On The Island...Where Nobody Goes....

Black Bears and Rain

By: jitterymoose, 5:42 AM GMT on September 01, 2009

...and rain and rain and rain. If this keeps up, mushrooms will sprout between my webbed toes. :-( Okay, so last Thursday was REALLY nice, but other than that, it's been rain, rain, rain. We took a break and drove to Anchorage and Palmer for the State Fair, and discovered this -- don't go to the Alaska State Fair on opening weekend. OY! It took nearly 1 1/2 hours to drive from Wasilla to Palmer and park (12.3 miles total). Still, it was a lot of fun. Not nearly the livestock numbers that were at Tanana, but we had a blast, ate too much, got really nauseous on the rides (okay, the kids did), won a toy, and walked until we could barely stand. It was a nice break. Then, we drove home on Sunday....into the rain (that started around Denali and POURED all the way home).

Hubby came home early from the field. They had a "bear encounter" on Wednesday morning, and when he called he asked if I'd gotten a "bear vibe" that morning.... I said, no, but I woke up knowing he'd be home that afternoon (I didn't know why), so it wasn't really a surprise to see him. Well.....a nearly 350 pound black bear wandered into the camp. OMG, OMG, OMG. Luckily, the three crew members who HAD bear spray were standing behind my husband who was armed with .... a shovel. The bear, which wasn't acting very aggressively was more interested in the action packers, but it got a little hairy when the bear got within 15 feet of hubby and he beat the shovel on a tree to make enough noise to get it to give up and get out. Yeah....bear vibes..... Ugh.

Hope everyone's having a great weekend! One of the Wundergrounders sent on some fabulous pictures of wind in Southern Alberta, Canada that had blown those enormous 1600 pound hay bales around. Man, and I thought the wind in Rawlins was rough! :-)

Updated: 3:54 PM GMT on September 02, 2009

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TB Test Debacle

By: jitterymoose, 4:40 AM GMT on August 25, 2009

...ugh. Okay, it was bad enough when I took my husband in for his annual physical (that he hadn't had for 3 years, but that's the way it goes with guys at times). He was in there 20 minutes, and when the doctor asked if he had any questions, hubby said -- well, I've been having trouble with my foot (AFTER I'd already looked up all his symptoms and told him he had plantar fascitis --- even if I can't spell it correctly). The doctor told him he had a classic case of....plantar fascitis (although, he probably spelled it correctly), and when we got the bill, it was $579. Why? Because hubby had asked a question during the physical, they charged us for a "preventive care" visit AND a $113 "office visit." I just got the statement of benefits from Blue Cross/Blue Shield and am going to call them in the morning and ask why you can't ask a question at your physical. COME ON. I couldn't believe it. All the way home, hubby muttered, "I should've kept my mouth shut..." BUT, hubby's out at Blair Lakes until Friday. They only have a SATphone, so I won't be hearing from him all week. Today was sooooooo loooonnnngggg without having him to text back and forth with. On the other hand, I got a lot of housework done.... :-)

The TB Test. Okay, I'm woefully under-employed at the moment, but had to take SOMETHING, so I took a p/t gig with First Student as a crossing guard (tons of irons in the fire, so we'll see what happens). As part of the pre-employement, I had to get a TB test. I didn't think anything about it, so I went to the clinic and got it. Oh....my..... Within 20 minutes, I called hubby and said, "Wow -- I don't feel so good." and it went downhill from there. The injection site turned into a angry red bruise, but didn't swell. (?) By 7pm, every trigger point involved in my fibromyalgia was SCREAMING, and I had to sit out tennis (the best thing you can do for that pain is get out and keep moving). My vision got blurred as all the moisture just felt sucked from my eyes (I'd already been dealing with sticky dry eye for about 2 weeks before), and the pain just got worse and worse. Advil wasn't working, and years of experience had shown that when the pain tipped to that scale, NOTHING works -- not even the really powerful stuff Ashley used to give me to try -- and it never worked....

So, the pain is now receding (like a wave that's slllooowwwlllyyy moving out to sea), but I mentioned to the tech when I went to have my NEGATIVE TEST read that I have a really screwed up immune system and he was a little surprised by the red spot, but didn't react when I mentioned the crippling pain (oh, well). The residual is now my skin feels like it wants to crawl away from me. Talk about unpleasant. I'm going to call my PA tomorrow and give him an update about this. I'm not convinced fibro is like RA. There's been some pretty convincing work done that points more to nerve damage than a degenerative joint thing. Anyway, still keeping up with the research, and I can't wait to tell the National Database about THIS one.

Hope everyone's having a great night! Cloudy and rainy (of course, 'cause hubby's in the field for a week). They changed the forecast to include that Saturday -- right before he went out. of course.... Hoping to go up to the Arctic Circle this weekend when he's home. Of course, lots of pics to come! :-)

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Building a Puddle Duck Racer

By: jitterymoose, 5:52 AM GMT on August 18, 2009

Okay, the "proof we didn't sink" photos are awaiting approval before being posted here (along with some nice mushroom shots -- the mushrooms are EVERYWHERE because of the rain). After a month of construction (and it's basically made of two 4x8 pieces of plywood -- and not even MARINE plywood, just regular old plywood!) it rained and rained, but we didn't care and loaded the puddle duck into the back of the pickup (and it FIT and we were able to close the tailgate!) and drove down to Bathing Beauty Pond just outside of North Pole (where no one would know us IN CASE we sank) and launched her. Hubby and the boy went first and it looked like SO MUCH FUN! The girl and I stayed on the shore (and scored quite a few cranberries for jam) and kept an eye on them. There wasn't much wind, but they actually got it to sail (there was some doubt that my 30 year old Bernina would actually be able to sew a sail, but it worked in the end). Then they came back in and it was our turn. Truth be told, we paddled her out with oars and then set the sail and ahhhh.... so nice. Just to move (albeit more slowly than even Captain Slow on Top Gear) around the lake with a sail. I'm SO BUMMED that summer's almost over, but so glad we have lakes closer (now that we know we won't get embarrassed by sinking) that we can head to after school work and work! If you're looking for a cute, cheap (probably cost us all of about $250, and that's only because hubby did some rather geeky things to her) project that involves A LOT OF GLUE, then this is for you. Seriously. Two sheets of 4x8 plywood and some trim. Just amazing. Plans available for free at PDRacer.com

Rain, rain, rain, and then the Fair ended and the rain went on Sunday, but now it's stopped. It's noticeably Fall, though 'cause the angle of the sun has changed INCREDIBLY. It never did get dark enough where I am to see the Perseid. That was a bit of a bummer.

Hope everyone's having a great night!

Updated: 6:04 AM GMT on August 18, 2009

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Frost Tonight...again

By: jitterymoose, 4:36 PM GMT on August 10, 2009

Again tonight. Glad it's clear. Maybe we'll be able to see the Perseid tonight! :-)

It's in the forecast -- supposed to be around 35°F in town, so it'll be colder in the valleys outside town. I'm not quite sure what the means for where we are here.... It's pretty chilly at the house at the moment -- around 39°F -- but kind of par for the course lately. At least the smoke's moved on! We've had rain, rain, and more rain. It's been sooooo nice, and the garden's really perked up. Still no corn, though, but we went to the fair yesterday and their garden there had pretty tall corn but no ears either. AND, there was no 4-H corn on display as far as we could tell.

Hope everyone has a great day! Today we find out if the kids are in school or if I'm homeschooling again! :-)

Updated: 4:49 AM GMT on August 12, 2009

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Bering Sea Water Spout

By: jitterymoose, 4:32 PM GMT on August 06, 2009

And....it's RAINING! :-)



A nice soaking rain here. I know you folks in Florida think water spout -- big deal, but this sucker's in the Bering Sea, and this type of thing just doesn't happen up here! :-)

Happy Thursday! (btw -- the smoke's still wicked-bad)

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There's rain and it's getting closer!

By: jitterymoose, 6:20 AM GMT on August 06, 2009

I think it's not tracking correctly to get to where I am in Fairbanks, but, more importantly, it's raining in and around Anderson, and it looks like it might be swinging around to the North to hit the fires up around Murphy Dome. Some of the radar images are making this look significant, so that would be GREAT! ANYTHING to beat down these fires, give the crews a break, and smack some of this smoke and ash down to boot! :-)

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Driest July EVER....

By: jitterymoose, 8:20 AM GMT on August 02, 2009

...on record Fairbanks Daily Newsminer letting us all know just HOW DRY July was!

But, now...it's August. It was like flipping a switch. I don't mean precipitation-wise, I mean temperature wise. When I brought Katie (the dog) in around 1130pm last night, it seemed chilly and the boiler building was making noises like it wanted to be on. This morning, it was below 55°F at our place, and it's cooled off significantly tonight, too.... The tomatoes don't like it ONE BIT. The cabbages, on the other hand, are growing like crazy!

I made pickles today. At least, I THINK I made pickles today. When we break into a jar of them tomorrow, I'll know for sure. The whole house smelled like Kosher dills, so if that's any indication, then I should have had some success. :-) Other than that, a pretty quiet day. A working on the boat to get it into the water before the end of summer so we can enjoy it a couple of times before next year kind of day. :-) And, of course, a two friends of mine introduced me to Farm Town and Farm Ville, and it's amazing how they (the games) just suck you in....really.... :-) I'm not up at midnight 'cause the grapes need to be harvested...no really... :-) (WINK! I'm NOT!).

Tomorrow the girl goes off to Girl Scout Camp for a WHOLE WEEK. We found a DOT weather station at the Milepost of the Richardson Hwy where the turn off for Jessie Bloom is, so, if we can't see her on a cam, at least we can know what her weather's like (and if she should have listened to me more when I said that she should really take TWO sweatshirts just in case.... but, then again, being mom, I put them in the rucksack anyway...)

Hope everyone's having a great night! JM

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