for February, 2008

words unfolding

Tired Bliss

Today feels like a Friday after being at work the last three days a 4am. I don’t talk about work much because I wanted this to be about my personal life, but I can’t deny what a big part of my life work can be.

It was a big week for our web team as we moved our three websites to a new server at a new hosting company. There was a ton of preparation over the last few months getting ready and testing to make sure the upgrades in hardware and software were going to work with our websites. It’s pretty scary to know you need to make a change like this, but not know how smooth or crazy it’s going to be.

We started with our least busy site on Tuesday followed by the other two the next few days. I’m so happy to say that it has gone better than I could have hoped for. I know that we aren’t out of the woods for some minor things to come up, but everything is running smooth as can be.

I’m very fortunate to work with a great team that prepare well and test what we work on. Especially our webmaster. He’s brilliant and makes my job so much easier because of the trust I have in the work he does.

Ahhh, I’m so thankful everything worked out so well and going forward I only expect it to get better. Our new hosting company has been great so far and believe in customer service at their core. A quality that’s imperative for a company to have in order for me to do business with them.
Well, I’m going to try and get more than 4 or 5 hours a sleep tonight so I can be rested for my weekend :)

Note: I’m going to start leaving ideas to ponder/discover at the end of my posts:

“That which we believe in, that which we think we have, comes to us as surely as steel is attracted to a magnet.” This is true for the positive and negative.


Posted on February 29, 2008 by Keli · 0 comments Read More
words unfolding

Relaxing Weekend Getaway

I had a really nice trip this past weekend to N. Washington and N. Idaho. My friend M and I, the puppas, and her parents took 2 cars and headed north with no set plans. We knew we were staying at an old family friends house Friday night, but other than that, we were going to go where the wind blew us. We rented snowshoes from the university’s outdoor program, put her skis and my snowboard on the roof, packed the car too full (all my stuff), loaded the dogs, and headed north.

I met this amazing family friend who’s 82 going on 60. She talks a mile a minute and was so enthusiatic about having company in her home. She was very kind to let my dogs stay in the house, and they were good little guests. I really enjoyed listening to her and M’s mom converse as they have been friends for over 20 years and you could feel the kind and caring respect they have for one another. We ate a delicious breakfast that could have been a 4 course meal and sat around the table as grandkids, sisters, brothers and the like were discussed. It’s always so fun for me to be a part of someone else’s world even if its just a glimpse in time. Thanks Virginia for welcoming me into your home.

We were then off for a beautiful drive from Newport, Wa over to Priest River, Idaho and eventually up to Priest Lake. I’m sorry I didn’t take any pictures of the drive, which was just silly of me. North Idaho is gorgeous any time of year, but I find it just stunning in the winter when the mountains and valleys are covered in snow. I drove, while M played iPod DJ, literally. If she could have “mixed” each song into the next she would have. It was great for me, I got to listen to great tunes and didn’t have to think about what to listen too :)

We tried to go see the Seaman’s old family house outside Priest River, but there were “Private Property” & “Do Not Enter” signs on a tree and 3 barking German Shepards at the bottom of the driveway. We thought it best not to try our luck by driving down the snowy/icy driveway only to have a possible shotgun pointed our direction.

We decided to go snowshoeing around Priest Lake, so we went to this lodge called Hill’s Resort where the folks could hang out in the lounge and relax while we hit the snow. The dogs couldn’t wait for there fun to begin. When we got out, Zoe immediately had that “happy dog” face on as she ran around and sniffed the snow banks. Cole was also so excited as he marked all the snowbanks near the car as his.

It was off to the trail and a hike in our snowshoes. We weren’t on the trail more than 1 min, and M was off it, going where ever she wanted with the gift of those shoes. I soon followed and realized she had the right idea. The snow was a bit icy which was great for the dogs cuz they didn’t sink too bad. We soon lost the trail but we didn’t care, we didn’t need it. Every huge mound of snow was a destination and snow covered fallen log a challenge. The woods was really clear in many places, which allowed the sunlight to peak through the trees making the forest just beautiful. Here are a few pics, the only ones I took on the trip. I slacked in my photojournalism on this trip, sorry.

You can see Cole laying down way in the back on the right.

Just one of the many mounds that had to be climbed.

M & Zoe on each end of a fallen tree. I love this pic, but I’m not sure of all the reasons why.

Cole Buddy taking a break. He loves to lay down in the snow.

M having fun as always!

We eventually joined the “rents” in the lodge for some hot drinks (Bailey’s hot chocolate for me & Spanish coffee for M) and plotted our next adventure. I don’t know how many of you can travel like this, but I just love not always knowing where I’m going to be in 10 minutes. It was around 4pm and we didn’t know at that point what town we were going to be sleeping in, let alone where we were going to sleep. We decided on Sandpoint which is one of my favorite towns in Idaho. Earlier in the day we had talked about maybe going there and seeing if the Spa was open. M wanted a facial and I would have loved a good massage. Unfortunately, they were closed on Sunday, so totally pampered we would not be. It was time to move on so and folks went back to Virginia’s for dinner and were headed back home after that. We hugged our goodbyes and went our separate ways.

Again, we had a great drive east about 2 hours. This time M took the wheel and I tried to be the DJ. We decided to find a place to sleep before answering our hungry bellies. The first placed we stopped was booked and informed us that 3 other hotels in the area were full. I got back in the car and said, we might have a little trouble finding a place. Sandpoint is the town next to a big ski hill and it was a 3-day weekend. I suggested we try this small motel that I love and that’s only 2 blocks from downtown. I walked in the lobby and there was and Australian guest discussing something about one of her rooms. I wasn’t really paying attention and I finally stuck my head around and said, “by any chance do you have any rooms available?” She said does one queen work, and I said yah, we don’t care we just need a room. Well, in the end this other women had 2 rooms but only needed 1 and they didn’t want to credit her for it since the hotel was booked and it was the night of the reservation. We ended up getting her room with a strike of good timing and the women got her credit :) I mean really, could my day get any better?

After walking through Sandpoint we decided to eat a restaurant so poorly branded “Spuds – Rotisserie & Grill” The sign/logo and the outside suggested burgers and bake potatoes. I’m glad we gave the menu a look. The ambiance inside was really quiet, serene and small. M had the best butternut squash ravioli w/ blue cheese. It had a pesto sauce and pine nuts and it was gooood. I went with the special which was Grilled Wild Sockeye Salmon with peppers, rice and veggies. It was just delicious. I recommend that restaurant to anyone, just turn a blind eye to the sign out front. Note: For those of you who know me as a vegetarian since 1995, I’ve incorporated some fish into my diet over the last 2 years. We had fun asking questions out of my “The book of questions” and even got to hear four high school boys sing a couple of songs accapella.

We decided to go search for some live music if there was any to be found. Things in Sandpoint close pretty early even on a Saturday night. We went to Eichardt’s pub and sorry Marcus, but there were no seats for us, so we decided not to stay. We were pretty relaxed, it was only 9, but decided to head back to the K2 Inn. It was a great decision as we hung out, drank some Jameson Whiskey I had brought, made some popcorn in the microwave and talked till around 2. Oh yah, I’ve never liked whiskey and never thought I would. I decided around New Years that I wanted a “sipping” drink for certain occasions so I’m “in training” to become an occasional whiskey drinker. I can’t say whiskey and I have a love affair yet, but I do really like the bite it gives my tongue and cheeks if I hold it in my mouth a bit before swallowing.

Sunday, Sunday. I woke up so relaxed I didn’t know what I was motivated to do. We decided to get some breakfast and then find a coffee shop to read for awhile. We asked a few people if there were any shops that had big comfy couches and they said no, but they pointed us to the best coffee shop in town. When we got there we realized that there were two comfy chairs by the window, but they were occupied. We grabbed another table, but as fate would have it, the soft chairs became available, and M & I swooped in. I had some good ol fashion black tea, with a little sugar and milk, just like Gram Pilkin always drank it. I began to read A Thousand Splendid Suns while M people watched. She had some book in her hand I believe, but I don’t remember her reading much. We were both very content in that shop, by the window, in our comfy chairs.

Before heading out of Sandpoint we tootled around town in some of the outdoor clothing shops. We stopped in the Market Bridge and I had what I think was my first Gelato experience. Gelato is Italian ice cream and is much creamier and richer than our ice cream. We got a cup with half chocolate and chocolate/hazelnut. It was AMAZING!!! If you ever get a chance to eat some real Gelato made fresh, you need to do it, your mouth will be so happy with you.

Well it was back on the road with M at the wheel. The sun was out, the music was playing, and I was smiling. We stopped at a campground and let the dogs run around and even chase some deer. We then stopped at Target in Coeur d’alene so we could poke around. Some of you might think, why. Why stop at a Target? Well folks, we don’t have a Target so its a treat if you go out of town and get to visit one :)

It was a really great weekend and M and I confirmed that we could travel together by the seat of our pants. Its funny how different people travel. From those that need hard core itineraries to those who don’t know where they are going to be in 5 minutes and others in between. I advise you to make sure you know what kind of traveling buddies you have before you go on some long adventure. It really could make for a horrible trip if everyone isn’t aware of how people in their party like to travel.

I wanted a relaxing weekend, with little expectation, and good company. I’d say my weekend couldn’t have been more perfect. Thanks to the Seaman’s & Virginia for making my weekend complete and to you my reader’s for letting me relive it!

Posted on February 21, 2008 by Keli · 3 comments Read More
words unfolding

Beaches, Friends & Family

Sorry it’s been a bit since I last posted. I had a turn of events in Florida which kept me there longer than expected and I haven’t had much time to post since I’ve been back. I don’t want to bore you with all the details of my trip to Florida so I’ll touch on some of the highlights.

First I’ll give you just a little background. I went to Miami for a web design internet conference so this was a work trip. I was fortunate that the hotel the conference was in didn’t have any rooms left available, so I had to look for another one which led me to a quaint hotel called The Clinton Hotel on S. Beach. It was in the thick of all the shopping, restaurants, clubs, and the beach. This really allowed me to explore a certain part of Miami when I was out of the conference walls.

Here are some of the best things (in no particular order) about the 3.5 days I spent in Miami/S. Beach:

  1. I thought I was in another country. In fact it felt like I was in an affluent city somewhere in Central America.
  2. The very warm 75 degree weather and sunshine.
  3. The conference gave me some much needed inspiration for some of my web projects.
  4. Traveling alone allowed me to meet many new people, which was such a treat.
  5. Having a half day to spend walking around, shopping, eating, and spending time on the beach.
  6. I was shocked by the beauty of both the men and women I saw on every street corner.
  7. Being immersed in the Spanish language and Latin music, and having the opportunity to dance a little Merengue.
  8. Meditating on the Beach.
  9. Having 3 separate conversations that lead to the male counterpart saying (after asking if I had a boyfriend), “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t assume you date men, you never know these days.” I was shocked and so pleasantly pleased with this social consciousness.
  10. My taxi cab rides. All my cab drivers were from Haiti except one. This was a little oddity in my Miami experience, as they spoke French to one another.

Here are a few things that upset me about Miami:

  1. The people litter like crazy. There are trash cans all over the place and yet they use the ground as their trash receptacle.
  2. This ties in with #1 but I was shocked to see the amount of trash left on the beach after people left.
  3. There is NO recycling anywhere. I mean none. Hello, is Miami not part of this planet too?

The conference was over on a Friday and I decided to fly out on Monday and visit some friends in Ft. Lauderdale over the weekend. Isaac (Mayra’s husband) came and picked me up and our friends Erica & Curtis drove down to stay the weekend at their house. The weekend was filled with mixed emotions as I expected. It’s been a year and a half since Mayra passed away and her families life has really changed.

It was great to see everyone especially her boys Noah & Eli. On Sunday it would have been Mayra’s 33rd birthday. Isaac took the boys to the cemetery while Erica, Curtis and I decided to go spend some time at the beach. Mayra loved the beach and we wanted to do something she would have liked to do. Isaac brought home this great Israeli food for lunch which was from one of Mayra’s favorite restaurants. It was a nice day and one that Mayra shared with all of us.

Here are a few pics from the weekend:

Erica & I. So thankful for our friendship, but continously missing our 3rd Amiga.

Noah’s self-portrait. I love this pic. You can see the innocence of childhood in his eyes and how happy he was to be using my camera. His expression over most of the weekend was one of concern and confusion.

Here’s little Eli who is a little older than 2. He loves his big brother and wants to do everything like him. Noah is very patient, and loves teach his brother and show him the way.

Here’s a pic I took of Noah & I during the super bowl game. There were quite a few people over the house and Noah is pretty shy. I was thankful for this because Noah wanted to share my lap when he spent time hanging out with everyone.

Late on Sunday I got a message from my Mom that my grandmother had fallen out of bed and broke her hip. She was in an Orlando hospital and they were heading down there in the morning. I decided to cancel my flight to go visit Gram. We weren’t sure what was going to happen and I wanted to see her since I was only 3 hours away. It’s funny, my grandmother has definitely been the head Matriarch for my extended family and has brought us together for many birthdays, holidays, and the like for my 31 years. Here she was again, without realizing it, bringing the family together. With an unfortunate set of circumstances, I was blessed to be able to spend unexpected time with my family.

It was great visiting with my parents, sister, and Aunts. We spent quite a bit of time waiting for Gram to finish with tests and then come out of surgery. This gave us time to catch up and chat about this or that. Gram’s fighting soul pulled her through surgery and she is currently in a rehab center where they need to get her up and walking again.

I had one last unexpected event happen while in Florida. I had booked my flight to leave out of Orlando on Wednesday morning and gave my friend Arian from high school a call that I haven’t seen in years. It was great to catch up with her and meet her little boy for the first time. She lives 15-20 minutes from the airport, so I had plenty of sleep that night with a short ride to fly out.

My work trip, which was very productive, also allowed me some great personal time. I enjoyed the warm weather, the sites, the new people I met, and visiting with friends & family.

Posted on February 10, 2008 by Keli · 0 comments Read More