Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sky, Water, and Wind.

Often we'll get stunning skies to end the rainy days. Unfortunately, the red skies at night doesn't quite work and more rain shows up later! 

The last couple of days have been quite breezy. You can see how it whipped around my flimsy locks while I was down by the lake. 
The normal mill pond of our lake had actual 'swells' on it! A couple of times, I even spied the beginning of a white cap. Definitely not something we see too often out here. The water snicked against the tires the pallets were sitting on and transported me to Minnesota. I almost felt like I was in Duluth on Pike Lake!!! Odd how sounds can take you back to a time in your past. However, I didn't have a fishing pole and the air was NOT warm! 

 While sitting on the edge of the 'dock' I was able to get a photograph of the bank near the house I don't generally get. Mostly because I'd be out in the water and trying to beach the kayak instead of taking pictures! There are some signs of fall, it isn't quite here, but soon.......

Thursday, August 24, 2017


I had a bit of an idea to make more of a 'dock' down by the lake. It was kicked into motion when some friends visited. Janet got me supplies and God sent the sunny day, so I got to work.
 One of the tires got away from me and rolled down the hill. Oddly, I made a ringer!!! 
 Once the tires were in place, I headed up to work on the 'hard' part.
 Pallet from Janet. I trimmed a bit off here and there with hammer, small pry bar, pliers, and bow saw. I was pretty impressed with how it turned out!
 I was going to line it with plastic (we have some left over from when the basement fiasco happened), but forgot pallets have a spine. So, I worked around it.
 This was the worst part. I had a piece of foam from when I made the first pallet 'dock' a few years ago. I also had a sawzall back then and it was a hundred times more efficient than a bow saw. I recall using a hand saw one other time, but could not find it ANYWHERE! These little styro bits are horrid. Thankfully, it was not windy, so I could work in the garage with the door open (also good as the place is still without power!) and I was able to collect most of the white bits. Such a mess and so very bad for the environment.
 I stuffed the pieces in the pallet and covered them with the plastic, hammered the ends on and it looked pretty good! Huzzah-  (hmmm, The pieces in the pallet are protected by the plastic. I think I need to watch 'Court Jester' again!!)
 I carted it down to the lake and placed it firmly on the tires. It fit on a portion of one already placed and one of the newer tires. I like having an extra one, but maybe I can get another pallet..although, there really isn't much of the foam block left!

 It is going to be a perfect place to sit in the sunshine or at night to watch the stars and northern lights.

 After 8pm, I decided to go out and see how it 'worked' with the kayak. It was nice to have a place to put things while I was getting in and out. I think it was a good idea and I'm very thankful for the push to put it together and the sunny day in which to do it! The lake is still really shallow, but more rain is expected, so please, God, let the lake keep rising!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Meeting the Past

Seeing friends you haven't seen ages is a blessing. When those friends are good storytellers, you are doubly blessed. Jim and Nedra used to live near Mum out north and are now in ANC. When we were up there last week, we were able to visit with them both of the days we were in the city. 
The first day we stopped by, we met a couple of VERY nice people, Carey and Dawn. Carey (I hope I spelled her name right!) enjoys doing  genealogy research and discovered she is a cousin of some sort to Nedra. The craziest part? Mum may also have connections to her family via Norway and Minnesota. I gave her my contact information and some names which may be ones she'll find on her tree. 
 The second day we visited, Nedra was in story mode. She showed us a beautiful photo from ages past. She is pictured with her two brothers. While we sat listening to her, I was frantically typing notes on my phone-Stories should be preserved and I was bound to keep as many bits as I could!

In this photo, Nedra said her hair was like 'dynel' or plastic. She was 7 years old and the top she had on  was yellow with black smocking her mom put on it. She said her brothers were a different kind of trouble (you can see the look in the eyes of the oldest!). Nedra said her parents didn't see what she did, they had to deal with the boys and she often had to sit while those two were dealt with first! She also shared a  photo full of young girls. Nedra's leg had a plaster on the front. She told us she had gotten hit by a truck when on her bike and tossed into a ditch of old leaves. There weren't antibiotics and she almost died since her leg was broken badly. She said she was out of school for a year. She told us of a quarry she grew up near that had goldfish in it. Gold fish that eventually went 'wild'!

Nedra also shared stories about one of the first ministers of the Methodist church in Kenai. They were from California, Bob and Norma. Bob played the organ. The dubious part was Norma wore mini skirts and the couple loved to dance! (this was a long time ago, I forgot to ask when...)
 We stayed with them for lunch and Jim showed us an Evenson original. He had put squiggles on a napkin and wondered what we saw in them.

All the while we heard more stories. Ones of how they moved their family to Spain for a school year on half salary from the school district and some of the experiences they had. Their apartment was luxury, two pools with the Mediterranean right out sliding glass doors~The neighboring place was where one of the most famous bullfighters of the time lived, although, they never did meet him! Later, Nedra told about cherries she had NOT purchased when they were homesteading. They were $5 a pound and just in from the PNW. She said a well dressed man in a suit came into the store and bought a bag full, because 'he liked them'. Lucy then recalled a cantaloupe she priced up in Nome, it was a ridiculous price! This reminded me of our visit. The lunch special was steak Diane, Nedra said that was just a  nice way to say a hamburger with gravy on top. Lucy and I had something from their deli, and it was more than we'd normally have paid. Yet, the food wasn't what we were there for. The soul was fed by the joy of being with these lovely people. As Lucy said, sometimes you pay more for something you truly want. Cherries, cantaloupe, or a lunch with friends. 

Nedra said she felt moving to ANC was a good thing to do and that she felt they were in 'the right place now'. She told  how she was losing weight and her back didn't hurt anymore due to some advice from one of Jim's physical therapists. She also mentioned their new home didn't have a dress code, she had given Jim a pair of her Gloria Vanderbilt jeans and he wore them!

It was good to see them at peace. I'm incredibly grateful for the chance we had to meet  with them once more.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

On Gossamer Wings

These lovely segmented creatures are skittish and dart away when I moved the kayak near. They are not dragonflies, but a suborder. These beauties are damsalflies and are most likely in the bluet family. (follow link to read more!) 

There were also just a few dragonflies about. I imagine more will show up as the season progresses. Unless the ducks ate all the larvae! I found a 'shell' hanging from a pond weed and decided to post all three photos of stages I have found for these giant insects. 

This last picture was from last summer. If the damsalfly is hard to photograph, these are even more difficult!