Sunday, September 30, 2007

Self, A B-day/Anniversary and Roadkill

Hi there, well fall is upon us and now the consensus is whether it will snow before Halloween or after. It has snowed before Halloween for the past 7 years, we shall see. We are excited and curious to know what our first winter will bring forth. We know COLD. :0)

This pic is of my one and only mixed media piece at the Kenai Arts Guild Gallery in Kenai. It will be on display the entire month of October. I'm pretty excited about it. A mixed media project is a first for me and I absolutely enjoyed the idea and finishing it. The show is called "SELF" and I was asked to do a piece that represented my artistic self or my past experiences creating art. This is what came out. A very dramatic piece. It's a large piece of painted sheet metal heated by Gregs blow torch, it is wild, I wish you could see it in person. The base of the metal is held by many pieces of gnarly driftwood found off of the Homer beach, one just so happens to look like a snake (lower left). I sketched a portrait, a nude and a mysterious subject, with pencil on the metal. The piece is basically, "A body of work immersed in Alaska."
The guilds Artist Reception happens to be Oct. 4th so Greg and I will be attending. How fun is that?
Other than this news Greg and I will be celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary tomorrow and my birthday, yes the same day and no we didn't marry on my birthday so that he wouldn't forget.....I know what you were thinking. :0) I'm not sure what we will be doing but it's always fun.
I wanted to also share a story I heard last night at work from a guest staying at the hotel. This gals name is Sheri and apparently she was woken up a few nights ago by friends in town calling her to get her butt down to K-Beach rd because someone had hit a moose. Now, the way I understand it is as a local here you can sign up on a list with the borough and if anyone hits Caribou/Moose the state troopers will call whomever is next on the list. Sheri's friend just so happened to be next. 2am is the time and she was EXPECTED to climb out of bed get dressed in some burnable clothing (I will explain this later) and meet them at the crash site on K-Beach Rd. Now this road is a major 2 lane rd connecting Kenai to Soldotna and is trafficked at all hours of the night as well as the daytime. There are businesses and such stretching this roadway so hearing of someone killing a moose on this road is normal. In fact there is a borough sign on either end of this road letting people know of the many moose that die on this roadway. Just fyi to drivers that they may encounter this possibility. Ok, so, Sheri crawls out of bed dresses and heads to K-Beach and she finds a car, very badly mangled in the process of being hooked by the tow and blood everywhere. Great she says. Apparently it was a bull moose (Greg and I have told you how big these get) and she explains that it's Ass was 4 1/2 feet wide, apparently this isn't good, and describes the behemoth it was, now me being a newbie I'm wondering where she's going with all of this. She explains to me how 3 friends bonded that night, butchering the meat off of a moose on the side of a hwy for 3 hours and then returning to her garden shed/now butcher house to butcher the meat. Her friend is cutting, the other disposing of bones, blood and such and her wrapping. Now this whole process has to be done in a quick fashion in order to preserve the meat and so it doesn't spoil. Apparently when your doing this sort of thing you tend to go a little batty/psycho. And her friend butchering holds up his knife and starts laughing so hard he can't stop while the other 2 are just watching wondering what the hell happened to there friend. Hum. So after 3 hours shes dog tired and she looks around to notice that her and the 2 friends and what used to be the garden shed now looks like a low budget Horror movie. Their all covered head to toe with blood, veins and such not to mention what the shed used to look like and how long it's going to take her to clean the damn thing up. All of this for a winters worth of meat in the freezer. She's asking herself, "Is it worth it?" I never got the answer to that question last night. I think when your called on a roadkill and the possibility of never having to step foot in Safeway to by ground round is a good thing. This is the reason she didn't go to bed until the following day after she packed all of her meat in the freezer, cleaned her truck and garden shed of blood and guts, and the pile of clothing was burning in the fire pit out front. Just another Alaskan Moment on Swing Shift.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Fun times yankin' the D.E.C.!

After 2 days of brutal yet exciting wind and rain (after all the violent weather is reason # 3 that we moved here) I must admit it was a great day to be out. Very brisk, yet sunny, clear and totally fall-like. We have noticed the change in the temperature lately. The daytime highs are definitely falling, and the nighttime lows are into the 30's. Winter is definitely tapping at our back door! Sad thing is the wind all but blew out all of the color. Still quite beautiful in its way though. Just awesome to finally be here. A dream of 17 years, come true.

I had a unique job today of which John helped me. We met with the client who lives above Anchorage, and owns a home in Nikiski through inheritance. It is a nice semi secluded property that can use some love, but is definitely a diamond in the rough that sits right on the edge of a lake. He is trying to sell it though and has to get some of the bugs out, like the leaking fuel tank. He was a good down to earth guy who was originally from Chicago...and it showed from the accent all the way to the body motion....'know what I'm sayin'! ;) Anyways he gave us a hand in replacing the 300 gallon heating fuel tank. Those things aren't lite, even when they are empty, so the extra hand was nice. He isn't sure who did it, as the only people who knew about the leak were myself, the Realtor, the tenant living there, and the fuel truck driver....but someone turned him in to the D.E.C. The D.E.C. is the Department Of Environmental Conservation, and they called him on the leak. In fact before we could re-install the new tank, they needed to come out to inspect the ground around the old tank, for fuel absorption into the soil. Fortunately, the agent man was coming out today and unknown to him, would arrive to find a series of very bad circumstances which in some ways would impact his outlook on the day! Now to protect his identity, from here in we will refer to him simply as....the environmental guy. When he arrived at the site, the...environmental guy... seemed pretty low keyed and friendly, which is already a plus, because the homeowner was afraid he would have some authority stricken specialist who would rake him up and down. Not the case, however you could tell right off that this guy took his job seriously. As he should. Anyways, he did a visual of the location of the leaky tank and automatically knew that we were dealing with a low level environmental atrocity. So he pulled out his digital 'sniffer' and began to pick up fuel levels in the soil. Now mind you, the homeowner wanted me to make the old tank disappear before the.... environmental guy.... came so that maybe the he wouldn't see the condition of the tank and further raise his alarm to the impending situation. But this guy didn't miss a beat, his ol'factory glands were honed. The environmental guy, as just from the smell, was able to figure out the make, model, and the year the tank was installed! True Alaskan predatory grit I tell you!! Where the tank was siting was on the side of a hill that led down to the lake, so he was very cautious to check the soil on the hillside to make sure the fuel hadn't traveled downhill with rain runoff, towards the lake. Good thing is, the hillside sniffed clean. But the area the old stand was on was saturated with high levels of fuel. About this time Doug, the homeowner, is sinking into his shorts as he is getting the feeling that the environmental guy is gonna nail him to the cross. And I felt bad for Doug, because he was a really nice guy, and sincerely wasn't fully aware of the extent of the leak, as it was never brought to his attention until the home was listed to sell. So I am watching this poor guys world roll over, as the ....environmental guy ....tells Doug that he is going to have to remove the contaminated soil. "How much?", was asked.....the environmental guys answer....start digging! This is where it got worse. Doug dug (pardon the pun) a foot down.....that digital sniffer device was beeping angrily. 2 feet down....still ringing. 3 mercy that damned sniffer had. Then came the opportunity for me to set the mood in Doug's favor. Much like the 'birdie finger' the other day, I sometimes have a unique way of throwing peoples' guard and lightening the load off their souls. So as the environmental guy is examining the area to find out how far out the contamination had spread, he couldn't help but raise the question to us, "where is the old tank?" What happened next would forever change the way the environmental guy would view his job...and more than likely make for a great conversation piece at dinners to come. Straight faced as a heart attack without missing a beat I said, "Doug wanted it gone so we rolled it into the lake....this way it would just fill with water and go to the bottom." This guy face lost all expression as his eyes got huge, and his mouth began to sag. I heard a murmur of "OOOF come from his parting lips as I watched his heart fall to his ass (who does that sound like). Talk about getting all choked up. Before I could say that I was just kidding, he literally sucked air so hard it took him darned near 20 seconds to catch his breath, coughing from the lack of salivary secretion! Mean time I look over at Doug and he looks as if he is trying hard to believe what he just heard, and doesn't know whether to cry, crap, or just hang his head in disbelief and sorrow over the sure jail time he's gonna do as the result of my foolery. I think things turned around for ol' Doug when I patted the environmental guys' shoulder and told him it was in the back of my truck around back. When he finally did catch his breath and could swallow once more he managed to crack a grin, before braking into a long clearing of the throat! From there on out I think the environmental guy and I bonded, as he seemed to open up to me a little better, and felt confident that I would see the job of removing the soil through to the end....with measured success! He did give me a huge 'ground diaper' for soaking up any spill that may occur as we were re-filling the new tank once it was up. I think he is looking forward to hearing from me Wednesday! I told him John would remove the soil Monday or Tuesday after school for a re inspection later in the week. As for the contaminated soil, we will put it in the 10 or so5 gallon buckets that we bought to use as holding devices for the emptied fuel, while we relocated the stand and moved the new tank in place. The environmental guy just grinned ear to ear when I told him not to worry, that we would just spread it along the lakes bank to help dilute the contaminated soil.....!! =) When it was all done, Doug just thanked me profusely, as he sincerely felt that I swayed the way this guy was going to handle it. Whether or not that's true, and I don't know for sure and don't want to push my luck by asking....I sure had some fun yankin' the D.E.C. though! When Doug and I shook hands at days end, he just chuckled and and said he would never forget the priceless look on that guys face. I don't think any of us, the environmental guy included, will soon forget the priceless look on the guys face.

Tonight after showering I decided to go into town and treat myself to dinner at La Casa since Maryann was working and John was out late for the night with a couple buddies from school. I still have the fabled fuel tank strapped in the back of my truck as I can't dispose of it until Monday, but figure I would look like about every other Alaskan driving about so...who cares! I did get a little stir briefly as I was driving down the road out to the highway. You see, the speed limit is strictly 35MPH and usually enforced by State Troopers. I am usually good about watching my speed but tonight coming around a slight downhill bend, I think the weight in the back of the truck got the best of me as I realized I was doing 40 about the same time I noticed in my side view mirror the State Trooper behind me. But not to worry, no. My son distracted the State Troopers' attention, flying towards us in the opposite lane doing 45 MPH or better!!!! Holy crap! I would sure hate to be John right about now knowing what he may find lodged in his Heine come daylight! I'll give you a hint....I where a size 10!! Good thing I will be asleep before he gets home! God truly must have been with him, as the Trooper was more focused on me and the mystery tank in the back of my rig. Oye!

In other news my hand is going to make it....I think. The swelling is about gone, and the bite is shrinking in size and back to a pinkish tone instead of the dark purple it was. Now that the swelling is gone and the color fading, you can see two little fang marks...I mean very distinctly. Little son of a bit#^! Unfortunately I have taken a 'don't ask don't tell' stance to all spiders that I see. I don't ask and the will never tell again! Until I figure out who is naughty and who is nice, that is the way it has to be!! Anyways, have a great rest of the weekend, and remember, a little humor can change someones day.......hee, hee, hee!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Maniacal mischiefmakers are abound?

I am at a bit of loss for words these days. If you remember a post back in ....I think August, involving one of our neighbors known as 'Crazy Jack' suspecting that we were part of the mythical 'Artesians', than you remember how shocked we were that someone would actually think that these little mischief makers were real, much less living down the road from Nikiski of all places. I am left to ask he really crazy? Or did he know something that most may not. Could it be that Jack himself has knowledge that these fabled 'troll-like' creatures do in fact exist? Or is it just a time honored legend of a long forgotten beer campaign?? I have pondered the premise of his curiosity since that cool summers day that Michelle was accosted by Jack's intrigue at the end of our drive. I have wondered. I wish I could tell you, "I seen em".....but to no avail. No in my mind the story of the Artesians has long gone out with the end of Olympia beer a couple of decades ago. But then again....what if???

Thanks for keeping touch Yvette. After I read your comment the other day I thought....duh! You know it is amazing how the simplest things go undone when you pick up your family and their entire lives and move them 3,000 miles away to start anew! We started this blog back in the heyday of packing and since then have been 'do-bees' getting re-settled. So it never occurred to me to just put our website in the 'favorite links' area of the blog....duh! So for those who didn't know, Maryann and I have our art website at and hope if your curious you will check it out. If the link doesn't come up on toady's post, look at the top left corner of the blog page under "favorite Links". Mind you it is in need of some updating....I think that is number 139 on the list! But nonetheless it will give you a chance to see at least what we were up to before we moved. Hopefully soon we will have more of what we have done art wise since we got here!

In other news I was probed, poked, and shot in the ass the other day! No joke man. I woke up Sunday morning to this incredible itching sensation in where else middle finger. It eventually went away and I was left at a loss as to why it was so itchy that morning. Later that day I noticed a little red mark that felt like a cut on the tender part of my...middle finger... and figured that I had gotten bite by something. No big deal, I've been bite before. It all started going downhill later that night as I noticed that not only was that little bite getting bigger, but my hand was swelling up like a balloon. Maryann got home at around 11:40 that night and upon seeing it freaked, and had me ice it and take 2...not 1 but 2, Benedril. I know it was 2 because when I had to try and wake up at 6:30 AM the next day to go to work.....I couldn't! I was about as out as a baby in a Charmin factory. When I finally did come around, my.....middle finger...was hard and swollen, and the bite was big and purple. I was figuring that if it didn't get better by that night I would start to worry. I mean, I have seen bites that leave bruises before, so I wasn't losing it yet. That morning I was working at one of the apartment units that we are renovating with my constituent, Rodney, and just asked if he had ever seen a bite like this, hoping he would just say something like..."oh yeah, it's just a non-lethal bite from the anarobious rectus abscolius big!" Instead, he relates a story about some guy who got bit by a ...."what do you call it" spider. Apparently dude was digging through lumber at Home Depot and got bit, as the spider came in with the wood shipment of which the guy was foraging through. When he started describing the bite as 'eating away the skin' I knew he was talking about the Brown Recluse spider. Of who anyone living in Calaveras County is very familiar of. Now, it has long been my understanding that the Recluse can't survive in the cold. So I thought...naw. But. It did get me to thinking as a couple years ago when I was bit by that Black Widow spider, I remember seeing pictures of the progression of a Brown Recluse bite, and how it took 4 or 5 days of progressively getting worse. After the 5th day of progression I couldn't look at the pictures anymore without blowing chunks. Anyways, now I was getting nervous. Maryann was on-line after Rodney and I's conversation and discovered the Hobo spider, which is a relative of the Brown Recluse....and does live in Alaska. Apparently most Alaskans don't trip on spiders as there traditionally have been no venomous spiders to speak of here. But in the past years more and more venomous spiders, like the Hobo have been imported here by cargo containers from the lower 48, RV's vacationing, ect. and spiders like the Hobo have began to adapt and thrive. Maryann came down to the job site and as soon as she saw my finger said that it was exactly like what she had read and saw on the Hobo, and the progression was the same. She took me to the Medi-Center in Kenai. It's a little cute igloo with Eskimos........ It's a modern facility which was very comfortable and friendly. Best thing is that when each nurse taking my vitals or doctor checking on me asked whats wrong, I got to flip them off and say "this is whats wrong"! I think they were all starting to like me actually! =) Turns out I was super dehydrated, of which they were all freaking out about, and had a cystic, or something ominous named like that, infection which was bad enough for them to put me on I.V. Problem is, that the nurse was having a hard time of it finding my veins to give me an I.V. due to my extreme dehydration. They had to draw blood samples from those same elusive veins, and anybody who knows me, knows I despise needles. I got poked like no other! Too much if you ask me. But they got their blood, at the expense of my pain. And then it happened. Someone said the 'H' word. It was being suggested that I may have to go to the hospital since they couldn't find a good vein for I.V. Worse than needles do I despise hospitals. Then the nurse who was stickin' me like a pin cushion perks up and says that a couple of shots of some kind of antibiotic in my ass may do the trick! You have never seen someone roll over to shine their glory as fast as I did. These people were expressing how sorry they were that I had to get stuck in the dark side of the moon not once but twice, all the while me grinnin' ear to ear asking when they were ready for the next cheek! If I didn't know anybody in town before yesterday, I know them now as I don't think anyone in that office will forget me! I was pleased this morning when I woke to find the swelling subsiding and the purple turning back to red. Now there is still a chance that this bite may break open as it is apparently supposed to do days after. This won't be good because it is the skin around the bite dieing and they will have to.....well you know. Grosses me out just thinking about it. REMOVE THE DEAD AND INFECTED TISSUE....EEEWWWWW!@!!#!! But lets hope the good lord is on my side and it won't go that far. I do seriously have faith that I will be just fine. Just sucked! There was some bigwig '40 year EMT veteran' doctor there this morning when I went back for my check-up, who just had to see this dehydrated spider bite victim. The office got a good chuckle when he came into the room and asked if he could look at it and got the birdie! I will keep you posted on the progress.

I leave you with this mystery of the existence of Artesians. I was driving down a road outside of Kenai the other day, and came across something that left me befuddled. As I said, Olympia Beer went out a couple of decades ago, yet here outside of Kenai I discovered possible evidence of their existence! More than just the Olympia Beer can. Possibly an old Artesian well. Is it old? Are they down there in that there well today as we write? Is Jack really crazy?? Who really knows...... I do know one thing for certain......"it's the water"!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fall fever is upon us.

Well, the fall colors are starting to explode and picture do no justice for the real thing! In fact the wind has been kicking up the past couple days and blowing the color out. It has been a little chilly, but very fall-like and so nice. In a sense the pressure is on a little as we know that the snow will fly soon. Last week there was what is known as 'termination dust' on the mountains above anchorage. In fact I took my mom and dad up to Whittier on Friday and we noticed termination dust on the peaks of the Chugach Range. What is termination dust you ask? In the earlier days, the first dusting of snow on the peaks of the mountains was referred to as termination dust because it would mark the beginning of 'work' terminating for the winter. Clever. In the mean time we will continue to prepare for the winter. There are still several little things that need attention so we will keep busy. It was a nice visit with my folks. They were thoroughly impressed with the area we live, as well as the beauty and open space that Alaska has to offer. They will deny this of course if asked, and enhance the myth that Alaska is a barren, frigid primitive as can be! Truth to that or not, they did enjoy it.
On the home front, work is going well for Maryann. She has fallen right into place at the hotel, and is looking forward to what may lie in the near future for her. It is nice not to see her having to stress so much about all of the cabins she kept up on. Believe it or not, as much as she enjoyed the money and the flexible scheduling that she had most of the time, she had to put up with a certain extent of bullcrap, and because she took her job so seriously felt alot of mental envelopment even after her day was done. I of course don't miss being woke up in the middle of the night by her wondering if she forgot to leave on the heat at someones cabin, or if she forgot to shut off water somewhere, ect. Mind you neither or none was ever the case, it just always played on her mind because she was devoted to making sure all was right with what she did. So it is a nice change for her. And it gives her more free time to work on her art. I have also been keeping busy with work. I am working regularly and independently for 2 different property management firms, as well as a couple of personal clients that I have picked up. In fact I got a call from someone the other day who was referred to me by a Realtor I don't even know. So my name is spreading. This is good! I am also going to take a Real Estate Pre-License course at the end of October in Kenai to prepare for taking my Alaskan Realtors License exam. I am pretty excited about that actually. Something I have always wanted to pursue as I would enjoy working with people, helping them to find their dream home. I feel that all of the experience I have in maintaining homes would be an asset to most any office, and put me at somewhat of an advantage with looking out for my clients' best interest. In all of the years I have worked so closely with Realtors and Real Estate offices, I have learned a bit, seen things I would agree with...and some that I would do differently. So I feel it will be a good challenge for me to pursue this. I would keep up with some maintenance work as I like keeping my hands a little dirty, but would love to spend more time involved in Real Estate. I have to take my hat off to Barry Ward Realty. They were amongst the most professional people I have ever had the honor of working with. Barry himself is an incredible businessman, and the way in which his office conducts themselves is a credit to his professionalism. Some of the best advice we had in selling our home came from him, as well as his agents. That was definitely an amazing display of teamwork!
Another great achievement for me was the recent completion of my pottery studio here at home. It is up and totally functional now, and with the help of Michelle earlier on is freshly painted and feels great to be in. It is about 176 sq. ft. which is much larger than what I had to work in in Dorrington, and I am able to keep everything within the actual studio, whereas I had to do the clay, and firing process separate to the studio and garage back in Dorrington. I have a portion of it dedicated to my lapidary equipment for stones, and the majority to the pottery. So it ought to be an exciting time in there this winter. And starting on Wednesday I have my first pottery students. Not one, but two! They want to learn pottery, and I will do my best to pass on to them what I have learned not only from my instructor but from raw experience. I am both sacred and excited! This teaching thing is very new to me, but I think I would feel really good about watching someone learn and grow into something I have become so fond of. So wish me luck! And's nothing like in 'Ghost'!!!
John is doing great. He has been in school now for a few weeks and despite what he would have one think, is doing good and making friends. I do believe he is enjoying himself, and especially with the freedom of driving his own rig. He is still active with the Explorer Program through C.E.S. and is already beginning some ride-alongs. He has been going fishing as much as he can, and in fact took me down to the Kenai river the other night to try for some Silver salmon as they are running now. What a relaxing evening it was. He had these cute little bells mounted on our poles, so we were able to prop them up on their own, and just kick back. It was funny at one point his bell did a little jingling and of course he jumped. But blew it off as the current, as the current is a little strong and the dinging was lite. But I quickly pointed out to him that his bell hadn't dinged all night long, and told him I had a feeling he had something. Sure as hoot he caught a nice sized trout. Now I think he was way bummed that he came for a salmon and walked away with a trout! But fish is fish man! Made for a great memory at least.
Well, that is the haps for now. All is well, except for the well which is still spitting out some pretty nasty water. Just incredible that the previous owner lived with it. Mind you I think we are a little spoiled with the wonderful water that we had in the mountains. But there is no doubt that this water smells like butt, and is just nasty! We did invest in a reverse osmosis unit of which I still have to install, so when that is in hopefully we will at least have good drinking water and can hang up the bottled water scene. And the water softener unit we invested in earlier on has made a tremendous difference with the softness of the water. The hair and skin gleam!Speaking of which, I am a little parched and some Crystal Geyser sounds good right now. Take care to all, and we will keep you posted!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fungus, among us.

So Maryann and I were crusin the Chevelle out in the tundra amongst the land of 6 foot tall wildflowers and weeds, when all of a sudden, there was this humongeous magic looking mushroom.... Aren't they cool lookin'!? These little babies grow everywhere here. They get multi-colored and groovy-like. Personally I have never seen a fungal growtherium of such proportion and array. When we first saw them this summer we were all facsinated to say the least. I expect we will continue to discover the new wonders that lie abound for us as the seasons continue to change for our introductory year to nature 101 in Alaska. I found out this weekend during a severe deluge, that we about completely loose satelitte reception during severe weather. Now it used to get 'ify' in Dorrington during some of the more severe storms. But I guess because of the extreme position of the satelitte on our horizon here, it is easier to loose the signal....I guess? Anyone majoring in physics care to expell fact or opinion on that? However, the Grateful Dead channel seems to hold pretty strong, so we will survive! Man can live on the Dead alone. In other news, John came within a mere inch of wrecking his truck into a charging moose today ..... in our driveway! Seems he was rolling in today after school and noticed a moose next to the garage. He was thinking to himself how huge it looked and then realized as he came closer that it was a calve standing on the knoll next to the garage, which gave the illusion of it's immensity. Then the next thing he knew, mama moose came barreling out of the tall weeds next to the driveway and cut John off, with his fender about grazing her. Apparently he scared the crap out of her....quite litterally, as she droped some pooh on the driveway as she ran oft. Kinda crazy, huh?! Moose season is over in about another week and a half or so, so I am sure the tension in the woods will subside a bit. I heard a story the other day from a hunter who was out in the woods for 3 days on a hunt with his buddies. I guess they did poorly and walked away with nothing. So on their way back down the Seward Highway to the peninsula, they came across a car pulled off the road and these 2 folks out with some fancy smancy photography equipment shooting pics of something. As they looked a little closer they saw a rather huge very legal bull moose grazing next to the thicket. The next thing they knew another truck comes careening off the highway and this guy flies out of the cab, levels his weapon and shoots the moose dead....right in front of the photographers. I guess everyone, even the first set of down-troden hunters were astonished, and a bru-haha about broke out between the photographers who were enjoying the beauty of this beast, and the hunter who was dreaming of neverending backstrap! Anyways, we pick up my parents at the Kenai airport tommorrow night, and they finally get to see home. Still waiting for the next brave and adventurous souls to let us know when they are going to visit! Finally, alas, the Artesians do dwell here in Nikiski! There is proof of their existence!! They left an old abandoned Olympia Beer can as they lay beneath the inviting canopy of a magical mushroom.

"It's the water"!
Good night.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Linda Blair moments & the Swing Shift

Hello, hello, it's me Maryann. Hi. Well I just wanted to start by saying sorry to all of you that have tried commenting on the blog and the difficulty. Yes, I completely understand and I have emailed blogger on this. It seems that some bad malware has infiltrated the system and they're debugging and changing aspects of blogger. Please be patient, we very much appreciate the few of you that do comment, we feel sometimes your our only audience, hint, hint..... :0) And a quick mesg to our friend Mike (from class) Greg and I are so excited, we now have a Grateful Dead Sirius Radio Channel on our satelite.....ahhh this winter is going to be fabulous. The Dead will be playing, the snow flying and Greg and I with large grins. Yaaah! :0)

So getting to Gregs last post. He would make me seem to be a monster standing at my front door yelling at these people (the ones that woke me by honking in my own front yard) so here's the real story. Wink. I've been working the swing shift at the hotel while the staff is starting a change since a new hotel is being built currently in Kenai (where eventually I will be placed, 20 minutes closer to home). So I leave home around 2:20 to be @ work by 3pm and do not get home until 11:30 pm. By the time I hit the sack I'm beat. On that particular day, I woke normally but new I didn't sleep real well that night. But went on with my normal duties of the day, laundry, cleaning, splitting & stacking firewood and so on. I get into the house and my bed is saying," Come, relax amongst my warm blankets and just rest your eyes." This was all I was going to do, I swear. Because I had left the dogs outside and don't normally nap in the day especially with the dogs out. So I followed the beds request and submitted. Out like a light I was and woken by a blaring horn nonstop for what felt like 30-45 seconds, continuously. Now what would you have done and be HONEST?! I wasn't sure at the time who it was, maybe a friend of Johns, maybe a neighbor I haven't met? Hummmmm. The dogs are now standing on the car and I notice the windows are rolled up, it's 65 degrees out and now the passenger rolls down her window a few inches and yells," Does _________(previous owners name) still live here?" Hummmm. Now my mothers reaction (sorry mom) starts to kick in....... Not good Maryann, do I listen to the little voice, No. I yell, "No she doesn't live here and do you know what a Do Not Trespass Private Property sign looks like because you just past 2 coming up to my front door with your car!!!!" Long pause. Then that voice starts again in my head, "Just call the dogs and let them go." No, now I'm thinking do you have a brain? And I yell, " Your 40 feet from my front door and your blaring your horn!" I throw my hands up in the air like, DUH! They say sorry and turn there car around and head out. Now some of you out there do know that I can say some explitifs, I will let you be creative and imagine where they went in those sentences. Wink. So, yes, I do feel bad but it's all my gene's fault and I swear I don't normally do that, really..... You know me, I'm normally a sweet and smiley person, and just go day to day with life, I'm easy. Just don't get me on a day when I haven't slept good and I'm working swing, I guess. :0) Maybe it was a Linda Blair moment.... :0) So that being said I have apologized to those people although they don't know it. There. I feel better.

So besides that we are all doing well and will be posting alot of pics here soon of our adventures with Gregs parents. It should be fun. We will be taking them to Whittier, Homer, Seward and our favorite spots close to home. Stay tuned and please send lots of good ju ju my way so that I may not have another of my Linda Blair moments, at least while I'm working Swing...... Luv ya, M.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Sentimentalism, disbelief, rage, and love & fear....

You know, it's actually somewhat intriguing to do a blog post. I mean, it's not like there is a pre-written script or something as to what you will write. It's all spontaneous. It is what you are feeling at that moment that propels you to write. Sometimes it may be an event, like your moving wheel cutting loose and taking off across the tundra at a high rate of speed as you watch in disbelief. Other times it may be something you saw or experienced that you just feel like sharing. Facts! Now there is a good one, because after all who is better equipped to share facts about Alaska than an Alaskan?! I don't think you can ever run out of things to post on a blog. If you do, you have a serious problem and need to seek professional attention. I don't need to. So today I thought I would share a little sentimentalism, as well as a few short stories of events that have occurred over the past few days.

You may have noticed we have our first link (at the top left corner of the home page). Our friends Dave and Yvette, from back home have started their own blog. Interesting thing of it is is that they too are experiencing the stirring of new beginnings, much like where abouts we were a year ago. The neat thing is that we were still in Dorrington when the first inklings of change began to emanate in their lives. Now it is starting to call out to them, and become more defined. It's great that we get to follow their progress towards their goals and dreams. Really good people they are, and we are so excited for them and the prospects that lay ahead for them. They are in our prayers and as much as we miss them, we are there in hope and spirit.

On to some odd events in recent days. Now it is a matter of fact that Alaska is a concealed legal state. In other words any Alaskan citizen is allowed to carry a loaded and concealed weapon at all times, except for into a bank or government building. We knew that this is legal and being here for a few months now completely understand how and why. It's just another unique liberal example of what makes Alaskans Alaskans, and Alaska Alaska! As I was working the other day this commercial came on the radio and I had to about do a double take as to what I had heard. The commercial goes on to say that Alaska is a concealed legal state and that anyone at anytime could and may be carrying a concealed and loaded firearm. It goes on to warn anyone who intends to steal, rob, rape ect. to beware that the target they choose may be packing a loaded weapon and will use it. Basically comes right out and says, the next time you think of doing crime, remember that Alaskans are armed and will shoot back. Just really different to hear that on the radio. Definitely something you would never in a thousand and one years hear in conservative California. Speaking of shooting. The other day Maryann is off of work with John at school and myself working. That afternoon she lets the dogs outside to do what the dogs do outside, and inadvertently fell asleep on the bed. Apparently she just wanted to close her eyes for a moment and went out like a light for a while in a deep sleep. Some time later she awakes to an obnoxious continual honking of a horn. It pulls her out of her sleep and through the dreariness of just waking up she is pissed to say the least when she realizes that some jackass is sitting out in front of the house in the driveway blaring their horn. She looks out the window and is thinking who in the hell this is, as she doesn't recognize the truck. Meantime, the dogs are barking and jumping all over the truck and the occupants have the windows completely rolled up. So Maryann goes to the front door and opens it, while this jackass is still honking and yells at them what do they want. Mind you, she just got rattled out of a dead sleep and is a tad dazed, and in no mood to mess. Had she had the gun in her hand she would more than likely have leveled the barrel, and in the mood she was in had fired a warning shot over the bow. The driver rolls down the window ever so slightly and asks if so and so lives here. The name she inquired was the previous owners name. Maryann steps out the door and is now getting more and more agitated, as she has serious reserves about the previous owner, and some of the shenanigans that she pulled when she sold us the house. She looks at this woman while Cherokee is clawing at her window, and says point blank...."do I look like f*^king so and so?" "Did you not see the sign at the driveway that says 'Private Property, No Trespassing'???" "What in hell do you think this is that you sit there and honk on my property??" I guess the look on this woman's face was priceless as Maryann read her the 'riot act'. She all but gives her not much of a choice as she is yelling..." you know whats best for you!" If you knew how serious people here take their privacy, I would never in my life even think about venturing down a long, blind driveway that is specifically posted not to. She did! I guess I understand why she did as she assumed she was in the right place...she assumed. You know what happens when we assume! But to sit a blare your horn nonstop.....duh! Meanwhile that same day I found myself in a precarious position. I had been dispatched out by one of the property management firms I do work for, to check out a deadbolt on someones apartment. Apparently the key was stuck in the deadbolt and it wouldn't lock. Now the person who lived there was going to be at work, and obviously the door would be unlocked. So I arrive and do my customary 'knock' before I enter. Upon hearing no response I walk in and proceed to assess the situation with the lock. For no other reason than it is just easier to see what was happening with it, I walked to the inside and shut the door to test the deadbolt. And wouldn't you know it, in fact it locked. It locked so well that in fact it would not unlock! I am thinking holy crap, as I struggle with it to no avail. I am now officially locked inside of some strangers apartment. Now I don't know if you have ever experienced the fleeting moment of euphoric dread that one feels when they find themselves trapped in some unknowing strangers habitat. Let me tell you it is the most eye-opening sense of concern you will ever have man. I am thinking "oh crap, what if they are home in the shower or something and didn't hear me knock. What are they gonna think when they see.... Now I just heard that commercial about shooting strangers in your home and such for the first time ever the day before, and now I am wondering what sick irony was transpiring before me. So I continue to struggle with the lock. Then I remember that the smart man that I am, I had put a screwdriver in my pocket before I entered and figure I will try to unscrew the lock and pop it out and maybe free up whatever was jamming it. I wasn't even into the second screw when all of a sudden from the other end of the apartment I hear a loud and large determined bark, bark, bark. My heart sinks into my ass as I begin to visualize this rabid dog ripping at the stranger in his home, as I struggle to pop the lock, and I am about to piss my pants. The dog, wherever it was keeps barking and I am counting the seconds before it rounds the corner and sees me as a can of opened Alpo. I finally pop the lock out and unlatch the throw as I burst through the door to the outside. Now I can't imagine what someone would have thought had they been on the outside watching a lock for no apparent reason fly off of the door and see this burly man excitedly come flying across the threshold like he had just escaped the house of horror in some freak Linda Blair movie! But I imagine it would have had their jaw about floored, and their eyes a bugging. Now I am out and the suspense is killing me. The thing is still barking but it is not coming after me. The true adventurer that I have become here in the last frontier, I slowly begin to walk the mile back into the apartment to see what is barking and why it didn't kill me. Fool that I was! I cautiously come to the corner and peak around it and there tied on this leash that is wrapped around the kitchen trash can is this little adorably fluffy little rat dog! His tail starts wagging and his little body starts to gyrate with excitement! I walked over to it and as I let him know his bark was way bigger than he was, he rolls over so I can rub his belly. Ahwwe! =) So we talked about it for a couple minutes and I finally, and very relieved I might add, began to fix the sticky deadbolt. So the next day I pull up to the same apartment complex to look at another unit that needs some work. I am at the passenger door of my truck on the curb digging out a few tools I will need from my toolbox, and feel the sensation of something running up my leg. I spin around to see what is going on and if it isn't my cute little buddy! His tail is wagging and he is standing on my leg just wanting that bonding love we shared the day before to re-ignite! His owner comes running out calling him like he had dodged out the open door and shouldn't of. Seems he heard me pull up and knew he just had to come see me!

So there you have it! In the past 3 days a tale of sentimentalism, disbelief, rage, and love & fear all in a place called Alaska. It just started raining a few moments ago. First time in about a week and a half. My folks will be here this coming Wednesday and we are excited. The dogs get all perky when they hear us tell them Grandpa and Grandma are coming. Good night for now, and best hopes for our friends Dave and Yvette!


Saturday, September 1, 2007

Wood matters.

So it has been asked by some lately....what does Greg's woodpile look like anyway? That is kind of a hard one to answer. Seeings how Greg's woodpile has been segregated into many woodpiles. Some has been stacked, some split and piled, and some still in the form of unbucked logs. But any way you slice's firewood! So I took a minute this morning to take some shots of the various piles scattered about. Some in front, some lining the back wall of the house, alot in the auxiliary room of the greenhouse, and of course that yet to be processed. Processed. Makes it sound like it is looking for legal entry into the U.S. Anyways. Keep in mind that as long as the weather is allowing, we will keep hauling it home. Just not sure how winter will be until we go through our first, and don't want to be caught short. Besides, any that is left over from this winter, is a jump on next winter. Although we don't have an official count, we know that we have 4 cords stacked now, and from the many years of past experience in woody math I suspect we have about 5 unstacked/split at this point. This totals 9 cords to date. Oh I am happy a man of this. Now you may be asking yourself, well, if he said they were going on their 8th cord in one of last weeks posts.....well, that was then, and another cord rolled in since! Like I said, as long as the weather allows, we will keep haulin' it home. There is an ample source of it out there. I just know the winter months are much longer and colder than what we have been used to in hot, sweaty, California, and I like the idea of the family staying warm... They do too! It's funny, Maryann pointed out the other day that as alot of our friends back home have been running fans and air conditioners all summer long, we have been running our furnace and woodstove! Amazing. Have a great weekend. In response to the whithered cry of a frustrated Mike K., blogger has been restructuring it's format the past week and those who like to comment couldn't. Apparently they have made it so now we have to review any comments and then we can publish them. So worry not our philosophical friend, for once again you can now comment with confidence! Take care for now.