Friday, February 27, 2009

Sick of storms...

Sorry, no photos, all you'd see is a wall of white. Not very amusing.

Uhm, Mother Nature...we're tired of being stormed upon...we are tired of shoveling, we are tired of listening to the wind howl. Please, just PLEASE enough. I know March is supposed to come in like a Lion and out like a lamb...please, enough lions.

Normally, if I were home all day, or even at work and having to walk home without goggles, I wouldn't be so upset. But...when the circumstances change, my mood changes.

I haven't written any blogs recently, because on Tuesday, I had to check my son out of school for a massive headache. He's had juvenile migraines before, but none this bad. I gave him the regular concoction we came up with to ease his pain and sent him straight to bed. It didn't work.

By two am, he was retching in pain and I felt helpless and decided to take him to the ER. Maybe one of their cocktails would help. It was stormy...pretty bad...maybe category 3.5 out of 5. Dean's still gone too, so I had to get Kaisa up, throw her on my back (She's 55 lbs now and 47 inches...) and put them in the car. We made it sorta to my mom's house, and I walked with her on my back until we reached the door. I dropped her off, and went to the hospital.

Eventually, after a long night and an even longer list of drugs given to Koy, he was admitted and put on a sedative, pain killer and anti-nausea medication, administered only by IV.

Fast forward to today... We woke up to find a beautiful day, or so it seemed...and went along with our business of eating nasty cafeteria food, and grahm crackers until Koy was discharged at 2:00 pm. He's going to a pediatric neurologist as soon as an appointment opens up. I asked the nurses how I was supposed to get home, seeing as though no one could see ten feet in front of them...literally, category 5 out of 5. She told me in her sweetest (and most condescending) voice possible, "I don't know, but you're discharged, so you'll have to go somewhere..."

I kindly reminded her that my 12 year old son was with me and all we had on were the clothes we came with...myself, long john pants, boots, a jacket and a hat, and Koy, sweat pants, boots, a jacket and a hat. Nothing else...no gloves, no goggles...etc. She shrugged her shoulders and turned away.

Yes...I am very calm writing this, Yes, I have worked through my anger by now...

My son, who was just recently given a dose of medication that makes him very drowsey, and I were to attempt to drive home in the storm. I attempted, I failed. We got stuck fifteen feet from the hospital on the road. When I say a wall of white, it literally is a wall of white...you can not see street lights, speed limit signs, or anything else. The only non-white item is yourself. If you put your hand in front of your face, you MIGHT be able to see it. So we walked. Luckily, I found a t-shirt and extra hat in the car. We folded the extra hat and placed it on Koy's face under his sweatshirt and hat, acting as a face mask. I wrapped the t-shirt around my head for a hat and face mask.

We walked for what seemed like hours...It seemed like we were so alone. No buildings, no light posts, nothing but snow. I could see some shadows of things that we knew of, and we followed a couple in full outdoor gear (including goggles) down the street until I walked into the streetsign showing us which way to turn. We went from snow bank to snow bank. Right about fifty feet from our house, Koy said, "Mom, I can't walk anymore...."

I felt like I was helpless. I picked his arm up, held him up, and told him to hang in there...then we saw our house. It was like hitting the lottery, we immediately got more energy, and ran up the snowbank and into our house. Koy was crying at this time, but we made it OK and neither of us complained too much about our cold legs.

Until Koy said, "Mom, I have a headache.....," I had forgotten about his medication...in the car. So, I decided to wait a little bit, to see if it let up even just a little. I thought about the two snowmachines, made for this weather, both stuck in the garage under twelve feet of a snowdrift... So, Spencer and I decided to walk. This time we had all the gear necessary. Thank goodness my husband buys so much crap, otherwise, we would have been out of luck! As it turns out, both Spence and I were able to gear up in my husband's outdoor gear and head out. We walked to the car...at one time Spence was about six feet in front of me and I lost him...so I yelled and he yelled back...really, six feet, I measured and I was lost. We retrieved the medication and the groceries that were still in the car, and headed back to the house. Obviously we made it. By this time, a stranger had come about, lost. We welcomed him in as well. Turns out he was only about fifteen yards from where he was supposed to be. I ended up walking him home as well.

My cousin called from the hospital and said she couldn't get home to my mom's to take care of the three girls because she tried and got lost. Keep in mind, my mom's house is about 100 yards away from the hospital. On a windy day, I can throw a rock from my mom's and damn near hit the hospital...or at least the connex van's they use to store stuff in! So...guess what...since my daughter was at my mom's and she needed to get to my mom's...I walked to the hospital again. This time, wearing my husband's "fog free" (yeah right) full face snow machine helmet! :) It worked pretty well, but walking alone for less than a quarter mile is awfully scary. Most of the time, I found a landmark, closed my eyes and walked toward what I thought was the correct direction. It seemed to work wonderfully, since I got there pretty quickly, backpack on my shoulders and smile on my face! So, I dropped off the outdoor gear and goggles, and walked back home.

Five times. I don't know if I'll ever like the number five. Not for a while. Nor will I ever, EVER walk to the hospital again.

So...I guess in closing, I am so happy to be home. I miss my husband terribly. More so, because I feel helpless in this weather, my daughter home with my mother, my son here with me, and my husband in Palmer. I know that I was able to weather this storm, and I'll be ready for more...but its mighty lonely out there walking all alone. My only suggestion is to sing to yourself. I was a regular Grammy Star out there, belting out whatever tunes I had on my mind! :)

Until nextorm. ha.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

On my honor...I will try...

To Serve God, and my country, to help people at all times and to live by the Girl Scout Law!

Monday night marked the start of a new chapter in several girls lives. They embarked on the journey so many of us began as children...they became Girl Scouts!

daisy Color Guard
Here are the Daisy's - Kaisa and Emily...Ciana was hiding behind the Flag. They were the "Color Guard" for the ceremony

I vividly remember being a Girl Scout, going on camping trips to Sadie Creek, swimming in the creek and Lisa (Adams) Shield getting stickleback fish stuck in her swimsuit...washing tin dishes in boiling water and dunking them with a mesh bag...hang drying our soaking wet clothing...making wax candles in the sand...and just singing around the campfire. It was all so fun and educational at the same time.

Sure, most of us girls grew up in and around camp and could probably out tie the boy scouts by that time, but the fact that it was ALL GIRLS was the best thing ever...and for those of us who were ultra competitive, we could earn patches. I still have my patch book from when I was an original Brownie/Junior/Girl Scout.

Juniors reading story
The "Junior Girl Scouts" reding the story of the First Girl Scout

I have to say, I am uber excited for my daughter to take part in this tradition! She can recite the Girl Scout Creed by memory, she can tell you that you're not being "honest and fair," and she will also tell you that she's the tallest Daisy! :)

If you're wondering, the Daisy's are in Kindergarten and First Grade, Brownies are in Second and Third Grade, and the Juniors are in Fourth and Fifth Grade. Each year you recieve a "year pin" and the appropriate pin for your grouping. The Daisy pins hadn't arrived, so the little girls were bummed. :(

Brownies
Brownies standing in line for their pins...which were put on upside down. Once they did a good deed, they could put their new pin on right side up!

We look forward to getting all the Daisy petals...and practicing RESPECT! :) Well, maybe that's just me, cause my daughter and I are too similar to not butt heads...and minds. And who doesn't like arguing with a five year old?! So, now at least I have a book I can use...its too bad she can read so well though, because I used to be able to say, "Look this book says that children need to listen to their mom's no matter what..." Now, she just says..."no it doesn't, it says to TRY to be fair...I'M TRYING MOM...IT'S JUST NOT WORKING!"

So...good luck to us this year! And good luck to the rest of the girls too... Can't wait for those cookies to arrive...(next week!)

Girls Paying attention
Here's the whole group listening to the Juniors tell the stories about the Brownies and Daisy's...



Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kotzebue Drift...

I used to have a garage and stairs...but not anymore!

Garage

So, I woke up THIS morning, and the long howls of the wind had died down, only to be replaced by the constant beep of road graters and loaders trying to reach the streets before the morning commuters. To my amazement, I opened the door, and found this:

Wall of Snow!

Keep in mind, this picture was taken AFTER I had thrown my dog up and out and taken a shovel to the massive mound of snow that had drifted against my front door.

I am not usually one to laugh at this sort of situation...I'd usually curse around a bit and dig for the shovel. But to find a six foot drift in front of your door is just plain insane. My porch and deck are completely covered in snow, the rubbermade freezers (tote filled with frozen stuff cause we have no more room in our other freezers, and besides they're in the above garage!) are all buried, as are all three of my shovels! Laugh I did. I tried to get my dog to dig with me, but all she did was look at me from above and whine. Bitch. Literally.

Since she didn't help, here's where she ended up. Only after I had dug it out, and put it on top of the snow drift for her to lay in. Oh, and notice the TOP of the four-wheeler right next to her.

Mad Dog

Eventually, it was time to go. Today was career day at school, so Clara (who ended up spending the night, due to the storm) wanted to dress as a teacher, and Kaisa, surprise surprise, she wanted to be a ROCKSTAR! Clara wore a nice long dress with a cardigan, her hair in a bun, and some glasses frames. (Is that too stereotypical?!) Kaisa wore a pair of printed leggings, a short skirt, a t-shirt (all in neon colors), and frizzy hair with half of it up on one side. (Think Cindy Lauper in Girls Just Wanna!) Koy didn't wear anything, cause I forced him to do hard labor and shovel enough to get the girls out!

Haven't you always wanted to have a slide at home?! Well, come on over, instead of our normal 6 stairs leading to the front door, we have a makeshift slide made out of packed drifted snow! :)

Slide stairs

The girls thought I was the coolest! :) I am just too lazy to shovel the stairs, I don't even think I could find them if I tried.

I went back home to make a path from the door to the slide/stairs, and now I'm taking a break, tired from shoveling, but at least I got my exercise for today!

Shovel anyone

When I was a kid, my house used to drift like no other. But, I drove over to my mom's to check it out, and here's what I saw.

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Not even her car is buried. I guess, drifts just know when there's a kid in the house that needs to shovel!

There weren't as many lucky people as me, here's someone's shack/house/maybe shop that is completely drifted over. I remember climbing to the top of buildings like this and jumping off. I hope my son doesnt' do that! Or if he does, he's safe like me and ties a rope around his waist!!!

snowed in shack

It couldn't have snowed too much, or it snowed and blew into snowdrifts, because here is my snowmachine...all peaceful and untouched by the snow. My neighbors house, on the other hand...not so lucky!

Survivor

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

SNOW DAY!

Well, this morning I woke up to hear the howling sound of wind blowing through the town. Of course, the first thought that ran through my mind was..."I wonder if the path I shoveled survived the storm..." My next thought was, "I wonder if the kids have to go to school today..."
No sooner had I put on my boots to let out Shockey for her morning piddle, my mom called. She had gone to the school at 5:30 am and was calling to tell me not to bring the kids to school because it was too stormy. So, I called the school a few times, each time getting a busy signal, probably because people like me were calling to ask about the status, or calling to let the office know that their kids would not be in school that day.
The district here is smarter than your average Anchorage school district. A while back, they canceled school in Anchorage for four days in a row, due to freezing rain. Now they have to make up those days on Saturday, and at the end of the year. Not so for Kotzebue. We tell parents that they have the choice to bring their kids to school and they will not be counted absent that day if they don't come, due to the storm, then by 12:30, they tell parents who DID bring their kids to school to pick them up! That way, we don't have to make up any days. THAT's how you do it folks!

Anyway, I'm sorry I don't have a camera here at home...I can't find the new one, and Koy's is out of batteries, and my work camera is...at work! :) Otherwise I would show you that when you look out my front window, you can just barely make out the faint outline of the black windows on the building across the street. Nothing else. Pure whiteout conditions out there.

So...Kaisa and Clara have been holed up all day inside, so what's the best thing to do after playing house, school, polly pockets and eating? Taking pictures on the webcam of course! So...take pictures they did! I thought I'd share them with you! They took about 150 pictures, so bear with me here!

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Pic three

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

President's Day WORK!

What did YOU do for President's Day? Here's what I did. See the Garage Door...and the Shop door? They're completely covered...good luck to the poor person who has to dig them out, cause it ain't me! In total length, it was about 200 feet. We measured using our 100 foot extension cord!

shoveling the shop

THEN, mother freaking nature decided to blow snow again, so last night Koy and I shoveled again. We gave up about forty feet into it though and decided that we could walk in the deep snow for the last ten feet to the car...which is parked in the middle of the road, because of the amount of drifts...

Here's what you see when you open my door. Its about four to five feet high, depending on where you stand! We made Koy jump into it the first day and punch down the snow, so HE could shovel it. We just guessed where the steps were. Where there is usually six steps, there are now two! :)

outside my door

For those of you who ask where the husband is...he has a great excuse, and I have a greater admiration for him shoveling! He is in Palmer taking care of his terminally ill father. I can't complain, because I always complain about not exercising...so I guess this is payback for all those times I said it out loud! "I wish there were something I could do outside for exercise...instead of a stupid elliptical machine..." PSSHHH.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Even though Dean is in Palmer with his parents and sister...and Nugent, we had a good Valentine's Day. We spent the day at the gym, and then a lot of the evening at a fundraiser for a local gal...where we raised money for medical bills, etc. She stated something that made us all laugh, but it was the God's honest truth...she was happy that we were there to help her with medical bills and celebrate with her, rather than remembering her.

Anyway, I went to Kaisa's class and took a few snapshots of her classmates. Kindergarteners are just so cute! P.S. the dress Kaisa is wearing was from her ahna and tatta...her and Clara Dawn had the same dresses. I braided her hair like a crown and told her she couldn't act like a queen!

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Kaisa and her Valentine Heart

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Mister Brad

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Cutie Susan...who essentially grew up with Kaisa because her babysitter used to watch both Kaisa and Susan at my apartment from about age zero to age three!

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Mister Cool - Hunter

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and of course, Alaska Rose

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One more of Kaisa...she insisted!

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Craig's List ad...

Whoa nelly, my husband and I spent over $2,800 last MONTH to heat our home out in Kotzebue! The - 40 degree daily temperatures have gone and pick pocketed their way into oblivion!!! The wind chill today is only 52 below zero, so its a little warmer now! Global warming, my ass. (which is freezing right now, even though I'm stacked with fleece long johns and sweatpants!)

SO...If you have some insulation, Fiberglass, Pink Panther, Pink Board, Blue Board, ANYTHING...we'll take it! We'll buy it! We'll barter it! We'll trade you for something cool! I checked out on SBS and they want an arm and a leg for theirs... Since we've already given an arm and a kidney to the stove oil people, we'd rather keep our other arms and legs intact!

If you have ANY TYPE OF INSULATION and want to get rid of it, I will personally fly down to Anchorage (that's about as far as I can go!) and pick it up...or you can be a good samaratin and drop it off at Alaska Airlines, freight collect! Even the freight will cost less than purchasing it here in Kotz! (Or I'll make my family pick it up for us!) Either way, we're on it!

So...we need your help! We will take ONE board, we will take fifty boards! We will take your 24 square inches of fiberglass insulation or your 24 square feet. We promise to treat it fairly and we will even cover it all with new siding and skirting! No insulation will be forgotten, and they will all be happily snug together hugging our house in warmth and a less expensive fuel bill!

We have a nice sized house, and we need to insulate about 30' by 50' underneath our house...then we'll work on the outside. We will live in a rainbow of boards, never worrying about the way it looks until our heating bill comes to a halt!

We promise not to buy chips and pop with the money we will save after all you kind people give us your scraps! As a matter of fact, we'll even send you a nice Christmas Card thanking you!

In closing, I want to thank you in advance for your participation to allow my family to continue to stay warm in our house... And wish you all the best to stay warm as well!

Thank you.

http://anchorage.craigslist.org/wan/1032216287.html

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Girl Scout Cookie Fever

and I don't mean the 101 temp fever variety! I'm talking about the carb induced coma after eating an entire box of Thin Mints!

Girl Scout Cookie Ordering is here. This is Kaisa's first year in Girl Scouts. I think technically she is a Brownie, being that she is in Kindergarten, but whatever she is, she's in it for the money (cookie!).

Cookie Seller

So, now that we are all salivating over Girl Scout Cookies, I thought I'd go ahead and show you the BEST ever cookie recipe...I found it a while back online when I was out of Samoa's. We have an awesome recipe book that gives us recipes on how to make tons of popular things...twinkies, oreo's, and the famous, girl scout cookies!

Homemade Samoa's....

Homemade Samoa

1 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
up to 2 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed, followed by the vanilla and milk, adding in the milk as needed to make the dough come together without being sticky (it’s possible you might not need to add milk at all). The dough should come together into a soft, not-too-sticky ball. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough is very sticky. Roll the dough (working in two or three batches) out between pieces of wax paper to about 1/4-inch thickness (or slightly less) and use a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to make rounds. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and use the end of a wide straw, to cut a smaller center hole. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are set. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Topping
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels (like werthers originals)
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
8 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula. Using the spatula or a small offset spatula, spread topping on cooled cookies, using about 2-3 tsp per cookie. Reheat caramel for a few seconds in the microwave if it gets too firm to work with.
While topping sets up, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each nuke. Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of wax paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate into a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle finished cookies with chocolate. Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.

Makes about 3 1/2-4 dozen SAMOAS!