Monday, March 30, 2009

Redoubt Overload

I won't bore you with too many more details with regard to Volcano Watch '09, however, I did want to share a few pictures with you all. The pictures of the actual plume and ash cloud were taken by one of Eric's co-workers who happened to be on his way to Kenai, which is quite a bit closer to Redoubt than we are.

Here are a few pictures of the aftermath at our house Sunday morning. If you can believe it, due to high winds around here, things looked far worse later in the afternoon, once the winds picked up. The good news is, it snowed a few inches overnight last night, so things don't look quite so nasty and we haven't had a big eruption today. Keep your fingers crossed!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ashes Ashes It All Comes Down

And now, the news you have all been waiting for.....THE ASH HAS LANDED! It's official, our snow is now gray and we can say that we have been affected by the eruption of Redoubt Volcano. If you enjoy the smell of sulfur, it ain't no big thing!

The wierdest part is that we can be on volcano watch on and off for the next several months. I guess I should start saving for a new air filter for my car. Let's be real, even a volcano isn't going to keep me homebound. I also suppose my contact lenses won't see the light of day for a while. Oh well, such is life when you live in Alaska.

Friday, March 27, 2009

You Never Know Around Here

As you can imagine, Redoubt Volcano was the big topic of discussion around here. As I posted on my blog, the majority of the ashfall was 2-4 hours away from here, in Homer and the Kenai Peninsula. I did, however, hear this morning that if Redoubt erupts today, Anchorage could see trace amounts of ash. A series of eruptions occured around 11:00 p.m. last night and as I type this, I just heard news that we just had another one less than an hour ago. More eruptions could continue to happen for a long time. The last time Redoubt erupted like this, it continued on and off for several months. Crazy!

Considering that the powers that be thought the volcano was going to erupt a month or so ago, most people are prepared, if and when the ash hits Anchorage. I have to admit, I'm not one of those people. I know it's naive, but at this point, there is nowhere I absolutely have to be or any reason I absolutely have to go outside. Eric is prepared, so I figure I can just wait for him to get home before I go out or run errands. Or better yet, I can just run right out to the mall this morning to be there before we have another eruption and I can camp out there for the day if we have one while I'm there. Now that would be a bummer!

This morning, I woke up and was a bit surprised to see that is was snowing! So much for Spring break-up! On a beautiful, clear day (usually as the sun goes down), we can see Redoubt from our bedroom window. I thought I'd take a picture of the view for you all to see that there is really nothing to see even though a volacano is erupting,'s snowing and we're socked in. You would have no idea from looking at this picture that through the clearing between the houses, we often have an amazing view of the inlet and can see "forever". I still posted the picture though, so you can see that even living here, you wouldn't know a volcano was erupting nearby. I know they're famous last words, but "it's just not a big deal" YET!!!!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

No Ash For Anchorage


So far, we have still been unaffected by the eruption of Redoubt. The ash from the eruption this morning is expected to land in Homer, which is several hours from here. To me, the fascinating part about all of this valcano activity is that although the eruption happened around 8:30 a.m. our time, the ash isn't expected to hit land until 12:00 p.m! Who knew? I, of course, didn't expect that ash to fall to the ground right away, but I think it's interesting that it will take hours.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A True Original

Although as parents, we love all of our children equally, it is very interesting to see how each child eventually finds it necessary to find or create his/her own role in the family and in life. Our younger son is at that stage right now, and I imagine he will probably be molding and refining for quite some time. At this moment in time (he is obviously still changing, growing, and maturing on a daily basis), if you asked me to describe Kaiden's personality, I would say that he is our rebel.

Kaiden, is incredibly bright (he can spew random facts about just about anything), but he is also happy to just skate through school while putting forth as little effort as possible. He is definitely not an authority pleaser, so a "C" is more than acceptable in his mind. Kaiden is also extremely gregarious. He prefers to be with people and he enjoys being the life of the party. When he's not out at a friend's house, I can often find him running around our house, singing Wierd Al songs, while doing yoyo or card tricks! For the record, he can yoyo far better than he can do card tricks or sing. Life with Kaiden is a rollercoaster ride at times!

Although Kaiden can tire out the best of 'em, I am enjoying watching him find his place not only in our home, but in society. He certainly keeps us on our toes. Now that I've shared a little background about Kaiden, I would like to share a couple of pictures with you:

This is the "hat" Kaiden chose to wear for Crazy Hat Day recently.

If he was going to wear a crazy hat, it was going to have to be over the top!

A week or two ago, I was asked if we had Scotch Tape. We did, and I told Kaiden where to get it. The next time I looked at him, much to my initial shock, he needed a shave!

Monday, March 23, 2009

No Doubt About Redoubt

FINALLY...after over a month of anticipation, we have what the experts are considering an "eruption" of Mt. Redoubt. For us here in Anchorage, it is business as usual at the moment. Schools will be in session, the airport is still allowing flights in and out (with a few exceptions) and there isn't even an ash fall warning. There is an ash advisory in the Susitna Valley, which is closer to the Wasilla area. Even there, they are expecting very little ash fall.

No worries here! We are fine and well for now. I'm even going out to blow snow this morning, considering we had about a foot of snowfall over the weekend and we were away skiing.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Things That "Bump" In The Night

In last week's installment of..."Only in Alaska":

A week ago, last Tuesday, at around 2:00 a.m., Eric and I were both startled from our sleep by a noise coming from our backyard! After we heard the noise a time or two, and after a brief discussion, we surmised that either someone was in our home or that there had to be a rogue moose outside (maybe even on the deck). Of course, if I had been home alone, I would have been certain that there was an intruder, but because both my dad and Eric were here, I was sure it was just a moose. Eric popped out of bed and opened up one of our bedroom windows. Nothing!

He decided the noise was coming from the other side of the bedroom, so he opened that window, looked down, and witnessed a moose chomping away on a limp tree branch that it had just broken of a young tree in our yard! Eric ran down stairs and opened up the kitchen window directly in front of where that darn moose was standing. They looked at each other for a few moments and eventually the moose mosied on. It just didn't mosey far! It decided to stop just to the side of the deck and proceeded to chomp on another of our trees! At that point, Eric came back upstairs and we continued watching the moose's antics from our bedroom windows. Eric knocked on the windows and yelled at the moose a few times, but that stinker definitely had it's own agenda. Imagine that! We went back to bed and in the morning I observed that the moose had broken and gnawed branches off of not just one tree, but off of FIVE different trees in our yard. DAMN MOOSE!

Now let's fast forward to this week's installment of..."Only in Alaska":

Logan was the first one out the door for school this morning. Just as Logan pulled the door closed behind him, Kaiden noticed that there was a "small" moose outside. No sooner had Kaiden mentioned the moose to me, the door opened back up. Logan was coming back in because he had now observed the moose as well. Now what?

We had two choices. I could put the kids in the car and drive them all the way around the block to the bus stop (walking would take them too long at this point), or they could risk it and just move quickly up the back hillside to the bus stop. If they walked up the back hill, the moose would be sure to see and hear them and there could potentially be a "mama" nearby, who would feel threatened by the kids' presence! I observed the moose and the situation and being the good mom that I am...I sent them out the back door, up the hill, as usual!

The baby eyed the boys and continued chomping away on nearby branches. The boys quickly scrambled up the hill and made it safely to the bus stop without incident, just as I knew they would. I was, however, also fairly certain that a "mama" must be somewhere nearby. I opened all of the blinds on that particular side of the house to see if I could spot her. Sure enough, after not too long, I saw the female camouflaged among the trees. We must have some tasty shrubbery in our yard, because those moose stuck around for over two hours!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

It's Rondy Time Again

I can't believe it has been a year since I first blogged about Fur Rondy. My how time flys! This year though, the boys and I have been fortunate to have my dad along for the festivities. Eric had been in Seattle, on business, since last Saturday and just got home this afternoon. Knowing that things were going to be too quiet around here while he was away, I invited my dad to come for a visit. I had totally forgotten about Fur Rondy and all that goes along with it, so it was a pleasant surprise when I realized there could actually be something to do while my dad is here. Today, we went to Ship Creek and checked out the snow sculptures. As you all know, I have a fascination with ice and snow sculptures, so I was especially impressed at the craftsmanship.

Next week, the Iditarod begins. I thought the ceremonial start, downtown, was going to be yesterday, so we ventured out in the snow to check it out. Once we arrived downtown, we quickly realized there was not an Iditarod start of any kind going on there. Instead, we caught a glimpse of a few hundred crazy people in costumes who were taking part in the Frostbite Footrace. They were also preparing for a "parade", but considering the fact that we come from California, I couldn't subject myself (or my kids, or my dad), to some backwoods, po-dunk parade. Needless to say, we left the falling snow and 20 degree temps for the comfort and warmth of our own home. I did, however, discover today that the ceremonial start for the Iditarod will be next week, so we'll try our luck again then.