Monday, June 15, 2009

Pictures...





Iforgot to show recent photos, so here are a few! There will be more on facebook, and picasa web albums too!

Eventful Weekend!

Happy Monday everyone!
I had a wonderful and very eventful weekend to launch me into a very long week of orientation. It feels funny to be going to work again, I must admit. Which is strange for me to be saying since it was something I was SO accustomed to, working all of the time. Even though I am in 8 hours of training in a classroom setting for 2 weeks it still feels good to be doing something again, and getting paid as well. I'm very much looking forward to learning more about my job, and finishing the training so I can go experience the real work.
Back to the weekend however... Friday we all went over to Beth and Josh's house, they just moved earlier in the day and already had things set up and had us over for a bbq. We ate delicious food, played ping pong in their yard, harvested so much rhubarb and had a great time. Saturday rolled around and Bekah and I chopped the rhubarb and then when Eric got home Eric, David, Ted and I went over to meet Josh and the 5 of us went rafting on the Eagle River. It is only about 15 minutes away from our house which is a crazy fact for all of us to realize. It feels so weird to head out and 15 minutes later be somewhere so wild and lovely where activities like that can take place. We had no idea we'd be gone for so long but we were "floating" from about 4:30 to 9... The start was slow. We essentially had to push and scoot our raft to get it moving in the shallow water, but it soon picked up and we had a very easy slow float for a good 2 hours. We hit some class 2 rapids for a while, though no where near long enough. Those are easy to get through, just some fun movement under the raft. I could have gone on like that a lot longer! Well it came time for the rougher waters to hit, in the book about the white waters in the area it said class 3+ rapids, and you have to get out and go scout the waters before you hit that section. It would be too dangerous if you didn't know what your action plan was, where exactly you wanted to aim etc. because the waters were to quick and rough to just luck out. So we got out and spent about 30 minutes scouting this section of water, Josh was not sure if we should go because he said there was a good chance one of us would be hitting the water and swimming back. No worries, because it would be a pretty quick swim as this was near the end, but also a VERY cold swim. He was the only one in a dry suit, though the rest of us were prepared enough we would have been ok. Anyway the trouble was that there was a huge log blocking the middle, and big rocks scattered about, so we had to decide how to get around the drops and such since we definitely didn't want to hit those, and decide whether we were going to try to go right or left of the log. Both were tricky because right was a little rougher, but left would have taken a LOT of work to get over there. Well we decided to go right, and luckily Josh was a guide a few years ago so he got back into that role and shouted commands and we made it. He said if we messed up we were outa there but it turned out very smoothly and it was very fun, and gave us all quite the rush. It felt good to get out of the water however, put dry clothes on, and head home for a very late dinner. Bekah and Beth had cooked dinner and made pie from our earlier work, and we had no clue we would be so late. Needless to say it felt good to have some food in our stomachs. Yesterday was also eventful. Eric went to work at REI and David and I had a very lazy start to the day, but when we all got back together we went for a little hike with Brian and the dogs. We went up to the air strip that is near Brian's house, and my gosh it was beautiful. It was an entirely different scene from the hikes we've been doing. It wasn't wide open at all, it looked like rainforest. So much bright green all around, wild flowers etc. We were walking along the trail and all of the sudden Brian comes to a hault... We looked through the trees and about 30 feet away from us was a healthy black bear looking at us. We grabbed the dogs (none of them noticed her which is a tad nerveracking! and surprising!) and we yelled for her to go. But she didn't seem to mind us, she just looked. So we just went on by and hiked up to the air strip on the peak. It was sunny and beautiful and we were sitting there resting when over our heads comes a little private plane busting off the strip. Scared us off our buts and then he came back around and waved. We walked back down and on our way we saw the bear again (this time she was at the bottom so we were no where near her) and we saw two little cubs tumbling after her. Of course, it was the ONE day neither Brian or I brought our cameras. Just our luck, and SO disappointing. When we got down to where they had been all the dogs smelled them and had a fun time searching around, and Finn so kindly came back up the hill with fresh bear poop smeared on his neck and head. He had taken a secret roll, so he got the hose down back at Brians. That was about it, we came home, went to bed early, and everyone went off to work this morning for the first time since we've been here. I hope I have not chatted everyone's eyes, off, but it was a very eventful weekend! We didn't catch photos of the two things I really wanted to, the rougher waters we went through, and the bears. Oh well, there will be more opportunities I hope. What I would give to see those cubbies up close...

That's all for now, we're off to my favorite dog park, and then some errands and relaxation. Ted and Eric are heading out late tonight to the Russian River a couple of hours away, to go fishing at the crack of dawn. Hopefully when they come back tomorrow afternoon they'll have some salmon for us :) Wish I could go.

Ciao!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Employment!

I am so thrilled to report that I finally have a job! I had an interview this morning and got a call about an hour later offering me the position. So beginning next week I will be a behavioral/mental health associate at Hope Community Resources. For anyone who wants to know more about the agency, take a look at this link! http://www.hopealaska.org/jh/jh_currentopenings.cfm That should take you directly to the job openings, so you can see what the job description is. Anyway, that is the exciting news of the day! Eric got a job today at REI so we are very happy!
Bekah and I both have colds so that has put a tiny damper on the last few days, but that's ok. Tonight will be for lounging and relaxing, and we're looking forward to taking the next few days to have fun and relax without having to job search. Then next week finally our time being put to good use! We have really been feeling antsy so that should be a great change. The bank accounts will thank us too :) Lets see, Sunday we all went out hiking again, we did the same area as last time-- Bear Valley, although this time we made it much further. It ended up being about a 5 hour hike total, the dogs made it the whole way as well and it was hard work but a lot of fun. My butt has never burned so badly! Hopefully that means it's just getting back in shape! It was the warmest day of the summer so far, and we lounged at one of the peaks for a while about 3700 feet up, while Ted and David went a bit further. During the hike we all got sunburned, which wasn't ideal but it felt great to be getting that kind of sunlight at 5pm! I love the light here in the summer, I'm anxious to see how I'll like the dark in the winter. For the most part, most days, I feel really energized by the sunlight. I don't get tired early, and I wake up with energy. I love going to bed and seeing that it is still not dark, I don't know why but for some reason I think it's very beautiful and cozy. I don't have much else to report at the moment, the days have been filled with much of the same, job searching, outside, lounge, etc... but now that will change, luckily :)
Until next time!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Still Settling

I'm sorry I have been fairly inconsistent with the blogging, I really do need to get better, and I will. We are still working on getting settled in the new house, though things are definitely progressing. We have filled the kitchen a bit more which I think makes a very big difference--we are not where we want to be with it, but time and jobs/money will get us there at some point. Other than that not much has really changed around the house, we have so many things we want to add and do to improve the personal feel but right now is not the right time for us. Everyone went to Homer, AK for a long weekend to camp on the beach and see a Greg Brown concert, but Eric and I decided that in our current situation, we should not be going on vacation. So we spent the weekend here in Anchorage with Finn and Allie, doing a little exploring and a lot of relaxing and job searching. We went to the dog park daily, and wandered downtown a bit exploring some of the many great art galleries and coffee shops. On Saturday we went to the Saturday market downtown, looked at booths and daydreamed about things we would love to have--mostly artwork and handmade organic soap in so many fabulous scents. We spent a LOT of time watching movies since they were free and relaxing. We were both feeling a little frustrated about not having any good job leads despite our best efforts in the past week looking. Sunday we went hiking-- we did the Bear Valley hike with a friend Brian, and he says usually you can see bears down in the valley but we did not see any. We did however, encounter some very strong winds! Not the same, but it made the hike eventful! Probably the windiest I have experienced in a long time, and it was an odd sensation being blown like that while you are standing on the peak of a mountain. The dogs had so much fun, and it was wonderful to see them out exploring something so new and enjoying it so much. They loved all of the smells, the patches of snow here and there, and all of the open spaces for running and playing. It was wonderful. When another week began so did the job searching. We are still looking, applying, interviewing hoping the right thing comes along. The job offer I did get does not feel like a job I could handle doing for however long, so though it felt weird to turn down a job with full time hours, I did because I know I can do better. I am waiting to hear from some places that I am very interested in, but you all know how the waiting game goes. Eric also had a good interview and has some good leads but we are still not there quite yet. Last night was a lot of fun because we got to try a different dog park-- less mosquitos, and more fun walking for the humans! The one we usually go to is a long stretch with trees and a lake, but this one was who knows how much area of wood, with winding trails, bright green, and multiple bodies of water to swim in. Every corner you turn there is something else fun to do or see.
Eric and I took his niece Annika to the zoo today, and I must say we laughed because every animal at the zoo here, other than polar bears, is something you could find right outside. I understand why of course... obviously there aren't going to be camels and girrafes trying to live in a zoo up in Alaska, but it was still a weird realization that we could see each animal outside. It was still very fun to look at them all, and the setup of the zoo was really fun. Also windy trails and lots of trees. We saw wolves, polar bears (I forgot how huge they are!) fox, moose, wolverines, eagles/hawks/ravens, etc. After that I decided it was time that Finn and I both got some exercise so I took him for his first bike ride a bit ago. I didn't get much exercise because he was just learning and I was nervous he would knock me off the bike. He was a little afraid to get near it at first but we got the flow down so I think with some daily practice he and I could be in for some good rides! He really enjoyed it at the end and was well exercised so that is what counts. I hope you are well, I think that is all I have to report for now! I'll write again in a few days, my goal is every 3 days or whenever something noteworthy happens, I did not mean to go so long without a post.
Lots of love!