Sunday, January 18, 2009

As seen in Kodiak this week(ish).

I say this week(ish) because the first couple of pictures are from last Friday, a little over a week ago. I had to dig a little past just this week since there's been nothing to look at, really, around here this week. That is, unless you enjoy muddy streets, gray skies, and rain... a lot of rain. So much for all that snow - we got our normal Kodiak winter weather back this week and it's not pretty. And, of course, it leads me to do my blogging today while sitting on the couch under the bright glow of my SAD lamp. Ah, light therapy!!!!

Anyway, before the weather turned really bad, we took the chance to get out in the snow for a walk at Ft. Abercrombie last Friday afternoon. We put on snow boots, snow pants (for me), gaiters (for him), and bundled up against the cold; then headed out knowing Fred would be VERY happy to get the chance to play in the snow. Sometimes I think he likes the snow almost as much as he likes the water. Here he is trying to get the stick before Jason had a chance to throw it. (My apologies on the blurry photo - I had just finished taking a nice scenery picture and hadn't set it for action!)
After a brief break to play with Fred, we headed back down the trail to finish up our hike. Now, as I go along through this pregnancy, one of my goals (besides only gaining baby weight and not any extra) is to try to stay as fit and active as I can. I've never been one to really work out, so our nearly-daily walks with Fred are my normal form of exercise. I have found, however, that they aren't as much of a workout anymore because I'm just SLOW these days. I try really hard to move at my old speed, but it just doesn't work that way. Poor Fred gets frustrated, and Jason generally ends up about four steps ahead of me. I just end up breathing really hard, like I'm running a marathon instead of walking on a level trail. I learned last Friday that I become especially slow while trying to climb a hill in too many layers of clothes, snow boots and 5 inches of snow. Luckily, I had my camera with me, so I could use the perfect photo op as a reason to stop and catch my breath when I needed to. Excuses aside, the clear, cold afternoon provided ample opportunities to snap a few beautiful pics. This is one of my favorites of a winter moon.

I'm hoping, now that I'm firmly in my second trimester, that my body will start getting a little more used to its extra cargo and I'll start getting some of my regular energy back. I can't complain about how I've been feeling, though - other than the physical exhaustion, I'm having a pretty good pregnancy so far! Speaking of which, this next picture is for my mom. I honestly can't believe I'm going to put this up here, but whatever... This picture is from this past Friday, at 14 weeks, 3 days. Pardon the unbuttoned pants... I'm trying to stay in my regular clothes a little bit longer, though they're quickly getting too tight. The brown thing around my middle is the world's best invention - the BellaBand. These little pieces of stretchy fabric are the trick to keeping my old clothes on longer! So I've decided that I look much bigger to myself when I look in the mirror, and especially when I just look down, but this is my beginning "baby bump." I've been about this size for the past 3 weeks or so, so change is slow to happen, but I guess there really is a baby in there! With as good as I've been feeling, it's reassuring to see this, at least, since I don't feel pregnant. And, looking at this picture, I feel like I just look a little pudgy. *sigh*

Finally, we'll get back to the good scenery.... Jason and I were both off during the afternoon last Monday, the last day when there was even the slightest hint of a blue sky around here. After grabbing some lunch at a local sandwich shop, we went out in search of some good eagle photo ops. After being doused with slush and mud by a passing truck while I was standing on the side of the road, I actually got my two best pictures under much more benign conditions. The first one, I took while sitting in the truck on the side of the road (warmer and much drier!), and the second was just down the road from our house.

The eagles are back in town in full force now, so it should be easy to get some more good pictures as the winter goes on. They hang out through the early spring, scrounging for food downtown near the fish processors, and then move back away once food is more plentiful outside of town, usually by the end of May.

As I said at the beginning of this post, unless you like muddy gray roads, and gray skies, there hasn't been much else to look at around here since last Monday. Hopefully this latest round of bad weather will clear out sooner than later and I'll have some more of beautiful Kodiak to share. If nothing else, Jason just left for SAR duty in St. Paul for the first couple weeks of the Opilio crab season, so, once he gets back, we'll probably have more dead caribou pictures to share! I'm sure everyone loved that one from last year!

That's all for now - I'm off to stare directly at my SAD lamp or something! (Just kidding!)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Who am I, and what have I done with the real Becca?

Anyone who knows me, knows that snow has never been one of my favorite things in the world. I was always the first kid to head back inside the house during a day of sledding because of the snow under my cuffs and down my collar, or numb feet, or whatever (and also the hot chocolate we'd get when we came in!!). Snow's always been great for a snow day, or to have a pretty white Christmas, but, beyond that, it's never been my favorite thing. Well, actually, I pretty much don't like it at all.

That was, until the last couple weeks. As I watched the reports of all the snow on the east coast, I couldn't help but be a little envious of their White Christmas, and, well, winter. When all the major snow hit the east coast before Christmas, we were having temperatures in the mid- to upper-30s, and rain. A lot of rain. Rain just makes it messy around here, and it made it feel not like winter, and not like Christmas. Then, on Christmas day, it turned sunny, and over the past couple of weeks, it's been sunny every day! YAY! Except that the temperature slowly crept down into the single digits, the wind kicked up every so often (serious wind - like 40-50mph winds), and it just became miserable to be outside. So, it was sunny, and it was cold, but then the ground stayed brownish (and gray, can't forget the Kodiak gray), and I was still jealous of the east coast snow.

And then we get to today. *sigh*

As I was listening to NPR on my way into work this morning, with a few flakes falling along the way, I heard the forecast - 2 to 4 inches of snow by the afternoon (my first thought: shoot, I only wore my hiking shoes, not my boots!), with more possible overnight! And then, when the sun finally came up this morning (at 9:50am, by the way), the sky was overcast, and more than a few flakes were coming down. As the day went on, the snow started falling faster, and, by 1:30, while I was sitting in the dentist chair, they were closing the base for a blizzard warning! Woo-hooo!!! SNOW!! (For the record, I still left work at the same time as normal, so it wasn't like an actual snow day or anything...)

Of course, said blizzard has not really materialized, but, still, I'm actually happy to see the snow! This is a strange thing for me. I don't remember, other than a cancelled school day, EVER being happy about snow. And yet, I put on my new bomber hat (I'll have to share a picture another time), my extra warm coat, my longjohns and ski pants, and headed out on a walk in the snow with Jason and Fred. And I was happy.

Huh. Who knew? Apparently, I don't hate snow afterall!