Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday, Mount Baldy!

Saturday was one of those days that reminds you why you love living in Alaska. The temps were in the high 40s to mid 50s, the sky was an incredible blue, the sun was shining. And best of all, BFF MaryKay and I both had the day off with no plans or other obligations. We decided to hike to the summit of 3000 ft.Mount Baldy.

This view of Mt. Baldy is from the Old Glenn Highway in Eagle River.

We drove to the access road, little dog in tow, and proceeded up the VERY STEEP trail.

Did I mention that the trail to the summit climbs over 1600 vertical feet in approx. one mile? It's been years since we did this hike. I truly had forgotten how tiring going uphill was!

We picked blueberries and crowberries along the way. Sweet and juicy. How kind of nature to provide us a nutritious energy snack.

We took a break about halfway up. Sat, drank water, enjoyed the views.

We watched small aircraft buzz along below us, and a parasailor, also enjoying the fabulous weather!

Spirit (aka 'little dog') encouraged MaryKay to proceed onwards to the top!

We were surrounded with amazing views of Eagle River, Ft. Richardson Army Base, The Knik Arm of Cook Inlet, Sleeping Lady (Mt. Susitna) and the Alaska Range across the water.

There were definately times we had to stop, breathe hard, rest. We essentially just ran out of the pep. But, middle-age wilderness wonderwomen that we are, we slogged through. We persevered.

We were embraced by the beauty of Alaska! How could we not keep going?

An hour and a half or so of hiking/climbing, and yes sometimes even scrambling on all fours (my hands, knees and butt were covered in mud!)we reached the summit!

Spirit really wanted off-leash, but there were too many "accidents waiting to happen" for me to feel comfortable with that. He had to settle for his picture at the summit!

We hiked along the ridge for a bit,

until a cloud covered the sun. The temp immediately plummeted to below freezing! Going down was somewhat easier than going up, however, the seat of my pants will likely never be the same LOL!

We had a most excellent time and were very proud of ourselves!

Do you see our happy grins!

I must admit, that little 3-4 hour hike totally kicked our butts for the day. I picked up a pizza to bake at home afterwards. The man, the grannymeister and I enjoyed pizza, salad and beer (root beer for Grandma Clara) and after a nice long hot shower, I was in asleep by 9:30! Strangely, I'm not THAT sore today, just a few twinges in my ankles, thighs and buttocks here and there, but overall, I feel great! It was a fantastic time with one of my best friends. Today looks like another glorious day. Thinking about heading out to another little hike. Mebbe. It's just too pretty to stay inside. Hope it's beautiful wherever you are. Have a great day and KNIT ON with your bad selves!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Back to the Blog...

Hello, anyone there? Sorry to be away so long. I've been working like a fiend with weird back to back and skip a day night calls along with interspersed clinic days. It gets your circadians out of whack! Also, I'm working very hard on "getting out more" with friends and attending to other interests. Winter is just around the corner here....but I still have new blooms daily in the garden.

I just love this freshly opened dewy pink daylily.

In the knit, I'm still working on the Debbie Bliss Drop Collar Cable Jacket in the Rowan Classic Yarns Soft Tweed. I love the feel of this stuff. It's an easy cable knit and really should be finished but..time has been at a premium. Two sleeves and about 6 more inches of back than you see here. Interestingly, knitblogger Philigry , is making the same jacket in the same yarn in the same color. She's almost finished with hers and it has me excited to finish this project!

Don't mind the decaying daisy on the sleeve, how i missed that in the viewfinder I'll never know!

As many of you have shared, parenting a teen who's turning into an adult really forces you to examine your own personal goals, values and interests again. And adjust as needed. It's a time to reconnect with your partner. While the man and I are pretty good at connecting, after almost two decades sometimes we get lazy. Sunday,though, we dressed up and attended the wedding of one of my good work friends, Rose. It was held on the lake at the Elks Club in Palmer. I made 4 dozen deviled eggs. Everyone brought food, there was dancing, and of course, the bride was stunning. A typical rainy but beautiful fall day in Alaska. I don't have permission to show pics of the bride, but the man and I cleaned up pretty well so I'll share this self portrait.

We are enjoying a cool and rainy fall. No frost yet, but high 30s at night and mid 40s to low 50s daytime. The leaves have turned an incandescent shade of gold. This is my favorite time of year. My backyard mountain (Bear Mountain) never disappoints.

no matter if it's sunny,

or cloudy, you can always count on the mountains. My backyard view reminds me of an old methodist hymn that went something like..."I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, to the hi.ii.ii..llls...for that is where my strength co..oo..mmmes from...
anway, that's what always runs through my mind in a pure clean singing voice when I'm hanging out in the yard and happen to look up.

I'll wrap this post up with a little garden cat action. Butt (short for Butterscotch) the Ear-Sucking Cat,

and his best bud Bella Blue (dont'cha just love that alliteration? hah!) have fun times hanging out in the autumn splendor.

I have grocery shopping with Grandma Clara this afternoon, and am planning to kick back and watch the first season of Dexter, do some knitting, and read a little more of the fun Stan Nichols trilogy "Orcs". Next couple weeks' schedule is much kinder, so I'll be back in touch soon. Until then, Knit On!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Drop Collar Cable Jacket

Yesterday was PFD day here in Alaska. The 2K+ dividend was combined with our good governor's energy rebate of $1200. Essentially, every Alaskan (read man,woman and child) recieved a little more than $3200. For a family of 6...well, you can do the math. Most of ours will be reinvested in the remodel. I did splurge just a bit on some Rowan Classic Yarns Soft Tweed in Bramble and a few bags of Araucania Atacama hand-dyed alpaca from last week. The alpaca is slated for a Mr. Greenjeans, a shawl, and perhaps a few pairs of felted clogs for holiday giving. The Soft Tweed however, was destined from the get-go to be the Drop Collar Cable Jacket from the new Debbie Bliss knitting magazine. I'm loving how quickly and intuitively the cable pattern knits up. I did a sleeve as my gauge swatch and love the fabric. Should be a cheerful wardrobe pick-me-up over the winter months.

Can't believe how fast this month is flying by! Will try to catch up later this week. Until then. Knit on!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Waiting Patiently

Today is my first day off to myself in almost three weeks. Or, at least, it would have been. The flooring will be delivered this morning. Meaning, I need to clear a large area so over 700sf (20some odd boxes) of hardwood can be stacked and made ready for our carpenter. And, of course, due to the lovely and intelligent Gov. Palin's nomination for Vice President....the man will be busy covering every aspect of her life until November. Good for our personal economy......but having him gone a lot can be challenging.

The other problem today is our septic system. Due to the unusually high rainfall and lack of warmth to evaporate same, our ground is saturated. And our septic system, which we almost religiously have pumped every year, but has been known to go almost three years without complaint, is causing 'greywater' backups and leakage under the sinks of our downstairs (garden level) office/little kitchen/laundry room area. Having mopped up two unpleasant messes in the past 48 hours, and now with buckets under drain pipes to alleviate same, I wait for the septic pump folks. There are many clever names for our septic company has a fleet of trucks called "Turdinator I, Turdinator II, etc."...another company has "The Super Duper Pooper Pumper". I just call JR's. They're close by and reliable and they'll be here this afternoon. Until then, no laundry, no dishwasher, no bath/shower etc." Guess I'll fix a cup of tea and finish up my Broadripple socks. And here's a little garden tour while we wait. Enjoy and Knit On.

A new variety of Astilbe for this year's garden.....

The rose colored Astilbe I planted a couple of years has spread beautifully and provides a tall feathery accent to the fall garden...

These white and blue campanulas have also proliferated in the past 2 years....

And of course, the showstoppers of the late summer garden...a full three weeks behind schedule, my stargazer Lilies.....