Archive for August, 2006

Birthday Cake is Delicious!

Sunday, August 20th, 2006

Eating Birthday Cake!, originally uploaded by Koog Family.


Farm Cake for a first Birthday

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.

. . . and it tastes even BETTER when it’s decorated with farm animals!

We had a fun little family birthday party for Emma’s “birthday observed” today!


Saturday, August 19th, 2006

Mushroom and Lichen

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.

We were educated, while riding the White Pass Yukon Railroad into Canada from Skagway, Alaska, about the order and type of vegetation that appears on rock rubbed bare by the powerful action of glaciers. Lichens, then moss first take hold on the rock face. Shrubs and, eventually, trees follow the lichens and moss.

This knowledge can be used to estimate how long ago a glacier has receded.

At one stop, someone picked up a spongey piece of lichen, which we all passed around to observe.



Lichen near Mendenhall Glacier

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.

At this, a fellow tourist in his 60s told us with boyish enthusiasm that he was “liken’ the lichen!”

And that’s what I thought about as I took a moment to photograph lichen the next day in Juneau.


Kindred-Spirit Kitty

Friday, August 18th, 2006

Minnie wearing a Cheesehead Hat

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.


I posted previously about successfully submitting this picture of Minnie to She appeared on that website in March.

Today, in need of some frivolity therapy after spending far too much time and energy giving public presentations on various legal topics, I was happy to visit that site and to find a new posting of another Cheesehead cat (named Big Kitty) there!

Not only have I learned that another cat owner and packer fan likes to put “stuff” on his or her cat,¬†an¬†observant commenter on that site¬†referenced, and directed viewers to, the picture¬†my very own Minnie!

So let’s here it for cats! And for Big Kitty!

Jimmy’s Little Secret

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006

Cat in the Cradle

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.

I guess Jim does have a secret daytime hobby, after all. I caught him relaxing in Emma’s crib this morning as I was leaving for work.

From now on, I’ll have to be sure to keep the anti-cat defense shield zipped up at all times.

It is hard to sing with bananas in your mouth

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006

Emma was with Daddy all day yesterday on her birthday.

So today, when she arrived at daycare, Julie and the daycare homies, who were eating breakfast, were ready to celebrate.

While Paul was still there, the other children helped Emma to open a couple of presents.  And everyone sang Happy Birthday to Emma. 

Well, almost everyone.¬† A few moments after the singing ended,¬†Emma’s good buddy,¬†Audrey, started to cry.¬† You see, Audrey¬†explained in response to her mother’s queries, she had had bananas in her mouth when the song started.¬†¬†That made¬†it impossible to sing to Emma.¬†

And that, in turn, made Audrey cry.   

This One’s For You, MF!

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

Mary Frances Towers, originally uploaded by Koog Family.

I came across this lovely apartment building after temporarily disembarking from the criuseship and walking around in Ketchikan, Alaska.

I had to take a picture. Hope you like it!

Happy Birthday, Emma!!!

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

Birthday Suit

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.

It was a happy reunion this morning as we picked up a sleepy¬†Emma at Oma’s house.

This evening, the Birthday Girl had a bath just exactly one year after the photo at this link was taken. We’re proud parents, of course, of all she has accomplished (and taught us)¬†during that year. We’re so very grateful to have her and her fun, feisty, sweet¬†spirit in our lives.

Looking forward to her birthday party this weekend.

Farewell, Alaska

Monday, August 14th, 2006

Actually, we’re in (or near – in International waters?) Canadian territory now. We’ll leave the ship and fly home tomorrow out of Vancouver, British Columbia.

It’s been quite a week.

I’ve had a lot of experiences (and taken a lot of pictures), which I look forward to processing and sharing, eventually, here, after I get through the upcoming work-week and the much-anticipated reunion and catch-up hugs and play-time with our little cutie-pie daughter, whom we miss terribly.

I’ve checked work e-mail just enough to know that on my first day back in the office, I’m already booked for a four-hour client meeting.

But nothing can rob me of the mind-expanding experience that has been this cruise vacation.

The next time I get stressed over a deadline or a client demand at work, I’ll just imagine that I’m attending the Princess Pop-Idol finals. (Think American Idol – three judges included – except that the finalists are singing karoake and I’m drinking a margharita). Steve, you look like a tall Bill Murray, and the pseudo Simon Cowell judge was correct when he said that if he closed his eyes, you sound like the brother from “Everybody Loves Raymond.” But whoever you really are and whereover you hail from, I’ll always remember that winning and show-stopping baritone rendition of Sweet Caroline. You had my vote, and you deserved to win!

Or maybe I’ll just remember sipping a different alcoholic beverage and eyeing my bingo cards, surrounded by dozens of crazed bingo players, all salivating over the $2250 grand snowball bingo jackpot. (I didn’t win. But a woman from Milwaukee, sitting next to me, won $125.)

Or I could call to mind the sight of breaching humpback whales, the fins of Orcas (killer whales), the sight of spawning salmon that actually jump up waterfalls (!), the black bear that we saw from the air (he was very tiny, from our vantage point, but no matter), the opportunity to see and hear glaciers as they calved and fell into the sea. The seals, the bald eagles.

And David. Our tour guide in Juneau. David, you don’t know it, but you’ve already earned an entire post on this blog, as soon as I have time to try to capture you in words. You were the worst tour guide by whom Paul or I have ever had the pleasure of being led. And yet, somehow, you did bad so good.

So the vacation is ending, but the memories will live on.

And the blog will thrive under the weight of it all. From the serious to the trite . . .

I’m learning a lot on this cruise…

Friday, August 11th, 2006

like¬†why glaciers have a blueish tinge, that vegetation above the tree line is short and scrubby, that people from the southern United¬†States¬†really use more words than are necessary to get the concept across, and that Bingo really is more fun when you’re drinking a Princess Colada while you play.¬† Also learning that it’s hard to be away from munchkin Emma for this long.

More examples later.¬† I’m off to¬†play the two-cent slots.¬†

And tomorrow, I’m hoping to see some whales.¬†

Greetings from Alaska!

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

We’re on a Princess cruise ship in College Fjord, Prince William Sound, Alaska – which means that I should really go take in the scenery instead of sitting at the computer. It’s 42 degrees outside where we are right now. I’ll be posting more descriptions of this adventure later. But now (we’re three hours earlier here than home), it’s time for breakfast!