October 2007


When the snow first hits the mountains in October, I always find myself searching the ‘net for great airfare deals. Flight deals take up much of my time for a few weeks, as I scour the search engines and travel companies for the best deals possible. Not that I intend to actually take any of these trips, more so to keep my searching skills sharp for that one day when I will inevitably be able to actually book a flight (to somewhere other than Sitka).

Today I found myself searching German Airline service provider Condor’s website for their latest deals on their direct flight from Anchorage to Frankfurt. Someday I’d love to take this flight, and hope to eventually when the age of the kiddos (can we say Adult only trip?) and the pocketbook figures all align. This nonstop flight is an excellent option for the Alaskan traveler trying to get to Europe for a great price and without the hassle of flying across the U.S. before finally crossing “the pond”. The flight is about 9.5 hrs, so it’s very doable (given you have a movie player with some serious battery power). Hey, that 9 hours would just about cover all the Star Wars movies!

Looking at flights in June of 2008, a ticket (including taxes and fees) would set you back about $750. Not too shabby for an international flight. Oh, and rumor has it that a very savvy shopper with flexible dates can (at least in the past) book for as low as $400 a ticket. That’s just too tempting. Condor flies Anchorage to Frankfurt May through October, three days a week.

Also while looking up fares, I stumbled across what seems like a pretty good site, Fare Compare. They allow flexible date searching, and also include a service that will list all available fares from a select departure airport. I like the idea of being able to see at a glance where the great sale destinations are. Not that I’d ever actually go there 🙂

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It’s about time we got snow in October. It seems like the last two years it hasn’t been until late November that we got more than a dusting. My flowers are thankful for the insulation, hopefully there will be more to follow before temperatures drop.

Kev and Jimmy Oct 07

The following picture was taken in January of this year, when Jimmy was 11 months. I remember the sled being a lot lighter then! The next picture was taken this past weekend. Notice his boots hanging off the lip of the sled. I think he’ll have to pass it on to baby brother/sister next winter!

Jan 07 Sledding

Oct 07 Sledding

Every night this week, shortly after putting Jimmy to bed, the sound of small arms fire can be heard in our area. What is going on? Usually the event begins with a single shot, followed approximately every half-hour by another round, until 10:00pm or so, when the shooter apparently tires of his (her) game. I know this is Alaska, but come on! I like to make up stories about what prompts this behavior. Could it be an elusive moose that visits a drunk hunter nightly? Is there a marauding sasquatch taunting the neighbors? Is it a form of morse code? Who knows. Hopefully it will end soon. I’m tired of checking for bullet holes 🙂 I didn’t grow up on the streets of L.A. or anything, but I still find myself tensing in anticipation of a stray bullet each time a shot rings out. Is anyone else so crazy?

My super cool politically-minded techie mom recently sent me a link to a select a candidate quiz. According to the website:

This quiz is not meant to pick your candidate for you. It is designed to inform the public of the various stances candidates make. Results are not scientific. The WQAD candidate survey is based on the original SELECT A CANDIDATE survey developed by Minnesota Public Radio and posted at: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/projects/ongoing/select_a_candidate/.

The results from my taking the quiz were somewhat surprising (no, still Republicans people, just didn’t think McCain would top my list). However, I realized after viewing the “candidates stances” tab offered after the quiz, that a couple of the questions could have gone either way. The most interesting thing that I observed is that this has made me more aware of the options concerning immigration, a topic that I hadn’t often considered before.

So give the quiz a spin and let me know what you think. It’s unlikely the candidate will be a perfect match, but it’s a great way to get some ideas about where they stand on the issues.

This evening, after putting Jimmy down for the night, I proceeded to clean up around the house. Upon walking into the master bathroom, I discovered that the toilet bowl brush was laying in the middle of the bathroom floor. Earlier in the day (during naptime) I had cleaned the toilet and left the brush balanced on the edge to dry, as usual. I had left the door to the bathroom open for ventilation.

There are two possible explanations for the movement of the brush: (1) it fell off the toilet rim and rolled nearly two feet away sometime during the day, or (2) Jimmy noticed the brush and did <insert verb here> with it. Eeeeek!  I don’t remember him ever toddling off during his own this afternoon, so I’m not sure how he would have had time to play with the brush. This will forever remain a mystery (unless of course I’m woken up in the night to take the kid to the E.R. for some sort of toilet-germ-induced illness).

On Tuesday I had my 17 week checkup. My brother was kind enough to babysit while I went to my appointment and ran some errands. The checkup went smoothly, and I proceeded to drive to the pick up spot for our bi-monthly organic produce box. I went inside Kaladi’s to grab our box, located it, and headed for the door. As I was just leaving the barista at the register called to me. “Do you want a coffee?”, he asked. I told him no thank you, I was just in for the box. He then proceeded to inform me that the coffee was free, because a man that had just left had told the barista that God had told him (my mysterious benefactor) that I could use a coffee. I was blown away. My initial reaction was mixed; I was thankful for the luxury of a coffee (chai in my case), but also surprised that God thought I needed one. I didn’t know that I needed a coffee, but I trusted his choice, and ordered a chai. As I sat afterward in my van, cup in hand, I sniffed back tears. I often think of God as filling my needs as they arise, and even sprinkling in luxuries liberally. But a God who works through a man to get me a free coffee, just because he loves me? That’s a God I want to know better.

Cookbook

The fall harvest has been great this year. I am very happy with my carrots, tomatoes, and broccoli. I am sick of chard (lovely plant, but I won’t be putting it in the garden next year). My straight neck squash was a failure, with several small squash developing throughout the summer, only to be taken over by rot after growing only a couple of inches.

We had enough carrots left that I decided to can a few jars. Having only canned jams and jellies, I consulted my handy dandy 1942 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. This cookbook is AMAZING. It includes everything from great recipes, to stain removal advice, to setting a “proper” table, to canning instructions. The book walked me through canning the carrots, and it was a fun afternoon project. I also have plenty of green tomatoes that I plan on turning into sweet green tomato pickles and canning. This all makes me excited for next year! I plan on expanding the size of the garden, while simplifying the varieties planted (carrots, lettuce (maybe kale), broccoli, tomatoes, and …?)