Sunday, January 25, 2015

Life is busy...but here is a picture of Lily and Matthew!  Lily is so good at helping out with her brother!---and he absolutely adores her already!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Arriving in Cordova AK

 On Monday Lily and I flew out to Cordova AK to meet up with Jim, who is installing a Bergey wind turbine on a remote island in Boswell Bay (just outside of Cordova) for Copper Telecom.  Jim flew out on Thursday to Fairbanks, where he was able to get equipment trucked to, and then he loaded everything on a big trailer and drove down to Anchorage and hopped on a ferry taking everything across -with a stop in Valdez where he helicoptered out to the site and "slung" new batteries to the site (and the old ones out).  Meaning, they hang from below the helicopter by ropes.....

Lily and I took a 5 1/2 hour flight from Minneapolis to Anchorage.  She did much better than I expected- and the people sitting next to us were extremely nice and helpful!  The lady let Lily sit on her lap for a bit and shared her soft fuzzy blanket with her...and her husband stood up for at least 20 minutes giving Lily a seat to play in (and me a break with her off my lap)!  The world is full of some amazing people!  The 6 hour layover in Anchorage wasn't quite as smooth....Lily ran my legs off.....I thought I was going to collapse!  Carrying my heavy carry-on and chasing her, I was absolutely exhausted after 4 hours!  I swear she must have ran at least 2 miles! The next 2 days now when I have wanted her to hike, she just wants to be carried of course!   I do have to say though- anyone with little kids- try to fly out of the Humphrey terminal at MSP!!  They have a little playground inside the secure area!  Lily wore herself out a bit with the tunnel slide they have!  If only all airports would be so thoughtful!
The last plane was only one hour to Cordova, and Lily slept the whole way there.  She was then awake enough when we arrived (though it was about 10:30 at night for her Central time) to drive around and get out for a little hike on the slough- which was full of birds.
 On the boardwalk in the slough...
 A salt marsh- with lots of Lily pads!
 Looking back at the small bird watching hut.
Jim, at the end of the trail.  What a beautiful bright day!  We then went out for supper and then finally to bed- a long day from 4:30 am!  I was beyond tired!  But- we made it here, and were about to begin another adventure!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Building, Day with Lily, and Gardening

So- last night we had huge downpours!!  Luckily, Jim and the crew were able to get the roof sealed off with tarps before the rain hit the first time.  They did a great job because our house stayed dry!!  With our kitchen all open and possible large hail forcasted, I was a bit worried!  The only thing that seems to have gotten in besides bugs was a little green tree frog- a very cute one!  I was sitting on the couch reading (waiting for the rain to lighten up just a bit so I dared go get my groceries from the car- and listening for water coming in- and periodically checking) when out of the corner of my eye I saw something moving on the floor.  My first thought was "Ugh!  Another giant spider!"- so I was pleasantly surprised.  But, then I knew I needed to get him out of the house before an animal discovered him or I lost him (and he died somewhere).  All my buckets were outside or filled with a ton of electrical I didn't know what to catch him with...and he was a fast hopper!  I finally cornered him between 2 shoes and managed to scoop him into one and took him outside...where I found a huge toad hopping across the concrete in front of our door.  I'm sure he will be happier outside.

Today the builders got the 3 walls up and the wood and tar paper for the roof! 

Lily is now 17 months old, and is running and climbing all over and talking quite a bit (though a lot of her words don't sound quite right- such as "bwaa" means blanket).  I took her to the park today- and she was all over the equipment- I could barely keep up with her- and had to run down the ladders to catch her at the bottom- so I got my exercise.  She really wanted to go down one big tall tunnel slide that I thought was a bit big for her- so I went down with her- and I honestly almost got stuck at the bottom!!  It was really short- and I stopped sliding- so I couldn't sit up and get off- so I pretty much had to wiggle on my back to get down more to get out (with my big 7 month pregnant belly)- meanwhile Lily was off and running to the next obstacle.  Next time we go I may have to recruit a second helping body! Lily absolutely LOVED it though- we stayed for about 45 minutes, 20 minutes of which she just wanted to be on the swing (one of her favorite things).  After being on that long- I took her out- she went down one slide then went right back to the swing!

We also went and let our tadpoles (which we captured from my mom's pond) go in Lake Winona- where there is a lot of algae for them.  Since we are leaving for Alaska on Monday, and we have been pretty busy- I thought they would be happy there.  Lily has enjoyed watching them- but I think she enjoyed the baby ducks we saw at the lake even more.  One mama duck had 12 babies- they were still all soft and fuzzy- very cute!...and they came VERY close to us!

After the lake- we went to the Lakeview Rootbeer Stand, and Lily had a few french fries with me and some root beer (things she does not get very often).  I also let her ride on the mini merry go round 4 times- which she thought was quite wonderful.  For 25 cents it actually goes around quite a few times- and we invited some other kids to join us (as it doesn't charge per kid)- so a bunch of kids had a good time =) How excited she gets about this little merry go round really makes me want to take her on a big one!  The county fair is this week- so I just might have to take her.  She would enjoy all the animals and one of the kiddy rides.

We then went to Menards to get more perennials (Jim asked if I really wanted to buy more flowers when I am already so busy).  The answer is yes- because these flowers will actually save me time.  Right now my raised bed around the septic pipes is 95% weeds which I keep pulling out so it doesn't look awful.  In the 5% that has daylilies the wedding goes SO much faster- because they block some of the weeds from growing and take up some of the room---and they just started blooming and look nice, if I can keep the rest of the weeds down enough where you can see them!  So- I spent $25 on perennials-  2 coreopsis plants, a big coneflower, and 2 more yellow daylilies. I will have to take a picture of the coreopsis and coneflower leaves to remember what they look like in the spring (so I don't weed them out)- but hopefully they will all spread and help fill my box with something other than a weed fest.  These are the first perennials I have added to my yard this year (though I have added some shrubs and trees I guess).  It makes me feel good to buy a few perennials each year and add to my growing flower gardens and yard.  Eventually I will have a beautiful yard full of color! =)  My "butterfly garden" by the way has about doubled this year.  My original plan was to keep all of my orchard area as natural prarie meadow with wildflowers- but starting from field, there was just too much ragweed and junk in there for me to weed it out and get it I started mowing it, and kept a small part that had milkweed and have been taking care of that area.  Now this year I have tons of milk weed in there- and it is expanding.  I even found a monarch caterpillar in there a few weeks ago- and there have been tons of butterflies visiting.  I also planted some sunflowers in a small part of it- and tossed all my old flower seeds in a small patch I tilled up (we will see if any of them grow). 

The most neglected part of my yard is my original flower garden....I did not mulch it this year, and it is getting overgrown.  I went and pulled the biggest intruders out this evening- giant ragweed and queen anne's lace (which I like, but it was towering over my flowers- I left a little in the back).  The biggest problem is that the yard is completely uneven around it and I can not mow up to it- so huge weeds tower all around it, and there is no real lines defining my garden.  I need to move my flowers to a better place- though the dirt here is really good, and they are very well established there...they are so pretty I hate to risk moving them.  I have 2 giant white lilies that are blooming right now that are huge and beautiful!  My bee balm is getting close to blooming- once things bloom out I will attempt to move at least some of them one at a time.  My peones I especially need to move- they are really getting huge and spreading (and starting to block other things out).  Good intentions....we will see what I get done!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Tomorrow we start again!

Round 3 of building begins tomorrow!  We will be taking this loft off our original cabin part (this is an old photo- it has walls and built in shelves that I spent a long time making....
AND- we are adding onto our 2nd story from the new addition- making a full 2nd floor across the whole 14x16 foot original cabin and putting in a bathroom (with a tub) and another kid room for Lily.  New baby will then get the nursery- which is already pretty much set up for him! He will probably spend the first couple months in our room anyways- so hopefully by then Lily's room (and she) will be ready for the change.  The construction crew arrives in the morning to start (so hopefully it is not raining like it has been pretty much the last 2 weeks!)

To get ready for this, Jim had to disconnect all the lights, fans, etc in the kitchen and bathroom, and we had to move everything out- including the upper cabinets, etc. 
 We put some things in my storage container (garage), and the rest is in the rest of our house.  It will work for awhile- I think we have a decent setup, but I do look forward to having my kitchen back to normal.
One of my more immediate concerns is going to the bathroom while the roof is off...since our bathroom is going to have no roof- and there will probably be a bunch of guys working up there all day.  As a very pregnant lady- I use the bathroom A LOT.  So.....I'm thinking my best option is to go behind our sand hill outside (I don't THINK they could see me there from the roof).  Of course, this will be made a little harder by Lily following after me- as I can't even go to the bathroom inside without her clinging to my legs very often. I may just need to run errands in town (Melrose 7 miles away has a BP) quite often.  Jim says not to worry about it- it will only be a couple days before it is covered....but that doesn't exactly solve my problem for tomorrow.  So- we will see. 

I am excited about our addition- especially the tub for Lily- I know she will LOVE it!  She enjoys her baths in the sink, but it is getting smaller for her- and she is interested in pouring water much more now...and the counter sometimes becomes the place to pour during bathtime.  It will also be nice when baby 2 is a bit bigger to let them both play in the tub and take baths together. 

Arlo is healing from his dog attack....he went to visit the neighbors last week, as he often does, and a visiting dog was eating and attacked him.  One of the wounds was especially deep- but they said he didn't need stitches- just antibiotic and no swimming for 10 days.  It has already been about that- but it still looks too open for dirty water. The gnats have been especially pestering him, and I haven't wanted to leave him outside for all that long- they just get right in there.  He hasn't been wanting to stay out very long either- so I think they really bother him.  I think he is getting especially bored!  It is getting a LOT better though- so I think by next week it will be closed enough for swimming. 

On Thursday, Jim leaves for Alaska- he is going to Cordova to install a Bergy wind Turbine at Boswell Bay.  Lily and I are flying out for a week to join him on Monday.  I am very excited about the trip and being in AK again, seeing the ocean, and not being without Jim for a week...but to be honest, I am dreading the flight!  I haven't even been going to church lately, because keeping Lily sitting for an hour is a next to impossible task (and my church is too small for a nursery).  So....5 1/2 hours with her having to be on my lap the whole time will be rather interesting!  We will get by though!  I have been thinking of games and things I can bring to entertain her. Luckily, she loves books and puzzles, so that will help.  I do feel sorry for the people that will be around us though, as there is bound to be a bit of protesting!  Maybe she will take a nap for part of the time?!    I know she will love seeing the ocean and everything though.  Lucky girl- going to AK 2 times before she is 2!!  While it may not be as convenient for keeping toddlers still- having them ride on your lap sure saves $$!
With the trip to AK, building, etc- I have a feeling August 28th (my due date) will be here before I know it! While it is hard to ignore my giant belly, and I am excited about the coming baby, I guess I don't think about it all that much- things are just busy I guess.  I have been trying to imagine what it will be like with 2 kids...busy I know.  Tiring the first few months for sure- but I think I will like it.  I do worry a little bit about how Lily will feel with a baby needing a lot of attention.... and I hope she doesn't get pleasure in trying to run him over with her train rider, the way she does with Arlo lately...  =) She has been understanding so much though- and she is able to do simple things to help out- like throw something away, getting her own diaper, feeding the cat and the dog (with a little spillage- but she does try to pick it up, too).  She is getting smarter everyday- it is really amazing.  She is putting together peg puzzles now, stacks sorting cups on her own, builds a 6 block tower, etc.  It is hard to imagine all the things she will learn in the next few months.....

Jim is now finishing up the computer drawing of our floor plans, with all the measurements.  Occasionally I help by measuring something (closet depth, window height, etc).  He has been working really hard this weekend getting ready for tomorrow.  He even took off a bunch of our siding to get ready for demolition...which will save us some money.  Instead he paid with blood- the mosquitos have been nasty this weekend!! If my legs looked like his I would be going crazy!  I have no restraint when it comes to itching....I can tolerate pain a lot better than I can itchiness! Hopefully the mosquitos at our place won't drive the carpenters away!  I was going to take Lily for a walk to see the neighbor's horses this evening, but after a bunch of rain- they were just too horrid...I was constantly having to swat them off her- even when she was walking fast, so we gave up and ran inside. 
Well, I guess that is the news for now- time for bed soon, as people will probably be arriving early!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Time!- Berry picking and cooking!

Now that I have more time I have been able to cook more!  I even got out strawberry picking with Lily last week- and she had a great time!  She stuck closer than I thought she would- and once she discovered she could eat the berries- she was all in!!  She previously has refused to eat them, so I was surprised!  The blue bowl shows what Lily picked! =)  The muffins I made were carrot and sweet potato...with applesauce instead of sugar/lots of butter.  Finally- she is getting some vitamin A! Lily is so much fun right now- I am really truly enjoying this age!

John and Richelle's wedding

 A very laid back wedding- short and sweet! =)
 Lily really enjoyed this screen door which opened very easily.
 John and Richelle singing and playing together. They are a match well made!

A couple of weeks ago, Jim, Lily and I took a trip up to Eveleth MN for John and Richelle's wedding.  It was held outside near a lake.  Unfortunately, it rained- but mostly it was just drizzly and we were still able to be outside- it was still pretty nice out.  Lily heard a dog bark when we first arrived, and spent a big chunk of the evening running around calling for Arlo and collecting sticks for him...she missed her puppy!  We took Lily back to the hotel about 7 and Jim stayed with her, while I went back to hear some of the live music.  Here are some pictures from the wedding, and of Lily having a pillow fort with Jim in the hotel....she has been very attached to her Daddy lately.  She has stopped even saying "Momma"but says Daddy all the we are working on Momma again!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Up North! Bublitz Weeked 2014

Today was our first day back from our annual trip up to the cabin north of Grand Marais, off the Gunflint Trail for the Bublitz family reunion.  We started up Thursday night (Jim, Arlo, Lily and I) and spent the night in Superior- driving the rest of the way Friday morning.  We stopped at Betty's Pies by Two Harbors and visited with one of Jim's college friends (and his family) which was fun.  They had a daughter that was almost 4 and a baby boy (maybe 9-10 months old?) Lily had a great time seeing the kids and chased the little girl all over after breakfast- which wore her out enough to sleep most of the way. 
   It rained most of Friday and Saturday, so we spent most of the time at the Struve's cabin, visiting with cousins and playing with ALL the kids!  It was loud and crazy, and a lot of fun! Sunday, after taking a dunk in the lake (Jim and Arlo swam, but it was COLD), Jim went home with Wayne and Grandma back home, and Lily, Arlo and I stayed up another day with my mom.  The sun came out and it felt great!  Lily had a long bath on the porch, which I finally had to end because I was afraid she would get sunburned.  We went on a boat ride and saw a couple beaver- but no moose on this trip.  Lily liked the boat- but it was tricky getting her to the boat without her getting all bit up.  The black flies liked me- but luckily they stayed off Lily for the most part.  I had a cribbage tournament with mom after Lily went to sleep (which I won).  On the way home the next day we stopped at Kitchigami on Lake Superior and Arlo swam a bit more.  Lily enjoyed all the rocks and playing in the rock puddles....she was pretty wet and needed to be changed before we left.  She also had fun picking up sticks....and had a bit of a fit when I made her drop them before getting in the car.  It was a fun weekend- and I really enjoyed seeing my cousins- I don't see them nearly enough!