20 September, 2008

What is it? --Part III

There's something going on in my backyard...

Could it be a stage?

Or a playhouse?

That's no final curtain...

Welcome to our new shed!

Growing Things

Our neighbor is new (he moved in this past Spring), and he works in construction over the summer - which means he is really busy. I don't think he mowed the lawn at all this summer. As I was on the deck this fall, I noticed that he has some extra growth.
Rain Gutter Baby Trees

Since we don't have rain gutters (yet - it's in the plan for the future, when we paint the house), I never thought about it. Apparently we're going to have to clean things out so we don't get little trees...
Climbing Chickweed

This particular weed (I know it as chickweed) is very prolific - it'll take root anywhere and crowd out whatever is growing. I didn't realize it also grows like ivy - here, it's climbing the stairs to the neighbor's deck. Fortunately the fence and some Weed Be Gone kept most of it out of our lawn...

'Do Rag

When you're going on a long trip on a motorcycle, you need certain gear. Rainproof pants & coat are a good start. Helmet (of course). Gloves & boots. But you also need something to help keep the neck protected - as the helmet doesn't quite do it. Greg found a 'Do Rag sewn in a tube to work for his purposes, and modeled several different ways to wear it.
To keep the sweat out of the eyes

Pirate Style

For cold/wet weather - to protect the neck & chin

Hopefully he doesn't wear it this way while driving...

18 September, 2008

Stack 'n Slash

It's Baby Time!! Not for me, of course. For a friend of ours. I've made lots of baby quilts - primarily the Trip Around the World pattern (examples here). This time, I wanted to try something new, but easy - since we didn't have a whole lot of time before the shower. I'm great at procrastinating...

We picked the Stack 'n Slash quilt. Basically, you take 10" squares of a bunch of different fabrics, stack them up, cut them, rotate the top of one side to the bottom, then sew them back together.

Repeat that process two more times, then trim the squares to 8" and sew together. Next add the border. Then layer the backing, batting, and top and sew together. A little top stitching, and voila!

Nita did all the sewing, and I did the cutting and ironing. Teamwork! A nice bonus is that you can hardly tell (unless you look really hard) where I wasn't paying attention and didn't trim the squares up right (I blame it on America's Got Talent). Could have been a real problem with another pattern, but it turned out fine for this one.

The entire process took about a week of evenings. There's another baby due soon - I think I'm going to do this one again, but change some of the angles of the cuts to see how it comes out. Should go a little quicker, since we've got some experience.

16 September, 2008

Fair Time Again

I would like Fall better, if Summer hadn't been so cold & rainy. It also is the harbinger of Winter, which lasts entirely too long and is cold and snowy. Sometimes I think I live in the wrong place. But thoughts of Winter were far away a couple weeks ago, when we went to the Alaska State Fair. We happened to get good weather, and spent an enjoyable day eating (fresh donuts), visiting, eating (freshly battered corn dog and fried pickle chips), seeing the sights, and eating (cotton candy, corn on the cob, fresh kettle corn, funnel cakes, fresh pretzel (the frozen ones just don't compare), and having fun.

We spent the morning wandering around and doing some geocaching. Spent time in the exhibits looking at the beautiful quilts and art work. Then, when the dogs were barkin', we took a break to rest for a bit.

Stacy & I decided to visit the face painting booth while the boys ran around getting more caches. We also visited the animals and got to see cute baby pigs and a pygmy goat (it's so tiny!).

As always, the veggies are a huge draw. Most of the big ones weren't out yet - we would have had to come the next weekend, after they were weighed and judged. But there were a couple fine specimens to see. I've never seen a Giant Puffball before...

And there are always loads of gorgeous flowers. I really like the floral depiction of the state flag - and (of course) sunflowers are a huge draw for me.

So, another fair has come and gone. The leaves are falling and Winter is fast approaching. At least I have some fun pictures to ease the disappointment that Summer is gone...

15 September, 2008

It's Vary Personnel

I found the following placard displayed at a public event with lots of foot traffic. (Okay, it was at the Alaska State Fair in the photography section.) I'm willing to dismiss, or at least try to ignore, the grammar issues but the spelling, capitalization, and excessive punctuation make me cringe. Even when I try to give credit for the poem-like stanzas, I find that it makes me crazy. I suppose that most of the words are actually spelled correctly - just not the proper usage.

Note: I took a picture of the original sign, then cropped it to remove personal (not personnel) information. Since he was featured, I would have to assume that he's got better photography skills than spelling & grammar. Makes me kind of grateful for my high school English teacher...

12 September, 2008

Whirlwind Visit

Jeannea finally finished her summer work in Silly Dilly (Dillingham) and stopped in to visit on her way to WA. It was a short visit - she came in on Friday the 22nd, and headed out on Saturday the 23rd. I was a little bummed that we didn't get more time together, but she promised to make it up to me on her stop over (when she's heading out to King Cove - should be in just a couple weeks now...)

The reason we didn't get much time is that she decided to collect her car (Wilbur, as I named him) and drive down to Seattle. A friend from work was going with her, and they had to be in town by a certain time. I'm glad she had someone to make the long trip with - it's loads more fun (not to mention safer) to do a long road trip with someone... (Hol, remember Smashed-in-Heads-Buffalo-Jump?!? And other events best not published on the internet... ;) )

Because Jeannea was taking Wilbur, we needed to get another vehicle. A great deal practically fell in our laps, just before the deadline...

They're practically twins! Mine is older and has more miles; Wilbur has the off road and tow packages; mine has running boards; Wilbur has stereo controls on the steering wheel (man, I miss that!!) a compass in the rear view mirror, and a better stereo; they both have cracked windshields (Jen - you need to let me know what it'll cost to fix and I'll send you the $$). Everything else is just about the same - even the color. Haven't named the new one yet. Jeannea didn't even know that I picked her up from the airport in the "new" car instead of hers, until we got to the house and Wilbur was already there... =)

What is it? --Part II

There's something going on in my backyard...

something that makes lots of noise...

It could be a stage...
or maybe a playhouse...

just need some curtains for the first act...

So I'm still doing some catch up posting. I have a couple more events from August yet, and we're almost half way through September. I promise I'll get it together and get caught up...

01 September, 2008

Sheri's Stop In

I'm lucky to have lots of family visits this Fall. Dave was here in early August, followed by Sheri, then Jeannea - and Sara will be here in September. Since my family lives far away and it's so expensive to travel Outside (or to the Lower 48, if you will), I don't get to see everyone very often. I'm fortunate (because you know it's all about ME) that some of the sibs have summer jobs in AK - then they make the flight reservations with a layover in ANC so I get to spend time with them. Last year, it was just Sara & Jeannea. This year, Dave & Sheri joined the summer crew, which means I get visits from them all, and I'll see the rest in December - wahoo!!

I'm woefully behind, as Sheri has already come & gone (and so has Jeannea, but that's another post). It was great to have her visit - I don't get to see her very often. Last time we were down south we got together a little, but she was busy with work and we were trying to cram in visits with loads of people - so it was limited. But still good. This time, I got her for two days entirely to myself, then an additional week that I had to share. We spent Thursday visiting and catching up, then Friday was a Girl's Day. Plenty of shopping, and then some relaxing while we got a pedicure.
Phil arrived on Saturday afternoon, and Greg got home late Saturday night. So Sunday we all went up to the overlook at Flattop. (After we stopped at the chocolate waterfall. Yummmm!) Didn't hike Blueberry or the Flattop trail, but the overlook has a great view of town, and it was a very pleasant evening.
On Monday, we decided to take a drive south to Girdwood and have Double Musky for dinner. We don't go there very often - mainly because they don't take reservations, so if you take the 45 minute drive, you may be waiting in line for a while before you get seated. Be prepared to wait - but it's *definitely* worth it. We left town early - around 4:30pm, hoping to get to the restaurant early enough that we wouldn't have to wait long. We got seated right away, and not 20 minutes later all the tables were full and there were people waiting... We ate A LOT. Two appetizers (Popcorn Shrimp and a spicy cheese spread), everyone had something different for dinner (Pepper Steak, Shrimp & Scallop Cardinal, Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya, and Boneless Breast of Chicken - so everyone could try lots of different things), and everyone had different desserts too (the cheesecake was the best I've ever had). By the time we left, I felt like I could roll down the driveway to the car. Magnifique!!

So we didn't explode, we stopped on the way home and took a little hike. It was windy and threatening to rain, but still a pleasant trek. We saw an eagle and had a great view of the inlet. Just the thing to help digest an over-large dinner.

On Tuesday, we headed the other direction. We stopped in Eagle River to have dinner at a little mexican joint, Jalapeno's Mexican Restaurant. Another restaurant we really like, but we don't go there often - this time, primarily because of the drive. There are plenty of mexican restaurants in town (altho maybe not quite as good) without having to drive 45 minutes to get there. After dinner, we headed out to Thunderbird Falls. It's about a mile hike in on a well-groomed trail to the falls. They're not huge, but the scenery is pretty and it's a nice walk. After we made it to the platform, we took the lower path so we got close to the river. The braver folks (everyone but me) climbed down to get even closer to the falls. Another lovely evening!

It was great to spend time with Phil, too! He's been a friend to many of my siblings for years now, so it was nice to spend some time and get better acquainted. After such a nice visit I was sad to see Sheri go, but grateful for the time we got to spend together.