Five Awesome Ways I Spent My Money This Month

It’s been really rainy lately in Cordova, which means that I’ve been spending lots of time on my computer, inevitably finding new and exciting things to do post-Alaska. A loose schedule is beginning to form…and I am so excited! Along with trip planning, I’ve just found some really cool causes which are worthy of support.

San Miguel de Allende

The headliner of the post is my apartment which I’ve rented in the small Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende for November and December. San Miguel is a small, artsy town a few hours north of Mexico City and will act as the base for my travels to explore some of Mexico.

BSO Worldwide Refugee Welcome Team

BeSomeone Worldwide: Refugee Welcome Team – My friend, Michaele, is leading an organization promoting kindness, compassion, and adventure travel. I’ve never traveled with them, but Michaele and her husband are just brilliant and they’re doing wonderful things. They primarily work in Masaai villages in Africa, but they also partner with local organizations in Pennsylvania which are working to resettle refugees in the USA. They recently welcomed a family from Etirea (check out photos here) and worked to get them settled into a new home. The photos will melt your heart. The process is starting again to welcome the next family, and if you’re interested in helping out or looking to make a meaningful impact…I’m not sure I can think of a better way than making a donation. I did 🙂

Playing the “Woman Card”

I found these Woman Cards when I was perusing various news sites looking for my Reasons to Smile post. I obviously had to buy some. At first I wanted to hide them to surprise friends – I can think of a few people who would be obsessed with these and they’ll make great birthday gifts. But…I’m not very patient and I just had to share. If you are reading this, we’re friends and you 1) live in Cordova or 2) have someone in your phone under “Lil Britches” then there might be a set of these coming your way for an upcoming birthday. Want to buy your own or support the cause? Check out the Kickstarter campaign here.

Lake Powell Half Marathon

I had big plans this summer to run two half marathons…but for various reasons it seems like it won’t work out. Never fear…I’ve found a new one and wasted no time in registering Lake Powell Half Marathon is in Page, Arizona along the border with Utah. The scenery looks jaw-dropping, the course is downhill, and it is pretty close to the Grand Canyon which I’ve been wanting to visit. Mark your calendars – October 15th is the day. Anyone want to join?? 🙂

Team Trent

My dear friends Lauren and Steve have a little boy, Trent, who has Williams Syndrome (learn more here). Each year, The Williams Syndrome Association in Cleveland has a walk to raise awareness about WS and to support families living with the condition. Team Trent is preparing for the walk on May 21st, and though I never seem to be able to join, I always support and send love from afar. Donations go to raise awareness about WS and to help provide scholarships for families to attend the annual WS Convention. Go get ’em, Trent! 🙂

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Trent, laughing with his big brother, Tyce
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Six Reasons to Smile on This Monday Morning

No politics. No election news. No drama. These little gems are guaranteed to start your week off the right way. Enjoy!

Guaranteed to make you smile, these elderly folks are saying “No way!” to dressing their age. These outfits are fantastic! Hats off to these feisty humans.

I have been laughing at these hilarious texts for the past week. Some of you may have gotten an email with this link in it. I just can’t move on. I was laying in bed and laughing out loud while scrolling through these on my phone. The “Pecan Pie” one just gets me every time – just thinking of the poor guy trying to type “no” and having his efforts thwarted each time by the auto-correct is making me giggle all over again……

Who doesn’t love baby corn? Learn where it comes from and how to make your own!

I came across this fantastic little video of Gwen Stefani singing karaoke in the car with George Clooney and Julia Roberts for a late-night show feature. It’s pretty entertaining. Also…Gwen Stefani is 46?!? She looks amazing.

KFC has just unveiled a new lickable nail polish which tastes like fried chicken and keeps its flavor. As if the “Chizza” wasn’t enough…I just can’t believe this is a thing. And that people would want this? And how gross is it that we are trying to incentivize people to put their fingers in their mouths? Ew.

And finally, today marks 5 weeks until Finding Dory releases in theaters. I mean…there’s not even a movie theater in Cordova…but this is still quite exciting! Woo!

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Happy Monday!

An Inside Look from an Outsider’s Perspective

I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into when I decided to come to Alaska for the summer. In typical Cindy fashion, I got it stuck in my head that I wanted to go to Alaska…and then I made it happen. Was there really that much research that I needed to do? I mean…it’s part of the US, I speak the language, how different can it be? Well…as it turns out…very.

Cordova certainly has character – of which I am am big fan. Here are a few Cordova quirks that distinguish my little town from pretty much anywhere else I’ve lived.

“Saying Hi Means You’re Flirting”

As a female in a town filled with men, I get lots of unsolicited attention. No shouting or touching or obnoxious staring like in other countries…but an over-eagerness for conversation in the hopes that I’ll fall in love (or into bed) with whomever I’m speaking. I’m generally smiley and chatty and always have a witty comeback (No comments from the peanut gallery – you know who you are) or at least I put up a good front of conversing and feigning interest. In a town where saying hello is basically flirting…I’ve had to tailor my responses as to not feed the rumor mills. Or…at least feed them less.

Which brings me to my second point – men and women cannot be friends. Cordovans are super jealous. I’ve been warned by several friends, several times. If I talk to a man…it is obviously because I’m sleeping with him (oh boy). And if I see a guy in the grocery store who I know and he’s with his girlfriend…I’ve been instructed not to give him any more attention than I give her. Otherwise I’m likely to find myself in a fight. It’s a little like I’ve found myself in a grownup version of high school – all of the social rules, cliques, and behaviors tend to leave me scratching my head when friends explain to me the rules of the game.

And apparently the fears are generally based in reality. Most of the men that live here are fishermen and spend half of the year sleeping away from home. People are basically expected to cheat. Women, too. And the single people that stay here over the winter are so lonely after spending all those months in the cold and dark that “hello” is all they need to hear.

Such a strange little bubble. It will be an interesting next few months to say the least…if nothing more than the people watching. Key word: watching. I hate drama and plan to avoid the aforementioned fights. Stay tuned.

Rain

It rains here. A lot. Basically every day. We’re currently in a 2-week stretch…forecasters say that we will have a sunny day in 12 days (May 15th). The clouds pass so low that I can’t even see the mountains looming over the town. The first day that I arrived…the sky was clear and the sun was shining. That was April 1. Since then…we’ve had two other days of sunshine.

I’ve invested in some rain gear, which makes a huge difference. Being able to splash around in my boots and rain pants with my big hood over my head keeps me warm and happy. And it means that I can still go on hikes and get out of the house when the weather isn’t too bad. It’s usually not. During this past month …I’ve kind of gotten used to it. It’s like living in a cold rain forest.

Just 12 more days. Bring on the sun 🙂

On a Scale of Crazy to Cordovan Crazy…

For the most part, the people here are your typical friendly, small town folks. Almost everyone I’ve met is very kind. For example, they’re always willing to give me a ride when I get one too many Amazon packages at the post office (which I greatly appreciate). There’s just this tight-knit sense of community, solidarity and being neighborly. I like it.

But I’ve been warned by locals. No judgement involved – but the people here…they are just a little…off. Any person who lives in Cordova will likely laugh and agree. And I say that with nothing but love for the people that I’ve met so far…in fact…they’re the ones that have shared the insight. People in Cordova spend all winter in the dark, they work intense hours for only a few months a year, and they live in a town with no road out (ferry/plane only). It takes a certain type of person. So…if a Cordovan tells you that someone is crazy…you listen. Cordovan crazy is a new level.

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Here are some cool clouds I saw the other day on my way to the store – a wicked storm headed out to sea. The blue sky only lasted five minutes until it was chased off by the next storm system…but it was nice while it lasted! Soaking in that vitamin D 🙂

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