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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Family and Friends

Thanksgiving and Christmas are long gone now, but Tim and I had a blast spending time with friends and family throughout the holidays both here in Alaska and in Florida. 

Thanksgiving was a fun time with Tim's son Weston and my nephew Nick.  They both visited for a few days and aided Tim in totally trouncing me in the game of hearts every night.  Tim's daugther Chantelle and her family also came out to the house for a while that weekend, and I was able to get a few good photos of Tim's family. 

Tim and I headed South for 3 weeks around Christmas and New Year's.  We were able to visit some members of both of our families and meet a few of each other's friends.

 Family also came to Sebring to see us, including 2 of my sisters and their families, Tim's sister Debbie, my Uncle Jack, Aunt Mavis, my 92 year old Grandma and her "younger" sister Doris along with her significant other, Don. My uncle took a bunch of photos of allof us, but I haven't received them yet. Tim especially enjoyed the warmer weather in Florida.  Golfing with his Dad is always a highlight of his trips to Sebring, and, of course, hog hunting.

This Christmas, Tim was able to shoot 2 sows which provided us with a cooler of pork to take home with us and some meat to give to friends and family in Florida.  Ironically, the hogs haven't been seen around where we hunt in Sebring since then.  We hope they return before next Christmas. 

On our way out of town for Christmas, I lamented that I was going to miss the snow for Christmas.  Tim snickered, looked at me and said, "It will be here when you get back."  He was wrong, however.  Alaska was experiencing a "January thaw" when we returned from Florida.  The weather was rainy and warm, and our snow was GONE!  I was sad until it returned a week or so later. 

We have continued to have "warmer" weather since January.  Our snow is melting again and there are spots of open water on some of the rivers.  The sun is up for almost 12 hours a day now, and we can feel the heat of the sun despite the cold in the air.  We are gaining almost 6 minutes of daylight per day now.  We are told the bears are waking up now.  Soon we will need to take the gun with us on our walks around the neighborhood.  Look closely at the markings on the tree...  see if you can see the bear paw and claw marks.

I started my new job right after Thanksgiving, at the Cross Road Medical Center Lab.  It is nice to be working with patients again.  I was working part time until this week when I started a new position with the clinic as their HR person and Executive Assistant.  I will still get to work in the clinic every afternoon, but the new position will allow me to use some of what I've learned in my MBA program so far. 

The sun has been creating lacy icicles on the eaves of the buildings! 

The mountains continue to give me joy!  They are so gorgeous covered in snow and they are tinged pink and orange at sunrise and sunset.  Tim is anxious for Spring to arrive, but I am enjoying the days as they come.  God has blessed me so much, and I am enjoying watching the subtle changes in His creation. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012



The last several weeks, God frosted our world white and the temperature began to drop. Although I'm told it is usually much colder this time of year, I am thankful for the "gentle" onset of winter this year. The "frosting" in the Copper Valley is a combination of frozen mist from the many rivers that wind through the valley and snow that covers the cars and homes and tips the trees, bushes and weeds causing everything to sparkle in the sun as though it was covered with glitter. IT is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

  The first snow was even wet enough that I was able to make a mini snowman in front of our garage. However, it was warm enough later that week that the stones I used for his eyes and nose heated up and fell out making Mr. Snowman look deformed. Tim said the snowman would probably be plowed away with the next snow, but he took pity on our snowman and moved it before he plowed.

The last snow lasted for several days off and on.  About 8 inches accumulated over those days, and although the skies were gray, the snow that blanketed the ground looked much whiter against the gray skies.  When the sun appeared again, the temperatures dropped to nearly 40 below zero and everything sparkled like diamonds.

The weather here is different than it is in some other cold-weather states.  Twenty degrees below zero feels more like zero in Michigan and is quite bearable. We even have braved 10 below to hunt caribou and to work outside.  Forty below is cold.  I have been careful to carry my warmest gear in the car with me in case I have car trouble on the way to or from work.


Tim has provided very well for us here despite the cold.  Before I arrived, he had purchased a truckload of wood to heat our home for the winter, and he has ordered another load to be delivered soon.  We have worked at cutting, spliting and stacking the load (Tim more than the both of us together) until it is almost all stacked in the shed.  The first load will be enough to heat our home for the whole winter.  The next load will allow us to work ahead for next winter.  Our wood stove is very efficient, and Tim has made some improvements to the stove which circulate warm water around the house helping the heat to be distributed better.  The house stays warm!

 Many of you have asked what our house looks like.  It is very comfortable and is looking more like OUR home rather than Tim's home.  He has been gracious indulging the changes I have made, and we will enjoy making more changes in the spring and summer.

I have been enjoying photography here.  Every day the terrain looks different.  The clouds make amazing formations over the mountains. 

As it snows, the trees are blanketed white, and the sun colors the skies, mountains and the trees with pink, orange and yellow at both sunrise and sunset. 

As the temperatures dip lower, fog floats above the rivers and coats weeds, grasses, trees, and everything else with frost that sparkles when the sun shines.

The rivers are becoming slushy and may ice over soon. The mountains look smooth since they are covered with a blanket of snow.