Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A little bit of this..a little bit of that...

I know it's been a while.  I've been lazy.  There, I said it.  Well, I don't know if lazy is really the right word, but I've been procrastinating this one, which always makes it worse.  I've had a couple things on my mind, we'll talk about those later.

This is Brent and the dogs on Christmas Eve.  We ventured out to take a drive, relax, enjoy our beautiful frosty surroundings and see what we could see.  As usual it was a beautiful drive, despite Cash's never-ending attempts to climb into the front seat, and when reprimanded the constant sighing and squeaky yawn he does to let us know that he's irritated.  Ches is a wonderful traveler, and I'm hoping (praying and begging God) that Cash will grow to be a better traveler.  Since the day was particularly frigid I stayed in while the Three Amigos decided to hunt up some rabbit, or something.
This is Chris-moose!  I (originally) wanted to do a post with just this picture.  Our Christmas Moose! Ha!  Such a pretty girl she is, all snuggled into the white wonderland.  I wonder what Santa brought this Mama and her baby??

Christmas Day we hosted 8 friends at our table.  It was a nice, relaxing day with so much food I thought I'd explode.  Our cabin in the woods was cozy and warm.  Great conversations, awesome food, some presents, and brimming with lots of laughs.  My only regret is that we didn't have a slightly larger, more comfortable area so we could have sat longer, chatted longer, and had more friends to join us.

For dessert (I don't love baking) Brent talked me into baking this gorgeous pecan chocolate torte.  Too bad it didn't taste as good as it looks!  It was okay, but sadly not the best thing I've ever made.  I think Brent was dreaming of a moist devils food, and this was NOT it.  I'll be trying something next time.

New Year's Eve we decided to take in some ice fishing.  What a gorgeous day!! It was 38 degrees out on the ice.  As usual I avoided the bulk of the fishing, and played with the pooches.  Sitting still, looking at an icy hole, waiting for a random fishy to swim by and happen to bite my teeny tiny hook isn't the most fun I can think of.  But being on the ice on a warm and windy day, playing with fish (see above) and having a grand ole time is right up my alley.

Poor little fishy. Mutilated by Cash as he tossed and chased and barked and tossed some more.  Before hauling the poor little trout off to be buried in a bank of snow. 
This is Brent and Whitey.  Taking a picture of the fish they caught. Yep.  Both of them.  It goes a little bit like this.  Early in the day Whitey was feeling relaxed and lucky, he laid is pole on a chair while he chatted and jeered the other inhabitants.  Much to Whitey's dismay, the pole lurched from the chair to slide down the hole, Whitey attempted to reach the pole, sticking his arm shoulder-deep in ice cold water.  Unfortunately his crappie flop only earned him a very chilly arm.  The (rented) pole was lost, and he spent a good amount of time belly-aching about having to replace the pole.

After a visit from a very nice conservation officer from Ft. Wainwright, Brent used the auger to make himself a hole outside of the shanty.  As he was waiting and waiting he felt a faint tug on his line.  He reeled it up to discover that he had caught someone else's line, presumably from inside the shanty.  Whitey happened to be walking by at just that moment, right before Brent tossed the line back in.  Whitey pulled the line, fish, and his lost rod out of the frigid water.  And that, folks, is the story of how Whitey and Brent caught the same fish.  Well, technically Whitey caught the fish and Brent caught the pole! Ha!

I'm pretty sure this photo strikes fear and loathing in my father.  I'm positive he was happy he wasn't visiting on this particular slobber-filled day in our lives.  My father tolerates my dogs, only because I leave him no other option, but he doesn't love them.  They're fine as long as they don't kiss, touch, jump or come within 50 feet of him.  Ha!  Good luck, Dad!! 

Brent and I decided that it would be nice for Charlie (dog #2 from left) and Cash (dog #4 from left) to have a play date for their birthday.  They turned 1 on December 26th!!! YAY!  While Charlie was visiting, Maggie (dog #1) decided to come and play, leaving us with a menagerie of mongrels.  They are so much fun.  Outside.  Outside Only.  Holy Cat!  4 dogs in the house is insane.  Crazy even. 
Alaska holds the most beautiful skies I've ever seen.  They are expressive beyond anything I've laid my eyes upon, and change constantly.  New Year's Day they presented us (and that's exactly what it was, a gift) with the most vibrant cobalt blue skies.  They ranged from navy (nearly black) to the faintest aqua and you stood and circled your body. 

The camera really does them no justice.  They were fantastic.  I just stood, in wonder, and watched them shift over head.  Saturated color, you could almost taste it.  Truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  And with that sentence, I'm pretty sure my oldest brother just broke into a fit of hysterics.  But you should have seen it.  Fantastic!

Another shot of blueberry skies....
The periwinkle hue over the roof top was my favorite.  I'm so blessed.  Alaska is beautiful, harsh, rugged and glorious.  I'm happy to have seen it, grateful to have lived in it.  It's like nothing I've ever seen before.  Leaves me wanting for more...
This is the usual scene at our house these days.  Brent and Maggie snuggled on the couch, Cash pestering Maggie to play, play, play, and Chessa begging me with her eyes to "please send Maggie home".  Ha!

In other news I have accepted a new position.  I am experiencing bittersweet feelings.  I will leave a job that I love, and a very, very good friend.  I will miss seeing her, and her family, on a daily basis, but it's not like I'm leaving the country.  I am taking a job on post, with another friend, so I'm lucky to have the best of both worlds.  I don't know when I'll start yet, but 2011 is bound to be a great year!

Happy New Year!!!