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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Dreams, sometimes they mean something, sometimes they don’t.
Sometimes the message is personal, sometimes it has a broader application.
I had a dream about Dad last night.
First one in a long time, actually, I can’t remember the last time I had a dream about him since he passed.
This one wasn’t about past memories. It was about current time.
He was beautiful to see, tall and healthy.
Visiting with friends.
Gave me a big hug.
There were no tears, only smiles.
He was getting ready to tell me something, and I woke up.
I wish I hadn’t…


I’ve listened to my friend’s tales of her adventures at Chickenstock for years now, she has planted the seed of desire in my heart to go one of these years! I hope that 2015 can be that year! I first heard of Chicken when I visited Alaska in 1994, when I read the book “Tisha“. Thanks Fairbanks for sharing your adventures and inspiring me to experience Chickenstock! Hope to see you there next year!

Alaska, The Madness

Yes I know, this is my 5th year going to Chickenstock and Eagle and using this same title, but hey, it’s the perfect title.  Why mess with perfection?  But really, I can only repeat these so many times, so if you would like to hear more of the story or see some of the other years with more pictures and/or story, check out these other years as basically I am dumping my pictures here and posting it.





We begin with Chickenstock Music Festival in the little town of Chicken, Alaska.


My friend Kate’s husband, Dave Parks of Grassroots Guitars.


Such a little cutie just dancing away.   Mostly it was just kids dancing during the daytime.




Spank Williams and friends.



Dry Cabin String Band



The Flock




The Cluck Off was a tie!  We were dying with laughter because these two finalists really brought it.  They were…

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At the Kenai River Festival the kids all participated in a drawing for an iPad mini. They had to take their passport to education and visit at least 12 booths, having each booth validate their passport. Then at the end of the day we turned in the passports for a drawing for the iPad. The tub they were placing them into was stuffed full and this was the second day with another day to go. Thing 1 was super excited about the possibility of winning the iPad, she’s been asking for one for months now. I gave her the “be realistic dear” talk, trying to help her understand the odds were not in her favor to win.

Ha. Guess I should have saved my breath.

The little stinker won!

When I got the call from the Kenai Watershed Forum I said “No way!!” With over 1000 entries! I think I was excited as I knew she would soon be. We went before he city council meeting that night to have it presented to her. She got to have her picture taken with the Mayor and city council members along with a radio interview!

City Council Meeting Photo courtesy of the Kenai Watershed Forum

City Council Meeting
Photo courtesy of the Kenai Watershed Forum

My baby was on the radio, she’s famous! 😉 She did such a good job on the interview, I am so proud of her!

Being interviewed by the famous Katie Quinn for the local radio station.

Being interviewed by the famous Katie Quinn for the local radio station.

What a blessing! That little device really has made life easier for us. With a mifi connection and the iPad the kids can Skype again and each of them have some fun and educational games to play for reward time.



Big Girl’s Birthday

Thing 1 had her birthday earlier this month. For a special treat we went out to eat and she got to pick the location. And she got some super fun stuff for her birthday: a fashion design set and a portable CD player (with download capabilities…). Her Dad sent her a $20 gift card and she was able to pick up a new outfit (a bright pink and white striped dress with leggings), a new pair of flip-flops, a matching bow, socks, colored pencils, a sketch pad and a new purple water bottle. She is quite the shopper! She also got to pick out some really cool sticker play-sets that the babysitter got her. What fun!

Here’s the Big Girl doing some of her fashion design….

My little fashion designer!

My little fashion designer!

Yesterday she got a surprise package from Grammy & Papa will lots of fun hair things and girly stuff which made her day. She’s been feeling a bit forgotten on her birthday this year so she’s finding out that sometimes good things come to those who wait!

Here’s one of her fashion designs:


Little Bit’s Birthday

We spent several hours roaming about the Kenai River Festival for something special for her birthday. She had a blast making all sorts of crafts.

Here’s her salmon that she painted. Aunt Claire will love the hot pink color that she picked out!

Hot Pink Salmon

Hot Pink Salmon


Here’s the birthday girl with her haul from the festival:

Little Bit and a bag full of goodies!

Little Bit and a bag full of goodies!

She’s also wearing her new outfit she picked out and the matching hair bows and glittery flip-flops she purchased with her $20 gift card from her Dad along with a Hello Kitty coloring book and crayons. She’s a pretty good little bargain hunter too!

She managed to get some pretty cool birthday presents a junior fashion designer set (so she can be just like big sis!) and some new Hello Kitty socks. She also got a Hello Kitty Lego set from the babysitter! What a score!

Plus yesterday she got a surprise package from Grammy & Papa with all sorts of fun little girl things in it for her birthday. She was thrilled!



Today just feels like one of those days…

Hope your days is roses and/or humor!


P.S. This photo is a Facebook timeline photo, feel free to share if you like!

This is it!! No, not an earthquake…  The big 1-0-0 th post. I’m a little behind schedule in getting here, I thought I would coincide with our one year anniversary and make it a super big post of sorts. Well that didn’t turn out as planned, so here it is.

100PostWe have been super busy here of late. We moved to Soldotna to be closer to work and school and all the fun things we find ourselves doing all seem to be focused over here, so it made sense to move closer. It is nice to only have a few minutes drive to anywhere and anything, better than half an hour!

We’ve spent a fair amount of time indoors these past few weeks due to the poor air quality resulting from the Funny River Fire, but thankfully the fire is fully contained now and only smoldering in a few spots, being fully managed by fire crews. Amazing enough as it was, no homes or businesses were lost in this massive fire. Over 700 personnel were brought in to fight it and it got way too close for comfort for many families. Our friends who live up Funny River Road (the cabin we built last fall) were evacuated but thankfully the fire was stopped about a half mile from their home. Much too close! But all is well that ends well. We remain a grateful community to all of those firefighters, volunteers and incident team workers who were able to keep homes from harm and eventually with the help of the rain get this monster under control.

Time enough has passed, the fire teams are gone, new things are happening and for most of the community the fire is “old” news.

We celebrated the girls’ birthdays this month. I can’t believe that I am the Mother of an 11-year-old! Time does seem to fly. And a five-year old who seems to have discovered mischief in a new way. Little Bit has always been the easy-going, doesn’t get into much trouble, sweet little cutie pie that everyone loves. Here lately she has discovered that her cuteness only goes so far. 😉

Last weekend for Little Bit’s birthday we spent some time at the Kenai River Festival. We didn’t get to go to this last year as we really weren’t here long enough to know about it. We discovered that it was a great thing to go to! The kids had so much fun and could have easily spent all day there. As it was, three and a half hours was enough fun for Mama… The festival is full of learning opportunities and activity booths designed to educate young ones about our water ways and salmon, our livelihood around here in many ways. They learned the life cycle of salmon, why properly fitted and worn life vests are so important, how to properly poop in the woods (yes, there is a proper way to poop) and what an 8.0 earthquake is likely to feel like.  The festival was a lot of fun, but the best part about it came afterwards… and I’ll tell you about that in another post!

That pretty much sums up things for us now. Father’s Day found me emotional and sappy. Thoughts of Dad, this time last year I was spending time at his cabin. Also about Richie, my awesome step-dad. I sure do miss his fuzzy mustache kisses and “face spanks” as he calls them… 😉 He’s the sort of step-dad I always wanted growing up and never had. I guess I can truly say good things come to those who wait. I can’t wait until he brings himself here for a visit. He will love the great outdoors, fishing and community, he’ll fit in like a real Alaska man. Love you Richie!


Way back on May 6th we went on our first official home-school field-trip here in Alaska,to the Anchorage zoo! The trip was organized by our home-school group IDEA and was focused on Alaska’s nocturnal animals. We got a  behind-the-scenes look at several of the zoo’s exhibits and a good show by the brown bears!



Brown bears. The zoo has one Kodiak, one Grizzly and one "brown bear". Although they are all officially "brown bears".

Brown bears. The zoo has one Kodiak, one Grizzly and one “brown bear”. Although they are all officially “brown bears”.

The younger male decided that just lying around was boring, so he got up, sauntered over to the female (who was laying on this log) and bit her right on her rump. To which she responded by getting up and giving him a good show of teeth and growls. The larger male Kodiak came over to see what the ruckus was and they all swayed around for a bit before the young male plopped down on the aforementioned log. It seems that all he really wanted was this wooden pillow. The kids were all rolling with laughter, as if the show was choreographed especially for us! Thing 2 was especially enthralled as the brown bears were his favorite!

Learning time!

Learning time!

The kids learned a great deal about the habitats and habits of nocturnal animals. They even got to participate in making a treat for the red fox! They made a huge tub full of straw and little goodies for the fox to dig around in and enjoy, called “enrichment”, and included things such as quail wings, fur, spices and feathers. They also made little treat balls for her to eat, these were quite messy and much to Thing 1’s dismay, smelled horribly bad, she had to wear gloves in order to participate. 😉 Besides this minor set-back, her favorite part of the zoo trip was seeing the pretty foxes and her most favorite, the snow leopards.

Mr. Pickles, he was quite a ham.

Mr. Pickles, he was quite a ham.

The biologist who gave the lecture brought in Mr. Pickles for the grand finale`. He is a young porcupine and all he wanted to do it seemed was to climb out of his enclosure and get to the kids sitting around, he wanted to play. We all had a good laugh over his antics! Mr. Pickles won the heart of Little Bit, she giggled so much over his antics! Her version of “porky-pine” is too cute!

Fun at the Alaska Zoo!

Fun at the Alaska Zoo!

The weather was a bit dreary, some scattered showers and cooler than we expected, but we still managed to have some fun. After-all, this is Alaska!

The best part for Mom was the fun of getting to know new friends and getting to go shopping at Costco after the zoo! Ha!

457512_10150908465489620_1632525941_oI made this photo collage of my 2 Dads  back in 2012 and it is still appropriate for today!

And here’s a new video wishing my Richie a very Happy Father’s Day!

So thankful I have a great step-dad!

Missing Dad still…

To all of you guys out there who are good Dads and Fathers, have a great day… one filled with fishing, backyard barbecues, funky ties that you will never wear and most of all love!

There’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself.

— John Gregory Brown, Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery, 1994


Today is our one year anniversary in Alaska!

This was our first glimpse at the beauty surrounding Homer last June.

June 2013 overlooking Kachemak Bay

June 2013 overlooking Kachemak Bay

We’ve seen all four seasons cycle, bears, moose, a wolf, a few caribou, and so much beautiful scenery. One never grows weary of it all! We’ve been awed, inspired, stuck in the mud, stuck in the snow, on adventures we never even dreamed of… Alaska is a good fit for us. Being surrounded by nature, learning, exploring, living and loving…. a great way of life!

We are looking forward to new adventures this summer! Spending time at the beach searching for treasures beyond measure, maybe doing a little fishing… who knows??

To all of our loved ones, we miss you and send you lots of loves!! XOXOXO