Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Job

I am so far behind with this blog, so here is a quick update.  I graduated with my ABA psychology degree, started a full time masters program for the same thing and accepted a new job at a local treatment center.
I decided it was time for a change, more responsibility and to be honest more money so I started looking around and decided to think about working at the main treatment center here.  I sent in a resume, went to two interviews, took some tests, passed my background investigation and accepted a job.  The whole process took about three weeks.
The main acute hospital is no Anchorage along with the teen girls, preteen and one boys unit.  I did not want to drive there everyday so I was happy to find they have a semi lock up boys unit in Palmer a town about 20 minutes from where I live.  The treatment center is up Lazy mountain so it takes about 30 minutes to get to work, it is a gorgeous drive.
The facility I am working at is a 30 bed unit for boys 11 to 17 with a variety of backgrounds.  The average stay is 18 months though some may be more or less depending on the circumstances.  They have a variety of issues and backgrounds so I am excited to work with them and learn more about each of their cases.  The facility does a lot of outdoor therapy with hiking, camping and other such outings.  Last week we took a group of the kids cross country skiing that was fun, I stayed in the lodge with a few and another staff took some out, it was a good opportunity for me to get to know a few of the boys.
So far I am enjoying it and happy with my choice to work there, the other staff have been very helpful and I feel like I am using more of my training so that is a positive for sure.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Halloween shoes

I saw a cute glittered up Halloween shoe and thought to myself (as my Mother and Grandmother thought me to do) Hmm I bet I could do something like that. A trip to the thrift store for some plain black pointy toe shoes, my "craft closet" and a few supplies from the store and I was ready. 
 I painted my shoes using typical Halloween colors, some glue and glitter on the inside made them sparkle.  I added glitter to a few spots on the outside, painted a spider web on the heels and glued on some plastic  dollar store spiders and here we have it.
 they took a few days to make because the paint needs to dry in-between and they needed a few coats of paint in some areas.
 I am displaying mine with a cute witch  hat I found that I think matches the shoes perfectly. I think these would be fun in all sorts of color schemes. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Kenai Fjord dinner cruise

Some friends of ours came to visit from Northern California and we all took a dinner cruise out of Seward.  We picked them up at the airport and drove down the night before.  We stayed in the Old Seward Hotel, it was great.  I am a huge fan of old and antiques so I loved that this is the oldest hotel in the town and that it is all decorated in authentic antiques.  I did spring for a room in the "newer" wing though since I preferred to have our own bathroom and in the old section you still share one with other guests.
 We boarded our boat in the morning, I was worried it would be cold since we were going out onto the Gulf of Alaska, but really it was just light jacket weather on any of the decks and inside where our table was stayed very warm. We had a window seat and a great view from inside but still spent a great deal of time on deck. 
The cruise was 7 hours and they fed us an all you can eat prime rib and Alaskan salmon lunch.
 We saw several glaciers but this one was most impressive, we stopped an watched it for about 20 minutes and were able to hear and see it calving, it really sounds like thunder and then pieces will fall off, it was great to watch.  Big pieces of glacier ice were floating in the ocean and it made me think of how awful it would  have been for those on the Titanic to be floating in that freezing water.
We saw Orca Whales, they were fun one swam right next to the boat but he was to fast and we did not get a picture.  It was really neat to watch them in the wild, we saw a mom and baby and several other pairs. 
We also  have porpoises come right up and swim next to us, they are playful things for sure.  Puffins are cute little birds like mini toucan's there was lots of them, Eagles, Sea Lions, and hump back whales and harbor seals.  No big horn sheep or bears this trip, but we did get to hear the orcas talking to each other, that was an amazing sound.

 Pictures of the glacier ice floating, on some of the bigger pieces there were sea lions just lounging around.  There was also several families of sea otters, they are cute little things.  On board they had a skin of one, it was so soft I did not realize they were so furry.
This is one of the Beluga or humpback whales we saw.

 The scenery was gorgeous, so many areas that are only accessible by boat or plane.
The water color in the coves was so pretty.  We were very lucky the water was calm, and our crew was terrific, stopping in many spots, explaining everything, keeping a watch out for wildlife to let everyone know etc.
I would recommend the cruise to anyone coming to visit and we will return for another one at some point as well.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The grandbabies are here

I flew Stevie and the girls up here for a visit, I had planned to fly down there when she had the baby, but decided for just a little more I could bring them here for longer and everyone could see them.  They will be here about a month and then decide if they are going to move up here later this year...crossing fingers for that.
 We have been having a lot of fun, We spent one day playing out on the deck, my deck was one of the big selling points of this house, I love the size and the view from it.  It is big enough for the babies and I to play ball on.
 Izabella and Conner had such fun kicking the ball around with me.
 Sienna and Izabella found our last pile of snow.
 We spent yesterday afternoon at the park, it was a very warm day and there was no school so it was a bit crowded but the kids loved it.
Even Layci Dawn enjoyed being out in the sunshine.

 I think little Layci Dawn looks like a Dr. Seuss character, her hair sticks straight up no matter what you do and she has the prettiest big dark eyes, I call her "thing 3"
Bella found this slide and wanted to go down it over and over, I think she spent the majority of her time on it, she even talked Aunt Staci into going down with her.
Now if Levi were just here this would be perfect.  I am so enjoying having the girls here, I have missed them terribly I don't even mind the extra mess in the house much :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tea cup bird feeders

I have such a great yard full of trees, and have wanted to add bird feeders for some time now.  When I looked at them at the store I just could not find anything I really loved for the price they wanted me to pay.  Then one day I came across this cute bird tea cup and saucer, I bought it even though I really had no need for it.  It sat on the counter for a couple weeks and one day I though I should make that into a bird feeder.  A little gorilla glue and some imagination and I had a cute bird feeder.
 After that I decided I should make some more, after all I have a lot of yard and trees and a lot of birds.  Two more are from tea cups and saucers I found really cheap at local thrift stores and one is a plant pot turned upside down on a saucer.  They were fun and easy to make, cost very little and so far the birds are loving them.

 I love the Irish clover one, I am able to see it from my bay windows while I am having coffee in the mornings.
This one is in the front yard and had already attracted some very colorful birds, it will be great in the summer when I am out on the side deck that over looks this area.

I think I will make some more for gifts and perhaps a few more for the yard as I come across cute tea cups.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Clint's birthday visit

My brother Clint comes to visit often, whenever he needs a quick break from the "bush" and does not have enough time to go clear back to the states.  We always enjoy having him, this time he came for his birthday, he decided he was going to be 28 again thus the candles on his cake. (they are hard to see but it is a 2 and an 8.
 I found him this cute doctor nutcracker on the after Christmas sales, it was perfect for him.  We also got him some twinkies for fun, he was here when Hostess announced they were closing and we tried to find some at our little hostess store, but they were gone.

The kids always have fun playing with him, I think it is great they are able to have family here often, and they have such fun with him.
I just love this picture he took of him and Conner.

The day he had to fly back out we went to Anchorage and hiked Earthquake park, it was fun to get out and the weather was pretty nice.  None of us had been here yet, so it was a nice trip.  We will take the kids and go back this summer for sure, it leads right down to the inlet so if it was warm the kids could wade in the water.

I am looking forward to his next visit and hopefully some other family and friend visits soon.  We have some guests who are planning summer trips up here now, it will be great to have them.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Random thoughts

We have been in Alaska almost a year now, it has flown by.  I had been thinking about some of the things I love here, some of the things that are a bit strange here and a few things I am not so fond off.

People here drive crazy, and yes I know that happens everywhere but I really notice it here a lot, you can be going down a dirt road and they will fly past you swearing as they go, so much for a nice drive.  They spend far to much time talking on their phone while driving so I have had many near accidents with people who simply are not paying attention to where they are going.  It makes me a little nervous to have kids learning to drive with these drivers on the roads.

Also my biggest pet peeve is the trash, you see it all over, especially when we go hike, people just leave their trash like we have miles and miles of wilderness so we do not need to take care of any of it.  I get terribly angry when I see it and always take a bag to carry out not only our own trash but what we can pick up as well.  A few weeks ago we took some of the kids from work to the park and it was full of garbage, I was so surprised and happy to see one of our little kids (she is 6) get a box and start picking up trash rather than playing, and then see several kids and adults pitch in and help.

The daylight took some getting used to, when we got here it was light almost all the time, we went down to about 5 hours of light a day and are slowly moving back up.  Neither really bother me, I just have to pay closer attention to the actual time since it throws your body clock off.

It is the end of January and my neighbor still has his Christmas lights up and on, he is not the only one, lots of people still have them on, that is strange to me, we always turned ours off about New Years.  I heard someone say they do it to "cheer up" January since it is usually the dark and cold.  I don't know if it is really true, maybe they just like lights?

One very strange thing I have found is all our toilets run warm water in them, I guess it has to do with cold and condensation, I do not really understand it and still find it a bit odd, but ours are set up that way too and we have no problems with them so I guess there is a reason.

I love that we have very low taxes here, it makes things a bit more affordable.  Many things are comparable with other places I have lived, but some are a bit more expensive.

I love that we have very lax gun laws and in return very little gun crime, the biggest gun crime we really hear about is illegal hunting.  From time to time you hear of something, there was a shooting in Anchorage a few weeks ago, but it was a fight between two people does not make it ok, but at least it was not a full out shooting strangers attack.  We have no concealed weapons permits, everyone carries, a lot of it has to do with the need to protect against wildlife.  I saw a outdoor wedding last year while we were hiking, it was 2 miles back in towards a waterfall and one of the bridesmaids had a built in spot on the back of her dress for her pistol, I wish I had gotten a picture it was clever.  I believe our law states we have  a couple minutes from being pulled over to inform the officer if we have a weapon in the vehicle, but it is legal to  have them.

We have lots of water here, numerous lakes within minutes, we have a program called kids don't float, at every lake you go to, even the ones way up in the mountains there is a lifejacket loaning spot, they are just hanging there for people to borrow and then put back so all kids who go in the water have a life jacket on, I think it is a great program.

Our elementary schools teach sign language with all their lessons, I think it is so neat, during singing time or reading time they sign as well and the kids learn it and join in, it is really pretty impressive to see these little kids learning so fast.

Of course it goes without saying that the scenery here is breathtaking and it is so nice that there are numerous places to hike, camp, or just spend the day in the wilderness.  We went out several trails last summer and still did not even begin to see them all.

The wildlife is amazing, I see big bald Eagles almost daily, and even got to see a nest and baby ones last year, we have an abundance of moose that just randomly walk down the streets, it is really neat to see.

The Northern lights were one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen, you cannot always see them, but when you can it is a show worth watching.

We live in a small town, on the outskirts actually so we are in what they call the borough ( I thought they only had those in New York lol) rather than town itself.  It's a very community oriented place and they have lots of festivals, get togethers parades ect.  It seems there is almost always something going on someplace close.

The cost of housing here is considerable cheaper then one might think and utilities are comparable so we are pretty happy with that part of the move.

We are really enjoying being here, exploring's, finding new things and setting down roots in our town.  We are excited that a few people are planning trips to see us, we love having company and hope more people will come as time goes on.