Monday, September 22, 2014

Ocoee's first hike-April bowl at Hatcher's pass

This weekend Ocoee and I joined some great friends to celebrate a birthday. It was a beautiful fall weekend and we all rented a cabin at hatchers pass lodge. The weekend was full of food, hikes, games and hearty conversation. 

The other kiddos on the trip are older than Ocoee but they do an excellent job of hanging out and playing with Ocoee. She loves playing with the big kids. 

The biggest highlight of the weekend was completing a 2.5 mile hike to April bowl. The trail was narrow with 800 ft in elevation gain. The elevation gain was easy due to switch backs. To motivate Ocoee I used organic jelly beans from trader joes at different milestones along the way. My good friend also told her stories and chatted her up to keep her mind occupied while her feet kept moving. 

It was great to see my little one accomplish her goal and to embrace the beauty of Alaska. Hiking is truly an activity that touches the soul on the peaks here in Alaska.  

Another first for coco bean!


Sunday, September 14, 2014


Fall is a time of transition and letting go. We say goodbye to summer and all it entails and embrace the change of the seasons. 

Yesterday was a special day at our house. It was my mom's birthday. Our beloved dogs, Brodie and Love also shared this birthday. Since we lost Brodie and Love we have been waiting for this day to have a memorial to pay our respects and celebrate the joy they brought to our family. 

We had little brass plaques made an found a favorite tree in Russian jack park. They are side by side on the tree like they so often were in life. The walk in the park reminded us of hundreds we shared with the dogs over the last 5 years. The rain stopped and the sun shined, making it a lovely day to stroll through the birch trees. 

On the way to the creek where we wanted to spread Brodie's ashes we walked through the tunnel, like many times before. Our tradition is to yell and hear our echo. This time we yelled, Brodie! Love! Words that so often spilled from our mouths before but we hadn't said much of lately. Then Ocoee whispered, we miss you. My eyes were filled with tears. 

We reached the creek and let Brodie's ashes fall in the creek. The creek gurgled and bubbled along on a perfect fall day. Brodie loved to sit in the creek and cool off, drinking from the fresh cool water. He was the typical lab who could not resist water. 

I really don't have the words to describe how much our dogs meant to us and how much they gave us during their 15 years on earth. Most of you have owned dogs and know. It is something I will always treasure. 

RIP Brodie dog and Love dog. 


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Summer 2014

Summer was so great and busy that I didn't even blog! I was a total slacker. The highlights were time in Nebraska with grandma and grandpa, family in from Arizona to visit and lots of cousin and Uncle DD time in Tennessee. It was truly magical to see Ocoee forming relationships with her family members so far away. She is old enough now to really engage with everyone. She even got to meet some of my former Journalism students. We were busy the whole summer and had so many wonderful moments that I am bummed I didn't take the time to catch them in writing. Ocoee grew more adventurous and talkative this summer and now seems a bit more like my personality than hubby's......but she can still be reserved and a watcher.


A few picts......

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


I wanted to document an interesting habit Ocoee has had for several years now. She loves tags. I mean adores them. She checks out all clothes based on how nice the tag is. Scratchy or soft.....she especially likes ones that have her name on them. She holds these tags in one hand as a comfort item. She has a special tag blankie that is an old swaddle blanket that she drags around the house like Linus from Peanuts and she also sleeps with a tag.....could be blankie or could be a favorite fleece or shirt.

I found her in the entry way holding tightly to a tag on her fleece that was hooked on the coat rag....literally purring. Who knew something so silly would be so soothing to her.

We are very loving and affectionate so I am not sure why she needs this extra security, but it works for her so we just roll with it. It has become the norm and makes even her laugh. I remember when she started because a boy at daycare had the same habit. They were great buds and she really picked it up from him. She is also a thumb sucker so this fits that mold as well.

I am sure years from now she will have no memory of this little habit but for now it is very important to her!


Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day weekend! Closing up homer cabin

We spent the weekend basking in Alaska's glory as we prepared to shut up the Homer cabin for the winter. The sun shined, eagles flew, fish were caught and summer went out in style. 

Ocoee caught her first fish deep sea fishing. We were telling her the story of my first Alaskan deep sea fish where I caught a cod that was being eaten by a ling cod. It was awesome. Two in one cast. Two minute later Ocoee reeled in her double sculpin! She was most excited by the rainbow fishing line. 

It was a purely spectacular weekend with great sunsets and sunshine every day. The cabin accommodated 3 extra adults and one more dog easily. We finished with yummy pizza at Finns.