Saturday, November 17, 2007

When the snow starts a fallin' there's a name you should be callin'....

Now by all standards, it has been said by many native Alaskans that in fact this winter is getting off to a slow start. Should be colder by now, should be more snow on the ground. We are content, but I must admit we were expecting much more of the extremes. So this summer we are moving further north to Barrow. Now if you no Barrow, you know that there is "much more of the extremes"....if you know Maryann, she aint gonna let it happen! She is content on the peninsula!! Ok, I am too. I called her up the other day to say hi while I was out working. You see, this week found me building an outdoor entry building to access the basement of one of the apartments I maintain. I told her that I was endurance training for next winters' season of crab fishing in the cold Bearing Sea...... It was cold out that day, and snowing litely. I think it was the wind chill that had me. You know, no matter how much you dress for the gotta keep moving to stay warm! However, I would rather layer to keep warm, as opposed to having to get naked to stay cool. So I feel it is a fair trade off. Did I enjoy my week of working outside in the elements? I am told that I live in Alaska now. So if I did not enjoy it, I better start! Like I said, as long as you keep moving. Now by most standards, that wasn't even cold. And it wasn't. When we were here in November last year the daytime highs were about 15 degrees, and the nights got well below zero, not taking in the wind chill factor. That is about when your facial hair...hell, your hair....turns brittle and cracks when you brush it with your hand. Your chest gets numb just breathing. All in all it was a gratifying experience this past week, knowing that I am slowly adjusting my California metabolic system, into a mean, lean, Arctic machine! Maryanns feelings on this? She hasn't complained or commented so I can only say she is content. Johns feelings? Well. He would have you believe that he would rather be back in California, but I think he is enjoying the difference of life here. Quite a guy he is. We are fortunate to have him with us as he has truly been an asset to our setting up and prepping for winter.
So, I bit down and made the investment. I bought a new plow for my truck this past week, and will start plowing snow as part of my services. There is a demand for plow drivers here, and I have been told by more than one that there is really good money to be made. If you remember a couple posts back I had mentioned how I am now working for another big investor in the area. He is also the Broker for one of the Real Estate offices in Soldotna. He has several other handymen which he keeps busy maintaining all of his many included....and although we are all have our own businesses, work under an independent contractor status for him. The really nice thing is that we are all a 'team'. Literally. And it is turning out that we are not only a team for Erik, but also for each other in our own endeavours. I was heavily encouraged by Erik and this team to plow, and have been given the opportunity to help plow not only the investment properties, but each handyman's own plow clients, as I build up my own route. How cool is that?! Alaskans although wanting to be left alone to do their thing, are also very helpful, giving, and caring of others. We feel very fortunate to be in this community. I look forward to continuing to work with this crew, and develop relationships.
Maryann, again, is having her work premiered in a coffee house in Soldotna. Quit amazing she is! I was so honored the other day to walk in and see her work hanging on the walls. It will be there for the month, and then she will be participating in another similar event next month. Did you know that moose grow snow on their backs during the winter here? No joke. I got to see it up close and first at a petting zoo. I was on my way back to the apartment after getting a steamer at the coffee house and checking out Maryann's display. Most of the streets in the town of Soldotna are limited to strictly 25 MPH and as well, none of the streets get plowed during the first snows. Or at least seems the case. So all the snow is packed on the road now, and pretty much ice. As I am cruising doing between 20 and 25 down this residential street, I am sipping my steamer, cranking the heater full blast trying to get hot as I can before I have to go back out in it. I think Johnny Cash' "Ring Of Fire" was playing on the radio and out of my peripheral I see something that appears to be running next to me. I slowly turn to look out the drivers window and there is a young moose running next to me. By instinct I go to apply my brakes, only to start sliding and try to come to a stop. I am going to let him win, you know. Now this is a slow speed encounter and almost seems surreal, as I slowly slide to a stop and this thing skips past me and crosses in front of the truck and disappears into....wherever moose go in the middle of town. What intrigued me, besides the incredibly slow crawl that this encounter took place, was that this thing was covered from head to ass in a dust of frost, as if it was part of the making of his fur....and it wasn't snowing this particular morning! I guess their fur just kind of freezes during the winter. Strange. Glad I am not a moose!
And so the verdict is in. I am officially backing out of the "Christmas In Kenai" show next week. Yes, my kiln is officially D.O.A. I am so devastated. Yet, although I can't figure it, somehow have to believe that there is a reason for it, and I have to find some common understanding of the situation. To be honest with you, I was tempted to use my new plow, to push the thing into the lake. ARGH! So as of now, I am only half a potter. However, we are muddling over possibly getting me a new kiln. I just want to have the piece of mind that the next one I get is not going to let me down again, when I need it most. I spent alot of focus this summer on all of the faires, weekend markets, craft shows, and festivals that take place form here to Fairbanks and I want to be a part of them this coming season. The new kilns are much more efficient which not only saves on energy cost to run them, but produce more evenly fired ware. And the technology is a little more sophisticated than their predecessors. I just decided that I didn't want to take the risk of buying another used one and taking the chance of something going wrong down the line. What more can I say about it. From the death of my effort this round, will come the birth of a promising future with my pottery. A big goal of mine in moving here was to market my pottery and increase my sales to become a more financially promising business. I know it is logistically possible to do here, and just need to be properly prepared to do it.
Well, there it is. I am not sure what happened to Maryann. Been a while since she posted. I assure you she is alive and well, and very happy to be here though. I will have to give her a little grief and get her to post more. Take care for now, and although we are happy as clams in sand, we do miss our families and friends and think of you all alot. Thank you Conitha! We do miss you and your name comes up often.....don't worry, it's good! ;) Mike, I laughed my butt off with that email the other day. I usually don't do forwards much, but that was just too friggin much! I wish there was a way to link it to the there? I am giggling again just mentioning it! Thanks for the laugh. Re-runs of '24' come on tonight in 20 minutes so I am off!

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