Sunday, September 30, 2018

Happy First Birthday Little Peanut~

This little person is a year old already!

Her and her family have all grown a lot this last year.

New jobs, new homes, a finished graduate degree...

They have traded potatoes

for sandy beaches and new experiences.

Through it all they have been learning and growing with this
bright little person.

Happy Birthday Little Peanut...
and cheers to the two that you made parents ;)

The fun is just beginning.....

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Spring Has Returned to the Hood~

We left last week when the snow was still covering the lawn,
and the river was thick with ice.

Since there wasn't anything we could do to stop 
flooding waters if they happened,
we hoped for the best
and flew away.

We returned to ice-free, flowing rivers,
and the sound of multiple birds calls.

Our ride was much easier than the trip these feathered guys had

They looked a little 'fluffed' and needed their ruffled feathers smoothed!

In our neck of the woods, there isn't much time for grooming 
because the mating game is on...
while nests are being created
and food is being found.

We have a very short season, which they maximize!

As the day warms from the afternoon to evening, the pond water thaws,
making it better for baths,
and bug-catching.

After a silent, white winter, the lively chatter,
and antics brought by the returning critters,
is a welcome change.....

Monday, May 14, 2018

Moosin' Around~

Snow is still an ongoing theme this spring.
As the birds return and the babes are due to be born,
it is a challenge!

We have at least four moose who have been hanging
around on the river. 
The ice is solid there, and the snow isn't as deep.
That makes it much easier to travel on.

We looked out the window one night to see
two snacking by our house,
and two resting further up river.

They are eating the new shoots of willows along the river's 
snow-covered edge. 
If they are careful, they don't have to go too deep,
to get a bite.
Some of them are getting pretty hungry looking!

There have been reports of bear sightings as our days get longer.
After their long winter, they will be ravenous.
Foraging in the snow will be harder.

There are also foxes that pass by the bedroom window at night.
With the snow so high, we get a pretty good view of them 
as the walk through the leafless willows. 
There were a high number of rabbits and voles last fall.
We haven't seen as many signs of them lately,
so maybe the foxes are feasting.
The bunnies did strip the bark on the willows in the area
they were living in.
We haven't seen that before.
One thing about a willow, is its toughness!
Not even the bunnies or moose will keep them from growing.....

Saturday, March 17, 2018

March Seventeenth~

March 17th...

St. Patricks Day...

and in 2017, the day my father died.

If you knew him, you would understand why that is kind of a fitting day
for him to travel over the rainbow.
Often physically described as a leprechaun,
he was always searching
for new experiences, new jobs, new places.

He graduated from high school, joined the army,
married at 22, and quickly became the father of three.
Seven years later,  he was the father of four.

The song Harry Chapin song, Cats in the Cradle,
could have been written for him.
When we were young, he was gone
.....a lot. 
The four of us all grew up and became involved in our own lives.
When everyone was gone, and he was alone,
he realized what he had missed, and he tried to change that.

He often said he knew that he hadn't been a great father,
so he wanted to be a good grand-father.
He made it to the graduation of all eleven grandkids,
called on every birthday,
and tried to connect with everyone, whenever he could.
He became an avid news watcher, and called whenever he saw something on the air near you!

I never understood my father,
and I think it was mutual.
He didn't consider me feminine enough, compliant enough ;)
or like how I placed my hands on the steering wheel 
when I drove.

But he enjoyed the kids, and I took ours to visit every year.
He flew to Alaska for each of their graduations,
and introduced a new guest to our home with every trip.

He always told the grandkids how proud he was of them and their families.
As adults, they each had their own relationship with him.
He loved to tell stories of their adventures, talk trucks, and orchestrate family gatherings.

In the box that I received from his house
were pictures, photo books, and letters that he had received from my
niece, my kids, and me.
They were treasured gifts he shared with others.

Because of him I learned the importance of following through on promises,
the power of rose-colored glasses,
and the ability to choose how to see the world.

When I drive I hear him in my head telling me to not cross the shoulder-line on a
blind curve,
and how to watch for black ice.
A lifetime of driving truck had taught him a lot about the road.

My Uncle helped me write his brother's obituary.
I never realized it until he commented that
my Father's 'first and last love was his truck'.
That explained so much!
I wish we would have understood that as kids.

When he went to sleep for the last time,
he knew he had two of his kids in the room,
and two on conference lines.
While he could still use the phone, he had tried to call others to say good-bye.

What my kids and niece said afterwards would have made him happy.
 His goal had been achieved!

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face.

I hope you found the gold at the end of your rainbow.....

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Weekend Wanderings - A White World~

Once upon a time
we wished for snow instead of rain.

Well, that wish has been granted!

We have been able to get out a little, and it has been interesting.
Although the temperatures have rarely been above freezing,
this stretch of the river hasn't frozen over. 
The water isn't deep underneath,
but it is still running.

Most of the plants have an ice coating.

These tripods mark the trail going over the hill.
Once you get into the fog, they can be
a lifesaver!

Without the snow, you can see the markers are at least 6' tall.
These are the same markers that the Iditarod teams
follow on their trip to Nome.
More than one musher has mentioned the soft, deep snow
and warm temperatures this year.

The Ditch-rider's cabin is tucked into a snow bank.
We haven't driven on the road since last fall.
There is way too much snow to try to
keep it open for driving.

It is kind of hard to tell, but the snow is covering half of the window
on the downhill side of the cabin. 
I was looking through the uphill side window frame.

The Pilot Man thought it was a good time for a selfie :)

We are getting more snow today.
I think it is the most since the winter of 2009.
Spring ought to be fun!
Oh boy.....

Thursday, February 1, 2018

February 2018 Accounting~

Here it is February 2018!

In many ways our lives did skip from February 2017 to '18 
with a lot of space in between.
Just like the blog posts.
But more on that 

Today finds our family
with their feet firmly in the USA.

There will be/have been some big changes in 2018!

The Nursing Daughter just switched from 
the Neuro Unit day shift to ICU nights.
She said she felt like she needed to learn more
and made a change to her life so that she could do it.
When someone asked her if she liked her job,
and she could no longer truthfully answer,
 "Yes!",  she knew it was time.

The Engineering Son and Engineering Wife
are recreating their lives.
Counting the furry one, they are now a family of four.
In September our family was blessed with this Little AK Peanut.
She was another of our 2017 Tip Top Highs!

While they are new parents he is going to grad school,
and she is engineering at home.
We are waiting to see where that location will be!

The Flyer Son, his Crafty Wife
and family
are moving to Nome
so that he can begin his dream of being a full-time
bush pilot!
She has a thriving business of her own that will 
move with her, 
and finally fulfill it's name, The nome knitter.
Miss Sweetness is excited to be moving to Alaska
(Imaging a 5-yr old singing that emphatically)

The Barrister Son and his Teacher Wife
are looking at some big changes as well.
While they develop their plan,
he is working on historical documentation in the Nome area
and they are keeping up with their two growing boys,
and working at their busy jobs.

The Pilot Man and I learned a lot in 2017.
...still working on that.
More later.

On a better note, it is encouraging to see our kids' 
willingness to make changes to create the life they want,
and not settle for something else.

One of their favorite show quotes, "They have the fear" 
has been passed around a bit :) 

It will be exciting to watch the year unfold.....

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Happy Birthday Little Gem~

Happy Birthday to this Little Gem!

She was four-months old before her
Dada was able to come home and hold her.
To this day
she still is a person who loves to cuddle. 

Her smile is almost always flashing as she 
shares her sunny personality.
And quick...
Leave anything on the floor and she will grab it.

I can truly say that I have never known a baby like her,
and those two little pearlies get me 

2017 was a roller-coaster, but there is no doubt
that this Little Gem 
was one of the tip-top highs for the year.....