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!!!!!