Thursday, April 30, 2009

Come and get your lonesome...

So tonight I took the night off and went to drink Whiskey with my good friend Jeff at the Snowgoose... It was a much needed relaxation, and although I missed my first Capoiera class it was just too sunny and warm to pass up the snowgoose!

After Snowgoose we went to dinner at Gumbo House to have Roberto fix us up some tasty Pulled Pork Po Boys, Jambalaya, and Bud Light...

Oh... and to sneak a little excitement in... as if the pulled pork po boy wasn't enough... I Sold my house this week!!! Yes I got the earnest money check in the mail today and at age 28 I have officially bought, loved, and sold my very own house... without the help of a realtor... all by my lonesome!

this is a little thing I saw on the side of the road today... I think it is like 10 square feet! Only in Alaska...and maybe Appalachia...

I am so glad to be free of my condo! yay!!! I close on the 30th of May and then I will be homeless... it actually feels pretty dang good... This was the good news I alluded to back about a week or so ago... nothing was final and I didn't want to jinx myself... but all is good and well and on its way!

Now after my first week of warm season in AK, I am a bit of a tired pup and am going to bed in a blink. I am hitting the pillow with abandon... waiting for my warm sunny weekend...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Here Comes the Sun

I'm sitting here listening to Allison Krauss sing Can't Find My Way Home... worked! (It is not as good as The Smile on Your Face, love that song)... I just got back from climbing a bit above my level on Goats Head Soup with Lee. Ok, so now that it has officially reached 60 degrees!!! (yes, can you believe it!! is already warmer than it ever was last summer!!!) Ok, so now that it is warm, sunny and daylight nearly all night long, I think I am going to have to start getting up at like 5:30 so I can bike to work, play frisbee or go to yoga at lunch, and still get out of work by 3:00 to climb mountains, hike and hit up the miles and miles of new single track in bicentenial. Ha!! I am starting to sound like Kristin ;-) gonna give you a run for your money, sweet pea! You just wait till I get to Denver! I will have you moved to the Rockies in no time and out and about with me everyday!

And thanks to everyone that has contacted me to check in recently... I will keep y'all posted on any happenings with my health... Who knows... I am at the mercy... hope this gets cleared up before I disappear (and potentially loose my insurance in a few months) ....I have been eating bacon at every chance I can get!

Monday, April 27, 2009

One year has passed...

On April 27th, one year ago, my Sweet Gram passed away from pancreatic cancer. I awoke that morning from a dream of eyes gradually opening to see the golden light of morning shine through the baby spring green leaves of the oak tree outside her bedroom window. Gilded.
I remember smiling, despite the emotion of the past week, having watched my loving grandmother fade away, moment by moment, in hospice. I thought to myself, what a lovely golden spring morning as I watched the light dance through the leaves. Two minutes later, as I laid in bed staring out the window, Hospice called to say that her light had just faded completely away.

It feels like ages ago, but I remember every detail of that morning like it was yesterday. Every detail of that week really... like a photograph I can recall every minute in my minds eye. She left such an impression on everyone she met.
Her simplicity was a guide,
Her kindness was an inspiration,
Her strength is my standard,
Her smile is my light.

She raised me from scratch and never gave me anything less than absolute unconditional love. I will always miss her so much... Namaste' my Sweet Gram.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tired Pup!

Today is Namah's birthday!! We went hiking with Mary and Amos, Megan and Jill from McHugh Creek to Rainbow on the Turnagain Arm trail. Right now Namah is sleeping on the couch snoring, squealing and barking in his sleep... love that dog... So the old hound is seven! I find it hard to believe that I have had him seven years already... sweet lil'thang.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


For one of the most lovely sunsets that I have seen in Alaska. Friday night 4/24/09. Followed by a shot of Knob Creek. Neat. Gotta say it was a good day...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I know better...

So, today I had to have an outpatient minor surgery thingy to help diagnose some abdominal pain that I have been having recently... It was definitely like being in a hopsital and I was a little nervous and scared, to be honest... The nurses kept putting warm blankets on me and that was nice... I think they thought I was cold because I have been loosing so much weight lately and I am just a little thing... Hopefully what comes out of this diagnostic will tell me if I have any significant issues that may be causing my weight loss too... I could just be really healthy, I suppose (hope) but I have lost about 8 lbs since I went to Thailand and really I didn't have the weight to loose... If I lose 5 more lbs I will be below healthy for my height... So hopefully there is nothing substantially wrong with me...fingers crossed.

It was truely humbling to have an iV in my arm and to be wheeled around on a hospital bed this morning... The thing about humility is that when you experience this feeling, it hits you like a brick wall. I don't think there is anything gradual about it... humility must make an impact in order to get the full benefits of the concept. And a strong dose of humility is good for everyone once in a while... Most of us just go about our daily days and adventures until something comes along and slaps you in the face, serving to remind you that you may not be as indestructible, omniscient, or as wonderful as you may sometimes think you are...

I will be home from work today to recover... the tasty mix of mild sedatives has caused me to be a bit lucid here and there... I am currently working on my first Waltz, so it will be nice to get some mid week home time to finish my song. The picture above is of my shadow on the way up Rainbow peak on Tuesday. The tundra looks a bit like fall actually. Like it was frozen in time, under the deep snows of winter. I love fall....It was the loveliest day of the warm season thus far, almost 60 degrees! I have decided to stop calling "summer" in Alaska by it's real name... I will now refer to it as only "warm season" I figure sounds better than "mud season" although sometimes the warm season here feels like the mud season in VT... I think the vallum and demorral are making me ramble...

So the title of my waltz is "I know better..." maybe when it is finished I will share.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I never said I was a victim of circumstance....

Ooh lalalala....This morning I heard "my life" on the radio on the way to work... great song. Billy Joel will always be classic... So, I got to work and my co-worker, Steven (he's Australian = very cheeky), had finished editing my resume, as I am getting ready to send it to the Denver office... Anywho... in the area where I have my "skills and interests" he put, 'men with brown beards and blue eyes' hahaaa!!! I got a big kick out of this and laughed for like 5 minutes... we are just cube mates, but he knows me so well... I guess I do spend 40 hours a week with him... and maybe it was the picture of Kyle and I on our hike up Ship Creek that has been on my desk all winter... who knows... well, it is spring now for sure, as evident by the outrageously warm and sunny day we just had!! AND I have some really good news to tell, but it will have to wait because nothing is final just yet...I don't want to jinx myself, but let's just say I may be free of a certain substantial obligation! Stay tuned...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Secret Forest Sauna.... shhh!

So, last night turned into a pretty fantastic Thursday evening... I was all set to head out to yoga after work when a friend called and invited me to go ski out to Portage glacier... I rushed home packed the dog and some snacks and we headed off... a lovely sunny afternoon in Anchorage... warm and sweet. We got to Portage lake and it was snricing! For those of you who have never heard this word (snrice) before, don't worry... I made it up. It is the delightful form of precipitation that comes in spring and fall, a mix of snow/rain/ice... Anywho... Steve forgot his rain coat, so we bagged skiing out to the glacier and headed a little closer to Anchorage to check out this secret forest sauna that I had heard of once apon a time...

I had a little map drawn in teal marker in my Gazetteer that Moksha had drawn up nearly a year ago. It consisted of a straight line, a couple squiggles, some dots, the work 'log' and an 'X' that marked the "spot"

"Who knows if this thing even exists," I thought to myself. But it seemed like a plan. A bundle of wood and a sixer later, Steve and I were headed off on the trail. The log was in the exact location it was supposed to be, so I knew we were on the right track. The dots turned out to me the most lovely grove of white spruce with Spanish moss hanging down... and across a couple creeks (squiggles) later, we were there! This little shack was snug into the side of a mountain, almost entirely cloaked in snow, moss, and the rest of the immediate surroundings that blended so seamlessly into the small structure.

We lit a fire in the make~shift stove and started to heat the lil place up! We both thought that it was going to be a bust, but all of the sudden heat started to radiate inside and the rocks on top of the small rusted caged barrel started to get hot to the touch... success! It was a surprisingly warm, surprisingly funny adventure to the lil hippie sweat lodge in the wood. Next time we decided we would bring two bundles of wood instead of one, a case instead of a sixer, a stove and some dinner, and a gold pan for activities while the place is heating up. Next time...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

April brings the Blues

So, I know I mentioned the other day that it was so lovely that you actually think to yourself, "how could I ever leave this place." Well, this week has shouted loud and clear... go! go! go! Alaska is pretty gloom in April. The ice, ash, and dirt better go away with a quickness...I was supposed to go to Moose Pass this weekend, but we bagged that idea due to a really bad snowpack and rain!

Yes this time of year has me feeling like the cat in the picture above... just hanging out until some sweet distraction comes along to perk my attention. I am using this time to study hard for my upcoming LEED AP exam. Hopefully this will open up some opportunities for some part time work in Denver.

Yea, studying feels kinda weird after being away from exams for the past 4 years... and it feels super weird doing it on a weekend... wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Relative to the Squeezable Recipe Below...

So, I discovered that these Enchiladas below are really really good cold, sliced, as hors d'ourves... I am taking them to a Naked Lady party tonight...

Also, I found a great quote in this book that I am reading right now... It's called "The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry" by Kathleen Flynn.. it is about her adventures at French Culinary school during a transition point in her life. She was just fired from her job in London as a Marketing Exec and her love, Mike is in Seattle on his way to come live with her in Paris... The title refers to cutting an onion... if you cut with a dull knife, you rupture the cells of the onion and release the oils that make you tear up... good to know.

Anywho, this excerpt is about love and puff pastry... I liked it a lot, as I am a bit scared of puff pastry...

"I open the fridge and eat the last wedge of quiche as I draw a hot bath. In the tub, I read Ecsoffier's instructions on puff pastry. One day, I'll get it right. I sink into the water and consider Chef Bertrand's comment that pastry is like people.

You can't hurry love, and you can't rush puff pastry either. You can knead too much, and you can be too needy. Always, warmth is what brings pastry to rise. Chemistry creates something amazing; coupled with care and heat, it works some kind of magic to create this satisfying, welcoming, and nourishing thing that is the base of life."

...Words to bake by.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Come on, come on, come on... You got to treat me right all the time, squeeze me like a Key Lime....

Ok... so for those friends that follow my random status messages on gmail and Facebook, you have maybe thought one of two things..a) Nicole is off her rocker and needs to get back in the groove, or b) Nicole has a crush on Grace Potter... if you guessed b) I may have a crush on Grace Potter, but I LOVE YOU!!

Yes, the soulful Grace Potter has captured my wondering heart and her music has been exactly on my level since this past weekend when her album This is Somewhere replaced Richie Haven's Resume as my favorite album of the moment as I was riding my heart out at Alyeska. Richie held the spot for two months, so this was quite a feat...

The title of this entry is lyric from "Treat Me Right" off the album Nothing but the Water...The No Quarter~esque key arrangement just does something to me. Whenever I hear it I want to go right into a sexy version of the "bus driver on a muddy road," one of my signature dances... I have had this groove in my head for two days and today while sitting in front of my computer at work today.. it started to make me hungry... I know, random... right?

Well, this is what I came up with...

Green Chili, Cashew, Avocado, and Key Lime Enchiladas.... (brilliant)

4 Avocados
1 cup Brown rice (cooked)
1/2 block of extra sharp White Cheddar cheese (cup in small pieces)
1 lb. roasted cashews, crushed in pieces (if you have a Trader Joe near, get the Green Chili and Lime Cashews, they are wonderful)
1 can of diced Green Chillies
1 bunch of Key Limes (or if you live in Alaska where key limes don't exist, just 4 regular limes will do)
1 bunch of Cilantro (chopped)
Salt and Pepper
1 tsp cumin
2 tbs Green Chili powder (Hatch will do)
Whole wheat tortillas

Set oven at 375 degrees, bake for 35 min covered, last 10 min uncovered and keep an eye!

Get a big ole bowl to mix this stuff. Cut Avocados up in big pieces, drench with lime juice. Add crushed Cashews, brown rice, half the can of diced Green Chilis, chopped Cilantro (save a bit to top), White Cheddar (save a bit to top), cumin, a Lao pinch of salt, and pepper to taste. Roll into 8 whole wheat tortillas, and slide into a baking pan.


Put the rest of the diced green chilis into a bowl with about a half cup water, the rest of the Cilantro, a pinch of salt, and the green chili powder and mix. If it is too runny, add more chili powder, if it is too thick, add more water. Spoon over enchiladas and top with the rest of the Cheddar.


"I will give you all the love I got, if you just entertain the thought"

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The kind of day that makes you feel like you could never leave this place....

Yesterday was one of the most lovely days I've seen in a long, long time...Alaska Bluebird days are something to cherish, for sure. It was like a spa day on the mountain... much needed therapy to relieve my soul...As I listened to Grace Potter and the Nocturnals' album "This is Somewhere" and skipped down runs at Alyeska (must have done nearly 20 runs with me way my abs feel today) I released a lot of built up energy and reconnected with the ground I have been hovering over for the past couple months... literally...something just clicked. Sitting here today, I feel like I felt last October/ November... only a little older... little wiser... a little more's gratifying to look back on a period of time and feel like you have made substantial progress forward. After being so stagnant the past three or so years, life feels like it if now picking up the pace and seemingly racing forward with abandon, speed ever increasing with the lack of resistance. Like my freshly waxed snowboard on the creamy groomers that keep heating up as the sunniest day of spring does it's work...

This was a testament to how warm it was yesterday! I would have taken my clothes off too, but I usually don't do that till about late May/ early June when we do our annual ski of Manitoba!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Travel Partner Found!

As if I hadn't just got back from a month in Asia... I am already planning to go back! Surprised? I'm not... I have been waiting quazi patiently for years to get back out into the world... next major excursion: Ladakh, India by way of Athens, Greece!! How does this happen? very long, but relatively cheap flights, of course. let's see how another two days in airplanes treats me... why so I do this to myself... who knows.. but be end justifies the means. Now to reveal my mysterious travel partner..drumroll... my dear cousin Christy! This should be interesting, indeed! We will be trekking in the Ladakh range from Mid August till about mid September when I hope to meet up with Kyle and Charlie somewhere out there...
now alls I need is for someone to buy my house!