Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Race Is On

Madderbeans and I participated in a 5K fun run/walk today downtown, called The Mosquito Meander, benefitting the Fairbanks Counceling and Adoption center. We had a blast! The walk started at the gates of Pioneer Park and "meandered" (hahaha) through some of downtown before circling around back to Pioneer Park. Madderbeans had the easy route, chilling out in the stroller while I pushed and walked. I was longing for a nifty jogging stroller, and wished to be among the ranks of the mommies and daddies running with thier little ones instead of walking. Maybe next year.
Meanwhile, I was proud of myself. After spending 5 months of my pregnancy with Beans on bedrest and gaining, um, 65 lbs, it felt good to be down 55 lbs (what I've lost since I gave birth) and out there walking again. Should know my final "race time" in the next day or so, when they post the times on
The walk was beautiful, the last mile or so wandering by the Chena River, and many of the wildflowers are beginning to bloom. We didn't take time to stop and smell the wild roses (would have slowed our pace), but we did admire them from the path, and we chatted with many of the other walkers on our way.

One side note: I am a little bummed by the attitude of a lot of the military familes here. Seems like the majority of wives I meet really don't like it here. I've heard before that you either love Alaska or you hate it, but it's kind of sad to see the number of wives dissatisfied with thier current duty station. There is so much to do, so much to see, and it's just an amazing opportunity to be here.
It was nice to run (ahem, walk) into a few people who have lived here for several years, people who love it here, and chat with them about the area. Finally, no complaints about the lack of shopping, good restaurants, or "nothing to do"! It was refreshing to talk to some people who find Alaska as wonderful as we do, and to be excited about all the things you CAN do and explore, as well as people who are as ready to MAKE stuff to do when the environment doesn't supply it.

Ah, well... to each his own, eh? Talking to people who are on the "I hate it" side of Alaska only makes me see how much I really love it here. But maybe I'm crazy. (haha)

The race was a fun opportunity to get out and meet some people, most of whom I hope to run into again soon. Meanwhile, it also provided a good break from unpacking our furniture, which finally arrived!
On that note, I can not tell you how much I truly appreciate my big comfy bed again, especially after sleeping on an air mattress for a full month. Or how much I love running out of room in my kitchen for all my fancy gadgets, or how relieved I was to see Madderbean's exersaucer. The exersaucer and Walt Disney make the BEST babysitters, especially when you are unpacking an entire house by yourself because the Fire Station thinks they need your husband more than you do. (That's fine, the overtime check should be beautiful!)

Coming up this week:
-a trip to Delta Junction for the commissary and to stop in at the diner. Can't wait to see the scenery changes and this time, I'll have the camera!
-If I can find the USB cable, pictures should be up this week as well.
-What's springing up in the garden
-Upcoming plans for the Midnight Sun Festival, and how we plan to celebrate the sun not setting at all!

All right, y'all-
Time to go unpack more boxes!

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Oil Crisis has gone too far

On our way to town today, I passed a gas station that was advertising:
"Free Mocha Latte with $30 fule purchase"

What is the world coming to? Remember the days when gas was cheap and fancy-pants coffee was expensive? When you had to sign away the blood of your firstborn to mingle amongst the capuccinos at Starbucks? Now it's "free", folks, when you put enough gas in your car to um, get around the block. (At least in our gas guzzling minivan, that's about as far as we would get on $30.)

I remember my senior year of highschool (no, not THAT long ago! It was the early 90s), mom would give me 20 bucks to fill up the car and tell me to bring back the change. I could fill the tank of our '86 Plymouth Reliant, buy a pepsi and sneak a pack of cigarrettes and STILL bring mom her change.

It's funny how rising gas prices are changing the way we, and many others live. We have actually pulled out the old calculator and figured that it costs us $8 to make a roundtrip to Fairbanks in the minivan, and $5.50 in the trusty Subaru. Before you think we have way too much time on our hands, we were trying to see if it was more economical to drive to Fairbanks to fill up on the $4.14 gas, vs the $4.27 gas in North Pole.

Our lives are changing. We are learning to make more things from scratch, give up items of convenience, and go back to the "old" ways of doing things. We haven't turned back to the college days of Ramen Noodles, but we sure are figuring out ways to stretch my husband's really decent salary as far as it can go.

Anyone else wonder if we are heading toward more than recession, into another Depression Era? Maybe not, but I sure am glad to have known my grandparents and great-grandparents who lived through it, long enough to glean some of thier money saving strategies.


-Madderbeans and I will be participating in the weekends fun run/walk, The Mosquito Meander... a 5K around Pioneer Park. I am bringing the camera for that event, so we WILL post pictures, as soon as I can find the USB cable to download photos.
ANY LOCALS- if you can walk or run and have some time to spare, come on down! It's sponsored by the Fairbanks Counseling andadoption Center... a good cause- walkers, cyclers, runners, rollerbladers, strollers, and even 4 legged particiapnts (on leashes) are welcome. $15 gets you in, gets you a neato looking t-shirt, and enters you in a drawing for a mountain bike, along with various other door prizes. An extra 6 smackers even got Madderbeans a scarf to wear (no, I'm not telling her it actually is for the 4 legged participants).

-We finally have word on our furniture! HOORAY! Our household goods are in town and will be delivered on Thursday. I have spent the better part of the day trying to remember how much stuff we have and getting excited over seeing my stash of cloth diapers, Madderbean's toys, and my nice, big, comfy bed again, not to mention the pots and pans, the bread machine, my stash of Charlie's Soap laundry detergent, and various other comforts I've been missing.

-And finally, tomarrow, we make big fire. The landlord is supposed to be securing a burn permit and we are going to set fire to all the debris piles in the yard. My husband (a firefighter) says he knows how to do this. Me, I'm glad we are well insured. LOL

Hope everyone is having good days, wherever you are on the planet!

Happy Moose Trails!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A little Homesick

Well, phooey. I'm a little homesick today and no one seems to be answering thier phones "back home" (which technically is all over the place, not just Alabama).

Madderbeans and I ventured out to church this morning, checking out North Pole Worship Center. We were initially warned (by Baptists, *grin*) that the place was "overly charismatic". Well, not that we are pew jumping, snake handlers, but we like a little excitement to our church going.

The place was indeed charismatic, but not "overly" so. Aside from worship and announcements being a little um, not our style, the message today was good, the pastor makes the Bible and Jesus relevant to present day life, and we had a good time.

The homesickness comes in here. My mother-in-law would have loved the place, and I spent some of church daydreaming about a visit from my inlaws (who are wonderful people) and bringing my mother-in-law to church with me. I also desperately missed my old place of worship, as the music and people are more familiar to me.
Madderbeans was somewhat cooperative, but mostly prefered to sit on the floor shrieking with delight at discovering how far away from me she could crawl. MUCH appreciation to the church for tolerating her antics and not shooing us off to the nursery! To me, the whole point of going to church is about the cmmunity and fellowship with other people. If it were just about God's word or going to a building, we could do that at home.
Beans was tolerant enough of everything to allow me to sit (well, chase her) through the entire service, for which I was glad, but didn't leave me much time for socializing and meeting new potential friends. Maybe next week, as we will likely go back.

I will say that I hope we make some friends soon. Not sure where the local mommy/baby friendly hangouts are, but it does tend to get a little lonely, even in summer time when people are out and about. Slipping out of church mostly unnoticed and going home to have lunch by myself magnified the lonliness, and I am looking forward to hubby being home tomarrow for his company.