Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I'm sitting in my bike shop, drinking a white chocolate mocha, watching CNN, while everyone is still asleep. I just got off the phone with Drunk John, who is living up to his name. He's drunk, alone and will probably be passed out within the next 20 minutes. As drunk as he is at the moment, he was pleasant. I wish I could do something for that guy but he's way beyond my reach at this moment. All I can do is wish him a Merry Christmas and let him know I enjoyed talking with him this morning.

Anyway, Merry Christmas to All! Best wishes for a safe, happy and prosperous New Year! And lets all be good to each other!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Winter Wonderland


I have to admit, I haven't been getting outside like I usually do. I blame it on my refurbished home. It's so nice and cozy that I just enjoy being at home. Not that I didn't enjoy being at home previously. I will need to get the layers on and just get out.

The shoulder is OK, no surgery!!! Just physical therapy, which I'm having trouble fitting into my schedule. I think I will do the excercises as soon as I post this :)

I have been pursuing the wrist pain. Have gone everywhere from lupus (NOT), to different length ulna and radius bones (NOT), to ganglion cyct (maybe), to tendenitis (this is where I'm personally leaning towards). Anyway, at this moment, the wrists are fine. :)


It's 11 below zero right now and spectacular outside. White world with full moon hanging in a pink sky fading up to light blue, above the mountains. Wind blowing snow off the mountain peaks...I wouldn't want to be up there right now. No wind this low.

It's also vitamin D season. My Dr. suggests 3000 IU's a day. Will do.

Still pedalling to nowhere in the shop. I really like going out to my shop at 5 a.m., the stars are out bright, the moon is full, snow sparkles like diamonds.......I gaze at the sky and soak in the beauty of it all, then I trip the motion sensor lights and am blinded...damn....I feel my way into my shop, turn up the oil heater because I haven't figured out how to set the time so it comes on automatically, struggle into my shoes and pedal.....slowly at first until I'm warmed up a little, then faster and settle into a good pace. I turn on CNN so I have an idea what is happening in the world and go for the next 30 minutes. Now I'm ready to start my day.

Wasilla has been plowing their sidewalks, I have been cruising routes to see if there is a clear path to my work, comtemplating riding, if only a mile or two, to work. I found one that may work. The problem is my bike and storing it at work. It's ok so far in the summers, as long as I wipe it down, to keep it in my office but I think they will frown on the studded tires, unless I carry the bike thought the office building to my office. With all the junk I have to bring to work now...I don't know. I will think about it some more.

Colony Christmas today in Palmer, we will go to the lights parade, drink hot toddy's and watch the fireworks. All bundled up to hand the below 0 temps. It's ALL fun in Alaska!

And in closing, my dog, KC, all dressed up for Christmas. I know it's stupid to derss up dogs but this actually is his punishment for non-stop barking the other day...humiliation...but I think he kind of likes the attention he is drawing.


Have a Merry Christmas, everyone! Drinks are on me!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Black Cat Ale and MRI

I wimped out of my 1st MRI, turns out I am a bit claustrophobic.

So I went back with some Valium this morning and although I wasn't totally relaxed, I got through it.

MRI's are damn loud. My ears are still ringing even though I had earplugs in.

And they aren't that bad....with drugs anyway.

Now I'm tired and want to just go to bed but I have to pick up my kid from school soon so no sleep.

I opened up a bottle of my Black Cat, not totally carbed but very promising beer!

I also opened up a Sweet Eddy the Second, still pretty green but will be great after it matures.

Nothing great going on with biking, just spinning my wheels in the morning on my trainer in the bike shop. Due to the shoulder, I'm having to prop up the front wheel a bit. Also wrist issues seem to be reoccurring but don't bother me while riding, at this point. Later in the day comes the discomfort.

We got a few inches of snow the other day, I'm glad. I want it to snow a couple of feet. Sure is pretty.

Soon we will start on renovating the bathroom. That shouldn't take too long, nothing major that we know of.

Follow up with the Dr. on Monday. I just can't imagine that I will need surgery, not much pain but lots of crunching and popping - although this could be a sign of a disconnected or stretched tendon, which requires surgery. Will update when I know more.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hurt shoulder.....redux

Last week I slipped in the parking lot at work. As I was going down, my left arm caught on a vehicle. My arm stayed up while the rest of me when down. It was about 7:30 a.m and the parking lot had not been sanded yet. Immediate pain in the shoulder. So I pick myself up and go inside, wiping the coffee out of my hair. Within 5 minutes my index finger was numb and I couldn't move my arm very well. Crud.
I talk to my boss who says I have to go to the dr immediately to get it checked out. So I go, the only Dr open and available at that time of the morning is the urgent care walk in clinic. It's a pretty nice clinic and I have been there before but this morning the Dr. is more interested in talking politics. After he finds out where I work, he launches into how we might soon end up a welfare state because those who make more will have it taken away and given to those who make less, Obama sending us down a socialist/marxist path, this fosters social and economic stagnation because who what to work hard to get ahead only to have it taken away and why doens't the MTV generation see this?

I will keep my views on this to myself as I don't want to get into this on my blog, but I WAS NOT into talking politics at this moment. He pulled on my arm, which didn't hurt too much but I kept telling him that the pain in the top part of the shoulder and under the shoulderblade. He pushed on the top of my shoulder, yes, that hurts. Nothing about the rest of the pain. He didn't think anything was torn around the joint. He did an x-ray and thought he saw something at the top of the joint, maybe a bone chip, definitely "calcium". The he lauches back into politices as he gives me anti-inflammitories and pain killers. Then sends me on my way. Ok, a week later and my shoulder really hurts under the shoulderblade. My neck is hurting and stiff because of the way I'm holding my shoulder. After a day of work, I'm not in a happy place when I get home, my shoulder aches and neck is crunched up tight.

I'm getting phone calls from Worker's comp and the complex owner's insurance company...who informed me this may be a vehicle insurance, no, I tell them, it's absolutely NOT a vehicle insurance claim.

So now I'm going to follow up with the Dr. who did my other shoulder surgery a few years back.
It just bums me out to even think of the smallest possibility of shoulder surger - that whole thing was no fun, but it did lessen the pain in that shoulder significantly so it was worth it.

We are continuing to work on the house, we turned the large hallway which leads into the main living area into a sitting area with a small tv and great for curling up with a book in the evenings and watching the sunset. This has been a wasted space, now useable. The color of the walls is really pretty but doesn't show true in the photo. It's a nice, soft golden yellow called "clarified butter".

The weather has been nippy but ground is nice and frozen so it's perfect for riding with studs. If my shoulder would allow it :(

We went to a Halloween fundraiser last week. I was the greek godess of Hops but non-beer people don't get it so would alternate to greek goddess of Autumn, Wogster was a computer virus, and Capt'n Balance was Capt'n Plunger

I have a wedding to go to tonight and the best man is the trooper in the Sarah Palin Troopergate. Yes, he did really taze a 12 yr old boy but the kid asked him to do it, according to the bride. I'm sure all eyes will be on him to see if he does anything stupid.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Kitchen remodel

Amost finished with the kitchen/dining/living room! Remember, this was a grain bin which my husband made into his bacholor pad then added onto a bit when we got married but it still really was not much more than the bachelor pad. We had 6 different cabinets, the low roof, a post in the middle of the room holding up the roof.

We ripped out half of the roof, put in a beam to support the ceiling, moved the post, added and moved windows, put in floor beams and more support (posts) on the lower level to support and even out the floor.

Ripped out 2 exterior walls down to the studds, resheeted insided and out and new insulation and vapor barrier.

I can't find the "before" picture, but this gives an idea of how it looked. Imagine a small fridge, low cabinets of all sorts and a u shaped kitchen with bar countertop in the middle

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Cabin Pictures, August/September 2008

The fridge

Newest addition to our Bald Eagle family

Bear protection while out and about
Digging new hole for outhouse, about 2.5 ft down, started digging up bones and jaw in a layer of burned materials. Turned out to be a caribou. How old do you think those bones are, buried under 2.5 feet of dirt and tundra??

Coming in for landing on the lake
So long, Beav
The trail to the cabin

Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm Here, somewhere

Just thought I'd check in for a minute. Yes, I'm here and alive, barely.

Still working on the house

Still no kitchen

Still no sunshine

but now add snow on the mountain tops and the National Enquirer trying to interview anyone who has ever spoke with the Flavors of the month. Crazy.

I hope to get some photos posted tomorrow but no promises. Not enough hours in my day. I just haven't had time.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm leaving

But I will be back in a week!
Heading out into the wild, to no electricity, people, running water. To a land of outhouses, bald eagles, grayling, bears, blueberries, caribou, freshest air ever and no light pollution, lynx, salmon, grayjays, lake trout, wind, water and big open skies. Where everything is harder but more peacful.
I will be bringing some of my homebrew beers and a few from D Rock (sent them up from Colorado) to enjoy as well as a few of the last Sweet Eddies, blueberry bock, Jamaica Mon and German Hef. I will drink one while fishing for beautifully colored graylings, while floating around on the lake hoping to catch a lake trout as big as my arm, while picking blueberries, after hiking though tundra following caribou and while relaxing in the evening watching the sunset and feeling the cool biting autumn air and a final beer while waiting on the beach for the bush float plane to pick us up and carry us back to civilization. I won't return to the cabin again until the middle of winter when the world is white and temps get down to forty below zero.

Here the label I made for my Blueberry Bock
And the finished product! Pretty good, very mild blueberry flavor in there somewhere


Life is good at the cabin.

Riding to work is soon going to be finished. It's getting dark in the mornings, not to mention cold...oh yeah, it's been cold every morning every day this summer.

Still working on home repairs, no kitchen yet but sheetrock is going back up!!!

I will post pictures when I get back.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My new Flower Baskets

Hanging on my bike shop

Beer Heaven! Christmas came early! Contents of the care package sent by brewing buddy D Rock from Colorado. None of these beers are available in Alaska, so this is very special. He even included 2 of his own brews, Granny Gear Pale Ale and Agave Whisperer Wit. I have these hidden away in my bike shop fridge. The Lost Boys had better STAY AWAY FROM MY BEER! I think I will lock the shop up.

I will be rationing these, one beer at at time. Where do I start first???? I am intreged by the Agave Whisperer Wit. Maybe that will be the starting point.

We have ripped out our kitchen, dining and living room. We live in a barn, these area's were the grain bins once upon a time. None of our floors are level, they sloped down so the grain would go down the 4 shutes. We finished building and sold the Big Lake house and I *finally* get to have some remodeling and refurbishing done. I ordered cabinets the other day. I'm so stoked, barns have no closets so we have been very creative over the years when it comes to storage. When this is finished up, I will have a pantry and plenty of cabinet space for all my junk. It will really be nice to have a place to put everything. I had NO IDEA how expensive cabinets were. Mindblowing. But I found some that I like which won't break the bank.

In the meantime, I have no kitchen,stove, oven, sink, dining table, etc. We have a temp living room in the hallway. We moved the fridge and microwave downstairs. Using paper plates and not cooking anything except on the grill, microwave and crock pot. So far so good, but I miss a sink with running water.

Riding is finished, except commuting to work, until this is finished up. All spare time is being put into this place. The weather continues to be very hit or miss, mostly miss. This summer is a loss.

We are heading out to our cabin the 1st week of Sept. Still issues with flying out game on the bush plane. Still the stupid law that won't allow game to be brought out on anything which weighs over 1500 lbs. This allows only 4-wheeler to get the game out. Which is a HUGE undertaking in Alaska's backcountry - boggy ground, streams, wilderness. The area our cabin is in doesn't have "riding trails". It's wilderness. The idea is that if you can afford to use anything over 1500 to transport your game, then you have enough money and don't need to hunt. Still stupid thinking. We hire a bush plane to fly us in and out of our cabin for $400 and usually have a friend along who shares the cost. So it costs us $about $350 with the tip for the pilot. 4-wheelers cost $5000 easy. I can't afford to buy two 4-wheelers but I can afford to hire a plane once a year. This situation really bothers me. I have been living off of moose and caribou my entire life and Fish and Game rules won't let me fly my game out. When we had to start buying commercial beef, I got nauseated everytime I smelled or ate it. Ground beef especially has a bad smell to it, like a barnyard. Yuck.

Enough of that. I am looking forward to the cabin! I can't wait to get there!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Active Wildlife

Not much weekend riding, we are ripping out our kitchen and living room to remodel so all free time is going towards this project. I haven't yet figured out how to survive without a kitchen. I guess I will be washing dishes in the bathroom sink and cooking on the BBQ grill and microwave. Anticipating living this way for 2 fun filled months. oh yeah...
I continue to ride to work, it's really nice to have a smooth, clean path to ride on. And it continues to be cold and rainy. I'm wet just as often as dry and still continue to wear my helmet liner and wool jersey, full leggings, jacket and gloves.

My daugher and her husband went fishing down towards Kenai and were joined by this little grizzly bear. It is pretty small, makes me wonder if it is big enough to survive the winter on it's own.

Also, this is a great video of baby twin moose playing in a sprinkler

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend in Hope and Whittier

We spent the weekend in Hope and then Whittier. Nice weather in Hope, major rain in Whittier.

Hiked up a mountain at Hope, so not much riding as our legs were pretty pooped. In this picture, we are in a very vertical spot. I found a little ledge to sit on but was still hanging on to the tree a little so I didn't slide down the mountain. I wasn't able to get a photo due to vertigo-inducing heights. I don't really like heights.

Lots of glaciers at Whittier.

Last photo is McHugh Creek - this is where I had my 16th birthday party! I always was an outdoors girl. This is one of my all-time favorite places. I am sad to see how it has been "civilized".