Friday, May 08, 2020

Visit from the D Kids

The "Stay at Home," Covid restrictions have lifted enough that BreZaak feel comfortable with Bre and the kids visiting. We sprayed down all the equipment with bleach water, and we stayed outside....we tried to watch the 6 foot rule...and there were 10 of us or less....

The kids were excited to come to Baachan's Treehouse (Grandma's Park). We all loved spending time together. 
Non-scale vistory on display - Baachan jumps on the trampoline this year
Dandelion salve in our future

Alex had the day off and pulled out his bow and arrows. 

Start them young - Bella got to shoot as she was abiding by the safety rules. 

Gideon enjoyed helping Krista sew up a fun mask for Uncle Ax.

Ready for work where masks are required. 

Annie is warming up to us. She was quite impressed with her ability to make noise on the piano with Auntie Yay ya. 

One of the hardest parts of Sequester 2020 has been not being able to be around the kids and grandkids who don't live with us. Today was breathtakingly special.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Old Routines Find New Norms

 In this time of Sequestration - old routines find new norms. Stacia and I continue to go out weekly for Bible study. Dining in isn't an option - we have come to enjoy grabbing our breakfast and finding a local trailhead to visit with breakfast and our study....and a quick walk afterwards. Here we are this morning.

We found a rock! I can paint one like this. 

Sophia's has NEVER let Stacia down. This morning, however, they were OUT of Spanakopita.  Stacia was so discouraged that we set about making Spanakopita and Baklava to go with our salmon for dinner.
Unique and Effective mask

Wednesday, May 06, 2020


It's painful to cut trees down....but we are busy cutting trees. We have quite a few spruce infected with spruce beetles...and several older trees that are dead....The power company had told us these two old trees would need to come down. The gal who came out said to call and ask THEM to remove them. We had them out and they said it wasn't a problem with the power lines. Two employees - two different answers. We, however, KNEW they had to come down. We hired help for this as they were TALL....and sure enough they were hollow at the bottom. 

Krista interuppted her Zoom work day for a bit of a PT break. LOL 
We have deep holes in the yard where branches were driven deep into the ground from the force of it's fall.

It's bare up front now. We knew this was coming and had planted 4 pine trees last year. We have 3 more ready to plant.  We'll be exposed for a number of years...but we'll be HERE when these trees are big enough to provide some privacy. Imagine that!!!

It took a few days to get both trees cut up and everyone got involved in the project ...our wood pile is is the brush pile to burn.

The moose love the brush pile. 

*Alex was very involved in this project but somehow I missed getting a photo of him. Stacia and I helped move a bit of brush - not much. We were busier inside. 

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

A Bear? Yep. A Bear.

I didn't think we'd top the excitement of a moose looking in the window, but this morning Stacia was sitting in the chicken yard when she noted a Big black dog hugging a tree and waving it's arm around. 

Hmm....that didn't seem quite right. As she watched it rubbed up and down on the tree and then dropped to four legs and lumbered off. It was a black bear....pointed snout, no hump. 

This made me leery to go on my typical solo walk. I walk near and through woods....I've had the moose jump into the road several times and didn't want to consider a bear jumping into the road when I was alone....we grabbed the bear spray, phone, and pepper spray and headed out.

Michael asked if I took Stacia because I thought I could run faster than her...

NO...not at all.  I told him there was a chance she'd be paralyzed by fear and I could run away.


I thought it would be nice to have two because we'd talk and make noise which would alert any bears to the fact we were just humans and not a threat.

We ran across this plywood "cabin" appears to have been an original home. I have wondered if the pit in our backyard with old wood in it is an original home....

After the walk I headed into Anchorage with Michael. I belong to a gardening group on Facebook. I rarely go on there as it overwhelms me...but I had a few spare moments at home last week - you know how it is during this time...and I happened to that group. A gentlemen was offering used garage door panels - free. He said they make great garden beds.  We are still in the process of turning the horse pasture into a civilized garden...we went in to pick up the panels.  They will be twice the depth of our existing beds.  They will bring our count from 3 - 7. I thought it would fill the space but - NO WAY.  We may never get this plot filled...maybe I'll just move the fence line. LOL

Our next stop was Best Buy. They have a system down there. It was amazing and really very quick. He waited his turn and then told the employees the item he wanted. They went and got it and brought it outside. Everyone was masked, gloved, spaced.....
We went across the parking lot to Lowes to get a few things Michael needed and it was the opposite story....odd.

We raced home in time for a church staff zoom. I appreciated it was Stacia's night to make dinner. We barely finished dinner and it was time for Bible Study Zoom....

Somehwere in there Michael and I had Stacia show us where she'd seen the bear. We found bear scat...and where there's bear poo, there must have been a sure what I think about this at all. I hope I do NOT have the opportunity to take bear photos from my yard.

Monday, May 04, 2020

Good Morning Moose....Good Night Moose

We thought Rosey had didn't take long to realize THIS is NOT Rosey, she of great belly and calf.....we have ourselves a yard bull this year. 

It was eerie to have him peering into our window. 

He's rather large. 

He appears to have liked the green patch, he came back tonight. Here he is at 10:14 PM....note how bright it is! Yes, the Alaskan Winter is over...spring is here. Sun.....GLORIOUS SUN. 

 We can't read all the collar but it says, "Do not...."

This side says, "Bull." 

Ah....he came back to the window to say Goodnight! Goodnight, Moose. 

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Another Sequestered Sunday

Sunday morning and the family is sleeping I decided to head out for a short-ish walk.  I walked 3.8 miles. I passed by this special spot. This is the RV park where we stayed when we first moved up here. Mike and I came up in May and found a home. We went back to Oregon and drove up in June with the 3 youngest kids. We landed at this RV park.  BreZaak and CoRielle flew up in July.  Wonderful friends offered trailers for each family to stay in....we had 3 side by side spots in the park while we waited to close on our home in August.

The boys had planned to come out this afternoon. It was a bummer both were exposed to covid and were unwilling to chance bringing anything extra to Grandpa. I understood - but it's been 2 months since we've seen them, and we miss them. 

We watched church. We ordered pick up lunch. Arielle and Benny came over to visit. I went on a walk with Benny, Arielle and Kimber.  Krista and Stacia started with us but they walk/run/walk/run and they were going 5 miles. We went .85 miles.
Walking is hard work 
 Back at home we pulled out Croquet. 

 He doesn't quite have the idea yet....

That rascally ball! 

Krista won the day with this frozen treat. 

In the evening Michael and I went out for a bit of a walk. I didn't count it as we went very slow and really didn't make it very far at all. We ran into the builders of our home. They had been visiting their son and were driving by the house. We talked for well over 30 minutes...they gave us the name of a guy to cut down the giant, dead trees in our front....

This was a day when I was simply filled with gratitude to be in this place, at this time. At the end of the day I realized I had walked quite a few more steps than I had thought....

Saturday, May 02, 2020

One Saturday in Spring

All the joys of springtime in Alaska! The days are getting longer and longer....and we can't seem to spend enough time OUTSIDE.  We all love it when Benny, Arielle and Kimber stop by to play....this is the time of year when the woods are fun to explore...before the grass and devil's club have grown tall....

Devil's club....the green shoots are good to eat...but soon all that will be left is spiky stalks and leaves....and they are NASTY.  They get taller than I. We hope to beat them back a bit. They are obviously determined to take over our woods - possibly the entire yard....though the chickweed will battle them for the garden plot. 

G Dog has discovered napping on the trampoline! 
Getting off has been a bit rough. 

Yes, I did go for a morning walk - 5.2 miles.  I walked down to the river, along the river, and back up to the house....a nice, scenic square with some of the best views in the world. 

And, yet, in spite of all the lovely views, THIS caught my eye!  How fun! I picked up another rock...

I thought I would continue my inside workout routine - but I love being outside and  don't like being cooped up with the machines.  I don't even miss the Netflix I usually watch while working out. ::snort::  My goal this week was to walk 20 miles. 

I walked 24.5 miles and decreased my pace by a couple of minutes. 

I think I'll continue the goal of 20 miles this week and see how sustainable this will be as a spring workout routine. 

Friday, May 01, 2020

May Day

Hello, May.  This is a May unlike any other. 

 I am proud of myself. I knew I didn't have time for 5 miles. I was tempted to just wait until Saturday and walk 5 miles, but I put on my shoes and headed out. I got a bit over 3 miles in in the time I had...and am now only .04 of a mile away from the week's goal.

I got home in time to Zoom with a friend....hadn't SEEN her since her wedding....and then ALL THIS. LOL It was fun to connect.

Dad has a plan. It started when he viewed this week's ads. He often pours over the grocery ads and tells me which meat is on sale. I begin to wonder if he needs more hunks of meat than I serve. LOL I do a lot of wraps, enchiladas, soups….but I DO have fish once a week, a roast or chicken legs....anyway....this week New York steaks were on sale - IF you buy them on Friday. He started the day by pointing out that fact.

He told me that some night he wanted to grill dinner. I didn't connect the two comments. Then he asked when Mother's Day was and checked out the calendar and told me when it was. I still didn't connect. He asked how many people would be here if everyone came - would we be under the magic number of 20 for a gathering. Yes, barely.  Then he put it all together. Do you think we can grill and eat out on Mother's Day? I want to buy enough steaks for everyone. WHAT?  He insisted and Michael and all the guys will help him (or so I am guessing). An invite was sent.

TODAY he woke up and reminded me immediately...."It's Friday. You need to go pick up the steaks for me." I did. What a DEAL. I got the last 4 packages. Did you catch that price? Normally $50.86, we paid $18.95. $240 worth of steak for $60-70.  They are tucked safely in the freezer and waiting for May 10th.  Last year we did Mother's Day in August so I guess he felt we needed a bit of prodding in this celebration department. ::snort::

While Michael and I were out getting meat....we ordered pizza - it IS Friday night. We walked around the visitor center while we waited...snatching a bit of time together. We found rocks. I took one and re-hid others.  Left this one....locals - go get it.

Arielle and Benny were enjoying our playground when we got home.  Papa and Benny played a game with balls and trampoline.

  I love the reflection of the mountain in the windows. 

Surrounded by some of my favorite people - and dog. 
G Dog (Dad), Kimber, Me, Benny, Stacia

Benny catches air - Kimber struts her stuff. 
 It's nearly free of the snow...sad, sad greenhouse. 

Much work to do in the garden and most of it is now uncovered....there is just a bit of snow on the north side. 

Papa had WORK to do...and Benny loves to help Papa Work!  Papa lives BIG in Benny's mind. Papa made the bridges and rivers. Papa makes the rain and thunder.
Benny actually did blow the tire up - he has the trigger
 Do you think he remembers last fall's rides or did it simply look like a good idea again this year? 

Such determination on that little face

Man Work 

Baachan is good for talking, bouncing, rolling down hills....Papa Works! 

We continue to research dog breeds. Something this size or bigger so Stacia feels safe when she goes on walks....big enough to have instant respect from children, intelligent, good with children and elderly, hypoallergenic or low shed....what will that breed be? Kimber would be perfect except for the husky everywhere.  Kimber does have an odd idiosyncrasy. I think it comes from her being born and trained in the winter. She insists on pooping on SNOW. She saves it to get to our house and poop on one of the few patches of snow we have left. CoRielle have no snow left.  Poor thing is going to be in a world of hurt shortly. 
See? We'll settle for lap dog size. 
We ended the day with Pizza and watching, "The Greatest Show on Earth." Which led to a discussion on P. T. Barnum....can we not let Mom have ONE illusion?