Friday, December 06, 2019

Serious Playing Going On....

Working in the garage...its coming together. Carl is great and Michael is a good assistant.

I realized I've not had photos on the blog for quite some time of Bella and Gideon. I watch them weekly, during the prep and services of Alive Alaska. I'm always focused on them and forget to grab photos...but tonight I made a point of taking photos. LOL

The high point of today is watching Bella and Gideon. 

I scored scored serious Grandma points when I showed up with Mickey.
We have  6 1/2 hours to play... so we got busy.
Be still my heart! That smile is captivating. 
Sweet eyes! She liked the "candy popcorn." 


We colored, and played super heroes...
We cut out cookies, baked them, cooked and ate dinner, and decorated cookies.

Bella is the QUEEN of the Sprinkles. 


Next up was drawing...Bella told me this is the lights. We agreed  it's the Northern Lights. 
It's 10:20pm and Bre texted they are on their way home.....we've had a full night. 

Thursday, December 05, 2019

14 Winter Lessons from an Alaskan Transplant

This Alaskan transplant - raised in the tropics - is learning a few things about winter.

1.  Nose hairs freeze at 3 degrees.
2.  Michael's truck is fun to drive in 4wd.
3.  When opening the library door at 6* one SHOULD WEAR GLOVES.
4.  Chicken latches freeze - chickens don't like not being able to get out.
5.  HOWEVER, once you get the latch open, chickens don't want to come OUT         when it's 6*!

6.  Eggs freeze!
7.  Chickens should be taught to lay eggs in cartons to make it easier for all.
 
8.  Our chickens have decided it's fun to lay eggs ALL OVER in order to get             more time with US as we search for their eggs. Nesting boxes are blase'.
Michael found all these eggs OUTSIDE the nesting boxes

9.  When stopping in the road to take a photo, one may get stuck in the                        snow....see #2. 
THIS is not where I got stuck - but it was the better photo LOL 

10. Life is much easier if one wears gloves in single digit weather...see #3 and 4.     
11. There are a lot of pieces to remember when getting properly attired for 3*            weather.  Some Alaskans dispense with such wisdom. 
Some Alaskans are CRAZY
Alex insists he is wearing shorts until there 1' of snow

12. Some adults NEED gloves on a string threaded through their coat                          sleeves...see #11.
13. Christmas yard signs don't work well in Alaska. The ground is frozen. I                suppose I'll need to put them up in October next year and leave them up until        spring. 
14. Grandblessings work wonders to stave off winter doldrums. 
Papa ordered a gyroscope - cuz he knew it would entertain the grands

Other news of the day - Kim Sensei likes the new computer for the kids' Japanese classes. She reports the video is much better and the kids say the speed is nicer.

Life Group met after our Thanksgiving break. It seemed like we had been "off" forever. LOL I find that a weekly commitment to host a group of people in our home greatly improves the cleanliness of our home. LOL  We are watching and discussing some video clips from "A City on the Hill" at RightNow media.

Alaska is DROP DOWN DEAD GORGEOUS in the winter! Our little corner of Alaska shines this time of year.

See? There IS sun in Alaska in the winter....11:30 a.m. I love to watch the sun hit the mountains....used to be at 10:00 p.m.  I DO love SEASONS and we certainly do have changes in seasons in Alaska. 

It is TIME to get a winter survival kit in the cars - just in case one runs out of gas, has a flat tire or accident - all things I've done in previous years. Just today Michael's truck said to "check the tire, pressure is low." I got out of the truck, slid around to the other side and noted that, "Yep! That's a tire. Check." 

What do you put in an automobile's winter survival kit? At this point my van's consists of a bag of gravel. 

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.