Sunday, October 9, 2011

New babies, new property and all that bologna

When I left off on the last post, Heather's baby had not yet been born. She has since arrived and all three ladies got together at Nicole's shower for some pictures. Introducing Chelsea with Raylee, Nicole with Mason and Heather with Bethany, three little beautiful blessings!

I finally got around to booking flights to NY for Rodney, Oksana and I. We will be in NY from October 22 through November 14 and are looking forward to a lot of visiting! The boys will be staying here with friends and keeping busy with volleyball. Unfortunately we will miss much of the volleyball season. Before we leave, Sergei wanted his hair cut so I set about doing that last night. About half way through he decided that he wasn't impressed with how far back his forehead went. He expects me to work miracles, but there's just so much that a mere hair butcher can do. He finally chose to embrace his increasing forehead! After I cut off as much as I could with the clippers, Rodney set to work with the razor.

The end result does take a little getting used to.

Rodney was originally just going to make some moose jerky and a little sausage from what we had left of the moose meat but once he got going, he ended up doing all sorts of sausage! Here he's stuffing the summer sausage.

Do you think he made enough?

And bratwurst.

And kielbasa.

We did close on the property. For real! It is 16 acres of vacant land, right on the Glenn Highway across from the school. It's hard to get a good feel for the property from pictures, but I'll give it a try. This shows pretty much the whole road frontage from the current driveway up to the signs to the school.

There is a driveway in, but it fairly quickly heads off onto the property next door.

It is quite thick and brushy in spots.

Yet open in other spots.

There should be some lovely views of the glacier once we clear a spot.

And views of Lionshead rock, but it sort of blends into the trees in photos up on the hill.

It looks like we have a number of spots that will have water.

On our way home today we saw a porcupine. He didn't want his picture taken, but I managed to snap a shot as he waddled away. I wasn't really interested in trying to get a closer picture.

No blog post would be complete without a bunch of scenic pictures. The glacier was quite lovely today!

And a view down the valley from the glacier.

The clouds coming in made an interesting twist on the normal beautiful scene.

And a view of Shallow Lake in the waning light.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Babies, birds, moose and more fall colors!

Now that we've gotten the scenic pictures out of the way (or at least the bulk of them), it's time to move on to what we've been up to these days. We're still looking at property and will probably close on a piece within the next week. I'm not going to bother with much discussion of it though until it actually closes. I learned the lesson after the last one! I have been busy though with a project with some deadlines.

This past spring when Chelsea, Heather and Nicole all announced that they were expecting babies this fall, I decided that I wanted to make something for each of them. When we adopted our kids, we purchased a baby's busy book from a local quilt store. I decided that it would be fun to make something like that for each of the babies. Despite starting with plenty of time, I was still busy working to complete the book in the days before Chelsea's shower! I made one in time for Jared and Kacie Werkema when they came in May and Kacie gave me some ideas about what was and what was not working in their book so I could make some adjustments for these. Here are the three beautiful moms at Chelsea's shower a few weeks ago. Chelsea had her baby girl about a week after the picture and Nicole just had her baby boy this past week right after Heather's shower! Fortunately Nicole decided to have her shower after the baby was born so I still have a few more days to work on finishing that one! Meanwhile Heather is still waiting for her little girl to arrive!

Rachel made this GORGEOUS cake for Chelsea's shower:

Soooooo cute!!!

And here are the pages of the busy book. First is to match the animals with the fur. I tried to use as many colors and textures in the books as possible.

Buttoning and a belt. I tried to put something behind each item to "find" when they worked the page.

Matching shapes

Overalls can be girlie too!

The counting page

Snaps and tying shoes, plus a mitten to stick their hands in.

The clock. Andrei thought it was so clever to put the arrow on their to tell you which way the hands turn. Until he realized that I'd put it on the wrong way! It hadn't occurred to me that the arrow would point in the direction the hands should travel. I just put it on there to brighten up the page. I DID put it on in the direction the hands should travel on the next one!


In the midst of my sewing projects, Sergei ended up shooting a moose. We'd been out at the VanDaam's house for dinner and between Dianne needing to put Hailey to bed and Rod wanting to go for a hike to see if he could see any moose, we ended up leaving relatively early. Across the lake from us is a peninsula where we often see moose grazing. When we got home, Rodney saw a moose out there and got out the spotting scope to see if it was a bull or not. It took some time to decide that it really was a legal bull (spike or fork, they knew it wasn't a big one). There was a group in at camp and even had there not been, it would not have been desirable to shoot toward camp. They then grabbed some guns and took off with the boat to go to where they could shoot safely. This was more like grocery shopping than hunting.

Sergei's first moose - a bit blurry, but better than nothing!

Fortunately, Rodney had just recently hung a pole for a punching bag. It worked perfectly for moose too! Well, almost perfectly. The thing was a bit heavy even with two ATVs, two teen boys, one old lady, one teenage girl and one husband pulling to lift it up!

ATVs on the other end

Ellie thought she was in HEAVEN!

Ray Tomory came and helped us cut and grind the beast in one looooooong day! Unfortunately I can't eat moose, which we sort of knew, but we figured that some moose that didn't eat willow (salicylic acid - aspirin) might be ok. We'd decided that if we got our own moose that I'd try it to see if it was ok. I'd only had stomach pain the last time I'd had moose which wasn't fun, but was worth the try before deciding not to eat the entire beast. Two tiny bites and my throat and tongue started swelling so absolutely, positively no more moose for me! Not worth the risk.

Days later another moose threw caution to the wind chasing a cow through the back yard! Maybe he just knew he wasn't legal yet! If they aren't a fork or spike, they have to have 4 brow tines or have a 50" or greater spread. He was moving too fast for a good shot, but you can still tell that they are there!

I suspect my eyes are getting better as I get older. I've never needed my glasses to pass my driver's eye exams, but no matter how I tried, I've NEVER seen clearly - up close, far away, it just didn't make any difference. Things just weren't that sharp. Now when I put my glasses on, I can see individual leaves on trees quite a distance away, see sheep up on the mountains, etc. It's kind of interesting! Eye opening even! Rodney used to see things off in the distance and all I could see was a spot, if at all. Suddenly I can actually spot things and often before Rodney sees them! It's a whole new world out there! So I don't know if that is helping my pictures, or if I've just gotten to know the area better and scope out better spots to take them or what, but at any rate it has been a lot of fun. So without further ado, here is some more eye candy!

First is a panorama at the Palmer overlook. I haven't done a panorama in a while so I figured it was time to do a couple.

This panorama is between Palmer and Sutton at one of my favorite pull-offs.

I've had a lot of fun with the reflection shots lately, mostly because there's been a lot of great material - calm water and beautiful scenery! This little pond always reminds me of the NY Adirondack Mountains for some reason.

Weiner Lake morning mist and reflection.

The usual, but never dull Amulet shots.

And a little later - the snow is on it's way down!

Long Lake reflective shot.

Another favorite spring, summer and fall spot - Granite Creek. It's pretty dull in winter with the white rock against the snow, but amazing the rest of the year!

This little stream near Chickaloon always intrigues me. I'd love to hike it some day!

The ATV trail is gorgeous in its own way.

Carolynn Tomory feeds the Chickadees and Nuthatches off her deck. She's gotten us addicted, so Rodney had to give it a shot too. I just loved this shot because the feathers are almost translucent!

The lovely swans are still here, though probably not for too much longer. I still need to work on getting some of these longer distance shots. I suppose dragging out the tripod might help.

We were able to spend an afternoon with Hal and Sherron Farrar a few weeks ago. Those two would be worth a couple of blog posts each, but I'll have to save those for another time! Here are a few shots from their place.

Hundred Mile Lake

Morning commute

Morning commute