Wednesday, March 21, 2012

From Alaska to 430 Breezy Lane

Sometimes I know what I need to do.
Then I ponder and wonder and think and think and think.
I try to come up with a plan.
Or in this case, a name.
I started this blog shortly after we moved to Alaska and 6 months ago we left there and returned to Phoenix.
So to have a blog that I'm still posting to that is entitled "Living the Alaska Dream" really is a bit outdated.
Yes, we dreamed and did.
Now we have different dreams filling our heads and hearts.
It is probably time to lay the Alaska one to rest and move on along.
I'm still going to craft.
I'll continue trying to play with a camera and learn new things.
Once in a while I'll be sentimental in my posting.
For the most part, I'll continue to ramble.
I'll continue to share photos of my husband and children for those who don't live near us.
I hope, at some time, I'll be back in Alaska visiting for a while.

This will be the last post on Living the Alaska Dream blog.
I thank every one of you for spending even a moment of your day coming to see what we're up to.
Special thanks to those of you who have taken a moment to share a comment with me.
It has meant a lot to me.

For the next little while (little being entirely relative and open to my interpretation), I'll be posting my shenanigans to 430 Breezy Lane. This 430 Breezy Lane link should take you there!

Thanks again!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Photo storage problems on Google!

Don't this just beat all?!
I'm trying to upload more photos and I can't.
Apparently, I have gone over the Google allowed free storage amount.
I have no clue what that means.
I am not a techno savy anything.
I just deleted everything off Picasa and that didn't help.
Now what???
Do I need to purchase additional space on Google to continue uploading huge files of photos?
If anyone has a clue, please let me know.

In the meantime, Fred is down here visiting and was hoping for some warm and sunshine.
We turned the heat on this afternoon to give the house a little warmer upper.
The wind last night was blowing so hard that the rear window of the car parked inside the
garage was wet this morning.
He's not getting warm and sunshine these couple of days!

We've had some game playing going on over here.
Good stuff. Fun pictures somewhere on my computer that I can't share with you. :(

Today we went out for lunch to share in celebrating Ruth's birthday.
Her favorite is the hamburger and so we went to Fuddruckers for lunch.
It has been maaaaannnny moons since I was there last.
Makes me wonder if the burger is a favorite of both Lauri and Sylvia (these folks are all my paternal aunts and uncle) as well as it was Dad's work lunch for quite a while.

Ruth with Jeff & Fred.

I'm sort of having fun with Instagram on my phone.
Although I'm not uploading them to anything, I sort of like the oldies look of the photos.
Sure is nice not to lug a camera around so many places.

I go back to work tomorrow after having a week off.
4:15 alarms ringing should be enough to have my slugging down cup after cup of coffee.
I don't know when I'll have time to figure out this photo thing either.
Hopefully soon!
If you have any great ideas ... I'd love to hear them.

Here is the message I'm getting:

Whoops! You're out of space. Purchase more storage.
Photos are stored in your Picasa Web Albums account and are included in your 1 GB free quota for photos. Additional storage you purchase is shared between several Google products and is in addition to your free quota. Learn more
From this I am assuming that all the blog photos are stored in some kind of Google Picasa Web Album and there really isn't anything I can do about it. I guess they have to be stored somewhere in cyberspace or they'd disappear off the blog.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The melting of a mom's heart.

There are some things that just melt a mom's heart.

We carry our babies within us, loving them from the moment we know of their existence.
We prepare for their arrival with eager anticipation.
Then they enter our world and reshape our entire existence.
From that moment on, they carry our heart with them in each footstep.
In each heart ache.
In each celebration.
As a mom, we are certainly needed.
From the first feedings and diapers to laundry, drivers licenses and high school graduations.
In all of that we are needed.

Then, as they each reach adulthood, we watch them sprout wings and fly.
Perhaps they fly far away.
Perhaps they come home a few times in the practice of flight.
Perhaps they only come home for visits here and there.

Sometimes they may come home for a quick hop on the internet for something they need.

Sometimes they come home to raid the refrigerator of all the leftovers.

Mom: "No more leftovers until these containers come back!"

Maybe they come home for a nap on the couch.
Maybe they come for a home cooked meal.
Maybe they come to wash their laundry.
Maybe they come to just hang out and visit a while.

Sometimes they come home just to come home
and sometimes they still have a need that a mom can fulfill.
Even for a brief moment in time.
And for that brief moment, a mom feels needed
once again.
She has seen and she has smiled from her heart.
Her child has wings that have learned to fly and is soaring.
Yet she still yearns to nurture, nourish and protect.
She always will.

These are photos that I took this week of Brock, our middle child, and his food haul.
He is currently in Phoenix again working and has plans for college in the fall.
I also celebrate my other adult children in this post.
Alyx is far away from us in Alaska.
I wish she could come home for dinner and a load of laundry.
Maybe sometime soon.
Our oldest son, Blayde, is paving his own path as well.
It has been a while since I saw his smiling face each day.
I am proud of each of them.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The hoarder in me.

She has a problem with more than tomato sauce cans.
She also likes fabric.
Usually recyclable stuff.
A few years ago (thank goodness I can honestly say it hasn't been much longer than that!), I bought a bunch of these remnant pieces that come in books off of Ebay.
That Ebay thing alone was quite a learning lesson.
It was my first purchase using that mode of shopping and I hit that Click button before my brain registered the price of shipping.
Ouch! It was quite painful ... usually the way I learn my lessons best.

Vacation week has given me a few days to play with the sewing machine.
The other day I whipped up some little doll blankets for a couple nieces of mine who are much too young to be able to read this.
Sometimes I think a pattern might be easier to follow than the wing it plan, but it worked.

My goal was to get rid of that pile of fabrics. It was quite a modge podge of colors, texture and design. Today I was at the table sewing long before I even thought of getting out of pajamas.
Just have to love, love, love a day like this one!
After a lot of what if I do this and some of what if I do that ... I sort of came up with a plan that seemed to work in the end.
My seam allowances ended up being a big larger than I usually sew and fabric pieces certainly dwindle quickly when you're cutting and sewing.  What looked like it would be a good size throw or blanket when the pieces were just laid out on the bed to begin with certainly turned into a throw. About 4' x 4.5'. It'll work for a nap. That's what counts!

The rest of that particular pile of fabric is hitting the trash tomorrow. Just bits and pieces left and I don't need another drawer or two of bits and pieces.

It needs some kind of filling and backing after which it will be ready for a nap or a good book.
Comfort throws.
My kind of thing.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ten in a Day

I had so much fun when Amber was here. We both have a love for our cameras and both of us are slowly working at learning more about them. There are so many projects and ideas available everywhere that have to do with photos. For example, the 10 photos on the 10th of the month. Great idea. Somedays I have a problem with the 10th of the month. If it falls on a Tuesday, I might not get a picture of anything after a long day at work and to the point of brain malfunction when I get home. We thought it would be fun to make our own list of categories and aim to accomplish one of them every month in a day. A day that works. A day that we're in the mood. The goal is to challenge ourselves to do things with our cameras that we haven't done before.

Whether these are done in order or you pick one out of a jar on a day when you and your camera are ready to connect for a while, Amber & I came up with a list of 10 things. Ten because we're starting in March and doing the last 10 months of the year.

Living Room
Shades of Light
Pick a Color
5 Senses
I am going to try and capture the ordinary on those days. You are welcome to join us!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Seaport Village and San Diego at night.

The last of our 24 hours. Finally!
Seaport Village is a place we've enjoyed many times.
Perhaps this is the day that I really realized how much I love my camera.

Note to my kids. Please don't take me here with curlers in my hair. Ever.

This particular evening, I realized how much I'd like another lens as well!
Would like, cetainly don't need.
Every place on earth has its own peace and beauty.
Perhaps in the places that are so populated, one finds that peace in the still of the evening when the light shimmers across the water.
Imagine one of these boats being your hideaway.
Imagine being rocked to sleep under the stars.

In the still and quiet of the night.

Today marks another one of those days that bring me one year closer to another decade number.
Fun to receive phone calls with group or solo Happy Birthday wishes sung across the miles.
I have eaten myself into nearly a sugar coma, for which I will pay dearly by morning.
Oi, the prices we must pay somedays.
I've stayed up so late for so many nights that I'm nearly in a coma without the sugar infusion!
No green beans at Market on the Move this week. Big bummer. At the same time, it frees me from the pressure cooker this week. Frees me to see what other kinds of trouble I can get myself into.
Jari joined me for a little bit of garage sale shopping and the Market on Saturday. My sweetest deal of the day ... wash cloths for 5 cents a piece! He wouldn't stop for pallets for me tho'. Claims we really don't need to be adding those things to the back yard. I'm thinking that might be a good kind of trouble to get into this week. I think I'm safe ... he doesn't spend a lot of time in the blog world.

Friday, March 9, 2012

After a Friday of laundry and housework ....

an evening respite at a fabulous restaurant with friends.
Thanks again!
For now a jaunt back to the ocean again.
Mission Beach and Belmont Park are also family favorites.
Not the beach itself. To be honest, I'm not a fan of Mission Beach.
I am a fan of the roller coaster and eat treats at Belmont Park.

And then on to Ocean Beach for a while ....

Tomorrow morning I am home and free. It's been a few weeks. :)
Market on the Move is real close to the house tomorrow, so I'll be there nice and early to try and score a pile of vegies. Hoping against hope for green beans. LOTS of them.
If I'm fortunate enough to score some, you'll see dilly beans coming up here this week.

Looks like it was sewing bug day today. I joined Torm in the sewing itch department today. I didn't get the machine out of the closet, but my guest room bed is covered with squares of fabric laying out to make a quilt of some kind. The need to purge stuff was strong this morning. The drawers of fabric were first on the list. Hopefully by the end of the week, there will be some kind of progress in that department! Let's hope the squares have moved themselves by the end of next week.
I'm on vacation all week ... there really should be no excuse at all.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Life's perpetual vacation came to a halt.

The reliving of it will be back in the next few days, but today is one of those days off.
I love not working Wednesday.
Depending on my mood, I might start in bright and early cleaning.
I might work on something computer/Christmas related.
I might bake.
Or I might try hit the mail basket.
I finally moved to TWO baskets in hope of solving a little problem.
My wallet is constantly overflowing with receipts.
My husband's receipts seem to disappear into oblivion.
I would have never survived without online banking, at least I have half a clue!
I seriously need cash envelopes.
Maybe next year.
So, the other basket is suppose to be for receipts. It is partially working.
Partial is always better than not at all.

Remember this little board I made a while back? It was suppose to be for household chores.
Apparently, I have failed in the chore department. It works better if I just issue orders as I see things.
They walk right by the board and don't even notice it.
On my end, not only do I forget to remind them of the board ... I completely forget it exists.
It's rather hopeless.
This week I decided to try something else with it instead.
It is currently a menu planner.
I also decided that my goal this month is to not cook. I then amended it to at least half the month.
Time to teach these girls how to work in the kitchen.

Day #1 it worked. Anna made sloppy joes with minimal assist. Sweet!!

Day #2 didn't go so well. The plan was for roast in the crockpot and I didn't get around to helping Tia get that ready for me to just plug in before I went to work. Shucks!

Instead, I came home to a house that smelled absolutely delicious!
Jari had seasoned and put the roast in the crockpot.
Potatoes and green beans were cooking.
I'll not count my chickens before they're all hatched in April, but maybe this will work after all!

I had no clue what Miss Anna was doing in the hall, but all of a sudden she tells me,
"I won't be home on the 9th, 16th or 30th."
Not knowing what she was aiming at and not sure what she had scheduled, I asked "why?"
Her answer, "I don't like leftovers."

Evening update:
Day 3 success! Halibut fajitas for dinner with directions and minimal assist given by Mom. 
Sweet. Sweet. Sweet.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Joy in LaJolla

I have to tell you that over the years we have been in LaJolla more than a few times. Our favorite family beach was there for years. We have never been witness to the number of seals we saw this time!


We couldn't have asked for a better day.
It was plumb full of sunshine.

Monday, March 5, 2012

24 hours

First of all. I've already told you that we've had company, company, company.
Super fun.
Loads of visiting and running.
More loads of late nights.
I probably have more than a few pictures to share with you.

The recent weekend is most fresh in my mind and on my camera ...
so hang in there!
Our niece Amber, with her daughter Evelyn, was visiting from Alaska and had never been to California.
We did one of those flying sight seeing trips ... with several cameras in town.
Fun all the way around.

For the most part, my photos were taken in 24 hours.
It may take me 24 days to share them with you, but they're fun.
Your little people might even like some of them.

We had several of the obligatory border state little stops to make sure we weren't transporting things like fruit or illegal aliens.

After a bit of a drive, we made it to our destination on Shelter Island. Our front door looked out at the marina. After finding something to eat, Amber & I promptly grabbed our cameras and headed out the front door to try our self timers and settings on our cameras. I rarely challenge myself in the camera department. There just seem to be enough other challenges in life that adding another one, fun or not, usually doesn't fit into the equation. I learned something. I'll do it more often!

In the morning we headed out and pretty much had a plan in mind. We started in LaJolla. A few  miscellaneous shots from there ...

.... to be continued sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The whirlwind around us.

The whirlwind has been a lot of fun.
It isn't over yet, thank goodness.
This morning I had a few non working nothing needs to be done hours so got caught up on my P.A.D. project.
I have taken so few pictures over the last several weeks that it makes me just a wee bit sad.
In the meantime .... this is a piece of what life has held lately around here.

Shower time.
I'm off to Ikea with Amber.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hoarding at the market.

My family thinks I've gone around the bend.
Every time I come in the door with more bags from the grocer, I get a look and comment.
I'll probably have to start shopping in the dead of night.

I did not purchase the pile of cans on the counter and my cupboard is so organized it is scary.

I'm trying to be a good girl by using coupons and sales ads to stock the larder. It takes a lot of work! Unlike smaller communities, this city offers quite the selection of shopping experiences with different bargains.

Yesterday I had the chance to start a whole new thing. In the past week I learned about Market on the Move. Click here so you can explore this yourself, but for $10 you can pick up 60 pounds of fresh produce. The place I went to on Saturday had several semi loads of vegies brought up from farmers around Tucson. All extra stuff that is going to be tossed if not used. I've never cooked eggplant in my life. Believe it or not, I stuffed some through the juicer and drank it. I'm still living to write about it so it must not be that bad! I'll try another trip and see what they have before I buy a card that gets me a year's worth of visits to the Market. I don't know if there are any such markets in the north country, but check around and let me know.

I have to say that the grape tomatoes were absolutely delicious. There are a lot of them in the fridge right now waiting for salads or some kind or another. I put about half of them in the dehydrator seasonsed with sea salt and basil for snacking.

You'd think I was feeding an army around here.
Wonder what it will look like in a few years when there are just two of us wandering around taking up space.
Probably worse.

Tia is finally in the Pink and the Black

Some projects just seem to take forever.
Mom & Dad are in town for Seniors Camp and Winter Services.
Saturday they were at camp .... and being as we have guests staying in Tia's room next weekend .... I got busy.
First a trip to Home Depot to look for magnetic metal.
Are you anything like me? I've completely forgotten anything I ever learned about metal.
I really don't need to know. I just ask. I did wander around the store. Threw a piece of something in my cart and felt like too much of a dolt to ask a wandering worker bee if it was the right thing. I waited until I got to the cash register to test the magnetic ability of the piece I had in my cart. (Forgot my magnet at home ... that'll teach me!) I finally had to ask someone. Got my goodies and headed on home to play.

I painted frames a while ago already. They've been hovering around here waiting to be finished.

The next step was to cut my sheet metal to size to fit the frame. I had one of those ah ha! moments when I saw my garage floor in a whole new light. Kind of like being at JoAnn Fabrics! Who would have ever thought. I even found a cutting device. Explanation soon to follow.

Insert metal into the frame and be thankful it fit.

Cover the metal on the back with a piece of cardboard cut to size.

Look at the tarp. We sort of covered things in the garage for the garage sale. Under that tarp that stretches floor to ceiling are totes and more totes stacked upon even more totes. In one or two or three of them, are staplers. Happy tackers, electric stapler, manual staplers. Probably even the staples to fill them.

Being as that sounded like a week long project and I had much better things to do, I just took a few handy little nails and tacked them into the side of the frame to keep everything in place with one of my 100 or so trusty hammers. It works. No one but you will know anyway.

This frame (Thank you, Jenny) came without hanging devices or glass. Add a hanging device to the back. Thank goodness Jari is out fishing today instead of working somewhere. The cordless drill/screw driver is very handy. There are some things that never made it behind that tarp.

And ... ta da! It works!

As I didn't have my sheet metal cut for me, the piece was rather large. Enough to cut one more piece for another frame. The original plan did not include 2 frames with magnetic capability, but when on a roll and supplies are plentiful ... all plans are subject to change. As my children can all attest to.

Getting there .....

Today is Monday. I'm off work today and off to enjoy another morning cup of coffee with my hubby and parents before I get out of these pajamas of mine.