Wednesday, October 31, 2007

We're Outta Here!

I wanted to blog the exciting happenings for a while now, but haven’t had a spare second where I wasn’t exhausted or too frazzled to think. I’m still exhausted, and probably too frazzled to think now, but at least I have a spare second so here goes.


Yippee! I can’t wait to see it and unpack all of our almost-new furniture -- and my BED! I have spent far too many nights on someone else’s mattress… in fact, now that I think about it, 3 of the 5 years we’ve been married have been spent romping on cheap springy junk bought in bulk by organizations that really don’t care if anyone gets a good night’s sleep.

Here is a picture of our latest purchase. We still have yet to walk through this fun gambrel chalet, but I expect that we can make it home pretty quick.

I’m just ready for quality everything. It will be fantastic to be buying equity and NOT throwing away $1000 in rent each month. I am so ready to have a place of my own. I think I will knock out a few walls, paint something a wild color like burnt red or butterscotch yellow and replace that frilly trim with some big beams JUST BECAUSE I CAN!

I have big plans for this little place. On this side of the house I am going to add on a wrap-around covered porch with outdoor fireplace and sitting area and 200 sq feet of living/ dining room space with cathedral ceilings, exposed beams and a giant fireplace… no Alaskan home is complete without a giant fireplace. I believe that is the preferred place to mount the subsistence remains of caribou, moose or salmon that can’t be eaten or turned into clothing. I plan to mount our flat screen TV up there and maybe show a picture of those animals in the wild.

Ben has big plans to add on a garage/workshop for all of his toys, also an Alaskan must have. And grandma is coming out to help set up Kaia's playhouse and jungle gym. I’ll let you know how all our plans work out.

One thing I am a little nervous about is that acre of property I have no idea how to manage. The house sits toward the back of the lot, and the driveway is going to be something hellish to shovel in the winter (I heard they already have 2 feet on the ground). I’m just glad we have a monster jeep that can pack it down.

I think I might try my thumb at gardening next spring. I will have to talk to my mom about it and see if she will come up and help me get it going. I thinking about a raised, fenced, veggie garden so the moose can’t get into it and maybe some nice flower beds around the base of the house for color and street appeal. That should be a fun project to keep me busy while Hubby is away.

With all these great house plans, we have also been a little neglectful on moving plans. I didn’t think that we would be moving as much stuff back as we are. But truthfully, I don’t know what we have in storage and there are some things that would be really nice to have in our first home. So, we have been up to our eyeballs in boxes and sorting and trying to figure out what to do with all this stuff. I guess it doesn’t help that we packed up all our pots and pans and have been surviving on Halloween candy and take out for the last week.

I really wanted a plan, a list and some sort of time line for packing and unpacking all of this, but hubby decided that it wasn’t necessary. His "plan" was to “throw the shit in a box and GO!” So that is exactly what we are doing. Some boxes are labeled, some boxes are marked with important contents, but most are just going to be a surprise when we get to our new place.

The good news is that after all this scaryness settles, we will have a hot tub ready to bubble all the stress away… at least until the next day when all of our stuff from storage arrives. dun dun duuuun! Hopefully the peops who committed to show up and help will actually show up and help. I'll let you know how it all goes.

Until then, have a safe and happy Halloween!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Chaos and Adventure

Confession: I have been such a slacker on the blog gig lately. I have enjoyed reading and commenting on other blogs, but couldn’t bring myself to note all the craziness in my cold and windy world. There are lots of huge changes all at once and all uncertain.


This is great news, but really, I’m kind of torn between the thrill of adventure and the fear of the inevitable. With this position change, he will spend 2 weeks of each month in a village that was originally established as a banishment community for criminals too tough to manage. That in and of itself is scary, but he will also be ALL ALONE out there. He will be the only officer in the village of 400 with questionable backgrounds. I understand that the emergency call volume is pretty high, and I am sure he is going to see some pretty wild things without any form of backup, but I think it will be great career experience.

Another inevitable is the move. This is what I have been wanting for the last year, but now that it is here, I am getting cold feet (literally and figuratively). Not only am I dreading the packing and moving and unpacking of all of our stuff, I am really going to miss the friends I have made up here. I have even been experiencing some Barrow nostalgia.

This has been a great time to get in touch with who I am and what I want. Even under all the fluff and insulation required up here to survive, this place has stripped me down and taught me a few things. I have even begun to appreciate things that I couldn't see or understand when I first moved up here to this Arctic wilderness.

The whaling boats bringing in their hunt, the community coming together to process the subsistence for their families, the incredible animals that survive here in the wild like the foxes, owls, caribou, walrus and polar bears, the smell of the ice taking my breath away and the sun bathing everything in oranges, purples and pinks, the snow drifts snaking across the tundra and the beautiful ribbons of the Aurora Borealis all inspire me in ways that I could have never known without living this adventure. I know this kind of experience is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, because there is no other place like it.

Our next adventure is off to an amazing start too. We have made an offer on our first house and it has pretty much just landed in our laps. We are pretty much ready to close with the exception of the appraisal and we haven’t even seen it in real life! If the appraisal comes back at or below what we are offering, we will reconsider, but for now, it is kind of like waiting to see if we won the seeds of our dreams on e-bay.

I HATE THE WAITING GAME! I just want to know where we will be moving in just 3 weeks. I want to know if this is the place that we can get our financial boost into our Adventure Resort. It seems an unlikely place, but I am oddly comfortable with the shape of this wild ride. Whoodathunkit?

Anyway, there are no deep thoughts or big self-awareness revelations to report, just a bunch of chaos and adventure. Wish us luck!