Wednesday, November 24, 2010

So Thankful.

This will be our first holiday away from loved ones in a very long time. Away from traditions we know so well and the tables we are so used to gathering around on Thanksgiving Day.

We will be having our first firehouse Thanksgiving celebration this year too which seems to be the coolest thing the kids have ever heard of. It will be nice to share a meal with new families, new co-workers and neighbors. We are "this close" to moving into our new home and I am looking forward to next year when we will be able to carry on our special traditions and create new ones around our own table-maybe, possibly, hopefully, with visitors from back home.

Until then, thank goodness for the little tradition of a chocolate turkey for each of us. (Thanks Grandma.) Five little turkeys wrapped in foil that have traveled from California to Alaska just to let us know that those traditions are still in place and that our loved ones are still there, thinking of us on Thanksgiving.

And we are thinking of them. Everyday.

Wishing everyone a happy, Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween On A Temp Basis.

So, we have been living out of suitcases for well over a month. And I mean really living. Work, school etc. That’s a long time. Just the same we gotta keep on with all this living don’t we? There is nothing we can do about that.

Still, I was kicking myself for not preparing the kids Halloween costumes long ago and having them packed in our cases waiting for wear. I have forgiven myself and realized that there is only so much planning ahead a gal can do sometimes. The kids have forgiven me too because we have pieced together some cool costumes from clearance isles and discount bins and a cardboard box on the sidewalk labeled “Boy Costumes-$10.00 and under…”

“Hey! I have boys!” That is exactly what my frazzled-Halloween-panicked brain said as I pulled over. Add a marked down costume makeup kit to the mix and I ended up with some happy Trick-Or-Treaters.

Yup. We already went Trick-Or-Treating and we are going again tomorrow. We went downtown for the local business event which was fun and crazy. Right up the kid’s alley. The small town feel and neighborly hellos that went on all around us were right up this mama’s alley. I hope someday soon, I will be greeting my neighbors and catching up on things as well. This is my town now too right?

Each day it feels more and more so.

Now, from the sweetest “Mother Nature Fairy” in Kodiak and the zombiest Darth Vadar ever and from my peppy but insistently scary Ghost...

Happy, Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Yup. Fishin' Is Big Here.

We weren't here a full day before my boys caught the fishin' bug.

Not hard to see why when we are surrounded by rivers and lakes that call out, begging to be fished in that are right off the main road with no parking restrictions or fees. (Imagine that, Nor-Cal folk.) Most families here are long time hard working fishing families and Kodiak's fishing history is very long. It is all around us.

It seems that one may be on their way to the grocery store or the post office but if there is a pole in the trunk the post office may close before that mail is fetched and someone from home will be calling to see where the milk is.

Not saying that I am speaking from experience...yet.

Anyway, we had about two full nights sleep before the boys made a fishing pole AND CAUGHT A FISH in the back yard! I couldn't believe it.

They let the fish go but I see many more in the near future and I think that is the best fishin' pole I ever did see.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


It has been too long!

So much has happened. Has it been an action packed couple of weeks for you too? I am writing this from a teeny desk on an even smaller computer so this post will be brief. I am just here to say that after 3 adventurous airplane rides (gulp, that last plane was oh so very tiny!) and with severe aircraft-seat-hair and plugged ears and one of us (ahem) with a mouth full of brand new dental work...

...we landed. Safely. In Kodiak, Alaska. Just like in the movies we ran across the tarmac into Jeff's open arms and our new life began. Just like that.

Plus-I now own a warm pair of boots and
there's a creek and a little old bridge in my back yard.

Just like that.

(Stay tuned. Posts may be sporatic for a while as I get used to things and I get over missing my computer set-up and photo editing gadgets. I have so many pictures to share! We have been busy with the important work of exploring our new town and we have been working hard I tell you! Can't wait to show you.)

Have a great night!

Monday, September 20, 2010


I am surrounded by mountains of clothing.

My poor girl hustled around with me in her jams all day folding and putting stuff in the right suitcases for me. I tell ya, an extra pair of hands is crucial in packing for five. We will be living out of these suitcases for quite some time too. For two weeks here and then some more in Kodiak until we find our new home.

I can't wait to make a new home for us. This one is feeling less like ours as we pick things apart and make piles and clean everything before it is all whisked North.

I am posting the first ever Out Here'n Two Rock photo so it can also be the last. It captures the feel of our lives and home here so well. It will be exactly how I remember it here too. I can smell that grass. I can hear the boys running through it in their squeeky boots. I remember how next to me, Jeff and Minna squinted into that evening sun. Minna's grinning baby face was glowing.

I also remember how lucky I felt to be out here.

I can't wait to find that one special shot that captures the feel of our new home and the lives we will make for ourselves in our new town. I am excited to share it all with you when I have my computer back. I am excited to go even though this move is hard for me. I don't know for sure if it's a good thing or the right thing. What I do know is that it is the thing for us right now.

And we are pros at making things good.

See you on the other side...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

How Was Our Trip?

As usual...



Saturday, September 11, 2010


A few words for our last "wordless" saturday post from Two Rock! Ours was busy packing away. We are all sleeping or very ready to be because we have along drive in the morning. No problem though. The "stuck-in-the-car-too-long" bags are filled to the brim with some special things and we know the lake is just there, full as well, waiting for us.

I will leave you with a shot of the lake from last year, just to hold you over...

Be back in a week to show you some shots of our trip in what
may very well be my last post until we are in Kodiak!


Have a great week!

Friday, September 10, 2010

This Moment.

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

-Amanda Soule (SouleMama)

Today we said goodbye to our sweet school and all the wonderful people within it. Not easy, but I have to say that I felt hopeful. I really feel that we will be back someday to be a part of that great little learning community again. I just know we will.

Enough of the sads, we have to get down to the business of packing! Not for the move but for a week on the water! Oh, how we really need that right now. I will stop in tomorrow on what will be my last "wordless weekend" post from California! I may need to mark the occasion with some words which discounts the silly wordless-ness thing doesn't it? Heck, I am moving away. I think breaking the rules is allowed. :)

Happy Friday and have a lovely weekend!

Last Teardroppin' For A While-All Buttoned Up

I say all "buttoned up" because Jeff has done all he can do before the move to finish our little trailer. She has to be lovingly wrapped and packed safe for the journey. We are all a bit bummed that the maiden voyage won't take place here, but we look forward to our first Alaskan adventure in our very special teardrop.

She is covered with cedar inside now. Smells nice but looks a little pink to me. I want a nice soft solid color in there and Jeff likes the natural cedar look. We will see which way it goes later on.

The sweetest addition to the trailer is a little bunk for Minna! It will also be a shelf when Minna starts sleeping in a tent or under the stars with the bigger kids. I love it so much! Jeff crafted such a pretty shelf. The curve of that ledge is so beautiful and professional looking. The man amazes me. (I know, I say that a lot:)

The coolness of that shelf doesn't stop there! Look, it lifts up too! How easy to make the bigger bed and get a little more space in there if needed. Perfect.

I still didn't get the pictures that I wanted to document everything that has been done lately. That hatch resting on top there has been attached with a long hinge. It lifts up to reveal an almost done kitchen and shelving and a someday cupboard. All the electrical is finished and hidden in a little box. There are four working lights. Plus a completely custom, metal, removable storage rack for the back. The outside has been meticulously sanded and sealed and re-sealed with a weather proof base coat that will someday be covered with the most perfect paint, if we can find and agree on that perfect color.

Wow. He has done so much and we all love it. I have enjoyed sharing and when we are settled in our new home and Jeff has the time to work on it again, I will be sure let you know.

Well then. The last "teardroppin' update". Tomorrow will be the last "this moment" post and I am sure I will be blabbering more so than usual for a Friday. I have to though because my "Out Here" posts from this little desk, out here in Two Rock will soon come to an end. Can you believe it? All these lasts may sound sad, but they are not. I am more excited than sad now.

And that is a good place to be.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Contest And One last Make.

Here is my completed "Embroidereading" contest entry. I will state up front that I didn't win-but that is O.K. Really it is. There were so many entries that had original poems and very professional stitching that mine can't even compete with. Someday perhaps, but not yet.

I loved doing it and the piece means a lot to me and will hang proudly in our new home. The hoop might not have a prize but she still has her dignity and poise. Tonight I will wrap her up for her long journey north. Thank you to Checkout Girl and So September for such a cool contest.

Here is the Flickr group with all the other entries which is now an on-going group. Yay! Go take a look. Stop by mine and say something nice (if you want to) and see what little old me was up against. Stiff I tell you, stiff competition!

And here is the last make in the needles department until I have my sewing area set up again. Hopefully I will pack some stuff for the road to work on, but we won't see any of that until we are settled! Just another "last for a while".

I finished the little gift for J's Mom and I love the big kitty but just couldn't get the cute, youthful look on that kitten that I was going for. I am still going to give it to her though. I really do feel it is the thought that counts when it comes to the handmade.

OK. That was two posts in a day. There are less than a handful of posts left to be posted out here until we are unplugged and on the mo-oooove!

Be by tomorrow with the last Teardroppin' update. You are in for a treat!

Good night!

To The Last Amazing Drop.

I may need to double post today because the time with my computer is running low and I have so much to show off!

We had yet another gathering with special folk in celebration of our move. This time it was a bunch of our Two Rock people and we spent the evening at the most beautifully amazing local ranch. I am talking a working organic dairy, an apple orchard with well over 100 varieties of organic apples and miles of land and lovely structures. Oh boy, did I say amazing?

Anyway, the wonderful family that opened their home to us let us make apple juice with an old apple press. Fun!

We had a bunch of those yummy apples.

We gathered all apples and humans in a pretty sun lit courtyard.

Lined up lots of eager, strong hands ready to get their turn at the wheel.

That then turned and squished and turned and squished.

And produced the prettiest, most delicious, amazing fresh apple juice.

It was a big hit with all of us and a memory that won't soon be forgotten. Poor Jeff now has yet another project on his to-do list because I want one of those nifty machines.


Monday, September 6, 2010

The "Lasts".

Happy Monday! We had a busy one! Lots of running around and accumulating necessities and planning for the move. I think that is most of what we are doing these days.

My mind has been busy noting all of the "lasts" that have been happening lately. That is just about the easiest way to get a gal sad about stuff she is going to miss after she moves away. So I am trying to be kind to myself and not call them just "lasts" but "the last for a while..."

Here are some memories of just a few of those precious "lasts" that I will hold dear...

*Gathering with all the friends that grew up with us- into married couples, then into parents of many amazing children we couldn't have dreamed possible. Then having spent countless hours watching those kids grow and play, in that very pool.

*Hanging out with Dad while he works on all his projects in an old shipping container-turned-workshop in the middle of a dusty cattle truck turn around. Sometimes we were all very helpful. Sometimes we were just in the way. (I know you are gonna miss that too J.)

*Getting wound up after a yummy dinner at the R Family house and being so crazy and loud and silly that not one photo is clear and each child takes extra long to fall asleep.

*Driving over that bridge. Just as excited each and every time.

Ah, but here is a first. Me. In a hat. AND A WINTER COAT!
I am usually in flip-flops(or barefoot) year round
so cold weather gear really isn't in my closet, until now...

There are always "firsts" when you are faced
with the "lasts", aren't there?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

This Moment.

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

-Amanda Blake Soule (SouleMama)

Hope you have a great weekend. The second of our moving celebrations/going away parties will be going down and I am sure I will get many, many pictures to share. We are so lucky to have so many special people in our lives...

Happy Friday and enjoy the slight cool down that is expected!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Happy Coupl'a Cats Instead.

So I wanted to do some Teardroppin' today but I don't have the pictures I want yet. J is out there welding as I write this and he has been working like mad the past few days. So much to show and so little time. Next week, I promise.

Instead I am indulging and sharing a teeny embroidery that I am doing up for certain cat lover who is feeling a bit down about our upcoming move. (O.K., it's for J's mama.)

I stole the little drawing from one of our favorite books called, "Ginger" by Charlotte Voake. It is the sweetest book. It is even better if you love cats. The book is about a big kitty trying to adjust to a naughty kitten moving in with him. I have found it very helpful in talking with the boys when they were on the verge of getting a little brother, then a little sister.

Story line aside, today we cracked it open only for the great drawings of kitties! I will stitch these little guys sitting so content in their cardboard box, turn it into some sort of wall hanging and hopefully help cheer up our kitty-loving Grandma.

Plus it was fun to take pictures of my floss even though I hadn't noticed until now that I had my camera on the wrong setting.

I was just blinded by all that flossy prettiness.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Twirly, Tea Party Kind Of Day.

Happy September One!

We had a good day spending time at the school and helping with the boys lunch hour. We enjoyed the confusingly hot weather. It felt good to twirl around in the evening and kick around in the leaves. What a cute girl in her swirly skirt.

Then indoors we went to make dinner. While I chopped we had a spontaneous tea party. We like ours with a dainty miniature tea set, a super absorbent hand towel and ice water, straight up. This tea party kept Minna occupied and kept me quite hydrated after about 100 teeny cups of water, expertly poured I might add.

Like I said, fun day...

down to the very last drop.

Where were you on this 1st day of September?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer To-Do list-Revisited.

Today I am revisiting the project lists I had put together at the beginning of Summer. Wasn't that just yesterday?

So we had some bigger things in the works;

TEARDROP TRAILER-Status-So close to completion! It will have to be wrapped tightly and shipped to our new home to be finished. No prob, we are so happy to be able to bring it along. (Teardroppin' update coming soon...)

MOTORBUG-Status-Completed! Very well used and very dirty all the time. All of us ride it. Even Minna gets rides with her Dada. Even I ride the thing! I can't be sure, but whenever I am on it I seem to hear the distinct sounds of hysterical laughter above the buzz of the engine.Hmmm... maybe I am hearing things.

COMMAND CENTER-Status-Completed and well used too. I think I talked about it already and mentioned that I don't totally love it but it is super functional and doin' me just fine.

I had some smaller projects listed too, but the only one worth mentioning is my wearable skirt goal. I made not one, but two! I have worn both many a time out and about and I still really like them. Sadly, my projects in the needles department have been really lacking otherwise. Not much time at the machine the past few months-nor with needle and hoop in hand.

The museum trips didn't really happen, and the perfect lemonade will be had someday. The house hasn't been full of sand or shells, and the lighthouse at the bottom of the stairs waits for us still.

We did make a beautiful origami patchwork but one of us wishes more paper folding had occurred. At least that is an all season craft, right Sully-boy?

Not that this summer was a bust in any way though. That is an impossibility when you have these little folks around.

Besides, we have our annual house boating trip just around the corner ready to make up for any missing sand.

Did you have a full, satisfying summer?