Tuesday, March 31, 2009


For those people who haven't heard, Raisa is in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in Providence Hospital in Anchorage. Her daddy took her in to Peninsula General this morning when she was puking up black blood. Her respiration was really shallow and she was lethargic and would not respond to her name. She also puked blood in the ER and had a petit mal seizure. They medivaced her on the helicopter, her mommy by her side, soon after. Tony came out to Kathy's and waited for Kiki to call and let him know if he needed to go too. When she called and told him that Raisa was not breathing on her own, they were doing CPR, he hit the door. Mom bought him a plane ticket to Anchorage and Kathy gave him some quick spending money for clothes, food, a taxi or whatever. 45 minutes after getting that call he was at her side too.
The last update we got, at 7:30 was that the doctors found a ball of infection in her chest cavity that was putting pressure on her lungs and heart, infection in her stomach and possibly in her blood. Her heartbeat was in the 200's and was fibrillating. She was defibrillated twice. They have her stable now, with tubes in her chest and her stomach and, since they don't know what bacteria is causing the problem, ever antibiotic that they can think of. We've heard pneumonia and meningitis but they aren't sure which one. Well, they probably know, but we don't. She is in a medically induced coma and on a respirator. The next 48 hours will be touch and go.
India and Phaedra are staying with us and Kiki's sister and boyfriend are going up tomorrow.

This has been one of those days that really tests a person's dedication to the Lord! I'm so proud of India though. She is really scared that her baby sister is going to die but she is also assured that, if she does, they'll be together again some day. To watch a seven-year old girl, a worrier and a fretter, just completely give her sister to the Lord was something amazing. Phaedra, of course, doesn't completely realize what's going on. Which is as it should be I guess. Her dad took her to the hospital and she got to help them with Raisa. She held the oxygen tube to her nose and her dad was very careful to not break down in front of her. We're still laughing and playing and hugging and kissing even as we worry so she has complete confidence that whatever's happening is being handled.

I know that Raisa is in the hands of the Lord this night, as she has been every night of her life and whatever happens will be his will. I too, have thrown myself at His feet and I know that I can accept His will, even if it's taking her Home. That doesn't stop me from begging for his mercy though and praying constantly for her safe return to us. I covet your prayers for her too.
I'll try to update this as often as we have news.

Monday, March 30, 2009


This is some of the ash we got off the Dakota on Thursday. It's like small grains of sand, not powder.

This is Dad's Dakota on Thursday afternoon. We'd gone to Ninilchik and found nothing. This happened while he was parked at Kathy's getting wood.

Well, the sky has not collapsed and we are not reenacting the closing scenes from Pompei. Redoubt has been really active but not so as we've noticed much. Dad's stories from 92 kinda ruined my first ashfall. We got some from the first day of eruptions but haven't gotten anything the past couple of days. Ninilchik got a nice dusting but not really anything that could be called disaster levels. Dad and I went to Nikiski on Saturday to get our eggs and while we were going down the road to the egg lady's house we saw Redoubt erupt. That was the first time I'd seen it cause it was socked in the first time and all of the others were over before I heard about it. Anyway, it took twenty minutes of so for the ash cloud to be over us and the egg lady said we were about 40 miles from Redoubt. It was really cool but it suddenly got COLD when the cloud covered the sun! Here's some pictures that I took, standing in their front yard and driving back home. We were out from under the ash cloud by the time we got to Kenai. (Again, get a map)

This is when we first noticed that it had erupted

In the McCoy's driveway, watching the ash spread

The cloud was nearly over us, about ten minutes after we got to the McCoy's house

This is the leading edge of the cloud. It was so big that I couldn't get it all in the viewfinder.

About half an hour after the eruption, I was pointing the camera almost straight up.

On the way back home. The streaks is ash falling.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It must be spring fever!

This is the picture on Tony's first Father's Day/Christmas present. It has both girls giving kisses and the lyrics from "Butterfly Kisses"

I can't believe it's still winter in these parts. From our computer you can see and feel the gorgeous sunshine coming in the window but not the snow so it seems like spring is just out the door! I know that if I step outside I will be hit with a blast of frigid wind but it's hard to convince your body of something if it doesn't want to believe you. I feel like going out and combing Bonnie but I was just out there and I know she is not matted again, besides which, it's still COLD and the wind is blowing, driving the temps down even further. It's a bummer. I wish the clouds would roll in so it would look as cold as it is. When I was out feeding Bonnie at ten I heard a raven in a tree, calling for a mate and the eagles are paired up and driving away other birds. I have yet to see a death-spiral but I watch all eagles as intently as I can, just hoping.
I was going through my pictures the other day, making a DVD for Tony of his girls when I discovered some pictures I took when Phaedra was a toddler. I bought my first camera when she was about eleven months old and started taking as many pictures of them as I could. I had forgotten how CUTE they both were. India, understandably, is not as baby cute as Phaedra but she was still very much a child then. She has grown into a pseudo-adult, with many of the responsibilities, worries and fears of adults. Her family falling apart has caused her to grow up too fast in so many ways. I guess that's a fact of life for kids from broken homes.
I took some pictures of my Bonnie yesterday, while India and were watering her and they turned out great. So, here you are!

Are you hay?

I HEAR ANOTHER COW! I HEAR ANOTHER COW!! Bummer, just another snowmachine
What is going on here?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Assorted pics

Some mountains on the way to Anchorage
The wind was blowing snow off the tops of the mountains on the Anchorage side of Girdwood (get a map)
This was a waterfall just before driving down onto Turnagain Arm. It was a solid chunk of ice, maybe eight feet tall and fifteen feet wide.
Peek-a-boo! I was saying "yuckers" when she put the wipe in her mouth and she would put it on her head and peek at me as if to say "Who me?"
A chickadee at our feeder.
This is Mt. Redoubt on a clear, sunny, Sunday afternoon.

Do da do

Well, we're back in the computer world since our catastrophic failure last week. Oh wait, none of y'all know about that! The video card in the computer died, retired or ran away from home and we consequently, had no computer. I SOS'd Charlie and he walked me through taking the external one out and hooking the monitor up to the internal one. It's not as powerful but it gets the job done.
I guess life goes much the same now as it did two... three weeks ago. The only difference is break-up is peeking it's head up and winking at us. I don't believe for a minute that it's here yet but there's water on the road from melting ice and the birds are singing their spring songs. Wait, they always do that when it's above 0. We're getting seed catalogs and Dad ordered the Murray McMurray Hatchery catalog. I was drooling over the pictures and envisioning a giant bird yard. One acre, divided into quarters isn't too big is it? That way I get pastured birds, they can free-range, eat as many plants and bugs as they want and I get land cleared at the same time! Which reminds me... Jaime. When you buy eggs, if the hens are "vegetarian fed" then they are full of soy. And free-range, vegetarian-fed is just a joke. Hens that are truly "ranging" will stampede to devour a cloud of mosquitoes. Chickens eat bugs!!!!! Last time I checked, bugs are made of meat.
Okay, mini-rant over. Where was I? Oh yeah, my bird yard. I want my acre divided into quarters so I can rotate the birds. I want turkeys and geese. I think they can get along okay so long as they aren't crowded and no bear in his right mind would mess with them. Kiki tells a story about a friend who had a little dog and a turkey who were best buds. The neighbor's unneutered dog would come over and rough up the little dog occasionally. Well, I guess the tom got tired of this because he snuck up behind the neighbor dog and nailed him in his delicate parts. The neighbor dog never came back. Geese and turkeys together would be a pretty nasty combination I'm thinkin' . Also, if I can get the right breeds I can maybe register with the Ark of Taste. That's a small group working to preserve heritage breeds of livestock and produce. They have a pretty impressive list on their website. They are working against agribusiness and the government's push to eliminate family farms through NAIS. I can feel another rant coming on so I will stop with this, anyone who voted for Obama cast their vote against family farms and real food.

Dad keeps plugging along. His shoulders still hurt but then again, they will never stop unless he goes to a doctor who knows what they are doing. His sleep has been a little off lately but I know it's not because of the CPAP. We were on the GAPS diet but it is too expensive to maintain this time of year and I transitioned to the Nourishing Traditions way of preparing food as soon as was feasible. We are all still doing good with the weight thing except my father thinks he was losing weight because of the supplements, not the restricted carbs. The GAPS diet is a monosaccharide diet so all starches were out, along with any sugar except honey. That is what caused the dramatic weight loss, not the CLO or the kefir or the bone broth. I can't convince him though so I'm still restricting carbs to a couple meals a week.
Mom continues as she has been doing. She's a little less laid-back though. Her wannabe supervisor is turning into a fruitcake. That's not being mean though, the woman is very paranoid and weird. She didn't used to be that bad but she's been subsisting on Lean Cuisine and white bread so I think her brain is fried.
Charlie is still working tech support for GCI in Wasilla. He really likes it I guess, or he wouldn't still be there. He's supporting his roommates though and that's kind of eating into his money plans. Dad has give him some advice in that area but Charlie has never been one to do what anyone else thinks he ought to. When he's ready to bite the bullet and kick them out then he will, but not before he's good and ready.
I'm still expecting to take Bonnie to Talkeetna in July. I haven't heard anything about that being changed so I guess it's still a go. She's starting to shed some of her under-layer of hair so I think maybe spring is really on it's way. Although she was tricked last spring when it got cold again, but to be fair, she was still a baby then. She will be two years old in September, hopefully to calve the first time the next April. I'm so excited and plans for the barn, I think, have been finalized. We really do need one in time for the calf. I'm not worried about her being outside all winter through her first pregnancy, except for the feed bill. but even with that, I was very pleasantly surprised at how much she doesn't eat. Dad had figured a couple tons at least, I went way overboard and wanted at least six tons, to make sure I had enough and she is just barely into the second half of the first ton. I think I can afford the six hundred dollars for a ton and a half of horse hay next winter. I want her to have really good quality hay while she is growing a baby. She has been supplemented with grain and two hundred pounds of alfalfa hay this winter so I'm sure she has gotten all the nutrition that she needed. And she YELLED at me when the alfalfa ran out. She tried to eat Phaedra's coat even. I might get another couple hundred pounds anyway, just to finish out the winter. Everett, the guy I bought her from, was way off on her size though. She is really short and if she tops 1,000 pounds I'd be shocked. She's still cute though, even if she is a grown-up lady cow. And she even has horns. They're only three inches long but hey, a horn is a horn is a horn.
I guess this post is officially finished. Oh, and in case you didn't notice that I got a comment on the previous post, I did, so there! No, seriously her name is Jaime and she's a good friend of mine and a sister in Christ. Hopefully she'll be better about posting than I am but her blog should be funny, even if she isn't... Better about posting I mean, cause the woman is a riot, well you know what I mean right?

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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