Once I wandered

my wanderings from here to there.

Month: May, 2012

Baby showers and bucket lists.

I guess this blog  is all about beginnings and endings and what to do with all that time in between. What I do know, is I don’t feel I could sit around and wait for that day to come and just take it day by day, I want to celebrate and live every moment. I’m not good and living virtually, I need to do it physically. Right now, this moment , my world is small and though inside my head it grows larger everyday, my goal is to physically see it!

But first, A baby shower.

By nature I’m a very creative person, I actually prefer “making it” to buying it. And if it can be made I will make it! So when it came to a gift for the woman who has been by my side through thick and thin, well I had to think hard and I’m not sure that covers a gift for a friend like her! You should know, that the only thing I probably WON’T make is anything that has to do with baking. I hate baking and it usually ends up being a big pile of dough, which i imagine tastes like something early sailors would ration out. So going the extra mile for baked products (as in, driving to the bakery or grocery store) is a must.

What could make a cake however, and over the last few months I’ve gotten good at making diaper cakes as I’ve been selling them to raise money for my trip! So here was my gift to her.

It includes everything from diapers to outfits for the baby and care supplies :). I really love making them and I hope she knows that hers was tons of fun!

Ok, back on track to the bucket list. Because life is full of adventure if you want it to be, right?
I will not be found on my deathbed having said “No, I just stayed home”

Bucket List. ( in no particular order)

  • Zhangjiajie National Park in china
  • Visit Nunavut in Canada and learn of the people.
  • The Fjords of Norway
  • Visit Patagonia
  • help restore the cloud forest in Ecuador
  • Help take core samples Artica
  • Camp 2 weeks in the Bob Marshall Wilderness of Montana
  • Help build a school or homes in any location
  • teach a child to read (not just my own)
  • visit the nomadic people of Mongolia
  • Help restore farm on the Indonesian Islands
  •  Teach a class for at least 6 months in Chile
  • Start a free arts program in my town
  • teach people how to garden
  • Horseback ride Nehalem bay
  • Sit on the cliffs of Moher and just take it in
  • build a sustainable home
  • Visit Greenland
  • Visit Angel Falls, venezuela
  • go to Angkor wat
  • document and teach in Guatemala
  • See Tikal
  • document papua new guinea
  • go on a spiritual journey in Mesa
  • see the cliff dwellings in the SW
  • hike to macchu pichu
  • Pyramids of giza
  • horseback in the desert
  • kayak near the san juan islands
  • take a train from Havre Montana to Seattle washington
  • experience the Denali Wilderness.
  • See the door to hell in russia
  • visit heaven’s gate lookout in Idaho (I can say i’ve seen heaven and hell and everything in between)
  • buy a hand basket in helena (hell in a handbasket)
  • work as a ranch hand
  • document a day in the life of a wild horse.

    (The highwood mountains and Great Falls, Montana)


Up to the moon

Have you ever sat beneath white stars and black sky and just wondered about anything at all. I think we all have our own thoughts that race through our minds when we do, each as individual and diverse as there are stars in the sky. With the “Supermoon” making it’s way over the horizon on Saturday and another beautiful moon rising last night, I have spent much time looking “up” this weekend. It rained before we could see Saturdays sight, but Sunday it was lovely!

Spending so much time watching the suns last light trace the curve of mountain tops, I have had a fair amount of time to think, I have reaffirmed my thoughts on Guatemala, despite the trials I will have to get through to go, I AM going. But I also think I would like to help out more around my community as  well. In the past I have tried to start up a youth art group, but there sadly was not enough interest to keep it afloat. Today, I received an invitation to attend an orientation for a group that helps kids with disabilities, I’m hoping I can join the equestrian section of the group, to help with therapy through horses.

I don’t want to put too much more on my plate though, preparing for Octobers trip and volunteering plus, my full time job as a photographer and my family will keep me busy enough. So my next 6 months is going to be keeping busy and I actually enjoy that. I do not like sitting idle, it creates too many thoughts and it feels like time wasted that I could use for something better. Like showing my children the world or at least the one around them. Or travelling and doing many of the things I love to do! I leave you with an image of the moon last night. Keep dreaming those dreams! 🙂

Finding Alaska.

Way back in 2000 we were invited to join my husbands college pal at his wedding, in Juneau Alaska. Having never been to Alaska, I had images of a solid frozen place with Eskimos tramping around in big furry boots. I really should have known better, after all, when I arrived in Montana I thought there wasn’t electricity (I was 11). None the less, my husband (then boyfriend) jumped in his Buick, drove the 663 miles to Seattle and jumped a plane with our friend Rob to Juneau. First you should know that if you’ve never flown into Juneau, it is a very unexpected landing that can be described like this. Trees? trees, trees, trees, trees, closer trees, really close trees, fog, runway! So be prepared if you’re a wary traveler to have a friend or seat mate clasp his hand over your mouth when you almost yell “we are all going to die!” , though some insight up until 2 years ago the slowest of roller coasters frightened me. In the meantime I have become a very good flier and can endure most turbulence with the grace of a side seat driving house wife! 🙂

After leaving the airport and entering the “Land of the midnight sun” I was surprised and mystified at once. First, I was incredibly surprised to find instead of igloos and ice, a gorgeous rain forest type environment with  glaciers encroaching upon nearby hills and mountains, the town of Juneau is very much a fishing village environment, with fishing boats and tour vessels.
There are no roads leading to the mainland of Alaska from Juneau so you can only fly or boat in. Our hosts family was really great to us and on the first day took us south “out the road” as they phrased it, to a little Salmon Bake called Thanes Ore house. Being from landlocked area, I have to say, fresh seafood is the bomb! 🙂 The food was great and the diner quaint! YUM! The next day the bride and groom took us on a tour of Mendenhall Glacier and then a cruise of Tracy Arm Fjord. The images in this blog are from that tour and cruise.

(All these images were taken on a disposable camera and were just located and scanned, I’m not so great with my scanner yet.)

I was quite surprised at the amount of gigantic cruise ships making their way through the complicated turns and narrow passages of  Tracy arm Fjord, such a sad thing for such a delicate environment, we were aboard a very small local vessel.  We did get to witness the calving of a glacier which is frightening and beautiful at the same time, the sound is like thunder and great waves can be felt for minutes after the event.

We also viewed seals and bears and I picked up a wee bit of giardia unbeknownst to me at the time!
(Sawyer Glacier)

The next day we took a drive North “out the road” to the shrine of ST. Therese, which is a stunning church and memorial situated on a little island and observed a simply stunning wedding ceremony!
It was actually quite sad to leave such an amazing  place, but even though 12 years has passed (as evidence from the extremely outdated images) Juneau remains another place on my travel list, I would love to go back!

A grizzly bear (brown spot in the middle of shoreline) in Tracy Arm Fjord.

A lush field with a distant view of Mendenhall Glacier in the background.

When I arrived back to Montana, I fancied myself a poet of a sort, and I wrote this on my thoughts of such a lovely place.
Somewhere in the west beyond
glaciers glimmering white,
Beyond cities of modern
suffocation and delerium,
settled upon rocky beaches
that kiss only the waves
and the forgotten creatures
that wash upon it’s hearth.

This is where you’ll find
“the Road” as the locals
may call her, Winding
desperatly to find her
ending, somwhere between
a seashore and an eternal
green forest.

Her shoulders covered in the
emerald moss that claims the
trees and the earth surrounding.
Though “the Road” may go nowhere
she is well versed and well traveled.
She listens quietly as the youth,
entwine unskilled fingers in
tangled hair

And on those bright summer days
that never actually become summer
she is trampled by visitors who
laugh shunnigly at her length.
But still it watches as the
winter sun never rises and
in the spring weddings march
down to her chapel.

Late at night when Juneau
rests peacefully in her mirth
“The Road” laughs for she
is the heart to the beauty of
this place. She will show you
The foaming green glacial waters,
And Dolphins at play, She will
embrace you in angelic forests
where Devils paw lay.
In her brief stretch she can show
you the world, If you’ll only let
her lead.

Just a wonderful day.

Today was great! Up with the sun to meet my long time friend for coffee and just a general day of hanging out and getting ready for her baby who is due in June. It turned out to be one of those fantastic days, you know, the kind you blog about?!
She truly spoiled me! She prepared a good old country breakfast for us And she also made delightful salad for lunch, which was pretty enough to share here!

we ran some errands, then had coffee with my mom who I hadn’t seen in some time as she lives about a 160 miles from me.
Since she spoiled me for breakfast I was absolutely insistent that I at least get her in some impromptu maternity shots. She insists that she doesn’t look good in front of the camera, I think she looks amazing!

We never did get around to prepping the baby area! But, I think i’ll go visit again tomorrow! It’s not a long distance travel by any means but every moment I get to spend with my friend is a walk down memory lane and always a new adventure! I have had a very lovely and full day today and I also managed to get my office put together! So I will keep this short and sweet! have a terrific day/evening!!

I do want to make a note: If you would like to donate, even just a dollar to help me go to Guatemala, I would be exceptionally thankful! And you may always do so at   http://www.gofundme.com/kmuk0 , of course I have to put my cause out there occasionally! You can also check out my fundraising tab up top there!^. Or visit Mayanfamilies.org to see what I will be doing during my volunteer stay.!  See you soon!