Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Moving out, and Day One

Here I am, in a Best Western in Vernon, TX. We are FINALLY on the road!

But let me back up a little bit....

On Sunday, the moving truck came to get most of the household stuff. I was pleasantly surprised at what a cool trailer it was, too. I didn't get any very good pictures of it, although I tried to while still being casual. Haha. Anyway, the back of the semi had a ptarmigan on it, the back side had a moose in profile, then the lake with a bear in it (seen between the two moving guys) followed by the polar bear family at the front.

The estimates we got for weights from two different moving companies were evidently off by about 2000 pounds. Egads. We haven't gotten a final weight yet. James sums up the way we all were feeling:

The semi already had another family's stuff in it at the front. The movers partitioned it off and then loaded our stuff. Then it was time for Little Sweetie to be loaded in. The movers had a bit of fun joking about which trailer it was to go in - theirs, or U-Haul's.

Uuuuuup the ramp Little Sweetie goes, with Jim behind the wheel.

I could be a lot happier about the arrangements of the stuff around the car, especially considering that they are on their way to pick up yet another load in Wichita. But they assure me they've done this over and over and everything will be fine.

Fast forward to Tuesday. We spent all of Monday packing and straightening up the house, and then on Tuesday we loaded the trailer and both vehicles full of paraphernalia and pets and headed out. Several hours later than we'd hoped, but at least we're out the door, right? But I have to say, if it weren't for Jim's dad Big Jim, we probably wouldn't have made our deadline to get out of the house on the 30th at all. As it was, we were frantically throwing things away and giving things away and lightening the load as much as we possibly could. Big Jim stayed behind to make not one but two round-trips to unload the house and take the stuff to Forney where he lives, then come back and get another load. What a blessing. Mwah, Big Jim!

Surprisingly, I didn't cry on the way out of town, but Jim did. He's already missing having his dad handy. It's not like they saw each other very often, but at least it was more of a possibility up until yesterday than it will be from now on.

We left The Colony around 6:45 on the 30th. We drove as far as Vernon and stopped at the Best Western, where we were glad to find Tate welcome. Here we are in the hotel, playing with finger puppets from the travel snack/entertainment kits Amy G gave each of us (including Tate!). Thank you, Amy!

Jim, unpacking his goodie bag from Amy:

Tate seems to like her first time in a hotel. Our budgies seem to be okay with it, too, although they're not smiling as big as Tate.

There were a few bumps in the plans to getting out of the house, and I hope there are no worse bumps in the days ahead of us. We're on our way to a whole new adventure and new way of life. Thank you to everyone who helped and supported us as we planned and stressed and carried on.

I'll write more in the days to come, as I get time and internet access. Next stop - Bayfield, Colorado to visit my Mom, Stan, and sister Carla and her family. Maybe I'll be able to write from there.

And now, a final Thank You to the people who went out of their way to help us in our Wild Ride:
Team Yarnell, who helped us empty the storage unit in record speed and moved boxes like professionals;
Scott and Jane, who offered us a place to sleep should we happen to need it, and who will be helping with our trash cans until the new owners take over the house;
The Stiblers, who fed us a lovely steak dinner on the 29th and provided an island of sanity in all the hectic activity we were going through;
Amy G, my soul sister, for her encouragement during the years and months this whole thing was in the works. For talking me off the ledge more times than once. For the packing materials for which we blessed her name every day. And for goodie bags for the road;
For James, who worked his hiney off without complaint;
For Jim, whose whole idea this thing was;
And again, for Big Jim, who is even now at this hour spending long hours on the road cleaning out our garage for us.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. {{hugs}}

Saturday, June 27, 2009


The semi that will take most of our worldly goods and my adorable little car on a rambling, no-hurries trip without us will be here in the morning.

And no, we're not ready.

Hopefully I'll have an update tomorrow night. Unless I've decided to take up alcohol.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Who's sorry NOW? heh heh heh

Today, my friends, it is 103 degrees here in the lovely D/FW Metroplex, with a heat index of 110.

I found a penny in the parking lot while running errands this afternoon, and in picking it up, I nearly branded Lincoln's profile into the pad of my thumb.

What's the temperature like at our new house in Alaska? 56 degrees. Oh yeah. You wanna come visit us now, don'tcha?

(Hey, you regular readers, and you know who you are, if you haven't become a follower of my blog yet, please click on the link on the right. Knowing who's following helps me keep track of who knows what. Thanks!)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Father's Day greeting

Happy Falker Satherhood to all the dads out there! :^)

How did we spend Falker Satherhood* Day here at our house? We packed. Duh. But we kicked some serious box bootie today, and I think we're within, oh, six weeks of being ready leave.

What's that you say? I only have nine more days? Killjoy.

On the bright side, I talked to my mom's husband Stan yesterday. Turns out we were going to miss my sister and her family, who are also stopping by Mom's in Colorado on their way elsewhere, by about two days or so. Sister rearranged her schedule, Stan called friends with a B&B, and suddenly it's a surprise family reunion!

Our special last-Father's-Day-in-Texas treat today was certainly not cake, since all my cake stuff is packed, but we did indeed have a treat: ice cream. What flavors of ice cream, you might ask?

Waaaaaait for it.....

Caramel Carabou and Extreme Moose Tracks!!

LOL! I crack me so up!

*You should really go check out Cake Wrecks. Start with the oldest posts and work your way forward. And be prepared to laugh until you pee.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Some days... are a struggle.

I have ten more days to be a Texan.

Yesterday, my cake pans and chocolate molds went into boxes. My last Texas cake orders were picked up yesterday, too. Today, the last of Grandma's china is going into boxes, as most likely are my stand mixers and cake supplies.

And today, we said goodbye to yet more friends we may never see again in person...

Lately, I've been doing okay with the packing and moving and goodbyes and the stress that comes with all of that. A bit testy, perhaps; a bit frazzled, most definitely. And today, I'm teary.

Seeing the area where I live as if I've never been here before, trying to see if there is some special part of it that I should have experienced or at least made more note of is making me melancholy, I suppose. And looking at the faces of my friends as if it might be the last time is fairly breaking my heart. Trying to memorize without staring, trying to soak up while still appearing to be casual...

The tears running down my cheeks are silent begs for you to come visit us, okay?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My favorite chapels

One of the things that always intrigues me are these little chapels near our Alaska home. 

This is Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Church. According to their parish listing, this building was constructed between 1894 and 1896 (although the church was founded even earlier), and is the oldest standing Orthodox church in Alaska. Services are regularly held here, and the building has had restoration work done to it.  However, restoration is still needed to preserve the ornamentation and artifacts inside it.

This the interior of the church.

This is the St. Nicholas Memorial Chapel across the street from the Holy Assumption Church. It was built in 1906 to honor the memory of Fr. Igumen Nikolai Militov and Makary Ivanov, Catholic missionaries who worked during the mid-1800s to inoculate the Dena'ina people from smallpox. This chapel was constructed on the site of the original 1849 church, which was located in the northwest corner of the Fort St. Nicholas, the original Russian fur trading post. (see the link above)

The interior of the St. Nicholas Memorial Chapel.

It is with some embarrassment that I admit I do not remember which church this little stick chapel is affiliated with. It's located on the Kenai Spur Highway and sits quite near the road in the corner of the main church's parking lot. I just love this one. I've never seen it open but hope to some day be there at the right time so I can go inside it. The entire footprint of the chapel is not as large as the living room in my current house, and is built log-style, except instead of logs, there are skinny sticks. If you look closely at the right front corner of the building, you can see the interleaving sticks of wood.

The interior of the stick chapel. There are only three pews in it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Eye candy

Alaska photos, as promised. Finally!  :^)

This is from our very first trip to Alaska. We visited the weir at Bear Creek, and followed the shady, almost primeval, creek into the woods. Can you imagine seeing so many salmon like this?

This is Tern Lake.

This is Mt. Redoubt, our local volcano. It was such a gorgeous day to see it.

Mt. Redoubt again:

Peeking through the fireweed at Mt. Redoubt.

Kinda boring, huh?

I was just looking over my recent blog entries, and there certainly aren't many photos on here lately.  I'll fix that soon, I promise!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Nothing really exciting...

It's been a while since I've had anything to post - or rather, anything that I thought was worth a post all by itself. Let's see...  What's been happening lately...  [thoughtful tapping of chin]

Well, we've had an offer accepted on our Texas house, which is great, because the housing market is not exactly seller-friendly right now. The view out our windows over the golf course and Lake Lewisville are selling the place for us. There's still many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip, as Grandma Lyden used to say, so we're not considering the house actually sold until money changes hands at the end of the month and we pull out of the driveway with all our worldly possessions.

We have a firm move-out date of June 30. The moving transport company should be here on the 27th, I think, and they'll take away most of what we own. We're towing a few things with us that we'll need to set up house before the moving truck arrives in Nikiski sometime late in July (we hope).

For those wondering, the Metropolitan will go with the transport company, but Tate and the budgies will all be riding along with us. Tate loves Jim's new Ridgeline and I keep trying to talk Jim into letting her ride with him, rather than with James and me in the CR-V. Heh heh heh. Tate is not the world's best traveler, even on short jaunts around town, and when she goes to the vet this week for her check-up and paperwork to cross the Canadian border, I'll be begging for doggie tranquilizers.  For Tate.  Yeah, for Tate.  Uh huh.

That's about it. I'm packing a lot, as are the guys. We sure do have a lot of stuff that it turns out we don't really need. The thrift store loooooooves me. I feel like I'm single-handedly stocking their shelves now. I hope I've learned a lesson!  LOL

There are some more pictures that I can post later, but I haven't had time to go back and sort and select yet. Check back in a few days and maybe I'll have them up by then!