Weekend Update

So I’ve mentioned that Todd and I have been taking the kids to enjoy the different Fur Rondy activities.  What is Fur Rondy you may ask?  It’s actually short for Fur Rendezvous and it’s the winter festival here in Anchorage.  This is the 77th year for the Rondy and it, “is built around the celebration when miners and trappers would come to town to resupply and sell their goods and do a little celebrating.”

The first activity we did with the kids was dog sledding.  One of the kennels in the area gives rides in one of the local parks.  I’m a dog lover and have always admired sled dogs and their athleticism and endurance.  This was a huge treat to actually ride on a sled!

Later that weekend we took the kids to see the snow sculptures, the model trains at the Alaska Railroad and finally we capped the weekend off with a carriage ride through downtown.

The 40th Iditarod race begins next weekend and Todd and I did get out by ourselves and attended a reception for some of the mushers.  We met and had our picture taken with Dallas Seavey.  He’s a third generation musher.  His grandfather, Dan, helped organize the first Iditarod.  Dallas’ father, Mitch Seavey, has raced the Iditarod 18 times and won once.  This will be Dallas’ 6th time to race the Iditarod and he was last year’s winner of the Yukon Quest, another 1,000 mile dog sled race held in February.  All three generations of Seaveys will be racing this year in celebration of the 40th running of the Iditarod.

Anyway, the picture is complete cornball cheesy, but Dallas was a really good sport about taking his picture with everyone, and it’s just a great picture, cheesy or not.  And no, the fur coats are not ours – they’re props donated by a furrier here in town.

Till next time!

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Just a Tad Scary

So, I had a moose chase me up my driveway this morning.

Ok, I’m exaggerating slightly.  I went out to get the paper this morning and as I reached the end of my drive, I noticed the moose about 25 yards down the street.  I picked up my paper and quickly headed back up my drive.  About halfway up the drive, I turned around to watch the moose continue down the street.  She didn’t continue down the street.  She was turning into my drive.  Ackk!!  I quickly turned back around and kept heading for our garage door.  I’m walking, trying not to run.  Are you not supposed to run from moose, or is that just bears and mountain lions?  I couldn’t remember.  I just knew I did not want to start my day with a moose confrontation.  I managed to get in our small (people size, not car size) garage door and got it shut.  As soon as I had shut the door, there she was continuing by the door and window and headed up the hill in our back yard.  It was just a tad scary.  I’m sure my across the street neighbor, who was out snow blowing his driveway, got a good chuckle at the sight of me trying to walk, not run, away from the moose.

Weekend update – I did not harm myself or anyone else during my ski lesson.  I’ll post pictures of all our weekend Fur Rondy activities (and explain what in the world Fur Rondy is) later this week.

Exciting Weekend Ahead

We have an exciting weekend ahead of us. Fur Rondy, the winter festival here in Anchorage, has begun. There will be two weeks of activities. We’re headed downtown now to check everything out.

The girls have ski lessons this afternoon. They’re getting quite good. I, somewhat against my better judgement, also have a lesson this afternoon. I have horrible knees and shouldn’t be attempting to ski at all; however I don’t want to be the only one in my family not skiing. I just want to travel down the green runs with my kids. Lindsey Vonn has nothing to fear from me.

Tonight, Todd and I are attending a reception for some of the Iditarod mushers. I’m super excited about it. I’ve always been intrigued by the mushers and their sled dog teams. I think it’s the same reason I love the Tour de France – I’m amazed by the stamina and their will to compete under extraordinary circumstances.

Tomorrow we’ll find some more Fur Rondy activities for the whole family to enjoy. I hope you have a great weekend as well, whether you’re in the Lone Star State or the Last Frontier.

The Doctor Will See You Now

This was the picture on the front page of yesterday’s Anchorage Daily News.  That’s a moose.  She’s trying to enter the doors of Providence Hospital.  Yep, front page story.  You can see some wacky things around here.  She was eventually corralled into the parking garage and then back outdoors.  And hey, I’ve learned how to capture a screenshot and post it on my blog!  Yeah!  I’m telling you, I’m sooo not a technical, computer person.

Another bizarre occurrence, yesterday… Snow while the sun was shining.  I took a picture, however the snow doesn’t show up.  You’ll just have to take my word for it.  It’s an odd thing to observe.

New Hobby

Snowshoeing?  Downhill skiing?  Cross-country skiing?  Dog mushing?  Nope.  It’s none of those.  I like to read the obituaries in the newspaper.  Now I’ll tell you, I’m 36 years old, not 86.  My apologies to my grandmother, Jean, who will probably be reading this and might be slightly irritated with the assumption all old people read the obituaries.  She’s the youngest 80 something I know, but I’m digressing.

For some long time friends they will not be shocked by this revelation.  I’m also one of those people who likes to go around reading the tombstones when I happen to be in a cemetery.  Anyway, everyday I read the obituaries.  The newspaper here actually divides it into sections: Anchorage, Fairbanks, the Peninsula and (my favorite) the Outside.  The Outside being reserved for people who at one point in their life lived in Alaska, but then moved back to the Lower 48.  I like to read how people came to find themselves in Alaska.  Of course you have the Native population that was born here.  You also have a few caucasian native Alaskans, people whose parents immigrated here before they were born. But mostly it’s people who came here for a job, loved it and stayed.  That includes former military personnel and people who came to help build the pipeline in the 1970s.  I’ve also read several obituaries of Baby Boomers who came here in the 1960s and 70s just looking for adventure.

I’ve discovered lots of Texans.  One woman was born in Shiner, Texas.  One day I had to interrupt Todd’s snow shoveling to tell him the featured obituary was a Texan, Class of 1961 at Texas A&M, a member of the Corps of Cadets and even a Ross Volunteer.  He had been in the Air Force and stayed after retirement.  Another Texan arrived in the 1950s because he wanted to live somewhere where “it wasn’t flat and so damned hot.”

You’ll also find many people from the Midwest or New England and a few from California.  Very rarely have I read of anyone from the South or the Rocky Mountain states.  I haven’t put a lot of thought into why that is, it’s just a general observation I’ve made.

And just to put everyone’s mind at ease, I do own a pair of snowshoes and I enjoy using them.  I also have a ski lesson scheduled for next Saturday.  Really, I do have some normal hobbies. 🙂

Things I Miss

So we’ve been here about 7 weeks now and there are some things I’m starting to miss…

  • Chick-Fil-A:  That’s right folks, there’s not one CFA in the entire state of Alaska.  I had no idea how much I went to CFA until, well, until I couldn’t go anymore.  I’ve taken the kids to Micky D’s a couple of times, but I just can’t eat there that often.  At least at CFA I could get a salad or fruit cup with my sandwich and not feel like I was being horribly unhealthy.
  • Adventure Kids: For those of you who don’t know, Adventure Kids is a drop in daycare.  It’s perfect when you have that random middle of the day meeting at one of your kid’s school, a doctor’s appointment, a kid’s doctors appointment and you don’t want to take ALL of your kids.  You drop them off, they play for a couple of hours and you get your stuff done.
  • Bar Method Dallas:  The Bar Method is a workout studio that originally started in San Francisco about 10 years ago.  It’s a combination of dance, pilates, strength training and physical therapy and I ADORE it.  I started in August 2010 and in about 15 months looked the best I’ve looked, in well, just about forever.  Alas, from October to December I only made it into the studio 3 times.  Planning a cross country move really took up a ton of my time.  The Bar Method has produced several DVDs and now that our television and DVD player is finally all connected I can at least start doing the videos again, but it’s not nearly as fun as an actual class.

I’m noticing a trend here.  Anyone interested in a franchise opportunity in Anchorage, Alaska?  You could open any of these places and make a killing.

And finally, it goes without saying I miss my family and friends.  I hadn’t given much thought about how tightly I was tied into my community.  Then you look back and realize over the past 10 years you and your friends have supported each other through marriages, births of children, sick children, sick parents and parents dying.  I’ve met some really wonderful people here and I know it takes time to build that community again, but I miss y’all.

Finally – A Picture!

It’s a good thing I have windows in my garage looking out over the backyard.  I was about to let Sam outside only to look through the window and see a moose hanging out on our little hill chomping away on some branches.  So, Sam wasn’t let out and I just stood there watching her for a minute.  Then I went in and told the kids and grabbed the camera.  The moose was approximately 20 yards from my garage door.  The picture is a bit fuzzy because I was zooming in on her.  It’s also dark because the sun hasn’t come up from behind the mountains yet and a flash just doesn’t work at that distance.  She turned around and looked at me when I opened the door.  I was smart enough to take the picture from the door and not get any closer.  I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately.  Moving across the country and leaving family and friends will do that to you I suppose.  Anyway, a moose sighting always makes me happy and I’m hoping this is a good sign for a great weekend.

Moose in our backyard

A Bit of Redemption

So Todd arrived home yesterday evening and he and a friend unstuck my Enclave.  The snow plow guy arrived around 10 pm and cleared the drive and the front walk.  This morning I snowshoed a new area for Sam (our labrador retriever) to take care of his business.  I also shoveled the walk to the deck.  I consider my workout done for the day.

after the walk had been shoveled

This is the view from our kitchen window.  The deck still needs to be shoveled.  There isn’t anything there to put it into perspective, so I’ll just tell you – when I stand on the walkway, the pile of snow in the middle of the picture and to the left of the walkway, is as tall as I am, 5 feet 5 inches!

Didn’t Earn My Badge Today

my car stuck in the snow

So, this is my Buick Enclave.  It is now stuck in my driveway.  Trying to keep the story short:  It’s been snowing for many hours.  Our snow plow guy has not shown up.  I had some errands to run today and was so happy with myself that I didn’t get stuck somewhere in town.  Driving in this much snow is NO FUN.  Anyway, I happily make it home only to get stuck in my driveway.  Not a problem.  I send the kids inside and get the shovel.  Well 45 minutes later, after much shoveling and even trying flattened cardboard boxes under my tires to try to gain some traction, I am still stuck.  I was positive I could solve this and I was quite irritated when I couldn’t.  So now I wait for Todd to get home with a tow cable and hope the snow plow guy doesn’t decide to show up.  If he does, guess who has to help move my car?

Addendum or a Moosey Kind of Day

When we picked Audrey up from school she told us when the kids were leaving chapel this morning there was a moose and a her calf in the school parking lot.  Three moose sightings in one day and Jack seems to be better.  I’m convinced a moose sighting is good luck …