Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's all fun and games until someone pokes their eye out

One of the best things about teaching preschool is that I have the same holidays as my kids. Christmas break is still in full swing around here. It is two in the afternoon and I'm still in my pajamas. I haven't taken a shower in two days. I have no intention of leaving my house anytime soon. I'm feeling quite lazy, although, in my defense, I did finish sanding and staining our end tables and painting my thrift store lamps (they are a.w.e.s.o.m.e, if I do say so myself). And after I write this post I'm off to hit the showers, because now that I just wrote that I feel like a grody slob.

So, now that I'm done over-sharing I'd like to tell you about our little excursion to the reindeer farm. My parents were here for Christmas so we went around doing things that normally we would never do like bowling, going up to Hatcher's Pass for hot cocoa in a little Swiss chalet looking restaurant, and going to see Santa and feed the reindeer at the Reindeer Farm in Palmer.

The setting for this place is absolutely amazing. We drove down snow covered tree lined roads to get there, and then we get to enjoy the backdrop of the mountains once we arrive. If I could pick the a spot to plunk down a house, this would be it.

They have all kinds of animals at the farm, not just reindeer. There are horses, now fluffy with their winter coats.

This is Bruce the Moose. He just lost one of his antlers and he'll shed the other one soon.

They also have Santa. He wandered around the farm taking pictures with children, feeding the reindeer, and going on hayrides with the other patrons. Right after I took this picture Princess Blondie ran back and gave Santa a great big hug and I missed that once in a lifetime photo opportunity. Grr...

Then we were off to the pen to feed the reindeer. Did I mention that they have the best views in town? Just look at those mountians. Now do a full 360 and picture mountains everywhere you look and you will understand what it looks like there. Except that part the view is blocked by the butte. But if you would climb the butte, and do a full 360, this is pretty much what you would see all around. 

The reindeer will eat right out of your hand.  It is quite an experience to see a herd of reindeer walking up to you looking for food. They know that kids mean one thing--snack time. 

The tendons in the reindeers' legs don't allow them to kick back or to the side, so they are perfectly safe to be around.

The only thing you have to be watch out for are the antlers. They'll poke your eye out! Princess Blondie used her ninja-like reflexes (she got those from me) to dodge the antlers and kept her eyes intact.

Santa let the kids sit in his sleigh.

And then we went for a hay ride. On the right is a field full of reindeer, and on the left is a field full of elk. One bull elk for a field full of females. Many may think he is a lucky son of a gun, but I think all that time with women is beginning to get to him. He was spinning around in circles and then charging across the field when we drove by. I imagine he is ready for a little peace and quiet. 

As we were leaving I saw the harnesses hanging up in the barn.  It all seemed so real. It's almost enough to make a believer out of me.

Monday, December 27, 2010

There's one in every family...

My parents are visiting for Christmas so it's been a while since I've been on here. I hope to catch up soon. Until then I leave you with this shot.

I hope you have all been having as much fun with your crazy families this holiday season as I have been having with mine. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What about Bob?

Meet Bob, the newest member of our family.  Bob was the name chosen by my husband, agreed upon by me, and we finally convinced the kids that it was better than Larry or Spike. Although I have to say, I kind of think he could pull off Larry. I love people names for dogs. It really highlights their human qualities.

We got Bob from the local shelter. He's about a year and a half old and is a lab mix. 
Here's what we've learned about Bob so far: 
1. He makes Stinky Beagle look positively short and squat and very, very round. Princess Blondie said it looks like Stinky Beagle shrunk like she was in the washing machine for too long. Bob and Stinky Beagle are complete opposites personality-wise as well. Bob: playful, outgoing, friendly, energetic. Stinky Beagle: timid, shy, cautious,  lethargic. 
2. Bob is potty trained. For this reason alone, Bob is awesome. 
3. Bob comes when you call him. He hardly barks. He goes where you point. He sits, shakes, sort of lies down and almost stays when you tell him too. Yet another way he is the complete opposite of Stinky Beagle. I'm beginning to wonder if she is a cat trapped in beagle's body.
4. Bob is an attention hog and gets jealous anytime you pet Stinky Beagle. He barges his way in between us and her. He needs to learn some manners. 
5. He and Stinky Beagle fight over food. They really need to learn to take turns. Or I just need to buy another dish. They are not so good at sharing. 
6. Bob thinks he is a giant lap dog. He crawls in on your lap when your sitting on the couch. Especially if Stinky Beagle happens to be sitting next to you. Refer back to number 4.

7. Bob is not terribly modest. I'm not used to having a boy dog around with all of their boy parts flopping about. I guess I'll get used to it.
8. Bob is the only one who gets to use his real name on this blog, because really, I have nothing more clever to call him. What could possibly be better than Bob?

Friday, December 10, 2010

The one about the Christmas musical

Oh children's Christmas programs, how I love thee. There is nothing funnier or more sweet than watching a bunch of kids in a Christmas program. Sonny Boy had his last night and it did not disappoint. I had a few good laughs during the show, but this morning when I looked at the pictures I found some really great stuff and  I've been giggling to myself since. I'm glad it's just me and the dog at home. Stinky Beagle doesn't care if I just sit here and laugh to myself. She's too busy sleeping 23 hours a day to care.

First up, the kids all enter and start looking for their parents. 
Aaaaand, he found us.

 Then my next big goal is to get a shot of Sonny Boy when he's really singing his heart out. You have to be quick though, because usually he is trying to look cool, and cool seven (almost eight) year olds can sing and do some of the motions, but not get really into it. 

 Here he's still got that 'yeah, I'm singing but I'm still cool' face on.

 I was trying to get some pictures of Sonny Boy's fellow scout friends because I saw their parents sitting on the opposite corner of the gym in the back. I managed to get a few. Lord knows these pictures will never leave my camera and actually make it to them, but at least I made, the effort, right? It's the thought that counts and all that jazz? Anyway, that's not my point here because I don't know who that kid in the plaid shirt is, I was aiming for someone else, but I want him. Look at those cheeks! I just want to kiss them. He's like a cuddly little teddy bear.

And the pictures just get better from here. You may think that Sonny Boy is really singing his heart out here, or that perhaps he is trying to attack the kid in front of him, but he is actually mid yawn. Yawning while in the middle of the song. My kids sleep 11 or so hours a night, so I don't know why he is so exhausted that he needs to yawn mid song.  I also did not fix the red eyes in this photo because I thought it made them all look like zombies. And I guess I just thought that was funny.... It's funnier when the picture is bigger. Feel free to move on. 

 At this point I direct your attention to the boy directly below Sonny Boy. His face is awesome. Now this is a kid who doesn't care how cool he looks. He is excited about Monty the Flying Moose.

And for the grand finale, all the kids looking like they are saluting Hitler. Their arms are supposed to be flying reindeer, but come on, am I the only one who sees this? Someone needs to have some sort of kids program summit where they can find a solution to the Hitler salute that shows up in all sorts of children's musicals.  There is some choreography that just needs to be banned. Hitler really ruined it for everybody. Jerk.

Princess Blondie's kindergarten Christmas program is next week. I'm am really looking forward to it. The younger the kids, the better the antics. My Christmas will not be complete until there is one kid who scream-sings louder than all the others and a little girl pulls her dress up and shows everyone her underwear. As long as it's not my girl.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Long winter nights = me being lazy

I sit here this morning drinking my coffee black, waiting for the sun to rise. It is 9:23 am. The sky is beginning to lighten, but no sun yet. I doubt that I will actually get to see it today, as it appears it is going to be cloudy, but it's not quite light enough for me to tell yet.

Yesterday the school bus had its headlights on at 4:00 when it drove up the hill to drop my kids off. This time of year they leave for school well before the sun comes up and come home just in time for the sunset. Luckily, they really have no qualms about playing outside in the dark. How can you be afraid of the dark when there are cheerful Christmas lights wrapped around houses, trees, and bushes? They suck all the fear out of the night.  We have almost made it to the shortest day of the year, December 21st. My parents will be arriving that day to spend Christmas with us. It's the perfect day to arrive, because with Gramma and Grampa here no one will care how short our days are.

One good thing about the short days? I'm actually up to enjoy the sunrise. One of these days my camera and I are going to take a trip to the hay flats to watch the sun come up. That's a much easier thought to stomach when I know I don't have to be there until at least 9:00 am.

For now, Stinky Beagle and I are going to stay inside where it is nice and warm and watch the sunrise from my window.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday sunrise. Best deal in town.

My girl hopped in bed with me this morning.

 She immediately pulled back the curtains and said, "Look, Mom. It's so pretty with the snow on all the trees."

She was right. It was gorgeous. 

 And so was the sunrise. Beautiful oranges and pinks this morning. 

I'd pick this over the Black Friday shopping frenzy every time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The elusive smile

*Sigh* My boy, he is his father's son. Smiling for the camera is strictly off limits. They both smile all the time, but it is hard to convince them that they need to smile for the camera.
But yesterday I caught him. 

I pulled tho oldest trick in the book. You look at him and tell him not to smile in a sing song voice. 
"Don't smiiiiile.... Don't do it, don't smiiiiiiile, Sonny Boy." I have very distinct memories of my best childhood friend, Lori, doing this to me after we had a fight. And I would do it to her as well. Nothing pisses you off as much as smiling when you don't want to. It's almost as bad as me crying when I'm really angry. That really makes me mad. And then I cry more. It's an awful, horrible, viscous cycle.

"Dooon't smiiiiile....." Ha, he's starting to crack. I've almost got him!

"Doooon't smiiiiiile....." And there it is, a full fledged smile. He's taken to smiling with his mouth closed lately, and I'm not gonna lie, it's a good thing. Grown up teeth are trying to force their way into a small seven year old mouth. It takes a while for the rest of your body to grow into those teeth. He thinks he looks like a vampire with his two giant front teeth. Unless vampires have suddenly started taking after Bugs Bunny, he is wrong, but I won't tell him that. He can be a vampire all he wants, as long as he doesn't start biting people.

At this point the poor kid couldn't stop smiling and had to duck into the house to get away from me and my camera. It took some work, but I finally got a photo of him that can go on my wall.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Brotherly love

I came across this photo today. It made me ponder the strange thing that is an (almost) eight year old boy's love for his sister.
These are my kids. They are having loads of fun playing outside in the snow. At this point it was raining on them and they were still out there having a ball.

They are having a ball but this photo is deceiving. At first glance it looks as if Sonny Boy is actually hugging his sister, but be sure of one thing, Sonny Boy has never voluntarily hugged his sister in his life. He is actually tackling her and trying to shove her face in the snow, however, in Sonny Boy's book tackling and hugging are roughly equivalent acts of affection. 

He loves his sister. He will never say it out loud and he will never hug her, but he loves her. He shows her by wresting with her, building forts with her, playing in snow with her, pile-driving her, farting/burping on her, and being a general nuisance to her (in that they are equals. They each pester the other incessantly). 

His way of showing affection for her drives me batty sometimes, but I just need to remind myself that he is just saying that he loves her in his own weird way. If he didn't love her, he'd simply ignore her. So even though he'd just as soon drop kick her as he would give her a hug, he'd do it in love.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The end is near

My husband is finally coming home. He's been at tech school for two and a half long months and he will finally be back this week.

DH has been gone before, although he has never been deployed so I can never complain about that. A few years ago he had to leave for two months for some advanced training. It was hell. The kids were 1 and 3 and being stuck at home all day with two toddlers for two months is not something I would recommend to anyone. Sonny Boy also got very sick with bilateral ear infections and had a 104.5 temperature for a few days. It's always while the husbands are gone that the kids get sick. This time it was Princess Blondie with strep throat. But that was a piece of cake compared to last time.

I have to say that this go round was really easy (but I haven't had to plow the driveway yet, so I'm not sure it's a fair assessment). I'm sort of awesome at this single mom thing... as long as my kids are in school, my sister and brother-in-law live only five miles away, and I have unlimited funds at my disposal. Just kidding on the last one but the first two are key here. That and good friends. I find myself looking forward to Scouts even more than Sonny Boy because I really enjoy all of the other parents there. They have become good friends. I also jump at the chance for adult interaction. On a daily basis I teach preschoolers, babysit my nephews (infant and toddler), and then hang out with my five and seven year old. Forgive me if I get a little excited when I actually get to talk to a grown up. So if I've recently cornered you and talked your ear off I'm sorry. I blame it on the forced solitude.

My husband being gone is not something that I regularly advertised on my blog or any other sort of social forum (so it may be news to you that he was even gone. Surprise!) because I'm slightly paranoid. I don't need any local serial killers knowing that I'm living alone with my two kids and attack beagle. But just for all of those serial killers that may still be lurking, I have a viscous, feral guard dog, a security system complete ninjas, and I sleep with sawed off shotgun under my pillow.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Halloween, Alaskan style

We had our second Halloween in Alaska. In some ways, it reminded me of Michigan Halloweens. Cold, snowy, and dark. We were pretty good at finding ways to put our costumes on over top of snowsuits, or at the very least layer up. DH is still in Texas so we went trick or treating with my sister and her family. 

Princess Blondie was Clifford the Big Red Dog, Sonny Boy was a skeleton, and my nephews were a a pumpkin and a bee. 
I was surprised that Princess Blondie decided to be Clifford for trick or treating. She got terribly upset when she wore her costume to school because everyone called her Clifford and not by her name. I was glad though, because a hula girl was her other choice and she may have frozen to death in that. That costume is decidedly more difficult to wear over warm clothes. That, and there is nothing more depressing that a hula girl in a parka and snow boots.

 We drove to a nearby neighborhood so that we could walk from house to house.

 I was really impressed with their pumpkins. Someone in that house was very talented.

 When we got home we hit up our neighbors who gave my kids huge handfuls of candy because there hadn't been many trick or treaters. I only had one group stop at my house. I think my kids got half of their candy from the last three houses we went to and I finally met some of my neighbors. We've been here for over a year and there are still people on my culdesac that I don't know. It's a little sad.

 Princess Blondie's creation. Nothing scary here. She doesn't handle scary very well. 

 Sonny Boy's pirate pumpkin sans half of his teeth. He got a little carried away.

We decided that next year the best way to go is to load the kids up in the meat wagon and tow them behind the four wheeler.  We'll have this down to a science soon.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin time

It was a pumpkin carving kind of day. Halloween is just around the corner. Tomorrow, in fact. Today for most of you. My sister and her family came over to carve pumpkins with us.

This is the first time that I actually let my kids use the knives. I'm slightly paranoid and perhaps a bit of a control freak and micro managerial. Just a little. They did fine and no one lost any appendages although Sonny Boy did accidentally cut off half of his pumpkin's teeth.

 My brother in law and nephew. My nephew is an expert at using permanent markers. Mostly on the pumpkin, some on the highchair. He soon switched over to washable Crayola markers.

My sister and nephew.  No pumpkin carving party is complete without some power tools.

Left to right: Ubunto symbol (my brother in law. Can you tell he works in IT?), Princess Blondie's creation, Sonny Boy's pirate (notice the missing teeth? I figure it works pretty well for a pirate.), and finally, my sister's power tool master piece. 
Happy Trick or Treating! I hope your Halloween is much warmer than ours will be.  Here's hoping that my kids can fit their costumes on over top of their snow pants.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Toothfairy duty

Princess Blondie lost her first tooth. She was preparing herself for it to fall out at school.
Her brother had given her the 411 on what to do if it falls out at school. You have to go to the nurse and the nurse will give you a special box to put your tooth in so you can take it home and she will help it stop bleeding.

I'm not that patient. I didn't wait for it to fall out at school. I pulled it out one night before bed (with Princess Blondie's permission, of course). It was a little stubborn, and didn't come out at first, but the third time's a charm and it popped out without too much effort and no pain. I think she was even a little surprised that it came out without hurting at all.

She was very excited and we had to take pictures. 

We stopped the bleeding and then she went to bed with the tooth under her pillow for the tooth fairy. 
That is when it very nearly went to heck in hand-basket.
Our tooth fairy is forgetful. Well intentioned, but very forgetful. Once the kiddos are tucked in bed she has other things on her mind. Like reading her favorite blogs and watching Modern Family and Cougar Town. Things that can't really be done when there are children around who need things like supper, help with homework, and bedtime stories.
On more than one occasion, she has forgotten to replace the tooth under Sonny Boy's pillow with a dollar. Then she has to get very creative. Luckily, I am very good at making excuses for the tooth fairy's ineptitude. Once, she was too busy with other children who lost teeth so he had to try again the next night. Another time I helped him look again after he couldn't find it and I found it inside his pillow case (she's tricky, that tooth fairy). And yet another time, when we were staying at gramma's house, she couldn't find the tooth. It simply disappeared. She looked everywhere (luckily Sonny Boy is a pretty sound sleeper), but it was simply gone. She left the dollar anyway hoping that the tooth wouldn't show up. It didn't it is still missing to this day.

So the tooth fairy was busy doing nothing and nearly forgot about Princess Blondie's missing tooth. Then she read something on Twitter that reminded her of her duty's. She quickly found a dollar in her wallet (miracle of miracles, because there is never cash in there) and then swapped it out with the tooth. She then hid the tooth in the Princess Blondie's baby book. Crisis averted.

Princess Blondie woke me up at six to show me her dollar, but then at breakfast she was disappointed that she couldn't show her teacher her first missing tooth or get a tooth box from the school nurse.  So I told her that sometimes the tooth fairy puts the tooth in her baby book so that mom can keep it.

She found it in her baby book, brought it to school, and then forgot all about showing her teacher or the nurse. It is probably still in her backpack. I should go check.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Why I'm a horrible mother... and an idiot.

I had to eat a little mommy crow yesterday. It was tasty. 

Here's a little background info. Princess Blondie is a smarty pants. She comes home from school and looks at flash cards for fun. Her favorite thing to do last year was to write out my grocery list for me. Over, and over, and over.  She learned to read on her own. Well, not on her own, but I certainly never taught her. She watched her brother read to me and do flash cards with me every day for his homework and she just picked it up. 

In her kindergarten class they are still working on counting to ten. I really don't know why she isn't bored to tears at school. After moving up here last year and not knowing anyone, I think she is just so happy to be around other kids  that she doesn't care what she does. Her response to the news that she would be going to kindergarten this fall was "Great, now I don't have to be BORED all the time when Sonny Boy goes to school!" I see how I rate.

The only new thing she has learned at all this year is what a rhombus is and sign language. She now signs to me on a regular basis so I've had to brush up on my learn American sign language so I know what she is saying to me. She is constantly signing "I love you" to me and I keep accidentally keep giving her the universal sign for "Rock on!" They are deceptively similar signs.

The other day I was looking for our number flash cards so that I could have her practice putting 1- 20 or 30 in the right order (she has trouble with her teens, she gets 17 and 70 confused because they sound so similar). I looked through our deck of flash cards and about half of them were missing. It's a little hard to make her put the numbers from 1 to 20 in order if she is missing the 3, 4, 5, 7, 11, 13, and 15.  I couldn't figure it out. I can understand missing one of them, but how did so many disappear? Surely I would have seen them floating around the house somewhere. 

I then let Princess Blondie have what for for losing all these cards. You really need to be more responsible with your stuff, I told her. What good are flash cards if you're missing half of them? I won't be buying you more stuff if you can't keep track of the stuff you have, et cetera, et cetera. I finished scolding her and then she just told me the numbers off the flashcards instead of putting them in order. 

Yesterday I found her sitting on the couch with her pile of flashcards. Do flashcards with me, Mommy, she asked. How can you say no to a kid who wants to do homework?  I sat down and showed her the cards. I was about halfway through when I noticed that the flashcards were double sided. These have numbers on both sides?! Yeah, I knew that, replied Princess Blondie. After she finished her flashcards I checked BOTH sides and found 1-20. They were all there. I'm an idiot. And I ate some crow.
I apologized for getting upset with her and she forgave me and told me I was the best mom in the world and gave me a big hug. That almost made me feel worse. I might feel better if she were at least a little upset with me. 

Then she signed I love you to me and I signed rock on to her. 

I don't think I'll ever get it right, but she knows what I mean.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

You gotta love him

My husband's birthday is coming up soon. He's in Texas for a while so I asked him to send me a list of things he may want for his birthday. This is what he emailed me.

Let me see. Here is a few things:
Raiders coffee cup
A pistol
A good watch

I burst out laughing when I read this. I told him how funny I thought it was and he didn't understand. I think it's a funny list and he thinks it's perfectly reasonable. And well, it is... to him. 

Let me break it down for you. 
Raiders coffee cup: DH is a lifelong Raiders fan and a new coffee drinker. He started drinking coffee last winter when the sun didn't rise until 9:30 or 10:00. Coffee makes the early morning commute a little easier. 
A pistol: We live in Alaska. That should be a good enough explanation but I'll elaborate. There's lots of big critters out there. A pistol is bear insurance. Plus boys just like guns.
Crocks: Cold hard floors in the winter. You have to wear something on your feet or they just might fall off.
Tattoo: Once you start you just can't stop with one. 
A good watch: This is my fall back gift. I've given him a few watches over the years. He wears them. They eventually break or wear out. I guess it's time I invest in a nicer watch for him.

My husband is a man of varied interests and it shows. Asking for a pistol, a tattoo, and crocks in the same list is just hilarious to me. But really, once I break it down, it is perfectly resonable. Hilarious, but reasonable.

I'm just lucky that there isn't some weird computer gadget on this list because then he has to buy his own gift. He was being nice to me this year. At least I know what all these things are. He's still on his own when it comes to a pistol, unless, of course, he would like a pretty little number with pearl inlay that can fit in my purse.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The way my mind works

My neighbor came to me the other day and told me that if we ever wanted to sell our house, he would love to buy it. If he wasn't home, just let his wife know. Then he went on about how great our little culdesac neighborhood is. I agreed. I love it here. I told him we have no immediate plans to move, but if we ever did, I'd be sure to let him know. How awesome to have a buyer in hand! It's a dream come true for anyone to know that they have an out if they ever decide to move. 

We have lived here for a year and this is the second time that I have met this neighbor. He was the first person to come introduce himself when we moved in. He then promptly left for the middle east because he was working as a contractor for something out there and has been gone for a year. He is home now for a little while for some R and R before he goes back. He's a really nice guy and I genuinely like him, but as soon as he left my mind started reeling. 

Why does he want to buy our house? He has a perfectly good house next door. Probably even bigger than our house so why would he want to move into a smaller house?
My first thought was, oh my word he's getting divorced and he wants our house so that he can live next door to his ex so he can see his kids all the time. Then I started feeling really bad for the guy and was thinking, oh no, we should sell our house to him. He needs to be by his kids. He needs our house more than we do. Then I realized that I was being a little absurd. Just a smidge. I can't just go selling my house because I feel bad for the guy. Sometimes my emotions run my decision making process, can you tell?

Thought number two: When we bought our house, it was a bit of a hassle getting the paper work done because one of the previous owners (not the people we bought it from, the owner before them) was accused of embezzling some money. A lot of money. Something to the tune of 50 million dollars. That in itself makes me question why a guy who embezzled that much money would have this house. I mean, I love my house and all, and I think it is great, but it is not the house that someone who has millions of dollars lives in. He at least could have sprung for some real hardwood instead of the hardwood laminate. And he could have gotten some nicer light fixtures instead of the tacky gold/brass ones that were here. I would have loved it if he had done that because then we wouldn't have had to buy and install all the new lighting. 
Anyhow, guy with embezzled millions used to own the house (although I honestly don't know that he ever lived here, but he did own it). Illegal money equals money you have to hide. Now I'm suddenly wondering if there is money in my walls or under the house some where. 

Thought number 3: This is Alaska, there was a gold rush here. Maybe someone stashed some gold somewhere on our property or under our house. Seriously my most ludicrous thought by far, but it still popped in my brain. 

And that is just the way my mind works. Maybe he is just looking for some real estate investments. Maybe he wants his to give our house to his parents. I'm sure there is a perfectly logical, non sinister explanation that doesn't involve divorce, hidden money, or buried treasure, but that just wouldn't be as entertaining.  

I had better start believing one of those logical explanations soon before I start punching holes in my walls looking for cash.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

She found it

I am the mean mom who hides the glitter. I may bust it out on special occasions, but for the most part, I like it hidden. It is just too messy, and if this is coming from me it must be really bad, because I am certainly not a model wife/mother when it comes to house cleaning. I love a clean house, but I hate cleaning. Cleaning makes me grouchy. I pray every night that I will turn into one of those women who cleans whenever they are frustrated, or upset, or just plain mad, but I wake up every day still loathing the idea of having to clean my house. My second prayer is that some day I can hire a cleaning lady. I'll keep praying. Maybe you can put me on your prayer chain.

So I hid the glitter. I hid it in the cupboard with the bread. After a few months Princess Blondie found it. She must have gotten hungry. 
You know, for someone who doesn't like it, I sure did buy an industrial size bottle of glitter. This should last until she is eighteen, at least. She can probably pass it down to her own children and she can hide it from my grand kids.

Look at her. She is so proud of herself. I don't have the heart to hide it again. I'll just have to live with glitter all over everything from here on out. But now gramma and grampa need to watch out. If you any any mail from our house I would open it outside, or at least over the sink, because you are about to get glitter-fied.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down...

I'd planned on writing all about how beautiful Alaska is in autumn. A few days ago the trees were at their peak and everything glowed yellow. We had sunshine and blue skies every day. Then we had a windstorm. I don't really know what else to call it. During the fall and winter, sometimes the wind just decides to blow. No rain, no snow, it just blows. It blows hard. We're talking hurricane force winds here (and I'm really not exaggerating. Really!). It blows for a few days and usually our power goes out because a tree ALWAYS lands on a power line. My sister five miles away ALWAYS still has power. That is when I curse the power company. The kids slept in bed with me the first night of our windstorm because our power went out (surprise!) and they were scared. I should rephrase that sentence. The kids slept in bed with me while I got smothered and kicked all night and nearly died of a heat stroke from our collective body heat. However,  I don't blame them for being scared. I was scared too, but that's not really something you tell your kids when you are trying to comfort them. I thought for sure the next big gust of wind was going to bring a tree down on our roof and our roof would collapse and squash us. In the end, the wind did bring a lot of trees down that night, but none on our roof. Luckily, all the trees here are pretty skinny, so even if they do land on a few roofs, the roofs can take it and no one gets crushed in their sleep. What a relief! Phew!

So thanks to our wind storm we no longer have lovely gold leaves on all of the trees. Now we have lovely gold leaves on everything but the trees. The trees are so sad and naked now.

Here are the fall photos from three days ago that I took. When it was still lovely. 

This is the color that nearly every tree turns in the fall. We have mostly birch and cottonwood and they all turn a beautiful goldenrod color in autumn. Some are slightly more brown like this one.

Others are a beautiful bright yellow like this one.

I loved this view from the tire swing. Sadly my children will not get to enjoy this view this year. The tree is now bare.

While the trees turn yellow, many of the plants and bushes turn red.
Yellow leaves above...

and red leaves below.

But the devils club turns yellow. It has to be obstinate.

I believe that this is highbush cranberry.

More red berries. I don't know what they are. I don't dare eat anything after watching Into The Wild. He ate something that looked very much like something that was supposed to be edible. It was a close cousin of what he thought it was. It was also very toxic. He died. I like to learn my life lessons from movies so I decided that I will eat nothing that I can't name with 100% certainty.


This was my garden a few days ago. Poppies, phlox, lobelia, pansies, and more. One of the traits that I inherited from my mother was my love for flower gardens.  My garden is now in a very sad state.

This poppy came from seeds that I took from my moms garden when I visited Michigan last summer. We went and snatched a bunch of seed pods and I took them to Alaska with me. They LOVE Alaska. They've been going crazy all summer.

I loved this one. She just opened and her pod was stuck on her like a little hat. Her hat is long gone now thanks to the wind.

Just so you know the full effects of what a windstorm can do to beautiful fall days.

Before windstorm.

Same view. After windstorm.

Before windstorm.

After windstorm.

Some of the trees clung to their leaves for dear life and still have a few to show for their effort. I admire their tenacity.