After spending 54 years from birth to 2008 living in Iowa I was presented with an opportunity to live in Fairbanks, Alaska. My blog is a diary of the adventure to get to Alaska, day to day life in Alaska, as well as facts for loved ones left behind in the Lower 48. Enjoy.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Laundry Gone Awry

Started a load of laundry last night before going to bed with the hopes of drying it this morning before we left for Ames. Well, I opened the washer this morning and....surprise! The washer had stopped running mid-cycle and was full of water.

After doing considerable troubleshooting (and yes, bailing out water and removing half of the load in case the washer "thought" it was overloaded) I started it again. Worked fine for probably a minute, then shut off. Did this several times, including whirling the dial a bit to see if maybe one particular cycle was attitudinal, and same thing occurred time after time.

Lessons learned:
1. At the present time I am working harder than the washer.
2. Clothes are still soaking wet and sitting in the washer.
3. Will have to call a serviceperson to take a look at it and take away some of our $.

Hopefully there still IS a Maytag repair"man".

It's a good thing this is not the week I'm preparing an adult sermon it might be too depressing for adults to hear. However I just might be able to use this as my children's message tomorrow, how a broken washer and it getting fixed is similar to our lives when we sin and God washing us clean over and over and over. Could probably also throw in a lesson about faith in there too, as in having faith that the repairman will be able to repair it. And a lesson on patience and, oh the possibilities are endless!

For now, the washer will have to wait. There's Allysa and dancing in Ames waiting to entertain us.

Happy to have shared this moment with you and hopefully put a smile on your face this bright, sunny, gorgeous Iowa morning.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Rain complications

Rain has complicated things a bit this week. Had a big thunderstorm move through last night which happened to be the night trash and recycling was to be set out. I'm an avid recycler (in case you hadn't figured that out), and sometimes mother nature doesn't cooperate in keeping papers dry until the recyclers arrive.

Hoping to get as much out as I could, got up at 4 a.m. and began taking things out to the curb. Made it with the first bag of trash and two big bags of paper recyclables, then back to the basement to bag up more.

I proudly emerged from the basement with one large bag of trash, one bag of recycling, the wedding dresses to be sent away, and one bag of clothes for Goodwill. The trash truck had been by, but not the recycling, so out went the other bag of recycling and box full of papers to be recycled.

Nate got his trailer hitch put on his vehicle for the trip to AK...we plan on towing my mini van behind his recently purchased AWD Toyota Highlander. I'm gambling that my Dodge mini van will do okay in the AK weather.

Last night I took a break from packing and made rhubarb crisp with rhubarb from my parent's garden as well as some from a co-worker. Suppose they have rhubarb in Alaska? Regardless, this is the last Iowa rhubarb I'll have for quite some time, and boy, is it yummy!

Managed to get away from work this week long enough to attend Brittany's end of the school year recognition program. Each child received a recognition certificate. Hers was in handwriting. From the looks of her handwriting this was probably for the most improved - from totally illegible to nearly legible. Handwriting just doesn't seem to hold any priority with her. She woke up that morning throwing up, as she gets very nervous about "performances", only to learn later that she had a fever, too. She managed to make it through the awards ceremony, then Nate took her and her mother home where she rested and was sick for the next couple of days. What a way to end the school year. One good thing - at least she didn't miss any more school due to her sickness.

Work this week has been extremely busy with learning new components of HR that I'll be doing in AK, preparing procedure manual for the HR tasks that I've been doing to share with the gal here that will take them over, doing my "regular" duties, and training a new employee. Received info yesterday that there is a mandatory training in Anchorage in early August that I will need to attend. It's on a Tuesday so perhaps we'll make a weekend trip out of it, take a vacation day on Monday and mix business with pleasure.

Learned that BGH is providing temporary housing for us in Fairbanks until the end of July which GREATLY relieves my mind, as well as other co-workers' minds. I've been doing a lot of research on the internet about housing, but it's really hard to know what you're getting without actually seeing it in person. Now if only I know exactly how "furnished" the furnished apartment we'll be renting really is. It's not like we can make a day trip back to Iowa if we leave something behind that we'd really like to have/need in Fairbanks!

Looking forward Saturday to going to Ames to Nate's granddaughter's annual dance recital. We typically see Shari, Gary, and Allysa this one time each year, and made sure our calendar was clear for this. They are building a new home and have sold their current home, so will be moving into an apartment for the time being. Lesson: Be thankful we only have to move once!

After this weekend have one more full weekend to get things ready for the rummage sale. Sundays are busy with church, and have several things going on there. This Sunday I fill in for the full-time organist and do children's message, June 15 I fill in as lay speaker during our pastor's absence and June 22 they are planning a farewell potluck for us following church.

With the busy weekend ahead probably won't get much more posted right away. Thanks to those of you who have e-mailed that you are enjoying the blog. We appreciate hearing from you and knowing that we are loved so deeply. Have a good weekend and know that you are in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Bags and boxes

Well, got one garbage bag ready for the trash, 2 bins of fabric for Goodwill, rounded up my wedding dresses and started a box for the newborns in need website. Nate boxed up his stamp collection to mail to a guy in Minnesota who sells stamps. While I appreciate the fact that he has chosen to get rid of something we don't need, I'm left wondering why he had to use one of the coveted paper boxes that I scrounged from work with the intention that everything we'll be packing will be in paper boxes so that they will stack nicely!

Nate and I relaxed a bit ago and watched some TV. There was some strange-sounding motorized "thing" operating in the neighborhood. Having lived here for five years I knew that whatever it was, we were safe and didn't bother to check it out. Then I got to thinking... 'if I were to hear this in Alaska, where everything is foreign, would I feel safe there too'? Every sound we hear in Alaska the first time will be foreign.

To a degree being in this situation kind of parallels with being given a diagnosis of only having a short time to live by one's doctor. Every interaction with our church family, Sam, and co-workers is savored and tucked away in our hearts. Driving down the streets of Sioux City I realize that to drive to the mall, grocery store, Wal-Mart, church, work, etc., in Alaska will all be a challenge the first time or two. There will no longer be the familiarity of hopping in the car and not thinking about what streets we're driving to arrive at our destination. Everything will require planning and mystery until we reach our destination.

Hopefully my posting two things in one day won't deter you from checking back in the future. I have no intentions if telling you about each and every box that's packed or its destination, but did want to let you know that I had some success in my trip to the basement.

Moving Preparations

Welcome to my first blog. I have been trying to fill in my friends and family about our Alaska plans, and received the suggestion to write a blog, so here goes.

Boys and Girls Home Residential Treatment Centers my employer for the past 19 years, is expanding from our home office in Sioux City, Iowa, to Fairbanks, Alaska. I will be transferring to that office to work as administrative assistant to the president and to run the human resources component. We will be moving around mid-July. Needless to say, that means some major changes, both at work as well as home and church. We plan on renting a furnished apartment in Alaska, which we have been busy looking for on the internet at the local Fairbanks newspaper,

The moving preparations are in full swing. Saturday we had a rummage sale with Sam, Camilla, Brian and Tom. It was a hot, steamy day; at least it didn't rain, as they had forecast. The forecast for the entire 3-day weekend was for rain, but the last rain we had was Friday evening, so can't use weather as my excuse for not getting things done. We didn't get rid of nearly enough "stuff", but at least it was a start. Most of my items were priced at .10 or .25, so I didn't reap much in $, but did begin to pare things down. Several boxes went to Goodwill, as some things I really don't want to look at again!

It is quite monumental going through 54 years of "stuff", and difficult to determine what to keep and what to let go. I went through an expandable folder that I had saved newspaper and magazine clippings and pared it down by about 99%. Most of the articles in there I can now find easily on the Internet, so the recyclers will receive all my discarded paper.

One article i found in a magazine was about where to donate stuff if you don't want to have a rummage, yet it is too good to just pitch. They include:

It's interesting how much more effort it takes to sort through things and lug them up the basement stairs than it did to whisk them downstairs and plop them wherever!

Due to the nice weather today I also worked on some outdoor things. This past winter was long and wet, preventing us from getting outdoors much before now. That coupled with the plan to lease our home and be away for at least a year there are a lot of things needing attention. I pruned down the blackberry bush, rose bushes, and vines. Opened up a couple of totes on the south deck to see what needed to be dealt with (surprise!), pulled some weeds, picked up some rocks (which will look just great in the rocky area near our church parking lot), etc. Hmmmm wonder how much the rocks will be worth as a tax deduction? :-)

Well, while it's relaxing to sit here on the computer, this certainly doesn't get things pared down, so better get after it.

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