Home, Sweet Home.

From Sea to Store

Here are a few pictures of George, Gary, Peter, and my sis Cassandra unloading two big totes’ worth of home-pack into the the cooler truck and back room of the family store, Vis Seafoods.

Ah, Peter showing love to a ling. My beautiful and hardworking older sis, Cassandra.

Sweet Eva and Vincent. This will all be yours in 20 years, lol.

Welcome Home!!!

Welcome Home!!

George, Bryan, Steve, Gary, and Brett!!! 

They brought the sunshine with them. The day started out dreary, dark, and rainy. It slowly began to improve. By the time I saw the boat cruising across the bay, the sun was out in force. The children and I jumped into the car, parked on the dock, and actually watched them come into the harbor.

Bryan helped the kids down to the boat and showed them giant ling cod heads. We drove around the harbor with Steve in the flatbed, following George on the forklift. We ended at the family store, Vis Seafoods, where Gary and George unloaded two totes’ worth of home-pack.

As the little ones and I drove to the harbor today, I felt like I was floating above the earth. It was a surreal and beautiful day, and the most perfect way to spend my 8th wedding anniversary.

I’ve included some videos of today; they are second-rate videos, taken with my iPhone, that only a grandmother could love. Still, here they are.

Happy 8th Wedding Anniversary, G.

Happy 8th Wedding Anniversary to my pirate/commercial fisherman husband, George (aka “G”).

The best anniversary gift in the world is your arrival in port tomorrow afternoon after an extraordinarily long (four months? five months?) halibut and blackcod longline season. We will watch you cruise into the harbor or wave to you from our front deck as you steam across the bay. In any event event, we will be smiling like crazy!

Eight years of marriage (and ten years of companionship) is amazing. You are the only man with whom I’ve never become sick, tired, or bored.

You impress and amaze me everyday, and I have nothing but love, respect, and awe for you!

Thanks for the life we’ve made, in spite of it all. We love you! See you tomorrow!!

Jen’s Favorites of the Week

Caillou's friends: (Back) Clementine, Sarah - ...

Sweet Caillou. Reminds me of my little Vincent.

Jen’s Favorites of the Week

  1. The response to my last post. Wow! I never expected so many “hits” on a fun, off-the-cuff entry. Thank you to Beth and her almost-500 Facebook friends who were responsible for many of the clicks!
  2. The new logo I designed, which can be seen below. Something new, something different.
  3. Going to the library and getting the children library cards, as well as checking out books and two PBS Caillou DVDs.
  4. Ordering some wonderful new and updated books on writing. Posting a ten-year collection of writing books on Craig’s List. (By the way, if you are a Highliners and Homecomings reader and would like one of those books for free, send me a note and I will e-mail you the list of available titles!)
  5. Captain G due in on Tuesday of this week, which also happens to be our 8th wedding anniversary.
  6. My little sister’s baby shower this Sunday! I can’t wait to celebrate the impending arrival of my brand new niece!
  7. In one more shout out to Beth, I found out about the Top Mommy Blog site through her blog. While Highliners and Homecomings is not technically a “Mommy Blog,” we still qualify for votes. Click on this link to vote for us!

My First Undercover Mommy Deal

“Hurry,” I say to the kids.

“Are we going grocery shopping?” Eva asks.

“No,” I reply. “We have to pick something up. Hurry. We’re meeting someone.”

The kids climb into their car seats and we make our way down the hill, to the Boulevard, and onto the freeway headed north, where we exit quickly.

“Where are we going?” Eva asks again.

“We have a pick-up,” I answer.

I’m not sure how it will go. I’ve never been involved in this kind of a deal before, and it is a cash-only agreement. We’re  meeting in a small lot outside of a coffee stand.

I pull in and cut the engine. Looking nervously to my left, my right, straight ahead, and in my rear view mirror, I study others in the vicinity. Do I look suspicious? They certainly do.

“Who’s coming?” Eva asks.

“Shhhh,” I reply, distracted. I need to focus.

I look in my purse. Drat! No cash. I accidentally left it at home. Now what? The dealer explicitly said cash only.

Oh! A bank and an ATM straight ahead. I ignite the car and go.

“Fast cash $60 ought to do it,” I mutter to myself.

I slowly maneuver back to the agreed-upon spot.

Soon, I spy the vehicle: a burgundy Ford SUV. The driver gives me a quick nod when she sees my car.

“Silver Infiniti,” I’d told her. “Black tinted windows. Jazzercise magnets on the side.”

She pulls in next to me. Nervous, I get out of my car with with fake confidence and cash in hand. She rolls down her power windows so I can get a good look at her passengers.

Just as I suspected: a four-year old and a baby.


I look at the driver. Her blond hair is pulled back in a pony tail, and she wears black sunglasses decorated in rhinestones. She tells me her name is Jen.


“I brought it,” she says.

She reaches into the passenger seat and presents the merchandise.

“What do you think?” she asks.

I look it over.

Hat. Jacket with shiny buttons. Cut-off brown pants. The 3T Pirate Halloween costume I’d ordered on Craig’s List is perfect. I hand over the bills and climb back into my car.

My posse and I get back on the freeway, drive south one exit, and arrive home.

They spend the entire evening dressing up as kitties and pirates and I paint whiskers, pink noses, and eye patches on their faces in a Halloween dress rehearsal.

Hooray: An ETA From the Captain!

Heck, I’ve brought you all along for the ride this long, I thought I may as well keep the narrative going. I’ve shared pictures, audio posts, the good, the bad, and everything in between.

I’m sure G won’t mind if I share this one little innocent e-mail I received today; after all, it’s the only one I’ve received, and it brings good news! I’m leaving in the signature line that comes with the satellite e-mail because it always makes me roll my eyes.

Thanks for going along this latest fishing family journey with me. You are all the best!

Hi Sweetheart!

Here’s the update! First day was really good… next two were pretty average. Yesterday was bad. Today… hopefully will be decent here. Only need 7500 lbs more. Should be home by Monday.

Love you!


This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using OCENS.Mail software.

Please be kind and keep your replies short.

Icebergs in the Yakutat Bay, Alaska

Icebergs in Yakutat Bay, Alaska

Put a Fork In It…

Jen’s done.

I’ve gone through June, July, August, and September with the two little ones without Dad. Before that, I went through December, January, February, March, April, and most of May.

We’ve done well. Between the kids and I, we’ve:

  • Paid bills
  • Made home-cooked meals for two special-needs dogs
  • Dispensed vitamins, supplements, and medications for said dogs
  • Taken swimming lessons and graduated
  • Taken a 12-hour road trip to visit friends
  • Hosted a birthday party
  • Attended a birthday party
  • Prepared a pitch and synopsis for a writer’s conference
  • Attended writer’s conference
  • Learned Jazzercise routines
  • Taught Jazzercise routines
  • Joined Jenny Craig to lose a few pesky pounds
  • Enjoyed Eva’s first ballet stage performance
  • Regularly vacuumed, mopped, and sanitized a 3300-sq. foot house without a housekeeper
  • Maintained a blog
  • Attended church
  • Read books
  • Began pre-school
  • Attended Jazzercise
  • Attended gymnastics
  • Washed dishes, handled the garbage and recycling, grocery shopped and hauled bags up the stairs seven at a time, folded and put away laundry
  • Brushed the teeth, bathed, and washed the faces of two precious toddlers morning and night

Am I a super-hero? No. Am I a super mom? No. I am only doing what moms across the country do every day. I am not the only mom with a husband missing months at a time. I don’t have to work out of the house, and I can hire help when I need it. In addition, I have my awesome family nearby available to lend a hand 95% of the time.

Am I sick of my husband being gone? YES.

I value honesty in writing, so I’ll write here that while I obviously, and wholeheartedly, support what my husband does and what my family has done for five generations, I am ready for a break. I don’t want to do this long of a solo-mom stint again.

Will I do it if I have to? Of course.

But believe that I will try my best to make sure that doesn’t happen.

The Star-Crossed Lovers (Plinky Prompt)

Prompt: Build romantic tension with a scene between two star-crossed lovers. Write a passage in the style of a romance novel.

After nearly four months without her husband, the thirty-something mother of two starts making plans for the reunion that is soon to come.

“I’ll be home in two weeks,” her husband said the last time they spoke.

Two weeks? So much to do! She looks forward to all of the preparations.

First, she needs to get her hair styled. There won’t be enough time to get it colored, but she can have the layers sharpened and reshaped.

Next, she’ll redo all the bedding. It’s time for a new bedding set, anyway, and she has a gift card she can use toward the purchase.

She’ll make sure all the floors are vacuumed and scrubbed, and the bathrooms sanitized and spotless. The windows will be smudge-free, and the television and shelves will be dusted.

On the morning her man is due to arrive, the wife and mother will get up and teach Jazzercise. Endorphins ignited and running, she’ll race home following class to hop in the shower.

Now clean and smelling of Moonlight Path, she’ll apply glitter shadow to her eyes, glitter gloss to her lips, and spray a couple shots of Beautiful perfume by Estee Lauder on her neck.

“Come on, Ducklings!” she’ll call to her children.

They’ll get into the car and drive to the harbor, turning into the cold storage facility where the family fishing vessel will be unloading the halibut and blackcod catch.

First, she’ll spot the cold storage workers.

Then, she’ll see her husband. He’ll be wearing a black baseball cap, carrying a backpack, and sporting Carhaart cargo work pants.

She can never resist Carhaart work pants. A hug, a kiss, and easy chit chat among all will ensue before the halibut and blackcod unload continues and she leaves to let the men finish their work.

She’ll return home and mix a cocktail, eagerly awaiting the return of her husband and the night to come.

Powered by Plinky

Countdown Starts…NOW!

Adapted from Wikipedia's AK borough maps by Se...

Ah, just as I was approaching the brink after nearly four months without the husband and father of our household, relief arrived in the the form of a phone call and the announcement by one Captain G that he will be home in—wait for it—thirteen days.

Praise the Lord!

The boat arrived into Seward, Alaska, early this morning and they had a couple days of good fishing, so G feels fairly confident they’ll be home inside of two weeks. YES!

Welcome sign

Image via Wikipedia

And not only can he answer his cell phone now, but he can receive text messages and pictures. Double yes!

I’m debating what kind of welcome home party to throw. Go out for a crew and family dinner, and have the kids stay at Grandma and Grandpa’s following so Mommy can go out with the captain, crew, and fam for the after-party?

Have the party at home in the man cave and then go out?

Have the party here and not go out?


These guys will be home in two weeks and I cannot WAIT!

Aerial view of Seward, Alaska, USA.