Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Visiting travelers ...

Mom and Dad rolled into town Friday evening a few minutes before 7pm. We had services in the evening with a traveling Matti Taskila from Finland. They pulled in before the service started. Perfect! The trip went well. They're down an air mattress, but otherwise safe and sound. No falls this time around. :)

I'm going to be in the market for a car shortly and the Impala is on my list of looks. This car has made 2 trips up on the Alaska Highway, has traveled much of the east coast and the west coast. It has made numerous trips to Canada, annual trips to Arizona from Minnesota, and would have made its way to Hawaii if there was any possible way. If you don't know my parents, they're travelers. The trunk is packed with a tent this trip ... and they love to drive!

I couldn't quite believe how long it took to get out of the house Saturday morning. The plan was to go garage sale hopping and then to good old Wally World. Now most of you know the infamous Minnesota Goodbye. We were so busy chatting we couldn't even make it to the car for the 9am garage sale date time. Good stuff! We found some goodies, including some things I'm sure I didn't need and probably could have left behind. Oh well! The rest of the day was spent with eating and visiting. It is what we midwest Finns are very good at. Add some coffee and you're really good to go!

Mom working on her state quilt blocks.

Jari picked up Markus Korpi from the airport late Saturday night and he spent the day here on Sunday. We had the Taskilas over for the afternoon and introduced them to Halibut Fajitas. The guys here harrass Markus constantly about those fajitas ... he finally had one! We learned that geocaching isn't just something we've enjoyed! 15 year old Anna-Elisa also enjoys doing it in Finland. She was able to add a few finds to her list on Sunday after going out with Tia, Markus and Fred. (This household really needs to get back on the ball with that!)

The Taskila family catching up on Finnish news online as well as looking through pictures from suvis.

More visiting ... more coffee .....

I'm not quite sure what we will find to fill our week. I'm highly recommending the Alaska Native Heritage Museum as they haven't been there yet. The end of the week has a scheduled fishing trip in it. Grandpa is heading out on his first halibut charter, while Grandma, Tia & I are heading to Homer on an expedition. Charge the batteries. Camera and otherwise. We have quilt shops to find!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Whew! I've been busy and now it's time to ....


My parents were in Tok at 12:49 this afternoon. Will see what time they get here!
At 5:16 pm they're about 1 1/2 hours out of Palmer with 3 constructions zones to navigate.

I've been off work today and yesterday. I did go work from 6pm to 11:30pm last night, but other than that ... I've worked at home.
Do you pack a house the same way I do?
I'm probably a bit over the top in the crazy department, but that's me.
I've taken dusty duffel bags out to the beautiful sunshine and scrubbed them, suitcases included.
I've thrown away sleeping bags not worth keeping.
I repacked some boxes that were in need of space saving.
I have a nice pile of stacked boxes. At least enough for this week.
I've washed winter jackets and they're waiting for some more of the miracle packing bags.
Laundry room is nearly cleaned out except for what is going with us.

And my garage sale pile is growing.
It hasn't been ten years but I'm going to do it anyway.
Maybe Tia will do it all for me. :)

On my trek through the house (and I've not yet started the pantry) I've been appreciating two appliances that I use all the time.
Do you have some that you just prefer to not live without?
I probably have more of them, but the day I took these pictures ... these were my favs.

The bread machine.
Jari bought it for me a few months after we moved up here and I started working full time. I was a bit stressed out about the dinner thing. Now, I use it for making dough.
I've adapted my recipes to make it work for 2 long pulla braids. 
And ... I usually manage to do that at least once a week. Sometimes twice.
Throw the ingredients in ....

and hit the dough button. 150 minutes later I take my lovely dough out, make a few braids and set them to raise. I love to bake, but spending all day Saturday in the kitchen baking wasn't doing much for getting anything else done around here.
I won't leave this one behind!

Nor this one.
We've become a bit spoiled in the coffee department.
I'll drink almost anything hot, caffeinated and unflavored but I do like the coffee beans.
This one gets a nonstop workout.
Depending on the day .... many times!

Do you have a favorite that you prefer not to do without?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wrapped in sweatshirts

I don't have yard sales except for every 10 years or so when memory has faded.
Then I have one ... and promptly remember why I don't.
Instead, I donate our no longer needed items to a local charity.
Some I save and play with.
I've been collecting some sweatshirts for a while now.
Some that were favorites and some that never were!

A few weeks ago, I finished the top of the blanket and on a shopping expedition found some anti pill fleece for the backing of the blanket.
Which meant that I had to come home immediately and put it together ... that day.
Then I told you about it and never shared the pictures.
(Kind of like a kid in a candy store sometimes I am.)

The front I did with seams facing out,
then zigzagged with varigated (sp?) thread.
I think I'll still find a pair of pinking shears and trim each of the seam sides.
This morning, weeks after I first put this post together, the edges are "pinked".
My thumb is tingly numb from holding the pinking shears ... but it looks a bit different and I like it!

The front is of different length pieces and varying colors.

This is the first time I've done one of these kind backing ...
and I sort of like the speed of it.

After a bit of cutting and tying ....

it promptly went to the couch and was wrapped around a teen.

I suspect that it will become a family favorite.
It already has. I missed taking a snap of the other other two girls snuggled in it.

Love it when they love it!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday ....

My post titles are seriously lame.
Oh well. If you have any great ideas .....

Maybe they're lame because the day has sort of been the same.
Jari is gone dip netting and not having tremendous luck.
I was off work today so you know what that means.
Monthly meeting at work at 6:30 a.m. to start the day off nicely.
A trip to Walmart (just don't tell Tia) for some new pillow cases and those bags that allow you to suck the air out of big things ... making them tiny things for packing.
A stop at the dentist. Why, oh why, is dental health not covered with regular healthcare coverage? Is the ADA lobby that powerful? I've opted for pulling instead of root canal and crown. The almighty buck does rule some aspects of life.
Home to start packing a few things. Got blankets sucked down to nearly nothing. Love those bags!
Off to physical therapy for my last appointment unless more is needed. Got a nap on that table while getting some cranial stuff done. Heavenly!
Home to clean out a closet. I think Tia & I emptied out about 200 books. 5 boxes taped shut and labeled!!
Now I'm off to work for a bit. On Call this evening and they need me.
My dentist wants to pull my tooth and would really like to be paid for the privilege.
Of all the nerve.

Maybe nerve was a bad choice.
The nerve is exposed hence the pulling.
Still .....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy 18th Birthday Brock!!

A week ago we still had these three of our children in Alaska with us.
The numbers sort of ebb and flow ... today we have two.

Brock is celebrating his 18th Birthday today in Minnesota!

Time has certainly flown with this young man in our lives,
and it is bound to flow even faster as time moves on.
Wishing we were celebrating with him today,
but we know he's having a fabulous time!

Welcome to Adulthood!


I got a text message today that read

"We are planning on heading your way
leaving here this coming Sunday and
getting there in a week."

Getting company .... can't wait!!
I know I have plenty of time, but I already stripped the bed
and threw the sheets in the laundry. :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Aaah. Another weekend.

Some pictures of the crew that visited the end of the week.
Charlie was working on getting out his own sliver after "Nana" taught him how!
Amazing little guy.

We had the Alaska Marjanen kids, grandkids (except for Charisse who was fishing) and all the great grandkids over on Friday evening. I really wish my brain had been working before Amber left. Could have gotten a fun picture of all of them. We're missing the twins in this one. And ... I was taking inside late evening pictures with my iphone. Not a good idea. They are a fun group of cherubs ... and this photo is missing 4 of them.

Today we took a little trip up to Thunderbird Falls.
I am ashamed to admit that I've only been there one other time,
shortly after we moved here and it was iced over and snow covered.
Today was perfect.

On our way down we noticed some salmon that were fighting their way up stream.
You can see her tail sticking up out of the water.

We watched for quite a while, but she couldn't make it past this rock.
Poor thing was just plumb tuckered out.
She finally ended up going the other way.

Lush green ... plenty of trees to climb ... a cousin who is so willing to be a step ...
a good afternoon.

I'm working on convincing the crew that we're going kayaking next weekend.
I want to bring a camera along and Tia told me that the last time she was in a canoe
she tipped it.
That's why I went for the kayak idea, not the canoe.


Our home inspection went well.
Jari has completed nearly everything that we agreed to do on their wish list.
The one thing Jari refused to do that the buyers still want done .... our realtor is taking care of.
The hunt is on for a trailer for moving.
The purchasing will have to wait, but the window shopping is in full force.
I have a pile of boxes downstairs and keep accumulating more.
I'm not packing yet.
I look around here and I just shake my head.
Then I choose not to think about it ... yet.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Musical Flowers ... because my head is filled with wedding music.

I don't spend a lot of time surfing the internet.
I simply don't have the time to get lost for hours.
Occasionally, tho', I do take a gander and find something.
Then it sticks to something in my noggin' and swirls around in there.
It could be the most silly thing in the world.
Some things just get stuck there until I manage to recreate them.
This would happen to be one of them.

I gathered sticks laying around the yard of different types and colors.

Then attached these little paper flowers.
I used old sheet music for paper this time.
Drew and then cut out a circular design,
inked the paper a bit,
twirled the paper tightly around a pencil,
let it unfurl a bit and used the hot glue gun to keep it all together.
I did create several different sizes.
Play with your pencil and practice on paper you really don't intend to use.

I hot glued them to the branches.

Actually hot glued some of the branches to each other to keep them
where I wanted them.

Then I plunked it on top of the piano.
It is just kind of fun and, best of all, free decorating!

If you're interested in creating one of your own, I found the flowers over here.


I'll share weekend photos with you later.
They're still on the camera and in the iphone. 

Jari's sister Heini, along Peyton, Big D, Little C and Brandon came down on Wednesday from Fairbanks and left today at 4pm. It has been quite a while since we had a two year old hanging out with us for 4 days in a row. He's such a little cutie. We had a wonderful time!

At 4pm I tuned into a webcasted wedding in Minnesota. Yup. I cried during the wedding. Can you imagine if I'd been sitting in the church bench?!?!? My Brock and Anna are both enjoying the cake reception right now ... along with the 400 planned for guests.  One of the beauties of teens with cell phones traveling is that I got a sneak peak at the bride today after she was dressed ... via text message. What a treat! I was thinking about having a piece of cake in honor of their special day. Maybe I'll head for a bowl of ice cream, topped with rhubarb strawberry sauce and plenty of chocolate instead. 

Heartfelt congratulations to Paul and Debbie. May God richly bless your lives together.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

To everything a season.

To be a mom is to somedays feel like this dandelion.
When the formative years of life have long since passed by,
the season of having a child within your reach nearly everyday is gone.
To look upon their face,
to hold them close in your arms.
To see their fears and struggles in their face,
and ache with the knowledge that you cannot fix those things this time.
To look upon them and marvel at the life you long ago created.

To know that as you send them off to the next stage of life,
they may never return to you.
It is now their season.
You wonder if you did anything right.
Did you teach them all they needed to know?
Did you teach them to be the kind of human being
who will be respected and honored?
Did you teach them how to love and be loved?
You know that God heard and felt every tear drop that you shed on their behalf.
Once again it is a season to mourn.
Now you mourn their leaving.

The eagle builds her nest with down covered thorns
to encourage her eaglets to leave when the time is ready.
A mother's duty is to raise her young so they can leave.
Will mine leave with the gentleness of the rose
and still have the thorns that they need to survive in our world today?

As they wend their way through rose gardens and weed patches,
may life treat them kindly.
May they have trials so they appreciate the blessings.
May things not come easily to them,
rather let it come to them with honest work so that they learn to appreciate.
May the rose patches always have a weed or two in them,
lest they forget humility.

As a mother watches her young one begin their path,
knowing it is now their season,
she prays.
She prays that God will be their guide and their fortress.
She feels the bittersweet that her own mother must have felt.
She knows that she will shed more than a few tears
at this leaving.
Yet she will smile.
For she knows that her child will find their way,
just as she has.
Her child has courage and strength,
along with a strong will.

God speed to you my child.
May He hold you in the palm of His almighty hand,
and may you always remember that it is He who directs your path.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Bonfires and chickens

We had Haps and others over for a bonfire Sunday evening.
I even attempted some patriotic desserts that were courtesy of Taste of Home.
Yummy ... you'll have to trust me. 

Welcoming home Kirsten from her training in Texas,
while sending Anna off to Minnesota for a month.

Watching little pink princesses running after the bigger kids ...
who were after the chickens.

It took some convincing ....

but it didn't take her long to grab a handful of feathers and give it a pull.
I think she's a farmer girl at heart.

The girls had a sleepless night while Anna finished packing.
I got a 3 hour nap in and then we headed to the airport.
She is safely in Minnesota!
     I got a good nap in  
     Did some weeding outside
     Played in the greenhouse
     Mucked out the raspberry plants
     Covered some vegies with screen to keep the chickens locked out
     Created another little goodie to share with you

Time to get a move on and make a bit of dinner.

I hope your Fourth of July was fantastic.
Special thanks to all our service men and women!