Monday, December 24, 2007

MERRY CHRISTMAS (eve)!!!!!!!!!!!

To us, it's Christmas, so please forgive us being a little early! (Though, now that it's taken me so long to get this blog done, it's officially Christmas on the east coast!)

Jason volunteered for Christmas duty since we're a kidless family, so we pushed our Christmas celebration up a day, and just pretended that today was Christmas. I have to say, it felt like it!!!

After a lovely 7:47am call from my Mom (yes, Mom, I checked... 7:47), and then a follow-up 8:15am call from Ryan, we gave up on going back to sleep and rolled out of bed. (Note to everyone - it is four hours earlier here than it is on the east coast!!!!) While I was making myself presentable for pictures, Jason yelled upstairs to look outside if I felt like I needed a little Christmas spirit. We got probably about 5 inches of snow overnight last night!! Unfortunately, it quickly turned into rain, but has since switched back to snow. Apparently, Kodiak Island is under a blizzard warning for today and tomorrow, with snow and wind gusting to 80mph at times! We had plans to head out to the base for a party this evening, but the drive around "Deadman's Curve" (I'm not kidding, that's what it's called!) in the dark seemed like more than we needed to risk just for a little bit of fun! Instead, luckily, our friends Melissa and Aaron (who live in walking distance!) planned a last minute party, so we'll be heading over there in a few minutes (and, again, since it took me so long to get this done, we're actually back from the party!). We won't be walking, though, since this is about what it looks like out there!




Actually, now that I look at this picture again, that's GOOD compared to what it's like out now!!! YIKES! Church 5 hours from now could be interesting!!!!!


So, as I said, we got up a little after 8 this morning, and got ourselves all set for our "Christmas" morning. We feel very blessed in that our tree looked as though we had never sent any gifts out to family - there was all kinds of stuff under there!!! Jason and I probably went a little overboard on each other, too... but the new budget starts next week, so next Christmas probably won't be like that. I'm excited because my big gift was a macro lense for my camera - a lense specifically meant for taking VERY close up pictures. Since that's my favorite anyway, I think I'll be getting a LOT of use out of that! Jason's big gift was the starter kit for his own home beer kegging system. He had a hunch that's what he was getting, but I assured him that "over my dead body" would I allow an ugly college-kid kegerator in my house!!! With the right self-made cabinetry (right, Jim?!), though, it won't look like a college set-up, and will be a nice upgrade to his brewing hobby. He's excited to not have to bottle anymore (which takes more time, and makes you have to wait longer for the beer as it carbonates in the bottle), and I'm excited at the prospect of a regular supply of blackberry wheat on tap! I'd post a picture of Jason opening the box with the supplies in it, but all the pics I took make it look like I was trying to blur the individual to protect the innocent or something, so we'll skip those! Instead, here's a sample shot of a couple of gifts from Maryanne and Jim. Unfortunately, we have no pics of us opening gifts from Mom and Dad, because we were actually chatting with Mom on the speakphone as we opened! So, here's Jason with his new bear beer tap, and me with a fabulous down vest!!




Although we got Fred a couple new toys for the big day, he, of course, was more interested in the wrapping paper. He was so interested, in fact, that he would stare at us as we unwrapped, waiting for us to ball up the paper and throw it into the pile for him! Eventually, he just buried himself in the giant pile, and rooted around for a while. Somewhere in that pile are four very nice new toys, complete with rope, felt and stuffing, suitable for dogs. Note that there is actually a piece of wrapping paper IN Fred's mouth in this shot. Yep, sure am glad I spent that money on the toys. Jason said we shouldn't bother, but I didn't listen!!





The cool thing about having Christmas a day early was that it wasn't actually a holiday, so the post office was still open. That came in handy when some last minute gifts came in from Maryanne and Jim. Of course, we missed the second package slip in the mail (they don't deliver packages bigger than a mailbox here... we have to go get them), so Jason made two trips to the post office in our winter wonderland. I just had to share a shot of his first run - I made him go before he had the chance to put real clothes on or anything. Sadly, he fit right in without anyone batting an eye in this get up!



Doesn't he look Kodiak fabulous?!!? And, for those with a keen eye, you'll see that he's sporting his XtraTuffs, which I referenced in our Christmas party post. XtraTuffs are fully accepted as everyday wear here in Kodiak... just not as formal wear. On a day like today, they're almost necessary!



Speaking of referencing old blog entries - I had to share the contrast of our giant Thanksgiving dinner with the Koehlers to our intimate Christmas late lunch by ourselves. Jason decided on steaks, which he was probably regretting when he saw the weather out there today, but he braved the storm to cook us up some NY strips. My job was the mashed potatoes and zucchini. It's a little sad to see the table, but we REALLY enjoyed it. It was nice to have a quiet dinner with little fuss, lots of flavor, and the chance to just sit and enjoy each other for a little while.


I know, it's not much, but it was nice! We think you should learn something new everyday. Today, we learned that Jason and I have been married a LOOOOOONG time. How did we figure that out? We opened our cards to each other. I'll leave it at that.


I thought that was too funny not to share!

Again, it took me forever to get this blog done, so we're back from Aaron and Melissa's - we had a great time and it was so nice that it worked out that they could throw something together real quick! Now we're about an hour away from heading out to church... we'll be giving ourselves at least double our normal 10 minutes to get there since the snow is blowing around so much that we're seeing white out conditions. It'll be slow going, but worth the trip in the end! We promised we'd call Mom when we got back so she'd be sure to start her Christmas morning nice and early, but we'll probably cut her some slack on that and just wait to chat again later in the day. Depending on the weather, I may join Jason out at the base tomorrow for dinner. If I don't feel like driving in the blizzard, though, our friends (and neighbors - handy!) Mary and Keith invited me over for dinner with them and their kids. I've also been invited for the morning gift-opening festivities, but I'm going to guess that I won't be awake time for that! I'm excited about joining them for dinner, though... it'll almost be like a taste of home - Mary is planning a few different types of soup, just like Mom does for Christmas day!

I should wrap this up. I've got to go find something that matches my snow boots to wear to church tonight. As much as I'd like to get all dressed up, tonight calls for practicality! I'm not sure exactly how much snow we've gotten, but it's not just a little bit - and it's drifting a LOT! Instead of heels, I'll sport my LL Beans (no XtraTuffs for me!), and just realize a little bit more how much I've acclimated to Kodiak!

We wish everyone the Merriest of Christmases!!!! We're missing our friends and family off the Rock, but we're also enjoying our first Christmas in our own house, surrounded by all of our new surrogate family here in Kodiak.

We love you all... Merry Christmas!!!
Becca

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ta-daaaaaaaaaa!!!!

I promised a follow-up to the Christmas tree hunting fun and here it is! We FINALLY got around to actually decorating the tree on Saturday night... only a week after we dragged it home from the woods. It DID have lights on it by Wednesday, though, so at least we had that going for us. Now I'm just crossing my fingers, hoping it'll last at least until Christmas. It's drinking water at a rate of almost 2 gallons a day, so that's good for now. But it's also lost quite a few needles, which is bad! We've heard that the trees from the woods will either last forever, or for about a week! We've made it past the one-week mark, so I hope that's a good sign!


So, here's the first stage of getting it into the house. I have to tell you all, this was a pretty funny endeavor. It came about only after about 3 trips in and out of the house to measure the ceiling height, taking a guess as to the actual location of the tree so as to take fullest advantage of the highest possible part of the sloped ceiling. Then we went back and forth on how much to take off the top versus how much to take off the bottom... or both. We ended up hacking about 2 feet off the top (I'm not kidding!), and probably about a foot from the bottom. When we got it inside, Jason had to get out the handsaw and trim a bit more off the top - that's right, it didn't fit. We couldn't take any more off the bottom, though, because we would've lost the good branches, and a LOT of height! So, as you can see in this pciture, the top was looking a little stumpy for a minute there. We just trimmed back some of the new growth on the ends of the branches, though, and it seems to be ok now. In fact, I think it's gorgeous!

It didn't get it's gorgeous-ness, though, until Jason (I love this man) took about an hour or two to string 11 light strings onto the tree. FINALLY, after how ever many Christmases we've shared together, he GOT the "I like a lot of lights" that I utter every year! Well, I got my lights! And, poor guy, he had one small branch toward the top that ended up without any lights, so he had to work in an extra string just for that one! Yep, ELEVEN strings of lights. On, I think, 10 branches! Oh, sweet! You can even see that one last branch that necessitated this last strand of lights... it wasn't even a big branch! Doesn't he look like he's really enjoying himself? I think he'd been up on the stool for about 45 minutes at that point.... better him than me!!!


So, finally, on Saturday, we got the ornaments out and up on the tree. As much as I wasn't sure about this kind of tree versus my usual full and bushy one, it was really fun to tuck ornaments in next to the trunk and over and under all the branches. What wasn't fun was the really pokey nature of these needles. YIKES!!! As if the wait to decorate wasn't bad enough, I then had to finish wrapping all the gifts we're sending out so that I could get a shot of the tree with all the pretty presents under it. Since we then had to pack everything up to send out, this was an important shot. The pokey needles and the wrapping were worth it, though... what a great tree!


And, because it's funny.... here's what it looked like after the shipping packaging! :-D


And, finally, because I bought all my Christmas cards on the post-Christmas sales last year, so no photocards will be going out, I figured I'd share this one with everyone. The Air Station had their fancy-schmancy Christmas party on Friday night, so we got all gussied up, following the dress code pretty closely! The dress code, by the way, specifically said no jeans and no Xtra Tuffs. For those that don't know, these are Xtra Tuffs...

I think there might be a Jeff Foxworthy joke in there about "You might be from Kodiak if..... "
Anyway, I think we did pretty well in throwing aside the fishing gear and pretending we don't live in the country for just a night! (Pay no attention to the fact that there are no ornaments on the tree!!!!

That's all for now, folks! Hope you enjoy the pictures!
Becca

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas in Kodiak!!!

Well, I've been meaning to get the blog updated since we got back from last weekend's festivities, but I'm sure everyone can appreciate how crazy this time of year is! I still haven't started baking yet (I'm only two weeks overdue on that), I have a pile of partially wrapped presents sitting next to my coffee table, waiting for ribbons and bows and their trips cross-country, and I STILL haven't finished shopping for Jason yet. But, we have a Christmas tree, and this is its story.


As you can imagine, with butter at the Safeway running $5.20/lb on SALE, things in Kodiak are not cheap. Christmas trees fall into that mix, so we decided to go with the idea of wandering off into the woods and just cutting our own down. Yes, this is an option here, and they even have rules. You're not supposed to cut them down near the road, and you're not supposed to cut down a tree that's all by itself. Let me just tell you - if a tree isn't all by itself, it probably doesn't have any branches on one side. That's something I learned while we spent roughly two hours trying to find the perfect tree. We ended up with one I'd be happy with... and friends who have vowed to never look for a Christmas tree with us ever again. Mom would be so proud. As she pointed out, though, at least it took me two hours to find one in the woods, where it's hard to find one that has a decent shape. It used to take Mom two hours (OR MORE!) to find one from a Christmas tree farm where they groom them to be pretty. I don't think I'm as bad as Mom. Beth and Zach probably disagree.

Anyway, to get to the rest of the story, we caravaned out to a rumored good tree spot with Beth and Zach, and proceeded to try to help each other find a tree. I'll just say that Beth and Zach are not as picky as me. Beth and Zach are smart. Beth and Zach had a tree about an hour before us. Beth and Zach stayed in their warm car while Jason and I got out a couple times to tromp around in the cold just to decide we needed to drive a liiiiittle further down the road. Also, Zach made Jason do the bulk of the work in getting their tree down a hill. Jason picked a tree that had to be dragged UP a hill. We're just not that smart.


Finally, after two hours, though, we found a tree that we were happy with. We cut the top 10 feet or so off a 15-20 foot tree, stuffed it into the back of the truck, and headed back out of the woods. As I look at the tree (complete with lights, but no ornaments yet because we haven't had time), I just can't believe that I got a tree out of the woods. It's not the full, perfectly groomed blue spruce that I'm used to, but it smells good, looks gorgeous with the lights turned on, and we GOT IT FROM THE WOODS. I like that part!


I'll leave the writing at that, and just share some pictures with you. If nothing else, it was a fun way to spend an afternoon, and a neat Kodiak experience! Enjoy!


Here's Jason (with Beth and Zach ahead of him) hiking out - I just had to show that we REALLY did hike into the woods to get out tree!


Here's Beth enjoying the snow. This is how we stayed occupied while Jason and Zach tied their tree to the roof of their truck.


Next up, Jason looking useful. Or not.
TIMBERRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!

Cutting it down was easy. Getting it back to the truck... not so much. Here's that uphill climb!
Check us out... aren't we cute???
And, for a non-tree related picture... I can't leave this one out. What's not to like about getting to see this on a regular basis!?
So that was our tree-hunting fun. As soon as we get the ornaments on the tree I'll post a picture of the finished product. Oh, and in case hiking into the woods to get a tree doesn't convince you that I'm being acclimated to Kodiak life, I also ate deer meat twice this week - once in a pasta dish and once just as a burger. Add that to my waders and fishing fun, and I think it's safe to say the "city girl" will do just fine around here!
Hope everyone is getting to enjoy the season a little bit amidst all the rush! Miss you all!
Becca

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Man vs. Wild?

Well, after having a great Thanksgiving with our new friends here in Kodiak, I was lucky enough to partake in the required survival training for being stationed here in Alaska. Monday and Tuesday we're just classroom days, with a trip to the tide pool. They taught us about what we should carry on us, and what to do if we were ever stuck in the wilderness for any length to time. It was a very informative couple of days.

The highlight of the training was the trip to the tide pool. They informed us that the tide pools are one of the most abundant sources of food if you are ever stuck in the wild, and the best part is that you don't have to cook any of it. Well for a individual who didn't like pizza when he was a kid, this trip was approached with much caution. So we arrive at the tide pool and one of my fellow pilots who has been through this training scrapes a shell off a rock and tells me it's a limpet. Well a limpet is a snail, yes a snail, that attaches it's self to rocks in near the shores. It's very abundant. Well Bill (the other pilot) scrapes the snail out of the shell and hands it to me. I look at him and say there is no way I'm going to eat that. Well, I ended up eating it and it was really good. It was like a little neck clam, and was already salty from the water. I ended up eating a few more.

After the limpet, we moved on to the chiton. Well a chiton is also basically a snail. These are bigger though, and you only eat the foot. Well they weren't all that bad either, but much more chewing which was kind of weird. After that we finished with sea cabbage, and uni. Uni for those that don't know is sea urchin roe or eggs. Believe it or not the uni is very expensive (Japanese delicacy) and also tastes really good. It's like a salty mushy peach. So when everyone comes up we'll be taking a trip to the tide pool and having at least one meal there. =)









Well after two days of training we were marched out into the woods and forced to live for 2 1/2 days on what we could fit into a quart size bag. Well if you try to do this, it's not much, especially when they don't give you fire until dinner time on the second night. This proved to be interesting since we all brought rice and bullion to cook as our food. Secondly there is only about 7 hours of daylight right now. It's very interesting being stuck in the woods at night when it gets dark at 4 pm and you aren't allowed fire. It gets very dark and cold. It was 30 and night and 40 during the day for our stay with misty weather. It was great !!!!!! Well we built our shelter and found some items in the woods to keep us entertained. I hope you appreciate the pics. We were "rescued" on Friday morning and proceeded to head home and peel our clothes off and warm up. Needless to say, I'm glad I won't have to do this again for 10 years.














That's all for now. Hope all is well with everyone.
Jason

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know, it's two days after Thanksgiving. But I'm just waking up from my food coma, so this is the earliest I've gotten around to posting!

We had a wonderful Kodiak Thanksgiving, even being so far away from our family! Even though we've spent other holidays away, it was tough being THIS far away. Luckily, our wonderful friends Beth and Zach, who really have become like family to us here, came over and joined us in an enormous feast for four. It was such a huge blessing to share the day with them, too, because they are a VERY thankful pair this year. Their little girl, Donavyn, was born at the end of September, and they just got word this past week that their little boy, Gabriel, will be coming home to Kodiak from Guatemala after a VERY long wait! There were many thankful tears shed around the table!


Besides Beth and Zach (and Little Miss D), we were also joined by our friend Melissa and her three kids, Eli, Caleb and Peach (or, Naomi), for dessert. Unfortunately, her husband Aaron had duty on Thanksgiving (he's a firefighter on the CG base, though not CG), so we didn't get to see him, but after their turkey dinner at the firehouse, they stopped by for pie and a quick Wii game. They also decided to use Jason as a human tree... check him out!


Jason and I are just so thankful for the opportunities we've been given, including the chance to live here in Kodiak. It's tough being so far away from our families, but it's truly an amazing experience to be able to live here and to have the jobs we have. We're very blessed!!!

So enough of the mushy-ness... onto the pictures! I think Mom would have been very proud of my killer antipasto. I skipped the lettuce this year and made it a true antipasto... I have to say that my Taste of Home Entertaining (there's a plug for you, Beth!) made it look just fabulous. And, I didn't go overboard (sorry, Mom), so we were still hungry for dinner!

And, it's a good thing we left room for dinner!!! Holy canoli, did we have some food! After it's ceremonial last flight, Jason fried us up a turkey again this year, which, once again, went over to rave reviews! It cooked a little faster than we thought it was, but was still hot and juicy by the time we finished everything else up. We went all out, with the usual traditional stuff, including southern dressin', courtesy of Beth's family, and 7-layer salad and a cherry jello salad concoction (that was delish), courtesy of Zach's family. It was neat to mix things up a bit! So, here are the bird's last flight, and a shot of the table. Seriously, that was food for only four people. I think we're crazy. I also think we'll be eating Thanksgiving dinner for the next week, at least! But it was all veeeerrrry yummy!




Finally, just one last picture of the whole group of us, right before everyone went their separate ways. This is Beth (in the glasses), Zach (the non-Jason guy), Melissa (on the floor in front of Beth), Donavyn (in Beth's arms), Caleb (blond), Eli (with the brown hair), Peach (aka, Naomi, but we call her peach), Jason and I. We'll have to figure out a way to photoshop Aaron into the picture so it's more complete! But, really, what's not to be happy about when you have a house full of people for Thanksgiving, just a few months after you move 5000 miles across the country!

That's it for now, blog fans! We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Next up, pictures of Christmas decorations!!!

Miss and love you all!
Becca (and Jason)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

We need rabbit ears????

video

Well it's been another great weekend here in Cold Bay. After the weather cleared slightly here yesterday John and I decided to finally get outside and try our hand at hunting. Well we we're lucky and ended up out in the fine Cold Bay weather that is prevelant this time of year. The video above is a fine example of some of the weather we have. Needless to say we only got 1 ptarmagin after only seeing mabe a dozen total. We'll see what we can do tommorow to remedy that situation. Supposedly the guys that we are deployed with found close to 100 of them in a different part of town. We'll see if they're there tommorow or not.

Mostly today we had plans to just sit around and wait for the big case. We planned on just sitting around and watching football. Well I refer you to the previous post where we said that we had satellite TV. Well that's nice and everything, but only if you actually spring for the local channels to go along with it. Apparently the $10 was going to break the bank because we didn't have them. After trecking to the general store here in town we found that the Sunday games are avalible if you have one of those old fancy rabbit ears for your tv set. Yeah those things that the rest of the world retired how many years ago. I don't think the latest HD and flat screens even have a hook up for rabbit ears.


Lucky us the tv's here in the lodge all have a fine vintage set of ears with them. The next good thing is that the guys here in town also like to watch Sunday Tv. Supposedly there is a repeater here in town that they can send out the signal with, but it only will transmit one channel, and "the guy" in town here can change it for different days of the week. We found that on Saturday's it's on NBC, luckily Sunday it's switched to CBS where all the games are played. I kid you not, that's how this place works. It's rediculous. You also learn that you don't piss people off around here or you definitly find yourself segregated from the other 57 residents.




Well after the first two games we actually had to go and do some work and overly some of the crab fleet. We only saw a couple of boats including the WIZARD today. I've included a picture of the local volcano right around sunset. It's pretty nice when the weather actually clears. That's all for now. Hope you all enjoy.




Jason

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Back in Cold Bay, #5
















Well as you can all see, I am in my apparent home away from home. I have returned again to Cold Bay, Alaska for my fifth trip of the season. This happening metropolis seems to be my alternate work site. We arrived here last Wednesday and are spending the week here to be ready for possible SAR cases in the Bearing Sea. The King crab season started in mid-October and while the boats are out fishing we maintain a presence here in lovely Cold Bay. So far our services have not been needed which means that so far the season has been kind to the fisherman.












During this trip to Cold Bay there is one difference from the previous trips, we aren't staying at the Trooper house this trip but the only lodge here. It's not to bad. Only 5 guys living in the equivilant of a double wide. A 1970's vinitage one at that. It's not too bad, we have satelite TV and wireless internet, so it can't be all that bad. Thank god we do have these luxuries as the wetaher has been horrible. It has been on and off snow showers and hail since we got here 3 days ago. We're hoping to get a break here in the next few days so that we can go out and hunt some ptarmagin (small birds like grouse).












Yesterday was the highlight of the trip so far. We flew to Dutch Harbor to pick up some crewmembers from another crew and bring them back to Cold Bay. While there we ate lunch in one of the only restaurants in Dutch and happened upon Phil from the Cornellia Marie. For those of you who don't know, Phil is one of the masters of a crab boat here in Alaska. He has been featured on the Discovery series Deadliest Catch. We were going to go over and say hi to him when we we're launched on a possible case. After being turned back we went back for lunch and he was gone already. Kind of stunk.












We ended up getting all of the scoops on the fishing so far though from our Discovery crewmember Kyle. Kyle is staying with us and flying with us everyday. He has been filming for the Deadliest Catch for the last 3 years. He has been keeping in touch with all of his fellow cameramen and keeping us posted. Pretty cool, having them along. You'll all have to watch the new season this spring, who knows you may see me on there.












Well that's all for now. I'll post again later in the week. Hope you all like the picutres, I'll try to keep them coming.

Jason

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A big day in Dorval history!!!

Well, folks, it was a pretty important, big day here in the Dorval household today!

The Red Sox win the World Series for the second time in my lifetime - sweeping the Rockies, no less - AND Mr. Fred turned the big 4.

First, on the topic of the Sox - I will have to give a proverbial ppppbbbbffftttt to my family in Nebraska. I hate to do it, but Uncle Larry felt the need to flaunt the Rockies clinch of a World Series berth while the Sox were behind 3-1 in the ALCS, taunting Mom with the possibility of NOT seeing any more post-season play from the Sox. Well, Uncle Larry, not only did we get there, but we also CLEANED UP! As in, SWEPT. As in, the Rockies may have won 21 of their last 22 prior to the Series, but all that doesn't matter if you lose four in a row at the big show!

We had a great time watching the game with our friends Beth and Zach, their baby Donavyn (who somehow got to be a month old already!), and our friends Mary and Keith, and their kids Joshua, Megan and Daniel. Minus a small dog scare for Megan and Daniel as they walked in the door, we had a great time watching the game, chatting and eating some of Jason's fabulous chili. Jason will probably be disappointed to know that my favorite part of the meal was the pie Mary brought over, though... It was GOOOOD!

So, CONGRATS to the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox!!!! I don't think that will ever get old!

Now, moving on to more important things.... Mr. Fred turns 4. Of course, looking at him, he looks like he's 85 or something, but 4 in dog years is older anyway, so we'll give him that. Keeping with the annual tradition, Fred had to have some kind of special treat today for his big day. In the past, living in crazy dog people land, we've always just gone to a local dog bakery or fancy pet store and bought him some kind of special cake or cookie. Surprisingly (or not), Kodiak does not have such a place, so it was up to me to provide. Thanks to the internet and another CG spouse, I now have a recipe for a dog-friendly cake, which I baked up special for Fred, and topped with a fabulous frosting of all natural plain yogurt "frosting."

Forced to wait until the cake was cool enough to "frost," Fred started getting antsy soon after the cake came out of the oven, popping up from his perch on the ottoman everytime I was in the kitchen to see if it was time yet. Of course, this came AFTER I let him sniff the cake and put it back on the counter. I'm mean.

So here come the pictures.....
First up - the completed, unfrosted cake, with container of yogurt in the background. I gave him about a sixth of this to eat tonight. The rest is the in the fridge for leftovers!
Next is the finished product, with "frosting" and just a touch of red sugar sprinkles. He couldn't just have a plain cake, now, could he? There's no sugar in the cake - only honey and peanut butter for sweetness, so the little bit on the top won't hurt!

Next, in keeping with the normal way we feed Fred, we even made him wait for his cake. Mom, would YOUR dog do this?!?

We finally let him have at it. First the frosting came off - who knew a dog would enjoy plain yogurt so much!!?


Next, if you look very closely, you'll see a small bit of cake sticking out of Fred's mouth in this picture. The reason why only a small bit is sticking out is because he ate the whole thing at once. Yes, that whole hunk of cake. A small piece fell off when he picked it up, so it wasn't technically the whole thing, but he tried.

And then, to insure he got it all, he spent some quality time licking the crumbs off the plate and the floor. I still had to vacuum when he was done, but I have to say I was pretty impressed with myself for thinking to make him eat it in the kitchen.

And, last but not least, we (and by that I mean, I) take a portrait of Fred every year on his birthday. So this is the latest installment. He was busy watching the kids at the house behind us throw a ball up over the top of the line of sight of the fence, so I got good alert looks from him!

So that's it from the Dorval's big day. Fred is waiting for his presents, but he can be patient. He's a big fan of the Booda brand cornstarch bones. Mostly he likes the nubby minty ones... just in case anyone wondered. (Just kidding of course!)

Stay tuned for the next installment in Jason's life in exciting places - he slated for a trip to Cold Bay again this week... I'm sure he'll have something sarcastic and facetious to share after he's been there for about a half a day or so! I just might chime in out of the sheer boredom of the second week by myself in such a short period of time!

Hope you enjoyed Fred's birthday!
GO SOX!!!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Just pictures.....

After a couple days of snow, rain and snain (ok, who are we kidding... it was a week), the sun finally came out in full force today. If you can get past the fact that the "fall" temperatures here are running about 5 to 10 degrees cooler than a New England fall, getting the chance to be outside on a day like today is priceless.

Not wanting to miss our chance by letting silly things like work get in the way, I skipped out early to meet Jason for a sushi lunch (he didn't have to go in until 4pm today) and then a walk at Ft. Abercrombie with Mr. Fred.
As promised, I took more pictures of the snow over the past few days. Yesterday tried to be clear, but it never really got there. I tried to snap a couple pictures to show how much snow we'd gotten, but this is really the only one that came out well. This is a view of two of the three cutters that are homeported here in Kodiak, with the mountains behind them. I took this from the far end of the parking lot of my building.

The rest of the pictures are from today, at Ft. Abercrombie. I'll start with some snow views and then end with some fabulous pictures of my boys.

These next two pictures are just some beautiful views from the park. There's definitely a LOT more snow on the mountains than there was last Sunday! I don't think we'll be seeing green on these mountains again until about August of next year!


Everyone loves pictures of Fred, so I like to indulge that if I can. I think I actually took this one on Sunday before the snain came through. It's fun asking him where the turkeys are so I can get a good shot. It was also our standard trick for getting him to keep walking when we'd do neighborhood walks down the street from our house in Massachusetts. The cruel joke here is that there are no turkeys in Kodiak. Poor Fred.

Next are some pictures of both my boys. I wanted to get some pictures of them sitting in a patch of sunlight streaming through the trees today. As you can see in the first picture, we were luring Fred with sticks. It didn't work because his attention was only on the stick, and not on me or Jason.

Jason must've given in and Fred must've gotten the stick, because Fred proceeded to show Jason just how much he loves him.... all over his face. This is just a sample shot - I have about 5 of these in a sequence. Crazy dog! (and crazier Jason for letting him wash his face!)


And, finally, some of you might remember a shot I caught of Jason and Fred staring at each other while they were enjoying the view from Jason's favorite place in the park. Well, since I caught that one, we've decided we need to get one for each season. So, here's the "fall" installment. I guess the winter one will be different in that there will be more snow, and Jason might actually wear a heavy coat. I have to admit that this one is posed while the original was not, but it's cute anyway!

So, that's the latest from here! Jason heads to warmer climates tomorrow night for a week in Mobile for his annual proficiency course. I'll miss him, but probably only up til the part where he rubs the warm temperatures in my face for the bazillionth time!
While he's gone, I might try to catch up with a post about our visit from Matt and Tammie about a month ago. We had a great time having our first Kodiak company, AND I have some fabulous pictures of Tammie that I'm sure she'd love for me to share with the world!

Hope everyone enjoys the pictures!!!
Becca