Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Fun

One great advantage to homeschooling is being able to take the kids wherever--whenever! We decided to go to the pumpkin patch on Monday. The kids looked around for a while and with some convincing by grandma and me, finally decided on one each. Unfortunately, Liberty's got a little rotten (by rotten, I mean had a crack with juice oozing out). So we pitched the first one and bought her a new one at the local year-round produce stand. It was a large pumpkin. It weighed 35 pounds!

Since John is in Alaska and was touching down in Fairbanks at the time we began carving, I had to cut open, scrape out and carve the pumpkins without the extra set of hands. One thing I have to admit is that I loathe the feeling of pumpkin. It makes me itchy and it's cold, so my fingers get a wee bit frozen.

When all is said and done, and I step back and look at the cutely carved, amatuer looking gourds, I feel joyful. I have two hands that are capable, a creative eye, and still have both my hands after slicing and dicing away at the extra large vegetable.

This year, Liberty chose a headstone, and Canyon chose Thomas the Tank Engine. Funny thing, Thomas was really difficult (and Canyon's pumpkin is beginning to get a little soft) and the headstone took me about 5 minutes.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lost in the Wilderness of Alaska

Lost in the wilderness of Alaska.

John wnet bear hunting with some friends in Alaska over the weekend. The hunters were: John, Johnnie and his two boys, and a guy named Chris. (I believe that's all.) They were expected home Sunday evening and at around 9 p.m. Washington time I got a little worried. I hadn't heard from John yet even after sending him a text to tell him to get a hold of me ASAP. I decided to text his sister Sandra, who he's staying with in AK just to make sure he hadn't forgotten to call me. Turns out he hadn't forgotten...

Here's the timeline breakdown through texts:

  • 8:47 p.m. - I text Sandra to Ask when John is expected home.

  • 10:58 p.m. - Sandra texts "tonight"

  • 10:59 p.m. - I tell her thanks and I haven't heard from him and wanted to hear his voice.

  • 11:00 p.m. - She says she hadn't heard from him either.

  • Sometime after 11:00 p.m. Sandra called to tell me she talked to Johnnie's wife Sherry, and that the Haviland (enclosed ATV that runs on tracks) had lost a track sometime around 3:30 p.m and they were walking to find a road. They could hear a road, but so far hadn't found it.

  • 3:28 a.m. - Sandra texts me to tell me that Johnnie had been picked up by family rescue crew. That where they were was a "swampy mess" and John and Chris (and Johnnie's two boys) were still out there and waiting for morning for daylight for rescue ("pickup" in Alaska standards).

  • 3:32 a.m. - text from Sandra saying that it was hard to get out and she wasn't sure why John and Chris hadn't followed (although in hindsight, probably because you wouldn't want a couple kids trapsing through the swamp and getting hypothermia.) They had built a fire.

  • 3:33 a.m. - Sandra tells me Johnnie says John and Chris are fine. They'll come on out in the morning.

  • 3:42 a.m. - I start panicking and thinking John must be hurt and they're keeping him stable by the fire (you know how creative a mind I have and boy was it working overtime last night!)

  • Hours passed and I got more confused and worried and popped a Xanax knowing that at least I could sleep a little and not go into complete panic mode!

  • 7:27 a.m. WA time, 6:27 a.m. Alaska time -Sandra texts me to tell me "it's not daylight yet."

  • 10:56 a.m. - Johnnie texts me to tell me that he "got ur (my) hubby and heading back"

  • 11:03 a.m. - I text Johnnie "Scared me to death!"

  • 11:10 a.m. - Johnnnie texts me to say "He is fine lost some weight" (HAHA-my addition)

  • 11:12 a.m. - I told Johnnie "Well, I married a big guy I want a big guy back!"

  • Waited and waited and waited to hear John's voice.....

  • 2:02 p.m. - John finally calls me from a cafe they all rode 4-wheelers to so they could eat.

Oh my good grief! John has survived his first Alaska wilderness adventure and I am still a little groggy from the anti-anxiety meds I used to keep me from completely losing my mind! Keep in mind the last time I'd heard from John was at 2:05 p.m. on Saturday-- 48 hours prior! At that time he told me they'd arrived at the cabin and it was awesome up there. Right on a lake, mountains in front of them, he wished I could be there, I would love it.

Items on John's Christmas list (my creation): sattelite telephone, personal GPS, survival kit, rifle with lots of ammo, trained pigeon (so he can send it out to deliver the message of his whereabouts).

John jokingly said the next time, it's my turn and he's sending me out with Sherry, Johnnie's wife. She's an Alaska gal through and through and a heck of a baker from what I hear, so I'll be OK. My toes may freeze off---literally, but I'll survive.

Sigh. And I'm off to take a 5 hour energy shot.