Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
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
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
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
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
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
Thursday, March 12, 2009
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
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
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
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
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
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
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.