Saturday, July 5, 2008


A recent wind blew a tree down on our fence. No, it wasn't a strong wind. Yes, it was a dead tree. A very dead, and very tall tree.
One thing I love about Alaska is the trees. I never really cared for evergreens until I moved here, but something about these towering black spruce trees is really breathtaking. I would guess they are around 20 feet tall, maybe taller, and to watch them sway in the breeze is just amazing... watching and wondering how they manage to not fall down.
Or, sometimes they do. Right in your yard.

The landlord came over today to move the said spruce off the fence, and to cut down a few other dead trees. That's good. The one that fell was further back on the property. The remaining dead trees are pretty close to the house and good wind, a heavy snow, or some other event could easily have brought them crashing down on the house.

This will amuse friends back home: just a few short months ago, I used to think trees were pretty to look at, and nice for shade. I was momentarily lamenting the loss of shade these trees provided us, until I saw the wood was nice and dry, and even seasoned already. Translation: good fuel for burning in the wood stove! I hurried outside to see if there were any other good, dead trees for my landlord to cut down before he took his chainsaw back home. LOL
You know you live in Alaska when....

Interestingly enough, it didn't take long before curious neighbors were asking if we were interested in selling the wood. One neighbor offered me a couple hundred bucks for it. Realizing we are sitting on a "gold mine", and um, realizing that I have to cough up the money to fill the fuel tank eventually, I refused all offers and am wondering if I could learn how to use J's chainsaw to cut it up before he gets home...

WILDLIFE ALERT: Yet another moose came through the yard today! This time, she looked MAD, and was running at a full sprint. It even scared my landlord, who's an outdoorsy Alaska dude. From his experience, he said she was upset about something. (Ya. I kind of figured moose didn't run at full tilt for fun.)
I'm hoping our chopping down trees today didn't seperate her from her calf or cause her little one to run off in a fright.
Still... mad moose or not, she was amazing to watch (from the safety of my porch, of course!), and once she got her bearings, she jogged down the road and into the brush around the corner toward the slough.

MORE Wildlife Alert: I hate Bushy. With a passion. The stupid rodent was gnawing on the clothes on my clothesline the other day! I have officially offered my friend's son $2 for the capture or death of Bushy. (Before you think I'm stingy, he's 5 years old!)
I also told my landlord this. Um, the husband portion of the landlord doesn't mind, and actually considered using his new chainsaw on the little rodent. The wife portion loves the squirrel, and her children have become attatched to the dang thing. They actually want to relocate Bushy to thier new house. I have been forbidden to kill him. (That's why I'm paying a 5 yr old to do it.)
More power to them. Hopefully they find Bushy before my 5 year old HitMan does. hehehe
In my ever humble opinion, that squirrel would make a 5 yr old a very nice little hunting trophy.

For the record, the dang squirrel is smart enough to not get "trapped". The landlord (at the wife's insistence) set up a humane trap with a few of Bushy's favorite treats as bait. The first couple days, it drove Bushy insane to look at these delectable items and not be able to eat them. She carefully studied the cage, and found a way to hang over the side and steal these delightful little treats without getting herself caught in the cage. Even a few of the local birds (who I do NOT consider an nuisance and wish I could feed without Bushy ruining our roof) have managed to get food out of the cage without getting trapped.
I used to think squirrels were cute.
Ah, not so much, anymore.

BEANS UPDATE: well... after 3 trips to the doctor this week and over a week with a fever, and now an itchy rash, we have a verdict. We went back to the doctor today and (this was the doctor's actual diagnosis), "She either has roseola or hand-foot-mouth virus. I don't know which one, but whatever one it is, she's contagious and the treatment is the same. Benadryl and tylenol, come back if her fever spikes up again, and keep her away from other kids."
The doctor should have just said, "Get used to your house for the next week and I hope you enjoy your own company, 'cause you ain't going nowhere, lady."

This is, of course, after I trusted the doctor we saw earlier in the week who assured me that Beans was fine, and could resume normal activity... and I exposed all our friends and thier kids.

It is an absolutely gorgeous day today... around 80, dry, and a nice breeze blowing in. I'm off to pull laundry off the line (while watching out for moose on the loose!) and bury myself in a library book for a little bit before bed.

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