Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bits and pieces

Sorry I've taken so long to come up with another post! I sort of had writer's block! There's nothing BIG to post, so I just didn't quite know where to start. I finally started a list yesterday of things I wanted to post. I took it with me to town and filled in a few missing pieces so now I think I'm ready to type! I'll apologize right now for the scattered nature of it though. Since there's no big items, it is just a compiled list of bits and pieces of stuff. I know what I want to start doing once this is done, but also knew I needed another "update" first.

I guess we'll start with yesterday's town trip now that I've mentioned it. I found another violin teacher for Oksana! She used to play with an orchestra (well, she still does, just a small one now - she used to play with a big one) and teaches a lot of kids how to play. She and Oksana both have an up-side-down/backwards way of thinking so they PERFECTLY understand each other! Oksana is so happy to have someone challenge her and really help her to perfect her playing. That is a real answer to prayer! She so enjoyed playing with Mr. Rossi that I knew it would be hard to find a new teacher that she would like that would also really help her along in her playing.

As far as progress on the house, it is currently stalled a little bit while we wait for the parts to finish the water system (Matsu water ran out of tanks for the first time ever) and while Rodney learns from Earl the details of daily checks of buildings plus how to run and fix toyo stoves. Earl and Elaine leave in two weeks to spend a few months back in PA where they originally came from. Nate did get the holes backfilled and the lawn cleaned up as much as possible until everything froze. Now any yard work is on hold until spring. The boys just finished most of the insulating up in the crawl space. Just in time!

Again, since I've mentioned it, it has been COLD! It was 0 degrees farenheit yesterday! Ick! We've had a good week or more of temps below 20 at night so the lake is freezing up quickly! Rodney, Sergei and Katie went skating Sunday afternoon. We ought to be able to drive over it pretty soon at this rate! We are SOOOOOOOOOO thankful that the cold held out until we got all the cement work done!!! Praise God! Even I have to admit though that the ice is BEAUTIFUL! It is so pretty with the swirls in the ice out on the lake and the mountains are even more beautiful with snow on them! Silly me forgot the camera on the way to town yesterday!

We don't have much snow yet though. I'm sure it will come eventually! Actually, that isn't such a bad thing either. Rodney's ATV is a woos in the snow. We just got chains for it yesterday so that should help but it was quite a job to get out of here a few times! That hill behind the house is STEEP! Which also explains why most people up here drive trucks or Suburbans. FOUR WHEEL DRIVE! It is practically required up here unless you live in the city, and maybe even then! We may not have snow yet, but we DO have ICE! Lots of it!

Rodney did pick up two more ATVs Monday so we're a little more mobile than before. All of them need some minor tinkering to be ready to run as we need. Rodney's needed chains and some sort of different oil ? because it doesn't want to go into gear when it is cold. You need to warm that one up for at least 20 min before it will go. Mine needs a new clutch lever thingy? or something like that. Rodney says it works, but it is temperamental because it doesn't fit quite right. The third one needs brakes, but it is geared so low that you can still ride it without. I'm afraid I can't help much on man details right now! Rodney isn't here at the moment and neither is that third ATV. He took that one this morning because his takes so long to warm up. I DO know that mine is a Honda that came with enough spare parts (including a frame) to practically build another machine. I don't know about the third. I haven't even seen that one in daylight. Some friends are giving Sergei a snow machine (snow mobile in the rest of the world) but it too needs a little work. He's supposed to go help them put it back together at some point when they get back from "outside" (meaning the lower 48). Here's Rodney's Grizzly:
And my Honda. You can also see some of the yard cleanup in those pics. The platform in the Honda pic is the beginnings of the floor over the "basement/water plant" we just put in: Yes, winter is officially upon us! Rodney has been working hard at breaking a bone or two. Or three. We went to dinner at the Thiessens the other night and they had also invited the Gerwigs (who are giving Sergei the snow machine). Chuck Gerwig had quite the broken ankle story, starting with how he got it (a moose) to how it ended (8 mo pregnant wife, needing to get fire wood and finish building a house, since he had a "walking cast" he figured that meant he could walk on it). So Rodney has been trying to keep up with Chuch Gerwig. He took THREE bad falls on Sunday (ice skating and walking home from church) and Monday (stepped wrong off the ATV trailer). You'd think he'd be old enough to recognize the pointlessness of keeping up with the Joneses (or Gerwigs) by now!

I'm discovering why women quilt. I'm making "quilted" curtains for many of the windows to both keep heat in and to cheer up the windows. I foolishly decided to piece the kitchen ones like a quilt in order to utilize material that I had and really liked, but didn't have enough of. Sunday night I decided I HATED quilting. Monday morning when it was 0 degrees outside I decided that quilting was DEFINITELY more fun than being outside! Here you can see stage 1 of my "quilt". Now I'll cut this in vertical strips and offset them to make a patchwork quilt. I'd say this is the last time I do this, but the winter is long... It probably doesn't help that I have ANOTHER cold! Grrrrr!! It's like I've got to go check out all the new viruses in this new town. Sigh. Ah well! I feel better today than I did yesterday.

The wildlife is changing, but still entertaining. We haven't seen any moose in a while now, when we were seeing them almost every day. We are REALLY seeing the snowshoe hares now since they are white and there's hardly any snow on the ground! Silly hares! They really stood out when there was no snow, but I'm sure they'll be much happier when they fully blend into the background! I'm getting tons of chickadees to the bird feeder now. There's even one that flies across the lake to come to the feeder! I'm also starting to get a few different birds too, but I don't know what they all are yet. I got a bunch of different food yesterday so we hope to attract even more birds. I already had birds at the suet this morning within a half hour of putting it up! I can see most of my feeders from the kitchen sink so there's plenty of entertainment while doing the dishes!

The kids are doing well. Sergei and Oksana both had birthdays since my last post, so they are now 15 and 16 respectively. We've been using Skype to talk to my parents, sister, brother, etc and then Skype offered unlimited calling for $3 a month so the kids (especially Oksana) have made great use of that. They've really enjoyed talking to so many people. Oksana can't figure out what to say on the phone, but sit her down at the computer and she'll talk for hours! Just like her normal self!

The dogs are doing well too. Ellie hasn't disappeared in a while. Eider kept tricking her to get her bed (he'd bark to try to get her to jump up and see what was going on) but I just got the last parts to finish another one so now EVERYONE is happy! Ellie was on the new bed in this picture, but that was the last time. Just as when we had two different size beds in NY, Eider prefers the small one and Ellie prefers the big one. Silly dogs! Oh yeah, and Eider has the perverse distinction of being the first dog we've ever had to discover the freshest source of water in the house now that the lake is frozen. Ick! He used to go outside JUST to get a drink of water! Can't do that any more so he had to find another source! WHAT is wrong with a DISH???
On a slightly more somber note, camp said goodbye to Jim Raymond who up to that point had been with camp longer than anyone else on staff. He started coming to camp in the late 70s as a young teen with his family. He later worked at Li-Wa, Victory's sister camp in Fairbanks, and then came to Victory where he has been ever since. He has gone back to Portland, Oregon to help his aging parents and the church that has sponsored him all these years. Additionally, the pastor of Glacierview Bible, who has been there since its start 23 yrs ago, has felt the Lord leading him on to a new work. He will remain here until the summer, but will be moving on at that point. He too will be difficult to replace! It just reminds me again what an AMAZING community of people this is! We're so blessed to have been made so welcome so quickly! We're having a lot of fun getting to know everyone. Which leads me to the NEXT series of posts! I plan to introduce you all to all the names I keep mentioning! I figure it will help put faces with names and stories ;)

On a final note, we're looking forward to the house in NY closing, probably Monday of next week. While I'd LOVE to drag all our loved ones up here, I have no qualms about saying goodbye to that house. The new kitchen was beautiful but we were both just sooooooooo tired of all the work and $$$ that house sucked up! I confess though, I can't wait to see pictures of how it looks when they side it! It sounds like that is the first job on the new owner's adgenda. We always wanted to do that but did NOT want to see what our taxes would be like when that happened! Now we'll get to see it done but not have to pay for it!! Yeah!

1 comment:

  1. Oksana, or at least Oksana's brain reminds me of my own: backwards and upside down.

    I'm glad she has a teacher she can relate to.

    Your mention of Lou Rossi (it was Lou your were talking about) reminds me of all the hours I spent hanging around that music store. Lou always had a colorful opinion about something.

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