Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Just Living Life

UNGODLY noise last night. I began to rethink EVER getting a puppy. A puppy was yipping, screaming really. Number 2 puppy joined in. Benny joined in......
Photo by Arielle
Kimber, white pup, got her paw caught in the kennel latch. Shew....this isn't the norm.

This happened this morning.....A package of Alaskan Happy Hats ready to mail to Japan.  Go Stacia!

Benny went to work with Arielle and the puppies this morning. Stacia, Michael and I visited Freddies.....I'm trying to rework an Advent wreath and NEED those little cups which hold candles....one got lost in one of our moves. I never guessed this would be a hard item to find locally. I should have as I don't know what to call them. LOL

We got home and Benny materialized at my side, in the cold snow and informed me, "Brrrr Baachan - cold!" 

Arielle reports that is his summary on our winter wonderland!  "Brrr - cold pur ti."  They had arrived just before us and she knew where he was.
Photo by Arielle 
 A stop at the mailbox revealed a salmon-colored, package pick-up slip for Arielle. We offered to play with Benny so she could run back to town....the package was too exciting to wait for a future trip to town. 

Arielle leaves the gate open when she doesn't care if Benny comes upstairs to visit his people - us. We are used to Benny coming up the stairs....today we had two new visitors upstairs. They made GG's day. 

This way puppies. 
 When the kids were young I amassed quite a respectable collection of Christmas books. I wrapped them each year and sometime during the day the kids would pick a book to unwrap and we'd read it together.  We greatly downsized when we retired, but we kept a few books with an eye to reading them to grands in the future. Benny has snuggled next to me on the couch and read a couple...but today.... Arielle's package was brand new Christmas books from a book party she attended online.  She wrapped them - and they are so cute! I love to see tradition AND a love of books being passed on.....
Photo by Arielle
I raced to have dinner ready. Alex and Stacia had youth and we got to meet with a sweet couple who will be married in one short month....fun to remember those days nearly 36 years ago.....

A sad winter photo. I used to look at the greenhouse last winter and dream of spring. I'm not so sure at this point. LOL 

I can't end the post without sharing a couple puppy love photos. 


It was a pretty hohum day.....but a good day lived well together.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Progress on Several Fronts

I realize it doesn't make for riveting blog reading, BUT I MADE CONTACT WITH AN INSURANCE AGENT and will hopefully have a new Medicare Supplement on line for Dad by tomorrow. It is HUGE to me to have that process finished. I am going to call a couple of local dental offices tomorrow. I've heard they have a plan for uninsured where they provide two cleanings and a set of x-rays for around $300 and then a discount for any work that needs to be done. There is no Medicare advantage in Alaska and none of the supplements offer dental. I did find one with vision after being told none would offer vision. I am not sure if it's best to try to buy a stand alone dental plan or to sign up with one of these other offices. Progress!

Carl and Michael continued working on the upcoming float. It doesn't LOOK like a lot was done today, but a verse was agreed on, the lettering for both the verse and the church's info is penciled in.....on both sides of each panel. We are hoping it warms up enough to take the main section with the stable outside to spray paint the rest of it..... Progress!

Stacia began the process of building a sledding hill. Progress! I know it made her a bit melancholy to do it alone. Both "boys" were off making money.  She slid down a couple of times. I needed the real camera to catch her and the battery was dead. HOW does that happen????? I leave it sitting and the battery dies. This really makes little sense.

I did laundry, cleaned up a bit, made dinner, and then Michael headed for an elder meeting at church. Progress!

Nolan is struggling with a migraine and headed for bed after dinner. I folded the mountain of laundry I washed today. I also kept working on Christmas decor. I need to go to the store for tacks and a few other bits and pieces....Michael doesn't think I should drive the car with a flat tire. Go figure!!! ::snort::

Arielle had a Monat call and so Benny came up and discovered me unpacking the yard nativity. I'm perplexed! WE have a big blow up stable scene....my guess is the blow up will go the way of the greenhouse....or end up floating down the mountain into town like a giant hot air balloon.

This set was Mom's. Dad was excited when he saw them tonight. I WILL find a way to use them. I thought I'd stake them down in the yard....they are a bit heavier...but they could soon be reduced to snow mounds.....

Benny was VERY excited when I pulled Joseph out of the box. "Jamin!!! Baachan, Jamin." Um....Jamin has a shaved head...and is blonde...but he does have a beard. I'm not really seeing it. ::wink::

I set them up out on the front porch for now. I'm not sure where to plug them in - but this gets them out of the entry way.

Benny kept snatching the baby. He alternately called him Baby Jesus and Baby Jamin. 

Note the Farkle players in the background. I hear tell that Krista won. Benny was insistent "Baby" be in the rocker.

I finally convinced him the baby would want to be with his Daddy and Mommy. I laid him down, Benny stood him up. I turned to deal with the next thing and turned back to see Benny giving the baby straw.... I left it. You have to love his heart for the Baby. Progress!

Stacia and I stopped in the basement for a bit of Puppy Love. 

Dad and I stayed up and read a bit after the "kids" went to their rooms. Dad woke with a back ache this a.m. He couldn't figure it out until he found the remote to his select number bed. He thinks Benny lowered the number to 0....it's possible.

With Dad in bed,  I set about filling out a W9 and paperwork needed for the Travis chapel to approve the purchase request for my travel and honorarium. Progress!

I'm ready to curl up with a mystery and call it a day - but first I DO need to put our laundry away....or maybe I'll leave it in the basket for tomorrow.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Busy Monday or WHEW the Paint Fumes....

Everyone should start the day with some puppy love. 



While Carl and Michael painted in the garage....

...Arielle and Stacia went to the house to hang doors. We are sure going to miss having them here...but we are praying they can move into their home soon. They are working so hard...this is a tough pace to maintain.

And...with all that going on....I played with Benny. Papa and Baachan have some new toys in our home. I took advantage of the Black Friday sales to step up our winter fun options. Our kids loved these dinosaurs by Schleich in Germany. They are heavy and well-built. In fact, I purchased ours nearly 30 years ago and they went through five boys....they are still in good shape...but well....it's a piece of THEIR childhood after all...and for a military brat there aren't many pieces to hold on to....I started our second set with the BOGO sales.


There comes a time when even a homeschooling Baachan needs to be sure everyone is safe so she can get on with other chores.

As I said, we are going to miss Benny in our basement. He comes up to visit quite often and is the highlight of GG's day.

After dinner we watched a couple of Christmas clips/teachings from Right Now Media. We had the best time starting to go through Buck Denver's 5 min family devotions. They are written for pre-school to elementary school age, but we laughed until we cried at the discussion it prompted. As everyone shared their favorite thing about Christmas I realized I would probably be voted off the island if I quit making cinnamon rolls on Christmas Morning. LOL There are 12 of them and we are sure we will all be home at least 12 nights before Christmas. We watched the first episode....Why is Christmas so Confusing? 

We closed the night with a couple rounds of Farkle. Tonight's winners are Krista and GG.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

That Christmasy Feeling Arrived

FINALLY....our winter found it's way home from Arizona. LOL It's SO pretty...though I'm not happy about the tire on my van and being grounded. LOL I have things I WANT to do this week.  Michael found a pair of cross country skis for himself and Alex on Craig's List. His came with boots....need to find boots for Alex and skis for Stacia and I.....the snow is HERE.

We spotted the wild turkeys as we drove home. I'm determined to get some good photos of them...but one never knows when they'll show up..... Robert, a friend in the know, has told us that turkeys are not native to Alaska. However they got here, this is the 2nd year we've had them. I believe the flock is growing....and I think it will be fun to have wild turkeys in the neighborhood. 

Even getting the mail is pretty in the winter. 


Our home in winter attire

Our backyard


 I will take a snow shovel with me to get Dad's paper tomorrow and clear a path. 
Side yard - the mountain is behind the fog

My tree - made it through another summer/fall. 

Our outdoor fridges are working well - they'll soon be freezers.  

The rockers are laid down because of wind. Just how windy has it been? Well THIS is what we woke to on Thanksgiving Day.  Note the bare grass. I NEED this greenhouse. Josiah and Michael are planning how to shore it up.
Photo taken 11-29!
I shoveled some paths for the girls....even with the covered play area....they are less than happy with the colder temps and snow.

The older girls are molting - BAD timing. 

My ruler blew away on a windy day....Michael decided to raise his weather station and attached the pole to the corner of the deck....he added ruler marks. We only have 4 inches of snow...but it's SNOW.  It's cold enough I think it will stay.  

It is handy not to have to walk out and plant the ruler....because we don't wear shoes in the house and my shoes are inevitably at the front door, I am most often barefoot for these photos....so it was nice to get this from the door.....but the ruler/mountain did have nicer ascetics. 

NOW it feels like Christmas. 

Sunday Glimpses

Here are a few glimpses from Sunday......

I began the morning getting the final load of canning processed...Benny was impressed with the steam coming from the vent spout.
Why, yes, that is bed-head and no make up and my robe....

Hmmm.....how about some descriptions of photo I COULD have taken this Sunday.

We finally have SNOW.....and my van had a flat on the way to church. We were late.

Krista preached today. I'm not saying this JUST because she's our daughter, but she had some good words...ones I'm contemplating today.

Josiah and Jamin drove out from Eagle River - through the ice and snow - to hear Krista preach. It was fun to see them and hug their necks before they had to head back home.

Brittney, Caitlyn and Allie joined us for lunch at Panda Express.

Benny is energetic in tracking days until Christmas....

A girl and her dogs...

We're working on Thanksgiving leftovers. Here are 22 pints of turkey broth, 6 jars of Cowboy Caviar (dressed up Salsa), and 4 jars of brown rice. I wanted to try this. I didn't get the ratio of rice/water perfect...but it will be handy to have in the pantry....I'll keep playing with the measurements.


We rested.

We connected.

I love Sundays.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Post Thanksgiving Surprises & More

Snow had been predicted for Thanksgiving....nope. We were out taking care of chickens and Bunny in shirtsleeves. Benny joined us.....

Alex had to be at work at 0600. I took him to work and had several hours of a very quiet house in which to work on retreat prep. I've got four sessions roughed out - one to go.

Michael finished assembling the divider for the upcoming Colony Christmas float our church,  is entering. He began putting primer on it....

Krista spent time prepping and polishing a sermon. She also pulled out the bed-frame we purchased for Dad this summer. He moved his fancy select number queen bed up...she's been on the single mattress. The frame fits under Stacia's loft bed.

Stacia and Krista sorted through the church's costumes in preparation for the Colony Christmas float. She also played Christmas decorating elf and helped me put more touches around.....I will share photos when I feel like we're finished.

I'm not sure what Nolan did....he had the day off and it involved sleeping late, reading....he DID pick up Alex at 2:30 p.m. and brought home Papa Murphy's to treat us.

Dad is a bit disoriented as I took over his spot for the Christmas tree. He called Will and joked, "You won't believe my daughter is kicking me out for a tree....well she's moving my recliner."

He is reading through Michael's collection of Patrick McManus - an outdoor humorist from Idaho (Dad's home state).  He spent much of the day in the rocker in the kitchen, chuckling and sharing stories with me as I decorated and then worked on Turkey broth.

In the midst of decorating madness I found Christmas cards from six years ago. There is no date on them....I seriously began to wonder if anyone would notice if we mailed out old cards....

Yesterday morning Benny sweetly greeted me with a bit of prompting and this question, "Baachan can I have puppy?" 

Michael has instituted a "no dog" rule, which I agreed to abide by for a year before asking to re-evaluate.  BUT  CoRielle are moving in a few weeks, have been looking, and found one they wanted to go visit. Michael agreed Benny should have a puppy. Cory  and Michael have both voiced concern I will get attached and begin pestering Michael for a puppy. Who me????

The highlight of the day...a SURPRISE because after I ahhed over her sister, Cory pulled her from his jacket! TWO Golden Retriever/Husky mix puppies. 
Kimber is Cory's choice
Cory & Arielle with the puppies they each selected. 
Probably Kimber and Penny
 As a child, Stacia loved our Fisher Price Nativity. It didn't take Benny any time to find it, and begin playing with it. Alex used to put dinosaurs in the creche. The llama from another set became a permanent fixture.....and now I keep it low for the grands.  We were sad to note the angel no longer sings atop the roof....she buzzes. ::sigh::  I don't know that we can fix her. 

While all played Farkle, I finished processing and began canning Turkey broth. We are OUT of home canned broth and I have been looking forward to restocking the shelves.  The first batch is finished. 

I'll close this post-Thanksgiving post with puppy photos from Cory and Arielle. 


All tired out!

Friday, November 29, 2019

Friday Shopping, Decorating, Building, Watching Kids

I don't do Black Friday.

However, I woke up at 0500 and I KNEW that Freddie's had a buy one get one free sale on Fisher Price and games...I was awake anyway.

No one else was up.

I headed for Freddie's at 0515. It was the quietest I've seen the store in a long time. I enjoyed it. I wandered the aisles. They had 50% off of Christmas decorations. I got stocking stuffers at 50% off. I got 60% off other items....and spent $40 on toys so I earned free gift cards....and grabbed a sugar free skinny chai latte on my way home.

I walked in relaxed, smiling and enjoying my drink.

Arielle, Krista and Stacia wanted to head back out. I jumped in the shower while Arielle got Benny ready and we headed back to Freddie's. It seems most drive to Wasilla or Anchorage for Black Friday and I'm sure THOSE spots were crazy....I like relaxing deals with few people. LOL

Benny  was quite happy to have "My Baachan, my CoCo, my Yay ya, my mommy" all in the care. He scored a POLICE CAR when we arrived at Freddies!

Someone (Arielle cough cough) insisted that horrendous Christmas sweaters are great to wear. They were 60% off and I could almost envision wearing my gingerbread leggings with my over-sized ugly Christmas sweater - somewhere. 

Cory met up with Arielle and Benny on a break. They managed to buy his Christmas gifts....and Krista bought all she needed for the nephews and nieces. 

Arielle headed over to the house to work on projects.  Among other things she painted interior doors. Cory got home from work around 3:30 p.m. (went in at 0300) and he and Benny headed over to their house too. 

Krista, Stacia and I began Christmas decorating. Stacia and I had to leave before things were all in place and the boxes back in the garage...but the Krista and Stacia got the tree up. 


I KNOW this is a fire hazard...but when it's 47* in NOVEMBER we aren't burning wood, ANYWAY. I've always dreamed of stockings hung with care off a hearth.....until our winter finds its way back from Arizona.....
The generic clearance is for those not living in the home, but here on Christmas...
Michael and Alex cut out, and began building, the partition for our upcoming Christmas float. 

Stacia and I headed over to BreZaak's to watch the kids while Bre and Izaak went to Alive Alaska. 

Michael headed to CoRielle's to help Cory with projects. He put in some baseboard, installed a bathroom vanity and it's plumbing and I'm not sure what else. 

At some point Arielle brought Benny over to play so she could get things done at a quicker pace. We fed the kids dinner, played with numerous toys and watched some rather inane children's programming. ::snort:: 

Cory discovered split pipe which necessitated another Lowe's trip. They picked up Benny for another fun-filled trip to Lowes. 

By now he knows his way around Lowes - photo from Arielle

Bella fell asleep at 9 p.m. Gideon wasn't nearly ready for sleep. Bre arrived home, we said goodbye and stopped to check on the work crew next door.
Benny was excited to stop working and show off the progress. "Baachan, my Papa WORK." 

"Baachan Daddy Cory WORKING." 
Photo via Arielle

"Yay ya - my wall!" He loves his green wall. He's obviously been observing the work carefully. He grabbed a piece of scrap lumber and showed me how to turn it into trim. 
Note the paint on his bum.

As we left he was sweeping the kitchen. 

Arielle said they were taking guesses on when they'll be moving in. I guessed by next weekend....after seeing all they've done and all they have left to do....it may be a couple of weeks...but they are making good progress. Cory put in 12 hours at work and then another 6 or 7 at the house. It looks like a HOUSE now. 

I think there is very little Benny likes better than "working" with Cory. The work is paying off. 
Working together - Great fun. Via Arielle.

Izaak stopped by when he got home to see how all was going. It was fun to hear his report on the evening's church service. I'll have to get a post together about Alive Alaska. I've not been to a service, but the reports are exciting from those who have been able to attend. 

Stacia and I arrived home around 10:30 p.m. Michael followed about 30 minutes later and CoRielle and Benny were later still. 

I'm not sure how Cory is still functioning.