Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I got an email from my friend Sarah in Washington DC the other day, asking for help on a project she’s working on.

Sarah had contacted me several years ago asking about my Mongolia trip for a book she was writing, but that project morphed into a whole new company and never got published. So, now that her company is off and running on its own feet (so to speak) she’s going back to the whole book idea, and has again asked for my input. Only this time I get to contribute on all 4 of my expeditions!

Check it out: Volunteer Global (http://volunteerglobal.com/)

I am currently going over the travelogues I wrote for each trip, doing a little bit of editing work on them, before sending them down to her. I will also send her the photos I have, but don’t know yet if she’ll want them all or just a few. I’ll let her decide: she may only have room for one or two of them for each trip.

Just today I got a phone call from Lilian at the Alaskan Prospector’s Society asking if I was ready to present on my Amazon trip for their club meeting. I had been scheduled to do that earlier in the year, but had to postpone due to my neck surgery. I am now rescheduled for September 18.

This means I shall have to get busy and actually create the presentation! I haven’t done that yet. But, since I’m going over the travelogues anyway, it shouldn’t be too difficult to remember what happened way back in February. Going thru the 975+ photos will be a whole other story, though. Trying to pick out the best ones to use for the presentation will take some time. It won’t be that bad; I’ll just look at it as an opportunity to relive all those wonderful memories again!

And yes, I’m already thinking about my next expedition with Earthwatch. This time I’m going to do something completely different and try my hand at some archeology in Thailand! I’m really quite excited about it, even though it will probably be several years from now since I have to pay for all these surgeries and whatnot first. I will open another “Expedition Fund” account for anybody who wishes to contribute – that worked out so well last time: thank you again for all who contributed.

Check it out: Origins of Angkor (http://www.earthwatch.org/exped/chang.html)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Forever Ago

It’s been forever since I last updated my blog here. I feel bad about that, but honestly just haven’t really felt like writing lately. Not that I haven’t done anything – I have. It’s just that the urge to write has died down a bit. I wonder if that means anything significant.

Just to catch you up on things I’ll recap the highlights of my past month in one short posting – then hopefully will be better about making regular posts.

My Neck: I’m healing up so well, it’s truly amazing. I barely have a scar even! I’ve been putting vitamin D ointment on it each night; that’s helping a lot. The pain is mostly gone, too – all that’s really left is the pain from the shoulder, which will get operated on in October. Hopefully that will go as well as the neck surgery did.

My headaches: unfortunately, the neck surgery did not do a thing for my headaches. I had hoped that by relieving the pressure on my spinal chord it would magically “cure” me, but no. If anything, it actually made them worse! I have had some really bad ones lately, one of which occurred while I was out on a hike. My poor hiking buddy had to help me down the mountain, stopping almost every 15 minutes so I could throw up. She kept asking “Should I call 911 now?” It was brutal.

Hiking: aside from the headaches, I have managed to get out on the trails a bit. One of my favorite hikes was with Rob and his daughter up Mt. Alyeska. We rode the tram up to the top and then took off on foot even farther up. What a fantastic view from up there!

Family: Mother came in this last weekend for a visit. We had planned on walking downtown Anchorage to see the flowers, but since it was raining I took her to my friend’s house to see their flowers instead. We had a good visit with them, then played some cards and ate a bit of lunch at my house before she went on home. I also got to spend some time with my niece Kate this weekend. She and I went to the South Anchorage Farmer’s Market together; they had so much good food & veggies there! It was hard to decide what to get, but she ended up with a nice bunch of Swiss Chard and a bouquet of small sunflowers; I got a medium sized kohlrabi and a beautiful zucchini. My other niece Lauren moved back into her dorm room at college this weekend, so our weekly dinners together starts up again – I’m looking forward to that!

Crafting: I’ve been rather lax on my cardmaking, too, it seems - but I have been accumulating more supplies! That’s always fun. My sister is cleaning out her house, preparing for her babies to come, and gave me first pick of all her paper & punches. I’ve also made a few purchases online and at the store near my house (I couldn’t stop myself). And I found a group on Craig’s List who get together each month to make cards using products from the Stampin’ Up line – I will join in with them whenever I can. Meanwhile, my little craft room gets more and more cluttered with stuff. My sister also gave me two shelves that need to be installed in the room; I will be able to organize a bit better once their up.

My Job: the job is going well except that we have no work at the moment, so I spend my hours reading my “Construction Materials, Methods, and Techniques” book – which is oh so exciting. My little brother has been working a job that is right in our back parking lot, so I get to go out on my breaks and chat with him every once in a while. He keeps telling his co-workers that I’d been knifed in a botched mugging attempt. They’re all impressed with my neck wound!