A meandering blog with no clear topic. You will find me talking about knitting, building, kids, social and economic issues, Alaska, and lots of other stuff.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

We Wish You a Merry Christmas....

We had a great Christmas. On Christmas Eve, we took the kids to see a gingerbread village, that was just huge. It was set up on a table that must have been at least 12 feet square. I don't think I have ever seen so much candy in one place in my entire life. Here is one small section of it:

Christmas morning was the typical glut of presents, followed by the typical glut of food. The highlight of the day was this:

It came walking out from under our Christmas tree with red ribbon around his neck like a collar. It is a very young kitty, and the kids absolutely adore him. I am already tired of breaking up fights over who gets to hold him now. As of yet, he has no name. He just goes by "kitty".

Oh, and remember the secret thing I was knitting that I didn't post pics of? They are knitted and felted snowmen. I made one for my mother and one for my mother in law. Here they are:

Well, gotta run... going up to the land to see how much mud we can get up in the next three days. I'll keep you posted. And, since I won't be back until late on the evening of the first,


Saturday, December 22, 2007

today is 2 seconds longer than yesterday!

So, yesterday was the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. From sunrise to sunset was 5 hours, 25 minutes, and 58 seconds. The sun rose at 10:15 and set at 3:42. And to make it worse, it was very overcast, so there was no sun visible at all. At this point in the year, even when the sun is out, it is very low on the southern horizon all day... if you drive south at all, you have to put the visor down, because it is right in your eyes. And once it sets, it gets dark very quickly.

For those of you that don't live in Alaska, you probably don't pay that much attention to how long or short your day is from sunrise to sunset. I didn't before we moved here. But I do now. It is amazing how much of a difference it makes. I now understand why the bears hibernate all winter. All I want to do most of the time is sleep. I go to work in the dark. My kids walk to school in the dark. When they come home from school, it is getting dark. And when I get home from work, it has been dark for hours.

But it is all getting better. Today is 2 seconds longer than yesterday. Tomorrow will be 15 seconds longer than today. And the day after will be 26 seconds, and then 38 seconds, and then 51 seconds..... and pretty soon it will be light all the time, and it will be glorious.

I didn't plan well enough this year, but I think next year, we will have a solstice party. When you live in Alaska, it is something to celebrate.

Friday, December 14, 2007

the story of stuff

Here is a very interesting video about the lifecycle of the things we buy. It is also a powerful (I think, anyway) argument for why we should try to buy less. Remember the old saying "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without"? Enjoy.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

beaded cable socks

Got another pair of socks finished:

I posted a pic of these socks in progress back when I first started blogging. (See http://lifeonthelastfrontier.blogspot.com/2007/07/on-needles.html.) I bought the yarn and beads last May, when I was in Utah, at a wonderful little yarn store in Ogden, although I can't remember now what it is called. The yarn is a combination of wool and bamboo, and is very soft. I have heard that yarn with bamboo wears for a long time. We will see. I am really pleased with these socks. They were fun to make, they are pretty, and they feel great on my feet.

Here is a close up of the bead and cable pattern:

Saturday, December 8, 2007

its been a long time....

I know, I haven't blogged in ages. I have been working a lot of overtime, am behind on housework, and have no new pictures of cabin construction. So what has happened in my life since the last time I blogged?

I turned 38.

My daughter turned 8, and had a party. Her and her friends played twister:

ate pizza, cake and ice cream, and opened presents:

watched a movie (Meet the Robinsons), and generally had a good time.

While in Utah, I borrowed a keyboard from my best friend, and I am now also diligently trying to teach myself to play it. I very much want a piano, but while in the midst of building a house, we don't have the spare $2,000 it would take to buy one, and not knowing how to play it makes it difficult to justify spending the money on one. So I will learn the basics, and tuck away a little money here and there into my savings account, and then buy one. :) And James will find out when he comes home from work and it is sitting in the living room. Better to beg forgiveness than ask permission, right? Besides, he has fair warning. Ever since the wall between the bathroom and living room went up, I have been telling him the piano will go on that wall.

And I have been working on knitting Christmas presents. I can't put pictures of what I am working on up, because that would give away the surprise for several relatives. But once they have been received by the intended recipients, I will post them.

As I type this, James is up at the cabin working on drywall and mud. It is very warm today, so he is hoping the kerosene heater will heat up the cabin enough to do mud. Normally I would be up there with him, but I am prevented by a huge mound of dirty laundry in my bathroom that needs to be washed. And if I don't work on it all day, and force my children to help me, no laundry will get done this weekend, and no one will have any clean clothes to wear to work or school. Which, in the eyes of my 8 year old, would be a major catastrophe.

So, I better go start a load of laundry.