Friday, October 31, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Go Nanooks!

Every year in October I buy myself a birthday sweater. I have done it since the last couple years of high school. I still have most of them and can tell you which birthday I got most of them on. I finally got paid this past week so I was able to go out shopping. There is a store called the Wooly Rhino owned by a local woman which sells great outdoor wear. I stopped by yesterday to see what I could find before a large group of us went off to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks' hockey game. I couldn't resist getting the hat that goes with it :)

General Admission tickets are on the second tier. Next time we are getting reserved seats!

Nook and Lil' Nook helped direct "traffic" on the ice during the 1st and 2nd period break. Remote control car races on ice! Sweet!

They also have a shoot out for the little ones. Good times!

So how did I do with this year's sweater? It kept me pretty toasty warm at the game. I didn't need the hat the whole game but it came in handy coming home. The last couple nights have been getting a little chilly. In fact, tonight I plugged my car in. Don't want it to not start coming morning. Have a great week everyone!

My first Alaska adventure

Today I went dog sledding. The owner of the last house I looked at to possibly rent is a retired musher who still has four of his dogs. He takes them out for runs fairly often. On Friday afternoon he called me to let me know he was taking the dogs out on Sunday and wanted to know if I would like to come along. Sure! It's something new, I like sled dogs, why not?

Then I spent the next two days wondering if I had made a pact with an ax murder who was going to take me out into the remote woods of Alaska and chop me into pieces to feed to his dogs. I reasoned it over in my head, told several friends my plan, and googled him. He's a real musher, real school pyschologist. Decided what the heck. I made sure I had my Road i.d. on, had my cell phone (and it even had signal at the place), and some matches in my pocket in case I needed to plan a night in the woods.

Today's temperature reached at high of 7 above zero. My clothing to go dog sledding consisted of one layer cold gear from Under Armour, one layer running pants, one layer North Face snow pants plus two layers of socks and my snow boots (all on the bottom half); then I had on one layer silky long underwear on top, with a zip up Under Armour jacket, then my fleece and liner Cabela's winter coat with fleece hat and scarf. My thinsulate gloves were upgraded with hand warmers and I was ready to go.

I had a great time and am back home, freshly bathed (smelled a bit like wet dog and diesel fuel) and I have the still warm hand warmers tucked in my Sherling wool slippers and am quite toasty.

Here are a few pictures from the day! It was beautiful! Enjoy!

My chauffeurs were Tazman, Yoda, Helen, and Pearl. Their owner drove the snowmobile, I just held on. And yes, we tipped it over once but we weren't going very fast and the worst part of it was getting up and hitting the little spruce tree just enough for it to "snow" all over my head.

Tazman howling to say he's ready!

Pearl also knows it's time to go!

And we are off!

There isn't enough snow yet for a sled or the four wheeler so we used the snowmobile.

Look at all the blue sky! FYI: The bluer and clearer the ski, the colder it is outside!

Taking a little break. Clockwise from the dog rolling in the snow you have Tazman, Pearl, Helen, and Yoda. When Yoda runs, she lays her ears down and looks just like the little green guy except for that green part.

Yoda wants to go, Helen is getting a "drink" from the snow.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A fond "see ya around"

The one thing you get use to at teaching hospital is people coming and going. Every three months the residents on your service rotate. In my case, about every 2 years I had a new supervising doc with all the changes the Trauma service went through. Now I'm with the Army (as a civilian for the record) and it's all about change again. This time it was the only other civilian in our department...our amazing secretary Tawnya. This winter she and her Air Force husband will be PCS'ing (permanent change of station) to a yet to be announced location. So to help get ready for the move she is leaving us at the hospital to work on downsizing the house, getting ready for the move, etc.

So yesterday we threw ourselves a potluck to say good bye. Participating in a pot luck when you only have a kitchenette to cook in can be interesting but I borrowed my boss' crockpot, browned the sausage at home and then mixed the cream cheese and tomatoes up at work. A little sausage dip complete!

Here are a few shots of the crew and the wonderful Miss Tawnya. We'll miss her but at least we get to hang out with her for a few more months before she leaves. She's even offered to keep me sane while the mover's move my stuff in to my rental house next week!

I forget to mention she is a fellow Montana girl so that right there just makes her super cool!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New friends

I'm a people person. I have been a people person since I was little. I can make conversation with almost anyone. Nonetheless, when you choose to uproot yourself from the familiar to the unknown there is a sense of the unfamiliar accompanied by a sense of "will they like me?". Leaving a group of comfortable friends who will laugh with you and at you, cry with you and for you, and will listen when you need it is hard. There is a trust existing with these friends, which was hard earned on your part and theirs. It took time to get 'comfortable'.

My friends are spread near and far across the country. There are those from childhood. Then college. Then grad school. Then the first job. And now...I'm in Alaska! There are friends you talk to nearly daily. There are those you might catch up with once or twice a year. There are those whom you talk to and every time you do it's like you were just together a few minutes ago even though it might have been months or years. There are friends for situations and then they disappear back into the list of "those I've known". There are the friends who make up your safety net; the lifers in your life.

I think I've started on the right path here. Last night I saw the results of putting a bug in the air on Friday. "Hey, anyone interested in a girls' only dinner on Saturday night?" Eight of us met at a local brewery for laughs, new beginnings, and old pals. Everyone in the group knew at least one other person but not everyone knew everyone else. We managed to have a lively dinner and a fond farewell with a "see ya later" at the end. It is a start, hopefully, a start which goes somewhere farther. All friendships must begin somewhere and to me over food and microbrews is a great place to start.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

HNT...A favorite fall treat.

These are the sweetest of sweet apples and are pure heaven! Add caramel to them and it's perfection. Would you believe this apple was "created" at the University of Minnesota?

The Honeycrisp apple was a new apple they created several years ago. I was able to get them right off the tree in the orchards back in Rochester. You can imagine how elated I was when I found them at Safeway on Sunday. I've had one a day since then....I won't need a doctor for a while but I'm sure my dentist would frown!

I missed out on pumpkin patches and fall hikes b/c fall was pretty much over and we have winter here in Fairbanks. You can buy pumpkins in the grocery store but it's not the same. Definitely no corn field mazes either. So I'll settle for caramel covered Honeycrisps to remind it's still fall.

Happy HNT!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How Alaskans Walk

Waddle, Waddle.

Stomp, Stomp!

Waddle, Waddle!


Monday, October 13, 2008

So what did you think of MNF?

I sort of got a kick out of watching Eli fall apart. I guess the boys didn't feel the same way.

Pent up creativity...

I cracked this weekend. I HAD to make some cards. I ordered a couple Simply Sent kits from Stampin' Up to make some predesigned cards but I also went to Michael's and bought a few things to combine with the package my friend Lynnae sent me in order to make some Halloween cards. For the record, non-Stampin' Up cardstock is crap and having to draw cobwebs by hand sucks but I think they turned out pretty cute.

With the stuff I ordered and what Lynnae sent me I think I can get some fall cards together too. My accessories are limited but I have papercutters, some ink, stamps, and a square punch. It's all about making do with what you least for three more weeks.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I miss you...

A year ago today a moose lost a very special mother. She's no longer in pain and she watches over us every day but you know what? I still miss her like crazy. She would think I was crazy for moving all the way to Alaska. I would love to call her and tell her how pretty it is here. Bet the view from where she is at is really amazing.

I miss you, Mom!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A lazy Saturday

It is almost noon on Saturday and I'm sort of moving around. I've been awake for a few hours but I haven't done much. Over a bowl of cereal I was browsing a few of my facebook friends and blogs and it looks like it's a theme today. It must be the feeling of fall settling in. People are taking today to just "be". Nothing wrong with that. I'm going to do the same thing. I have plans for tonight but I don't plan on doing much else the rest of today.

I found this on Anne's site and figured I could manage it.

8 favorite tv shows:
1. CSI: (All three)
2. Law and Order: SVU
3. Bones
4. Criminal Minds
5. Grey's Anatomy
7. According to Jim
8. Army Wives

8 favorite restaurants:
1. The Windbag, Helena MT
2. City Cafe, Rochester MN
3. HuHot
4. Wendy's
5. The Hopleaf, Chicago IL
6. The Brewhouse, Helena MT
7. Pad Thai, Fairbanks AK
8. Eva's, Casa Grande AZ

8 things i did yesterday:
1. Saw patients
2. Finished all my notes
3. Had birthday cake for breakfast
4. Took one of my techs to lunch for helping me with my CBRNE training
5. Called my dad
6. Learned how to do my timecard
7. Took a great nap
8. Watched The Starter Wife and this week's episode of Grey's

8 things i love about fall:
1. Pumpkin...chai, latte, pie, ice cream, carving, seeds
2. All the pretty leaves
3. Crisp mornings
4. Apple orchards
5. My birthday
6. Homemade blankets...quilts, afghans, whatever to curl up on the couch with
7. Hay rides
8. Thanksgiving

8 things i look forward to:
1. Selling my house (any one want a house in Rochester, MN)
2. The three day weekend
3. Moving into the log home I'm renting
4. Getting a routine at the new job
5. My first Alaska winter
6. Getting an automatic car starter for my car for said winter
7. Skiing on Birch Hill
8. Getting to visit Helena to meet Quincey Margaret in person

8 things on my wish list:
1. My house to sell
2. A trip to New Zealand
3. Enough money to pay off my student loans
4. Someone to love
5. A safe winter
6. An Alaskan Huskie
7. Friends to come visit me
8. Time to read all the books I have on my shelves (the pile never gets smaller!)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A good day in Alaska!

Today was a GOOD day in Alaska. Even if I am another year older.

Today, tried another new place to eat today. The Thai food last Friday night was amazing. The Chinese food I got last night for my birthday feast was pretty good. Today, a few of us went to this little Mexican joint. Very yummy!

Today, I found out the check for my travel payment is soon to be on it's way.

Today, I signed paperwork on a place to rent. I'll have a home!

Today, it snowed some more!

Today, I got a care package from Minnesota! This little guy and his little brother were in the box but more importantly a TON of stamping goodies were in the box. I get to stamp now! I can make cards.

Today, I found out I have a three day weekend b/c Monday is a "holiday". I am going to stamp!!! Cards!! Crafts!! YEAH!!!

Thanks to my friends Lynnae and Tammy for hooking me up and sending the hugs and goodies.

Happy HNT!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Another day older...

and deeper in debt...

St Peter don't you call me cuz I can't goooo...

I owe my soul to the company store!

That's about what another day feels like today. Pretty much sums it up.

Monday, October 06, 2008

I am...

You are Justice

Equity, rightness, probity, executive; triumph of the observing side in law.

Justice is about cold, objective balance through reason or natural force. You can't keep smoking and drinking without consequences to your health. It is the card that advises cutting out waste and insists that you make adjustments, do whatever is necessary to bring things back into balance, physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually. It is a card of balance and harmony; if there is imbalance, the correction may
require recourse to the law.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Out and about!

I have been out and about much of this week looking for a place to live. I have made the decision and had the decision forced a little too, to rent. I have my house up for sale in Minnesota and I don't know the area and what winter is like in certain areas so buying is just not going to work right now. The pictures are very good examples of what it looks like to get to most of the places I have looked at. The key is to be "up on the hill" for winter. It can be 20-30 degrees warmer up there than right in town. Also better to be near Fairbanks b/c the water is better OR have a place where your water is delivered.

Fuel oil is used for heat. Water is either a well with a required water softener and sometimes also a purifier. Electricity is normal. Cable is not available in more remote areas. The same with internet. Some places have floor heating, some have a wood stove. Multiple paned windows are a good thing.

My criteria were fairly broad but a few things I want just because if I'm living up here I want to live like "they" live. I did not want to be "in" town. I did not want a crowded neighborhood, city traffic, etc. I wanted a log home or at least a home that looked "Alaskan" inside (hardwood floors, lofts, whatever). I did not want to be so far out I couldn't make it to the hospital in decent time, in the dead of winter, in the middle of the night. I had to have room for all my Stampin' Up things.

I think I have found "it". It is off the main road up on the hill. It's a log home with triple paned windows, a Toyo stove, electric backup heat, gas counter top stove, and TWO ovens. The second floor is lofted and includes great work space, the master bedroom with full bath, and great storage space. The main floor has the other two bedrooms which I can keep colder to save on energy until I need them. Plenty of space for my craftin' stuff. A little backyard with elevated garden boxes in already. Owners will full the fuel, propane, and water tanks before they leave so I will have those taken care of. They owners are "normal" people (as in I do not feel the need to check with the FBI to see if they are hiding). Overall, the whole place is very homey and just what I need. Would love to buy a place just like it but not with the market and not with owning one home already.

So these are the roads in the hills. Trees right up to the edge. Snow always at the higher levels even when it's melting in town. Moose supposedly. I haven't seen any yet. If it's clear you can see Denali National park even though it's 200 miles away but I wouldn't say it's been "clear" since I got here. We have had sunshine but not clear enough to see McKinley. But at least I can say I'm getting settled. It's a good feeling.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

HNT...They shot me!

I haven't even worked for the Army for a week and they SHOT me today! Yup, I got shot! By someone that in-processed in with me on Monday. And it's only Thursday! They fixed me right up with a Peanuts band-aid though. Good Army Medical care up here. i'm suppose to be protected from the flu now too.

Don't forget to wear pink this month and shout one out for Breast Cancer Research.