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Wednesday, April 23rd - Happy Birthday to my Firstborn! Could Spring be here?!

The day after I made my last miserable journal entry, the sun came out and snow did not fall from the sky. The weatherman was predicting highs in the 50s and 60s and said we were getting ready to "Flip the Switch" here in the Interior. He was right!

On Saturday, Steve and I went to the Outdoor Show at the Carlson Center. We did a lap past all the booths, picking up information as we went. Steve talked to a few fishing guides, while I filled my plastic bag with 2008 visitor guides for various places around the state. Outside in the parking lot, we walked through the RVs and travel trailers they had on display. There were two Class A RVs (the kind you drive - like a huge bus), and they were really nice inside. But with the price of gas, you'd have to be a gazillionaire to afford to take them on vacation. The newer travel trailers had a handful of features that we liked, but other than that, the floor plan wasn't as nice as the one we have in our camper. We're quite happy with what we have, but it's always nice to get a whiff of that 'new vehicle' smell.

We also decided - yet again - to check out the furniture at one of the few furniture stores in Fairbanks: Sadlers. The Sunday sale paper advertised package deals, which included free tables with the purchase of a sofa and love seat. We have no use for new tables, but thought maybe we could make a deal with the manager and get a chair thrown in at a discounted price. We never had the opportunity to negotiate, as there was nothing at the store (in our price range) that we could agree on. It is times like this, that I wish I was married to a guy who said, "Whatever you want, Honey". But since Steve spends just as much time on the furniture as I do, and he expects it to be comfortable enough to stretch out on while he's watching TV, he vetoed quite a few pieces that were either a)uncomfortable or b)not physically appealing to him.

Finally, as a last minute decision, we decided to stop at the furniture store on Fort Wainwright. Their selection isn't large, but their prices are much less expensive. We saw pieces at the FWA store that we also saw at Sadlers - for several hundred dollars less. Wouldn't you know we found a sofa and love seat. set that we agreed on?! And at a fantastic price too. They'll be delivered on Friday. I offered our existing set to a girl in my dance class (divorced, struggling to make ends meet, living in a tiny apartment with only a recliner in her living room), but she hasn't given me a definite answer on whether she wants it or not. If I don't hear something by Friday, I'm going to find the furniture another home. I really don't want to leave it at the dump where it will get wet and dirty. It's not in excellent condition, but it's in good enough condition for a needy family.

Today is a very special day! Twenty-Nine years ago today, my wonderful and handsome son, Chris, came into the world! He was born at 7:01pm on a Monday night. I was 19 years old, but I like to tell him that I was actually only 6 - as I'm only 35 now. *grin*

I miss Chris dearly (as I miss both my boys and my DIL), and I hope that he will come to visit Alaska again soon. It would be wonderful to have him close again. I love you, Chris - Always and Forever! xoxoxxoxoxoxo

Reach for your Star

Do not take anything as being forever, because forever is only as long as today. Know that the people who are the richest, are not those who have the most, but those who need the least. That we are at our strongest, when life is at its worst, and at our weakest when life no longer offers a challenge. That it is wiser not to expect, but to hope, for in expecting, you ask for disappointment, whereas in hoping you invite surprise. That unhappiness doesn't come from not having something you want, but from the lack of something inside that you need. That there are things to hold, and things to let go, and letting go doesn't mean you lose, but that you acquire that which has been waiting around the corner. Most of all... remember to use your dreams as a way of knowing yourself better, and as an inspiration to reach for your star. ~ Nancye Sims

Now on to the good news (and I hope I don't jinx things). We have had sunshine and highs in the 50s over the past few days. Things are quickly melting, and the sound of drip, drip, drip off the roof has been music to our ears. The downspout is being put to good use, but the abundance of water has left small ponds around our house in the low-lying areas. I'm not complaining! This is wonderful!

squirrel and seedsI've watched the activity in the yard grow with each passing day. A couple of days ago, I saw four squirrels running around out back. I think it's spring romance, as opposed to aggression. Back and forth they ran, chasing each other at high speed. Up and down trees; jumping straight up into the air when startled. I grabbed my camera and attempted to catch their exuberance. The squirrel at left is boosting his energy levels so he can keep up with the ladies! That's what I want to believe. *grin*

chasing squirrels squirrel and suet squirrels squirrels chasing squirrels

Here are some more photos that were taken around the yard, as well as two photos of my furry daughters. I also saw several butterflies flitting about in the woods next to the house. I tried to get a photo, but they were moving too quick for me. The downside to all this warming up? A friend of mine got bit by a mosquito the other night. I'm not looking forward to fighting them off. We'll be setting up our Mosquito Magnet soon, to try and head them off before they get too out of hand.

birch tree peeling downspout puddle moss birch trees
leaf and snow airborne sedona  

This week, on the Discovery Channel, it's been "Alaska Week". We've enjoyed watching and recording the shows. The new show The Alaska Experiment looks interesting, and we caught the first episode the other night. It will be interesting to see how these groups of people make out during the 3 months they're in the wilderness. An online friend - who lives in Tok (where the weather is really extreme) made the comment that 90 days in AK is a vacation, not a challenge. Haha!

In closing, I wanted to let local readers know that this year marks the 10th anniversary for the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward. In celebration, admission is free on the 10th of every month - through the end of the year - if you have an Alaska ID. It's a great facility, and well worth a visit. If your travels take you to Seward, check it out.

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© 2008 Susan L Stevenson