Saturday, March 26, 2011

Our First Manley Hot Springs Spring Carnaval - 2011


Spring is in the air and we shut ins are feeling frisky and looking for a good time. I found my good time today at the Manley Hot Springs Spring Carnaval. We live about 16 miles from the Village of Manley Hot Springs so that is our community. It is full of some of the most wonderful people you would ever meet. There was a good croud today at the carnaval which started at 10:00am. I wish that I had been able to take more pictures but unfortunatly I was tied up alot of the time with my fussy twins who don't seem to like being out in the snow. I'm hoping that is something that they will get over by next winter when they will be a little bit more steady on their feet and have a little more ground clearance.

Each event started with the youngest kids then worked up in age to adult women and then adult men. The first event was Ice bowling. Similar to regular bowling with standard pins and a standard ball. Each player gets one shot to take down as many pins as possible. The line is of coarse closer for the little kids and goes back as the players are older. Lisa did well and got some pins. I didn't get a single pin but at least managed to stay on my feet. Which for me queen clutz and the worst bowler known to man was amazing. Huge credit is due to the winner Nicole B. who managed to win even with a baby on her back. WOOOO HOOOO for Nicole what an Amazing little mama! I'm honestly not sure who won the other age groups as I was fully engrossed in calming down the twins at this point who of coarse both want to be held up far away from the snow and only want mama.

Lisa Ice Bowling

Benjamin Ice Bowling

The next event was the toilet seat toss. Again Lisa did well, she kicked it. I was still strugling with the twins. Ruth tried to take one and walk around a bit but he wasn't having any of it and only wanted mama. I was finally able to put them both into the sled and by dragging them around in circles for a while they eventually fell asleep. By then the older kids were done and it was time for the women. I actually did ok at this one, not winning quality but I managed to pull a score at least. The object of the game is to get the toilet seat to land at the center of a bulls eye that is painted on the ice. I did manage to keep my toss within the bulls eye. It's alot harder than it sounds. Tossing to hard will land you outside as it slides easily on the ice. Not hard enough and you come up short. The winner of this event was Ruth. Who is pictured with her reward and the seat that was being tossed. The other ladies in the picture are Pam R.(front) and Linda J. (rear) These are the AWSOME women involved with planning and pulling off this great event.

Roshel Playing Toilet Seat Toss

The Boys Asleep In The Sled

Boys Asleep in Sled Wearig Bear Hats
The Kids Hats were made by my sister Rebecca Goldsmith. You can find her stuff for sale in her online stores. Here are a couple of links: Desert Diamond Crochet on Etsy & Trescrochique Etsy Store .
Ruth Winner of Toilet Seat Toss. Pam (holding bottle) & Linda (red sweater) Event organizers.

Then we all headed over to another area were they did an event called a sled kick. They had mushing sleds (no dogs) and you just kicked your way across with one leg, the other leg standing on the back of the sled. Again my little good sport Lisa did really well. She was competing against boys who were all at least a year older than her and by golly she held her own. She didn't win but she kept up well and I was proud. Later when I was talking to someone about how well she did she said "It's because I have big feet" and thats no lie, my girl has got some huge feet and hands. I think she's going to be taller than mama by the time she's 10. Unfortunatly after the pull to the new spot and then stopping the boys started to get a little fussy again so I had to stand there and keep moving the sled and was unable to get my camera out. I'm hoping that someone else got some shots of this and will post them somewere that I can put in a link to later on. I was actually thinking this event would be more up my alley but with the boys I was unable to patisipate. Booo. Oh well.

After this was a relay race. Teams of 4, 2 adults 2 kids each lined up. You had 4 stations: 1 gloves, 2 coats, 3 hats, 4 scarves. The first runner had to go put on a glove run back, the second would then put on the glove and run to get a coat. So on and so forth until the last runner returns wearing all 4 items. Bea took over my spot of sliding the boys so that I could play with Lisa. The first runner on our team was Roshel. The poor little sweet heart I felt so bad for her. She is the same age as Lisa but not nearly as independant. She ran down and then started to cry, she had to be walked back. By the time she made it back other teams were almost done. Lisa went next and then Roshel's mom Lynn. Next would have been my turn but before Lynn got back another team had already won. I went back over and one of the boys was starting to fuss. We were pretty well ready to head home.

The next events were the soda and the beer scrambles. They tossed a whole bunch of soda on the kids side and soda and beer on the adult side. Then it's kinda like an easter egg hunt you just get in there and find as many as you can. Lisa did well but got mad at me and cried when I called her back. "I know there are still more in the deep snow" she said. By then though the boys were starting to cry again and I had, had enough. When the adults started though I did manage to fall in the snow chasing a Dr. Pepper that was just calling out to me. I just grabbed the one though and proceded to load the kids in the car. Ruth ended up with a bunch of Dr. Pepper which she gave me and I could have kissed her. I know soda is bad for you and thats why we don't keep it in the house, but Dr. Pepper is my drug of choice. I guess if you have to have a vice it could be alot worse than Dr. Pepper.

At this point it was a little after one and they were starting snow machine races. I would have liked to watch but I couldn't handle fighting the cranksters anymore. I wanted to take them to the Roadhouse to eat but they wern't going to re-open until 3:00pm and I didn't really want to wait around til then. Lisa begged me though to go eat at the roadhouse. She said "theirs just nothing I want to eat at home." I ended up taking them up to the washateria and giving them a hose down in the shower. They got all clean and ate some trail mix and seemed to be in a much better mood. That only took about an hour though so we did a little driving taking the scenic route back into town past the greenhouses and then out to the Tanana were we turned around. We got into the roadhouse just before 3:00pm. Poor Penny was in there all alone prepairing food for a crowd. A HUGE batch of spagetti. The kids had some chicken nuggets and I had a hamburger both with frys. Both of which were very good! The kids did really well and were very well behaved at the roadhouse. A few other people came in. One other family (From Fairbanks) ate while we were there and a few people came and went from the bar. The last event of the day was a snow machine poker run that was scheduled for later in the day at 5:00pm. I sure hope that things picked up and they were able to sell some of that Spagetti.

After a long day we finally headed home. The kids fell asleep on the way home so it was a nice quite drive. Came home and the kids were a wild bunch of crazy people. They got into the woodchips for the chick brooder and spread it all over and all in their hair so that made for a fun clean up. Needless to say they are now in bed a little early and I'm burning off my Dr. Pepper high typing this post. The kids have been getting wild alot lately. I think they are testing mamma more now that Daddy is gone to work so much. The pictures of them with the marker faces are from a few days ago when after watching Peter Pan they decided to be indians.

Lisa's Uh Oh I'm in trouble look


As for myself. I think that I am becoming more and more anti social the longer I am away from working. I like people for the most part and I've never liked BIG crowds. lately though I seem to get really anxious and stressed when I'm around more that just a handfull of people at a time. Like I just don't know what to do and I feel awkward like a little kid amongst adults who is supposed to know what to do and doesn't. I wish I had my daughters confidence. She was up for any game any challenge. She wasn't bothered at all by having eyes on her or getting attention. For me I just felt like I didn't know what to say or how to act. Just not like myself it was a really odd experiance. Not sure if it stemed from all the drama at home lately or being tucked away from people for the winter. I sure hope I don't have some kind of panic attack when we take the kids to the Dr. in Fairbanks next week!

On another note Ken picked up nine more chicks today and will bring them home tomorrow night. That will give us 5 Americana, 5 Red Chanteclers, 5 Polish, and 4 Cornish Cross. So, 15 egg layers and 4 meat birds. I'm hoping to get at least 1 rooster from the egg layers so that we can hatch some little crossed chicks next spring. I can't wait to see the Polish chicks with their little top hats.

Lisa and the Americana chick she named Treeblossom

Americana chick

Lisa's Playdough version of Bob the tomatoe and Larry the cucumber from Veggie Tales.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Realy Cute Chicks!!!


Mason Jar Feeder and Waterer


Red Chanteclers

Hey all our first 10 baby chicks are here. We will have 20 by next week but not all the breeds we wanted were available this week. We have 5 Americanas and 5 Red Chanteclers. We will be getting 5 Polish and 5 meat birds (cornish cross). We brought in our old Quail brooder because our Chick brooder wouldn't fit through the door. It's way taller than we need but it will work. We have them sitting behind the woodstove with a small heat lamp. They aren't day olds though their probably a week or more old. The Americanas are a bit older than the others. I want to eventually inter breed these three breeds and possibly add some Wyandotte to the mix later on. The breeds that we have now have basically no combs or waddles and no feathered feet. That way they are less likely to get frost bite and won't have issues with the snow sticking to their feet. This will be a major learning experiance for us as all past experiance was in the Arizona high desert. We will have many more preditors and more extream weather to deal with. We will have to take those things into consideration as we build their housing and yard.
Lisa's Painting

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Operation Free Bird Alaska


Ok so....We moved to Alaska for a fresh start after things in Arizona started to deteriorate. Ken couldn't find work, we lost the beautiful custom home that we made ourselves. All prospects of moving to New Mexico (like we had planned) were swept away like dust off the high desert. We had few options. Living in a travel trailer at my grandmother's with the county breathing down our backs telling us we had to leave. After some sweet talkimg from Trapper about all that Alaska had to offer we finally gave into the idea of the frozen north. Trapper had 48 acres near Manley Hot Springs that he wanted to return to. He offered that we could move up as well and he put the land in a warrenty deed, with myself and all my siblings listed on it. So, with our last bit of savings and money from selling stuff off we made the big move. Then Ken and Trapper built our duplex cabin. Trapper got phone and internet set up and at first we had open access. After we got all moved into the house Trapper went back to AZ for the winter. While he was gone we kept his side and the battery bank from freezing. We had to make some adjustments such as bringing the large battery bank inside and running off the small bank in order to keep things from freezing without spending a small fortune on gas in the generator. He returned in February and things started to change. We no longer had access to phone or internet unless we asked permission. Aside from the building of the house we haven't asked Trapper for anything. We have provided our own food in addition to the items donated from new friends. We were buying fuel to run the generator etc... Ken started working odd jobs then got a steady job driving bus for the Manley Village Council. Village Express, No thats not Ken in the picture. Here is were we commence OFBA. Our plan for a fresh start didn't include being under someone elses authority. Now that we have the means (though limited) we are taking the needed steps toward our independance.

Phase 1 OFBA: POWER - Here is were we start getting our own power set up. We already had a generator what we needed to start were batteries, a charger and an inverter. We started with 8 new batteries and a Xantrex inverter/charger. Our luck though we got a bum inverter and we are still working on getting it replaced. The battery bank however is working well with a small 750W inverter and a Carquest battery charger. Down the road we will be adding solar panels as we can afford it.

Phase 2 OFBA: Communication - We now have our own internet Hughesnet set up complete with a Magic Jack phone. All powered by our very own power supply. No more asking permission to make contact with the outside world. The Hughesnet is crazy expensive but the Magic Jack is really cheap so it kinds balances out.

Phase 3 OFBA:  Comming Soon ;) Detailes of this step are still to come as we are not 100% sure what to wrap into this phase. I can say as part of it we are building a large storage shed/work shop 10'x16'. That way Ken has his own enclosed area to store his tools and work on the Many projects that will be comming up.

I would not list any of these phases as complete as they will be under modification as time and funding allow. More details are still to come on all phases.

Planting: My little starter garden is doing well now that I have planted my starts in bigger pots. I have some tomatoes, pumpkins, onions and beets that are doing well. I will plant more according to the planting schedule.

Blessings to all our friends, family and readers,

Sarah Sue