Lighting of the Fort!

We attended the lighting of the fort again this year. Holly has arranged the live nativity scene for the past five years or so. This year the weather was the worst in memory. Awful. Jim Green said it’s the fifth one he’s been to since they moved here.


It has been snowing and raining, cold and windy all day, but it was not cancelled. With five minutes to go, there was no one around, but after the canon fired off at 5 pm, about 30 people climbed out of their cars and trudged over to the back of Tresham’s shop to sing and spectate.


The Haines Women’s Acapella Chorus sang a special number, along with a number of songs that Holly led. Luke was a ram with curly horn. Hunter was Joseph, Sasha was Mary, Jesus was a doll, and a bunch of others were sheep, shepherds, and wise-men.


Bob and Margaret braved the freezing rain/snow and ankle deep water under 18 inches of snow.

IMG_3856After the nativity scene, the fort put on a wiener roast with hot cider, chilli, chips, cookies, salad, cold cider, and two warm fires.

It was pretty cute to see John Caleb’s interest in the fire, he saw everyone heading over to the fire with hot-dogs on sticks and he grabbed a stick with his thick mittens on headed straight for the fire himself, not really realizing that he did not have a hot dog on it  yet.

It was so wet out that I had to resort to a zip-lock bag over the flash, camera combo, IMG_3924

Who’s gonna’ play with me?


We just got back from the Christmas Bazzar at the Gym. The weather is AWFUL. Simply horrid. The snow is coming down in thick heavy flakes that melt when they hit the ground, the snow is already a foot deep. All our out-door gear is soaked.

We just shoveled the drive. Holly came in and flopped down on the couch. Immediately, John Caleb wanted to play. He climbed up on her and said, “Mama, who’s gonna’ play with me? Nobody?”

Then he smiled, “Or Yesbody?” He laughed. We all laughed.

Holly got up and played with him.

NETFLIX Subscription Arrives!

Today, I got my First NETFLIX DVD in the mail I was wondering if I’d get a parcel slip and have to pick up the disc at the Post Office desk or if it would just come in the Box. Guess what movie it was…


I remember our first video player, a Sony Betamax SL-6000. We got it in the late ‘70s and felt like we were on top of the world. Well were were at the top of the world, literally, because we lived in Barrow, AK, the most northern city in North America. betamaxWe bought the Sound of Music, The Ten Commandments, the African Queen. If memory serves, these movies cost around $70-$80, and I worked part-time at the sony store in Barrow.

The movies were so expensive that we rarely bought any movies. Mostly we recording things off the TV and watched them later. One of our favorite things to do was to record all of a series all on one tape—which took some skill, because you had to rewind and fast-forward the tape after each use, or use the counter-reset to mark things. Dad used to watch the farm-show, to get a clue on when to sell his grain or make somewhat informed decisions on commodities.

Of course there were no video rental places at the time, because no business one wanted to rent out tapes that cost $80 a piece for fear that they would not get them back. After a few years of course, we all know what happened. Sony lost the Betamax/VHS war, and Video rental places grew up in just about all neighborhoods across the country. Of course late-fees and the loss of rental privlideges made movie rental possible.

Last year, our only dedicated video place  Video 144 went under and scores of people switched over to NetFlix for Mail-In DVD rental. I can see the writing on the wall already—many friends are not even using the instant watch option and aren’t even getting DVDs in the mail any longer. Our connection in Haines is still not fast enough to stream movies, or I haven’t paid for a fast enough connection, so I opted for the DVD in the mail program for $8.99/month.

The day after I got my subscription, they raised the mail-in program price to $9.99 and are now pushing the instant download option at $7.99 or some such.

So what was the movie? 101 Dalmations. The Haines Library has the movie for free rental at a week at a time, but the disc is scratched and skips a lot and refuses to show about 3 minutes in the middle. I think it’s rather funny that the disc I got in the mail from Netflix was scratched in the same place, and also skipped a lot.

I’ve come to the conlusion, that the kid’s movies are all going to be scratched up because kids don’t know how to care for the discs. Oh, well.

Maybe the next one will play. Guess what’s next?

Iron Man 2.


Then UP, then The Mask

He Turns Three!

Two birthdays today: John Caleb turned 3 and John Charles (the oldest of my sibling’s offspring, so the oldest 1st cousin of the boys) turned 13. John Charles was up in Anchorage at the ACS tournament wrestling at 130 pounds.


We asked J.C. (Jaysee) who he wanted to have at his birthday party and he said, “I want to have Blackie, and Papa, and Mama, and Daddy, and Uncle John, and Mark, and Luke… But Uncle John is working in Norway… He is working, isn’t he?”


We got him a sword and shield of his own (by Schylling, made of wood, and highly recommended), so he could fight with his brothers. Blackie made the pumpkin spice cake, which was pretty good, but not as good as carrot cake. JC LOVES his superman shirts, and you can see him here wearing what must be Luke’s shirt. Sadly, we rarely find Superman shirts when we go to stores, they usually have some other shirt like a CARS shirt, or some horrible creature that I think is cool, but Holly disapproves of.

I suppose that later on when JC is in school, he’ll insist on having parties with lots of kids so he can get more presents, but he was really happy just being with family.

If you look closely, you can see my pride and  joy—the ten foot (diagonal) 16×9 projector screen that pulls down right in front of the picture window. Of course I say that with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek. PLUS–Still no projector. Haven’t used it yet. Stay tuned.

Lighting of the Library!


IMG_2925This was the first time in the last three years we’ve been in Haines for the Lighting of the Library. We’ve been in  Sitka with aunts, uncles and cousins for the last few years, so we’ve not been able to attend. I suppose, if I can’t be with family the Lighting of the Library is a GREAT place to be on the day after Thanksgiving.

This year, there seemed to be a red and green theme with a whole lot of hand-made quilts. We were even able to donate the use of our christmas quilt which was a gift from Grandma Scott. It was hung right next to the tree in what seemed like a place of honor. You can barely see it in the upper right hand portion of the photo with the tree all lit-up.

IMG_2950Of course, if you’re in Haines for the Thanksgiving, and are at all associated with the library, you simply must go to the lighting.

Frankie Jones is the creative force behind the Lighting of the Library and is assisted for weeks by many dedicated volunteers who make the whole event a huge success. In this photo, they’re the proud grand-parents of Kendra and Alex’s first born child, whose name slips my mind. That’s the way my mind is. I’ll remember his name when he starts learning algebra.


Mark’s ring bearer tuxedo arrived on Wednesday, two days before the big event and Luke and JC were able to wear the tuxedos from previous years.

IMG_2987 edit

We had a fun dime getting the tuxes out of their little clear plastic bags in the boy’s room closet where they’ve been stored and dressing them up. The new tux doesn’t match, because I’d forgotten to order one with tails and a vest, but it still blends in pretty well to those who don’t pay attention to fine detail. Mark’s tux is probably big enough to use next year and will fit better then too, Luke’s fit just right.


At our house, we almost never have juice, so the boys kept going back to the lemonade “samovar.” It’s a good thing the spigot was placed well back on the table, or they may have just put their little mouths underneath it.


As in past years, Holly played the pied piper in the kids room with all the kids, reading songs and singing books, while I lurked around in the shadows looking for good pictures.


The Haines Acapella Women’s Chorus sang the special music and also were prominent in the sing-along time-directed by Nancy Nash. In the photo above, I turned off the flash: ISO 3200, 1/5, f/2.8. It really gives the tree a heavenly glow, Holly says.