Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Moose in the Garden

Here you go! This time I took pictures first before making my presence known in hopes they would meander OUT of my garden, so I can salvage what little I have left!

Yes, they are cute in a large, awkward, moosy way.... : ) And they did leave, not finding the carrot tops quite to their taste.

Momma walked out first, straight toward my struggling little lilac bush (that you can barely see in this pic). It gets trimmed by them annually, also chewed on by other local 4-legged animals for some reason (Sissy, Kona,... guess the bush was just their size.)

OK Little One, follow your Momma out, anytime now... These Moose were also laying out there on the lawn by the garden at 2:30 this morning, which Sissy loudly brought to our attention when she saw them there in the moonlight as she was in the process of pacing around between the window, the stairs and the door trying to quietly (?) wake someone up to let her out. The previous day she had been snacking on some rotten meat she had found, it was messing with her system, and our sleep... I stood out there with her, shushing her as she tried to bark, growl and do her business all at the same time. Quite the challenge for her, and me.

Well, these visitors motivated me to check out the garden after their departure. The frost has killed what was left of the zucchini. I dug up the potatoes but sadly there weren't very many and they were very small, like new potatoes or large marbles. I was really looking forward to having a stash of red potatoes...and carrots this winter. I planted lots of them, proof with all the green tops, but it doesn't look like I'll have many carrots to pull over the next few weeks either. Well, there's always next year to try again!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

September Fall Cards

Since I love fall colors, I signed up for some fall themed card swaps with a couple of Yahoo groups I'm in. I figured this would help give me a jump start into card making mode with the holidays fast approaching. Here's a few I made this past week.

I used this Mojo Monday Week 96 sketch for inspiration on a couple of the cards below.
I like using their sketches, less time spent on figuring out a layout, tho' more time spent on picking patterned paper and stamps. I tried to keep it simple here and not spend too much time thinking about it : )

Since I don't have any of the Nestabilities or Spellbinders cutting templates for the big shapes, I used my Fiskars Shapetemplate, traced the circles and cut them out by hand. They don't come out as nice but distress the edge alittle and they look fine. For the larger circle I used paper edging scissors to cut it out.

I really liked this argyle patterned paper for some reason when I first saw it. I couldn't resist using my Cuttlebug Diamonds in the Rough embossing folder on the card front. The embossing doesn't quite line up with the pattern on the paper but I think it adds a nice little dimension to the card, on the inside too.

This one was made using some of the leftover pieces from previous cards. Rather than stash the scraps, only to forget about them, I went ahead and made another quick card. I had just enough of the red to glue on the edges of the base card. Even the leaves were punched from the scraps left after cutting out all the circles : )

Off to get these out in the mail by the end of the month!

Stamps: Fall sprig & verse-Stampin'Up, Thank You-Hero Arts
Ink: Fall sprig-Versafine Sepia (brown), Verse-Adirondack Cranberry (Ranger dye ink), Thank You-Colorbox chalk ink Chestnut Roan (brown)
Paper: DCWV Fall Matstack
Other tools: Offray sheer ribbon-gold, Cuttlebug, Diamond in the Rough embossing folder, Fiskars Shapetemplate, Pinking paper edging scissors (Michaels)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Snow on the Mountains!

The clouds lifted a bit this morning, the sun glinted off the light frost on the ground. It's nice to see the blue sky along with all the colors of fall. After so much rain and the cooling temps this past week, as everyone expected, there was snow on the mountain tops! 2 ranges surround much of our valley.

The Chugach Mountains to the east/southeast

The Talkeetna Mountains to the north

Ahhhh, the beauty that surrounds us. I feel blessed to see and enjoy God's handiwork, from inside my car with the heat taking the chill off, outside walking around with our dog to keep the blood pumping and back inside our home snuggled in flannel & fleece with fuzzy slippers and a mug of chai tea!

One last pic from today.

These flowers are still going strong, adding their burst of color to the view along the roadside.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Roadtrip to Seward AK

I started my Income Tax Class with H&R Block last week. It's where I plan to be on Mondays & Thursdays thru the month of November. Scott's folks are here in AK for about 2.5 weeks so we wanted to get out and be tourists for a bit. Right after my class let out this past Thursday we headed out on a road trip to Seward AK.

Sept 15 is known to be the end or very close to the end of Tourist season in many places of Alaska. Fall is in the air with beautiful colors and cooler temperatures. These temperature changes play a role in determining the "Tourist Season" esp. for those driving from the lower 48 states or cruising in on ships. It was already the 17th when we took off outta here so the travelers on the roads and at the typical stops along the way were rather sparse.

Our transportation & accomodations.

Once we got to Seward, we headed out to Lowell Point to the Campground at Miller's Landing, waaayyy out the end of the road in Seward. We didn't have much company out there other than the day visitors coming to check out the view or to use the boat launch and the 3 Campground Dogs that would come by on their rounds, visiting people and their pets.

The spotted one is Jack, he's the alpha male of the camp pooches. Sissy and Jack got along great, it was nice to have a playmate for her while there.

Kayakers heading out from Millers Landing on Resurrection Bay.

Last Cruise ship of the season heading out of the Harbor.

Besides enjoying the view from the campgound on the Bay, checking out the shops and the boat harbor in town, we also visited the SeaLife Center. Here's a few of the animals we saw.

Sea Lions

Many different kinds of Star Fish

Harbor Seal

We also saw Octopus, jelly fish, and other "under the sea" creature but pics didn't come out very well with the reflective glass cases and the weird lighting inside. Note to self: add polarizer filter, lens hood, and telephoto lens to wish list : )

Scott & his folks

Since the folks were flying out of Anchorage on the red eye Sunday night (Monday morning) we headed for home Saturday afternoon. We made a few stops along the way to stretch our legs and take some pics of the fall colors.

Tern Lake Rec area, at the intersection of the Seward Hwy and Sterling Hwy.

Driving along Turnagain Arm on the Seward Hwy

Railroad bridge crossing the Knik River.

A beautiful close to a short but sweet trip.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Juneau AK

Mist over Taku Harbor

We are home from Juneau, AK! After wading through 700+ pictures (I love digital cameras), narrowing down the 20 pics of everything to the top 3 or so of everything... and taking a nap to rest my eyes...I've select just a few to post.

We met up with Scott's folks there, arriving only about 20 minutes before they did. His parents lived in Juneau back in the late 70s, early 80s and I think this was the first they'd been back to visit. Scott and I were in Juneau 9 years ago for his 20 year High School Reunion so not much had changed since we were there last. The Glaciers continue to recede and the tourists are still coming in on the huge cruise ships.

Juneau is isolated by mountains and water, accessible only by air or water. The area has grown alot more than Scott's parents ever expected some 25 years ago, the biggest draws being Alaska government (state capital), tourism and commercial fishing.

The folks stayed at a hotel, right in front of their old house. It was still standing, looked the same but was being used for storage (not lived in). Scott & I stayed in the home of high school friends of Scott's. We enjoyed the homey accomodations and chatting late into the evening.

Each day we played tourist and were able to meet up with a few old friends in the area. Here's a summary of our activities.

Day 1 We took a driving tour of the area. 4 cruise ships were docked downtown so the place was mobbed with people, we didn't stay down there long.

We stopped to check out the boat we had reserved for the next day with Nordic Tug Charters. It was pretty fancy being a 37 foot luxury tug. I made sure I picked up some Dramamine when we stopped to stock up on food for the ride, and prayed for calm waters.

Day 2 The day was overcast (typical Juneau weather) but very calm! We headed out to Taku Harbor in the boat, me clicking pictures of everything possible, trying to catch the beauty of the clouds, mist, mountains, water, boats, .... and keeping an eye out for animals.

Taku Harbor was a place they anchored at night to sleep when Scott, his brother Keith and their Dad commercial fished years ago. We were returning this day in memory of Keith who died just 2 months ago, in July.

The only people in the misty, calm harbor, we enjoyed the quiet and the scenery despite the deep saddness we felt with the loss of a family member.

Docked in Taku Harbor

Grass & trees growing from the old dock pilings.

Old cabin in Taku Harbor
It even had an old wringer washer in the entryway.

Waterfall in Taku Inlet

On the way back to Juneau the clouds began to lift and clear. We saw sea lions swimming near shore. I wasn't able to zoom in very close but I did get some head shots that were recognizable, not just brown spots floating on the water.

We did see a whale that surfaced a few times but I couldn't get good pics showing it was a whale.

Day 3 More tourist driving, visiting Mendenhall Glacier, Skater's cabin, boat harbors.

Day 4 We took the tram up the mountain from downtown Juneau, enjoyed the view & had lunch before coming down. Only 2 cruise ships were in today so we were able to walk down the streets and check out some of the shops.

Downtown Juneau, view from the top

Juneau valley, view from top

Waterway into Juneau

Day 5 The 4 of us left Juneau, headed toward our home the valley. The folks will be here with us for a couple of weeks before they head back to Florida.