Monday, February 21, 2011

Tips on picking up a couch from the dump.

Who needs blush in Alaska? Just head out to the dog park for thirty minutes, and your bright pink cheeks will give any Nars shade a run for their money. 

Friday night I had a few friends over while I made my mom's chicken and dumplings- yum! But you've seen my living room... Where to put everyone? I stopped by the dump to drop off trash and lo and behold there was a couch! A decent looking one with only two cushions! (It'd be small enough for the cabin! And FREE!)

Tip #1: Stand couch up on end and make sure you look really pathetic while 'trying' to put it in your truck. Stand a bit, as if you are contemplating how you will ever do it alone. Catch passerby's eyes while looking like a lost kitten. Someone will stop to help. Two someones actually.

Tip #2: Make sure the weather conditions are adverse. Preferably snowing, so that the couch will slide right up the stairs. No pain, no gain!

Tip #3: Don't actually measure couch and have the joy of finding out as you heave and ho and grunt, that this darn couch will never fit into your tiny cabin.

Tip #4: Saw said couch in half. Or leave it on the front porch, so all the neighbors will think some classy frat boys moved in next door.

My guests ended up on the overly febreezed cushions, extra chairs, and the floor. I got the sofa here, Graham can take it back :-) Especially since we were just hit with our very own snowpocalypse! 
When I awoke, the truck and driveway were blanketed with at least a foot and a half of snow. I opened the door and the stairs had disappeared! 
I ventured out, fought for the last snow shovel in Fairbanks and spent a good part of my day making a small dent in the snow that now resides, quite literally, outside my doorstep.

I even braved the icicles of death.
No, not those ones.

It's a serious threat. I remember hearing about people who died from them all the time in Russia. I had a few life-flashing-before-my-eyes close calls myself. 

Yeah, we kinda bonded. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's the little things...

She couldn't wait to play with these- she ripped them out of the bag on the way home! :-)

Lulu hasn't had new toys since we first got her.  She loves to steal Finn's toys- especially anything with a bell!  Her grandma and grandpa did send her a sweet laser pointer for Christmas that went MIA in the move.  While picking up the puppy and kitty groceries, I couldn't resist getting her some new playthings.  She's been showing some signs of separation anxiety after Graham left and when I was working.  My Otterbox and two pairs of shoes have suffered her wrath.  New toys and rawhides should help perk her up! Such sweet, little vegetables!
The carrot has a noise maker, the turnip has a tennis ball and both have noisy leaves.

Valentine's Day sale items- the stripes around, are ropes great for chewing.

 I didn't forget about the kitties:
Ohhhh yeah!

TGIF friends!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Heart Day!

Have a sweet one!

Lucy got a new leash too!
Love these Lupine ones- If your dog chews it up, they replace it for free!
(Finn is protesting- he doesn't want anything pink. Just bellyrubs.)

We've never been together for Valentine's day, but that's okay! I like the way my mom and dad say, it's 365 days a year for them :-) I did think about some sweet times with my honey though...

Don't forget to tell everyone you love, those three little words!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

the kindness of strangers

It was a very surreal day.  I was on my way to my new volunteer gig after taking Lu to the dog park. After I entered Post, I was taking the same route I always take.  On military posts/bases I always drive under the speed limit, stop extraordinarily long at all stop signs, and stop for everyone passing the road.  Those military police will pull you over for anything!  As I drove past the hospital, time slowed. My car veered sharply to my left and I started to spin towards the two lanes of oncoming traffic, then into the ditch. I remember thinking, "Oh no, I can't stop! oh no- I'm headed towards those lanes- I'm not stopping- I'm going to roll in that ditch past that bridge and into the water. " In a desperate plea, I called out, "Oh God, oh God!"  I stomped the brake and braced myself for impact.  I did not roll into the bridge, or the water for that matter.  However, I was completely turned around and stuck in the ditch about a meter away from a light pole.

Two men came running over and although it seemed like minutes instead of seconds I was out of breath by the time they reached me. "Are you okay?!" "Yes. Oh my God, who am I gonna call?!" Tears streaming down my numb face. "It's okay, the police are here. I saw you, you didn't do anything wrong, you didn't break any laws, nobody was hurt, it's gonna be okay. Just breathe. Try to calm down." "An angel must have been watching over you." Multiple police officers kept coming over and repeating the same information about calling around for the traffic personnel. One informed me, I could call my insurance company and get a tow truck, try to dig my truck out of the 2 1/2 feet of snow, or call a friend with a truck.  About two weeks ago, on our way to go on a hike with some friends, our belt broke on the truck and we had to get it towed. I didn't know if we could still get a tow with AT&T, or could even afford the fee they might charge. Considering all the men that have trucks are gone to training, that wasn't an option. I can't even call Graham for another couple of weeks. "I guess I have to dig it out. Do you think it will even work?" I mumbled.  He walked away and came back a few minutes later with the news that a stranger had stopped and offered to pull me out with his dooly/duly/duley (??). He pulled me out of that awful ditch and I thanked him and waved to the kind officers. I am so grateful to the men that stopped after I crashed, the police officers who reassured me every step of the way, and the men who towed me out.

I wish I could say that was the first time I have been towed, but I'd be lying. The first time, was when the roads were black and I was told to come to work anyway. I made it there safely, but upon trying to leave, I slid upon solid ice (going 5 miles an hour!) into a ditch. My boss' brother in law pulled me out. The next day she called off work. The second time, Graham and I were looking for our current cabin and kept getting lost. He was turning around and backed off into a ditch. The snow here is pretty deceptive! The person living down the road pulled us out, and several strangers stopped to help. This Tuesday I pulled out from the cabin and got stuck in a ditch (deceptive snow again!). After calling a few friends and my father, a middle aged man rolled down his window and offered to help.  I have been towed now 5 times by strangers (6 counting the belt incident!), twice in this week and I have never been more renewed in faith of our mankind.  I have never been a bad driver, but am afraid of driving now. Alaska is a scary place to drive! Why I was flipped around is still confusing, those who saw it said the roads haven't been gravelled enough or that one of the truck wheels stuck when I hit some ice. I have four wheel drive and just put new brakes in. I could have hit that light, rolled into that bridge, or even hit some oncoming traffic. But I didn't. I don't know how, but I truly feel He was watching out for me today and it kind of puts everything into perspective.

When Graham backed into a ditch and tried to reverse out of it.
First step on the to do list? Buy a tow strap and pay some of that kindness forward.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Part 2 of the House Tour

Whoops! Life got busy, but I'm back with the second installation of the new home tour.

the office
We didn't have an office at the old place, just a desk pushed against a wall.

The office is a place where I spend a lot of time.  We don't have a television, but we do watch shows online and dvds via the computer.  Unfortunately, this means if we have friends over we're limited to what we can do (board games!), because the computer is upstairs next to the bedroom.
Love that sign Graham found in Russia!
another treetop view
These will get hung eventually! 

the bathroom 

      The old bathroom:

There were curtains I made at some point, but it was a pretty basic bathroom.  I hated the sliding glass doors to the tub!

The new bathroom:

It's teeny tiny and there's not much to show. The tub is surprisingly deep, the storage expectedly nonexistent, and the room comfortably warm- courtesy of a small heater opposite the toilet. I love the new shower curtain I found at Freddie's! Kitty loves it too!

the living room
The old living room:
This was the first room Graham painted in the old house and it was my favorite color! We ended up moving the second older couch from the man room to accommodate extra guests. We played boardgames, watched movies, and lounged around in this room. We never really got many fires going in the fireplace, though.

The new living room:

It gets decidedly less use than the old space, partly because it still needs a bit of work! Pictures need to be hung, and the seating arrangement needs to be figured out. Our smaller couch wouldn't fit through the foyer, so we've been contemplating buying a loveseat or covering the one that came with the place. It is so hideous though; an ugly, dark orange blob of a couch. Someday, sometime I'll get to it!
Stay tuned for the final part of the house tour :-)

Graham's away at the moment, and I have a new friend for a while.
Finn likes his new cuddle buddy!