Saturday, January 26, 2019

First Snowman of 2019

Alex and Stacia took advantage of the warming weather to get outside and sled a bit. I missed getting their photos. Stacia stayed out to make a little snow man. 

He's a cheery little guy and is easily viewed from the living room. I need to get out and make a big snow man with her. I think she'd like it. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

Cutest Little Cloth-Diapered Bum

Benny brings excitement, joy, and adventure to our home. A bit of noise too. He's an extrovert. He enjoys hearing his voice, and has developed quite a vocabulary for a boy just 1 year and 2 months old. He LOVES "his people" and we are "his people."  

I think he's got the cutest little cloth-diapered bum in the land.....they sure didn't have such cute diapers 33 years ago....though I did use some cute covers with Stacia. 

Here are a few shots of Benny and some of "his people." 

He's fascinated with ovens just now. 

He also loves a good game of chase with Uncle Nolan. 

I am thrilled with Benny's reading corner...and with the fact he takes his people to enjoy it when he needs a break from chasing around. LOL

"See, Uncle Nolan? It's called a book." 

God has been so gracious to allow us a front row view of Benny's first year. Poor Benny is having his first run-in with the flu this week.  Sick babies are sad.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Birthday Moose

I looked out the window and spotted a moose in the brush...but just one. That's a bit odd around here. 

I moved to the nook to study and look who walked past the window.

Together again - moose 1 and moose 2.

Things are warming up this week (mid 30's) and I can see the corner of the strawberry bed. 

This has to be the most prayed over little orchard in the state. Dreaming they all survive and we have fruit (and a view block) in a few years. 

Today was my birthday, but the day is busy. We'll celebrate later.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

This and That

I'm trying to figure out who is laying speckled eggs.  There have been a few with some specks, but they are getting more pronounced. I'd order more like her, if I could figure it out. Or maybe, it's not a breed and just an oddity. 

Michael went fishing on Monday and I thought I'd be processing fish Monday night/ Tuesday morning.  They got back later than expected. 

Tuesday he worked on the toy box for BreZaak and I took down Christmas decorations. 

I thought I'd be processing fish on Wednesday. Michael is a perfectionist, however, and had more work to do on the toy box. I decided to make chili beans this morning. 

Late afternoon the fish were ready to brine. I need to find a brine that is not 70% sugar. Just saying...but this is the one the majority of Alaskans have shared with me.  It was too late to let them brine a couple of hours, and then smoke a couple of hours, and then they are in the fridge for the night. We'll get them done tomorrow.

Bre decided she'd like the toy box - rather than having Michael redo the finish.  It really does look nice - but my phone takes fuzzy photos. oops. I'll grab another photo. He finished the box with some trim and varnished it.

Of course, we took the opportunity to check in with Annalise and her siblings. 

Caught a baby smile. 
One week old

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Moving Down the Weekly Task List

The day did not go as planned today. We did not process fish. Michael is finishing up a Christmas project instead. The fish should stay plenty cold in the cooler on the porch.

The change of plans caused me to go down the list of "weekly tasks" and pick another one for the day. One can't just dream of garden plots and moose all day.

Every morning I've been grabbing a shot of our Christmas tree. We were bound to eventually take down the decorations. By morning I mean 9 or 9:30 a.m. Yes, it's getting lighter, but still dark enough to cause us to sleep in in the mornings. LOL

Stacia, Alex and I packed away Christmas decorations today. I began to ponder all that has happened since we put the decorations UP that long ago Saturday after Thanksgiving.

  • a 7.0 earthquake which actually left its mark on more than one piece of Christmas decor
  • a delightfully long visit from Krista  (flew in from VA)
  • a quick and fun visit from Don and Beth  (flew in from ID)
  • the sale of Michael's family home - of over 80 years
  • celebrating Christ with our  Life Group - life is better together. 
  • the purchase of two new-to-us vehicles
  • ministry plans flexed - Christmas Tea on Jan 19th
  • several ice fishing trips - and the smoking and canning that ensues
  • Christmas Bunco - new connections with our church community
  • Jared's new job with the governor
  • Jared leaving the area for the legislative session 
  • 12 full days of celebrating Christmas - AFTER the season of Advent
  • the first meeting of a new women's ministry team
  • celebrating the gift of a new house with a young friend
  • the safe birth of a new Grand Blessing
  • hitting my highest weight ever and deciding it's time to take action 
  • deepening relationships and understanding of new friends
It's been a full season. A season with challenges and celebrations....with highs and lows....with family, church family, and solitude.  This season reminds me once again all of life is sacred when lived in relationship with Jesus. More than all, I want to celebrate, be fully aware of, and practice the presence of God - like Brother Lawrence. 

And so, yes, we took down the Christmas decorations. I had a plan in mind.  

How many ways CAN ONE rearrange a tiny living room? Evidently, untold numbers of times.

During the holiday we had to put rockers in our bedroom and shove the recliner to a new location to make room for our ever-expanding table arrangement.....we liked having the recliner moved....but it did block the electronics. I began to think...... We usually separate the pieces of the Step Tansu and use them around our room as end tables and such.  This time we left them all together. We are able to utilize the space in the tansu much easier this way. 

I pushed the couches further apart. Then,  moved a floor lamp and the recliner into the Christmas tree spot. It's a bit crowded - but it works.  We put a rocker across the room - which it turns out you can see in the photo above. This makes the room feel bigger, allows one to see the front door from the recliner, will make it possible to have even more seating in the living room when we are entertaining family and friends, and allows for my slight PTSD from having been raised in Southern Mindanao (My back is now in the corner and I can see all entrances of the room from the recliner or couches - just something to keep in mind in case rebels ever arrive in SE Alaska. This is an important practice in restaurants too, and it is only God I no longer sit on the back pew at church. LOL) 
Sleepy young lady does not come with the recliner

We found one piece of Christmas celebrating we've not completed. ::snort:: We'll finish and blog later. 

Moose at Play

On a day when "nothing happens" - there are always the moose. The moose, in themselves, are an adventure. Without further ado, moose at play.

One must be alert and aware when walking in our wooded area. 
One Moose

Two Moose
Do you see me by the fire pit? 
How nice of you to build a wind block! 

Do you see me taunting you in the garden plot? I'll be back. 
I liked it better when you had cabbage and corn out here. 

This one worked her way around to the front. To our newly planted "orchard." This is the closest one has come to discovering our tiny trees.
Hmmm.....what do we have here? Fences yield the best munchies.

Which is my best side? This? 
Talking smack! 

Or this? 

*Note - absolutely no moose were harmed, teased or taunted in any way during this photo shoot. They come to our yard, we stay on the porch or in the nook and capture their images. There are the times they surprise me while I'm in the coop - but that's THEIR bad - not mine. LOL 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Teething on Salmon

We split up today. Stacia and I stayed home. Our schedules were delightfully interrupted last week, and we both felt we could use this "day off" best by catching up.  Stacia worked on school. I edited her papers, answered her questions, worked on various Bible studies, and did a couple of admin ministry type things.

Michael and Alex, picked up Izaak and met Josiah at Matanuska Lake. They continue to learn ice fishing techniques. It's a learning curve. Summer 2017 we had to learn the whole fly fishing- salmon fishing technique. Summer 2018 we learned dip netting and set netting. Winter 2019 - it's ice fishing baby. ::snort::  We may need to find a local to show us how to get the really big ones OUT OF THE ICE!  Izaak did drag a couple of good sized Arctic Char out of the lake.

{Insert imagined photos}

The guys got home after 5 p.m. - tired and hungry. We ate. We decided to take care of fish tomorrow. It promises to be a fishy day with filleting, brining (is that a WORD?), smoking and canning.

Arielle and Benny visited our floor of the house to see Josiah. I had some smoked salmon out for Josiah. Benny's an all Alaskan boy. He saw the smoked fish - and he chowed down. I asked him if he wanted a bit and he shoved it all into his mouth.
Those eyes! 

"Benny, do you like fish?" 

He opened his mouth to show me. 

He charmed Uncle Cy and got more...

Uncle Alex came in and took some salmon for himself. 

His actions did not meet with Benny's approval. There are some things a guy just doesn't want to share! 

Benny is all S family.....but that scowl is all Gherkin. It's nice to see the Gherkin scowl has come down to another generation. ::snort:: 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

2019 Super Wolf Blood Moon

 Arielle had done her research and came upstairs to look for the moon at just the right times for us to see the HUGE moon, the eclipse, the color changes....homeschooled student to the rescue. She was ON IT.
Benny and Arielle

 If she hadn't been so invested in this event.....this door would have probably discouraged us from going out to take photos. It was -2 out there! That's cold!
Ice on the INSIDE of our screen door

Michael got the HUGE lens - the SUPER lens, bundled up and went out to take photos.
Serious photographer

He took a few and then came inside to see WHY he was having so much trouble seeing through his lens.

My favorite photo.

Frozen lens - #AlaskanProblem
#Alaskan's hard to take photos when the lens is frozen over. He couldn't even see the side of the house with it.

He switched from the telescope (mostly metal) lens, to the Nikon lens, and headed back out. The kids went with him. The whole family has this strange love of cold. I fondly remember Africa, the Philippines....

 I was content to stay warm in the house and watch from my perch by the wood stove. This, however, hampered my photos greatly. ::snort::
Yes, that's a moon!

Ah, well. I'm content to let Michael and Stacia grab photos when it's this cold. 

I did go out to get a few people photos. The bright light on my camera blinded them. It's my trademark. I came back inside to watch the show. 
Alex and Stacia
Benny and Cory
I am glad Arielle came up when she did and reminded us of the event which was about to occur. Otherwise, we may have just wasted the night with Dominion and books. LOL