Monday, November 29, 2010

It's a Marshmallow World

Sunrise  10:07 a.m         Sunset 2:55 p.m.

We have been fortunate to have such a warm early winter/late fall here in the Interior. Fortunate, until last week. We got socked with a nasty ice storm, which was much worse to the north, in Fairbanks/North Pole.  We seemed to receive enough damage.  The trees were loaded and drooping with ice, the roads were slippery and treacherous, work and school was canceled, and then we got snow.  Woohoo for snow.  TRACTION!!  Then the snow plows came and we're back to icy, slippery, treacherous roads.  Dislike.

Saturday morning I slept in, another bonus to the sunrise coming so late in the day.  I wandered sleepily downstairs to use the facilities (thank goodness we don't have an outhouse) and stopped to take in the snow falling lightly outside the living room window.

As I was standing there, Cash came running, like a streak of lightening, into the yard.  That usually means one thing.  He's in trouble.  Ha!  Just as soon as he got to the edge of the gravel, his ears perked up and he took off, just as fast, back down the driveway.  Luckily I knew that Brent must be calling him, and I didn't think much of it.  I continued on my way to the destination afore mentioned.  

Not two minutes later, Brent and the furkids came back to the house.  All in a line, and no one seemed to be in trouble.  No sooner had Brent gotten through the door, than he was telling me about his attempted walk with the dogs, down the driveway, out to the road, through the woods, back home again.  It didn't happen.  

As he started down the driveway there were fresh prints and scrapings.  Like any good dog, they marked their territory, right on top of the fresh scrapes.  They continued along to the berm that flanks the East side of the driveway, only to discover more prints, and much more scraping.  All of this is old news, familiar smells and sights to Ches, but not to Cash.  When he smelled them, he dashed, for home.  Unbeknownst to Brent.  Who thought Cash was on the chase, called him back, only to discover that he was tucking tail and running home to Mama like the scaredy cat he is! LOL.

Turns out...THIS is what he was smelling...  Camped out on the street outside our house.  All. Day. Long.

Meet Mr. Bull.  Proud old man.

And these were his companions for the day.  Mrs. Moose and The Twins.  

The rest of the weekend seemed to fly by.  And four days was simply not enough time to play.  I did some cleaning, some organizing, attempted to decorate for Christmas and realized that I don't have much of anything.  And since I don't have much, I'm going to change the color to scheme more traditional Christmas colors.  

Sunday night we had friends over for dinner.  I fixed a lovely bacon topped pork loin, mashed potatoes, cauliflower au gratin (which was supposed to be broccoli au gratin- but the IGA was OUT), fresh rye bread and Rose brought a Delicious lemon cranberry bundt cake.  A little bit of heaven in a pan.

Tonight the temperatures continue to fall.  I find myself stoking the fire in an attempt to get the interior temperature above 69 degrees.  It doesn't seem possible.  The logs are wonderfully warm insulators, the upstairs walls are not quite so warm.  And I find my hands, and nose, dreadfully cold in the morning.

Sleep tight.  Stay warm.  Sweet dreams!

Friday, November 26, 2010


It's officially Black Friday, but more importantly it's Thanksgiving weekend.  We had a lovely, relaxing day yesterday, spending it in the home of friends.  New friends.  Today we're relaxing, taking up past times for which we haven't had time.  I'm blogging, and watching a movie.  Brent is currently napping, but spent the morning setting and checking traps.

I'm thankful for:

*  A warm home, comfortable but small, with only the things I need.

*  My furbabies, who frustrate me deeply, make me laugh, almost constantly, and can always lift my spirits.

*  Good jobs that afford us a comfortable life.  And life in a place that is perfect, for us.

*  Good health and happiness.  Things we all too often, take for granted.

*  Mostly I am thankful for family and friends that love us and support us so unconditionally.  That understand the things are are important to us, and are so excited to see that happen for us.  That lift us up, and understand when we are down.  Who may not always understand our decisions, but choose to support us, rather than try to divide us and tear us apart.  Who truly know who we are in our hearts, instead of assuming they know what we want and try to force their opinions upon us.   For this I am truly thankful.  It makes my heart happy, and helps demolish the hurt and disappointment from those who do not.

For this, I personally thank each and every one of you.  And you know who you are.

On another note, my dad called last week.  He asked a simple question, but one that touched me so very deeply.  He asked if they should be Christmas shopping for anyone else in our family this year.  While sadly the answer is no, it meant so much to know that they are excited for us too.  Thank you, Mom and Dad!

On that note, we have chosen to keep the rest of our journey to parenthood private.  We'll let you know when we have good news to share.  Thank you all for your kind words and support.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sunrise 9:43 a.m.      Sunset 3:15 p.m.

The days keep getting shorter and shorter.  This picture- sorry about the quality- was taken at 8:56 A.M.  Yes folks, that's the moon.  The morning moon.  The sun didn't rise for another 45 minutes after this photo was taken.

The temperatures have unseasonably warm for us.  This past week consisted of temps near or above 30 degrees, rain, snow and more rain.  My Volvo has a lovely crystalline sheen and it's nearly impossible to open the trunk.  Even more impossible is closing the trunk.  The graders and plows have been out, which is fairly rare.  They have sanded, grooved the ice coating the highways, and lo and behold, someone actually plowed the road to our house.  Last year we had tons of snow, and no one ever seemed to find us...hmmmmm...

While friends in North Pole and Fairbanks experienced power outages, we had black road reports out on base, which means all non-essential personnel are either sent home, or shop bound.  Brent and I both had early days on Monday.  School was out for Monday afternoon and Tuesday, thought they were back in session for one - I'm almost positive- rowdy day before Thanksgiving weekend.  I worked a record-breaking week of 7 hours.  I can tell you're impressed.

I took time to play in the ice and snow with my furbabies. I read a book, took a nap, made lasagna for dinner, and also managed to fit in some mundane household chores.  The dogs really liked having me around.  Treats, treats and treats...and throwing the dummies.  That's my purpose on earth, as far as Cash and Ches are concerned.

Brent has been busying himself with snares and traps.  I'm not thrilled about this hobby, but it brings him joy, and memories of many childhood winters with his grandpa.  It's proving to be a slow year, which is frustrating him to no end, and making me silently blissful.  I would never admit such things to him, but he knows how I feel.  We have a rule.  He can have as much fun as he wants, be as happy as he wants, but there is no discussing it with me.  Thankfully he can talk to my dad about it until the cows come home... phew!  

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day.  And we have much to be thankful for.  Life in the Last Frontier has proved to be challenging, exhilarating, happy and slow...all the things that we were ready for it seems.  Winter is a time of reflection, and the holidays only compound that, so I thought perhaps I'd be thinking more about "home" and my childhood.  I'm not, as much as I thought I'd be.  I'm thinking about our next adventure.  Where it might be.  When it might be.  And hoping it doesn't take us away from Alaska too soon...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.  Hoping you find much to be thankful for this holiday season.  Hoping your hearts and homes (and tummies) are filled to the brim!  

Much Love,
Brent, Karla, Ches and Cash

p.s.  Grammatical and spelling errors corrected- is that better Dad?? ;)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Back and Getting on Track

Sunrise 8:57 a.m.      Sunset 3:56 p.m.
It's 8:28 a.m. when I'm beginning this blog post.  Which means, technically, that the sun isn't up.  There's light in the sky, but I fear it's going to be another gray day.  There gets to be a lot of them this time of year.  It is November, after all, and this is the time of year that we lose light, at lightening speed.  So I sit by lamp light and write.  I would like to say that I miss the midnight sun, but that has it's place, and it's nice to have a little dark back in my life.  Soon the sun will come back, and life will even out, once again.  My main goal for this time of year is keeping the electric bill down.  Easier said than done. 

We've been home for nearly a week.  And I will admit the jet lag was a little bit hard on me.  We had a wonderful trip to Minnesota.  We had nice weather, despite a few days of rain and wind, and I have nothing to complain about.  We visited with family and friends, met new members of the family, and drove by old haunts, or houses if you will.  Everything looks the same, feels the same, and yet, I have changed.  All those things that were once so important, didn't matter so much, and at one point (much earlier in the trip than I imagined) I was wishing for home and my stuff and my furkids.

I had a hard time sleeping once we were at the in-laws.  Seems the train is closer than I remember.  And there's street noise, something I'm certainly not accustomed to, and LIGHTS. :)  All minor, but odd to adjust to when you are used to the peace, quiet, and dark.

The visit was too short.  We certainly didn't get to see everyone we would have liked to.  We did, however, take the time to go see Brent's grandparents (graves) in South Dakota.  I wish the weather would have been nicer so we could have spent a little more time, but it was comforting to be there.

We celebrated the holidays, complete with gifts, visited, laughed, shopped, celebrated Halloween, hugged chased, golfed, shopped, hunted, trapped, stayed out late, it was a great visit.  And I'm so happy to be home.

Thanks to our wonderful, competent house sitter we came home to a clean house, cleaner than when I left, freshly laundered sheets, and happy dogs.  A good house sitter is an absolute necessity when traveling from Alaska this time of year.  He kept the home fires burning, literally and figuratively.  We are happy and thankful.

So far life back home is good.  The days are shorter, we've gotten a little more snow, but the temps have been up and nice.  No reason for complaint.  Hopefully our good luck will last.  I never want to see -63 degrees again!  Do you hear me!?!  lol.

Thank you to all of you who made the time to see us.  It was great to see you all, meet the new little ones that have joined the family since the last time we were there, and catch up with everyone's lives.  

Happy Winter!