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June 2010 Archives

Travel is a Science

June 30, 2010

I'm flying to Juneau tomorrow morning again, and I hate checking luggage.

travel containers-1

I found these wee containers at Jo Ann Fabrics. I think they were intended for making your own lip balm or something, but they are perfect for one or two days worth of beauty creams.

It's more difficult remembering what's in each of them, especially since each cream is some color variant of Light Yellow. The Sniff Test is usually successful, especially when paired with the Viscosity Test.

Travel is a science


Playing With Light

June 28, 2010

playing with light-3

playing with light-6



New Experience: Group Kegels

June 22, 2010

I took two days off before Memorial Day weekend such that I had FIVE WHOLE DAYS where I wasn't expected to process invoices or fix spreadsheets or direct staff or wear heels or even shower. I was so pumped that I gloated to everyone I could.

I made a list for things I wanted to do over the long weekend and was ecstatic that I had FIVE WHOLE DAYS to do them in. The sun came out, birds perched on my shoulders and sang me songs, and rainbows followed me everywhere.

I spent Thursday running fun errands and reading in the sunshine. I took part in a color workshop webinar (read: boring photography mumbo jumbo) (also: another New Experience I didn't write up for reasons you'll understand in a bit).

And then.
You knew this was coming? Yes? The karma?

Thursday night I rolled over in bed. I wasn't even sleeping yet, just reading. I rolled over, probably to put my glasses away and turn off the light.

I can only describe is as Old People would: I threw my back out.

And OMG the pain. THE PAIN.
I could hardly breathe, could hardly stand.

Friday morning I woke up and couldn't get out of bed. I grabbed my iPhone to check email and Twitter but the wifi wasn't working. I texted Steve as such, who told me to go upstairs and reboot the router.

Let me again remind you of the pain: I was ignoring my pressuring bladder because I could hardly breathe. And here Steve was, telling me to not only reboot the router, but walk upstairs and GET OUT OF BED. Yeah, no.

I finally made it out of bed to pee, took some drugs, went back to bed and called a chiropractor. A few adjustments and an ice pack and I was still feeling old and broken.

The rest of my weekend was spent as follows:
1. lying in bed with an ice pack and my iPhone;
2. lying on the couch with an ice pack and Netflix streaming; or
3. lying on the deck chair with an ice pack, a book, and a bikini.

That last part wasn't so bad, actually.

Man, this is already longer than I wanted. I've become the kind of person who won't shut up about her medical issues. Today I'm all OH MY ACHING BACK and tomorrow I'll be all LET ME SHOW YOU MY CORNS. (My back is better, by the way, but my chiropractor is still trying to get as much money from me as possible.) (Which: GAH.)

At the end of the weekend I went for a slow walk at the dog park with a friend who suggested trying pilates to strengthen my core and realign my spine. She has been doing pilates for some time and really loves it.

I tried to decipher the studio's website with little success. I was concerned about it being all spiritual crap like yoga can sometimes be. But one day after work I had an errand near the studio and popped in to check it out. I got a little tour and put my name down for an intro class.

And then I bought new yoga pants.

My old ones were shot, okay? Shut up.

I took the intro class last week, and pretty quickly I realized I should have done some research on the practice of pilates. Because within 10 minutes I was lying on my back next to strangers doing kegel exercises.

The way it was explained, the pelvic muscles are one muscle group that make up the core, along with the hips, lower back, and butt. Kegals and precise breathing are very important to the strength and control of the core, which is important for spine health.

The class was 2.5 hours long and very difficult for the small amount of moving that we did in the exercises. The instructors were very helpful and the class was small enough that we had a lot of one-on-one help. Which I really needed.

I'm still unsure that I want to do more, but they gave all of the intro class students a few free sessions and I'm going to take advantage of those this week.

The Flying Troutmans

June 18, 2010

I picked up The Flying Troutmans at the library book sale this spring because... well... I could say that the summary on the back grabbed me or the first few pages were so riveting that I couldn't put it down and had to then pay for it.

But no, I bought it because I loved the cover photo. I often employ this method (see also: cover font choice) in selecting reading material, and it's definitely hit or miss. I just couldn't decide which category to slide this book into.

The book is about the personal connections made despite and because of chaos. Main character Hattie returns to Canada to take care of her niece and nephew after checking her sister into a mental hospital. In over her head rather quickly, she decides to drive across the United States in search of the kids' father.

I tried to reassure her. I tried to convince her that she wasn't going to a foster home, but I knew my tone was tentative and that she was having a hard time believing me.

Cross your heart and hope to die? she said. I wondered how often, on average, a parent makes a preposterous promise to a kid and then begins to panic.

Well, yeah, I said. Definitely.

The writing is fresh and has a great voice to it. The dialogue is fun and funny until you realize that most of it is coming from an eleven year old and then it's a bit out of place. The story was light and the book focused more on the relationship of the three traveling from a mentally ill family member toward a mostly absent family member.


June 14, 2010


While sitting down for one of the best burgers in the state of Alaska, my mother and I figured out that Sonny and his wife Nancy have owned the Glacier Drive-In on the end of the Homer Spit for over 35 years. My mother remembers them buying it when it was just a small trailer and my oldest brothers were very young. Then they built a boardwalk and a building around it, which is how I have always remembered it.

Growing up, the Glacier Drive-In was a regular stop for the family after church on our way out to the boat for another week of fishing. Melissa only ordered one of two things: cheese sticks or a hot dog and she would eat around the meat.

In High school I would drive out the Spit on lunch breaks for a Glacier Burger, no pickles, and a chocolate peanut butter shake. One of the best meals around, and a meal that I still crave once summer approaches.

Sonny takes your order, he always has. I have never seen anyone else at the window taking orders, and he knows the correct amount of tax for your order off the top of his head. He's become hard of hearing, but he still recognizes me despite my walking in there only once or twice a year. It probably helps that I look just like a McLay.

My mother and I ordered Glacier Burgers, I a shake and she a soda. It was late for lunch and a windy, cold day on the Spit; the Drive-In was mostly empty. While waiting for our food I asked Sonny for a photo. I told him to smile, to scoot over into the middle of the window. He complied, laughing at my barking directions.

Sonny and Nancy have sold the Glacier Drive-In this year, and next year the new owners will take over. It won't be the same with Sonny and Nancy gone.

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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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