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.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Alaska Rainforest

It continues to rain and rain and rain in Alaska. Nate commented last night that he would be more inclined to think that we're in a rainforest in Hawaii than Alaska with all the rain and cloudy skies we've had. Come Sunday I'll have been in Alaska three weeks and I can recall all of three days that were sunny. The locals comment about how unusual the weather has been this summer, stating they normally have 2-3 weeks of temps in the mid 70's to 80, and have only had one or two near 70 degree days so far this year.

Prior to coming to Alaska I read that the vegetables in Alaska grow to enormous sizes due to all the sunlight they receive. Well that didn't happen this year. Overall vegetables are equal to or smaller than what grows in Iowa. I must say everything is very lush and green, and the threat of forest fires is definitely low, which is a good thing since Alaska is covered with evergreen trees.

Many young children wear rubber ankle-calf high boots during this weather, something that is uncommon to see in the Midwest. Even some adults wear them. They come in all colors and even some with patterns. I'm guessing that in the spring of the year when the snow melts it gets muddy underfoot for an extended period of time, so that's probably why they own boots.

The cloudy, dreary weather may be preparing us for the darkness of winter. Several people we've talked to indicate that we need to look into getting a light box which simulates sunlight and the impact it has on preventing depression and the winter blahs. I've done some research on the internet to learn why, when, and how they're used. The Mayo Clinic has a good website explaining SAD and the use of light boxes: Just may need to check into getting one if I feel the need.

Camilla's and my trip to Anchorage was okay, nothing fantastic. We flew there and took the hotel shuttle back and forth, so our "window" of viewing of Anchorage was rather limited. Unlike Fairbanks snowcapped mountains can be seen from Anchorage. Like Fairbanks, it was cloudy and rained some while we were there. Darn it anyway! We didn't see any wildlife there, however there was a PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE MOOSE sign outside the hotel, so they must have moose in the wooded area just off the parking lot. On our way back to the airport the van driver informed us that his next stop was to pick up someone that had caught a salmon while fishing. Salmon are saltwater fish and Fairbanks isn't near saltwater, so unless we travel to do some fishing that won't be happening.

The food program training was similar to Iowa and Nebraska's, which stands to reason since it's a federal program. The forms that are used are different, but otherwise things are the same.

Camilla took her registered nurse state boards - results aren't yet back yet so we don't know if she passed.

We attempted to catch a 5 pm flight from Anchorage home, but the plane was full, so spent 5 hours waiting for the next flight. I took some pictures which I'll post later. (Camera is in my office so I can take some pix of the facility and today's open house.)

Today, 8-8-08 is our open house for BGH. Several staff from the Sioux City office are here doing everything from sharing their cooking skills and coveted dessert recipes with our new chef to conducting interviews to cleaning bathrooms (no housekeeping staff hired yet) to a little bit of everything else. It's nice to see familiar faces, and nicer yet to know that when they have to make the long trek back to Iowa I can drive the 3 minutes and be home.

I've continued to receive a few e-mails from Iowa (I try to not call it "home", as Alaska is now our home) which are greatly appreciated. It's nice to hear your comments so I can blog about things of interest to you - in particular that you are enjoying the photos.

I received a special e-mail from the gal who experienced the serious brain trauma in a fall this summer. She is home from the hospital and recuperating well. Praise God for the healing he has done for her! Everything in Alaska is still so new and mostly work-oriented so it is good to hear from loved ones. Keep those e-mails coming.

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