Thursday, August 17, 2017

Berry Picking - Serviceberries

I did a bit of searching on the Internet trying to find a good spot for berry picking. I knew the kids,  Marie, and I would be going alone. Marie has a bad knee. None of us wanted to wrestle bears.  

I cheated. I unearthed a u-pick "farm" - it seems to be known as both Northern Fruits Nursery and Northern Fruits Greenhouses and U Pick. It was good for an afternoon jaunt - especially while we are STILL in the throes of moving madness. We will continue to explore the spots I've heard of where we can pick free berries in the wilds. 

Maria - Berry picking in AK - checking off the bucket list

These are Serviceberries, which we are told are "like blueberries but sweeter." I'm a bit unconvinced. 
Our haul
Since we were nearby we searched out the trail head for some local trails.  It became apparent it was a bit more of a climb than we wanted this afternoon. I beckoned.

This sign cracked me up. To the left is,  "More Difficult," and to the right is, "Most Difficult." 

Dish packs filled with paper make good targets. 
In other happenings, our riding lawn mower has been delayed and won't arrive until 30 Aug. We are going to have to rent or buy a used mower of some sort and beat back the grasses.

Michael repaired a faucet and leak in the basement kitchen and checked out the hot water heating floor system. He has a "to do" list a mile long....including installing an RV spot, finding and purchasing a wood stove, replacing other faucets and such, cutting down dead trees, setting up the garage, hanging things in the house (a job I'm banned from attempting - much like painting), and then there are the "car things," which need done. And Silvers should be running soon. 

We got into some Pushki (Poison Parsnip/Cow Parsnip), it was an overcast day, but we used the excuse to take showers and get into PJ's for a game of  Farkle after our Veggie Pot Pie dinner.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Stacia Turns 12

 Stacia turned 12 today. She's been sending siblings text alerts for 135 days.  All unpacking came to a stand still as we took the day off to celebrate this Gherkin - our encore, our finale, our caboose.  We couldn't find the birthday swag or the pig hat.....but Stacia had tucked away the tiara  - which works for her.....

We began the day with a hike on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail at Kincaid Park 

Stacia, Cory, Nolan, Michael 
 Our first moose sighting - still in velvet

Maria and Mako like Alaska 
 We were happy CoRielle ;joined us for a rainy hike. 
Cory, Arielle, Nolan and Stacia
 Stacia and friend

Start of "fall colors" 

 This runner kept sprinting down the hill and back. I was in the road, taking a photo, everyone else was stopped....he had a practice of running by.....he saw this one and said, "I'll stop for this."

We also visited Earthquake park and then headed home to get ready for diner. Stacia requested Yakisoba.
F - Larissa, Bella, Bre, Marie, Stacia, Arielle
B - Jamin, Jared, Izzak, Nolan, Alex, Michael, Cory, Josiah
Not pictured - De'Etta and Gideon 
 We DID find the birthday plate! It's ODD as we know just where the birthday stuff was in the RV hatch - but it's not there! 
This girl loves Yakisoba. 
We brought the little table up and added it to the big one for the night. 

Stacia asked for a Mint Moose Tracks ice cream cake. I knew we'd need two cakes to feed the crowd....Arielle was craving peanut butter.....The one on the left is moose track ice cream with a layer of peanut butter and reeses and an oreo crust. The one on the left adds mint.

I found this fantastic candle at Fred Meyers. As Michael read the instructions, he noted it said to stand 4 feet back from the candle. I'm glad I got this video - the candle is epic. Note how many moved away from the table, leaving Stacia to fend for herself.  The directions said to cut a wire and it would quit playing, it didn't. We put it on the deck and forgot about it. Nearing mid-night, Cory came up and brought it inside, he could hear the music in his room. He and Michael totally dismantled it. 

Stacia is a very responsive gift receiver - which makes it fun to share with her. 

Bella is determined to re-distribute the wealth

Marie found cute sleeping masks - we suggested sending a pair with Jamin to OCS. 

So fun to have Cy around.....

Jamin helps unleash the big gifts

Stacia's room is a transition room. It's full of her dolls, but she wanted to make the area under her bed a "sitting area."  I bought the string of teal/white lights, silver lamps and chairs. Marie bought the little tables and baskets that are silver and teal.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Dentists, Library Cards and TEA!

We met a new dentist today. I was happy all over when I realized we can keep this dentist for DECADES, if we choose to do so.  We won't have to find another one in 2-3 years.  We really liked this office.....The, "PRAY," sign above the receptionist was a bit unnerving. Stacia said, "Finally, a dentist who knows what kids do when they come anyway." 🐽

The boys had no cavities, Stacia had three. Life is just not fair - she is much more religious about oral hygiene than at least one of those boys and I suspect both. She's a bit ocd about it all.

The kids have NOT forgotten they are owed Dairy Queen after the dentist! Alas, there is NO CHOCOLATE sauce at Dairy Queen until the next truck comes in. 🍦🍨🍦I told them of the time 12 years ago we went to a restaurant and they had the same issue - but were out of hamburger - at a fast food joint.

They felt getting library cards would be a great consolation prize, so we did.

In the afternoon, Michael and the boys worked in the garage. Marie, Stacia and I unpacked a couple of boxes thrown our way from the garage.  The Internet guy came - but we can't get the router set up. We made TWO ice cream cakes in prep for Stacia's annual birthday bash!

Marie and I ended the night with yummy White Chocolate Peppermint Teavana tea and a fantastic conversation. It's been fun having her here, and she's been a great help as we attempt to settle in.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday - Much More Relaxed than LAST Monday

In my wildest imaginations, I did not think we'd still be unpacking, hanging photos and clearing a garage mid-August.  Funny how we rushed to be here to close the end of June. God has a sense of humor and uncanny timing. I do believe THIS was the best house for us.

In any event, with the school year starting up here TODAY...and us still surrounded by boxes, we'll be getting a late start....BUT I need to find a balance between settling in and carrying on with routines.

WEDNESDAY is Stacia's birthday - the day we count down more eagerly than Christmas. πŸ˜‰ Even with our later than we thought closing date, we'd hoped to have things settled by her birthday. Today, I decided to take the day off and go shop for groceries (we'll have company this week), shop for a birthday, get my lab work done (it was due a week ago but I couldn't get away), visit the post office and we had to visit Fred Meyers for a few items that Walmart didn't have.

While Maria and I did this running, Michael and the boys painted the entry way. I think this ends the painting....all is fresh except a couple of rooms that weren't bad and a couple of closets that ARE BAD but I'll keep the doors closed until next spring. πŸ˜†
Nolan - it's quite high 


It was good for me to leave as the ladder came out. I.don' πŸ™ˆ

First cup of fresh mint tea from my plants. Cobie introduced me to this delicacy last month. 

I miss some things about living in the RV - but I LOVE a bigger oven. 

Yes, the dinner bell still works. 

The kids played the Hobbit Adventure Board game. Stacia called it promptly at 9 p.m. They are trying to be quiet as CoRielle's room is below our table. 

What a perfect little visitor to end the day....he's nearly 3 months old now. 
Gideon Michael 
Today's photo of the mountain....

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Reed Lakes Hike

Jamin loves to hike. Jamin often picks hikes the rest of us good-naturedly complain about. He and Jared called today to see if the boys would like to go an afternoon hike. Stacia said, "No way." It was supposed to be a 6.5 mile hike (round trip). According to the website I found it is 4.5 mile (one way). 🐽 I'm quickly learning these hiking websites are subjective. A hiker may rate  a 5000 foot elevation climb in .25 mile, as "easy,"  or a stroll around a paved, flat, lake as moderately hard." 😏 I think we need to find a hiker's guide with objective ratings we can apply to each hike. 

The guys set out in good spirits. They took Mako, Maria's husky with them. He loves to run and I thought a hike may be fun for him. 

They headed to the Reed Lakes Trailhead in the Hatcher Pass area. 

The first part of the hike is very easy (flat, wide trail), then after a couple of miles or so it goes up pretty steeply (there are switchbacks).  (From above website). 

Keeping a close eye on fireweed

Jamin - we're going to miss him

 Next you have “the boulder scramble”. It is a filled with healthy sized boulders that you have to navigate. Not too hard, but not recommended for dogs or kids. Then, after a brief period of flatness, it climbs once more and you see Lower Reed Lake for the first time.

Mako decided he had had ENOUGH! He put all four paws around a big boulder, seemed to straddle it, and refused to move. Jared carried him. What a guy!

We waited for them to get home before we had Sunday night ice cream. They reported it was cold enough to see your breath. Fall may be on it's way...but never the w word.