Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Some Alaska Photos

Caribou. We were working nearby and passed over them as we flew away. Made a quick photo stop.
Mount Hesperus and the view from the back porch of the lodge that I'm staying in. Haven't seen the top of the mountain since this photo was taken.

A tributary of the Windy (like blowing not winding) Fork of Big River.
En route to sampling for the day.

A flower.

Winding river.

I've actually tried to download some cool video I've taken but the internet can't handle it. So I've been befuddled. I wanted to share some of the better photos. Sorry for the repetition, those of you on facebook that have. already seen these.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Alaska Day1/2

Hi Family (and whoever else). I'm not even sure anyone pays attention to this blog anymore. I know I've been off the radar in blog land, but this seems like a good way to stay in touch while I'm gone. Not to mention it probably doesn't hurt to document some of my experiences.

The crew I'm working with left Denver at 10:30 last night (though it seems like 3 nights ago) and landed in Anchorage at 3 in the morning (5 hour flight). We got a few hours of sleep in a hotel and left for a small village named Aniak this morning. It was a beautiful flight, especially flying over the Alaska Range. We passed over several glaciers and jagged peaks, but couldn't see Denali through the clouds. Aniak is on the west side of the Alaska Range and is lower in elevation, next to the slow, meandering Kuskokwim River (one of the larger rivers in Alaska). There are some mountains nearby, which we flew really close to on the way to the mining camp where we'll be staying and working near during the next two weeks or so.

The first photo below is leaving Aniak on a Cessna 206. You can see the Kuskokwim River and the mountains that are shown in the next photo. I forgot the name of the range (it's a smaller one). The third photo is of the landing strip at camp, which sits on the hill at the top of the landing strip. The forth photo is my temporary digs (mine is the one with the open door). It's a little rustic but the camp as all the amenities (for example, I'm posting this from my tent via wifi).

Well, that's about all I feel like typing for tonight. For all the family at the reunion, I love you and wish I could have been there to see you all. And of course I love and miss you, Erin. I'm sure you'll all go on fine without me!

Friday, December 10, 2010

First Gingerbread House

I wanted to post some of the photos of my first gingerbread house attempt. Mom provided a lot of consultation help so I thought the least I could do is let her see how things turned out.

I didn't think about the fact that the roof needed to sit on angled walls until all the gingerbread was done. I broke the front while cutting the triangular top. Erin's sister, Aliesha, came over to help and witness the madness. It was nice to have some extra hands.

I ALSO put the walls together wrong so the shape of the roof was all wrong. Some retrofitting was necessary. Kaya was close by and very interested throughout the whole project.

Decorations were strategically located to cover up patching and retrofitting. I love the roof icing, you can't even tell that I screwed up!

We decorated gingerbread cookies, too. Three types of frosting!!! That is our fancy new pre-lit fake tree. It makes our house look awesome and Christmasy. The whole thing made me feel pretty domestic but at the same time figuring out how to salvage the situation to make the house look somewhat normal was challenging and fun. I'm planning to do one again next year. Hopefully having learned from some of my mistakes. I can't believe how awesome Mom's gingerbread houses were. This was a ton of work and wasn't even in the same class as Mom's creations!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Under Contract

We just took a big step toward being first-time homeowners by going under contract earlier this afternoon!

The stability of my work situation has improved quite a bit lately (whole other story) so we decided to "explore the possibilities" to determine what we could do based on our savings and our comfort with monthly payments by visiting a mortgage broker. We met with the broker two weeks ago from this past Friday (crazy fast, we know). With our pre-approval figured out we hit the pavement to look at homes. We focused on 3 or 4 areas that had houses we liked in our price range. We've been running around like crazy people trying to get in under the $8000 tax credit.

We saw the house that we liked best on Wednesday evening and had an offer together late the next night. The place is in west Arvada, with Westminister less than a mile to the east and Denver city limits to the south. We have spent that past 3 days in negotiations and came to an agreement earlier this afternoon. We're really excited to move forward with the process and I hope that posting this isn't a jinx. I guess a lot can happen between now and closing. Our closing date is June 22nd and move-in would be June 25th. We're both really excited, and a little nervous.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Exciting Friday Night

Now you've done it. I broke the blog seal, and now it's just a place for me to write even more than I already do on Facebook. I apologize in advance.

I had to report that I just attended the most exciting sporting event ever, at least for me. Joel said he's been to more exciting high school/college games, but I guess I went to lame schools or I have a short memory. We saw the Nuggets play the Cavs and we won by 2 points. And we had good seats (I love this Nick guy who works for the Nuggets who likes to get me tickets). Anyway, it was the most fun I've had at any game of any kind. I was disappointed in LeBron though, I partly went to see this supposed super star and didn't get much of a show. But my Nugs won so I can't complain. And I got to see my boy Billups after he's been injured for many games so that was good too. Oh yeah, and Joel caught one of those plastic balls the mascot throws into the stands so I even have a souvenir!

And THEN...I know, it's hard to believe there's more :)...walking home from the train station, we saw the little fox who lives in our park and who we often see during cold weather. I've named him Foxy, original I know. He was laying under a big tree right by the sidewalk and we got about 2 yards from him before he saw us. He sat up, turned around in a circle, layed down again in a more comfortable position I guess, and didn't run away until I pushed my luck and tried to get closer for a picture. It was strangely exciting for a country girl like me, having never seen a fox close-up before. He was very cute. And small, about half the size of Kaya if not smaller.

OK, the end. Sorry no pictures this time, and I promise not to turn this into my personal rambling blog. I just had to share the good end to a crappy week.


Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Morrison Holidays

Well, I'm finally giving in and posting on Joel's blog. I fear he will never do it himself again...you'll all just have to harass him into it. :)

We had a good Christmas in Denver and New Year's in Bozeman. This was the first year I haven't gone home to NY at all so that was hard, but I guess getting there every year until I'm 32 isn't so bad (don't tell my mom that though, she said it didn't make her feel any better). I don't know if it was our job worries or not going home or what, but I never got into the spirit much and we didn't even end up getting a tree. A nice centerpiece that my mom sent helped though...it even smelled good.

Joel also got motivated one Sunday and put lights up...

We spent New Year's Eve at our friend's, Lisa and Aaron's, house. They cooked the traditional Italian Christmas Eve 7 fishes dinner. It was amazing. We opened gifts together at our house Christmas morning, including those that family had sent. Everyone was very generous, thank you.

Kaya even got her very own squirrel to destroy -- I think it helped her feel better that she can never catch the ones in the park.

Then we spent the rest of the day in Longmont with Mike, Susan, and all the family. We had a great time, had good food, and unfortunately watched the Nuggets lose. The place was a zoo...literally...and I loved it!

After another short week at work, we made the long drive to Bozeman on New Year's Eve and spent a couple of days with good friends. We celebrated 2010 at the local bowling alley, saw a bunch of people over the next couple of days, and watched a lot of Glee. The perfect weekend.

We came back to Denver on Sunday, celebrated the Boise win on Monday, both had job interviews on Tuesday, and are currently watching a boring championship game that Joel is convinced Boise would do well in. I have to agree. I found out today that I didn't get the job I interviewed for on Tuesday -- it was violence prevention with the state health dept and I would have loved to get the job, so I'm pretty disappointed. I guess I'll stick with what I've got for now -- I started the Interim Executive Director job on December 16 so I will keep plugging along. Joel's interview was with the state mining reclamation division and he felt like it went well, no word on their decision yet. And he has another interview with a consulting firm on Monday. So we continue to cross our fingers and stay hopeful about his job search. In the meantime, he still likes his temp job and they are committed to keeping him on as long as they can.

That's about it from here. Wishing you all a happy, healthy, peaceful 2010. Phew, that was tiring, wasn't it Kaya?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

4-day weekends, hit-and-runs, and meat boxes

It's been a pretty eventful past 2-3 weeks, as many of you know. I started a temporary, part-time job at the Denver Metro Wastewater Treatment District (sewage treatment plant) this week, just a week and a half after arriving in Denver. I'm helping out with their annual fish sampling in the South Platte River and am basically a grunt doing whatever else needs to be done. They are responsible for monitoring chemical and biological conditions in the river as part of their effluent discharge permit. The positives of the job are that I have work and money coming in, I enjoy the chance to work mostly outside for a bit, the work is in line with my education and experience, and the people I work with seem great so far. I think its tough to be working in a position that I'm way overqualified for and also don't love how you don't really feel a "part of something" as a temporary employee, but I'm happy that I was able to line something up so soon after getting to Denver as an unemployed person (now I'm just under-employed).

Erin felt fully initiated into urban living a couple of weeks ago when our little Ford Focus was side-swiped in a hit-and-run while she was at the art museum. Fortunately, someone saw the whole thing happen, got the driver's license plate number, and called the police. We let our insurance company know what happened and the Denver Police (last we heard) are tracking down the driver. We're hoping for the best. After my hit-and-run experience in Bozeman I don't have a lot of faith that this is going to turn out well for us. I know, I should be more positive, but I feel like I've been down this road before.

In more exciting news. We are the proud new owners of a large box or meat. We were visited by a door-to-door meat salesman on Friday evening and he left us with 4 new york steaks, 4 Kansas City steaks, 8 fillet mignons, 8 bacon-wrapped tenderloins, and 24 patties of chopped beef. We declined the box-o-pork due to limited freezer space (we're not suckers). Looks like it will be a steak night tonight (and tomorrow. . .). We'll have to start jogging a little more I think. Or there's always Statin.