Just playing

Another successful morning selling things I had not planned to sell, but am glad they have found a new home, this includes 4 lamps, a bookcase, small 3 drawer chest, a small round table with glass top, 2 rugs and my trundle bed.

My friend Cheri and I decided to take advantage of the snow today… so went snowshoeing. What a blast!!!  We went out to Haines golf course… one of the flatter areas in this area (the beach is the other flat area). Still had to get up and over snow berms, but oh my was it beautiful out there. The silence was absolutely golden.  Her two corgi’s were “swimming” in the snow, but we couldn’t get them to break trail for us no matter how we tried.  They had a blast too.  So here are a couple of pictures of me – decked out in layers…

My new snowshoes

These snowshoes – bought via L.L. Bean, are the best ones I have tried. Wish I had spent the money to get them before or maybe I would have been snowshoeing more often. Its a no brainer hiking in these. Happy to have them.

Almost look like an eskimo

My snow pants are now too big… have a belt holding them up, but they still keep me dry and that is what’s important. My winter coat tho… by the end of the hike, was not the best coat to wear. Hmmm… need to think of another type. I got too hot. Not exactly wise to strip down out in this weather, but I was tempted.

Happy to be snowshoeing

All in all, a great day to go snowshoeing. Been waiting all winter to do this.  When we got back to town, I went and broke a new trail to my rig…. deep, deep snow.  Hopefully it won’t rain tomorrow, but this is sure pretty today to go out for a hike. Happy, happy to be out hiking!


My freebie sale was successful. All but 2 small boxes of stuff is left. Impressive! There was no rush of people, but a steady line of people, despite the weather. Whew! Glad that’s done.

If you have been following my blog… you will note that I said if winter was going to show itself in Haines, it would wait until I was getting ready to leave.  Considering it has rain all winter so far, I knew Mother Nature was just waiting for this crucial timeframe.

Well… the hurricane forced winds finally settled down.  And a huge squadron of planes roared into Haines early yesterday morning during a quiet spell – as no mail, food, ferries or anything else has been able to reach us. The squadron of planes even impressed the locals.

Mid morning

Last night… it started snowing. The winds whipped the powder snow into a full blown blizzard, which has continued today. Egads is it ever gorgeous!  Its a treat for me, having not been around it for a few years out on the road. Its an even bigger treat – as I don’t have to dig myself out of it. I can sip my hot tea as I watch the heavy snow cover the landscape.  The temperatures have warmed up to 4ºF – yes, it feels quite warm considering the wind chill we have been dealing with.

The above picture was mid-morning and a whole lot more snow has fallen since that was taken. My footsteps disappear quickly in this. Note on the above picture – see all the windshield wipers sticking up? A classic example of Haines – almost everyone does this, as they don’t want them to freeze to the window. This snow is not particularly a problem, but if it continues to warm up, it will be ice and useless wipers if not left up like this.

Forecast… if one is to believe… it will be back into the 40’s by weeks end… and rain.  Well… may be that’s a good thing…  I won’t hold my breath just yet. Think I will go fix another cup of tea…

Too busy…

Yes, too busy but as my friend says… it keeps me out of trouble. So time is flying and has been crazy. I seriously have to be reminded what day it is and have to look at a calendar to know what week that day is in.  But I see a light at the end of the tunnel. A welcome relief is rapidly approaching.

So, I asked my friend Cheri to help me haul off the rest of the stuff to the dump. Not going to happen. Between Cheri and others that heard that I just wanted to get rid of the junk… I am now having a “FREE” for the taking sale tomorrow morning. Donations are welcome, but please help yourself.

Well… one of the items listed in the ad, was free rug wool on cones. Within 5 minutes of posting that ad, I had a taker. That was Wed. night. She came took all the rug wool and 90% of the office supplies that I had unearthed by then.  Had 3 weavers contacting me that night – wishing for all that yarn as well, but it was already gone. So yesterday, I unearthed some more yarns… it made it until about 10 this morning. All gone. Tonight, one of my immediate neighbors – took 1/2 of what you see in both pictures.  So I have been scrambling trying to fill the spaces/holes with other stuff.  Funny thing… I don’t have much more to put out here. The freebie sale is tomorrow morning. Well, it is what it is. Thankful it has all gone so smoothly.

Stuffed animals in the bags

Tonight, all my stuffed animals found a good home. I have collected Alaska critters in stuffed animals for years. And I had all of my Mom’s collection of Boyd’s bears.  If none had walked out the door, I was donating them to the police department and/or State Troopers. Found out, that is where most are headed. A very good cause.  And found out today, everything left will be picked up by Haines Hospice for their Annual Spring Auction. Wow!  And I found a zillion greeting cards – my Mom saved every one she was ever given, plus a whole lot of cards bought but never sent. They all found a home with the scrapbookers here in town. Good grief, I had no idea. A tip to others that might be going thru all this – double check each and every card… I found $20 bills, delicate handkerchief, little oil paintings and love letters tucked into the cards. Little treasures.

And I found a quilt that I had made back in the early 1980’s, but never finished. It was 3/4 finished on the hand-quilting of it (no machine quilting on this beautiful quilt!!!), then a bias binding and it would be done. I decided to donate to the quilters group here in Haines, when finished – it will be auctioned off at the Hospice Auction.  So exciting to be done with this aspect.  
Now to start packing in earnest. In the meantime, despite our outlandish weather – 114 mph winds posted today at the lighthouse, no sleep for the weary due to the howling winds, no ferry service, no mail, no food coming in. Bitter cold winds too – temp hovering in single digits – way minus numbers with wind chill. Melinda did something foolish ere…actually just stupid.  The gasket on my side door of my RV is frozen. The door now has a huge gap at the top – the weather is pouring in. Can’t do anything until it warms up. The gasket shattered in the sub zero temperatures, when I tried to shut the door.  I know about this, but yet I still opened up the door to put bigger stuff into the rig. Stupid of me. I got the door re-locked, but the gap is obvious on the top half of the door.  So here’s hoping that the temps warm up before I move into my rig at the end of February or it will be downright chilly living in my RV.  Will hope they carry this gasket here in Haines too.
So am counting the days now. I am so excited.

Gorgeous day!

A huge relief to be done with the shipment to Palmer. I have no clue when it will be delivered, as it is going on standby vs priority… but it is OUT of my house and I am officially done with it.  Can’t describe how happy I am with that task being done, once and for all. Its huge!!!

Mid afternoon – along Chilkoot

So today, awaken to sunshine… honest-to-goodness no clouds in the sky gorgeous, gorgeous sunny day. The blue sky is the bluest of blue in the north country when its cold.  Crystal clear blue. Cold, but breathtakingly beautiful after getting a foot of snow. Yes, I said we got a foot of snow. Our first – love every inch of it.  I was hoping to go snowshoeing, but if lucky will go tomorrow. Today, I had people picking up their purchases, clearing this out of my apartment. Selling a few more odds and ends – such as a bunch of acrylic tubes of paints I found and office supplies. Then delivered other purchased items, visited Mountain Market (a favorite hang out) for a mocha. Got into quite a conversation with a biologist friend we work out with. Picked up a delivery to Wings from Juneau’s U-Haul place I had ordered. And when I got back to my place, we couldn’t get the door to the van open – frozen shut to get the U-haul stuff out of the van. So decided to take a little road trip with the heat on full blast.

What we saw was just stunningly beautiful. My pictures do not do justice to what we experienced.  We decided to see if we could get out to Chilkoot Lake – the road is not maintained in the winter. Usually the only way in is by snow-shoe or skis.  But most of the road was semi-packed snow from others driving out there, so we lucked out. Oh my goodness…

A single swan is in this picture. Too early for swans, but it is at edge of the slushy ice
just below dead center of image.

We haven’t had cold temperatures, so the lake is not frozen. Normally you can ski on this lake in dead of winter – miles out there. Not this year.

Chilkoot Lake

Heavily laden snow branches

Smoking mountains (see the wind blowing at peak?)

There were warning out for today to be quite windy,  but the only wind that has materialized is at the peaks of the local mountains. When it blows, it makes the mountains look like they are smoking.

Low level of water with a low tide and green moss is exposed looking from Chilkoot bridge

Looking back up Chilkoot River from bridge

We saw a few eagles today as well.  It was a great day to go play hooky!  And I’m still playing hooky this evening. No going paperless, no packing boxes… I’m reading a good book.  Its been a great day!


A bridge near Palmer

The above photo was taken years ago by Susan Stevenson, a photographer from North Pole, AK, who was visiting. It was taken in early Spring just as the sun was coming up over the mountains. That use to be the old road out of Palmer, long since been replaced by a modern road.  But I love this old bridge that crosses the Matanuska River.  

The critical deadline is rapidly approaching and that deadline is Tuesday. Minus one set of microfilm boxes that remain elusive, everything else is packed and ready to head to Palmer. Yippee!  Once all this is out of the apartment… it will be a big sigh of relief…
I am now re-focusing on the immediate task at hand. Still going paperless. Packing. Packing the remaining stuff in the apartment and packing the rig.  I have taken advantage of the brief dry spells we get in the weather to haul stuff out to the rig.  Will soon need, to get out there, to process it. That is set up the rig. Dumping stuff on the kitchen table does not qualify as setting up the rig.  Laughing here.  
February is a short month.  The reality of that did not set in until last night, when talking to friends. My friends are returning to Haines February 24th… as our conversation closed they said “see you in 3 weeks!”  Three weeks??? Minor panic attack, then looked at calendar and its more like a month. Whew!  What is this mindset of weeks vs a month?  Actually, everything is running smoothly and I do still get out for Zumba and the Stretch/Toning – both twice a week, plus go visit with my friends.  So its not like I’m all work and no play.  So it could be weeks – as I will be long done by the time my friends come back to town.  

Status update

A touch of color

Well I am duly impressed with what I have accomplished since I arrived in Haines. I was wall to wall, ceiling to floor boxes when I arrived. Barely room to walk a narrow path between bed, bathroom and kitchen.  That was about 10,000 lbs of stuff.  The estimate on my load to leave with is 2,000 lbs and they gave that on the high side.  I know it will be closer to 1,500 or less.  Yippee!!!!   Before I came, my friends at Escapees told me to anticipate still having “stuff”, but to manage to get rid of the bulk of it. That I have done.

This estimate came today.  And further details of what to expect on this move. I’m not doing it thru a moving company. I’m packing it, taking it to the dock and I’m sending my household goods via Alaska Marine Lines, other words on a barge. It will be delivered to Seattle, then must get it across the pond (ere. Puget Sound) to Port Townsend.  All those fine little details will come in due time.  In the meantime….

Just found out Saturday, that my friend Natasha is driving to Wasilla vs flying. What this means is that all the stuff (genealogy books, weaving books, weaving equipment to be sold, etc) that’s heading that way, is going soon – like in 1 week.  So I am scrambling trying to make sure I have pulled it all from my stuff. Surprises still happening… but the bulk is ready to go. And I am now scrambling, more then I was, on going paperless.  I have a fabulous scanner. Its a Fujitsu Scan Snap IX500 – highly recommend this. And its small compact size travels well in the RV. Far superior to the flat bed scanners, altho there is a need for those in certain circumstances.  And when not scanning, am backing up my system on an external hard drive.  Super, non-stop busy.

Am dropping dead into bed at night… can’t even read, my eyelids are so heavy… but it is so worth it. So am hanging in…  vacation is on the horizon. Well, that’s not quite true.. or is it? I will once again be a full-timer and I can’t wait.  I will catch my breath, relax on the ferry trip south.

A couple of weeks ago… I took the Meyers-Briggs Personality Test.  Have you ever taken this? I happen to be the rarest of the 16 personality types.  INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging). I laughed, as I knew I was unique… but did not know I was rare!  Laughing here. Actually thought I was a little introverted and extroverted, but guess not.  Very interesting to study this.  See what happens when Melinda gets a little bored with downsizing… knew it was time to change my course in all this.

Haines has heavy rain warning out for Tuesday & Wednesday with high winds on top of that. Warnings about small stream flooding, landslides and mudslides are also posted.  Where is the darn SNOW!!!!

Enough already…

A spot of color

It is January in the north country and its raining, again.  Enough already!  Well, I am tired of this non-winter winter.  The locals said they’ve never seen a snowless winter. Ha!

So I am setting things in motion, therefore changes are happening. I will have a better idea after this coming Saturday but may cancel this next sale for starters. The gal that has been helping all these months is going to sell the rest of this when Spring or Summer arrives – when all the snowbirds come back to town. And I will get to leave early. I am now projecting end of February.
The amount left to sell – that may not be as much as I thought it would be. Yesterday, I sold 2 bar chairs, an end table, a small dresser, my canister set, the Depression glassware I had, a large lamp and 2 small lamps. That is the last of the furniture. Woo hoo!!!
So now am concentrating on fine-tuning the mess, re-loading the rig..  stay tuned.