Sunday, September 28, 2008

good weekend

The heritage dinner at church was really good. Our ward isn't that good at cooking usually, but this idea really got everyone excited and we had some good food. We were most seriously blessed to eat fresh baby carrots from Heather's very own garden. hehehe (sorry it's a private joke about being seriously blessed, but the carrots were really good and did make me want to dump out my tiny tators and try to grow carrots before winter comes)

I had just talked to my sister, Earlene, and she had told me that her daughter-in-law's mother had fallen off their church stage and shattered her leg and after the dinner this woman, new to our ward from Hawaii, was up in the front of the curtain, on the stage, teaching us about hula and i was just holding on to the table, hoping she wouldn't fall and break her leg, too. She didn't, but I was sending good vibes to Nicole and her mom, hoping she heals soon.

We had a luncheon at church today (after eating dinner at church last night) and then we watched the Relief Society broadcast. Last couple years, they have tried to get us to drive up to Soldotna, but not very many of us want to, so they went back to having a luncheon and having us watch in Homer.

At first, it was just a regular broadcast and we were starting to get disappointed, especially after being sooooooo spiritually fed at Time out for Women a couple weeks ago.

But then President Uchtdorf spoke and WOW ! ! ! If you missed it, as soon as it is available at, go watch it. He had very specific, but new ideas for how we can fill the full measure of our existence.

In a nutshell, CREATE and be Compassionate. Create anything - even it is as simple as creating a warm smile to share with someone, or as difficult as a beautiful garden, or a baby, or a painting or music.... Just Create - He said, "We are royal daughters of the most creative being in the universe.... it is in our genes to create."

And of course, we need to be compassionate to others to find true happiness.

It was so inspiring. i was taking notes as fast as I could scribble and trying to not cry because it touched me so much. In the end, I cried and wrote. It was really special.

Also, on a different vein, we are going to go ahead and order the carpet from the cheapest place we can find and then hire an independent carpet layer. Everyone we have called has quoted us 300 to 400 dollars, instead of the $2000 that Home Depot came up with. (which if you are keeping track is TEN times higher than the preliminary bid). I wonder if they have connections on Wall Street or something.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Stupid Home Depot

So here we are, half way done in our great room remodel. The tile in the kitchen and entry are lain or layed or laid. Anyway, Justin finished setting the kitchen tiles this evening. He has grouted the entry and it is done and he will grout the kitchen in a couple days when they have completely dried.

We paid $200 for a man from Home Depot to come and measure for the carpet. We picked out a very comfortable carpet that will last for decades, knowing that we won't ever do this extensive project again. And you know, Home Depot has that $199 to lay the carpet in your whole house (tiny print - whole house means 2 rooms).

Really really tiny print - they charge extra every cut they make in the carpet: 3 stair posts, 5 thresholds, one stove pipe, pets in the house, stairs in the house, particle board on the floor, another $100 service call because we are in Anchor Point (I already paid an extra $100 for the service call for the measure guy to come) and 12 other things that I can't remember. Bottom line, the laying of the carpet would cost us $2000. Just for the layer and what it would cost to cover all the stuff he requires us to do so he can lay the carpet.

That isn't the price of the carpet and might not be the cost of the pad. The tile already cost twice what I had planned and now the carpet is so far out of the budget, we don't know what we will do. In the end, since we have the tools and the set-up paid for we will probably tile the whole room, which is what I wanted in the first place.. Lots more work for Justin but since it hasn't stopped raining since April, he is home a lot now until it snows and he can go snow machine riding.

The tile is so beautiful - just takes your breath away. Good one on Justin and Alicia and THANKS !!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shout out for my DAD

We have been having a fun email exchange this week about the Oregon Ducks football team and I found out something pretty amazing about my dad that I didn't know. He was on athletic scholarship to the University of Oregon in 1948 - and they passed him up as quarterback for Norm Van Brocklin.

I looked him up on Google and have given you the link above. Pretty impressive that my dad played football with him. My dad quit school and then got married, so he still has eligibility left to play college football. We're saying that someone who came in second to Norm should be out there - but my dad says if they didn't want him in '48, he doesn't see why he should come back and help them now... He says it's sour grapes. I think he has just changed his allegiance to the Utes or BYU and doesn't want to admit that he isn't truly a Fighting Duck anymore. He probably spends every Saturday in blue and white with a Giant Y on his chest and we just aren't there to see it. hahahahaha

(okay, don't kill me, Daddy, I know you would never wear a BYU shirt). LOVE YOU

Freezer - operator error

Way more than you need to know about our refrigerating and freezing problems:

If you go to Alicia and Justin's blog, you can see the pictures of the freezer the day they thawed it out. It sits in our upstairs -right as you come in the front door and all spring and summer and fall, the sun shines on it in the afternoon, in the warmest part of the day.

The freezer was supposed to be smaller and fit next to the refrigerator in the kitchen, but we didn't measure, and it was a rush job to buy it 3 years ago - Brian was on the way home with a bunch of moose meat and we already had 2 full freezers. so we ran up to Home Despot and got the biggest freezer we could afford - which had always worked for us before. We just didn't know that they made freezers bigger now.

It is kind of timely that this issue came to light this week. The reason we have to replace the kitchen floor, is that Alicia and I had tried to move the fridge and the giant freezer into place by ourselves and we gouged up the kitchen floor, really badly. We used to have a freezer in that spot in the kitchen and we just couldn't understand why this one wouldn't fit. So we just kept dragging them in and out and arranging them until we had ruined the floor and ended up putting the freezer in the living room next to the front door.

Not that convenient at Christmas time because that is where the Christmas tree is supposed to go. But it is handy to have a freezer on the main level of the house when it is time to cook.

So this year while Brian was hunting, we knew we had to defrost both big freezers to make room for the new meat (which he didn't get)... we hadn't looked in the freezer in the living room for a while because it was such a pain to relocate the duct tape every time.... so it was quite a shock when we opened it and it looked like one giant ice cube.

So we went back to Home Despot and talked to them about getting a new gasket or a new door for the freezer, because obviously, it was malfunctioning. They gave us a number to call and a booklet of how to get a hold of the company. Then Alicia went and tracked down the warranty book to find the warranty and the model information = and right there, it said it was supposed to be defrosted at least once a year, more often if ice formed on the shelves and such.

I had NO IDEA that they still made freezers that had to be defrosted. TOTALLY SHOCKED ! ! ! but then it all made sense. Ever since we got this freezer, the ice built up on the shelves and on the food and we thought it was just because we had to buy a cheap freezer and had gotten an off brand we had never heard of and because it was in the sunny window. Boy, is my face red.... Redder even now, because I had thought about defrosting it, but didn't know what to do with all the melting ice in the middle of my living room carpet... Come to find out, there is a hose underneath freezers now, and the water just drains into a pan that you empty, no water flooding all over the floor.


So now, where the freezer has been for 3 years, we have this beautiful tile floor that Justin is laying (again, check Alicia and Justin's blog). And we all like the look without the freezer sitting there, so we are going to take the freezer downstairs and empty it out and put it in the kitchen and then take all the food out of the freezer which is sitting in the middle of the dining room now and take it downstairs and put it where the littler freezer sits in the food storage room. It's all very over whelming, but in the end, we will have a freezer in the kitchen and a beautiful new tile floor and a place for the Christmas tree and most importantly, we now possess the knowledge and skill to defrost. hehehehe

One of the next big appliances we are hoping to replace is the refrigerator - it is the last appliance we bought 15 years ago. If we have a free standing freezer in the kitchen, we want to replace the classic fridge with a free standing refrigerator. It doesn't make any sense to have that little freezer above the fridge if you have a full freezer right next to it. Our friends have the two different appliances, and we really like the functionality of it. But, I still want to get a new satellite dish and have to get the new crown for my broken tooth, so it probably won't be this month. I would say with my PFD next year, but if the stock market keeps dropping like a giant boulder off a tall cliff, our PFD will be like 20 cents, next year.

Happy FALL to everyone. Hope you don't get snowed on today like we are supposed to. BRRRRRRR

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Democrat to Republican

Charlotte's change from democrat to republican came about strictly because of Alaskan politics. There was a very close primary race that was truly vital to Alaska's future and since we have closed primaries up here, I switched parties to vote in that race. Up here, the democrats are more like the Green party or the libertarian party - often the candidates in the democratic races are people who switched from Green or Libertarian - so to vote for a "main street" candidate, usually the only party choice is Republican.

I haven't changed my views that much except I am very against gun control. I always was a hawk when it came to war - I always thought that the reason we lost the Viet Nam war was that we didn't fight it hard enough, so I have always disagreed with other family members who hate all war. (We all remember trying to digest dinner in Billings, in the dining room with the map of Viet Nam on the wall above the table, and Dan Rather reporting live from Viet Nam, and all the yelling and door slamming that followed ).

I like Sarah Palin, not because she is republican or even because she is a great example of what I always thought a woman politician was capable of being, I just like her because she came into the governorship and did what she said she was going to do, in a very timely manner - and in this state, that is not easy to do.

Although, I will say that since all my life I have been taught to believe that a woman would one day be president (it never occured to me when I was growing up that my sister would not be the first woman president) - so in that vein, I really like Sarah for the fact that she IS a woman, a good wife, a good mother - she isn't shrew or harpy like some women in power, she is the ideal woman candidate... the one that women like me have always been looking for.

BRRRRRR - BAD BAD NEWS for Charlotte

This is our actual forecast for this weekend. It had a picture of the little snow flakes falling, but it didn't come over when I copied the forecast. I guess Justin and the muskrats were right. you should know anything Pa Ingalls taught on the prairie is true. I noticed 2 GIANT muskrat houses outside Anchorage last week. All I could think of was Pa and Laura Ingalls and the Long Winter..... BRRRRRRRRRRR

Saturday Night
Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of rain and snow showers. Patchy fog. Lows in the 30s. Light winds.
Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of rain and snow showers. Highs in the 40s.

In your blood

I was just thinking of something that Blake might find interesting. The first political campaign
that Blake ever worked on was the 1972 presidential campaign.... he was part of the Pendleton office in support of George McGovern. In his stroller, he did lots of door to door campaigning, made calls and stuffed envelopes and served at the local fund raising dinner. It was kind of pathetic that the young democrats in Pendleton could only afford to put on a bean supper at one of the schools. We cleared 58 dollars, TOTAL.
On other occasions,we had baked sales and lots of campy stuff like that.

The same night as our bean dinner, the area republicans held a $100 a plate dinner--- they cleared more than $58 for each person that attended.

All the McGovern supporters were high school and young college kids. We housed a whole group that came from somewhere , Portland I suppose, that came one weekend to canvas the entire town. Blake was a part of it all - actually a very active part - he enjoyed it and helped a lot, even though he was only 15 months old.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Home from the hunt

Brian is home from hunting. His friend from Oregon, Larry Shirley, came up to hunt with him this year. They had a good time, but didn't kill anything. Just didn't have the urge. So Larry is here for a day or two to fish and then he'll fly home on Monday.

I think Brian starts his new job on Monday - not sure.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hats off to Levi "501" Bobbitt

I tried to post a comment on Levi's blog, but it kept restricting me to less than 300 characters, and I just couldn't say what I wanted to say in 300 characters, so I decided to post about Levi 501 here on our blog.

When I first met Levi "501" Bobbitt about 23 years ago, I remember this little white haired boy who had lots of energy and smiles. Alicia came home from kindergarten and told us there was a boy in her class named Levi 501 - like Levi 501 Jeans. I said, there is a boy named, Levi Bobbitt, is that who you mean? and she said, "no, Levi Bobbitt is someone else, I don't know him - I just know Levi 501".

So, as she told you, we have always called you Levi 501 Jeans. I don't know what that has to do with having cancer, just whenever we think of you, we smile, but now our smile sort of turns to a tear as it is breaking our hearts for you to be suffering and fighting this fight again. I wish I knew what to say.

I DO KNOW what it is like to get up every morning and look at that pill box and know how sick each of those pills is going to make you and then knowing how sick you will be if you don't take them. Every meal tasting like sawdust, but knowing you have to eat it. Hurting so much you can't lay in bed or sit in a chair or stand up - that doesn't leave any place to put your body that doesn't make you cry out in pain.

And your loss of personal relationship and setbacks at work just when you got your ideal promotion -

There aren't any words from me that are going to help you thru this but I want you to know that we do wish for you to be able to once more be that little light-hearted boy that didn't have a care in the world and didn't know what the future held for him besides running around the playground and swimming at the lake. Our prayers are with you and we are pulling for you to win this fight again.

So, Hang on, Levi 501, Hang on. Love, The Carpers

YAY for Alaska

First, my weight has stabalized and as near as I can tell, I gained 1.5 pounds last week.... so that is my official weigh in weight.

Second, today is PFD day plus our wonderful Governor, the lovely Sarah Palin got each man, woman and child an energy rebate of 1200 dollars that came today. She also had them push PFD day up a month so that the villagers could pay for their winter fuel before the ice freezes their ports and they can't get the fuel... So usually we have fun in October, but this year it all came in September. We feel sorry for Justin - only the people who qualify for PFD (permanent fund dividend) get an energy rebate and since Justin got here last year in April, he doesn't qualify for either.

The kids are on their way up to Kenai to get us a new washer and dryer. Our dryer is one of the 2 original appliances we bought when we came to Alaska 15 years ago today. And it is tired. And the washer is only 4 years old, but it was when Brian was out of work and it was the cheapest washer Sears makes. At the time, it was only supposed to last 3 months or less and then we were going to move, but then we stayed and Alicia and Brian have cussed that cheap piece of metal EVERY day since.

We did some research this morning and decided on a top-loading Maytag washer, called the Cenntenial. Does anyone have that washer and could give us some quick feedback on it?

We looked at front loaders, but our clothes are so dirty with the guys and their grime that we decided we'd better stick with a top loader so we can soak the dirty stuff in lots of water.

Brian called from moose camp and is ready to come home. We have had a steady stream of REALLY wet and windy weather systems overhead since he left. One day they were forecast to have 60 degrees, which is unheard of at moose camp - and then the system moved in and they forecast 7 inches of snow the next night. He said they didn't get the snow, but the wind and rain were miserable and he just wasn't in the mood to hunt this year. So they might come home early and fish or they might stick it out, he didn't know. Just time for a change, I guess.

Well, this is kind of a random post - go Cougars, Ducks, and Utes tomorrow - and I'll throw in a go Miami (Ohio) for the Gulleys. If they aren't playing us - and I don't think they are.

Happy PFD Weekend ! ! ! Sorry you don't live in the last frontier. My friend called and said the lines at the banks were absolutely insane. hehehe I'm so glad we went to Anchorage for our conference last week, instead of this. the stores and the traffic will be legendary. YIKES.

Oh, I know what else I got with my PFD - I got an aerogarden. I have wanted one for a while and finally saw one at Bed Bath and Beyond last weekend. We started with the salad pack and we already have little bits of salad greens up. Very exciting. I think I will get a couple more for strawberries and tomatoes and maybe herbs. After studying the design, Justin has figured out how to use hydroponics for our greenhouse next year so we don't have to buy and haul all that soil upstairs and then waste it when we are done. Anxious to see how that turns out.

Does anyone else hve an aerogarden? What do you grow in it? Do you like it?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Not a good week for weight watching

I wasn't going to post this week, but Joanna fessed up, so I will, too. When I travel, I have to alter my medications so much that I have no idea what my poor body is trying to do now. I have only eaten 3 meals in the last 4 days, but have gained sometimes 1 1/2 pounds from last week and sometimes 9 pounds from last week.

I think it is actually that I just gained a pound or two - we walked all over and didn't eat much. I think we only ate in one restaurant. We stopped the first day and bought slim-fast and peanut butter and bread and fresh fruit. We weren't against eating out, we just didn't feel good and peanut butter sounded like the easiest thing to digest and provide nutrition.

We'll see next week. I'm not beating myself up over it because one of the things I learned this weekend was to not listen to Satan when he tries to bring me down about myself. I am trying to eat healthier and exercise more and it doesn't matter what He says or what the scales say.

I read two really good books from the Time Out for Women presenters - one by Emily Watts, can't remember which one - all of hers apply - just pick one if you haven't read her before... The other book which I finished today is by Sheri Dew - God wants a powerful people.

Her last book or two I thought were a little light on substance, but this one is packed with all kinds of day to day, concrete ideas to help you become who the Lord wants you to be. I highly recommend it ! ! !

Alicia didn't gain weight this weekend. YAY ! ! ! Better luck to the rest of us next week. Charlotte

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Brian's new job

Brian has a new job when he gets back from hunting. He has been working 1/2 time at the school as weekend custodian for a couple weeks. He was a couple weeks late starting since he was still working for the Greek on the barge project.

Anyway, they still haven't heard if he is going to get back on full time as custodian and at first, they wanted him to come in at 8 pm until midnight for 5 nights a week. and he said, I don't think so... too annoying to work that late at night for no reason and too expensive to pay $5.00 a gallon to drive all the way in there for that kind of money, half-time.

so he has been working Thursday evenings from like 3:30 to 7:30 or something and then Fridays and Saturdays, he works from 3:30 to midnight or he works Saturdays during the sports events and then an 8 hour shift from whenever they had him start. It is all very confusing and hard to plan around and sleep around.....

anyway, they had a job for a special education aide to work with emotionally disturbed children... He has been working with a lot of them after school and on weekends, because they often get detention and they often spend detention working with the custodian, especially weekend detention. of course he has that degree in law enforcement that he has never used, but the training from that degree is a lot of what they were looking for in the aide position. I am excited because for the first time ever, he will be working what I call "real person" hours - I think it is like 7:30 to 4:00 or something like that. REAL Hours ! ! ! that normal people work. I'm not claiming that we will ever be normal people........

And I had just gotten used to having complete control of the TV remote all to myself and now I'll have to share - no that's not true - there isn't any sharing... I'll have to relinquish the TV remote forever. But we can have dinner at a regular hour, go to bed at regular time, get up at a human hour and he has weekends off again. We won't even know how to act. He is excited because he has more of the summer off with this job - the custodian stays later in the summer and starts earlier in the fall, so it has been cutting into his fishing time. You know how he hates that ! ! !

Anyway, I Hope it works for him - he is really good with the kids.

Time out for us! ! !

We are back from Time Out for Women in Anchorage. It was a rough couple days to get started, and Alicia really earned her money taking care of me, but it was SOOOOOOOO worth it. We had the best speakers and subjects and we came away so spiritually fed, it was fantastic.

We feel really dumb as we didn't take a camera. On the morning of the second day, I noticed 2 of our favorite speakers across the room and I said, quick take a picture with your phone... so she whipped it out and tried to get it to focus and one of the speakers saw us and walked clear across the room to meet us - EMILY WATTS ! ! ! ! We were so excited . Our friend, Heather, first introduced us to Emily's books and she really loves Emily. So when Heather came in a few minutes later we told her what happened and encouraged her to go seek Emily out. It was really cute. They did get to visit for a minute and we tried to get Heather to get her picture taken with Emily - Heather actually remembered to bring her camera - but she said, No, just meeting her was enough... but we kept at it and I think someone did finally get a picture of the two of them together.

Then we were out in the hall helping Cassandra with her baby and one of the presenters = Merrilee Boyack came out and took the baby and shewed us all back into the hall and she walked him and put him to sleep. You know, usually, you don't go to a major convention in a big city and just hand your baby over to a stranger and go back into the convention, but we all just said, COOL = Thanks and didn't give it another thought. I talked to Merrilee about it afterwards and thanked her and she said she actually had ended up with 5 babies during the day. But it meant a lot to us - and it was kind of the theme of her presentation = taking those mini-seconds to stop and improve someone's life, just by a smile or a word or small deed.... so it was cool that she walks the walk, not just talks the talk.

We spent the weekend scribbling in our journals as quickly as we could scribble and then talked about it late in the night Friday night and then all the way home. Trying to embed the memories and concepts in our brains.

The music was by Hilary Weeks. None of us knew or realized that she grew up in Alaska - her family mostly all still live here (they probably realized she had grown up here - I just mean those in my circle didn't know it) , so it was really special and very personal for her to perform here and it added a lot to the event. Her parents and sister in law and such were all there and it was very touching.

We also got to hear the story of how Wendy Watson Nelson met and was courted by Elder Nelson and that was fun. Wendy and Sheri Dew are bestest friends and they were on stage together and had lots of fun and shared lots of BFF moments with us.

So watch out world, because we now have the tools to improve all our relationships and cure the world of its woes.... hehehe, okay, maybe not the whole world, but it was REALLY good.

Brian is off hunting this week. Keep him in your prayers - the weather has taken a giant turn to fall and winter.. Love, Charlotte

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Wednesday weigh-in

I lost 7.5 pounds this week ! ! ! Yes a lot of it was water ,but HEY - 7.5 pounds in one week. So all together I've lost 15 pounds since we started.

Alicia lost 5 pounds this week and hers wasn't from water pills. Yay.

As you can see, we are working hard and trying to stay committed to this project.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Okay, OUCH

I went in to this new dentist today. Haven't been in a while - most of my molars are crowns because I am such a grinder, so there isn't a lot of maintenance on my teeth. Anyway, I had one tooth towards the back that the filling fell out earlier this summer and I kept putting off taking care of it. it was a fairly large filling and took part of the tooth with it.

So finally today, i went in - just to get a new filling put in........... As soon as they took the x-ray, he said it was really deep and awfully close to the nerve and if it was in the nerve they would just go ahead and do a root canal while I was there.

That wasn't what I signed up for today. *frowny face* that money was supposed to be fun money to spend when we go to Anchorage this weekend. SIGH , I have medicaid to cover part of it, but I have to pay for the rest and for the crown. *bigger sigh* So I'm sitting here after a 4 hour dentist appointment, thankfully in Vicodin land, but still ----- OUCH ! And Darn it, I really wanted to get some new furniture and stuff. *pout pout pout*

Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day Labors

I'll save you all the gore - we didn't take pictures. We butchered the turkeys today. We had no idea until it was done that we had a male and a female, and the female even had eggs in her - we could have started eating turkey eggs and raised baby turkeys next year....

Except they got on Justin's bad side by pooping all over his new goat barn and by pooping all over the back stairs and after we locked them all into the pen, they kept trying to roost in the hen's boxes. Of course, now we know that one was a female, that makes more sense.

Brian worked on his new welder trailer and Justin worked on Brian's pickup. Funny story there - when Alicia was in high school some guys from Anchor Point used to do stuff to the truck while she was at school - like drain the air from the tires and stuff like that. Around that time, the front gas tank stopped working. We just assumed it was faulty and we never had the money to pull out the tank and replace it all. So Justin has been working on our fuel pumps and gas tanks and when he pulled it out this weekend - it was full of paint that someone had poured in - all those years ago.

We have a busy week ahead of us - not as busy as Rhiens, but busy for us. Justin and I both have dentist appointments. Alicia and I are going to Anchorage for 3 days for Time out for Women, Brian is going hunting for a couple weeks, we butchered the turkeys and tomorrow we are going to pick raspberries from some people at church and we are going to feed the missionaries.

We are so excited to have Governor Palin on the GOP ticket. She is one tough cookie, but she is nice about it. She has done things in our state that the past 4 governors tried but didn't even get close to accomplishing. Except for the people she has angered by her determination to accomplish things, she is very very popular in our state.

for those that think she doesn't have enough of whatever to take on the establishment - can I just say that 2 years ago, Frank Murkowski was our governor - he had been our senator for decades and had always won his elections by landslides.... Sarah took him on in the primary and kicked his butt to the curb. It wasn't even close - I say if she can stand up to someone as "Washington inbred" as Frank, she can certainly stand up to Joe Biden. Give her a chance and see what she has to offer before you decide. We really like her.