Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My first week of housewifery

So, my new job of housewife started last Monday, September 22.

So far,

  • I haven't broken any dishes, even though the last place I lived without a dishwasher saw the death of at least four glasses, all in less than one year.
  • I started wearing my apron, because washing dishes can be messy.

so many dishes...

  • I found out how long it takes to sweep a house that doesn't have any carpets whatsoever.

  • I made my husband breakfast 3 of those work days and sent lunch with him a few times.  I also found out he prefers to take cold lunch because he never knows where he will be when he is hungry for lunch.

  • I have begun to question how we can have a need to do so much laundry, and then realized for the last two and half months I had been doing laundry for one person, not two.

  • I've made seven trips to town, all in three days.

  • I found out what it means to go and get water.

  • And I have made dinner, fairly consistently.

  1. Monday:  Soup (broccoli & cheese, bag mix) and salad
  2. Tuesday:  Tortellini Soup
  3. Wednesday:  Tacos
  4. Thursday:  Chicken Fajitas (which we had twice the first week of dating)
  5. Friday:  Pizza (frozen, but doctored up with sauteed veggies and goat cheese - yum!)
  6. Saturday:  Sloppy Joes & cornbread
  7. Sunday:  Leftovers!
  8. Monday:  30-Minute Stove-top Lasagna, and cake (boxed) with frosting (homemade)
  9. Tuesday:  Leftovers (me) & frozen pizza (him)

And now I'm working on a shopping list for our next trip to town.  I do want to try baking bread, and I would really like to try making tortillas...  maybe I need to check out Pinterest for some ideas...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Transporting the car

Jeff towed the Jeep up the Alcan behind the U-Haul.  Once that trip was over, he said that he did NOT want me to drive to Alaska.

Well, that's good, because I really didn't want to.

Problem is, the quote that Jeff had gotten for transporting the car from Wisconsin was $4000!  Holy cow!  Kinda knocks you down, a number like that.

But he had seen trucks rolling through town transporting vehicles and gave them a call.

Turns out it costs $1600 to transport the car from Seattle to Glennallen.  Still a large sum, but much easier to take than four grand.

That, my friends, is why Tina and I took off on our road trip out west!  We had to deliver the car to Seattle.

Unfortunately, today I found out that it will be another week or more before I get the car (they had truck problems).


So, that means we are still sharing a vehicle.  No big deal since I don't have somewhere I HAVE to be, but on days when it's easier that I run an errand, then I'm driving into town multiple times (take Jeff to work; run the errand; pick Jeff up from work).  I don't mind, but it does notch some time out of my day.

Plus, the hand-held vacuum is in the car.  I would really like to have that right now...

This is the view during my walk the other day.  We're on a gravel road out here, and the gravel isn't like we know in the MidWest - it's much larger rocks.  Must remember to wear better shoes for the next walk...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chilly mornings

For those of you still using air conditioning, our mornings up here in Alaska have been starting out below freezing.

I took Jeff to work on Thursday morning and stopped by the scenic overlook on the way home.  Here's a mud puddle all iced up:

I really need to start taking a real camera with me when I leave the house, because my phone camera could not do the sunrise justice...

Back lit mountains with the Copper River in the foreground.  Beautiful...

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mt. Drum

I know that pictures really don't do the beauty of Alaska (or anywhere, for that matter) justice, but I just have to show you the view from right outside Jeff's office:

I mean, seriously!  Who lives where the mountains look so close you could just walk up and smack one?

But wait, let me show you a better one...

I mean, geez!  The summit of Mt. Drum is less than 30 miles from Glennallen.  Not too shabby!

Anyway, we had some decent weather this week.  Those two photos were from Thursday.  Unfortunately, today is not so good.  Some sleet, overcast, overall blah day.

Glennallen makes it on the map!

These were our place mats at a Mexican restaurant we tried when we were in Wasilla in June:

Check it out - little ol' Glennallen over on the right!  Now you have a map to our house...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

my first Alaskan earthquake!

This morning I was watching TV while the washer was going (towels), and thought "Geez, I must have the washer unbalanced; it sure is shaking the house!"

A short time later my recorded show was over and I saw the local update (you know, like they play during the morning network shows) and found out it had been an earthquake!

Jeff said that he was just starting his diesel work truck and thought "Why are you shaking so much, you dumb truck?"  Later in the morning, a customer asked him if he had felt the earthquake.

So there you have it, my first real Alaskan earthquake (which they're calling it a 6.2 magnitude) and I didn't even realize what it was!  Luckily we didn't have any damage, and nothing rattled off the counters.

an organized pantry!

While I was in Wisconsin alone, my stress was expressed through over-eating.  After I bought Hostess cupcakes, Leslie (at work) asked "What are you eating?"  "My feelings.  I'm eating my feeling."


Jeff expressed his stress by not unpacking.  Much.  He had sent me pictures of the house from 2-3 weeks after getting to Alaska.  When I got here on Sunday, it pretty much looked the same.  sigh

So, I need to do something about it.  I am not a clean person; I have piles disease just like the rest of my family.  But only having a small section of kitchen counter to work with because the rest was full, that just wasn't okay.


So I started by pulling everything out of the pantry and trying to categorize it.  It was good!  I got all the food put away.  It left me with more empty counter space.  So I moved items to where they were supposed to live.


It feels a lot better knowing that I'm getting more organized, and can make meals easier because I know where things are, and I have counter space on which to prepare stuff!

I think I've been doing a good job of playing the little home-maker.  I get up when Jeff does (otherwise I would sleep aaaallllllll morning).  I've started making him breakfast.  I pack his lunch, and send him on his way to work.  Then I shower and have breakfast (with a TV show), followed by doing dishes.  There might also be sweeping, burning burnables, doing laundry, etc. involved, followed by time on the computer.  I've been setting a timer when I get on the computer because otherwise I would probably spend HOURS on the interwebs...
After lunch (with a TV show), I try to do more unpacking/organizing around the house, and work on getting dinner together.  Yesterday I also go out and took a walk.  Unfortunately we live on a gravel road, and the gravel here is more like rocks.  Lots bigger than the gravel I'm used to in the Lower 48. I definitely need to work harder at getting physical activity in my day.
After making dinner, Jeff & I have been eating our dinner in front of the TV, where we watch a show that we both like, and just spend time together.  He's been working 10-hour days this week, so early bedtime makes the evenings short.  We don't have a ton of time home together, with his long work days this week, so I've not really been doing house work in the evenings.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Anchorage to Glennallen - the drive to my new home

We rented the house after only seeing the outside.  We were too worried about not having a place to live for Jeff to head out with the U-Haul without having secured somewhere to live.  Little did we know that he could have come up here without lodging in place, and all would be well.  He had options.

But he also had a lease.  So we are living in a house 11 miles from his office.  Not a bad commute, especially when he gets to see the mountains on his way...

(picture stolen from Jeff's Instagram)

I knew that I would need to take advantage of being in Anchorage after the flight.  So we got up on Sunday morning and went to Costco and Fred Meyer.  I had made a list of a few meals before I even left the midwest, and made the shopping list that way.  Jeff was able to tell me what he did and did not have in the house.  I can easily make meals for a couple of weeks without needing to do any grocery shopping, other than dairy and fresh produce.

So, please, enjoy some pics from our Anchorage > Eagle River > Glennallen road trip home...

do you see the rainbow?

The Wrangell Mountains ahead...

Tina has been given the Prodding Authority - she's going to prod me along to blog.  So keep checking back to see what all is new.  or you could just follow my blog...

Have a great day!

How our move to Alaska came to be

Jeff spent about 3 years in Alaska when his dad was stationed there.  He has great memories of that time, about leaving home in the morning with his fishing pole and some aluminum foil (for cooking his fish for lunch), and Blue Bell, the moose who hung out near his school.  He then selected Alaska for our honeymoon (we had the agreement that if I planned the wedding, he would plan the honeymoon - it was a very good agreement).

We both really enjoyed those 2 weeks in Alaska, and Jeff had been talking about wanting to live there, I so I did the math, and said that if we weren't there within 5 years, that would be a great time to make the move.

You see, I'm a planner.  And I was looking at everything from housing market to debt to how old we would be at that time.  It just so happened that the perfect job for Jeff wasn't something I could foresee.

On May 17th, I was at work, on a Saturday, and I got a text from Jeff.

He just sounded so happy and excited when talking about the job, I thought, what's the harm?

So he applied.

And then he had a phone interview.  And a second phone interview.  In which they asked him to come up for a visit and bring his wife.

We arrived in Alaska on June 14, and in Glennallen on June 15.  He interviewed on June 16 & 17, and on June 17 he was offered the job.

With all of the stress we've both been experiencing at work, and the desire to live somewhere other than where we were, along with a lot of other variables, this was the right opportunity for us.

I'm sure it will all be worth it in the end.

Wish us luck!