Monday, May 31, 2010

Early Memorial Day BBQ

Friday night we decided to go on a picnic. We headed out towards the Chena Hot Springs in the Willy's and found a little turn off that looked like no one had driven down for a was a good thing we were in the Willy's because it was a tight fit and there were lots of branches scratching against the Jeep. The little road led straight to the bank of the river. We had made a few kabobs and marinaded some chicken, and it was super tasty.

Alaska is so beautiful! It is fun to have the sun up all the time. After we were there for a while we saw this beaver, named Clyde...he was having lots of fun swimming and waddling on shore.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Weekend

I went to my new job a few times last week and I am not convinced that it is the right place for me. Only because the boss woman is crazy, and I am really worried that either it will be a scheduling nightmare...that she will not get the dates and times correct and I'll spend all my time finding coverage, or covering the shifts anyways or just leaving all my co-workers hanging, and I don't like any of those option. Or she is just crazy, maybe on Meth (seriously!) and I'll get screwed out of money or something terrible will happen. So I'm going a couple more times...then I guess I'll see what I want to do....but I am keeping my options open.

I planted some flowers, now I need to get a jug to haul water just for my plants. I am excited about growing something...especially here in Alaska the flowers grow like crazy because it is light all the time.

I'll have more updates tomorrow...I just forgot the camera to upload pictures.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Morning Star Ranch

I got a Job today...I think.

I went to turn in this application and the receptionist was kind of weird...probably because I said I was seasonal. (For those who don't know, I work with people with disabilities and currently have a position waiting for me in Anchorage.) They didn't have any positions available, but I left my application anyway. When I turned to walk out I heard a woman kinda whisper..."follow me down the hall" then turned to talk to the receptionist in a normal tone.

It was kind of weird and I wasn't sure she was even talking to me. But I hesitated and waited for her to finish her conversation. Once we walked down the hall way a bit she looks back to make sure we are out of ear range or sight of the receptionist and continues to whisper "so you're looking for a job huh?"
It was like she was selling drugs or something...Then she says

"I'm looking for summer employees, but I'm with a different agency...let me get your name and number"

She seemed like the type of woman who has a millions things going on and they are so busy and scatter brained they barely remember what they were saying two seconds ago. Anyways, she told me where the group would be meeting, gave me directions, and told me when to meet her there. I wasn't sure if I was going to meet them to interview or just pick up an application, maybe just do a meet and greet. I didn't know but I didn't have any other options so

I showed up today and after waiting for a few minutes at her side she finally asked if I was in a hurry, I told I had all afternoon. She then said
"okay great! Then you are on the clock, go mingle with everyone."

ummm... Okay?
Before I could get another word in she was busy doing something else.
So I wandered over to the crowd of employees and clients and start talking to one of the employees...
Then I realized, I don't know the name of this "Agency" I don't know how much I am getting "paid"...I don't know if this woman is going to work with my schedule or if I am what they need...none of that.
So I started talking to one of the other employees then finally confessed. "I don't really know what is going on. What is the name of this group or agency?"

But luckily things turned out great. The program is an agriculture/recreational based program, so they have a farm a little ways out of town they do horse back riding, farm chores ect. They also do all sorts of activities in the community, and every Friday they go to the Chena Lake...for a BBQ.
I also get paid only $1 less than my other job.
She is super flexible...and willing to work with my random schedule.
So folks,
I got a summer job!

Monday, May 24, 2010

House Warming Gift

This morning I was outside reading my book on our porch while I was waiting for Jed to come home. Our neighbor (I think our outhouse neighbor) stops his truck in front of our cabin and hops out to introduce himself. A gentlemen in probably his late 40's who introduced himself as 'Bud'...and he looked just like someone named "Bud".
So he asks where we come from and chats for a minute then he says

"He I picked up some benches at the Transfersite this want one?"

The transfersite is like the dump...I've never been there, but people just drop off junk, and you can pick up whatever you want.

Some call it the "Mall".

I think I'd call it dumpster diving.

Well he didn't really take my "no, thank you" for an answer. Then when he pulled it out of the bed of his truck. I really tried hard not to laugh...he didn't mention it only had TWO legs! But he was so excited about them and it made me laugh. He said we could prop it up with some wood or take it camping or whatever.
It's my first house warming gift!

When Jed got home he had the most confused look on his face when he saw a bus bench with only two legs. I could tell that he was wondering how I found something like that and Why in the world would I bring it home...
We both laughed every time we looked at it...but then we started brain storming what we could do with it! I think it might be our new couch...or the back seat to Jed's jeep Willys, either way I think it has made it's home with us!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

While he is sleeping

On Friday Jed and I rode our bikes to campus then all around town. (National Ride Your Bike to Work Day) We stopped at this little 'Falafal' place, it is just a little shack and it is ALWAYs busy. There are always people waiting in line. We had no idea what a Falafal was...but it was delicious. It's some middle eastern food. There are like meatballs...only made out of chickpeas...then stuffed in a pita with hummus, and I think some type of yogurt, jalapenos and all sorts of stuff. Later that evening Jed took me on a date for Thai food. It was a diverse food day.

So today is Sunday...Jed made it partly through Sacrament meeting before he started dozing off...I don't blame him. He works 12 hour graveyards. I took him home after Sacrament meeting and went back to catch the rest of church. I ended up sitting in the foyer and met a two really fun sisters in the ward.

Courtney asked what do I do while Jed is sleeping. hmm...Good question! Sunday's are the worse days, because first it is Jed's first shift of the week. Second he is a super light sleeper...and third we live in a studio style cabin. Sunday's I haven't quite figured out what to do. I really only have to worry about Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Jed works 4 days starting Sat., and Wednesday he just stays up...or just takes a short nap. SO...I have occupied my time by doing errands and staying on Campus...catching up on my blog reading.
Tomorrow I am going to find a job.
Which is good because I am already really bored, and I no longer have my Statistics class because I didn't meet UAF's prerequisites. So that opens up a whole lot of time.
But Sundays are still long and boring.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Adjusting--and Q&A

I'm slowly adjusting to living in my waterless cabin. I've used the sink to give myself a little sponge bath. I'm becoming all domestic I sewed some curtains for our two small our neighbors can't see our flat screen TV. We also purchased a little BBQ-er to help cut down on the amount of dishes. Jed was super manly he put the tiny thing together with his drill...

Things are going well...not too much to report in our crazy Alaskan adventures. But the day is not over.

Oh and to answer questions about some comments left on previous blogs...

To Joanne, and to satisfy Nicole...There are plenty of normal rental units in all of Alaska. However it is not uncommon to have "Dry Cabins" in Fairbanks. You don't see dry cabins in Anchorage, but Anchorage is not really part of Alaska anyways... they are way ahead of times there. Fairbanks has normals rental units yes, but they are twice as much money. We got our little cabin for half the cost and we like saving money. Alaska is awesome it has everything you need, well except an Olive Garden...we have plenty of stores and shopping. It's really nice, a little cold in the winter but overall it feels like any other place.

To Cali, my husband and I have lived here for a year...he has lived here for several years now. He works on tourist passenger trains all year, but in the summer his company relocates him to Fairbanks, where he is THE mechanic for Royal Celebrity tours. I go to school at University of Alaska Anchorage. But this summer I am taking some classes at University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Thank you all for reading my blog.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gray Water & Black Water

I know many of you are wondering how I am surviving without running water. So I thought I would show you how easy it is. Jed and I were discussing how our society has only had running water for a short time in comparison to how long world civilization has lived without it. Many countries still don't have running is interesting how spoiled we are. How many of us even think twice about this when we turn on a facet? We live in an amazing time!

Jed and I may not have running water, but we have electricity, an electric stove, a refrigerator, and I can go to the store and buy ice cream and canned goods. I don't need to worry about our crops growing nor depending on Jed's hunting skills.
just to avoid any confusion,
we are not super green, we are not really tree-huggers (well we kind of are) but we use tons of paper/plastic plates and utensils...and I swear I am blind or I learned from my dad that I can't see without every light turned on in the place. We have our big flat screen and blu-ray player, laptops (3 of them) our basically the only thing we've eliminated is running water
...but check out this set up!

I have a sink...the blue jug of water is just like running water with the little facet thingy. I have the tea kettle always handy and can throw it on the stove for warm water. If I boil some water in the morning or evening it stays pretty warm for a while. So we can wash hands, faces, dishes etc. The set up is drains into this little bucket. That water is called 'gray water'. Then I just take the bucket outside and throw it in the bushes/trees. If we were real hippies/tree huggers we would try to filter and re-use that water...umm, no thank you.

We don't have a wood burning stove. We have what is called a Toyo stove, that is a name brand of the stove. It burns diesel fuel...well a modified diesel fuel that keeps it from gelling up in the cold....the tank runs into the cabin to this nice little heater...just another modern convenience! But what about 'Black water' you ask?
That is where the outhouse comes into to play...
We are so lucky we have a duplex outhouse, shared with our neighbors! It's two outhouses built together...two doors, two seats, one big hole! I can only imagine what it will be like when I run into them for the first time at the outhouse...very weird!

This outhouse is really gross...
What am I saying? All outhouses are really gross! But this one has a smell. My mission today is to see if we can clean it up.

I don't mind it right now... I think it would be awful in -40 degree weather. Luckily I won't see that anytime soon.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Errands in Fairbanks

Phew! I did a bunch of errands yesterday and felt really productive. First everyone has been very nice and helpful around here. Even at UAF...they have no clue what is going on but they were nice about it. Well it looks like I am not going to make into my stats class...which will postpone my graduation for a little bit, but what can you do? I didn't meet their prerequisites at UAF. I tried to go buy my books for my online class, I wandered around campus and found the bookstore but when I asked for some help the lady said...
"Oh yeah, we don't sell text books here"

What?! why is there a bookstore on campus?

So I ask, "Where do the students get their books?"

"They all order them online."

I am still trying to find a way to get my books...for my online classes that started yesterday. Well after spending almost the entire afternoon on campus. I went grocery shopping, trying to keep in mind that we don't have water; so nothing that requires making a mess! Frozen pizza,cereal and sandwiches?

Did you know that you can go to a "Watering Station" put a few quarters in a machine...use a thing that looks like a gas pump and fill up your water jugs?

...but you have to be careful not to get the BIG hoses that fill up the HUGE tanks! That will make a mess.
Here are some pictures of our little Cabin...not included in the pictures are our normal sized, yet not very functional stove and new refrigerator.

We have a's plywood but it's a floor and a roof above our head. I really like it, it's nice an cozy...a bit chilly but that will be good in the summer to stay nice and cool.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dry Cabin: RENTED!

Our new dry cabin! We got the keys today and are slowly moving in!
There is more to blog later but I have some errands to run!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

High Levels of Hippie...Proceed with Caution!

I am really worried about what my life is becoming! I am at risk of turning into either a hippie with dread locks, wearing pants under my raggedy skirt or the other type of not so cool hippie (...or what ever they are) the ones that wear the jean button up shirts, and pants that are too short, with a big sun hat. I'll need to proceed with caution from this point on.

Funny story along that same line..., last night I kind of got lost, as I said in my previous blog, I stopped to get directions and decided to reconnect with the internet world. I was under the impression that the gym was open late like Anchorage...or maybe I thought that because Jed told me it was open 24 hrs, either way. I got the the gym 5 minutes after it closed. I had to stew in my own juices over night. At that point I truly felt homeless, I went to the grocery store, locked myself in the bathroom and brushed my teeth, did a quick paper towel bath, filled my water bottle and the whole nightly routine . When I walked out of the bathroom there was a man sitting near the restrooms who looked like he was really that point I was grateful for my big purse to hide my toiletry bag. This morning I woke up and headed to the gym, which was conveniently across the street from the LDS chapel.

Two things I've never done which I did today. I've never showered in a public place...never at school, never at the gym but for the first time at the Fairbanks Planet Fitness gym. The Fairbanks gym is a very popular place to shower apparently! Oh yeah, and I forgot a bra! So I left the gym like a TOTAL hippie! It was kind of liberating...and like I mentioned above, something I should be concerned about! (don't worry I had an extra in the car)

The other thing I did for the first time was go to the laundry mat! Wow...there were lots of dread lock hippies there, I was surprised they wash their clothes! They really are gross!

Well Jed survived his first graveyard shift! Tomorrow is the big day! We are going to move into our dry cabin, hopefully, we'll for sure get our bed moved in but depending on Jed's sleep schedule it may be a few days!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I feel like a gross hippie!

Jed started his graveyard shifts I am free in Fairbanks, and kind of lost. I wanted to go to Barnes & Noble to use the internet, but I took the wrong exit and got kind of lost. So I am now in Safeways (grocery store) parking lot, they have free wi-fi. I haven't showered in a few days and because we've been camping I am a mess with mosquito repellent and sweat (Luckily no campfire smoke). I'll be heading to the gym to shower but I first needed a little help from Google Map.

We are in our tent again. Last night I slept wonderfully with my new green Therma-Rest and our huge down comforter on folded in half on top of me. The Camp grounds opened today so we hurried and reserved the best tent site available. The camp ground is seriously in the middle of town, it's kind of weird but it is surrounded by trees and you feel like you are camping. I am excited since I will be spending the next two evenings alone. I don't want to get eaten by a bear!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Home Sweet Home...or is it Tent Sweet Tent?

Note: These pictures was taken a few minutes before Midnight! I love the light in Fairbanks!

Well we had our one night of luxury at the Motel 8 where I enjoyed the privacy of my last shower behind closed doors. Thursday we called as many places as we could, filled out applications only to be 'beat to the punch' each time. We drove aimlessly around town, finally decided to go see Ironman 2 --Robert Downey Jr is a great distraction from homelessness!
All the camp grounds were closed so we drove out of town a ways and found a semi open camp ground, there was one other person camped there but no host. It was nice and light still at midnight so it was easy to see the swarms of mosquitoes (Alaska's State birds). I was okay until about 3am when I woke up to piercing cold pains! I was so cold for the rest of the night, I tried cuddling with Jed, but our mummy sleeping bags are not very adaptable...but I survived!

Today (Friday) we checked out the WORSE cabin/house ever, painted bright purple! It was tiny at that point we started to question what we were willing to live in, then we thought of a cabin we saw yesterday that was small...only one room...and we decided it was not so bad! We quickly called them, looked at it again, filled out an application,

We will be moving in on Monday!

Until then, we get the tent. However, I have a new mat to sleep on, which will keep me warmer, and I will also pile all the blankets we own on top of me!

Courtney, to answer your question...I'm not quite sure yet. Suggestions?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Homeless in Fairbanks

We made it!

Wednesday we were planning to just pack up and go...but then we were invited to have lunch with all the new tour directors for RCT (Jed's company) on the train. So we took a break at noon, had a super nice lunch and an amazing brownie dessert before we returned to packing...It would have been amazing if the train had moved, but it stayed in the rail yard.

After packing everything up...we realized we left the towing hitch in the very back of the truck behind all the boxes and underneath the mattress. So we had to unpack everything! The towing hitch is for Jed's Jeep Willys...wouldn't want to leave it's a big part of our family now!

Needless to say we had a few delays, by the time we got on the road it was rush hour traffic. We finally arrived in Fairbanks just after midnight, found a taco bell...apparently the only place open late in this town, then we realized that all the camp grounds are still closed for the season...after driving for 7 hours (we were a little slower towing the willys) we decided that Motel 8 would be a better compromise for the night.

This morning we are homeless! We are at Jed's work office printing off rental applications. Then we're going to find a place to pitch our tent! I like Fairbanks, It's much smaller than anchorage, it's nice to get away from the crowded 'city'...Seriously! I thought that today as we were driving around... I think I'm ruined! It's only a matter of time before I will want to live in the bush where the only people we see are the pilots who bring us supplies every few months!

Oh did I mention it is raining?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


We are so close to leaving! I had my last day at work...I kind of expected it to feel like the last day of school, but it was way way too busy and stressful it was not the fun feeling of the the last day! We finished gathering the rest of the "Storage" unit stuff...
We have a LOT of Stuff!

Our storage unit is a 4x6...about the size of a wood pallet...and 10 feet tall. We managed to fit in both sets of snow tires and about 12 of those rubber totes, a bookself--way in the back on top of all the totes! and about 20 other smaller boxes! I can't believe we have that much stuff...but at least we don't own furniture!
Pray we don't have an earth quake...because if anything moves when we come back it might bury us when we open the door!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Packin' for Two!

We've been busy packing all weekend...and we are both super tired. Packing for two people is really exhausting! Work is hectic trying to get all the loose ends tied up before I leave for my Summer Vacation in Fairbanks.

(A few forgotten items for our place in Fairbanks)
We still don't have an "official" place to stay but we have the tent ready! Tomorrow (Tues) is our last work day in Anchorage, then we will be driving to Fairbanks on Wednesday! All I can say is this summer will be interesting and I hope I don't let you blog followers down! Stay tuned for stories of living in a tent, cabin without running water, outhouses...the "mall" and other Fairbanks stories you've never dreamed of!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I Never Doubted!

To My Wonderful Mother who always told me "You can have it all!"

Alma 56:47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

Alma 56:48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

Many years ago my mother gave me the advice that I didn't have to choose between serving the Lord and either finishing my college education or getting married. She encouraged me to serve the Lord and told me that 'I could have it all'. She said "why can't you get married or graduate from college after you go on a mission?" In many other ways she was there for me and always offered equally valuable advice. She was often awake late at night when I returned from a date or when I was out with friends. She has always been my close friend that I was excited to share my life with, and she shared the excitement with me.
Now that I am far away from her it is hard not to get crazy home-sick. I miss having lunch with my mom on her lunch break at the hospital...or just driving to town to get a coke, or sometimes joining in with my siblings to tease her. Her advice that I could have it all has turned out to be true. I served an LDS mission for 18 months and I married a wonderful man who loves the Lord and was able to take me to the temple...And I am working hard to finish my college degree!
I love you Mom! And I Never doubted you knew!

Happy Mother's Day

And to my mother-in-law who raised the perfect man, well at least my perfect man and who has turned out to be the most amazing husband ever! He helps me with everything and when I asked where he learned how to do something he always says "My mom taught me." Thank you Myrna for raising the man of my dreams!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Home Invasion and Calories Burned

There are somedays when I get so frustrated with work, and all I want to do is go home and veg out on the an entire bag of potato chips and drown my stress away. But obviously that is not the best way of dealing with stress... and I can't do that anyway since our new roommate moved in last night and has claimed the couch until we move out. Oh and I realized that it's not my home and they are making it very clear by reclaiming their space...and using my nice pans! It's just weird for me to be at our apartment without Jed so I spend a lot of time at the gym or last night I went to my favorite yoga class, the really hot yoga which has help me sweat out all my stress. However, I don't think I can hydrate myself enough to go to that class every night...besides I couldn't afford to. So I've spent most of my evenings avoiding everyone. I know I shouldn't be avoiding them...but I'm burning lots of calories by doing so I think it is kind of good for me!

On A happier note my best friend Sandy had her baby yesterday Monroe May Bradley 7lbs 10 oz and 19 inches long. She is super cute!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

One Step Closer

Last year Becky and I were here at Portage was much warmer last year!

Wow, can you believe it? I've been here in Alaska for one year! Do you know what this means? I am that much closer to qualifying for the PFD (Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend). Well technically it goes from the first of the year...but still. So, I survived a winter, I haven't been eaten by a bear or stomped to death by a moose, but I also gained two pant sizes since I moved here. However, I now know all the streets and I no longer feel like the new person in town.

We are 5 days away from moving to Fairbanks. A new town, new living in a tent, using an outhouse, showering at the know, like you do.