Thursday, September 29, 2011

Encyclopedia of Moi: P

Photography:  I guess it’s no secret my favorite hobby is photography.  My photography is a way to share my experiences with others.  I want my photos to capture the essence of a very particular moment in a way that makes the viewer feel they were a part of it.  I chose to make photos of images that capture the beauty in life, maybe finding an angle that makes a common view different or showing a detail that most miss.  When I do a portrait, it’s a candid shot of someone doing that thing they love.  

Pho Tai:  Vietnamese beef noodle soup.  Probably my favorite of all soups.  We have a great little “hole in the wall” restaurant in town and we visit at least once a month for a late lunch that lasts the rest of the day.

Patches:  My childhood pet and best friend.  Son of my dad’s English Pointer and a big, sneaky neighborhood dog, we bottle raised him from 2 days old.  The photo distorts how big he really was since he was standing on a slope and about 3 feet from me (yes, I’m the one holding the baby – who just happens to be Little Hoss and Little Bird’s mama!).  

Peeps:  Peeps chicks are an Easter time tradition around here.  If Himself is still on the ship over Easter, I buy extra to share with him when he gets home.  Only yellow and only chicks.

Pick-Up Truck:  Our work horse!  Little Red has taken us many miles on road trips, hauled a lot of treasures, and been used in a lot of mission works.  

Packrat:  OK, I confess… my name is Teri and I am a packrat.  But I’m doing my ‘12 Step’ program and am fairly well reformed (Best Friend has permission to smack me if I pick up any more cute picture frames or jars). 

Paintings:  When we travel, we try to pick up an original piece of art to bring home.  We have a fairly nice collection.  This one came from Kenya.  Himself brought it back from one of his military trips.  Does the man know how to shop, or what!?  

Purple:  Favorite color!  I like shades that are rich in color and not muddy.  Not pastel either.

Pipes:  Great Highland Bagpipes to be specific.  While the Scots didn’t invent them… in my opinion they perfected them!  I can listen to them all day.  A few years ago I was able to go to a concert of The Black Watch Pipes and Drums.  Wow! 

Pirates:  Pirates of the Caribbean, that is!  How can you not love CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow?  Best Friend’s 2 boys and I have seen every one of the movies together.  They are Pirate 1 and Pirate 2.  I am The Pirate Queen.  And they’d best not forget it!  LOL

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Survival Suits and Sea Trials

The last thing we did in Washington was to get Himself settled in on the ship.  Much easier to do since we had a rental car. 

Each season everyone on the ships has to perform the survival drills.  Before the ship leaves they do immersion suit practice.  Also known as “Gumby suits” (I think you see why…), these will save your life if you’re forced into arctic waters.

They are buoyant to keep you floating, bright with both the orange color and reflective tabs so you can be seen, and they cover almost all of you so you don’t lose body heat. 

The instructor teaches them to form a ring so they will stay together.  That third set of feet from the left is Himself.
Then you are taught how to get into the lifeboats.  Himself is an old hand at this and gets up there pretty quickly and with minimum effort.
Others aren’t so graceful…
See?  Pretty much dry.  Most of that wet are from drips as the suit came off.  (Plus he got dunked a few times by a slightly panicked first-timer.) 
Back at the ship, loading was in full swing. 
While Himself ran here and there, I opted to stay on the dock for a bit; shooting some photos and visit with some friends I hadn’t seen in a few years before I went up to help him with the inventories.
A couple of those friends.  Alex (on the left) is the most fantastic artist.  And I love the dry humor of Julius (center).  On the right is Sean.  I don’t know him, tho I’ve met his wife who also works on the ship.  Himself speaks highly of him.  

I was invited to “ride along” on the ship’s sea trials (that is when you take the ship out for a little run to make sure all the kinks are out).  I jumped at the chance. 
Here’s Capt. Steve making sure that everything is being done as we leave the dock.
To get us out away from the dock, they used a tug boat to push/pull/shove us into position.  Looks kind of small, doesn’t it?
It’s NOT!

Soon we were out circling around Puget Sound “getting the carbon blown out”.  That is the assistant vessel manager Paul on the left and Capt Steve on the right talking to someone on the radio.
My favorite place on the ship! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Encyclopedia of Moi: O

O*:  AKA Little Hoss.  My nephew and Little Bird’s brother… he’s going to be Bird’s PESKY brother soon… very soon…  LOL  He’s sweet and funny and the best little ‘rassling partner around.  

Operation Christmas Child: We have been putting together shoeboxes years.  It’s one of our Christmas traditions and for us marks the start of the holiday season.  On October 31 we go shopping for the last few things we need to round out our boxes (I shop year-round to get some incredible deals) and have dinner out someplace nice.  Then we come home for dessert and our own little box packing party. 

Ocicats:  In the 90s we bought a pair of Ocicat kittens.  This is a domestic breed from crossing Siamese, Abyssinian and American Shorthair cats.  That mix gives you spotted cats!  And they are beautiful.  And they are real characters (with Siamese and Aby backgrounds…oh yeah).  One thing turned to another and for a short time we were showing and breeding on a small scale.  We did pretty well.  One of my kittens became a champion breeder with several of her offspring becoming Grand Champions.  And we had at least one cat become a Grand himself.  We left the hobby when it started getting too political and too money-driven.  But I do miss our kittens!  

Organizing:  I am an organizing nut.  For me it’s fun.  I’m helping my sister organize her downstairs (the garage is my area) and I help Dad with his garage too.  I’m also working on my own stuff because not only do I like to organize… I like to get stuff too.  I have a goal that by the time I’m 50 my home will be 100% decluttered and organized.  I have 10 month…  Uff-da!!!

Otters:  I have adored otters since the late 60s when my Mom took me to see the movie “A Bright Ring of Water”.  Now Missouri isn’t known for its otter population… so it was almost 40 years later before I saw my first wild otter in Alaska.  That is why I was so thrilled about my visit with “Mr. Otter” this spring in Port Townsend, WA.  

Onions:  I like them (sorta) but they don’t like me (definitely).  Puts a crimp on my “chef style” not being able to eat them.  But you do what you have to do.

Ostrich:  They are just funny!  We saw a lot of wild ones on our trip to Kenya, and also stayed at an ‘ostrich ranch’ where they are raised for meat.  The babies are adorable… the adults, not so much.  

Oatmeal cookie:  There’s not much better than a big, warm, soft oatmeal cookie and a glass of cold milk. 

Ocean:  This is my peaceful place.  However, I like northern oceans much more than tropical oceans.  Cool breezes, rocky beaches, choppy waters.  Oh yeah.  

Oysters:  YUM!!  Half-shell, baked, stew, Rockefeller, dressing… I love oysters.  Anytime I’m near an ocean or at a really good seafood restaurant, I’ll order some oysters on the half-shell.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Ferry to Whidbey Island

When Himself and I left Port Townsend, WA we decided to go back a different route.  This time we took one of the ferries to Whidbey Island and then another ferry over to the main land.  

What fun!  I’d never been on a big ferry before… just the smaller ones that go across the Mississippi River (the ones that can give you a bit of a white-knuckle experience as you wonder if this rickety thing will actually make it across!). 

So we drove onto to this big boat with a lot of other vehicles.  Once we parked, we could wander around on the upper decks and enjoy the ride across.

Bye-bye Port Townsend!

We saw some really beautiful homes on the crossing.

Soon enough we were at Whidbey Island.

Where there were more beautiful houses.

We had decided to make a drive around the island, so we turned right when we left the ferry.  Our first stop was to Driftwood Park.

This beach is the mother lode of driftwood.  And you can’t take a single piece!  There were some boards I could have done some amazing things with…

But it was fun to wander around looking at.

Our next stop was Coupeville.  That is Mt. Baker in the background.

I LOVE this sign!  Aren’t’ the different woods wonderful?  It spins too.  I admire the art of the Pacific Northwest tribes and these orca are beautiful.

And this was a fun sign over a shop.

One of our last stops was at the end of our circle… if we’d gone left from the ferry it would have been our first stop!  Admiralty Head Lighthouse.  It was one of the lighthouses featured on the US postal stamps back when they were .25c. 

There is a nice exhibit inside.  I like the copies of the lighthouse keepers’ notes.  Wouldn’t it be fun to sit and read those logs?

You could go up into the tower too. 

Ft. Casey with Mt. Rainier in the distance.

I could sit here all day!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Encyclopedia of Moi: N

Ntikoisa:  “NT” is our second sponsor child thru Compassion.  He is Maasai.  We had the pleasure of meeting him and his family on our trip to Kenya in 2006.  

Nap:  Ahhhhh… nothing like a nice nap.  I don’t ‘power nap’… I ‘power sleep’. 

Nativities:  I have quite a collection of nativity scenes.  Most come out at Christmas as our main decorating theme but some stay out year round.  When possible, I pick up one in every country I visit.  

Niagara Falls:  Haven’t been there but I want to go.  And when I do, I want to do all the kitschy things!  What a hoot!

Nairobi Kids:  This is the second child sponsorship organization I sponsor thru.  It’s based thru a school in the Soweto slums of Nairobi.  They have one of the most affordable sponsorship rates out there and are doing wonderful things.   

Nail polish:  I really like polished nails but I am just too hard on my hands to keep a manicure looking good.  Everything I have tried chips in a day or two.  Well, at least I can have pretty toes!

Necco:  These are my “traveling candy”.  I’ll always pick up a pack at a gas station.  However… I only like the yellow, orange and white ones.  Good thing Himself likes all the other ones!  

Nepal:  On my “to go” list.  I would love to trek thru to Base Camp Everest.

Nautilus:  Beautiful.  The shells catch my eye every time and the critter who lives in them is pretty cool too!  

Navajo:  I am very interested in the Navajo culture.  I think their art is beautiful.  I have a few pieces (a rug, a couple pieces of pottery, and a tiny kachina dancer).  We spent some time in Navajo Land in 2004, even staying in a B&B that was an authentic hogan.  So cool! 

Friday, September 9, 2011

30 Years Ago

Himself and I were married 30 years ago today. 
As usual, he is away working.  We’ve gotten very good at celebrating at a later date! 
You see, when we married I didn’t know that the military fiscal year began on 1 October.  This means anything left in the budget had to be used or they’d get less next time around. 
So every September they would all be gone somewhere using up the last of their money. 
And I’d be sitting home…
I’ve lost track of all the places they went in Septembers – I do remember on our first anniversary he was in Greece.  –sigh-
And now that he retired from the military and works in Alaska… he’s still gone in September!!!
But he’s always been good about making it up to me.  For our 25th anniversary we went to Kenya. 
And we are planning something special for this one too… tho once again done AFTER the date. 
We’re going to Scotland for a month! 
I can’t wait!! (Tho I’m going to have to…)