PatriciaKathleen

There's No Place Like Home

Where There’s A Will …

I am challenged daily by how much I don’t know about living on a more rural, larger property – how to change a riding mower tire, ferment chicken food, put the chainsaw chain back in it’s track, etc. I’m always amazed if I figure it out, usually by a combination of the internet and trial and error over weeks.

Looks simple - grain, water, airborne bacteria. Looks simple – grain, water, airborne bacteria.

For example, my first try at fermenting chicken feed made the kitchen smell TERRIBLE and the tall glass jar was awkward. Today I’m using a food grade bucket and putting it right into the garage. In this 90+ weather I think it will ferment sooner than 4 days. I will set out another batch in 2 days and so on. Fermented grains are touted as be nutritionally better and less waste.

image Poor Rosie after her amateur clipping

But trimming Rosie?  There’s a reason people get training for dog-grooming. I’m sure she’ll look better when We redo it next month and in the meantime she’ll be cooler. Poor thing. Next up: placing chain-link over chicken coop windows without dropping the hammer on anyone.

Who drives from Anchorage to Haines, 700 miles, in mid-November?

SO….. after my friend Karen leaves on 11 NOV, my cousin Drew flies in and we leave to drive my overloaded Subaru the 700 miles of highway from Anchorage to Haines, AK.   It is a 2 day trip, 15 hours of driving even during the summer. It will now be snow/ice and looking out for moose, etc, so we are allowing 3 days.

Ready  to drive to Anchorage from Fairbanks

Me, scared but determined, after having asked everyone I knew to pray or send white light (not snow), but I made it to Anchorage – answered prayers.

Haines, where we board the ferry!

I am excited because while not on my bucket list I know it will be a spectacular trip and adventure, with good company.  At the same time I’m anxious about storms, breakdowns, hitting a moose, and I don’t know what else.  Like everything else I will plug away and hope for the best.  I was freaked out about the 8 hour drive from Fairbanks to Anchorage with snow falling and icy roads and that turned out OK.   Drew and I should be a good team – he is mechanical, practical, has road-tripped in Alaska.  My part is organizing the trip and providing the car I guess.

Juneau cam today

Juneau waterfront cam today. The Mendenhall Glacier is only 12 miles from downtown.

At Haines, we drive onto a state ferry late Sunday and 4 hours later we are in Juneau, where I fly to Seattle and Drew lives on the ferry until it docks in Bellingham WA Friday afternoon.  Whew!

WHY am I not just shipping my car load of stuff and my car, then flying home? The Army thinks that my driving myself and my possessions from Fairbanks to Anchorage (300 some miles through Denali Park) in return for .23 a mile for gas counts as my one “Permanent Change of Station” or PCS move for the year.  I didn’t know that and my new Army job at Ft. Lewis (40 min from my home in Olympia) doesn’t cover moving costs.  So the lowest cost is driving to the ferry (almost $1000 for car and driver), even with our gas, hotel, food, ferry cabin and Drew’s airfare costs roundtrip.

Alaska Art

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Ice Sculpture – lasts for months in Fairbanks!

Another from MAC bank at Ft Wainwright

Retro mural of Fairbanks history from MAC bank at Ft Wainwright. Retro just because it reminds me of the typical heroic illustrations of my childhood books.

From a bank at Fort Wainwright, Fairbanks AK.

From a bank at Fort Wainwright, Fairbanks AK.

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Traditional Native jackets tumbling in the wind; seen at a public school in Fairbanks AK.

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An artist in residence program at public elementary in Fairbanks AK. Student’s drawings became quilts.

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A different artist in residence collected broken dishes and other crockery to make this. The raven is a popular image in local native culture. I find them a little spooky – large, all dark black, they swarm – maybe too “The Birds”?

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These metal panels are dividers in the Post Office parking lot in Fairbanks AK. I like that something so utilitarian was embellished and I like the simplicity.

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One summer Fairbanks had local groups paint various public structures. This pole was painted by the Junior Roller Derby Girls – whimsical sea scene , if I remember correctly.

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This is a detail from the rather blah panel (above) in the Fairbanks airport. The redeeming feature is a little sand pit in front with toy dinosaur provided for kids to play with, with this landscape as backdrop.

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Bits of MA and AK

I am posting a few sights that caught my attention over the past few weeks. I made a quick trip to Northampton MA and spent several days visiting my daughter Sarah and sightseeing.

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It’s just a narrow footbridge lined both sides with flowers and so well-kept.

Pond, Botanical Gardens, old trees, ivy of course, and distinguished looking buildings at Smith. Pond, Botanical Gardens, old trees, ivy of course, and distinguished looking buildings at Smith.
If a hobbit had a car ... Is this what it would look like? If a hobbit had a car … Is this what it would look like? Northampton is way too cool and fun. It’s where old hippies must go to have those flashbacks!

This is amazing – we found it by accident while lost in Conway. Scary narrow to drive through.

Western MA river fall Crazy foliage colors, taken from car by Sarah.

I returned to Alaska exhausted and with a cold, all worth it!

I don't THINK the fence and wrap were planned to better the view, it just a works out that way. I don’t THINK the fence and wrap were planned to better the view, it just a works out that way.
Moose anchorage airport This is why moose are scary. The moose display is only raised a few inches off the floor –  you can see how the mass of the moose would hit a windshield. I am always checking the sides of roads for fear of one running out.

Thrilled & Grateful

imageimageThis is the 2014 way of finding out you are hired. An automated email at 1230 am stating my application status had changed.  When I looked at USAJOBS it said “Hired” but I wasn’t sure because no one from HR had called me yet. It’s now confirmed! JBLM (“Ft Lewis” to older locals). Don’t know some details but I’m so happy to be heading home to a wonderful job. I will see Army dependents at a Madigan clinic when the PCP is concerned about possible BH issues. I love triage and early intervention!

Neighborhood Bingo, Anchorage Style

Awe-struck to turn onto a street and see this!Road View

After unpacking today I walked around my neighborhood for half an hour. There were some common themes so I could create a mental  Bingo board. In the center goes DOG, with other spaces being BOAT, RV/CAMPER, SUBARU, and FUNKY DECOR.

Yes, it is a bottle tree, the first I've ever seem.

Yes, it is a bottle tree, the first I’ve ever seen.

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My studio apt - guest house - is in back of this cottage.

My studio apt – guest house – is in back of this cottage. Three dogs, one Subaru, funky creative vibe, but no camper or boat so not BINGO ;-(

I’ve Moved South, somewhat

Snow in Fairbanks. & 8 inches predicted, so I'm nervous about an 8 hour drive fromFairbanks to Anchorage.

Snow in Fairbanks; 8 inches predicted, so I’m nervous about an 8 hour drive from Fairbanks to Anchorage.

Traffic stopped for over 20 min from both sides of a long road work zone. Ambulance came through then lane opened.

Traffic stopped for over 20 min from both sides of a long road work zone. Ambulance came through then lane opened.

Slush and frozen slush. Driving by the wreck - truck hit rocky cliff at side of road but missed going over into river gorge - made me even more cautious. I had prayers and good luck.

Slush and frozen slush. Driving by a wreck after the driver was taken by ambulance –  a truck hit rocky cliff at side of road but missed going over into river gorge – made me even more cautious. I had prayers from friends and family  and good luck.

One sign that I am in Anchorage and not Fairbanks.

One sign that I am in Anchorage and not Fairbanks.

I am so happy to be in a little scenic town. My new studio apt is above ground (last one was in basement) and the landlady is warm and competent. I still miss Mike & Donna, my wonderful Fairbanks landlords, now back in Minnesota.

Change is a Crazy Good Thing

Yikes – I am awaiting official orders so I can “out process” from FT Wainwright but if they don’t come today it gets “complicated.” My Subaru is crammed with all my Alaska possessions, awaiting the drive to Anchorage.

Two hours south of Fairbanks begins 4-5 hours of stunning scenery - from my drive in September to take boxes to new guesthouse apt in Anchorage.

Two hours south of Fairbanks begins 4-5 hours of stunning scenery – from my drive in September to take boxes to new guesthouse apt in Anchorage.

Two hours south of Fairbanks begins 4-5 hours of stunning scenery - from my drive in September to take boxes to new guesthouse apt in Anchorage.

I have made some “keeper” friends here. Margie and Harvey plan to visit on Olympia during their RV travels. I will miss my movie friend, Jessica, but she and her family will visit. Sheila Smith; CPT Brown (Topher) and Theresa; CPT Colwell; and others who have moved on already – kind and caring people like these are my best memories.

This city reminded me of Seattle when I was young - lots of green, a bit gritty, no skyscrapers, insane views of harbor and mountains. We didn't have a local glacier though!

This city reminded me of Seattle when I was young – lots of green, a bit gritty, no skyscrapers, insane views of harbor and mountains. We didn’t have a local glacier though!

Monday I begin work at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER) in Anchorage. It is a lateral move and a chance to learn more about clinic supervision and administration from a team that’s been set up for several years. I will still work for LTC Sarmiento at Ft Wainwright as he is the Chief for JBER Behavioral Health as well, but my direct report is to LTC O’Quinn.

Sled Dogs

Spring 2014 121Several times I’ve seen trucks built for carrying sled dogs and wanted a closer view so  I pulled over when I saw one in a hotel parking lot. I asked the  two nice guys, from a Read more…

Ice Sculpture International Art Exhibit, Fairbanks, AK

A few weeks ago I went to the International Ice Sculpture Art Competition and Exhibit in Fairbanks, thanks to an invitation from the Kurzbards that included grilled steak dinner.  I had thought it would be freezing and boring. Freezing but NOT boring!  Beautiful sculptures with strategic colored lighting.  The carvers were from all over the world and so talented. Image
If I am here next year I am going to wear a set of long johns, a face mask, and go sooner, before some features melt or collapse when we have a day or two above freezing. Live and learn.

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Note that there are no wires or metal used – it is all just carved ice!

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Carved from a single block of ice. Ice is the perfect media for this!

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This is something about viruses (too cold to read long explanations.

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Based on the Raven folklore of the Alaskan natives. Notice the packed snow used for color around eyes.

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I thought Aunt Ruth would especially appreciate this.

 

Margie & Harvey, the visual for "Will You Still Love Me When I'm 64?"

Margie & Harvey Kurzbard, the visual for “Will You Still Love Me When I’m 64?”

 

 

 

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Looking all around from my corner of the universe

PatriciaKathleen

There's No Place Like Home

The Oldest Vocation

Coming of Age in the 1950s: Observations on Social History by Clarissa W. Atkinson