Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring is coming!!!!!  The temperatures are above freezing, which feels WARM!!!  I can go outside with just a jacket and be comfortable.  It’s crazy how fast we have adjusted to the weather.  In Alaska, spring is called The Breakup.  The ice on the rivers and lakes are breaking up and disappearing.  The snow on our roof and in our yard is melting.  The only bad thing about it is the roads and driveways are now sheets of slippery ice.  Most main roads have been scraped clean but not the side roads where we live.  While walking the dog yesterday I slipped and fell before I could even try to stop myself.  (The little one and I are fineJ)  I had even bought new shoes so I wouldn’t fall.  Guess I need a new pair!

This weekend Gabe decided to clean our front yard.  Now that the snow is melting, you can see all the dog poop, ours and the neighbors, that has frozen and not disappeared.  To accomplish this, Gabe got out his old golf clubs and decided to practice his swing.  It was pretty funny.  When he would hit a pile of poop it would fly into the woods and make a thud sound if it hit a tree.  These piles were frozen solid!!  He had to stop after about 10 minutes because there was so much and the ground was so frozen it was hurting his wrist.  The shovel became his next weapon against the poop.  He would scoop up a pile and fling it into the woods.  It took him a while to clean the yard.  We even had to scoop up the YELLOW snow!!  Now our yard is clean.  YAY!!!

I’ll try to take pictures of the breakup for you!  Hope you have a good week!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ice Carving!!


This place is incredible.  It is about 5 acres of ice sculptures and ice playgrounds and ice slides!  I’m amazed at how cold it really is up here when these sculptures can last outside for over a month!!  Yes over a month.  Just think about that.  It has been below freezing for that long and above freezing for only a few days this weekend.  Some of the sculptures had fallen because the sun was shining directly on them.

The carving started in February and lasts until the sculptures fall apart and melts.  The detail these artist put into their sculptures is amazing.   You could see the scales on the fish and the expressions on the people’s faces.  We walked around awe struck that people could take a few blocks of ice and turn them into art.  I mean GREAT ART!!    People in Fairbanks use ice sculptures for yard decorations instead of trees and shrubs.  It’s crazy up here.
I had on so many clothes that I actually was too warm.  They had an ice maze.  This ice maze was like the corn mazes we have in the South.  I had a hard time going through it because I kept sliding and there was nothing but blocks of ice to grab.  It took a long time to go through it because I had to walk so slowly.  Gabe got to go on the really long slides while I had to go on the kiddy slides.  Even they were fast.  It was hard to stop.  

Only here where it is so cold can you have something like this where ice can sit out for a month without melting.  CRAZY AND COLD!!!
Have a good week!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ice Fishing!!

About a month ago, we had the chance to go ice fishing with Gabe’s Company. It wasn’t the true Alaskan ice fishing adventure I expected. We were told all we had to bring was bait and ourselves, so we did. The Army seems to always forget to tell you everything. When we got there, there were no poles for us to use and all the holes were taken. Regardless, we had a good time.

In order to get to the cabins where we were going to fish we had to drive to the middle of a frozen lake. Let me tell you, it was scary to see the huge cracks in the ice. I’m glad Gabe was driving because I would nothave done it. Our GPS had our little car on the screen driving in the lake. We thought it was funny so we took a picture.

When we got to the cabins, we were surprised how small they looked on the outside but how big they were on the inside. They were little wood cabins built on the ice with a small wood stove inside for warmth. The stove was set up off the ice to keep itfrom melting the ice. There were four holes drilled in the ice and four chairs beside them. The holes were about FIVE FEET DEEP!!!! Yes FIVE FEET DEEP!!!! This lake was solid. We were not going to break the ice by driving on it or buring wood in the stove.

One thing that kept me from having a great time was the fact Buddy was with us. Since he is so long and small I kept worring that if his back or front end slipped in the hole, he would go all the way down. I was so busy watching him I couldn’t even fish with the poles we borrowed. He stayed in the cabin with us because it was warmer. Buster just ran around outside on the lake. It was crazy watching him run knowing what was under the ice.

We didn’t catch any fish and no one else did except one person by 3:00 in the afternoon. The one fish that was caught was too small to keep and had to be thrown back. Next winter I think we will get reports on the lakes and see if any of the fish are moving and biting. They did that this time and the oxygen levels were low and none of the fish were moving.

We did have a good time hanging out with people in his Company and spending time outside. That was the fun part. Being in the middle of a frozen lake is something you might never get to experience in Mississippi. I remember the pond in my backyard freezing and playing on it, but that was about 20 years ago. I wonder if it will happen again?

We only took a few pictures because we are awful at remembering to take them. I’m trying to get better at taking pictures when we are out on adventures. Anyway it’s now my bedtime so I hope you all have a good weekend!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring Break

This week is my Spring Break and I am taking it easy. I’ve been shopping and cleaning up around the house because I really can’t go play outside. The temperature is back below 0!!!! I really want warm weather. I’m sorry I ever complained about the 100+degree days in Texas. I just can’t wait until the snow melts and I can stop wearing two layers of clothes. I always thought I would enjoy cold weather better than hot but now I know I don’t. Bring on the HOT weather!!

This week I have been buying patterns and trying to get my sewing equipment ready. I am going to attempt to make all the stuff we need for the nursery. Since I can’t play outside I decided to make myself useful. Gabe said he would help me and the funny thing is he has probably sewn more than I have!! He is Mr. Martha Stewart!! I am lucky to have him. I have to pick out material and we have to decide on a name. Picking out your child’s name has to be the hardest part of getting ready to meet your baby. At least we have the first and last name picked out for us. We just need the middle name, which is what he will go by. We have time to decide but it’s starting to fly by and we need to decide soon. Oh well.

I’m getting on a cooking kick and starting to make more than we can eat and freeze the rest. This was I can be lazy and not cook on the nights I am tired. I can’t wait for Gabe to start hunting and fishing so we can start eating like Alaskans. We have had moose meet but that is the only local game we’ve had. Hopefully we will get some salmon!! I think we need to learn how to smoke our own. That would be fun.

When we get done remodeling the downstairs of our house I will have more Alaskan adventures to talk about. Right now that consumes most of our time. However, this weekend we are going to the ice sculptor championships. It might even be above freezing so I hope they keep the sculptures cold!!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend. For all my Mississippi friends enjoy your spring break and think of me in the cold frozen North Pole!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Catch up

Sorry I haven’t written anything the past weeks. We have been busy with the house and the pregnancy and I’ve been so tired. Sorry this is going to be a long one.

A few weeks ago we got to go to the start of a dog sled race, the Yukon Quest. It is a 1,000 mile race between Fairbanks, Alaska and Whitehorse, Canada in the Yukon Territory. The teams began the race with 14 dogs, I think. I don’t have a very good memory right now. They started a new team every three minutes and we were standing pretty close to the starting point. We forgot our camera but took a few pics and videos with our phones. The pic to the left is the frozen river.  The black spots are the river. The race actually began on the Chena River which was completely frozen. It was strange walking out there and knowing this was a river. The river wasn’t completely frozen downstream so I was a little scared. The day was cold but we have hot chocolate which made it a better day. I can’t wait until I can go on a dog sled. It looks like it would be so much fun.

The dogs had to be held back because they wanted to run. If you ever get to see a sled dog race you will see the happiest dog in the world. These dogs are small, compact dogs that look like mutts but are Alaska sled dogs, an actual breed. They are fast and so cute. I think Gabe wants to try dog sledding now. I don’t think I could be alone in the wilderness for that long. It took the winner 9, yes I said 9 days to complete the race. They have checkpoints they can drop off dogs if they need to but that is the only contact with other people the racers have. I could not do it.

Buster had his first encounter with a moose. Fortunately nothing bad happened. We knew the moose was out front and tried to keep him in the house but he ran out of the garage door when Gabe went to get firewood. The moose pretty much ignored him until Gabe came outside. I don’t think the moose liked Gabe. Busted even went to the bathroom about 5 feet from the moose and it did not even look at him. When Gabe went out there to get buster, the moose finally looked at both of them. I think he looked annoyed but never charged.

The second encounter was early one morning when Gabe and Buster went outside to get firewood. Buster rounded the corner on the woodshed and started growling and barking. Gabe went to look and the moose was getting up. We have a moose that sleeps in our backyard. I got up the other night about 2 am and saw him out of my bedroom window. He sleeps behind our woodshed on the snow. The moose got up and walked away and didn’t charge buster. This makes me feel good except these moose did now have babies with them. Cows protecting their calves are more dangerous that bulls. I really hope I don’t see too many of those this spring.

The temp is rising!!! Yea!! All this week it is above 0!! It feels so nice outside. I can actually go outside and stay longer than 30 minutes. Recess isn’t all that bad now because it is warm. We have icicles on our house now because the snow on our roof melts during the day and refreezes at night. It’s really pretty. However the roads are awfully slick now. I’m in a rental car that has bad tires. They are so bad I could not make it up a hill the other day. I had to reverse back down the hill and try again. Scary! I am figuring out how to be a better driver though. I still am ready for roads with no ice or snow.

That’s all I’m writing today. I promise I will update more. We went ice fishing so I will post pics for that one. Have a good week!!