Bucket Lists and Alaska

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”~ Anita Desai

 I have a restless soul and an insatiable curiosity about the world around me. Throughout my life I have had many opportunities to travel and most recently I visited a state that has been on my bucket list for a long time. Let me say I was not disappointed! What state, you ask? Alaska. A good friend recently moved to Anchorage and invited me up for a visit. I jumped at the chance, of course. I have seen pictures, but the reality is so much better. I’m probably going to sound like a travelogue, but bear with me.   🙂

Everywhere I looked there was snow-dusted mountains and jaw dropping views. Did I mention the mountains? Incredible. Not only that, but Cook Inlet plays a big part in the view. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t to fall in love with the area.


First stop was to the Moose’s Tooth Pub & Pizzeria. Who knew you could get such delicious soup at a pizza place? If you are ever in the area you should stop in and check it out.

The second night I was there we met up with Traci Barickman at Orso. Traci is with Century 21 Reality Solutions and found the gorgeous house my friend now calls home. I really enjoyed the restaurant and the company. I have a small confession here – I don’t like seafood. I know, I know…but, in my defense, I don’t eat red meat either. Having said that, I do want to say that even though Orso is well known for its Alaskan seafood, they also had plenty of other things on their menu that made me a very happy camper, including a fabulous dessert. You can never go wrong with Chocolate and Raspberries, right?


Touring Anchorage at night in a horse-drawn carriage is also an experience not to be missed. Thank goodness for the heavy, warm blanket offered because it was quite chilly. Yes, an understatement- LOL. I had on so many layers I could barely waddle. I was amazed to see people walking around in short sleeves, while I was shivering. The Pacific Northwest does not prepare one for the far north it seems 😉


I was lucky enough during my stay to see the Matenuska Glacier and a Moose grazing peacefully along side the road.IMG_2908 What also fascinated me was the amount of ice already forming in the rivers. I swear they looked like spilled slushies making their way down the mountains.

The week went by too fast and there is still plenty more to explore in that beautiful state. I hope someday soon to visit again. In the meantime, I can enjoy the pictures my friend sends along with her discoveries about her new home.  That’s almost as good as being there, right?

Here’s to being an Introvert….

“Love is essential, gregariousness is optional.” 
~ Susan Cain

I’m an introvert.  I know because I took an online test 🙂  I say that very tongue-in-cheek because I have always known I was an introvert, but the validation was nice and the test kind of fun.  When I read the traits of most introverts, I saw myself clearly.  Am I more sociable and gregarious around people I know well?  Check. Do I tend to be more reserved and quiet in large groups or around unfamiliar people?  Double check.  Would I rather observe than participate….  Well, you get the picture.

 What I did not realize is extroverts outnumber introverts three to one and we can often be thought of as shy, aloof and arrogant.  Really?  I grant you I tend to be private about most things and in large groups I am more of an observer than a participant, but that doesn’t mean I am arrogant or aloof (the jury is still out on the shy part).  Admittedly I don’t have a large circle of friends, because knowing a lot of people has never held much attraction for me.  Those I count as friends I hold dear though.  I try to nourish those relationships because they are important to me.

I’m not anti-social, but given a choice I will always gravitate towards a one-to-one conversation rather than a party with a lot of people.  I can become quite animated if I am interested in the subject at hand and relish a meaningful or even light, fun conversation with friends.  Spending time alone doesn’t bother me and by the end of a long work day I am sometime relieved to have a quiet sanctuary at home where I can recharge.

Not surprising is the tendency for us introverts to seek out professions where we can work independently, jobs that don’t demand much social interaction that cause us to expend a lot of energy.  Where an extrovert thrives in a social setting and may feel recharged afterwards, the opposite is true for us.  Meetings for my day job can leave me drained and irritable some days.  I rarely stick around to chat afterwards.

Maybe that is why I love to write?   Here is a profession where I can delve deep into something that doesn’t require I expend emotional energy to satisfy social norms but can funnel my observations, thoughts, feelings and impressions through my characters.  Instead of feeling drained and weary, I feel recharged and energized.  Why is that?  I’m not really sure other than it is a quieter pursuit.

I can spend hours reading a good book and not even notice the passage of time.  Give me a hot cup of tea, a comfortable couch and a book and I am in bliss. When I eventually surface again to the real world I feel more centered and content.

So, the upshot of all of this is if you see me in a social setting – I am the one close to the corner, quietly sipping a drink and occasionally venturing into an interesting conversation – don’t think I am being a snob.  I may be enjoying myself immensely.  Most likely I am observing the interactions I see and thinking about how that tall, striking man laughing down at his companion can be described in my next book 🙂  When it all becomes a little too much for me I will unobtrusively slip away.

Oh, if you are wondering if you are an extrovert or an introvert you can take the test here: http://www.thepowerofintroverts.com/quiet-quiz-are-you-an-introvert/



It’s Only A Number

“I don’t believe in aging. I believe in forever altering one’s aspect to the sun. ” 

 ~Virginia Woolf

I am reminded I have a milestone birthday coming up.  Cool.  Although I have to admit I don’t think of it as a milestone or as getting older – it is just another day following all those that preceded it. Some place a great deal of importance on birthdays, relish the celebration and all that goes along with it and I think that is wonderful.  Celebrate away and have the best day ever!  Occasionally I enjoy the fuss and attention, too.

Mostly I consider birthdays as a place marker, a unit of time, in a –hopefully- long journey.  It has little to do with who I am beyond announcing the number of years I have walked this earth. It doesn’t dictate the age of my friends. (Seriously, how limiting would life be if we could only associate with those close to us in age?) I will never allow it to prevent future me from dancing in the moonlight if I so choose – not that I do, mind you – but I could if I wanted to 🙂  I plan to always remain enthusiastic about each new adventure that comes my way.  When people get to know me I want them to see the person I am without the association of a pesky number attached.

What I prefer to celebrate is the kind of person I have evolved into over the span of days.  The friendships I have made, the laughter I have shared and the continued interest in all those fun, quirky things life abounds with.  I have 364 days of un-birthdays to experience and one to take stock of that wonderful gift of time.  Like Virginia Woolf,  I believe in forever altering one’s aspect to the sun. That is where the true celebration lies.

Of course, I may change my mind about the whole number thing when I eventually reach 100, but then again, I might not 🙂