Monday, June 29, 2009

A few summer shots of life at our house.

Weeds. They are an essential part of living. My favorite saying use to be "Green is Good". That was when I was desperately trying to grow grass in Phoenix. Green is still good, but holy cow! These lovely weeds are blooming nicely. They just happen to be just as tall as I am. There is a limit to this "good" thing. A bit beyond weed whacking.

Summer = fishing. Fishing just as much as you possibly can. Hopefully you catch something along the way. This house loves the activity. This households mother would really like to catch something one day. I'd be thrilled with one salmon this year. Doesn't need to be a king. Doesn't need to be big. Just ONE would be swell. My goal for the summer. Manageable ... don't you think?

Then there is the gardening. Experiments in progress. This is our potato project. If this works I'll start running ads on Craigs List looking for tires. You put your potato plants in the first tire ... preferably at the bottom. When the green is growing wonderful, you add the second tire and fill with dirt. Continue 'til the tires are all stacked. Now the potatoes should fill the tires. Will see how it works.

First year for these gizmos as well. The tomato plants are growing nicely and starting to bloom. These things are suppose to hold 70 pounds of tomatoes. I'm not greedy. I'll take a few tho'!

THIS is what I could garden for ... almost this alone. Zucchini. Bread. Muffins. Tried frying it for dinner tonite. Must have cooked it a bit too long. Will have to try it again. Maybe next time I'll try the grill.

Then there are flowers. This is the first bloom on flowers that I started from seed. Ahhhh. So special. Not sure I'll do that next year. Too much time and energy. Much easier to buy the 6 paks from somewhere. Fun to try tho'.

Time to head back to the kitchen. I have bread dough in the bread machine. This is a cheat thing. 1/2 of my favorite bread recipe into the bread machine. Have it make the dough. Move the dough to pans. Bake. I need to teach Anna how to do this. :) My mouth is watering.

Somedays I'm not sure what I should admit to ...

Like ... would you admit that you gave birth to this goofball? The getup looks sort of lady like. The Pepsi could pass for a torch. Voi etta! Must have just a wee bit of his goofy dad in him.

And then there is this one. The obstacle course at this Carnival included a rope thing that she couldn't manage. So they allowed her to ROLL down the muddy hill instead. I shudder to think where those clothes went. 'Cuz I don't think I've seen them since then.

Then there are those 2 yahoos. Note the ones who seem to be supervising the construction here. The brown/white stripe sweathshirt and the red sweatshirt. I'm betting that we could almost count the number of times they've actually held a hammer in their hands. Brown/white stripe Brock was put on the winning team tho'.

They were the quickest to build a chair, haul him across the field and have him still sitting in it with the chair holding his weight. Congrats!

Then there's the other one. This is our rent a child. He's up here hanging out for a bit. I think he's acclimated since he came. He said our house was cold when he came. Today he had his sweatshirt off ... I think. So this kid is tall. He has stretched like a weed since I last saw him. 6'2" with size 13 shoes. Stilll he braved it to play the high heel race game. Gotta love a challenge.

That was our Friday evening ... how was yours?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Freedom evening

Freedom evening is on when you're On Call at work and don't get called in! Pure bliss. Doesn't take much to keep this lady smilin'. Time to clean my bathroom ... vacuum my room ... digest several pages of a book and skip cooking dinner.

Come to think of it ... I still haven't eaten and it's 10:33 pm! Time to head back to the salmon dip. Jari came home today with some yummy salmon dip that is totally delicious. My secret treat.

We have a crew heading out to hit the Russian River here in about half an hour or so. None of my offspring are going. I think Ben and Brock are fished out. Is that possible? Only a nibble in the last several days. HOURS of driving ... HOURS of fishing ... ONE nibble. Maybe more than one.

Let 'em rest. Tomorrow evening we attend a fundraiser carnival at the Laulainen household. Ought to be a fun evening.

Saturday I think will be another Freedom Day.

Celebrate it with laundry ... cleaning the oven ... moving tomato plants ... fixing the lawnmower.

The lawmower. It sort of got diesel fuel in the gas tank instead of regular gasoline. Oops. I wouldn't have known the difference between a red and yellow gas can either. The dandelions need mowing.

Have a great Friday!

... and on they go ....

driving their way toward Kluane Lake for a camping spot tonite ... about 580 miles. Then off to Haines the next night to catch a ferry to Juneau on Saturday morning. Interesting that the 49th State of the Union will be the 49th state capitol photo that they take on Saturday. It has been so much fun having them here. They leave without colds from no sleep ... a tent heater to keep them a tad bit warmer tonite ... and still room in the car for some more goodies!

My camera needed a battery charge this morning when I went to shoot a few last photos so Jari got these on the phone.

Last night we went to Bible Class and then managed to squeak in 2 last games of Scrabble. We may need to just keep that board out of the closet! We've thoroughly enjoyed it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday evening ...

These 3 yahoos ran to 3 Bears for sugar. :) They don't look like they're having any fun do they? They declined coming with us. We went looking for Beluga Whales. It ended up being a goose chase instead, but we had some really good chuckles. After going down a few roads that went no where, we headed down to the airstrip instead. Those roads ... they went places. Folks' lived at the ends of those roads. Just couldn't find the water we were looking for! This is the airstrip at Point McKenzie. 3/4 of a mile according to Markus and the iphone. :) Our pilot was a bit on the wild side. He gunned the engine and we did a serious takeoff. Tia had needed a restroom on our bumpy trip ... this certainly wasn't helping the situation.

At the end of the airstrip is this place littered with shell casings and shot up trees. I think we're going to go out there shooting with the kids ... along with trash bags and rubber gloves ... and do a bit of cleaning up. This view sort of makes you wonder how close you really dare get to the edge ...

In case you end up down there in that Citation ...

My pictures are a bit deceptive. This is a long way down there. My short lens was in the car.
Boys and girl having some fun trying to get the cars down below. Our high powered stuff was left at home .. they got rocks instead. :)

Anchorage across the way. A bit further than this looks, but much further by car.

Grandma was a wee bit chilly. 37 degrees outside this morning ... no wonder she's chilly! Add tired to that and it makes for an interesting combination sometimes. Maybe next time we'll have to go on a whale watching adventure. I'm hoping they see plenty of them on the ferry to and out of Juneau.

A stop at the Knik Museum that was closed. Great for photos tho'.

I really like this boat. Wonder what the story behind it is.

A stop at Fred Meyer so Markus could get another King tag and go fishing today. Check out the snow on the top of the mountain in the background. That is new. It wasn't there the day before. It has been raining and the mountain is looking white. Voi etta! Not yet! Here, that stuff is called Termination Dust.

So ends a Tuesday and begins a Wednesday. G'ma and G'pa are packing a car today. :( Bible Class this evening and tomorrow they have a long drive ahead of them.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday morning and my 2nd day back to work

Thank God for a job. That's all I have to say on that one. :)

Saturday fishing for the guys yielded a fish big enough to taste on Father's Day. How fun to spend Father's Day with my dad. That doesn't happen very often at all. They guys had a great experience on Saturday, even if the fish catching left a bit to be desired! Jari did a late night trip to the airport to pick up Markus. Along with him came a surprise visitor for Brock ... Ben Wuollet. We really tried to get Brock into the truck to help dad stay awake but it didn't work ... and I didn't want to tip my hand. Boys are having a blast.

Sunday we had the Ross & Denise clan over in the afternoon. Some bbq, some visiting, lots of fun with lots of little people. Services at 6 pm and then another crew for coffee afterwards! We're on a bit of a sugar high around here. Rhubarb ... more rhubarb ... add some chocolate. :)

Monday evening we ended up staying home. Played a good game of Scrabble and then Jeff & Alissa stopped over. More rhubarb mixed with sugar. Can we just call it a vegetable?

Speaking of vegetables. I'm waiting for these things to bloom. The stalks are what I consider huge. Isn't nature amazing? The intricate way they wrap to keep themselves upright just amazes me.

Off to brush my teeth and head to work. Was suppose to have stew in the crockpot for dinner. Oops! Was too lazy last night and morning just isn't my favorite time for cooking. Plan B ... whatever that is! If you've got any ideas ... please share!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday to Market

I've never been to the Anchorage Market, so we went today. Somehow I had the idea that it included vegetables and flowers. Maybe because Seattle does. This one didn't. The only vegetables here were tree ripened from Columbia. Was fun regardless!

We sort of liked this one. Our Texas relatives would get a good chuckle out of it.

Walking ... browsing ... and eating!

Grandma got herself a Sweet Potato Pie.

Wish I had pictures of the fishing the guys did. They had a great time!
11:49 p.m. and Jari just left for the airport to pick up Markus. Good thing for quickie naps.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday evening and we made it home

The first carload successfully made it to the campground at about 4 a.m. The second carload left before noon on Thursday and headed south. As we pulled into our campground we saw this lovely camp guardian several spots from ours. Just happily munching ... couldn't care less if she was being eyed by Canon.

I think I could get into this kind of camping. A toilet nearby ... a firepit already dug ... and no near neighbors. Did a short visit with the camp hosts, but otherwise we sort of hung out for a while. The earlier bunch had been fishing on the Russian River all afternoon with no luck but the Combat Fishing has certainly been experienced! Decided we were going to try some night fishing, and in the meantime gave up on the Seward idea and headed close by to check out the City of Kenai. Decided that even knowing it would be incredibly windy .... I could live right here and be content with the ocean breezes.

Another old building in Kenai.

Back to while away a few hours 'til we headed fishing. Anna checking the internet ... and then more than just several games of Scrabble.

We fished until nearly 3 a.m. Can you believe it? I didn't have waders or a pole. I borrowed a pole occasionally and managed to return them UNBROKEN. Major feat for me. I just had to sort of giggle. Was light enough to see while untangling lines. I'm pretty good at it now. Wish I had brought a camera, but it really wouldn't have done the scene any justice. My three youngest kids, their dad and grandpa all lined out in the water casting lines. A guide was just down the river fishing with his boys and stopped to chat with us as he was leaving. No fish. "If the guide ain't catching anything ... and dad ain't catching anything ... we ain't catching anything" became Brock's line. Grandpa had a good one that went something like this: "I'll keep casting all night long if someone's out here with me ... but there aren't any fish in here." Good for giggles. We got back to the camper and crawled in. Grandma and Grandpa in the bed up top. Mom and Dad in the table turned bed. 3 kids sprawled on the floor. Reminded me of boat days. Was really fun ... can't wait to do it again!

Today, Friday, one carload headed for some sightseeing. I took Tia, along with G/G to the Wildlife Conservation Center to see a grizzly. Last time I was there the bears were being fed. This time he was being a bit lazy, but at least we got to see him. Saw some fun other critters as well.

Next off to Whittier. Couldn't you just sit here and sip your morning coffee? I certainly could. Had some yummy chowder and burgers here ... and then showed them a bit of Whittier. There isn't much to see in Whittier, but I love to bring folks there. Is relatively close to where we are and it is just kind of fun.

No glacier hiking for us, but a view from afar. Grandma was a bit chilly. She didn't bring not even one pair of jeans with her! I offered to go shopping, but she thinks she'll be fine.

Clouds ... snow ... ice ... green growth .... beautiful!

Good size ice bergs floating about.

Back home again.
Made some chili for dinner.
Took a wonderful shower.
Feels heavenly after several days of none.
Checked the greenhouse to see what happened there in the last 2 days. There is certainly progress going on in there. Also need to do some fertalizing tomorrow.
Grandpa and Jari are heading off to fish again tonite. Wish them luck. Grandpa says a good day of fishing is when there is nothing to clean afterward. I think Grandma doesn't mind not needing to can anything to bring home.
The rest of us are heading to Anchorage. I've never been to the Saturday Market ... going to go check it out!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday we got door knobs on ...

the doors coming into the house. Project #? nearly done. My wood rocking chair is glued and drying ... tied together with bungee cords. It was kind of a wet day so the Scrabble board got a bit of use at the table. Plenty of coffee drinking and jawing. :)

Decided to head to Hatcher Pass and take a look. Sometimes it might be nicer up there than here. Still had some sprinkles. Didn't do any hiking, but got to show them one of our favorite places.

A stop at the Little Su River on the way down from Hatchers. Had to add this picture in here. I was a great fan of the Littles books when I was young. Even since then ... I've read a few to to the kids. Tia just sent me back into the pages of the book with this photo.
We had dinner, came up with a plan for the next few days, went to Song Services, came home and packed the camper. At about midnight, this group headed out. The fishermen and fisherwomen should be on the river by now and hopefully reeling in some big ones! Grandma, Brock and I are heading out in about an hour and I'm not ready yet ... first things first, right? If all goes as planned ... we should see a few things in the next couple of days .... log some serious auto miles ... catch a few fish ... do a bit of handwork ... read a book ... and enjoy a bit of Alaska summer!

We'll be back to let you know where we went and what we did!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Grandma and Grandpa made it here!

They made it here ... tent and all! Finally got some nice weather and were able to spend several days at Denali before coming down this way. Grandpa wanted some projects to keep busy with while he's here. I didn't expect him to hop right into it 30 minutes after arriving ... but that's about what happened. Jari has been working on getting rid of this pile that was monstrous. Down to huge tree stumps that were unmovable with the 4-wheeler. But with the help of Grandpa and Tia ....

more help from Grandpa ....

add the truck ....

and voila! Mission almost accomplished!
We're trying to make plans for the rest of their time here. Fun things to see and do and when to get them all done. The heavens are giving us a bit of a watering this morning. Makes a trip to Hatchers today sort of pointless unless it clears up a bit. I'll share their trip here with you as it happens!