Thursday, December 20, 2007

Pictures, cookies, and cold!

First, some tree posts. The first is a head-on of my tree this year. We've elected to leave the star off the top. The star has a very short cord, so another extension cord would have to be run up the middle of the tree to meet the star-cord in the center. Just not a hassle I want to deal with, esp as our tree is already decorated & I don't feel like undoing it. *grin*

This second picture is the left side. Just for a view of some more of my ornaments.

Now the right view. Again, just trying to give as complete a view as possible of the thing.

Now, some of my favorite ornaments. This is the little santa's cottage ornament. It's one of the light-up ornaments. But, I can't get the lights to stay tucked inside the spot in the back of the roof in order to do that. I just love looking at the little scenes tucked inside these ornaments, though.

Next come two lighthouse ornaments Dad gave me a couple of years ago. *grin* I LOVE Lighthouses.

These are also supposed to light up, but the light goes through the bottom of the lighthouse. Again, can't seem to get the lights to stay tucked in so that the lighthouses are actually lit. But it's very pretty when they are!!!!

Next, another picture of a little light-up. This is a little general store, and though it's hard to tell in the pic, it's actually got two tiny people sitting in front of a wood-stove inside, playing checkers I think. With pictures of the general-store type goods on the walls. Very cute.

And lastly, the one batch of cookies I got made yesterday. It's Almond Shortbread. I actually didn't get any cookie making done yesterday morning, as I went to get started & found that I didn't have any butter in the fridge. It was all frozen solid in the freezer. So, I took a pack of butter out to thaw. And wound up making these cookies when I got home from work, before starting on dinner. As DD was at hockey practice up at the U. till 8 pm, that gave me plenty of time to make these & still start on dinner before DD and DH got home.


BG, I have no idea who the idiot who designed our library was. It's actually a VERY nice library. I get a lot of tourists commenting to me (and this is just to me, I don't hear all the comments to other pages or the reference desk) what a fabulous library we've got. I've had folks from cities (much bigger than Fairbanks or even Anchorage) all over the country telling me that the libraries in their home towns aren't as fabulous as our library is here in Fairbanks. So, it's not that we've got an incredibly poorly designed library, but in this particular aspect, you're right. *grin* And, as the library was designed & built over 20 years ago, it's rather a moot point now, when it comes down to it. *wry smile*

Anyway, we DO have an inside drop, but you've got to come into the foyer for that. The outside drop bins are at the corner of the parking lot, so you can pull around, put the books in, and then pull back out without having to get out of your vehical. It was obviously designed with the motorist in mind, and not the people who'd be emptying it. Yet another way we go out of our way to make cars, and their drivers, happy, in our country. Also, as our library is set back from the curb & parking lot & even side-walk surrounding it by a lawn & ornamental trees, there's quite a distance to walk between the parking lot & the building. It's very pretty in the summer, but in the winter bitterly cold & somewhat inconvenient. As for the face of the building that is most apparent to folks coming in, our library director, the front office-people, and administrators all have office-windows facing the parking lot (through the trees), so there's not actually a spot there for a door that empties into a bin to be emptied from inside the building. Our circulation workroom is further inside the building, and THIS is where the interior book-drop empties into, once a person is in the lobby.


I always kind of get a chuckle over the comments of "wow, I can't believe you put up with that kind of weather". The truth is, I don't have a lot of choice in the matter. This is where my family moved when I wasn't even 6 years old yet, for military purposes. Dad retired here, this is where I've grown up. In once sense that means that this kind of weather is all I've REALLY ever known. I'm rather acclimated to it, as much as one CAN be acclimated to -30 and -40 and colder. On the other hand, I'm a wuss in the summer when it comes to heat. About the hottest temps I like are 80 deg. F. Anything hotter than about 80 deg. makes me melt.

But, not only did my dad move us here (though he asked us which of 2 bases we'd rather go to, Eielson, or Elmendorf outside of Anchorage), but my husband has also been raised here. His dad (my Father-in-law) was stationed at Eielson AFB when he met my Mother-in-law who'd also been raised right here in good ol' NP by HER parents who moved here from North Dakota when the MIL was just a child. Anyway, after getting married & getting out of the military, MIL and FIL moved back to Wisconsin where the FIL is from origionally. They had my hubby & my SIL, then moved back to Alaska to be near Great-Grandma and the rest of MIL's family again. So, my hubby is also accustomed only to the weather of North Pole. (In fact, DH is even LESS used to other climates than I am, as he's only even been out of state ONCE in his life since they moved up here, and that was when he & FIL drove to canada a couple of years ago, in May.)

So, you ask me how I can stand it???? My answer is, What choice do I have???? I can't stay shut up in the house from Nov. through March to avoid the cold. Life must go on. I bundle up as much as possible and I accept that this is the way it is. Even if we had the money to move out of state (which we don't), my hubby doesn't want to leave the only home he's ever known. And while I certainly wouldn't be AGAINST living somewhere else for comparison reasons, I get the feeling that I'd wind up back in NP in the long run. Maybe someday when we're retirees, if Peak Oil doesn't put our current way of life permanently out of commission, we'll become snowbirds. (Snowbirds are Alaskans who literally "fly south" for the winter. Arizona, Florida and Hawaii being 3 of the favorite "second home states" for Alaskan Snowbirds.) In the mean time, like I said, this is my life. It's no more a matter of "how do you handle it" than are extreme temps for somebody who's grown up in Arizona and doesn't have the means to move. (Though, almost anywhere else in the US, excluding Hawaii, it is MUCH easier to pick up & move than in Alaska. For most of y'all, it's a simple matter of driving across state lines. For us, it's a major move, almost as though moving to a different country.)


Ok. I have plans to make meringues this morning. I've always wanted to give it a try, and it's one thing I've actually got ingredients for. So, meringues it is!!!! I'm going to make peppermint meringues. I'd also like to make some Rocky Road candy. Maybe tonight. And Spritz cookies this weekend.

Have a Blessed Day!


Edited to Add: Well, THAT was a short workday!!!! Got maybe a 1/4 mile down the road & my "low coolant" light came on, and I noticed that the temp of my engine was sitting on the bottom line. So, I got up to the exit from the old-highway onto the new highway (the absolute last point, for me, where I decide "do I continue on, or do I go home?") and pulled into the Greenhouse parking lot that's right on that corner. Called the hubby, and he said to turn around & go home & not try to make it to town today. (Mind you, town is only a 14 mile drive, it's not like it's terribly far.) So, that's what I did. Called in to work to let them know my car wasn't going to make it, and I'm here. I guess that means I'm definitely going to have time for some goodie-baking. *grin* I can't say as I'm terribly bumming about getting an unplanned day off work!!!

BG: No, I'm not upset that you were curious about the idiotic design of the bookdrops at our library. It's so hard to get sentiment & emotion across on these dang blogs, but I personally think that this is one aspect of our library that was very poorly designed, myself. I just didn't want you thinking, either, that my library is some dinky little podunk hole-in-the-wall building. It was architect designed and is a very nice building with one glaring flaw for those of us who have to empty the bookdrop. *grin* Obviously whomever designed it didn't take the convenience & comfort of the lowest-employees into consideration, or possibly even consider us worth consideration.

One of these days I need to take my camera to work with me so I can give you all some idea of what my workplace looks like. Of course, how to do that without spilling to my boss that I've got a blog, and prompting her to look for it. I don't think I want my boss having that kind of insight into my thinking process. *grin*

Ok. I'm off to bake some goodies!!!

Have a Blessed Day!


barefoot gardener said...

See, I LIKE your tree!

I hope you didn't think I was rude with my comments about your library. I didn't mean it that way. It just surprises me that there has been so little consideration of your weather in it's design.

I know what you mean about the acclimatizing to the weather. As much as I fantasize about moving out of MN, I look at the summer highs or winter lows of any other place and just go "yuck". I think I will be stuck here for life.

Besides, all my fam is here, and I can't leave them.

Michelle said...

Dear Kati,
Alaska is good. Not-Alaska is better.

Much love,
Your younger sister
(Who is presently enjoying a 65 degree day)

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

What a pretty tree!

I still don't see how you can take the cold.

Gledwood said...


Re your tree: I noticed for all the tinsel and lighthouses NO FAIRY!



Kati said...

LOL Oooh, there IS a fairy in my tree!!! Look for the doll-shaped figure up there. It's just hard to see her wings as she's got real feathers & they kinda blend in.

peppylady said...

I don't mind the cold but I have trouble with hot humid weather and I have no desire to live in the southeast part of the united states.
I don't like the short days but I know you have shorter days then us.

Our coldest day during the year was -3.6 on January 11th
Our hottest day during the year was July 13th and it hit 102.6

Kris said...

And Mama said... if we don't move from Alaska before our oldest gets into High School we're not leaving Alaska until our youngest one graduates from High School... I wanted you all to have a sense of a "hometown" environment... and it's actually cool that you can all say you graduated from NORTH POLE High School! *smiles*

Love ya!
- Mom

Em said...

Sorry about the coolant/car problems. But the tree is beautiful. And when I hear you talk about -40, I have body parts that just start to tremble. Brrrrr

Gardener Greg said...

I like your tree. I need to get a picture of ours. We have an angel on the top of ours and I arrange the lights so that there is a place to plug it in near the top.

Celticspirit said...

Happy baking day! I'm going to start mine tomorrow.

Whatever you do Kati, don't become a snowbird who goes to AZ. We went there a couple of summers ago to visit Russell's parents and it was over 120 degrees and Russell and I were in downtown Phoenix. I had to get him to stop so I could use a restroom and be sick. Blech!

Oh yeah by the way, cute tree. It looks like you have some ornaments that have a lot of meaning to them.

Tori_Z said...

I'm glad you managed to get some baking done.

I know what you mean about NP being your home and all that. My family's not originally from Wales (although I was born in Wales) they're from England. And, though I've lived in England and Canada for short periods at various points in my life Wales is my home and I couldn't stay away from it for too long. Despite the fact Wales' main weather is rain, and the only white Christmas I remember is the Christmas I spent in Canada, because Wales rarely has snow, and when we do it's usually been raining so much it just turns to slushy stuff and then ice. Rain gets a bit annoying at times, but this is home.

MarmiteToasty said...

Mmmmmmmmm is that tree REAL? hands on hips!!! lol....

I would dearly love to visit Alaska, me matie Rich lives in Valdez, is that anywhere near you, cos Im thinking of visiting him one of these days........

and, I need to visit Wales to :) the Breacon Beacons....