Tuesday, March 29, 2022

An Afternoon Spent OUTSIDE!

 When I got home from my morning adventures Michael was outside. He had started a fire and was out in the woods. It looked like he was trying to move a giant pile of snow.  It turns out he was uncovering the brush pile from last year. THIS is the perfect time to burn it and all the downed branches we found in the yard. 

I was up by the fire yelling to him in the woods and he said, "Come on out, the only thing between us is snow."  

I KNOW how this works. For 38 years I've been ,"Following his footprints in the snow," and sinking to my waist. I couldn't resist getting OUTSIDE and seeing what work we have to do. 

Yes, I sunk deeper than Michael.  This is not the deepest part of the yard. I DID make it out to him and the pile - thus the photo of him.  I have been thinking how nice it would be to sit in the hammock...and GG was sleeping inside. The girls were listening and promised to get me if he woke up.  I followed the moose tracks and headed for the birch stand.  

Yes, I know it's early for hammocks, but I simply couldn't resist. This says spring. This says the outside season is beginning. We spend as MUCH time as possible outside in the spring, summer and fall. 

I got a wee bit wet in the process, but it was well worth the trouble. 

It is PEACEFUL and HOPE-FILLED to stare at Birch branches and chickadees. There will soon be more life to observe in the branches. 

I noticed Michael was done shoveling and met him over at the garden plot to survey the damage from our big January storm. This "greenhouse" was built over two beds and it was sturdy. It made it through the first winter with no damage at all. It seemed to be flying through this winter until the storm. The poles are all snapped at the fittings.  I suggested a quick fix for this one - rebar, pvc and plastic. I think we are going to need to build a green house with a foundation, framed sides and glass...because the kits and such are just not working - but the chicken coop hasn't blown away. 

This is SAD. THIS is supposed to be where my seedlings grow.  It's going to take more to fix - but I think it is where we'll focus most our energy after the aforementioned quick fix for a few of the other beds. 

We'll find all the plastic...since we were out here we moved a couple of chairs to the deck and several more to the fire ring.  I shoveled a quick walk from the ring to the back door of the house. I ran in and grabbed a mug of tea. 

Michael and I spent 30 - 40 minutes warming by the fire, discussing things we've been reading and pondering, plans for life group, the yard, and summer/fall entertaining. 

It's greatly encouraging to have a fire and the chairs about...a spot of color in the white.  Yes, it's spring...and soon we'll have muddy grass instead of snow...we'll endure that phase and then it will gloriously green up....and we'll have sun....we're up to 13 hours of sun now. 

We were very tempted to grab the 'smore kit, but it didn't seem right without some kids around. 

My Time with the Guys

I have committed to watching the boys Tuesday mornings. Of course, we've missed several weeks recently....TODAY it was time for Baachan to spend some time with the guys! 
Storing up snuggles while he's young!

 Michael and I bought all the grand families subscriptions to kiwi boxes at Christmas. It's been fun to see what comes each month. This month the younger set are studying the rain forest. They made this caterpillar; it turns into a butterfly. 

Benny and I  had fun playing the game that went along with the unit study. Danny was more interested in the P90X material....start em young! 

Danny was full of cuddles after his nap. 

Isn't this dino fantastic? Their Grandma S got it for Benny. 

About a month ago Danny threw away a hairband Benny had purchased for Arielle on his Papa and Baachan Christmas date. When Arielle was telling us, Benny got a sneaky look on his face, and stage whispered, "Baachan - can we buy another one?" 

Then he looked at his mom and said, "Honey, we aren't going to buy you a hair band." 

We made plans to take Benny on a date during our next respite Monday. Then GG got sick and we missed, then they were sick, then we forgot and last week we had covid. I texted Michael when Arielle got home and asked if I should come home or get the date in with Benny? He said to go!

Benny told Arielle, "Girl, we aren't going to buy you a hair band."

"Honey, we're going to bring you home ice cream." ::snort:: 

First stop was lunch. He INSISTED he wanted mickey mouse pancakes until he saw the menu. He ended up choosing a cheeseburger and raspberry herb tea. 

We went to his mommy's favorite store and found a couple more pretty headbands.  I don't think she was surprised, but we had a fun outing nonetheless. ::snort:: I'm all for helping kids bless their parents. 

It was a full morning. It was refreshing. 

Monday, March 28, 2022

Sweet Animals


Is Dash not the cutest bunny you've seen? He began as Stacia's pet. She tried to rehome him when she bought Millie. We had a home for him, but it fell through. Michael and I adopted Dash. His hutch is in the chicken yard.  Every once in a while someone comments that he's an animal without a purpose. Not true. He provides magic for my garden beds....and he's much more fun to cuddle than the chickens. 

Daily escape

The chickens are supposed to provide eggs. This current batch aren't great layers, they are averaging 1 1/2 dozen a week. They HAVE weathered the winter better than any of our previous flocks, and they like being around us better.  It's been over a year since anyone has attacked my red coat or pjs. They simply stayed inside all winter. They're not adventurous in inclement weather. BUT they didn't fight and turn on each other inside the coop either. They do provide lots of entertainment and organic compost material.  We're at the point in the year where we are debating how many chicks to add to the flock. We are down to 10 hens, all over 2 years old, some at 3 or 4 years. It's also the time of the year when we let any of the hens attempt to hatch any eggs they'd like. This is how we got Pietro, our favorite rooster ever. 

Millie gives great cuddles. She is still convinced she's a lap dog. Today, I was talking with Stacia in the nook and she ran and jumped into my lap. She is the most lovable dog we've ever had....she also has the MOST ATTITUDE.  This is a good thing as Stacia wanted a dog which could run with her and provide safety. She certainly can do both those things. 

Millie LOVES to go running with Stacia and Allie. 

We had 13 hours of sunlight today and it was still dusk at 9 p.m. We are on a race to our glorious Alaska Summer. We see a bit more grass each day, but out here we still have lots of ice and snow. 

Michael and I are back to our normal schedules and feeling just a bit tired. GG is enjoying a lighter case than we did...no fever, no dips in oxygen...just cold symptoms and already telling us he feels better. He certainly slept less today. 

Oh! Michael and the appliance repairman agree and have given up on our stove/oven ever working since Whirlpool refuses to cooperate and Sear's no longer has an appliance repair line. We will never buy a Kenmore appliance again - at least not as long as we live in Alaska. Michael has ordered a new store from Allen & Petersen's. This downdraft model limits our options. We bought Jen Air and A/P assures us they will stand behind the warranty.  Sadly, they think it will be at least a month before it arrives! We are renewing our attention on the downstairs fridge that went out a couple of weeks ago. 

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Our Week (or more) in Isolation

Yes, I did succumb to Michael's buddies - the covid bugs.  It was nice to chart my course by his....o.k. it's bad on Day 4 and 5, and then I should feel much better by Day 7. LOL 

I had no fever on Saturday...technically. I was at 98.8....but that is not my norm. Sunday I stayed in the 97 range and this morning I woke up at 96.7. Normal. My oxygen was at 96. All improving. 

Dad is on day 4. He's progressing as we did, though he's not had a fever to date and his oxygen hasn't dipped.  The young adults have nothing at all...though I did hear tale of a scratchy throat. We shall see. 

There was a lot of sleeping, lots of reading, lots of kleenex consumption...for Michael and I this week. The girls got a solid week of school in, made meals and did a few spa type  things with their extra time at home. 

Honestly, we were all ready for a slow week.  Here are a few glimpses from the past week. Regardless of how sick I felt - the chickens and rabbit must be tended to...and they continue to crack me up. On this fine spring day Pietro decided to lead the ladies on an escape from their muddy and frozen chicken yard. 

The gate has widened due to frost and isn't latching. I wasn't too concerned. This is a timid group and I knew they would escape to discover walls of snow on either side of the fence. They weren't going to far. 

OK - a spring update from the window

1. It's excited that the fire ring is above the snow now. 

2. That cone in the left bottom is the edge of our retaining wall.

3. Mid left- that corner is the corner of a garden bed. 

4. The big lump in the center is another garden bed. 

I am contemplating shoveling snow out of my garden beds....yes? NO!  What do you think? Worth the effort? Will it speed up the ground warming? 

LOTS of moose around. Michael saw SEVEN in 1/4 mile when he went to our mail box. 

 I missed my volunteer gig at the food co-op. They arranged a no contact pick up for us. We are loving the fresh, organic blueberries. Check out Sunday a.m. breakfast. Stacia made Palacsinta (Hungarian crepes) for breakfast. I told the girls I wasn't sure about their whipped cream to berry ratio. LOL  Michael find sugar free whipped cream somewhere and I splurged...more berries...and it was yummy. 

Yes, that really is about all we've done this week. We were sick and happy to stay home. 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

A Picture of Redemption

 I recently read there are moments/days in life which propel one miles ahead on the journey from childhood to adulthood.*   A few of those moments may have just sprung into your mind. In addition to the ones most of us share, first day of school, getting a driver's permit/license, taking the SAT, high school graduation, wedding, birth of a child, etc, we all have "propelling moments" unique to us. Entering boarding school, flying to the states while my parents stayed in the Philippines, the day I forgave my abuser were all moments which moved me by leaps and bounds on my journey of personal growth....you get the idea. I love this thought as it is one factor which explains why some 15 year olds seem more mature than some 22 year olds.  They've had more propelling moments, they are simply further on the journey. Most parents agree whole years can disappear in the blink of an eye as those moments hit one after another in their child's life.  One's 18th/19th year are often full of these moments...high school graduation, leaving home, etc. This year is one where the big, propelling moments line up and crash in wave after wave.  Hang with me, I'm going somewhere with this...I've been told I have to give a bit of backstory in order for you to understand and join us in the depth of our celebration. 

February 2021, shortly after Allie moved in, she came up and set on the hearth in front of the woodstove.  This had already become a signal to us all Allie had something she needed to talk about. Sure enough, she looked up at me and said, "I'm screwed. I'll never be a functioning member of society." 

I sensed this was an important moment; I now know it was a propelling moment. I wasn't entirely sure where the discussion was heading. Lots of ground could be covered with an opening statement like that. This was the moment Allie realized she was on a path which would not lead to the destination she desired.  Yes, she was in this place because of choices that were not solely hers.  However, this IS where she was and this is the moment Allie quit making excuses for the place where she found herself and took responsibility for moving to where she wanted to go. She shared she was behind in school. I relaxed. This happens. I knew what to do. First step, we needed a clear picture of where she was. Second step, we would figure out where she wanted to be and chart a course to get there. Third step, we would both have to commit to the plan to get to said destination.  I shared my brilliant wisdom. She shared I didn't understand how far behind she was. She was SCREWED, I tell you, SCREWED! We defined what she meant by "functioning member of society."  I explained college wasn't a necessity, but the things on her heart to do DID REQUIRE degrees. 

I told her the first step was still for us to get a clear picture. We called her contact teacher, and Allie requested a transcript and a current Individual Learning Plan (ILP). Things were confusing as Allie was not actually doing the classes on her ILP.  The books which she had brought did not match the classes for which she was supposed to be providing work samples. The contact teacher and Allie didn't really have an answer for this. I met with Allie's mom. Over tea, we went over the ILP, the transcript, and the discrepancies. I came away with a list of courses on the transcript which Allie hadn't finished, several she hadn't started. I was told there were no other books at home for the current classes. I asked her mom to please let the contact teacher know she could speak to me about Allie's education. She was voicing she wasn't sure she wanted to go to college, but she wanted to be ABLE to go to college.  In more conversations with the contact teacher, we set Allie up for an online, state-run program which allows for accelerated recapturing of credits for at-risk kids. All this work is monitored and graded online - I did NOT give Allie a single "mommy grade." Allie was doing 7th grade math when she moved into our home, but she was a Junior. I knew this would provide the biggest challenge in being college-ready in 1 1/2 years.  I told the contact teacher I was going to give Allie an assessment and see if she could start Pre-Algebra. Our goal would be for her to at least get Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 on her transcript before she graduated.  She told me Allie wouldn't qualify for the Alaska Performing Scholarship, and I told her our goal was to build as strong a transcript going forward as possible - one that would couple with SAT scores to get colleges to look at her.  We registered Allie in several courses through the online program: Physical Science, Biology, Pre Algebra and Algebra 1.  We made a plan for Allie to finish all the courses which were listed on her transcript, and I had curriculum for the classes that were on her current ILP - she'd need to finish them, as well - all by the end of summer. Isn't that like God that I would have complete American History and Forensic Science on my shelf as Stacia and the boys had used the books in recent years? Her senior year would focus on areas of interest, filling a few more gaps, college/career prep, and a getting a strong Literature credit. 

We had a plan. Allie committed to work HARD and to work LONG hours. She finished her job and put all of her focus on school. She worked all semester, all summer and by the time her Senior year began, she had done all the work her transcript listed. She was interested in Psychology, and we found an AP Psychology course for her to take. She had 1/2 a credit in ASL - we wanted her to have at least 2. God led us to a program that is amazing, and the founders are now huge advocates for Allie's future career.  Allie took a very SOLID Senior year - none of this cruising to the end. She kept the goal in sight. 

Yes, this discussion was a propelling moment. "Alright, you're screwed. What will you do about it?"  Its ironic this conversation became the basis of a life lesson essay Allie submitted on her college application. She learned to take responsibility for where you are, chase after your happy ending, be willing to put in the hard work, and you'll find others willing to support you as you do. Allie now says what she appreciated most is I didn't sugar coat where she was. If she wanted to get to college, she'd need to make some changes. 

Another propelling moment happened around our dinner table. We often discuss what the guys are doing at work, what random memory GG is focused on, and what the girls are doing in school.  The discussion was swirling and Allie randomly looked up and said, "Hey, I can do ANYTHING I want to do, can't I?" 

"Why, yes, m'dear 'tis true."  (OK maybe we were more like YES!!!! accompanied with high fives and claps!)

She went on, "I mean, I CAN actually be whatever I want!" 

This was another huge moment!!!! Allie had a vision. The realization there is no reason she couldn't reach her dreams.  She had realized, as we suspected she would, the field of psychology is not one she wants to pursue as a funding source.  She is drawn to being an ASL interpreter, and this is a new and blossoming career field. She can interpret in schools; she can be a medical interpreter, she can interpret for politicians. There were lots of settings and lots of opportunities. Her tutor has interpreted for President Bush and Toby Mac as well as school districts, etc.  We see this fitting Allie's personality and gifts more readily than 40 hours of counseling week after week. 

Allie finished all 3 levels of ASL and moved on to one-on-one tutoring to prepare for the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI). She is currently working through this course with her mentor/tutor. She submitted the video we posted last week to a contest. She's applying for an ASL scholarship.  Meanwhile, I researched ASL programs. There are none in the state of Alaska. As we all discussed options, Allie voiced she would like to take as many online credits, as possible. She didn't feel ready to move out of state at this point. There are a variety of reasons this is a good plan.  As I researched, I signed Allie up at the schools which looked good and she began to get calls and emails from various universities. All the programs were in-residence - from Washington state to Virginia, and then, I found a plan offered in-residence OR as a hybrid course. The degree was accepted for licensing in the state of Alaska. It seemed to be a well-recognized program.  Allie's tutor sent her a list of five programs she recommends, and the number one pick was the one Allie had begun thinking would be the best fit for her. 

And...so these past 13 months...we've run! We've pressed hard, and then came the SAT, college entrance applications and college scholarship applications. Would it be enough? 

We began the process of applying to the University of Northern Colorado. They required FOUR HIGH LEVEL MATH COURSES - Algebra 1 and beyond. Um...remember the back story and math?  Allie told me she was "grossly under qualified" for UNCO (note the upgrade from SCREWED - vocab is amazing). She wasn't wrong. We suggested she apply for her number one pick and see how God may work. We also discussed how it would be feasible for her to take a year at the local community college, focus on math and then apply again as a transfer student for the next fall. Allie applied. 

We waited. 

We discovered on Friday they had never received her transcript. 

We had the school district email another. 

Allie checked her email in the afternoon and then went about her Friday afternoon/evening routine.

Saturday morning came, and I heard running and Allie calling, "Madre! Madre!"

What in the world!!!

"Madre, I got an email from UNCO saying they made a decision on my application!"

Wow - they were just waiting for that transcript, evidently. 

We read the email - no photos from that moment as we were IN THE MOMENT. Allie has been ACCEPTED into UNCO for the fall 2022 school year.  She was also awarded a scholarship of $16,000 to be used over her four years at the University. 

We laughed, yelled, cried, hugged, danced....and woke up GG and Michael.  GG said, "What is all that hollering about?" We shared the news with Allie's parents, the Gherkins, those who have been praying her through the process and other friends and family. None of us have stopped smiling yet. 

We paid the required fees...and she is officially a UNCO Bear. 

Stacia made a dessert Allie loves - Irish Sticky Toffee Pudding - for our evening celebration. We put four candles in Allie's piece - one for each year she will be at the University.  In this photo, she is laughing at our attempt to find an appropriate "I'm going to college song."  She actually laughed so hard, she blew out the candles, and we had to relight them. 

No celebration is complete without a gift. I framed the acceptance letter and told Allie it is a tangible picture of redemption in her life. 

We told her it was the first award to hang on her "praise me" wall in her future office. 

We thought Allie still needed to apply to the ASLEI Program but as Michael read the letter it SAYS she has been accepted into the "American Sign Language English Interpretation program in the College of Education and Behavior Science at UNCO."  It sure sounds like she has been accepted into the program, though she hasn't applied to the program yet. 

Allie wants everyone to know when this story is shared, she is grossly under qualified and this is solely by the grace and favor of God. 

Well done, Allie; well done! We are all so very proud of you and so very humbled by the favor of God on your journey! 

*I like this thought for a variety of journeys... i.e. faith journey. I am not sure who to attribute it to. I suspect Karen Kingsbury as I discovered the Baxter series while isolated at home this time around. 

Monday, March 21, 2022

Ooops....or Another Positive

 This is a rather odd place to find a mug of green tea. I was thankful the mug didn't break and that it landed upright. 

Yes, this morning I got my spring of 2022 ice fall out of the way. I seem to biff on the ice at least once every spring.  Nothing worse than a few scraped body parts. 

Michael had been told if he was symptom free on Monday he could be out and about on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the VA Dental clinic isn't following the local or CDC guidelines. LOL They told him he must be symptom free for 5 days before they will let him come in. Poor man. 

I had a scratchy throat on Sunday. I tested negative.  Today, Monday I still had a scratchy throat, was congested and developed a fever, unusual for me.  I decided our rule has kept us well, "If you don't feel good stay home!" Who cares what it is or isn't? Anyway, I began making plans for Tuesday and Wednesday events.  Sure enough I tested positive Monday afternoon. So much for isolation. LOL 

Our four young adults are doing fine - not a sniffle in sight. 

A pause in the schedule can be a good thing. 

It's all good. 

A Perfect Day for a Drive

 A day as beautiful as this, while we are "isolated" at home, begs for driving practice! The girls have goals for when they'd like to have their licenses. We live in a great area for lots of on-road, low-traffic practice.   There may have been a few comments about "controlled turns".....

Stacia's sense of direction resulted in lots of backing up practice!  That little dead-end sign should be noted. LOL 

It is fun to take the girls out. I enjoyed seeing the neighborhood I used to walk in....the snow and ice have vanished enough for longer walks.... I plan to get right on it this week. 

As soon as I can talk them into busier areas, maybe a bit of freeway driving, I won't have to drive again until they are off driving their own car.  We may be able to dig the vibe out by the end of the week. 

Sunday, March 20, 2022

About that Paper

When Dad moved in the summer of 2019, he wanted the paper delivered. This seemed like a simple desire to fulfill. 

We subscribed.

Krista put up the box. 

They didn't use it. 

We began to have trouble not receiving the paper. 

Michael put the box up in a different spot. 

They still didn't use it. 

I call each time the paper isn't delivered. They are SUPPOSED to bring it out. 

I've been told if I had a box, I wouldn't miss it. I do have a box.  The box really doesn't work in the winter - the snowplows cover them in snow. 

One time the man came to the door and said the paper WAS delivered it was in the ditch north of my driveway. Um....unsatisfactory. 

I guess I'm expected to wade in the snow drifts to find the paper.  Funny enough I HAVE been out there with a snow shovel digging around to be SURE the paper isn't out there before I call it missing. 

Every morning dad eagerly waits to see if the paper has been delivered or if I will have to call them. I have to do this before 9 a.m. or he doesn't get a paper for the day. 

This morning Dad asked if I'd checked to see if a paper was delivered. I'm so happy parts of the driveway are melting. It has been treacherous to get the paper.  I headed up the drive and low and behold!!!! TWO PAPERS! 

 None on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and TWO on Sunday. Maybe it evens out. LOL  I can't help wondering whose paper we received. 

Every Breaking Wave

Allie typically does not like to share her ASL videos. However, this is a season of stepping outside of her comfort zone and since ASL Interpretation requires being in front of people she is working hard to get comfortable sharing her work. It's a season of STRETCH. 

Allie has been working on a big project.  Her ASL mentor/tutor strongly encouraged Allie to get out of her comfort zone and enter the Eric Malz Malzkuhn ASL Literature Competition sponsored by the National Honor Society of ASL. 

This challenged Allie to sign in "pure ASL" rather than simply interpreting English to ASL sign words. This is more of a flow of thought - focusing on meaning and emotion rather than a word for word English translation. That is why this is more dramatic than many videos she has previously done. It is also why her mentor informed her dancing and smiling was not appropriate. ::grin:: 

Allie finished the video early so she could help CyRi move on the 18th. The evening of the 17th she was informed her teacher had overlooked a few things Allie needed for the video. She had one day to redo it all and turn it in again. We wanted to go out into the ocean...but Alaska being what it is, we decided not to. By entering this competition Allie will be eligible to apply for an ASL scholarship. 

Without further ado, I present to you our Allie preforming "Every Breaking Wave" by U2. 

 Of course, there were bloopers...pretty funny bloopers even if you don't know ASL. 

Alaskan Spring Day

I automatically find myself looking for tulips in Feb, because that is when tulips are supposed to show up....not so around here. Spring was once my favorite season. It is NOT my favorite season in Alaska. It's unpredictable...50* mixed with 26* highs...bright sun tempered by spring snowstorms...everyone posting garden and flower photos while we still have 2 feet of snow on the ground...and it's MUDDY. It MUST get muddy before summer arrives....I was excited to live in a place with SEASONS. I love the variety and cycle of the seasons. Many of our assignments had us in locations with basically summer year round. Growing up in Africa and the Philippines we had hot and rainy seasons....four seasons are lovely. After the first couple of years I began to HATE winter. This year I have intentionally embraced each season in it's time. So much so that I'm a bit sad for winter to give up. Spring/Summer and Fall mean MUCH work and activity, this winter has been more home-bound than most and lazy. I think I like lazy. 

I'm told we DO have spring in AK, but it lasts about 2 weeks. Maybe. Michael and I have decided we basically have 3 seasons here...summer, fall, winter (and muddy winter - BREAK UP - what the rest of the world calls spring). 

The calendar says it's spring...here are some shots of our place on the first day of Spring. The chickens are finally chancing the mud and coming outside. They seem to enjoy being out of the coop after the long winter. 

Note - this is shavings on TOP of ice!

Pietro, a rooster we hatched from an egg,  is the prettiest AND the gentlest rooster we've had. He does a good job of getting the hens away from hawks and other such predators. He did take out Phoenix, our 2nd rooster.  We aren't quite sure what happened there but about a year ago we found Phoenix all bloodied and he didn't make it. Pietro, however, is TERRIFIED of US. I enjoy these traits in a rooster. LOL 

We are down to 9 or 10 hens this year. They haven't been laying well. Most of them are 2 years old...some are 3 or 4 years old.  We didn't buy new chicks last year, but plan to purchase a couple of dozen this year. The Novogen Reds were GREAT layers - but they turned on each other. We didn't have a rooster. We are wondering if a new batch with an adult rooster and other adult hens in the mix would tame the novogens cannibalistic tendencies. 

I like to see a variety of breeds in the yard and I would love a colorful basket of eggs, but more than that I need the majority of the hens to be good layers.  We are debating how many novogens to get to have that foundation for the flock. Having chicks shipped up here hasn't proven to be a good option for us...we are trying to find local chicks. 

The trees in the orchard seem to have come through the winter fine. This will be their 3rd summer. We are hoping for a bit more fruit. They are starting to bud. 

So....if you look closely in the corner of the ramp you can see a yellow sunflower, and there are Christmas signs up as well. I thought I was being smart to get the fall yard signs out before the ground froze....but um...they've had to stay out all winter....so I have all the seasons in the yard. LOL 

The driveway is starting to show more bare spots - most of it is still an ice rink. It is much easier the last couple of days to get Dad's paper at the top of the drive. 

There is still MUCH snow in our yard. 

This is always the first spot to melt - over the septic clean out....its the only grass on our place at this point. 

Still a lot of snow to melt before I can hang clothes out here. 

I got excited when I began seeing things about "Planting seeds in the snow." Closer inspection showed the raised beds were dry, in fact I didn't see a bit of snow in any of the gardens shown. THIS is my garden.  I haven't started seedlings yet as they are always too old and spindly before I can get into the garden. The white arch is the wind tunnel Michael built last year. The storm did some damage to it and to the little one I used last year. We'll need to fix the twisted frames before we replace plastic.  We'll have some work to do before we have a space for seedlings.... We are in gardening zone 4b....and our last frost date is predicted to be between May 21 - May 31st. 
My spring garden

Temps are getting into the 40's. Yesterday it was actually in the 50's. As it is WARM enough to be out, I'll probably shovel some pathways so we can get out and start repairs on the greenhouses. 

This is spring in our part of Alaska.