Monday, August 31, 2009


Sometime in the last month I actually went and visited the doctor.
Can't quite believe it myself ... but I did.
So, she asks me when she comes into the exam room "you are here for your annual?"
Um, no.
My reply was "more like octennial".
Now you see how I am.

We nurses have got to be the absolute worst. We don't do what we should. And we know better.

So I go for the octennial mammogram as well. They are so much fun that I really should have pushed for somthing a little further into the future.

But I know better. How many times a week do I take care of folks who are either having a port placed for chemotherapy ... or having it removed following therapy. Too many. I really do know better.

When you have a mammogram that the radiologist doesn't like, the hospital actually sends you a lovely certified letter. Sweet. Go back again. At this point I really started to wonder why I didn't do this exam long before the "octennial"! I really like to be a glass half full kind of person, but sometimes things start to make me a tad bit on the nervous side.

After having to reschedule because I couldn't get several hours off of work, I finally made it to the Imaging Department this afternoon. These exams aren't the most comfortable in the world, but I've had much worse ... by a long shot. It was kind of like being at a photo shoot. Try this pose ... look at the proofs. Hmmm. Try it again in a different pose. Have the person in charge take a look at those pics. Still not pleased so you go for yet another pose. Whew! Finally an acceptable shot that got me out of going to the Ultrasound Department next.

It was a good day. The wonderful woman who got to do all the posing positions agreed with me. These are the kinds of days we like to have.

I was sort of having issues with trying to figure out how I'd juggle life otherwise. Thanks to God for not adding that to my life's plate at the moment.

Saturday ...

Tia and I headed to the Alaska State Fair Parade in Palmer. Just the two of us. We walked what she said was "a mile at least" and had an awesome time! Small town parades are just so much fun! Plenty of room to sit on a curb and watch the passing fun. A good coffee shop for something warm for me and something cool for Tia.

Brock helped with the United Way banner.

Doesn't he look just pleased to be sitting on his tractor seat? Love it!

We had more fun on Saturday ... after grocery shopping, we stopped at a few garage sales and found a few fun prizes! Will share those later.
Hoping to take in the State Fair on Saturday and especially hopeful that the weather stays like it's been. Not looking good at the moment, but you never know! It has been gorgeous!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Hoping we can find another car sometime soon. The Camry Alyx was driving took a serious plunge into auto repair land shortly after she came back from vacation. She has been back to work now for about 3 weeks ... and this juggling is getting downright interesting. She doesn't have 1st hour so on days she works .. it works like this. She brings me to work for 8am and then goes to school. Brock brings her to work for 3pm and then picks me up at 4:30pm. Yesterday I had a meeting at work so was back to the hospital for the 6pm pep rally. Brock was a gem and picked her up at 11:15pm when she got off work. He can't do that tonite ... morning was a bit of a challenge for him today. So I get that duty tonite. Then ... the alarm rings again at 5:15am to get kids up and off on to the bus. Brock put in an application for the state fair today and is hoping for a job there. The fair runs through Labor Day and he's hoping to do some parking lot attendant duty. I'm hoping for him! He could use a good cash infusion.
I was just thinking earlier that I need to start taking some vitamins. I am really bad at that. So bad that I only managed about the equivalent of one bottle of prenatal vitamins in 5 pregnancies. I know there are folks out there who have the miracle cure for me. Please don't send me info. I will find my own pick me upper. Currently ... it is a 30 minute nap ... most rejuvenating. Hoping that if I get something ... I might remember to actually take it!
Hoping that my dear hubby doesn't fall asleep on his way home tonite. Poor guy. I almost feel guilty about complaining about being tired. Yesterday he left by 6am and spent the day working in Anchorage. Home for a quick bite and a quicker nap ... and then off to another job in Eagle River. He didn't get home from there 'til 1am ... and left again at 6 this morning to do it yet again. Good gravy. When it rains it pours. I am thankful. :)
Hoping that our visit to the surgeon tomorrow is a productive one. Blayde and I will go see him in the morning. Hoping that an ultrasound will give us the info we need to finally get ahead of the esophageal problem and get that fixed! One mountain or mole hill at a time.
Gave up hoping that there were raspberries at the U-Pick Farm. The weather wasn't kind to the plants over the winter and my picking spot is in pitiful picking shape. No raspberries this winter! At least we have zucchini ... and, oh yeah, the broccoli!
S'pose all the hoping in the world isn't doing my laundry pile a bit of good ... must get down there to spin a load of work clothes for dear hard working hubby!
By the way ... in case you were wondering ... fall is here. The air is that crisp and cool want to light a fire air. Mmmmm. Think I'll close my bedroom window just a wee bit more tonite. Gets downright chilly in the morning. Don't dare check to see how cool it is ... just know that snuggling under the layers of blankets and quilts feels downright wonderful!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I did get the laundry sorted!

Do you remember that Saturday job list? I didn't make it past the sort laundry part. :) Life is just fun. Somehow that stuff just sits around waiting for you .. job lists have much in the way of patience.

I did pull the carrots and should fun to the "farm" and pick more. I tried something new with them. Dehydrated them all. You really don't end up with much in the way of carrots that way. Especially when dear hubby comes along and samples them! Found a fun website that may help me with dehydrating more things ... and remembering what to do with them after that! Will add a link on the right in case you're interested.

Decided that the bunnies needed to be outside. They're much smarter than I am. One of them hasn't been seen since she wheedled her way out through a ditch she dug. Live trap coming up. I'm told it is just the trick.

Basement? Still looks like a disaster zone. Now I'm done and out of time until next Saturday. Maybe then I'll get to it. How handy the stuff doesn't go away!

It is starting to feel like fall. Really should have gone for a walk yesterday. I didn't. I'm so bad in the exercise department. I mean really, really bad. I also get sidetracked. The air felt cool and crisp ... makes you think of pumpkin pie and bonfires. We don't have leaf burning parties but maybe we should. Just in case you remember that I also attempted to grow some pumpkins .. they certainly won't be giving me enough pumpkin to make pie. Bummer. The AK State Fair winning pumpkin is grown inside ... not outside where my punkins are this year. Maybe I'll move them next year. Maybe I'll just buy one at the fair instead!

Off to scrapbook land for the next 45 minutes. Already have a niggling headache and it's only 6:16 a.m.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I think it may just beat a massage

or why else would I be up at 7 a.m. after getting home from fishing at 1 in the morning? I think I could stand in the creek for a very long time ... casting a rod ... waiting for a fish ... being teased by it's nibbles ... come home with nothing ... and be completely satisfied. Last night I understood why my dad says " a good day fishing is when you come home with nothing to clean." So ... maybe not quite that. I could really use a silver salmon on my hook, but I really could stand there forever.

Much later, while Jari & Chad were hanging out at the campfire, Becca and I found a spot about where they're standing. She had one on. I think I caught the Loch Ness Monster. It was big and it wasn't coming in. Tree stump? Nah. I don't think so.

David and Jolene were out fishing with us as well. Love her chair. I could probably sit there for hours as well ... even without my book.

Gotta love the little guys. Vance was quite determined. I don't know that he could see where he was headed, but the water was quite a magnet for him.

This is only my second trip to Jim's Creek. You can see the Knik Glacier in the back. It is absolutely beautiful!

So now that I've skittered away about 90 minutes of a morning ... it's time to hit the job list.
  • sort laundry
  • wash laundry
  • fold laundry
  • put laundry away (makes the list checking off a wee bit faster)
  • shred paper for compost
  • rabbit cage needs cleaning
  • dusting needs doing ... and I can't find my favorite dust cloth things at WalMart
  • hit a garage sale or two?
  • pick the last of the carrots
  • sing to the tomatoes
  • rig up a heater in the greenhouse ... my feet are cold this morning and they're INSIDE the house
  • trip to the music store for to fix Tia's flute
  • see if there is anything other than bills at the post office
  • pick up oven cleaner at the same time ... it is seriously nasty
  • listen to the rest of one of the books on cd while I try put some order into the basement
  • library to renew and return
  • scrub the shower and bathtubs

Can I just hang out on the internet instead?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Life at our house this week

I should go run around with the camera so I can show you what is happening here right now. It is 8:27 pm on Thursday evening. My four (yup, all of them!) have been sleeping since I got home from work. Anna was up long enough to tell me she didn't like halibut ... and skittered off to her room.

They are crashed.

One on the couch.
Another on the comfy living room chair.
Yet another on the floor.
Only one in her bed.

I really did try to wake them up for dinner. Several of them looked at me through one open eye. One even rolled over. None of them woke up.

Any guess at how much homework they have that needs to get done this evening? Yikes! I don't want to think about it. At all.

I really should go wake them up. But ... it's so quiet here. :)

And I'm rather envious. I think I yawned my way through half the day at work. This 5:15 a.m. stuff is catching up with me as well. There is a bright side to my world at that time of morning tho'. I'm not hustling out the door. I'm sitting at the computer. Happy as a pig in mud. I'm back to scrapbooking digitally. Have another year to get caught up on. It's great.

Now ... I'm really going to go wake them up.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I got it!

Jari went to AT&T the other night and got my phone switched back to where I can now send pictures from it. How frustrating! My new phone has all these wonderful photo bells and whistles and I was unable to share them with anyone or do anything with them. Was really wondering what the point of all the whistles was!

Now I got it! Haven't played with the photos on the phone ... just sent them here to share with you. This was my first time seeing this dip netting thing. Essentially, you just stand in the water or on the edge of the creek ... and hold your net. Then you pray that a fish will dodge the hundred other nets and somehow think your net is the most appealing. I don't know if these will show up large if you click on them. I've not downsized them at all ... we might get lucky. There were folks parked in the creek on camping chairs. Notice the older people on the right sitting down? The hubbies were in the creek with the nets ... the ladies pouring over magazines on the bank. Too fun.

This is looking downstream ... about a 10 minute walk to the mouth of the river. Believe it or not, once in a while a fish would get stuck in a net. Rarely, it was one that could be kept. We watched one poor fish get convinced to swim again. It looked like it had been in every net along the way. It had given up and was simply tuckered out.

The waiting game ...

Meanwhile ... we all had a good time!

School day #2

Day 2 of the new school year ... and I'm still managing to wake up. Thank goodness. 5:15 is a bit early in the day ... even for me who loves mornings. First day of school went well.
  • Anna went to high school this year and found her classes (thanks to everyone who helped her out)
  • Brock is going to a different school this year ... and found that the lunch line takes 30 minutes to navigate. Time to bring your own.
  • Tia is the only one left in Middle School this year. How did this happen? 1 in college and 3 in high school. She'll do fabulous. Day #1 homework was done. We're on a roll. Let's hope we can stay there!
  • Alyx starts her last year in High School. I remember the itch of senior year. Ready to be DONE. I was not a studious student ... by any stretch of the imagination. It will be a busy year for Miss Alyx.
  • The mother of these kids did not do those cute little "going to school pictures" that I see other places. Her kids haven't posed for those things in years. And yesterday the mom was gone before the kids. No chance to even sneak such a photo. (especially when I would have needed a flash to sneak it with ... no bright streaming sunlight here at 6:30 in the morning at this time of year)
  • We took the 2nd trip out for school supplies last night. How many binders can one household use? And where did last years binders go? They were so well used that they no longer exist. I hope we're done with the school supply aisle for a little while.
  • Next ... start Christmas shopping?

I have one tomato turning red in the greenhouse. Can you believe it? ONE! I bought 4 tomato plants from the FFA plant sale. They weren't pricey ... but there are 4 of them. Last year I bought 2 Topsy Turvy planters and ordered them online. WalMart wasn't selling them last year. I think the price tag rang in at somewhere around $24.95. Then I added potting soil ... and mind you, I'm a Miracle Grow girl.

All for one tomato ... one CHERRY tomato. Others are finally cropping up and growing. I don't know how large they're going to grow ... but I see them! Almost makes me want to count.

And this bugger that I took a picture of just for you. I thought people planted marigolds to ward of pesky critters in their gardens. I planted mine in a container just for fun. The plants outside are nearly done growing and producing ... and the Protecter Plant ... is still working on blooming! It is well over knee high .. might be waist high on a shorter person. Could nearly be a corn stalk on an even shorter sort! I do have one that bloomed and the blossoms are huge. Massive. This one ... makes me think of a sponge that is about to bust out of it's wrapping.

Must be morning. Child #3 (not necessarily in birth order here) is out of bed. I heard one cranky comment just now ... reminds us we're living ... not sleep walking!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Have I been here lately?

Doesn't feel like it.

Jari came home Wednesday evening.
Guess what I came home to on Thursday?
That red glow in the stove isn't photoshopped. It was real. He lit the first fire of the season. :)
Not that the house needed it, mind you. Just that it was fun to do. Felt downright cozy.

Friday evening we took the kids out to dinner .. thanks to the guy Jari did the job for. Gave him a check with a letter that, in essence, said "Thanks for a job well done ... take your family out to dinner on me." Yummy! We went to the Noisy Goose. Fun to go anywhere but your own kitchen.

The kids declined the fishing holes, so Jari and I went. Stopped at Tail Race and then went to Jim's Creek. Why didn't we bring waders along? Beats me. Was raining ... no waders ... didn't do any fishing. Fun to see places tho'.

Saturday I took my nose out of the book and actually went to Costco. That's a big one for me. I dont' like going to Anchorage and go as seldom as I can get away with it. Just some of life along the way. We're getting our own stoplight. Construction has been going on forever (feels like) and they still aren't done painting stripes or arrows. Will see when the lights are turned on.

On to the glass buildings with cloud reflections in town ....

where we also appreciated the fact that one can still see lines on the pavement. Won't be long and we'll be guessing how many lanes there are really suppose to be.

Alyx was working and the rest of the kids went to HAPs ... Jari and I took the waders and poles and headed to Tail Race. Met Ross & Denise (with Ingrid on her first fish smelling expedition) and Mark & Jenna there. Yippee!!! I got to try! Didn't catch anything but some weeds ... but that's besides the point. I finally got to cast a line in the water!

Beauty ... fog rolling in on the water ... occasional silver salmon being caught ... awesome!

School supplies are bought. 4,860 pieces of paper ... 240 pencils ... and nothing off the supply lists yet. Guess what we get to do this week?! More trips to Target ... still another trip to Target ... maybe we'll do Walmart on the 3rd trip.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday evening .. 4 days 'til school starts!

School clothes are ready ... except maybe some more socks.

I haven't purchased one pencil.
I haven't purchased one piece of paper.
Not one binder.
Not one calculator.
Not one folder.

You get the idea.

I can't seem to remember to pick up the Sunday paper in order to peruse the ads ... and I quit getting the paper quite a while ago. Got caught in the budget cuts around here. :) I always end up making multiple trips once the supply lists trickle in. May as well do one bang up job sometime next week and just be done with it all.

Went to Tia's open house tonite. No class schedule available. The algebra class was cancelled. Hello?? The math teacher is not impressed and is fighting to get it back. By Monday ... maybe there will be a schedule. Got the locker opened. Have the list of teachers. Found their rooms. Let's hope and pray that I can stick to the homework this year ... and may my children do a better job at it than I do! Nope ... I'm not ready for this part of winter.

Went to check on tomato plants after getting home today. They're sprouting little critters. Am probably going to have to start heating the greenhouse at some point here. I would really, really, really like at least one RED tomato. I don't even like tomatoes ... that's beside the point.

So while I went to check the tomatoes I notice that the pesky moose were back. They've chowed down the entire broccoli patch. Thank goodness I picked oodles of it at the U-Pick Farm. Wouldn't have gotten a thing out of my garden here.

What do you think they'll pick tomorrow? Will it be beans, peas, potatoes, zucchini or pumpkins? Was complaining at work today about the pesky eaters and had to chuckle at someone's response. He would love to shoot the moose. Maybe I looked a little shocked. I would love a freezer full of moose ... but probably not shot in my yard. We both decided that having a half dead moose traveling to the neighbors to pass on would not benefit the freezer in the least. I'll let you know what the devour tomorrow. Wish they'd just mow the lawn for me.

Fred flies in tonite. He's heading off toward Seward tomorrow and a halibut charter on Saturday. Wishing we were going along. Would certainly be a good time! Ken & Kari fly in sometime tomorrow and am looking forward to seeing them sometime in the next week while they're here. Fun faces ... great visits ... coming right up!

So we head into another weekend. Hmmm.

I really want to go fishing. Silvers are running .... calling my name ... I hope!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Moose are back

I slept in this morning ... if you can call it that! I set the alarm for the ridiculous hour of the morning that will be yelping my name come Monday. And then hit the off button. Did a great job of it too! Have a few quick minutes before I need to get ready for work. Probably should quit taking that 30 minute nap after dinner ... keeps me from sleeping at night. Frustrating!

Bronte was patiently waiting for the moose to make an appearance over the weekend. They've been absent for months. Either we've been gone as they tromp through or they've been tromping elsewhere. Anna said she walked out the door yesterday to find Mom Moose and 2 babies standing there. Yikes! It was a bit of a surprise! My garden has been safe from them for months.

Not anymore. Looks like they are great fans of broccoli ... not of green beans.

New growth on trees is a favorite as well. The tops of the little trees are chewed off. The little trees need to be all the way chewed off. Do you s'pose if I hung a sign on the trees that they would do the rest of the job for me?

They must not like potatoes either. They chomped down the broccoli sitting right next to the potato plants ... left these alone. And miracle of miracles ... the greenhouse door was open ... and they left it alone!

The Annas and Tia went over to Jolene's for a sleepover last night. Wonder if Jolene got any sleep at all! I have Tait over here for the night. The boys were busy riding go-peds and doing boy things. :) They must have been hungry sometime last night as well. The waffle iron is on the counter this morning. The gridde is on the counter. What do you s'pose they were up to last night? Will have to wait to find out.

Got a few cd's of the book listened to in the quiet of last evening. Computer room is mucked out. This family likes to print paper. Oodles of it. Reams of it. Kindling I call it. Discs to straighten out and figure out ... other than that ... I'm glad to be done with that! Wish I could paint in this room and add some cutesy things. Just not worth it. I hope the room is going to disappear sometime in the not too distant future.

Time for work! Have a great day!

Monday, August 10, 2009

I think I'm nuts

After working all day today and coming home to make dinner ... the canning stuff came out again. The cukes are all picked from the greenhouse. Mind you ... it isn't like there was a major cuke fest going on in there. But I wanted to try and make some pickles. Should I happen to grow a new crop of them ... I'll try a different way next time. In the meantime, it was fun to experiment!

Then I settled down with a bunch of card stuff ... plopped a cd on book into the player ... and started making a few cards. I had all these left over card kits from our Cardmaking Evening in June. They were still sitting on the counter. Not anymore! They are done and tucked in with all the other cards in my card stash. YES!!!

Now if I could get graduation cards done. They are dismally late. Figure that by the time I get them done and in the mail ... the recipients might be needing a tank of gas or something. Then there are the weddings. Am behind on a few of those as well. Ugh. I'm not forgetting. I'm just late. With a capital L.

Jari is still in Dillingham and should be home the end of this week. I won't get the projects done before he gets home. I just know it. I did manage to get several of my Ikea purchases up over the weekend. Back to that June thing again. I went to Ikea in June and the hardware I bought still hasn't left the bag it came home in. I got baseball caps hung up. Let's see if my contraption works or not. I can just see Jari grabbing one real quick like ... always in a hurry that man is ... and the hook goes flying. Will see. Then I (with help ... thank you!) hung up the magnetic knife holder thing. No more big knives in the kitchen drawer. They now have a place. And ... I realize just how paltry my knife selection really is. Does the job ... yesiree it does.

Well ... I think we've met our medical deductibles this year and we're going for broke. Spoke with the surgeon who I want Blayde to see. He doesn't seem to think this will be any problem at all. Just need to schedule an appointment and get that rolling. Also need to schedule him to see the orthopedic surgeon. He's been wearing a brace for ever on his ankle. May as well fix everything at once, right? Anna went in on Saturday for x-rays of her spine. Scoliosis. The referral for an orthopedic visit was sent today ... will schedule that one tomorrow. I finally did the mammogram thing several weeks ago ... and get to go back for more. I'm telling you ... this nesting thing may not be turning out to be what I was dreaming of. We may be nesting at doctor's offices instead. Do you think I ought to take up knitting ... and do it real soon? Have been wanting to learn how to make socks and mittens. My previous experience with mitten knitting has not gone well ... I should have plenty of time to practice!

Tonight while I was sitting on my pea plant and flower infested porch ... I saw a leaf falling from a tree. Yup. A yellow one. Fall is around the corner. Actually let the truck (I'm driving it while hubby is gone) warm up this morning for 10 minutes before I left. Not that it needed warming ... but it felt good. :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Shucks ... still not done.

The room still isn't cleaned. :( Monday? Let's hope. I'll have to share a few other things I found in there. I knew they were there ... just had a chance to treasure them all over again.

Bronte called as I was leaving work on Friday. He's here for the weekend. Warning: don't show up at my house when I'm on a mission to accomplish something. He, in shorts and shiny white tennis shoes, helped pick the rest of the currants I needed. This time I mixed a bit of left over blueberries in there, left over raspberries, some very juicy watermelon berries ... and currants. Got the jelly done Friday evening!

Got to talk to Jenny for quite a while on Friday evening as well. Time zones and busy lives make some connecting incredibly hard to do. That was super fun. Got some good calorie burning laughing out that one! Blayde even got a haircut while I chatted. :)

Saturday a trip to Palmer. Mind you ... that's big. Haha. The usual. Bank, library, post office (skipped that one tho'). Found several books on tape to listen to while I clean. Makes cleaning so much more fun and it flies by. Then home to do some putting up of food. Amber spent the afternoon over here with Nolan and brought me her jar picker upper for removing jars from the boiling water. You should see how creative I was before that contraption!

First time for peach canning!

Then on to pulla for Jari. I've been making braided pulla for quite a while. Decided that if I was going to make pulla on my day off ... was going to do it the fast way. Then I ran out of baking paper and I don't like to clean brown sugar off of cookie sheets. Alyx picked up some the other day to do cookies ... so I made the yummy pullas!

Also needed baking paper for this bugger. I bought my dehydrator at a yard sale and it didn't come with the trays. Can't manage to find them to fit this bugger so I cut baking paper. Kids absolutely love apple leather ... so once in a while I make them this treat! 10 or 12 hours later ... they chew it down quite quickly.

Many visits to the porch to enjoy the flowers ... or whatever else it is that I do out there.

Peas are still climbing and blooming. Even Nolan likes the peas picked straight from the plant. I've not harvested any of these to save for winter. They don't last. I actually went and bought 10 pounds of shelled peas for the freezer last weekend. These we just enjoy like candy.

What more does one need on a sunny day? A rest with your drink and pulla. Nolan helped me pick green beans in the green house ... and they went into the freezer. We pulled out the peppers that looked like they were aphid infested. Moved one tomato plant outside because it isn't doing anything fruit wise and looks like a bit bug eaten. Will see if it does anything outside or not. The other tomatoes are finally filling up with fruit ... slowly!!

Do you think I lost it by the end of the evening. Had a thumping headache and was a bit tired so took a wee 30 minute nap. Must have woken up energized, 'cuz someone got this picture of me. Not sure if Nolan thought I was nuts or what ... probably was!

Not too nuts tho'. We hooted 'til 1 a.m. after playing Settlers. Which I won. Just in case you wanted to know. We kept playing after I won ... and found that you can actually hit 18 points in that game!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday ... aaah!

  • All the kids are registered for school
  • Long johns are in the bottom drawer
  • Have to figure out where I saw a dry cleaner ... haven't used one since I moved here ... have a few things that could stand a visit
  • Silver polish is added to the list
  • Walking around the house looking for a place to hang white plates and can't find a wall I like
  • Should I paint a wall?
  • Do I put them in a box and send them to the basement?
  • No rain this morning but it sure is humid
  • Tonight/tomorrow I'm spending time with canning jars again
  • House was sparkling clean when I got home from work yesterday :)
  • It also smelled like delicious peanut butter cookies
  • Alyx goes back to work today
  • Anna & Tia are off to Anchorage shopping for the day ... always fun to see what they come home with ... hmmmm
  • Brock is doing some work today as well
  • Those tomato plants surprised me last evening ... found a few more tomatoes on them
  • Will probably have to put a heater going in there sometime soon
  • Is it worth canning 2 jars of pickles to see if they turn out?
  • Some kind of bug has decided that it really likes my green beans outside
  • Dear hubby is off in Dillingham working for a bit .. no cell phone service ... no internet
  • I do get to call HIM tho' ... we have a planned phone date every other evening :)
  • By the end of this evening I am going to be finished with my room
  • ... and on to the next one!

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I'm feeling like spring cleaning ... otherwise known as Winter's Coming Want to Nest Syndrome.
I started yesterday. Set the timer for 30 minutes and started on the laundry room. Timer rang and I was done in there for the day. Figured it might be a way to get some things accomplished without it being too incredibly painful. 30 minutes at least 4 days a week.

Tonight I started on my bedroom. Oh. My. Goodness. How does it happen that one ends up with an entire dresser drawer being a "junk drawer". The BIG drawer. Not a little one. Undeveloped film. Film? Heaven only knows where that came from. Tarnished silver jewelry. Receipts from Lowe's. Tia's picture frames. A tea set? A traveling iron. I'm telling you ... it is a plain ol' disaster. I wouldn't dare take a picture of the room in its current state. It looks like I'm moving or something. Pitch. Pitch. Pitch. Our bedroom is small. The closet is nice size, but there is no room for a dresser. Hence ... the dresser moved into the closet ... and the bottom drawer probably still held all the things I parked in it when we moved up here. Do I really need 4 winter coats/jackets hanging in a closet that is too small to begin with? Not. I'm On Call tomorrow evening so I may or may not have time to putter in there. Hopefully by Saturday evening I'll be done. Everything will have a place. The donation box will be overflowing. Jari won't find a thing when he comes home. :) Bad, hey? I have to clean that junk drawer out. You see .. he has so many long johns that they won't fit in a small drawer ... and that season is on the way.

Probably a good thing he isn't home right now. He'd never find his side of the bed if he was. 'Cuz this spring cleaning is in full swing!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fireweed Jelly

This is a fireweed plant that is nearly done blooming. The jelly is made from the blossoms. We did pick a bunch of blossoms on Saturday and had some nice plants to pick from.

I'm quickly learning that this is all an experiment. Try once. Try again.

Test #1 gave us a good tasting jelly that is difficult to describe. It was just a bit on the jellied side. Nearly impossible to spread ... more like glob it on your bread.

So tonite (after working a full day and finishing up the broccoli) I tried again.

Test #2 so far looks like it isn't going to gel at all. Argh. Maybe by morning it will miraculously do something in the jars that are sitting on the counter.

If not ... then I'll do what I remember doing with failed chokecherry jelly many years ago. It made the best ice cream topping ever!

Need to stop and get some more sugar for the next experiment!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Today I took the camera along

when we went on a 4-wheel ride with Amber, Ryan & Nolan. Took the trail around Eklutna Lake and it was absolutely gorgeous. The weather couldn't have been better. The trail didn't have many folks on it when we went in ... plenty on the way out.

Our fun rides. I thought of Jeff & Mona many times today as we were meandering.

Serenity Falls

Jari and Nolan investigating what was under the bridge.

This is actually the river. Looks like a mud bog that I wouldn't want to be swept away in at all. Was moving at quite a clip.

Alongside the raging beast of nature ... the beauty of Fireweed.

We found a hint of color on our way. Must mean that quilting and scrapbooking are around the corner.

And today I thought of Mummu and her favorite trees. Seeing them made me want to just grab a couple of chunks and make some candle holders for her.

What a fun time!

Wow ... what a day!

I did get to the farm yesterday. Pyrah's Pioneer Peak Farm is where I went for the first time last year ... and now that I have the lovely internet site ... can see what is ready to pick. Going back for raspberries around the 10th. Tia was the only willing soul to crawl out of bed yesterday morning. We really didn't need much more help than that. As it is ... I think we managed to do some bang up business. We picked 33.99 pounds of broccoli and picked up 11 pounds of zucchini. Do you have any idea how much broccoli that is??!! I think we bit off a bit too much. May need another freezer to store broccoli in. Yesterday I put almost half of it in the freezer! Clean the vegie a wee bit more ... blanch it ... individually freeze it ... and then bag it. Still don't have a vacuum sealer so Ziploc and I are good buds.

Came home from picking broccoli and my plan was to put a batch of green vegie freezing and then run a few errands in town ... and head out for blueberries. We got to the errand part ... even picked up 10 pounds of shelled peas on our jaunt ... and dear hubby rang. Emergency dip netting opening at Fish Creek with anticipted huge numbers of fish coming up the creek. Hmmm. This creek hasn't been open for 10 years for dip netting. Really don't use a lot of blueberries. We eat a LOT of fish. I've never been dip netting. Fish Creek is relatively close by. Off we went. The kids were more than happy to exchange blueberry picking for fishing. I didn't take the camera along. I have this nice new phone that I think takes pretty good pictures. I took plenty of them. We didn't catch not one fish. Not even a teeny tiny dolly varden. Nothing. I saw maybe 3 fish caught out of the seemingly 100 people around us. But we had a blast. And all those pictures are still on my phone. My wonderful phone won't let me send them out of the phone. It is rather possessive. I hope I can figure this out sometime soon ... would love to share them with you. We spent about 5 hours out there enjoying the sunshine and gorgeous day. So we came home with no fish ... but we came home with Fireweed blossoms. Quite a few of those buggers!

Got home after 7 pm and the fun began in earnest. Bless her heart. Tia peeled 11 pounds of zucchini and, along with my small garden crop, we froze 40 cups of grated zucchini. Put up another 10 cups of rhubarb, 10 pounds of peas, more broccoli ... and I made fireweed jelly! I really need to quit taste testing on a spoon. Need to taste test that one on a piece of toast and see what it tastes like. Not nearly as tart as the currants. Those make my toes pucker! Not sweet like my favorite strawberry freezer jam either. I'll certainly vote for easy to make tho'! I have enough blossoms sitting here to do at least another batch. If they haven't walked away, or been carried away by bugs and bees, by Monday ... maybe I'll make another batch. :)

I should be sleeping in but my phone rang at 6:30 this morning. Jari and I are off to do a bit of 4-wheeling today. Date Day. I'll bring a camera along for sure this time!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday morning

... why am I on the computer?? Just taking a look see to check out what is happening hither and yon. And get ready for a busy day ... one that my kids are just going to love. I'm taking them to the farm today to pick broccoli. Looks like the zucchini is ready to pick this weekend as well. If so ...we're coming home with some of that too.

The sun is shining and the skies (for the moment) are beautiful blue. So after the trip to the farm .. blueberry picking at Hatchers. Many hands makes light work, right? Shouldn't take too long to get a winters supply of blueberries. We'll eat a lot more broccoli this winter than blueberries.

After the blueberries ... I think they should pick me some more currants. I probably won't be able to eat the currant jelly I made. It is much too tart for my taste, but I'm going to try mixing it with some other berries and see how it goes. :) If you're going to eat around here ... today you're going to help.

Silver salmon were supposedly in at Jim's Creek last night ... but they really weren't. Pays to wait and see what folks say after they tromp out there. Get the fruits/vegies in the freezer this weekend and maybe next weekend we can be out snagging some salmon again. I already know that Christmas baking will not fit in the freezer by the time we're done. Not a bad problem hey? I'm really keeping my fingers crossed for some big four legged critters this fall. Mmmmm.

I think that fall is here or coming soon. The flowers on the stairs outside have pretty much expired. It was quite a shock one day to notice that. Certainly isn't water that drowned them, even if we did have a lot of rain. Water drains out the bottom of the pots nonstop. Must be a sign of autumn. While the flowers are starting to dwindle, I feel like I'm coming back to life. It has been a very busy summer. Super fun. Lots of running. Loved the visitors ... who are still coming in August. In the last several days my thoughts have been moving to home projects again. "How can I move things around in the laundry room?" "Need to start digital scrapbooking and getting them printed again." Those kinds of thoughts. Winter thoughts. Time to nest in for the winter. I'm a nester. I'm a very satisfied person when I'm nesting. Wierd, huh? Baffles me as well, but I think I need the quiet of the winter after the busy time of summer. I'm starting to crave it.

Time to run the dishwasher and a load of laundry ... and then wake my sleeping cherubs.