January 29, 2010

HomeGrown and HomeMade

Almost two years ago Josh and I cut down trees in the yard and took them to our friend's house where they had a mill. We were able in one afternoon to mill a bunch of our birch wood into dimensional wood. Since then they have sat, strapped together, in our basement drying out.
As they dried they twisted and cracked a bit
But the other day Josh took a piece of our wood to experiment with to see just how dry it was and how well it worked at being cut down to the size needed to build something. He used the Dewalt planer we bought for him at a garage sale and trimmed the wood so it wouldn't have a bend in it.
The end result is beautiful and Josh is feeling a little better about the day when he will get the chance to work with the entire pile of lumber to make our dining room table. You really can't get much more homemade than that!

January 28, 2010

The Good, The Bad, The Random

Things in my life right now:
(with random pictures to go with it)
The Good:
An Amazing Husband
Alternate work weeks that give me ever other Friday off
Plans for upcoming vacations
A little more daylight ever day
A window at work to enjoy that light
My little Rabbit who greets us each evening
Dreams of places far away
Plans for ways to visit those places with the man I love

The Bad:
Many nights of insomnia
Appraisers who call me all day
Lawyers that are mean
The long weeks when I don't have Fridays off
My Thorn in my flesh
The end of the popcorn bowl
The Random
(and motivation for this post):
CD's from the library that provides music at work to listen too: Guns N' Roses to Barbra Streisand to Fleetwood Mac to Chorus Line
Eating only what is in the fridge and the random meals that result
Watching Burn after reading, very random to me

What is going on in your world that makes you sit back and realize that even though there is the good, the bad and the random, life is sweet!

January 27, 2010

I have to say that after

Working on a file for over 10 months

Then having that file appealed

Then having to deal with a Sublessee who isn't authorized

And having the Lessee ignore the Sublessee

Who insists on putting things on a lease tract that Still isn't authorized

All the while dealing with lawyers from all sides

And celebrating when the Lessee retracts their appeal

But then not sleeping last night thinking about

A big meeting with the Lessee and their lawyers

And then being in a room with everyone being at least 20 years my senior

It is really nice to be complimented by my superiors on my effectiveness, professionalism, the direction I brought to the meeting and how I dealt with the issues. Almost makes this past year and a half worth it.

Almost

A New Thought

A new idea. The past few years I have been trying to make educated decisions for myself. To not be as influenced by those around me but instead change my life to what works for me in the place my life is in. A little while ago I heard about the Dave Ramsey movement that a lot of people are into. Curious I inter-library loaned the book and have been reading it at night to see what the talk was all about. (Surprising since I hate reading anything termed as a self help book).
Overall I am really enjoying it and am learning a lot. I am inspired by some of his "baby-steps" to financial freedom. Josh and I talked about what I was reading for quite awhile last night and although I am not ready to hop 100% into system, I am seeing how some of what he talks about could really be great for Josh and myself. If you are looking for some financial advice you might want to try it out for yourself but don't take my word for it, just do what works for you!

January 26, 2010

Outside vs. Inside

This week Josh's job is taking him outside every day to test contaminated wells on the military base. I am thankful I get to stay inside at my job where it is warm while he is outside all bundled up against the cold, until I get pictures like this sent to me from his blackberry. Makes me wish I could put on my winter gear and join him for this amazing view!
A Fairbanks winter sunrise at 9:37 am.

January 25, 2010

Baskets

When I showed you our new bathroom cabinet last we were still determining just what to put on the bottom shelf.
Since then we found two baskets, one at Michael's and one in our own stash, that fit perfectly on our shelf. The larger basket has extra lotions, soap and bathroom supplies. The smaller basket holds extra rolls of toilet paper.
Their addition to the shelf looks great.
With this beautiful cabinet in the bathroom several of the vanity's drawers are empty. What a wonderful position to be in!

January 22, 2010

Knitting from the Stash

The slower days of winter are perfect for a new knitting project, except if you have been as uninspired as I have been lately. In order to change that feeling around I decided to investigate my stash of yarn and patterns to see what could be made. These three cones of 1 lb of cotton each were used last year to make my mother-in-law's bath mat.
I decided that since there was plenty of yarn left I would make one for our bathroom as well.
The mat is knit with three strands of yarn at once so it is thick and soft.
Even though it isn't our colors it is much nicer to step on when getting out of the shower than the plywood floor.
Someday when we install our flooring I will probably find a different mat but for now this meets our needs and my desire to knit from the yarn I already have. Now on to the next project...

January 21, 2010

A Needed Change

This past June, yes 7 months ago, we moved our furniture to our bedroom and there it has stayed. We are usually so much more dynamic it has been hard for me to see the bedroom set up stay the same for so long.
So the other day Josh was gone and I went to put clean sheets on the bed and figured it was a good time to switch things up. I moved the bed under our East window and center the dresser on the south wall.
We really don't have much to move around but the change did allow these beautiful doors to be in our sights when we wake up. What a wonderful view.
For me, sometimes the movement of furniture can really help with the dark winter days. Lets just hope it doesn't stay unchanged for another 7 months.

January 20, 2010

One of Those Days

Today is one of those days where I really think I was awake more than I slept last night. Why am I super awake at 4 am but when it comes to 8 am and work I am exhausted?
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Hopefully after a "fast" day at work and a good night's rest today I will be able to post more of what is going on at the Klynstra's tomorrow.

January 19, 2010

His Vs. Hers

The other night when I was making dinner I thought a lot about what I love. The thing I came up with is Vegetables. I love them raw, roasted, steamed, boiled, canned, frozen, and sauteed. I will eat meat but when it really comes down to it, I am 100% fine without it!
And as I was reminded the other night, the great thing about a stir fry dinner, besides the fact that it is one of my favorite meal, is that it is a great meal to make when the broccoli is limp, the 1/2 of onion in the fridge stinks, you only a few dried up mushrooms to mix with the fresh mushrooms purchased that day and even though you don't have a fresh bell pepper you do have some in the freezer.
So as I prepare my stir fry with GF soy sauce I also mixed up some mac n' cheese with moose sausage for Josh. That with sides of broccoli and salad with ranch dressing. Two meals, lots of veges with a little meat there for those that need it.
With that we are both happy.

January 18, 2010

All In The Family

My Dad works at Apple Computer.
He has been there a year and a half.
He does an amazing job!
His job has helped this family catch up with the times and hop on the Apple band wagon.
Not wanting to be left behind Josh and I caught up with the rest of the family. This week our new addition to the family arrived. A 15" Mac Book Pro. Being the old PCers that we are, we are getting to know each other slowly but as my friend Kathy says: "Once a Mac...never go back."

Thanks Dad for bring us up to speed!

January 15, 2010

Today The Gavel Hits The Table

Well, today is the day here at DNR when I get to hit the gavel. Up in Deadhorse, Alaska there are lease tracts of land that the state owns. I have worked the past many months at preparing 5 of these tracts of land for lease auction. This morning the bids for two of those lease tracts will be opened and the new lessee's of the land will be known.
Plus, I get to use the gavel. Fun times at work when they let you bang things around!

January 14, 2010

Here It Is

After two years of this
And this
I am so excited to show you this
And the purpose of these from the other day's post. The doors needed a little more height to fit into our no flooring yet house.
But can you believe these doors
They are amazing to me
As well as the doors that fit in the hall.
Next on the to do list is putting the bi-fold doors up in the bedrooms. Amazing how much slower cooking can be when you have to open a door to get to the pantry but was a beautiful site it is to me!

January 13, 2010

Winter Happiness

January to me is what I consider to be the deepest part of winter. The days are short, and lack the Christmas lights of December, and the temperature really likes to take a plunge into the -30 to -50 range.
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Yet I find great, immeasurable joy from this time of year when the darkness says it is ok to relax just a little. The gardens and house work of the summer are being dreamt about but are still a little too far off to plan for. Besides hauling wood for the fire and cooking soup to keep us warm this is the time of the year to cuddle on the couch with Josh, Zeke and a good book or movie.
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To make this all happen comes in my biggest asset and joy, our library. I love a library. I love the concept of a library and how you can take out whatever you want, enjoy it and then just bring it back at no charge. I love how I find out about a good book and don't need to run to the bookstore but to the library instead. If they don't have what I need no worries, they will inter-library loan it. Here in Fairbanks, Alaska I have read books from libraries in Maine, Georgia, Arizona, and many more far reaching states. I am so thankful to live in a country and a time in history when a library is open to our use. We check out books, cds of music, audio books, and Josh's favorite, magazines. The library has several wood working magazine subscriptions and it is fun to grab a few and see all they have to offer but not need to hold on to them and store them for years, we just get to return them.
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All this said, do you love your library like I do?

January 12, 2010

The Latest Project

In order to accomplish something big for the house Josh has had to work on some small things. This past weekend he cut wood blocks, glued wood blocks, sanded wood blocks and then finally primed and painted the blocks.
Any guesses as to what is going on?

January 11, 2010

Cleaning the Yard, In January?

All of our summer work last year of cutting trees, reworking the woodshed and cleaning brush from the yard created several piles of brush and debris. In November we burned down one pile but still had another big one to go.
The other day it was -20 degrees outside but Josh and I stayed warm working around the fire making sure all of the surrounding brush was pushed to the middle and the entire pile burned down. With dry summers and lots of fire threats this is the best time of year to burn our summer brush piles for sure!
The process of watching all the wood burn is so fun and never gets boring, that and the yard will look much better when all the snow melts in the spring!

January 8, 2010

It is Making A Comeback

Do you remember this post?
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In November I talked about just might be coming. Well due to a few complications and time restraints, the design team was unable to make what they originally had planned to make. Zeke had way too many pieces of drywall in the basement to inspect and carrots to eat and Josh was busy building this and this, the original project was put on the back burner.
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Well now there has been talk of a project comeback. The plans have been pulled for review. Cut lists (what Josh needs to do to create to know how much wood to buy) are being drawn up. And part of my contribution, and today's to do list, is to call around to price one of the critical pieces of the project.
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Hopefully the project has come back to stay.
Go Design Team, Go.

Color Tastes Better

The other night we had tacos for dinner. As I sat at the table and looked at my beautiful meal I was reminded how color can really made a difference.
Mono-colored food can still taste good but a colorful meal like this not only tastes great but makes me feel rich with the bounty of the meal before me.

January 7, 2010

In Preparation

The Bi-Fold Doors have been hanging out around our house for months now. Life has been busy, laundry rooms have been completed, wood working projects have been started and finished, wood has been split and hauled to keep our house warm and still these bi-fold doors have sat. Oh they have been moved, from the living room to the guest room closet to the hall closet and finally to the bathroom. The other day when we put in our new bathroom cabinet these doors were once again moved to the basement. But there they didn't stay.
Josh has been diligently working to paint all 8 bi-fold doors for the 6 open closets they will cover.
The parts have been sorted and are ready
And so are the open closets that shamelessly show off all of they organized but still messy contents.
Soon the doors will move once again.

January 6, 2010

Off To A Good Start

In working with my 2010 Goals, I have planned out our dinners for January. As I waited to pick up my new calendar from my friend Kathy I wrote down meals I could make with the food in the freezer and pantry. I was able to come up with quite the list so not only is January planned but a few meals are already written into February, March and April. (Need to space out the moose pot roast meals, ha ha)
The plan is to have labor intensive meals on the weekends and leftovers and faster meals planned for the work weeks. All in all, on the 6th day of the month, things are moving smoothly.

January 5, 2010

So Very Good

I love popcorn, we really all know this. A bowl of slightly, OK maybe heavily, salted popcorn at night is great.
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Some days when I need something else for my lunch I will pop some to bring with me.
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And at 9:45am I am begging myself to wait but I can smell the popcorn smell inside the office drawer, inside the zip lock bag and it is calling to me.
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Oh yeah, Popcorn at night is great but popcorn at work, at 10 am is AMAZING.

Behind Door Number 1

Back in December Josh worked on building the office accessories for our soon to be Kitchen office. Around Christmas we moved everything in and now behind door number 1 we have:
Our Kitchen office complete with a desk to work at, set high so I can stand and work.
Shelves for our printer, binders and books, soon to come
And the filing cabinet and drawers that Josh built to hold all of our office materials
It is a wonderful addition to this house and has already been put to use each day. It is so wonderful to finally have a single locations for our paperwork and files to go.
It is perfect!

January 4, 2010

In Place and Looking Great

The Cabinet for the Bathroom that Josh built for us is done. The other day we moved it into place in the bathroom and it looks great.
We were able to pull the rest of our towels out of their box and move them into the bathroom. We put the cotton balls and Q-tips in glass jars and also bought two baskets to fit on the bottom shelf. The bottom portion of the cabinet houses a laundry hamper.
Josh did an amazing job and it looks great in our bathroom!

January 1, 2010

The Year Ahead

Kathleen's Goals for 2010
(in no particular order)

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1. Pay off our Jeep


2. Go on a trip/vacation out of state with Josh in the fall


3. Use my dinner calendar all 12 months and plan our meals ahead so that we can remain content at our current food budget


4. Work daily at being a supportive wife to Josh


5. Side our house this summer and be able to insure it by fall


6. Trust God's direction, don't just accept it


7. Keep our financial goals in mind when evaluating all purchases and steadily work towards being debt free.


8. Be content


9. Have a kitchen with a sink by Christmas 2010


10. Be open to using our house to bless whomever needs it


11. Live less selfishly and with more humility


12. Enjoy The Davis Family Reunion (this one should be easy to accomplish since all of the tickets have been bought, yeah)


**Hopefully throughout the year I can reflect back on this list and redirect my path back to these goals or gladly cross off things as they are accomplished.**

Do you have goals for the new year?