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.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I've made a few discoveries that I'd like to share with you.

1. I don't know about you, but to me most mountain peaks look similar. Perhaps I need to practice up on recognizing the differences between mountain peaks. My curiousity got the best of me tonight when I was thinking about the mountain peak that Camilla and I saw from the mountain and wondering if it might have been Mt McKinley. I did a google search for photos of Mt Mckinley and found the following link. I'm thinking what we saw was Mt McKinley, what do you think??? (Seriously, please let me know your thoughts - I'm okay if you tell me that you think I'm way off in my opinion.)

2. Friends and family who read my blog and e-mail me to let me know its impact on you are greatly appreciated. I've received a few personal e-mails indicating how others feel like they are on this adventure with me, and that they even feel "closer" to us than when we lived in Iowa. Thanks to those of you who've know who you are and I know where you live :-)

3. A trip to Office Max can be hazardous to your health. I'm all about saving money, and this week the local Office Max has several office supplies we use on sale. Each client has a 3" binder which contains their documentation and this week they are on sale at a whopping $5.99 OFF from the regular price. I loaded my yellow Office Max cart to the max, packing in over 30 binders and strode to the check-out trying not to show my pride in being so cost-conscious. It was difficult standing those binders on the check-out counter as evidenced by one binder toppling off of the counter and landing - hold your breath everyone, binder spine downward, directly across my big toe on my right foot. Personal note here...Alright mom, I know what you're thinking "if you would have had shoes on that wouldn't have happened". Partly true...I didn't have shoes on, but I did have sandals on. Had that binder fallen 1/2" closer towards my body my sandal would have protected me from the falling binder. Anyway, saving $179.70 on binders was worth a black and blue toe and the limp I'm sporting.

4. Office Max clerks aren't very observant. After the binder fell on my toe I fought back tears and bent over in immense pain (due to some medical conditions I have the pain I experience is highly multipled), contorting not only my face, but my entire body. She continued to do her job entering the CPU's in the cash register as if nothing had happened on the other side of the counter. Hello?!!! Actually I'm glad she didn't notice and make as big of a deal out of a falling binder as I did. On the other hand, hopefully any security video of that episode at the cash register won't be used in a future customer service video, as it would probably just bring laughs to viewers. 'how dumb was that woman to set that many binders on the counter? it was just a binder that fell probably didn't even hit her foot anyway. what a poor actress that customer is'.

5. Receiving the first client is comparable to preparing for a new baby. We received our first client, a young lady who flew in from her past placement in Anchorage, on Tuesday. I covered the switchboard for the receptionist's lunch, who was reluctant to leave the building for lunch knowing our first client would be arriving around 12:30 p.m. It gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling to be the first to greet the client. When the receptionist returned, the first words out of her mouth were 'is she here yet?' Today we received our second client, another female, and the regular receptionist was running the switchboard, so she had the privilege of meeting our 2nd client first, which I'm sure excited her, as we weren't sure what time today's arrival would be coming.

One difference though, between the arrival of a client vs. the arrival of a baby. When a baby arrives the labor precedes the arrival. When a client arrives the labor follows.

At the present time we have an amazing staff-client ratio: 44 staff to 2 clients. How amazing is that? We are definitely ready for the children. Bring 'em on!

6. Improvise when needed. We are still waiting for some of our supplies to arrive. One of those supplies is our scale with the measuring "stick" where the clients are weighed and measured. The nurses have utilized the next best thing that's available...a tape measure from our maintenance department! I joked with Camilla and her supervisor today that since they are both nearly the exact same height (5'4"), it wouldn't really work for them to compare the client with the two of them and approximate where she falls in comparison to the nursing staff.

7. Our mission of opening a facility in Alaska is serving its purpose. While I was running the switchboard this noon a woman came in asking how she could get her teenage son transferred back home to Alaska from his current placement in the Midwest. She indicated she moved to the Midwest and her son was put in placement there, then she moved back to Alaska, leaving her son behind. She went on to tearily tell me that the boy's stepfather had recently passed away and how much she would like to have her son placed in Alaska, closer to her, so that she could see and visit him rather than just have occasional phone calls. Please keep and other Alaska parents in your prayers that they may be reunited with their children.

8. Alaska homes are outrageously priced. There's a house about two blocks from us that recently came on the market. Out of curiosity I checked into the price. This house is about 1000 square feet, single car garage, and minimal lot area. It's priced at a $199,000. Makes our $600 a month for our apartment look better all the time. I can still enjoy the house -from the outside-as it's on the drive to work. I'll look at it and pat my wallet as I drive by :-)

9. I finally know why the tour buses that travel by work and our home are empty...and I'm about to tell you why too. (I can feel the excitement building - NOT) Our office is two doors from the Princess Tour Lines garage and our apartment is two blocks from the Holland America bus garage.

10. The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) are coming into view. Heard on tonight's TV news that they will be visible around 1-2 a.m. From what I'm told they are best viewed away from the city lights and the "season" for their viewing begins now and lasts throughout the winter. I'm not sure if my digital camera will capture their beauty so can't guarantee any pictures. I'll tell you how beautiful they are and make you want to come to Alaska all the more.

Aren't you glad you learned what I know? Glad to have helped you increase your knowledge and perhaps even put a smile or two on your face.

Take care n God Bless.

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