Monday, February 22, 2010

My Cousin is Cool

This post is a shout out to my cousin, Alyssa. She is one of the So. Cal 9 (the 5 from my family, 2 from Tante San [Willem and Meryl], and Tante Bay [Alyssa and Brad]), so we grew up together and we're all really close.


She is an officer in the Coast Guard, and 2009 graduate from the US Coast Guard Academy.

My sisters and I with her during graduation weekend
(Chanelle, Ashley, Alyssa, me, Ingrid)

She is currently up in Kodiak, Alaska patrolling the Bering Sea and keeping up the fishing regulations/ law enforcement on the boats up there. There is also a lot of drug smuggling that goes by way of those northern waters, so they patrol and monitor that situation as well. scary! The ship, or more properly cutter, she is assigned to is the U.S.S. Munro. I'm not remembering all the stats, but it's one of the best cutters in the Coast Guard. She actually gets to steer the ship, turning it around, driving out of the harbor and out to sea. Talk about responsibility! Here it is:

This photo was actually taken by a crew member's wife from the dock. Alyssa is manning the wheel at the very moment!

One day, they were notified to board another cutter, not knowing that she was going to be going aboard the Wizard! She was filmed on the Deadliest Catch doing safety rounds, log book checks and all that good stuff. . . though I am not sure if it aired yet this season.

A picture of them leaving the Wizard. That's Alyss!
Brrrr. . . that water looks mighty cold.

It's king crab season. In Alaska. Thusly, crab is cheap. For her. So she sent a whole boatload (maybe not quite that much) to California, and my whole family (minus me) feasted on crab. Oh no, my mouth is watering again. She spent over $200 on the shipping (wowzers), such a sweet way for her to spoil all of them. lucky people I tell you!

The whole point of being stationed up there is to log hours doing all kinds of various duties. While her main objective is to act as assistant boarding officer and law enforcement, she also does things like help Coast Guard helicopters safely land on deck (landing signals). You can imagine this gets pretty hairy at night and when it's storming. The Bering Sea is not a nice place, especially in the heart of winter. Yet she and her crewmates know how to make it fun. . .

You know that's Alyss in the middle

Oh, and on off days she gets to do fun things like snow mobiling, shooting, hiking, 4-wheeling, making friends with bald eagles, etc. Yes, I said making friends with bald eagles.

Ok, seriously?

Am I the only person jealous here? =) I know her job isn't safe, she's worked her tail off to get there and continues to do so everyday. Yet despite the difficulty, I know she is having some amazing adventures and quite the time of her life.

Isn't he amazing?

Love you Alyss, and praying for your safety out there! Can't wait to see you in the summer.

Unrelated, but maybe kind of is since most of these pictures have snow. . . it's snowing here today! I mentioned it yesterday and boy was I skeptical. I thought we were going to get sleet at best. Sure enough, at 4:00 this morning I heard it skipping against my window. Did not enjoy it at all on the drive in (a tea latte had to make up for that) (Mom, I decided to drive in case they shut down all the buses and there was no way home, don't worry, I was and will be careful) due to all the overly-slow driving. See this post regarding that. Anyhow having Lisa, one of my students, shout out in class today, "Vanessa, it's snowing!" quite giddily, and everyone pausing their lab experiments to gaze in awe, smile and laugh, gush, "Ooooh, that's a big one!", then complain about not being able to be outside made up for all of that. I'm pretty sure I even squealed. And I have proof.

1) I am looking out my window and it just started coming down again. This morning, there were HUGE chunks. You don't know how hard it was not to run out of my lab section this morning when it started snowing. It sucks when you really have to stay inside! Ok, but that is just my word right here. In case you don't believe me. . .


I know, another weather report

But did you see that? Not just snow, but heavy snow. K, just checkin.

3) These were taken while I was teaching, from a dirty iron-paned glass window, from the fifth floor, and I'm sorry (perhaps more for myself than you) that I was not able to be outside. I REALLY wanted to be outside. The hugest snow flakes were falling. I'm talking lumps of snow nearly the size of my palm sometimes. Does that mean it's wet snow? Because they are sticking together? I don't know, having grown up in Cali, where it's essentially desert, I'm not a snow expert.

Yes, those are flakes!

This was near the beginning of when it started falling. There were times when the whole outside was white.

Over the trees for some better contrast against the dark leaves

And of course my camera battery is low, so my picture taking today to chronicle this fabulous event is going to be minimal. big time boo.

the aftermath of those heavy morning showers. You can see it accumulated on the tin roofing, and in the flower beds.

Besides that, this is so fun. Even if I have to be at school. I love looking outside my window at the furious little flurries. They're really little right now (the flakes) and still swirling around, but it is supposed to continue until the end of the day. It's hard to believe our local high was 83 degrees only two days ago!

Sheesh, it is still snowing. All through the time it took to write this post, including uploading, editing and placing pictures, finding them online (Alyssa's fb pics) and writing. I'm in love.

I'm having an AWESOME day. Hope you are too!

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