An Alaskan Holiday Weekend

We just spent our first Thanksgiving weekend in Alaska. It was different.

For one thing, it’s getting darker and darker here. I have seen the sun rise more times in the last few months than I have in my whole life I think. Here’s a lovely sunrise I photographed on Friday. AT TEN-FIFTEEN A.M.!


Also it was snowing like crazy on Thanksgiving. In the week leading up to the holiday, the temperatures had warmed and hovered around 20-30 degrees (that’s Fahrenheit, above zero). You might have thought this would be a good thing, after several weeks of consistently negative temperatures from about -10 to -20. It turns out, however, that the “warmer” weather –closer to but still below freezing– makes for more snow and much slipperier driving conditions. Who knew? In just that seven days or so before Thanksgiving we had a couple of feet of snowfall. (It’s sort of a record; you can read a news article about here if you want.) 

And then on Friday the temperatures slipped slightly above 32 degrees, and rain threatened to fall. This is of course, was a very bad thing. I didn’t have to be from here to know that having rain fall on several accumulated feet of snow and then refreeze a few hours later is no good. Fortunately that didn’t happen.

We were able to get to a lovely dinner with friends on Thanksgiving Day, and then eat more traditional Thanksgiving dishes on Friday.


On Saturday I went to a bridal shower lunch. The party started breaking up as people noticed that the sun was beginning to set. This was at TWO O’CLOCK, by the way.

But there was a little problem when we started to leave: One of the ladies backed her car into a ditch, which she couldn’t see because of the the snow, of course. Most of the women went out with shovels and gravel to help.


This was interesting to watch. (You didn’t think I was going to try to help, did you? I was all for waiting to be rescued.) A group of about ten women was able to dig out the trapped wheel and then pull the car out of the ditch. Girl power!

All in all, the weekend was definitely interesting!

The Sweater from 1992

When we moved to Hawaii, over six years ago now, I got rid of all of my winter things. I just didn’t want to store all of that stuff. Sometimes I wish I still had a couple of those old things, but not very often.

But now that we are in Alaska I have to buy some new winter clothes.

I was shopping at the thrift store and I found a sweater I used to own. It was in perfect condition and looked as if it had stepped straight from 1992 into the year 2015, just waiting for me to find it again.


I know, of course, that it’s not the same one, since I bought that sweater in Texas, wore it in Alabama, and gave it away in Maryland.

But it was cool to find it here in Alaska.

Maybe I’ll find the stirrup pants I used to wear with it, too.

Not that I’d wear them again.

Or would I?


Winter: Beautiful and Dangerous!

I’ve been taking some nice scenery pictures recently. Winter in Alaska is really beautiful. I posted a picture taken from my window on Facebook recently:


I got lots of comments. “Wow!” “So beautiful!” “I’m jealous!”

Now, I appreciate the love, people, but REALLY. You’re jealous?! Of ME?! Come on!

You KNOW I’m only showing the nice side of life on Facebook, right? That’s what we DO on Facebook! Right?! (Isn’t that what you’re all doing, too? Because if you guys are all REALLY as happy as you look on Facebook I might as well lie down and die.)

The snow is beautiful here, sure, but it’s also DEADLY.

I have seen a car stranded in a ditch EVERY DAY for the past three weeks. (A different car, in a different ditch, I mean. Obviously.)

The snow is even a problem if you’re not driving.

The twins love playing in this snow pile outside their school. Then one day I saw the school had it roped off.


“Some kid broke his arm out there,” the twins informed me nonchalantly.

This snow wants to KILL us, I tell you! But it sure is pretty…


Learning what COLD really means

cold cartoon

It’s winter in Alaska now, and that means it’s getting cold.

Of course, I knew that it would get cold.

I just didn’t know what cold really WAS, apparently.

Because it is really getting cold.

Really REALLY cold.

I dropped the kids off at school Tuesday and it was only 2 degrees! I took a picture of the sign outside the middle school because that seemed excessively cold.


Then the next day… it was even colder.

Here’s my car thermometer Thursday.


Yes, that’s right. NEGATIVE SIXTEEN DEGREES! In November! It’s crazy!

But it looks like I’d better get used to it.


Kids have no filter

classroom cartoon
image from

I volunteered to help in the twins’ classrooms recently.

They are in second grade, which is a fun age; they are starting to be old enough to act like normal humans, but they are still innocent enough to be excited about school.

This week when I was in Little Girl’s class she rushed up and hugged me, which was cute.

Then a random kid also asked for a hug, so I hugged her too.

(Little Girl says she wanted to hug me because I’m so squishy. Um…thanks?)

squeeze here

I saw that the random girl had recently gotten her hair cut pixie-style, so I said, “I like your haircut.”

“Thanks!” she said cheerfully. “I HAD to get it cut. Want to know why?”

“Um…” I said. No, I thought. NO, I do NOT want to know why.

She told me anyways. “Because of LICE,” she said proudly. “It’s the third time this year I’ve had them!”

“Oh!” I answered, trying to keep from cringing away in horror.

I’m not a germaphobe, but lice is one thing that really gives me the heebie-jeebies. I can remember the time my three older girls got them and it was heck to get rid of the nasty things.

Just thinking of the Summer Of Lice makes me shudder. The worst part was worrying that other moms would find out about the lice and shun me.I’m glad this kid’s mom didn’t know what her daughter was blithely blabbing all over the school.

One day she’ll learn when it’s best NOT to share certain things.

image from