Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Missed the biggest...

Biggest snowstorm of the season, I mean. While I was in California getting soaked by rain after rain, the temperature dropped in Wasilla and got buried in snow. And I missed it!!

Oh, well.

It was fantastic seeing my family and my friends again. Got to play guitar with my dad, go shopping for my best friend's wedding, buy lunch for my friends. Love my new credit card, by the way. Ha ha.

Now I'm back in Alaska. Sorry, California, but I really like snow better than rain. Especially the dry, powdery snow like we get here. It just brushes off, so you don't go around dripping. I noticed it feels colder in California because you get wet.

Well, it seems that it doesn't matter anyway. Logan's been offered a higher position on the ladder which will take us back to California. Southern California, that is. Not sure if we care for the location. We've been reading about it and haven't heard anything real good yet.

But what's important is what this job will do for Logan and me.

It will pump up his resume to the extreme, so he'll be able to do more of what he would want to do later.

And it will allow us to pack away the money and perhaps buy a piece of property somewhere that we want to settle in, buy a new dome (yes, we want to go back to our earth muffin ways) and maybe a fancy trailer (I never did want a big house), and live the way we've always wanted to. Simple and as self-sufficiently as possible.

Will we ever return to Alaska? I don't know. We won't even get the chance to see the season that everyone raves about. We've seen the winter and it's not as bad as we'd heard before we came. If we liked winter, I can only imagine how we'd like the summer.

But life is what happens while you're making other plans.

I'll continue the blog as long as we're living in Alaska. After all, I'll probably still have some interesting Alaska stories to tell while we're here. That is the point of this blog, right?

But I think I will retire the blog when we return to California.

(Pauses to hear the great sobs of adoring fans.)


The whole reason I started this blog was because I finally had something interesting to talk about, something that other people would find interesting and informative.

If we move out of Alaska, there goes the point.

Then it would be just a blog about myself, and we all know how interesting that is.

So if you have any questions or subjects you want me to write about, let me know. I don't know when we'll be moving, but it could be as soon as next month. Just in time for my best friend's wedding!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


What's with the weather, for crying out loud? One week it's getting down to 17 below with the snow finally reaching interesting depths (like gastrocnemius deep - wait, did I spell that right?)

All of a sudden, it jumps up to the low 40s and starts RAINING!

I didn't come up here for the rain in wintertime! I want SNOW!!!

Now most of the snow has melted and there's a solid inch of ice on all the parking lots that's slicker than hair gel. Not cool.

Ah, well. I'm in California right now, so it's not like it really matters. It's pouring down rain here. Was hoping there would be a little bit of that famous sun, but so far, no such luck.

It's been fantastic seeing my parents, my friends, my cats. Lily, my brother's dog (formerly my grandmother's dog) actually did not recognize me at first. She ran up to the house and stood their growling until she got a good whiff of me. The tail shot up and waved at once.

My boys recognized me, though. Gerry jumped on my back and Schmendrik and Damien perked right up and demanded pets. Tomorrow I will invest some lap time.

I heartily admit that I started crying when I had to leave my husband at the security line of the airport in Anchorage. I had just smothered my puppy Bruno with kisses and left him in the car while Logan walked me up. Then I started sniffling and wiping my tears away. I was scared to fly by myself, I tell you what!

But the flight was actually really decent. I was by the window with a nice lady on my other side. I watched Shindig, an episode of Firefly, on my iPod, had a turkey sandwich, and listened to music.

I had frozen yogurt and talked to Logan, my mom, and my best friend on the phone while I was waiting out the layover in Seattle. Saw the news that Heathe Ledger was dead and sat there with my mouth dropped open in shock.

The second flight was so smooth. We left early and we got to sit wherever we wanted because there were so few people on the plane. I totally spread out and dozed while listening to my music.

Unfortunately, the same thing happened that has happened every time I fly: I got a nasty headache. I think it has to do with that inner ear virus I got years ago and the pressure in the cabin. Everything about this trip was perfectly pleasant except my head.

Tomorrow I'm going to stop at the Rocklin store and see the people I used to work with and stop at the kennel to visit those people I used to work with. I can't wait to see their faces.

I return to Alaska on Saturday. I probably won't post again until after that. Hopefully our internet access will be up and running AGAIN.

There are big changes looming on the horizon. Won't post about them yet, as I don't know what's going to happen. But it may spell the end of this blog...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Moving cats...

Someone posted a comment asking about moving our cats from California to Alaska. Welcome to my insanity! Don't be afraid...

Actually it wasn't too bad. Yes, we did give them a sedative (SEDAGIVE?!?! Said a dirty word!). Don't remember what it was, but we got it from our vet when we got the health certificates for them.

We had researched traveling with our cats to Alaska and had read that we needed to get them health certificates stating that they have their shots and are flea-free and all that. In all honesty, nobody ever checked the records we kept handy on the flight. I was rather surprised. Not even when we went through security!

Ah, yes, the post-9-11 security. We had to take the cats OUT of their carriers and hold them as we went through the scan things! Thank goddess I had the harnesses and leashes for them and they were already a bit relaxed from the sedative, which I had given them in the car just as we arrived at the airport. Otherwise they would have clawed the hell out of us from all the activity! Instead, they just kind of clung to us and watched their surroundings with big eyes.

Dusty was getting kind of active as we waited to board. I was worried that he would start meowing and cause a disturbance. But once we got on the plane and got them in their places under the seat in front, they calmed down and went right to sleep. I think I was more worried than they were!

It was kind of hard getting the carriers into place with hardly any room to spare with seatmates, but luckily I had understanding seatmates who helped me out, so that was okay. At least I didn't get someone who was allergic to cats!

I recommend the soft carriers made for airline flights because they are easier to fit under the seats. Not to mention that a cat of noble bulk like Dusty can press on the sides and stretch out a bit more inside.

After the first flight, I snapped Dusty's leash on while I waited for my husband to exit the plane (we had different seats). I pulled him out of his carrier, thinking he was sick of it by that point. His eyes were all blurry from the drugs, but he was awake. But here's the part that tickled me...

He immediately hopped back IN his carrier!

These two have never liked their carriers or traveling of any kind. Trips to the vet will leave me deaf as Dusty voices his displeasure. So seeing Dusty hop into his carrier of his own free will raised my eyebrows. "Who are you and what have you done with my Dusty?!"

They both slept through the second flight with no problems at all.

They started waking up when we got the rental car. The trip had lasted about seven or eight hours, so it was about time for the drugs to wear off. The vet had given us enough for a single dose and than half of another does for each in case it wore off too soon, but the single doses worked just fine (one pill for fat Dusty and a half for skinny Asuka.)

It's good to have practice pilling cats before trying to do it in an uncertain, busy place like an airport. Don't rely on pill pockets just because your cat usually eats them. I can guarantee he won't have an appetite when you need him to!

Um, I think that's about all I have on my experience flying with cats. I believe I have another post on it somewhere in here when it actually happened, try looking at all the posts labeled "It's raining cats and dogs... well, just cats." Any questions, feel free to post. I love to answer questions like I actually know what I'm talking about or something!

I'll Be Back...

Yep, it's true, my devoted readers. I'm going back to California for a few days to visit family and friends! In fact, my bestest buddy in the whole wide world is going to pick me up at the airport when I arrive Tuesday night! My boss is so totally cool about my need to see home every once in a while.

It's freaking expensive, though, even with all those websites that promise low ticket prices. Well, it seems they're only really lower if you book a hotel in conjunction, which is not something I need to do when going to visit family! It's over $800 dollars for roundtrip from Alaska.

At least I've got an Alaska Airlines card now, so I'll be able to rack up the miles and get companion tickets and other benefits that I can use. Seems every one up here has one and I can see why!

Logan is a little freaked because he will have to take care of the puppy and kitties all alone. But he insisted on me going because he knows how I've been feeling.

It's not the lack of light bothering me. In fact, there's more daylight than I had been led to believe during the wintertime here and we've already passed the longest night of the year.

It's not the constant snow and cold. As long as you dress for it, it's not problem. I can't wait to break out my shorts when I get to California! Ha ha! Not to mention the puppy loves that white powder and burrows in it every time he gets a chance.

The job is all right. (Sorry, Wendy, I know that's not what you were hoping for.) I still don't think I'm management material, but I work with some great people and I really like my boss, too. I've been lucky in bosses (Steve, Wendy, Perus.)

It's homesickness, pure and simple. It's hard to find time to talk to them on the phone. It's mostly email. My mind still reels when I ponder exactly how far away they really are.

Logan and I were almost ready to give up and go back when the next California store opens (later this year). Who knows? We might still do that.

But we want to give this a decent chance. We haven't really been able to get out in Alaska and experience it. I want to see what the summer is like.

Anyway, I'll be flying out Tuesday, January 22nd, arriving in Sac around 9:42 pm. I'll be in town Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and flying back to Anchorage around 9:15 am Saturday morning. I want to see everybody and do a million things and eat really good Chinese food! (The Chinese food kind of sucks here.)

Then I'll be back again at the end of March for my bestest buddy's wedding. By the way, Myn, so you still want me to sing? What do you want me to sing? Did we ever decide on that?

And Dad, I'm bringing my guitar. I just need to find a hard case for it so I can bring it as checked luggage on the plane!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Welcome to the family!

Here's the foot warmer I promised to show you!

His name is Bruno. He's seven weeks old, a purebred Golden Retriever, with a pretty impressive family background. Our boss was bringing him to work because he was the only puppy of the litter that hadn't sold yet.

I spent a day being his nanny and I was very impressed with his behavior. Kind of laid back, but playful, already housebroken (though he has the usual puppy issues, such as chewing on everything in sight).

I couldn't resist. And since I've been feeling so homesick lately, and since the Boss Man said I could bring him to work every day, Logan bought him for me. He won't be stuck in the apartment all the time, the reason why we hadn't gotten a dog before this to begin with.

He spent part of last night sleeping in my arms nestled between me and Logan. What a sweetie.

By the way, I may be able to fly out to California in a couple of weeks for a short visit. It's pretty dead at work right now. I'll be looking into flight tickets here pretty soon.

Moose Sighting!

At long last, after THREE MONTHS of living in Alaska, we finally saw our first moose today!

We had the day off, so we decided to just pick a direction we hadn't gone and drive for a couple of hours. We ended up going through Willow to Talkeetna.

Well, there isn't a whole heck of a lot going on in the towns we passed by along the way. Winter really does shut most stuff down. Half the gift shops we passed weren't even open. They might open on the weekend, though.

Passed firework central; three or four gigantic firework stands bunched together near the road, all closed up and deserted now that New Year's has come and gone. I wonder if that's the only time of year they can sell them.

Talkeetna was pretty tiny and cute. We kind of drove in a circle looking at the sights buried in snow and headed back home. We stopped at the Sheep Creek Lodge and had a delicious, although expensive, dinner. I had Chocolate "Moose" Cake for dessert. It reminded me of those organic Trader Joe's truffles that we got as gifts from customers at the kennel. Very rich, not too sweet, decadent to the hilt. Logan shared it with me.

The restaurant was in a spacious log cabin and looked very cozy and inviting in the snow. It was also empty; no one but us and the waitress and the cooks. I know we prefer quiet restaurants to busy and noisy, but this was almost as bad because it made us feel conspicuous. But we still liked the place very much.

Along the drive we saw a moose checking out the edge of the road way ahead. A large black blob in the snow, we thought hey, cool! We'll finally get a good look at a moose that isn't a photograph! So we slowed down a bit in case she (?) decided to wander out in the middle of the road.

Well, along came a huge truck going the other way, so she turned around and rapidly lumbered off before we could get close enough for a real good look. But at least we saw one, so we know they really exist.

Of course, we saw our boss later that evening and he'd been out hunting. Said he saw 30 or 40 moose during the day. Talk about sucking the wind out of your sails.

But the evening was very special for another reason that I will disclose tomorrow with pictures. I have a new foot warmer! More to come...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy Ewe Near!

I guess that's what farmers say to each other when their pregnant sheep are about to give birth.

Okay, yeah, I'm reaching. I'm tired. I get a day off tomorrow, at last.

New Year's is a little different here. Since it's too light in July for Independence Day fireworks, they have them on New Year's instead. And this year was Wasilla's first time allowing regular civilians to purchase and set off their own fireworks.

And I saw some fireworks that I never saw in California. Roy, brother dear, you would be jealous.

A friend and coworker invited us over to his townhouse apartment to shoot off a boat load of fireworks in his yard. We gave the neighbors quite a show. And all the while the town fireworks were going off high in the sky, too.

We got those firecrackers that come in a string, and did a lot of lighting and tossing. The snow didn't even dampen the spirits of the colors (the flowers did not spin, however.)

We got the ones that are shaped like bombs with long green wicks and you put them down in this tube, light the wick and stand back. Like miniature cannons, they shoot up into the air with a loud FOOM and explode with colors and sparks, looking only slightly smaller than the professional ones. Those were my favorite.

One fountain type firework went screwy and blew the bottom out, sending some sparks in weird directions. We had to duck and cover. A solemn reminder that you can get hurt if you're not careful.

Okay, enough with the public health message. I was having a mild pyromaniac blast last night! It was so cool.

Of course, I realized at 11 here, it was already midnight in California. I'd gotten a text from my best friend and I sent one back to her with tears in my eyes. I miss my family and friends a lot, but I say that nearly every post now, don't I? What a sap.

Tomorrow we're going to look at some vehicles and possibly purchase one so we'll have two cars again. I think we're going to be looking at Landcruisers. Possibly a Suzuki Samurai, too. Then I'll be able to go karaoke-ing without having to drive my husband anywhere (need someone to go with, though.)

Well, time to go to sleep. No resolutions this year. Yeah, I bit all my nails off already, but I know I can stop doing that any time I want to, so I don't need to resolve to do it anymore. I already exercise whenever I can. I can't think of anything to resolve to do this new year. And it doesn't feel like a new year. It feels old to me. Brand new year, same old blonde! Wonder what I can do to liven things up a bit.

Okay, now I'm just babbling, stream of consciousness aloud. Good night, y'all! Happy new-old year!