Sunday, February 24, 2008

it's sunday

What is your favorite day of the weekn? Even though I'm retired, I still get giddy over Fridays and the anticipation of the weekend. Silly ha? We usually get all our errands done during the week when most people are working and the lines aren't so long and just putter around the house on the weekends. Still, Fridays are my favorite day of the week.

Yesterday I mentioned how I love organizing things and working with details. This is my project this week. It's all the nursery signs, pricing tags, and other stuff from the nursery where I work in the summers. What a disorganized mess it was so I brought it home for a winter project. I finally got it finished and had to remove it from the dining table otherwise I would have continued puttering around with it; fine tuning it; changing it. My guess is in a year's time, everything will be back to the way it was originally....

Do you ever watch the Paula Deen show on the Food Network channel? She's one of my most favorite TV cook show hosts. I love her down home ways, her simple home cooking, and even the way she greets you! Do all southerners say "y'all"? I try a lot of her recipes and have never been disappointed. Yesterday I made some cookies I had been eyeing in her Cooking with paula deen magazine since March 2006. Paula's Ultimate Oatmeal Cookies. The recipe is too long to put in here but if you like oatmeal recipes (with icing!), click here. This was a good reward for getting my sign project done! Yummy!

It's snowing this morning. Just a light dusting as if God is up there with a sifter, gently swooshing it back and forth over his land. It's a delicate, dainty look for this morning. Sorry, I deflected for a moment....

Have you visited the blog, Modern Country? Beautiful. Beautiful pictures. We go alllllll the way to Norway and she does put English as a second language, but you don't need words to read at this blog. Just pictures. Lovely lovely pictures.

Hope you're having a great weekend! Nancy

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Farmchick, from Fresh From The Farm, has tagged me to share seven random, and weird, facts about myself. This ought to be fun!
  1. I love organizing things! Anything that requires details! Parties. Paper work. Committees.

  2. Okay, if you get grossed out by gross things.... skip to number three! Seriously. I'm not kidding you. Last chance.... Go, now! Please! Okay.... hope you won't regret sticking around.... Here ya go.... I love crawfish. I love sucking the "contents" (I'll leave it to your imagination here....) out of crawfish. I love eating the white layer of fat lining the cavity. I love eating the little piece of meat behind the eyeball. To me, eating crawfish is the ultimate treat! Okay, you can continue to number three.

  3. I find way too much joy in simple things. Like finding shapes in clouds; seeing a bald eagle for the zillionth time; finding a rusty old fishing lure on the beach; seeing a float plane fly overhead.

  4. I've eaten an authentic German dinner in a castle, in Germany, AND came this close to having snuff (yes, snuff! like in tobacco) flung in my nostrils. Some kind of German custom I guess. My saving grace was I was pregnant!

  5. I was about 28 when I got my driver's license. Never drove prior.

  6. I love to dance. With or without a partner. Singing AND dancing together is even better. (Neither of which I do well, I might add.....)

  7. I love almost all types of music but the music that digs deep into my soul is piano music; boogie woogie, honky tonk, bluesy, piano music.

There you have it! Now, according to the rules, I'm to tag 7 other people. I hope they don't mind....

Beehind Thyme
Kathy's Cottage
Pretty Petals
Bailiwick Designs
Modern Country
Mabel's House
Folded Gingham

Here's the rules:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So there you have it. It's a beautiful day in our neighborhood. Gives you the hope that spring is around the bend. Have a great weekend! Nancy

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

spring.... not quite here....

I hear rumors that spring has sprung. We're not quite feeling it here yet.... although it is getting daylight earlier and I do see the little red hat of my garden gnome sticking out through the snow so that's a start! But instead of seeing this when I look out the window:

We're still seeing this:

But soon.... the snow will disappear, the soggy soil will dry up, the little red knobs of rhubarb will peak through the remaining snow and ice. Soon....

Meanwhile, Easter will be on us before we know it (March 23) and I've been busy making mental notes for the menu, decorating ideas, and new craft projects.

I found this cute easter eggs book last year and am excited to try some new ideas this year.

I need to buy some eggs and get them dyed and blown out, and then I can start adding all my pretties. Isn't this ribbon just too precious?

And all these cute little embellishments will be perfect!

To get a finished project like this:

I'd really like to make decorating eggs an annual event, like our cookie decorating party, but we've got a lot going on this time of year so I might have to do it alone.

Have a great day!

Monday, February 11, 2008

13 years today....

Today is my wedding anniversary. Thirteen years. I think..... I always have to look it up because I can never remember how many years or even what year we married. To me, it's as if I've spent my entire life with this man, my husband, and the number of years are really insignificant. And celebrating isn't so very important to me because every day I get to spend with him is a gift. I tried to find a picture of the two of us together but didn't find one.... How sad is that?! But I'm usually the one taking the picture....

Do you believe in soul mates? That one person that you are meant to spend your entire life with? Or do you believe there are many? I believe you can love many in your life time; in different ways. But I believe there's a difference from being in love and being in love.

My first marriage lasted 20 plus years. I'm not saying we were happily married for so many years, I'm just saying the marriage lasted that long.... Most of that time was spent with us growing in different directions. I do believe we were in love; maybe in love with the idea of being in love.... but it just wasn't the right kind of love to sustain the type of marriage I thought I had signed up for.

I first saw my sweetie while he was hanging off the side of our office building, pressure washing it. Head to toe in rain gear, including hard hat! When he wasn't in rain gear, I lusted after him in his Carhart pants and red sweatshirt! A mason from Seattle, he was sent to Juneau to work. The girls who worked in the building were all google eyed over these out -of-town men, but I managed to snag the cream of the crop. Long story short, I won his heart and he won mine and today we're more in love than we were 16 years ago.

When I met Mike, I couldn't believe my good fortune and hardly a day has gone by since we met that I haven't thanked God for bringing him into my life. It didn't have to turn out this way..... After all, statistics prove that you generally get in the same kind of relationship the second time around. Why was I singled out to have a better life? Why didn't I fall so easily back into the same old relationship? Did I change so much from one relationship to the other? I think perhaps, in a way, I did.....

I learned you have no control over others. No matter how much you beg, plead, or cry.... you can't change some one if they don't want to. I've since learned what unconditional love is. Loving your partner regardless.... Loving your children regardless.... Unconditional love is just that: "I will love you today, tomorrow, and always regardless of what you do or don't do." Don't get me wrong. I've had plenty of reasons to expect that my husband should change a behavior. But I've expressed my feelings and that's all I can do. I am willing to spend the rest of my life following him from room to room shutting cupboard doors, putting toilet paper rolls on, and turning off lights because I love him that much regardless.

Course what I love most about him is his deep love for me. Here's a man that would do any single thing at any cost to protect me, to keep me safe, to honor me. There isn't anything Mike wouldn't do for me. He protects me from all dangers. He would run into a burning building to save me. He would climb the highest mountain to retrieve me. He's kind and considerate; his touch makes me shiver. If ever there were two people more content to be with each other, I don't know. Together we are one; separated we are two floundering individuals who can't wait to be together again. I can't imagine my life without Mike. I can't imagine living a day without waking up next to him. He is my soul mate, my forever partner. We laugh. We talk. We still walk hand in hand and cuddle every night before falling asleep. He still opens doors for me. We have the same dreams and the same goals. We are each other's strength and we support each other's decisions whether we like it or not. He treats me with kindness, with respect, with a tenderness that melts my heart. I can stare at him with adoration and my heart will still melt by the sight of him; by his every movement. That is true love.

But life works in mysterious ways. I could have gotten divorced years earlier and probably been remarried by the time Mike came to town and was hanging off the side of the building. In that case, he would never have entered my life. But I honestly believe it was God's intent to keep me in marriage #1 for so many years before giving me the courage to get out, just when the time was right to welcome Mike into my life. When the time was right.... Yes, God works in mysterious ways.

So happy anniversary, sweetie. You are my forever love.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

the season for red

Yesterday I promised I would try to get some color (other than dingy gray) into my posts for a change. Our winters can be so dark and dreary, and so gray.... that some times it's hard to see anything but. But here are some of favorite red colors.

You might recognize this little basket of hearts from the French General. They're filled with lavender and smell so yummy. I'm trying to add a little more color into our home by using accent pillows and was excited to find this front one, with the flowers, in the 40% clearance table at Fred Meyer recently. It was only $7 so I bought two of them.

Ask and you shall receive. I've found that I no longer need to spend all that money in airfare traveling down south to feed my shopping addiction. All I have to do is go to my favorite blogs and see what they have for sale this week and, of course, there's all those Etsy shops to find all the crafty and vintage items my heart desires. So not only am I saving $500 in airfare but all that gasoline driving from store to store, paying 8% in sales taxes, and just having to fight with the traffic and the shopping crowd! And on the chance that I don't find what I'm looking for on-line, all I have to do is send a note to my personal shopper and she'll find anything I want! Like these hankies. I read on someone's blog the other day that they use them for napkins..... Now I'm not certain I can actually go so far as to wipe greasy hands on these beauties, but maybe a little dab at the mouth.... For now I like them sitting in my napkin holder where I can look at all the colors of pink and red.

This screen serves many roles. In the summer months I might put it outside on the back deck to hide my garden hose. But inside it hides the ugly printer that sits on one of the bookcase shelves. It also is a great place to display my vintage quilts and table covers. It's hard to see how cute the table cloth is on the left side, but it's berries of some kind. I also hang my aprons from here.

So there you have it. A post without gray! Have a lovely day! We're expecting another 7-12 inches of snow today.... It's so beautiful but I promise, no more snow pictures for awhile!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

the colors of winter....

We don't have a lot of color in Juneau. Mostly different shades of gray. You'd think when our weather was so gray all the time that people would paint their homes a bright, lively color! But we don't.... Gray and various shades of gray.... grayish blue, concrete gray, pale gray, slate blue (which is similar to gray in our gray weather). Okay so you get my point.

Today we're in the middle of our winter storm. We're supposed to get 16-28 inches of snow by tomorrow and then more tomorrow.... It's snowing but not accumulating too badly just yet. We did go for our daily ride this morning (per our dog, Sadie's, orders and expectations....) and I took some pictures along the way.

Like I said, Juneau is just a lot of gray.... whether it's a rainy/dreary gray or a snowy darkness. But I promise, starting tomorrow I'll try to get more color on to my pages! I hope you enjoy the ride!

Egan Highway; our highway into town. Up until the 70's, we had a two lane road that went from downtown Juneau to The Valley. If there was an accident, the road would be tied up for hours with traffic having no other way in or out of town. Egan Highway is a fairly new highway as it was built in the 70's when sand was dredged out of the Gastineau Channel (a body of water between the mainland and Douglas Island), forming this road. Most people traverse to and from town on this road now. We drive right along the Channel and have a gorgeous view of the water and even whales some times.

This is "the Channel." When it's cold, the salt water will freeze over and then as the tide comes and goes, it breaks it up into these ice flows. It's pretty awesome looking in real life. You feel as if you're up in the Arctic.

This is one of our boat harbors downtown. The harbor water freezes in the winter too. We have a lot of people who live on their boats year round. Blue tarps are a staple for Juneauites. It also adds a little color to Juneau's skies!

Okay, we're almost downtown now. We're just passing our high school area. The dry snow is squirreling along the highway. The winds can get pretty bad down town. We have what are called "Taku Winds." These winds come from Canada, across the ice fields, and are strong and cold. One thing you don't want to do is get caught in the middle of one of these gusts unless there's a car, a building, or some other object to grab a hold of. I've seen more than one person get blown across the road as if they were a rag doll. Taku Winds. Not fun.

Okay, we're here, downtown Juneau, the southern part of it anyway. This is the tourist part of Juneau. It looks pretty desolate this time of year without hoards of tourists milling about. This is our sleepy little town in the winter. Snow is blowing. It looks deserted!

This is uptown Juneau, the main business district and shop area. Juneau is an interesting town. It's built at the base of two mountains--Mount Roberts and Mount Juneau with the Gastineau Channel on the other side. During the mining days, downtown space was expanded by building on pilings driven into the Channel. But, still, downtown Juneau is only a few blocks in size, just a small area.

Here we are, home again. Hope you enjoyed a little bit of our blizzard conditions today!

Friday, February 8, 2008

a winter's day

Our home.

One of my loyal friends.

Juneau is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places in the world, but never more than when the sun is out. Sadly, we don't see the sun often enough.... Lack of sunshine and long nights can cause severe cabin fever in the winter time as we long for more day light hours and more sunshine. Lack of sunshine depreciates our vitamin D and we get so pale looking. Mostly, when the sun shines through the windows and rays stop long enough on a table top, lamp shade, or a portion of the floor.... the first thing you notice is the dust and dirt and dog hair that has been hidden for so very long in the darkness! Talk about ruining a good thing!

Too much snow.

But today was one of those beautiful sunny days that filled us with hope and renewed our spirit. It was a good day! Never mind it was minus 10 degrees when we woke up this morning. That would be -10 like in below zero. Minus 10.... Now we're in for more harsh weather.

Out the road.

The national weather service says we have a winter storm coming our way. Tonight will bring minus temps again and "gusts" to 65 mph.... That would bring the wind chill factor to -35. Brrrr. Tomorrow we're supposed to get more snow; a total accumulation of 14-24 inches. Tomorrow will be a heavy day of shoveling.
A winter storm a brewin.

A beautiful sunset.

These are some pictures of Juneau; not necessarily this year. Just pictures that fairly represent the good, the bad, and the ugly of Juneau. Enjoy!

Our airport area. Much of our commute to and from remote villages are done by float planes.

A rainy day in Juneau.

Monday, February 4, 2008

you know you live in a small town when....

I know this is my second post today, but as I'm sitting here listening to the radio, and laughing, I just had to make another entry. I wasn't actually listening to the radio but was on hold with the car dealer and the "music" was our local radio station. Problem Corner on KINY.

You know you live in a small town when your daily call in program is to sell and buy and trade and barter or just to visit! "This is Phyllis (the Alaskan Native says)..... and I'd like to wish my sister Harriett and her husband Tom Feller happy second anniversary....." Or Henry who has an 1985 vehicle for sale, cheap.... Or Marge who's just lonely and wants to chat for awhile. Maybe you're looking for some seal oil.... or mukluks.... or canning jars.... or instructions on how to knit socks.... This is THE place to shop!

KINY radio is a main source of communication between all the small villages and towns in Southeast Alaska. Natives living in Angoon will call Problem Corner (in Juneau), asking that their son call them. They're regulars. The DJ doesn't need to ask names or phone numbers. He has it all memorized from talking to these people day after day after day.

And if you're a day laborer, you can call Problem Corner looking for work. Have shovel will travel! If you need someone to come shovel snow, this is the means you would use in Juneau. If you have something to sell, or just want to sit and visit, just pick up the phone. If you have a political view .... just call KINY and let us all know what it is.

When I moved here in 1971, I didn't miss a day of Problem Corner. It felt like a piece of home. Families calling and talking about what's going on in their homes that day or relaying messages to other families in Southeast Alaska. But 30 some years later, you'd think we would have moved out of this simple, back road means of communication, bartering, visiting, and keeping in touch. But we haven't. Every day you can visit and chat with Dennis Egan from 10:15 until noon. He's your family.

We don't listen to KINY so much anymore. I guess I outgrew it.... but every now and then I turn the radio on it takes me back home 30 years ago. It's good that some things never change.


it's still winter....

We're expecting another foot of snow by tonight.... We got well over a foot of the white stuff yesterday.... It's beginning to look a lot like last year.... Here's some snow pictures for those of you who have to dream about snow :)

(By the way, this mountain with sledders is no mountain. It's a heap of snow! We still had some this Fall.... this is the beginning of a new glacier!)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

follow up

I was caught off guard yesterday when my little grandbaby came with his momma. My blog post got stopped quick as a wink and I hit that publish button so quickly I didn't even have time to do spell check! Usually I go back and fix some of my ramblings and make sure all the spacing is good, but not yesterday. I had more important things on my mind for sure. We even got to watch him for a bit while his momma went grocery shopping! He was sleeping when he got here but I managed to wake him up in the tradeoff.... oops.... When Hunter arrives, he has a habit of staring at you for the longest time, an intense stare, and then he recognizes me and coos and smiles. I know you! he says. Just way too cute.

It's still snowing.... We're supposed to get another 8-18" by tomorrow. January snow was below normal with only 23" accumulating. I guess I'm surprised it was even that much.

I bought the cutest little towels from Shabby In The City yesterday. I love shopping on-line! It's such a perfect marriage for people like us that live a somewhat secluded life with limited shopping options. They're made from a vintage embroidered table scarf....two hand towels with a pretty crochet border. Only $7. I can hardly wait to get them. You have to be johnny on the spot though with some of these blogs shops though because items go so quickly. Too, because of our time difference in Alaska and most of ya'll (four hours behind you), it could be practically noon before I get around to shopping.

Anyway, I love the little flowers and can hardly wait to see them in real.

I've also been doing some on-line shopping for the baby shower. I talked a bit about my favorite little grandbaby yesterday but neglected to mention my most favorite little granddaughter is still on the way. A granddaughter! Oh, the fun we're going to have! So I'm planning my daughter's baby shower, with the help of her best friends Jerusalem and Tanya who have access to more resources than I do. The color theme is pink and brown polka dots! It's going to be so cute! But since it's going to be a couple's shower, I had to think of a theme that wasn't too cutsey and girlie, yet sophisticated and fun for Tracy, with a hint of masculinity in it for Adam and his friends. A huge order! April 5, 1:00 p.m. if you're in the neighborhood :)

Tomorrow is Super Bowl and although I am so not a football fan, I do love the food! For my famnily it's all about the food! We usually invite some friends over but everyone's sick this year and I really don't want them here if they're sick because my grandbaby may be here. Too, I may not have time to visit with them if my grandbaby is here.... So we'll have plenty of food and if anyone shows up, I'll be covered.

Have a good weekend!

Friday, February 1, 2008

it's still winter

Yep, it's still winter here.... in case you were wondering.... You wouldn't know it though if you lived down south. Many people don't even know Alaska is part of the United States! How sad is that? And too many people see the two letter state abbrebiation AK and think Arkansas!

We find it interesting when we watch the morning news (national) that other states can have blizzards and zero degree weather and 10" of snow and gusts to 55 mph, and it's always recognized on the national news as NEWS! Chicago is buried today with 10" of snow. A train was tipped over yesterday due to high winds. But you never heard about all our container vans that were blown over due to high winds this week. Yes! Shipping containers weighing 11,000 pounds were knocked over like dominoes! Or that we've had temps dipping to -9 at night with wind chill factors of -35 for most of the week. Last year we had record snow fall well over 200". Never heard a peep about it on the news.... I wonder why Alaska isn't recognized as being newsworthy....

Here's the week in review at our household:

Blue Jays versus the Yellow Bird....
Bird DOG that is.... I've noticed ears of dry corn laying about in our back yard lately and just thought the Blue Jays had carted it off. I keep a plant stand up on my outdoor table filled with dried corn on the cob for my Blue Jays to enjoy during the winter months. It stays out of the weather pretty much because there's a second story deck overhead that protects it. It's an easy place for the birds to get a little snack. But our little Sadie Girl has figured out that somehow this is food meant for her and she wants her share as well. A picture is worth a thousands words. Do I need say more?

Grandbaby turns 2 months!
My most favorite little grandson turns 2 months today! Okay, so he's my only grandbaby so far. But two months, already! How time flies. He is just so adorable, I can hardly stand it. I get to visit with him at least once a week and we're developing a good rapport with each other. He's already indicated that I could just possibly be his most favorite grandma (out of three of us) and he likes coming here to visit me best of all. :)

Personally, I think he's already advanced for his age..... But I could be just a tad prejudice.

And, yes, it's still winter.... The temps have been to near zero or below for several days. We're having a heat wave today as it's almost 20 degrees outside. It's been snowing all day and we've accumulated about 6" of very light, fluffy snow. You don't need a snow shovel for this though, all you need to do is blow and it flies away!

Despite winter conditions, I've got a few Valentine decorations up, although I don't do much in the way of decorating for this holiday. I love little splashes of red here and there and especially chocolates wrapped in red celephane! Or just chocolate. I love chocolate. I got like 12 boxes of chocolate covered cherries (CCC) for Christmas this year. Did I tell you that? My family all know how much I love them, but 12 boxes....? I may still have some come next Christmas! I've tried buying other variety of candy since Christmas and my husband not-so-politely reminds me I have candy at home.... I have to tell him that one cannot live on CCC alone; variety IS the spice of life! And I do love variety! I hinted that I expected a box of chocolates for Valentines Day, but we'll see. Some times he's not so good at picking up on hints....

And speaking of my grandbaby, he just arrived so I'm signing off! I have a sweet little thing to hold!