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Showing posts from 2011
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So, Merry Christmas 2011!! A quiet day around here. It's funny..I ran into a neighbor yesterday in Fred Meyer. He commented how he noticed how our house has "quieted down".  Sigh.  But anyways, Christmas. The girls were spoiled of course. I made a big dinner, which is ironic because it was about 10x too large for us.  I got a pasta maker and am obsessed with making fresh pasta with turkey eggs.  To top off the day our dog Ruby, who we didn't know was pregnant, has just given birth to 3 pups. They are clearly half Karelian Bear dogs. Oops. Time to get her fixed...we just didn't know she was in the position to get bred.  Just another thing to add to the list before the move to California.  On that front, I am applying for a job on January 1 with the Sonoma County Public Defender.  As such, I will be keeping this blog private for a long, long time.  I will continue writing on it.  I have to figure out an easy way to get photos from my iPhone to the blog.  I have ema…
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So, Kadee's first concert! She is in the green on the right. I sat in the dark and cried. Cried with pride and the passage of time. I'm not sure that I have the right choices for our life. But big changes are coming. A job has opened up in Santa Rosa and I am applying.





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So, it looks likely that we will be moving to Santa Rosa within the next 6 or 8 months. I feel Alaska passing behind me as keenly as a blade. God I will miss this place until I can come back. But I am realizing something that I should have known a long, long time ago. After your health and the safety of your family, money is the most important thing in the world. I'm sorry, but it is. You only live once. And money is the key to happiness. I want my girls to have horses. Travel. Take music lessons. Want for nothing. And money is the key to it all. So we must leave. Start 'over' again in California. We will buy a convertible. Go for dinner in San Fran. Go to Tuscany. Darwin. Maui. Get horses. I will drink good wine and eat good beef. I will work hard and, for once, be paid for my considerable talents as a lawyer. And until then, I will enjoy every day in this magical place. There will be no day too cold or dark.  I am still bored.  But I have started learning Spanish.  Soo…
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So, if I may say so I am feeling a little bored. The lack of folks to do things with is wearing on me. I even spent a part of both days this weekend in the office! To compensate, I have been buying technology. I got J and I an iPhone and holy crap! That is the best thing I have ever owned.  Facetime is unimaginably cool.  The only thing I need to do is figure out how to sync the phone to my laptop.  That would save me the step of having to email pictures to myself.  All the pictures in this post were taken with the iPhone and I am impressed. To help the kids, I got a Kinect for the Xbox. That thing blows my mind too. Otherwise not much is new. I am about to start working on the house again after a seven month delay. And while I still have no details, it still seems likely that this is our last winter here. I will miss it. Of course, this time of the winter is still magical to me.  I really don't have much to report I am afraid.  Everyone is doing relatively well.  Kadee is enjoyin…
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So, it seems certain that my Alaska experiment is over. I don't have it all figured out so I expect those of you who read this to KEEP YOUR MOUTHS SHUT! But I would say as I sit right now, that there is a 100% chance that my family will be in California or Victoria BC within 8 or 9 months. Maybe much, much sooner. I've had it. So has J. And at this point I don't have a choice. I said to J the other day that I would miss Alaska if we left. Her reponse? You can "either miss Alaska or miss your kids". She is done with the cold and the isolation. But before I make it sound like I blaming J, I have my own issues. I have no friends here. Nobody to do the things in Alaska that I love. I am certainly not getting rich. And my buddy Jeremy is now in a position to invite me to come down and practice with him. I spent the last 5 years living in Alaska. Broke. With an unhappy wife. Making bad choices. He spent the same time becoming a multi millionaire. And I don't give a…
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So, I'm sitting in Victoria trying to figure out what to do with my life. About to board the plane so I will write later. It turns out that I have two pretty darned good choices and I will have talk to J and make a choice. I had a good (but short) visit) and I am glad I came. I am going to Seattle now for my new TN visa. I am nervous. Here I go....


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So, happy birthday Sasha!  Already one.  Frightening.  I don't know you that well yet but I know a few things about you.  You are already beautiful but you are going to be stunning as a woman.  You have a temper (surprise!).  You laugh a lot.  You went from not moving much to *almost* crawling in just the last few days.  Another week and you will be terrifying the house with your movements.  I love your 4 little teeth, although you hate me looking at them.  I love how you get excited and you kind of squeak.  Of course almost everything excites you so just sound happy almost all the time.  I can't wait until you are on your feet and talking and I can really get to know 'you'.  Of course, if that time comes anywhere near as fast as it took you to get a year old, it will just fly by.  I hope you had a good day baby girl.  I love you. 
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So, I feel like I haven't blogged in forever. At the same time, there hasn't been much to write about. Winter started today with a decent snowfall. Damn. I was hoping it would wait until tomorrow. Then at least there would only be snow for 6 months.  Despite the cold, we took the kids trick or treating tonight.    AJ dressed as a dinosaur (she loves anything dinosaur) but about 5 minutes into it, she declared that she looked 'redickwewous' and refused the wear the hat. God I love that kid.  I wish there was more to report.  I have returned from my annual conference.  To be honest, I was more interested in looking for gold than attending the conference.   I am reading an excellent book right now. It is called 'Aftershock' and basically argues that the US is screwed economically. It suggests that gold will be a big deal in the very near future.  But I had fun digging for gold this summer and have enjoyed looking for it since.  Not a lot of luck yet, but soon.  N…
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So, I haven't blogged in a while. I've been sick. In fact we were all sick for about a month. It was 'just' a cold but with a cough, gummed up eyes, runny nose and the rest of it, we have all been miserable.  Not much else to say.  No adventures.  Waiting for winter....I had an opportunity to get some more wood so I bought a new chainsaw today.  $400 I didn't want to spend but the last one lasted 8 years and that is all we heat with.  Managed to get some amazing spruce and birch today.  And that is most adventure I have had in about a month.  To be frank, I have been mostly suffering over what to do with my (our) life.  I have to say that for the first time EVER in my life, I am beginning to feel trapped.  My poor choices throughout the years have boxed us in.  5 plus years in Alaska and we are worse off financially than when we came here.  But I realize that the time to make decisions is not when I am sick.  So I will wait.....I have to go to my annual conference…
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So, fall in Alaska continues. For me, that means killing hogs. Digging potatoes. Enjoying the first fires that are needed and not merely for ambience. Now that I spent the day butchering, I can really say I am ready for winter.  I'm not quite sure how I am going to spend the next 7 months.  That may sound odd given I have 3 kids.  Am swamped at work.  Have things to do to the house.  But it is hard for me to be 'inactive'.  As I go into my sixth winter in Alaska, we will see how many more I have here.  It is no surprise to those of you reading how unhappy I am here.  With this job.  I love being a public defender but the politics of working for the State......well not so much.  Plus I have noticed a real change in how cases are prosecuted and I am concerned about how my practice is going to change.   Anyways, not much new around here.  I guess the most exciting thing was Sasha sitting up on her own last Friday.  No more babies for us..We have all been sick (again) and that…
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So, our last camping trip of the year. A beautiful weekend, despite the fact that we are all sick. The leaves in this part of Alaska are just stunning at this time of the year, and we were treated to a great sunset down at Anchor Point beach. Not much is new with me. I vested in the State retirement system over the weekend. I am now free to leave the State and take my retirement with me. To those who are wondering: there is no immediate plan. I will be asking for a TN Visa renewal again, but I am thinking about flying down to Victoria for a few days this time. I might as well make the best of a stressful situation. I really don't know what I am doing with my life but I just feel ready to do something different. School is going well for Kadee. She has already learned the value of a weekend...it makes me laugh. Sasha is growing like a weed. It's going to be a crazy week. Work is insane and I have a bunch of peronal things to do too, like send in the 2011 appeals for the girls …
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So, selling the toys and not having anyone to do something with has meant a quiet fall indeed. I was going to take the family camping this weekend but it was supposed to rain. What do you think happened? It turned out to be one the nicest weekends ever! So of course I feel like I have done 'nothing'. I dug potatoes with the kids. Cooked. Hung out here and did a few household chores. I don't feel any more rich since I sold the boat and the Rhino...I just feel way more bored. If I could have, I would have gone to the Lake today. It must have been stunning out there. The house is about ready for winter, except for killing the hogs, which I will do in the next few weeks. A little gardening and we are ready to settle in. I had my first meal of the year where almost everything was from the yard...I really do love fall in Alaska. I just wished it lasted a little longer. There are a couple things I hope to do before freeze up. I still want to take the family camping once. I hope …
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So, Kadee's first day of school. I know everyone says this but good lord time flies. It really makes me think about our future.














In another blink of an eye, it will be this one who is off to school.
I vest in the State retirement in a few weeks, my 5 year anniversary with the State. Not that Tier 4 is anything to brag about. I do NOT contribute to social security and, according to the numbers I have run over and over and over, I will be over a MILLION dollars short of what I need to retire. And all my money is in the market. What is some fund manager decides that "Enron" is a good place for my money? I could work my entire life and have nothing! I am getting sick of that idea. So. I want to do something big. I have two choices: first, I can think about money.  I looked at some paperwork today.  When I moved to Alaska 5 years ago, I owed about $49,000 (other than mortgage).  Now, after paying thousands per month, I owe $55,000!  I now own no toys.  No Rhino.  Boat.  Sno…
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So, they're home! To be honest that 6 weeks sure went by quick. It was amazing to see them again. The doors opened up and Kadee yelled "Daddy" and there they were.  Now it is time to get them settled in.  Kadee starts school (two weeks late) next Tuesday.  Then we will make some decisions about our life.  I made this blog private again for a few reasons, primarily that I have applied again for a position with the International Criminal Court in The Hague.  I am increasingly unhappy as a public defender in Kenai.  Even though this is now private, I won't talk about the reasons why.  I will see where my life takes me.  But not right now.  For tonight I have my girls sleeping just a few feet away.  A fire is going.  A good whiskey is beside me.  A long weekend is coming up.  Life is good tonight.





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So, the last few weeks without the family has been revealing. It has made me realize that I really have no friends here in Alaska. I'm sure those of you who think that I am an asshole won't be surprised.  I have people who I am friendly with but I don't have any really close buddies here  Bill: don't get BH.  Ever since Jesse left for law school at Spokane I don't have anyone to do the things I like.  And now that I have sold the boat and Rhino, I am concerned about how to fill 'my' time (i.e the time that I have just for me).  When I really think about, the one person who has always been there in the last fifteen years is Jeremy.  It doesn't matter what it is...and especially money, Jeremy has always been there.  But he lives in California.  I know J is unhappy here.  It just strikes me as odd: when we lived in California, we always had the best dinners.  The best parties.  Even back in law school, I would have people over for Sunday dinner.  My house…
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So,  the family is still stuck in Europe.  I still have no idea when they will be home.  Kadee was supposed to start school today but that didn't happen of course.  The Embasssy says they have issued the visa and given it to the courier for delivery but the courier says they haven't been called.  What a joke.  I hope to have some answers very soon.  In other news, the Defense Rests is gone.  Makes me sad how much money I lost on her but it is for the best.  I have been organizing, cleaning and repairing all my outdoor gear and putting it away for another long, long winter.  Fall will be here any day.  The weather has turned rainy, which is common in Alaska in August.  I'm annoyed because once again my garden has turned into a giant slug fest.  I am either going to do something totally different or just bag the garden next year....the amount of energy and money for the food is NOT worth it.  I know many people do it, but I can't seem to grow a decent garden in Alaska. …
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So, Tustumena lake. My favorite place on Earth.  One last ride on the Defense Rests. We ran across this little feller fishing.  Becky, of course, was growling and wanted to have a go with him.  God I love that dog.   I have sold the boat.  The Rhino too.  No toys left.  All must go in my quest to find something different.  It's not Alaska.  I don't know what it is.  But I will miss the crap out of that lake.  I don't know where my future is.  It is hard to think clearly in a silent house.  First: get my family home.  Second, think about our future.  Lately I have found myself at a loss.  I have always been able to do what I what I wanted with my life.  Sway a room with my charm.  But is it that I am getting older?  That I have lost some of 'me'?  I don't know.  All I know is that I miss my kids.  I will miss that lake.  Some of my happiest memories are there.......today I saw the first yellow leaves out there.  Winter is coming.....

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So, I miss the crap out of my kids. There is only one benefit: when I clean something it stays that way.  The house is spotless.  I am detailing the vehicles.  The yard is clean. I like it a lot.  I have no firm news on when the family is coming home.....so to stay busy I am cleaning and then being amazed when it is still clean when I come home....


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So, my vacation is over.  We had a good time.  However, the good feelings from two weeks of fishing, camping, gold panning, shooting, boating, hiking and just relaxing ended this morning.  This morning some government official in Germany denied J entry back into the US.  By extension, that included my daughters (I can't go to Germany and get the kids obviously).  The reason was BS: a problem with her TD visa.  I can only imagine her day...for it gets worse.  They deny her entry.  So she goes to get her luggage and the car seat is missing.  She is trying to text me but her phone is running out of credits.  She goes to buy a ticket back to England and discovers that the "emergency" credit card I sent her with has expired and is declined.  3 kids.  Luggage.  No money.  No credit card.  Stranded in Europe.  God that must have sucked.  I have to get on this.  I will get her home but it will likely take weeks and cost me thousands of dollars.  I just sold the Rhino and was ho…