Monday, August 21, 2017

Photo dump

The light outside my office window right now:

Sun on storm clouds. It's super pretty!

A few weekends ago, we went to spend the weekend with M and her partner, DN, in DN's family cabin on Quartz Lake. It's incredibly beautiful, all made from local logs and hand crafted by DN and his brother. I forgot to take photos of their handiwork. Next time!

The cabin is 100 steps above the lake, and we were higher than this juvenile eagle perched in a treetop!

This part of the lakefront is all private lots; most are weekend getaways (20 minutes from Delta Junction and 90 minutes from Fairbanks), but one guy from Delta lives there full time.

DN and DL:

Both Cricket and Roo love the porch overlooking the lake!

Although Roo also loved this spot by the woodpile:

DL and M:

They have a designated dog couch!

DL had to join the other fuzzies. They all love to cuddle!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

New driveway!

The place where I have been parking my car is mud. Our neighbor across the road does dirtwork, so we decided to hire him to dig it up, backfill it, and make us a fancy new driveway.

He dug up about a foot depth, then laid down this cloth to stop the nice fill dirt from migrating into the mud:

Then he dumped and smoothed out three different grades of fill:

Some was actual mine tailings, straight from a local gold mine:

Since he had the front end loader, he also dug out some of our old stumps, including my old splitting stump, which is unrecoverable after eight seasons of beatings:

It was so amazing and effortless, compared with chopping them out by hand!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Fair Photos!

My two primary goals for the Fair this year: Cute things and giant veggies. I think I got 10/10 on the cute and 8/10 on the veggies.

Look at these piggy-piggies! Who know they came in so many colors and patterns?

Mama smiles while they nurse!

Now here is a BAYBEE YAK!

Oohhhhhh Gooooood thooooose eeeeeeeeeyes...

Now, for BT, giant veggies!

Giant turnip!

Giant zucchini! (although I think these are also normal for California)

Giant green onion!

Giant broccoli!

The winning giant cabbage this year was a surprisingly humble 36.2 pounds:

The exhibition hall:


Giant kale!


Giant rhubarb!

Giant kohlrabi!

Pretty carrots!

Giant dahlia!

DL said I should be in there for scale:

All the pretty flowers!

Sunset at Creamer's Field:

Monday, August 7, 2017

Fuzzy things

I have a nice collection of fuzzy things, if I do say so myself:

Especially when Charcoal, the Huge, comes to visit. The last time he did this, we were just headed out the door for our morning walk. So I called his parents to let them know where he was, and we brought him along. He is HUUUUUGE.

Then, because he drools, he had his rawhide on the porch. Then I walked him home. His dad said, "That'll teach him a lesson to wander!"

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Summer thingies

Fireweed, rainbows, giant kohlrabis, and using your sister's butt as a pillow. What more is there, really?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Helping 4th graders learn about wind power!

One of my outreach activities is visiting local schools with KidWind kits. I give them a short lecture on energy, then renewable energy, then wind energy in particular. Then I have them cut wind turbine blades out of card stock and mount them into plastic hubs. We connect them to a multimeter, hold the model turbines in front of a fan, and see how much power they make in the "wind".

I love kids in 40-minute doses! My hat's off to teachers who do this 40+ hours per week. If I were a K12 teacher, I'd probably be in danger of alcoholism.

In the midst of this chaos, this particular teacher stepped back, smiled at all of the screaming mess around her, and sighed happily. She turned to me and said, "Don't you just LOVE this? Kids getting all excited about science?" And I had to admit that I loved the *concept* but not so much being present for the *implementation*. However, I am truly grateful that I had the privilege of seeing her joy. Clearly, that is her thing, and the world is an indescribably better place for teachers like her!