Tuesday, August 31

Week 3

I know you've seen this same view about a million times now, but this is Juneau's downtown on my way to work this morning. The sun is rising so much later now, even in the two weeks since I've been here!

Do you see the light coming up in that little dip on the left side of Mt. Roberts?

Sitting on the couch at Caitlyn's, this is what I see out the window. Mt. Juneau! Lauren and I hiked that mountain last summer - maybe we'll get the guts to do it again, but really, the rain will be here non-stop, so I don't see that happening.

Today at work there was a little free time to be silly - and it was Katie's last day (every one is jealous). This is Lauren and Darlene. Lauren thinks she looks super tired and Darlene thinks she looks pale. Just for that I'm posting the picture so they can see how ridiculous those thoughts are. You ladies are gorgeous!

Below is Able. Remember the dude with the hurt foot playing the guitar a few days back? He is mostly better and back in action. He made that face special for me after the camera came out :)
This is the aforementioned Katie. She has been this season's trooper, being one of the only returning ops people from a previous year to be here at the beginning of the season. I've stories from May and June, and really, I don't know how she kept herself going to work. This is not the type of job one person can do, and training people to do it is a full job in of itself, let alone training and working! Katie, you are amazing! I'll miss you!

As for me, I'm holding up. Dispatching for 8 hours is so much more draining than driving 14! When driving there were breaks and only one person's schedule that I needed to concern myself with. Now I'm at the board almost non-stop and I have to keep 40 driver's schedules rotating in my brain. I'm pretty useless at the end of my shifts now. But, things will slow down, fewer ships will come in, and then I'll be back home - no doubt missing the mountain views and sea air. I need to get over this "grass is greener" bs and enjoy my time here! Everybody, just tell me to shut it!

So. With that, I will shut it.

Wednesday, August 25

Late start today

I have the pleasure of being the afternoon/evening MOD today, which means I get to enjoy a press of coffee instead of my togo cup's worth. Mac the dog is sitting under my legs between the coffee table and the couch and I'm getting excited for the next month. I need to look into some flights out of Spokane, now that my dad is picking me up in Seattle (in a month!).

Before I get all ramped up for leaving Juneau, I still need to make sure I do some things that missed out on last summer - helicopter rides to the glaciers! I have Friday and Saturday off this week, and I'm hoping I can get on one of the tours. If not, going for a zipline again would be amazing, and there is the chance to go fishing on Saturday out from Auke Bay.

These goons are some of the drivers that make it possible to operate a tour bus company. Don't they look like fun? Lauren was taking a break and shared some of the details about her new beau, and it was too funny not to take a picture. This one is a bit staged (I'm sure you can tell) but when I walked in and found them in a gaggle, I had to run back and grab my camera.

Lauren's beau works on one of the cruise ships, and she only gets to spend half a day with him every week. She is booking a vacation when the season is over and will be joining Wayne (the bf) in his home country of South Africa. South Africa! I excited for her!

And because I got so many messages saying my work space was too little, here is the half of the space you didn't see...

Saturday, August 21


I got to see this on the walk home today - sun, rainbow, and the gorgeous mountains. I walked past two people who also took a picture of the rainbow, and found out they were a dual driving trucker team, husband and wife. They are here for another week, and we talked for a good 15 minutes about what they should do while in town. This is where I work when I'm in the OPS center. I sit, or pace, around this board and answer the radio. Questions and problems come in and this is where some of the fixes come from . Exciting. I know.
After work today, I spent some time with Lauren while she was working at the Crab Shack. The Great Baldini came by for some bisque-to-go, and we shared a beer while he talked about working at the Red Dog saloon and various cruise ships. He plays piano, plays trumpet, and has a Louie Armstrong routine. He busted out his iPhone (I really shouldn't be shocked by this by now!) and showed me videos of him making fun of tourists (with them eating it up in the audience) and playing lounge tunes for lounge lizards. Lauren and I said we'd come by and go against our "No Red Dog" unofficial rule. It really is a place just for tourists...

Another great day in Juneau!

Wednesday, August 18

Juneau! A place to live!

I was so happy to see this sign on the walk to work this morning. 56 degrees. Whoa. Right now, my toes are still cold from work and I'm wearing two jackets, but I love it. Love it! Also on my walk to work I got to reconnect with the eagle that sits on the cross bar by the bridge (not always the same eagle, but I pretend it is) and the morning fog rise up Mt. Juneau and Mt. Roberts. :)

The cruise ships were coming down the channel and hardly anyone was awake - the mornings in Juneau are so peaceful and refreshing.

Today it was nothing but rain, rain, rain. As soon as I got to work it started, and when I was coming home it stopped. After the morning ship had all of it's tours departed, I went back to the office and had my shirt drying over a fan and my rain gear all over the desk, trying to get it dried a bit before the next span of time out in the rain.

I'm so happy to have a place to stay! I thought it was going to take me much longer to find a place than it did, but now I know not to doubt the power of word-of-mouth in this tourist town. This is it!

It's a cute one bedroom rented by a sweet girl named Caitlin. She has a gem of a dog in Mac, a black lab, and is super chill. She is in the bedroom, and I sleep in the loft, in the space above the closets. I climb up that ladder and crash on a feather mattress and my sleeping bag. It is exactly what I was hoping for - enough space to have a room of my own, but not so much that it was an empty homecoming at the end of every day. I have the benefit of the lived in home with the convenience of not paying my entire paycheck. And, I can walk the two miles to work, so no car is no problem!

This was last night. Hanging out with Lauren, her boyfriend, his mom, and some friends from the ship.

Hanger and float planes coming in for the day.
Some images from the afternoon passengers leaving the ship for town.

Shuttle line!
Mikey, Darlene, and Lauren hamming it up before the ship was docked.
Lauren and I!

Sunday, August 15


(View from the plane on the way here)

I started work today - a whopping 9 hours of writing tomorrow's schedule. My brain hurts. Or, maybe I'm hungry. Or both. There is a lot of hostility in the office at this point. People don't want to help each other, things aren't getting done or getting missed. Its only been a day, but it seems like it's coming from the top down, and as it goes down, it gets messier.

It's great to see Lauren and Lev and the rest. Things pick up right where they left off, and that is wonderful. No awkwardness, no revving back up into the taunting and bull shitting. It is easy to be here with them.

Here are some images from my time here already.

Hilary! We were sitting in the driver's lounge waiting for Ms. Laura Rudy to be finished. A group crossword puzzle made this happen to her, but I don't remember how.

The front of Alyson's lawn, at the house I stayed at last night. You can't really see it, but there is a real back how bucket across the street.

Scenes from Tracy's Crab Shack - voted Juneau's can't miss eatery in some travel magazine, or travel site, or something. Lauren is the cashier (it's her fun money job!) and I feel a bit bad I caught her with this expression...but it's speaks volumes! I had a blast sitting at the little counter in front of the melted butter pot, chatting with her and drinking (free) beer. I also talked with just about every customer that came through the line, asking where they were from and such. We met two handfuls worth of Spokanites! Gonzaga toting locals. It was wonderful :)

This is the wonderful Erika. She Laura and Hilary are from Bellingham. They are upbeat and happy, and some of the best people I've ever met.

Laura is showing off her Alaskan car, complete with rusty wheel wells, a broken door hinge, and (when it rains) water filled floor boards.

Able hurt himself kicking a soccer ball. He can still play
a mean tune.
The Bellingham ladies + Stance Sampson (isn't that a great super hero name?) all showed me the newest shop in town where you can buy frozen yogurt, better known as froyo. It is DE Licious, as Dan would say.

Saturday, August 14

Alaska Day!

Four hours of sleep, checking bags and going through security twice, 10 hours of travel, and then I'll be in Juneau.

Can I just take a second to say, in this day, all major airports should offer free wi-fi. Thanks Seattle for being on it!

I found out yesterday that my friend in Juneau who was going to meet me at the airport didn't realize that today was the day I was coming in, and is out on a chartered fishing boat, hopefully snagging a whopper of a halibut. So, when I get in in a few hours, I'll get to walk about the city until she gets back. She needs a break from work, so I'm not freaking out about the snag. All this means is our major catch-up gush will have to wait until 1) she is on land and 2) she's had a shower :)

More later for sure! Yay! Alaska!

Thursday, August 12


It's been a roller coaster for me these last two days.

I just made a trip to Mailboxes Etc and sent off a special order to Neely in Tennessee.

This pillow finally got made after two days of misunderstandings and numerous color swatches. It was almost too much near the end! But, this is what she wanted and this is what was mailed. She will enjoy it, and I now have enough cut out pieces from the other swatches to make a pillow for my page :)

My projects board has two rows of contact information to check in with when I return from Alaska, and that feels pretty good. There are 9 people just waiting for pillows!

Ciara flew out to Turkey yesterday with Adam, and now that it's 5pm, they only have about two more hours of flights, and maybe 2 hours of car rides until their big travel day(s) are behind them.

I need to get ready for my own traveling. I took an adventure through my closet earlier to pull my rain gear and cold weather clothes out. My back pack in airing out. I am taking a little break from all of the rushing with the latest pillow before I tackle the actual packing.

Dan and I will drive up to Chicago tomorrow, with a stop in Bloomington to see my friends, Kristy, Trish, and Crissy for lunch. At the Garlic Press. I love the Garlic Press. And then early Saturday morning, I fly to Juneau through Seattle. I'll be there at 2:30 local time, which will be 5:30 Central time.

I'm excited to read books on the plane. Since my Etsy shop has opened, I haven't been able to focus when I read. I feel like I should be in "my studio" (that is how I reference it now. "I will be out of my studio from August 14th- September 30th...") working on orders. I have four books just waiting for some quality time.

Speaking of quality time, Dan and I are going out! Gotta go!

Tuesday, August 10

Ballerina Project

This one's for you mom!

I just stumbled across a blog called the Ballerina Project. Visit their page and enjoy.

C leaves tomorrow - a dog in the house?

Hello lovelies -
Countdowns are always both exciting and a little scary. Mom's coming into the coffee shop have been giving me the countdown until their kids start school again, I've been giving Dan the countdown until Alaska, and in my brain I've been checking off the days until Ciara and Adam move to Turkey. Which is tomorrow. Holy cow.

I got to chat with C yesterday while she wondered through a bookstore, asking my opinion of some Neal Stephenson books. We hung up after a while and then I got sad: I won't chat with Ciara while she's wondering around a store/ or driving from Portland to Spokane/ or projecting/ or projecting for two years!

I need to get my Skype system working (ie: buy a webcam). *Sigh*

At the Johnson/Swift house yesterday, we had two guests. Kelly and her dog Sahara spend the night on their way from Memphis to St. Louis to Champaign to Chicago. Having a puppy in a small apartment with three cats could be horrible, but it wasn't. Sahara is a lab/corgie mix, and incredibly well behaved. And adorable!

Sahara the dog :)

Comma and Kodak kept a close eye on Sahara. The dog was more apprehensive of the cats than the other way around.

She is so cute and little! Short little corgi legs and a a body shaped like a lab. Awwwww.

Saturday, August 7

In the Etsy newsletter

I found the spot where my pillow was featured on Etsy. Visit the page HERE. I'm part of a selection with the header of Rooftop Party. This newsletter goes out to thousands and thousands of people everyday. What great exposure!

Since Thursday I've been trying to keep everything straight and accomplish as much as I can.

Here are three orders in their wedge stacks with backing, waiting to be sewn together.
I had to come up with a easy way to see where all of the poufs were at in the process and keep sellers straight. I turned my tree sun window into my sticky-note bulletin board with headers for: Interested, Fabric Choice, Cut, Fill, Done, Ship, and Follow up. The sticky note then has the buyers name, item ordered, the status of their payment and any special instructions.

In amongst all of this sewing business, Dan's Friend Kelly will be coming to stay with us this coming Monday night, with a dog. I had a chance today to clean out "Dan's office" (which is really full of my stuff) and get it ready for company. That meant I needed a place to put my fabric and projects so we could set up the twin bed. Seeing it all heaped up on the ironing board before re-sorting it made me realize how much I've taken on! I have a lot of fabric!

I got to talk with Ciara today and hear how her moving countdown is going. She is busy getting organized and seeing her friends and family. Wednesday is going to come so fast.

Friday, August 6

Still sewing!

I'm still filling orders from my Etsy explosion. Since Monday I've been to the fabric store three times. I've upgraded to buying muslin by the bolt. I have shipping materials. Who knew people would like my floor pillows so much!

Tonight is Friday and I'm going to stop thinking about my orders. Dan bought a bushel of basil from the farmer's market last weekend and made some amazing pesto with it. We'll finish that up for dinner and watch some Sons of Anarchy. We'll probably also have a beer. Happy Friday!

Today I realized it was my last Friday of coffee shop work until October! Yay! I can't wait for a reprieve from this weather. One more week and I'm in Juneau.


Tuesday, August 3

I'm over summer

Ever have a grumpy day? Today I was a grumpy pants. I like to think the over 100 degree temperatures had something to do with it, but I think there is something more. When I figure it out I'll let you know (or more likely I'll forget).

I was talking to my mom the other day, telling her how we cope when it gets this hot (we as in, the cats and me. Dan's routine doesn't seem to change much regardless). I mentioned Kodak's method for summer refreshment and again, he demonstrated.

Here is Kodaks preferred method for beating the heat:

My experience with cats is they don't like moving air flowing (like from an air conditioner) over their ears. Usually that is true for Kodak. Poor guy.

Now it's show and tell time!
Here is a glimpse of the floor pillow I'm making for a nice woman named Lori. Comma was nice enough to pose for a size reference. It still needs more filling, closure, and the center to be pulled in. But not bad if I do say so myself!

I hope you have a great, grumpy-free Wednesday. I am so excited to be one day closer to Fall.

Monday, August 2

First Etsy Order

I've had my shop for less than two weeks and today I've gotten my first order!

The pouf pillow I made a few months ago is used as an example on my Etsy for sale as a custom request. Today I had a very nice woman order two, and larger! I am so happy I could spit!

Sunday, August 1

Sunday Cat Cuteness

Watch out! Undeniable cuteness to follow!

Kodak just eats up a camera. Me-ow.

Bye bye evil Windows

For the past year my computer and I have been in a wrestling match. I want to watch DVDs, it finds an error and shuts me down. I want to listen to a music file, it tells me I don't have the system file to back up the origin. I want to edit a photo, oh look, I don't have a photo editing program anymore! I want to go on the Internet, and poof! I have 18 deathly viruses on my computer. You get the point I hope.

Months ago my friend Jonathan wiped my computer and reinstalled the main operating discs. That kept me going on a day-to-day basis, but I still couldn't do what I wanted to do, mainly, use it as my go-to entertainment/work/inspiration/catch all/communication device.

Today, all that has changed. Dan took the evil windows operating system off of Oliver and loaded Ubuntu, an open source operating system that should work perfectly for my needs. There are hundreds of apps I can download if there is a new form of tinkering I want to try, and already (the 30 minutes I have it working) I can edit photos (something I couldn't do before...evil windows and their evil errors...grrrrr).

So, bye bye Windows and your error messages. I thought I was going to scrap my laptop because of all the mess, but no, Oliver is alive and ticking and will be in one piece to travel with me up to Alaska.

The next project: stock up my external hard drive with date night materials for the upcoming 6 week separation from Dan. It is fun to pick out a new series or two to watch. Maybe Dexter?

Ahhh. It feels so good to not have to worry about technology for a little while. Thanks Dan! You are amazing!

Here is the story's hero, reading the news while the necessary Ubuntu files are downloading.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...