The Times, They Are a Changin'

Okay, so if you have not yet heard... Gov. Palin is McCain's new running mate. If that is not news that fits this title, I don't know what is... however, that is not the point of this post.

While our nation's political future is uncertain to us, God continues to be in control and has evidenced this in the world that we are seeing around us. What a beautiful artistic hand He has. His handiwork can be seen in the yellows of the birch and cottonwood this autumn as well as the reds showing up in the currants and some of the other underbrush surrounding Galena.

The deciduous trees in Galena have been a true joy to Myra, the kids, and I this summer. "Is that rain?" was the question often asked by the two kids who had never lived around trees with leaves before. Now, we are enjoying a change in color from the grass on the ground to the leaves at the tops of the trees.

My and I ran out to the lot today with the dog to take a few pics of the change. Hope that these pictures can give at least a hint to some of the beauty we took in today.

God bless,
Jay, My, Romay, and Kemper


Recapping Life...

I can't remember the orders of pictures that I'm posting, but here is a brief explanation for them.

The picture of swan feet was taken in February, cause we ate him/her on Valentine's Day (Koyuk). How the animal that barely fit into the roaster, mind you it is a large roaster, stays in the air is beyond my understanding. We're gearing up for bird hunting here soon in Galena and have a spot scoped out. Dad is a die hard bird hunter, the dog follows closely behind, as well as a little girl. Another picture...Dad and Romay getting ready to roast brats on our property trail, we'll have to fit a few more of those in this fall. By the way, we ordered pilings, the structural foundation for our house. They are 21 feet long, we ordered 17 steel pilings, 3.5 inch outer diameter, for those of you who really care about those kinds of details. Finally, another shot of the go cart, this one taken from our living room window. We have the essential vehicles for the bush, minus the boat: 4-wheeler, snowmachine, and go cart...who really needs a car or truck. I started flight school with our GILA flight instructor, Noel. As time passes, maybe we'll get another essential bush worthy vehicle, a plane. Well, that is a brief update/blast from the past. We'll post as best as we can while our camera is being repaired.

Agriculture Fair Day

Yesterday, although it was my proclaimed sacred saturday, allowed for our family to experience our first Galena Ag. Fair. At about 10:30 ish am, Romay, Dad, and I shuffled along the dirt roads of Galena, looking to finish a 3 mile run. Jason, with his natural long strides, came in first, while Romay and I leisurely ran. Let me say a word about Romay's friend, Sarah. Sarah is about 80 pounds, with a backpack full of rocks. She has this piercing high pitched voice, what a set of lungs! She would sprint, wearing her backpack and headphones, start yelling at Jason, me, & Romay, about how she's tired or need to slow down, while we're just concentrating on breathing. How she can run, get out of breath, and yell at the same time, beats me. If I did that, I'd be concentrating on too many things at once and have to give up something. ANYWAYS, quilts, giant cabbage, canoe races, chili, icecream, and crafts allowed us to give another reason why we like living here. I just don't want to give up another saturday soon, since work has started, meanwhile, I'll catch up with rest...sometime.


Latest With my Greatest...

-Our camera will be repaired, great news! Somehow one of us (might offend the person, hee), managed to break the screen, which the company boasts "unbreakable if dropped from 10 meters." I'll leave it at that.
-Charging the go cart battery, the day after the rim mysteriously seperated from the tire...hitting something, how it was done, I DON'T KNOW, regardless of stories we got...Jay and I took it to the air compressor, convinced it to stay a certain shape and it closed around the rim well. "I never" had some kind of role, when and if we ever catch "I never", they'll take a thorough beating...
-Putting in a musk ox roast tonight for bar-b-q musk ox sandwiches!! We like sunday to be low key, so we try to prepare food ahead of time. Gram used to do as much work on saturday to have the Sabbath off, laundry, some cooking, great day of rest and visiting times.
-We started work this past wednesday, I'll post some pictures to show our surroundings and work places.


Romay's Friends??

It was starting to get a bit rowdy in our crowded apartment, don't get me wrong, I'm GLAD and realize Romay is fortunate to have good friends. The girls were doing doggy piles on our bed in the living room, which, we didn't care about anyways. As soon they started taking pictures with photobooth, the apartment got pretty quiet, it was a little eerie to go from noise to silence. Afterall, they had just loaded up with brownies and icecream, liken this to filling your car with nitrous oxide, I really did get a kick out of listening to their conversations...reminded me of my times with friends about that age.


Lasers Beams

Ethan and Seth talk strategy after Seth shows Ethan the basic ropes for his laser gun game. Jay, myself and the boys exchanged a few paintball stories before the boys decided to play video games. Seth lives a near the airport, biked 15-25 minutes to get to our apartment, so we appreciated his deliberate showing around our place. It is such a blessing for our kids to have wonderful friends, they're sociable with us, but Jay and I just don't quite have their energy to play sometimes :)

Time Marches On

It has been a couple of days since we last posted. Time is marching on with school coming closer and we have been running around trying to get ready for it. With education, the more you learn, the more you realize that you don't know... it seems like planning has been like that. The more we plan, the more we realize how much we have to do. Both Myra and I look forward to the possibility of working and living in a place where we don't need to reinvent the wheel every year and will hopefully be able to begin perfecting lessons rather than making new ones all of the time... it is nice to have only three classes to prepare for and expect to teach the same ones next year.

We have also been getting things done around here to prepare for the changing season. Alaska is all about getting ready. Problem is that in most years we are getting ready for the season that has already passed. The Honda is ready for winter and now we need to get the snow machine and go-cart to that point. Traps need to be boiled, rifles sited in, duck blinds built, pilings put in for next years building project. Thankfully, these are all jobs that are fun to take care of (well, maybe not the pilings). We are almost done with the initial tree cutting on the lot and will only need to take out the few trees that later get in the way while we are building and putting in water and electricity. The wood pile is beginning to look better and better as we have two pallets stacked over six feet tall with mostly birch.

Kemper got a chance to have his first bear and moose encounters. We went for a long ride (run for Kemper) out past the Galena dump. On our way back, there was a decent sized black bear checking out the buffet. Kemper was too busy smelling all of the bushes and looking for rabbits amongst the brush to notice a bear that was a little over a 100 yards away. Myra called him to heel and then pointed out what must have appeared to Kemper as a large fuzzy dog. Kemp took off to go visit and made it about 20 yards before being called back. The bear was apparently not as excited as Kemper to make friends and looked warily in the direction of the silly looking, spastic, crying yellow lab. Kemp came back to heel only to take off toward the bear again with the same results. We left the bear to his meal and headed back toward town.

We ran into a cow moose in one of the roadside ponds and again Kemper wanted to go and make friends with this strange looking, long-legged, big eared dog. He took off into the pond that was full of tall grass. It was cartoon-esque to see no dog, but be able to follow his progress by the sound of splashing and the parting of grass as he hopped and cried his way toward the cow. A calf stood up and so we called Kemper back to avoid the mess that would have taken place between an over-protective mother and a well-meaning, curious lab. Quick pause in the cartoon grass path, u-turn and a quick retreat back to the bank.

Still no word on our camera, but we will try to continue posting photos through various methods. God bless.


More Property Pics

Rain, rain, and more rain today. These are more pictures from yesterday as we did not get a chance to get out to the lot in what was a mostly rainy day. It does give a little bit of a recap of what was really fun from the day before... cutting trees, camp fire, roasting meat and then whatever it is that marshmellows are made out of (makes you wonder doesn't it?). I don't think a person ever outgrows the thrills that those things give.

We (Myra) also got ahold of the company that we will most probably buy our pipe from for the foundation pilings. Little by little, things get taken care of. I take joy in seeing trees coming down where the house will stand and firewood going up that will heat that house. Those are things I can touch and understand right now. Banks, financing, house plans, drain fields... those are all in the abstract at the moment. The sparkling new chain saw rumbling in its happy vibratory dance in my hands is so much more tangible.

For now, the kids will need to be satisfied with the feeling they get from the bow saw... considering the number of times I was hit by random pieces of wood from an individual that will remain un-named... the chainsaw will wait a couple of years and then only be handed over with fear and trembling.


Tree Loggers

I'm posting a few snapshots taken tonight while getting the kids involved with tree cutting. They did a lot of things to keep themselves entertained, making light sabers out of branches and pretending to be Karate Kid, balancing on tree stumps. We managed to eat some brats roasted over a fire and lucky for me, I still have my eyeballs, Romay is a bull in a China shop around trees, then again, also when not in trees. It started to sprinkle, eventually progressing into a light rain, and we all agreed that we're fair weather wood cutters. Our chain saw made it through it's first cycle of gas, working beautifully, although we still feel a little guilty for getting things done so fast now, as compared to the good 'ol bow saw days, a couple weeks ago. We all love the space we're blessed with, the kids can run around and be themselves without having to consider the noise around neighbors, Jay and I can frolick, sing, and play with new toys...


Behind on Updates

-Jason purchased a chain saw in Fairbanks, we're going out to the property today to try out his new toy. Speaking of toys, I bought a belt sander, so that WHEN I find good deals (good deals always need a little bit of care), I'm ready to sand and repaint...dressers, shelves, etc
-Work, for Jason and I, begins on August 11th, this year we're going to attempt cooking on saturdays, freezing the meals, and saving them for the next busy work week, Kemper can do the clean up, as usual, with leftovers.
-We spent two rainy days in Fairbanks. Jason and I saved some money by sleeping, more like rolling around, in the back of our pickup truck. Romay and Ethan got the luxurious front cabin. It was interesting to wake up to 1 1/2 feet of crawl space, crawl into the rain, go to the bathroom, and get ready to shop...haven't taken the bed for granted yet since then.
-Lastnight we spent the evening over at the Haycek household, where we dined on pizza with pudding for dessert, mmmmmm, the kids played about 5 hours of Wii, that time must have passed quickly since the adults had about 1/2 hour afterwards. The kids claimed they were on for only 2 hours and didn't feel it was fair for us to try a few rounds of golf. By the end, it was pushing 1 am and as much as we wanted to stay, we felt obligated to allow the Hayceks' to sleep :)
-Anchorage last week was great, we witnessed and celebrated with Meryl and James, along with many friends and family...it was incredibly nice to spend time with Unalakleet, or once Unalakleet based people, ahhh, roots....
-I miss Gram, Mom and Donus (brother George), we shared a lot of laughs, stories, memories, and even had time to have a wonderful dinner (shrimp, halibut, moose) over at Uncle Gene and Auntie Alva's in Eagle River.
-Our camera is in the mail, hopefully we get a return soon.