Thursday, April 7, 2011

Morning Newspaper

I normally find my newspaper on my front porch. We had gale force winds come up during the night and all day today. Apparently it had blown off of the porch. Anyhow, when I went to get my paper this morning, this is where I found it. THINK MOOSE.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


So I don't know why the formatting is messed up on my previous post, but it took me too long to get in there, and I don't want to lose anything by trying to fix it.

March Madness - Alaska Style

Hard to believe the month of March is almost gone. This is my version of March Madness. A recap of what's been going on. Spring has sprung here. Understand that Spring is identified here by the number of days that are now above freezing and with sunshine, thus causing breakup (otherwise known as thawing) to start. It is a slushy mess. It is probably another four to six weeks before we have any green. Although, I did see a picture of a crocus in the newspaper this week, which is a harbinger of spring. The first crocus sightings in Oklahoma typically happen in late January to early February. My friends and coworkers tell my I have survived my first winter so I am no longer a chechako (Alaskan for greenhorn). I guess I'm officially a Sourdough. Although, as you know, I'll always be an Okie at heart. The first two pictures are outside my condo. And really this is pretty good to what it has been. In some areas there are deep ruts, may six to eight inches deep. Makes me glad that I didn't bring my Mustang up here. My dirty car. But I can't see spending five dollars for a car wash when I know as soon as I drive it out of the bay, it will look like this again. The fortunate thing is that they don't use salt on the roads here, so you don't have to worry about the damage saltwater can do to your vehicle. I have officially abandoned my winter boots and heavy parka. Also, take note. If your friend sends you a text message and asks if you want to go for a walk, make sure you ask enough questions. Apparently, going for a walk in Alaska has a different meaning. The picture shows where we went walking. Up the side of this mountain on McHugh Creek Trail, which is still covered in ice and snow. I would like to share more pictures with you; however, I had to focus all my energy on staying upright. I ended up sliding down the trail on my backside a couple of times, all the while my 20 something friend and her husband are saying, "Are you alright" Here let me help you." Like I'm old or something. Funny, I remember doing the same thing to my Grandma, and I couldn't understand why she got so cranky with me. Time does have a way of changing your perspective. As far as the earthquake in Japan, we had no impact here from it; however, I had fallen asleep on the couch with the TV on and was awakened in the middle of the night by the Emergency Broadcast System issuing a tsunami warning for the southern coastline of the state. A little unnerving. Glad I had seen on the news about the earthquake in Japan so I knew the cause. Anchorage sits so far up the inlet, we are at little risk of being impacted by a tsunami. We are, however, high risk for earthquake activity. I did some research and the state of Alaska averages over 14,000 earthquakes a year. You can click on the earthquake monitoring link below if you are interested. The majority of them are so small and so deep that they are never felt. But, if you drive to the areas that were devestated by the 1964 quake here and you watch the damage in Japan and other locations from recent earthquakes, it does bring home the point that you need to be as prepared as possible. So I am in the process of finishing up my disaster kit. My winter pasttime has been going to hockey games. In Oklahoma, we have football. In Alaska we have hockey. There is a ECHL team, the Alaska Aces as well as a college team, the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) Seawolves. I have a hockey friend who has season tickets for both. Both teams play at the same location, The Sullivan Arena, and they alternate weekends. Thus there is hockey every weekend. I had only been to one hockey game in my entire life prior to moving here, but I actually find I am liking it. I am still trying to learn all of the rules. It has taken me the better part of the season just to learn how to keep track of the puck. We've had two come over the glass at us. The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) season is over. But, the Aces have clenched the Western Conference, a first week bye for the playoffs as well as home ice advantage. The UAA Seawolf Mascot The Alaska Aces Logo and Team Picture I just finished a knitting class where I learned how to knit socks. I have one completed sock. The challenge now is to see if I can knit a matching one. I also finished a quilting class. This is actually the second go around for this particular class. The technique was new to me and bit of a challenge, but after round two, I am feeling better about it. Still don't have a finished quilt, but have more confidence in my ability to get it finished. Here is a picture of the pattern, two of my finished blocks and a block that is in progress. Five of the blocks are hand appliqued and five are pieced. Once I get the applique done, I think the pieced blocks will go by quickly.

I'm probably done with creative classes until next fall. Summer is on the way, which means more outdoor activity as well as lots of anticipated company. And goodness knows I have plenty of projects to satisfy my creative outlet without taking more classes.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Winter Blues Cure

Yesterday, I had a key in my mailbox indicating I had received a package. Unfortunately, the package mailbox was frozen shut.

Today, thanks to a friend who was stronger than the frozen lock, I was able to get the package mailbox open. And what did I find? A package from my cousin Brenda. Notice the cheery flowers.

And when I opened the package......

A care package from my Aunt and Cousins.

And they know me well.

Look at all the wonderful things they sent to me.

A bookmark with a quilt design and a pair of
embroidery scissors. Some of my favorite past
times. Reading, quilting, and needlework.

Nail polish, which I won't buy for myself. And
Bath and Body Works goodies. I miss Bath and
Body Works.

Things that smell good. And the candle was
made in Colorado.

Note pads. I'm always looking for a piece of
paper to make myself a note or list. A side effect
of getting older. Can't remember a thing if I
don't write it down.

Mints and Gum. Never know when you might
need fresh breath.

A fun pair of socks and towels. Hidden under
the note it says Spring and there are flowers
on the front towel.

And cookbooks for two of my favorite things.
I can't think of anything better to help cure
the Winter Blues.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Winter Blues

So I've had a bad case of the winter blues. Which means that nothing that I should be doing is getting done. My winter project list is just as long as it was when winter started. And suffice it to say I will be glad for Spring/Summer to get here.

Thankfully, the days are definitely getting longer. We are gaining five to six minutes of daylight each day. It doesn't sound like much, but over the course of a month, it adds up to hours.

I'm thankful for the sun. It is rising higher in the sky and I enjoy the brightness, although the clear skies that bring the sunshine also bring colder temperatures.

Over the past week I've been thinking about something I had heard. Part of the story says, "Sunday's Coming." So I looked it up. At first I thought it was lyrics to a Christian song, but in reality it is part of a sermon.

In no way do I want to say that my winter blues compare to what Jesus suffered, but it is a great reminder that if he could hang on until Sunday, then we can certainly hang on to get through the stresses and trials of our lives.

I found the following on a web site called Broken Believers, but the story and sermon is from Tony Campolo:

It's Friday, but Sunday's Coming!!

Campolo tells the story of a little preaching competition that he had with his pastor during servcies at the church where he attends. Dr. Campolo tells how he preached the perfrect sermon, perfect in every way. He had taken the congregation to the heights of glory. And as he sad down beside his pastor, Dr. Campolo patted him on the knee and simply said, "Top that." The older black pastor looked at him and "Boy, watch the master."

It was a simple sermon, starting softly, building in volume and in tensity until the entire congregation was completely involved, repeating the phrases in unision. The sermon went something like this:

It's Friday. Jesus is arrested in the garden where He was praying. But Sunday's coming.

It's Friday. The disciples are hiding and Peter's denying that he knows the Lord. But Sunday's coming.

It's Friday. Jesus is beaten, mocked, and spit upon. But Sunday's coming.

It's Friday. Those Roman soldiers are flogging our Lord with a leather scourge that has bits of bone and glass and metal, tearing at his flesh. But Sunday's coming.

It's Friday. The Son of man stands firm as they press the crown of thorns down into His brow. But Sunday's coming.

It's Friday. See Him walking to Calvary, the blood dripping from His body. See the cross crashing down on His back as He stumbles beneath the load. It's Friday; but Sunday's a coming.

It's Friday. See those Roman soldiers driving the nails into the feet and hands of my Lord. Hear my Jesus cry, "Father, forgive them." It's Friday; but Sunday's coming.

It's Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, bloody and dying. But Sunday's coming.

It's Friday. The sky grows dark, the earth begins to tremble, and He who knew no sin became sin for us. Holy God who will not abide with sin pours out His wrath on that perfect sacrificial lamb who cries out, "My God, My God. Why hast thou forsaken me?" What a horrible cry. But Sunday's coming.

It's Friday. And at the moment of Jesus' death, the veil of the Temple that separates sinful man from Holy God was torn from the top to the bottom because Sunday's coming.

It's Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, heaven is weeping and hell is partying. But that's because it's Friday, and they don't know it, but Sunday's coming.....

So for all of us who go through the ups and downs of life. Don't forget, Your Sunday is coming.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sad Day

I got to the office this morning only to be greeted by an e-mail telling me that a dear friend's wife had passed away. For that matter, Phyllis herself was a dear friend.

Jack Boyle was my boss from 1988 through 1996. And since there were a number of Jacks in our work group, for me he quickly became known as "Boss Man Jack." This happened to be one of the darkest periods of my life. Jack and Phyllis were some of my biggest supporters and encouragers during those difficult times.

It was Jack who encouraged, actually more like insisted, that I go back to school and get my degree. And it was Jack and Phyllis who believed in me when I didn't believe in myself.

They were there cheering me on when I bought my first house. And who was there when I went through my divorce? Jack and Phyllis. I can't even begin to list everything that Jack and Phyllis did for me.

And if you never had the opportunity to sample Phyllis' cheese grits, then you missed out.

Just last week, I had a phone call from Jack checking up on me to see how things are going and to tell me that I had done well for myself. To which I responded, "It wouldn't have happened without your support and encouragement."

In all of my life, there are very few non-relatives that would warrant a trip from Anchorage to Bartlesville for a funeral, but this is one of those times. So I will catch a flight out on Wednesday morning, attend the funeral services on Friday and head back to Anchorage on Sunday morning.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy New Year

So I've been back in Anchorage from a two week Christmas vacation for three weeks now. I've been waiting for Katie to e-mail me some pictures of my time in Oklahoma, but I'm still waiting. If they every show up, I'll post them. While I was there I helped her recover her kitchen chairs and hang a wall paper border in her kitchen.

Coming back to Anchorage after two weeks in Arizona and then Oklahoma was a bit of a challenge. I really noticed the darkness a lot more. But PTL, only a month after winter solstice, we are gaining daylight and are already back to seven hours of daylight. I'm only going to work in the dark now, but heading home in the twilight.

We had a week of subzero weather. Can't say I loved it, but with the right clothing, it was tolerable. Thank goodness for long underwear, down and microfiber. This week we have warmed up. Today it was a balmy 29. I saw a teenaged boy in a pair of shorts and a short sleeve t-shirt.

So I gave up New Year's resolutions long ago, but I do have a couple of goals for this year: to read the Bible clear through and to work every jigsaw puzzle posted on The Houston Chronicle web site. I'm also working to finish putting my house in order since it appears I will have plenty of company when summer gets here.

So, here's to a great 2011.