Friday, September 07, 2012

Freak Wind Storm

I saw a good post on Facebook the other day: Only in Alaska do we have 'hurricane's that don't get named...we just call it 'Wednesday'

I figured that was a good way to open this posting, since we really did have hurricane-force winds. They’re saying that up Hillside there were gusts up to 138 mph = according to the National Weather Service, that’s considered a Category 4 Hurricane!

Thankfully my house withstood the storm in good shape. It creaked and groaned all night long, but the only thing down when I woke up the next morning was my fence in the back yard, and one of my decorative trees is a tad bit more horizontal than vertical. Compared to other damage around town, I figure I got off easy.

Rob had one of his big trees break off mid-way and is now on top of his fence. He says the entire tree will have to come down now, and the fence will need a bit of repair – but it’s all doable without too much trouble.

My niece and her roommate were without power for 24 hours! No power means no heat, and the temps – while not being the severe cold of winter – are pretty darned cold at night. She bundled up in her down jacket and wool socks, and emptied her freezer content into Rob’s spare freezer so she wouldn’t loose any food.

My other niece was only without power for a few hours. UAA had everything very well handled, thankfully. She did discover, however, that she needs to get a flashlight to have on hand. Luckily she was able to download an ap for her iPad that simulates a flashlight (who knew!) so she was able to continue studying for her test.

Surprise! UAA canceled classes the next day – so she didn’t have to take that test after all…

My little brother has it the worst of all. He is a lineman for the electric companies, and he has been out there since 2 am the night of the storm with only a 3-hour nap. They are working hard trying to get everybody’s power back on, but it’s grueling work. There are stories on Facebook of some people who come and ask them how they are, offer them food and drink, thank them and call them heroes...and then others who are rude and only concerned about whether their equipment will damage their stuff (umm, do you want power or not?).

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Shopping Spree

I got to go on a shopping spree this weekend with my niece Katy. We had fun!

I had a $150.00 Debit Card given to me as a thank you for participating in a health screening program my insurance was promoting. They assured me I could spend it however I wanted to, so I went on-line and found a 20% off coupon for one item at Bed Bath & Beyond and decided that I needed new bed linens.

Katy came along to help ensure that I actually purchase what I intended to. I am not a shopper. If I had gone on my own, I probably would have walked in the door – taken a look around at all the people in there – and turned a 180 to head right back to my car. Thankfully, Katy is a great shopper and expertly encouraged me to find the perfect set. And I must say – we did good.

Here’s what I ended up with:
     A bed set for $119.99
          comforter, bedskirt, 2 pillow shams, 3 accent pillows
     A sheet set for $45.99
          top sheet, fitted sheet, 2 pillow cases
     A blanket for $22.99
All of that totals $188.97 but with my debit card and coupon I only paid $14.97 out of pocket.

Not to shabby!

The Alaska State Fair

I got to spend the afternoon at the fair this past Friday! Rob and I drove out to see my niece compete in the local Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off, as she does each year.

The weigh-off was fun. Lauren has a big fan club, and all of us were there in the bleachers cheering her on. Her cabbage didn’t do as good as we’d hoped, but she still did very well taking 4th place with 84.25 pounds.

Third place was Brian Shunskis 94.4 pounds. Steve Hubacek came in with 126 pounds and Scott Robb tipped the scales at 138.25 pounds = a New World Record!

Prior to the weigh-off, Rob and I had more than enough time to eat – which is, of course, an essential fair activity – and take in several of the exhibit buildings to admire the handmade crafts and local businesses.

After the weigh-off was the best, though. We got to go to the “Our Body: The Universe Within” an exhibit of "plastinated" human bodies -- the corpses of real people preserved and prepared to show anatomical details. One display was of a man drawing back an arrow notched into a bowstring. Another had a man riding a bicycle. A third was a man cut in half, head to toe. None of them were wearing their skin and all were real, preserved human bodies.

It was truly fascinating, although some people also found it quite disturbing.