Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Longer Days

Well, as you can see my little Buddie was back last week. She was having a hay day stocking up on yummy seeds that BRENT sprinkled in the backyard for the grouse. Since he attracted her I told him he couldn't shoot her. And he happily obliged. Yes, she is sitting on the logs of the house, but she retreats to her trees, so for now she's safe. And full. Ha!

Brent, Ches and I walked out by the pasture on Friday evening. It was beautiful so we took a nice walk around the farm, just enjoying the longer days. This is the sunset, it was just too beautiful to pass up. We also noticed coyote and moose tracks, so I have been on the lookout. But have yet to see either one. It's just through the woods, and without the underbrush we can see straight through the trees to where the moose has been hanging out. The coyote I don't suppose we'll see. I think he's hunting rabbits under the logs out back. I suggest he stay away from the chicken coop or he could be in big trouble.

Friday afternoon Brent spoiled himself and bought a new gun. It's a Mossberg Maverick 88 and it's solely for protection. This is his reaction after shooting it for the first time and learning that it had a little more kick than he thought it might. Too funny. His shoulder was still smarting today, which I think is really quite funny. Directly after this photo was taken (on Sunday a.m.) he tried to get me to shoot it. Um, no. Do I have stupid written across my forehead? Silly boy. But it was fun to watch him try to sneak a little rub in, like I wasn't going to catch him! Really.

Sunday we decided to get out and go for a little drive despite the 180 mph winds. Okay, so that may be an exaggeration, but seriously, it was ridiculously windy. And then, like idiots we drove SOUTH of Delta, which is notorious for being windier than where we live. We drove slow to capture the Alaska Range (above) and Donnelly Dome (below). But sometimes it was really difficult to even stay on the road.

We stopped at Donnelly Creek Recreation area. The creek was open so we stopped to see what we could see. It was really shallow, so there was nothing in the way of fish. But we did come upon some buffalo droppings. I think we might think about camping there sometime this summer. Depending on what we find in other areas.
I am guessing that spring is on it's way here. We have a huge increase in little birds around. I have yet to get close enough to get a picture so that I can look them up. But they are here. In droves. We have heard that the bear are indeed starting to come out of hibernation but we have yet to see sign. The days are getting long. With the sky beginning to lighten around 6 a.m. and dusk lasting until 9 p.m. or later.
I will be busy this week. I have agreed to puppysit a 9 week old black lab pup named Willy while his parents go to Africa. He is rambunctious and I'm not quite sure how Ches will like having him here. He's temporary and I'm sure she'll adjust in time.
I have yet to hear on the job that I applied for, but there is another opening that I will be applying for. I have no idea what my chances are, but hopefully in time I'll find something. I was convinced that I would work from home, and I may still, but I am craving interaction with other humans, so for now I'm just keeping my eyes open.
Hoping you are warm, safe and dry! Have a happy day!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Camera MIA


We took a lovely drive today South of Delta. Unfortunately I cannot locate my camera. I know it's somewhere around here, but for the life of me, I cannot find it! Grrr.

I'll be back soon with pics. I promise.

Have a happy day!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Change of Seasons?

The temperatures soared on Thursday to a balmy 40 degrees. We had melting everywhere, which only made the roads and parking lots extra slippery. Friday and today it was back in the mid-20's which is nothing to sneeze at, and we've been enjoying endless sunshine. Despite the warmer temperatures we have continued to have frozen well pump issues. I have no idea what is going on, but I am starting to think that maybe there's a conspiracy against me here. Do you suppose it's the squirrel? I mean, it has to be something, and seeing that I don't know many people, my only assumption is that the squirrel has it in for me! Really. lol.

Last night we laid low, renting a couple of movies, and I made homemade pizza. We stopped by Mary Lou's to help her with a vehicle issue, and another of Brent's coworkers brought over his 9 week old black lab puppy. Now there's a whole new definition to baby fever! However, I have kept my wits about me, and I do not need two dogs in our little house. We're happy with Ches, but I wouldn't mind babysitting every now and again!

Today we headed to Fairbanks. We took Mary Lou with us, which was great. She needed some things and just doesn't like to make the drive herself. Unfortunately I just didn't get much of my own shopping done, but that's fine. I can order some things, or wait until the next trip. I'm sure we'll go soon. As a thank you she took us out for lunch, and it was nice to relax and just talk. She's led a very interesting life.

I'm still waiting to hear on the job applied for. At this point I figure no news is good news, so I wait. Tomorrow I think the plan is just to lay low and relax all day long. We haven't done that in a while, so I think I'll put on a roast and just veg. We'll likely head to the woods, or out for a drive and a walk. If we find anything exciting to snap pictures of, we'll do that along the way too.

I also want to send my thoughts, prayers, and love to my family in Minnesota. My great uncle passed away on Thursday evening. He will be missed by all that knew him, as he was certainly a one-of-a-kind man. We both have so many fond memories of our time spent with Uncle Zefere. We wish we could be there to remember him with you.

Have a happy day!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Warming Up

Hello Friends,

I want to start by saying that I'm keeping friends and family in the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota in my thoughts and prayers. I know that everyone is busy sandbagging, moving up and out, and I only hope that you all remain safe. Grandma and Grandpa I hope that you are managing to stay dry, and that the water stops rising in your basement. And I pray that the church remains unharmed. I have seen the photos, and wish I could be there to help you sand bag.

It is warming up here ever so slightly. That doesn't mean however that I'm even remotely hopeful that spring is on it's way yet. But I'm surprisingly fine with the snow and cold that seems to be deeply rooted here. I have heard rumors that there was actual melting on the road ways between Delta and Fairbanks today. But I wasn't out there. I can tell that the snow on the roof is slowly melting, bit by bit, and my bird friends, and Buddie, are increasingly active.

I was up late last night just contemplating life. I shut off the tv and could see a glow through the window. I didn't think much of it, thought perhaps someones headlights were shining from the neighbors across the field. So I got up, just out of curiosity. Man, I was so happy I did. The Northern Lights were fantastic. They lit up the entire sky. It's really surreal to watch. Sometimes it feels as though your eyes are playing tricks on you. But it is really fun, and eerie, to watch.

Other than that, we've had a frozen well pump the last two afternoons. Yes, afternoons. It's frustrating, and losing its novelty very, very quickly. However, when K comes to thaw it out she brings T to keep me entertained. He's 6. Today he decided that he should work out with my hand weights and exercise ball. He is entertaining to say the least. And Ches likes having an active and willing playmate.

I've been reading again. I took a little break. But I visited the library this past weekend and stocked up again. The job that I applied for closed on Monday. I have yet to receive a call or a kiss off letter. I'm on the fence about it. I am qualified, but who knows who else has applied. So, if I do, I do. If not, I guess I'll apply next time.

Until then. Have a lovely day!

Monday, March 23, 2009


**Disclaimer: This is not meant to be disrespectful anyone's beliefs or opinions. It is merely for the harassment and torture of my father. If you know him, you understand.

We've all seen those ads with Khloe Kardashian showing off her greatest assets to protest fur and the useless killing of animals.

My father, the man that God put on this planet simply to torment and torture me, and who is hopelessly technologically deficient, wrote me an email to tell me that he thinks that I am sounding more like the president of P.E.T.A. than the gun toting conservative that I am. If he was able to, he could post it in the comment section for all to read, but he's getting older so you'll have to forgive him.

If he would actually travel here to visit he would be able to read the bumpers of oh, about every other vehicle here in Alaska, that boasts that P.E.T.A. in fact stands for the People for the Eating of Tasty Animals. That being said, anyone that knows us, knows that we are more alike than not, and well, sometimes that leads to some serious ribbing.

Apparently he has been "working" and hasn't had time for daily phone calls to give me all kinds of useless "advice". He did, however, include in his email that he prefers a method of protection that offers 100% accuracy. Well, I prefer not to go around shooting animals that don't need to die. Plain and simple. Dad, if you would like to come and hike every trail with me, and shoot all the animals that "threaten" us, please feel free. :) Until then, I will use my bear spray.

So, Brent was approached at work by someone who reads our blog. Our blog. Who am I kidding? My blog. Seriously, he often has input, but since my skills are superior, I generally do the typing. Anyway, it's nerve wrecking to know that "locals" are reading my blog. My family and friends know what a smart a** (rhymes with bass) I am, but sometimes I fear that might get lost on the general public. Also, I'm opinionated, and I don't want to tick anyone off. I might. And I'll deal with that. But no more pictures of our house, just in case! Just kidding. I have a loaded gun sitting by the front door. Ha.

Today I got stuck in the house. Again. It's so frustrating. This house freezes and heaves more than any house I've ever known. It wasn't that cold. 23 degrees at top speed today. But the house shifted and I was locked in. I called the neighbor, but she was in Fairbanks, he was in Tok, and since Ches had to pee, I had to get out. So I busted out the trusty screw driver for the 986th time and finally managed to break the seal and bust out.

Mary Lou stopped by with fresh baked bread this morning. Ooh, what a treat. We were over there yesterday to help her assemble a CD player and she rewarded Brent (us) with fresh baked bread. Yummy! But now I feel like a slacker, and I guess I need to be baking bread with some of my spare time.

In an effort to beat the slacker blues, actually, I wasn't blue at all, but anyway. I whipped up some calzones, and made a lovely roasted garlic vinegrette for our salads. Oh, delovely and delightful. When we were in Fairbanks this weekend we picked up lots of fresh garlic and some lovely heads of romaine lettuce. I'll be eating like a very healthy Alaskan rabbit all week.

My little squirrel friend is back. Buddie is actually the reason I discovered I was locked in today. Anyway, she was frantically trying to access the eaves again, and I'm afraid that Brent is now on the hunt. He's made me take a vow that if I see her I will shoot. Hmmm. I had my fingers crossed the whole time. He can take care of that. It's his husbandly duty.

Okay, enough babbling for today. Hopefully I'll have something interesting to take pictures of tomorrow. We'll see. Hope you have a great day!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Before And After

Wednesday morning I woke up and decided it was finally time to turn the mess above into a walk-in closet. We have two coat closets for storage for the entire house. Um, yeah. That's not working so well. So we decided to take bedroom #2 and make it into a walk-in closet, storage area. It also holds one of four windows for the house so I wanted to be sure that we could open the door and not be embarassed by the chaos above.

This photo was taken only for showing you the size of our closets. Not very big. Not very big at all.
When Brent got home from work he found this. And was pleasantly surprised. It is much brighter, and much more functional. In addition to the closet I moved our bed around so that we're able to open that window as well. And I think we'll like having just a little bit of room to move around in there as well.

How do you like my highend storage solutions? Ha! But seriously, they're moveable and work well in the area/space that we have. The totes will hopefully disappear as we buy a few more items for organization, but they work for now.

In between frozen shower drains and frozen well pumps we have been laying low. It's cold here. Yesterday afternoon we went for a short drive down the Tanana Loop and saw this guy. He was in a hurry to get away from us. Did you know that a full grown moose can jump anything 7 ft. or under with ease? WHO KNEW? That's just a little weird. They don't look agile at all.
I've been reading a lot lately. Soon the cows will be chasing away last year's calves and giving birth again the end of April. Also, we've read that moose become more aggressive this time of year due to starvation. That makes me a little sad. Who wants to starve? I guess maybe I shouldn't read so much.
After returning home from our drive we were playing outside with Chessa girl. And this is what the evening sun had for us. Isn't it gorgeous? Honestly, there is barely a day that goes by that I don't think "what a beautiful place to live". I'm thinking I might change my mind in spring, with the loads and loads of mud that are likely to find their way into my house. Ha!
Today we went to Granite View to pick up Brent's gun. FINALLY. We dropped off that beast over 3 months ago. So, I've expressed my frustration with the physical address/mailing address issue before, right? Here we go again. I honestly have no idea how many hoops we've had to jump through, but it's ever increasing. Brent's drivers license had our mailing address so we had to go to the DMV and change it over to our physical address and now we have the gun at home. Amen. Goodness.
We have been researching bear protection since we first learned that we'd be moving to Alaska. We love to hike, and we're looking forward to exploring every inch of Alaska that we can. So naturally bears were a concern. Brent ordered Bear Spray last night as our defense. It is 92% effective on brown bears, and 99% effective on other bears and wildlife. So, we're fairly confident that it's the right choice. There are huge numbers of bear killed in Alaska each year by humans who are threatened by their presence. That just bothers me. We both wanted a solution that wouldn't be fatal to the animals we come in contact with, and I'm convinced we've found the golden ticket.
Hope you're enjoying your nice weather! We're staying down around 0 degrees. I really doubt that spring is on it's way here...yet.
Have a happy day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Chilly Willy

Hello Everyone!

Dad sent me an email today to give me a nudge. I guess I've been slacking again. So I'm back to fill you in on the day-to-day life of a slacker. Ha!

Sunday after we got the shower drain thawed out, AGAIN. I took off to Fairbanks all by myself. I went despite the fact that the -29F temp was screaming at me. But the sun was up, and the day was glorious, despite the frigid temperatures. I managed to travel the roads without incident. Thank goodness. I saw one moose, safely bedded town amongst the branches and snow as I chugged along the Richardson Highway.

I hit up Fred Meyer, Walmart, Safeway and Barnes & Noble. I treated myself to a smooth, creamy and piping hot latte at Starbucks, and was feeling smug and smart as an independent person. I browsed the books of B&N and just took my time. I looked at design books, and read the covers of every smut book I could get my fingers on. I rifled through cookbooks of my favorite Food Network stars, and even thumbed my way through books of local cuisine. There were some recipes in there that I dare say I will never attempt. And then home again safely. But man did it feel so good to just have time to myself. Next time I think I'll see a movie, in a theatre.

Yesterday was pretty dull and boring here. The sun was out again, and I'm hoping it's a good indication of what spring and summer here in the Northland will be like. I do say though that Brent comes home with tales of wildlife encounters every day, and frankly I'm beginning to think that ignorance is bliss. I will say that most people we know have only seen a bear at a distance. However, we plan to carry a big gun where ever we go, just in case. Did you know that a bear can smell food for up to 10 miles? Seriously.

We have been told that the worst time to encounter a bear is April 1-June 15. We have started burning our garbage immediately instead of letting one or two bags pile up. And we need to order a bell for Ches. I guess it's a great deterrant. I keep telling Brent that he needs to just keep this information to himself. Soon I won't even leave the house! Ha!

Today was another cold and sunny day. Ches and I took a nice walk along the road out front. We only venture as far as the other driveway. And then do the circle. There has been a lot of moose action in the field across the road, and I just don't want to get caught out there in the
open. When we got back to the yard I threw Ches' dummy for what seemed like an eternity! But she had a great time, I know she's been missing the exercise.

Tonight after dinner we stopped over to check on one of Brent's coworkers wives. She needed help opening some jars of pickled beets and sauer kraut. I did try one of the beets, but I dare say they don't hold a candle to Mom's. Despite that fact, I think I'll pick up a jar the next time I hit up the IGA. She is lonely, but doing well, and I think we'll pop over again this weekend to visit. And Brent will probably take Shiro, their Akita/Pitbull cross, out for a walk in the woods. Though if you've seen Shiro, you'll know that Shiro will be walking Brent!!! Ha!

Yesterday I had a pretty blue day. I just couldn't get motivated in the least. I dare say it was my first real one since arriving here. So, I gave myself my little pity party and this morning I put on my big girl panties and faced the day.

I had been hearing rumblings that the Northern Lights have been magnificent. I tried to stay up to catch a glimpse of them last night, but didn't make it. Who knows? Maybe I will tonight!

To all our friends and family in warmer parts of the country and beyond....PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT. Ha!

Have a happy day!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

Thursday we had an absolutely beautiful day here in Alaska. The temps were in the 20's but it was completely calm and gorgeous. Ches and I played outside a lot. This is her telling me to put down the darn camera and start throwing! She's very demanding these days. I'm still hunting for boots that actually work on her feet. Most days we have to come in early because her feet are sensitive. Until then, we just do shorter bursts, which causes her to sigh heavily in disappointment.

Thursday evening we went to check out a piece of property and managed to spot two moose enjoying their evening meal. The big one above obviously had her fill because she just laid around despite the abundance of onlookers. I guess she was feeling very comfortable. The smaller one (below) was a little more nervous, but just kept on grazing and glancing.

Yesterday (Friday) we headed to the M family's home in North Pole. Tony and I grew up in the same small town in Northwestern MN, small world! I hadn't seen him or talked to him in 15 years and had never met his family. We drove up in the afternoon and had a great time!
Within 28 seconds of meeting us Daughter #3 hugged me, and was filling me in on wardrobe choices of the arctic. She helped me off with my jacket and scarf, and the rest of the kids were just as charming.

We brought along our snow shoes from last weekend's shopping spree and Brent and Tony took them out on the slough for a workout. They worked better on the snow this weekend, and Brent decided that we need new bindings and they should work better. So I'm looking forward to getting back out on them again.
Tanya made a great dinner of lasagna, salad and bread. It was an easy, relaxing afternoon, and I personally thoroughly enjoyed getting out and seeing people. We chatted late into the evening, and even broke our no-driving-after-dark rule, because we were just having such a good time.
We traded stories of our youth, and caught up on life after GHS. Since Tanya and I had chatted away 6 hours of our life earlier in the week we had no issues picking up where we left off. Their children are sweet, inquisitive and so fun to be around. All of them. Including the two dogs! We are looking forward to our next visit!
As we were leaving North Pole last night we were worried about the drive, the moose, and the dark and winding mountain roads that connect Delta to North Pole. We were barely passed Eielson when a trooper turned on his lights (in front of us) and gently guided a HUGE cow moose to the side of the road. Because of the stress, and late hour, we divided the drive in half, and were fortunate that the rest of the drive home was uneventful.
This morning Brent woke me with the bad news, bad news scenario. Bad news was he was waking me up, worse news was because we had no water. Ugh. Thankfully we didn't have anywhere to be, except the dump, so we called the landlord, loaded the car and headed to Jitter Junction. Since he was waking me, WAY TOO EARLY, on a Saturday, I bribed, er threatened, him to buy me coffee.
After the dump we came home and I made brunch while he napped. Nice, huh? And then proceeded to be entirely too lazy. I did try out a new banana bread recipe, which smelled delightful. I wrapped it up and took it to a friend/neighbor as she's staying alone while her hubby is in the Aleutian Islands for work. We visited for a couple of hours, and then I headed into the IGA to pick up some pizza fixings and home to Ches and Brent.
I whipped up a shrimp/pesto pizza for Brent and my favorite caramelized onion pizza. Tucked Brent off to bed, and now I'm updating this and then I'm heading to the couch to find a good movie to get lost in.
Tonight is supposed to dip down to -30 degrees. I'm hoping "they" are wrong and it doesn't get quite that cold, but if it does, I'm prepared. After all, I did choose to live here in the beautiful state of Alaska!
Have a happy day!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Cody!

My nephew turns 15 today. Oh my goodness! And being the big leaguer he is, he's on a plane to an undisclosed Mexican location. Cody, hoping you have a very happy, and FUN birthday! We hope that your 15th year rocks! Have a happy, happy Birthday!!!

Opposites Attract

As Paula Abdul said, somewhere in the 90's, opposites attract. That is definitely true with Brent and I. I do not possibly have enough time in my day to list them all for you, okay maybe I would but I'll spare you all. Anyway, the biggest difference is that Brent is a morning person and I. Am. Not.

He usually bounces out of bed happy and ready to face the day. I, on the other hand, drag my butt out of bed around 4:30 to make him coffee, breakfast and pack his lunch. Then as soon as he's out the door, I sprint back to bed. And even on those odd days that I do wake for the day it is very rare that I'm happy before I've had 30 minutes to shake off the wakey time yucks.

Yesterday morning I was up before Brent. I know! SHOCKER! Well, I'm a night person and as it turns out I've met my soul mate in the night person department and she lives in my time zone! So, we yakked on the phone. All. Night. Long. Have I mentioned that I have yet to meet her person? Well, we're officially meeting tomorrow, but we have a really good foundation for our friendship.

Anyway, my point is that I was already up so I made my hubby a wonderful quiche for breakfast, packed his lunch, and I start his vehicle. Name you, this is all stuff he would gladly do for himself, but I like to cook for him, and well, I think I have some lazy bum guilt. Lucky guy!

Much to his dismay, this morning he wasn't quite as lucky. He got a bowl of cold cereal, some coffee, and I did start the car. However, he almost lost his head.

Early in our marriage Brent learned some tricks of the trade from my father. Goodness. Somedays they are much too much alike for my own liking or good. For about the first 5 years of our marriage Brent woke me up nearly every morning by crowing like a rooster. AND for added effect he does it while simultaneously clicking the light switch on and off. Not a good way to wake out of a nice, comfy sleep! lol.

While he refrained from crowing this morning, which he still does much too often, he woke me as his normal chipper self, and offered me advice. Oh, heck no! Again, another tip picked up from my father. I don't think I'll let them play together anymore. So, here I sit, blogging, waiting for him to leave so I can sprint back to bed!

Have a happy day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Brent!

Just wanted to pop on and wish a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my big brother Brent! Enjoy your day! I hope it's super special.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Laundry day is especially boring for Chessa. She finds no joy in being stuck inside, and really doesn't like the camera. She absolutely refuses to look at me when I have that thing out. As you can see she's persecuted, as seconds before I took away her pillow and blanket. Oh, poor baby. Pfft. Don't buy it. She's spoiled rotten and I suspect she knows it. But she does trudge back and forth with me to the laundry room. She sniffs everything and then we come back where she continues to sigh deeply at the boredom and persecution. Oh, what a tough life!

We decided to take advantage of the all the extra light now since Daylight Savings and go for a drive to check out the snow, the wildlife and the sunsets. These two were digging away in the yard of a farm outside of town. As you can tell the bigger one was very interested in us initially and then went back to her grazing. The little one could have cared less and just kept scraping and munching away.

The sunset over the mountains was just too breathtaking today. I have about 5-6 great pics but limited myself to two. I couldn't choose so we decided to put them both up here. These were taken out near Ft. Greely, as the sunset just drew us further and further out.

If you look closely you can see the chainlink fence in the foreground. These two, Mama and Baby, were grazing out on Ft. Greely. I wish my video would cooperate as we caught the little one romping around a bit, and Mama was vigilantly pawing and scraping. It was so much fun to watch them until we decided we'd best move on.
My bloggy friend Chantelle at Life In a Nutshell sent me the cutest card today. What a sweet surprise. (Mom, I know how much you LOVE her name! lol) Chantelle and her family packed up and moved to Florida from West Virginia. They have had some bumps along the way, but I think they're enjoying their new life having fun in the sun. Stop by and check her out.
Chantelle also posted a challenge to her bloggy friends. How long would it take us, to get to her in Florida. Well, she chose me at the farthest distance, I am assuming, and Mapquest told her by car it would take her 76 hours to drive from her house to mine. Hmmm. I think I'll fly. So, here's a little challenge for you. How many hours will it take you to drive to me in zipcode 99737? Tell me!! And then come and visit!! lol.
Also, a nice surprise today we received a package from Brent's parents, Darryl & Audrae. They sent us a Meditations book. YAY!! What a nice little gift to receive. So, we have been busy reading and catching up. I love getting mail!!
Well, that's a close to another day. Hoping that all of you in Minnesota are managing to stay warm and safe with all the snow and nastiness you've been getting. Chantelle, I hope you are having fun in your 80 degree days, and all I have to say is you just might be getting a visitor one day. I've never been to Florida!
Have a happy, happy day!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Busy Weekend

Well, we've been busy little beavers around here. After laying low on Friday night we decided to brave the roads and winds and head to Fairbanks to see if I could find a table to rehab. Needless to say that the thrift stores were bust, and much to my dismay it looked like we would be heading home without a table/desk. Much to our delight we snagged a stellar deal on a table and chairs at Fred Meyer. We will have to paint/or something the top of the table, but it's good and solid. So, I'm happy. We also managed to snag some other good deals, but I have officially given up on thrift stores, and will be holding out for garage sale/auction sales.

These are a couple of photos that I snapped of Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks as we were passing by. I thought it might be interesting for some of you to see.

We managed to nearly make it home before dark on Saturday evening. But I did snap a picture of this glorious moon. It did a great job of lighting the way home, and helping us make sure that we didn't end up with a freezer full of moose meat by accident.

Friday night we ended up with about 6 inches of snow. I thought this shot of the roof was neat, and I'm hoping that it provides good insulation and keeps the heating bill down. Although the heat bill is the last of my worries! Ha! Anyway, it looks pretty now, but I'm not looking forward to the mud it will provide come spring.

While we were in Fairbanks shopping we also made contact with a Craig's List poster and bought ourselves some snow shoes! Oh boy. Yippee. Can you sense the excitement? Ha! Actually I was pretty excited about them, and we had a little bit of fun yesterday, but the snow is light and powdery and I think perhaps too powdery for the shoes. All in all, it was a great mini workout, and we'll be making some adjustments per a friends suggestion, and then trying them out again.

Those are my skis, boots and hat. Where do you think I am? Ha! You'll just have to tell me! lol.

Yesterday we enjoyed a nice, lazy Sunday afternoon. Later in the afternoon we picked up and went to Brent's co-workers home out on Clearwater Lake. This is the view from his patio, and it is breathtaking! Absolutely photo-worthy. I could have stood out there and just gazed upon the frozen water all day long, but the wind was up and it was COLD darn it! Honestly though, if the house was for sale, I would probably buy it just for the view. Gorgeous.

Other than that, we just tried to enjoy the weekend. Brent is working the next two weeks as they are short due to staffing a base in the Aleutian Islands. Since we had no real plans it worked out just fine.

I've been receiving some nice emails and comments from friends and family in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Georgia! Hi Diane, Korri Belle, and Annie! Hope you're all enjoying the read! Have a happy day!

Friday, March 6, 2009

White, White, White

We awoke this morning to snow, snow and more snow. When the sun came up it was full and bright until it wasn't. The snow started again, and boy did it come down. I ran into Delta Jct this afternoon to do the weekly run to the post office, the grocery store, and the video store. By the time I got home it was near white out conditions, and a deep, deep reminder that it is most definitely still winter. Despite the fact that we "Spring Ahead" this weekend, it isn't happening here. Spring is not happening here. Not anytime soon in my estimation.

After hitting the video store I headed home to make some yummy french bread pizzas and pop in the first of 3 movies. There was no driving tonight, the roads are too crappy and with limited visibility and the possibility of Bullwinkle showing up on the hood of my Envoy, I passed. So we all snuggled up on the couch with pizza, to watch Wall-E, a Tom Selleck western (Mom you'd like it-wink,wink), and The Bucket List. So far, so good, I'm happy as a clam.

So we have been having issues with getting Brent's pistol here to Delta Jct. The sports store in Mankato didn't send the correct info, then we had the whole issue with Brent's account due to driving through Canada which was a mess so his credit card didn't work, and now the gun is here, but not only did Red Bear not send the correct information with the gun which makes it illegal for Granite View to give it to us, when the kind, kind people at Granite View called Red Bear to correct the issue, Red Bear yelled, screamed and eventually hung up on the nice people at Granite View. Which means that I have to call on Monday and try to talk some sense into them, or the gun has to go back. And then what? I'm 3000 miles away. That seems to be everyone's excuse to use and abuse me.

The week has gone seemingly well. With a few hiccups along the way. We did manage to rid ourselves of one stresser, I just decided to cut my losses and do what was necessary to evict them from my life. Done. Game over. Hasta La Vista! Sometimes being the bigger person is easier than being right.

We're hoping to get to Fairbanks sometime this weekend. I'm still looking for a table to double duty as a desk and a dining area. We plan to hit up a thrift store, or four, and see what we can find. I'm feeling creative and would like to put my stamp on this place. Something commercial just doesn't feel right for me, or this place. Who knows what else I'll find along the way. I'll let you know.

Have a happy day! Stay warm!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Everyday Ordinary Things

It has been a pretty uneventful week. Nothing exciting or major is happening, and yet there are happy surprises every day. The little things. The most important things. It started with emails from Mom, which I really enjoy and look forward to every morning. And then Monday afternoon I got a call from my big brother, Brent. It was nice to hear his voice and catch up. I saw him on New Year's but it seems like it's been a lot, lot longer. And then, yesterday I went to the mailbox and got a letter from my Grandma Adeline. 3 nice surprises, and they all made me smile.

It hasn't been overly cold here, bouncing in the 20's to zero. But not horrible. We did get a bit of snow yesterday afternoon. I walked down to the neighbors to see the piglets (and pick up a package) yesterday afternoon. The piglets are so cute, I still kinda want one, but still have the issue of where to actually put one. Darn it. Details, details.

Last night I had to break out the blow dryer to thaw the deadbolt so that I could actually close and lock the door. It didn't take too much time, but it's a minor pain in the butt. Then this morning Brent got in the shower to discover a frozen drain pipe. Oh the joys! In all seriousness, it's minor, but the cold certainly gives me something to do.

Today I cleaned, and did a space plan for the house. Seeing that the space is limited, we have been trying to figure out how to work the space so that I can watch TV without keeping him awake at night, and fit in an office, dining area and living room in a very small space. However, I have done it. Now I just need to find the furniture to finish it and I'll be fine.

Tonight we had to run some letters and such into to town and we saw our first rabbit. We have seen tracks, tracks and more tracks, so I knew they were here, but we finally saw one! He was white, and he was FAST!

This week is Brent's last week of work on this rotation. He will have two weeks off, except for a day here and there for some training, and I have no idea what the heck we're going to do!! Just kidding. I think we're going to try to find some used snow shoes and we're planning to explore Quartz Lake a little more. Who knows maybe we'll even do a little ice fishing. We are planning to hit the thrift stores in Fairbanks, and hoping to find just the things we are looking for. Time will tell!

We are also planning to meet up with a former schoolmate from Grygla and his family that are living in North Pole. I am excited, it will be nice to meet a friendly face, and hopefully he and his family can give us some things to do, or to avoid.

Hope you are having a good week, and staying warm (or cool) where you are!

Have a happy day!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Top 5 Differences Between Alaska and Minnesota

**DISCLAIMER: I have lived in Alaska for less than 2 months. These are my early observations/opinions and they may or may not be accurate. I plan to update this in coming months. Not better or worse, just different.

5. It's cold, but it doesn't feel as cold as Minnesota.

4. When it snows, there are plows, but they aren't there to rid the road of snow, just keep it debris free and maybe sand the slickest spots, the rest just is... The roads that are good/fine are roads I would normally have avoided in Minnesota.

3. The utilities here in Alaska are temperamental. I have lost phone connection, satellite, and electricity more times than I'd like.

2. In Minnesota you bring your license to the DMV, you test, you get license. In Alaska, you bring in your passport/birth certificate, social security card, valid drivers license, proof of physical address, not mailing address and your first born. Then you test, then you get your license.

1. The general population in Alaska actually dresses for the weather, then adds a stylish touch instead of wearing something cute and hoping you don't breakdown and freeze to death. :)

Have a happy day!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Weekend Roundup

Delta Junction had a snow-filled weekend. And while it snowed the majority of Friday and Saturday we don't have a huge amount of snow on the ground. It was pretty and stayed fairly warm, in the low 20's I guess.

Saturday we spent most of the day in town. We went to the DMV and both managed to get our Alaska drivers licenses. So that's done...check! Once that was over we decided to do a little celebrating by shopping. Okay, so there's not a lot of shopping but we went to Granite View Sports. I needed some storage for dog food, and didn't want some average Rubbermaid container, so I found a really cute set of vintage inspired metal storage. Perfection. One for food, one for treats, and one for my flour. Awesome.

This morning we set out to explore the area a little more. We headed out down Tanana Loop (above) because it's always such a pretty drive and there was a trail that we wanted to see and walk. However, it was just a little too remote and snow-filled for us to attempt it. I guess that trail will have to wait for spring or summer.
The Tanana River is huge and remains open, as you can see, so we wanted to capture some pictures and check it out near the pipeline on the Richardson Highway. Usually we just cruise by, but today we pulled in to get a view from a different angle. We actually took quite a few pictures, but I'm only posting the one above and below. Chances are we'll be back here again.

Alaska Pipeline crossing the Tanana River.

After leaving the Tanana River we headed to Quartz Lake State Recreation Area. Above is the photo of the lake. It's beautiful, and frozen solid. I cannot wait to see what the area looks like in summer. But I'm guessing it's just as pretty this time of year. While many of the paths in the park are closed for the season, we were able to drive with ease right to the lake's edge, and could have followed the many, many vehicles that continued right onto the lake. However, we parked and walked to give us, and Ches, a little exercise.
We found this to an interesting shot. It's where the pipeline ducks under the roadway entering the park. As soon as it clears the roadway it pops back up on the other side.

As the day passed today the skies went from bright and clear to hazy and gray right before our eyes. I happened to capture the sun as it was transitioning. We decided to save our next adventure for a day that will hopefully be slightly warmer, and crashed on the couch to veg and prepare for the week ahead.
Have a happy day!