Funny how the world sees "real women. . ."

Evidenced by all the Real Housewives of. . . shows which seem to be overtaking our televisions, it appears that the world believes we should all be wealthy, pampered, enviable, catty, curvaceous, gorgeous, and more. While we may be gorgeous, most of us are not rich or spoiled or even catty. We are ~ simply put ~ real.

The idea for this blog came after watching a few of those real housewives shows and realizing just how skewed the views of everyday life can be through the eyes of these women. Particularly to those of us in the trenches, working day-in-day-out to take care of ourselves, our children, our parents, our spouses/partners. Those of us who are out there earning a living, who may be dealing with catastrophic events or troubled children or medical issues or partner concerns.

This is a call to all women everywhere who live everyday lives and who want to simply do their best as they love all, laugh often, and live fully. Let us unite with our whole heart and soul, with humanity and grace, with vigor and hope. We are women and we are thankful to be so!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Real Women Are Like Christmas Snowflakes

Consider the snowflake. . .
Bentley Snowflake1.jpg
                    . . .In all its glory. . .

So much like women. . .
Each their own story.

Bentley Snowflake13.jpg         
Crystalline beauty
Strength to endure. . .
The purpose for which
They exist is pure.


Beauty exudes. . .
Love abounds. . .
Circling all. . .
Round and round.

In whatever you celebrate, 
Whether Christmas or other,
May your days be blessed
One after the other!

Wishing all women everywhere the most joyous holiday season and exuberant New Year!

With love to all from RealWomenAreAlaskan

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Random Thoughts of Real Women & Motherhood

An experience earlier today caused me to pause with introspection and contemplation. Motherhood is universal. Girls are mothers-becoming. Women are mothers-to-be, adoptive mothers, mothers-by-proxy, foster mothers, mothers-in-law, surrogate mothers. Wherever we turn we see mothers. Those of us who may never give birth or adopt a child still play a role - in someone's life - as a mother figure. A woman's capacity to love is endless. Our innate ability to simultaneously nurture and protect, to be strong yet vulnerable, to love without prejudice, and to work the small miracles in life is a tremendous gift. It is sacred. It is precious. It is eternal. The funny part of my own motherhood is that my only child is blessed (~or~ cursed!) to have all of my attention, whether he wants it or not! The introspection and contemplation experienced today came following a most intense discourse with my son. Truths are told in the depths of dialog such as this, and I cannot but applaud the fortitude with which my now-all-grown-up child lives. He is a lover of life, of goodness, of creation, of honor, of simplicity, and of all God's children. He is a man of talent, a man of courage, a man of respect.

 We learn from our mothers, who learned from theirs. What an awesome legacy!

Monday, December 6, 2010

One Incredible Woman

JoAnn Autry
One Incredible Woman

Someday, I will write a book about my dear friend, JoAnn.  Although not an Alaskan woman, she had the strength, compassion, and know-how of any Alaskan. She was -- in every sense -- One Incredible Woman. She left this mortal realm in January 2010 after passing through trials which no one I know would envy -- yet she was beloved and cherished by everyone who knew her.

In 1980 I was a young mother, new to northern Utah, with a five-year-old child and a marriage in disarray. This is when I met JoAnn, a woman who had adopted two boys and much later was able to bear three daughters. She began and continued to be one of my most cherished and dear friends, throughout all the ups and downs of both our lives. This friendship did not waiver when I faced my most difficult and challenging professional battle --  one of only a handful of people who did not doubt my integrity. This, alone, speaks volumes about her integrity.

JoAnn's youngest, Trisha, disappeared from her home in 2000 at the age of 15. Her remains were found a year later, which was one month after JoAnn's husband had passed from his long battle with cancer. Trisha's killer was convicted in 2004 and will spend the rest of his life in prison. Despite losing her daughter and her husband all within this one year, JoAnn kept her faith, her humility, her compassion. She never lost sight of those things of utmost import; rather, these tribulations only served to move her closer to her Heavenly Father. She constantly spoke of the love she had for God, for His children, for her Savior Jesus Christ. She never waivered, never showed doubt. 

This is for JoAnn -- One Incredible Woman -- who has influenced my life beyond any expectation; who offered the hand of friendship in ways most of us can only imagine; who is now reunited with her beloved husband and dear daughter; and whose impact has marked the hearts of so many. We love you and miss you, my incredible friend.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

God's Artistry

High above the mountains of Southcentral Alaska one can see the glorious and enviable birds-eye view of glaciers, snow-capped mountain tops, and height-loving animals. Witness the incredible hand of God in this artistry!

Sheridan Glacier - Cordova, Alaska

Child's Glacier - Cordova, Alaska

 A July midnight peek at Prince William Sound - Cordova, Alaska

Sherman Glacier from the air - Southcentral Alaska

Where the mountain goats live - 
the steep mountainsides of Cordova, Alaska

Monday, November 29, 2010

Real Kris from Southcentral Alaska

Taking Flight
Taking Flight Over Cordova
Let me tell you about one of my favorite Alaskan women -- Kris from Cordova. Cordova, a small fishing town of about 2500 year-round residents, is located in gorgeous Southcentral Alaska overlooking Prince William Sound. Because it is so small, most everyone knows most everyone else. Kris is one of Cordova's stars who has lived there for over 30 years. Another day I will tell you about her tireless work in the field of developmental disabilities. For today, not only does Kris catch, clean, and smoke fish, she also creates the most yummy candied rose hips! About a year ago, I emailed her to ask how she makes them. In her words: 
"It isn’t too hard especially when it happens as a mistake…lol
Anyway, after the first frost is when I really like to pick them, but also I jump the gun and pick them when they are just about ready, the frost makes them soft…and for cleaning it is a bit trickier…but pick them as close to the first frost as possible….
Step two: clean them, I cut them in half then scrape all the multitudes of seeds out and any greenery or flower that is left….and watch tv or a movie…takes time to do this ….discard all the seeds in your garden….and maybe make more roses or just toss….
Step three: layer them in a dehydrator as many as you can on each level….turn it on and walk away.....This is the strange part….I forgot them overnight and they became like little rock pieces of rosehips….so not to throw them away….I made: Step four: take some of the really hard halved dried rosehips, put in a silver bullet, blender, coffee grinder or what have you….and pulverize…There is no sugar or anything on these rosehips…so when you put them on yogurt, in tea or cereal…they do not add anything other than their own unique flavor…..They keep really good in a closed container…do not have to refrigerate, freeze or can….not too bad huh for a mistake….Don’t mind sharing…it is a lot of work…but way worth the pure vitamin C you get and share…My son’s friend swears that this has been helping her sinus infections….she sprinkles a small amount on her yogurt daily or on her salad…..really likes the added flavor too…Take care..hope you can understand  my instructions…like I said I stumbled into this one…Kris"

Monday, November 22, 2010


We celebrate Thanksgiving this week, the fourth Thursday in November.  Canada's Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Although this is primarily a North American holiday, I am certain the rest of the world has something similar ~ that period of the year when we devote time to feeling, expressing, and sharing gratitude for everything God has provided for us.  We are very blessed to live in a part of the world where the bounty is great.  Where most of us have food on our tables, a roof over our heads, and a bed in which to sleep.  Recalling Henry IV's goal for his people:  "I want there to be no peasant in my kingdom so poor that he is unable to have a chicken in his pot every Sunday," and as we think of our blessings this year, may we also consider those less fortunate, both around the world and in our own country.  May we give of our time, our talents, and all with which the Lord has seen fit to bless us this holiday season!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Golden Shores Are Like Real Women

Even in the middle of the summer, sunny days in Sitka, Alaska are sometimes like the rarest of a treasured emerald. And the summer of 2010 was no different. Like Real Women, days like this one offer an opening for true beauty, particularly under the surface. Appreciation for God's artistry abound in this abundant land and within all Real Women.

Beautiful Rainy Sitka, Alaska

52 degrees and raining. . .
You just cannot beat an incredible rainy day -- regardless of the season -- in the temperate rain forest of Alaska! What a day to start off this blog ~ I LOVE rainy days. They evoke feelings of hot chocolate and afghans and good books. Peering out into the day and listening to the ping-ping-ping of raindrops on the roof. And in Alaska, we are free to be the women we choose to be, because there is no denying that Alaskan women can do just about anything -- from running a charter fishing business to collecting lava rock from extinct volcanoes; from picking luscious salmonberries to filleting the halibut she just caught that weighs as much as she does; and from working in the office all day to taking that cooling off walk on the trail that was just cleared. What a wonderful way to be alive!