Great Weekend

Here it is Friday night and I’m finally getting around to talking about what a great time we had last weekend.  Todd and I had our first date night here in Anchorage last Friday night.  We had a delicious dinner at Sullivan’s, a steakhouse downtown.  We then walked down the street and checked out the 2012 Alaska Beer and Barley Wine Festival.  Lots of fun – lots of good beer, some really, really bad beer and I found a few really good ciders.  Ciders are my current drink of choice. Last call at the beer fest was 10 pm, so then we headed back across the street for a nightcap and then took a cab home.

Saturday morning we had our first moose sighting in our yard.  They have left tracks, but we haven’t actually seen them walk through.  Belle, my 14-year-old Jack Russell, alerted us to the big cow’s presence.  I ran to get the camera, but alas, the moose was traveling and not hanging out, so by the time I tried to take her picture she was too far up the hill in our backyard to get a decent shot.

Later that afternoon the girls had their third downhill ski lesson.  Audrey’s instructor immediately took her up on the lift.  Kate spent about half of her lesson on the bunny slope, but then her instructor took her up the lift as well.  Audrey has taken to the cold weather sports like a duck to water.  She loves sledding and says the best part about downhill skiing is going fast.  This is my cautious child if you’ll remember.  I’m attributing her new confidence to her riding lessons this past year.  We’ve seen a huge improvement in her risk taking since she learned to ride.  Both girls made it back down the mountain.  So now, after three lessons, they are better skiers than I am.

Saturday night, Todd and I attended our first social event here in Anchorage, the 2012 Fire and Ice Ball benefitting Covenant House.  Covenant House is a local resource for homeless and at-risk teens.  We had a fabulous time getting all dressed up, had some really great food, danced a little and got to know some more people here in Anchorage.  Great time and great cause.

Audrey's 3rd ski lesson

Kate's 3rd ski lesson

Todd & I before the 2012 Fire & Ice Ball


Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

We’ve subscribed to the local newspaper, and I mean the real, live newspaper, not the online or iPad version.  I’d forgotten how much I like to read the paper.  I read the front section while I eat my breakfast and then I read the Sports section while I eat my lunch.  That’s all there is to it – 2 sections during the week.  On the weekend they have a few more lifestyle/arts and entertainment  sections.

Anyhoo, the paper has reported your normal world and national news events.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  However, the last 2 days there have been local stories that I just HAVE to share.  I’m sure they are found no where else.  So here we go…

Monday, January 23, 2012  the front page cover story and picture…. Elderly intervention: With husband being trampled she grabs only weapon at hand.  It is accompanied by a photo of an elderly couple taken while in the hospital.  Both appear to be in good spirits.  The following news story tells the tale of  82 year old George and his 85 year old wife, Dorothea.  While out walking his dogs, George is attacked by a moose.  Very rare I’m told, but it’s been a hard winter.  More on that later.  From the truck where she was waiting, Dorothea hears the dogs making a huge ruckus.  She gets out of the truck to investigate.  She comes upon the moose stomping on what she believes to be one of her dogs.  She runs back to the truck, and grabs the only thing she can find, a shovel.  She then proceeds to go back and beat the moose until it leaves.  Looking down, instead of discovering her dog, she discovers George.  George has lost a lot of blood due to a gash on his head and sustained some broken ribs.  Dorothea runs to the local airplane hanger and gets help.  George is later taken to the hospital in Anchorage by medical helicopter.  Both George and Dorothea are okay.  They might start taking a handgun with them on their walk, but maybe not.  She says she’d hate to needlessly kill a moose.

So, fun story and then I open this morning’s paper and find this on the front page… Bikini Brrristas:  Women in Skimpy Attire Peddle Hot Drinks Even in the Cold.  It is accompanied by a picture of 24 year old Ashley Holder wearing a string bikini top and jeans while serving coffee out of one of the many drive thru coffee stands scattered through town.  The article tells you what an acceptable tip is, $10 not $100 and also tells about the time Ashley helped convict two guys and notice I’m quoting this word for word from the article, “that thought it would be a good idea to order coffee with their junk out.  It didn’t hurt the investigation that they also paid with credit cards.”  You cannot make this stuff up!!

And more on those moose.  Right next to the article about Ashley and her bikini is another story, Moose Dying in Droves on roads, tracks.  So it’s been a very cold, snowy winter, even for Anchorage.  The moose have come to lower elevations where the snow isn’t as deep and it’s easier to find food.  It also means it’s easier for them to get hit by automobiles and trains.  It could explain why George’s moose was so upset.  Poor thing was stressed out and hungry.

I haven’t checked if these stories are online, but feel free to check out to see if they’re in the online version.

Til next time…stay warm!

My new favorite shoes

my new favorite shoes

Well they’re not shoes really; they’re slippers.  Yes, the fur is real.  No, they’re not politically correct.  Feel free to contact PETA if you feel the urge.  I’ll understand.  But DANG, when it’s -5 outside, they are WARM!  Oh, and they make me feel a little like an Indian princess.

How’d we get here?

I’m sitting in carpool line late September/early October and I receive a text from my husband, “What do you think about Anchorage? – low probability of it happening”  Famous last words.  I replied that we could do it, not thinking it would really happen.  There have been other times we thought we were moving due to his job, but the moves always fell through.  Of course, it did happen and what followed was whirlwind weeks of researching schools, cleaning out closets and doing minor repairs to get our home on the market, answering questions from friends, family and acquaintances, house hunting and all the holiday stuff that normally goes on that time of year. It was stressful, but I was excited.  I’m a native Texan who has never lived anywhere further north than Dallas (unless you count the summer I interned at a law firm in D.C. – the year before D.C. interns became so famous).

The weeks flew by as we dealt with our To Do lists.  Soon our family of five was headed north to the Last Frontier.  We arrived at the end of December.  Anchorage is currently having really cold weather and near record snow.  I’ve lost count of how many times the locals have told me, “Really, it’s not normally this bad.”  All in all the transition has been about as smooth as could be.

So, why did I start the blog?  Friends and family of course!  I’ve had so many people tell me what a great adventure we’re having (I agree) and they want to hear what Alaska is really like as opposed to the reality shows.  I’ll tell you right now, I’m not a person that enjoys technology.  Oh, I love my computer, email, the internet and Facebook, but I just want to turn the things on and have them work.  So I’m sure I’ll make some mistakes here.  As I tell my kids, be patient.  It’s a learning process for me too.

Finally, via Facebook I asked friends and family members to suggest a name for the blog.  I also told them I’d cite whomever provided me a name.  So a special thanks to Chuck.  I didn’t use his suggestion of Musings from Mt. McKinley, but his idea started the thought process to arrive at Texas Tales and Denali Dreams.

Till next time…stay warm!