Friday, December 18, 2009


Been fighting an MS attack, haven't worked in awhile. Pray for full healing and recovery!

Friday, September 04, 2009


It's been a very nice summer, weather-wise. One of the best in years. Unfortunately, I haven't been feeling good for awhile. Really started impacting my life.

So I finally went to the doctor. Yep, finally. I was just hoping I would start feeling better but didn't.

I am having surgery on 9/11 and hopefully will be feeling MUCH better after I recover. Thumbs up and pray for the best! I really, really HATE being put under and how it feels waking up. I'm not looking forward to that. I will be out of work for around 4 weeks, which is a bummer because I've been missing a lot of work due to feeling bad so I don't have any leave time left. Leave without pay. But that's just how it goes sometimes.

My son graduated from the Military Youth Academy last week!!! He's enlisted in the Air Force and we are just waiting to find out which job he will get and when he will leave for basic. His top choices are Aerospace maintenance (part of the onboard flight crew), Aerospace propultion (he wants the fighter jets) and even put down security forces (MP?). I was told that if he puts down security forces, he will get security forces because not many recruits want that job. I hope he gets the aerospace jobs.

Here's a picture of him from his Drill and Ceremony competition. He looks pretty tough!

I'm very proud of him!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Kid is Joining the Air Force

His lowest score on the ASVAB or whatever was a 75, his highest was a 98. He started out wanting to do special ops - intellegence, spy, behind enemy lines, freaky stuff. But he's now leaning towards something in the mechanical field, which is what he scored 98 in, they were talking to him about working on spy satellites. Keeping with the spy realm.

He's a super smart kid who's finally realizing just how smart he is. He's stepped up his game and has taking all advanced classes in school, which he never wanted to do before because he didn't want to work that hard - yeah, drove me nuts.

Now he's deciding what his future career will be.

Time to cut the apron strings!

I'm going to miss him. :(

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

New Friend - Michael Fatali

After hiking around Zion, we visited a gallery and met an awesome photographer, Michael Fatali and his wife.

We got to chatting and invited him and his wife to come up to Alaska and we will take them out to our cabin where he can photograph the northern lights or whatever catches his eye.

None of his photos are enhanced in any way, not with filters or darkroom/lab manipulations. What you see is how it was a the moment. Which means he may have to wait a long time, exposed to the elements, before getting the perfect shot.

Take a moment to check out his work, you won't be diappointed!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Flat Tire, Fat Tire and Vacation

I have been riding to work regularly, it's been nice. The weather has been better this May than it was the entire last summer! I hope it sticks around.

I got a flat tire on my ride to work. It was not the best way to start the day. I ended up totally ruining the tube, because I rode on the flat for a distance. I went to the bike shop to get a new tube and asked the Bike guy to have it installed by the end of the day, because I had to get back to work and didn't have time to do it myself and it takes him a fraction of the time it takes me to change road tires. So I walked back to the shop after work and the tire was still there, flat as a pancake. Bike guy was busy so I ended up doing it myself anyway. It's that crazy time of year for the Bike guy so I can't blame him, I was just hoping...

We recently picked up some sea kayaks!! :) I also finally got a 4 wheeler, now I don't have to be the passenger anymore! But we will continue to be careful not damaging trails.

We went on vacation for the last 2 weeks, a few days in Vegas (smells like sewer and cigerettes - yuck - too loud, hot and crowded), Utah (Zion and Bryce - loved it!) around the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and back to Vegas. We were supposed to go canyoneering in the slots and hike the Narrows but because of unusually rain the risk of flash floods cancelled our plans. That was really disappointing. A few photos from Zion. Loved it! I think I could live in Utah. Drank lots of Fat Tire and the local brews, that was fun to try the different brews.



Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I Rode

In the rain today
And it was good!

Lots has been going on. I'm going to try an post more often.

We didn't make it to the cabin over spring break because I couldn't get the time off so we did a couple super quick weekend trips. The final trip the weather was just amazing and the temps were so warm we were peeling off layers of clothing while sitting on the lake ice fishing. It was really nice. The eagles are back for the summer.
The weather here has been spectalular, already warmer this spring that it was the entire last summer. Things are not yet green here, though and with the warmth and sunshine comes dry conditions.

Our neighbor decided to burn his lawn last Friday. Capt'n Balance and I had the day off and I was sitting on the deck soaking up the sun while he was talking to a friend. I pointed out to the guys that it looked like the neighbor's fire was getting too big for him to control. The guys said "naw" and kept on talking. Then I told them the fire crossed the fence and was now in our hayfield. No big deal, said the guys. The neighbor had his hose on it.

The friend left and I told the Capt'n the fire WAS OUT OF CONTROL! FINALLY he took a look and sure enough, he's running for anything he can grab to put it out. Well, there wasn't anything to grab because we have no water over there, we hook up irrigation pipes to a well across the road when we need to water it, which hasn't been for a few years. SOOOO, we towels and buckets. Wet the towels and of course the few gallons of water in the buckets does basically nothing.

The wind picks up and the fire gets BIG and moves FAST. It starts heading towards the log pile, my folks 5th wheel RV and the BARN! My house is attached to the barn. The barn was built in the 40's and has old grain and hay everywhere. Fire gets there and it will be a total loss. We call 911 and keep beating on the flames. My dog follows me as I run back to the neighbor who is standing on his side of the fence still, holding his hose. I rewet my towel and realize my dog is following me. I start running back to the leading edge of the flames and the wind kicks up and blows the fire right at my dog and I. My dog freaks and starts running away, but deeper into the field which is on fire. He is surrounded on 3 sides, I'm running to him and calling him to do a 180 and come back the way he came, then we would be fine but he was stepping on flames and freaked so bad he wouldn't listen to me. I got about 20 feet away and he finally bolted straight ahead through a wall of flames, but past the fire and clear of the fire. He's paws are burned though and he's hurting. He will be OK, we think. We have a vet coming to look at them. We couldn't tell how burned he was until yesterday, burns tend to show the extent of their damage a few days down the road.

So now the dog is out of danger, I'm sucking smoke and feeling heat, my face is a little scortched.

The wind changed again and the fire is now on a rampage towards the barn. Division of Forestry trucks start to arrive but they go down the neighbor's road instead of our driveway and the first truck gets stuck in muck and the other trucks can't get to the fire because of the fence. The fire is MINUTES from torching the RV and the barn! I'm screaming at the forestry guys, telling them where to go. I start running to the road, which is over a half mile away from the fire, my lungs are full of smoke and I'm not in a good place mentally. I start waving my towel and FINALLY guide a truck to my driveway and around the barn to the fire. They go right to the leading edge which is heading towards the barn and start up the pump in the back of their truck. They only have 75 to 150 gallons in these trucks.....soon they are out of water but they have stopped the fire from heading towards the barn and then a real fire truck shows and refills the Forestry trucks. We had about 8 forestry trucks and the fire tanker and they finally put it all out. Then they start their investigation and they talking to us...they think WE started the fire and let it get out of control. I set them straight immediately. Our neighbor felt very bad and apologized. If there had to be a fire, it worked out OK because if it went any other direction it WOULD have burned down 3 homes.

The fire was about 50 ft away from the rv/barn. Too close for comfort. I have to say, when they Foresty guys went down the wrong road, I really thought my home was a loss. The fire was soo big, so close, it was a horrible feeling.

But all's well that ends well. We have rain today and it's making things green up and that burn will grow back greener and healthier than the unburned hay.

These were taken about a half hour after the Forestry guys showed up and took over. I was covered with soot and almost sick from breathing smoke. My throat felt like it was on fire.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Not quite ready to Ride

Just when I think the weather will cooperate, we get snow. So I haven't gotten to ride to work yet. I haven't gotten my new tires on my commuter bike yet but I would have to ride my winter bike anyway because there is still ice everywhere in the mornings.

My son-on-law is in the Air Force and they are stationed in Mississippi until he finishes up with his schooling, then they will be stationed in HAWAII!!! Needless to say, I'm stoked! I have never been to Hawaii but I plan on going there at least 2x per year after they get settled in about 8 months. WooHoo!

Work bites, that is what has been taking up a lot of my free time. I didn't even get to go to the cabin over spring break because of work. GRRR. The economy is making more people eligible for welfare, employees are quitting, there is a hiring freeze so we are in a really tight spot. The heads are thinking of manditory overtime but I keep telling them it will backfire. No one is accepting the voluntary overtime that is being offered because they are burned out. Forcing people to give up their down time and family time is NOT going to help. Ut will make morale fall even lower and the accuracty rate will continue to decline because it all becames harder when one is tire, unhappy and burned out. Personally, I will not be doing manditory overtime because my family and sanity is more important than this job. They need to do the right thing and open up the positions for hire.

I was going to climb the Butte today but me and the hubby went into Anchorage and scored 2 17ft sea kayaks off Craigslist!!!!!!!! We got a sweet deal!!!!!!

My son and nephew climbed the Butte a couple weeks ago and got some great pictures. It's a small little butte but offers great views!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Edge of Daylight!

The sun is coming BACK!!!!! The snow is MELTING!!! It's almost time to RIDE to work!

Still too dark in the mornings but in the next week or 2 it should be good to go!!!

I have people lining up who want me to work on their bikes but I don't want to commit because my spare time is more sparse than it used to be.

Warm weather is on it's way! Lets hope for a warmer summer than last year.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

X-treme X-sport

One of the best brews I have done. First time I have used liquid ale yeast. Just whipped up a quick label.

I'm looking forward to beer o'clock! :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

I Think I Love You....

I did some long overdue maintenance on my commuter bike.

The tread on the tires aren't rounded anymore, both tires are squared off from use.

I'm inspecting them to see if I can squeeze out any more miles on them when I find an inch long split in the rear tire, running the length of the tire (not across), right in the middle of where the tread would be.

Darn. I suppose I could boot it.
I suppose I should just break down and buy a new tire.
I suppose I should just give in to buying a set of new tires because the front isn't looking that great either.

So I start getting sentimental over my tires. Thinking of all the miles on them, the places they have taken me, the joy, the pain, the freedom.

Turns out that I love my tires.

I don't love them because of the brand - they are rather cheap, workhorse road tires, as much as a 700 x 23 tire can be. I love them because they have been a part of my sacred chain driven journey.

But it's time to let them go. It's bittersweet to say goodbye.

Maybe I can recycle them into something useful.
Beer News: Recently bottled: X-treme X-sport Pale Ale
Bottling this weekend: Atomic Alt with specality grains.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Cabin Time

We went to the cabin for Superbowl. It was a quick trip but a good one. The days are still short up there but the temps weren't bad, around 5 to 10 below. The snow-laden trees are really beautiful.
One of my very favorite things is when riding my snowmachine in power snow when the sun is shining. The track kicks up this really cool, cosmic, cloud of ice crystals. I become enveloped in a shimmering, sparkling, gossamer cloud. Tiny diamonds sparkling all around me, the coldness of the crystals on my face when they land. It's really spectacular.

We ran into 3 moose on the way out, they looked like they were going to come my way and check me out but they decided not to. That is a good thing. Don't mess with moose.

The days are getting longer down here in south central Alaska, gaining about a half an hour each week. It's nice to have daylight when I get off work.
Next week I will be working in Anchorage...all week long. I think I will stay a night or two with one of the Lost Boys, driving bites big time.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Is about to blow again.

My dad was there for the 1989 eruption.

So I'm heading out to the cabin for SUPERBOWL! 1st time ever a female has been allowed to go to this overly testrostrone charged trip. I hope I survive...

And I hope I don't come back to an ashy mess.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Ohh, the new year is getting old and I'm already worn out.

The welfare office has been overwhelmed with people applying. Not unemployed, underemployed, but the average working American family, earning the average national wages. Somehow, word has gotten out that Obama has extended the welfare programs which allow the average American family to be eligible. I am here to say that this has not happened. Not to say that it won't, it just hasn't happened yet (and I really don't know that it will).

Welfare and State programs won't pay your $4 per month lifeline phone costs. It won't pay for your 5 cell phones, satellite, cable, internet or netflix bills. There is no nationtal heath coverage. It won't pay for your $3000 month house and car payments. And I believe you when you tell me you got a good deal on the new car with heated seats/DVD's and every new gaget available because the high gas prices and poor economy has cut prices, too good of a deal to pass up. Yes, I understand that your expenses are very real and are overwhelming. By the way, did you know that Anchorage has a pretty decent public transportation system?

All these programs count your gross income. Yes, I understand gross income doesn't reflect your net but if we went by net income, I could gross a million dollors per year, send my money to various accounts/investments and lower my net income to $5 per month. That's why we go by gross.

I know that food and utilities are getting more expensive almost daily. I do know and I understand. I do know that the job situation is scary. I also know that Alaska is not in the same situation as the lower 48....yet.

I know all of this and I feel your pain. But I must say "I'm sorry, but you are not eligible". I must watch the anger and the tears. I know you are hard working people, I can see that. I know a bum on the street can get food stamps but you can't. It's true and we both know it.

I can offer advice but you don't want to hear it: get rid of 4 cell phones with internet access, go down to a smaller cable/satillite/internet packet or eliminate some of it. I you need a new car, look at a gently used car and bypass the extras. Shop at Walmart instead of Nordstrom. Buy $40 Levi's instead of $150 brand whatever jeans - personally I'm not looking at your ass so I don't notice your $150 brand whatever jeans.

More advice you don't want to hear - Take a close look at your spending. I notice the lovely fake fingernails with a perfect french tip manicure as you dab the tears from your eyes. And you have a lovely tan and highlights in your hair, which is a bit out of place in the middle of winter. So what did you spend your household's PFD's and energy bonus on? You used the entire $12000+ and even more for a family trip to Hawaii? Sounds like a great time but now you still have unpaid natural gas bill because Enstar raised their rates 20% this month, which they have been telling consumer's for the last year was going to take place.

And No, I am not the bitch that you are calling me. You are simply not eligible. Yes, you could quit your job, apply for housing assistance, heating assistance, lifeline phone assistance, food stamps, medicaid, daycare assistance (why would you need that if you quit your job?), cash assistance, educational assistance and every other program out there, but you don't. I thank you for not choosing that route.

You know people who are cheating the system, who brag about getting food stamps even though they have mony and possessions they are not telling us about. I tell you that fraud is a very ugly thing and we rely on people informing us when they know about fraudulent situations and would you like to make a fraud allegation - you can be totally annonomous. Your anwer is NO. So you now are activly taking a part in allowing fraud to continue. If you are going to be a part of it, stop bitching about people who are doing it. And if I suspect you are fraudulent, even at this application stage, I will make a fraud referral on you. So keep it honest, no matter how stress and overwhelmed you feel.

Now you have rights. If you disagree with my decision, you can request a Fair Hear and have legal representation. The Hearing Authority will look at the facts and make a ruling. You don't want to do that either? Because you knew coming in that you wouldn't be eligible anyway but you wanted to just try anyway.


Thank you for coming in today and I wish you the best........

And I heard you mutter "fucking bitch" under your breath as you walk out my door....even though you know you weren't eligible to begin with.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's Been A Cold Ride


So far 2009 is very beautiful but very cold. Temps have been consistantly 25 below zero. I'm stressing a little about what my heating bill will be......

Went for a ride last week. The cold really is spectaculer for it's beauty. The night skies are clear. Stars, planets and the moon are out in all their glory. Alpenglow on the mountains, pink and blue skies against white mountains. Thick frost covering the trees.

It's cold but I love it (when it's supposed to be cold).