Monday, August 30, 2010


My older brother doesn't live with us anymore, but whenever he shows up for a visit, Teyla is beside herself with joy. Have a look for yourself at her excitement after he parked his truck and headed up the driveway.

I've written a short script that is being filmed in LA next weekend, so I'll be flying down soon to help with the production. It's definitely exciting! I'll borrow my sister's camera so that I can take some pictures while I'm there and will share my adventures upon my return. :) Our hope is for the film to make the rounds in the film festivals and gain some attention.

Tracie -- That's a long time to be in the navy, wow. That must have been really rough to have to work while being that sea sick. Nausea affects everything. You are one tough cookie!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hawaiian Chieftain

Ages ago, I claimed I'd blog about Alex and my "nautical adventure," then kept forgetting. So finally, I present to you pictures from the Hawaiian Chieftain, a tall ship that came to port over Christmas! As part of Alex's Christmas present, I bought her and I tickets to sail on the ship the day after Christmas. The afternoon was threatening rain but our spirits were high and we had taken precautions against getting seasick by taking Dramamine and wearing pressure point bracelets.

Look at the beautiful ship!

Sails and rigging

Alex watching the sea


We had fun imagining that we were Isabel and Devon -- the two main characters from my book.

Jib sail

Heading out on the Pacific


The crashing sea!

Lowering the sails!


As you can see in the video, there was much work to be done, and we were all invited to participate. Alex and I helped hoist a sail, making the mistake of turning our backs to the sea. That's when the seasickness kicked in. Despite bravely pretending I didn't feel nauseous, I soon had to sit down. Alex began to feel sick, too, and as it started to mist and then rain, we huddled under our raincoats and stared at the flat horizon, trying to keep our stomachs from churning. Alex was nobly able to keep her fish food down, but I wasn't. I puked five times, and on one occasion while hanging over the gunwale, I saw a cool dead jellyfish. It didn't help that the kids sitting across from us were having a booger war. As in wiping boogers on each other.

Here are some pictures my mom took of the ship as it came back to the harbor four hours later.

After spending about 3 1/2 of the four hours puking while being doused with rain in the growing cold, it's frightening just how quickly our bodies weaken. The shivering was uncontrollable. Both of our teeth were chattering, we couldn't feel our feet, and my jeans kept trying to fall off because they were heavy with water and I couldn't work my fingers enough to hike them back up. I have rarely been so miserable (except for the other time I sailed on the Hawaiian Chieftain and had the same thing happen) but I would do it again any day. Yes, being in the first stages of hypothermia sucks, but it's worth it to me if it means I get to be out on the open water. I must have been a privateer in a past life!

This was our view for about 3 hours.

Drowned rats

This picture is hilarious for many reasons, one of which being Alex's "I'm already dead" expression. Another is how well it shows one of the differences in our personalities. As much as we're similar, my sister has a tendency to show her emotions as she feels them while I am more reserved and put on a face for others. Like right then when I was actually about to collapse.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Camping Highlights

Scott's Flatt Lake

Here are some photographic highlights from our trip to the Sierra Nevadas in July.

Chee Chee finally decided that he likes his new bed.

A meadow

Swimming after a bike ride

Hydroelectric plant

We rode our bikes to the bottom of the dam, then were dumb enough to hike up the side of it with them. Imagine climbing up that with a 20 pound bike. At least none of us fell.

Tigerlilies at the river's edge


Beautiful boy

And remember this adorable picture of Toot from last year?

This year... not so much. The poor pup looks traumatized.

Mist on the river

In the mist

Approaching the mist


Toot ate some spaghetti

Wet boy curled up

One of those awesome flying tubes

Wet Chee Chee toes

I have no idea who these people are


Lots of fun bike rides


More Cheech on his bed

Beautiful little one

Teyla and Comanche were frustrated over not being able to play (since they always had to be on leashes) but as you can tell in this adorable video, Cheech put his bed to good use as a toy.

Thank you for your kind wishes for Alex's recovery. Her ankle is a grade 3 sprain, which means she tore the ligament. She has had it in a brace for two weeks so hopefully she'll continue to heal swiftly.

Tracie -- Yes, I did say "sweet little Commie" because he is one. ;)

Hammy -- Thank you for your well-wishes! :)