Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What do I do on my days off?

Let me tell you.
I stay home.
Just kidding. That is my goal.
Sometimes it happens, usually it doesn't.

Saturday I was on a mission to score a few deals at Fred Meyer.
I almost forgot that I was after shoes until I walked by the shoe department where I managed to find a 50% of clearance prices sale. Ching!
I haven't purchased a pair of sneakers in over 7 years.
I really don't like lacing shoes.
That is what it all comes down to.
However, I figured it was about time to give it a whirl and see if my back likes these a little better than the Danskos.
So far so good.

Saturday I also managed to get some envelopes and cards out in the mail.
I have plenty of handmade cards hanging around.
I just have this problem with getting things in the mail.
It is a serious problem.
My intentions are good. That's about all I can say for myself.

Forgot to pick up one more plant hanger from Lowe's, but I did find smoke alarms.
Good gravy! Between smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors I could have had a fine meal somewhere! New alarms are installed and the family is safe.

 I have been willing the lilacs to bloom already.
It's nearly July and they still aren't all the way open!

Cukes are blooming. New peas are growing on the dining room table. Zucchini would really like some more sunshine outside. Rhubarb is getting made into punch and frozen. The carrots ... I'll be buying them. I see a teeny tiny tomato on one of my plants!

Then there are the peaches. They looked good in the store. I could smell them as I walked by ... and I detoured. I was imagining the Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream ... and starting to salivate. In reality, they were tart enough to make my mouth pucker. I don't eat anything tart. I lace it with sugar. Lots of it. It didn't help. I'm wondering if there is someway to test a peach before buying a bagful of them.
Grilled peaches = summertime delish treats.

Today I was off work again. I love these 4 day weeks.
Time to get a visit in to the physical therapy wonder.
Then a visit from the Home Inspector.
I had no clue he was bringing the buyer and the buyer's agent with him!
I might have spent last evening doing something like washing windows instead
of getting royally trounced in a family game.
I probably have no reason to be mortified, but I was anyway.
On principle.

To get past the mortification, I actually cooked dinner this evening
in between hours of sewing today.
I sewed for hours on Saturday as well.
Nothing is completed yet but it's getting close ...
and I'm really liking it!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The beginning of the last chapter.

With the posting of the "Too Late" sign, we begin the end of the last chapter of our Alaska Experience.
This week I told someone that I feel as if I've been on a Long Explore ...
and now I'm ready to go back home.
There will be plenty of time between now and the end of the chapter to share with you the people and the places we will miss.
There will be many of them.

In the meantime, tho', we had an offer on our house the beginning of the week.
We counter offered and they accepted.
They have until Monday to finalize a few things and, we're hopeful, that by Monday evening we will be moving forward.
In a way we already are as inspection is scheduled for Tuesday.
Our closing is scheduled for August 2nd, after which we'll rent the house back for the remainder of August. We'll catch the Silver Salmon and fishing at Jim's Creek. We'll taste yummy treats at the wonderful Alaska State Fair. We'll pack. We'll plan. We'll play as much as we can.
The playing is going on this weekend in a few different spots.
I am playing at home by myself.
This is what I consider a small slice of heaven.
The sun was shining brilliantly when I came home yesterday from work, so I headed out with the lawn mower. I must say that I even had the opportunity to sweat a little! I heard the forecast was for rain starting today. Thank goodness I mowed what I did! Duke doesn't even want to go this morning to use nature's facilities! He takes a look out the door and turns around to come back in.
I'm laundering, fridge cleaning, shopping for smoke detectors at Lowe's.
That sort of thing.
In the middle of it, I'm paying bills and dusting.
Jari is out fishing. Out on the Russian or the Kenai or something down south.
They were at Bing's Landing last night and are hitting a halibut charter out of Ninilchik today. Fish on!!
The kids are all at Youth Camp.
I ran there last night to drop off forgotten things.
The place is absolutely beautiful and close by.
The sun was brilliantly shining, volleyball being thumped back and forth, bonfire cooking when I stopped by.
"Always watch where you are going.
Otherwise, you may step on a piece
of the Forest that was left out by mistake."
-Winnie the Pooh Quotes

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I came home from work yesterday to find that Tia was the new owner of what I could call a bunny with a Traumatic Brain Injury. She didn't survive. The Bunny didn't. I was a bit taken back by adding another pet to the family at this point in time, but they had a plan. I'll probably be wimp out and be bunny shopping in the next week. Yesterday there was a short burial and the grave is marked with a fence. I can't quite wrap myself around that one.

On the To Do List for the weekend is replacing light bulbs. I have to say that I don't think I have replaced any of the Long Lasting Energy Reducing Variety Light Bulbs that we put in last October. I'll certainly do that one again should I need to. The other ones are a problem. Thank goodness we only have umpteen hours of daylight right now! I know you don't really care about that.

My carrots still aren't growing. The green beans outside look like they can't find sun to aim for. I'm imagining that at some point they'll figure it out. Can carrot seeds receive subliminal messages? I really was thinking about moving some strawberry plants over to that box. Maybe the carrots heard me. 

Youth Camp is this weekend and I have kids very much looking forward to going. Halibut charter for several other people in the house. My main goal this coming weekend, other than smoke detectors and light bulbs, is to find new shoes. I'm biting the bullet. Two days of work in a row is presenting challenges. I'm also on a mission to find a easy yoga workout dvd. Let's change that easy to something like light. If you have any suggestions please share them. A lovely older gentleman shared that one with me one day. He says it works wonders for his back problem.

In the meantime. The temperature on my most favorite porch in the whole wide world is 53F this fine morning. The cloudy skies are keeping the sun in hiding. I hear a snore coming from somewhere ... might be the dog.

Have a great Thursday!

Monday, June 20, 2011


We welcomed a cruise traveling group of warm and familiar faces to our midst on Sunday afternoon. Goodness. I felt like I was at Seniors' Camp in Phoenix or something. It was wonderful!
 After services, we had a group over for coffee and visiting.
Fun to hear the stories of their travels and get to visit with folks' I rarely get to see.
 Lavona and Geri caught in some story or another.
Jari did a lot of skiing with Lavona before he and I met and married.
 Guys sharing stories in the living room.
 I'm not sure that Jerry was able to sell the Bear Gun idea to his bride.
 Afterwards, we brought them all to their hotel. From there they left this morning for lunch in Talkeetna and then off to Denali. They have several days of touring left and then most of them leave Anchorage on Thursday morning to wherever they're headed next. They're quite the jet setting group .... one never knows!
As for me?
I'm hoping to see all of them again in February.
Maybe I'll have to schedule a coffee date at my house with the bunch and hear the rest of their tales.

Off to clean the kitchen.
We have a coffee date with our realtor in about an hour.

This weekend will have to be ...

recorded in spurts.
It feels like it has been several weekends all rolled up into one.
Seriously good stuff.

Thursday I worked and was on call until 11pm. We left after that. I must have slept most of the way down to the Klutina. To be perfectly honest, I really don't remember. I think I declined going into the store in Glenallen. For sure, I declined going fishing when we got to our destination at about 2 a.m. The others went. They're seriously hard core. I took a nap.

Friday started out cloudy and then the rest of the time down there was filled with sunshine with the thermometer hovering around 70ish. Pure delish! For this sun deprived person, it was blissful. Make that a capital B on the blissful. The fishing was good. The relaxing wonderful. We walked miles and spent a short time visiting the loads of other friends camping at a nearby campground. The rest of the time ... we fished.

Oh, yeah. We slept in a tent. Jari and I slept in a tent. I figured out that the last time we slept in a tent must have been about 6 or 7 years ago. I remember the tent. I remember the beach. I remember the sweat from the heat of summer at Lake Powell. This time, I brought 2 air mattresses along. Just in case. You never know. I was not going to sleep on rocks. Jari tested the first one for the afternoon nap. It failed. Miserably. I tagged it for the dumpster and moved on to the next one. It worked. Gotta love it when a plan works out!

... and we fished some more ... and soaked up some more sun.

Jari did line tying duty. He was so good about it. Tia and I got really good at getting our lines loose from the rocks that kept grabbing our weights and hooks. Putting new line on and taking care of fish is something we still prefer to leave to the Dad/Hubby department.

The happy Fishing Couple.

Seriously sun kissed. Tia and I could both be new advertisements for Coppertone. We were so busy putting on mosquito repellant (Lemongrass) that we don't spend anytime in the sunscreen department. To be honest, I don't even own any. Aren't those freckles just to die for? I love freckled faces and sun bleached hair.

River banks of people. Nothing like fishing the Russian River. I hooked my own head several times. I dare not fish anywhere remotely close to another fisher person.

Greg Rousu is up here vacationing and fishing, fishing, fishing. He caught a ride down and back with us and shared our camping spot. He is going to have one lucky mom by the time his fish is processed.

Fred working those delicious Red Salmon out of the river waters.

Not only does he puts lines on our rods, he does a screamin' job of filleting those buggers as well. We came home Saturday and got everything into the freezer. Freezer is starting to look pretty good! Wish I could say I had something to do with it!

Today is Father's Day.
I've been very negligent.
I was going to call my Dad and wish him a Happy Fathers Day.
I didn't.
I knew he was at an engagement party (celebrating Denise and Andy's engagement!) when I could have called and then it was too late in the night
to call him by the time my house emptied.
I'll call him first thing in the morning.
Today ... I am so thankful to be able to call him Dad.
I'm a lucky girl.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dining rooms and marvelous views.

Our home can't be billed as a View Lot.
We can't see mountain tops from the dining room.
We can't see large rivers running by.
For a few days we could see nearly nothing!
One warm day, shortly after we had listed the house, Jari took the pressure washer and cleaned off the house walls. Got rid of the accumulated silt and dust.
The dining room window had a bit of a gas leak in it, but could be considered tolerable.
Replacing it still sat somewhere behind gas and groceries ...
actually it lagged quite a distance behind.
That sunny day the cold hose water hit the window and our view dimmed considerably.
It cleared a bit, but ....
not quite enough.
Once again I went on a journey of learning.
We learned that you can buy a piece of glass (this one is double paned, argon filled) and just replace it within the wood frame. I never knew that! I thought you had to replace the entire thing ... wood included.
The glass came in on Tuesday and Wally came by to help put it in.
That was about when I should have started the voice recording!
The window was put in place with carpet glue or something else that would last forever.
It took some work to get it out.
"If this window falls out, it is not going to be good!" comes from the man standing on the top rung of the ladder outside. The wonderful guy who is bit closer to 50 than 40.
Next, "I'm too old for this!"
It came out with the help of some crow bar taps and pieces of glass tingling among
the strawberry plants below and the carpet above. New window up ....
and in! (This time without carpet glue!) To anyone who wants to replace it some other day later in life, "you're welcome!"
Once the window was in (actually at about the time the old one cracked and we saw the film inside) we came to the full realization that the previous window was tinted.
I could never take a picture of a moose in the yard because the pictures weren't clear.
Ah Hah! Tint!
This one is clear. Crystal. Clear.
I would have to call it a picture window.
With a view.
The trim went on outside yesterday so there aren't those little blocks holding the window in place anymore.
Last night as I was leaving Bible Class, I got a text from home that said "the moose is here." I missed it, but she'll be back to check out the growing vegies and try get in to the greenhouse for more goodies.

There is a good reason for the green.
It has been raining for days.
On our way home last night, Tia said "Wow! This is like Arizona rain!"
We usually don't have Arizona rain here. I don't really know Seattle rain, but it is probably more like that. Light stuff.
Should the sun come out in the near future and the weeds dry out,
we'll be mowing the lawn every 12 hours for a while!

Hoping to be back by the end of the weekend with some fun pictures ..
we're off to play for a few days after this loooonnnng one is over.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Celebrating the Colonists

with a small town parade.
Heavy in the tractor department.
Light in the music department.
Loaded with personality and flavor.
Isn't this the sweetest little rig you've ever seen?
The first time I saw it driving down Trunk Road I did one of those
double double takes.
Then I smiled.
I'm sure it is a frequent reaction to this this wagon driving down the road.
In honor of the Colonists who settled Palmer so many years ago.
I'm imagining these lovely ladies just chatted and giggled their way through town. 
 Plenty of lovingly restored treasures ....
 of many varieties. The drivers were just about as varied!
 Booths of goods for sale.
Plenty of treats to eat.
Activities galore, including things like the egg throwing contest and salmon dip contest.
All topped with beautiful weather
that was too good to ask for!
 Saturday evening services.
Sunday services and then visiting in the evening.
And the calendar rolls back to Monday again and the start of another week ...
that looks like it will be topped by another weekend of outdoor busyness
and more visitors.
All I need to do is make it through the next four days!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

He's still awake!

Saturday Dinner Menu
Fresh Copper River Red Salmon
Red Potatoes
Green Beans
Ciabatta Bread
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
We do have some things in our lives which make us feel downright spoiled.

I made it ...

to my little corner of the basement! The sweatshirt pieces are all sewn together. Finished. Complete. If you sew, you know how good that feels. :) Now I just need some good fleece for the backing and a lot of top stitching to do ... hopefully in some fun colors. I can't wait to spend some chilly air nap time out on the porch wrapped in comfy "sweats".
We showed the house again at dinner time, which meant an hour drive around a looong block with a stop for a quick bite.
Came home and I was itching to mow the lawn.
To be perfectly honest, I really didn't care who mowed it. I just wanted it done.
Several males here said they would rather do it tomorrow than this evening.
I headed to the green house and repotted some of those zucchini/cukes.
I think I figured out which is which.
Then ... two of those males headed out the door several hours later.
Fred made it back home this evening after a trip to Arizona and a stop in Colorado ...
then a long drive back to Alaska.
Tonight, he and Jari headed down to try fishing the Klutina for the night.
I hope Jari manages to stay awake. Fred didn't intend to. He took his pillow along.
Lately my dear hubby has turned into a "10:30 pm Turn Into a Pumpkin" kind of guy.
The kids all left after Anna came home from work.
So that left me home alone.
Audio book (had to quickly download another one!) and the sewing machine.
Now I'm ready for a day of running tomorrow.

I did grab a few shots of our world at 11:15 pm outside. 
 Hard to believe, isn't it?

Now I must really turn in ...
or I'll be a pumpkin tomorrow at about parade time.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rhubarb picking begins!

The pictures I've been taking lately are just not working.
I don't know what I've done to the settings on the camera.
Guess I'll have to figure it out this weekend.

I picked and cut up 16 cups of rhubarb this evening. Our favorite use for rhubarb has become this tasty beverage. Tia took one look at the rhubarb on the counter and said, "What are you ..... are you making?!" to which I finished "punch" to which she replied something like "Yes!!" It really is a winner around here.
(click on the recipe to see it larger ... unless your readers are a stronger level than mine!)
I cut the water about in half. I really don't want to fill my freezer with unnecessary water. This time I'm trying to freeze some in ice cube trays. Add a cube to a soda and make an individual drink instead of needing to make a gallon at a time. Will see if it works or not!

Other than that ... a post MRI visit today with the Dr to find out that the xray probably showed what we needed to see. We're on hold for another 6 months unless I want an epidural steroid injection before that sometime. A visit to the Physical Therapist this afternoon. He does some "regular" therapy, but mostly he does muscle release type therapy. I was shocked to find that it had been over two years since I saw him last! That means that for the past two years my hip (what I now find to really be my back) has been functioning well. Will see what miracles he can perform this time around. I do know that he recently bought a second home in Tucson. Should our move be successful and I need him .... I'll have him relatively close. Whew!

Today, in the middle of my wandering, I was searching for pinking shears. My "wrap around throw" was wanting some pinked edges. I couldn't find any at either of the stores I tried. I might just have to change my mind or go visit Amber ... she probably has a pair hidden somewhere in the dreamy craft room of hers. I don't know when I'm going to have time to visit that corner I've got going. Maybe I can just ignore my family tomorrow evening and disappear down there for a while? With my book?

Our days are geting longer and longer. The light is just awesome. Splendiferous.
The radish tops are growing a lot faster than the bottoms. I checked.
The carrots still aren't popping up. I don't know what's up with that.
The zucchini took so long to pop up that I planted more.
Then I planted more cucumber seeds.
I labeled none of them.
This new breed of round zucchini and the cuke leaves look just alike.
This could be interesting.
The chickens are tending to like the strawberry blooms.
I think it might be time for some protective chicken wire in some strategic places.

This weekend we're going to play a little at Colony Days. I hope the weather cooperates!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's a Cat's Life.

She is a tad bit loved.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weekend camping.

Our weekend camp out days were spent under skies of gray colors
dotted with a bit of rain, making me thankful for the campgrounds close
proximity to my bed. :)
 "A sandbox!"
Bennett who certainly enjoyed his bottle ... not that we can tell.
He wouldn't flash me his brilliant smile ... and he has one!
 Babies en masse. Ahhh. We are so lucky!
 Rain slickers adding color to the faces that have played hard all weekend.
Friends sharing giggles.
 Volleyball between rain drops.
 All under mountain tops covered with a fresh new blanket of white.
 The skies were never clear enough to see a rainbow all weekend.
According to one wise one, this was the promise we were treated to.
"God's promise that summer will not last forever."
Today the skies are a brilliant blue and the sun is streaming in my yard.
So that would mean .... I'm off to work!