Wednesday, October 31, 2007

WAR!!!!

There's a war being waged in American homes today. It's not the bombardment of filth on television, it's not the evil influences inherent in the public school system, it's not the liberal government telling us how to raise our children. No, this war is much more sinister and subtle. In fact, you may not even be aware of it's existence. It's the war on... naptime! It's soldiers are not eligible for the military, in fact they would have a tough time in elementary school. They are battle hardened and tougher than nails. They have the ability to fight off the sleepy-sleepies for hours on end. Even the most experienced care giver tends to give up the fight when coming up against these little warriors. But don't give up!! Keep fighting the good fight! It gets easier, I hope. I thought the battle was won a year ago but, like grown up war, it has resurfaced with a new face and a greater determination to annihilate the opposition. Last time it used the tactics of screaming and crying to achieve it's aims. That failed so it came up with even more deadly attacks. Wiggling and squirming are it's weapons of choice this time. No noise, no fighting, just lulling the enemy into a false sense of security before springing the peeping eyes and wiggling fingers on it, not to mention the "I'm too cute to punish" smile. This is a war of ambush. I weary of this war but know that I must win. For the good of this tiny warrior I must outlast her. I must fight off the dishes and the vacuum and my father for her benefit. She doesn't realize it but she is fighting the friendly forces. One day I know she'll fight this same fight with her own children, and while I'm not her mother, I can still stand back and giggle quietly. I write of her early years and take pictures so that in the distant future, Lord willing, we can look back and she'll know that this battle is a battle that mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and babysitters have fought for generations and it will eventually be won. It was won against her older sister and she is no different. But oh how I weary of this war!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Good News!!

Mom and Kathy got back from Anchorage this afternoon with really great news. It turns out that she has cataracts in both her eyes!! Okay that was a tad sarcastic. The doctor in Anchorage did confirm that she has them in both eyes but the one in the left is much cloudier than the one in the right. He was a bit puzzled until she told him about the bug bite she got on her left eyelid last June. It swelled her left eye almost shut. He said that inflammation can cause the growth rate to accelerate. She is scheduled for replacement in the left eye on the 8th of November and he said that she probably wouldn't need the right one replaced for some time. I think she'll have it done in the next few months because she'll have a good eye and she'll realize just how bad her vision is. When she called after the appointment she was having trouble seeing because they gave her drops that deadened her eyeballs to test the pressure in them. She said that it was weird. I really hope I never have to go in the the doctor for my eyes again. Say what you want about the Montrose health care system, I'm impressed that I'm not wearing glasses.
I think I need to call Guiness Book. India is the tallest six year old on the planet and her little sister isn't far behind. Mom brought footie pajamas for them from Anchorage. She bought size ten for India and size five for Phaedra. I figure they'll fit perfectly, lengthwise, around the beginning of the year. I hadn't realized it but Phaedra wears India's size five pants. Phaedra turned two in May for crying out loud!! I feel really sorry for their parents but I'm not surprised. Kiki is 5' 10" and their dads aren't all that short. India's dad is about six feet and so is Phaedra's. It'll be a bummer to look their ten year old in the eyes when they tell her no. Heeheeheehee!!!!!
Dad went and got coal today instead of yesterday. There wasn't anyone to load it yesterday. He got it screened this time. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the glass crusher so we have to pick through it by hand to keep out the big stuff. Hopefully he'll come up with something different soon.
I guess that's all my news for the day. Night everyone!
~Pam

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Mom and I saw this girl in Fred Meyer on Saturday. We haven't seen her in two years. I saw her at the Ninilchik fair two years ago and Charlie saw her over Christmas but it's been awhile. This is McKayla, Charlie's daughter. I had the brains to ask her grandmother if I could get a couple pictures of her when we stopped to exchange rather forced pleasantries. She wanted to say no but I didn't really give her a chance. The only other pictures we have of her are almost five years old. She looks a lot like her mom but she has Charlie's teeth and his nose. Amy said she is in the advanced reading class in third grade. She is getting so big and she is sooo curious about her dad, despite her grandmother's best efforts. For those of you who don't know the story, Amy is Charlie's ex and McKayla's mom. Amy's mother has done her best to make sure that none of us and especially Charlie are welcome in McKayla's life. They don't hide him from her. She knows who he is and who we are but she isn't allowed any contact with us. Amy has done everything her mother has ever told her to do and this is no exception. It's my prayer that McKayla comes looking for him when she gets old enough. I just hope she won't be too poisoned against him to care who he is and that she'll be willing to listen. Anyway, I got these pictures and there's not a thing one Alisha can do about it!!!!
Mom goes in for her consultation in Anchorage this week. She and Kathy are driving up tomorrow and spending the night in Anchorage. The consult is on Tuesday. Please pray that they'll give her a good prognosis. I guess she can have one of a few different kinds of lenses put in that have different results. Hopefully she will be able to get rid of her glasses for good.
Dad is going to Seward to get another load of coal. I guess this time he'll get it screened and keep the big stuff. He can get a glass crusher from Carl that will break it into more manageable pieces but the fine dust doesn't sift down to be augered into the fire. It makes a dome in the hopper that has to be poked down. In the middle of the night is not the best time for the coal to dome and the fire to die, needless to say. Fortunately, it hasn't been getting too cold here and we can still stand it if we have to relight the fire, but I hope we get all these kinks worked out before the real cold hits. We should be seeing below zero before Thanksgiving but I'll let you know.
Charlie is going to Anchorage tomorrow to continue his hunt for an apartment. I'm not sure what happened to the other two he had in mind but I guess the search continues. He has gone on the the next level of consideration for the job he interviewed for last week. It's a tech support position at GCI, a telephone company. I can't think of a more suitable thing for my patience-lacking younger brother. He gets mad when people can't use common sense and he wants to go into tech support! Stay tuned for the fall-out.
Phaedra's coming tomorrow and I guess I better get ready for it cause we'll have to go down and walk Kathy's dog a couple times and she really loves going to Kathy's. Like, we go to get India at the end of the driveway and it's "Tathy's? Me do(go) to Tathy's?" Quivering lip and welling tears when I tell her no but seeing Sister get off the bus makes it better.
Night,
~Pam

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

First snow anyone?

Well, we had our first official snowfall last week. It didn't stick around for long but the ground was white and that's what counts. I believe it was Saturday. There's a chance it may snow later this afternoon and even as I write there are flakes falling occasionally. Perhaps they got lost, or didn't get the memo and fell too early. Whatever the reason it looks really sad. I'll post pictures of the first big snow.
Mom called the surgeon in Homer last week and found out that the earliest they can get her in for her consultation is the beginning of December. She can have both of them done before that if she goes to the doctor in Anchorage. She is really sick of not seeing clearly so she'll probably stick with Anchorage. We're painting the kitchen and she's having trouble seeing the colors clearly. We're sponging it in three shades of yellow. I think it's beautiful, Dad thinks it's orange, Mom'll be shocked when she can actually see it and Charlie couldn't care less. Phaedra had a blast helping me paint the wall that the sink is on. She got to stand in the sink and use the roller all by herself. She did a good job and didn't get any paint on herself!
Dad is thisclose to going to the doctor for his shoulders. He found out that it probably isn't his rotator cuff, he thinks it's bone spurs but he doesn't want to go find out for sure. It is affecting his ability to work and kept him out of church once. Please pray for the Lord to burden him about this.
Charlie had a job interview in Palmer yesterday. He's being considered, was complimented on his interview skills and his knowledge of computers. He has said, time and again, that he has no intention of making things right with the church before he leaves. I guess we need some back story. When he left for Job Corps he began attending a church in Wasilla. After only two or three months he decided he didn't want to go anymore. Our church covenant states that when you leave the church you're at, you will, as soon as possible, join another church of like faith and practice. He became a poor witness and a poor testimony to our church. He completely blew his own testimony and he doesn't seem to care. He was disciplined from the church right before he came back. When he decided to come back he was repentant, or so he says, but once he got back he got into the same habits he had before he got saved and now has decided that he's not sorry. I fear that he was not saved and only put on the facade of christianity, but then again, Charlie has never and will never, do anything that he doesn't want to do. I hope and I pray that he was saved and has only backslid, either way there's nothing I can do and it's in the Lord's hands. Please pray for His chastising hand in Charlie's life and His guiding hand in the lives of my parents in their dealings with him.
Life for me goes on. Nothing new, nothing different other than doing the kitchen and the colossal mess it has created. I know Dad gets fed up with it but I can't do anything about it until the painting is done.
I guess that's all for now, later.
~Pam

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Where did all the flowers go?

Well, Mom posted that Fall was full upon us...It has now given way to that weird period between Fall and Winter. It's ridiculously cold because of the humidity that's still in the air but there's not enough cloud cover for it to snow. We had a prediction for the first snow to happen last Friday but it never materialized. Every year it's the same thing, all the leaves turn these beautiful shades of yellow, we even had orange and red this year, and then the wind kicks up and blows them all off. Now we have this unique shade of brown. I hope the snow comes soon cause this state is really ugly right now. Well not the whole state, just this little corner of it.
Dad got the gravel to put our coal shed on last week now he just needs to get the shed from the church down the road. They used to have their furnace in it and it's got a concrete floor, drywall insides and really pretty log siding. It'll be the nicest building we've got on the place. I'll take pictures when we get it set.
McKinzie is doing all right. He still can't stand up or walk very well, but he's adjusting to it okay. He doesn't know whether or not he likes my new puppy. We have to muzzle him when Jasher comes out of his kennel just in case, but he comes up to the kennel sometimes and lays there barking and yelping at Jasher. It's really goofy looking. I'm debating on when to get Jasher neutered, now or when he's a year old. Any opinions?
These past two weeks have been really busy for me. Normally, I don't have India or Phaedra every day but Tony and Kiki are both working pretty much the same hours so Phaedra has been coming every day. I love having her here and it's so much fun to be able to teach her things. I can't wait to have my own children. I never realized what sponges children are and how hard you have to work to make the good things stick. It seems like for every one good thing she gets taught, she comes up with five things she shouldn't know, do or say. It's exhausting to say the least. Like, how did a two year old learn to lie like that? I'm afraid that it's time to admit that such things come naturally. She isn't an innocent little baby anymore and foolishness is bound tightly in her heart.
Okay, my feet are about to freeze solid so I'm ending this post for today. Later folks.
~Pam

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Mom, here

Hi!! Not sure how long this will be, but you have my semi-divided attention until Charles comes home. (For those that get satellite or cable - Unwrapped is on the Food Channel, and I am paying some attention to it.) When the son comes home, he and I are going to knock together a screen to get the coal dust out of the coal before we put it in the Stoker. It has come up with the trick of making a "bridge" in the hopper, augering everything under that into the firebox and then just chugs along. No heat, no fire, not out of coal, hmmm... Frank discovered this new habit a couple days ago and it's tried it a couple times since. We are just going to knock something together, cause when Frank actually sees where I'm headed with this; he'll either tear this apart and rebuild it better, or just make a better one from the get-go.

For those who don't know, yet... I went in for an eye exam a couple weeks or so ago and got a very big surprise. I don't need glasses - maybe. What I do need before they establish any prescription is lens replacement surgery in both eyes. I have cataracts. I was referred to a clinic in Anchorage; called them up and have an appointment for initial exam on the 23rd of this month. They went ahead and scheduled the surgery for the left eye (the one I can tell is cloudy) on the 7th of Nov and the right eye on the 8th of Nov. Been thinking about that and how it flies in the face of "normal". Most folks who have both done have at least a month between them. I got them scheduled back to back with the argument I didn't want to drive to Anchorage three times in 2 1/2 months, and the second surgery would have been too close to my birthday (the 5th or 6th of December). Talked to a gal who used to work for the District last week, who just had her first one done down here by a Dr. she says is one of the top 5 in the entire Northwest United States. She was horrified that I was going to Anchorage for it - and that they had even though about doing them that close together. She also mentioned some side effects that no one else has and the more I think on it, the better I like the idea of not driving that far for it. I'd probably take Kathy with me if I went to Anchorage. She is at a point, physically, that she can't hardly stand sitting long enough to get there or home with the road vibration in her back without 'medicating'. And she won't 'medicate' if she's doing the driving. I can see it now - phone rings; Pam answers, State Trooper asks, "Is your Daddy home?" cause she sounds like she's 12 on the phone... Trooper asks my husband if he knows me and Kathy and can he come get us off the road cause she's too medicated and I'm too blind to come home. Sides, if I have it done here, I don't have very far to go to get back to my own bed...

Fall is full on us. Leaves are about 85 to 90 % turned and probably 20 % on the ground already. Found frost on my windshield the last couple mornings, too. I will be glad when it goes ahead and snows, because then I will have something for the headlights to bounce back off of. Right now, the light just goes out there and gets absorbed by the pavement or the light gobble uppers or whatever it is that eats it this time of year.

Charles went apartment hunting in Palmer on Monday. He and a couple fellas he met in Job Corps are planning on sharing. He wants to live up there primarily because it more closely resembles Colorado, which he does miss. I must say, it bears a pretty strong resemblance to Delta or Olathe. Bout the size Olathe was when we left, and Pioneer Peak isn't hard to look at over the rim of the first cuppa in the morning. He also stands a better chance of getting a good, steady job... Pam is ready for him to move out; Frank is ready for him to move out, but not necessarily that far away; I'm ready for him to build his own nest; I just wish he'd check the floor joists a bit closer before he furnishes it, ya know?

Well, I'm about out of new news for this time around. I should start cleaning out the bottom shelf of the cupboard by the range so I can get it primed and painted. That ain't going to happen tonight, cause Unwrapped is now over and Challenge - Wedding Cakes is now on.

Good Night,
Nema

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Girls






Here are some pictures of "my" girls. I can't believe how big they've gotten in just two years. Well, Phaedra I can understand cause she was barely out of the newborn phase when she started coming but India has grown about six inches in this last year alone. I made a pair of bloomers for her almost two years ago that covered her legs completely. Now they're like bicycle shorts and Phaedra wears them as regular pants. Needless to say, they are both tall for their ages. I was making a skirt the other day and measured them both and they both have nineteen inch waists. India's legs are as long as Phaedra is tall, but they have the same size waists!! I wonder if any of you are familiar with those baby carriers that are a seat attached to straps that wrap around your waist and go over your shoulders? I have one that India wanted to ride in about a month ago. They are rated for 35 pounds and she only weighs 5 more than that, so it should work right? Try putting a giraffe in one of those and you'll know what it was like trying to get her into it. She was on my back and her feet were hitting the back of my calves when I walked but her tiny butt fit in it perfectly. Craziness I tell you, craziness!!!!
Last year India was allowed to dye her hair. I don't know who thought of it, but when she was asked what color she wanted, of course she said purple. Her dad vetoed that however and they settled on a really pretty chestnut color. She is blonde and the rest of her family is brunette and she loved finally looking like them. It finally faded completely this summer and she's in a panic to do it again. I don't think it's going to happen but the precedent has been set. We'll see who can outlast who.
Phaedra, as I said, is talking very well now and she has something to say about everything. I know that a lot of it is reinforcing her knowledge but some of it is just noise, I'm sure of it. And she also has a separate facial expression to go with each word it seems like. I'm sure she thinks I'm a lunatic because she'll be perfectly earnest in what she's saying and I'll be laughing my head off at the look on her face. I don't understand the saying "terrible twos" cause her twos are turning out to be a riot. And she learned a long time ago that you don't say 'no' to me and she knows to say 'please' and 'thank you'. When I'm doing something that she doesn't like then she says 'please don't'. That's something I deliberately taught India and I guess she taught that to Phaedra because I sure didn't.
I think India teaches her little sister a lot of things because Phaedra knows her right and her left, her own anatomy and she can count to five on her fingers. She has that tone, you parents know the one, when you call her name and you get this sweet, drawn out "wwhhaatt?" that tells you that you need to see what she's doing, NOW. And she can con you out of or into anything, or at least she tries. India has pretty much outgrown that phase but she's made sure her legacy lives on.
Okay folks, enjoy the pictures.
~Pam

Monday, October 1, 2007



These are pictures of our new heater. Dad got it from Grandpa and Grandma Arndt. We had one when we lived on Ida Road in Montrose and I was about nine the last time I saw one close up. This one has been in Grandpa's shop for years but I never stood next to it that I remember. I could have sworn that these machines were a LOT bigger. It seems so tiny now.
When I find them I'll post pictures of the Arnold that Dad got from Pastor Ron, our pastor. Or I might just take all new ones cause I haven't the foggiest idea which disk has the other ones on it. That's the problem with getting a digital camera. You take so many more pictures and then you can't remember what's on which disk and what got put on the computer, or even if the pictures got taken with the digital and not the 35 mm...Or maybe that's just me.
Okay, for more news. I got a new puppy about a month and a half ago. His name is Jasher and he's half pomeranian and half trailer park dog. The neighbor's granddaughter-in-law has two pomeranian females and the older one, Sexy, is his mother. When Eli and Little Bear died I told Dad that if anything happened to Nanook then I was getting a little dog. Well, Nanook claimed Dad as her new person and I was left without a dog. Anyone who remembers my childhood, will understand why that was unacceptable. For those of you who were sharing my childhood, our house had a never-ending series of strays coming through. Most of them were brought in by me. We still have Midnight by the way. She's getting grey on her shoulders and up her legs but she's still as lively as ever, just more settled. Man, I just can't seem to stick to a story can I? Ok, back we go. Sexy had two girls and a boy puppy and I just fell in love with the boy. He was calm and had a different look than the other two. One of the girls was claimed almost as soon as they were born and the other one was cute but I just liked the boy more. I told my dad that I was going to be bringing home a new dog when he was old enough and you should have seen it! His shoulders slumped and he huffed and scoffed and puffed and in the end agreed. Mom wasn't happy at all cause she isn't much of a dog person and we were slowly coming down from seven dogs. But he's just so CUTE that even she likes him now. Hopefully, when the time comes for me to get married and move away he can come with me cause he's little and kennel-trained. I'll keep praying to that end anyway.
Charlie came home about three months ago as well. He completed all the "required" courses at Job Corps, hadn't gotten as far as he wanted in the additional certifications, but we all agreed that it was time he came home. He's looking at moving back to Palmer next month. Pray for the Lord's will in his life. He has responsibilities that seem to have been pushed aside and he really needs the Lord's guidance now.
Mom is still trucking along, so to speak. She's the transportation router for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. I guess First Student bought Laidlaw and some of the employees at Laidlaw have decided that there's no sense in cooperating with the borough cause they themselves aren't going to be here next year and it's making my mother crazy... Crazier than she already was I mean. I think some mean person prayed for the Lord to give her patience. You know He doesn't give us patience, he puts us in situations that force us to learn patience. Anyway, that's "Where She Is Now!"
Dad's been put on hold with the tanks while Carl gets his ducks in a row and decides what he wants to do. I'm not sure what Dad'll be doing over the winter but hopefully he'll be doing something. He didn't commercial fish this summer as he has in the past but he built a few tanks. Please pray for the Lord's guidance for him as well. He needs a more steady job that won't put too much stress on his body. His shoulders are in bad shape and, for some reason, nagging him isn't making him want to get them examined. Go figure.
Mom is going in for lens replacement surgery sometime in the next month. She found out, on my birthday, that she has cataracts on both lenses. Thankfully, it's an outpatient procedure and one of the best surgeons for it operates in Homer and Soldotna, which we happen to be between. Also, it's covered by her insurance so we won't be hit with a major bill. I was looking forward to getting Dad's ER bill paid off completely and having that extra money in the account, but I'm glad this one isn't an emergency and we can plan better. If you don't know about Dad's wintertime boo-boo than let me know and I'll be more than happy to tell that story too.
I'm still babysitting the same two little girls. I WILL be posting pictures of them very soon, like, the very next post. India is 6 already and in first grade this year. Phaedra turned two at the end of May and is talking up a storm. Aunt Byrnie, you were right, she talks as much as India does. She doesn't have the prepositions down yet but everything else gets said. My favorites are, "Hims sitting hims chair", "UN, UN"(run, run), and "Namna"(that's me).
That's all I can think of for the moment so I'll end another incredibly long post. Later.
~Pam

About Me

We're a family that came to Alaska in shifts. We've been here since 1995 and don't plan to leave any time soon.

For Jaime

Comment from a SMART President

" The government that is big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have."

Thomas Jefferson President 1801-1809
Died on JULY 4th, 1826

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