Saturday, August 30, 2008

All Palin All The Time

To know me is to know that I am pretty conservative, perhaps to a fault sometimes. I usually vote as a Republican down party lines. Despite what my dad will tell you, I think our country is in a pretty pathetic state and continues to be on a downward spiral. I feel like this country desperately needs change. I don't know which candidate is the answer for our country, but I certainly know that the status quo is not the answer for me! I also know that I will not vote for McCain simply because he has a woman on his ticket. I need substance and clarity from one of the candidates before I will know who I am voting for. Wish me luck with that!

Having said all of that, it seems to be very exciting for the state of Alaska that our female governor is running for Vice President and the state is now directly involved in November's election. Anchorage is buzzing! Friday night we went to the Alaska State Fair and by the time we got there (around 6:00 p.m.), people were already walking around with their McCain/Palin '08 t-shirts on. Let me tell you, the money-makers don't waste any time! Our local newspaper, The Alaska Daily News, has practically been cover to cover with articles about Sarah Palin since Saturday morning. It has certainly been all-Sarah-all-the-time for the past several days. If nothing else, Friday's news successfully gave Obama's campaign, in the great state of Alaska, a t.k.o. The way I call it, McCain just earned himself 3 electoral votes overnight. 3 electoral votes may not seem like that big of a deal, but until Friday, they were 3 votes that were very likely going to go to the democratic party for the first time in many years.

In the few days that have passed since McCain's big announcement, I'm sure we have all learned more about Sarah Palin and her family than many of us would ever care to. I'm certain I wouldn't want the world to look into my family with a magnifying glass. I don't know for sure, but I can't help to think that because we live in Alaska we are perhaps more inundated with McCain/Palin stories than even all of you in the Lower 48 are. Square footage aside, Alaska tends to be very small town.

In fact...

I have to say, my personal favorite by way of bombshells has been Palin's daughter's pregnancy. It is my favorite disclosure, not because of the circumstances, but because several months ago (while visiting with several neighborhood women) I had heard "the rumor" that one of Palin's daughters had been pregnant with Trig and that the Palins were claiming him as their own. I did not know if either of her daughters was currently, or had ever been pregnant, nor did I care. I just thought the whole notion was preposterous! Too many people would have to keep their mouths shut for the rest of their lives, in order to pull off a whopper like that. It would never happen, someone would eventually blab.

Imagine my glee when the news broke yesterday morning that Bristol is in fact pregnant and that Palin went public to curb rumors about Trig's legitimacy! In a wierd, twisted way, I felt like I had sort of been privy to a dirty little secret before it had been made public. To me, the most entertaining part of all of this was reading the McCain camp claim that the Obama camp started the rumor. I am not generally "in the know", especially relating to politics, but I can pretty safely say Obama's camp did not start "the rumor". Now, they may have perpetuated it or brought it to the public light, but they did not start that rumor. When I first heard about it, Obama and McCain hadn't even been nominated and most of the nation had never even heard of Sarah Palin.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Who??????

O.K., I think I have suddenly been thrust into the realm of politics by virtue of the fact that John McCain has reportedly chosen our Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, to be his Vice-Presidential running mate. For the record, her last name is pronounced Pay-lin. I have already heard it butchered in the press this morning and I was bugged by it. It would be nice if the big mouth commentators did a little leg work before they started running off at the mouth sometimes.

I will reserve my comments and opinion until I hear McCain officially announce Palin as his runningmate and then, my humble opinion is fair game. Trust me, you don't have to be scared off by my political views. In fact, I'm not very political at all and I don't really care to get into any serious, earthshattering, offensive banter with anyone this political season. I will simply, on a rare occassion (like today), share my "soccer mom" opinion with you all. For the most part, I think you will laugh at my naive viewpoint, but I may piss some of you off from time to time. Just take it with a grain of salt, have fun with it, and "get over it". In the end, we will all eventually have the same President of the United States and in reality, only my vote will count (unless my husband's vote cancels mine out), not my thoughts and opinions leading up to election day.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm Seeing Orange

Last night I was seeing orange. No, I'm not seeing things and I'm not sick either. Logan and Eric just completed a two-day, eight hour hunter safety class last night. They came be-bopping in around 10:00 last night donning bright "hunter orange" safety vests, carrying their targets from the required shooting part of the class (I have posted a picture of both targets. Can you tell which is Eric's and which is Logan's?) and a celebratory treat from their stop at McDonalds. I had already received a phone call informing me that "we don't mess around" and that Logan and Eric both got a 100% on their 50 question test.

Even though this wasn't techinically a competitive thing, we know several kids and adults who have taken the test and none of them have received a perfect score. Logan was feeling pretty darn good about himself. Let's just hope and pray he takes the information he has learned into the real world with him. I keep trying to tell him that you can never be too safe with a gun and that it's not him I'm worried about, it's everyone else. I know, that was spoken like a true mom!

Let me say, I am totally against my almost 11 year-old son going hunting. I don't care if he's hunting big game, birds, or rats. I think 11 is too young! Let me also say that over the years, as a parent and as a wife, I have learned that I must pick my battles. That is why Eric and Logan are going on a 4 day dove hunting expedition in Parker, AZ next weekend. I'm already breathing into a paper bag and will be until they arrive home safely.

Logan knows he is going hunting with his dad, Kaiden does not. Keep your fingers crossed and wish me luck when I have to break the news to him this weekend. I am certain I am going to have one pissed off child on my hands. Not only is he the kid in the family who actually has a burning desire to go hunting, but Logan will also be missing 2 days of school. I've tried to come up with something special for Kaiden and I to do while Eric and Logan are gone, but remember, this is Alaska. It costs a fortune to fly anywhere and there really aren't a whole lot of places to go locally. I am contemplating taking him to Denali (aka Mt. McKinley), but that trip would still cost me several hundred dollars. I may just have to get over the guilt of it all, be the adult in the house, and tell Kaiden to "suck it up and get over it".

I could really use some insight right about now!!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Out On A Limb

Our dear Kaiden has an adventurous spirit. For those of you who know him, you know he is 9 going on 59. Although he is always talking about the next adrenaline rush, the reality is often very different and tears often ensue. We recently went on a cruise of Alaska's Inside Passage. We stopped in Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Vancouver. Months before we even went on the cruise, Kaiden and I were perusing the cruise documents and he decided we all needed to go on a zipline adventure. Eric and I were game, but convincing my in-laws (who accompanied us on the cruise) might take some doing. Like any good parents, we had the grandchild call to butter up Nana and grandpa for the big excursion. After some clever persuasion on Kaiden's part, we were "all in".

Mostly by nature, and partly as a result of being the only female in my immediate family, there are not many extra-curricular activities that I won't try at least once. I try not to let my boys see me sweat too often! They already think males are the dominant sex and believe me, I do everything in my power to combat that mentality.

This little ziplining adventure was in the rainforest and rain it did. We were not deterred though. After getting in our safety gear, we were taken in a monster truck up to the the first platform. The highest platform was 135 ft. off the ground and the average speed while zipping was 35 mph. We went as fast as 43 mph. We all had a blast from the getgo, except for...Kaiden. He was scared beyond belief after his uneventful first zip. You see, Kaiden tends to overanalyze things and as a result, freaks himself out and makes himself miserable. He watches a lot of Discovery Channel type programming and knows a little about a lot of stuff. Once he was standing on the platform, high above the ground he logically concluded that the platform should not be able to suspend all of us safely at that height. He neglected to take into account the fact that we were tethered on in several locations and were extremely safe and...he cried hysterically.

Being the cruel mom that I am, I would not let the guides give Kaiden an "out". I figured if we were all on this outing at his request, I wasn't going to let him back out. I insisted that he continue with the adventure until the end, just like the rest of us. Our guides were real troopers and quickly came up with an acceptable solution for Kaiden. One of them would clip onto the line directly behind him and essentially, they would go down the zip in tandem. Kaiden was o.k. with this, and much to his dismay, he ended up having a good time (just like I knew he would)!

Guess what...the ziplines didn't break, none of us fell and the platforms didn't even give way. When all was said and done, we were drenched, but we were still smiling. We all had a good time and I think we would all probably do it again if the opportunity presented itself.

Party Like A Rock Star

The boys got out of school for the summer on May 22 and just went back to school last Wednesday, YIKES! Talk about a long summer! Actually, we had a ton of family in town, and lots of things to do, so the time flew by. Logan is now in sixth grade and Kaiden is in fourth. It seems like just yesterday I was taking them to kindergarten for the first time.

We have been in Alaska since last December 31, and since then, I have had the luxury of being a stay-at-home-mom. Prior to moving here, I had always had a job of some type (usually part-time) since Logan turned 1. When we first arrived here, it was winter and it was snowy and cold and I had a million things to do to get us settled into life and a routine in Alaska. By the time we were settled in, summer was upon us, and I wasn't going to even begin to look for a job. Now, the boys are back in school and I've contemplated finding a part-time job, but there are some really great gals in the neighborhood who are a bad influence on me, so I don't know if I'll ever go back to work as long as their around.

You see, in Alaska, stay-at-home moms don't sit around and eat bon-bons on the first day of school. No, we meet at the bagel shop for breakfast (at 9:30), if you're me, you then go to the gym (10:00-11:15), and then we meet at someone's house to play Rock Band for the remainder of the afternoon (11:15 - 2:00). At 2:00 the guilt finally set in and I decided I had better get home to at least clean up the dishes from breakfast before the kids arrived home on the bus (approx. 3:45). I felt like I had played hooky all day with 7 of my friends. It was so much fun!

Let me tell you, if you are a stay-at-home-mom or just someone who has a video game system and a little extra time on your hands, I highly recommend Rock Band. I cannot carry a tune, I do not enjoy karaoke, nor do I pretend to be able to play the drums or guitar. For three hours last Wednesday, I did all of the above and I now belong to an all girl band called "The Hose" (it is spelled that way to throw off the little ones). Believe it or not, we had a blast and there wasn't even any alcohol involved.

I have to say, this was probably my most memorable first day of school. Now you all know why I stay home. With the promise of another day playing Rock Band while the kids are in school and Eric is at work, I can't even pretend I'm interested in a part-time job. Band practice anyone?

Leave of Absence

I have discovered over the past several months that the readers of this blog are the "quiet type". I know people login and read because the hit counter tells me they do, but if it wasn't for that, I would think only my grandparents and a few devoted web friends were the only ones remotely interested in what I have to share. Since I had been on an unannounced hiatus over the past several weeks, I have been given enough crap by enough of loyal readers that I now know that I'm blogging for more than just three people.

I didn't actually take a "leave of absence" because I was angry, bitter, or pouting, it was mainly because it was summer and I had a lack of fun, interesting, and antecdotal stuff to blog about. Despite how it may appear, blogging is not always easy. I know this may seem shocking, but I like to think that I live a normal, sometimes tedious life, just as many of you do. It's not always easy finding stuff to blog about that other people would care to hear about and I don't like to always complain about the weather or the fact that I don't have friends. The purpose of this blog is not to depress everyone, but rather, to share fun stories, give friends and family a little peek into life in Alaska, be up beat, and to sometimes even give people a good laugh at my expense. Now that school is back in session and I'm back in my regular routine, I have more fodder for the blog, therefore, I'm now officially back in action!

Thanks for patiently checking the blog on a regular basis to see if we are still around. Yes, we're still here in overcast and gloomy Alaska! All the company has left, we're back from vacation and the kids are back in school, so life is good!