Sunday, December 27, 2009

Howdy!  Happy Holidays from Alaska!!  Well, we survived our first Alaskan Christmas.  And I will say despite missing our families we had nearly a perfect day.  Brent and I both worked on Christmas Eve day.  While I was disappointed in that it really worked out for the best, I guess.  Brent headed home early to play with Chessa, and while it's been warm we dressed her up in her new gear, so you could all see how cute she looks!  She looks great in red.  We couldn't buy ourselves new coats and boots, and not treat Miss Chessa to the same.  In all honesty, when it reaches the deeper levels of cold, she appreciates the warmth and protection as much as we do.

Christmas Eve night I made oyster stew and homemade tomato soup.  The oyster stew being a King tradition, and easy peasy for me, I decided to treat Brent to a little taste of home.  That evening we laid around, chatted with family, and opened gifts.  Man, was I spoiled this year.  Brent bought me an iPod (FINALLY) and had it engraved to say - KLK  ALASKA ROCKS!  My sentiments exactly.  In addition he bought me the Mac Daddy of all food processors.  Little does he know I would have settled for a Walmart cheapie, but I got a great one.  I'm sooooooo looking forward to cooking with it.  In addition, he bought me a new lens for my camera.  Ahhhhh...bliss.  I'm stoked.  We took it out and tried it out, but I need a few lessons before I can attempt to capture the auroras and the night sky....soon...very soon.

Brent didn't make out so poorly himself.  I decided to buy him a winch for the ATV since he kept "mentioning" it all summer.  So, come Spring, he'll have plenty to occupy himself with.  In addition, I bought him a game cam.  Well, it turns out he decided to sneak a peek at the shipping list, so he knew all along what it would be.  I have never seen a kid more excited to open a gift.  I think it's already been in one, or two, locations already.  We're both excited to see what's lurking in the woods beyond the house.  Lastly I got him (er, or me) a mini projector.  Since we don't have tv I decided that we should have something fun. So viewing movies, or football games, should be extra exciting here.

Christmas Day was plenty busy.  A friend of Brent's worked on Christmas Day.  She works on base, alone, and wasn't able to make it to the dining hall for lunch.  So we picked up prime rib for all of us, and had Christmas lunch with her.  It was a nice visit, and I got to see a part of the base I'd never been on.  After I was wanded down of course.  They are stringent, and I happily comply.

After lunch we headed to Brad & Rose's for Christmas dinner.  What a treat!!!  Rose treated us to paella, and it was wonderful.  Crab, scallops, shrimp...yum!!!  Can you believe a year ago I wouldn't have touched it?  She also served us a vegetarian African pesto dish with couscous that was divine, made by Quinn, fresh homemade bread, blueberry/raspberry pie and the best bloody mary's I have ever had.  It was a darn good Christmas dinner.  I dare say it will be hard to top.  Not to mention the company, which is always easy and relaxing, oh and fun!

Today we picked up a couple of co-workers of mine that are working on the same project I am.  Since it's ending soon, O was anxious to see a moose.  He lived in LA for 20 years and recently moved to Seattle.  He's not seen a moose, and was happy when we offered to play tour guide.  Brent went out this morning, scouting for moose and hit the jackpot.  We weren't disappointed this afternoon either.  5 moose total, and some wolf, coyote and a mystery (or not-so-mystery) print that comes later in the post.

The weather was lovely and we enjoyed stopping and snapping photos.  I took some nice pics of O so he'll have to remember Alaska by.  O saw his first frozen lake, and he was thrilled.  It's those little things that we just don't think about.  So it's fun to see the firsts through somoene else's eyes.

The moon in the sky at 3:00 p.m. on December 27, 2009.

Bashful bull moose on Donnelly Flats - he still has antlers and I threatened to chase him down and steal them!!

The mountains were out and proud today with just a touch of clouds. 

The above print, or the mystery print, can you tell what it is?  From what we can tell, it belongs to a very large brown bear, or Grizzly bear.  From  our understanding it's rare for them to be out and about this time of year. I'm curious what brought him/her out of hibernation, or if it's the warm temps that are keeping him/her out of hibernation.  I guess we'll truly never know, but it's interesting and I really hope I don't come across him/her. 

This is my final week of the grueling job.  I have enjoyed it, and I have no complaints.  I am looking forward to going back to "real" life, and having homecooked meals, a clean house, and clean laundry.  I've been, um, slacking the past couple months. 

Wishing you all a great week...and A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I keep expecting the "newness" to wear off.  You know, that giddy feeling you get when you are about to embark on an adventure. 

This time last year was hectic, stressful, and sad.  We were selling off, donating, or packing up, for storage and travel, all the things we owned.  Which in hindsight, was entirely too much stuff.  UGH.  I remember feeling sad to see "my stuff" going home in the hands of strangers, family, friends. 

We were excited, scared and nervous.  Ready to tackle the Last Frontier, not having a clue what lie ahead of us, in miles, road conditions, and plain, old gumption.  Driving the Alaska Hwy is not for the faint of heart.  And especially not in January.  Many others before us have done it, but I can tell you one thing, I do NOT intend to do it again.  Summer, perhaps.  January. No.  Big, emphatic no.

As we near the one year mark I'm thinking that we should probably be missing "home" a lot more.  But truth is.  We just don't.  Sure, we miss our families, and friends we left behind.  I miss Sunday, Wednesday and sometimes Monday girls' night with Shan, Steph, and my favorite, Miss Savannah. 

But now, Alaska is home.  It is truly where my heart is, and I have no desire to leave, not yet, not even on vacation.  Don't think that with that admission that doesn't come with guilt, because it does.  Tons of it.  But while I miss Minnesota, I don't miss it enough to go back.  Right now.

I'm looking forward to our first Alaska Christmas.  It's snowing tonight, the most beautiful, powdery, glittery snow.  It coats everything in marshmallowy softness.  Making fallen trees more appealing, and covering mounds of dirt, tires, or what not.  We will indeed have a white, white Christmas. 

We don't have much planned.  Christmas Eve we'll follow the King tradition of Oyster stew (for Brent), and some other kind of soup for me.  I'm planning prime rib roast for Christmas Day, but that's only if we can find it here in Delta.  A little birdie told me that the IGA has some, so I need to call and order tomorrow.  Brent hopes to get in a little rabbit hunting, and I plan to spend the day in my jammies, or relaxing clothes, watching Christmas movies, and staying warm by the fire.

Plans can change, and I'm open to whatever comes our way. 

Wishing you and yours a warm, happy and blessed Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Can you hear it?  The clock keeps ticking away, and I am running out of time. 

Temp: -2F degrees  Sunrise:  10:29 a.m  Sunset:  2:47 p.m.

That's right, we're down to just over 4 hours of light.  Yesterday was the first that I noticed, it could have been that it was so darn gray and gloomy, or that I was home during waking hours.  I don't know, but it wasn't sooo bad.  I guess.

I'm exhausted.  Working so much is really not up my alley.  I've been trying to keep all the balls in the air, but I think I keep dropping some, and I rarely notice any of them, except when I trip over the vacuum cleaner on my way to the dishes in the sink. 

Yesterday I had high hopes of getting loads of things done, the house cleaned, laundry caught up, SASSY stuff organized.  None.  That's what was completed.  Not one thing.  I was beat.  I did a couple loads of laundry, and I cooked, which is something I rarely do anymore, but I certainly did not get accomplished what I set out to do.

I am hosting a Holiday Open House here this weekend, so I'll be super swamped this week.  I was hoping to just buy cookies, but it turns out, I'll most likely have to make them.  I'm not so excited about that either.  I have gifts to send, cards to write, and little time, so I'm hoping you all get your goodies on time.  If not, I'm sorry.  Truly I am.

Wishing you a happy holiday season!  See you soon!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Warm and White

We have been having a great week.  The weather has been warm, in the upper 20's during the day and upper teens at night.  Certainly nothing to complain about, in December, in Central Alaska.  This afternoon the snow started, and mixed with the nearly constant wind, it was quite the little bluster.  I can't say storm, because while it was coming down, it was light and fluffy.  No where near menacing, and awfully pretty.

Now that I'm feeling better I'm in the groove of working more hours again.  Of course, next week will be the real test, since I've had a brief reprieve from my duties at Durham due to malfunctioning equipment, which could in fact, be me. lol.  However, I'm hoping that my good vibes keep flowing and things continue to go well.  We'll see.

Right now we're down to approximately 4.5 hours of light per day.  I would love to be able to report when the sun comes up and goes down, but frankly, I just don't see the sun much, and I can't honestly tell you.  Okay, so I Googled it and Weather City is reporting the sunrise today in Delta was 10:19 a.m. and sunset was at 2:47 p.m.  So there you have it.  Not. Very. Much. Sun.  Truthfully, I don't really notice, and that could totally be because I come and go at dark.  Perpetually.  But hey, maybe it's a good thing for our first full winter in Delta.  I'm just sayin...

Sassy continues to go well and be a heck of a lot of fun.  I'm looking forward to getting back to "normal" and having plenty of time to shop, fondle, and ogle my goods.  I got three new boxes of goodies this week, and I'm hoping that I receive at least one or two more by Sunday's party. 

I'll be traveling north to North Pole.  Home of Santa and the Santa Claus House.  Too bad you're not here Mom, we could be having a blast!! :)  Oh well, I guess Santa can wait, a little while longer.  So I'll travel north to sell my wares, and I am so excited.  It sounds like we'll have a fairly large group of ladies, and the excitement that comes along with that is always high.  Awesome.

I have unfortunately been continuing my moose drought.  I swear, everyone else has seen them everywhere, even Delta's albino moose, which you can see here, on the daily photos.  Magnificent.  I'd settle for a small brown one.  REALLY. Do we remember last winter's drought, except now, I'm out and about at least 4x a day.  Ugh!

For some reason having less time has made me more productive in every portion of my life.  I guess that would make sense since I'm a procrastinator, so I have less time to procrastinate, sleep, or frankly, even breathe. Ha!

We are unfortunately still Christmas tree free.  My home is seriously lacking in holiday spirit and I'm hoping to repair that issue this weekend.  We'll see how that works out for me.  Since I'll be gone most of the day I'm thinking we may end up with a fake tree and a pine auto freshener.  You know, that classy little tree that we all know and love.

Tonight Brent is out playing with the boys, watching football on a really big tv, which is a luxury that he rarely never gets to enjoy.  So I'm happy that he was able to take some time and help Joe celebrate his 50th birthday!! 

Tomorrow night I'm spending some much needed time with my girls.  My Durham girls.  I'm really looking forward to catching up, and I know that they're looking forward to rifling through the newest additions to my lovely little collection of goodies. I have to admit, I'm looking forward to it too.  I love it.  All of it. 

So, that means I need to go to bed.  I'm sleepy, Ches is sleepy, and my clothes are ready to hit the dryer. 

G'Night!! See you on the flip side.