Wednesday, July 29, 2009


afternoon we headed out to Little Beaver Camp to pick up the girls from their first Youth Camp up here. What a treat to find this camp hidden down a winding road. We had a potluck dinner with burgers and dogs ... and then services.

The Annas find a quiet moment at the end of the dock.

A visit at Liz & Leroy's after services where the ping pong table was moved outside. What a way to play the game ... and what a view!

Leroy showing Leah how to work some golf club action. :)

It's already Wednesday in this new week. Last week was a mighty busy one. This one a bit more sedate. Still need to:
  • get Brock registered for school
  • pick some fireweed to make jelly on Saturday
  • some cleaning needs to happen around here
  • lawn needs mowing in between the raindrops
  • car needs cleaning
  • broccoli is ready to pick at the farm ... if only it would stop raining for a few hours as I don't have any mud boots

Off to work this fine morning. Enjoy your day!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Really ...

I'm really serious.
The seed packet seriously said
I don't know about you
but I'm thinking they're starting to look a little like

palm trees.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Enjoying visitors this week

Doug & Sharon, along with Steven (Turbo), have been in town this week. What fun to see them! Jari has had some days where he couldn't work, so they have been able to do some fishing. Brock & Turbo have had a chance to hang out and pal around. Super!! And ... I've been able to enjoy Sharon's company and do some visiting.

Doug (trust it to be someone from the Lower 48 to tell us) told us that Sarah Palin was at the Iditapark in Wasilla on Friday evening giving a speech and serving up hotdogs. My bones were a wee bit weary after a trying week and headed for a nap on the porch. Jari, Brock & Tia joined the Forstie clan and headed for the shindig ... and had a grand ole time!

This day was reserved for Veterans and veterans alone. No politics. Nada. A pure celebration and appreciation of our veterans.

Serve up some good ol' American dogs and burgers ...

hmmm ... maybe we'll just start the campaign for Palin for President! Doug may even have to move up here and join the movement!

My delicious nap was interrupted by a call that went something like this. "Mom, the car just quit. Can you bring me some oil?" I did. I brought the oil. However, when the rods are banging (or whatevere it is that indicates your engine is toast) ... we're a bit beyond the help of a little oil. Argh.
To calm my nerves and end a busy week ... I headed for the greenhouse. Weeded out stuff. It was so thick in there that the sun couldn't see the bottoms of the zucchini plants. Moved them outside. Will see what they manage to do outside. Picked some carrots ....
and moved on to the currants. Tia finally joined me and helped for a bit. I sure hope this jelly tastes good. It should be mixed with blood. Lots of it. I had mosquitos everywhere. Sharon said she hasn't seen mosquitos here ... or not bad at all. I know why. I found them. They're hovering over every currant bush I found. I was smearing them on my eyelids ... am sure my hair was highlighted with them ... but I got nearly a gallon of them. Finished the job this morning and Jari helped me make jelly this afternoon!
We were going to go somewhere tonite for the nite. I wanted to go fishing, but that's a sleepless night. And neither one of us can handle a sleepless fishing nite right now. I'd pay for it all week long and, as much as I'd love to go fishing, I just can't afford to do that this week!
Anna & Tia are at Youth Camp this weekend ... and we get to join them for a potluck tomorrow late afternoon. Can't wait to hear about their fun experience!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Little things that make me smile

Someday ....
maybe it will be little ones that are a part of us
that he walks with down dirt lanes.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My faith has been restored ...

men really do know how to read instruction manuals!

I came home from work today to find these sitting on the counter. Canned salmon. My dear husband was pretending he was a pro at this ... and he's never canned a thing in his life. He did find out that if you go to the canning section at Walmart and start asking folks ... they are most helpful with hints and tips. He came home with a pressure cooker and some jars ... and he & Fred started canning salmon. I will be forever grateful that they did the first batch while I was at work. I would have had a heart attack for sure.

Then I needed to see how this was done. I started wondering if you could stack jars in the cooker. Did some calling and Sue told me you could. She even had an extra jar separater that I could pick up ... which I did. Dim bulb that I am somedays ... I had failed to measure the jars first. The jars we are using are too tall to fit 2 high in the thing. Oh well. I know what to do for jelly! Next batch was under way with Fred & Jari showing me how it's done!

Got the jars filled ... pressure cooker filled with jars and cooking away. After which we sat down for a meal of fresh stuff ourselves. Mmmmm.

The second batch is done ... waiting for the beast to cool so we can take out the jars. This is fun! Had you asked me several years ago if I would be canning I'd have thought you were nuts. I was going to freeze everything. This might just be the ticket for some things.
From the number of new jars sitting in the pantry today ... I've got some work to do. Really wanted to add Fireweed Jelly and Currant Jelly to my list this week but I might just run out of days. Will see.

Hmmm ... maybe I'll do some carrots as well!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Yippee! We made it out camping!

I didn't do a thing on Thursday. Maybe a few things, but certainly nothing that should have been on THE list if one is going camping the next day. Friday I was able to leave work nice and early ... and came home to try and get things together. The laundry was all done ... until Tia finished cleaning her room. We won't count that as undone laundry tho'. :) Got the plants watered, the trailer loaded and off we went!

Nothing like a good campfire. Aaaahh.

This was the Sunday School Picnic camping weekend. We rent both group campsites and are all by ourselves for the weekend. Not too many of us showed up on Friday evening, but by Saturday nite it was full.

We found new uses for bungee cords ...

Tia, Mariah, Grace and Kaylinn

I need to buy some large water jugs. We used nearly all of the water we brought making coffee. The camping coffee pot turned into a humidifier last winter and no longer cooks coffee. The french press did booming coffee business all weekend.

This little guy, whose name is Little Man, was the camp guard dog. We were thinking about bringing Duke along, but left him at home. Little Man did a bang up job of it tho'.

Fred delayed his return to Colorado and went camping with us. Bocce ball. A game that seemed to go through camping chairs, woods and pretty much anywhere a ball will fly or roll.

Where there is a patch of dirt ... there will be children. Can you tell that Leah was just freshly clean in the morning?

I don't have any pictures of Jari and I on Sunday. I've been having a yen to start kayaking. Mind you, I can't keep anything headed in a straight line toward a destination, but I really want to try. We rented a double kayak at the lake and went out for a bit. Got over the tippy feeling and decided that I could get into that kind of activity! Not sure about the tip and roll thing, but maybe I'd even master that eventually. The water was like glass when we started out and then the wind picked up. Absolutely beautiful!
I tried adding photos of the entire group. For some reason I can't upload them. Have tried with several of them ... none will work. Don't know what is up with that! Am happy to be able to upload anything at all. Bopped on Bebo to upload some photos and found me a Trojan virus. AVG promptly did its job and I'm able to at least add these!

Monday evening and my laundry is spinning. Worked at a ridiculous 6 a.m. today and needed a serious nap after a lazy and quick dinner. Jari & Brock are out fishing with Fred and Doug & Turbo Forstie. Not having any luck but certainly trying!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The internet has been driving me crazy

When I have a moment ... it isn't cooperating. Patience, Anita and Internet are three words that don't work well together in one sentence. I just quit and move on to something else. Not one to wast too much time waiting for things to happen on the bugger. If it doesn't move fast ... I've got other things to do. :)

Fred is still here ... the SkipBo game has been on the table more than the Uno game. Sort of cracks me up. I think I need a good game or two of Settlers ... none of these recent visitors are serious Settlers players! Fred is staying a bit longer. He's off fishing with Ross and 3 boys. Let's hope they're catching something. Fishing luck around here just hasn't been with us this summer.

Saturday I was up bright and early ... as usual. I love Saturdays. A day at home to work and putter. If I can get away with it, I prefer not to leave the house on Saturdays. The sun had been absent for a while. Nothing but a haze in the air from some fires burning. About 70 fires in total burning in the state .. only a few of which they were fighting. Anyway, Saturday dawned with sunshine ... then clouds ... and then the sun was back.

I don't know about this greenhouse business. Last year my cucumber plants did absolutely nothing. This year they look very nice ... with 3 cucumbers. I, mistakenly, thought that I would be canning pickles. Had no clue that I need to buy a different kind of seed for pickling cucumbers. Next year! So many things on next years list! I've started hand pollinating everything. Let's hope the plants start giving me a few more and not just wasting blooms ... beautiful as they may be.

This is my jungle. The topsy turvy tomato planters have gone wild. They, so far, have only shown me one tomato ... and I'm guessing the one further away is the cherry tomato plant. Pollinating going on there as well. Hoping it works and they start paying attention to my visits ... even added a bit of singing to it yesterday. :) What a girl will do to get a tomato!

The floor of my playground is certainly not weed free. It is weed filled! The newspapers? Hmmm. I intend to use them to line my above ground beds and keep the weeds out. The rest of them are going to be shredded (kids ought to love this job!) and added to the compost. Would love to have beatiful dirt to play with next year.

I don't have tomato keeper upper cages. Am thinking I'll bring home some oxygen tubing heading for the trash and try tying them up. Suppose to work really well for hanging them. Water, feed and pollinate. Water, feed and pollinate. I would love to NEED to learn how to make tomato sauces. I'd love to NEED to go canning jar shopping!

Made the mistake of plunking this zucchini in the corner. This photo is incredibly deceptive. The leaves on that one zucchini plant are about the size of rhubarb leaves. The zucchini growing in the middle of them reminds me of the zucchini I picked when I was young. It qualifies for monstrous. Ought to get a few good batches of bread out of that plant!

I don't even like tomatoes. Is that awful? I like cherry tomatoes. Those I've decided are delicious. The rest of them can stay at the store unless I'm cutting them up to put in something. I have been talking to this one tho'!

So goes the gardening.
The rest of life? Brock turned 16 on Sunday. We took a little trip to Anchorage that took a bit longer than expected. Got the goodies he wanted. Monday we scheduled his driving test. Can't get in until the end of the month. He's been doing some yard work for someone I work with at the hospital ... and watching his wallet swell a little bit. Really needs a job!
Jari has been working in Whittier. Long days with a long drive to and from. Would love to just stay down there but can't. Needs to be transport for another guy who has to be home every night. Makes for a very tired hubby.
Fishing has not been great. Nor has the opportunity to fish. There will be more of them ... and there will be time. I'm hoping.
Alyx is still vacationing. She's in Michigan at the moment ... sounds like she's having a good time. Can't wait to have her come home!
Blayde's first set of classes is already ending. How did that happen so fast? I know that nursing school was over quickly ... his will be even faster! Stopped at the post office on Monday and was beyond impressed. I added him to my insurance at work now that he is a full time student .. and just did that last week. I had new insurance cards in the mail on Monday ... and I don't know when I last went to the post office. Last Thursday I faxed in a request for his medical records from Scottsdale Healthcare. They were in the mailbox as well on Monday! Guess what?!? We can now see about getting his problems taken care of. YES!!! Keep the fingers crossed. He really doesn't want another massive surgery this time around. Neither do I. Once was enough.
Gotta boogie ... the work day begins in less than an hour. Have a great Wednesday!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Off fishing

These lovely things came off the hooks yesterday.
They were loaded up with enough poles and tackle that I ought to be safe. Or ... everyone else ought to be safe when I start fishing. I have a way with the poles. Kind of end up with 2 for the price of one by the time I'm done. :)

Fred and Jari filled this bugger with waders, poles, sleeping bags and a tad bit of food.

They headed down to someplace that sort of looks like this. Couldn't you just live at the seaside? I could. In a heartbeat.

The girls here went to Jolene's baby shower last night. Thought about taking the camera and should have for the family that isn't here ... and the mom to be. The thought crossed my mind and the camera wasn't in the path of the thought. Hence, no pictures. I was a tad bit tired as well. Was a bit of a busy day yesterday at work.

On call this evening and if all goes well (and I can keep my eyeballs open) the rest of us will join the guys that are down south. Us girls want to go do some fishin'!

This year we can dip net as well. We're finally legal here. Resident licenses that make salmon a little cheaper than what felt like $100 a pound last year. Hopefully we have some cooperating fish somewhere.

Warren Raisanen and Brady Kumpula, along with some others I don't know, are down in Homer fishing right now. We may even get to share a cup of coffe with them. That would be super!

As for me ... time to go to work. Today is payday! The most looked at part of the paystub is how many PTO hours we have. Not enough to merit a day off. So ... off I go. Enjoy your Friday. Have a great weekend. I'll be back to pick some zucchini on Monday.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Looking for a cooler place to live

I know.

This is Alaska.
Land of ice.
Land of icebergs.
Land of glaciers.

And today on my way home from Palmer after work the temp thing at the bank said ...89 degrees.


This is Alaska!!

No air conditioning.
One ceiling fan.
Living area upstairs in the house.
That means it is only 84.4 degrees in the house.

Remind me that I complained when it hits -26 in January. :)

Monday, July 6, 2009


We had lovely news this evening. Frans & Jenny had a healthy addition of a baby girl to their family. Taryn Elizabeth weighed in at 9 lb 10 oz and measured 21 3/4 inches long. Isn't she just a beauty?!

We think she looks like Alanys ... Frans says she has Trina's mouth. We just want to be there to snuggle her.

But ... we can't. So we did the next best thing. Skype webcam. We got to share in this little loves first day on earth. We got to hear her cry. We got to see her mouth wide open and looking for food. We got to see her nuzzling her hands ... thumb sucker coming up? Sometimes I have a hard time sitting in front of the computer and doing the webcam thing too much for too long. A little here and there is great. And ... times like these ... they are priceless!

Things that make me smile

Flowers. I said that I wouldn't plant flowers from seed next year. They take too long. But ... maybe I've changed my mind. They sure are fun!

My fence of peas. My original thought was to wrap the entire screen porch with peas. Only did one wall ... next year I'll do both walls. They have climbed nearly to the roof ... and now are blooming. Tia found the pods in the hanging plant and promptly devoured them. There will be no saving peas for winter in this house.

These become our summer candy. :)

Just pick 'em and eat 'em.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Our 4th of July celebration wasn't.

We did barbeque at home with our family. Burgers, dogs and all that good stuff. Was delicious. The rest of the day was spent in car repairs and house cleaning. :) My kitchen cupboards look fabulous. The cars are all sparkling. The fireworks? They were on Friday evening. Hmmm. Better check a little earlier next year and make a better plan. So ... this would be the extent of my Independence Day photography. At least they're the right colors!

After sitting around doing house and home things for the past several days, we took a trip up to Hatchers for a hike today. I am totally out of shape. I run my buns off at work, but that means nothing. Nada. Nyet. Nothing. I should have had Jari stop the car when we saw these little ones crossing the road. I should have joined them in their leisurely stroll ... but I went up the mountain.

And I struggled. I stopped. I continued. The water color is this beautiful aqua. Fred & Brock are checking it out.

From whence we came. That trail keeps on winding around and eventually goes down the other side. That other side and down is where my cushy seat was parked.

One foot in front of the other. There was a woman slowly plodding her way up there with her 2 walking sticks. I figured if she was making it to the snow at the top ... so was I. And I did. Met Mark & Jenna at the top ... that was fun.

I really should do this once a week. The last time I hiked this place was July 3, 2008 with Miksu, Riku and Sami!

A stop on the way down to do some rock skipping ...

they were good at it!
Also had to cool off a bit. It gets warm up there! I don't care if there is snow on the ground. Warm it was. Fred gave himself a dunk ... said it felt great but his skull was numb!

Brock thought he'd give it a try as well. Not me. Thanks for asking!

We stopped at Turner's Corner for burgers on the way home. Got me out of grilling that chicken that is nicely marinating in the fridge. Tomorrows dinner done. Perfect. Today was a bit warm and this house was very warm as far as we were all concerned. We crashed. Took a little nap and headed to services. 10:26 pm and it is still warm in here. Better ... but warm. I don't own a fan other than the one in the greenhouse. Am thinking it might be quite nice to just sleep on the porch tonite.
Hope your 4th of July was a bit more sparkly than ours!