Sunday, November 30, 2008

From dishes to decorations...

Welcome to Christmas at my house! I wasn't sure I wanted to put up the decorations since it meant hauling them all out of the attic where I just put them away two weeks ago. Plus i will be on vacation for some time too so I wasn't sure I wanted to deal with it all. In spite of my bah humbug mood I got it up. I even braved the cold and hung lights up outside. Better today than's suppose to be -25 as the "high" for the day. It was a balmy 6 above when I put the lights on the step tonight.

The tree is too tall to put on my tree topper! I could have put the tree in front of the back door but I think that's a little against "fire code" and common sense in case I do need to use that door for something! This is in front of the dining room window. I tucked the table underneath the bar and put the chairs around it there. I never use it anyway unless I have company so it will be good for a month.

I don't really do a "theme" every year but I do change up the colors on my tree. This year it's mostly greens and purples. I have multicolored and white lights as a base every year and YOU KNOW it wouldn't me MINE tree if my meese weren't all over it! Here's just a small sampling...I have to find this year's addition. Last year's was a moose sitting on a huckleberry!

A Trio of Moose!
(Yes, one of them sings)

I also wanted to show off all the tracks in my yard. I followed one set of moose tracks out so I could take the front step picture without crawling through the knee deep snow on my own. The two sets that go around the threes in the front are from Wednesday night. The mamma I saw must have had a baby with her later in the night when she wandered by. It was sort of pretty out tonight. It was above 0 in terms of temp, no wind, and it was snowing really lightly. The inversion is suppose to go away tomorrow and it will be brutal cold but that means there is a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights. I can't wait to catch pictures of those!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nevermore...The "garbage" experience in Fairbanks, AK!

To hell with Lenore! These ravens could carry a soul to heaven and back along with a small child in their clasps!

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!'
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.'

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never-nevermore."'

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

Nanooks win! In a SHOOTOUT!

Tonight's game was much more exciting the the first one we went to. The University of Alaska-Fairbanks took on the Lake Superior State University Lakers. I would say it was a bit of a sloppy game for our offense with a lack of puck control and not enough shots on the goal but our defense covered our butts and got the job done.

The game ended in a 1-1 tie but you can see what I mean about not enough shots on the goal. We were out shot 36 to 25. In college hockey a tie goes to at 5 minute sudden death OT. It started with a bang b/c the penalty clock didn't start with the game clock. Coach nearly came off the bench...I love it when a bald guy in a suit loses his cool!

OT ended without a score and we moved on to a SHOOT OUT! I've been to a lot of high school games and a few pro games but this was my first shoot out! Way fun! The entire stadium gets all excited and the tension in the air is sweet. Think OT field goal attempt from the 52 yard line for all you NFL fans.

The shootout was awesome. Smartly, our coach decided to defend first since our goalie had his act together unlike our offense. Shot one for the Laker's...denied. Shot one for the Nanooks...score! Shot two for the Laker's...denied. Shot two for the Nanooks...denied! Shot three for the Lakers...denied! NANOOKS WIN and the place goes wild!!! Chalk one up for Chad Johnson! His offense owes him one; they didn't score on any of their FIVE power play opportunities!

Friday, November 28, 2008

The inspiration...

This was the idea sparking cause of my grand Thanksgiving feast. The kitchen in the new house has double ovens! I was so excited. Good thing though...a turkey big enough to feed 22 people takes up the entire space of one oven!! The corn casserole, extra dressing, green bean casserole, and the yams were all done in the lower oven. The pies were done the night before while the yams were baking in the other one.

Yesterday was a wonderful day. I had 21 people plus myself here for dinner. I had tables set up in the dining room, living room, and one in the loft. But we ended up all eating downstairs. A few of us set on the couch and the floor using the coffee table instead of going upstairs. It was loud and crazy but I had a great time. The little ones were the highlight of the day ranging in age from 4-16. They all called me "Miss Nicolle" and said please and thank you for everything. It was very cute! They begged long enough too that I brought out Reggie for them to pet.

Today I was my day to recover! Do you see all of this!!?!

22 people make lots of dirty dishes! That doesn't even include the serving dishes. I am on load number three in the dishwasher. I slept in, read quite a bit of the first Twilight book, and did dishes today. Tonight I have finally hooked up my DVD player and it works. I'm watching KungFu Panda. It's pretty darn cute. No shopping for me today! That's just craziness.
I'm thankful the day came and am thankful it was enjoyed. I feel like a bit of worry has been lifted. I have been so worried about getting the house ready so I could have Thanksgiving that now that it is over I feel like the rest will get done as it gets done. No longer a hurry or a rush to have things "just right".

I hope you all had special days and are enjoying a bit of relaxation this weekend. Now on to Christmas...think I need to make a stop at the Santa Claus House in North Pole to have a picture taken!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

'Fess up...

Does the Macy's Day Parade make anyone else get a tear in their eye?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It never ends...

First off, I want to say that my mother was a miracle worker. I very distinctly remember a traditional Thanksgiving meal made for the masses every May when we branded. I also remember very distinctly my mom being out working the calves with every one else. When the heck did she cook everything? Seriously!?!?!

Today was another one of "those days". The day ended 2 hours later than I planned at work and with a 1 hour search for my purse. boss and the other ortho doc helped me look for my purse for an hour. I have a very non "girly" purse. I have a little Sherpani purse and I grab it to go to lunch every day other wise it's in my big red brief case. After lunch today I got distracted somewhere between my lunch and my office. When I went to leave I didn't have my purse. Remember, I just went through a whole mess of straightening out a violated checking account. To say I was in a panic would be an understatement. I'm thankful the two docs are both married and have somewhat forgetful wives.

Some purse ended up in the utility chest in my exam room. I have no clue how it got there. When the doc who found it handed it to me I cried. Yes...tears! Usually not kosher in the ortho world. What a relief!

Even though I was delayed I was bound to get what I needed to get done tonight for Thanksgiving dinner done. I THINK the final number to be here tomorrow including me is 22. I think...

There have been a few last minute changes but the more the merrier. I currently have my feet up on the coffee table (i'll wipe it off before we use it to eat off of tomorrow for the little ones) watching Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving while i have yams in the bottom oven and the apple pie in the top oven. At about 10 pm tonight I made one last run to the grocery store. I swore I had a whole bottle of cinnamon but I guess not. It turned into the best trip to the grocery store ever.

Last night something messed up my garbage. Today when I got home from work I had "big" tracks in the snow in the front yard. Not the kind that float across the top of the snow...the long legged type which sink into the snow. Only one winter creature who makes those up here. I made sure I had an eye looking around as I put the garbage away tonight.

I backed out of the driveway to head out and got to the far end of the "yard" in front of my house. There was a MOOSE in it. A BIG cow moose! I didn't see any calves and she wandered into the neighbors. I sat and watched her from the car for a while before I called Os all freakin' out! A moose! In my yard! After an icky day! I was all smiles as I picked up my yams, cinnamon, and dish soap.

It's about 11:30 and I'm going to wait for the pie to get done and then I'm calling it a night! The turkey has to be in the oven by 9 am. No sleeping in tomorrow. That is what Friday is for (to heck with Black Friday)!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Give your THANKS this week!

I despise, even loathe, the whole Christmas before Halloween craze. No wonder we are in an economic crisis...we have moved the biggest spending holiday of the year up to spread over months and months and no one knows how to budget Christmas for months on end!!

Anyway...take a moment, a sec, or a day to give thanks this week! The last two weeks have been really hectic in my life due to the unfortunate act of one person.

In the midst of it all I can find things to be thankful...for the manager on Friday night after hours who listened to me as I cried on the phone about how frustrated I was with his underling. the gal in Prince George at the Visitor's Center who not only found my dad and I a pet and smoker friendly hotel room but called and booked the rooms for us. Free of charge!

...for the clerks at the grocery store who gave me "hints" about places to check out in town.

...for all the friends and family I have spread all over the country. We are together in heart!

...for the new friends and "family" coming to eat at my house on Thursday. It will be a tight fit but we will be warm, full, and together.

So pause, think about what is you can be grateful to or who you need to say thank you to. Just don't frickin' start to celebrate Christmas yet! You can wait 4 more days!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Making it my own

This weekend was a good weekend in terms of progress. Turns out all I needed was to get good and fired up mad! I had my new checks stolen prior to them being delivered to me. Luckily, my banks check fraud department caught the transaction b/c the loser spelled my first name incorrectly and excluded my middle initial from my signature. Guess having legible handwriting all these years has paid off (Thanks, Mr Brinkman)!

Anyway...the national level of the bank has been great. Very helpful! Unfortunately a portion of the process to transition from old compromised account to new secure account had to be done at a local branch. I picked the one closest to work and the grocery store. Met a banker. She seemed helpful. After a minimum of one call a day to the national level and one stop a day at the local branch and continued glitches on the local banks end I had it. I called the national level fuming on Friday night and hung up in tears. I was pissed enough that even though it was 7:30 pm I called the local branch manager on the number I was provided by the national level. Guess what? He was working...great! He said he would print what I needed and call me on Saturday when he had it done. It's Sunday night at 9:30 pm and he hasn't called.

I decompressed after talking to a few friends back home by hitting the household stuff hard. My craft room was left in ruins by the movers. My friend Tawnya can attest to that. Remember the picture of the pile in the dining room? Now picture it with paper, stamps, ink pads, paper cutters, and ribbon! Sounds fun doesn't it? It was physically tasking (i wrenched my left knee pretty good getting the folding table set up) but I at least have a working perimeter now.

Here's a few shots of the place with MY things in it. I had the landlords leave the nails on the wall up the stairs. That's my mom and dad's wedding picture in the middle.

See all the blank space on the front wall of the stairs...that is where the two missing Glacier Park pics go. Still haven't found them anywhere. Now even in the mover's WTF box I found last night with my tent, hot pot, and my alarm clock in it.

See the blank spot on the hallway shelf...any of you back in Roch remember what I had on there? And yes, there are pictures that need leveled a bit. Log houses "move".

See the pile of hard hats and t-shirts in the hallway. That is part of the "where the heck do I put those" pile. For the storage shed outside! There might be several boxes going out there before Thursday. I have 18 people coming for Thanksgiving dinner. Gotta hide my junk somewhere :) Can't let the new friends know I'm a pack rat.

Hoar Frost...

I braved the cold today. I needed to load my garbage up in the truck and haul it into town. No garbage service in Fairbanks. I also wanted to look out in my storage shed and see what they put out there and see how much room I had out there. It was a -14 out today. Since I was out and the sun was out, I took a couple pictures too. not very good b/c I think I was shivering but still. You get the idea.

The air up here is unbelievably dry. The snow squeaks when you walk on it. It makes perfect conditions for hoar frost. For those of you who don't know what it is you can look at all sorts of pretty pictures or go to Wikipedia and read about it here. I have always found hoar frost to be really pretty. My whole house is covered in it. So is the storage shed and it "tinkled" off the shed when I pulled to get the door open. Made a cool falling sound.

I managed to get the garbage to the transfer station. I also managed to create enough once I got home to need to make another trip. I also went to The Prospector to do a little shopping. They had their annual "Bag It" sale. They give you this huge industrial strength bag and everything you fit into it is 20% off. I stocked up on wool socks and under layers. Lots of long sleeve and three-quarter sleeve layers to wear under sweaters and such. Also got a pair of flannel lined jeans. Found a face mask to keep my mouth and nose covered in the cold too...would have come in handy this morning. Finished it off with a pair of Merrill knee high boots.

Since getting home I've been moving piles. I have nearly everything in the room it needs to be in. I also have a pile of "where the hell do I put this?" stuff. Hopefully, it's all put away by Thursday at 2 pm...I have 18 people coming for a Thanksgiving feast!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Something new...Saturday 9

My usual Saturday morning routine includes no alarm, fresh coffee, CMT video top 20 Countdown and a catch up on all the blogs I didn't get to read over the weekend. Today I found this on Leesa's site and thought this would be something fun to do during that time (also gives me time to drink one more cup of coffee before I get down to the business of Saturday). So this will be my first Saturday 9. Enjoy!

1. What did you dream about last night?
I was in a ranch home instead of the lofted house. Had ALL the Stampin' Sistas over and my house was still a mess. The couldn't get to the kitchen, my stampin' stuff or even the bathroom. Then I had a visit from a close friend who needed a pick me up but we didn't have any time alone b/c all the Sistas were here. Then They were all gone and I was in bed and there was this freaky guy looking through my window. I some how recalled he had done it before. I called 911 and no one would answer. I was frantically shutting shades and then I had a call there from the pharmacy b/c they tried to run my prescriptions but with all the bank mess-up they couldn't clear payment. dreams are usually that messed up.

2. Do you often have nightmares?
Not the bloody gory type but the play with your head, can't tell if you are awake or asleep kind. Often!

3. Do you have any special talents?
Besides being a smart ass? I'm pretty good with kids, I can make some fairly nice greeting cards, and I make a darn mean chili.

4. Who is the most talented person that you know?
If we are talking stampin...that would be Angie back in Preston, MN. She makes amazing things. One of the most intelligent people I had the privilege of knowing and learning from was Sister Annette Moran, who passed away from breast cancer almost two years ago.

5. What did you watch on TV last?
This past week's episodes of CSI: The Original, Eli Stone, and Law & Order. God bless, DVR!

6. Is there a new TV show that you would recommend?
Haven't started watching the new ones yet. I'm recording them to watch all together though.

7. Who was the last person you phoned and why?
Dave, b/c I was pissed at the bank and when I get pissed I cry. He usually lets me vent plus he's pretty good with numbers. Thought he might be able to help me figure it out. He and Tim were out to dinner though. He said he would call me back today. You did the bank manager. Neither have called back yet :(

8. Who was the last person who phoned you and why?
A doctor at the Air Force base to clarify a patient's work restrictions.

9. What was the last snail mail letter that you received?
Other than bills? Definitely not the stolen checks I had ordered. My magazines made it though. No recent personal letter type mail though.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tear drops in my wine glass...

There are mean people in this world. There are also not the brightest people in this world.

I have been dealing with an incident of check fraud on my account this week. The mean people are the ones who stole my new checks before they were even delivered. The not so bright one is the banker at the local branch that happened to be working when I came in needing help.

I'm in tears. The wine is open. I'm going to make some supper, eat some chili, and curl up with a book and forget it (or try to) until tomorrow when I meet with the bank manager.

Why can't we go back to trading services for services? I'll fix your hurting shoulder/back/leg/hip/toe if you cut my hair, butcher me a chicken, etc. So much easier!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I love playing...

Cut, color and an eyebrow wax! I feel like a new woman!