The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

A is for Actors April 1, 2016

Hello, all!

Welcome to April, where blogging-wise I am in over my head.

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One of my Facebook friends posted about NaPoWriMo and a few others talked about the Blogging A-Z challenge, and I thought I would be the classic Overachiever and combine them. So I am going to try to blog every day in April except Sundays, AND write a poem, AND stick to a theme that follows the alphabet. Heaven help me.

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So, Day 1.  A is for actors.

Tonight I went to a local high school and watched their performance of The Sound of Music. A couple of my theater friends went with me and it was a nice evening.

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I mainly went for the sake of one kiddo- he was one of my actors when I stage-managed Grease in 2014 and I have watched him in his HS production of it as well. He played the character of Max tonight, and I thought he was wonderful, a joy to watch every time he is onstage. I can’t wait to see what his future holds.

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I wanted to talk about the theater experience and how we learn and grow as actors and how we get better at every audition, hopefully. Recently I auditioned for our local theater’s production of “I Ought To Be In Pictures” and wasn’t cast. I was pretty down about it, but I realized I had given the best audition I had ever done, and it was obvious I am learning and getting better, so I was happy about that. Appearance Bias in theater is another A-word that has been on my mind lately, but that is another post.

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So. In of  honor of my favorite Greaser, and myself, here is my first poem of the month, and it is also titled with an A-word.

Actor In Training

Actor in training,
Move across the stage.
Show us who you’re playing,
Their joy
Sorrow
Rage.

Actor in training
Move us with your song.
Tell another’s story
Make us sing along.

Actor in training
Give the boards your all.
The show goes on
The lights don’t dim
Until the curtain falls.

DD
4/1/16
9:26am

Until next time,

D

 

 

 

 

Merry Chrismarch! March 1, 2016

image.jpgHello, all!  Merry Christmas!  Wait, what?  It’s March 1st?  Super Tuesday?  Oh.  Well, here’s my thinking:  when one works in the shipping and postal business at Christmastime, it causes a certain distaste for the whole season, a certain dread of the holiday and a certain feeling of just looking forward to surviving and to the holidays being over.  So I woke up today thinking about politics, and the haters and complainers and the complete circus the election process has been this time around, and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if all the love and good will and peace on earth stuff could be back at the forefront of people’s minds on a day like today??” So I pulled up my iTunes and started digging my Christmas playlist!  Admittedly, it’s not very extensive, consisting mostly of Glee versions and a two-album set by the Osmond family from the late 70s that I utterly loved when I was a kid.

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So, love and good will and peace on earth notwithstanding, I am coming out of the closet.  I never talk about politics with anyone I expect to get an argument from, because I detest arguing politics.  I don’t like confrontation in general, and the people in my personal circle who are most vocal about politics are not people who are likely to agree to disagree.

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I haven’t taken the time to research a lot of facts about voting records or the facts surrounding the many scandals, nor have I studied definitions of socialism in a while, or looked at government reports or independent studies.  I don’t know their bios by heart, their successes and failures in the worlds of education or business.  But I do know what I perceive without all that.  Hillary strikes me as utterly corrupt.  Donald Trump strikes me as utterly worthless.  Bernie strikes me as well-intentioned and capable.  The rest of them haven’t been on my radar enough to form an opinion. Carson, I am having trouble describing and categorizing.  He seems like a very decent person and for the most part I like his values.

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Ok, so I didn’t really come out of the closet very far.  The thing I hate about politics is the way it divides people.  It has broken my heart to see hot-headed people spouting their beliefs with no tolerance for opposing views, even to the point of breaking off ties with family and friends.  Over POLITICS!  Really?  When it comes right down to it, how could these issues be more important than the people in our lives?!  There are a couple of people I know who have voiced support of candidates, and I know how that influences my opinion of them, but I can’t bring myself to call them out on it, express to them that I think they might possibly be crazy.  However, I do very strongly believe in the importance of taking advantage of the great privilege of voting.  That’s the bottom line.  If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.  You can threaten to move to another country, or you can go hide in the wilderness and live off the grid, but you can’t complain.  If you don’t vote, you give up that right.

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Thanks for reading!  Now GO VOTE!

Until next time,

D.

 

 

 

Just A Brief Update January 16, 2016

Hello, all!  It’s really late, but for some reason I am in the mood to blog and it has been way too long, so here I am.  Things are pretty good at the moment.  After I returned from Alaska and got my Daughter J. married off, I went back to work at a place I had worked before, off and on for about 12 years now.  I was preparing to audition for Ardmore Little Theater’s Fiddler On the Roof and I ended up getting asked to Stage Manage, which for me is just as much fun as being in the cast.  It’s going to be a wonderful show, I can already tell.  The cast is a perfect mix of experienced and newbie, and everyone is really enthusiastic and cooperative.  For now.  I feel wretched and traitorous saying this, may ValJean forgive me, but I think Fiddler may end up topping Les Mis with regard to just the number of cast members, beauty of the sound produced, and the general experience of the production being one of a cohesive team being dedicated to a common high goal, which is creative excellence.  In short, this cast has got it goin’ on!

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It’s January 16 and my Christmas tree is still up.  Between work and the theater I am working 13 hours a day and I just haven’t been in the mood to mess with it.   Unfortunately the two squatters living in this house, who I just happened to give birth to, wouldn’t do any housework or take it upon themselves to UN-decorate the Christmas decorations without a gun to their heads.  Figuratively speaking, obviously. So I’m thinking maybe the tree will be down by Valentine’s Day.  That would definitely be a record for me.  Who knows, maybe I’ll feel like messing with it before then.

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Health and fitness-wise, life is … well, let’s just say I’m not working as hard on that as I have in the past.  I have tried to get my head together and it just doesn’t seem to be working.  I can’t afford to actually pay money for Weight Watchers right now, I can’t seem to manage to do low carb the right way (or stick with it longer than a few days), and exercise is lower on my priority list than gum surgery.  Maybe one of these days I’ll get back on the wagon.

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Anyway.  It is later than late and I work early tomorrow, so I wish good health and good blessings on each and every one.

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Until next time,

D.

 

 

 

 

Flashbacks November 2, 2015

Filed under: Alaska Summer — DDKlingonGirl @ 11:45 pm
Tags: , , ,

Hello, all.  I wanted to go back and give a detailed description of the final days in Alaska so as to provide a bit of closure to the story.

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The last week or so that the lodge was open, the number of guests we had staying with us was reduced further each day.  From several hundred people at the beginning of the week, we were down to the two final buses carrying only about 80 or 90 people total.  They rolled out at 12:45 or so on Thursday the 17th.  All the employees lined up outside the main lodge building and waved as the buses left.  It was so strange! We had been there on opening day when we were all nervous and had no idea what the season would bring, and now we were saying farewell to the last guests of the season.  For better or worse, we had survived.  The minute they were away, we all cheered and hugged and high-fived.  It was a joyful moment, but if I remember correctly, I probably got a little teary-eyed too.  Less so than I had thought I would.  Which was good.

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After the guests had left, most of the various departments were having little goodbye parties.  At least we lucky Gift Shop Girls were.  Our managers had brought a ton of food and drinks, and after snagging some chairs from downstairs in the cafeteria, we all sat down and had our little smorgasbord.  Too soon it was time to go back to our rooms and finish packing.  Actually, some of my co-workers were already scheduled to leave that afternoon, but I was lucky I didn’t have to go until the next morning.  I had put off packing until the last possible minute, and besides, there was still another farewell party to go to, in the luggage barn.  They grilled hamburgers and hotdogs for us, and had a bit of a carnival.  Well, ok, there was a cotton candy machine, a popcorn machine, and a dunk tank.  But it was fun watching people try to dunk the managers who had been on their case all season.

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Finally it was time for the two employee buses to leave, and a majority of employees were ready to hit the road.  Several of my close friends were leaving on those buses, including Nattie B, who had gone on one of my first tours with me, the Devil’s Canyon Jet Boat tour.  Sadly, that turned out to be our only tour together.  Also leaving that day was Lori, the first fellow employee I met in Alaska.  We became acquainted while sitting in the hotel lobby waiting for the bus to come take us to our new summer home.  Many others that I wasn’t super close to, but had enjoyed working with, were also heading out.  It was an odd experience, such a mix of happy and sad.  It reminded me of graduation day, or the last day of camp.

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NOW it was time to get serious about packing.  I went back to my room and got started.  I think I had already washed all my laundry so I could bring everything home clean.  I had already shipped a couple of boxes of random unneeded stuff, and I STILL had one huge box of souvenirs and gifts I was planning to ship in Wasilla.  My travel plans, as you may remember, were to spend several days at the home of one of my new friends who was actually an Alaska resident, and do a little sightseeing and exploring freed from the limitations of Princess transportation.

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I am kind of a methodical packer.  I have to have everything as organized as possible, and I was also really concerned about the weight of my suitcases.  Luckily, I didn’t have to worry about it for a while, since I wouldn’t be flying out for almost a week.  I packed everything away, except for my theater posters.  Those I left up until I woke up Friday morning, and finally took them down after I was showered, dressed and ready to check out.  The checkout process was not as big a deal as I had been afraid it would be.  First we had to take all our linens, including our shower curtain, to the checkout station.  Then when we were completely packed and ready to leave and had made sure everything was clean, we were supposed to go fetch our checkout manager, who would then come check off the list to make sure we did everything right, and then were were supposed to be ready to vacate our room.  I was NOT looking forward to this, because I had two huge suitcases, a backpack, a tote bag, and two shipping boxes (one I was sending for my roommate) to deal with, and I wasn’t thrilled about having to drag all that stuff by myself to the place where I was going to have to wait for my friend’s mom who was coming to pick us both up.  Thankfully, my checkout person let me wait in my room, Lord love her.  That made the whole waiting thing SO much easier.

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Finally Natalie’s mom arrived and we loaded up with all haste and woohoooo! We were out of there.  Again, it was a very odd feeling, very mixed emotions.  Also nerves about staying in the home of strangers basically, for almost a week.

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I shouldn’t have worried.  Her family was perfectly welcoming and I enjoyed their home.  We did some running around town, saw local sights, and when we got home, I believe I celebrated returning to civilization by watching M*A*S*H on Netflix.

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On Sunday morning we got up and hit the road for a little trip down to Seward.  We were planning to visit the Sea Life Center and I was planning to take a day cruise and hopefully get to see some wildlife.  We stayed in Seward two nights and enjoyed the adventure.  It was a beautiful place, a tiny port town surrounded by little mountains.

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When we got home, we spent a day hanging out with Claire, one of our other Gift Shop co-workers, who also happened to live in the same town as Natalie- Wasilla.  We went to Hatcher Pass and a little restaurant that served some apparently quite famous corn fritters, which Claire had been looking forward to for days.

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The last day I spent in Alaska started early.  We rode with Nat’s dad into Anchorage and hung out in a coffee shop for a while, while he had his first meeting of the day.  Then he took us to the mall and we amused ourselves for several hours, shopping, eating lunch, and getting our nails done.  Finally her dad was done with work and he came and picked us up and took me to the airport.  It felt like we were cutting it a little close, but I made it with time to spare, and boarded my plane for home.   The adventure was finally over.  I don’t think I had really expected it would ever end.

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Here are some of the pictures from that week, as well as the video of my takeoff from Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage.  If you listen closely, you can hear me crying.

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Until next time,

D.

 

Leaving On a Jet Plane…

Filed under: Alaska Summer,Looking Forward — DDKlingonGirl @ 9:20 pm
Tags: , ,

Hello, all!  I have been back at home again for five weeks.  I had promised to share the end of my Alaska adventures, and so this post will include some final images covering the State Fair and the last couple of days at the lodge. I wish I could really articulate how much the experience of living and working in Alaska meant to me. It was truly a dream come true.  Not every moment was dreamy, obviously.  It was occasionally very hard.  The self-critical part of me has a tendency to say it was all in my head, and that if I had somehow changed my outlook, my perspective, my attitude, it would have been thoroughly peachy.  I’m pretty sure that is not entirely true, and that I did the best I could with what I had at the time, and that I need to quit ragging on myself.  I’ll work on it.

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For now, though, I am home.  Back into old routines, old job, etc.  There are some new things. About three weeks after I got home, Daughter J. got married.  Definitely not something I fully embraced at the time, but she is happy.  I also was able to get new vehicles for myself and Daughter S.  Not new, new.  New to us.  Definitely the nicest, prettiest cars I’ve ever owned- an ’07 and an ’08.

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Another thing that will stay the same, obviously, is that I remain involved in my beloved Ardmore Little Theater.  A few days after I got home I attended closing night of “Harvey.”  The next show opens November 12, which is “Of Mice and Men.”  After a break for the holidays that will hopefully include working on the parade float and doing some caroling at the senior centers, the major musical of the season will be “Fiddler On the Roof.”  A couple of weeks ago I was asked to be Stage Manager for Fiddler, and I am super excited but very nervous.  It will only be my second time to SM and it is a huge cast and a classic favorite of many people.  It is important to me to help make it excellent. I am very much looking forward to stage managing again.

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So all in all, things are good and I am happy to be home with my family and friends.  I definitely miss my new friends I met in Alaska.  I don’t think I ever expected to meet people I would learn to love so much.  I will forever be thankful for the time I had there, and hopefully I will get to return someday, maybe even bringing some of my loved ones with me to share in the experience.

Until next time,

D.

 

Stalking the Northern Lights and Celebrating Christmas In August! September 2, 2015

(Originally begun 8/28/15)

Hello, all!  Alaska remains as awesome as ever.  The weather here has been in a weird pattern that has dropped the temperatures down a little colder than they normally are at this time of year.  It was only about 35 degrees when I woke up.  I didn’t have to work morning shift today, so I stayed up late last night and tried to see the Northern Lights, or the Aurora Borealis.  I left my room at about 11:45, walked down to the lodge, and took a spot on the back deck that promised fairly prime viewing if the lights should appear.  At first I was one of only a few people out there, but within an hour or so, it was standing room only.  Unfortunately there were no big appearances, although the conditions were pretty good.  Or… it’s possible they took off and went crazy shortly after I decided I had only a few moments left before I was permanently frozen and decided to go back inside and beg Security for a ride back up to housing, which I was given and for which I was extremely thankful.  When I got back to my room, I tiptoed in, careful in the darkness, trying not to wake up my roommate who had had to work way overtime due to the power outage.  I had settled down in bed and was wondering if I would ever warm up, when I heard someone clomping up the porch and a key in the door and I thought “Dear God, who’s coming in here?!”  My heart was already pounding when I realized that it was Roomie herself, who had gotten off work, found the note I left her, and decided since she was off work so late, she might as well go try to check them out too!  Silly me.

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So anyway.  I did get a little glimpse, and I’m not giving up until I get to see some really pretty ones, but for now I have something else to share.  Remember in my last entry when I said I was going to talk about a strange but lovely surprise?  Well, it revolves around a tradition that takes place here at McKinley and apparently other National Parks.  It’s called Christmas In August.  It seems that somewhere, sometime long ago, there may or may not have been some people who were trapped by a freak blizzard in August in Yellowstone or some other National Park.  They decided to celebrate Christmas, either because it was the 25th, even though it was in August, or because they felt pretty sure they weren’t going to survive to see the real Christmas.  So they were singing Christmas carols and they were heard and saved by rescuers.  So it has become a tradition to celebrate Christmas in August in National Parks, and even though this lodge is actually within a State park, they decided some time ago to participate in the tradition.

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Which is a really long way of saying that over the last week I have enjoyed looking at beautiful Christmas trees, my fellow Gift Shop Girls and I built a “gingerbread” house (which was actually built from graham crackers) for a competition between all the departments, I received several gifts because I signed up for Secret Santa, AND… I helped organize Christmas caroling for the guests!

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We met in the training room and practiced, and then a couple of days later we met and walked down to the fire pits and sang a few songs, then walked through the gift shop singing, and into the Great Room of the main lobby for a few more.  I’d like to say I was brave and was the leader I was supposed to be, but there were a couple of other girls with much better voices and I let them sort of take over.  One of them started the songs for us and the other one did a bit of a solo on ‘O’ Holy Night.’  It was fairly unusual for me to actually get involved in something here, as I have been painfully shy most of this time, but when one of the managers visited the gift shop and mentioned the caroling that was planned and the lack of someone to help lead it, my dear co-workers assured the manager that I would be the perfect person for the job.  So I was sort of volunteered before I even knew about it, but of course I was happy to be part of it.

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We sang two nights in a row, the 24th and 25th, and on the final night one of the F&B (food and beverage) managers listened to us in the lobby and afterwards he said all the carolers could have free ice cream from the coffee bar! That was a pretty good reward for our showing off.  It was a really great time though.  Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love Christmas and I need absolutely NO excuse to sing!  Often in the gift shop, my co-workers and I would break out in song during the slow moments and while counting our register drawers before opening and after closing.  Such fun!

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So that is the story of why a bunch of vacationers walked into a lodge in Alaska in August and were greeted with Christmas trees, gingerbread houses, stuffed Santa dolls, and some fairly pitiful Christmas caroling. All my theater peeps had better watch out, I’m thinking, because it won’t be long before it will be time for us to do our caroling and the Christmas parade float again! I’m already all warmed up and ready to go.  Heh heh.

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Until next time,

D.

 

A Photo Walking Tour August 26, 2015

(Originally begun on 8/23)

Hello, all!  Things here in Alaska are still wonderful, and the wonderfulness quickly approaches an end.  One of the girls from the gift shop is leaving today, with three more leaving by the 31st of August.  It’s beginning to get pretty weird.

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BUT.  I still have time to share my adventures, and to write about all the things I see and do, so today I got up and took a walk through a part of the property I had never been through before.  Sure enough, it was a rewarding walk well worth the time.  The property is divided into two loops around which are situated the guest buildings.  The main lodge building houses a very few guest rooms, as well as the general manager’s home, the gift shop, the Mountain View dining room, and the Grizzly Bar.  Employee housing is above the upper loop, so that’s really the only one we ever have occasion to see, as we walk to and from work.  The lower loop I had never explored until today.

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Employee housing is out past T and the gift shop is G. That long road between is the one I am following in this entry.

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The weather is gorgeous.  The mountain is mostly out, and the guests are in ecstasy, posing proudly and taking pictures with that incredible sight in the background.  They are very lucky, as you might remember.  There is a thing here called the ‘30% Club’ because there is only about a 30% chance of viewing the entire mountain on any given day.  If you get to see it, you’re in the club.  A lot of people have visited here this summer wondering if the whole thing was a hoax, because believe it or not, there are days when you literally can’t tell there is even a mountain there.

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So as I mentioned before, it is a beautiful day and I only have so many of those left, and I want to be sure I don’t miss anything I will regret.  I took my shower, gathered my work clothes and all my other junk needed for the day, stuffed it all in my backpack, and set out on my walk.  The pictures I am going to be sharing here will include a sort of “photo walking tour” of the route I take to get to work, starting with the view from out my front door.

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Continuing on, I walk behind the housing and down through the maintenance buildings.  Behind the maintenance buildings is The Infamous Hell Hill.  This was the hill that I only take going to work.  I refuse to climb up it going back to the room afterward.  Yes, I am sure it would probably have benefitted me, but geez louise, that thing is steep and it feels like the chest wheezes it induces will last forever!

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I stopped halfway down and took another picture from the hill.  When I get to the bottom, I cross a little road where if you look back left there is more employee housing.  Then you have to choose to take either a rocky, rough little trail, or take a few extra steps on the pavement and go to the stop sign and turn the corner.  Before that though, I want to show you a picture of a very important spot in my experience here.  You can see it in the middle picture above, but I am about to show you another view of it.  When my friend was looking through my pictures of my walk this day, she was curious as to why I took a picture of something so seemingly random, but I am about to tell you the story.

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Looks pretty ordinary, doesn't it?

Looks pretty ordinary, doesn’t it?

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Well, I was going to tell you a much longer version of this story, but then I hit the wrong button and froze my screen and lost what I had done.  The point was, this was where I sat to catch my breath, the first day I was here, having walked up Hell Hill IN the rain, WITH a 20 pound box and a 5 pound purse, NOT knowing where I was going or how with any certainty I was to get back to my room.  This was where I sat and made probably the biggest mistake of this whole experience.  I sat there, drenched to the skin, huffing and wheezing and more or less in tears, and I told myself, “If I stay here and stick this out, it will be the hardest thing I have ever done.”  It was only much later that I regretfully realized what I should have said to myself in that moment:  “Wow.  That was really really hard, but I did it.  If I can do that, the rest of this thing should be a piece of cake!”

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Ah, well.  Lesson learned.  Moving on.

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Continuing down the hill toward the lodge.  Believe it or not, it is actually fall here.  The trees are changing colors and losing their leaves, and there are bright colored berries on some plants along the way.  My beloved fireweed has turned from beautiful bright pink blooms to spiky stalks of cottony fuzz, which apparently means winter is only a few weeks away.  So strange!  Anyway…

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This is the road down to the lodge, and a line of buses that were there one day when I went down for lunch. Some days there are a LOT of buses there at that time.  I am totally losing the thread of this entry, aren’t I?  Here are some of the images I captured on my walk around the lower loop on this beautiful day.

So those were some of the sights I enjoyed on my walk.  Here is a short clip of the water feature. Stay tuned for my next entry, where there is a strange but lovely surprise.

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Until next time,

D.

 

 
The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

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