Baptisms in the Lynn Canal

Mark and Naomi were baptized in the Lynn Canal today.

First they answered some questions from Pastor Ron in front of the Church.

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And also the congregation answered some questions.

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Then we went down to the river to pray… (actually the Lynn Canal). Holly led the singing and people actually sang as they went down to the water right near the large cruise ship dock at the main beach in town that has sand, where we usually have our baptisms.

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Naomi was baptized first.

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It didn’t seem too cold.

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Then it was Mark’s turn.

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The Green Family:

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The Davis family with Bob and Margaret:

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Afterwards, we had a wiener roast on the beach with chips and other fixings.

The gift of a day!

Rene Martin called at 6:15 AM and told us that school was cancelled for the day. I naïvely thought of all the many things I could get done with the extra time. I ordered another classes photos, I’d already started the fire in the Blaze King. Then I called K.C. Thomsen—next door—and he said he’d just finished snow-blowing his drive and I might already be too late to use the snow blower. You have to stay ahead of it he said.

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As you can see from this picture The snow is almost exactly as deep as the top of the auger-housing.

Immediately, at 9:30 AM,  I suited up and headed out to snow blow the drive and the sidewalk.

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The driveway is not small, but not huge either. Our old driveway is much smaller, but there was no place to put a snow-blower or the car.

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In this picture, you can see that the snow is about four inches deeper than the input on the auger. You can see that the snow doesn’t cling to my snow-pants, which have a tight nylon weave unlike my Carhartt Jacket and gloves which get permeated with snow.

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I’m definitely going to get out there before the snow gets that high again. It took me about 2.5 hours to run the snow blower. So far the gift of a day has not arrived, but on the bright side, we’re still ahead of the snow, as far as the driveway is concerned.

Rest of Today

snowVisibilities often below 1/4 of a mile in blowing and drifting snow. Snow heavy at times with a new snow accumulation 3 to 4 inches. Highs around 28. North wind 15 to 25 mph with gusts increasing to 35 mph. Near the border…north wind 40 mph.

Tonight

nt_snowVisibilities often below 1/4 of a mile in blowing and drifting snow through early this evening. Snow heavy at times with a new snow accumulation 2 to 3 inches before tapering off this evening. Lows around 20…ranging to around 8 above near the border. Northwest wind 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph.

Thursday

chancesnowPartly cloudy. Windy. Slight chance of snow in the morning. Highs around 20. North wind 15 to 30 mph with gusts to around 40 mph.

Thursday Night

nt_partlycloudyPartly cloudy. Colder. Lows zero to 8 above zero. North wind 15 to 25 mph. Wind chill to 20 below.

Friday

partlycloudyPartly cloudy. Highs 11 to 17. Northeast wind 10 to 20 mph. Wind chill to 20 below.

Friday Night through Saturday Night

partlycloudy
Partly cloudy. Lows 3 to 10. Highs 13 to 17.

Sunday

chancesnow
Cloudy. Chance of snow. Highs around 25.

Moving Day!

Today we moved into the new house—it’s one block from our old place but bigger and has room for the boys to move around. It was a miserable horrible no-good day in many ways, most of them having to do with the weather.

But it was a wonderful day in that we experienced the love and care of so many people.

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Above we see Patrick Henderson in Mark Fontenot’s truck as they move one of the beds covered with plastic in the rain.

We had 30 people show up to help us move with five pick-up trucks and other vehicles, as you can see in the picture:

  • Darwin Feakes who brought a truck and did the bunk bed’s break down and assembly;
  • Lilly, Hannah, and Haley Boron who brought their mini-van and were second on scene. Their van was a huge help because it kept a lot of boxes dry;
  • Arlene Jackson who helped set up the kitchen, the boys room, and the guest room, she stayed about four hours and had a stew for everyone to eat. She arrived about noon and said, “I probably can’t be of much help…” She was a huge help!
  • Jacque Horn worked along with Arlene and donated the supplies to decorate our guest room;
  • Mark Fontenot, Royal & Patrick Henderson brought a full-sized truck and carried lots of large furniture;
  • Jila Stuart & her daughter Willa helped carry boxes;
  • Terry and Bonnie Sharnbroich had a covered bed on their truck and kept many things dry as well, and they helped set up the boys’ room – Terry especially wouldn’t let Holly move anything (since she was 7 months pregnant). He said, “I don’t mind moving furniture, but I don’t want to deliver a baby!”
  • Michelle and Michael Byer brought doughnuts, set up the master bedroom and helped start the first fire;
  • Rene & Rick Martin were a huge help and were their own team as they moved a ton of stuff;
  • Jim, Matthew, and Naomi Green helped move some really awkward things that were left at the end;
  • Karen Henspeter whirled in on the kitchen with Jacque and Arlene
  • Patty Brown (Library director) carried the actual kitchen drawers up in her car and moved the supplies into the drawers at the new house;
  • Jolanta Ryan was a good friend, ‘nough said;
  • Cyndi Buxton, Ross & Eli White helped with getting more boxes and gathering up the odds and ends. (Who knew it takes so many boxes to move?!) Cyndi even ran home and emptied a box of apples she had at her house so she could bring another strong box over to pack up things.

Susan Weerasinghe helped out with the boys so they wouldn’t be underfoot in the morning. Al & Serena Badgley came by near the end to see what else was left to do, and ate some doughnuts as most stuff was done by then (I’m not sure they actually ate any doughnuts, but I can easily imagine Al eating one). also helping out with the boys were Irene Hofling, Lenise Henderson, and Bob & Margaret Plucker.

That night we sat down to eat dinner at the new house for the first time, and Mark said, “Do you think we’ll ever eat at the old house again?”

Holly said, “Well, there’s no food there.”

“What happened to all our food?” Mark said.

“Go look in the refrigerator,” Holly said, and Mark went over to the refrigerator and opened it up. “Our FOOD!”

He was quite happy to see the food.

The boys enjoy the heat of the Blaze King (King model, w/o the catalytic combustor)wood stove. We never had a woodstove in our old house, and the wood heat feels wonderful.

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Multi-Tasking

So we had a busy weekend of playing house. Holy cleaned and straightened (the house looks wonderful—thank you Holly), while I worked on the straightening out the electrical system. We now have the light at the end of the walkway that Holly wanted me to put in last year, ready for the coming dark winter months.

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I put a motion sensor in the lamp but it didn’t seem to work, perhaps it only works in the dark and stays of during the daytime. I’ll experiment with it later. I split up a circuit that we had in the house. The outside lights were on the same circuit as the interior entryway hall light, which was really lousy when we wanted to leave the outside lights on at bedtime. To put in a new light switch, I used the Fein Multi-tool to plunge cut a hole in the log cabin for the light switch. I strongly recommend the Fein tool.

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The photo above was shot with my LUMIX DMC-ZS7 at ISO 125, f/3.3, and 1.6 seconds, handheld believe it or not. I find it amazing that a picture like this can be handheld for 1.6 seconds with image stabilization. Of course, there is no need to be shooting at ISO 125 after dark.

Then we went out to Chilkoot Lake to see the bears. We saw the sow with the radio collar and three cubs. You can see the mother bear multi-tasking in the picture below.

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After viewing the bears, the boys wanted to get a drink at the green fountain near the lake so we had an impromptu photo session with some eager posers.

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Mark had fun showing his guns, as did Luke. Be sure to check out the photo album below by clicking on the View Full Album link.

This photo album above is not really of my design. It is automatically generated using Microsoft’s Windows Live Writer. I recommend that anyone wanting to write a blog with photos throughout use Windows Live Writer as it really makes it easy to put photos and text.

Shock & Awe

Last night, I was in the big black chair reading in my new book, Guitar All-In-One for Dummies, when Holly said with a little bit of alarm, “Matt, I think I just saw a mouse. Is that possible?” Hmmm.

Knowing Holly like I do, I figured if she’d really just seen a mouse, that question would have been come out differently, so I said, “It’s probably not a mouse,” and kept on reading.

The Dummies series of books has a number of guitar tittles in it: Guitar (an introduction to guitar), Rock Guitar, Blues Guitar, Classical Guitar, Guitar Exercises, Songwriting, Music Composition, and Music Theory.  Individually these books cost about $16 a piece and are about 300-400 pages each, but this book I got cost $23.80 and includes the non repetitive stuff from the others weighing in at a regrettable 666 pages (I am NOT kidding!)

A few minutes later I hear a high pitched very loud squeal from the kitchen.  Not really a scream, not blood curdling actually, just a very energetic yet disbelieving squeal. I close my book.

“It just ran behind the fridge. It’s back there.” Running into the kitchen, I’m looking all around at the floor.  Holly is perched on one of the dining room chairs pointing.

Another squeal. “It ran over to the cabinets.”

I’ve seen it too.  It’s fat and pretty fast. It’s definitely not a vole.  It’s a genuine mouse.

Judging the size of it, it’s been here a while and had plenty to eat.

I walked quickly to my coat to get my gloves.  I figured I’d catch it, but I didn’t want to get some weird infection from a bite.

That’s a bad sign. It probably went in the door where the trash can is.

After getting my gloves, I’m in the kitchen scoping out the floor and the kickboard.  Sure enough the under-the-sink door to the trashcan is ajar.

I open the door. It’s dark under there. I close the door and run to get a flashlight. My favorite flashlight these days is the little red plastic LED Weather Ready by Energizer which uses four AA batteries. I can’t find it so I grab my 18V Ryobi light. I turn it on, it’s charged and bright.

I open the door. Take out the trashcan. It’s almost empty. nothing. I move the box of trashbags from costco. Mouse poop. I take out the Draino. No mouse. Luke is there by my side eagerly looking on.

After removing everything, the mouse has definitely gone under the cabinets, perhaps into the crawl space.

More Mouse poop though. Actually, now that I’m seeing it, there is mouse poop all around, now that I’m looking for it. I get a brush and dust pan, and start to clean up the mouse poop.  Then I think again.

Then I stop cleaning.

This mouse just made a big mistake.

I put away the dustpan and whisk broom.

This mouse should not have come out during the daylight hours.

It’s days are numbered.

 

Davis 023After mentally debating the various approaches: poison, borrowing some cats, traps, a late-night vigil, I decide on a multi pronged approach. The Lumber stores were closed, as it was 5:45 PM, but a quick call to Olerud’s confirms that they have mouse traps. Holly confirms that we have some non-drippy Skippy Peanut Butter in the cupboards, so all we need is poison and traps.

Mark is tired and sound asleep on the couch, so Luke and I head out to get the main tool, pictured at left. Turns out they didn’t have any poison, just traps. Looking at the traps at the store, they’re the smaller type for mice and voles.  Not the big monster kills anything traps, so I buy six of them.

My first thought was to put a bunch of traps in the crawl space and put poison all around the perimeter, but then after thinking about all that poop centralized under the sink and how I don’t want a dead mouse under the cabinets stinking up the house, I decide with to concentrate on the under-the-sink cabinet.

After testing each one and fine tuning the sensitivity so they’re just hair trigger ready to fire off, and explaining the whole process to Luke who’s mentally taking notes and asking a ton of questions I go with the following setup.

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Back where the insulation is crammed in the corner there is a hole that leads under the cabinets, so I centered my response there.This mouse is definitely in the wrong house.  Don’t you think? Also, where there is one mouse, there is often another, or more of them anyway, so I thought it best to make it tough on the guy.

Then I put everything back in as it was.

This is the first time I’ve gone with the “Shock & Awe” approach, using overwhelming firepower to virtually guarantee success and focus all resources at a single point.

I’ll keep you informed on the progress.

Christmas 2009

Here are some cool Northern Lights we saw yesterday in the early morning looking off to the north.

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Christmas 2009 019I’m kidding.  This was 2.5 second exposure taken handheld at ISO 3200, wide open of Mark Daniel swinging his glow in the dark wrist bands around energetically to the beat of a Boy Named Sue.

It snowed about 14-18 inches on Christmas Eve, so we had a mess to dig out of in the morning before we could go and get Bob and Margaret for the Christmas morning festivities.  The boys all chipped in and dug with their new shovels and Holly seemed to enjoy doing an Alaskan Woman thing as well.

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Holly’s Birthday party was on Christmas evening and we had a nice visit with the family and Bob & Margaret with Margaret’s home made lemon cake with real whipping cream.

Christmas 2009 022Holly’s big gift for her Birthday was an Aero Garden from Amazon which is assembled and percolating away in the living room with herbs (Parsley, Mint, Italian Basil, Dill, Purple Basil, Chives, and Thyme)  hopefully sprouting this week.

Christmas 2009 141 Also, I got a large griddle (10”x20”) for cooking pancakes for $44 at the Canadian SuperStore.  It works fine, it turns out, but is a little bit of a pain to clean if you don’t rinse it right away—which is, I suppose, the same as any other cooking or preparation devices. It’s also a bit of a pain to store, as there are no holes in the handles to hang the thing from. I’d always thought these would be great for cooking pancakes or french toast, and just bought one on the spur of the moment. 

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Christmas 2009 138One of Holly’s ideas for the Holidays was to spread the gifts out over 12 days, since we’re not planning any big trips.  This morning, the boys got their Nerf guns with a brief safety demonstration and strict instructions on where they could be aimed (not at mommy, not at a face). 

 

But later one of the boys shot the other one in the eye from 3” and lost his gun privileges and got a few swats. Thankfully, no harm was done to John Caleb’s eye.  Although I do feel a bit bad about the spankings. They seem to always do more harm than good.

Christmas Letter 2009

Here’s a link to our Christmas Letter (pdf) this year, which is actually pretty cool, if I may say so.  We had it done, printed, folded, stamped and put into envelopes (but not licked) before Thanksgiving Day.

Merry Christmas

Windows Live Skydrive: CLICK HERE

Google Docs: Christmas letter 2009

If you want a printable size document to hang on the fridge, that’s too bad, because this one is only large enough to view on the screen.

Actually, send me an email, and I’ll pop you one, if I know you, duh.  Then put us on your list and send us one too.  BAM

This was the first time I used Publisher to produce a document and did not use a template.  I recommend a book to you: The non-designer’s Design book by Robin Williams CLICK HERE!!