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12/31/12 Monday – Out with the Old

I stood on the front porch and watched the neighborhood light up with fireworks at the stroke of midnight and rang in the new year. Hello 2013!

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12/30/12 Sunday – Elf

I don't know if it is the holiday season or the head cold that has me feeling like a green, pot-bellied, lil' elf. Just call me Sneezy.

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12/29/12 Saturday – FaceTime

Hubby got us an iPad for Christmas and now I can do FaceTime with the kids! Way way cool! I love it!

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12/28/12 Friday – Almost Gone

It is hard to believe that the year 2012 is almost over with. It has been one incredible year. Amazing!

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12/27/12 Thursday – Baby Blues

Windows to her innocent soul:


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12/26/12 Wednesday – Sweet Treat

Katelyn's loves Grandma's Rice Krispies Treats!

katelyn eating rice crispies

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12/25/12 Tuesday – Rockin' and Walkin'

Merry Christmas!

David, Shayla, and sweet Katelyn stopped by today! Katelyn is walking! And look at what Grandpa made her for Christmas:

katelyns rocking chair

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12/24/12 Monday – Two Prunes

It doesn't seem like Christmas in our home. No stockings hung by the chimney. Not a creature stirring. No clatter. No matter. There aren't even any sugar plums here. There is only newly fallen snow beyond the sash. It is a quiet Christmas Eve.

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12/23/12 Sunday – Christmas Cheer

I gave all of our Christmas lights, tree, and decorations to our son Derik. He decorated his home and sent me the pictures. It looks so nice! Oh how I miss the look of Christmas in our home. I miss it so much that I took some of the Christmas goodies that I baked up and made little Christmas trees.

Here is my Rice Krispies treat tree:

rice crispy christmas tree

Here is my fudge tree:

fudge christmas tree

Yeah. Yeah. I know what you are thinking. No. No, the eggnog was not spiked. Heh.

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12/22/12 Saturday – Pudgy

I'm getting the urge to cook up a bunch of Christmas goodies. Holiday cookies, Rice Krispies treats, fudge ... yum!

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12/21/12 Friday – Come One. Come All.

With the holiday season comes the inevitable crud. I caught a head cold.

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12/20/12 Thursday – Meeting

The Realtor came over today to take more pictures of the inside of the house. After we were done with that, Hubby and I took the desk apart and moved it back to where it was originally. We only had to move it about two feet, but it sure did make the room look a lot bigger!

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12/19/12 Wednesday – Midnight Moon

I stepped outside for some fresh air this evening and the moon was just coming up over the mountain:


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12/18/12 Tuesday – Those Eyes

I just love this picture! I swiped it off of my daughter-in-law's Facebook page. Katelyn Mae:


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12/17/12 Monday – Click Click Click

We've been busy taking more pictures of the house. The new Realtor is being very particular about the angles and such for marketing reasons. I'm impressed!

I'm also impressed by the before and after pictures of the garages. The before pictures of the garages are of poor quality but I'm going to post them here for you to see so that you can get an idea of just how much work I put into these garages while Hubby was in Tennessee:

Here is the single-car garage, before picture:

garage before

Here is the single-car garage, after picture:

garage after

Here is the double-car garage, before picture:

garage before

Here is the double-car garage, after picture:

garage after

That was a lot of work! I never want to step foot in another man-cave ever again. Ever!

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12/15/12 Saturday – Around the Corner

It is hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner.

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12/13/12 Thursday – Aurora Borealis

This winter has been extremely cold and very beautiful with mainly clear blue skies most of the time. Typically during winter weather like this we see a lot of Northern Lights, but so far this year I have not seen the Dance of the Spirits. I hope to though.

winter trees

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12/12/12 Wednesday – Brr

I'm going to try and just chill today. It's cold outside so it shouldn't be that hard to do!

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12/11/12 Tuesday – Lyrics

Among the endless Christmas carols that are played on the radio this time of the year, the song by Chuck Berry titled, "My Ding A Ling" is also included on our local DJ's play list. It makes me smile every time I hear it.

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12/10/12 Monday – This And That

We have been busy with the details that are required for listing the house. I'm quite impressed with the level of detail and the communication we get from this new Realtor. Nice!

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12/09/12 Sunday – Jolly

I have Christmas music coming out of my heinie!

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12/08/12 Saturday – Overslept

Sometimes you just have to ignore that alarm and sleep in.

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12/07/12 Friday – Reins

The house is immaculate and the snow continues to summon my shoveling skills. This grandma feels like she got ran over by a reindeer.

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12/06/12 Thursday – White As Rice

If it keeps snowing like it has been we will have snow on the ground until Easter!

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12/05/12 Wednesday – Spirits

I'm trying to find my Christmas spirit.

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12/04/12 Tuesday – Over And Over

We must resubmit paperwork to the new Realtor so I have been busy crossing all of our T's and dotting all of our I's.

Next ... new pictures of the inside and outside of the house for marketing.

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12/03/12 Monday – You Get What You Pay For

We don't always get what we pray for but we do get what we pay for. We were very impressed with the new Realtor. Wow! What a difference! Now hopefully we can move on and sell this house.

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12/02/12 Sunday – Plan B

We have decided to hire a new Realtor. We meet with her tomorrow.

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12/01/12 Saturday – Catching Up

Hubby and I are busy catching up, resting up, and cuddling up.

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11/30/12 Friday – Whole Again

There are two reasons to celebrate today.

1. It's Katelyn's first birthday today!

2. Hubby is home!


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11/29/12 Thursday – Snow Storm

Hubby is stuck in Sitka due to a snow storm that we have here in Juneau today. I am not all too disappointed because Hubby gets to stay with Derik and Saphy while he is there. Plus, Hubby will get to see their new home and get some much needed quality time with them. Nice!

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11/28/12 Wednesday – Lift Off!

Fly, Baby, fly! Hubby is on the plane and is on his way home! I cannot begin to tell you how happy this makes me feel!

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11/27/12 Tuesday – Talk And Walk

Katelyn can almost walk on her own! One step, two step, three step, four.

david and katelyn

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11/26/12 Monday – Yeeha!

Hubby's airline ticket is booked! It's true! He is coming home!

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11/25/12 Sunday – Kum Ba Yah

That song written by Harry Dixon Loes titled, "This Little Light of Mine" keeps running through my head. Maybe it is because I find myself thinking of a little girl who was peacefully singing that song last summer as she rode her bike past our house on a warm sunny day. Or perhaps it is because I keep focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel.

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11/24/12 Saturday – Moving Forward

I have decided that it is time to rethink Realtors.

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11/23/12 Friday – The Dark Side

I have always had a soft spot in my soul for those whom are less fortunate. Down on their luck. Lonely.
And I believe that I have been there a time or two, but yesterday ... yesterday was a very hard and lonely day for me.
Whew. I'm glad that today is a new day.

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11/21/12 Wednesday – Snowflakes

Just who came up with the word snow? Why don't they just call it what it is? Ice rain.

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11/20/12 Tuesday – Trashed

I never fail to find enough stuff to throw away on trash day. Prior to hauling out the full trash can today, I emptied out the liquor cabinet. There were only but three very old, almost full, bottles of hard liquor that I carefully placed on top of the garbage can for the waste collector guys to take. They were so thankful that they hauled the emptied trash can all of the way back up to the house. I was tickled pink!

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11/19/12 Monday – Count Down

I can't help but to start counting down the number of days before I get to see Hubby again! I'm getting butterflies in my tummy just thinking about it!

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11/18/12 Sunday – Loop De Loo

Not much to report. Chores. Snow. Gym. More house showings. Whoop de doo. I haven't sold our house ... yet.

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11/17/12 Saturday – Return Trip

I went back to the Public Market today to get some more things that I could not live without. I'm glad that I did. I got some unique hand made Alaskan artifacts. Cool!

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11/16/12 Friday – Public Market

After I shoveled snow, I went to the gym. Then I ventured out to the Public Market where they have all things hand made. I love it! And as always, I spent way too much money. Heh.

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11/15/12 Thursday – Pack And Stack

Just when I think that I am done packing, I find more things to pack. I went to get more moving boxes and packing paper from the local moving company today.

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11/14/12 Wednesday – Returning Home?

Hubby says that he is coming home! Do I dare get my hopes up? I'm not sure. But, dang! The thought of it sure makes me want to do the happy dance!


(Permission to use photo given by Dan, thank you.)

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11/13/12 Tuesday – Ingredients

O.k. Enough fun. Now Quack and I are back to basics.

quack the duck

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11/12/12 Monday – Good Duck

After yesterday's mishap, I am potty training Quack today.

quack the duck

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11/11/12 Sunday – Blurred Vision

Quack has some side effects after learning how to drink beer ...

quack the duck

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11/09/12 Friday – Tin Can

I'm gonna teach Quack how to drink beer tonight ...

quack the duck

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11/08/12 Thursday – Pal

This is my new friend. His name is Quack. Today, I am teaching him how to cook.

quack the duck

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11/06/12 Tuesday – Around And Around

Lately, it seems like the only things that I have been doing every single day are shoveling snow, going to the gym, and leaving home because of house showings.
I'm tired. And lonely.

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10/31/12 Wednesday – Looking Good

Happy Birthday, mom!


Image Credit: Dad.

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10/30/12 Tuesday – Faithful

I have been spending the entire day trying to keep up with the snow removal with a shovel. I don't know how to start up this guy yet but ... meet my new love affair, Mr. Move It:


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10/29/12 Monday – The Beast

Hubby's truck. I never drive it. I don't drive it because it is a monster of a truck - huge and intimidating. I call it, "The Beast." But today I had a Get-'er-Done list and included on that list was to pick up 400 pounds of pellets and to drive Hubby's truck to the scrap metal recycling center to drop off some stuff that has been sitting in the back of his truck. Just the thought of driving The Beast made my heart pound like thunder. I got in it and thousands of lightning bolts shot out of my head, my limbs shook so bad that I could hardly manage the steering wheel, the brakes, or the accelerator. About a mile down the road I realized that I was doing the Lamaze breathing techniques that I had learned many many years ago and I was talking out loud - saying, "Breathe, Wendy, breathe!" I prayed for red traffic lights all the way to the recycling center just so that I could have a moment to gather myself. In the end, I got 'er done and I was ever so thankful to pull into the driveway and park The Beast.

Whew. I'm glad that's over with.

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10/28/12 Sunday – Pretzel Anyone?

Hiking in this cold weather has proven to be torturous and digs way too deep into my old bones, so I joined the gym. Plus, I have intentions of building my upper body strength to better help me manage the snow removal by myself. After I walked three miles on the treadmill I ventured downstairs where the free weights and the other various exercise machines were. I thought that I'd give a few of these new contraptions a try. First up - the Squatinator. Not for me. That thing pushed my ankles pert near to my throat and twisted me halfway into humiliation. Ummhuh. O.k.

Note to self: Stick to the granny end of the gym.

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10/27/12 Saturday – Blue By You

There was a garage sale at the end of the block this morning so I took advantage of the extra traffic that it generated through our neighborhood. I got nakie, stood in the front yard, held up the House For Sale sign, and I even offered a free icicle car wash ta boot. Do you know just how fast your balls turn blue when it is 10 degrees Fahrenheit outside? Pretty dang fast.

No customers. Next time I am not going to wear my earmuffs.

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10/26/12 Friday – Realize What Is

Think about this. No really, think about it ...

When you are walking, do you look down? Or do you look up? Or do you look all around?

Me? I look up ... to thank God for everything. I look all around me and smile at all of the wonderful people in my life. And ... and I look down too ... to find all of the pretty rocks - of course. Heh.

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10/23/12 Tuesday – Listen Up

Somehow, I knew it would be a long long time before I would to see my husband again after I dropped him off at the airport. And ... and that is oll korrect. I am learning how to be a stronger person. Cold. But strong.
I. Am. Tired. Of. Losing. The. People. I. love.
So, if any of y'all have plans on dying today - please, don't invite me to the funeral because ... well, because I'm not coming.

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10/22/12 Monday – Broken Hearts

My father-in-law is knockin' on Heaven's door. The doctor said that dad won't live much longer. What does a person do with all of the emotional pain that comes with losing someone you love? I wish I could gather it all up into a ball and throw it out the dang window. I recently talked to my father-in-law and he told me that he wanted me to go to the farm and make myself at home and be happy there. Somehow I knew it was one of his last dying wishes - that it would be the last time I would hear his voice. But a part of me held onto the hope of seeing him again, laughing with him, spending time sitting with him again and listening to his wonderful stories.

God bless him.

father in law

... I can't help but to think of all of the wonderful people that I will get to see again when it is my turn to go to Heaven.

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10/21/12 Sunday – Adjustments

It's been almost a month since my husband went to Tennessee. Boy! I have to tell you. It has not been easy without him. The first two weeks were Hell. Pure Hell. But. Now. Well, now I have adjusted. I have to thank a few extraordinary people who helped me through 2-Hell-And-Back:

My son David, his wife Shayla, and my granddaughter Katelyn. Thank you for driving the truck and taking that load of junk to the dump. But most of all, thank you for sharing Katelyn. Her sweet smile got me through some pretty rough moments.

My son JC. Thank you for stepping up to the plate and offering to help wherever it is needed - whenever I need your help. But most of all, your company has filled a pretty big void in this big ole house. Thank you.

JK. Thank you so much for rushing right over to fix a couple of things that my Mr. Spud Wrench could not. Thank you for making me laugh. You are truly good people.

Dad. Thank you for calling me ... and for your concerns. It is always nice to hear your voice.

Sis. Oh my. Oh my. There are no words to explain how thankful I am to have had your help. Thank you for listening to me cry, for talking me through it, and most of all for being there at the other end of my texted messages laughing with me. You are truly so very amazing!

Last but certainly not the least, Hubby. Thank you for everything.

These two little words just don't seem to say enough, but from the deepest parts of my heart ... thank you.

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10/20/12 Saturday – Muscles

Thank goodness for my strong helpful teenage son. In preparation for winter, JC helped me clean up the heavier items that were outside. He helped me load the bed of the truck with the last of the items that I have yet to take to the recycling center, helped me haul some items to the end of the driveway to give away, and we moved the paddle boat to the tractor trailer and got that covered with tarp and secured with bungee cords.
Now. I am ready for snow.

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10/19/12 Friday – Little Things

The way he laughed.
The way he made me laugh. His sense of humor.
The way he ever so gently held my hand when we went for our hikes together.
The way we held interesting and logical conversations for hours on end.
The way he would sing to me in that deep molasses tone.
The way he brushed my hair.
The look in his bright blue eyes when he said, "I love you."
The way he was so kind - in so many little ways.
The way he made me feel so secure.

It's the little things that count the most.

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10/18/12 Thursday – Next

Next ... I am preparing for winter - preparing for tons of snow and managing the snow removal by myself.

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10/17/12 Wednesday – Single

I have spent quite a bit of time ... well, all of my time working on the double-car and single-car garages. Cleaning. Organizing. Cleaning. Painting. Cleaning. Organizing. Cleaning. Painting. The single-car garage was very challenging - to say the very least. But. I am happy to report that I am done!

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10/16/12 Tuesday – Brighter Tomorrows

Put your feet on the ground. And. Breathe, Baby, breathe.

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10/15/12 Monday – Empty Moments

What is happiness if you can't share it with anyone? Really ... I wonder. I miss my husband.

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10/14/12 Sunday – Sparks

Sometimes where there is no light, there is hope.

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10/13/12 Saturday – My Friend Spud

Mr. Spud Wrench is my new friend and I am now a self-certified plumber. I fixed the kitchen plumbing myself. Heh!

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10/11/12 Thursday – To The Valley

I confront the mountain.
I climb the mountain.
I conquer the mountain.

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10/10/12 Wednesday – Polka Dots

Katelyn takes my breath away and softens my soul way more than fresh sweet butter ...


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10/09/12 Tuesday – Rise And Fall

The sunsets in Tennessee are amazing. So are the sunrises! I wish that I were there.

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10/08/12 Monday – The Man Of My Life

Hey Baby,

I miss you! I miss you so so so very much! I hope that some day we can be together again.
I am so very proud of you! You. Are. So. Amazing!


Your Loving Wife

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10/07/12 Sunday – Lil' Motor

I'm guessing that sweet Katelyn will be walking before Halloween.


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10/06/12 Saturday – Bottoms Up

It's been one hell of a week. Cheers!

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10/05/12 Friday – Woot Woot

I had three back to back house showings today. Wow!

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10/04/12 Thursday – A Family Tradition

Meet Katelyn's new friend. His name is Catch.
Mr. Catch Em Salmon:

catch em salmon

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10/03/12 Wednesday – Empathy

I consider myself a very strong person. Intensely independent. I can open up a mean can of whoop-ass when I have to. I can bury most types of pain deeper inside of me than most people can ever imagine. I don't cry easily. But. I am weak too. I woke up this morning ... and I wept many levels of anguish, despair, and new kinds of heartaches. I didn't weep for myself. I cried a river of sorrow for all of the pain and suffering and sadness that my husband and his parents are going through right now.
Sometimes ... it is good to cry.

Then. Like always, I balance out the negative energy in life with positive energy. So ... I got busy. Painting. Dancing. Singing. And Smiling. Busy hands are happy hands.

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10/02/12 Tuesday – Gratitude

Go out of your way for someone today. Trust me. It feels great!

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10/01/12 Monday – 30

Happy Birthday David. You are everything perfect. I am so very proud of you!

david birthday

I love you so very much,


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09/30/12 Sunday – White Walls

I dance when I am painting. I sing too. Heh.

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09/29/12 Saturday – Handstands

Sometimes life turns upside down. So just ... just stand on your head! Heh

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09/27/12 Thursday – Colors Of Life

I'm not the smartest crayon in the knife drawer but here are a few things that I have learned in life ...

-Have manners. Use them. They go a long way.
-Recognize when it is just a zit on an elephant's ass and step out of the jungle.
-Don't assume anything. There is a reason that this word starts with ass.
-Be mindful of what you ask of others. Their lives are busy too.
-Revenge is not worth the negative energy. Let karma do the work - it is so much more powerful.
-Anger ... another waste of energy. Just forgive. Be the better person.
-Don't judge other people. Even after you have walked a mile in their shoes. Everyone has had ingrown toenails now and again ... and again.
-Don't feel sorry for yourself but rather have deep compassion for others.
-If ya dwell on it the grave only gets deeper.
-You don't always have to have a plan B. That's why there is Z.
-Regret ... Unless you have hindsight, ya better just move on.
-Shame ... Learn from mistakes. Don't make them again.
-Grief ... No matter how deep your pain is, nobody wants to hear your sad sad story more than once.
-Burden is a heavy load to carry on your shoulders. Lean forward.
-If ya touch someone's life ... touch it with a smile.
-Happiness ... Man oh man. Enjoy it while you are in the moment, because there are hard times to be had in life.
-Poverty ... Some of my most treasured memories were born from being very poor.
-Love ... There are different kinds, different levels. Each and every one of the people in my life has a very special place in my heart.
-Be Humble.
-Don't argue. If there is no agreement, agree to disagree.
-Laugh. A. Lot.
-Make good memories. Lasting memories. Memories that make people smile when they think of you.
-Make a positive difference in this world.
-Take time to pray. Miracles do happen. Trust me. They do.

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09/24/12 Monday – Fly Fly Away

Hubby is leaving. My heart is full of pain.

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09/23/12 Sunday – Walls

The two-car garage is now painted. Next ... the single-car garage.

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09/22/12 Saturday – Mow Mow Mow

I'm looking for the greener grass. Do ya have any?

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09/21/12 Friday – The Race

This week has been so full of so much that I do not know where to begin to tell you about everything that Hubby and I have been through. But I will fill you in on the details when I get the chance to catch my breath.

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09/20/12 Thursday – Harmony

Hubby captured this moment in time while we were hiking ...

juneau alaska sunset

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09/19/12 Wednesday – Span

Nope ... this picture is not photoshopped. These two ravens were fighting over a mussel in mid-flight.


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09/15/12 Saturday – Balls

I have my tennis shoes back on and I am swinging my racket!

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09/14/12 Friday – Um

I'm wearing flip-flops today because I am tired of tying the shoelaces.

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09/13/12 Thursday – Strings

We are tying up loose ends today. I'm looking forward to the knots.

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09/12/12 Wednesday – One Ton

6 computers
4 large speakers
4 printers
3 keyboards
2 scanners
and ...
1 turntable (yeah yeah)

We took all of the above to a one-time recycling event that accepted anything electronic. Our graveyard of used computer hardware filled the bed of Hubby's truck. The local news stated that this event collected 14 tons of electronics. Hubby and I contributed 1 ton of that. Well, o.k. o.k. ... it seems like we got rid of a ton of stuff.


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09/11/12 Tuesday – Zipped Lips

I don't want to jinx anything so I won't go into details about yesterday. And. I am trying really hard not to get my hopes up.

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09/10/12 Monday – The Call

I've been busy painting closets. Almost done.

We got a call from the Realtor this morning. We have another house showing tomorrow, so we spent the rest of the day finishing up small projects and doing general house cleaning.

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09/09/12 Sunday – Finally

The electrician installed the last of the GFIs this past week. Hubby continued to weed out odds and ends from the garage and he also finished trimming out the window in there. It looks really nice. Since there is now room to move around freely in the garage and things are pretty much thinned out, I decided to stay up all night last night and organized what was left in there. The garage is now ready for a fresh coat of paint. I once thought that we would never get to this point. Whew.

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09/08/12 Saturday – Tickle My Toes

My sweet Katelyn pulls at my heartstrings ...


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09/07/12 Friday – Lil' Things

Hubby took this amazing picture with our Nikon Coolpix 950:

fireweed seed

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09/06/12 Thursday – Skeletons

I've been spending my time in closets lately. Yup. Umhuh. At one time I had a few skeletons in my closet but I haven't found any of them. They must have all turned into ashes and blended in with all of the dust bunnies (said with a smile). After I vacuumed all of them up, I packed up another closet and got it prepared for a coat of paint.

Hubby has been cleaning out the garage and taking care of countless other details.

To help keep life balanced, we continue to take the time to hike every day ...


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09/05/12 Wednesday – Our Plates Are Full

There are a lot of things that happen in our lives that I don't post to my Website because I really want to keep this Web site relaxed, fun, and a place where I can journal accomplishments, hard work, and rewards. A Website where my children can some day come back to to read my thoughts, enjoy my pictures, and reminisce. It's also a place where I can revisit and be reminded of the days of yore. But in this journey from point A to T, it has not been all peaches and cream. Hubby and I have had many trials and tribulations, lessons to learn, weaknesses to strengthen. We have fought battles and won - over and over again. It's been quite the year - to say the least.

Our latest challenge is accepting the inevitable of elderly parents. Failing health. We have been inundated with phone calls to and from doctors, nurses, a network of amazing supportive friends from far away, and ailing parents that await us back in Tennessee. It is now evident that my father-in-law will never go back home. When he is released from the hospital, he will reside in a nursing home where he will get the professional care that no family member is qualified to provide. Hubby's mother gave us one heck of a scare, but she is a strong woman and we are sure that she will be back on her feet soon after the doctors fix her up.

There are many reasons that we chose to retire in Tennessee. One of the reasons is because we knew that Hubby's parents needed our help. As of today, my in-laws are safe, in good hands, and they have excellent doctors taking good care of them. We originally had plans to hire a house-sitter if our house didn't sell by the time another winter knocked on our front door, but we have modified our plans for countless reasons that I won't even begin to list here. We are, however, prepared for Hubby to jump on a plane at any given moment and fly to Tennessee if a pressing emergency arises. And. I will meet up with Hubby in Tennessee after the house sells.

For now ... we are taking one day at a time.

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09/03/12 Monday – Details

With many unpredictable tomorrows ahead of us, Hubby and I dug our heals in and tackled a couple of things that kept needling us. Hubby worked on nitty-gritty tasks in the garage while I did our taxes.
I'm glad that's done.

wetland spruce tree

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09/01/12 Saturday – No Picnic

I think that we have seen the last of our summer.

cottonwood tree leaf

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08/29/12 Wednesday – The Itch

A family was interested in looking at the inside of our house so while the Realtor was showing our home to them, Hubby and I went to spend some time with the bears at the Mendenhall Glacier. Today we saw a sow and two cubs. I was not sure that this sow was the same one that we have seen in recent days because this sow had a collar and an ear tag, whereas the other sow did not. But I thought perhaps this bear was the same sow because she seemed to have been irritated by the newly affixed accessories. Shortly after we observed her and her cubs scoping for salmon along the banks of Nugget Creek, she started to head up the creek with her two cubs in tow only to pause right beside the observatory deck where I stood. Then she stood up on her hind legs, put her snout between the wired fencing, and leaned up against the supporting beam made of treated lumber. She stood there ... and stood there ... then she started to vigorously rub her neck where the collar rested. She was only a couple of feet away from where I stood. My camera shook as I held it in my hands. Click. Click. Click. Thoughts of her relentless, overpowering, and undying desires to protect her cubs raced through my brain as I stood there leaning over the railing with my camera foolishly determined to get the pictures that I have yearned for. I safely and successfully got the pictures that I wanted and after the sow was done scratching, she and her cubs headed back to the stream for more afternoon fishing.

alaska bears
alaska bears
alaska bears
alaska bears
alaska bears
alaska bears
alaska bears
alaska bears

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08/28/12 Tuesday – Fireweed Seed

We dug out an old camera that I used a long time ago to take close-up pictures of my flowers because it has exceptional macro capabilities; however, this camera goes through batteries like no tomorrow and it has a considerable delay loading an image to the card reader after taking a picture. But I don't plan on getting rid of my Nikon Coolpix 950 camera anytime soon because it can capture the most amazing details - like the ones in this picture that my Hubby took while we were hiking:

fireweed seed

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08/26/12 Sunday – Rest After Work

Hubby and his friend worked on GFIs all week and I finished putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls of the walk-in closet. Today we rest.

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08/25/12 Saturday – Amen

Dear God,

Thank you for giving me the greatest mommy and daddy ever!




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08/17/12 Friday – Nature's Spirits

Hubby and I hiked all day today. Here is a picture that I took of a juvenile bald eagle:

juvenile bald eagle

Hubby got an awesome picture of the bald eagle once it landed in the tree:

juvenile bald eagle

When we went to the Mendenhall Glacier, a mother bear and her two cubs were still there fishing for salmon. Hubby took this picture of one of the two cubs before they headed up the tree to cry for their mother who was not too far away at all:

alaska baby bear

Here are some pictures that I took of the bears:

alaska bears
alaska bears
alaska bears

There is one spot on the EVAR Trail that you can stand and watch the planes fly right over your head as they take off or as they are landing. This jet came so close to us that I felt like I could reach up with my hand and touch the belly of it. What a rush!

alaska airlines jet

And of course the seals were busy fishing again:

alaska seal

As always, I had to get some pictures of the scenery too:

alaska scenery
alaska scenery

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08/16/12 Thursday – Hikin' Bears

We hiked the EVAR Trail early this morning where the seals were busy catching salmon. Then we headed out to the Mendenhall Glacier this evening and watched a mother bear with her two cubs. It was amazing!

bears in alaska
bears in alaska

Here is the mother bear teaching her cubs how to fish:

bears in alaska
bears in alaska
bears in alaska
bears in alaska
mendenhall glacier

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08/14/12 Tuesday – Wheels

I'm guessing that Thomas took this picture of my Sis:


I wish I could have taken that bike ride with her.

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08/13/12 Monday – The Cat Ate It

I think the cat got my tongue.

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08/12/12 Sunday – Words and Worms

I'm still searching for words. This lil' bird is still searching for worms.

bird searching for worms

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08/10/12 Friday – Loss for Words

I have writer's block.


Image Credit: Hubby.

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08/09/12 Thursday – Walks

My dad lives in Oregon. I live in Alaska. Even though we are miles apart, my dad occasionally takes me along with him for a walk early in the morning. He'll send me breathtaking pictures of the sunrise and other amazing views of the scenery that is right before his eyes. It makes me smile.


Image Credit: Dad.

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08/08/12 Wednesday – Space

Hubby did some major cleaning up in the garage while he waited on his friend, Kerney, to arrive. Then when Kerney showed up they got busy installing GFIs in the downstairs of our house. I buried myself in Web work.

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08/07/12 Tuesday – Spiff it Up

There is nothing exciting to report. Hubby and I simply spent the day together cleaning the house and doing the shopping. It was nice.

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08/06/12 Monday – Plug It In

Hubby and his friend, Kerney, installed GFIs. I stayed out of the way.

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08/05/12 Sunday – Ice Cubes

Hubby, JC, and I went for a hike to Hidden Falls today. We saw bears! It was so cool to see two bears sleeping in the woods and another bear nab up a salmon from the stream. I didn't get any pictures of them to share with you because there were 8,795 tourist jockeying for just the right spot to get their pictures of the bears. But here are a few pictures of the beauty that surrounded us:

mendenhall glacier
mendenhall glacier
nugget falls

Recently JC has had an interest in photography ... he took this picture:

hubby at the mendenhall glacier

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08/04/12 Saturday – Early Bird

I woke up early this morning and I looked up through the skylight above our bed and I almost peed my pajamas from woohoo! Blue sky! Sun!

cora bell flower

And then ...My Cup Runneth Over ... again ...

katelyn mae
katelyn mae
katelyn mae
katelyn mae

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08/02/12 Thursday – Whittle Down the List

Today Hubby and his friend, Kerney, are installing GFIs. Kerney recently retired and is a professional electrician. In return for the favor, Hubby has been helping Kerney with his home improvements.

I'm still buried in Web work. So, I will leave you with a few more pictures from my recent trip to Sitka.

View from Derik's house:

view from deriks house in sitka
view from deriks house in sitka
view from deriks house in sitka

Our main fishing spot:

sitka scenery
sitka scenery
derik with king fish on

There is a really funny story behind this picture of JC and the King Salmon that he caught! I will tell you about it some day soon.

jc caught king salmon
jc and derik with king salmon

Derik fishing at another one of our fishing spots:

sitka scenery
sitka scenery

While the boys fished, Saphy and I hunted for sea creatures. Here is Saphy with a sea urchin:

saphy sea urchin

Sitka Rose:

sitka rose
saphy sea urchin

Last but certainly not least, Harley ... the best dog that I have ever known:


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08/01/12 Wednesday – Undercover

Mr. Weatherman said that there would be decreasing clouds and that it will be sunny. I'm still waiting.

In the meantime, I've been buried in Web work - coding, scripting, and perfecting another Website. Web work is something that I truly enjoy. The code behind the scenes has always fascinated me - ever since I purchased my first Tandy computer from Radio Shack back in 1988.

Recently I told y'all that I would code a comment box for this Website, but I have decided against doing so for the time being - simply because I do not have the time in my life right now to moderate and reply to all of the comments. Seems only fair.

With that said, here are a few pictures that I took while I was in Sitka.

King Salmon eggs:

salmon eggs

Bald eagles on top of St. Michael's Cathedral:

st michaels cathedral



Saphy fishing for King Salmon:

saphy fishing

Derik and Harley fishing for King Salmon:

derik harley fishing

JC fishing for King Salmon:

jc fishing

After my walk down memory lane, Hubby and I went to the Wetlands again. There are actually two main trails there. One is the Emergency Vehicle Access Road Trail (EVAR) and there is another narrow trail that weaves through the wetlands close to shore. I call this trail the Sandpiper Trail because at low tide it leads hikers to the sandpipers. Typically we walk the EVAR Trail heading out and then we walk the Sandpiper Trail heading back in, but we both walked the trails separately today because I wanted to get some pictures of Hubby walking along the Wetlands. Also, Hubby has recently renewed his interest in photography and I thought it would be cool to capture the moment. At the beginning of EVAR Trail we ran into a sea lion, a shrew, and a white eagle's feather. I quickly discovered that I had the wrong camera lens. Argh! Although I was disappointed that I didn't get the camera shots that I wanted, I thought it would be a great time to switch cameras with Hubby so that he could have a chance to use the camera that I mainly use and rarely let go of.

Here is one of the few pictures that Hubby took. Pretty cool, huh?!

tree down

My sweet Hubby ... there are no words to describe just how much I love him.

hubby at wetlands

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07/31/12 Tuesday – Moments in Time

Hubby and I did general upkeep in the house today and then we went on another walk out near the Wetlands. We sure do enjoy our walks together out there and I especially love the sandpipers. If I had to describe the Wetlands with one word, that one word would be ... majestic.

wetlands evar trail
wetlands evar trail
wetlands evar trail ducks
northern yarrow
hubby at erar tail

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07/30/12 Monday – Moving On

Since I returned from my trip to Sitka, we have been busy working in the garage. We got another thing checked off of the Engineer's List, and that was to sheetrock the crawlspace underneath the entryway. We hired out the sheetrock work and before the contractor got started he helped Hubby clear the crawlspace of all of the boxes that were stored in there. These boxes have been stored in there and untouched since we moved into our house thirteen years ago. After the sheetrock was done, Hubby and I sorted through all of the boxes and threw away 80% of the stuff that was inside of them. We also found some treasures that were nice to see again.

antique monopoly

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07/29/12 Sunday – Knockin' On Heaven's Door

Sometimes life just grabs ya up by the balls and hangs ya upside down ... Then, while you are hanging there upside down, it wakes ya up and makes ya realize that you have to find your strengths, get back on your feet, and concentrate your energy on what ya do best. That's what I've done.

Hubby and I strolled along the EVAR Trail yesterday. The scenery, flowers, and the wildlife at the Mendenhall Wetland Refuge ever so gently ran a sense of peace through me, made me smile again, and gave me pause. Here are a few of those moments:

mendenhall wetland refuge
mendenhall wetland refuge
mendenhall wetland refuge floatplane
mendenhall wetland refuge sandpiper

I am now refreshed.


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07/27/12 Friday – Hike It Off

I went for a hike early this morning to try to clear the thoughts in my head. And for the first time ever I did not take my cellular phone or any of my cameras - simply because I needed to soak in the tranquility of nature without being tempted with technology. The hike was great! I saw a bear and beavers and a buffalo. O.K. O.K. I am just joking about seeing a buffalo, but the bear and the beavers were so cool! I wish I had pictures of them to share with you!

derik king salmon

Ooh ooh and ... Happy Birthday, Derik! Remember, bob and weave ... son ... BOB and WEAVE!

I love you so very much!

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07/26/12 Thursday – Shoot

Recently I took our youngest son, JC, on a trip to Sitka to spend some quality time with his brother and to make some more great memories to hold on to. I have so much to tell you about that trip that I am having a hard time deciding on where to start. So. I will just start with a bit of advice ...

If you ever get the chance to travel to Sitka, Alaska and you decide to go to Castle Hill while you are there, don't ever ... I repeat ... don't ever try to climb onto the cannons to pose for a picture. I swear that the groundskeeper waxes those cannons! I went to climb onto one of those cannons and I was like snot on saran wrap. I slid off of that cannon so fast ... cut my cheek, smashed my spectacles, and fractured my tailbone. Killer bruises followed. But, that didn't stop us from marching on to have a lot more fun. I'll write more about our trip in the coming days and I will share some of the 1,200 pictures that I took while we were there. We had a blast!

cannon on castle hill sitka alaska

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07/25/12 Wednesday – Mom And Son Time

JC and I took a hike to Nugget Falls today. Wow! Way way way cool!

nugget falls juneau
nugget falls juneau

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07/04/12 Wednesday – What It Is All About

Life ... it isn't about the bling bling, the fancy car, or the castle on the hill.

Life ... it is all about family.


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07/03/12 Tuesday – Leaving Home And Hubby

Have ya ever been so uneasy that ya felt like hucking up a hairball? That's how I feel.

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06/29/12 Friday – Susie Homemaker and The Coder

Hubby did general housework all day long and he did some service maintenance on a couple of mechanical things.

I pulled a 12-hour shift doing Web development research and I did quite a bit of coding as well.

It was a very productive day.

I have the itch for a good long hike ... perhaps tomorrow morning.


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06/28/12 Thursday – Bury It

I woke up this morning looking for some hot summer sun, but I didn't find any. So instead of giving Farley the "What-For" again, I decided to quickly sketch out how I felt about it ...

wendys ostrich

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06/27/12 Wednesday – Raincoat

Where we are moving to, the average temperature for June is 83 degrees.

Where we currently live, the average temperature for June is 62 degrees ... and wet.

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06/25/12 Monday – Those Aren't Dewdrops

Summer has left. Back to rain.

I have a friend. A true friend. I call her "Sis". We have been friends for 40 years. We text each other almost every single day.
When we were six years old we loved to color together. So occasionally we bring up color crayons. Here is one of our recent texted conversations:

Sis: Wake up. Time to color! I will give you first pick!
Me: I'm awake. I'll take the blue and yellow crayons so I can color the sky blue and color me a sun too!
Sis: I'll take green and red so I can color a field of hearts for you.
Me: Awwwww

So I pulled up my sketch pad on my cellular phone and sketched this with my fingernail and sent it to her:

i love my sis

I couldn't imagine my life without my Sis. Ever.


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06/24/12 Sunday – Hey Mister!

Hubby rigged up a homemade mister system to help cool us down from the really hot summer sun. It really worked well! As I stood under it, there was a beautiful rainbow that surrounded me. I remember once, when I was a little girl, my dad pointed out a rainbow in the sky. And as we looked up at that rainbow, he said, "Ranee, Olivia, Yavonne, Gwen, Barbara, Patsy". I responded with nothing but a curious look on my face. My dad replied, "That's how you remember the colors of the rainbow ... Ranee for red, Olivia for orange, Yavonne for yellow ..." (so on and so forth). Ever since that day, I've used this little trick to remember certain things. And every time I see a rainbow, I think of my dad.


When I wasn't standing under the mister, I was pulling weeds. And in the middle of the weeds was this bird flower. Every year we get at least one mystery flower; a new flower that we never planted to begin with. Either the wind or a bird carried the seed and plopped it in a mysterious place only to be discovered when it blooms. I call them bird flowers because we have so many chickadees that scurry about our landscape and they undoubtedly have seeds stuck to their little bird feet. Hubby discovered this little pansy in the field of weeds at the side of our house a couple of weeks ago. I spent the entire day pulling the weeds there, but I was careful to leave this little bird flower undisturbed ...


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06/23/12 Saturday – Tennessee Hot

Woo-wee, baby! We are havin' some hot weather! It reminds me of Tennessee. I love it!

tree in tennessee

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06/22/12 Friday – Hot Tamale

Thank you for bringing me some summer! I played with the butterflies and the bees and the worms and the weeds ... all day long. It was so much fun!


Hubby played with his big boy-toy.


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06/21/12 Thursday – Upside Down Smiles

I plan to work in my flower gardens all day long. Fun. In. The. Sun! Hello, summer!

Not much later ...

Only in Alaska can you experience all four seasons in one day. I kid you not! I was elated this morning to see the blue sky and that the sun was shining brightly, so I headed outside to enjoy a nice long summer day. It was short lived. I only saw summer for three short hours. Then the winds gusted so fiercely that they carried with them thick dark clouds that quickly billowed towards me from the other side of the mountain. I smelled rain in the bitter cold winds as they forcefully rushed through the forest that surrounded me and stirred up the pollen, dust, and leaves along the way. Next ... rain showers.

Summer. Fall. Winter. Spring. Yup. All in one day.


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06/20/12 Wednesday – Colors

Well, color me happy! Summer is here!


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06/19/12 Tuesday – Looking Up

I just want to reach up to the clouds with my broom and sweep them away so I can see if there really is a blue sky up there.

front yard

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06/18/12 Monday – Run!

My sister is amazing! She runs marathons. Cool, Cheryl, I'm so proud of you!

cheryl marathon

Image Credit: Dad.

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06/17/12 Sunday – Father's Day

Today our oldest son celebrates his first Father's Day. He is an amazing daddy! Happy Father's Day, David. We are so proud of you!


Also, a very special Father's Day wish goes out to you, Dad. I love you ... so much.


Image credit: I'm guessing that my mom took the picture.

Last but not least, Happy Father's Day, Hubby. Thank you for the many years of unconditional love, a firm foundation, and the many fine qualities that you have instilled in our boys. I am forever grateful.

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06/16/12 Saturday – Dance in the Rain

The outdoors keep calling my name, so today I transplanted a lilac and tidied up the greenhouse. Then I picked my first batch of organic strawberry-rhubarb and gave it to the neighbors. They have chickens and from time to time we get fresh eggs from them, so I like to return the kindness when I can.


Greenhouse before picture:

greenhouse before

Greenhouse after picture:

greenhouse after

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06/15/12 Friday – Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Despite the rain, I put my Sloggers on and headed outside to do some yard work. Hubby put dinner on the grill and mowed the lawn while I arranged glacier rock along the property line and trimmed the grass from around the flower beds. My hands were covered in dirt because I don't wear gardening gloves when I garden, so I opted not to use my good cameras to take before and after pictures. Instead, I used the camera on my cellular phone, which of course takes low quality pictures but I'll post them here for you anyway.

property line


flower bed


flower bed

Next, I'm going to build me a canoe so that I can paddle my way through this river of rain! Will someone ... anyone ... please send me some summer?!

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06/14/12 Thursday – Antsy

Our To-Do list amounts to just a handful of things to get done around the house and we find ourselves getting restless lately. We are looking forward to a new beginning but more importantly we are ready for warmer, sunnier weather. The rain clouds just will not subside. That nursery rhyme by William Wallace Denslow titled, Rain Rain Go Away, keeps running through my head. We have mushrooms growing in our landscape because it is so wet outside. If only Alice from Wonderland would share a sip of that potion that she has in her bottle labeled "DRINK ME." Then I would shrink enough in size to sit on a rock underneath this mushroom and be awed by the vastness all around me - including the raindrops.


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06/13/12 Wednesday – Hermit

My true comfort zone is the solitude I find at home, so typically the thought of diving into society gives me immense anxiety. Crowds ... ugh ... I'll pass. But, I know it is good for me to get out of the house and the social stimulation is healthy - even welcomed when it is controlled (like in a work environment). With this in mind, I decided to go with Hubby to do the shopping today. Big mistake. It. Was. Not. A. Good. Idea. I was so frazzled that my head felt like an electrified plasma sphere. All the energy I had was sucked out of me and into tiny but powerful atomic nuclei. And the ends of each and every strand of the hair on my head could have shocked the snot wad out of anyone that dared to touch them.

Needless to say ... I am glad to be back at home, logged into my computer, buried in research.

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06/11/12 Monday – Fauna

I was elated that this red-headed woodpecker showed up again this year! Hubby spotted it this morning and I darted outside with a camera in my hands to capture me a few pictures of it. I'm not sure of the species; perhaps it is a Red-breasted Sapsucker. It loves the Mountain Ash tree and it spends approximately 2-5 days pecking away at it. A few years back, two of them showed up - two years in a row, but since then we have only seen one woodpecker return every year. This Mountain Ash is also the breeding ground of many hummingbirds and the arrival of the woodpecker ruffles their feathers quite a bit, but not enough to frighten them away. The robins were only a little hesitant when the woodpecker joined them. An occasional blue jay and a bunch of chickadees also flew in to claim a branch or two. It is amazing to watch all of these birds in one tree that has proven to be so significant to them year after year. Wow!

red headed woodpecker red breasted sapsucker

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06/10/12 Sunday – My Sister

Happy Birthday, Cheryl! I love you.

sister cheryl

(Image taken from my dad's website and he is undoubtedly the person who took this picture.)

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06/09/12 Saturday – Family

David, Shayla, and Katelyn stopped by for a good long visit. I am blessed. My sweet Katelyn talks with her eyes:


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06/08/12 Friday – Catch It

I've been chasing the sun. Whew!


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06/07/12 Thursday – Wayward

Hubby took another load of scrap material to the dump while I painted the walls of JC's closet. When I got done painting, I gathered up my gear and took it to the garage to clean it up and put it all away. Next, I poured me a cup of coffee and headed outside for a break. My cat joined me. Then I noticed ... she had a streak of fresh paint down her backside and along her tail. Apparently, while I was cleaning up, she meandered her way into the closet and proceeded to give that fresh coat of wet paint some of her affection. She now looks like a discombobulated skunk that just returned from Mexico after drinking way too many shots of tequila. Me oh my.

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06/06/12 Wednesday – Take the Time

Today, I took the time to smell the flowers. Saxifrage:


Bleeding Hearts:


Find Waldo:




And Hubby got rid of the lawn ornament. See boat:


See boat go ... away:


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06/05/12 Tuesday – Hugs and Kisses

The only thing that I like about shopping is that I get to buy all kinds of goodies for my granddaughter:

katelyns clothes

Sweet Katelyn:


Side note: It was overcast today and the rain is back so Hubby and I did general housekeeping today.

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06/04/12 Monday – Mascot

I spent the entire day playing in my flower gardens because it was another sunny day! Hot too! Tweedle tweedle tweedle dee, I'm as happy as can be!
This little guy and a few of his friends were right on my tail in search for the newly uncovered worms. I thought it was so cute how this one sat on the main House For Sale sign that is posted in our front yard:


Hubby spent a good part of day trying to fix the power washer. He ended up having to buy a new one and used it to clean up the Pelican pedal boat that we will sell. It looks like new!

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06/03/12 Sunday – Miracles

I spent the entire day gardening. And, as usual, there was always a white butterfly near by. They humble me with their presence. Remind me to tell you why ... some day.

white butterfly

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06/02/12 Saturday – Hum

I have been trying to get a picture of this hummingbird since it arrived. Finally, I did! Wow! I love the orange colors. It is stunning to see it with the naked eye.


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06/01/12 Friday – Dirt

In the wee hours of the morning, I was in a dream state ... then I hear, "Honey! Are you awake?!"
I reply, "Ummhuu, I guess."
Hubby says, "Look up!"
I look up through the skylight above our bed and ... What do I see? ... Blue sky!
I hopped out of our bed faster than a bare footed jack rabbit on a hot greasy griddle!
Kiss my heinie, Mr. Weather Man! You were wrong! Nah nah. Nah nah. Nah naaaah. No rain!
Let the day begin!

I spent the next 5 hours pulling weeds from my flower gardens. Man oh man, was I in heaven! I LOVE to pull weeds. Um huh. Ya. Call me crazy. But. I do love cleaning out my flower beds. Pulling weeds is very relaxing to me.


Next ... allowing my cats a rare glimpse of the outdoors. It was so cute to see my cat, Kita, taking her time to smell the flowers.

kita cat

Our cat, Pooh, decided to keep out of the eagle's eye view and hid behind the rolled up water hose. Smart cat.

pooh cat

While I cleaned up the flower beds, Hubby fixed a gutter, moved the boat, and mowed the lawn. Oh ya, and he painted the mailbox Peek-A-Boo-Blue this year. I like it!


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05/31/12 Thursday – Warm Wishes

Happy Birthday, Shayla! We love you very much!


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05/30/12 Wednesday – Slug Week

This week seems to be dragging along even though we are getting things checked off of the list. Hubby decided to shampoo the carpet first thing this morning and when he started up the carpet cleaner he said that our cat, Kita, looked like a stretched out slinky with hair as she ran by him at 5,362 miles per hour. I was not there to see it but I do hope that she didn't mimic the somersault action of a flexible helical spring when she descended the stairs en route for immediate cover from her boogie monster. Our other cat, Pooh, was MIA. (sigh) My poor cats.

I started my day by sorting through all of the linens and matching sets of sheets with the pillow cases. After that I tucked each set of sheets in one of the corresponding pillow cases. This is a great idea for keeping a linen closet organized and it also makes it easy to find the size of sheets that you need when it is time to change your bedding. Thanks, Sis, for the tip!

store sheets in pillowcase

I got a coat of Kilz put on the walls in JC's closet. While I did that, Hubby did the shopping. It was my goal to be done with the closet before he returned home. I got done just as he pulled into the driveway. After we had lunch, Hubby removed the shelving unit above the washer and dryer and it sure did open up the laundry room a whole lot more. There are some more utility shelves directly across from the washer and dryer so I am grateful that I still have that area of convenience.

laundry room

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05/29/12 Tuesday – Pig Ears

The bone didn't taste good so we spent a good part of the day gnawing on the pig ears. They didn't taste good either. We are done discussing the flavors. What is left of that bone is now buried and the pig ears ... well, lets just say that they are no longer around. So. Back to work.

Hubby put the finishing touches on the entryway closet and I prepared JC's closet for a coat of Kilz.

I wish I could find a before picture of the entryway closet because it was unfinished and plumb full! But since I can't find one, here is an after picture of the closet:

entryway closet

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05/28/12 Monday – A Bone

Life threw us another bone to chew on today so we spent a majority of our day discussing the flavors.

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05/27/12 Sunday – i LiKe tIdY

I spent most of my time with JC today, but I did manage to purge the urge to organize too. While I tidied things up, JC emptied the linen closet for me and then he cleaned out his closet. Later in the evening a friend came over to take the last load of clothes that we wanted to give away. Now more stuff is out of the way and two more closets are empty and ready to be painted.

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05/26/12 Saturday – Trade Ya!

I love the rain but come on ... this is too much.


I will even throw in the hook, line, and sinker too!

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05/25/12 Friday – Layover

I got a coat of paint put on the walls of the entryway closet. Another project is done. Hubby has been busy managing many other things that I won't even begin to list here. Later in the day Derik called to tell me that he had a layover in Juneau on his flight from Fairbanks to Sitka. So I picked him up from the airport, raced home to feed him a good dinner, caught up on what was new, and back to the airport he went. JC, Hubby, and I got to spend one hour with Derik. One hour! That is the shortest visit that I have ever had with him. I didn't even want to blink for fear of losing that extra nanosecond seeing him again.

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05/24/12 Thursday – Fish Are Jumpin'

We got a relatively late start today, unlike the rest of our weekdays, because we slept in. Once we finished our coffee, Hubby helped me prepare the entryway closet by removing the doors and the shelf. Then he headed off to do the grocery shopping while I put a coat of Kilz on the walls inside of the closet. Just as I was getting started, the clouds parted and the sun came out! I slapped a coat of Kilz on that closet, took a shower, and threw on my flip flops quicker than you could sing the song, Summertime by Porgy and Bess. I spent the rest of my day sitting in the sun while Hubby tended to the pork steaks on the pellet grill. Stirfry for dinner.

I sauteed onions, garlic, and mushrooms; steamed broccoli and snow peas; cooked up some whole wheat pasta; then I threw it all together with the grilled pork steak. It was so good!


After we enjoyed our dinner in the sun, we went for a nice walk as the sun went down.

Later, our son David stopped by for a nice long visit.

What a lovely day.

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05/23/12 Wednesday – Empty Hangers

The closets are cleaned out. Hubby's work related clothes and a majority of our cold weather wear have been donated. Do Svidaniya!

This picture pretty much sums up my obsession for organization. From now on, No. More. Colored. Hangers!


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05/22/12 Tuesday – Lil' Oops

It's nice to have people in my life who make me laugh ... often.

silly look

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05/21/12 Monday – Off the Hangers

This week I plan to tackle closets. I have already thinned out most of the stuff inside of them, except for Hubby's side of the walk-in closet. So he spent the day going through his clothes, shoes, and miscellaneous other things. There were some good memories that were unfolded and we got a few laughs out of some of the clothes that Hubby tried on. Most of the clothes will be donated since a majority of them are work related clothes that he no longer needs. Besides our cold weather wear, mainly what is left are summer clothes. Visions of a garden flooded my brain. Freshly scented sheets hanging from the clothes line. Hot sun. Tan lines!

tan legs and a good book

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05/20/12 Sunday – Sisters and Tadpoles

If there is one moment in time that I could chose to go back to today, this would be it:


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05/18/12 Friday – Summer?

I got 40 minutes of sun today. Umkay.

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05/17/12 Thursday – October Winds

It feels like October outside. I need to wear earmuffs when Hubby and I go for our evening walks. I sure wish summer would get here.

hummingbird in back yard

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05/16/12 Wednesday – Azee!

Hubby and I can sit for hours and talk about anything - and nothing - and everything that is important to us. We can fill the deepest oceans with the words that we share. And we have conquered some of the tallest troubled mountains because we communicate well. We don't just hear each other. We listen. Because of this, our marriage is strong and continues to grow stronger. Together, we have worked through many challenges that would typically destroy most marriages. This morning we were talking about some of the things that we've had to endure along the way. We've worked hard and sacrificed a lot, and we are still holding each other's hands as we venture forward. Our latest challenge has been to prepare our house and ourselves for the big move. Getting ready for this move has not been emotionally easy but it has made us realize, and appreciate, a few awesome qualities our marriage has always had. When Hubby is broken, I am his strength. When I am broken, he is my strength. When we are both broken, we muster up our strengths and we work through it together. Find solutions. Fix what is broken. When we are both strong, we are even stronger together. It's a good feeling to know that we will always be standing by each other's side - wherever life takes us. Together we light our way.


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05/15/12 Tuesday – Kinks

Lately, I've been nursing injured erector spinae muscles. It puts a kink in my gitty-up-and-go. But my lack of momentum didn't slow Hubby down. He got busy with a list of things that he wanted to accomplish today. So off he went. And right out of the gait...he accidentally scratched his truck with a piece of steel that he was moving, cut a good chunk of skin off of his knuckle, and then he dropped the garden hose which simultaneously squirted water up the crack of his butt.
I think there were enough signs that spelled: Give it up - or else!
He quit for the day.

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05/14/12 Monday – Pillows

Sometimes I wish I could just snuggle up with my granddaughter and take a nap.

katelyn napping

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05/13/12 Sunday – A Special Day

Happy Mother's Day!

Today Derik called to wish me a Happy Mother's Day and I received a very sweet card from him and Saphy. David, Shayla, and Katelyn stopped by to wish me a Happy Mother's Day, gave me hugs, and a collage-style picture frame of family photographs. Then JC stopped by and gave me a card and a hug. After he left, I cried - with a smile on my face. That tender place in my heart that can only be reached by my children was touched with eminence feelings of unconditional love.

This is a Mother's Day that I will never ever forget.

no words can describe
mothers day card

Sometimes I wish I could pack them all up, tuck them under my wings, and keep them there forever.

And a very special Happy Mother's Day wish goes out to you, Mom. I love you!

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05/12/12 Saturday – A New List

With the first showing of the house out of the way and behind us, we are looking ahead at a new list of things to get done before we sell the house. The Engineer's List. It's a small list but nevertheless, a list. I must rely on my Hubby to get the things on this list done. Our son David will be pitching in to help as well. Meanwhile, I will be finishing up the packing. We have managed to give away or sell 90% of our belongings. And although this left me with only 10% of our belongings to pack, it still amounted to a number of boxes with almost 50 years of sentimental things inside of them. I have packed mainly memories, things that our kids made for us, pictures of them, etc. Now all I have yet to pack are linens and last minute items that hold no value in my heart.

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05/11/12 Friday – Keens

I am worn out. Emotionally and physically. A hike to the Mendenhall Glacier is in order. If only it would stop raining.

keens shoes

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05/10/12 Thursday – The Showing

It was a busy day tidying up the house for the showing. In the end, I baked cookies and then we headed out for dinner while our house was being shown to potential buyers. It was an odd feeling knowing that there would be strangers in our home, especially while we were not there. I suppose we will need to get use to it.

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05/09/12 Wednesday – Engineer

The engineer came through our house today and did a very thorough inspection. We were happy to learn that we have a very small list of minor things to do, like put smoke alarms in all the bedrooms and install GFIs where required. I was not surprised that the engineer didn't find anything major that needed repairing because I knew he wouldn't ... but wow, what a relief! We. Are. Tired.

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05/08/12 Tuesday – First Impressions

We received our first request to show the house. The showing is scheduled for Thursday.

Hubby replaced the carpet runner on the stairs that lead from the entryway. It looks so much better and it adds a more welcoming look to our home. Nice! Thank you, Baby!

carpet runner

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05/07/12 Monday – Mission Failed

We got the windshield replaced on the truck today. But when Hubby got home with it he found out that the windshield wipers were not hooked back up, there was a part missing, and there were tools left on the radiator. What?!
Next...the Subaru.

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05/06/12 Sunday – And then They were Gone

Derik and Saphy left in the wee hours of the morning.

With our home empty once again, Hubby and I rested as we reflected on the many more wonderful memories that were made with the kids this weekend.

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05/05/12 Saturday – 36 Hours

With help from the boys, we have managed to get a week's worth of work done in just a day and a half.

David got the roof and gutters cleaned, Derik removed the porch overhang, we packed Derik's truck with another full load of stuff for him to take home, and we got a zillion other little things done. On top of it all David and JC cooked dinner.

At one point, I stopped at the bottom of the stairs on the first floor and just stood there and listened. I listened to the sounds of my home and everyone in it. The comradery. The laughter. The love. My family. Sweet sounds. ... I will miss them dearly.

Another great weekend, indeed!

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05/04/12 Friday – Be Still My Heart

Today we got a new sign put in our yard. And today when all the kids showed up, it was the first thing that they noticed. I received frowns and smiles from our children ... there were happy-sad moments. They were happy that we've finally reached our goal but at the same time they know that they will miss us. But we plan to travel back to Alaska often to visit them. At least I do! Heh.

for sale sign

In the meantime, our home is full again with all five of our children and our granddaughter. What a blessing.

Katelyn and her Grandpa:

katelyn and grandpa
katelyn and grandpa

Katelyn and her Uncle Derik:

katelyn and uncle derik
katelyn and uncle derik

Katelyn and Saphy:

katelyn and saphy
katelyn and saphy



Perhaps my kids think I take way too many pictures! David and Shayla:

david and shayla

On a side note: JC is not pictured here because he would not cooperate with the camera. He is "at that age" when there are days that it is impossible to get a picture of him...Umkay.

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05/03/12 Thursday – Heights

Our son, David, came over today to sweep the roof. He is a professional roofer and a very hard worker. I really appreciate his help with the roof because if he had not been able to find the energy or the time to help us out, I would have had to do it myself - and I'm scared to death of heights. So when I say that I appreciate David's help with the roof, I really appreciate it.

I thanked David so many times that it may have annoyed him, but I'm going to say it again here:
Thank you, David!

david sweeping roof

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05/02/12 Wednesday – Open Doors

We met with the Realtor today. The paperwork is signed and we handed it over to her for processing. She also took pictures of the inside of the house and of the property outside. I can hardly believe that we are finally at the point of listing the house for sale. Wow.

Wow, wow, wow!

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05/01/12 Tuesday – Mayday

Our distress signals seemed to have been answered and we are now back on track. Whew.

We got the paperwork filled out for the house today. We have another meeting with the Realtor tomorrow morning.

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04/30/12 Monday – The Cliff

Derik and Saphy left yesterday. The house is now emptier. Quieter. Too quiet.

And now we are left without the typical comforts that we are use to having. As a result, we were flooded with new emotions that seemed to fill the void in our home. I am no longer on the emotional rollercoaster ride from hell but today Hubby is hanging on to the Cliff-of-Change by his toenails. Things are moving fast. Too fast for him. But we will get through this. And. We will be just fine.

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04/29/12 Sunday – Light Up My Life

Beams of light reflected from my eyes as I watched all three of my boys spending time together, albeit a short lived moment in time. I watched them as they worked together to manipulate one of the two leather couches out of the living room, down the stairs, and into the bed of the truck. It might seem trivial but to me it was a great day, simply because I got to see my three boys together. They light up my life.

my kids

Photo credit to kids.

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04/28/12 Saturday – And then There were Two

The day was filled with shopping. Then Saphy arrived! But we all knew that this would be a short visit. There was a lot of work to get done before Derik and Saphy headed home on the ferry in the early hours of the morning. So we got busy loading their truck up with some larger items such as our dresser, the big grill, and a bunch of kitchen ware. They had a full load. A good load. I was pleased with our progress.

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04/27/12 Friday – Elation

Derik came to town! I am so happy!

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04/26/12 Thursday – Melt My Heart

There are moments in my life that touch the tender parts of my heart. This is one of them:

grandpa norvell and katelyn

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04/25/12 Wednesday – Papers

We received the market analysis report today that summed up the value of our house and we spent some time going over that with the Realtor.

We have turned the corner.

Note to self: Breathe! Just breathe.

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04/24/12 Tuesday – And then It hit Me

We had a different Realtor come over to the house today to do a walk-through. We got an excellent report and, again, we were told that we have done everything right to prepare our house for the market. She said that the house looks great and that it will sell fast! That was good news ... and then it hit me. We are at that turning point. I spent the rest of the day on an emotional rollercoaster. Again. This ride was not fun at all.

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04/23/12 Monday – Plugging Along

We are still plugging along getting things done around the house. I continue to pack while Hubby continues to clean out the garage.

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04/22/12 Sunday – Kool Katelyn

This picture of our granddaughter pretty much sums up the personalities of both her father and her mother. Too cute!

kool katelyn

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04/21/12 Saturday – Hubby

I can count on one hand the number of things that I have done right in my life. And marrying my husband is one of them. I'm so glad that you are a big part of my life. I love you.

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04/20/12 Friday – Fbx

Our son, Derik, has been working in Fairbanks for the past month. Derik and I usually call each other to talk or text pretty much every day, but I've only heard from him twice in the last three weeks. I miss him. A lot!

sun in sky

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04/19/12 Thursday – Sunshine On My Shoulders

The weather man keeps calling for rain but the sun is still shining and there are only a few clouds in the sky. That song, Sunshine On My Shoulders by John Denver keeps running through my head. Come on! You can sing it with me!

Sunshine, on my shoulders, makes me happy.
Sunshine, in my eyes, can make me cry.
Sunshine, on the water, looks so lovely.
Sunshine, almost always, makes me high...

I'm liking this weather. I'm liking it a lot!

copyright flower picture

The hummingbirds have arrived! Woohoo!

copyright hummingbird

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04/18/12 Wednesday – Anything But

Since it has been so nice outside the past few days, I've been working on nothing but my tan lines. Heh.


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04/17/12 Tuesday – Sucker Holes

Today, the only blue sky that I can see is through a few sucker holes. I'm craving summer. Hot sun. Tan lines. The smell of hay. The sounds of crickets.

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04/16/12 Monday – Sun Up

I smell rain but the sun is still shining brightly...

our yard

...and I got to see my bundle of joy today!

katelyn mae

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04/15/12 Sunday – No More Snow

Weather in Alaska is unpredictable and the weather forecasts are unreliable but I think it is safe to say that we will not have anymore snow. I hope.

david paragliding off mt roberts over downtown juneau alaska

The image above was taken by our oldest son, David, while he paraglided off of Mt. Roberts - overlooking downtown Juneau, Alaska.

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04/14/12 Saturday – Down and Dirty

We sold the greenhouse! This is one of the four big objects in the garage that needed to to be sold in order to make room for cleaning, organizing, and packing up the rest of the stuff in there. Selling the greenhouse is considered a major accomplishment for us. It was still in the original box that it came in, but this greenhouse was filled with dreams and hopes and fond memories. Memories of a nursery business that we once owned and operated. We started the business from the ground up. Even though we both worked full-time jobs, we also turned our hobby into a full-time business. First, Hubby and I decided that we wanted professional education in this field so both of us soon became Certified Master Gardeners. Then we came home after our day jobs and tirelessly planted seeds, nurtured seedlings, and cared for plants that would eventually bloom into thousands and thousands of beautiful flowers. We named our business: Alaska Bloomin' Idiots. And rightfully so. But I was the only idiot. I simply could not stop planting seeds. Eventually our nursery business outgrew us. But even now, the urge to get down and get dirty still runs through our veins; hence the name of our Website: 2dirtydiggers.


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04/13/12 Friday – Good Luck

I hope this lil' guy comes back to visit me this summer:


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04/12/12 Thursday – Tan Lines!

Thunder Mountain has started to rumble; the avalanches have started to tumble down the mountain. The squirrels are out-and-about playing, the sun is hot, and the bees have arrived. Spring is here! Finally.

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04/11/12 Wednesday – Box #43

The hummingbirds will be here in a week so I had to find and unpack the hummingbird feeders. Finding the box that they were in was the easy part because I numbered all of the boxes that I have packed and logged the contents in a journal. The feeders were in the box numbered 43 - the box in the second stack from the left ... on the bottom. Wouldn't ya know it.


The new refrigerator was delivered today! Woohoo!

new frig

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04/10/12 Tuesday – Hole In My Pocket

We went to shop for a new refrigerator today.

cost of new frig


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04/09/12 Monday – Fire! Fire!

We were enjoying our evening together. Just me, Hubby, and our cat named Kita who was cuddled up in between us on the couch. Then Kita and I heard a weird sound. Kita sat up straight and her ears perked up in the most inquisitive way. Something was wrong. Kita knew it. I felt it.

A few seconds pass. Kita is still looking, now tentatively, towards the area where we heard that odd sound. I get up to investigate.

... I smell fire! I yell, "Fire!" Hubby yells in response, "Where?!" - as he springs from the couch.

All three of us flew from the calm quite of our evening into a frantic frenzy. The only thoughts that I remember racing through my brain were, "No way is our house going to burn down after all of the hard work that we put into it. No way, Jose! Find the fire! Put out the fire. Put. Out. The. Fire!"

I flew downstairs to check for fire down there while Hubby checked the upstairs.

Soon, Hubby found the source of the fire. The refrigerator.

Fire out.

After we calmed down enough to assess the damage, we soon realized that we were counting our blessings.
1. We were awake and not sound asleep when it happened.
2. We found the problem in good time.
3. The damage was limited to the refrigerator. No fire damage elsewhere.
4. We were safe.


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04/08/12 Sunday – Easter Bunny

Our granddaughter's first Easter:

katelyns easter bucket

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04/07/12 Saturday – Shadows

Hubby cleaned up our motorcycles today.

shadow motorcycle

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04/06/12 Friday – Alaska Rocks!

Ever since I can remember - since I was a little girl - I have been collecting pretty rocks. I see a pretty rock and I just have to pick it up and keep it. A couple years back, Hubby bought me a rock tumbler. So I took a few of the rocks that I have collected here in Alaska and threw them into the rock tumbler. They turned out real pretty:

alaska rocks

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04/05/12 Thursday – Spring Colors

We are still surrounded by snow and winter is still in the wind but the days are getting longer, the sun has been shining, and Hubby brought home a bouquet of spring flowers for us to enjoy:

spring flowers

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04/04/12 Wednesday – Sweethearts

Yesterday Hubby got to see our granddaughter Katelyn and our daughter-in-law Shayla. They look a lot alike!

katelyn and shayla

Side note: Today Hubby took some stuff to the dump while I consolidated paperwork.

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04/03/12 Tuesday – Lil' Bro

Even though you are my little brother, I look up to you. Happy Birthday!
I love you very much!


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04/02/12 Monday – Color Me Happy

I am looking forward to working in my flower beds again. Soon. I hope.


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04/01/12 Sunday – Not For Sale

My mother-in-law once told me that my husband's middle name should be Help because he loves to help people. I agree. Sometimes, though, I think his middle name should be Jack because he can fix just about anything. Things continued to fly out of the garage today. People came and left with truck loads of stuff that Hubby wanted to get rid of and he still managed to find the time to fix things. He rebuilt the carburetor on the rototiller while grilling pork steak for dinner. Then he said that he actually had fun doing it!

No. He is not for sale.


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03/31/12 Saturday – Frosty The Snowman

In Alaska ... we snow blow our lawns:

snowblowing lawn

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03/30/12 Friday – Hop. Skip. Jump.

Hubby is on a roll! He cleaned out the garage some more. Things are disappearing a lot faster than I had envisioned.
I. Am. Amazed.
I am so amazed that I almost got the sidewalk chalk out so I could play Hopscotch in the driveway - Butt Naked!


Me? I painted six thousand three hundred and fifty two square feet of floorboard trim. Um, ya. O.k. Just kidding. But it felt like I painted that much trim.

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03/29/12 Thursday – B-I-N-G-O

Yippykya! Hubby has started to clean out the garage. He loaded up the bed of his truck with all kinds of construction material and hauled all of it off to the scrap metal recycling center. I was glad to know that we have finally reached this point in our Git-'er-Done list. In fact, I was so happy that I had the urge to clap my hands while singing the song, "If You're Happy and You Know It." Then Hubby decided to load up the bed of his truck with a second load of recyclable material and got rid of that too! Thank you, Baby! Thank you so much!

I painted trim. Umm...yup. That's it.

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03/28/12 Wednesday – Wings

Hubby and I sat on the front porch for a while and enjoyed our coffee and the warm sun. I cleaned up one of my flower beds and found many more Bleeding Hearts coming up and now the Peonies are peeking up out of the ground. The sky was dotted with birds in flight and the newborn birds were singing their pretty little songs. The air smelled fresh and clean - like melting snow. The cornice on the crest of the mountain looks as though it is going to give way any day now. The avalanches will start to happen soon, echoing thunderous sounds as they find their way to the bottom of the mountain.

Spring is near.

snowtop mt

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03/27/12 Tuesday – Dream Goals and Us

I'm not much of a dreamer. I am an analytical, practical, and realistic thinker. I have always set goals in my life; goals that are big or small or handfuls of both sizes. I work hard for them. I reach them. But now that I've had a little time to slow down, I took some time to dream in a little sunshine today.

The weather was nice and sort of warm outside. And even though the winter reins keep pulling us inside, Hubby and I ventured out for a walk on the icy roads around our neighborhood. It felt great to spend the time together doing something we both enjoy. I intend on making it a habit. Winter has been way too long though, as always. I'm looking forward to some regular exercise in the sun ... with my Hubby.

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03/26/12 Monday – Rev It Up

I'm so use to my life being crammed packed with way too many things to do and so little time to get them all done. But now that the bulk of our home improvements are done I can't help but to struggle with this whole retirement thing. I am still having troubles trying to figure out how to slow the heck down. Sometimes I feel like I'm in a race car at the starting line on the Bristol Motor Speedway with one foot on the gas pedal revving up the engine and at the same time the other foot is firmly placed on the brake pedal. The green flag is waving but I know if I take my foot off of the brake pedal I will only go around and around in circles. What's the point?

Although we have accomplished a lot and the big projects are out of the way, there is still much more to get done here at home before we get to the finish line. I think I need to focus more on the straight stretch and not on the race. But at what speed? This is still left for me to figure out.


Photo courtesy of Paul, thank you.

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03/25/12 Sunday – Someone Special

Happy Birthday, Dad! I love you very much.


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03/24/12 Saturday – Recliner

If we still had our recliner I would be sitting in it right about now. It feels great to relax knowing that we have all of our big projects checked off of our list of things to get done to improve our house.

Yesterday Hubby finished up the master bathroom and it looks great!

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03/23/12 Friday – Celebrate

We are celebrating! Much deserved, indeed! When we started our life here in this house together with our three boys we didn't even have lawns in the front or back yards. We have worked really hard in the past thirteen years to make this house a home. I'm proud to say that we succeeded!

Now, another new and exciting path is right in front of us...

hubby path at twin lakes

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03/22/12 Thursday – Another Chapter

We are close to the end of our home improvements, so close that we stand tall with our shoulders pulled back and we smile with pride when we talk about our accomplishments. It was a lot of hard work, a lot of determination, and there were many challenges since Hubby retired last April. But we did it!

High-five, Baby!

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03/21/12 Wednesday – Happy Dance

I finished putting a coat of Kilz on the last of the two walls that were once blocked by the desk in the recreation room.

rec room paint

Hubby finished installing the new linoleum flooring in the master bathroom and when he was done he celebrated by doing the cutest little happy dance.

masterbathroom new floor

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03/20/12 Tuesday – Cords Galore

It seems like we've had a slow start to this week but we are getting things done. We are mainly preparing things so we can finalize the last of our big projects.

We moved the desk away from the walls so that I can finish up painting. That meant disassembling it and putting it back together in an area that is about two feet from where it was. I'm still itching to get all the cords untangled and tidied up in a fashion that pleases the obsessive organizer that is inside me.


Hubby worked on the master bathroom.

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03/19/12 Monday – Beckoning

Spring has already arrived in the lower 48 states. Trees are in bloom, flowers are popping up, and there is warmer weather to enjoy.

We are still stuck in winter wonderland. I don't want to build a snowman and pretend he is Parson Brown or a circus clown. Nor do I want to frolic and play the Eskimo way. I just want some warmer weather! Brr.


It is still very cold outside, but Sitka is always so beautiful. Thanks, Derik, for the beautiful picture of the airplane landing on the runway at the Sitka airport:

akairlines sitka

Side note: To keep warm, I stripped frog tape from trim in the hallways leading to the sauna room and Hubby put a coat of Kilz on the inside of the vanity in the master bathroom.

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03/18/12 Sunday – Chill

After a week of working hard on the house we decided that it was a good idea to take the whole weekend off. I ventured outside for a bit and noticed that our Bleeding Hearts are coming up in one of our flower beds. And although Spring is near, it still feels like winter outside. Pretty. Clear blue skies. But cold. Too cold.

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03/17/12 Saturday – A Beer and A Bath

Me? The title says it all.

Katelyn, on the other hand, went shopping for a new hat:


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03/16/12 Friday – Goals

I met my goals for the week and those were to get the recreation room painted and the hallways to the sauna room painted. Done.

rec room

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03/15/12 Thursday – Drive

I finished painting the majority of the recreation room. It looks so much nicer! Now it's off to put a coat of Kilz on the hallways leading to the sauna room. Hubby continues to work on the master bathroom.

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03/14/12 Wednesday – Floors Apart

We got the new countertop/sink placed in the master bathroom and it looks great! Hubby continues to work on the master bathroom upstairs while I continue to paint the recreation room downstairs.

masterbathroom new countertop sink

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03/13/12 Tuesday – Bridges

Today I feel like the rubber Gumby doll with my arms stretched from one end of this house to the other. I think of all of the hard work that we've put into this house. I think of all of the years that we've lived here. I think of all of the wonderful memories that we have made here. It makes me want to give my happy home a big ole hug.

And even though my knees are a little rubbery at the thought of moving so far away, I know that crossing this new but wiggly bridge in our lives will be so exciting.


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03/12/12 Monday – Home Stretch

We are working on the last of our major home improvement projects. Hubby is tackling the master bathroom remodel and I hope to be finished with the painting by the end of the week. Wow. It is hard to believe that we are at the end of our "Get-'er-Done" list.

Master bathroom before pictures:

master bathroom before
master bathroom before

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03/10/12 Saturday – Oh Where Oh Where

Oh where, oh where has my little doll gone. Oh where, oh where can she be? With her hair still short and her legs growing long. Oh where, oh where has she gone?


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03/09/12 Friday – Beam of White

While Hubby had lunch with a friend and did the shopping, I put a coat of Kilz on two walls of the recreation room. Boy, what a difference!

recreation room

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03/08/12 Thursday – Hot Tin Roof

Kita saw a picture of herself on my computer monitor and freaked out. She thought it was another cat. A strange cat. Now she doesn't join me at my desk anymore. But she did follow me as I went around the house doing my chores, organizing the staging areas, and preparing the recreation room for a coat of Kilz.

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03/07/12 Wednesday – Rejoice

We have two cats. Pooh and Kita. Boy and girl. They are brother and sister. They ground me. They give me so much inner peace. They seem to have magical powers because they make me feel better when I am down. They are my buddies.

This past Sunday, our beloved cat named Pooh got into some liquid detergent that had leaked out of the container onto the floor without my knowledge. He got sick. Real sick. Our cats are indoor cats. They have never been outside except for their plane ride from Oregon to Alaska when we first purchased them. They are now 11 years old. So when Poohbear got sick on Sunday my heart was heavy with worry. I spent Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday worried sick. Literally. Thankfully Poohbear woke up this morning like nothing had ever happened. He was bright-eyed and bushy tailed, happy, and back into his old routine. I. Was. Elated! Pets. They are amazing.

Hubby and I got a late start today simply because we were tickled pink over Poohbear's recovery. Later in the day Hubby snow-blowed the driveway, cleared the front porch, and even did my part which is to make a path from the front porch to the greenhouse so that I can keep it clear of snow. Thank you, Baby!

And while I painted trim in the downstairs laundry/bathroom, Hubby did the shopping.

I'm looking forward to a nice evening on the couch cuddling with Hubby ... and my cats.

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03/06/12 Tuesday – The Path

Hubby had to snow blow a path that leads the way from the house to the end of the driveway ... so that he could take the trash cans out:

more snow

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03/05/12 Monday – Pages

At times we just need to get on the same page. Sometimes we need to turn the page. Other times we need a whole new book.


Hauled the last new toilet to be installed upstairs.
Hauled the last of the new linoleum floor to be installed upstairs.
Put contact paper on the second shelf in the downstairs laundry/bathroom.
Caulked the backsplash.
Exercised on treadmill for 1.1 mile.
Did the grocery shopping.
Shampooed the carpet.

Worked on Websites and did some javascripting.
Changed the litter boxes.
Nursed a sick cat.

We have another winter storm warning. More snow on the way.

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03/04/12 Sunday – Day Off

We took the day off. Well, except for a little touch up painting that I had to get done. I'm picky. Heh.

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03/03/12 Saturday – Call for Help

There is only so much that our old bones can take when doing home improvements. So we hired out the work to get the new carpet placed in the guest bedroom. And I am glad that we did! The new carpet looks really nice.

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03/02/12 Friday – TGIF

We kicked butt this week! And today we still kept on working. I touched up the paint on the walls in the downstairs laundry/bathroom while Hubby shampooed the carpet upstairs. After the paint dried, I stripped the miles and miles of frog tape off of the trim work in the downstairs laundry/bathroom then I put up the cabinet doors and installed hardware. Done.

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03/01/12 Thursday – Dreams

I touched up the trim with paint and then Hubby and I put contact paper on one of the two racks in the downstairs laundry/bathroom. As I sit here and type out what we have done with our days, it doesn't seem like we have accomplished much this week but I realize that we have. I consider all of the hard work that we do to improve our home personal milestones. Each day another stone tossed into a river of dreams. Dreams that my husband has had for many years. Dreams of going back home ... to farm. It's a good dream. And I'm going to continue to work hard so that some day his dream will come true.

tennessee farm

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02/29/12 Wednesday – Check it Off

It took both of us to paint the downstairs laundry/bathroom area today because ... well, simply because I am too short. Hubby helped by painting two very difficult areas for me to reach. Thank you, Baby!

I have tried really hard to stick to my end of the deal and that is to paint the entire inside of the house myself because Hubby spent the entire summer painting the outside of the house while I was working. Yup. He did it all by himself. O.k. O.k. I helped a little bit but for the most part he did all of it by himself. He had a bit of a hiccup too. He was not allowed on a ladder while I was at work. And our house is a two story home. Imagine that!

By the end of the day I managed to get the downstairs laundry/bathroom painted. Check. It. Off. The. List! ... Amen.

laundry room painted

Hubby got the new mirrored closet doors up in the middle bedroom. It looks much better!

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02/28/12 Tuesday – Paint Brushes

Hubby continued to paint the grout lines between the tiled backsplash in the kitchen. What a difference that makes! He also worked on the tracking for the new bedroom closet doors. And he did the grocery shopping (said with a smile).

I put a coat of Kilz on the walls of the downstairs laundry/bathroom. I'm glad that's over with. Whew!

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02/27/12 Monday – Grout Lines

Hubby painted the grout lines between the tiled backsplash in the kitchen. It looks much better then the dark grout lines.

kitchen grout paint

I painted the trim work in the downstairs hallway. Then I prepared the downstairs laundry/bathroom for painting. That room took a lot of frog tape!

downstairs laundryroom bathroom before paint

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02/26/12 Sunday – Recharging

We are taking the weekend to recharge so we did nothing - again - all day today.

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02/25/12 Saturday – No Horse Power

We have no gitty-up-n-go. So we rest.

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02/24/12 Friday – Birthday Hugs

Happy Birthday Saphy! We hope you have an awesome day! Love ya lots! And a great big hug from me to you!

While I thought about Saphy throughout the day, I got all of the frog tape off of the trim work in the downstairs hallway. Hubby worked on the closet in the entryway. He put sheetrock up, taped it off, and prepared it for mudding.

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02/23/12 Thursday – Culture

I've been working on a birthday present for Saphy. Her Alaskan native heritage includes two moieties - Eagle and Raven. I'm not done yet but here is a sneak peek of it:

saphys birthday gift

Charcoal on canvas

But today I didn't have time to work on Saphy's present because I painted the downstairs hallway while Hubby put sheetrock up in the entryway closet. Progress.

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02/22/12 Wednesday – Empty Cans

I have really enjoyed painting the entire inside of our house but I will be glad when I can take this sign down for good:

wet paint sign

Hubby painted window trim today while I put a coat of Kilz on the walls of the downstairs hallway.

hubby breaktime from painting window trim
downstairs hallway kilz

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02/21/12 Tuesday – Smile

Hubby had another dentist appointment today and did a bit of the shopping for me.

I spent my time backing up important things on my computer and I worked on Saphy's birthday present. I also managed to get frog tape put on all the trim in the downstairs hallway. It's a small hallway - unlike the upstairs hallway, which seems like two football fields long when you spend your time putting a coat of Kilz on it ... and a coat of paint on it ... AND THEN paint all the trim work that goes along with it. Yup. The downstairs hallway will be cinch to get done.

downstairs hallway

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02/20/12 Monday – He Works

Hubby went around the house and painted miscellaneous trim work and fixed a few odds and ends. He even did the shopping. After lugging the huge air compressor up and down the stairs, Hubby decided that it was time to get a smaller one. Hubby loves it! Me, well, it still scares the living daylight out of me every single time Hubby lets the air out of it, but it beats hauling the much heavier one around.

small air compressor

I worked on Saphy's birthday present and did some Web Development research.

JC is here for the four-day weekend so I made him Mexican Cinnamon Rolls:

mexican cinnamon rolls

Umm umm good! These taste so much like homemade cinnamon rolls but it takes much less time to prepare them.

JC likes the ones with the apple filling the best:

mexican cinnamon rolls with apple filling

Here is how I make them:

Melt a tablespoon of butter in frying pan.
Cook flour tortilla shell one at a time in frying pan with melted butter.
Don't forget to flip the tortilla shell when cooking it.
Transfer cooked tortilla shell to plate covered with paper towel.
Generously sprinkle sugar and cinnamon mix over the entire top side of the tortilla shell.
Let tortilla shell cool.
Roll tortilla shell up.
Sprinkle the tops of each rolled tortilla shell with the sugar and cinnamon mix.
Serve warm.

For Mexican Cinnamon Rolls with apple filling just add two or three tablespoons of warmed up apple pie filling before rolling the tortilla up.

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02/19/12 Sunday – Couch Potato

I am pooped out. So, we rested today. We sat on the couch and watched a few movies, enjoyed each other's company, and relaxed.

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02/18/12 Saturday – Take it Off

Today we stripped the frog tape off of the trim work in the split-level entryway. There was enough frog tape to make a few beach balls with it. My goodness, do I know how to tape!

Next, I headed downstairs to organize the recreation room and do some light dusting so that I can start painting in there soon.

On another note, our youngest son JC is in the Thunder Mountain High School Robotics Club and his team ("Technical Difficulties") took third place! High-five JC!

The team will travel to Fairbanks for the Alaska Statewide Robotics competition.

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02/17/12 Friday – Determination

Because the coat of Kilz added a new brightness to our house, I was determined to get a coat of paint on the split-level entryway today. Done. It is amazing how the fresh coat of paint pulled everything together and how it makes our house look really fresh and welcoming. Wow!


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02/16/12 Thursday – Kilz

We got a coat of Kilz on the walls and on the ceiling of the split-level entryway today. What a chore!

split level entryway

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02/15/12 Wednesday – Ribbit

We prepared the entryway today. Hubby removed closet doors, handrails and other hardware while I taped everything off with frog tape.


Lately we've been brewing ourselves up a pot of this for an evening drink. And folks, let me tell you! This stuff can really wake up a dead man. I kid you not.


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02/13/12 Monday – Electrolytes

We typically never take two whole days off from working on the house but since we did I had so much energy today. I am recharged! While Hubby went to lunch with a friend of his, I got the ceiling in the living room painted. Hubby returned home to a grocery list, so off he went to do the shopping and while he did that I got a coat of paint on the dining room ceiling. The whole upstairs of our house is now complete with a fresh coat of paint. Whoohoo!

Split-level entryway next.


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02/12/12 Sunday – Old Bones

Our bodies needed yet another day of rest. So, we did absolutely nothing today. Again.

Besides, I've needed the break from all the painting.


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02/11/12 Saturday – Rest and Relaxation

We took the day off. So did my cat.

kita cat

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02/10/12 Friday – Take 'em Down

More ceiling to paint. I put a coat of Kilz on the dining room ceiling while Hubby continued to clean up the linoleum floors. Then we removed the shelves in the hallway that leads to the sauna room. These shelves, in my opinion, were an eyesore. And it looks so much better without them in there.


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02/09/12 Thursday – Kink in My Neck

Ceilings. Ceilings are a pain in the neck to paint. But. I managed to paint a coat of Kilz on the ceiling in the living room.

Hubby worked on odds and ends to improve the house which makes all the difference in the world and it makes my work seem so much easier. Thank you, Baby!


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02/08/12 Wednesday – Scrub-A-Dub-Dub

Nothing new to report today. I painted the last wall in the living room while Hubby worked on cleaning up the linoleum floors in the downstairs bathroom and in the kitchen.

linoleum floor

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02/07/12 Tuesday – The Wall

I put a coat of Kilz on the last wall in the living room. Yup. The last wall in the living room that I have yet to paint. Feels good.

livingroom wall

Meanwhile, Hubby did the shopping and made pork steak on the pellet grill. Yummy!

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02/06/12 Monday – Say Ahh

Hubby had a dentist appointment in the morning so I took that time to catch up on my laundry since the washer and dryer got hooked back up yesterday. Laundry is one of my favorite chores; I find it very relaxing. I also found some time to download all of my pictures, including the ones from my cellular phone, which aren't of great quality but the pictures are definitely priceless ...

Derik and Katelyn:

uncle derik and katelyn

See, Dad, I told you that my granddaughter has a halo:


Snowy Mountain Ash:

mt ash

After Hubby got home from the dentist he hit the ground running. Running to the bathroom that is. And he got the toilet installed so now the laundry room/bathroom is now done. I will need to finish painting it next.

Before ...

laundry room before image

After ...

laundry room after image

Nice job, Baby! Thank you!

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02/05/12 Sunday – Back At It

Back to work on the house. Hubby worked on the downstairs bathroom while I finished up the dining room by painting the baseboard trim.

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02/04/12 Saturday – Intentions

We woke up with good intentions to finish what we started this week but soon changed our minds and decided to take the day off since we worked so hard on the house all week.

And I'm glad we did. It was so pretty outside! Fresh white snow, blue sky, and the sun was shining. Hubby and I decided to go for a walk and I snapped some pictures of the snowy mountains. I wish I would have brought my other camera lens with me.

Thunder Mountain:

thunder mountain juneau alaska
mountain juneau alaska

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02/03/12 Friday – Huff and Puff

Yet another storm. Wind storms throughout all of Southeast Alaska:

map of southeast alaska

Image courtesy of the National Weather Service. Gust winds recorded at 134 miles per hour at Eaglecrest. Wow!

Hubby worked on the downstairs bathroom while I finished up painting the dining room.

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02/02/12 Thursday – Look Up. Look Down.

I headed into the dining room first thing this morning. I wanted to get a coat of Kilz on the walls in there and get it painted. And I did. Dining room done.

livingroom dining room walls painted

Man gone crazy while on bended knees...

downstairs bathroom

Gone crazy because of the aches and pains that come with home improvements.

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02/01/12 Wednesday – We Work

I painted the trim work that is on the wall that I painted yesterday while Hubby prepared the downstairs bathroom so that he can finish putting down the new linoleum flooring in there.

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01/31/12 Tuesday – White Walls

Hubby helped me prepare the main wall in the living room for painting and I put a coat of Kilz on it and finished painting it today. One wall done.

Before ...

livingroom wall one paint before picture

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01/30/12 Monday – Bright White Trench

We have back to back snow storms so Hubby and I have been on snow duty all day. I continue to dig while Hubby continues to snowblow.

snow trench

snow on car

Hubby did the shopping and made homemade pizza, including the dough. It turned out pretty good!

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01/29/12 Sunday – Later Alligator

I hate good-byes; they yank at my heartstrings.

shovelling snow

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01/28/12 Saturday – Pancakes and Packing

We started our day with pancakes that I made for everyone. Then we got busy breaking down the desk, bookshelves, and gathering up items for Derik to take back home.


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01/27/12 Friday – Prep

The next couple of days we will be busy packing up Derik's truck with more stuff for him to take home.

It will be another big load; almost as big as the snow load we have on the top of the mountain next to our house.


I love it when the trees are covered in fresh snow! It looks so pretty.

snow trees
snow trees

We had all five kids at home for dinner. Chicken Alfredo Rollups.

chicken alfredo

Then I made a strawberry rhubarb cake for dessert. The rhubarb came from my garden this past summer. It was so good!


To top it all off ... I got to see my granddaughter, Katelyn.


We ended our evening by going for a walk to work off the calories that came with dinner and dessert. The walk turned into a very fun snowball fight!

What a great day!

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01/26/12 Thursday – Relaxing

We pretty much just hung out at home except for a couple of errands. Then later Saphy and Derik did their own running around.

Of course there were the usual snow duties.

snow blower

Jumbo shrimp ... yummy!


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01/25/12 Wednesday – Snow Moat

After I cooked up some sausage links and fried baby red potatoes, Hubby and I spent the afternoon clearing snow. We got 20 inches so far.

Hubby does the driveway while I make a path from the front porch to the back yard where the greenhouse is so I can clear the top and sides of it from snow.

snow path
snow greenhouse

It never fails. Just when Hubby is done snow-blowing the driveway the City comes by with a plow truck to leave a berm.

driveway berm

But the snow is always so pretty!

snow on firepit

Derik and Saphy spent the afternoon shopping and then they went to dinner with David and Shayla at a well known Thai restaurant. It's nice that they get to spend some time together.

Later Derik and Saphy went sledding with Saphy's nieces and nephew. How fun!

derik and saphy sledding

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01/24/12 Tuesday – Snow and Shopping

We have another winter storm warning so Derik, Saphy, David, and I headed out early to do some shopping. I'm glad that I am not the only one that hates to shop. Our outing didn't last long.

We are expecting as much as a foot of snow tonight. At least the temperature has gone up! It stayed around 33 degrees Fahrenheit most of the day.

Katelyn Mae:


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01/23/12 Monday – Puto

Sweet kids and sweet treats. Mmm mmm good ...

David, Shayla, Katelyn, Derik, Saphy, Hubby, and I enjoyed a nice evening and a lasagna dinner together.


Puto for dessert:


Here is my recipe for Puto:

2 Cups rice flour (I use the brand name: Mochiko)
1 Stick of butter (I melt and cool my butter first)
4 Eggs (I use free-range organic eggs)
1 & ½ Cup sugar
1 & ½ Tablespoon baking powder
1 & ½ Cup Bisquick
1 & ½ Cans of coconut milk (19 oz. I use the brand name Chaokoh, which is 13.5 oz each)
1 Teaspoon vanilla
½ Cup milk
½ Teaspoon salt

Mix ingredients well (I beat the eggs up real good before adding them to the rest of the ingredients).
Pour in deep baking pan about 2/3 full. I lightly butter my pan first.
Cook in steamer for 45 minutes (check for doneness with toothpick).

My granddaughter, Katelyn, is the sweetest little girl this side of Heaven.


Katelyn with her Mom and Dad:

shayla katelyn david

Precious ...


Katelyn with her Uncle Derik:

derik and katelyn

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01/22/12 Sunday – Happy Dance

Derik and Saphy surprised me by popping into town! I'm so glad they are home! Tickles my heart.

derik and saphy

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01/21/12 Saturday – Patience

My head is about ready to pop off! So I did nothing while Hubby did everything ... The shopping, cooking, and some minor home improvements. He even made cheesecake pudding pie!

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01/20/12 Friday – Heart Strings

Some moments just jerk the tears right out of me ...

katelyn and grandpa
katelyn and grandpa
shayla katelyn and david
katelyn and her blueberry hat

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01/19/12 Thursday – Blustery

I spent the morning painting trim along the walls in the hallway. Done.

Hubby installed the new smoke alarm and the new lights in the hallway.

We have a high wind warning from 6:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. with gusts up to 75 mpr. Short of picking up JC from school, I am staying inside today! We will most likely have a power outage, which is common this time of year when we have wind storms. I hope I can get dinner cooked and out of the way before losing power.

David, Shayla, and Katelyn stopped by for dinner. Pork steak, organic corn, steamed baby red potatoes, and Italian bread. David made "Grandma's Hot Buttered Rum" (without the rum, of course) and brought that over for all of us to enjoy. It's my mother's recipe. I haven't had it for years and it was good!

It was so nice to see Katelyn and the kids again!


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01/18/12 Wednesday – Continued Cold Weather

After getting JC off to school I set out to get all the trim in the hallway painted and done today. I got half of it done. Tedious work. I'll paint the rest of the trim tomorrow.

Hubby bought me a new book so I'm looking forward to cuddling up with it for a while before I have to make dinner. Windchill is -20 degrees. We are having chicken and dumplings tonight. It's a good "cold weather" meal.

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01/17/12 Tuesday – Windchill

It's way too cold outside! The windchill factor is 40 degrees below zero! Ouch!

We'll have grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato-basil soup for dinner to warm us up.

tomato soup and grilled cheese

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01/16/12 Monday – Frozen

It's too cold to do much of anything so we all hunkered down and stayed inside. Brrrr!

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01/15/12 Sunday – Icebergs

I went to Mendenhall Glacier today and got some good shots:


And this little guy was there digging through the frozen grass for a winter meal.


The view was absolutely breathtaking! I'm glad I went.

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01/14/12 Saturday – Research

I spent most of the day doing Web Development research, coding, scripting, and updating my Website.

Hubby went to help his friend, John, with his home improvements.

The skies are blue and the sun is out. I wanted to go to the glacier today but the sun didn't stay up long enough. But I did happen to capture this picture from my back porch:


It's a bald eagle. There were 9 of them circling in the sky. Awesome!

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01/13/12 Friday – Family Time

After running JC back and forth to school and all of his after school activities all week long, I am looking forward to the weekend. But first ...

I painted the hallway. Hubby did the errands and then he came home to paint the skylight in the master bedroom.

It was another productive day.

Hello weekend!

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01/12/12 Thursday – The Little Things

I put a coat of Kilz on the walls of the hallway. What a chore that was!

Hubby did the shopping.

And the highlight of my day ...
While Hubby shopped for the bell peppers that I needed for the dinner that I had planned to cook ... he pick out a heart shaped one especially for me.

Thank you, Baby! I love you!

Southwest Surprise and cornbread for dinner. Yum!

southwest dinner

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01/11/12 Wednesday – Kilz

If you have ever seen our hallway you would know how much of a chore it would be to prepare it for a coat of paint. It's long! So today I taped it off while Hubby painted the other half of the ceiling in the master bedroom.


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01/10/12 Tuesday – Back At It

Time to get busy on the home improvements again...

Hubby and I had to take apart our huge solid oak headboard before I could paint the last two walls in the master bedroom. I put one coat of Kilz and one coat of paint on them. Yahoo!

master bedroom

It felt great to get back into the groove.

On another note ... Happy Birthday, Sis! I love you!

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01/09/12 Monday – Back and Forth

I'm not use to being Taxi-Mom anymore since David and Derik are grown now. Hauling JC around will take some getting use to again.

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01/08/12 Sunday – Before the Crack of Dawn

I got up at 3:00 a.m. so that I would not miss my chance of giving Brian a hug before he departed.

I got my hug.

Thanks, Brian, for all of the fun. As always!

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01/07/12 Saturday – Solo

Brian has been pretty much taking care of himself so Hubby and I have been hanging out at home doing our own thing.

JC is home so we are taking advantage of the weekend by relaxing before we have to start driving JC back and forth to school, after school activities, etc. come Monday.

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01/05/12 Thursday – He's Back

Brian is back for another visit. The house is full of even more laughter ... again!

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01/04/12 Wednesday – Order

I've been busy getting the house back in order. It feels great to be home.

But. I miss Derik, Saphy, and Harley terribly.

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01/03/12 Tuesday – Absence makes the Heart grow Fonder

While I was in Sitka recently, Hubby realized just how much I do around the house, how much it takes to keep this house up, and he wondered just how I did it.

There is a newfound appreciation for all that I do to make our house a home which makes me smile.

I love you, Baby!

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01/02/12 Monday – Out with the Old. In with the New.

Sorry ladies, but I DO have the best husband in the whole wide world.

It's going to be a great 2012!

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01/01/12 Sunday – New Year's Day

At midnight last night I stood on the front porch and welcomed the new year while I watched the neighborhood fireworks.

Hello 2012!

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