Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I know this place ... I've been here before ...

They like to chop down trees over here, leaving me delectable leaves to eat.
It's usually safe over here.
There's that nasty dog, but it looks like he is inside the house right now.

Go on ... find your own treats.
You don't need to be holding on to my hoof.
Whatever you do ... stay out of that lady's garden.
She comes out screaming if you start eating out of it ...
and she's downright scary.

Whew! Finally a minutes break from that little one.
Been a pesky and needy one.
Teaching her to venture out on her own has been quite a challenge.
Let's see if she'll let me turn my back.
Just for a minute ... maybe two ....

Moooommmmm ... where are you going?!

She doesn't even need to jingle her car keys!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Today ... I think I managed it.

At least ... maybe a little bit.
I really don't know how to use my camera.
I love it.
I take pictures of things I like.
I haven't a clue how to get things like waterfalls to look like anything other than what my eye captures.
And ... I can't seem to catch on.

I did the trusty little google thing, grabbed my notepad and started jotting notes on what to try.
I grabbed my willing assistant, my camera, my lenses and the oh so scary tripod.
We headed up the road a spell.

I've much to learn, but it sure was fun to accomplish this little miracle!

The leaves are turning and started to drift to the ground little by little.

Graffiti isn't limited to city dwelling. I had to nearly giggle at this one though.
At least we have some "informed" graffiti artists. Rush Limbaugh? They can even spell!

Friday and Saturday we had so much rain that I was thinking we might have to start building an ark. Today ... we saw the sun for a bit ... maybe the plants will dry out!

Off to the airport to pick up my hubby!
He texted me ... and is coming home a day early. :)
Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I think I had a glimpse ....

of the Garden of Eden last night.
I have never seen raspberries like that in my life. Lift a branch and they just hung .. waiting to be picked.
And. No. I didn't take a picture for you.
The girls and I went and picked (with a few extras hands to help) 3 gallons of the biggest raspberries I've ever seen last night. Thank you girls! :)

Then we took our raspberry hands and clothes over to Ross & Denise's for several hours to visit with Eric & Jean before they go back to Spokanne today. Wish we could have had a cup of coffee and a long evening of visiting with them about "life with teens". Maybe sometime.

Thank goodness for work. It does tend to get in the way of everything else I'm suppose to be doing. Online schooling needs some tweaking. At the current rate of progress it looks like we'll spend Saturday tweaking it. Maybe even Sunday if things don't get on track here real soon. Grumble. Groan. (That would be the mom ... not the kiddo.)

Brock started a part time job at McDonalds for the fair season. He's planning to bank some money toward another car ... and not make a career out of cleaning the soda dispenser, tables and floor. Great resume builder tho'!

I dare not say that it looks like I'll have my own wheels back real soon here. I didn't say that. You didn't read that. I just might have to plug in my own vehicle at work this winter and not get picked up in a warm ride. Fingers are crossed so hard they're feeling arthiritic at this point.

Jari is feeling better. He didn't take any magic potions with him to Fairbanks and ended up getting a cold kind of sick that had him sounding miserable all last week and through the weekend. Yesterday he sounded fantastic and (at least the second chat last evening) chipper. 5 more full days of him gone ... and then he'll be home for a few hours. Can't wait!

The sun yesterday was absolutely delicious! Yes. The sun can be delicious. It is starting to cast shadows in the late afternoon light. Isn't that funny? It spends the summer rotating above the house ... it now sits lower in the sky and sends shadows instead. It means the porch stays a bit cooler but the greenhouse hit 114 yesterday.

Election Day brought the State of Alaska passage of Proposition 2 which ensures parents are informed if their minor child wants an abortion. Thank goodness. It seems beyond ridiculous that I have to consent for my child to have a Tylenol or Tums at school ... yet they could come home following an abortion and I wouldn't have had to give my consent.

Off to medicate the masses!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Glimpse of the weekend ...

Started Friday with getting off work several hours early. I was on the schedule to be off early and had no clue as to why. Maybe it was last year .. and got on the schedule this year. I'll take it. Thank you very much. I had barely gotten on the freeway when my phone rang. Riitta keeps accidently dialing me instead of Anika ... I love it. :) Gave me a moment's panic thinking something was wrong somewhere. It wasn't. Got home and took a nap out on the sunny porch ... and woke to a call from my brother David. All before I should have normally been home. See? There WAS a reason!

Then off to the annual Carnival Fundraiser.

Kids had a rippin' good time as always. Good food .. visiting ... wandering around looking at Brenda's beautiful flowers that were absolutely everywhere!! Oh .... I wish.

Saturday we shopped. Found I only had ONE load of my own laundry to do. Wow!! The shopping now is a different story. I started wondering about Murphy's Law and why it exists. When the budget is rather tight (if it exists at all!), why is it you run out of things like printer ink, bath soap, and dog food all in one week?! And why does it all have to run out the week you need school supplies as well?

The girls and I ran to several stores on Saturday. We were quite proud of ourselves. Started at $129 at Fred Meyer and ended up spending $31. Should have quit while we were ahead. Next we went to Carr's. Coupons loaded on the card and others in my hand ... with the mission of getting a $10 coupon toward a gift card ... that we never got. In the end we decided that we'll just stick with Freddy's for our great deal shopping. Got ready for Fred's 40th Birthday coffee at church in the evening. That was fun! Took my camera along and never got one picture of him! How typical is that?! Saturday evening discussion, coffee, a trip to Walmart and then visiting 'til 12:30 in the morning.

Sunday services and then more visiting. :)

Monday morning.
Alarm clock.
Makes me wonder if Murphy invented the alarm clock.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Friday!

Wouldn't you just love to be one of these cows this morning. Not a thing to do but meander from fresh grass to the barn for another meal of something. Lazing around and enjoying the crisp, cool morning air. Crisp? Cool? It sure is. 42 degrees this morning!
I put socks on my feet as I'm logging miles this morning running from the washing machine to the computer keyboard this morning.

Houston ... we may have a problem.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

... and so summer vacation comes to an end ...

at the most rude hour of 5:30 a.m. tomorrow morning.
Don't get me wrong. I love mornings.
The start of school means at least one wonderful thing for me ... digital scrapbooking.
I am so far behind ... and itching to create.
That is what I do at that ridiculous hour of the morning.

Otherwise ...
  • Anna came home today after being gone since July 1st. She had an absolute blast. Special thanks to all who carted her around ... and hosted her. We are so happy to have her home again. :)
  • Tia is nearly up and running for school ... math class still needs to get on track. She will be doing internet school at home this year. (Add that to mom's job list. It was getting shorter you know .. laundry and all decreasing.)
  • Jari is working out of town for the next several weeks. Then he'll be home for a night and gone again for another week. Can't get out of cooking anymore when he's gone. No mac & cheese for 2 weeks straight. The kids would declare a mutiny!
  • Still struggling with car issues. Have to lay some ground rules figure out something in the next day. The current situation is just not going to work. Period.
  • Getting serious about coupon shopping again. Am now online with both grocery stores here and downloading coupons to my savings card at both stores. Every penny will help. If I had ink in the printer I'd print some more! Wonder if I can find a coupon for ink for the printer?! I should total my savings over the next 6 months and see what happens ... all while buying the things I normally buy and not buying things I don't need. That was part of my 6:30 a.m. project this morning. It's really an escape mechanism that saves me from doing something like exercising dishes or laundry.
  • Job List coming to our home this week. I intend to retire from dish washing, vacuuming, bathroom scrubbing, mud room cleaning. You get the idea? I'll keep the weed pulling.
Tonite on the way home shortly after 9 pm, this was the view when I hit the top of the hill. I hemmed. I hawed. I talked to Jari for a bit. Then I figured that if it was still there, I ought to try and capture it ... so off I scooted with the camera in tow. The mountains reminded me of a good ol' rippin' hazy Arizona dust storm.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A little sunshine.

on a rainy day.

With the exception of short bursts of sunshine ... you would think we lived in Seattle this summer. We actually hit record rainfall this year. After all the complaints 2 summers ago ... this really doesn't feel any worse.

The sun does peak out here and there. And when it doesn't ... you just gaze at zucchini flowers!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Could you dream of anything better?

Blue skies.
Whispy clouds.
Watching gliders sailing through the air.

And looking for blueberries. You can see him behind the red bushes ... just barely. I didn't want to drive up Archangel Road so we looked elsewhere. This spot didn't yield much more than "Oh, it smells like bear" ....

and a paw print to say that there was probably a very good reason it smelled that way!

Trooper Tia came along with us.

We even did a little berry picking between snapping photos.

Enough for these pros to clean out 2 gallons. I haven't decided if I need any more or not. Probably do, but time is not exactly my friend ... I don't think I'll be picking anymore this year.

But then again ... you never know!

Ronda, if you read this I learned something today. There are huckleberries as well as blueberries here too. Maybe the blueberries just don't grow as big here for some reason. Beats me. The cabbage sure do!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I opted out this morning.

I opted out of doing this ....

What a mess, hey? Jari took 3 of the Laulainen boys fishing this morning. I decided that staying home and getting a double batch of pulla dough going, the laundry caught up and maybe a little paper cleaning was more to my liking. Getting out of the door at 5:30 a.m. after working all week? I would have gone if Brenda had decided to go. She came up with a better plan as well. I'll have to find her a special "bummer we missed it" prize. He'll come home and take a nap ... and then I'll get him out the door to go blueberry picking. :)

Well .. maybe I'm cheating a bit. In the middle of the pulla baking, I'm visiting you with my coffee.

I did see the sun this morning for a bit. It was lighting the trees around us. It never touched OUR trees ... and never the yard. I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that it will show up sometime soon. My tomatoes would love it. The peas could care less.

My porch is a full story high on one side. I ought to go out and measure. Now I know why that tape measure was sitting next to the computer! The tallest pea plants that have the space to grow upward are 9 feet tall. The ones against the 8ft screen are a bit cramped ...

They're taking twisty turns and I've never seen anything quite like it. We'll need a step ladder to reach the peas once they pop out. Blooms we have. Jack is going to need a ladder for sure when he comes to visit!

Time to swap the laundry which, by the way, seems to be reducing itself. It is amazing what happens when offspring start washing their own for the most part. Then off to find a sweatshirt, rain jacket, pair of boots and a bucket.

The berries are calling my name.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August has not been a kind month

in the state of Alaska.

I'm sure I'm missing things along the way, but in the last week and a half ....

the state of Alaska mourns the loss of the former Senator Ted Stevens after the flight he was on crashed on Sunday evening. He lost his life along with 4 other individuals on that flight. Condolences to all their families and to the family of the pilot, who lost another family member earlier this month in a C-17 cargo plane crash at Elmendorf Air Force Base.

On August 1st, a C-130 cargo plane crashed at Denali National Park taking with it 3 men ... none of whom I knew ... all of who have families left behind. Aviators who loved what they did. Though I didn't know any of them, it appears there are many who did and loved them.

This morning there are still folks sitting out on Knik Glacier waiting to be rescued. On Sunday a plane went down at Knik Glacier ... all are alive with only minor injuries on that one. Then the Air National Guard helicopter sent in to rescue them crashed with no loss of life.

I'm telling you.
It has been a week.

Monday, August 9, 2010

My house stinks ...

like blanching broccoli. It really doesn't take that long to blanch 28 pounds ... takes forever to freeze it individually before you put it away.

Do you s'pose that the cauliflower smell will kill the broccoli smell? Haven't started that yet. I think I'm going to go sit outside for a while ...

and read a book or something.

The air is a bit fresher out there.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


I only have one day left of vacation! I go back to work on Tuesday ... then On Call Thursday and Friday evenings as well. It has certainly been nice to be off for a week. I wonder what I use to do when I wasn't working so much. I remember! I had little people around my feet. I was changing diapers, fixing bottles, cleaning spills, rocking babies and reading to them. That was then. Now I just appreciate a week to catch up on the things in life.

I've gone fishing several times ... and not gotten one thing. Just to be out enjoying the beauty of God's beautiful creation has been enough.

I actually loaded up the truck with donations and dropped them off at the thrift store on Saturday ... and only took out one shirt before I took the bags out of the house. Can't make a trip to the thrift store without going inside, right? That just wouldn't do. So we did ... and came out with only 2 things. A bulletin board that we promptly snazzed up ... and another bag for Tia.

And ... I've been able to spend time with this delightful child of mine who thoroughly enjoys her flavored, gussied up coffees.

There are two things left on my To Do List for the vacation week.
1. Pick broccoli at the farm (I'm going for green beans as well.)
2. Register Anna for school (That really wasn't on the list, but registration is tomorrow and she's still in MN having a grand time.)

I'm rather surprised at myself. I even managed things like vacuuming out the computer. Dust at my house? I know ... who'da thought.
I'd rather spend my time in the kitchen with the oven on, but I have this refrigerator that runs nonstop. Almost nonstop. Seriously sucks up energy and probably makes my meter spin sideways. I even pulled that bugger out on Saturday ... and Tia helped me clean it out. Was totally worth the trip to ...

... being as I probably haven't been there in the past year. I must say the french fries were scrumptious!

I'll be back in the morning ....

but just wanted you to know.
This picture was taken on Thursday.
Everytime the sun came in the window I started to burst into song.
It went something like this:
"Sunshine in my windows make me happy ..."

I didn't see any sunshine today ... but still managed to maintain my sanity!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

We found a new hobby!

I've heard of geochaching before. In fact, I remember talking about it with Gary and Laurie quite a while ago. Recently, we had a patient at the hospital whose husband and children were out looking for treasures while she was having her procedure done ... and the seed was planted again in my noggin.

Tonight I signed in and started getting excited.
Jari and Fred were out fishing (no fish to can tomorrow) and when they came home we went out searching ... Jari and I by truck, Fred and Tia by 4-wheeler ... for ones that were incredibly close to home.

Mind you, we've never done this before.
We had no clue what we were even looking for which made it quite interesting.
The first one took a bit of digging.
I don't know if the GPS on the i-phones is accurate or even the right one (according to geocaching there are several different types?), and we were sort of walking back and forth in circles ...
digging in leaves ....

trying to figure out which way we were suppose to be heading ...

wondering if people get really creative in their hiding places ...

and voila ... Jari found it!

Inside this little cylinder is a tightly rolled piece of paper that you date and sign. Then log on in the internet to say you've found it.
We headed to the next one ... and found it quickly.
Thank goodness we started with the ones that were rated only ONE star for difficulty. Can't quite imagine looking for something that is incredibly difficult to find for a starting point.

I can think of several of you out there that read this who would have an absolute blast with your kids joining this fun adventure.
Joni ... there looks to be over 13,000 things hidden in Finland.
Frans & Jenny ... over 16,000 in Arizona.
Grandma & Grandpa ... you have the entire country to search the way you travel! Found a new past time for you. Imagine the fun you would have hiding them! In all your travels you could drop things wherever you went! :) 
We can't wait to try find some more tomorrow! And ... we can't wait to hide some ourselves.

Head over to geocaching at this website and check it out. It's free of charge and super fun! Let us know if you give it a try.