May 28, 2010

Friday Favorites

1.  I am feeling better
2.  Our garden is planted
3.  Unexpected time with a friend on Monday who took care of me when I was sick
4.  The amazing, beautiful summer weather
5.  Mailing out Mother and Hillary's travel plan

*On Friday's I'll list things that stood out to me during the week. Things I can look back on and see as high points through out the year. I would also love to hear what stood out as favorites to you in your week.*

May 27, 2010

Ahh, Summer

I commented to Josh last night that I am just loving summer.  It is true and I am sure these pictures will illustrate that.  We are working hard but to be outside in the sunshine and warmth is just wonderful.
Last night Josh laid some lawn fabric and dirt mixed with compost next to the fence.
This is for our peas that I started.  We figured with a good sturdy fence in place these can grow up nicely as long as neighborhood friends don't nibble through the fence, we will have to wait and see what happens.
Also on exciting news is that everything except for our potatoes are in the ground.  Last night I planted the rest of our seeds so we just have to wait to see how the lettuce, bok choy, Swiss chard, radishes, onions, and carrots do.  With all of that and all the starts it is already a very full garden so Josh made these posts to help us navigate as things strart to grow.
As I plant seeds each spring there is always a lot of doubt that things will grow but even with that fear it was a wonderful evening to be outside with my husband, feeling healthy for the first time in days, and working bare foot in my very own garden, not a plot in town.  Ahh bliss and the realization of years of dreams.  It is a wonderful thing to be able to look out my kitchen window and watch my garden grow all summer long.

May 26, 2010

Fencing it All In

Josh has been super busy the past few nights working on the garden. 
He added the last of the dirt into the raised beds and then put the fence up all the way around. 

He is currently working on constructing the best ideas of how to build us a gate but for today, this system has worked to keep the neighborhood dogs out.  The past few days have been sick days for me but thankfully I was able to get some of my vegetable starts in the ground here and there.  Tonight we will lay dirt next to the fence for the peas to go in the ground.  I need to plant those, the zucchini, and a whole bunch of seeds and we should be good to go in seeing our garden grow.  Summer is such a busy time and the days keep flying by.

May 24, 2010

Working With the Dirt

On Friday of last week our dirt arrived.  Three dump truck loads full.
All the dirt we would need for our garden's raised beds.
Josh then added smaller fence posts around the garden that will be used later to support the fence.
Then I went through and put down the rest of the lawn fabric and newspaper in each row.  Josh's mom was up for the weekend and worked with us each step of the way.  She helped me out with spreading dirt on the papers so they wouldn't blow away.
Josh worked hard at filling wheel barrow load after load of dirt and slowly filling the garden beds.
Until Sunday when we were at a level where we could mix in compost.
With most of the dirt in place Josh put the ends on the garden beds and the last of the fence posts.
All so these can soon go in the ground.  Tonight we have to add the last of the dirt and the is coming along, one shovel full of dirt at a time.

May 21, 2010

Friday Favorites

1.  Josh's mom arrived last night for a weekend visit.
2.  Seeing the beautiful new additions she brought for our house.
3.  It has been hot and sunny this week!
4.  Celebrating Heather's Thesis defence
5.  Grilled pizza with co-workers

*On Friday's I'll list things that stood out to me during the week. Things I can look back on and see as high points through out the year. I would also love to hear what stood out as favorites to you in your week.*

Quote of the Day

"To appriciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to give one's self;
to leave the world a little better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch,
or a redeemed social condition;
to have played and laughed with enthusiasm,
and sung with exultation;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived...
This is to have succeeded."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

May 20, 2010

A Change of Address

We are in the process of another concrete project that is going to change our address.
This change of address doesn't involve a moving truck or boxes.  Instead it involves a post, a bucket and some concrete to start with.

All of this is topped with a support plate.
And a new little black mailbox.
It is true, we are getting rid of our PO Box this month.  As soon the as the bucket is set we will move our new mailbox down the street to the mail drop location.  If you are someone who would like our new mailing address please send me your email address in the comment section.  I won't publish the email address but will email our new location to you.

May 19, 2010

The Plan

Plans for this summer are going strong already.  This is once again going to be the summer of family.  Josh's dad and maybe his brother are going to be working just a few hours from Fairbanks and my mother is coming up north for another summer of Travel Nursing.  Mother's summer is starting out a little different with a big trip instead of just a flight.  She and my sister are going to make the drive from Texas to Alaska for her to start her job in June.  So lately I have been pouring over maps, tips and routes trying to help them plan the best path and schedule.
I have been talking to those I know and figuring out just how many miles each day are good or bad.
It is sure to be one great adventure.  I wish I could go too but am excited to be the final goal at the end of their journey! 

May 18, 2010

Just Being Outside

This past weekend was beautiful.  It was full of the kind of weather that makes you just not want to go inside.
Since I was enjoying the weather I thought Zeke might as well too.  So he was brought out to a temporary pen where he talked to the neighbor dogs, ate some leaves and dug in the dirt.  Not his favorite place but we all enjoyed the sunshine that way!
We also worked on the garden a lot.  Road restrictions are going to be lifted soon so it was a lot of prep work.  Josh went through with a hoe and leveled the soil under the raised beds.  Then we laid down lawn fabric and a layer of newspapers to prevent weeds from growing up into our future vegetables.  We only had enough dirt to weigh down one row but it was a start.
On Sunday Josh worked hard at digging holes and then mixing up a whole bunch of this, can you tell what it is?  It is a wheel barrow of concrete.
All for the installation of these, our main corner posts for the fence around the garden.  We won't put the fence up until we have the dirt in place but it is all getting very close.  Which is good because the days are warm and my plants inside are begging to come outside.  If only it could all happen a little faster.

May 17, 2010

Growth of Spring

Lilac bushes have a lot of meaning for me.  As I grew up we had a very huge one in our yard that would bloom each spring right around mother's day.  My mother would cut the blossoms and fill our house with them, we would wrap some up and take it to our teachers and we would always have a bud vase in our bedrooms with a small sprig each day.  Three years ago I rescued this lilac bush from certain death.  It had been dug up for landscaping and when I came upon it it was just a mass of exposed roots.  I asked if I could have it and then my friend Heather and I loaded it in her truck and brought it home.  At the time we were roofing the house and had no time for landscape plans.  I dug a very shallow hole in our clay soil and we plopped the bush in.
I am happy to say that after two winters my bush is still going strong.  It didn't bloom last year but did double in size so I understand where it energy went.  The other day I walked pass and was very happy to see this:

Ahh, a sure sigh of spring.  Around here my bushes don't bloom for Mother's Day but instead they bloom closer to my birthday in mid-June.  May my kids look back and think of me when they see lilacs someday and remember that on my birthday I went and cut tons of blossoms to fill my house with the color purple and the beautiful smell.
While working in my yard the other day I noticed this wonderful surprise.  Can you tell what it is??  This little ball of red coming out of dead looking brown is the new spring growth of one of our Rhubarb plants.  These plants were given to us last spring by our friend Amy.  They grew well last summer but it is very exciting to me to see that they did ok over the long winter and have new growth ahead of them for this season.  Besides, that means there is pies, smoothies and more ahead in our future.  Ahh, the signs of spring.  They make me smile every day.

May 14, 2010

Friday Favorites

1.  Date night with Josh to celebrate our Anniversary
2.  This is my short week at work
3.  A new Thai food recipe made at home that caused Josh to request leftover the next day.  Sweet victory.

*On Friday's I'll list things that stood out to me during the week. Things I can look back on and see as high points through out the year. I would also love to hear what stood out as favorites to you in your week.*

Things That Don't Get Me Excited

I often talk of all the things I love on this blog.  But while working in the yard the other day I came across something that doesn't make me happy, ever.
Rose Hips and their thorns.  But what makes this situation worse is that this rose hip bush, and several others, are growing in my future flower beds.  Humm, time to find the heavy duty gloves and shovel to remove these sharp enemies.  Nope, not something I am looking forward to at all.

May 13, 2010

Four Years and Counting

This day in May is a VERY special day.
Today is Josh and my 4th wedding anniversary.
What a year and journey we have had.
As we have grown over the past four years as a couple so has our beautiful house.
We have created traditions and memories unique to us and our small family.

We have traveled and had fun as we have created many memories.  Four years feels good.  No longer newlyweds but not old and set in our ways.  We have lots of years of growth, fun and adventure ahead of us.  Josh is my best friend, my traveling buddy, my strength and my solid rock.  Each and every day I thank the Lord that He brought Josh into my life and that He is working in our marriage the way that He is!  So today is a day to celebrate.  Here is to four years and many, many more down the road.  No matter where life takes us, it will take us together.

May 12, 2010


Last spring we moved our stairs from the arctic entry to our relight door for our carpet to be delivered.
Last night those stairs were moved once again.
But this time they will stay where they lay for awhile because when we think about siding the house, which is coming up sooner than we can believe, there is no room for stairs to be in the way.
And in preparation for all that siding, we spent the other night working on more flashing.
It is slow work making it all fit around the house but happily it is coming along.  We now have all of the pieces up and Josh has worked on getting most of the pieces bent down around the plywood. 
Unfortunately, the combination of Josh spending hours outside in the swamp for many, many hours for work and then coming home to work on the house has lead to him getting a cold.  I think this week might be a slower house building week but instead will be a get well week for Josh!  The plan is to order siding in a week and a half.  But with all the progress we have made, we can take a few days off and still be ready! 

May 11, 2010

Taste of Summer

The weather around here has definitely been SPRING weather, not summer yet, but the produce sales at Fred's told a different story last week.
Strawberries were on a great sale, the best I have yet to see up here in Alaska.  I bought the first big container and was surprised to see the berries so ripe.  Josh and I enjoyed strawberries each day for lunch and dinner.  At the end of the week I went back to the store for more but knew we would struggle to get through them before they went bad.
So after a little cutting and cleaning we now have this large bag in our freezer just waiting for smoothies and snacks over the next few weeks.  It all reminded me so much of doing UPick Strawberries in New York.  Nothing will ever compare to the 86 pounds of strawberries we used to bring home but this past week at Fred's did make me think of it and how thankful I am for those memories.

May 10, 2010

That's A Wrap

Yes, I am aware that this post's title is cheesy, but it is the first thing that came to my mind.  Because you see, we have finished wrapping the basement in the treated plywood.
We have worked at pulling the dirt way from the house, fitting the wood into place, and then moving all of the dirt back up to reach the necessary slope around the walls.
The back of the house is mainly buried already so it didn't take that much plywood but it was a little bit of a challenge to fit it in as needed.
While I was taking pictures of the plywood I stopped and noticed the back of the house.  A view I often don't see and one I almost never take a picture of.  So today I thought I would share a different view with you.
This should be the last picture taken from the angle until siding has started.  I am super excited, it will make the house look amazing!

May 7, 2010

Friday Favorites

1.  My mother is visiting my grandma in Florida this week.  Yesterday she went to the ER with a possible heart problem.  But after a little over a day in the Florida hospital she is being discharged with a healthy heart.  There are still questions to be answered regarding her pain but I am so very thankful that her heart is ok.  Nothing like a scare right before Mother's day to make you realize just how good I have it!
2.  Josh has been working 11-12 hour days all week for his job.  Last night at 6pm I actually went out into the field to bring him some food and was able to spend the last two hours of his day with him.  It was fun to see what he does, where he was and be able to help him the little bit that I could.
3.  I had a really great lunch time with a friend earlier this week.  The encouragement, conversation and great food eaten outside has kept me smiling about it each day since!

*On Friday's I'll list things that stood out to me during the week. Things I can look back on and see as high points through out the year. I would also love to hear what stood out as favorites to you in your week.*

Introducing Our Newest Additions

This past week was a big week for our boiler room, water system and our budget.  We are now the proud new owners of Peter, Paul and Mary...or The three stooges...or Alvin, Simon, and Theodore...or if you want to be really boring, a lime tank, a water softener tower and a salt tank.  Personally, I think we should give them names. 
But regardless of what we call them, it is wonderful to have water that isn't acidic running through the house and water that is less hard.  I am actually taking a sample in today to make sure the levels were all programed correctly.  Needless to say, we are very pleased with our newest additions, with our well and with how things are coming out cleaner from the dishwater!

May 6, 2010

Expect the Unexpected

This picture was taken this morning to show you the snow on the trees and the frost on the car that we received from our 8 hour snow storm yesterday and freezing temperatures.
Ahh, spring in Fairbanks.  Who would have thought that I was thinking of warm summer days?  Silly me.  Just a reminder that you just can't predict what will happen.  At least we don't have plants outside for another few weeks that we need to worry about.  The wood stove inside is keeping the house at great growing temperatures so if we could only get some sunshine...

A Plant/Garden Update

My seeds that I posted about a little while ago are doing great.  Great enough that the other day I realized it was time to move them into bigger pots.
The way the little pellets work is that you plant two seeds per pellet and then clip off the lesser growth.  I just couldn't cope to do that so I ended up splitting most of my pellets as I potted my cucumbers and broccoli.   
This picture was taken the day I transplanted all of the pellets and to this day they are all still doing great, growing big and have new leaves! 
With the seeds replanted the pellet tray/greenhouse was empty so I filled with new seeds for green beans (two variety's), yellow squash, cauliflower and a few peas.  I only planted one seed per pellet this time so that I don't end up with too many that I just can't kill off.  We will see how that does. 
Just an update on the garden.  Remember last month this is what it looked like. 
Last week this was the view of the future plot from the roof, picture taken by Josh as I don't climb the room of our very steep house.  As I said last week, as soon as road restrictions are lifted it will be time to have dirt delivered.  I can't wait.

May 5, 2010

The Basement Project, Part 2 - Flashing

The other evening we took a break, not from working on the house, but from hanging treated plywood.  The forecast is for rain and Josh doesn't want any rain to go down between the newly hung plywood and the plastic.  So it was time to hang some flashing.
We bough the lower cost flashing and Josh created a way for us to bend it to the angle we needed.  We fitted it through this piece of plywood and just pulled it all through.  So smart he is!! 
Most times you put flashing on a house it would be straight but with our foam blocks we have a lip around the house.  So it is necessary for us to create more of an h look to our flashing. 
As we work on this Josh always say, "with our next house we will make it a priority to do this first, when we are originally building the basement."  We think back to three years ago and say, why didn't we do it then?  Well I guess because at the time the priority was walls and a roof.  At this point all we can do is move forward and do it differently next time.  For now it is still progress!

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...