Monday, September 18, 2017

Mondays are so MONDAY

The cheapest place I've found to buy groceries up here is Wal-mart. It's about 20 minutes away and Fred Meyers and Carrs  is only 7 min away.  My grocery bill has sky-rocketed since we moved here. I look forward to gardens (which cost) and farmer's markets next year.  I'm still making meal plans, buying just what we need and stocking up as I see things on sale.  We use Freddies for "quick trips."  ANYWAY - I needed to go grocery shopping on Monday - a big run to Wal-mart.  Michael decided to come along.

He brought home a bit more than groceries. It's funny  Alex was unloading the car and didn't notice the TV.  We still won't have cable and I doubt we get local channels - haven't tried. BUT now we can do our DVD based classes without passing around the laptop.....while we continue to figure out where we want a screen, projector, and surround sound....for movies and games. LOL
video

This IS a Smart TV and I'd LOVE to figure out how to stream the next SeaHawk game. LOL  

Stacia has become quite a cook. The last couple of nights she's made Chicken Enchiladas and Chicken Divan. I love the break. She loves to do it. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

There's Moose In Our Yard!

We had fun visitors to end the day! I'm glad the men were back and hadn't left yet to buy sewer hose at Wal-mart so Izaak could share this moment with Bella.  

She seems a bit alarmed as she looks out the windshield of the RV

Dad's not worried - it must be fun (That'll preach)!

Mary Ellen had told us there is a good size bull moose that roams the area. We've not seen him.....but we were happy to see this little lady. 

Then we noticed TWO.....they seemed to be the same size/age


Googly eye moose! ::snort:: 


This area of the yard werea horse pastures. We plan to till it under before winter (we'll see). The plans are for this to be our gardens and chicken run next year....but for now...it's lush, green, weeds....lots of nitrogen in these pastures - about two feet of manure worth. They stayed about 40 minutes.

This was a great ending to the day. CoRielle were out driving when I texted we had two moose in the yard. They saw a bull moose on their way home; but they said he was pretty small.

Reflection Lake Trail

There are so many possible titles for this one......"Sunday Afternoon Hike "Reflections at Reflection Lake," "Fall Shows Off"...."ARIELLE IS 31 WEEKS"....

Cory had to work today. The rest of the men went fishing. We didn't pull it together to make it to church, BUT,  the church we've been visiting does facebook live. I watched. Then,  I wondered if I could get the gals to go on a quick hike. I searched for an "easy" one.  The Reflection Lake Trail  meanders for a mile around a lake. It is marked easy - but I've learned to hold the rating suspect.  The other easy hike we checked is only .9 mile, but it's straight up the side of a butte.  There are a few small inclines here, but there are accessible spots if one wants a flatter route.  I think this one fits the bill for Michael to join us soon.  I think it would be fairly easy for Bre and the babes too. We didn't have a car with car seats or I would have begged them to come along. I also wanted to scout it out before suggesting it for little ones. Maybe this week at some point.... The colors were GORGEOUS. 
Blessed to hike with Stacia, Arielle and Baby S






Along came a.......fun guest as we attempt to catch the magic of falling leaves. If you watch in full screen you can see the falling leaves. 
video

Arielle has been carrying Baby S for 31 weeks 


It was a perfect day to be at the lake. It would be fun to take the kayak down. We plan to buy a canoe or two by next spring. It did my soul good to be out in nature, the colors, the lake, the mountains....just what the great Physician ordered for the day.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

In Memory of the Birch

A sunny Saturday. Around here that means "outside project."  We have this big birch tree outside the back door. It's tall enough that I can sit in my bedroom or the living room on the 2nd floor and enjoy the leafy fall colors.  Unfortunately, in the last storm it lost quite a few branches. The top of the tree is dead.  The plan was to top the tree. Yes, I WAS a bit nervous about Michael climbing the ladder, with a chainsaw....but it had to happen. We knew if the big, dead, center came down it would hit the house.

Knowing we would be little help to the tree trimmers, Arielle and I went to Carr's to see if THEY had any Thompson Pumpkin Spice English Muffins. NO! They don't. I've checked the website, put in zip codes from Anchorage to Wasilla and they didn't ship any up here.  Our consolation was a hot chocolate and frappuccino at Starbucks.

Um....a bit more extensive than originally planned. This was needed. Check out the stump - it's hollow for a good part of it and the rest is so soft it crumbles....but it was OUR BIRCH. I loved the wind in the leaves. I loved the colors. It spoke to me of permanence and Alaska....this all got mixed up with, The Giving Tree, and I cried...and Arielle cried. The guys were perplexed and Cory was probably glad he was at work.

Michael promises me the other big birch in the yard is safe. He won't cut another before winter. He thinks it will come down in a storm....I am looking for another birch to house the tire swing...and it doesn't look promising.

I took my angst out on some cottonwood up front.  I beat them back from the rocks to uncover the strawberry patch. While at it I think I found a patch of roses....but it may be too difficult to get all the brush out from them.
Before 

After - though I still have some work to do

Dreaming of strawberries next year. Need to research if I should cover them or mulch them or anything.

Don't bother suggesting we plant evergreens or fruit trees....both are good options and being considered....but they won't be as big and tall as the birch....I am loving the fall colors - makes it hard to appreciate the evergreen right now.....We have lots of those too! Lots.  Just let me grieve the birch tree.....of course, Mary Ellen said birch is the best to burn...so it's better to burn it than have it fall on the house.

Lest any think Michael is an indiscriminate tree killer, he did buy some special goop to paint on the bark of trees out back where the previous owners horses ate the bark.

Friday, September 15, 2017

#WYFF - Matanuska Peak Trail

The sun called to us; we answered! Stacia and I simply couldn't sit inside after lunch. She was done with school for the day. I was back from a doctor appointment with Michael. We  decided to go out for a quick loop (1 mile) around the neighborhood.

We finished the loop, explored a new road,  and were still enjoying the sun.....We were at the  Matanuska Peak  Trailhead. We knew this trail is beyond our fitness level. Jamin and the boys attempted it earlier in the season and turned back because it was overgrown with brush and was eerie not to be able to see ahead - i.e. keep an eye out for bears.  AND All Trails lists it as a hard hike. It's 11 miles out and back, with a gain of  6,161 feet in elevation. We have decades to work up to the summit.

Today, it was enough to start out and go until we wanted to turn back. We hit this fork in the road. The sign clearly says to go left to Mat Peak Trail. We went right. It seemed silly to get off the nice road.

There's a beautiful mountain behind us, but the phone cam didn't pick it up. We loved the fall colors and the chance to spend time alone together. 


The road begins to climb swiftly....We took this photo for #WYFF! You'll note she is wearing CROCS! I love my Crocs. I have fur-lined crocs for winter. I would not attempt a hike in Crocs. In her defense we didn't plan to climb the trail. 😏
She's a trooper! 
 I didn't get a photo, but Yuuki was HILARIOUS.  We reached a steep spot, she planted her feet and was STILL sliding back down the incline.  We decided to turn around, grab a couple of photos and try the peak trail again on another day. A day when Stacia wears real shoes, we bring along our walking sticks, AND BEAR SPRAY.
Loving the fall colors....and  hiking with Stacia
Kim, our neighbor, saw us coming off the trail. She was proud of us for attempting it and was full of encouraging tips and stories of her various hikes to the top of the peak. She told us a good goal would be to go to the water box  (4.5 mile?). It's a steep incline, but we should turn back when we hit the brush (as the boys did). She suggested we needed to get a bit better outfitted, but we should continue going a bit further each time. Her suggestions - shoes and bear spray for Stacia and a 44 for me. Well, now. 😲😳😲 She told us how to take the Morgan Horse Trail and get over to the Lazy Moose Trail. She thought we should try the Lazy Moose Trail before winter sets in.  We'll see....we may just keep walking to the trailhead and trying to go a bit further each time.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Fall Blesings

We have been on the look-out for Pumpkin Spice English Muffins. Arielle is craving them - and I am too by this point. We can't find them. BUT here are a few photos of the fall from our little home.



Bella is adjusting well to living in Alaska....and she seems to enjoy having so many adults around.

Other fall news this week.....Izaak continues to enjoy his new job and Cory interviewed at the start of the week, and received a call one morning asking him how soon he could be at work. πŸ˜†He hasn't had a day off since....he's working at a meat-processing shop and enjoys it. He'll surely know how to process any moose, caribou or bear they bring in - and chickens IF we allow any of them to be used for purposes other than eggs.

A photo from an evening walk in the neighborhood with Nolan and Stacia.

School

School began for us this week. We were still waiting for material from Math U See and Institute for Excellence in Writing....but we started anyway.  The younger two are study Medieval Times. Nolan is doing 20th Century History. This is Nolan's senior year.

Two fun things Stacia is enjoying is sewing club at IDEA,

and Forensic Science. This week she learned how to analyze handwriting. 
Yes, it is her sleeping mask. Don't ask. 
Nolan is doing a lot of College Prep work, Brushing up on writing and taking a few business electives.

Next week we'll add writing and math to the mix....the books arrived. We are still waiting for a Wordly Wise for Stacia. I think that's all though. Fairly impressive as I put in the requisitions on the 30th of Aug.