[moment of mourning]
But then, within the hour, we were over it, because we were on our way to the homes of beloved friends! As far as accommodations, we had the most wonderful place to land, house-sitting for my cousins for two weeks. They have a small hobby farm with 2 regular horses, 5 miniatures horses, 20 chickens [Scratch that – 19. What happened to the 20th? If only we knew. If only we knew. I think we can safely assume that it merely lost its little chicken way in this cold, dark world and some loving family found and took it in as one of their own.], 14 peafowl, a dog, a cat, and a bunny. This hen was getting pecked too much, so Mary (her owner) tailored one of Peppy The Dog's camo jackets. And seriously, she's a new chicken with all the confidence a gal could want.
Finding eggs that you can take into the house and eat is like Easter morning x 100.
We’ve made up for lost time by visiting friends every day but two! Boy did we miss these people. There has been much explaining to our smallest friends, Chloe and Lillian, that there’s no need to spend the night at their house since we are right here in Anchorage for awhile. We and Chloe went to some Fur Rendezvous activities our first week here. When I saw this picture of myself (taken by Jason), I laughed until my stomach was hard as a rock. Since you can’t see Chloe in there too, it appears that I, a full-grown adult, am alone in a children’s hot air balloon ride, smiling gleefully at some man.
Other highlights of our time here thus far include going to an Ocean Film Festival evening (and discovering that any of us could have submitted better vacation videos, but making up for our disappointment by eating a huge turtle ice cream dish), eating tacos with people – always an event worth mentioning. I love tacos. – meeting my cousin’s beau, playing pinochle a lot, talking our heads off about the things we’ve been seeing and reading and thinking over the last year, and renewing our connection to favorite establishments. Last Saturday was the start of the Iditarod dogsled race, so we hiked back to a spot away from the crowds and enjoyed the procession of mushers.
The place we thought we were staying up here seemed to not work out, so we got in touch with some church folks we had housesat for a couple years back, knowing they had a basement room that'd work for our needs. Turns out they were just thinking of renting it out! It is in a prime location, mostly in that we can walk to the homes of friends. We were truly expecting a single room to throw our sleeping bags into - we're here for less than 3 months -so the owners, J&G, got a real kick out of my honest "Wow!" exclaimation over the fact that there's a bed. Our first evening here, they greeted us at the door with "Well, we baked too much salmon; come eat with us!" Then they proceeded to outfit their basement room into an actual apartment with real appliances, dishes, and the like. Sometimes things are way too good. Humblingly good.
I got two part-time jobs for this couple of months. I work two days a week doing officey stuff at a psychology office, which for the purposes of this blog shall hereby be deemed, “the psychology office” and three days at a Montessori school, which shall hereby be deemed, “Biddle Dee Dee Montessori.” I have been curious about the Montessori education method, so this is a chance to get up close and personal. My favorite child quote so far is this one from today. I was trying to soothe a little boy who’d had his stuffed wolf taken away because of it shamelessly biting the other children. He was unable to nap without the wolf, so I tied one of his blankets into a big knot. “Look!” said I, “You’ve got a knot animal instead!” He shook his head no slowly while I continued, “But it’s soft and bulky like an animal. See? A knot animal!” He frowned disapprovingly and said, “We don’t make knot animals at Biddle Dee Dee.”