Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Almost the end of 2014

I took this photo on my way back from Anchorage on Sunday. I think it is so cool (it was the reason I decided to try and take a photo of my car in almost the same spot).

Work went okay today, I had two cancellations (out of 3 appointments), but then I did an intake for my supervisor because he hadn't gotten back from a meeting.  (See what a team player I am!).  Tomorrow is supposed to be busy though, I have four appointments scheduled in the morning (8, 9, 10 and 11). I had someone call about getting into see me this week, so I put them into my 11am slot.

At lunchtime I came home and put two 40 pound bags of pellets into my wood stove (I have to dump them in about chest high... it's a challenge every time!). I also shoveled some snow off the back patio area so the dogs would have an easier time to go out and go potty.  Then I fed my "pet" pheasant... THEN had some lunch.  After lunch I went over to the clinic to do a "walk-in" to get checked for a UTI... sure enough, I have another one. Argh!  So... they called later this afternoon to confirm the results and let me know I could come pick up some meds.  So, I did that after work. Then I had to go get a check for the folks who remodeled my kitchen. It was about $1000 more than I had expected... not sure why. But it was still cheaper than if I had someone else do it.

I bought a small lamp table while I was shopping after work. I had put my other end table downstairs in the "library" and needed one upstairs between the couch and the recliner.  So I put that together tonight. I think it's kind of cute and will serve it's purpose.

Now it's almost 11pm, I had better go get the dogs their meds and take mine, and then head to bed.

- Kris

Monday, December 29, 2014

Alaska Licensed!

An Alaskan Moose in the Anchorage Airport (stuffed of course!).

Work went okay today, I only had two appointments scheduled today (we are only doing half days this week). Both were "intakes" and I got the notes done for both. I had one note left over from last Wednesday, so I went ahead and got that done as well. So... notes are all caught up once again! 

This morning I drove the rental car in and then at lunch time I went and dropped it off and they gave me a ride back to my house so I could pick up my NEW car. Then I went over to the Department of Motor Vehicles to see about getting an Alaskan license. I had to take a written test, but the way they have it set up, you have to get 16 out of 20 right... but if you get the first 16 right, that's all you answer... so that's what I did! I got the first 16 correct. Then I had to wait to be seen at another window... found out there that if I wanted the motorcycle endorsement to stay on my license, that I would have to take the written exam for the motorcycle test too... so I went back and did that... barely passed... but I *did* pass! They will be mailing me my new license within the next couple weeks (for now I have a paper copy).

After work I went and got my car washed, so it's clean (after the road trip up from Anchorage). I made myself some spaghetti for dinner (Just ragu sauce with a tablespoon of brown sugar in it).  And I've been on the computer since.

Now it's almost 9:30pm, time to sign off and wrap things up.

- Kris

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Made it back home to Fairbanks

 Moon over the mountains...
 My car did well on the drive up from Fairbanks

Photos from the trip up to Fairbanks.

Well, got up about 8, got ready and had some breakfast at the hotel then left about 9:45am and headed up to Fairbanks. By the way... gas in Anchorage town was down to about $2.85 but up here in Fairbanks, it is still $3.12 (and that is at Sam's club... cheapest place in town). 

We did pass one accident on the way up, a car had slid into a ditch and the airbags had deployed. One cop was already on the scene, and as we continued on the way, we passed 2 more cops (with lights on) an ambulance and a fire truck that were on the way to the scene.  Overall, the trip took us about 7 hours.  Since I had to go out to North Pole to pick up my dogs, Kathy's husband met us there (save him a trip into Fairbanks and me a trip out to Salcha). So that worked.

On the way up to Fairbanks, I stopped at Arby's in Wasilla and picked up a half dozen Arby roast beef sandwiches for my son-in-law and granddaughter. (Fairbanks doesn't have an Arby's, although once upon a time, they had two... about 20 years ago).   We also stopped in Cantwell to use the restroom and to get some snacks.

Tonight I have just been relaxing. I was happy to see that my new car fits in my garage without a problem. YAY!  Now I have to figure out how to get my rental car to the rental agency and then get back to my car tomorrow.

Okay... signing off.

- Kris

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Bought a new car today!

This is my new Mazda CX 5!  It has a LOT of bells and whistles.

I have a cropped version of this photo without the wires, but the alpine glow was beautiful!

So, I'm sorry I forgot to post last night, I was busy trying to do about 5 things at once and forgot. It was kind of a last minute thing to get the car details worked out.  My friend Kathy offered to come down with me and ride back with me, so I wouldn't drive the long road back alone.

Keeping this short because I am in the hotel room with Kathy and now it is 10:45pm.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I'm going to skip a photo today... didn't take any. I slept in this morning til about 10, then got up and showered and dressed before I called my youngest daughter and talked via video with her while I opened the presents from her (one of which was a Spokane sweatshirt... and I wore it today. It's a purple hoodie!).  Then I got off the phone with her and called my middle daughter and talked for ANOTHER hour.  It was good to talk to them both for such a long time and both liked their Christmas presents.   Then it was time to get off the phone and head to my daughter's inlaws for Christmas dinner.  They had ham and the fixings (although I will admit that the ham was a little dry). It was a nice afternoon/evening. Kati's MIL got a laptop for Christmas. It's her first computer... so she has a LOT to learn. Her son (my SIL) helped her a lot and between my daughter and him, they got her set up with Skype and Facebook and email. She has never had an office job (she's been in long-term care for the elderly - home care).  Anyway... I had to chuckle as I was helping her send a message to her sister in the States... I had to remind her to put spaces after every word and she had to hunt and peck to figure out where the keys were. Hope the computer helps her get more comfortable with typing, I know when my kids first were learning, they picked up pretty quickly.

I may have to take Bruno to the Vet tomorrow... he's still wheezing and sneezing like he has a cold (or an allergy). He's not being his normal self.  Tonight Peanut has been doing it too a little (like she is catching a cold from him).  I am hoping to go get an Alaskan driver's license tomorrow, since I am off and they should be open.

Okay... I'm gong to sign off...it's almost 10pm.

- Kris

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Eve!

From our home to yours (I even let Peanut have a little time without a collar!

Today was fairly busy at work and I got all but one note done (just one note left from today to do next Monday).  I came home at lunch time and hauled about 6 large dish pack boxes (most filled with paper) out to a shed on the side of my house.  At least they are out of the house.

My car made it down to Anchorage and a salesperson called me (because I had mentioned that I might be interested in trading it in). He thinks I should go with a Mazda CX5. So after work I stopped by the local Mazda dealer to get a better idea of what it looked like (I had already looked it up online).  The salesperson was supposed to email/text me back, but I didn't hear back from him.

I also stopped by the store and picked up a couple last minute things for the weekend (i.e. meatballs for when I make Spaghetti this weekend.  A little later my oldest daughter came over with my son-in-law and granddaughter and we went ahead and exchanged gifts. They all liked their gifts from me.  Then we sat and chatted awhile.

Now it's 11:51... hope to be in bed shortly after midnight.  Although, I did want to say that my new supervisor stopped by my office with a card in which he wrote: "You have just moved right into your new position like you have always belonged. Keep up the good work.  Please have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for you and yours."  Nice, huh!

Okay getting ready to head to bed... g'night!
- Kris

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Car is on it's way to Anchorage

Well... my car is on it's way to Anchorage. The driver said he wasn't sure he would be able to drop it off tonight, but said for sure it would be delivered in the morning.  Of course... this morning was the one morning I forgot my phone at home. Thankfully I had a "no show" today so I was able to run home during that time to get my phone, so when the tow truck driver called, I was able to tell him more specific directions to where I was (at work). And then I called Enterprise and they came to pick me up so I could get a rental car. 

So... only had 2 out of 3 appointments show up, that was fine. I got all my notes caught up except for 2 intakes I did yesterday.  I should have been able to get them done, but it seemed like everyone was bringing their pups into work this afternoon (at least 3 different people did).

After work I mailed off about 15 calendars to family and friends (better late than never?).  Then I went to Sam's Club and signed up for a membership and spent a *few* dollars there. One of the things I got was something called "Leaf." It is a digital antennae. It was $59 for 2 and I had a $25 gift card.  I hooked one up to my 32" TV that I got the day after Thanksgiving (or was it ON Thanksgiving).  The one I got for less than $100.  I have it down in my library. It was easy to hook up (no tools needed). I have it on the lower of my bookcases and the antenna is about the size of a piece of paper and I just have it leaning up against the next bookcase shelf (I have some push pins I could attach it to the side of the bookcase).  I figure I will use the other one in my bedroom. But I'm going to check and see what I am paying for my monthly cable bill and I might drop it if I can (I've had it less than a month).

Okay... I'm going to sign off... it's already 10pm.

- Kris

Monday, December 22, 2014

My car

No photos again tonight, it's already 9:15pm.

So... work went okay... had 3 appointments this morning (our clinic is only open to appointments in the morning this week). One was a sad one... had a significant loss in the family a few months ago and isn't coping too well.  At lunchtime I ran home to let the dogs out for a minute (it takes about 12-15 minutes each way.  This afternoon I was talking to my supervisor (about the "intakes" this morning and) about my car and trying to figure out what to do about the "check engine" light on it.  So then this afternoon I called the Volvo part that does towing if your car breaks down. I wanted to see if they would take it to Anchorage... and apparently they will! (And they will bring it back if that's what I end up deciding).  So, they are going to come pick up the car between 11 and 11:30am tomorrow morning and I'm scheduled to pick up a rental at noon. (I hope I don't have to keep it TOO long!).  Then this evening (early) I talked to the Service Department manager that I have talked to several times about what needs to be addressed on it (fixed on it). The check engine light, the back up camera and hopefully they can update the maps.  I also asked her about possibly trading it in on a new Forrester down there (The same dealership in Anchorage sells Volvos and Subaru's and a few other models). She said she will check to see about a trade-in value.  Glad Volvo came through to transport it down there to Anchorage, whoever I was emailing with had no clue about the potential problems of driving it down (with the check engine light on - it's still a fairly remote road too).  In fact, today a couple cars were involved in a fiery collision on the highway (Parks) highway and everyone involved died (not sure if they know how many yet, I don't think they have released any names, but I did see a video someone took of the cars on fire on both sides of the road).

Other than that... this afternoon I was able to get a couple notes done from last week (I think I only have one more note to write from last week and then three from today).  And then I had to go over and get a new ID card (for work), the one that affects my computer access. I lucked out and there was NO one waiting while I was there (and no one came while I was there either!). That place is usually crazy busy!  I've just not been able to use my "pin" number to access a program that I have to get into multiple times a day, so I have to put in my full ID and password each time and it is just a pain.  So... hopefully tomorrow that issue will be resolved and not be a problem any more.  After I finished there (a little after 4) I went to the Grocery store and spent $182. I didn't even feel like I bought much! And I don't have my kitchen set up to put anything away either... but that too shall work itself out within the next week or so.

After I got home, my granddaughter was here (I was about 10 minutes late), she had said she would come help me unpack some stuff... but then her Daddy got here shortly thereafter, so she decided the better option was to go help her Daddy finish Christmas shopping.  They left my granddaughter's car here while they went shopping and then Scott (Daddy) came back in to see if he could get a better quality picture on my TV (he bought me some HDTV? Cables to see if that would help, but it didn't... I paid him for the cost of the cable though... maybe I can use it later).  And I talked to Kathy (still ironing out the kitchen remodel thing) for awhile tonight. They are trying to come up with a final tally cost for me. She suggested I get something called LEAS. It's a digital antenna that you mount to your window and it will allow you to get all the basic local channels without having to pay for cable. (I may wish I had done that rather than commit to cable TV). They said they sell the LEAS at Walmart, but it is cheaper at Sam's club. So I will have my Son-in-law check there.

Now it's 9:30pm... time to sign off and head to bed.

- Kris

Sunday, December 21, 2014

More unpacking and dogs to the Vet

I'm going to skip a photo for tonight.  This morning I slept in until about 9:30, then talked to my youngest daughter for a few minutes.  Then I went and met a friend for lunch, she's someone I haven't seen for quite a long time, but we have kept up with each other via Facebook. She taught my daughters in High School, and once upon a time, a little over 17 years, I landed in her yard in a helicopter. We had a good lunch and made a lunch date for next month.  Today we went to the "Cookie Jar" and I had their special French toast (or whatever it is... they take a honey bun and cut it in half and treat it like French toast). It's good. I got the kiddie portion.

After lunch, I ran to the store to pick up some light bulbs and I was hoping I could find some 220 to 110 adaptors, I didn't find any at Walmart nor Lowes. Then I had to run home and pick up the dogs to take them into the Vet.  Bruno's paw continues to look really good, the doc put him on another week of antibiotics to hopefully complete the healing. The Vet went ahead and looked at Peanut. He said a couple of the stitches have come loose, but said that sometimes that happens. I asked about a different collar for her, and he recommended an inflatable collar.  She seems to be doing better with that one, but I can't let her wear it unless I'm either sitting right next to her, or she is going potty or getting something to eat.  Otherwise she has to wear the other hard plastic collar.

Then we came home and took a nap.  And I unpacked about 5-6 more boxes in the kitchen area. I've still got SO much work to do.  I forgot to take my vitamins/meds this morning, so my arthritis has been kicking in big time... mainly in the base of my thumbs.

Tonight I've been watching some TV (Under Cover Boss and The Mentalist). But, it's already 9:25 and I want to go downstairs and set up my Christmas tree before bedtime.

So... signing off...
- Kris

Saturday, December 20, 2014

More unpacking and an unexpected pet

 Peanut is still hurting from her surgery and she has me worried today. She won't go potty. I've given her water several times. If she doesn't get used to wearing the cone and go potty, I'm going to take her to the Vet tomorrow.  She got traumatized yesterday when she went out to go potty and her cone kept scooping the snow and scaring her.

Here's my pet Pheasant! I inherited him (her?) when I moved into the house. The previous owner even gave me a bag of bird feed to give him.  He's not in the part of my yard where the dogs could get to him (that's probably a good thing). But he is vulnerable to foxes and such.

Today I got up about 7:30, thinking the moving guys would be here "early" as they had said. As it turned out it was 2 different guys that showed up, they were great guys, although they had their work cut out for themselves with all the stuff the packers in Germany had taken apart (even my dining room chairs!). They got here about 9am and didn't leave until about 4pm.

My oldest daughter came over around 3pm and helped me for about 3 hours. I REALLY appreciated all the help today! We got a lot of boxes unpacked in the kitchen and we got all my books (I think) unpacked downstairs.  My "library" is almost looking normal. I'm still missing a piece for my sofa table (entry way table?) and for my Ikea chair (for the foot rest). I wasn't paying attention when they put my hallway unit together and they put it together wrong. It's together... but not correctly and you are not able to hang coats in it the way it is. They also couldn't find a major piece for my TV stand and my TV (the 50" Plasma TV) is messed up. I can watch TV, but it looks like it has a gray screen over it.  We did find my "chocolate" today... my daughter took home a LOT of German chocolate bars.

The folks that have been remodeling my kitchen came over about 6pm (about the time I was heading out to meet Kati and her family over at a local buffet restaurant. I was literally just getting into my car. So I ended out not going out to dinner.  But... I did enjoy visiting with Kathy while the guys fixed my dishwasher (it needed a new hose) and the sink (it had a leak) and they put a light in over my kitchen sink. I sent them home with a few things. AND, Kathy said I could keep the recliner they loaned me. That's awesome!

Okay... gonna sign off and head to bed soon.

- Kris

Friday, December 19, 2014

Movers came today

 They put these protectors on some of the corners of walls to keep them from getting damage (and on the rail that looks over the steps. They worked great!

 The packers said they are not supposed to unpack, otherwise it costs more. I don't believe them. They were balking about putting things together. I *know* they are supposed to put things together that were taken apart in Germany (which was quite a lot). They are going to come back tomorrow to put things together. Although I had my son-in-law come over and put together my shrank (it needs to be tightened down though as we didn't have all the tools we needed. My daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter came over for about 4 hours tonight and helped me unpack some of the boxes.

While my daughter and her family were here... I had them keep an eye on Bruno and I went to pick-up Peanut.  When I picked up Peanut, it costs almost $1100 (and I had been quoted $800-900), but it was because he ended up doing both ears. She'll benefit from it in the long run. But for now she has to wear the "cone" for two weeks (that's going to make for interesting sleeping!). I've got a bunch of medication to give her too (including pain meds).

Okay... it's 9:45.  I think I will try to head to bed soon. I'm exhausted. I stayed up til 2am trying to get things ready (all cleaned and vacuumed) before the movers showed up this morning. And then I got up at 7 and after a shower, I ran over to the store and picked up a bunch of different kinds of soda and some donuts and a couple pizzas to bake for the movers for lunch. Then got back here to the house before the movers did.

- Kris

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Household good are here!

AND... my kitchen counters are in! The cabinets next to the stove are on order... it could be up to 6 weeks before they arrive.  The counters didn't get finished until this afternoon, and Kathy and here crew were here until 11pm getting them installed and things cleaned up.  I'm tired now, but I have things to get done tonight because I have movers coming TOMORROW to deliver my household goods.

Work went okay today and I was thankful for a no-show this afternoon and a cancellation this afternoon. I was able to get something like 10 notes written this afternoon, but when I left, there were 3 notes that had not gotten done. I'll worry about them on Monday. As it is, I stayed an extra hour trying to get notes done.  And I was tired today because I stayed up past 11pm watching the "Survivor" finale. It was 3 hours long!

And yes... I woke up to an email this morning letting me know that my household goods were in. So... then there were some emails and phone calls back and forth (between appointments) trying to figure out if the movers would come tomorrow or Monday.  I decided tomorrow would be best because then it would give me the weekend to try and get my house in order before returning to work next week.

I dropped Peanut off at the Vet on my way to work, and she had her surgery on her ear this afternoon. The Vet suggested she spend the night there, because she was shaking her ears a lot. (I did call and check on her this afternoon and then the Vet called me back later). That will work out well with the movers coming tomorrow.  Hopefully when I bring her home, there will be some semblance of home.

BRUNO though... I came home at lunch time and he was in panic mode. He was so scared and lost without Peanut. And I found tonight that he had pooped AND peed in the back bedroom... something he hasn't done in a LONG, LONG time.  (Thankfully I had some 409 carpet cleaner here). He'd better not do THAT again!  GRRR! He has calmed down tonight with my being here.

And tonight it was sitting watching the work in my kitchen.  There were some problems getting the counter in (it was 1/4" too long on one side... and the sink area was cut too small... so that took quite a long time to get corrected, thankfully the workers have the right tools. I'm happy with the cabinets and the counters.

Okay... signing off... it's almost 1am. The movers should be here about 8:30am.

- Kris

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Kitchen getting close!

My kitchen is coming together. And it looks like they might be able to get the countertop tomorrow! I hope so! We are on track to get done by Friday.  They are recommending that I replace the kitchen window... so they are going to look into the cost.

Work went okay today, it was steadily busy. I had one cancellation, but everyone else showed up.  Then our computer system went down at the end of the day, so I wasn't able to do any notes this afternoon.

After work I went to talk to the Subaru folks about possibly trading in my Volvo for a Subaru Forester. It was a tedious process and I wasn't totally happy with it.  For one, the first person I talked to (who I did talk to the first time I ever went there) was busy, but suggested I get the VIN and bring it back in. So, I went out to get it and another guy offered to help me (and he was really nice). So he started helping me and she came over and gave him some grief and then went to the Manager about it. He ended up getting it written up and then giving it to her. Then the delay started... She went to the Finance person to talk to her and I guess I passed the first hurdle. Then she came back and asked me how much I was wanting as a trade-in. I didn't want to give them a number... I wanted THEM to give ME a number and then I would decide whether they would be fair or not. Then the salesperson said while we were waiting on the manager, we could go take a Forrester for a test drive (which was good, because while I had sat in one and turned it on and checked it out, I hadn't taken one for a test drive.  It isn't a bad driving car, I could be happy with it.  But... typical of many people, I want to feel like I am getting a good deal.  They do have one seafoam green one, but it doesn't have all the features I would like. And the only way I could get them, is if I were to special order it and that means it would take it quite awhile to get here.  And, they never would give me a price for my car as a trade-in.

One option would be to drive my car down to Anchorage, get it serviced (or leave it with them to be serviced) and then buy a Forrester from them (or just keep it).  I checked online and they do have a Volvo S80 for sale (the 2015) and they want $50,000 for it! (yowza!).  Decisions, decisions!

Tomorrow I have to drop Peanut off at the Vet, she's going to have surgery on her ear (keep her in your thoughts!). I'm nervous for her.

Okay... signing off...

- Kris

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

YAY! Got my car!

 The bags of pellets that were brought and stacked!
And here's my car in my garage (not the best photo... but it is here!).

Today was easier than expected because I had several cancellations. (Tomorrow I have one cancellation).  I did get Friday's notes done, but now I still have all of yesterday's and today's notes to get done.  At least with the cancellations, when they called to tell me my car was here, I was able to take off and go get it (I had a co-worker run me out there).

My car wasn't as clean as it was when I dropped it off. And the guy that was supposed to clean it didn't do that great of a job... (neither of the rearview mirrors were cleaned).  It seemed like there was even less gas than when I dropped it off (it was probably left to run awhile to warm up). I wasn't sure I would make it to where I needed to get gas. And then the back-up camera was not working properly... the check engine light was still on (I knew that, so expected that).  Then it said I had low tire pressure and the guy assured me that he had put air into the tires and that it was just the car adjusting to the cold.  Well... the air pressure light didn't go off, so I took it over to the gas station and got air into the tires, guess I will see how they do overnight.  After work I took the rental car back and they brought me back over to MY car, then I went and got my car washed (not satisfied with the way it had been cleaned by the transport company).

I came home to see that they were starting to put in the cabinets. They keep getting tasked to do other things... but still plan to have my kitchen done by Friday. I'm not worried about it... as long as it is done before my household goods get here... I'll be happy.  Tomorrow after work I may go look at some granite counter tops that someone local has... to see if there is something there that might work.

Okay... now it is after 10pm... I was on the phone with Kathy (the wife/mother half of the company/family installing my new kitchen). I think we will be friends after the kitchen is all done (although they live about 30 miles away).

- Kris

Monday, December 15, 2014

Cabinets are here... and I'm thankful for angels!

 YAY!  Bruno's paw looks so much better, so the doc said we can hold off on surgery and just continue with the antibiotics for another week.  So... no surgery today!

My cabinets are here... I was hoping to come home and find them installed... but I know that Kathy (Mom) was at the store selecting just the right cabinets at lunchtime.  But... they are here and I will assume that they will get installed tomorrow. AND they are going to install a new light over the sink area.

Work went okay today, I did have one no-show, thankfully at 1pm because I was late getting back from lunch.  I had to go pick up Bruno at the Vet (since he ended up not needing surgery) and then I had to stop by the Store to talk to Kathy about the counter tops (unfortunately she couldn't get the countertops where she was getting the cabinets.

When I got home, it was to a nice supply.  Kathy's boys delivered a pallet of pellets for me (for my pellet stove).  That's FIFTY - 40 pound bags of pellets!  AND... they even stacked them in my garage for me (I've still got plenty of room for my car).  That was wonderful... those boys are angels!

Tonight I've just been watching TV... there are two shows back-to-back that are of families that compete for the most extravagant Christmas decorated homes. ("The Great Christmas Light Fight")

Okay... it's 9pm, I hope to get to bed soon.

- Kris

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Lazy Sunday and a sunset

Sunset from tonight here in Alaska.  Pretty, huh!  I like the one in the middle that looks like it has a star in the sky.

I slept in this morning again (but then I was up late last night).  And then I watched some football and I've been watching some Christmas shows on TV.  I did run some errands... I went looking for a light to hang over my sink.  I was hoping to find one to match the chandelier over the dining area, but didn't have any luck.  There is at least one more store to stop at to see if they have it.

I also went to look at cars again, but one of the places I wanted to look aren't open on Sundays (good for them!). I'll try to get over there this week sometime.

Tonight I've watched 2 more Christmas movies and I have done some laundry and gave the dogs a bath.  There are still a couple things I want to do tonight (wrap a couple Christmas presents) and get my stuff ready for tomorrow.

Okay... signing off...

- Kris

Saturday, December 13, 2014

After sleeping in this morning (which was WONDERFUL!), I did some laundry and headed out about 2:30pm. I had to go pick up a "cap" for the vent on my underground oil tank, then I headed out to the "Christmas in Ice" in North Pole.  I saw a couple friends - a guy I used to work with who is VERY involved in the Christmas in Ice project and another guy that used to be the Mayor of North Pole.  Today they had free admission for military (or anyone holding a military ID card).  Then I went out to the "Knotty" shop out in Salcha. I need to go back out in the summer sometime to see the large "knotty" animals out front. It was too dark to take photos of them this afternoon.  Then I stopped by Eielson AFB. It has changed some since I was there last (over 12 years ago).  Afterward I headed home to drop off a couple things and to let the dogs out before heading to the UAF hockey game (we beat Alabama 4-0). I sat with some friends I used to go to church with when I lived here before.  My friend Dave sang the National Anthem again tonight.  I splurged and bought myself an early Christmas present... I bought myself a UAF Nanooks Hockey jersey.  I will proudly wear it to all the hockey games for as long as I am up here.  After the game I went grocery shopping (ha! Because I could!  I couldn't do that in Germany! The stores don't stay open late on Saturday night and they are closed on Sundays).

While I was at the game, I got a call from Kathy. She and the boys had picked me up a couple bags of pellets because they were worried that I would run out of pellets before they could bring me a pallet on Monday (I'm paying for it, but they offered to pick it up for me when they pick up my cabinets... a pallet is 50  forty pound bags of pellets!).  They also brought me a table to put my TV on, they didn't want me to get a crick in my neck.  They have been SO wonderful and so helpful and so generous!

Okay... it's almost 1am, I had better sign off and think about getting to bed soon.

- Kris

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday night is lazy night

Work was busy today, all the appointments showed up (6 of them) and then I had two meetings (one is every day and is only 15 minutes, and the other was an hour long. I did manage to get all notes done for the week EXCEPT for today's notes.

I did come home and check on the dogs at lunch time (it takes me 15 minutes each way). My workers weren't here yet, but they did get here this afternoon and have painted the kitchen (they don't paint behind where the cabinets will be. I do like the color up on the wall. (it's a light yellow).

After work I had to run over to the rental car place (no calls about MY car yet, it was supposed to be here today). I've had the car so long I think they just wanted to make sure it was okay. I've had a rental car from them for almost 2 months!

Then I came home and met with the people doing the renovating to have some more discussion about countertops and cabinets.  They are probably going to pick them up on Monday and install them then.

Tonight I've been watching some TV, but dozing off a little bit.  And my oldest daughter called and we talked for a bit.

Okay... it's past 9:30pm, I think I'm going to go to bed pretty soon. I'm tired, I was up past midnight last night and then had to be up by 6am.

- Kris

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Kitchen tear-down

Well, the kitchen is empty! Remodeling has started.  The kids (they are in the 20's) did a good job. I have to say... their Mama and Daddy have done a great job raising them boys! *smiles*  Tomorrow they come and prep the wall and may even get them painted. I've decided to go with a VERY light yellow.

Work went okay today, I had a couple no-shows and still didn't get a note written that I've been working on for a couple days and tomorrow is supposed to be a fairly full day.  I came home at lunch to see if the kitchen had been started and I wanted to check on the dogs. They were doing okay... they weren't sure about what was happening.  I think that will be an on-going feeling for at least another month.

After work I came home, and then went to dinner with the folks that are doing the remodeling so that we could talk more about it. Then we went over and picked out a color for the kitchen walls and talked cabinets and counter tops some more.  From there I headed out to North Pole to watch my granddaughter's team play hockey (they won).

Now it's after 11pm and past my bedtime. I'm going to be regretting this late night tomorrow!

- Kris

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Starting on kitchen tomorrow

So... here's my "old" kitchen... Monday evening I hope to post pictures of the "new" kitchen. *smiles*

This morning I didn't go into work until 11am. I had an 8:45am doctor's appointment with my new doctor.  He's okay... but I'm not really satisfied with him. Mainly because he doesn't believe Ambien should be taken long-term and wants me to see a Psychiatrist to get an okay for it. And he's got another year here (and I have 5 more months on my current prescription).  He was fairly thorough on everything else... but he's not very good at being a "collaborative" doctor and comes across acting like he knows everything (although he DID admit to learning something today about my meds that he didn't know).  And so far all my labs have come back within range... other than my White blood cell count and a couple others in my CBC, but they are just indicating that I am sick (ha!... yep... that would be my sinus infection/head cold). The doc didn't seem to think it was a sinus infection... said give it another week and it should go away. I hope so.  He did give me refills on the rest of the medications I am on and said to increase my Nexium to twice a day (because I've got a diagnosis of Barrett's disease (look it up... just means pre-cancerous cells in my esophagus... I'm not too worried about it yet and I'm doing what I can medication wise to treat it).

Work went okay this afternoon.... my 1pm was a no-show, my 2pm showed and my 3pm was a cancellation. I was able to get a problem fixed with my computer in the meantime though, so I was happy about that. And I was able to talk to someone at the vehicle shipping place and find out that my car should finally be coming up on a truck on Friday.

Tomorrow the workers are supposed to come over about 8am and start tearing apart my kitchen.  The work begins!

Okay... it's 9:45pm, time to sign off and think about getting to bed.

- Kris

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Nice to have connections!

Skipping photos again today. I just got off the phone with the folks doing my kitchen remodeling and I was on the phone with them for an hour. Now it's 9:45pm and I don't want to stay up too late, but I have several things I want to get done before I go to bed.

Work was fairly busy, all appointments showed up, except one new one (and based on what I had read about that person, it wasn't unusual for them not to make it to their appointments).  At lunch time I did some quick grocery shopping and checked on my mail (at my PO Box).

After work, as I was heading out the door about 5, I stopped to talk with a co-worker and that led me to not getting out of there until about 5:40. And I was thinking that my granddaughter's hockey team was playing in North Pole tonight, so I ran home, and let the dogs out, then headed out to North Pole, only to find out they were playing in town and their game had started about 4pm. So... had I paid closer attention, I could have gotten there from work and watched at least the last half of the game.  So... I came back home and chatted online with one of my daughters... then talked with the maintenance folks for an hour.

Oh yea... and about the header. Apparently one of my co-workers know the company who is responsible for car shipping up here in AK, she's going to message her friend there to see if they can do anything to get the car up here any sooner from Anchorage. And when I told her I was renovating my kitchen, she asked about getting a couple of the cabinets for her wood-working room.  She offered to pay me for them... but I'd give them to her (she's got a heart of gold and has been one of the co-workers that has been the most welcoming).

Okay... signing off.

- Kris

Monday, December 8, 2014

Back to work today...

No photos today... mainly because I'm tired and don't feel like browsing for a photo, it is a little after 8pm and I hope to stay awake long enough to write this blog. I've been watching a show on TV about families who are featured on national TV with how many Christmas lights/decorations they have at their house and keep wanting to doze off.  Of course, it helps that I am in a wonderful recliner tonight (and not sitting on the floor or in my camp chair).

So... back up to this morning. It looks like it takes me 15-20 minutes to get to work.  I was the person who got to see the walk-ins, urgent appointments and intakes. I had 6 appointments scheduled, but only saw 2 appointments. I had one cancellation and 3 "no-shows." (Honestly, I didn't mind).  My daughter Kati was going to be at my house to meet with the water company so they could do what they needed to do. I didn't think I could make it home in time. But, I got home about 10 after 11 and they were already done!  But, the folks doing some repairs on my house were here, so I was able to give their check.  I went back to work and then left a couple minutes before 4, so I could be home to get my locks switched out (which they are now).  My home maintenance folks were still here (fixing the soffit and the fan vent in the upstairs bathroom).  And I was GRATEFULLY surprised when the son (he's about 28) said his Mom had sent in a recliner for me to borrow... so that's what I've been sitting in all evening. It's GREAT!

Okay... keeping this short... it's almost 9pm, I need to let the dogs out and get ready for bed.

- Kris

Sunday, December 7, 2014

More Vet time...

 Well... let's see, I took Peanut into the Vet this morning because she wasn't wanting to put any weight on her rear right leg (usually it is the left hind leg... but this was different from that). I was worried that she had injured it, possibly falling down the steps inside my house. It was an "urgent care" visit (which they only charge an extra $14 for). Anyway, I always take Bruno with me... more about that in a minute.  The Vet said she had some fluid around her knee area, but was pretty sure nothing was fractured. He sent her home with some pain meds, some anti-inflammatories and one other med I can't remember at the moment. (However... just checking the bill, the exam total was $67 each)).  Anyway, I was going to go ahead and have both Bruno and Peanut get their Rabies shots because they are due this month (the day after Christmas) anyway... but the Vet said with what Peanut has going on, he recommended holding off on that for now.  She should be going in for surgery soon (as I schedule the date) so she can get it then, as long as her knee is better.   Anyway... I had the Vet check Bruno's right paw (see photo above). I was worried that he had gotten some frostbite, but the Vet took a sample of the tissue and said it was a mass (doesn't think it is cancerous) and recommended getting it removed right away before it gets any bigger and then his toe might have to be removed - not to say it won't depending on what the biopsy comes back and says.  Anyway, Bruno is now on anti-biotics with the hope that it will clear up the spot, if it does, no surgery needed on it. If not... it will be excised next Monday. He is going to get his teeth cleaned next Monday as well. 
I'm going to call the Vet that is treating Peanut to see if we can schedule her ear canal resection for the same day... then they will be in misery together.  Times like this, I wish I had someone with me to help me deal with these kind of things... it's like being a single parent (and it is REAL difficult to convince work to give you the day off to care for an ailing pet!).
Anyway... Today's visit was about $280, and Bruno's procedure(s) next week are estimated to cost $642. (Peanut's is supposed to be between $600-$800).  Yikes! They are just as expensive as kids!

This was the view driving down the road today in my neighborhood... doesn't really give you the sense that I am trying to give you... it's all various shades of gray on overcast days.  These are the kinds of days I like the least, weather-wise here in Alaska (along with the -20 and below weather!).

After spending a couple hours at the Vet this morning, I brought the dogs home and then ran some errands. I had to get a check for the guy that is going to repair the housing inspection items (soffit and bathroom fan)... the owner had written me a check, so I deposited that last Thursday and just needed a check for the guy coming tomorrow.  However, I was not pleased to find out that the bank apparently has a hold on the two checks, for who knows how long... which caused me to draw my bank account down to a very uncomfortable level (no dangers of overdrawing and Monday night my paycheck should go into the bank).  But still.  

I picked up a couple things... like I bought some cloth material (can't think of the name, it is vinyl on top and cotton underneath) to use as table cloths for the two loaner card-type tables I have. I bought a small curtain rod for my kitchen window and some curtains, but I'm not really happy with them. I also stopped and got my nails done... then went and got some spare keys made for Kati, she's coming to meet the water meter person tomorrow morning (and I still haven't gotten my locks changed). So I had to go drop those off to her.

Haven't been doing much this evening... I did make a steak and potatoes (after I wiped out the oven from when I did the self-cleaning last night), for dinner. And I made some pre-made chocolate chip cookies for desert.  (I also made my "Sunday brunch" this morning to share with the doggies).

I watched a movie on TV and I have been on the computer, with the dogs sitting next to me (I made sure we all got our meds tonight).

Now it's 10pm... time to sign off and head to bed... the start of a new week.

- Kris

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Day 2 in the house

The pups sleeping on their doggie bed next to me as we sit on the floor, with me on my computer and them on their bed. *smiles*

I got to sleep in this morning (although I may need to add air to the air mattress... it seemed to have lost some air overnight). Then Kathy called me (she and her husband are going to remodel my kitchen for me) and she asked me if I wanted to go shopping with her today to look at some cabinets. Looks like we have decided on Hickory cabinets and I think after getting some samples today, I've found a counter top that I can be satisfied with. It isn't a composite or granite counter, but if I wanted that, I would have to wait at least 6 weeks and of course, the price would go up a LOT. SO... after coming home and comparing the color samples with my flooring, I found one that is fairly close that I think will be a good match. And, it looks like Kathy and Rich might be able to start on the kitchen this week!  That's just going to be so weird to be getting it done so soon! It's going to be nice. They said they are okay with the dogs being here... I guess we will take it day-by-day and if they are getting too stressed, I can ask Kati to take them for a few days.

I think tomorrow I am going to need to take Peanut over to the Vet (hope they have an opening). Tonight she's not putting any pressure on her rear Right leg (she has a knee problem with her left leg that comes up every now and then... the joint doesn't lock, but it isn't painful and she is okay 95% of the time). But... with her not using her right leg at the moment, I am worried that she could have injured it going up and down the stairs today while I was out (my steps are rather steep from the entry to the main/upstairs floor). I'll watch her overnight and see how she is doing in the morning.

After running around with Kathy all afternoon, I went over and caught up with an old friend (who is loaning me a card table and chairs until my household goods get here). That was nice... then I went and did some dreaming... looked at a furniture store and then to a car dealership to look at some cars. I'm kind of interested in the Subaru Forester, the Honda CR-V and the Toyoto Rav-4, but leaning towards the Forester. But... I've got to get them to offer me the full amount I owe on my Volvo, if I decide to buy a new car.  My biggest problem with keeping my Volvo at this point, is the fact that the only place I apparently can get it serviced (under warranty) is down in Anchorage. That's 360 miles south of where I am.  Anyway... it is just something I'm thinking about. I know that the best time to buy a car is late December when the Dealerships are wanting to make their year-end quotas and month end quotas. If I do get a new car, I don't want my payments being anymore than what I am already paying.

Not much else to write about. It's after 11pm (I need to go check on my oven, it has finished with the self-cleaning, so want to see if it worked). I didn't realize until tonight that I have two ovens, a lower oven and the main oven. Guess I should have checked the lower one BEFORE I started to make sure nothing was in it. Apparently there wasn't because the self-cleaning is done and there weren't any explosions or fires. Whew!

Okay, g'night!
- Kris

P.S say a prayer for my cousin Rodger. He's dying (and is on life support) he had been dealing with Lymphoma (cancer) and had been going through chemotherapy and they were waiting for him to regain some of his health and strength before doing some surgery. But my sister emailed me on Thursday to let me know he had suffered some strokes recently and that he was on life support and they were just waiting for his son to get there (before pulling the plug, I assume). I haven't seen Rodger since I was a kid, but thanks to Facebook, we've gotten re-acquainted and we have been sending cards back and forth at Christmas time. I've been thinking about him and his wife a lot tonight.