January 30, 2009

I just drove down Airport Way with ALL GREEN LIGHTS, ok maybe some were yellow, after having lunch with a friend. That combinations is enough to make a girl's day great.

Stay Home or Hit the Road

Josh's mom called Josh yesterday to talk about the possibility of him coming for a visit this winter, maybe when I was in Texas. After a few talks we think it would be great for Josh to use this time for a visit with his mom. But when it comes to Zeke...
and Mom and Dad's Boston Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier, yeah, Zeke will definitely stay home. Don't worry Zeke, this place is safe for you, we can even get you another box to sit on if that helps you feel more like the little King that you are.

What about the House?

An interesting situation has occurred recently at the Klynstra house. For so long the house has moved slowly due to not having all the time needed to work on it. Now Josh has time to work on it and he finished what he could do so fast, that we are in a bind. The next step on the house is mudding and taping the drywall. This has to be done at a minimum temperature of 50-60 degrees. Well with the temperatures outside riding around -20 F, the upstairs, which doesn't have direct heat. Is riding at closer to 30F

So here Josh is with time and a limited list, when does this ever happen? Well let me tell you, Josh is anything but bored. Woodworking here he comes.
Josh has started a new woodworking project for me that I don't know what it is. He is only working on the little parts around me and the rest will be built while I am in Texas.
So far I know: 1. It is going to be made, at least partially, out of Josh's favorite wood, Black walnut. 2. It involves a lot of these little pieces that Josh works on sanding down to super sooth every day.
So as we wait for the sun to remain higher in our northern sky and for the temperatures to move above at least zero, Josh is content with his tools and his wood.
With only the pictures I have posted, can you guess what he is making? All of my guesses have been wrong, or so he tells me. Let me know what you think.

January 29, 2009

Little Piece of Heaven

We have received a wonderful package in the mail from Mother.
While she was visiting my grandmother in Florida she picked oranges from grandma's tree and filled a flat rate box full to the brim to ship off to Alaska on the other side of the country.
We are enjoying the wonderful orange color.
The feel of the juice on our hands.
The smell of the fresh oranges.
The taste of the juice filling our mouths.
And the satisfaction of full bellies, sticky finger, sweet pallets and love from all the work mother did to send us such a wonderful present. What a wonderful way to live fully when it is -31 F outside.
Thank you mother, we are so very happy and grateful!

January 27, 2009

3X the Post it used to be

Yesterday was the day that Josh worked on the Post in the basement. I left the camera at home with him so that you could get an idea of what it took to reinforce our post.

When Josh 's dad first put the current post in the basement last year we knew that we would have to reinforce it someday, but as the to do list on the house grew, the someday was pushed to another day. Now that it is accomplished, Josh feels very content!
You can see the original post in this picture as the vertical post to the right. The post leaning against it was the new one that was to be added.
The existing post had a slight bow to it due to a twist in the wood, so first things first, Josh jacked the existing post as vertical as possible.
Then he glued and clamped the two posts together
The new and the old.
With them clamped together it was time to bolt them into place.
With a little assistance from the "help" of course
Josh had to buy a very long drill bit that would make it through both posts
Then he anchored the posts with 2x6's on either side, bolting those through the posts as well
And after all of this, I come home to a wonderfully completed project.
Another day of hard work
Another item check off the to do list
Another great feeling of accomplishment.

A Wall

This 2x4 wall in the basement had started to bow just a little over the last year and a half. With so much to get done upstairs some of these smaller projects had been put on hold but now Josh had time to get so much done.

He worked last Friday and Saturday at Jacking the wall vertical and attached the OSB to give the wall a little more integrity. Plus it looks cool to have a solid wall in the basement!

My Buddy & Me

January 26, 2009

This is the week of weeks

My job for the State of Alaska covers many different areas of state conveyances. One such is the issuance of Material Sales. Everyone on my team issues material sales but it is my job to keep track of them all.

Thus this leads us to this week. Every active material sale for the Northern Region of the state must report the amount of gravel that was extracted the previous year and provide a check to cover that amount, by January 31st.

So this is the week. All of the extraction reports have to be in by Friday. Thus making this one busy week for me.

I only made it better by scheduling a material sale public notice to end this Wednesday and a meeting with our AG lawyer to discuss a lease in default today.

On that note, I will get back to work.

Yeah for making money for the State of Alaska.

January 23, 2009

Quote of the Day

"I have learned from experience that the greater part
of our happiness or misery depends on our
dispositions and not on our circumstances."
~Martha Washington

Love is

A bowl full of rhubarb that was preserved this summer.
Mixed up and put in a crust
To make a rhubarb pie for my husband who spent the day on our friend's garage roof helping to put up all of the sheeting at 10 degrees with high winds.
Thank you Josh for helping out our friends!

Finding our Place

Zeke has learned that it is important to relax in the life we have been given even when we are surrounded by circumstances and things that we can't change. (even if it is just a work boot, couch and lamp stand)

January 22, 2009

All boxed in

Josh has done it. All of the electrical lines in the basement have been run.
Now instead of just a bunch of empty blue boxes around we have switches for lights all over the place. It is wonderful. We can turn lights on the the "bedroom" aka: Laundry room and off at the door, or vica versa.

It is so much fun seeing our house become less of a shell set up for temporary living and more into a house that will function and accommodate active normal life! Now if only I could remember which switch turns on which light...that is a job for a different day. Maybe we need labels like the Kulp family has!


Josh has spent most of this week rerunning electrical lines for our basement. As he was moving the boxes of tile away from the wall to install an outlet on Monday he asked me when exactly we wanted to do more tiling. I said I was up for it whenever.

This is what I got to see when I came home on Tuesday. Someday the tile will stretch all the way to the door. This is a great step in that direction. (plus we don't have to move boxes full of tile around anymore).
Yesterday Josh worked on filling the cracks with grout, a hard job on the knees.
But all in all it looks great. Good job Josh!
Plus and update on the noises at night...there were no tracks in the snow around our fuel tank and no evidence anything was tampered with. I lost 1/2 a nights worth of sleep to the wind. Oh mother nature, you got me again!

What's for dinner?

Josh and are adapting each day to our new life of one of us working at home and one going to work in town each day. Ever since we started building this house, ok since we have been married, I have been in charge of cooking our meals.

Now Josh is often times able to have something prepared for when I get home. So far he has made a few crock pot meals and prepares side dishes to go with leftovers. In order for us to communicate about what we are going to eat and what we have ingredients for we have started our meal calendar.
We sit down at the beginning of each week and plan out what we are going to have. That was I know what ingredients I need to get, aka lower our grocery bill, and Josh knows what the plans are for dinner.

There have definitely been a few days where I throw the calendar aside and make whatever or days when we have many more days of leftovers than we thought, like this week. But all in all it is working out great. Sometimes if a meal isn't made it just shows up the next week.

January 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Mother

Yesterday was my Mother's birthday.
My siblings and I have a wonderful mother. She cares about us so very very much. She didn't even mind that I called multiple times yesterday to interrupt her visit in Florida with my grandma to give her multiple birthday greetings.
I am going to be going to Texas in 20 days to visit her and the rest of my family. I am excited.
So Happy Birthday Mother. I love you so very very much.

Mystery Noises at Night

When I got home yesterday I was so excited to see the extra tile work that Josh had finished in the basement. We took a picture for the blog and set the camera by the door for me to bring to work today.

But then we went to bed.

It first appeared to be a normal night and we slept soundly.

Until the noises started.

I woke up to a bang that sounded like our fuel tank. And I knew that the temperature hadn't changed enough to cause it to expand or contract.

I laid in bed scarcely breathing listening. I kept hearing a knocking sound.

Finally I work Josh up and told him I thought someone was stealing our fuel (we do have a lock on the tank).

He got up and looked out windows, went to the front of the house and heard the knocking sound there too.

Because of the way the house is currently built, there is no way to get upstairs from downstairs while staying inside.

Josh got his gun and came back to bed and we both laid there and listened.

So here it is morning, and I have left the camera at home for Josh to document anything he might find once the sun rises. And I must just figure out a way to stay awake all day.

This all said, you will get to see pictures from the tile work tomorrow!

I hope you all have a great day!

January 20, 2009

Welcome Home

I was greeted by many changes when I came home from work on Friday.

1. The downstairs and upstairs doors were open to let in the fresh air. It was 42 degrees and so warm! (don't worry, Zeke was safely in his cage, not running around outside)
2. The basement was all moved around as Josh was installing the electrical wiring. When we first moved into the basement a year and a half ago Josh quickly wired up a few temporary lights. The time has finally come for the permanent outlets and lights to be installed.
3. Due to the warm weather the snow was melting and forming a river, and now a ice rink since the temperatures have dropped back down below zero, Josh had built a boardwalk to get to the parking area from the house.
4. Since it was warm and the door was open we had our much loved visitor stop by. She kept me company in the kitchen while I made dinner. What a wonderful neighbor.
5. And since I have seen this face for many months...
I was surprised to be greeted by this face. When I asked why he said, "My lunch keeps getting stuck in my hair and I had just had enough today." Whoo Hoo is all I can say:-)
Overall, it was a wonderful house to come home too. Bursting full of light, activity, change and love. What more could I ask for?

Christmas with Heather

Sunday, January 16th we finished off the Christmas Season by celebrating with Heather. Since she visits family over the holidays we have gotten into the tradition of celebrating Josh's birthday before she leaves and Christmas when she returns.

Of course we had to prepare a Christmas feast, Turkey was on the menu:
We intentionally cooked the turkey upside down, it results in the best white meat. Super moist.
I had left up the little tree just for this occasion. Heather's pretty scarf is from her trip to Central Asia where she visited Kevin's sister and brother-in-law.
Opening well planned presents is always exciting!
And our dinner was wonderful.
Merry Christmas from the "family"
Maybe next year we won't still be eating off of paper plates!

January 16, 2009

Three Days

This evening starts the beginning of a Three Day Weekend for me and my husband. Since Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day all State of Alaska offices are closed. I am anxiously looking forward to the following:

Christmas With Heather who is home from Ohio!
(Then I will finally take down my little tree and then figure out what else can block Zeke from hiding out under the stairs.)
Doing a little sewing that needs to be done to finish up our niece's 4th birthday present.

A little knitting, of course.
The in-between projects project I showed you a last week is almost done. I am looking forward to moving on to Josh's hat with ear flaps I promised him a month ago.

Since the weather has warmed up (I promise you in the lower 48 that the warm weather is coming, just like the cold weather we had for 2 weeks is visiting you now) we are planning on going sledding on the pipeline hill across the road.

January 15, 2009

My Life

In exactly 26 days I will be getting on a plane to fly out of Fairbanks, Alaska. After this news report: http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/01/15/new.york.plane.crash/index.html I wonder what in the world am I thinking?

I guess the same thoughts that will allow me to get into my car tonight at 31 degrees and drive home on the miserably icy roads.

Life is short, and you must walk outside your door each morning in order to live it fully!

January 14, 2009

What comes after plumbing?

A drywalled bathroom.
Doesn't it look great? One down, one and a half more bathrooms to go.

Tree Disaster of 2017

We had quite the tree drama this year.  After years and years of real trees from the woods I was done with the needles.  DONE.  Last year A...