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January 2009 Archives

40 out of 100

January 30, 2009

The ones I've done are bolded. Stolen from Superwife.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (in general)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

As a kid

January 28, 2009

Now that I am firmly in my Late Twenties, I feel it's a perfect time to reminisce about The Good Ole' Days:

As a kid

What did you love to do as a kid?

Decision

January 26, 2009

On tonight's walk, Olive and I have decided that she is the biggest dog in the neighborhood. Proportionally.

Even though there are dogs much, much larger than my 10-pound Scruffmonster, their back yards are much, much, much bigger as well. So in proportion to her available back yard, Olive is the biggest.

This has made her happy.

But she also wondered why not one but two people dumped their old Christmas trees on the side of the road to die. She thought they would be good for sniffing, but discovered them to be much too pokey for anything of the sort.

Haiku Thursday

January 16, 2009

I need to write a
grumpy haiku to appease
dear @mariancall

Big giant headache.
Aspirin or ibuprofen?
A mocha instead?

Girl scout order form
in the office breakroom, Steve
sure he needs a fix.

99%
of this staff meeting
not apply to me.

Juneau Airport lounge,
carded while waiting for the
gate to be opened.

They were fun! Haiku
Thursday may be here to stay
if I don't forget.

Expensive jeans and
twenty-seven bobby pins
brought pat-down and wand.

No confiscation
but they did wonder aloud
the reason for them.

Gone back to the gate,
there's some maintenance problem
that isn't a bird.

Spotty wifi on
the plane. I'd like to go home
now before I cry.

Changing planes. I don't
want to be stuck in Juneau
tonight. I want my bed.

Took out my contacts.
Won't be home 'til 12.
Feel the grumps coming.

Boarding a new plane.
Thanks for Twitter well wishes.
Can't wait to be home.

The Work Thing

January 13, 2009

Chugach sunrise

I'm off to Juneau first thing tomorrow, after a weekend of record-snowfall and two week days of heavy rain causing avalanche warnings and power outages. I will be lucky if I make it out of the airport. I love Juneau.

What I love more than Juneau and its perilous way of life is the view from my office window. I get to watch the sun rise and set (when it's not overcast) (and so long as the rise and set times are within my office hours). I get to see fog or a nasty storm roll in from the Inlet. I get to see if it's snowing on the mountains.

I never want to take the view for granted.

Status: 2008

January 9, 2009

At the start of 2008 I mentioned that I had set some personal goals instead of resolutions. While doing the same goal-setting for 2009, I was sure I had accomplished at least two or three things on my 2008 list of goals, but couldn't really remember what was on that list. Which wasn't a good sign.

But I pulled out my old notebook and was very pleased to discover that I had accomplished every single one of them. Want to see what they were?

  • learn off-camera lighting: frankly, I've made off-camera lighting my bitch
  • use Manual mode on my camera more: only time I'm not in Manual anymore is when I'm moving around a lot with my camera and my brain is focusing on other things
  • print out some of my shots to hang on the wall, treat it like real art: I participated in three different gallery openings, and have a few shots hanging at home and at work
  • take a university class or two, go "back to school": I got a 95% in my French class during Fall semester
  • get up new blog layout: the pink and green isn't really new any more, but I still like it

Nothing too big, nothing unattainable, but each one meant a lot to me.

Some of these took me many months to tackle, and some of these still need some work (like hanging my photography on the wall), but still. I'm very proud that I accomplished each and every one of these.

Cheater Soup

January 6, 2009

I'm a bit of a food snob. I prefer my meal ingredients fresh, not frozen, and made from scratch instead of from a box. I make my own chicken stock, my own vanilla, my own ice cream, and my own pie crust. There are a few exceptions to this, things I can't (or haven't found a way to) make myself. Like tater tots. Which are perfect as they are, crispy as God intended.

Last night I made a soup that I was sure I wouldn't like because its base started with jarred pasta sauce; I don't even use jarred pasta sauce when eating pasta. I had clipped it from the newspaper ages ago and held onto it as an in-a-rush meal, and I'm really surprised with how good it turned out.

olive oil
16oz kielbasa sausage
1lb mushrooms
1 jar pasta sauce
chicken stock
1 can white kidney beans

Slice the sausage (I used turkey, but anything would work) and the mushrooms (but don't let your mushroom-averse boyfriend know that you're using a whole pound). Drizzle a few teaspoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and saute the sausage and mushrooms for about 2 minutes.

Add in 1 part of pasta sauce and 1 part of chicken stock: I used 2 cups of each because I froze my chicken stock in 2- and 3-cup bags. Turkey stock would work great for this (Why don't you boil your turkey carcass after the holidays to get yummy turkey stock? My freezer is full of it.), but then I'd use a beef or pork sausage instead. Add in a can of drained, rinsed kidney beans.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste, but not much if using canned chicken broth instead of stock (which is already pre-seasoned). Serve with french bread, toasted hot from the oven. Be amazed that it doesn't taste like jarred pasta sauce.

Goodbye 2008

January 1, 2009

2008 recapped in 24 words:

Treating my photography as art.
New job that keeps me busy.
More traveling than ever before.
Lacey abruptly gone.
Grandmother too.
Olive's puppy breath.

...in cities:

Anchorage, AK
Girdwood, AK
Cooper Landing, AK
Soldotna, AK
Homer, AK
Seldovia, AK
Juneau, AK
Widlwood, NJ
Atlantic City, NJ
Philadelphia, PA
New Hope, PA
Boston, MA

...and in photos:

Single snowflake Sled Dogs A Day in the Life: 22:36 Chocolate Toffee Matzo Candy - Step 2

Grandma and Aunt Judy 231/365 Melanie - driftwood - setup Rosemary dinner

Boston sky Eating bubbles 17:365 Grandpa winning at cards 43:365 Frost tendril

I hope your 2009 is awesome.

Additional Content

Hi, I'm Valette

I'm a photographer based out of Anchorage, Alaska. I've recently become a wife, a stepmother, and a homeowner. Life is pretty awesome. You can email me anytime. Learn more...

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