I’m not making excuses, but….

A few days before Christmas

I swear to you lovely readers, I’m not making excuses, but life has been crazy busy.  I like in a part of Alaska that is remote enough to be unfriendly for even mail ordering bras (it gets worse!) but has the basics covered. Life here has not been easy, and it has definitely impacted my blogging. So I thought I’d share a little bit of what life is like here and why I’ve been away.  The photo above was taken the Thursday before Christmas, a normal day in my part of Alaska.

So let’s start by talking about how beautiful Alaska is. Below are two different seasons, from my front windows. The first would be fall everywhere else, but it is already snowing here. The second is late spring/early summer as the snow has finally melted off.

It is amazing how different the two are! And yes, those are real moose in my front yard. We have a little moose family that lives around my area, they come through regularly. It’s not as cool as it looks, they are very dangerous. That mama moose could easily kill me with a single kick of those legs. Now, all this beautifulness aside, AK is not an environment you easily adapt to. Summer is amazing, the longest days the sun technically sets but it is still light outside. Winter has very short days where the sun peeks over the horizon just to set again, there is hardly any daylight. Look at the first picture and you can see the sunrise time, almost 11am!

Most people wouldn’t be driving on roads like these!

Going out and driving is always a risk. Most people wouldn’t risk driving on roads like this. But every year we change out our tires for studded tires, we drive slow, and we try to be safe. Just so we can run to the grocery store. The road in this picture is actually a major highway. This ends up causing limited travel and a lot of cabin fever.

Moose tracks through my front yard

Another visit from our lovely moose friend. She trampled through the front yard while we were grocery shopping. To let you know how deep the snow is, I went out a few days later looking for the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), I sank into the snow up to my knees before I hit a layer of snow so compacted from the snow above that I can no longer sink. I am 5’2″ with pretty long legs, the snow depth is about mid-thigh on me.

20140103-205311.jpg

My back door trying to freeze shut with a very unhappy Ozzy the boxer.

Every year we end up frozen into the house for at least a little bit. The backdoor and front door often freeze shut. With daily use we can usually break it open pretty easily. My poor furkids wear dog boots to go outside to do their business. Ozzy the boxer is a little bit of a priss, so when it gets too cold he also wears a jacket. Living here can be very hard on them too.

How we heat our home, a wood stove.

What causes the most complication is heating your home. Homes are heated using wood stoves, pellet stoves, or oil heat. Even the electric is a byproduct of oil. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Oil is very expensive. January is the coldest month of the year and you can easily spend $1000 on oil to heat your home. Pellets have to be purchased regularly at a super store. Wood has to be chopped and moved. We use a wood stove, which comes out to the least expensive. But every year you stockpile a lot of wood for the use all through the winter. That wood has to be moved all winter long, brought into the house to use. I’m not saying we live like they do in the Alaska: The Last Frontier TV show, but we definitely do not have the easy life.

So what have I been up to? Well, not much and a lot at the same time. I’m spending the rest of the month with just my furkids and Gabrielle, my husband has military commitments. So we spent a bit of time getting the house ready for him to be gone. It is impossible for me to keep up with moving wood with a 14 month old little one running around. So our garage is stocked up with what is hopefully enough wood for us for this cold month. We also did some extra toddler proofing of our kitchen, Gabrielle loves to get into any cabinet and the dishwasher. We did a midwinter clean of the entire house. Do you have any idea how stuffy house can get when it has been shut up for several months in the horrible cold?  We celebrated Gabrielle’s first Christmas where she could open presents. We had some really cool family portraits done, complete with zombie make up. I took an intro photography class with the hopes of getting a tripod and taking better photos for the blog.

I’ve also been dealing with some health problems. Gabrielle had months of sleep problems which has had a major impact on my sleep. Lack of good quality sleep can really do a number on the body and mind. I have tried to focus on getting better sleep for myself, and helping Gabrielle get better sleep too. We are getting there, I’m slowly starting to feel like myself again. I’m still very tired many days, but things are improving. This has really affected my ability to work out, eat how I’d like, and my body image. It is really hard to take pictures in a bra or undies when you are feeling pretty down about how your body looks. So the month of January is (hopefully) focused on continuing to get better sleep for Gabrielle and I, to eating to fuel our bodies, and to being more active. I’m trying to improve my health, my body image, and my mental health.

So there you have it! I hope this is the first post to me getting back to blogging. I’ve got a lot to write about, a lot of bras to review. Please feel free to drop a line and let me know how you’ve been doing. The chatting helps me feel motivated to keep posting.

Advertisements

9 Comments

  1. ArgieBargie

    Never got stationed there but I sure do wish you well. I hear it can be beautiful, as you say.

  2. Sounds like a pretty tough life. I wish you strength and good (and calm) nights.

    We have winter here, where I live, so stud tires for me, too )). But this year winter have been extremely warm (it’s dancing around freezing point mostly, we had -5F once, but it was pretty short), so I feel like a fool (stud tires on dirty road without any ice or snow, you can imaging that :-D). But looks like our luck should end end in a week or so. Drive safe! esp. when there is a lot of snow on the road (don’t know why, but it’s way worse than ice).

  3. Alicia

    I’m in Juneau. There was a little sun today, for the first time in weeks. By about the 3rd week of dismal gray snain somebody always says “At least it’s warmer than Fairbanks.” To which someone always responds, “Well at least they get sun.” “Sure, for 3 hours a day.” It kinda goes from there. 🙂 I’ve only been there twice for work, in May. Both times, sunny and mild.
    I think you actually have it better than we do for bra shipping, though. No UPS here. Sometimes even Amazon balks. WTH? Priority Mail is the same price!

    You’re right about the gorgeous summers, & the tough winters. We have black and brown bears that did not hibernate this winter, so we’re still having to freeze our food trash, & shovel a path in the snow to drag the bear proof trash bin out to the street. The backyard is a sheet of ice. I had to make a path of sand so my elderly collie could walk out there. Ah, good times.

    • Even Amazon says no sometimes for shipping! Even a bra! It’s crazy. But we do get Fedex, UPS, and horrible USPS. We are lucky to have the Anchorage lines that will ship up here in decent weather.

      I’d love to get down to Juneau, it’s just so far away! With the distances it’s hard to imagine that we are in the same state. And our weather, so totally different at times. But I know you totally get it. 🙂
      Our only animal life is moose, and the love our neighborhood. One came through my backyard two days ago and trampled our fence. I was out there with my 14 month old strapped to me fixing it. Then she came back that night, my dogs went nuts, I slid down out melted steps trying to get them in before she got mad. It’s been unseasonably warm, which is amazing but so dangerous. I was out in the sun pulling my daughter on the self and it was like a tiny bit of sunny shiny heaven. My dogs are happy to be out with out boots too!

  4. BOXER DOG ! I have one of those 🙂

    • That Boxer tried to run after a moose today. I love him to pieces but he is a rambunctious guy.

      • We have rats too, hah. Our girl almost ate them once D: Can’t leave a boxer alone with clothing, the couch, or small rodents.

      • Paper products. Ozzy eats anything paper, preferably paper towels. He ate a bunch of 5 bananas recently. I just love dealing with the stomach upset that follows,

      • Haha, oh dear. I think the “best” thing my Ollie ever ate was approximately 13 scones that were cooling on the dining table.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: