the Hound in the living room.

Dani.
Dustin.
Daisy.
MMmm.... wrong name.

Gifts were ripped open. I was delighted to have received a beautiful book of fairy tales from England from Hannah plus a rad charm she made, Music for Two with Béla Fleck and Edgar Meyer, a book of green postcards, and my favourite stationary. I was set and satisfied and glee-ed-out. Thank you family and Hannah!

I bundled up at 7:27 AM to head back the H-home. With a windchill of about negative thirty farenheight, it was certainly not a toasty stroll. My ears began to throb and I pulled my hat down over them and started to run across the glaze ice. I called Carole who was about to get on her flight to come back to Washington from a jaunt to the East Coast to be with family.

Back at the H family, I was over-stoked to find a stocking on my door knob! Ahhh! Was not expecting that and completely thrilled.


They know me oh-so well. As the note said, they knew I was leaving soon and would probably appreciate consumeable gifts. Oh-so-true. What they didn't know is how perfect the gifts were and how each one connected to me and got me giddy.

Toothpaste - I was just running out today and was bummed. "Oh bugger, need to buy new toothpaste. But... maybe I can just make it two weeks without?" Perfect timing.

The toothbrush meant a lot to me due to an event back around December 2007. See, I was living with a host family and I thought they were like my family till one day, I asked my host mum if I could have a toothbrush and she said that was something I should buy. For one of the first times I felt homesick as I realized that, no, this wasn't my family. Long story short, I cried into my pillow and then decided to take control of the situation and have a ball buying a toothbrush for myself! As soon as I left the room, though, to buy it, my host mum was there with a toothbrush and it was orange! "Will this work?" she asked. Anyways, the H family giving me a toothbrush makes me feel like I'm kind of a part of the family.

Oranges - Mom always talks about (and frequently does) putting oranges in the toes of stockings.

Beans - Love 'em.

Pear wraped in gold - Oh goodness -- that's like candy.

Toblerone [dark] - Switzerland!

So, that was my surprise stocking!

Ron then drove me up the hill to the Clark home (where I go every Sunday for breakfast) where P, S, C, and S all joyfully greeted me. Wait! I think I'm allowed to use their names. Ahh -- just in case, we'll keep it alphabet here.


Meet the Clark family. They moved to Haines from Virginia.
Grateful for them.

After they opened my gift to them (lava lamp) and they to me (sweetest sewing kit!), we got to work watching Full House and discussing morning events. Goodness, I love this family. We ate hashbrowns, eggs, and bacon, more enjoyable conversation, and I got to listen to my new CD.

For Christmas, the girls got the whole Smurf village set --- but it was the legit set from the 70s and 80s that had been made by Schleich in Deutschland. Legit!



After that, I packed myself up again to go visit the other H family - the beautiful one I lived with in July through early November. For privacy reasons, I don't put pictures up of their family. So, know that things happened, I just can't show you. I felt blessed as we read the Christmas story, talked about it a bit, and sang Christmas carols together. I gave them my Christmas gift. I put together a photo album full of photographs I had taken of their family over the past few months. Mmmm. And Danish somethingorother puff pastry thing. Delicoius.

Oh yes.
And L did my hair.
This is not a flattering photograph of me.
I think I'll post it on the internet.
Hello world.

L took the pictures as wel. Sorry, I hadn't washed my hair in a week.

At 1:30 PM, Chad picked me up again and we headed back to the Clarks so we could walk over to the Greens to celebrate some more! Dinner time!
Dinner was goat (yum!), green beans, homemade gluten-free sweet potatoe bread, brown rice, and salad. So good! And for dessert I got to eat this peanut-butter cheesecake with snickers on the bottom and a dark chocolate topping. Also decadent.

We played Life and made music and it was lovely lovely lovely. Bill and Carol were there too!


At around 6 PM, it was time to make it back home to the Horn's. When I got there, they had Dorris Ward and her son and nephew there. I still had my hair up the way L had done it. I joined them for some conversation which I liked.


And then at 8 PM - I Skyped with my family in Seattle!


Can you tell I'm tired and ready to go to bed? It's past my bedtime. Anyways - I saw my cats and Dad played the pump organ and Mom was pretty and ian was rad and they opened their gifts from me....

'Night world!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Decembers Past

2007

Dezember in Switzerland


Samichlaus Tag

Last Day of School

Christmas 2007 in Switzerland

Zermatt Weekend [the Elite album]

2008

Dollops of December [dec.20.08]

2009

December Disco

2010

Drupaceous December

Drupaceous December - Part II

Commute Conversation


Imagine this is completely dark -- as it is completely dark around 80% of the time these days. This is Tlingit Park. I walk through here most evenings and mornings.
Skrinch. Sckrunch.

“Is that static?”
“No, that’s my cleats on glare-ice.”
“How cold is it?”
“Well, the bank thermometer is showing a negative zero degrees Fahrenheit...”

Ah... ha! I live in Alaska.

The cold and doesn’t encourage me to wander around the streets much, but I do enjoy my daily commute to and from the homes of the clients I work with. On the way there, I’m normally in my head, but on the way home I like to talk to friends.
Past three days of conversation: Megan [Wallingford], Nick [Snoqualmie], Robert [Capital Hill]

Hands down, the friend I talk to the most is Megan. I’m not quite sure how or when we became actual friends. She’s certainly been in my life well since before 1996, but I’m not exactly sure when I was aware of her existence. It was in 2011, though, that I think we remarkably became friends.

She talks me through every thing. We share advice. We have the conversations I would never have with anyone else. I share with her the details I would leave out when writing on my blog. In this past year, we’ve both gone through some upside down changes as we’re still adjusting, I’d say.

Tonight I got to talk to Robert. I met Robert of 917 at the Occupy Seattle’s Black Friday Square Dance (was that it?) back in 2011. We all went for pho and he offered to teach me to fight. A few days later, on the 29th, I showed up at his apartment and began to learn... and also learned he had an organ in his living room. Later that day, on November 29, 2011, I went and hung out with Megan as well.

Robert sparks new thoughts in my head and can engage me in conversation about much that I haven’t explored yet. Right now he’s learning... Flindu. Goodness, I know that’s not it. I was crunching. Conversations with him can branch out ten-fold because there seems to be a bounty of things to discuss. I kind of want to sit and have him download some of his knowledge-not-common-to-my-encounters into my brain.

Yesterday I talked to Nick. I accidentally collided with him on Craigslist in 2010. For some odd reason, we’re still mates in close communication. Nick could very well fit into the older-brother category.

The first time he called me when I was in Haines, I was so confused. I couldn’t figure out who he was --- all I knew was that this person had a beautiful voice. So, I told him so.

“I don’t know who you are, but whoever you are, your voice is beautiful.”

That opinion still stands.

I also talk to Mother-Unit and Father-Unit frequently on strolls about and love talking to best-friend-sister-lass Carole.

In talking to people like Megan, Robert, and Nick, Mother-Unite, Father-Unit, and Carole, walks in the -15 C (4 F) with a windchill of -31 C (-25 F) become phenomenally pleasant. I get plenty of time to be in my head and in my thoughts throughout the day and my walk home is my chance to connect with folks who hopefully

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Haines Christmas Festivities:‭ ‬Light the Fort


Haines gathered the other evening for the Lighting of the Fort.

‎“‏the Fort‭” ‬refers to Fort Seward where a bunch of historical stuff happened.‭ ‬We’ve got all of these old buildings in Haines around a field.‭ ‬Sorry I didn’t do my research.‭ ‬I know i’ve heard stories of what’s up with those buildings but it has yet to stick in my memory‭ ‘‬cept the fact that most locals say a few of the buildings are haunted.

5‎ ‏P.M.‭ ‬was the the awaited time.

We trudged through the snow to the back of the longhouse and at‭ ‬5‭ ‬P.M.‭ ‬sharp,‭ ‬the canon blasted‭ ‬-‭ ‬jolting us both into glee as each of the houses lit up.


A nativity scene was set up and Holly led the community in Christmas carols.‭

A bonfire blazed and folks roasted hot dogs and marshmallows.

I got to see beautiful friends like Carol,‭ ‬Bill,‭ ‬Martha,‭ ‬Ellen,‭ ‬Sasha,‭ ‬Nick,‭ ‬Luke...

I like this community.


Dressing for -28 C Wind Chill :: Argyle & Hand-knit Socks

There's a reason why I don't run a fashion blog.

Hey. This is what I've been wearing this week.

The left two are what I wear around the house and then add on a jacket, hat, and scarf.

And then -- see my feet?

On the left two are my rad slippers I got for $0.50 at the Salvation Army. I bring them with me wherever I go and throw them on any chance I get.

To walk outside, I always wear my XtraTufs with ice cleats.

Then, on the right. Oh my goodness....

I checked my mail the other day and look what was in it:


Beautiful socks by Miss Joan! It was a total surprise.

I even did an experiment with them three days in a row. I wore my warmest socks on my right foot and Joan's beautiful hand-knit wool sock. Then I walk outside for about 20 minutes.

Then, I note which foot is warmer. Hands down (or feet down?), the hand-knit sock always wins. I'm really grateful to her for these socks. Thank you, Joan!

Haines Christmas Festivities : Indoor Community Decorations

Haines has been full of small Christmas surprises lately -- like when I went to the post office and immediately the smell of a fresh-cut tree took over.

Say what?

A Christmas tree -- in my post office? All over the office were decorations and Mr. Postman even had on a Santa Hat! At the cash register was a sign on how many days till Christmas. Definitely started to get me in the mood. I love the Post Office already but this was beautiful!

Standing in line for to get mail? Actually, equally beautiful and a good opportunity to connect with other members of the community.


Next we have the Haines Borough Public Library.

They really went all out until the place gleefully reeked of Christmas. Joy joy joy! Seriously, joy!

After a trunch in the snow, it's fun to come read a book by the tree. This season, I finally got around to reading a Christmas Carol (hello Dickens!). Goodness - so the Muppets didn't just throw their own wit into the story. His sense of humour, goodness, that guy is good. Now I get how he became a classic.

Library Journal noted our library as the Best Small Library of America in 2005 (two years after we got this new building). It gets over 60,000 visits a year (from a town of around 1,300) and over 75 members of the community volunteer here. The evenings are run solely by volunteers, which is something we're all grateful for. Although, I do admit I miss the free 100 pages of b&w and 10 pages of colour printing that came with the King County Library System.


Here's the Haines School which contains the high school, elementary school, and middle school.

They had a giant tree set up, a display of gingerbread houses, and they hosted a craft fair in mid-December where I took care of 80% of my Christmas shopping buy things locally. An impressive selection at prices I was willing to pay. Hard to go wrong when buying locally.

Here's the church I attend - Haines Presbyterian Church. I'm grateful for it and the fellowship I find there.

The Mountain Market had up garlands and lights -- and they were ready to charge me $9.39 for a head of cabbage. Living in Alaska comes with Alaskan prices since everything has to be shipped up on a barge.
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