28 August, 2007

O, Happy Day!

My brother called yesterday - said he'd be in town tonight (he's a long-haul trucker), would we like to get together for dinner? Of course!! So we picked him up, went to a nice Italian joint here in town, had a nice visit, and headed back to his truck. Almost to the point of dropping him off, he says "Well, this was a nice birthday."

And I felt *terrible*!!! I totally spaced that today was his birthday. So we brought him home to have some chocolate mousse (sans crust) and visit some more. I'm a bad sister. But I'm glad I got to share some of his birthday - even if he had to remind me. Thanks for coming, Dave - and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
Birthday in the Cool Fair Hat! =)

26 August, 2007

Seascape Cache

This morning, we took Yvonne (Jeannea's co-worker from Dillingham) to the Tooth for a good meal, took her to the airport, then did a little caching. Here's another place in my own back yard that I'd never been, and the only reason I did end up here is to find a cache. Even though I'm not into the sport nearly as much as Greg & his buddies, one of the bonuses is that you find things like this.
Seascape View

This particular cache is relatively simple. On the backside of a neighborhood is a little path down a hill to a marshy area. At the base of the hill is a little path bordering some woods and the marsh. Follow the path a bit (sandals are *not* recommended, although you can accomplish the task in them...) and you find the hide.
On the Way

From the Find

Now Jeannea, Greg, & Brian are out finding more hides... One of these days I'll have to start logging my finds - I'm fairly certain I have more than a dozen, but won't know the exact count until I log them. Happy Hunting!! =)
Cachers - Brian, Jeannea, & Greg

Fair Time

The end of August brings the Alaska State Fair. It's always fun to go see the *huge* vegetables and wander around eating... cotton candy, kettle corn, grilled corn-on-the-cob, ice cream, funnel cakes, meat-on-a-stick... It's *grand*!! (And I was glad Jeannea brought tummy medicine - someone should always be prepared!!)
Fair Flowers

Greg headed out to the fair at 9am yesterday with friends. A bunch of geocachers were getting together to "cache the fair" - apparently lots of fun... Jeannea and her friend Yvonne flew in from Dillingham in afternoon, so I met them at the airport, we dumped the bags at the house then headed out to the fair. Spent a lot of time sitting in traffic (waiting to park). The car behind us alternately revved its engine and played bass so loud our whole car was vibrating. But we finally made it in - and didn't do anyone any bodily harm... =)

Hooked up with Greg & Brian and started to wander. First stop was Fair Food - cotton candy, fried pickle chips (very tasty!), fried zucchini, elephant ears, funnel cakes, and ice cream. Not everyone had everything (or we shared one order among many) and the first round took probably an hour or more as we wandered between shops and food stops. Then everyone split up - agreeing to meet again at 10pm.
Cotton Candy Caper
Cornucopia Ice Cream Dream

Greg & I found the Rodeo Fish and I convinced him to ride. He might consider a career change? Nah... but it was fun for both of us!
Ridin' the Rodeo Fish

From there, we wandered some more. Sometimes I forget to take in the beauty that surrounds me - but I took notice last night and have some pix to share. These were taken at approximately 9:30pm, as we were wandering towards the meeting place.
Fair View #1

Fair View #2
Fair View #3

A stop to get some grilled corn-on-the-cob, deep fried cheese curds, meat-on-a-stick, and then we hooked up with the rest of the gang. Jeannea picked up some fresh-popped kettle corn for the road - yummy!! Brian & Heather headed out around 10 - we finished the eating, visited for a bit, and headed out to the car just before closing (around 11pm). Of course then we had to wait through the exiting traffic, but we made it home shortly after midnight. All in all, a great trip. The weather was fantastic, and we won't eat like that again... until next year!
Meat on a Stick

Fair Lights
Fair's End

16 August, 2007

Trekkin' Too

In June, I posted about a little caching trip we made: Trekkin'... We went for a drive and did some geocaching. There was one hide that I didn't get to because I freaked out. I decided (after I'd reached the bottom and calmed some) that I would go back another time to sign my name to the log. Well, I went back on Sunday.

The weather was great, so we decided to get out of the house for a while. I told Greg where I wanted to go, so we headed out. Started with a relatively easy find - with a nice view of the inlet. A confidence booster, if you will.
Inlet View

The next stop was the hike I'd failed at before. The first part is relatively simple, and you've got a buffer of trees between you and the... drop. We crossed a little stream a saw the red roots of the moss growing above the water.
Moss Roots

After crossing the stream, we came to the hard part (for me). Crossing lots of loose rocks on a relatively steep slope and no trees to stop me if I lose control. I had to stop a couple times and refocus my mind - away from the visions of sliding helplessly down the slope, falling over the edge, and being smashed by oncoming traffic. Greg was very patient and helpful - and I made it across!! We descended from a different direction, so I only had to cross the skree once - whew!

The Crossing

The view from the top was spectacular! And the sense of accomplishment was a soothing balm for the failure of the past. "My Own Private Idaho" is the name of the cache - I signed the log with shaky fingers, but it's my writing on the page. Someone took some time & effort to build a teepee-like structure at the top of the area. You can tell that people come here sometimes and have fires. If I didn't have to make that climb again - and possibly in the dark - I'd go up there with a group of friends and have a nice get-together. But there's the climb up... Oh well.

The Teepee with a View
My View from the Top
Todd's June View

From there, we did a bit more caching then headed home for dinner. Saw some nice vistas, did some more climbing, and generally enjoyed the good weather and being out-and-about. A nice end and beginning of the week(s). =)

Rock Flowers
Small Waterfall
Seeing the Water thru the Trees
Picture in Picture

11 August, 2007

The Ring of Shoes

We have a *huge* sliding glass door - 8' wide, compared to the typical 5-1/2' wide sliders you can pick up "off-the-shelf" at your local hardware store. Years ago, we decided to get a Phantom Screen for the door rather than a regular sliding screen. Benefits are that the screen, when retracted, rolls into a bar that sits where the door frames meet in the center of the door - thus making it "invisible" when not in use. When the screen is unrolled, it attaches to the door frame using a magnet.
Closing the Screen
The Magnet

The only issue I have is that the cats can pop the magnet and escape into the "wild" backyard (which is not fully enclosed). Since they're Indoor Cats, they don't have the vaccinations necessary to be outside, nor do they have collars. Besides, I'm worried that they'd get lost and not come home. Iko was gone for 2 weeks last fall - she escaped to the wild - fortunately she came home again, but she didn't fare too well since she was down more than 1-1/2 #s. I *definitely* don't want a repeat of that!!

So we developed the "Ring of Shoes". We keep deck slippers by the door so in inclement weather people can go in and out. In good weather, no shoes are necessary and it's nice to increase the air flow throughout the house. So we open the door, close the screen, find the spray bottle, and set up the Ring of Shoes. The cats are not allowed to cross the Ring of Shoes - if they do, they get shot with water. They only challenge the Ring a few times before settling down as close as they can get. We still can't leave the room for long periods of time - the little monsters will take advantage of the lapse in security and make a break for freedom.

In these pictures, we used windshield wipers to complete the Ring - need to get new slippers for Greg (I'm thinking birthday present). I think it's amusing to see how close they get to the Ring without going over (and how quickly they retreat when they get sprayed).
Looking In
Looking Out

Happy Plants

Less than 24 hours later, and the plants are *much* happier!! I'll have to make sure to water tonight to keep them from getting droopy again...

Happy Plants

Bee Visiting Happy Plants

10 August, 2007

Sad Plants

We've had a spate of good, warm, sunny weather... and I haven't stayed on top of the watering like I should. My plants are a bit droopy - so I watered this afternoon at 6:30pm. We'll see what they look like tomorrow...