Happy Holidays

As if life isn’t stressful enough—we get the holidays! Yay!
I remember as a kid listening to my Mom and Grandma discussing the pros and cons of having the annual family Christmas party at my Grandma’s house or not, and they couldn’t understand why one of the other aunt’s wouldn’t offer up their house for the party since my Grandma had out-of-town guests at hers. I didn’t understand what the big deal was. Just have it at Grandma’s house. It’s more fun.
Well, sure it’s fun--for the kids. I didn’t appreciate all the work my Grandma did to host the annual Christmas Eve “get-together” of approximately 40-50 relatives. This was a full meal with all the trimmings, all the dishes, and all the clean up afterwards. My Grandma didn’t even have a dishwasher and how about all the cleaning of the house before the party? Many of us stress about the cleanliness of our house on a regular day, let alone for a party.
In honor of my Grandma, I decided to have friends and family over to make cookies this week. No, it isn’t a full-fledged Christmas party, but at least it is a “get-together” to do something fun, eat cookies, drink egg nog, and share some laughs.  And if my house isn’t that clean? *shrugs* So what.

Beautiful Alaska

This is a typical scene in the fall. Lots of pilots flying to hunting camps. This is my husband's plane and I'm in the back seat. I only wish fall lasted longer. It's such a short season here.
Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I just love this photo of Zenyatta. I'll never forget her race in the Breeder's Cup in 2010 and losing by a nose. Sometimes giving your very best still isn't enough to win the race. If you don't know the story of this incredible filly, just google her and be amazed.

Quirky gifts

I received these slippers/flip flops from my cousin. She just decided to get them for me. Not sure why. Don't you love receiving gifts for no purpose other than to give you a gift? And quirky gifts like slippers/flip flops are even better! I remember visiting my great-grandfather in a nursing home when I was very young. He would buy quirky things from the gift shop there. I noticed a little sculpture of a hand. I thought it was so unique. He said I could have it. I wish I still had that quirky hand. As I came to find out later, it was an ash tray. No one in my family smoked, but it was the coolest hand ash tray ever. What is the most interesting gift you've ever received?

Fall Colors

Autumn in interior Alaska happens very quickly. In the blink of an eye you have yellow leaves, then they are gone. I enjoy the fall colors as long as they last!

Sea Lions!

I'm pretty spoiled, I take moments like these for granted. We Alaskans see wildlife in their natural habitat all the time. Make sure you have the volume turned up so you can truly appreciate the sound of these magnificent creatures. Although you do get to miss out on the smell!

Wildlife viewing

Another great thing about Alaska is all the opportunities you have to see wildlife. We saw this little guy along side the road. He was hanging out with his mom and twin sibling.

Grayling Fishing

One of the great things about Alaska is the fishing. Does this photo need any words? Pure joy, maybe? In Alaska, it’s easy to have a portion of the river all to yourself, nobody else around for miles. The wide open spaces can’t be beat.

Wild Roses

In my bio when I say I have a love-hate relationship with Alaska--I really mean it. I do love it here in the summertime so very much. So, in recognition of the “love” side of my relationship of Alaska, I’m going to post various reasons, and some pictures of why I love it here throughout the summer. The wild roses are a particular favorite love of mine. Generally speaking, the roses you purchase at a flower shop no longer have the beautiful fragrance they used to have. Florists have bred the smell right out of them it seems and frankly, the smell is the reason I love roses. Alaska’s wild roses smell wonderful and grow naturally in thickets and rocky slopes all over Alaska. Many parts of the plant are edible during different parts of the season. The petals are made for jelly and for tea. In late summer, the rose hips can be eaten right off the bush for a quick snack. But more than anything, they are beautiful to look at and I look forward to seeing them every year.

Misplaced modifiers, oh my!

I’m an author and I’m going to tell you my dirty little secret—I don’t know what a misplaced modified is.
Yes, I took an English 101 in college where I was supposed to learn all the correct rules of grammar, but I hated that class. I think I got a B, but I’ve long since forgotten everything I shoveled into my short term memory banks concerning participles, modifiers, and the like. I think part of the reason I delayed becoming a writer for so long was because I had this idea in my head of what a writer should be. And he/she was definitely someone who knew all about grammar and punctuation and, well, the rules of writing.
It took me a couple years of thinking about writing before I actually did the writing, but one conversation stood out in my mind that pointed me in the right direction. I was discussing breast cancer with my cousin, Diana Megli (family members call her Sis) who was undergoing her third relapse with the disgusting disease. The conversation was something like this. She said, “Most people say, why me? I say, why not me?”
I had never thought of cancer or anything else quite like that before. I harbored my secret desire, wondering if I could ever write a young adult or adult romance novel. I kept chanting those same words to myself, “Why not me?”
Why shouldn’t anyone pursue their dreams? I let my ideas of not knowing every rule of grammar hold me back, but Sis made me realize there was no reason to hold back, except my own insecurities. Who was it who said, “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Oh, that would be Alfred Lord Tennyson.
I decided to adopt my cousin’s attitude, of why not me and Lord Tennyson’s watered down version of love and said to myself, “Better to have tried and failed, then never to have tried at all.” Or who knows, maybe somebody famous already said that.
So now you know my dirty little secret and how I overcame it. And here’s another secret: get a grammar queen critique partner. Believe me, they are out there. Regardless, don’t let anything hold you back from your goals, whether it be misplaced modifiers or simply not believing in yourself.
Don’t say, why me? Say, why not me?