Sunday, July 20, 2008

Thats what I'm talkin about!

Now could you imagine? This is a King salmon that these guys landed a couple weeks ago. Apparently it was within an iota close to making the record in Alaska. Yes, I guess they do come a skosh bigger. So here we are and almost the end of July, and again the failure to do any posts. What can I say but I guess what with so much daylight so late and all we are doing time just slips by. If I remember correctly, Maryann was going to follow up with some pics from our time with the Parisi's. She has been overly busy with her new position at the lodge. Right now is the time that it all comes undone as the fishing is kicking off full bore, and tourism is in full swing. She is doing ok with her new position It is a love/hate thing really. Her staff loves and respects her like no other. Something she is so deserving of as she has been on the other side of the proverbial coin and knows how to treat her staff properly. Something Maryanns predacessor never knew how to do as per the raw comments made by past employees, of her tactics. The way she ran everyone as Maryann has been told, says it all. For the duration of this forum, to further protect her real identitiy we will simply refer to Maryanns predecessor as....Sweetpea. One of Maryanns' office assistants is majoring in psychology, and has had some interesting observations and comments about Sweetpea. One of Sweetpeas hang-ups is that she is a control freak, of the worst type. This in itself amounts to 30 or more phone calls per exageration.... to Maryann, everyday, which makes Maryanns day counterproductive and throws everything in the office continuously behind. Another of Sweetpeas problems is she is in denial that Maryann was Sweetpea... to replace Sweetpea, and she doesn't want to give up her position now. Mind you, last year she chose to move her family back to Oregon, and now feels she can run the office from 3000 miles away by phone. The 3 owners don't see it that way, and Maryann is living proof that it aint workin. Thus the haberdashery that Maryann has to consistently deal with. This would be the 'hate' part of the deal. The good thing is that the 3 owners of the lodge see what is happening, love Maryann and know she is more than capable of running things, and they all want Sweetpea out. They all have acknowledged that Sweetpea made a descision to forfeit her position when she chose to move out of state, and after all, this is the whole reason Maryann was hired in the first place. But, Sweetpea is needed for a little while longer as Maryann is still learning the rest of the ropes. But, Maryann is top dog now, and has pissed on a few of Sweetpeas trees just to remind her of such. Slowly but surely Sweetpea is submitting to the inevitable change of guard. Sweetpea has some psychological issues, yes she does. Other than that Maryann is fine and knows in her heart that things will get better and she needs to keep sticking with it.

John is doing great. He is in full swing with commercial fishing now. He and the crew had a rare opportunity the other day to watch a humpback whale surface just yards off the bow of the boat and made about 6 launches out of the water for the crew. Do you think he was saying, "leave my dinner alone ya jackasses!"? Anyways, it was a sight, and John stated it will stick in his mind forever. John also had an experience that will stick in his mind forever, as will that of the minds of his parents. He arrived at the boat early a week ago, and at 10:00PM was getting things ready so that they could set out at midnight when the skipper arrived. He was the only one on the boat, and pretty much in the area at the time. Now you would think that after watching so many episodes of Deadliest Catch, he would learn. But then again, this isn't the Bearing Sea and it's not the middle of winter so why would such an important thing be addressed (sarcasm). He was undoing some nets and was working his way around a narrow section of deck by the netting wheel, and in the slime of the net his footing slipped and into the water he went. Now he said that he tried to scale back into the boat, but he just couldn't make it over. So he was finally forced to grab hold of one of the boats buoys and hold on and wait. He didn't allow himself to panic, but he said within a minute of being in the water he could feel himself weakening from the cold. The boat is moored at the mouth of the Kasilof river which is cold glacial runoff. Fortunately a skiff was passing and saw him yelling and flailing at the boat in his orange gear. The guy made it over to him, but after being in the water for 5 minutes John said no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn't get the strength to pull himself into the skiff and the other guy had to pull him in. Why wasn't he wearing his life vest you ask? I guess John like most felt in his mind that this kind of thing doesn't happen often and especially not to someone like him. Will he wear his life vest next time??? He has gotten multiple lectures not only from us but others who know, and we can only hope he learned his lesson. But as parents I have to say it brought home the serious relization of how important it is to make sure to enjoy every minute and always tell them you love them and be careful before they walk out that door. Not that we dont already, because we always do. But now more than ever it means so much more. On a brighter note, he is also taking advantage of fishing the river on his days off, and the other night made his 3 per day limit on Red salmon within about an hour. Coincidentally, we bought us a deep freezer this year, and it is starting to fill up....woohoo! At this rate we will be eating salmon this winter like its hamburger.

I think in posts past I mentioned or maybe not, that this summer we have been honored with the presence of a cow moose and her 2 calves on the property. They have been hanging around here alot. When I had the tractor to pull the fuel tank last month, I also cut a little road down the back side of the property so we can get a little easier access down below. They have been spending some time on that road and enjoying foraging our lush greenage. Now despite our efforts to train Kenai to understand that "moose are good", she is insistent that she will not tolerate their presence. This bullheaded persistance led to a debacle a couple weeks back. All I clearly remember was that I was buns up with my head in the toilet cleaning under the rim, and I hear Maryann yell at Kenai. But this was no ordinary scolding or commanding yell. No, this was more of a yell of concern for her safety. And it was followed by 3 more yells of the same urgency only getting louder each time. As I came running out of the bedroom into the kitchen I watched in confusion as Maryann ran from the front door across the living room to the back door. As I looked towards the back door all I saw was Kenai flying past the window with her ass damned near in front of her, followed by mama moose hot on her tail. It turns out as we figured out later after piecing the events together, that ol Kenai who can smell a mouses fart a mile away, must have been aware...again....of the moose's presence. We think she inadvertently stumbled upon mama who was down in the thicket behind the woodpile, while Kenais' nose was vertical instead of watching what was in front of her. She startled mom, mom startled her, and the chase ensued. What we have learned about cows is that often times they will stache their calves while they are getting food. For obvious this protect them and keep them from harm. Or in this case Kenai. And so was the case here. The only smart thing Kenai did was run up on the back deck. Mom ran past the deck and waited frustratingly for Kenai to make her next move. But I got out, ushered Kenai in, and then went back out to a stressed mom. I held my hand out to her in a sign of friendship, she smiled, licked my hand and.....yeah, right. I did utter a few peaceful words to her though, and to this day it's your guess if she understood.... But after taking a minute to reflect, she did go back off and you could see her looking and listening for her calves. She instantly darted back down behind the sauna, and as I watched from Maryanns studio window saw her rendezvous with the calves and begin letting them feed from her. Was a Marlin Perkins moment, indeed! Since then, sometimes I will be out in the yard and see them. The calves will round up under mom, mom looks at me, I wave at her and smoozie "sweetie" to her and she will then usually go back to eating like I am accepted as friendly to her. After all, it was I who was the hero who called off that knuckled headed dog of ours!

Last week I did the craft show in Sterling again this year. Again I made some pretty good money selling pottery. I know I said last year that this summer I wanted to do it more often and got so busy making money with the maintenance business that I have made little time to do so. But I will start making it a little bit more of a priority as this type of thing really gets the motivation and the urge to create going. The second morning of the show Maryann and I were going to carpool out to Sterling since she had to work. She was in the shower and I was walking into the kitchen eyes still shut, when I thought I heard a foreign sound coming from the basement. As I made my way down the stairs I realized it was coming from behind the small door leading into the crawl space. As I opened the door, I was in complete disbelief as I beared witness to a hole in the side of our pressure tank spewing water. Now, like the water heater the month before....did I mention the water heater went out the month before? But like the water heater, I wanted to change out the pressure tank this summer. We wanted to get a bigger one because they are more efficient. But I didn't expect to do it the morning I was going back to sell more pottery. So we were without water for a couple days. Carrying buckets up from the lake to flush the toilets, and borrowing from the neighbor buckets of water to wash in. But we did get our new pressure tank. I had to relocate it out of the crawl space and into the utility room because of it's size. But it is great and we have such better pressure now. And, get this....our water no longer smells like butt! We think that because of the lack of use from the previous owner....jackass....that the tank had an excessive buildup of heavy metal and corrosion (obviously since the tank spewed a hole through solid steel) and manganesse which is very present in our well, and the bacteria buildup may have been causing that horrible smell. Overall, since we moved in, all that we have done to the water system has so improved it and it is so much better than day one. When our hot water heater blew last month we switched over to one of those 'on demand' water heaters and it is just tops! And we cut huge chunk out of our electrical bill. Woohoo again!

Well, thats it for catch up. John and I are about to go off and cut some wood today. A friend of his has some property with downed trees and his dad told us to help ourselves. We are at 6 cords here now and are looking to get at least 4 more to get us through winter. Notice how I said at least! Woodwhores take anything they can get. Have a great day and we'll try to send some pics here the next post.